What happens when God shows up in the little moments…

Grace in anger is hard. Wanting to lash back, especially when you are in the right, and swallowing it down because the person that angered you is also a person you love dearly is even harder. Faith shows up when you turn your face to God in your anger and beg Him to tell you what the right thing is. God shows up when you obey the silent command to do nothing no matter how much it hurts.

Forgiveness shows up once you’ve come out of yourself enough to realize the other person is lashing out because he feels helpless to control his own situation. Helpless to fix what is wrong without someone else’s help. Or lashing out in perceived defense and having it come crashing back down on him.

Quiet descends. The hurt doesn’t go away but there is peace again.

Life gets in the way…

For several years I blogged avidly. It was something I took great pleasure in as I had always thought of myself as a bit of a writer. It was cathartic, too, allowing me a venue to vent! There were a great deal of things that I wrote about and then over a year ago, I stopped. Just … stopped. Looking back I don’t think I was bored of writing. I think simply that life got in the way! Busy-ness happened, good and bad. My focus shifted as I got a Kindle HD that year and going tablet was fun!

We’ve had many life changes in the last year or so as well. Hubby has transitioned a couple times with work, leaving a full time job for full time work with a friend then later branching out on his own. Financially it has been more than tough. The end goal is to find something he feels he is called to do and will allow him to support our family as well. With that in mind he is going through the steps of becoming a teacher. He loves kids and really connects with older elementary and jr high students. It is a big swing in a new direction for us and we are struggling with the slowness of government red tape. All his paperwork is in order but he’s at the far end of a three month paperwork pile…ugh.

Our backyard farm is growing! We have 19 chickens, 3 ducks and 2 bunnies. The chickens are my favorites. I just love bringing their feed out in the morning and sitting down with them awhile. They cluck and cackle at me and if I’m lucky one will voluntarily jump up on my knee to say hello. They are my gorgeous girls! I’ve got barred rocks, buff orpingtons, easter eggers, bantams, RI reds and several others. Such a lovely variety of fluffy feathers! And the eggs! Mmmm…of all shades and colors. Delicious!

I’m still crocheting and knitting, though not as voraciously as I had been. I’ve dabbled in sewing and jewelry making and while I enjoyed those activities I much prefer yarn! I’m in the process of making a crochet baby ripple blanket that is coming out adorably.

So many things to talk about! Maybe this time I’ll decide to stick with blogging again! Have a lovely day!

Galations 5:22-23

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I was asked to write up a devotion for tonight‘s small group on the question – what does everyday joy look like? Each week we will touch on another aspect of the Fruits and each on of our group is taking on one of them. I was lucky enough to be chosen first so I can get it out of the way! This is NOT one of my strengths!!!  Anyway, here goes (forgive the changes in font – it was copied from my original doc):

 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Gal 5:22-23

 Speaking from a mom’s perspective on what Joy can look like – for me it’s cuddling a sleepy baby – feeling his soft breath on my skin, hearing my son’s laughter, indulging in tickle fights until we’re both out of breath, hearing my son’s prayers, seeing my son and husband sound asleep in the recliner with their faces turned towards each other.

 From a wife’s perspective, JOY is waking up in the morning with my husbands arm pulling me in to snuggle before the day starts, his warm embrace after a difficult day, holding hands in the quiet of life, opening a door, hearing him speak about his faith in the power of God, the special looks that only mean something to me.

 From a woman’s perspective I find JOY in the feel of fabric or yarn sliding through my fingers, the smell of dinner being prepared for friends and family, children’s laughter, fellowship with precious friends around the firepit and in the kitchen, when I can serve others without their knowing.

 For me, JOY is the smell of fresh bread baking, bacon frying on the griddle, the sweet smell of lilacs in the spring, the tight, comforting hug of a good friend, the warm, loving embrace of my strong and faithful husband, my son’s snuggly body and the way he curves into me, his laughter, the sound of great music, gathering with my friends – in the kitchen, around the fire pit, at the movies, riding a motorcycle with the wind in my face, finding a passage in the Bible that speaks to ME and realizing God is truly with me.

 The Bible has many definitions and versions of the word JOY. It is a noun and a verb – both tangible and intangible. The Random House definition is this:

  1. The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.
  2. A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated
  3. The expression or display of glad feelings; festive gaiety
  4. A state of happiness or felicity.
  5. Ant. 1. misery, unhappiness, sorrow, grief

 Stong’s says this:

 chara: joy, delight

Original Word: χαρά, ᾶς, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: chara
Phonetic Spelling: (khar-ah’)
Short Definition: joy, gladness
Definition: joy, gladness, a source of joy.

 HELPS word studies says this:

 Cognate: 5479 xará (another feminine noun from the root xar-, “extend favor, lean towards, be favorably disposed”) – properly, the awareness (of God’s) grace, favor; joy (“grace recognized”).

FYI – (cognates are words that have a common etymological origin)

 And Stong’s Exhaustive Concordance:

gladness, joy

From chairo; cheerfulness, i.e. Calm delight — gladness, X greatly, (X be exceeding) joy(-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous).

see GREEK chairo

 There are many more definitions from various Hebrew and Greek sources – surprising, isn’t it? That one word, JOY, has such varied meanings? Delight, gladness, extend favor, lean towards, be favorably disposed, the awareness of God’s GRACE, FAVOR, JOY, grace recognized, cheerfulness, calm delight.

 I love the phrase “grace recognized.” Because isn’t this what we are preparing to do on this trip? Offer grace. Perhaps this is another way of saying “to offer joy”? What better way to show the joy of being a follower of Christ than serving others? This also is a form of sacrifice because without the sacrifice of love one cannot have joy.  Karen said last week that in her research she discovered in the Greek Lexicon that “Joy is peace realized.” When I listed all those things that I equate with JOY the one thing that seems synonymous is peace and contentment. I believe when we find our JOY then peace and contentment settle in. For a lot of us JOY can seem to be just out of reach. We believe the “grass is greener” philosophy. I believe that robs us of Godly JOY. God wants us to find peace and contentment in Him and that comes from finding JOY in the blessings He gives us – not what the world can offer us. I know I need to be reminded of that on a regular basis as I have lived most of the last eight years in the opposite of JOY – mired in unhappiness, sorrow and grief. Being a follower of Christ does not mean being perfect. It means being willing to be vulnerable, to open ourselves up to others, to strive for Christ-like perfection knowing we will fail and fall short but also knowing that it’s ok. He loves us anyway!

 

(Joy means excitement and happy to the wild man. He says he jumps for joy a lot!)

Possibilities? Why yes!

Considering the fabric options for my next project. Thinking I will do a traditional log cabin quilt!

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These six fabrics give great light and dark contrast! Thinking I’ll need three more designs to make it truly look scrappy. Still need to choose the color for my center…traditionally it’s red but with these colors I think I’ll pull a solid out of this one:

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It has such a lovely navy blue! Or maybe that gold or purple?

Here is another color palette option:

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Maybe adding two solids to this?

I just love fabric! The colors, the incredible rainbow of colors! It makes me happy🙂

Project Quilt

I decided I needed to finally explore the world of fabric so I made my first quilt this month! It’s a simple lap-sized Trip Around the World pattern but was SO MUCH FUN! I think I have a new love…<3

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In fact, it was so much fun I decided to finish the block crib quilt I started eons ago before sewing became fun! Recognize the border and backing? RRR!

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Yup, I know…my corners stink! I guess I’ll have to keep practicing! LOL!

❤❤❤