My obsession with the Christmas hymn “O little town of Bethelhem” continues…
This year I made some votives in varying sizes for an art fair in Midland. After creating my ancient city & star roller stamps, I hand-built these guys. I glazed some all-blue, all-white, and just a few mixed. After adding a few battery powered candles they flew off the table at the fair, I have just a few left in the shop. I am currently making a few more and a few special ones for a Christmas centerpiece. I also made an 18 inch platter, which sold before I even got a picture! It is always so humbling to make something and sell it, these especially because I feel so connected to the inspiration behind it.
I just LOVE how these turned out!
Its been a bizarre 12 hours, thunderstorms, grumpiness, power outages, and then I was locked out. It kind of rattled my cage today, but once I was in I found myself gazing out. It’s just one morning, one day, one miniscule trial – it’s the same air on both sides. Just take a moment and breath and let it all wash over.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4: 16-17
I made a healthy dinner tonight does that justify making these New Orleans beignets for dessert? Being mardi gras I figured that today was a good day to try these out, I found the recipe here. I made a simple chocolate sauce to go with them – celebration!
Tomorrow lent begins, I haven’t chosen something to give up, but my husband gave me a new book Shaped by the Cross: Meditations on the suffering of Jesus by Ken Gire to read during the lenten season. I always enjoy authors spiritual reflections on art, in this case Michelangelo’s Pieta.
am·bi·tion noun. An eager or strong desire to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.
This week in BSF we blew through 1 Thessalonians which highlights Paul’s message of faith, hope and love. I have so many verses underlined in this book but this one really stood out to me this week. It’s kind of a good motto for me, yet easier said than done.
And for those of you wondering, my three “wishes” did come true. I left my camera case and battery at my in-laws over the holidays and found my favorite gloves under a certain 5-year-olds bed. Now that I think of it she doesn’t really like those gloves due to the “scratchy” leather on the palm that itches her when we hold hands. Hopefully I can get back to taking photos next week with warm hands!
“God’s “rest” is the splendid, vibrant benefit of His salvation. Rest for you, in God’s purpose, is fulfillment of all that He created you to be and do in the atmosphere of relationship with Him. It is unhindered productivity and satisfaction. God’s intent is for us to rest from anything that distracts us from Christ and his work. This calls for genuine belief in Jesus Christ and rest from self-effort.”
I was so THANKFUL for the chance to get away over thanksgiving with family and REST. The above quote is from my BSF lesson during that week, how appropriate when vacationing on the beach. Rest is so much more than getting away, it is satisfaction with the work, a pause of that, and gratitude on God’s blessings. As the bustle of Christmas begins let us not forget the silent entrance of God becoming flesh, and REST is his greatest gift.
12 jars of homemade apple sauce all lined up. I made these with some friends this week who cranked out dozens of jars, I could only help out on the tail end due to the story below. These jars of sweet pink-hued sauce came with a tough price for me…
Two weeks ago I went apple picking, last week I went back for a few more. On this second trip I walked through a picker bush, that filled my clothes full of burrs. They left these almost translucent pickers on my skin and one of those ended up in my eye. I flushed my eye many times and did everything I could do to get it out. I thought it would come out on its own but after 5 days, intermittent pain and sleepless nights, I resorted to a trip to the eye doctor. After more than 30 minutes he found the culprit thorn lodged on the inside of my upper eyelid. It was scratching my eye and causing me a great deal of pain. I had no idea something so small could be such a huge irritant. I can’t explain the feeling of gratitude I felt toward my doctor who was so gentle in removing the thorn.
I had almost forgotten in that short amount of time what a normal eye had felt like. How could something almost invisible to ‘naked eye’ cause such pain? I could help but think about Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? After this whole ordeal I shiver at the idea of a speck, not to mention a plank. I am thankful that God is so full of grace and gentle in removing those irritants. I remember saying to my doctor as he slowly drew near my face with a pair of blunt tweezers. ” I know you need to do this but I really don’t want you to…” In the end my fear of how steady his hand was, gave way to my fear of facing the future in this condition, and the health of my eye. I guess I’ll just put the question out there, is there something in your life that is obstructing your vision? That is painful to think about removing but is absolutely necessary in order to restore sight and return to a peaceful normal state? Perhaps its time to schedule an appointment with the great physician, so the healing can begin.
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:7-11
What do you think of when you see a beautiful cloud in the sky? Do you immediately think back to elementary science and the cycle of precipitation? This is a beautiful picture I took of a cloud that formed over lake Michigan a few weeks ago. This week I was challenged to view clouds in a new light, as a partial view of the hidden glory of God. What a beautiful reminder, that a cloud symbolizes the second coming of christ. Go ahead, let your eyes and heart drift to the sky today.
For I will pour water upon him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit upon your offspring, and My blessing upon your descendants. And they shall spring up among the grass like willows or poplars by the watercourses.
Sometimes the best blessings in life are the ones right around you. This weekend I took the time to be with my great friend and our children. How sweet life is by the water, watching them play, each in their own unique creativeness. I am learning the balance of blogging and being – I needed some time in the sun, to get dirty playing with the kids, hear the lake michigan waves rolling in, climb and run down the dunes, smell the fish on the shore and just being with friends. All of which were completely necessary to stimulate the senses and engaging the heart. What a great bunch of kids, who have learned to love each other as their own little community. I am blessed by each of them and take great delight in knowing they are running in the same direction regardless of the landscape.
Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the LORD or fully declare his praise? Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right. Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them, that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise. Psalm 106: 1-5
Love this. I am off to celebrate a wedding in the company of my extended family. Packing my bags this weekend for the city, family, celebrations and food. I am praying for relaxation, blessed connections and safety.