Monthly Archives: November 2014

Surrender to your Purpose

We are all supposed to do certain things as Christians.  We’re all supposed to bring glory to God.  We’re all supposed to give out the Good News.  We’re all supposed to obey.

But we’re all different.  We were made differently, and our lives have shaped us in different ways.

http://lovingintheruins.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/this-is-probably-why-the-bible-was-penned-by-men/

http://grerp.blogspot.com/2014/11/feminine-nurturing-as-social-building.html?spref=fb

http://thepracticalconservative.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/housewives-can-be-socially-productive/

It seems like a lot of us are thinking about the same sort of thing.  I wish this was easier to put into words.   We fight over what we were created to do, when we should be fighting ourselves to allow God to make the most of His creation.

It’s like… is a ruby or a sapphire more beautiful?   Well.  I dunno.  Depends if you like red or blue, I guess.  That’s what we do to one another.   We all want to be the same sort of creation.  But.We.Aren’t.

And that’s not our choice.  Our choice is to let God make us all that He wants, or to get in His way.  That’s pretty much it.  If we surrender to Him, if we strive to do His will, then we’ll be something wonderful – because He so chooses.  Our choice, in short, is between this:

               and this:

We’re not all the same.  We don’t start out with the same raw materials, but God can make us equally beautiful, equally functional, equally reflective of His glory… in different ways.   Would you want a world where there were only sapphires?

It’s like – evangelism is important.  We’re commanded to give out the gospel, and be ready to defend the Word of God.  So.  Some folks are really awesome at debate.  And when the Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on their doors, they debate.  I know all the same scriptures, but I’m not good at the quick draw.   But I can be kind, and I can draw them into conversation, and watch them as they rethink things – because their assumptions about people who aren’t Witnesses get messed up when they’re with me.  I can pray for their conversion, that the scales will fall from their eyes.

My job is not to sit and whine because I wasn’t given the gift of evangelism (or a silver tongue).  My job is to use the gifts I *was* given as best I can.

We are all potentially beautiful treasures in the jewelbox of God.  Not of ourselves – we didn’t create ourselves, we didn’t plan the cuts that got rid of the dross that occluded His light (never!), we didn’t do anything… except choose Him … or not.

So why do we feel a need to compare ourselves to one another?  That’s not our job.

You have no idea how beautiful you are to *me*, as I get to know you.  How lovely the facets of your spirits are, what songs you sing, what sweet fragrances you waft.  How much *more* the One who created you and planned you from the beginning of Time?

Surrender to the Potter, and allow yourself to be clay.  What He makes is always beautiful.  Always.

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Leibster Redux

Thanks, Superslaviswife!  🙂  You’re too sweet.  I just now saw this… so, here we go.

1: How did you come up with your blog? How do you decide what to write?

– I’ve been blogging since Myspace days.  I used to write blogs that talked about what I did that day, what I was thinking about, just random happenings.  I also had a one-on-one religious debate blog with a Mennonite friend.   When my blog surfing took me to a xanga membership, I started finding my occasional pithy blogs becoming more frequent.  When xanga went down in flames, I moved to blogspot, and eventually put all the (new) deep stuff over here at HHH.  Hey, there was even a short-lived blog with Elspeth and Markymark.

I don’t really decide to write much of anything, the deep stuff sort of boils over in my brain and I have to write it down.  That’s why my output is random.

2: What is the hardest fact you’ve had to accept in life?

– That I can’t make people love me, and that forever-after isn’t something you’re handed on a plate.

3: Who do you love the very most in this World?

– In this world?  My husband.

4: What is your most time-consuming activity and what would you put the time into if you could get it back?

–  I’m not sure about “most time consuming”  – but if I could stop doing maintenance, that would be awesome.  😀  I don’t mind scrubbing once in a while, but why don’t things stay clean?  I don’t mind spending a back-breaking day in the garden – but why do those weeds come back?  I don’t think the maintenance fairy is going to come to my house, lol.  But stipulating she does?  More time thinking up crazy ideas and making them happen – more time sewing, more time creating generally.

5: What is your dream home like?

My dream home is a big craftsman house.  I want a guest room or two – I like guests.  I want a sewing room.  I’d love a library.  I’m pretty sure DH could use a den and a hobby room.  I love wood – wood everywhere.   We’ll be wanting a greenhouse or two, a workshop (or two, DH has always wanted his own forge), a big garden, plenty of room for animals… yep.  Big craftsman house in the country, preferably in the wilder areas of the Northwest.  A not-too-long walk from the coast with crashing waves would be perfect…  or a forest with a rushing stream and hidden pools….  LOL I spend too much time daydreaming about this.  😀

Random factoids:

Moment that shocked me in life:  When I was debating at a mommys’ religious board and found out that the preponderance of liberal religious people would prefer that their children convert to another religion, so long as they stayed liberal, to becoming conservative/fundamental in their own religions.    Shortly thereafter, I stopped conversing there – because really, what was the point?

I’m introverted but I’ve learned to act like an extrovert, right up until I get to the point where I’m ready to start screaming or hide under my bed or both.

