iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the tag “Change”

The Coffee Bean


Follow me to the fragrance section at the department store. There we will smell a variety of florals, some soapy scents, and some woodsy scents. After a few sniffs, we will need to pick up a little jar of coffee beans and sniff them too to clear our sense of smell in order to keep on testing the aromas. As we continue to go through the plethora of scents, not all of them are pleasing. We sniff the coffee beans intermittently as we make our way down to the end of the fragrance counter.

There are scents we are drawn to and could smell all day and there are some scents that make our nose hairs recoil. Usually the offensive scents are the ones hardest to forget for some reason. This makes us thankful for the coffee bean.

Life is like the fragrance section at the department store. We encounter people, places, and things in which we would love to be in the midst of forever. For me, my husband and our cats, family, cousins, friends, and work associates (past and present) come to mind quickly when I think of people. Places include memories of my family cottage while growing up, my current home, the church building on Sunday, and silent directed retreats that I attend at least once a year. As for things, I love my Bible and currently the internet game, Wordle. My sewing machines are very important to me and my sanity as well.

Life is like the fragrance section at the department store full of the things that are too strong and unpleasant to the senses. Top of the list for me is the violence and vulgarity in movies. Our society has become desensitized to such violence and filth and I choose not to watch such things or encourage them either. My heart breaks for the kids that are confused about their gender. God created us in His image and in the Bible it states that He created male and female and said it was good. I believe satan is the father of lies and he is running loose encouraging confusion, family division, and hatred, all of which top the news cycle every day.

I bring the fragrances of life to God and thank him for the pleasantries. I also lay at his feet my grief and concern for the state of the world; all the things that are too strong and unpleasant. God responds, “Follow me and let me be your coffee bean.”

My faith hits the reset button, and I can continue on.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-25

Let Go of Control


I was as inconspicuous as I could be considering I was in the middle of the pond in a paddle boat.

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The Potter


Do you remember art class in grade school? The teacher placed a ball of clay in front of you and said, “Today we are going to let our imaginations open up to the possibilities of this clay. You are going to mold it into whatever you wish.”

Warming the clay in your hands brought it to life. Kneading and folding, kneading and folding, the clay is more pliable. So you pinched off a piece, rolled it between the palms of your hands and voila! A worm! After having pinched another piece off, a tiny pearl appears along with another and another and another until your strand of pearls turns into a caterpillar. Another hunk is pinched off and you rolled into a ball in the palm of your hands then transfered it to your left hand so your right thumb could press in the center to form a bowl. The ideas just kept flowing.

You looked over to see what your classmate made from their allotment of clay and saw that they created a bigger bowl than yours and they used their rolled worms to adorn their bowl. You looked down at your creations, you began to think of ways to change up the caterpillar and you took a cutting tool and engraved little lines on its back. You pinched off a piece of clay and started to adorn your bowl with little square shapes and triangles. The first worms you rolled out have since been kneaded back into the ball of clay to allow your imagination to take new shape.

The possibilities are endless and all in your control because you are the creator.

This creation process is very much like Creator God. He molded us in our mother’s womb and does not stop shaping us all throughout our lifetime. Pieces come off and stay off and new pieces are added. God knows when we need adjusting and tweaking, whether it is mentally, physically, or spiritually. His fingerprints are on us all. We are his beautiful creation.

Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” Jeremiah 18:5-6

The Traveling Banana


I have good intentions, but those good intentions are only good if acted upon. Read more…

Motherhood


I could only imagine what motherhood was like so I planted a garden.

I dug into the earth with my shovel and pushed it as deep as I could with the help of my foot buried inside a steel-toed shoe. Mindfully in the moment, I heard the melodious crunching sound the shovel made as it sliced into the dirt hitting buried rocks and matured roots from past plantings. The sound exhumed memories of watching my dad dig up space for a garden in the backyard when I was a kid. I dug shovelful after shovelful of earth and flipped it upon itself and worked the soil into a place of new beginnings.

Backyard nesting and oh, that fresh dirt smell.

As I made my way down the aisles at the garden store, I found a large selection of Knockout Roses. I felt like I was peering into the hospital newborn nursery window as I looked at rows and rows of rose bushes. Each rose similar in species had a unique look. I reached down and gently pulled out the one from the group that resembled me and put it on my cart. As a new mom, I was sure to gather together the potting soil and nutrients my budding plant would need to flourish in the space I had prepared.

I dug out a space to fit the rootball and added weed-killing plant food to the hole. I talked to the new rose bush, attempting to ease its fear of change leaving the pot it was grown in and introduced it to my yard. I loosened its roots so it could feel its way into the new space and feel at home too. I filled new soil around the root and pressed it into the earth. Wearing a new mother’s glow, I knelt down next to the rose and said, “Welcome to my yard; welcome to my life! Enjoy your first refreshing drink of water from the garden hose.”

