Imitations

I get several garden catalogs with outdoor furniture, garden art, outdoor rugs and outdoor curtains. After I saw the outdoor curtains, I begin to think how nice that would be to keep the sun off our screened in porch in the afternoons and to keep the dust and pollen off the table and chairs.

The curtains ran $59.00 for an 84″ long, 50 inch  wide panel. They also sold tension curtain rods for $49.95 that would extend 48″ to 86″, which would be the size I needed.

Grommet outdoor curtains sold in catalog.

Grommet outdoor curtains sold in catalog.

I decided to try to imitate the look for less. I needed something that could withstand the sun and moisture, and would have grommets at the top. I checked several stores and found what I was looking for at Lowes. I purchased two gommeted shower curtains with a leaf pattern on clearance for $12.98. Those where the last two they had, so I purchased a white one of the same style for $19.00. Then I bought three tension shower rods for $13.99 each.

I was excited about the look. If you come to my house and wonder why I have shower curtains hanging on the deck, let me just tell you… it has been a wonderful thing to have the dust, pollen, and hot sun blocked out and I don’t think the look is too bad either. See for yourself.

Shower curtains outdoors.

Shower curtains outdoors.

Another view.

Another view.

Another view.

Another view.

It would look even better if I had two shower curtains per section to make them fuller, but that will have to wait for another payday.

I also needed a flower arrangement for my deck table that could stand the elements. At a local antique store, I was able to purchase plastic “wildflowers”. When I was checking out, I was discussing how I hated to use those styrofoam pieces to hold the flowers. They would be easier to wash off if there was no styrofoam involved.

I was given a good tip by the guy that was checking me out. In their store, they use crumpled newspaper to hold the flowers in the arrangements. I ended up using the crumpled up tissue paper that he wrapped my flowers in before he placed them in the bag. It held the flowers in place better than anything I have tried before. When they need cleaning, I can remove the flowers and tissue, hose the flowers off, let them dry, then replace it all. Can life get any easier?

So now I have imitations of outdoor curtains and flowers.

I think it is okay to have imitations if they give a look that is close to the real thing.

The definition of imitation is… “a thing intended to simulate or copy something else”.

The Bible says that we should imitate God… “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God…” Ephesians 5:1-2a (NASB)

Are you an imitation?

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Fake Windows

I am continuing to put the finishing touches on my basement re-modeling project.

In a previous post, you saw that I had bought an old window from an antique store for $5.00 to make a fake, mirrored window. When I begin to work at cleaning it up, the wood around the panes began to crumble, and it became an impossible repair job.

I purchased two mirrored windows online from Target and was much happier to work with them.

Mirrowed windows in place over "window seat".

Mirrored windows in place over “window seat”.

My daughter-in-law, Collette, pointed out a great buy in a cloth shower curtain on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond. She had a coupon that brought the already low price down to under $10.00. Collette showed me how I could cut the top off to use as a valance and the rest of the material would make the sides of the curtains. And as she said, “the colors are perfect to go with your room.”

Getting ready to turn a shower curtain into curtains.

Getting ready to turn a shower curtain into curtains.

The top that would be turned into a valence goes perfectly with my gardening theme of birds and flowers.

The top that would be turned into a valence goes perfectly with my gardening theme of birds and flowers.

And now the curtains are up.

Curtains over window.

Curtains over window.

Another view.

Another view.

The fake window adds depth to the room and makes the sitting area seem larger. Collette suggested adding tie-backs to the curtains, so… I will be looking for the perfect tie-backs to fit the area.

I have some pictures to add, and a few more small projects to complete before I can say the room is finished, and oh, yes, I hope next year to add new carpet to the room. It has been a very long project, but the end is near and I am happy with the results.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

 

Weighing In

Last week I went to the Doctor for my annual checkup, and I had gained a few pounds since the last visit. My doctor gave me all the usual warnings, of what this does to joints, cholesterol, health, etc.

