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Are you a writer looking for editorial expertise to help you get your manuscript ready to publish? Visit Amy at The Write Companion and get a 25% discount to get you started!
~ C.S. Lewis ~
Such a profound yet simple observation . . . . we question, we wonder, we worry, we sometimes even collapse under the weight of our pain, and we cannot understand WHY we are experiencing the darkness and silence of our pain. Ultimately, there are many questions that will never be answered, but there is one truth that we can hold with certainty: He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is there, He is enough, and He cares about our heartache.
In the midst of my days of seemingless endless sorrow and shattered dreams, all of these questions, and more, were relentlessly screaming through my brain. Why, after praying for so many years and trying to do everything that it seemed God wanted me to do, it all still fell apart. I still don't know why, exactly, although I know there are times when, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you pray, no matter how much you desperately want it all to be right, the conclusion of a matter is not about "me" as much as it is about the other people playing out the drama of my life.
And if those other people do not want it to be right, God allows us all to make our own choices and live with the consequences of those choices. But the pain is no less for knowing that. It is in those moments, when nothing makes sense, there are no answers for the chaos and tragedy that is swirling all around us, that we must hold on to this truth: "I will never leave you nor forsake you." He is there, and even though He does not remove all of our pain and struggles, He is always there to carry us through the darkness. He is enough. That is the answer when it appears there are no answers, humanly speaking. He, alone, is the answer to every question that ever can be asked, and truly in His presence all questions will disappear.
Hold on, no matter what is going on around you today. Sometimes that is all we can do is hold on, to Him, knowing that He hears, He cares, and He WILL uphold you in the midst of the raging floods of grief that we all must go through in our earthly lives. He is enough.
If you would like to participate in this week's In Other Words meme, please visit Jennifer at Scraps & Snippets where you will find links to the other participants' blogs and if you choose to write your thoughts on this quote, you can post your link there, too! Have a great Tuesday, walking in the light of His love! ~~ Nina
There's just something about springtime that makes me want to fix things up around here. This is the time of year that I love to wash the windows and curtains, rake up all the left over debris that landed in our yard during the blizzard winds of winter, and clean out the garage. Not that I just love doing those things ;o) but having them done is well worth all the hard work that makes it all happen. But, since the weather is still not acting very spring-like, I decided to finish up an inside project that I had wanted to do this winter and just hadn't gotten around to yet.
Although the sun is shining out my living room window, and we have even planted our tomato and dahlia seeds for the girls' 4H projects, it is still just a bit too chilly out there to get me motivated to pull the rake out of the corner of the garage. So, this weekend we pulled all the furniture into the middle of the living room and started the process of preparing the walls for a new coat of paint. Now, if you read about my painting adventure last fall when we redecorated the dining room, you know that we live in a rather small house on a lake . . . but it is not a fancy "lakefront home." It is a cute little double-wide manufactured home (known as "Hoosier Huts" here in northern Indiana), that is set across the road from the lake with a charming wooded area in our back yard, a cornfield on one side and our really LARGE garage on the other side. So, I have a few challenges to work with, but these days I think we should all be grateful to have a house at all, so I'm not complaining!
Because this is a "Hoosier Hut" (if you know what I mean!), we have those strips along the walls where the edges of the wallboard come together - so I got out my little thingy that I can wedge in between the wall and the strip, and yanked all those yucky, ugly things out of there. Then, I got out a can of joint compound and slapped a bunch of it on all of those cracks in the wall and smoothed it all down as much as possible. Let it all dry overnight, and then took my sanding blocks and tackled those blotchy patches of gray. We had a respirator out in the garage, so my sweet hubby insisted that I wear it while I was sanding all that stuff off the wall. I looked like a martian (well, at least I looked like some depictions I've seen of martians), and there was gray dust flying all over the living room. Got it done, and then we vacuumed up all the dust with the shop vac.
Then it was finally time to start painting! I had chosen a shade of brownish gray that matches the border that I picked out, to complement the border that I put in the dining room. It is rather a dark shade for such a small house, but the other day when we were at Grandma and Grandpa's house, I saw their recent paint job using a dark green. It was beautiful! But they only put it on one wall, so I'm still not sure I want the whole room painted that darkish shade of brown / gray. It is really a pretty color but it just might be too much for the entire room. I'm thinking of just painting the bottom half of the walls in the darker color, and then getting a lighter shade of the same color for the top half, with the border in between. I think I need to be kind of creative to fix up this little house!
