Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bless Those Who Persecute You

Have you tried this?

Really, really tried it?

I have to admit I had not.  

I could forgive.

I could pray for my loved ones.

But could I ask the Lord to bless someone who meant to harm us?

Who did hurt us.

I was challenged this Sunday at church by our pastor's sermon.

It was based on Romans 12.  He covered much more than this.

But it was Romans 12:14 that hit me.

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them."

I knew there was an area in my life where I hadn't done this.
I honestly told God it was going to be hard.  But I'd do it.
Because He has asked us to.

So I did and I have been when it comes to my mind.
And you know something happened.

I discovered there's a freedom.
I was released,
and I was blessed.

The things that made me anxious
made me mad,
still tortured my mind.

They didn't hold the same power.

Really maybe this is something you already have experienced and already knew.  I know this might be old news.

But it was hugely inspiring to me.  Practicing it, doing it, really meaning it.  It is helping me.  I am being blessed.  God has a reason why he asks us to do this.  I didn't expect to feel the difference so quickly or so profoundly.

I should clarify that by asking for blessing, the Lord doesn't mean to have the person blessed while they keep on sinning, but that they'd be blessed by being drawn closer to Him and made more aware of their sin.  To the point where they're convicted and changed.  It's not asking for blessing while continuing to sin, but blessing by having their eyes opened.  

To know the truth that God loves them no matter what they've done and wants them to turn from their sinful ways and turn to Him.
I had such an unconscious block towards this it hadn't even been on my radar to do.  If there's something someone did to you where you realize you're still hurt, angry, anxious, bothered, give it a try.  

There are more blessings than you realize that will come out of blessing others, even those you find difficult to bless.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Because of His Love

Because of His love
I feel a power not my own
and resolve 
I wouldn't have known
His spirit convicts me
and whispers
You are enough
You are beautiful
Oh wonderful Savior
 You love and adore
and call to all
to know the truth and more
To feel the way
You give peace
and joy
and comfort
Because of His love
I am changed
  and am called to love 
called to forgive
the way he would
to have a mind like His
to flee from lies
to give
to receive
to hurt
to heal
to grow
to overflow
to weep
to dance
to believe
Because of His love
I am His child
His daughter
He is jealous for me
and intercedes
on my behalf
He fights for me
and died for me
and for this reason
I will fight for Him
and fight for the life
He meant for us to have
I am just one
but I am enough
to share the truth
my faith
to share His love
that is more than enough
to overcome
to restore
to believe again
in the Creator
who is calling to you
Because of His love

I've been listening to lots of beautiful music lately.  So much of it ministers to my soul.  I just felt super moved to sit down and write and this is what flowed out.  Perhaps it'll minister to someone else.

Also.. here are some songs/videos that have me feeling really inspired, convicted and encouraged to do the hard work we're called to do.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's The Simple Things

I love to be in nature.

So do the kids.

Too often tv's are turned on and video games are played and kids forget how to really play.

So do adults for that matter.

I'm bound and determined to keep the simple in our lives.

The kids thrive.

We thrive.

This summer since we haven't had to rush out of the house (most days) our favorite thing to do as the kids wake is they each creep into our bed.  We open the windows.  Have a cup a tea... kids included (herbal of course) and we watch what we've named 'the bird show'. 

It actually works.   

It's really my most favorite thing to do.  To have a slow start.  A slow start together as a family.

We're closer to each other.  Closer to God.  Closer to nature.

It's really the way it was meant to be.

That's not to say someone doesn't get bumped or bruised or hair pulled or kicked as they start to twist and wiggle and try to play 'gofer holes' into the depths of our comforter.

And that's when we know it's time to officially get up and at em. 

But I love that time when it's quiet and peaceful and we're all together.

So we're off to a week long camping trip in Santa Cruz.  There'll be lots of playing in nature.  Probably not so many slow mornings snuggling with tea.  But plenty of other blessings.

Hope everyone enjoys their week and you have a chance to enjoy some quiet outdoors.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Place To Call My Own

This little haven of mine has been a long time in the making.

