Sunday, September 27, 2015

Under the Tapestry

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I had something to share that I was excited about, annnnnnd, here it is :)!!!!

Under the Tapestry

I've started up my own Etsy shop :D!!!! You can view that shop, Under the Tapestry, here:

My shop name is inspired by the poem "The Master Weaver's Plan", which I first heard quoted by Corrie ten Boom in a documentary;

"My life is but a weaving
Between the Lord and me;
I may not choose the colors–
He knows what they should be.

For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side
While I can see it only
On this, the under side.

Sometimes He weaves in sorrow,
Which seems so strange to me;
But I will trust His judgment
And work on faithfully.

‘Tis He who fills the shuttle,
And He knows what is best;
So I shall weave in earnest,
And leave to Him the rest.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needed
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned."
~Author Unknown

How beautiful it is to know that whatever our life looks like to us, as we stare at the underside of the cloth, that God sees the whole picture, and is doing all for His glory!

Blessings in our Lord and Savior,

Bri :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thankful Thursday, 09/10/15

This week I am especially thankful for...

~"The Cost of True Discipleship", by Deitrich Bonhoeffer. This book was sooo good! I'm hoping to share some of his views on "letting your light shine" in the next week, but for now I'll just say that I think everyone could gain something from this book! 
~Listening to Tori working with Peter on flashcards. That was precious :)... and pricelessly funny. But most stuff was to me that night. I might have needed to go to bed sooner than I did. Lol.
~Josiah's little voice calling out "All aboard!" with his singing toy train.
~One of our dear friends at church bringing Josiah a little book she found about King Josiah from the bible :). So sweet!
~Washing a stack of dishes with my siblings.
~The wonderful time Mama and I had earlier this week when we went out for my birthday :). It was an awesome day :). We went browsing at Hallmark, and craft stores, and Goodwill, and out for lunch... oh, and out to Starbucks. And it was HILARIOUS. We went in, and Mama was thinking they might have their special fall Salted Caramel Mocha out, but they didn't, so we went ahead and ordered something else. Ten minutes after we sit down they started switching out their menu signage, and put out their Salted Caramel Mocha... biggest item on the menu, mind you. Hahaha! It was so funny!
~The wonderful weather we have had here lately :). It's been sunny, but not too hot. It was raining with full sunshine this afternoon, that's always so pretty :)!
~Enjoying working on projects I've never done before, like the scarf that I made earlier this week with some super fun yarn :). And I've got an announcement I am really excited about that I hope to share soon :)!
~National Teddy Bear Day :). Mama and her family used to celebrate it all the time, and it just happened to be held this Wednesday, sooo...
Mama showed the little ones how to knead some dough by hand (something we usually cheat on, so they thought that was great fun ;) )...

 (Love Emmi, haha!)

And then they made some little teddy bear shaped rolls :). 

Josiah wanted to add the raisins to his bread. Until he remembered raisins are food. Then there was no more putting it on his roll. Just eating them. Haha!

And voila :)! The perfect bread to use for their sandwiches on a teddy bear picnic :).

 Josiah couldn't wait for his ;)...

 Andrew decided to spell his name with raisins rather than 
make a bear, but as it rose, the raisins kind of started 
popping off like buttons, haha! Oops!!!

Lunch with their teddy bears :)! 

I hope you all have had a wonderful, blessed week :). 

Rejoicing in Him,

Bri :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Why are you set apart?

"But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him," Psalm 4:3.
This word translated "set apart" literally means "distinguish" in the original. We are to be "distinguished" from this world. We live in this world and must do many things that everyone around us is doing, whether they doing so "as to Christ" or not. We all must eat, we all need sleep, we all have to-do lists to finish and people who are counting on us for something. But we are distinguished by how and *why* we go about these daily tasks. Those without the hope of salvation in Christ will drift from activity to activity, but we as God's children have been given a purpose for all that we do. We are to bring glory to God and to worship him, and he has called us to share his word with others. 1 Timothy 4:16 says, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this, thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
We are to pay heed to "the doctrine". Psalm 1 says it this way; "delight... in the law of the Lord... in his law... meditate day and night". And as we study, hide away, and honor the Lord's precious words, we not only become more like him, more eager to live his will, less hungry for the temporary things of this world; we will also be given ways to share with "those that hear" us. 
My sister and I were eating lunch with a friend, when suddenly this sweet lady stopped and asked me, "You don't date, do you?" I agreed that no, I do not and don't plan on it, either. Her face was filled with genuine interest as she asked, "So, how do you plan on getting a husband?" I was able to share with her that I am trusting the Lord to bring marriage about if that is His will for me, and I shared with her that I do not feel that dating either qaurantees marriage, or helps one stay pure. It was a short, simple conversation, but the point was, this friend knew we do things differently, and was curious as to how and why. I think that the most important part of being set apart is one we might not think of when we think of the phrase; knowing WHY we are set apart. We are called to be "an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity," 1 Timothy 4:12. But as others see that example, they will want to know what makes us do things differently. Can we answer this question when it is put to us? We can follow Christ's commands to the letter, but if we can not "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15), it will not be an example that others can give credit to. "That's just how we do it" or "I'm supposed to" are not satisfactory answers to those who notice that the life that we lead is different. We must be so sure of the Lord's Word that we have confidently share it with those around us at every chance we are given. Let us "not [be] ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth", Romans 1:16.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Who Am I?