Once I get this project finished, and if the weather warms up in the next week or so, I am so ready to get going on some yard projects. One of the things that I want to try this spring is learning about rose bushes and planting a couple out here. We have great soil (we are right in the middle of farm country, with that corn field right on the west end of our house) so I just need to do a little research to see what else rose bushes need. We're also planning on a small vegetable garden, and I'm really looking forward to creating a few perennial garden areas around our house. I had perennial gardens all around our house in Michigan that I had worked on for almost 20 years, but now I'm starting all over with my gardening adventures. We have some shade and some sun, so that will be a new gardening experience for me. In our yard in Michigan, we had almost all shade so I got to be quite familiar with the plants that would do well in the shade.
But until then, I've definitely got plenty to keep me busy with painting the living room. If I can save up a little bit here and there, we might even be able to replace the carpeting later this summer. You know, I guess you don't have to live in a mansion to fix up your little corner of the world. And since this is where we live right now, I'm pretty sure that it's a good thing to bring some sunshine into our home. I just keep reminding myself when I think about everything that our girls don't have . . . . I grew up in a house smaller than this one, and I survived! I guess they will, too ;o)
Have a great Monday!
Applique Pattern and Tutorial
Here’s a sweet way to brighten up a spring day! Inspired by the gorgeous Ginger Blossom line of fabrics by Sandi Henderson, this appliqué pattern is just perfect with any of the Ginger Blossom fabrics. Or any fabrics at home in your stash! I’ve been working on creating little projects that you can do using scraps of fabric you already have on hand, and something that you could finish up in an afternoon while the kids are napping or off at school. So, if you are wanting to tackle a small project to get started sewing, or if you are just looking for a simple, fun, quick and easy project . . . . this is perfect for you!
You can find the complete tutorial, including directions and instructional photos, on the "Flutter Flower" Applique Tutorial page.
Those of you who have read my blog over the past few years know that I am a Vintage Mama. Not quite antique yet, but totally vintage! Some of our daughters' friends have parents that are actually younger than our oldest kids ;o) but that's not hard to accomplish, I guess, since I was a "child bride" and was a first time mama at the age of 19. So for you younger moms, the song reference in my title will not connect with you like it does with this Vintage Mama who was a young teen during the waning days of the Viet Nam War. During that time, lots of the music we heard back then was about the horror and tragedy of war, in every generation and through all time. The song started out by asking "Where have all the young men gone?" and concluded that many of them had "Gone to graveyards, every one." And then the eternal question: "When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?"
In reality, wars have been waged throughout history, and you and I will probably never sort out all of the political and historical implications of that reality. But as a Vintage Mama, I am suddenly confronted with my own reality of how different it is raising young girls in 2011 than it was back at the end of the last century. Now that our daughters are ages 8 and 10, I'm looking around at the way some of the girls in this age group are dressing, talking, and acting, and it is apparent in so many ways that I am from a different century! As I observe what's going on in the world around us, I was struck by the words of that old hippie song that asks not only "where have all the flowers gone?," and "where have all the young men gone?," but now I want to know, "Where have all the young girls gone?"
It appears that our "little girls" emerge one day into the harsh daylight of edgy womanhood, with no transition time in between. So what's a mother to do, if she is convinced that it is not particularly healthy for a ten year old to dress, act, and talk like a 19-year-old (and a rather rowdy one at that!)? Is there a way to find / create cute, stylish, feminine clothing for tween girls that allows them to transition gracefully into womanhood? All of the images I have reposted here are from websites that are geared specifically to girls designated as "tweens," which I believe is the technical term for girls ages 9 - 12 or 13. Even early teens should have some options!
I know I'm an "old fashioned" mom, and not just and "old mom," but I also have talked to many younger moms who are very uncomfortable with this level of indiscriminate flaunting of a young lady's sexuality. Let's teach our young ladies to be modest, and help them develop a healthy sense of self-worth and self-respect that honors not only their own heart, body, and soul, but also honors the God Who made them. They are "little treasures," and I am determined to figure out how to keep them that way while teaching them how to grow up to be women of God. What do you think?
