What You Ought To Remember

You know what’s embarrassing? Slamming the toilet lid down in a public restroom because you forget that all toilet lids are not self closing like the ones at home.

You know what’s painful? Forgetting that you chopped jalapeños a few hours ago and rubbing your eye.

You know what is not embarrassing or painful? God’s forgiveness. The teaching of Scripture is that when we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us. Not just forgive either but to cleanse us from the dirt and mess of our sin. And if that were not enough, we are told He throws our sin away as far as the east is from the west.

You know what God doesn’t forget?

Us.

Me.

You.

He remembers our frame. He remembers that we are His people and He is our God.

He remembers His promises.

So many promises! But this morning I woke up thinking about forgiveness and Psalm 139. Such thoughts are, indeed, too wonderful.

You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it. (Verses 5 & 6)

I hope you begin your week thinking of the promises God gives to His children. And may you walk in them.

Happy Monday y’all.

It’s All Good

I was having a bit of a rough minute this morning.

Rob has been out of town all week and I am ready for him to be home. I have a few things weighing on my mind and the pups were/are being a bit of a handful. To top it off my emotions seem to be a bit, shall we say, emotional?

All in all, I was feeling a tad sorry for myself but trying to buck up and give myself a pep talk. In the course of said pep talk I was reminding myself of Psalm 139 and encouraging myself to remember that God knows my frame; I’m fine. Everything is fine.

I sit at the dining room table in the morning to read my Bible and go over my prayer cards. I refreshed my cup of coffee and sat down deciding to read Psalm 139 in full.

I literally laughed out loud as I read verses 11 & 12 because in that exact moment the sun rose just enough above the trees to flood my table with its glow.

“If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

Such a funny and sweet reminder from Him not to let myself get overwhelmed. As if He wore glasses He’d be looking over the top of them saying, “You’re fine.”

And it’s true.

It’s all good.

Think On These Things

My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.

Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.

For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their flesh.

Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.

Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.

Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.

Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.

Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil. 

~Proverbs 4:20–27

 

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Think On These Things

You Will Not Abandon My Soul

A Miktam of David.

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

~Psalm 16

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Think On These Things

The LORD Our God Is Holy

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!

The LORD is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.

Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!

The King in his might loves justice.
You have established equity;
you have executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.

Exalt the LORD our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel also was among those who called upon his name.
They called to the LORD, and he answered them.

In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them;
they kept his testimonies
and the statute that he gave them.

O LORD our God, you answered them;
you were a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrongdoings.

Exalt the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the LORD our God is holy!

                                                                                                                                       ~Psalm 99

 

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Monday Musings

When were kids my oldest sister was the crafty creative one then as we all became adults I became the one who takes pictures and blogs, plans parties and decorates, etc. (She still gets really great ideas and can find all the parts and pieces to make things happen. It’s her gift, really.)

But recently our little sister has had the opportunity to do some writing for a women’s ministry that she is involved in and one post she shared stayed in my head and kept me thinking so I am going to piggyback on what she was talking about for a few minutes.

In her devotion she was addressing this idea in our culture of female empowerment, the constant bombardment of equality for women that disregards the true power we have in favor of the pseudo power the world would have us believe is more and better. She reminded her readers that we were designed with a purpose, formed by a rib being taken from man’s side to be his helper. She went on to explain the duties and functions of our actual ribs:

Anatomically speaking, ribs are connected to the spine. This gives strength and power to them. They are an essential connection to the very core that holds a person up. They are there to uplift. They come around and protect the heart and lungs, blood and oxygen.

We can’t survive without them. The ribs guard those inmost, core parts and protect them from harm. In this way, we are to guard our loved ones, protect them, and ensure that they have what they need to live. Ribs are small but strong bones, they may bruise but they are not easy to break. 

Toni Marie made a beautiful connection from the physical description to the spiritual. We uplift. We protect.

But did you know that ribs can pop out of place? Two weeks ago I started noticing a discomfort in my back when I moved a certain way or tried to breath too deeply. It was hard to put my finder on and explain what the exact problem was but it just felt off, not right. Turns out one of my ribs had moved out of place. Thankfully I already had an appointment scheduled with the chiropractor who found the problem, popped it back into place, and straightened me out.