I have actually run out of Home Depot in tears, because I’d had too much noise and too much fussing about.  (My mom asked me to go with to choose lumber for a project, so we were right by the saws).

Big animals usually like me.  I am decidedly a cat person (although I own a dog) because I prefer to hang out with my animals rather than constantly interact with them.   I like animals, I just don’t want to mess with them tons.  (See:  Maintenance, avoidance thereof)

(just for SSW)  Being over 35, I can do caffeine until about 5pm.  After that, it’s going to mean tossing-and-turning when it comes bedtime, no matter how tired I am.

Time Pressure, Paradox, and the Christian

I don’t have a bucket list.

And yet I feel pressured to make the most of each day.

Why?

Well, it’s because I’m a Christian.  And over and over in the Word, we’re told that *this* life is where we have the opportunity to do good works – to do things that bring glory to God and God to our fellow man.

We’re told that we don’t know how long we have left on this earth.  Sure, nutsybunnies like myself are looking for the Rapture, but all of us should have an understanding that God can end our sojourn on this planet at any second.  It’s not in our control.

I want to make the most of the time that I have, and I have no idea how long (or short) that is.  So – I feel pressure.   I feel pressure to witness and to pray for the souls of my unsaved friends and loved ones.  I feel pressure to brighten someone’s day and say the good thing, do the good thing.  I don’t know how long I have – and there is *so* much to be done, so many things to be said.

Contrariwise, I know that Heaven (and the New Earth) are immeasurably better than this planet, so though I have things I’d like to do while I’m here, I don’t feel any need to make a list of them or work on getting them done.  What will be, will be.  And who’s planning to spend any time dead?  Not me!  So… yes.  I’d like to stroll on the heathered shores of Scotland… but I expect I probably will eventually – eventually is a very long time.  No worries.

I was blessed yesterday to hear an elder saint speak… she said that so often, those who are extremely elderly don’t want to continue in Christian service because they’re tired.  Or they’re pushed to the side and not respected and wanted.  But God told *her* that He wanted her to continue serving until He closed the lid on her casket… and so she does.  She’s mostly blind and hears poorly… but she mentors, and she trains those who want to become mentors.   Doesn’t that make you tear up a bit?  Titus 2, hello.  The *willingness* to be poured out for the Lord, at a time and in circumstances that the world would say, “Oh you can rest now”.  Pfah!  She’ll rest in eternity – and meanwhile she’ll tell us that it’s almost a blessing to lose most of her vision, because she’s learned to read body language….

Pour me out, Lord… pour me out in the little things, the small moments, and pour me out in the big ones.  I have wasted so much of my life, I don’t want to waste any more moments.  I am Yours.

Not Clutching the Pearls: Live and Unscripted

Elspeth likes to make me laugh by saying, “how can you be so classy and yet not clutch your pearls”.    I dunno about classy… but no, I don’t clutch pearls much.

Why?

1) I belong to a non-denomination that doesn’t encourage that kind of thing.  I’m probably the most over-dressed person at church most Saturday evenings.  I *like* to get gussied up for God, but mostly folks wear jeans.  That’s fine.  Because I look like a lost apple on a stick when I wear pants doesn’t mean YOU shouldn’t wear pants.   We have SO much other stuff to worry about.  I really don’t care.

2)  I got broken.   That’s the long and the short of it.  I got broken.  Long story with lots of chapters.  But my decision to follow Jesus is absolute, has been tested, and was the only way forward.  Yes, life is good and sunshiny now.  It hasn’t always been.  The Cloistered Heart speaks my purpose – because I’ve tried the others and have failed, spectacularly.   You want me to go against God?  Try another address, you’ll not sell those wares here.  I *will* obey Him to the best of my ability.  Want to convince me I’m doing it wrong?  Chapter and verse and I’ll pray over it.  Don’t bother with anything else.

3)  I’ve already heard it.  I don’t live in the most sheltered place in the universe, and I’m the kind of woman you unburden your heart to.  My early 20s, when I got my innocence ripped off (insofar as evil in the universe) was highly unpleasant.  I’m in my early 40s now.  I’ve heard it.  Like as not, I’ve heard worse.

So.  Yes, I’m acting like the woman I was raised to be, in many ways.  But I had a choice – I’ve had lots of choices, actually.   I could have paid lip-service to God and done the Sunday Christian thing.  I could have … well, there are a lot of choices in life.  This?  Who you see?  I chose this.  It is my honor and my privilege to follow Christ, and I will do so until my last breath.

So don’t mind the sweet smile and the big blue eyes.  I’m not going to freak out, I’m not going to clutch my pearls… and I guess that answers your question?  🙂

The Cloistered Heart

CS Lewis once said that those who loved Christ the most and were most serious about their religion would find themselves closest in faith… regardless of their denomination.  I have found this so true, over the past 10 years or so.  Being serious about my relationship with Christ makes it possible to see and embrace others who are likewise serious.  We gather ’round Jesus, and are blessed.