~ by John Piper ~
A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God
Sometimes when I participate in this weekly "In Other Words" meme, it feels suspiciously like someone was reading my mind. Even though I know in my head / brain / mind that God IS in control, that He DOES have a plan, that He WILL make a way through the maze that is before me, I tend to forget all of this when things look confusing. While I am over here working, doing everything that God has brought into my life, and believing that this is His work that I am doing - I STILL keep asking, "Are you sure? If this is REALLY the right way, why are there still obstacles in my path?" Why do I think that just because I am committed to living a life of obedience, that honors God, that somehow MY path will be smooth and easy to walk? If I know anything about history, it should be clear to me that there have been many who have gone before me, diligently seeking to do His will, who suffered great difficulties for that decision.
Do I REALLY believe in the sovereignty of God? I mean, enough to just let go of all the worry, fear, anxiety, and panic at the thought of tomorrow? Just recently I had one of those days when I was questioning myself again - I don't think I really question God, but then perhaps I do and I'm just too much of a coward to admit it - but I was wondering if I should be working on something different than what I am currently doing. Should I go back to teaching? Maybe; I got a call from a local community college last week inquiring about my availability to teach a class this summer. Should I stop trying to build a ministry that seems to be reaching more and more women every day . . . . and go get a "real job" that will pay a regular paycheck and maybe even provide health insurance? Perhaps; I am sending out my resume every week, just in case. Just a clue, please, just a clue, that's all I'm asking.
But then I am confronted with the quote for this week: even when I can't see the pathway in front of me (or in my case, I usually see the pathways all too clearly, and there are so many that I get confused, give up, and just go take a nap?), even when I am totally clueless, "God is plotting for my glory." I love that! He is "plotting;" He is intentionally planning and setting a course to bring me to the place where HE wants me to be. And how do I know that? Because when I am suddenly jerked into the reality that is right in front of my face, I discover that I have, indeed, been "blind" as He has revealed His grace and His plan.
"You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light . . . as for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. he is a shield for all who take refuge in Him." Psalm 18:28-30
Now, with my eyes newly opened to this truth, I see all around me the evidence of His leading and blessing the work that I am doing. I see that, even though we are not wealthy, we still have a home, and a car to get us to the grocery store where we can buy a few groceries every week to feed our daughters, who have had a winter coat, boots, hats, and mittens all winter. I see that, so far this month, all the bills are paid, almost all on time, and we have even been able to take the girls out for a hamburger a couple of times this month.
God has brought some surprising gifts into our lives recently, rebuilding relationships and friendships, providing employment during the recent economic struggle that so many of us have been through, and providing a church family that has been so loving to our family. In addition, my eyes have been opened to the treasure that I have found in those who are helping me build the Ruby for Women ministry. My assistant editor, Amanda, seems to be able to read my mind and takes care of details before I even have a chance to say anything to her.
I am blessed by the work of Katie who just quietly takes care of all of the graphics projects at Ruby for Women; I am totally amazed at the generosity of Sheila as she has invested hours and hours into trying to help us figure out how to get the Ruby for Women magazine into print; Jackie and Lynda have just taken care of so many of the day-to-day website responsibilities; Beth and Lynn continue to write and cheer us on; and all our other writers and contributors just keep sharing their gifts with the Ruby for Women community.
Today I refuse to be blinded by my own fears and anxiety; I choose to remember and believe that God is, truly, plotting for our glory. Today I will focus on all of the gifts, and I will refuse to let the uncertainty keep me from treasuring the blessings that God has brought to me, and that are right here in front of my face! Thank you to all of you who have responded to God's call to help build the ministry of Ruby for Women. I love you all!
"Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice." Psalm 18:4,5
If you would like to participate in this week's "In Other Words" meme, please visit Loni at Writing Canvas. You will be able to find the other participants, and if you want to write on this quote, please leave a link back to your blog so we can stop by and visit you!
Even though it is rather cloudy this morning, I can just feel springtime in the air! It smells different, it feels different, and it even sounds different than it did just last week. When I went outside this morning, I could hear the birds singing and I could smell the damp earth just waiting for the sunshine to come out and play. We are looking forward to gardening this summer, which is something that we have not been able to do for the past couple of years. And when it is raining, we are going to be working on a few sewing projects and our scrapbooks. On Saturday we got all signed up for 4H and the girls are both going to be doing flowers, scrapbooking, and photography. We are going to get started early this year!
