Friday, November 27, 2009

Clipping and Arranging

The other day, I had some time and I felt like being creative. I have some stamping products in a bin. I got them out. I hate making a mess. I put my stuff all over the dining room table. There were printed papers, scissors, magazines, stamps and stickers. Still, to make something, you have to be able to see it all.

I decided to do a collage. That way I can use free paper from the magazines. I cut three pieces of my nice paper into 5" by 7" pieces. Then I scoured the magazines for pictures. I also used this book I have which lets you use stencils and make up your own clothes. It's for about 13 year old girls, but I have always wanted to be a clothing designer, so I got it. I had fun designing outfits and arranging curios around the outfits. There is a moment when you know you are "in the zone" and things just hop to and fall into place. That's the high point of creativity for me. After that, you just go on calmly and what you want to fit, fits. You find just the right piece, etc. After a time, the "perfection" wore off and I had a bit of trouble making things work. That doesn't change the fact that it is a wonderful process and I love it. I have about two more sessions to finish my collages, then they should be masterpieces. Yeah, right. They will be creative works that were a joy to produce. That's a good thing.

After all the work of that first session, I had all the fun of putting everything away. My house was neat again. Don't you just love the whole "mess, create, clean-up cycle?" I do. Nancy

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Season of Thanks

I remember coloring and pasting large pilgrim figures when I was in the second grade. We had so much fun with holidays back then. When I taught kindergarten, we made turkeys and papooses and on the day before Thanksgiving, we had a big feast with all the kindergarten classes together. The boys wore tall black construction paper hats and the girls were dressed in very cute folded blue and white caps. The meal was stew, cornbread, and cider. What a lot of work and preparation, but the children enjoyed it.

These are just the trimmings of a wonderful day. When I think of the original pilgrims crossing a treacherous sea just to worship the way they wanted, without some authority telling them what they had to be and do, well it was worth it for them. How they made it through the winter and learned to survive is amazing. And yet, in spite of the cold, little food, and the deaths of many loved ones, they somehow managed to have a grateful heart. No whining little pity parties. Just a bold, brave, determined and free people giving thanks.

I like to think of that sturdy band of saints this season, because we all are having difficulties with similar situations. I hope we can look past the paper cutouts, the huge dinner, and even the family gatherings to pause and thank our God for His bounty and continued blessings. That's what I want to do. His faithfulness this year has been so precious. For me, it has been a good year, family wise. I thank You, Lord.

I'd like to extend a wonderful wish for a blessed Thanksgiving Day to one and all!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Following a Shepherd

Once, a few years ago, my friend and I visited a farm where sheep were kept and there was a store with wollen gifts, the finished product. We visited the store first and then went to the barn. Several animals attracted our attention and we petted them and admired them. Then we turned and looked directly at a bunch of sheep looking straight at us. We had been talking and in the quirky way I have, I started talking to the sheep in quiet even tones. They lifted their heads, grouped together and stared. The more I talked, the more they seemed to eat up what I was saying.

This experience held me in its grip. Never before had my words had such an audience. I could see why people say sheep can be led astray. I could have led them astray. The power could have been heady, but I was totally humbled, even with an audience of sheep.

Right now I am watching my new grandson who just turned five months yesterday. I got to spend this "birthday" with him. When I am with him, I am also humbled at the responsibility that my words and looks have. He is my audience and I desire greatly to do right by him. Every word spoken and every action has consequences. I want to speak and sing and act love, light, and truth into his day. What an awesome priviledge that is - one I hardly take lightly.

There is someone innoncent watching your world. The person could be 80, 50, 20, 12, or younger. They could seem naive or be hard looking. There may be light inside yearning to see some truth. It's important for all of us to be aware that we could have greater influence than we think. Someone is following you with hope. Think of my vivid picture of those sheep, just staring at me and focused on all I said. There is one Good Shepherd and we may some day be able to lead them to him. Right now, we can all be kind and loving shepherds to those around us. Who are your sheep? Who is watching you?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

O Glorious Day

Dearest One,

Today you were full of My joy and thoughts of Me. It was a gift. You did nothing to cultivate it. Wasn't it a glorious day?

You praised me on the way to work with a light heart - not as one who is trying to do it against your feelings (which also is good!)

You were joyful because you received hope yesterday. You believed My word and not the "helpful" suggestions of the best meaning of friends. You knew I had spoked to you and you overcame doubt and believed. So today you had joy -it was still a gift. All day you fellowshipped with Me. Let's do it some more. It all starts with believing My written word and what I spoke to you in various ways. Your scripture today, Psalm 119:162 tells of My word as a treasure. When My Rhema word is a treasure to you (it is beginning to be) you will have joy and you will just naturally look to Me at every moment. Have another blessed day. You know The Way.

Love, Your Abba

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Different Miracle

Do you ever go through times when you wonder whether you accomplish anything in life? I was going through one such time when I got an unecxpected revelation. I was reading a book when this happened, because the character was having some doubts, too. Suddenly it occurred to me as I was looking at the words what a marvelous feat that is. Lanaguage is a miracle. To be able to make any sense out of little black marks on paper - that takes intelligence. Just to hear words and realize that they have meaning is something in itself. Then to be able to write my own words with a pen and paper and create this process is a wonder. And as I am making my own scribbles that mean something, I am processing all this information in my brain.

Big deal, you say. Anyone over second grade can do that. Yes, they can, but it doesn't change the fact that it is a miracle. How many years did it take before man learned these wonderful tools? Think of all that has been done to imporve upon them through the ages.

Dogs can't do what I do. The wondrous whales and dolphins, the mighty eagles, even ancient trees are all bankrupt about language. They have much value, but they can't do what I do.

If I can participate in such a minute and inventive pursuit without even thinking about it most of the time, then certainly God's message is true for me, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthen s me." Phil. 4:13 NKJ. The Lord ordains the things I do, if I align my life with His. What I do has meaning, whether great or small, because He causes circumsances to line up for me according to His choosing. He creates miracles, like the many phases of communication, all the time, for our pleasure, for His glory.