Conviction and Condemnation

I have put off writing about this subject for a long time. I don’t want the debate. I don’t want anyone offended. But I feel very strongly the leading to do so now. I just want to start by saying this: Don’t let someone else’s conviction become your condemnation.

I grew up under a very oppressive hand of condemnation.  Not just from family members, but peers as well. I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough; I was too serious, not serious enough.  Wasn’t popular or too popular. I wasn’t the right gender. No, I am not kidding, I still have one family member that nearly hates me because I am not a boy. It’s sad really. Oh my, I could go on, but I won’t. 

My point to telling you that is to get to this, all that ‘not the right thing’ mentioned above led me down a path of trying to find ‘right’ or ‘perfect’ if you will. I was well into my adulthood before I realized truly that it couldn’t be found. Oh, I hit a point in my late teens where I just didn’t care one iota what anyone else thought. This led me into a significant rebellious stage. My Mom referred to me as her ‘little rebel without a cause’. The irony, I wore it with a badge of honor. I was a James Dean fan and his most popular movie was “Rebel without a Cause”. I loved being compared to such a Hollywood icon. Oh, I was so lost and confused and frustrated.

This rebelliousness led me into some not-so-pretty relationships and “friendships”. I sunk further. I began to believe if I did ________ (fill in the blank) just like _________ (again, fill in the blank) that I’d be accepted. Oh, foolish young woman that I was….for such a long time. Can I tell you, it didn’t work. No surprise there right?

Flash forward to 2006, I was at my first woman’s conference. The speaker felt led to speak over some women in the group about being released from condemnation. Initially, I had no clue what she was talking about. As I listened to her, I learned that all that “not enough” that I lived my whole life under was condemnation. I began to feel this release inside of me that I have never found words to describe. She did an alter call and I couldn’t get up there fast enough! As this speaker continued speaking, I dropped to my knees and just sobbed. Until that moment, I don’t think I had ever cried so hard, or for so long. The knowledge, not just in my head, but my heart, that someone, Jesus, loved me just because I was me overwhelmed me. Release. Freedom. Peace.

What does all of this have to do with not allowing someone else’s conviction to become your condemnation? Everything! Condemnation is an evil spirit that doesn’t want to ever let go of someone that it’s had a strong grip on. It is constantly trying to work it’s way back into my life. For example: a few years ago, my sister-in-law felt led to wear skirts for a month. It became a year. We went to visit them and I took a couple of skirts with me. I did it to show respect for her conviction and to support her efforts to display to her daughters, my nieces, feminity. But oh how easy it would have been to make her conviction my own and fall right back under the whisper of condemnation. It sounded something like this: “You know, if you don’t wear skirts all the time like she does, no one will believe that you truly love Jesus.”, or “You know, everyone will call her blessed because she wears her skirts and they will curse you.” Oh, the stupid things condemnation says. And when you’ve been under that thumb, reason, logic, and common sense take a road trip to Bora Bora and leave you behind.

Recently, I had to stand firm against an overt effort to bring me under condemnation once again. A dear friend wears head coverings. She is very convicted by this stand. I don’t agree with her theology behind it and she knows I don’t.  We have an “agree to disagree” arrangement on doctrine.  However, during a conversation I had to explain that the Lord had not convicted me to do the same (wear head coverings). In fact years prior, I had done a study on “coverings” and I do not believe for one second that God will send me to the firey pit of hell for not wearing something on my head. She didn’t agree.

Door wide open for condemnation to sneak its ugly little toe into.

I reminded her that we both love the Lord. We agree that Jesus went to the cross for our sins and to save, restore and redeem us. I’m not going to argue the rest. I love her just the same. Our difference of doctrinal understanding will not change that for me, but I cannot allow her conviction to become my condemnation.

It’s by the grace of God that I recognize the efforts of the evil one to bring me back under condemnation. There have certainly been numerous attempts in the last year alone. But I want to take this moment now to encourage you to remain confident in the knowledge that you are a child of God, you are loved beyond measure, you are blessed and you have an army of angels surrounding you with the King of kings, Lord of lords at the command, guiding you, leading you and protecting you.

Be blessed.