Today I wanted to share with you a fun project that I've posted before, but for those of you who haven't seen my Teacup Pincushions, I'm offering the ebook tutorial again, just in case you might want to make one of these sweet little things for a springtime gift, a gift for Grandma or Mom for Easter or for Mother's Day. A Teacup Pincushion would also be beautiful sitting on YOUR sewing cabinet! Whenever I go out on my thrift shopping expeditions, I am always looking for vintage teacups and saucers just so that I can make another pincushion. You just might already have a pretty teacup and saucer around your house, maybe one that came from Grandma or Aunt Edith, and now you can take that tiny treasure and make something that is not only beautiful but practical, too.
I'll be posting the entire eBook tutorial on the Ruby for Women blog and in the April issue of the Ruby for Women ezine, so you can either leave me a comment here and I'll email it to you, or you can come on over and visit me at Ruby for Women . . . . . and you might even want to join our community where we are creating and sharing more and more resources for women every day! I hope you will stop by and connect with some of the other women in the Ruby for Women community, and take a peek at our monthly online magazine. Are you a writer? We would like to invite you to submit an article, short story, poem, recipe, craft project, or photo for publication in an upcoming issue. For more information about submissions to Ruby for Women, please visit our submissions page on the Ruby for Women blog.
Let me know if you would like me to email you the ebook tutorial for the Teacup Pincushions, and then come on over and join the conversation at Ruby for Women!
Have a great week,
Life is a lot like a jigsaw puzzle, or a patchwork quilt. Our family enjoys working on jigsaw puzzles, especially on the long, cold winter evenings we have here in northern Indiana. I've been a quilter for many years; there is just something that feels so positive and productive about taking all those little pieces of fabric and putting them back together to create a beautiful design. Of course, to anyone who doesn't understand the heart and soul of a quilter looks at it a bit differently: "You are going to take all that fabric, cut it up into a bunch of little pieces, and then sew it all back together again. Really?" They just don't understand!
I especially love crazy patch quilting with all of the creative and random ways you can create an artistic masterpiece with scraps of fabric, mismatched buttons, lace, ribbon, and beads from some long-forgotten blouse in Grandma's closet, and a little bit of imagination. I'm convinced that creativity is one of God's greatest gifts to us. We all have a creative spirit, and we all use our creativity in unique and personal ways, but some of us don't realize that being creative is just who we are meant to be. Whether it be an expression of beauty in growing a garden, or building a website, constructing a birdhouse or a mansion, stitching a bridal gown, baking bread and cinnamon rolls, teaching children or other adults, writing a novel or a poem, painting a picture, or singing a song . . . . and the list could go on and on and on . . . . we are all creators in one way or another.
That is because we have all been created in the image of the Great Creator, God Himself. If we can take little scraps of abandoned fabric, ribbons, lace, and a few lonely buttons and make something beautiful out of it, how much more can our Father God take the scraps and shattered dreams of our lives and weave them into a beautiful tapestry? If I can mix up a few ingredients in a bowl, plop in a couple of eggs and a little bit of vanilla, and come up with yummy cupcakes, what makes me doubt that He can take a little bit of sadness, a heap of disappointment, a few sunny days mixed with a few more days of clouds and some thunderstorms, and make a beautiful life?
A few days ago we had several "events" that kind of came together all at the same time for our family. We had an opportunity to visit our Grandma and Grandpa, and it was there that I was graciously blessed with words of inspiration and encouragement to take a bit of time to work on a quilting project - something that I have been neglecting since we moved from Colorado to Indiana. So, with Grandma's nudging, I got together a few pieces of fabric, pulled out my cutting board and blade, and studied the quilt pattern in Grandma's quilt book. That really felt like progress, because I've been spending so much time the past few months wondering if I would ever have time to get back to some of my "creative" projects ;o) Then, on that very same day, we had the gift of reconnecting with someone in our lives that we had lost contact with over the past few years. Another missing "piece" of life had been found!
Then, that same night I received the news that my sister-in-law had a stroke . . . . and my brother had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. A few more "pieces" of life that I felt like I might be losing. So, today, as I think about all of the blessings God gives us, I am reminded of the jigsaw puzzle that we worked on a couple of weeks ago. The picture on the outside of the box is so beautiful! But when you open up the box, it is filled with pieces. Pieces that have to be put together, and it can never be complete if any of the pieces are missing. But just like the ol' Skin Horse in the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, after a while, when all of the fur is gone, and one eye is missing, and most of the tail is in tatters, you know you are loved, truly loved, even when some of your "pieces" have been bent and broken through years of all that fun!