As planting time approaches, I am dreaming of all the fresh veggies that I will be harvesting soon. After the doctor’s visit, I thought, that is exactly what I need, a lot of fresh veggies to eat so I can lose this weight. Then I got out my copy of Rise Above, by Gwen Shamblin. Periodically, I have to re-read her books (Weigh Down Diet is her first book) to keep myself on track. It is not what I am eating, but the greed in my heart, and the love of food (an idol), that causes me to eat too much and gain the weight.

Gwen explains that God has put internal controls in all of us, and if we pay attention and eat when we are hungry, stop when we are full, and do not touch one morsel of food until we are hungry again, we will lose our excess weight and maintain a normal weight for our body. She also explains in her books… that God has made our bodies so wonderfully, if we obey our cravings, and eat what our bodies are calling for we will get the correct nutrition. God has made so many wonderful foods for us to grow and eat. He made fresh clean water that is so good for our bodies and easy to get in this country. We can eat the man-made junk food, and that is okay, as long as we eat it between the bounds of hunger and fullness, and it is what we crave, but I have found that when I eat the fresh garden foods, and drink more water, that is what I begin to crave the most.

Last week, I did a blog post on our inheritance, and what we pass on to our kids. As I was reading Gwen’s book once again, I stumbled upon a truth about another kind of inheritance we pass to our children.

“The truth we are trying to establish is that you were born to love, and you have an opportunity on earth to choose what you love. It is no wonder so many of us have selected food as the object of our affection. We come by it naturally–in fact it’s been handed down. Many of our great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents have passed down this reverence for food. For example, early in life, mothers with their babies have force-fed the bottle, even if the baby is rejecting the last few ounces of milk. We have felt obligated to serve the bottle, not the baby. It seems so innocent, but to do this action, we have to have more faith in the food than we do in God. There’s hope that the milk will give that baby health, so the mother is desperate to get it down the baby. There are hope in and dependence on the food, instead of confidence in God’s incredibly well-designed natural system.

By the time our babies are toddlers, we resort to making airplane games out of the food to coax them into finishing it. Once again, we cater more to what the food industry considers a serving size than to the child’s God-given internal control. That is a lack of faith.” (From Rise Above, pp. 14-15)

As I was keeping Finn last week, I observed him doing it right. He doesn’t think of food for a long time because he is so busy exploring his world. Usually we bring up the subject of food to him. Occasionally, he will say “eat eat?,” meaning I am hungry, or “milk?,” meaning I am thirsty.

I was feeding him after he woke up from a long nap. On his plate were baked beans, mashed potatoes, and a biscuit… all foods that he loves. He was really hungry and he ate several baked beans, between bites of potatoes. He refused the bread, because he wanted the beans and potatoes more. As he begin to get full, he refused the beans, and wanted only the potatoes. He stopped after a 2nd helping of potatoes, but while there were still potatoes on his plate. When he is full, you cannot get one more bite into his mouth, he turns his head, says a forceful “NO!” and starts throwing any food you place on his high-chair tray into the floor.

Instead of forcing our rules on our babies, we need to learn from them. We need to eat what God provides for us, choose from God’s resources what we are craving most, and stop when we are full, leaving some on our plate. And when someone tries to make us eat more than we need, we should throw it on the floor. Just kidding!:)

Then we would be at our healthy weight, and able to explore our world, and enjoy life, just like Finn.

Just before this picture was snapped, he said, "How Cute!" He hears that a lot from all of us.

Just before this picture was snapped, he said, “How Cute!” He hears that a lot from all of us.

A very good Bible scripture to help us forget about diets, punishing exercise (exercise is great when used correctly), and counting fat grams, calories, etcetera… to just relax and eat what God provides for us, in moderation without greed… is…

“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink… Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of  wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:16a, 20-23 (NIV)

 

 

 

Spring

Thursday is the first day of spring which is always a welcome time of year no matter how it looks.

