Lumps of clay

lumps of clayThe past few weeks in Pottery Class, we have been learning to use the wheel. Let me just say, it looks a whole lot easier than it actually is.

The first step is centering, which is the art of learning how much pressure to apply with the right hand, while holding it steady with the left. Too much pressure, will send the clay flying off the wheel, and not enough pressure will keep it from centering.

After almost two weeks of trying, with clay sometimes flying, and other times becoming a very uncentered mess, I finally achieved this aspect.

The second step is to pull the clay upward, and then flatten it out, while using your thumbs to apply pressure in order to create a bowl.

I am far from victory on this step. It seems my bowls are either too thick, or they collapse when I’m trying to get them thinned out.

It has been quite the frustrating time for me, as I have watched the other students sail through this much quicker than I have .

As I worked with the clay today, I would be so close to having it , when suddenly it would cave inward, and I would be forced to begin again.

And I could not help, but think of the fact that I am the clay and the Lord, He is the potter. I was reminded of all the shaping He must do in our lives to get us molded into His image. Many times, He must feel similar frustration that I felt today. When He sees us doing so well, moving in the right direction, growing in our walk with Him, then suddenly, falling back into sin.

For once again, the Lord must come along and center us and our eyes back upon Him. He does this by applying some pressure to our lives, causing us to look to Him. Then, once our eyes are back on Him, He can begin shaping us once more into the image of Christ.

Thankfully, the Lord is merciful, and long suffering. He doesn’t give up on us, He doesn’t throw in the towel (like I wanted to do today), He doesn’t quit on us. No, He is faithful to continue day by day to shape us and change us. Faithful to mold us into the image of His Son.

I am so thankful for the verse that says, “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:6).”

Thankful that the work He began in me, He will complete. I have a long way to go. There is much shaping, and molding God must continue to do in my life before I will reach this point. Yet, He doesn’t give up on me. He keeps working, keeps allowing the pressures of life to draw me to Him, disciplining me when I fall away, and lovingly bringing me back so that my eyes are centered upon Him.

How is the Lord shaping you today?

 

 

 

Advertisements

To the one who is waiting on God…

A good reminder for those waiting upon the Lord…

mandylynncarpenter

thG2HN27RCI know it is hard, I understand.

I’ve been where you are, and it is a tough place to be.

For two years, our family went through a time of waiting. A time wondering what God was doing and why at times He just seemed silent.

Two years of seeking to know what He wanted, two years of praying, fasting and crying out to Him.

Then, He answered, and led us to the other side of the world to serve Him.

In those two years, we learned so much about trusting Him. And in those two years, He worked to prepare us for the life we are now seeking to live.

In my quiet time this week, as I read the story of Abraham and Sarah, I was reminded of some truths about waiting.

Waiting on God often leads to….

  1. Doubt, and questioning if God knows or cares.

Abram and…

View original post 853 more words

Choosing Joy

muddy roadsIt was raining again, which meant the roads were going to be covered in mud as my daughter and I made our way to the bus. Just a few days ago, we had slipped and slided down the road, and now again, we’d be forced to do so.

As we walked, we huddled under our umbrellas, and talked. My daughter was bemoaning the mud, the rain, and the fact that once again on her swimming day, it was raining.

I listened and understood her frustration.

Then I reminded her that we have a choice to make daily. We can choose to grumble and complain about all the negative things, or we can choose to give thanks for the good.

Oh, it is so much easier to complain, than to be thankful. Yet, giving thanks can change the mood and attitude of our entire day.

Before long, we were giving thanks that it was only a misty rain falling, we were giving thanks that the route we took today was less muddy than the route taken before. We gave thanks that the bus wasn’t crowded, and that we got to school on time.

As I made my way back to the main road, to catch another bus back home. I watched as little girls in their school uniforms were trying to brush off the mud that had splattered on their shoes and pants, and smiled. Reminded that the rain and mud didn’t just affect me, it affected everyone the same.

Riding back on the bus, I looked out the window and saw the clouds hovering over the mountain tops, and smiled at their beauty.

An hour after I’d left, I returned back home to begin my day of homeschooling my other two. Grabbing a quick cup of coffee, I sat down to begin. Reminding myself, and the boys, that it is always best to give thanks.

Sometimes we don’t feel thankful, sometimes it is difficult to choose joy. Yet, when we do, we offer up a sacrifice of praise unto the Lord, and allow Him to change our hearts to be more like His.

No matter what you’re going through today, I encourage you to take a step back from your situation, and begin to give thanks for the good. For I truly believe, that when you do, you will suddenly be reminded of how blessed you are.

May we offer up sacrifices of praise, as we decide daily to choose joy!

 

Joy comes in the morning!!!

Joy does come.. just wait!

Our Mission to the Himalayas and Beyond

joy in the morningWhy is it that sickness seems to strike during the night. I can’t tell you the number of times, I have gone to bed feeling fine, only to be awakened in the night sick. Last night was such a night. Yet, the amazing thing is, more often than not, by morning I’m feeling fine. The same proved true today, last night, I jokingly told my son, just kill me 🙂 because I felt so poorly. Then I awaken this morning feeling just fine.