Today I'm thinking about picking up the pieces, the new ones, the old ones, the ones that I'm still waiting to find, perhaps hiding behind the couch or under the bed, but they are there. Some of the pieces are almost bent and broken so that they will eventually no longer participate in the puzzle that is my life, but I will always remember them, and love them, and celebrate the new "pieces" of this puzzle as God brings them home. Don't make the mistake of missing the "pieces," reach out and pick up those pieces, because every one of them is a gift . . . . and the whole picture will never be complete without them.
If you want to participate in this week's blog hop, "Do You Realize Your Blessings?" please visit MusingMom6 for the details and links to the other participants. Then, if you post a blog about this topic, be sure to leave your link so we can come by and visit you!
Have a blessed weekend, Nina
Hearing God’s Voice, Obeying God’s Call: The Story of St. Patrick
as retold by Vintage Mama
Soft gray mist swirled silently around the cottage where Patrick waited for daybreak. Although it was springtime in the village Dalraida, the early mornings were always damp and chilly in the northern Irish countryside. Patrick lay shivering in the predawn darkness, far from the warmth of the embers still glowing in the fireplace at the center of the round house of Milchu.
As Milchu’s servant, Patrick was allowed only to be in the cuile, the smaller room at the back of the turf home, where there was little warmth or light. In the early morning quiet, Patrick’s thoughts returned to his home and family back in Roman Britain. He thought fondly of his parents, Calphurnius and Conchessa, and his life as the only son of a Roman noble family. His father was the decurio for their Roman village, and his mother was a near relative of the great patron of Gaul, St. Martin of Tours.
He remembered days of his youth, as the privileged son of a high-ranking Roman official, for whom no expenses were spared for his comfort and pleasure. Patrick also recalled the days when he first realized the mercy and grace that God had so lovingly expressed to him through the gift of salvation in Jesus, his Savior. But in the midst of the pagan household of the Irish chieftain Milchu, Patrick often struggled with fear and loneliness. His thoughts returned to moments of joy in the loving care of his family, and then he recalled the terror of his captivity, when he was snatched from his childhood home in the dark night of an autumn thunderstorm.
Patrick shuddered as he remembered the rough words of Milchu’s soldiers as they pillaged and plundered the village of his youth. Their language was strange to him, it was not his native Latin tongue, but the unfamiliar Celtic words struck great fear into Patrick’s heart as the marauders shouted orders and roughly shoved his family out into the raging storm. Patrick had been only sixteen years old when he had been captured by Milchu’s soldiers. His family had been forced out of their modest but comfortable home at the point of the soldier’s spears. Their home had been burned, the animals slaughtered, and Patrick had been taken away for ransom. But the ransom had never materialized, after his family’s wealth had all been plundered by the pagan marauders.
Patrick thought of the long years of his captivity, nearly six years in all, during which time he tended the flocks of Milchu, the High Druid of Dalraida, in the valley of the Braid and on the slopes of Slemish Mountain. Patrick thought of all the days in which he pastured the flocks, and each day he would pray many times, up to one hundred prayers a day. He recalled how God had protected him , and his love and fear of God increased, as did his faith, so that many times he would stay out in the forests and up on the mountain, praying before daylight in the snow and icy coldness of winter. He thought of the chilly, rainy days of spring and even through the summer in the North of Ireland when he would seek God’s presence. And even in the midst of the misery of captivity, Patrick sensed God’s presence, as he neither experienced any illness as he wandered the valley of the Braid, nor weariness in his spirit because God’s Spirit burned in his heart through the lonely days of his servitude.
Now Patrick realized that if he was ever to return to his home and family, he must find a way to escape the grasp of his master. In the damp, dark predawn mist, Patrick suddenly heard the rustling of the wind in the trees outside the cuile, and he felt the presence of his Heavenly Father in the humble dwelling. Patrick began to pray, whispering in the silence of the morning, asking God to reveal to him what he must do . . . .
Read the rest of the story of St. Patrick HERE, and please leave a comment so we know you stopped by for a visit!