Daddy brought home the book "The Cost of True Discipleship" by Deitrich Bonhoeffer a couple months ago. I've read a couple of biographies and watched a documentary on Bonhoeffer over the past few years, but haven't read any of his personal writings. The story of this man who gave all, including life, trying to free his fellow Germans from the Nazis, even when the only way he could see to do so hurt him to  the core, is gripping. Given this, I was looking forward to reading his book, but, I'll admit I don't read as often as I would like -and definitely not enough for Tori to not worry about my time choices ;). She's a walking book of random knowledge herself!

But, I finally picked it up last night, and am already enjoying it -one chapter into it. That chapter didn't even start until page 43. Haha :). In the short biography on his life in the front of the book, there was included a poem that Bonhoeffer wrote. This poem is just beautiful, so open and so humble, I just have to share it with you...

"Who am I?"

"Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a Squire from his country house.

Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equably, smilingly, proudly,
like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat,
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
Tossing in expectations of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all.
Who am I? This or the Other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!"
                                ~Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thankful Thursday, 09/03/15

Some of the blessings of the past week have been...
~Writing one of these posts again. Since I started these posts over three years ago, I've looked forward to each time I get to write them out. It doesn't happen every week, not even close. These posts take longer than you would think, haha. But looking back over the week and remembering all the little things that have made me smile brings a smile all over again, and reminds me of how truly blessed I am. I started keeping a shorter daily list as well late last year, off and on. It's something I  always have time for and want to do, but ended up taking an unplanned couple-of-months-long break recently. I didn't really think about it... I knew I wanted to pick it back up "sometime", but just didn't decide to actually do. After a couple of nudges -some Pinterest quotes, and some questions from a friend as to why I'd stopped posting, haha- I decided that I really needed to stop putting it off and just dig back in. And so I started writing those daily lists again last week, and it has been wonderful. I knew I missed those 15-20 minutes of my day, but I didn't realize how MUCH I missed them! Spending that time throughout the week makes me even more excited to sharing some of those things with you today :).
~Mama and Daddy! Happy (late) birthday to my favorite parents ever :)!
~Being able to create things. And also the very calming act of cutting paper for quilling. I would save time and not be much of a cost difference to buy it cut. But cutting it myself is so very satisfying... haha!
~Sparkly little Abbi, who turned seven this past week!
~Our dear former neighbor taking Abbi on a special birthday outing that made her totally happy :).
~Blowing up balloons, hanging streamers, and wrapping gifts around the dinning room table with all my siblings.
~The gorgeous picture that Tori drew at my request... she did one that was wonderful last month, but I talked her into doing a color copy for me, haha :).
~The way Josiah sleeps all flopped every-which-way, heehee :). He's adorable.
~Working in the kitchen while everything is still somewhat quiet and "fresh" in the morning.
~Finding quotes that you love :).
~My Gramma :). Happy birthdaaaay :)!!!!
~A strange, goofy, random afternoon with Tori and Bethi and Andrew pretending we were playing a game. Pretending being the key word here...
~Oh, and popcorn. Maybe not as much as Andrew is, though. Lol!
I hope each of you have blessed week :)!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

No Worthless Task

"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here I am! Send me."

And he said, "Go, and say to the people: "Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts and turn and be healed."

The I said, "How long, O Lord?" And he said: "Until the cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the Lord remove the people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled." The holy seed is its stump." (Isaiah 6:8-13)

Hi y'all :)! I am sorry for how quiet things have been around here lately. I have, really, wanted to write, but it has just been hard to actually do lately. Thank you to all those loyal readers who still check in even though there is rarely anything to interest you, haha :).

While reading "The Music of His Promises", by Elisabeth Elliot, over the past few weeks, I found a quote that really stood out to me. Mrs. Elliot tells of how a woman once told her, "I never asked God to make me a servant -not in the literal sense, anyway. I was afraid he would actually do it." I found that confession really thought provoking. There are things we like to shy away from or remain silent about, because to get involved would require work from us. We see a need, and we might look the other way so that we aren't asked to do anything about it.

I read the above passage from Isaiah in my devotions this morning, and I noticed something I had not seen before. "Whom shall I send?', asks the Lord.

 Isaiah speaks up right away. "Send me". And then the Lord tells Him what he wants done.

He is to go to the people of Israel, bringing them a message from God. But this message isn't going to bring healing. On the contrary, God tells them they will not hear him or see the things they are being told.

"How long, O Lord?" How long is this disobedience, this refusal to listen to God, this preaching to those who will not hear, to last? The answer? Until the destruction of Israel is brought about.

There was no hope that the nation would turn and be saved from this disaster. It probably seemed pointless to even bother obeying this command. This message would seem worthless to deliver. But Isaiah doesn't change his mind just because there will be no seen rewards. He doesn't need glory, or recognition, or even for his message to be heard by any but God. He just needs to obey. It will require work, it will require heartache over his fellowmen, and it will do no good. The cities will lie without an inhabitant whether he obeys or not. But this is what God is giving him to do, so he will do it. And then the Lord promises that though there is much destruction in the future of the nation, there will still be his chosen remnant. They are small, and weak; they will seem like a tree, felled and burned. But from that seemingly lifeless stump, there will come a new shoot, that will grow until once again they become a tree strong in the Lord.

Isaiah didn't need to know what he was going to have to do before he gave himself to be used by the Lord. And Isaiah didn't need to have something "worthwhile" to do to stay in the Lord's service. Isaiah simply followed the Lord. He wasn't afraid to be a servant.

We can not choose how we serve the Lord. If we refuse to obey what seems to us to require too much, or withhold glory, then we are not truly open to the Lord making us His servants.  If we truly want to serve Him, we will choose to do all that he asks of us, no matter how small -or even how hard.


Bri :)