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Archive for the ‘God’s Goodness’ Category

Just Wait and See!!!

Psalm 27:14New International Version (NIV)

14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

For the last few months I have been on a shawl knitting kick. These to me have become hugs around the shoulders and necks of the recipients. 

My latest project has been the Ambrosial Flash Dance Shawl/Shawlette by Pam Jemelian the picture is beautiful and for two weeks I have been working away.  Questioning my ability every 10 rows, fretting over whether I should frog it or not.

The tumble of thoughts and comments persist, “…it doesn’t look like the picture” “why did I think I could do this?”  “Maybe it is time to move on to another project.”  Defeating self-talk all!

Each and every one of us is a work in progress!  God is molding, hammering and chiseling at us each and every day.  Word by word, deed by deed and stitch by stitch.  Each designer knows exactly how the final product should look and if each pattern is followed precisely a duplicate will evolve.

Lacking perfection but not an enthusiastic desire, my confidence like the tide ebbs and flows.  It is in these moments that I remind myself to wait on the Lord, only He knows the beginning and the end.  Patience in the outcome is not my job but a very important part of the journey.  They are called prayer shawls for a reason, each stitch is a prayerful reminder that God is in the business of details!

Thanking God today for the willingness to create in imperfection so that His perfect work can be done!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

 

 

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imageGenesis 1:3 (NIV)

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Last night a hat on my needles for two days was completed and immediately another cast on.  Hours later laying it down with yawns I retired to bed.

The morning dawned, slowly and sluggishly, the missing hour definitely being felt, yet creating was on my mind.   Making things out of string is a three-year gift and ministry.  Looking at the blessings of  yarn in my little stash I envision warmth, hope, love  and smiles.

Genesis 1:3 says “God said”, no idea what tone used when He said what He said but He spoke and things came into being.   He called for the light where mere seconds prior, there was darkness.  I am in awe of  the magnificent experience of creation.   Each part of creation was spoken into being, except man.  Man was incredibly  important to God, so important that He knelt down and sculpted him, shaped him by hand  in His own image and then blew life into him.  Because He is God, all of creation is fearfully and wonderfully made.  Psalm 139.14 says it best  “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,  I know that full well.”

When  finishing a hat or shawl my eye can pick apart every detail, seeing  a dropped stitch or some other mistake that I cannot figure out, but it was made in love.  This love has taken me out of my comfort zone and taught me to rely totally upon God.  Yes, there may be a error in a hat or cowl, but it is a testament to being an imperfect being loved and led by a perfect God!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Family Pic1 Corinthians 13:6-7(NIV)

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

For many years I absolutely detested the fact that my birthday was the day after Valentines’ Day.  That dislike stemmed from the fact that my special day was surrounded by commercialized, annual protestations and outpourings of love as dictated by many businesses.  The onslaught of commercials, posters and floral come hither’s often left me bereft, especially when more often than not there was no special someone in my life.

With the continuous sprinkling of life seasonings, I learned to celebrate not just a special day but many times the entire month.   Living in Houston, I was blessed to be enveloped by friends, family and business associates who could, with their offers of lunch, drinks or dinner, stretch a birth day into a much longer life celebration.

Embracing the love of I Corinthians 13 I am moved yet again to a place of absolute higher gratitude.  I am with breath in my lungs thankful for the love of family!  I have the most wonderful loving mother and father, who through trials bumps and life have loved me completely and unconditionally through these many years.

I am blessed to have a loving little sister and brother who I am able to cheer on through life with glowing unashamed pride.

I am grateful that God blessed me with my daughter who has been the joy and delight in my life, who when I could not seem to love myself enough God allowed me to pour every ounce of love into her.

The gratitude of these days overwhelms and warms me!  The unconditional Love of God permeates and inhabits the Love Vessels I call my beloved family!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Spring-Flowers-Wallpapers-4[1]

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Today begins my birthday week.  Every day that I awake, I have a reason to be thankful.  With each breath taken, with or without difficulty, I am grateful.  In the grand scheme of things, God cares about me so much that He touches and wakes me up everyday, for these 50+ years.

Grateful I am to serve in His vineyard, delighted to do as He bids. With joy, I thank God for this hour, this day and this week in which He gave me life!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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2012828204417.jpgMark 9:35 (NIV)

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.

Today, I chose to lay my needles down.  If you know anything about me and this journey, you know that was a huge but very necessary deal.  For several weeks now, I have been under the weather, multiple doctor and specialist visits, prednisone, antibiotics, coughing, headaches, and all that being sick without seeing the light at the end of the tunnel entail.  Through it all I kept knitting because the caress of the yarny goodness was not for me, but for others.

There is a fire in my belly to create items that a deserving military service member, past, present or future will hold, carry, hug or be wrapped with the knowledge that their special piece was made by loving hands.   But last night I was working on a piece, feeling lousy, just trying to complete it. I pushed and pulled and yanked stitches right off the needles.

When the yank happened, I knew I wasn’t feeling well,  it had been a long physically challenging day, I was tired and had no business touching that scarf or those needles.  Packing away the yarn and needles for the evening, I fully planned to wake up today and repair the  damage.

Then I woke up, picked up my e-reader, read this text and realized that I needed to rest, to take care of myself to listen to the Spirit.  When I feel better, the yarn and needles will be here and God will give me the strength and direction to complete the scarf.

Each day we there are subtle reminders that we truly are powerless without God.  There is not one aspect of my life in which I do not submit to His will. We cannot ask to be healed yet not do all we are instructed to aid in our healing.  My fingers yearned to pull out a ball of  truly yummy yarn and imagine a new hat or cowl, to caress my new needles and dream about the possibilities of what warm love they would hold, but not this day.