Pictures of spring at my house.

Icy trees

Icy trees

The ice made the trees look like they were covered in jewels.

The ice made the trees look like they were covered in jewels.

Flowers blooming in the ice.

Flowers blooming in the icy conditions

Icy Crepe Myrtle

Icy Crepe Myrtle

Sunday, I was sick and unable to go to church, so I watched Charles Stanley on TV. He was preaching out of 1 Samuel Chapter 30, about how to have courage and strengthen ourselves when we are facing something where we have to stand alone, or when we are facing something that we can’t talk to anyone else about.

The story was of David and how his people were invaded by the Amalekites, and they took all their wives, children, and animals. David and all the men then cried until they “had no more power to weep.” They were devastated by what had happened, but after all that weeping they decided their next step was to blame David and started to talk about stoning him. Yikes! Talk about drama!

In 1 Samuel 30:6b it says that “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”

And I thought… now how on earth do you do that?  The next few verses show that he went to the priest and requested to have the ephod brought to him, then he prayed, asking God what to do next.

I understand the following scripture out of Proverbs about hope deferred, but what do we do in the meantime when winter lingers in our lives and we can’t seem to break free of it?

“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

All that we can do is…

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

AND

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” Psalms 31:24

David hoped in the Lord, and if you read to the end of chapter 30 you will find out what happened.

Praise The Lord

Praise the Lord!

I am almost through with my basement re-do. It has been such a struggle with trying to paint in bad weather, time constraints, and just the sheer magnitude of the work itself.

BUT…

My basement now has a family movie viewing area, a workout area, a Bible study area, and a play area. There are still a few minor things that I need to do to complete the job but these will be enjoyable to finish.

So here are the before and after photos.

Door to garage.

Door to garage.

After.

After.

The view from the woodstove area.

The view from the woodstove area to the back wall.

The new arrangement with the play area at the back.

The new arrangement with the play area at the back. (Viewed from the same view as the last picture)

The old bookcases.

The old bookcases.

The bookcases now finished with green paint and laminate backs.

The bookcases now finished with green paint and laminate backs. (I still have five doors that I am painting to complete this project, and I am looking for glass knobs for the doors.)

The old room.

The old room.

The new room.

The new room.

I have five doors that I am still in the process of painting, to complete the bookcases. I am looking for new glass knobs to put on the bookcase doors. I repainted the old cedar chest and I am working on pillows for the top, and making curtains to hang on each side for a fake window.

I bought a window for $5.00 at an antique store, but it needs a lot of tlc and a mirror to complete it. I am also shopping for just the right rug to complete the movie area. We had planned on new carpet but ran out of money.

I will post updates as I complete these small projects.

Now it is time for me to go back to work in the garden. Yay!

Gardens have much significance in the Bible. Man was initially placed in a garden to tend it, and sin entered the world in this same garden. Gardens for Kings where extremely over done…

“And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace; Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.” Esther 1:5-6

“I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:” Ecclesiastes 2:4-5

Jesus was betrayed in a garden (see John 18), and was buried in a garden (see John 19:40-42). Jesus rose from the grave in this garden and was mistaken for a gardener (see John 20:1-18).

One day I think we will live in a beautiful garden once more (see Revelation 22:1-3).

BUT… until that time… I will continue to work in my garden.

God

I could not make it through this world without leaning on God for my strength and guidance through life. When I let myself  take control… I mess things up. When I allow God to take control… things go so much better, even when I am not understanding the path that He leads me on (see Psalm 23:3b).

I love to study the Bible and desire to learn as much as I can. I would love to put all I learn into practice but have found that has to come very slowly. The way we think, as taught by worldly standards, and the way God wants us to think, are two very very different things.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

Another area that I have finished on my basement project is an area for Bible study. I can leave all my books and Bible there, open to the next place I need to read, and go about my day until I come back to the spot and meet back up with God’s word.