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Certified….now what?!?!

I did it. The desire to do it came a couple of years ago. For one specific reason. And it changed on me.

I don’t really know why. Maybe its being married for twenty years to one. Maybe its that all three of my sons are one.

I was left out. The final preparer of the “prize”.

I’m not sure what has changed in my heart, but I am thinking about taking that final plunge.

After all, I just spent an entire weekend, in a class, getting certified. (Not certified crazy, we are already know that. 😛 )

Hunter Safety certified.

With the purchase of tags & license, I can now hunt.

Huh?!?! How did this happen?!?!

I was certainly not raised in a hunting family. In fact, I was probably raised as far away from a hunting mindset, mentality, lifestyle (insert any random adjective that has nothing to do with hunting) as possible.

But I married one. ♥

In fact, into a family full of them.

And have been raising three of them. ♥

How did this happen?!?! I truly have no idea.

And I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Certified to hunt! Me! Who knew?

“For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Thank You Lord. This I would never have imagined.

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This morning I decided I really need to spend some time in reflection and evaluation of multiple areas of my life. What I want to do. What I need to do. Just looking at those two sentences the “need” should be before the “want”.  There are 150.10 gazillion things that I should be doing right now, but I’m writing this instead. Why?

Well, because I read this article, http:// http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2012/02/15/why-i-make-my-bed-10-reasons-i-keep-my-house-clean/, which only served to reinforce the need for re-evaluation and then I saw the pink flamingos. In my neighbors yard.

How on God’s green (or in my case still white) earth did pink flamingos have an effect? Spring. Renewal. Rebirth. Anew. Didn’t Jesus talk about old things passing away making all things new? Well, for me that leads to Spring…and newness of life. Clean. Crisp. Refreshing.

After the last year, I am fully open to renewal.

This is why evaluation and revamping are needed. Wanted. Nearly required.

Does this insight into how my brain spiderwebs around make you nervous? I hope not. But I have to confess, I roll my eyes at myself sometimes in how “A” will lead to “B” in my brain. 🙂

Why am I sharing all of this? Honestly, mostly for myself. Sorry, thats probably selfish of me and I apologize for that. I need my own personal accountability in this. Truth be told, but what better way than publicly, globally public!  It gives you permission to knock on my door (or a comment, or note) to say, “how’s it going? Progress report. Or whatever clever way you decide to say, “hey woman”! 🙂

I don’t believe for one minute that the process will be pretty, or full of sunshine and roses, but I do believe it will be worth it.

Do you want to join me or be a cheerleader? I welcome both.

Now, ready? Begin.

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I figured it out!!!!

Is it I wrong that I’m doing a happy dance, singing an “I’m so pleased with myself diddy” because I figured out how to log into the wordpress app WITHOUT the assistance of my oldest child? (Big run on sentence, oops, question there, but you won’t tell right?) So, yes, I am publically announcing that I am NOT a technology nerd. Maybe I should be. For blogging purposes. :=)

Anyhoo, enough of the dork-on-myself fest. Time to dig out of the cobwebs of my brain all things I’ve wanted to write about and start writting again. Here’s to new posts. ◆◆cheers◆◆

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Facebook breakin’ and lovin’ it!!

 

So, I have not been on Facebook in a week.  And I don’t miss it. Not. One. Little. Bit.  Except that also means I’m not posting on my page for my blog either.

 

Seriously though, my positive thoughts, energy, vibes, whatever you feel like calling it has skyrocketed over the last week!  Hum, and what does that tell me?  Well, that I must be exposed to a whole lot of negativity on Facebook.  Have I gotten a lot done?  Well yes, and no.

 

Yes!  I finished the window quilt for the large window in my bathroom!  And its hung!  Wow!  This is a big deal….I started the project about a year and a half ago.  Hum…what does this tell me?  Wasting time on Facebook more than I realized.

 

I also made a draft dodger for my front door and have gotten some other odds and ends done.  Is there anything I’m going to sing from the rooftops about, or spin my baton…no.  Except for those window quilts.  Those? Maybe.

 

For now though, I have absolutely no intent on getting on Facebook until January 1st.  A new year will have no rules and no plans that I am hopefully getting into place now.  Maybe.  Kinda.  Sorta.  We’ll see.