Reading my sister’s words on the heels of that experience showed me how easy it is for us as women to become disjointed. We let ungratefulness, a bad attitude, bitterness, selfishness, or unforgiveness push us out of place and instead of uplifting or protecting those around us we become that dull discomfort that they try to live with and around or that sharp pain that becomes a hindrance that keeps them from doing and being what they were made to do and be.

Thankfully, the fix is just as quick as the chiropractor popping my actual rib back into place. When we confess the sinfulness that has us out of place with the body, be it in our marriage or relationships with our children, or at church, wherever it is,  the Great Physician promises to forgive us, to heal and restore us. He puts us back into our place and we are able to do that which we were made for.

That, in and of itself, is reason to rejoice.

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At The Same Time

There are several things about doing the Bible reading challenge that I love. Firstly, there are rather large chunks of Scripture being read at a time and there is something about taking in that much of God’s word, something about stepping back and reading the big picture. And always, no matter how many times I may have read a passage, there is usually something that stands out to me.

I have read the story of Moses being given the Ten Commandments a hundred times in my life but for some reason the timing of it all just clicked in focus so sharply that I literally had to stop and go back to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing. This blew my mind. Moses is on the mountain and God is giving him the law and explaining all the particulars about the Tabernacle and sacrifices and the garments for Aaron and his sons, and the sacrifices that were to be made on behalf of the people. God is literally declaring that He will be their God and they will be His people. He is laying out how they may come to Him and how Aaron will be their priest and what his duties will be.

And it’s not like God was talking to Moses with His backed turned to the people of Israel and didn’t know what they were doing. Do you know what they were doing at that exact same moment? During those days that Moses was before God, learning all about how God was making a people for Himself, and they were down there throwing gold into the fire and worshipping a golden cafe.

The two things happened simultaneously. At the same time God was declaring His faithfulness man was declaring his unfaithfulness. Like I said, I have read that story numerous times but for some reason the timing of it was such a stark contrast. It literally left me breathless.

Have you ever stopped and considered what was going on the same moment you are sinning? What we are declaring in the midst of our sin, at the same moment that Christ is declaring His faithfulness over us? His love. His forgiveness. His restoration. His reconciliation. Our unfaithfulness. Our willfulness. Our un-forgiveness. Our brokenness. He declares life even when we declare death. His sufficiency drowns out the voice of our insufficiency.

Doesn’t that simply blow your mind? His mercy and grace is so great that in spite of our sin yesterday, our sin today, and our sin tomorrow, He has not only called us out to be His people and He to be our God but He has created good works for us to walk in. All for our good and for His glory.

What an absolutely glorious thought to consider.

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Think On These Things

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 

                                                                                                                             Ephesians 5:14–21

Well That Was Easy And Doing Things Again

I have been blogging off and on for many many years. The blog before this one is the first one that I got really serious about and paid for the domain name and everything. It was for a season of my life though and when I took my two year hiatus I closed it down so it was no longer visible to people. When I wanted to start blogging again I created this blog but under a different name and I think I posted about 15 times in 2018. So, when I wanted to start blogging again again I wanted this to be my home…my online space.

What to do with the old blog? The one with hundreds of posts, some of which I am pretty fond of, hundreds of recipes, and pictures galore. I didn’t know so it has just been sitting there all tucked away. Until this morning. With the click of a button over 6000 posts, pages, and pictures were backed up to my computer and then magically exported here, to this place.

That’s right. If you are curious about what the children were up to in 2012 or what I was thinking about in 2014 all you have to do is click on the little archive button to the right, select the year and the month and bam! there it is in all my incorrect grammatical glory.  It’s a bit daunting like suddenly finding your old diaries in a box of old pictures. A wee bit embarrassing but full of bits and pieces of my life and lots of nostalgia.

Now, I guess I just keep going with this new place and it’s two extra rooms. I like the feel of all three spaces and I think I will keep She Feeds Her Family for all things food related as it’s own place. But that third room? Just A Glimpse may get a bit of an upgrade because I am going to start taking pictures again. Seriously, as an actual structured business.

I got started in photography because I loved it and also because I couldn’t afford the prices of real photographers. I wanted to take good pictures of my kids. I wanted to create something. I got good enough that people started asking me to take their pictures. And they were willing to pay me something for it. But I applied what I could and could not afford to the process of charging and it wasn’t long before I was plenty busy with not much to show for it except time spent away from my family and stress.

