~ for a week full of dreams. Josh and I are dreaming big dreams about a lot of things. I have no idea what the Lord has in store, but I LOVE having this wonderful man to dream with.
~for a great Giddyup & Whoa week. Our Christmas items did well at the Barn Sale, and I participated in my first artisan mini market. It’s one thing to drop my things off at the barn, quite a different thing to set up a display and man it for five hours. Josh built the perfect rustic display panels, I got a credit card swiper, a receipt book for taking orders, printed me up some cute shopping bags… For the first time ever, I actually felt like a little store! It was surreal and terrifying. But once we got it all put together, it was great. It was so fun. The market was outside, 42°, and completely in the shade all day… So I was a Giddyup-and-Whoa-sicle by the end of it. I met some terrific people, sold several signs and lots of ornaments, got a bunch of custom orders, and lots of people took my card. I feel like it was good exposure and hopefully it will lead to more work. Even though I’ve been painting for years, today marks exactly one year since we launched our Instagram account and took the step out in faith to put our business dream out there. It has truly been a blessing to our family to have steady orders coming in. We pray God continues to bless it and open doors for us to grow! Keep us in mind when you are finishing up your Christmas shopping!
~ for warm, fluffy spiced ginger bread right from the oven.
~ for such a fun morning attending Samantha’s 5th Grade History Wax Museum. Each student had to choose a historical figure, read a biography about them, and then dress up as that person and pose. Samantha chose Marie Antoinette. (I personally think she chose it because she knew her prop could be a cake.) I ordered a tall coiffed white wig, but it did not arrive in time. So at the last minute, we had to improvise: I ratted her hair and fashioned it around a washcloth to give her a giant bouffant updo. We powdered her face and added a mole… She looked lovely!
~ for Sawyer’s “Fanksgiving” Feast! This boy has been is so excited that his feast was coming up, it’s all he has talked about. His class had prepared a darling program with scriptures and songs and of course, the CUTEST pilgrim and Indian costumes. Each child was given an Indian name, and Sawyer’s was “Brave Warrior.” He proudly donned our family’s traditional Fanksgiving Feast attire – the handmade costume I made for Colton’s Feast (hastily crafted the night before that feast, mind you!) Never did I dream we would still be using it 15 years and 8 kids later! I also wonder exactly how many times I have heard the song, “Super Turkey” over the years…
Friends, I have to tell you…sometimes writing these journals is such a battle. I always ask the Lord to show me what to share, to help me see the blessings. I truly desire for this blog to be a vessel of encouragement, and an offering of worship to the Lord. Because He is worthy. But sometimes…sometimes I’m just stuck. Or I’m right in the middle of learning a hard, very personal lesson, and it’s difficult to put words to it. This has been one of those weeks. I’ve been hit hard with discouragement. I’ve been freshly reminded how unqualified I am in so many ways. How in the world am I raising NINE CHILDREN? I don’t know if I’m qualified to raise a CAT. I have no qualifications to run a nonprofit organization. Or a small business. Or to sit here and write a blog to encourage anyone. I mean, who am I? I know where I have come from. I’ve been a mess. A liar. A thief. A harlot. A drunkard. Selfish. Guilty. Empty. Ashamed. Lost.
I don’t need to be reminded who I once was. I know EXACTLY what I’ve done. And so does Jesus. He has loved me since before He created me, before He laid the foundations of the earth. He has forgiven me and redeemed me and called me His own. He has washed me white as snow and given me a new identity and a new name. I am UNASHAMED. And that will never be taken from me. And all that is not to say that I am SOMEBODY….but I am somebody’S. I AM HIS. So when attacks come, I will hold fast to the promises that I know are true. That “Therefore, there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has SET YOU FREE from the law of sin and death.” And when I feel my flesh quake, and I start to doubt, I can call out, both to Jesus Himself and to faithful saints in Christ, and they will pray for me and speak words of life and truth to me, reminding my head what my heart already knows. I am who He says I am.
I hope you know this for yourself. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, or where you’ve been. There is NOTHING that the Lord doesn’t long to forgive you for and free you from. The price Jesus Christ paid on the cross was enough. Enough to cover EVERY SIN.
Maybe I’m not qualified. But I am a Child of the King, and He is faithfully refining me every single day. And even if I’m not where I hope one day to be, I’m thankful that I’m not where I used to be. And I can live with that.
May each of you have a joyful, grace-soaked Thanksgiving this week, however it is you will spend it. I’m very conscious that the holidays can be very hard for some people. Broken relationships, missing loved ones, difficult memories. I encourage you to reach out to someone you know may be hurting this week. An encouraging word goes a long way.
Let’s love one another well this week. Let our words bring life and healing instead of tearing down.
Thanks for giving thanks with me.
“so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:10-14)
“I am chosen, not forsaken. I am who You say I am. You are for me, not against me. I am who You say I am. I am who You say I am. Who the Son sets free, oh is free indeed. I’m a child of God, yes I am!” (Who You Say I Am, Hillsong Worship)