Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Greatest Gift

This past weekend I had the honor and privilege of doing a reading at my dear friend Christy's wedding.  I was asked to read the ever beautiful 1 Corinthians 13, you know the one, "love is patient, love is kind." 
Now soak this image in.  It's very rare that my hair is brushed, I have on make-up and I'm in a dress all at the same time.

I reread this chapter this morning out of my NKJV bible and love when the Lord reveals something new to me right when I think I've learned it all (which happens to be a lot so I need to get over myself).  v4"Love suffers long and is kind".  I stared at the verse for what felt like an eternity.  But  I stared at v5 even longer, "does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil." 

Guilty on all charges.

Why do I think that because I love and am loved that I will not suffer or be the root of someone elses suffering? And who am I to be complaining? No one in the history of the world suffered more than Jesus Christ.  When I think of His physical suffering on the cross it turns my stomach and brings me to tears.  And as a mother I am drawn to the image of Mary watching her son.  Oh how she must have suffered.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Until this weekend I thought I knew what love was.  My husband always says "love is an action" and I always say, "yea,yea I know".  But I'm convicted and reminded that I am not truly practicing that agape love.  

"does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil."

I can behave very rudely, I seek my own, I am easily provoked and yes, I have thought evil things.  I am a sinner.

I was with faced with what love really is.  Love is being kind through the hurt.  Love is forgiveness.  Love is reconciliation.  Love is getting over our hurts and our selfish wants.  Love requires faith.  Faith that God will work all those things out in His perfect time.   If I truly love, the way Jesus did on that cross, I can avoid causing suffering.  I have to let go of the hurts and give out the love, as hard as that is.  

My goal this week is to LOVE.  The way Christ loves the church, His bride.  And that brings me back to my beautiful friends.  May the Lord bless them.  May they seek Him always.  May they learn to forgive and reconcile. May they speak in love to each other.  And may they love each other all the days of their lives.  

Love is friendships that last a lifetime 
Don't let the pretty dresses fool you.  We keeps it gangsta.  Not really.  Okay sometimes.  Only when we have to.

Love is taking a picture with your hair a mess and make-up worn off for your love.  It's also a sign of a great wedding! Remember when I told you having it all together was rare?

Love is working through the struggles and being able to laugh at them and make more memories. I love you M and J!

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is love. "
~ 1 Corinthians  

What's your goal for this week? 

S. Vanessa

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

That perfect cut

I'm so thankful this morning for power.  Last night we had tornado warnings and wind advisories.  And to answer your question, no, we do not live in Kansas or Tornado Alley.  We live in New York. It's been crazy.  I'm listening to the lovely sounds of backup generators and chain saws while sipping my decaf/caf cup of Bustelo.

I thought by now I would have my trestle table and cubby seats complete from Ana White and Shanty2Chic but I have been super overwhelmed and busy with homeschooling, which, by the way, has been going well.  The tough one is my 2 year old who needs to be kept busy ALL the time.  Monday we experienced our first crayon stuck up the nose.  That's always fun.

That's BBJ on the left and BBC on the right.  Now you know what I'm working with!

So although I haven't finished my project something major happened.  I conquered my fear of the handsaw, ALL BY MYSELF.  As my friend Layla pointed out, I should have practiced with the kids on how to call 9-1-1.  Thankfully that did not have to happen.  But I did give them a safety lesson for the day:

Always hopscotch with your safety goggles on.  Safety first!

Then there was this nugget to getting the perfect square:
 Can you guess what this is?  It's a quilting square! sorry guys.  I don't know what was going on this day. I'm not sure if I was tired, my carpenter square was off, or I was rushing to beat the rain.  I'm going to blame it on the carpenter square.  So I ran in the house and grabbed this.  I love when things are multifunctional.

Part of my problem this day was that I was thinking too much.  I had a lot going on, mostly having to do with people that were not even my family.  So I had to ask, "Lord, what are you telling me with all of this?"  Then I realized that that wood, with all it's imperfections and knots was me, and I was busy making crooked cuts.  I was trying to make those straight lines and cuts on my own, and I was making a mess of things (Andrea reminded me that we, as in me too, are messy crazy people).  But I needed that perfect edge and a grid to make me straight.  That perfect edge was my Lord and that grid was my Bible.  What did the Word have to say?  
               He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.~ John 15:2

I needed to be pruned bad.  And then I read this from Sally Clarkson and realized I needed a new life verse:
            Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,  so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

So, although I didn't finish my table, I was blessed with an answer I had been looking for.  It's okay to lead a quiet life.  A quiet life yields more fruit, at least in this season of my life.  I needed to refocus on the important things and start cutting out the unnecessary and the things that were not bearing fruit. 

My encouragement for you today is to lead a quiet life and let God make the cuts and straighten out those crazy lines. 

Be blessed, 
S. Vanessa

Sunday, September 9, 2012

She's baaaaack!

I'm so sorry that I have allowed 9 whole months to go by and nothing from me.  Well, a lot has happened during that time, we moved, my boys got a little taller, I got a little older and (just under) slightly wiser. Careers have changed and our first year of homeschooling has begun.

I have not done as many projects as I would have liked to have done this year but stay tuned because I have several in the works thanks to Ana White.  And thanks to Pinterest I'll be busy all year.

I did, however, accomplish something cool several months back.  I built my first chicken coop! whoop whoop. It was for a good friend. Nothing fancy. And by nothing fancy I mean it came with directions and didn't involve a carpenter square or a saw.  It came in a box, so there was no thinking involved, just a drill and some crazy kids on a hot summer day. But believe me, this little thing was fancy!  PS...don't put a hot cast iron pan on the shingled roof of this coop, it will melt and get stuck, and possibly take three men to pull it off.  So I've heard.

Oh, and I meet some really cool chicks this weekend at our local fair.These little ladies are so cute.  They are known as Silkies.  As the young lady at the fair told me "they are the lap dogs of chickens". Who would have thunk it?

I also got this cool guitar from the  hubby for my birthday.  I've only picked it up twice so far but as soon as a I get a spare moment I'm going to learn some nice chords to lull these chicks to sleep.  
Like the dress? It was my mom's.  It was worn for my retro birthday party, thrown by my lovely and amazing friends Andrea and Eve.
So much has happened and so many things have changed this year, some good, some bad, but all allowed by God.   It is comforting to know that there is a constant in my life, especially when friends come and go and children grow.  That constant is the Lord's love and I'm grateful everyday for that. 

I'll see you soon.  I have a plan in the works today so hopefully I will be posting it soon. 

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever.
~Psalm 136:1