Bible Study area.

Bible Study area.

Notice the heating pad tied to the back of the chair. I like to get cozy as I study.

Notice the heating pad tied to the back of the chair. I like to get cozy as I study.

I found this metal wall art at Hobby Lobby and placed it there as a pray for God to teach me His ways.

I found this metal wall art at Hobby Lobby and placed it there as a pray for God to teach me His ways.

I study here and then go out into the world and mess up. And I come back and study some more, and go out again and mess up. And I come back… again and again… and the next time I don’t mess up quite so much. It is a process that God has to walk me through to get me where He wants me to be. It is hard, but God is gentle with me, even when I am not gentle with myself.

If you don’t have a relationship with God then you are missing out on something very wonderful that helps you walk through this life and prepares you for the next.

Here is a prayer for you:

“Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation: on thee do I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:4-5

If you want to seek a relationship with God, study the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to see what Jesus did while on earth and why He had to die on the cross for our sins.

To understand our sinful nature just try to keep all the commandments for just one day. (The ten commandments are found in Exodus chapter 20.) If you get past the… Thou shalt not lie, and Thou shalt not take God’s name in vain, try getting past the New Testament idea of murder.

“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:10

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

But God says:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”      1 John 1:9

And…

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9,10,13

If you follow the plan from the Bible, set out in the scriptures mentioned above, then I am sure you will soon want to make your own sanctuary where you can be alone with God and study His word.

(Note: If you are new to the Bible, there is the gospel of John that follows Luke and then there is 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John toward the end of the Bible sandwiched between the books of Peter and Jude. These books are all written by the same John. As you study the Bible, think of it as a Library that has poetry books, song books, history books, books of prophecy, books of wisdom, letters, etc., instead of just one book.)

Relaxing

Working on the basement project began to feel like a huge burden a few weeks ago. Other areas of work were added to my already full load and I felt like I had no time to relax at all. Then I got bronchitis, which meant nights of coughing that kept me awake, and I became exhausted.

I continued to work as much as possible through it all, until over the last few days I caught myself thinking… it is okay to set down and relax for a while.

It became clear to me that my exhaustion was due to feeling like I needed to keep going no matter what. So now I am telling myself to relax more frequently and that it is okay. The work will eventually still get done.

I am excited to say that I almost have one area of my major project completed. It is the area that I created for me and Finn… and any future grandbabies to play in. My husband and I are still working on adding moulding to a door that covers the water line in the corner, but the rest is done.

Play area. We are in the process of fixing a door that covers the water line.

Play area. We are in the process of fixing a door that covers the water line.

Play area full of toys.

Play area full of toys.

Toy storage and divider that separates the play area from the rest of the room.

Toy storage and divider that separates the play area from the rest of the room.

A wall hanging and body pillow found on sale.

A wall hanging and body pillow found on sale.

So now I can stop and make time to relax and play with Finn.

In the book of Mark, Jesus’ disciples were going through a rough time of teaching, working, and serving people. Then they had the pitiful job of burying John the Baptist after Herod had beheaded him. They met back up with Jesus to tell Him all they had been doing. Jesus gave them instructions to go away and rest… to make time to relax.

“And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Mark 6:31

Ever been that busy? It’s time to relax!

Snow Days

I am still working on my basement project. So many things have made this project linger… and linger… and linger… until it feels like it will linger… “to infinity and beyond!”

And then we had the BIG snow!

Scout, our cat, in the snow.

Scout, our cat, in the snow.

The Crepe Myrtle tree in the snow.

The Crepe Myrtle tree in the snow.

And we got snowed in…

…but we had family snowed in with us… so we played in the snow and made a snowman.

We made snow cream and a snowman from the leftover snow.

We made snow cream and a snowman from the leftover snow.

Then I went back to work and put more primer on the doors and shelves to the bookcase, on a very warm day, in the snow.

Priming doors and shelves in the snow.

Priming doors and shelves in the snow.