First it was a dream... for well, a few years.

But finally, it was time to build that window box seat
I had been dreaming about.  

The building happened somewhere in December of last year if I remember correctly.

It sat bare for months.

While we still had a round table that didn't fit our family of five anymore.

Typically we'd eat in stations or one of the adults would wind up at the little red kid table because the kids no longer would eat there.  That just didn't seem right.

Then it took me awhile to find just the right fabric.  I went to just about every store I knew of here in Los Angeles, including downtown to the fabric district.  Nothing was just right.

I don't like settling when it comes to these things and I'll be patient enough until I find the thing that makes my heart sing.

Tanya Whelan's fabric was the the thing that did it.  Oh I fell in love!  I envisioned this little french country bistro... and it's just how I imagined.  I'm leaving room to add some pillows for when something catches my eye.  I'm hoping to find one with a cute bird on it.

Oh and I almost forgot... the whole reason I'm posting this now is that our farm table is finally in.

I dreamed of a rustic looking farm table.

I tore pictures out of magazines.  I drew up my idea.

But nowhere and I mean NO WHERE did they have a table that was small enough to fit our space.

Then I was told about Oasis in Malibu.  And do you know when I walked in they had a table that was the perfect combination of the three I was putting together to make the one I really wanted.

I didn't even need to ask for a change.  Other than the fact that the dimensions needed to be smaller and we had to lose a diagonal feature because it wasn't long enough to keep them.

It's a trestle farm table made with re-purposed wood.  The top is a natural wood color, but the bottom has a shabby chic white wash.

Oh and the other real reason I wanted to write about this is that this is where I go early in the morning before the kids rise to read my devotionals and my bible. 

To drink my tea.

To look at the birds out the window.

To journal to God.  To listen to God.  To dream.  To Hear.  To feel filled and inspired.

I walk away from this spot feeling ready for my day.

It's also where I squeeze in moments to draw. 

I don't have a craft room.  Perhaps one day.

But for now this is absolutely perfect to me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Preparing Raw Food

After finding out I had lupus my journey into helping heal my body through diet began. I started reading A LOT! I have read more books and message boards and websites than I can count.

The internet can be both a blessing and a curse in this way.

But in this case I have been brought again and again to eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables and juicing in order to heal your body.  It's kind of easy really.  It's going back to eating very naturally and thinking did God make it or did man package it.

I was never a bad eater, but I've been convicted in the last year to change some things.

I've read books from The Lupus Recovery Diet, to The China Study, and most recently The Hallelujah Diet.  This one I stumbled across. But just finished reading. It's really quite enlightening and as you read some of these books they can be very convicting.

The Hallelujah Diet is based on the Genesis 1:29 principal

"Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."

For breakfast I'm not very good at making myself things because mornings are generally a bit crazy.  So months ago when I discovered Vega protein powder that is a complete meal and plant based I was really excited.  I love both the vanilla chai and the chocolate. 

In fact we're leaving for a camping trip soon and this will be a MUST have for me to avoid some of the foods I know won't be good for me. 

As for dinner.. I started reading blogs and the recipes in some of my new books. This blog in particular really had my mouth watering. Her pictures make everything look so good.  Then her blog led me to this blog.. and boy I've already signed up for their newsletter.  I'm loving their recipes.

I started out trying the zucchini spaghetti. OH and I was so super excited to actually pull out the Cuisinart we got when we were married 13 1/2 years ago and to discover I could make it work.  I used to have a fear of it.  The whole thing sort of intimidated me so it was relegated to the back of the cupboard and was forgotten years ago.

DO you know it's not that hard and I think it's going to be my new best friend in the kitchen!

Back to the recipe, I loved it. My husband was appreciative, but I wouldn't say it was his favorite. My son tolerated it, but my two daughters. I think the before and after pictures speak for themselves.
You would have thought I was torturing them. It was so sad really.
So I have some work to do to find kid friendly recipes.  It's a challenge.  But I'm up to the task!