Freedom 

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I’ve been thinking about freedom a lot lately. Earlier this year, it was my turn to lead our study, and that was my subject: freedom in Christ. 

Isaiah 61 is part of what I was reading today, and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. 

Our freedom isn’t found in our country, or a leader, or really in anything. Our freedom is found only in Christ. Anything else is false. 

The Lord has released us as captives from our sin! He has shined a light into the darkness of our lives that leaves us blinking like a newborn exposed to light for the first time. He brings us comfort. He wants to show us the beauty that He has put around us, even in the ashes of what we thought were our greatest dreams. He will clothe us in radiant garments of praise, not cloak us in the bleakness of despair. 


So the question I have: why are we not living like we have been radically saved? Why are we not living and loving those around us like Christ has called us to do? Why are we hiding our freedom to proclaim Christ’s goodness and glory to all we know? 

Part of our issues stem from fear: fear of changes, fear of ridicule, fear of not being “normal”. You know what though? Life is all about changes. And it’s okay to not be normal. Embrace the changes. Enjoy the life God has given you. Love the people around you like Christ has loved you. See those who are on the opposite side of you with the eyes of God. I hope you are out there living a life that has been radically saved by the grace of God. 
P.S. None of this is political. I’m just busy over here trying to find my way out of the darkness that has been stealing over me the last year. 

It’s all a show.

My mind is a constant jumble of trying to solve all the world. And that made me realize something. We are on Facebook, Twitter, news sites, etc too much. Everyone has an opinion of what everyone else, everywhere else should be doing, how they should go about it, why they are wrong about this, etc. when did we become those people? When did it become so important to fix everyone else while ignoring our own messy lives? 

To escape from all of that I will turn on the tv and watch hgtv. And  you know what? That’s not any better. I judge those people’s choices all the time too. Lol why would you choose that house? That color? Those floors? 

Do you know what we present to the Internet world though? Perfection. Or perceived perfection. No one wants that person they went to high school with to know what a mess they really live in. So we clean and shine up areas of our life to share with all our “friends”. An illusion. A show. 

 Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. Hgtv. All the places we go to look at the glossy, beautiful, shiny places we would be delighted to live in. Those are an illusion. We see a tiny, cropped version of “perfection”. Ever wonder where those people really store the muddy shoes that come in? How does the sight of a basket filled with things not drive them crazy? The extra rolls of toilet paper, the trash cans in a kitchen for crying out loud. Heck I’m always curious as to where they keep their daily vitamins so they remember to take them!  Don’t their families see flat surfaces and leave all the things all over? Because mine does. 

The perfect picture is an illusion. 


Above: a cropped, “perfect” shot.

Below: my current reality 


Why are we so unwilling to embrace the daily mess of our own lives? Why do we want our peers to think we have it all together? What is so wrong with being the broken people that Christ redeemed? 

Why do we need to feel like we have it all figured out and are on top of the world? 

I will never have it all together. And that shouldn’t be my goal in life. 

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭107:2‬ 

who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

‭‭Titus‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭

being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:24‬ 

Garden updates & depression


Those flowers?? I grew them. My lavender did amazing this year and those others are the only thing that came out of our wildflower seeds. 

We have huge garden problems. Squash bugs, bunnies living in the garden and climbing through two layers of fence to be in there. Squirrels. Wasps. Irritation. Depression. Overwhelming. 

We will start with the bad. 


The baby bunnies are eating my beans like a buffet. I have sprayed with the pest away stuff. Not helping. I’m just upset. They also destroyed the radishes and beets. 


The squirrels are jerks. Do you see what they did to the corn? Yeah. Jerks. Not only did they cut down the stalk, they also opened one up and partially ate it and left it on the ground. Jerks. 


I hung up my red ornaments today to try to keep them from eating the tomatoes as they ripen. 


I made up that lovely concoction of garlic, mint, cayenne, dish soap and water to get rid of the squash bugs. We’ve sprayed twice so far. I haven’t noticed a difference. 


Our harvest has been sporadic, a cucumber or two here, a few cherry tomatoes there, only 3 zucchini total, and several eggplant. 


Tonight I’m making up an eggplant Parmesan casserole-ish thing to use these up. And creamy cucumbers, baked baby potatoes and grilled meat of some sort. 😉 


So what is your garden doing?

New pillows for a steal!

(I actually had this post started last week, but life intervened and I was unable to finish it and get it posted. I have some time on my hands since I messed up my back while weeding the garden (SO MANY UPDATES happening there!!) and have been unable to do a whole heck of a lot for the last couple days! I am waiting to go to my second chiropractor appointment today. I’m so messed up and twisted that I’m looking at several this week alone. Yay me. (Actually not yay me, more like hold me, I had no clue going to the chiropractor was so expensive. I’ve always just lived with the pain and agony. Now I know why. I’m cheap!) Also as a side note: I didn’t break out the big camera, these are only phone pictures. sorry. 😉 You get the idea though!

I’ve been thinking about buying new pillow forms for awhile. New forms and new fabric = lots of moolah. I wasn’t willing to spend an arm and a leg to get new pillows so we’ve waited. Just us, our broken couch, crappy worn chairs, and hopes and dreams of new furniture. Or at least pillows…. Haha

Enter our trip to Walmart and hobby lobby the other day!  The giant love one? That was 5.00 at hobby lobby!

Cheap! ✅

Cute! ✅

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The aqua and floral ones? They were 2.50 in a Walmart clearance bin. They are outdoor fabric, but really? I’m okay with that. Our pillows get messy, they are used under computers, under plates, little nephews hug them and get chocolate or popsicles all over them, so a wipe off material is just dandy for us!

 

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The metal rhino and giraffe? Like 3-4 bucks each. The green bottle? 2.80. No really. And they had some other bright and cheery colors but this green is the only one that really fit in here at our house of few brights!;)

So if you are looking for cheap pillow forms or cheap pillows that are hopefully durable, run to the clearance at Walmart and Hobby Lobby! And if you are looking for super cute decor stuff for really cheap? Run to Hobby Lobby! They have some great deals happening now!

 

Father’s Day Prints 2016

Do you have a dad in your life that is a nerd? Maybe you don’t call it that, but my husband is my nerd.  He knows I don’t mean anything harsh by it. This story will explain it: Brad has a Samsung watch that he got for free when he bought his phone, and he wrote an app for it to display the time in both binary and decimal. In about 10 minutes. Nerd. It also takes longer than 10 minutes to figure out the time from that, but I digress. haha

When he was younger he would sing a song about Brad being rad, (how very 80’s of him) among other things that I refuse to mention. Such a boy.

Aly and I were at a loss of what to get him for Father’s Day. What do you get the guy who sacrifices for you both daily? Who is willing to do whatever it takes to make you smile and laugh? Who is willing to be the butt of your jokes because he thinks you are the funniest person? Who has no free time because of work and school? Who is doing his best to live in a Godly manner?

Yeah we had no clues. Mainly because we are broke. As always. So we brainstormed and got him a few cheaper things that he loves. Like a book about the town we live in that compares way back when and now, a grill cleaning brush, and these:

UL_2016mydadisradbinarysample

 

 

Drive

 

UL_2016mydadisradsample

Drive

They both say the same thing. One is binary because Brad loves to leave notes for me in binary to figure out and he writes a variety of things in binary just because. Nerd. haha

The binary one is wavy in the sample but I fixed it in the full size file. It’s all good. 😉

Happy Father’s Day Brad, who is a very, very rad dad.