"I am always doing what I cannot do yet in order to learn how to do it." Vincent
Van Gogh

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Need Met

As I was getting ready for the ladies meeting at church Friday morning, I managed to step into something wet on the carpeted floor. Since I was a rush and it just looked like a little water, I dismissed it and changed my socks. I left with my children and went to the ladies meeting.

It was, of course, a wonderful meeting. One of the ladies, however, was having a difficult morning. Her house had flooded that morning and people were working on her house while she was at the meeting. We all gave her comforting words and talked about how God gives us joy in even the difficult and tiring situations.

I rode home with a friend and we talked about the carpets at the apartments where we lived, and I mentioned how I needed to shampoo my carpet (again) thanks to my little hurricane of a daughter who enjoys making the biggest messes she can.

When I got into my apartment, I took my shoes off and walked towards the kitchen and again stepped in a wet spot. I was momentarily confused as to how whatever little thing my kids must have spilt in the morning could still be there. I look closer and I realize the carpet is soaked!! I start inspecting and I find my kitchen, bathroom, carpet in the dining room and living room are soaked!!

Oh no! My house has flooded too thanks to a burst pipe from the hot water heater. I yell for my husband and he calls the maintenance man down. An hour later he shows up, no fault of his though, but that is another story. He fixes the pipe and calls a guy to come and try to save the carpets.

A half hour later, a white van pulls up and the man goes to work slurping up all that water with the big vacuum in his van, (this of course is after we have to move all of our furniture). During this time, my daughter has been at my moms since that was the only way to keep her dry (she had already rolled in the wet carpet and was laughing when we first got home). I went to check on her and a little while later my husband told me that after our carpet was dry (the pad and all) that the man had to shampoo the carpet!!

Really? He had to shampoo it??

Perhaps I am the only one who saw the irony in this or even God's little blessing/joke. I said I needed to shampoo my carpet, so my Father in Heaven hired someone to do it for me, no charge to me! Of course I had to scramble to move all my furniture, I can't access my living room till after Tuesday, but hey, at least I'll get a professional carpet cleaning out of the deal. I can live with that :).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What a Beautiful Picture

Artwork by Phyllis F. Ducey of pfd Original Artworks
Imagine that you are the artist of a beautiful painting.
Close your eyes as you picture the paintbrush in your hands as you glide the paint covered bristles over the canvas.
Picture in your mind the masterpiece that lays before you. Throw out any thoughts that may try to persuade you that you can't paint, we are imagining here.
Now imagine someone comes up to you and your beautiful painting. You are standing there in awe at the creation before you and this stranger comes to you, looks at your painting and says, "Wow, that is ugly!"
What!! You have poured your heart into this creation; you have cried over the beauty that came out of you; you are in complete and utter love with your creation and so very proud of its beauty and yet someone has told you that it is ugly. They have stepped on your beautiful creation.
Now, once again, imagine God, our precious Father, standing before his most beautiful creation, mankind. Imagine God, Abba Father, standing before you, his beautiful masterpiece. He is remembering when you were in the womb. He can see the paintbrush of creation in His hand as it swayed back and forth forming your every limb. He can remember the hidden details he weaved into His artwork, the details of a beautiful voice, artistic talent, dance, sewing, sports, etch. He remembers how He gave each of those special details to you. He can vividly remember the stroke that gave you the talent of painting yourself, and He says to you, "This talent is yours, I gave it to you. When a student learns something new from their teacher, that knowledge becomes theirs."
God is standing in front of you now admiring His beautiful masterpiece. He is in awe at what you are able to do with what He has given you. He loves every detail that makes up His original plan for you. If you dance, than He is dancing with you, amazed at the love that pours from your body and can't help but ask, "Who taught you to dance this good?" If you draw, He is watching each pen stroke and saying, "Wow, how did you learn how to do that?" Why though? Why would God, the Creator and author of all things, be asking such a silly question? It's because every talent you have is one He gave you, but what you do with it is entirely up to you. You are an awesome, amazing, and beautiful piece of artwork that should never be looked down on, and your talents should never be taken away from you. God gave them to you to be yours and to choose to use them for Him.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why Worry?