So the work continues.

A tip I would just like to add… if you are having to paint inside in the winter time, and even your cooking starts to take on the odor and taste of paint… try this tip that was given to me from a wise older man at our new church:

1. Cut an onion in half and leave it on a shelf in the refrigerator or on the counter. It absorbs the paint odor and then you can throw it away.

2. At the area you are painting in, have a big tub of water open to the air.

I tried both with success, but the onion was the most amazing for removing the odor.

“God thundereth marvellously with His voice; great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend. For He saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of His strength.” Job 37:5-6

Passing Judgements

I keep having delays to completing my basement re-modeling project. I had taken the shelves and doors from the bookcases outside to paint due to the… way-too-strong odor… in the house from the primer. You know it is too strong when you bake a chocolate pie that tastes like paint, because it absorbed the odor.

I could also see drips and blobs of paint better outside in the sunshine, rather than painting in the dark garage.

And then it snowed. Luckily I had covered them well.

Bookcase doors and shelves on sawhorses and planks in the snow.

Bookcase doors and shelves on saw horses and planks in the snow.

Today, it is raining on the doors and shelves. I am praying that the plastic covering them provides enough protection to keep them dry… sigh.

I did get the miles of trim painted.

Trim painted.

Trim painted.

Today, I hope to begin to remove the painters tape and get the laminate paper on the backs of the bookcases.

Laminate paper for the backs of the bookcases.

Laminate paper for the backs of the bookcases.

I have been a little down since I wrote my last post, as I faced issues of weather, timely painting, and of whether my last blog post had a judging nature to it. I fear that it did, and I have repented and prayed for forgiveness if anyone was offended.

There are two forms of judgement that I see from scripture.

One is a judgement of others and what they are doing, as related to whether it is wrong or not. It has a condemning and prideful quality to it… in that we think we don’t do these things, but God quickly points out to us that we do. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13 and Romans 3:10)

Last week after writing the post, I realized that I don’t step out enough in friendship and make a point of approaching others instead of waiting for them to approach me. So I have to confess I condemned last week, something that I do myself.

The scriptures for this type of judgement are:

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in they brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 6:25

“Therefore thou are inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” Romans 2:1

The second form of judgement is actually called discernment, and God desires to give this to us to help us to weed out the things that satan would try to bring into our lives. It also has the same quality of looking at whether something is right or wrong, but there is no condemnation to it. It is just an observation that something is not right before God and therefore… maybe I should move away from it.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12

In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 God gives a list of people we should stay away from: people who love themselves more than others, coveting people, boasters, proud, people who use God’s name as a curse word (Does this mean all those movies and TV shows that are full of those words? Should we stay away from them?….Yes… I know….very hard!), those who are disobedient to parents, the unthankful, the unholy, traitors, high-minded, and the ones who love pleasures more than God.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 says to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

In Sarah Mally’s devotional about discernment, she says:

“A lack of discernment in dealing with others can cause hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and offenses. Many problems result because people do not show discernment in their words. Jesus tells us to be “wise as serpents but harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16)

The best way to influence others is never to criticize, judge, or force standards on them. Instead, it is to show sensitivity, love, humility, and a godly example. This takes discernment.”

Wow….that is certainly hard to do….    Never criticize???

I have found that if I concentrate on myself and what I am doing wrong, and look at the things I need to make right, then I have no time to worry about what anyone else is doing. My pointing finger gets turned right back around in my own face and God gives me strength to not be judging of others.

But NEVER CRITICIZE???!!! God help me! 🙂

“It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.” Psalms 18:32

 

Rejection

The colors are coming together.

The colors are coming together.

As I continue to work on my basement project, you can see that the colors are starting to come together. I have added my final color, an orange color called “Tango” to the mix. All the colors need a second coat except for the yellow.

It is hard to work on a project this size alone, but I find in life that I work on many things alone. Were it not for the help of God, I could not endure all the work and lonely feelings that come my way.