I’ve noticed this same trend with the weather here in Nepal. The day can be a beautiful sunny day, and then suddenly it will rain all night. Yet, the next morning you awaken to sunshine.

As I thought on these things, I was reminded of the Scripture that tells us For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.Weeping may…

View original post 447 more words

Instructing our Daughters in the Way of the KING.

beauty“Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline you ear; Forget your people and your father’s house; then the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him.” Psalm 45:11

This verse is full of imperatives, “Listen, give attention, incline your ear, forget..” And as I read this verse, I couldn’t help but think of my daughter, and likewise all young girls.

We live in a world that says, impress your people, that says listen, give attention to what others think, what others say.

And if our daughters listen to the messages that bombard the media, they will hear messages which contradict God’s Word.

They will hear messages that say, “dress this way to get attention, use people to get what you want, use your body to manipulate.” They will hear messages that tell them they have to be a certain size, or a certain weight to be accepted. They must wear certain fashions to be popular.

I know, because I’ve been there. I heard these messages years ago, and fell for their traps. Something I want my daughter now to avoid.

Which is why I love these verses. This passage was written most likely describing the marriage of Solomon to Pharaoh’s daughter. And yet, the true King is the Lord, and as His children, we are His bride.

Thus the message is true for us as well.

God speaks to you ,to me, to our daughters, and He says,

“Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear!” He wants us to hear and know this message. Three times He says listen….

Next, He tells us to forget our people and our father’s house. 

Basically He says, it matters not what your friends, the world, or even your family has to say. Forget it, forget the message they are pushing upon you. What they have to say is not what is important, it’s what I say, what I think of you that matters.

“Then the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him.”

When we care not for the opinion of others, when we care more for what our Lord has to say, we will realize it is He who desires us. We will recognize that we are beautiful in His sight, not because of what we look like on the outside, but for who we are on the inside.  We will understand that the Lord looks not at the outward appearance, He looks at the heart.

And when we grasp His great love for us, we will realize He is Lord, and we will worship Him.

The Lord He is God, it is His opinion that matters, not what the media has to say, not what our friends or even family has to say.

And our daughters need to hear this message.

They need to realize their beauty comes from within not from without. They must grasp that the opinion of man matters not, rather it is what God says that matters.

Girls have a deep desire to be loved, this is the way God made us.

And they will seek to find that love in all the wrong places, if they don’t realize this love can only be found in the Lord.

Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

We must teach our daughters that they should dress themselves not in the seductive dress of the world, rather they should dress themselves with compassion, kindness, gentleness, and patience.

These are the qualities which make them beautiful. This is what matters, not the size of their jeans.

Peter says it this way, Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God (I Peter 3:3-4).”

Obviously taking care of ourselves, looking our best is important, but as Peter says, this is not the end all. For he says, it is what is inside, the gentle and quiet spirit that make us beautiful to others and to the Lord.

It is up to us moms to teach our daughters these things, for if we fail to do so, they will only hear the messages of the world, and they will succumb to their traps.

Let us be faithful to point our daughters to the King who is enthralled with their beauty. And teach them that what truly makes them beautiful daughters of the King is not what is on the outside, but rather what comes from within.

 

My Great Big God and the Little Things…

You’d think I wouldn’t be so scared of such a small thing.

You’d think I’d remember I am far bigger than it is.

You’d think it is certainly more afraid of me than I am of it (though I beg to differ).

What is this thing you may ask? Mice!

Last night, as I was stirring a pan of Indonesian Spiced Rice on the stove top, I looked down to see a mouse run into my foot!!!!!! It then backtracked quickly from where it came from (behind the stove), leaving me screaming and slinging rice haphazardly on the floor, counter, etc.

Since I was home alone, I did what any sane person would do, I turned the stove off, and shut the doors to the kitchen. Then came to the living room to sit down (with my feet off the floor!), and waited for my husband to come home! 🙂

To his dismay when he arrived, I told him all about the mouse, and he went to check it out.

Of course, that scared mouse was far gone, or was hiding to save its life.

Since my husband was about to leave for a Bible Study, I went to the store to buy mouse poison. Tentatively, I went back into the kitchen, and placed it on the sides of the stove, behind the fridge, and behind the garbage can.

We never saw nor heard the mouse the rest of the night. I’m hoping it is long gone, but time will tell!

Yet, the funny thing is, as I sat with my feet off the floor, with the doors shut, waiting on my husband, I considered the situation. Then laughed at myself, when I realized, that I am so much bigger than that little mouse, why oh why am I afraid?

As I have reflected on this today, I was reminded of my great, big God! Far too often I fear such small, trivial things. Occasionally, there are big things as well which seem impossible.

Yet, regardless of the size of the problem that has me afraid.

My God is bigger and stronger! And He says, “Fear Not!”

Fear is a natural instinct, that occurs without thought. And it will certainly come.

The key however is what we do with it.

Much like anger, it is what we do with fear, how we handle it, that counts.

Do we give it to the Lord, trusting that He is greater than it?
Or, do we allow it to control us, overpowering us, keeping us from what God has?

The God we serve is mightier and stronger than any fear we have. The God we serve can be trusted with whatever comes our way. The God we serve will even fight on our behalf.

We simply must be still and know He is God. Trusting Him, believing Him, and resting in the peace found only in His presence!