 

And yes, I will at some point post a picture of those window quilts.  Hopefully before, or maybe after, I finish the one for the smaller window.  Again.  We’ll see.

 

Until then, I am hoping to get some stuff written, some more stuff decluttered, and yet even more stuff organized before the 1st of the new year, but this crazy Christmas stuff is hanging me up.  I’d rather just focus on the reason for the season, Jesus.

 

So, with this mini-update in tow, tied up and delivered to you in a neat little bow.  I will bid you adieu.  For now.  Maybe.  We’ll see.

Be Blessed!

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Kitchen Makeover

For years I have wanted to do something new and different with my kitchen.  Replacing cabinets, changing the layout, all that fun jazz was not in the budget.  And with a 140+ year old house that has an interesting shaped kitchen and windows that just don’t quit…

I had to get creative.

Meet my inspiration:

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No, I did not burn the kitchen down and start from scratch.  Tempting that was, yes, but burn it down I did not.  (Tapping into my inner Yoda there.)  It was the color of this lighter!  I love it!!  It is so happy!!  It just downright makes me smile and you can’t help but be cheery around this color.  Maybe it’s just me.

Let me show you how the kitchen looked before:

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See, blah.  Dull.  No personality.  Cabinets that the dog had way to much fun with.  Dreary.  Sad.  And Salmon.  It made me think of a dead, dried up Salmon.  Blech.

Now:

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It is fun!

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It is jazzy! (ignore the un-vacuummed rug, and dog toy strings)

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It is happy!!

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It is cheery!!

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It still has all the quirks of an old farmhouse kitchen,

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but, it is an absolute pleasure to be in there!!

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I love, love, love how it came out!  The pictures truly do not do it justice.  There is still work to do: paint all the trim (whole house project), and re-organize.  However, the lion share of the job is finished!  In nine years of living in this house we have never had kitchen hardware on the cabinets ~ we do now!  😀  And do you see that bit of plywood in the bottom corner if the picture above?  That is my next project ~ finishing the island.

It didn’t cost much to do this either.  Seriously, it took two gallons of paint: one for the cabinets and one for the walls.  $45.00  All new hardware for all the cabinet doors: $100.00.  And finally, a week of my time.  The kitchen has a whole new look, feel and shine.  It’s brighter and livelier and we are really enjoying it.

Be blessed!!

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Resurrection Sunday…2013

Photo credit: http://www.greatoutdoorblessings.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/empty-tomb-of-jesus.jpg

Photo credit: http://www.greatoutdoorblessings.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/empty-tomb-of-jesus.jpg

“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.  And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.  His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.  And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.  But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him.  Behold, I have told you.’  So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.” ~

Matthew 28:1-8

Praise the Lord! He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Have a beautiful and blessed Resurrection Sunday!  Let us rejoice for He is risen!

Blessings,

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Bloggers I follow…

Thy Hand Hath Provided

200 x 200 HR Button

 

Life in a Little Red Farmhouse

 

 

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Happens Today…

What’s happening around your neck of the woods today? (Ignore the dates on the pics…apparently there is an issue ~’oh Oak Tree, fitz the camera pweease.)  Here we are having working/resting day….that’s sounds strange. 🙂

A nasty, sicko child resting on the couch:

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A generous younger brother playing games with the sick one:

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A very studious, and focused Oak Tree:

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I am truly not sure what this child is up to…it is possible he is playing with the other two via computers…maybe, possibly…

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Me, well, not getting a pic of me :), but you can have a picture of the strawberry jam I’ve made today:

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I know, sorry, I didn’t feel like doing a self-picture.  Be thankful I didn’t include a picture of the chicken coop getting cleaned out!  OOoooo, it was yucky today.

Are you ready for celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord tomorrow?  I am giving thought to what the day will and will not include: a roast with mashed potatoes, veggies and salad for dinner, but we will be starting off with Communion at home.  Then delighting ourselves in the celebration of the risen Lord!

Be blessed!

