Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The time has come...

The time has come for me to wake up from this sleep.
I wasn't born to be a sheep.
I was meant to be a lion in this lamb-type world.
I will speak out.
No longer will I keep with the sheep.
Life tastes to good to follow blindly those who think they know best.
I am a lion.
I savor life with hopeful abandon.
I run with the wind.
I know who I am in this lamb-kind of world.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Exterior look

On June 15th, Andy and I started the process to have a house built. We decided to build with Allen Edwin an experienced builder in our area. We choose a floor plan we liked. We signed a bunch of paperwork that agreed to the materials that were to be used, agreed to the floor plan/exterior look of the house and papers giving us ownership of the plot of land we were going to build on. We handed over our earnest money.
Finished basement
Main floor

Second floor

Our land
The selections we made for our house: the cabinets, bathroom
 counter tops,the kitchen back splash. counters and linoleum
On July 17th, we went to pick out our interior/exterior colors, tile, appliances, counter tops, and carpet. On the 19th, we signed papers finalizing our selections for the above things, gave permission for permits to be pulled on our land, and paid our first property taxes. We were told then to expect a phone call telling us a date of completion and a foundation being poured within the next 45 business days.

July 31st
On July 31, my older sister, who lives down the street, text me saying they had staked out the property lines. We worked on our loan stuff and waited to hear from the builders. We knew they'd put a sold sign up before everything really started. On August 13, My nephew said he thought he'd seen little flags around our property. He wasn't certain though. You can imagine my surprise when I got the text with the following picture today!
August 15th- Its for real!

For whom did God create all the beautiful stuff???

A lovely lady I met recently posted this in a group I joined. I don't think I could have said it better! It is with her permission, I post this.
"Sinners! If you believe some religious leaders, only sinners are to enjoy the beauty of God's creation.
Take gold, silver and precious stones, they are only for the most sinful among us. Sure they are beautiful. Sure they can give pleasure in viewing their beauty. Sure God did indeed create them; nothing man has created can compare to the beauty of God's creations. But did He really intend that only those headed for hell may enjoy the beauty He created? Should christians wear only ugly, plain stuff? I refuse to believe this. It is as wrong headed as the statement that money is the root of all evil --it is the LOVE of money, not the money itself. If your jewelry becomes your god, then yes it may become a sin but so can your car, your home, anything that you allow to come between you and God can become a sin but very, very few things in life are in and of themselves a sin. Denying ourselves any beauty is more likely to cause a lustful, coveteous spirit than one of joyful servitude.

What about the beach. Did God create that only for the pleasure of the sinful? If we cannot go where people are not decently clothed, then stay out of the mall, the park, amusement parks, even the grocery store Again, I refuse to believe this; all of God's creation was made for our pleasure as we are made for His pleasure. The ocean has a very beautiful, awesome, calming effect on most people. In fact, all of God's creation engenders a spirit of awe, pleasure, reverence, joy when one takes the time to truly enjoy.

There are so many [religions] forbid their adherents to enjoy with the stated premise that doing so would be sin and lead to a backslidden condition. I believe that on the contrary, forbidding people to enjoy what God intended them to enjoy leads to frustration, anger, hurt, envy and eventually sin and pulling away from a God who is as seen as unfair, uncaring, unloving. 

A heart full of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, meekness,etc. would have no place for anger, bitterness, envy, strife, etc. and the beauty around that individual is simply life's pleasures provided by a loving God. These things of beauty are not God's consolation prize for sinners - but rather God's gift to all, given freely as a part of His creation plan."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Toughie, the MOPS kid...

Change creates stress even in the best of circumstances! It's no surprise, with all my conversation with my present and future self, I am feeling the effects of it all. The following email mirrored my heart at the moment I needed to "hear" it. I thought I'd share.

by Alexandra Kuykendall, mom of four

“My name is Toughie” 3-year old Gracie insisted from her car seat.

“No. What’s your REAL name?” her older sister pushed back.

“Toughie!” Stubborn, as her new nickname insinuated, Gracie wasn’t going to back down.

One morning a few days earlier, our family activity was a mile and a half hike through the woods to a lake. Our two older girls walked, ran and jumped over tree stumps in the path while the younger two rode on their parents’ backs.  We didn’t get far before stubborn Gracelynn decided she wanted to be like her older sisters and, as she said, “hite.” With her own two feet.

Out of Derek’s backpack, she ran to catch up with the older set. Her toe caught on a tree root protruding in the trail and she fell on her hands and knees.

"Her father told her who she was
and she not only believed it,
she had become it."

“Come on Toughie,” Derek said as he picked her up, “that’s part of hiking.”

She looked up at him and I could almost see her internal processing. If I want to hike, and I do, then I need to put up with the falls. And there were more falls. Four more if you count them by the scrapes that were left on her knees. At every fall we called her Toughie and cheered her on and every time she bounced back up proving she was up to the name. Absorbing her new persona. She WAS Toughie.

“But what if on the first day of preschool she’ll tell kids her name is Toughie?” her older two sisters worried in the car days later.

Gracelynn’s ears perked up. Preschool? She could carry her Toughie image there too? I again could tell the internal wheels were turning.

Her father told her who she was and she not only believed it, she had become it. I pray this will always be true. “It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for”. –Ephesians 1:11

Lord, help me to hear who YOU say I am. I want to absorb it and become it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Its about a conversion into Grace People!

You may not like it. I didn't ask your permission because I do not need it. My appearance doesn't make me holy. Its the attitudes of my heart. When we our heart attitudes are where they should be, "God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways." (Galatians 5:22 &23 CEV)

Growing up UPC from day one has given me strength and taught me things I wouldn't have otherwise, however it also got me picked on in school. I was often pushed in the hallways, pointed at, and whispered about the girl with the really long hair/skirt who got to go into special tutoring classes. I wasn't allowed to be evolved in things I could have been good at because I couldn't wear a skirt doing it. I often felt ostracized from everyone else. My mom would always say being different was the point and we were supposed to be separate from the world. My friends didn't often invite me to their birthday parties because I was always at church. I feel like I missed out on having solid relationships with those who didn't attend the UPC. I had a friend, Hope, hand make me a necklace back in 5th grade (I still have it), She was so excited to give it to me. I opened the little box. Thanked her kindly but explained I could never wear it due to church rules. Her facial expression still haunts me sometimes when I see that necklace. I hurt my friend by not using her gift as it was intended. Or the time I wore make-up for a school play. I really liked it so much it scared me. I haven't worn any since.

With that said, I wish I were brave enough to go style my hair. I really despise being afraid of people's reactions good or bad. I've told people for over ten years I struggle with all this appearance stuff. I'd asked for advice from people I respect/ed in the UPC (United Pentecostal Church) for the entire time about hair, make-up, and jewelry. I received lots of well thought out replies. It was/has boiled down to how separate do I wanna be/stay? Does my "being separate" keep me from love, joy, peace, kindness, etc that could come my way? God and his grace are enough to save me and my little family. He doesn't want to harm us.

What's my point? Things are changing for me. One day in the future, I may not have long uncut hair, not wear jewelry or be make-up-less. That doesn't mean I've forgotten God. It doesn't mean I don't remember the bible or the preaching or all-night prayer meetings. I still feel God's presence often and am challenged by it. My goal is that my heart behaviors match the fruits of the spirit where ever they lead me. Modesty will still be a priority for me.

So if I look like this.
Or like this. Remember your words can leave scars.
 Be wise with them.