This was a process repeated five more times.

I observed mothers who put their all into raising their offspring. That selfless act was revealed in the maturity of their children at an early age. In a similar fashion, I put in a lot of time and energy into warding off weeds so they would not interfere with the growth of my roses.

My garden was spoiled.

I fertilized and watered and the sun was my daycare provider. Here they are a year later! Oh, how my babies have grown!!

1st Birthday

I could only imagine what motherhood was like, so I planted a garden.

Psalm 144:9-14 (NIV)

I will sing a new song to you, my God;
    on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
10 to the One who gives victory to kings,
    who delivers his servant David.

From the deadly sword 11 deliver me;
    rescue me from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
    whose right hands are deceitful.

12 Then our sons in their youth
    will be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters will be like pillars
    carved to adorn a palace.
13 Our barns will be filled
    with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
    by tens of thousands in our fields;
14     our oxen will draw heavy loads.[a]
There will be no breaching of walls,
    no going into captivity,
    no cry of distress in our streets.

 

Late Night Visitor – Grief and Joy


Living with grief takes a toll on one’s emotions, health, and spiritual life. There is a time to mourn just as there is a time to laugh; so I had an idea. I put grief and joy in the same room with me (with 6 feet separation and we are all wearing masks).  Here is what happened.

Grief:  “Hi Kristine, are you going to introduce me to your friend?”

Me:  “Hi Grief.  Yes, I am going to introduce you to my friend.  Grief, this is Joy, Joy this is Grief.”

(Neither can they shake hands, nor can they see a smile on each other’s face, so they nod to each other.)

Joy:  “Hello, Grief.

Grief:  “Hello, Joy.”

Me:  “Grief, Joy, I brought you two together because I need you to know that you both exist in my life. Grief, you and I were spending way too much time together and it was taking a toll on my concentration. I had some negative comments when you were at your peak, but not everyone knows how tight we have been and it just looked like I was not on my game.  I was reading the Bible one day and I met Joy.

As the Bible states in Ecclesiastes 3:4 it is okay that both of you are in my life.  The verse says, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”.  I don’t always want to be sad and I don’t always feel like laughing or dancing, but whatever emotion I want to feel, I need you two to respect, as well as, get out of the way of the other.  I would like to send you away, Grief, but Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble, but He has overcome the world and that is why Joy needs to step in between us more often. I am hanging onto Jesus’s promises rather than settling in with sadness. Jesus overcoming this world is really good news for me because I cannot do this alone or with my own strength.”

Living with grief takes a toll on one’s emotions, health, and spiritual life.  Let Jesus in with the joy He has in store for you and watch your emotions, health, and spiritual life be rejuvenated.

 

Late Night Visitor – Please RSVP


It came in the mail the other day.  The 4″ x 6″ white envelope had no return address, but my name was handwritten in beautiful calligraphy.

I sliced open the envelope to find it was an invitation.  The beautiful calligraphy continued on the inside and I was being invited to a Thanksgiving Dinner and a Christmas party.  An RSVP was requested, but there was no contact name, email, or phone number.  As I read futher, I noticed the time and location were not listed either.  Confused, I flipped the card over thinking the details would be on the back, but alas, they were not.  I scrambled to pick up the envelope and look at the back to see if there was a return address written there, but there was nothing.

“What a cruel joke” I mumbled to myself while tossing the invitation in the air and slumped in the oversized couch in my living room.

I hugged the pillow made out of my mother’s clothing.  My mind raced trying to think of who would send an invitation without any details.  Then it dawned on me.  It doesn’t matter where I go this upcoming holiday season, grief is going to be there.  I have never been one to say, “If so-and-so is going to be there, I am not going.”  But this time, I am allowing myself to make an exception.

Grief is excited for the holidays.  It’s his big debut.  He is going to make an appearance in so many hearts this year.  He will be in every store, mall, and restaurant.  He will be singing Christmas karaoke at the top of his lungs.  He is a bit much; too much actually.

For the record, I am RSVPing MAYBE.  It is okay to not do anything on the holidays if my heart is not up to it.  Grief is as unique as a snowflake and does not come with instructions or an end date.  MAYBE is my best answer…for now.

Psalm 31:7 (NIV)

I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
    for you saw my affliction
    and knew the anguish of my soul.

 

 

It’s Not You, It’s Me


My momma always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump Read more…

Late Night Visitor – Storm Chaser


Grief has similarities to that of a meteorologist.  Read more…

Lip Service VS Passion


Dinner out with my husband last week landed us in our favorite pizza place. Read more…

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