It happened over time though and I wasn’t even aware of how much joy in actual picture taking I had lost until one day I was editing a bunch of pictures with a bunch more to be edited ahead of me and I realized I just wanted to be done. I just didn’t care. So I finished up the projects I had and then set my camera down.

IMG_0015 (1)For almost two years I rarely picked up the camera and this was a big deal. For fifteen years it was a rare day that I didn’t pick up my camera and shoot something. Fifteen years to nothing.

And I haven’t regretted it at all. It was good for me.

Lately things have started shifting again. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot a few things and the love for photography has been stirring. But the time off has helped me learn some things. I am blessed in that my life is not dependent upon that income but it does make a contribution and at this point in our lives photography is a low impact way to supplement things.

However, what I learned from before is it is okay to let money be a part of it.  I can take what I love doing and what I am good at and let it be more than a hobby or a little side hustle. To that end I have been doing some research and I will be pricing my services competitively for our area and that means I will not be as cheap as I was before. And I am going to not feel bad about that. Well, I am working on not feeling bad or apologetic about that. Because I really do want you to have beautiful pictures of the people in your life that matter to you or a lovely reminder of a beautiful and special event in your life and I love being part of that. But I don’t want that desire for you to eat me alive like it did before.

I am getting good with realizing I do not have to shoot everything and everyone no matter how much I might love the people involved. But here is the other part of that. I’m not going to feel bad about charging a fair price for my time and skill and if you think it is more than you want to invest in pictures I’m not going to be mad at you. It’s okay for you to say no thank you too. Seriously.

Honestly, I have this fear that this venture is going to fall flat on its face, that I’m going to fall flat on my face. What if no one hires me? What if I am putting this effort into putting myself out there and nothing happens?

Well, I just have to be okay with that, don’t I? Because what I am learning, what I have learned as I stepped into the blog world again and now into photography, is that life cannot be lived mired in fear. I don’t want to live afraid to try things or do things I enjoy and love because I’m afraid of it not working out. Or worse, actually working out and now being responsible for something.

The way I see it my task is to keep my priorities straight, be wise about what I am doing, and do it to the glory of the One who gives me life and let Him bless it as He sees fit.

Practically speaking I still have some things to do like settle on a business name, solidify my pricing structure, overhaul that online space, and get back into the groove of shooting again, etc. To that last point I am going to be doing some Christmas mini sessions next month so watch for more information about that.

But also, pray for me. I want to do this and do it well and sometimes that is not easy because things can loom large or stuff begins to get busy and I can get panicky. Above all, I want to go forward being mindful of what is truly important, the people I love and the community I am a part of and knowing that these are just things I do but not who I am. I want to joyfully and fully image forth the Creator by living creatively.

And I would love to have you join me in this adventure.

 

 

 

Sam’s White Board Drawing

The oldest is about to turn twenty-one and the youngest is forever reminding me that she will soon be my last child to hit double digits for the first time. (We don’t do huge birthday celebrations every year but going double digits is a milestone we usually mark with some extra hoopla. Is anyone surprised that Claire is working her status as the baby and the “last one” to get a little extra something something for her celebration in November?)

What I am really coming to terms with is that my babies are babies no more. This year in particular seems to have been a tipping point when that reality is just so sharp. Because of the eleven years that stretch between the first and the last it’s not like we’re on the home stretch of parenting obviously. But we do seem to have moved into the late summer and early autumn season of child rearing. There’s weeding and pruning still to do as there always will be but it’s different than before when they were little.

It’s an interesting season of life. Having them home for the summer is putting their various stages of maturity into relief and it’s so easy to see how they’ve grown and matured. Oh, they still have moments where they are the best of friends or the worst of enemies but it’s just different somehow. They are growing up. They have grown up.

And oddly enough I feel like I have too. I was talking with a friend recently and we were sharing how humbling it is to be a parent of older children. When they’re little you have it all figured out…you’re the grown up and they are learning from you. At some point though they should be entering the battle with you, along side of you, fighting the same fight that you are as brothers and sisters in Christ. They begin more and more to join you in the labor rather than being so much a part of the labor.

Honestly, I didn’t mean to get all philosophical and meandering. I really just wanted to share one of Sam’s drawings with you and it just got me to thinking how much they’ve changed and that’s how we ended up on the stroll down that rabbit trail.

Anyway, this tickled me and I thought y’all might enjoy it as well.

The boy has insight, wouldn’t you say?