God is well aware of our needs.

Matthew 6:25-34 tells us not to worry about what we will eat or what we will wear but rather seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you, or as the NLT says, "Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need."

Our Father knows when we need food, He knows when we need clothes, He knows our needs. Our Father desires for us to bring our wants to Him, and to have faith (knowing He will) for what we ask, but our needs are another story.

"Seek Him first, and all these will follow." What does this tell us? Does it tell us to spend hours pining away for money to buy groceries? Does it tell us to strive and worry about whether tomorrows needs will be met? No, it tells us to "SEEK GOD FIRST," or in other words, "SEEK GOD!" Don't seek your needs, they will follow if you are seeking God.

When God shows up in your life because you are living to see His face only, the blessings can't help but show up too! When you seek God, all else follows. Your needs are met and beyond, and your wants will even begin manifesting before you ask because your Daddy knows your heart.

When you run to Him, run to Him, run to Him, RUN TO HIM because you want Him, then He will lavish your heart's desire on you like the loving and doting father He is. When you SEEK HIM, all gifts pale in comparison. You will be like the little girl clinging to her daddy with a new doll in her arms, a doll that would be worthless if daddy wasn't holding her too.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Elbow of Opinion

What is it that people say, "An opinion is like an elbow; everyone has one?" Technically, that's not true, not everyone has elbows, but it is true that everyone has an opinion.
The differences in our opinions is what makes us so great as a race, but when a person becomes caught up in everyone's opinion than failure is the only end.
God has brought me through a lot of opinions in my life to bring me to the place where opinion no longer matters, all that matters is Him.
In life, we all come across "opinions" that have no place in our lives. God will always direct us in our paths, but other people may not like the path you are going on. God may tell you to leave a place when everyone else wants you to stay. You may tell them that God told you to go, but sometimes, they won't listen.
Many Pastor's and Preacher's will talk about this very thing in the context of witnessing calling it "the fear of man," but this fear extends beyond the world and into the church.
God has put a calling in each of us. Sometimes it takes us a while to know the full extent of our calling, but most of us know what we love to do and know a wide view of our calling. For example, a person called to evangelize may know that, but they may not know they are also called to evangelize in many other countries. God shows us things as we are ready to see them. Other people, however, don't get to see what God shows you. They may not know you are called to worship, lead revivals, start a youth movement, or bring in the new wine. Others see only what you have done and then they draw their own opinions based on that.
When a Pastor or leader is lead by the Spirit, they can see what God has put into you, but there will be many people who will not be able to see. Matthew 7:6 says "Don't throw your pearls to pigs" (NLV). When God shows you something precious such as your calling or the next step in your walk, don't share it with people who will reject it or refuse to understand it because, in their opinion, that is what you should not do. Jesus had to rebuke Peter because Peter did not want what Jesus was saying about his death to come to pass. If Jesus had listened to Peter than the story of our lives, and our deaths, would be very different.
God will always direct our paths, but it is up to each of us individually to heed his direction, and to ignore the opinions that try to sway us from our path. Keep your heart open for good direction and council, but watch out for the dirty elbows.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Fingerprint of God

When I think about the fingerprint of God on all creation, especially mankind, I see it in the statement that God created us in his "image."

God's image is not a physical one. God, Himself, the Father does not have ten toes and fingers, or any other natural parts of our anatomy. No, God the Father is Spirit and therefore is in the form of spirit. So, that being said, what is God's image? God gives us a clear example of his image at the beginning of the Bible book Genesis. God created the world, God created us, and he created us just like Him, to create.

God's fingerprint on his very creation is evidently seen when we ourselves are creative. Everything from the way we dress, to the way we wear our makeup or choose not too. Our differences prove that all of us have a nature to do things differently, to think of things in our own way, and to create.