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Technology, the time saver….I think not

Do you remember when computers became all the rage and they were touted, promoted and expounded upon as being these incredible time savers.  And we bought it, “oh, look, I just click here and here, and it’s read and gone!”  Or so we convinced ourselves.

And cell phones ~ those are pesky things too.  You no longer have the luxury of being “unavailable” unless you are blessed to be an area with no signal.  Hum…and even that is becoming increasingly difficult to find.

Or, like me, you just turn the volume off when you want some “I’m hiding” time. 😀  I do the same thing with the land line…ringer is off probably 90% of the time.

Why have I decided to write about this today?

Because…

I spent the better part of two hours, yes, you read that right, two hours doing nothing but deleting “forwarded” emails today.  There were over 600!!  You know, the ones that come in and you think, “Oh, I’ll read that later” and three years later it’s still sitting in your inbox.  Come on now, I know I am not the only person guilty of this!!  Maybe just the only person willing to admit it. 🙂  Now, most of what I deleted today, accumulated over the last year!!

Over the years, I have grown to really, really dislike email.  It really is a big time waster.  Some have argued that Facebook is email on steroids, but I don’t think so.  With Facebook, I can scroll right past anything I don’t feel like reading…especially if someone has written a novel.  Email however, I have to click the box, then hit delete, and then wait…for the computer to actually talk to the internet and actually delete the item.  And if your really special, like I happen to be, then you have to go to your deleted folder and delete it AGAIN if you really want it out of your mailbox.

What is the big deal?  Let me put it this way: if you throw out 100 pennies you would in essence being throwing away $1.00.  I really don’t think anyone would just pick up a dollar bill and toss it in the trash.  Do you?  It would be literally just throwing away money!

I know pretty much everyone is familiar with the adage, “Time is money”.  So, let’s just say it takes me 15 seconds to delete one email.  In the grand scheme of things, 15 seconds is not a large chunk of time.  But if I have four emails to delete then that is an entire minute.  But let’s just say that I have 10 people who have each “forwarded” 4 emails to me (we’ll even let some be duplicates 🙂 ), then I have 40 emails to delete.  That’s 10 minutes of my day…gone…never to return again.  See how that adds up…and quickly.

Now, I realize that I am exaggerating, greatly, on how long it takes to delete one email, but there is a point here.  When we send email to others, not only are we using our time, but ultimately, we are using THEIR time!  Whoa!…never thought about it that way.

Now, I am all for informational email.  In fact, I have several people that we do email communications with each other…and we don’t live that far away from each other.  But, what we are doing is respecting each others time.  It may not be super time sensitive.  If it is, we pick up the phone and call.  On the flip side of that coin, I have a couple friends that we have scheduled a weekly phone conversation.  Yep, again…respecting each others time.

It’s bad enough that the junk emailers spam our inbox’s with their promises of wealth, super, duper, never-before-seen discounted prices and well, some I just don’t think appropriate to repeat here. 🙂

Another issues with those pesky forwards, most of it is not even worth looking at: vulgar, disgusting, political (and both sides equally guilty), and negative, negative, negative.  It is rare that I see an encouraging, inspirational or inspiring email.  Maybe that is source, maybe that is pool to draw from, I truly do not know…for certain.

There is more than enough vulgarity, political rants, and negativity in the news.  And life, well, it throws it’s own batches of fresh baked trauma and drama of it’s own once in a while.  So why, why, would anyone want to sit down to their computer, open their email and take in yet another does of promiscuity, filth, and nastiness?  I personally, do not.

So, whilst I work on finishing up clearing out the email, cleaning out the files in email from the important stuff (bills, homeschool, homesteading, etc.) related, I am going to make use of those filter options.  In the mean time…

it’s a vacation auto-reply from me.

I am not trying to rain on anybodies parade, but what I am asking each of us to consider is this: is this worth my time to read (i.e: uplifting, encouraging, fruitful), and will it be worth someone else’s time to read, and will it be a blessing to them?  If the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’, then do not send it.  Another question to ask yourself is: will I offend, upset, or hurt someone’s feelings if I send this?  If the answer to this question is ‘no’, then again, do not send it.

There is more than enough negativity in the world…let’s not be intentional, or unintentional contributors.

Be Blessed!

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