~ ~John Maxwell ~
I am directionally challenged. That is just something that has been a nuisance to me all of my life. There are a lot of things that I AM good at, but knowing where I am at is not one of them. Mostly it seems that I am rather oblivious to where I am going because I am so focused on the people and the events that are going on around me, or perhaps it is because I have always had a tendency to "live in my head." I guess that's what you do when you have an over-abundance of ideas in your brain . . . they kind of trap you in your head and the stuff going on around you sometimes just fades into the background. Well, unless it is kids under your feet giggling and rolling around on the floor. That usually gets my attention. There have been many times in my life when I had to pull myself out of my thoughts and look around - and it has not been uncommon to discover that I was headed somewhere that I really did not want to go!
Even though I understand significant geographic directions such as north, south, east, and west, that information doesn't always come into play when I'm thinking about other stuff. One day, when we still lived in Michigan, I needed to get on the expressway headed east. So, I was driving along, just having a great time listening to some beautiful music and rejoicing in the spring sunshine, when I noticed a sign that indicated I was headed towards Lake Michigan. Hmmmmm . . . . how long had I been driving west when I thought I was headed east? Oh, well, no matter, I just turned around and eventually made it to my destination. At least no one was in the car with me to realize just how easily I get turned around!
Then there was the time when I was in one of the really big stores in the midwest, Meijers, and I was wandering around buying groceries, probably looking at other stuff like baby clothes, or shoes, or towels, or something. After a while I realized it was time to head home, and as I looked around me, I couldn't figure out which way I needed to go to get out of the store. Really, it is a very BIG store, and I didn't want to walk all the way to one end of the store only to figure out that the doors were on the OTHER end of the store. I am not making this up. Eventually, I found my way back to the produce department and right there by the carrots and celery, I asked a young man who was stocking the cucumers, "Excuse me, but can you tell me which direction I need to go to find the front of the store?" He smiled kindly and pointed me in the right direction. Escaped again!
But the worst ever is going into a mall . . . . and the parking lot, well, I might just as well be on a deserted Pacific island. I avoid malls whenever possible, partly because I do not like to get lost, but I'm not great with crowds, and I'm really bad about spending money that I don't have to buy one more "thing" that I really don't need and eventually will have to either wash it, feed it, paint it, or babysit it. But the few times that I have ventured into a mall, especially when my older children were teens, I was completely distraught because just about every time we would walk out of a store, I'd just wander off in the direction that seemed right to me, and one of my kids would say, "Mom, that's the direction we just came from." Oh, sorry, I guess I had something else on my mind. "Here, this way, Mom . . . " I wonder what it's going to be like when I'm old and senile - at least then I'll have an excuse for being so confused about where I am going!
When I think about the direction I am going in life, however, I am getting better at having some sense of what will get me where I feel God is leading me. We all need to re-evaluate our direction occasionally, and of course, this is especially true for those who are running away from the God of the Universe. But even after we have "turned around" and our lives are committed to Christ, it can be a struggle to move beyond simply looking like we are doing the right things and actually doing them, and having the right heart attitude.
One of the things that I personally have struggled with over the years is the fact that I stayed in an abusive marriage for many, many years because I believed that God wanted me to do everything possible to make it work . . . . and of course, I wanted to protect my children. Eventually, when I realized that the abuse was never going to stop, and that staying there was actually harming my children, it seemed to me that my inaction had harmed my children more than if I had made a decision to "turn around" sooner. But the past is in the past, and it is what it is. So making the decision to "turn around" and go a different direction in life is rarely easy, but it is sometimes necessary.
Unfortunately, it is just too easy to do all the right things on the outside, or when we are in public, but we also need to "turn around" in our hearts. It is not enough to go through the motions, pretending to be something or someone that we are not, all while hiding a disobedient spirit in the darkness of our sinful souls. God will forgive every sin, but the Bible makes it clear that we need to "turn around," not just for our salvation and the gift of eternal life. That is, of course, the place to start. But we also need to realize that, even if we are believers in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, He must also be Lord of our life. And then, not only will we eventually get where we want to be, but God will bring blessings and peace, because after all, He alone can give us beauty for the ashes of our brokenness:
"Therefore this is what the Lord says: If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. . . . I am with you to rescue and save you, declares the Lord. I will save you from the hands of the wicked., and redeem you from the grasp of the cruel." Jeremiah 15:19-21
If you would like to participate in this week's "In Other Words" blog meme, please post your link here so we can visit you and then you can also visit the other participants. Have a great Tuesday, and I hope you are headed the direction God has for you today!