When I see a new hairstyle or clothing design, I marvel at our abilities to create. That girl that dresses just a little funkier than the rest is using the creative ability that was in her before she was ever born. She was created in God's image, and God is a God that creates.

So, the next time you are on Etsy and looking at the beautiful designs on every page, the next time you are walking down the street and seeing the world around you, and the next time you look at the people you love; marvel at the very fingerprint of God inside us that allows everything around us that is good to be possible, the ability to create.
Find other posts on the Fingerprint of God Here

Baked Biscuit Donuts

After a bit of a little boredom and a craving for a little sweetness, I decided to make some Baked Biscuit Donuts, which are very similar to the fried Biscuit Donuts.

These are not exactly health food, but they are a little better than a fried donut. They don't taste like the classic donut flavor because of their baked nature, but they are still very good and my five year old son loved them.

First, you need biscuit dough. You can use any brand (though not the flaky kind) or you can make your own, whatever you are used to using. You are also going to need some melted butter (a 1/4 cup works fine if making only a few), and some powdered sugar. A pastry brush helps as well.

Preheat the oven according to the directions on the biscuit package and place your biscuits on a baking sheet as you normally do.

Gently create holes in the center of each biscuit using your fingers and gently make the hole a nice size. Rotating the biscuit dough in your fingers as slowely make the hole larger works well.

Bake the biscuits as directed.

Using the pastry brush, quickly brush each biscuit (front and back) with the melted butter.

Starting with the first biscuit you brushed with butter (because the butter has absorbed a little) dip the biscuit in the powder sugar, both front and back, until it is completely covered with powdered sugar. Shake off the excess powder. Do this with each donut until all are powdered. Then, I like to do this, redip each donut to make sure that all the moisture has been covered with powdered sugar.

After that, Wah-Lah!! Yummy donuts! Like I said in the beginning, they don't have the traditional donut taste but they sure are good in their own right.

Another alternative to powdered sugar is a Dark Chocolate Ganache or a Semi-Sweet one. Here is a recipe I just love, but I make it with Semi-Sweet chocolate. If making it for just one or two packages of donuts, than half the recipe.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

When life gets hard, I have a tendency to want to escape it all. I'm not talking about escaping to the mountains or the beach, but escaping into my mind.

My mind has always been a very open expanse. It is amazing to me how closed some minds can be to the world of imagination, but my mind is not. My mind is full of rain forests, beaches, lands of fantasy, and rainstorms. I love rainstorms.

Ever since I was a small child whose life was more than a soap opera, I took the lands in my mind seriously. I could be anything I wanted to be in my mind.

As I've gotten older, though, I find myself still going back. It was not today though, that I had my moment of ah-ha, but rather a little while ago, when I realized that my mind was limited. So often we hear of the stories of fantasy and how reading can take us anywhere we want to go, but the truth is, that when you stay in your mind you can only go as far as your body. If your body is on a couch, your mind can go no further than the couch.

Imagination is a wonderful and powerful thing, but only when it is used within the real world. A child that dreams of being an astronaut cannot be an astronaut if that dream stays within his mind.

So I've learned, in my own personal walk, that rather than escaping into my mind, to bring my mind to the real world and allow it to change the world around me. To take my dreams and make them reality. I am not just talking about the dreams of a business, but rather designing my dreams in a bag or an ornament of jewelry. Rather than escaping into my mind, I am escaping into the real world. That is why most of what I make will be one of a kind, a thought, a passing dream, or an escape into life rather than from life.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Designing Again

After a hectic holiday season I can now say I plan on designing again this up and coming month. College starts again January 25th where I will be hiding my nose in books on Biology, Psychology, and other subjects ;), but even though those moments will be taken, I will still take time to design. I plan on pursuing my business more in this new year and hopefully noticing a take off. Soon, I will offer more affordable plated jewelry, and unique designs that I will not replicate. Look for those under "Original Designs" coming soon. Hopefully, everyone takes some time to check those out. Don't forget to check out myEtsy store and leave comments on my Facebook fan page. I'd love to hear other ideas. God bless
Anna Boyd