Alte just turned me on to a blog called “The Cloistered Heart”.   Since the writer’s goal is similar to my own, although I’d never thought of mine as particularly special, I’ve bookmarked it and am reading hungrily.

http://www.thecloisteredheart.org

So:  what IS a cloistered heart?  The analogy, which is multi-faceted by now, has three main  parts:

The Monastery, which is the person’s own life.  A monastery is a place consecrated to God, a place of prayer, a place where God is loved and lived for and served.  Our lives can, and should, become every one of these.
The Enclosure, which is within the will of God.  As a cloistered nun or monk lives within a specific area known as the cloister, we can make a specific choice to live within the will of God.  We can actively embrace the boundaries of God’s will as these are revealed in Scripture and Church teaching.

The Grille, which is the will of God.  As some monasteries have grillwork through which those in the cloister interact with the world outside, we can have spiritual “grillwork.”  We can practice seeing and responding to every person and every situation through the will of God.

She writes as I cannot write, from a tradition that makes this sort of thing explicit.   Crazed Jesus Freaks don’t have a monastic tradition to use as metaphor for life’s journey and striving to please Christ.

If you’d read this post about courage, you’d hear all of what I keep *trying* to say in my “Ambassadorial” posts and failing.

http://www.thecloisteredheart.org/2014/11/a-gradual-courage.html

Brava!

*Well, obviously not the bits about “church” teaching.  Just Bible.  Heretic that I am.

Liebster: Hey, I got a blog award!

Heather at Where Grace Abounds has nominated me for a Liebster Award.  Thank you, Heather!  I am extremely flattered.  (Linkie:  https://sparrowsingsweetly.wordpress.com/  – a pleasant place to visit, full of Bible and beauty).

Recent terms of participation involve the following:

  •  Post the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.
  • Write 5 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and (preferably) have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer the questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 5 questions.

………………………………………………………..

Random Facts About Me:

  • I have an obsessive relationship with color, and spend quite a lot of time thinking about colors, exact shades, matching, how things work on different people, how I’d dress my friends, the shade of the sea or the interplay of colors with a blossom on the ground.  I **really enjoy** visual beauty and am emotionally affected by the aesthetics of my surroundings.  I *do* stop to smell the roses or just to look at them more closely!
  • I tend to let things for this blog burble around in the back of my head and then I pour them out all at once.  With rare exceptions, I don’t do much editing.   I’m not a wordsmith, I’m trying to get the idea across.  Since I think in pictures and connections more than in words, this is sometimes difficult for me.  (I think in collage – collages of ideas, pictures, etc.)  *Please* feel free to comment, you might help me draw out what I was trying to say in the first place.
  • I really like rocks.  I like chunks of stone from river rocks to amethyst.   My husband does too, our house is full of rocks.  I like glass and wood and sharp steel – I don’t particularly like plastic, and I avoid it.  I also strongly prefer natural fibers, and my friends get a kick out of the face I make when I touch cheap polyester.
  • I’m an only child of an only child.  (My mom has sibs, my dad does not).
  • I couldn’t think of anything else you don’t know, so I told my husband I was trying to think up 5 facts about myself.  He said, “You look like a Swedish barmaid”.   I don’t know how relevant that is, but it made me laugh, so there you are.

Heather’s questions for us:

  1. What is your most influential blogging inspiration?  Uh.  Elspeth over at Breathing Grace maybe?  Um.  That’s hard, I write as I think.  So if something you said makes me think, then you’re my inspiration.
  2. Share a favorite quotation.  Um again.  This one fits where my head has been lately, although it was forgotten in my pinterest page of quotations.  Francis Chan. “It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that He didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace.”
  3. What is your favorite book, author or literary genre?  I read fantasy/sci-fi, with forays into topical autobiography.
  4.  Do you have a favorite season?  If so, why?  Yes, Spring.  🙂  The weather is beyond perfection, with warm sun and cool breezes, and all the lovely flowers and green grass…. ah, could it only be Spring forever!
  5. List three sources of joy in your life.  Other than God, which is sort of cheating…. and my family, likewise… Beauty, creation, nature.

Questions for my hapless lot of award-ees:

  1. If there was one thing you could change about the world to set us back on the right course … what would that be, and why?
  2. What are your favorite creative outlets?
  3. What music do you listen to that makes your heart glad?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be, and why?
  5. Why do you read blogs?

Now for my nominees… there are a couple that I would nominate but I think they’d prefer the semi-anonymity that they blog under, so I’ll skip them.  If you think that’s you, it probably is.  😉

Elspeth at Loving in the Ruins:  http://lovingintheruins.wordpress.com/

Jenny at Delightful Oak:  http://www.delightfuloak.com/

Maeve at Wannabe Martha:  http://maeve0330.wordpress.com/

Magistra at Myriads of Thoughts:  http://magistratrium.wordpress.com/

Debbie at Coop and Cottage:  http://coopandcottage.blogspot.com/

Okay, it’s been fun but it took forever to do that… I think one blog award is sufficient for a lifetime, though if you want to tell me I’m awesome, please feel free anytime.  LOL.  😀