Following God’s pattern. (Even when it doesn’t make sense)

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I am loving the triangle scarves that I have been seeing lately and I always like trying to tackle a new pattern. I found a simple, pretty pattern from Hopeful Honey and I thought this is the one.

So I immediately went to work and noticed that my triangle was becoming lop-sided. I ripped it out and started again. The more rows I finished I again noticed that my stitches were becoming crooked. Ugh!

Ripped the stitches out. Again.

Try again a third time and still my stitches are creating a weird wave to the long end of my triangle.

I had been “following the pattern” but adding some different stitches here and there to each end trying to correct the authors “mistakes”. Well, that wasn’t working it was only making thing worse.

For the final time, I rip out my stitches and start following the exact number of stitches and in the places that I was told to put them.

Then things start happening. The scarf starts looking like what was pictured in the author’s pattern. In my attempts to fix the creators pattern my product was turning out all wonky because I thought I knew better than the author.

I can’t count how many times I have tried to manipulate situations because I thought I knew better than God. Or I sit and complain that God is not listening or isn’t loving because He is not giving me what I want when I want it.

There are many instances in the bible where the protagonist moves ahead of God’s timing only to screw things up in the process. We will never know the original outcome God had intended because men and women thought they knew better. One thing is for sure though. In the stories where they stepped ahead of God’s timing there are painful, lifelong consequences because of it.

One person comes to mind from the bible that hadn’t followed God’s original plan at first but started trusting God more and more a time went on.

Following God's Pattern

Abraham

Abraham and Sarah moved ahead of God’s timing and there were harsh consequences for Hagar and Ishmael. But since Ishmael was still Abraham’s son, his people became a great nation as well, just not the people group that Jesus would come from.

God kept His promise to Abraham and Sarah and gave them Isaac.

When Isaac was a young boy God told Abraham to take Isaac up to a mountain top and sacrifice him there. I won’t get into the whole sacrificing thing because that is a huge topic that I don’t have time to discuss that in this post.

Abraham’s great faith is to be admired. Hebrews 11:19 says that “Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.” (NIV)

What incredible faith!! As a parent, I cannot even begin to fathom the faith that it took to walk up onto the mountain with his only son Isaac and attempt to sacrifice him there.

I have heard many times that God can see the whole scope of time on the earth and knows every event that will happen. Even so, He asks us to carry out impossible feats in His power not because he needs to prove to Himself that He can do it.

God wants to use unlikely people for the glory of His name. Abraham was 100 years old for crying out loud when they had Isaac!

I think that faith requires a great amount of humility because we have to rely completely and totally on God to carry out the plans that He has called us to do. In order to do this, we have to humbly admit that we cannot not do anything without the power of God in us.

I am trying to learn to accept God’s pattern for how to live my life even when it doesn’t make sense. I can try to fit God in to the plan that I think is the best way to go or I can learn to humbly accept the mission that He has called me to however trifling that might be. Because in the end, if it is all for the glory of God, that work will never be small.

I feel that if I can rely on God with even the smallest amount of faith that Abraham had then I will learn how to face each and every challenge with peace.

Following God’s pattern through the most difficult circumstances will bring glory to His name. And, in the end, that’s all that really matters.

3 Reflections on the Life of Amy Carmichael

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Big J and I finished listening to Amy Carmichael the other day and I am still blown away by her life. Little D listens too but he can’t offer any input yet. 😉

Amy Carmichael was an Irish girl living in Belfast, Ireland in the late 1800’s. She was a spirited young lady and got herself into trouble one night after concocting the idea to stay up after curfew.

There was a comet traveling through the sky that night and she didn’t want to miss it. It turns out her teachers and principal didn’t want to miss it either so she and her roommates got caught.

She was a typical person, living life for herself, when there came a pivotal moment that would thrust her into living her life fully for God.

3 reflections on the life of Amy Carmichael

She was walking home from church one day and she saw a homeless woman struggling to walk in the snow. Her and her siblings went over to help her but she was embarrassed about it. But during the time helping the homeless woman, she heard a voice say “Gold and silver. Hay and stubble.” She knew this was a passage from the bible talking about how our works here on earth will be tested with fire in the end.

In that instant she wasn’t embarrassed anymore. She held her head high and was proud to be able to help the woman.

She went home after that and looked up the verse in the bible. She found the words she had heard in 1 Corinthians 3:13. …”each ones work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” She decided from that moment on she would do what God had called her to do regardless of what other people thought.

Her life from there lead her to England, China, Japan and finally India. Amy helped about 140 men, women and Indian children find refuge in her home in India. Most of whom she helped were little Indian girls. Little girls were brought to her instead of being offered to the gods to become temple prostitutes.

She died peacefully in her sleep at age 83 and was buried in the family cemetery called God’s garden. She had no head stone just a bird bath placed over where she was laid and the word “Amma” inscribed on it. The Indian word for mother.

These are some of the things I came away with after listening to her story…

Not all Christians are on the same path you are.