Lord, I thank you for opportunity to heal, to get better and to know that in your time, Father, Your perfect will be done!  Today and everyday!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Matthew 25:44-45 (NIV)

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

With each passing year, words to songs heard as children keep resurfacing and becoming meaningful and relevant to my own life.  Life experiences cause us to understand the stories behind those songs.  Songs of overcoming, rejoicing and making a difference.   The lyrics  to this particular song caused me to search my own heart and question if my life has meaning and question, if my life is vain.

When Christ returns, I do not want to have, “I coulda, shoulda , woulda” on my lips.  It is my desire to maintain a sense of urgency so that I am able to hear the words “Well done…”

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

Lyrics to If I Can Help Somebody :

If I can help somebody, as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song,
If I can show somebody, how they’re travelling wrong,
Then my living shall not be in vain.Chorus:
My living shall not be in vain,
Then my living shall not be in vain
If I can help somebody, as I pass along,
Then my living shall not be in vain.If I can do my duty, as a good man ought,
If I can bring back beauty, to a world up wrought,
If I can spread love’s message, as the Master taught,
Then my living shall not be in vain.

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English: Man Made in the Image of God, as in G...

English: Man Made in the Image of God, as in Genesis 1:26 to 2:3, illustration from a Bible card published 1906 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Genesis 2:15 (NIV)

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Reading the above text, it struck me that God is highly in favor of work!  Not only is He in favor of it, He put Adam in the garden to “work and take care” of it.  In other words God told Adam to “Get to work!”

This holiday break has been an absolute blessing but it is over and now and time to go back to work.  Time to be about completing and undertaking tasks purposed by God for me.  These periods of respite away from the daily grind have a way of providing more than just physical and emotional rest.  Ok, so maybe I did a bit more knitting than actual resting, but those long uninterrupted periods of knitting provided quiet moments of reflection and contemplation.

Rested, ready, reliable and responsive,  let us go into the next phase of our tasks, whatever work we do, give glory to God while working!  Be grateful to be employed and understand that God employs us to be emissaries on behalf of the Kingdom!  Now, it is time to get back to work!  

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Fireworks

Fireworks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

 

The first day of a brand New Year, crackling with the excitement of possibilities and promises!

 

What an absolute blessing to see the fruition of promises made to us by God!  This is a new year and in this year, as we continue to work in the service of others, it is my fervent prayer to stay on the path that God has set my feet and purpose upon.

 

A New Year, a new day, a new me. Possibilities in the hand of the Master are truly endless and without limit!

 

Making His praise glorious!

 

Ree

 

 

 

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Photo: I am donating these full and leftover skeins to Ree's Needle Arts For Hope Initiative: Virginia10221 Krause Rd., #73 Chesterfield,Virginia 23832 where yarns are needed.

John 14:14 (NIV)

14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

The season of giving is upon us once again and for weeks I have been praying, even more diligently than usual for strength and yarn.

Over the past few weeks and months  I have been watching my two bags of yarn slowly dwindle to just pieces.    As the list  of needs expands and exceeds my meager stockpile, I did the only three things I know how to… pray, post a request on Facebook and keep knitting.  Afterall, the Bible says that if we ask for anything in Christ’s name and He will do it.

This period has caused me to become a lot more creative as I pull together hats and scarves from remnants left overy yarn from previously knit projects in order to create a single piece that would wrap someone in a warmth and love.  The blending of  mismatched pieces of yarn from my stash provides a level of excitement because the final outcome is not always visible or known.  Yet, what is known is that these remnant, left over pieces create a whole that are vital and have a  very important mission.

Were my prayers answered?  Absolutely and spectacularly!  I received a note from Emily’s Hats for Hope Initiative HQ that someone was sending me yarn.    Imagine my delight when I received this picture and the words that it was not only whole skeins but “partial” skeins.   As I write the tears began to flow because I am again reminded that in God’s hands all broken, discarded,  mismatched, damaged remnant materials  willing to be used by the Master’s hands can fashioned into a whole, able to further and share the message of God’s Love.   Those partial pieces can create beauty and warmth which can be worn.  My thanks to Nimara & Japarta  (Please go like their Facebook page!)  for your generosity and the generosity of others who have opened their stashes and hearts to share with Ree’s Needle Arts for Hope Initiative Virginia!   With each item and gift we truly are…

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Banana bread loaves from above.

Banana bread loaves from above. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)

3 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

My father-in-law is coming for a visit and like Martha, I wanted everything to be just right.

The house received  a much-needed, Fall cleaning, dust bunnies banished, clutter cleared. As I sat waiting and knitting I thought some apple oatmeal raisin bread would make for a nice welcome! So I got to work grating apples and pulling everything together. The preparation got so good to me I decided to make banana nut bread too!

The house smelled amazing! The loaves perfect in every way! There are no pictures. All good cooks sample their food and sample it we did and it was declared,delicious!  I wrapped the loaves and put them in the sealed cake saver, believing them safe.

In the morning I awoke with my mouth propped up to have a healthy slice with my coffee but when I went to grab the cake saver,  both loaves were invaded by ants. Crestfallen, the loaves were dumped and invaders immediately and successfully dispatched.

Sin has a way of creeping in and overtaking our lives even when we do all that we know to be right to protect and cover ourselves.  I can bake more bread and plan to, as soon as this evening!  This lesson taught me that the protection of life and bread can only come from the permeating covering of the Blood of Jesus!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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