Recently, we left our old church, and have started attending a church closer to our home.

At the old church I felt rejected. Each Sunday that I went, no one talked to me except for the most mundane conversations. Most of the women didn’t really “know” me, or seem to want to get to know me. I would try to start conversations, be friendly, smile, and many times these were met with people turning away to talk to someone else, or acting like they didn’t see me in the hallways. It got worse, as time passed, and there were some Sundays that not one word passed between me and others, except for one or two hello’s, or the words that passed back and forth between me and the children that I taught for Sunday school.

After a long time of this, I begin to feel that God was possibly causing a hardening of hearts toward me so that I would move on, and I did. It is hard for us to think of God hardening hearts, but that is scriptural. (See Exodus 4:21, 7:3, 14:4, 14:17, Joshua 11:20) We also harden our own hearts. (See Psalms 95:8, Hebrews 3:8, 3:15, 4:7) Whatever the cause of the hardening of hearts, I bear no grudges, as I know I commit these same sins. I also see God weaving His will through my life, to put me somewhere else.

I found a new church through an interesting path, that only God could have devised. The preaching has been wonderful… straight from the Bible, explaining and interpreting the scripture with other scripture (which is the best way to study the Bible, for God explains Himself thoroughly in His Word). But….yesterday, as I sat through a wonderful message out of Acts, and God’s gifts to us as Gentiles was spelled out so completely, how much power we have through the Holy Spirit indwelling us, I was also sad and near tears the whole time.

I sat on an empty row with my husband and prayed that God would send someone to sit beside us on that row. We have spent years in churches where no one sit around us, there was always a hole, a total rejection, people not wanting to know us or get involved with us. I questioned myself… did I look like a mean person, dumb person, ugly person, stupidly dressed person, someone who no one wants to know? Why does no one come to me… to try to know me? Trying to be friendly turns cold, with repeated rejection of these attempts.

We are also rejected when someone only talks to us about the weather, and mundane things, leaving out the important, spiritually deep, life subjects that we crave to discuss and understand. In Sarah Malley’s devotional on “How To Make A Wise Comment” she asks the question, “Have you been with someone who leaves you feeling like you wasted your time because you only talked about the weather, sports, or jokes?”

Sometimes I have better conversations with my sweet 14 month old grandson, than I do with adults, even though he can only repeat a few words. He looks me in the eye, and there is a deep understanding of love that passes between us.

Yesterday, as I dwelt on trying to interpret all these events, feeling very alone and struggling, I felt like even God had rejected me. My prayers felt empty and I longed for interpretation of these areas in my life… and then… late in the night God begin to give me understanding. The Sunday school lesson had been titled, “Our Messiah: Abused!” and right below that title was the question, “How can I truly appreciate the suffering Jesus endured on my behalf?” The scripture for the lesson came from John 18: 1-27. Jesus was “betrayed, denied, reviled, and abused.”

I had been experiencing a small part of that, and God was showing me how it feels, and making sure I learn the lesson not to reject anyone, but to tell everyone about what Jesus has done for us (See John 3:16 and Romans 3:10 and Romans 10:9-10, 13). And… I was reminded last night of the scripture… to consider it all joy when I suffer (see James 1:2).

I am human, but with the power of the Holy Spirit ( See Acts 1:8) I pray that God helps me not to reject His children that He loves, and that He will help me tell others of His love… and when I do, I pray that God does not have to suffer their rejection of Him once more.

As I began to calm down, and have God’s peace wash over me in the night, I thought about one of the most unusual occurrences at church yesterday. Even though no one set on our row, when we were leaving church, a woman who I met yesterday for the first time in Sunday School, called my name across the parking lot and smiling and waving at me to say good-bye added, “I love you!”

How? How could she love me… she had just met me? Because she is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and God spoke His love through her.

And so…. I am not rejected, I am loved by God…. and so are you!