This one is kind of hard for me to grasp. If Christians are at the same place at the same time they should be doing to same work, right? This is wishful thinking on my part.  I also feel this was Amy’s thinking as well because she was confused by other Christians not wanting to do work for God. There would be a need and the groups of Christians that Amy was with would just shrug their shoulders when they couldn’t think of anyone to help those in need.

God can only do His work through me if I allow Him to. He can only use as much of me as I give Him. And when He is calling me to do His work and I can’t get upset or frustrated that He isn’t making others around me to do the same work.

Just like He doesn’t force me to do His bidding I can’t force others to do His work. I don’t know what God is teaching you, unless you tell me, so I can’t expect us to be doing the same work.

God will provide

I know this seems ridiculous to point out or even talk about but I feel we need to remind ourselves of this. God. Will. Provide. And miraculously.

If God has a work for you to do then He will make it happen. Against all odds. I was reminded of the verse in James that says, “You do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NKJV)

How many times have I asked God for something because it was just something I wanted? How many times do I ask for something that has nothing to do with the work that He is calling me to do?

Again, I can’t speak for everyone, but I can see what prayers God answers and which ones he doesn’t manifested in the lives of those who pray to Him.

When Amy asked God for something that would help take care of others, God provided. Amy wanted to build a building for the factory girls where she lived. She had been meeting with them at her church but the congregation began to complain to the pastor that the lowlifes were meeting in their church. When the pastor wouldn’t listen, annoyed congregants started complaining to Amy. So Amy began to ask God for money for a building for them to meet in instead of her church.

Amy trusted God to provide and He did. God provided the money and the land for the building. God provided in many other ways exactly what Amy needed because it was to help bring others to Him.

Lastly, her life is one I want to emulate

We have examples in the bible of great men and women of faith but I think I have fallen prey to the idea that that was then and this is now. That God somehow changed how He works just because we, as a society, have changed. But I am reminded through the example of Amy and other Christians in the more recent years that God still works in dramatic ways if we let Him. And maybe in some more subtle ways than we realize but that’s for another post.

Obviously, Jesus is our perfect example of the faith that we should have but I also take encouragement in the lives of other believers examples as well.

Amy Carmichael was a single woman all of her life because she cared more about serving God than finding a husband. How I wish I had listened, really listened, when I was single and wanting to be married so badly. I wondered how many opportunities I missed because all I cared about was looking for “the one”.

She also cared more about serving God than what anyone else thought. How much time do I waste thinking about what others are thinking about me or how they are treating me when I could be throwing myself into God’s work. What could I be accomplishing for Him?

I have several more audio books of the books, “Christians Heroes: Then & Now” and I can’t wait to hear their stories of how God worked in their lives. I want to live the kinds of lives that these believers did and I gladly call them my Heroes. I am excited to listen to what heroic things that God called them to do. And I pray that I am up for the same challenge.

Thanks for reading and I hope you look more into the life of Amy Carmichael for yourself!

Who has been really inspiring to you? Tell me in the comments below!

 

Easy DIY Spring Decor

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I was on Pinterest (No, not for 3 hours. Why do you ask?) looking for a way to bring something fresh to my home this spring. I came across this super easy DIY project that I couldn’t pass up. You can view the original idea here from Two Twenty-One. That girl has some great stuff!

What I love about this project is I literally did this during nap time. Quick and simple. I decided to go with washi tape because it’s cheaper and I don’t have a bunch of bright, beautiful fabric on hand.

The items you’ll need for your DIY…

  • Picture frame
  • Several different colors of washi tape
  • Scissors
  • Cross printable
  • 8×11 piece of paper

There are two different types of cross printables here and here.

Easy diy spring decor thebeamingbrunette.com

Take the little paper that comes in the frame out. This is going to be your cover.

easy diy spring decor thebeamingbrunette.com

Use your cross print out (or whichever design you choose) and trace it over the picture side of the frame insert. This is a 8×10 frame so you’ll want to measure the inside of the frame to make sure that your picture doesn’t get cut off by the sides of the frame. Mine measured 7×9 to fit inside.

It should look like this after it has been cut out.

Cross, scissors, washi tape, frame4, spring decor, easter, jesus

I did it this way so I could just peel off the cross and have the pretty washi tape as a background for something else.

Now comes the fun part!

Cross, scissors, washi tape, frame3, spring decor, diy, easter, jesus

There are so many fun colors it was hard to choose only a few. Washi tape has so many uses too! I love the idea of lining a shelf with washi tape. Or sprucing up some tea light candles for a party. And I love how if you make a mistake it comes off very easily.

Roll out the washi tape and line up the pieces as close as you can so there aren’t any gaps. Fill up the entire piece of paper. Tape your cross over the washi-ed up paper and cut off any excess to fit in your frame.

easy diy spring decor thebeamingbrunette.com

There you have it. Pretty darn easy!

easy diy spring decor thebeamingbrunette.com

Happy decorating!

Do you like using washi tape? How do you use it?