Do I Objectify or Sanctify?

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“This book is so amazing!!!!”

Jim says I say that about everything I read.  But that shouldn’t be too surprising since I ask the Lord to guide!

So I had a wisdom tooth out this month and it’s amazing how painful a hole can be!  Obviously my body does not give up its parts easily!

As I lay awake in pain night after night, the Lord provided some wonderful books to read:

Kimberly Smith’s Passport Through Darkness, Lopez Lomong’s autobiography Running for My Life and finally, when the pain seemed like it would never end… Joni Eareakson Tada’s book A Place of Healing.

Not only did these books nourish my soul and help keep the pain in perspective, while reading Joni’s book she shared how she worked through a reflective journal by Ken Gire.  Since we are about to enter the reflective stage of our sabbatical that caught my attention.  When I looked it up I discovered it’s part of a trilogy that includes the book The Reflective Life.  Talk about a treasure of a find!!!

During my recovery the Lord has been teaching me the value of simple things… health! food!  and even oxygen! (learned this the last two miles of my hike up Pikes Peak – what a difference it makes when that is in short supply!  Especially when your Florida body is not use to it being in short supply!)  There are so many blessings, so many gifts He daily gives that I never even think to thank Him for!

From Ken Gire I learned, this is because I am at heart an objectifier!

When I read the following quote it cut me to the quick:

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Am I ever thankful for how the Lord is transforming the way I view the world and all that is in it!!!

God’s Generous Gifts!

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2 Corinthians 9:8 is one of my favorite verses!  Here Paul states, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”  Over and over again I have found this to be so true!

So the third week of July comes and with it another free day at the Colorado College Fine Arts Center!  This time there are three different instructors demonstrating techniques from their classes… and I get to learn about ink printing!

To do this you take a piece of plexiglass and put a few dabs of different colored ink on it, using a roller to mix the paints and spread them around.  Then you lay a piece of printing paper on top of the ink and draw a picture on the paper.  When you are finished you peel the paper up and voila! The ink is now on the back of your picture, making a whole new creation!  It’s so much fun!!!

Now I’ve started learning the Hebrew alphabet so for my first attempt I decided to have fun with some of the letters I’m learning – BUT I didn’t realize when I peeled the paper up, the design on back would be the inverse of what I drew – so my Hebrew letters are completely backwards!

What a great reminder that failure is a key part of learning!

Now not only did the Lord provide the instruction for doing this, but when I got home I discovered I just happened to have the materials needed (I’d done a unit on block printing with Andrew five years ago and still had the paints and roller!!!).

So I love this page in my art journal – not because it’s anything great but because every time I look at it, I’m reminded how abundantly the Lord has provided this month – fun instruction learning to ink print, help learning the Hebrew alphabet and even the materials for doing this!!!

My repertoire for expressively art journaling continues to expand!

Thank you Lord!  ;-D

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“Heavily burdened” in Matthew 11:28 is the Greek word fortizo which comes from fortus meaning “the freight of a ship.”  So Jesus is inviting those whose ships are overloaded (metaphorically speaking!) to come to Him and let Him rest them.

Why would someone overburden their ship?

What about pride?  “I can handle that!”

Or being harsh and not taking care of the ship.

Been there, done that… many times!

And I’ve been at the other extreme too, being self-protective, not taking on things the Lord wants me to.

A ship’s capacity depends on the waters it will pass through as well as the weather.  In Acts 27:18 when Paul’s ship encountered a violent storm they had to throw all the cargo overboard (as did the sailors in Jonah 1:5)

Only the Lord knows what storms lie ahead in my life (or if things will be relatively calm so I can handle more!).  That’s why I need to look to Him to determine not only what I can handle but also how much.  He alone knows!

Oh Lord, please help me only take on my ship what you want me to, when you want me to, letting you not only be the owner but also the captain!

Who’s My Captain?

What Am I Preaching To Myself?!

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Ever since I heard Jerry Bridges’ encouragement to “Preach the Gospel to yourself daily”  I’ve been trying to do that.  But recently I realized how much throughout each day I preach an anti-gospel to myself.

When I blow it and think “What a Loser!” or “nobody cares about me” or when I’m pulling out the stops trying to save someone or patting myself on the back for accomplishing something or wishing I could write that book so people would clearly know I have value… I’m doing it again!

And it finally dawned on me, just preaching the gospel to myself daily, as in once a day, in no way compensates for all the many moments of every day when I’m really preaching an anti-gospel to myself!

And the crazy thing is, whereas I have to be intentional to preach the gospel to myself once a day, that anti-gospel just seems to flow naturally!

So I agreed with the Lord over how wrong I’ve been and told him I really want to repent, but I was going to need some help!  So I asked the Lord if he would give me something to replace the untruth I’ve been preaching to myself, with His truth.  Would He give me a new tape to replace the old?

Did He ever!  Right away He blessed me with a catchy rap:

I am loved.  I am longed for. I am delighted in.

I’m a daughter of the King who has set me free from sin.

I am chosen.  I’m of value. I’m greatly treasured too.

The price Jesus paid for me makes this forever true!

So now when those old anti-gospel thoughts race through my mind, I’m learning to take them captive and immediately replace them with this rhyme and has it ever helped break that anti-gospel preaching and instead get me praising the Lord!

Now there are days when I’m out walking and this is resonating through my brain over and over again!  And especially when I blow it or feel ignored by others, it sure helps to be reminded of and keep recalling these truths.

One night when I was having a hard time getting to sleep I decided to get up and artistically record this new treasure in my art journal!

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Did I ever sleep better after!

Re-Discovering that First Hand Joy!

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Went to the library and discovered they have magazines for art journalers!  One article focused on creative lettering.  And since I’ve been having fun with watercolors thought I’d give water color letters a try – love them!

But the best treasure of all was this quote by John Piper (got to love all the variety you can access at a library!!!).  The Lord used this to help me realize I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately – after reading through the Bible in a year sixteen times, I wasn’t enjoying it as much.

Sooooooo I decided to stop mid-stream and slow down, camping out in just one verse a day, beginning at the beginning in Genesis.  And wow!  I can’t believe all I’m getting out of each verse!  As I chew on it longer and really take time to study and consider, I’m discovering all sorts of things I missed during my quick read throughs!

The first book I ever worked through to learn how to study the Bible was entitled, First Hand Joy – and I’ve found that to be sooo true.  I experience such joy when I discover new treasures for myself in God’s Word!

And you know, I really am praising the Lord more as a result!

Thanks for the heads up, John!

;-D