The snow is beautiful to look at and play in, but trying to drive around in it can get you stuck as I found out this morning.
The roads have been cleared, but this morning as I turned into the driveway at my sister's house my car got stuck in the snow and it took four people to get it out.
Sin is kind of like the beautiful snow. It looks good and seems harmless, but when you get it you get stuck. And like getting stuck in the snow when you get stuck in sin you can't get out of it on your own. You need someone to help you and that is why Jesus came. He came so that we might be saved from our sins. All we have to do is reach out and ask Him for the help.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
The past few years have been full of challenges for me. Job losses, the loss of family members and friends, the end of relationships, and the end of some dreams have all happened, but at the same time, I have given birth to new dreams and I have resurrected who I am in Christ.
For years, I pushed Christ away because I didn’t feel like I could trust myself and I didn’t feel like I could trust anyone else even Christ.
I was saved when I was 7 years old at a revival at one of the local churches where I grew up. I don’t remember what the speaker actually spoke about except that he spoke about hell and said that the only way to avoid going to hell was believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. He scared me. By the end of the sermon, I knew that I didn’t want to go to hell so when the evangelist issued an invitation to pray with him to anyone who wanted Jesus Christ to save them I prayed with him.
Now at 7 years old, I didn’t completely understand what it was that I was committing to. I didn’t understand that the road would be rocky and that there would be times when I wondered, times when I doubted, and times when I just didn’t think I could go on. At 7 years old, I was scared. I was scared of dying because I had been told by a couple of other children that they were going to kill me. I was scared of dying, and I didn’t want to go to hell.
Throughout my school years and through high school, I lived in fear and I attempted to make myself as invisible as possible. I was bullied and mentally and emotionally abused by my peers and by the time I reached high school, the bullying turned into sexual harassment. I was scared of everything. I had no self-esteem and I was full of anger and bitterness. To be completely honest, I was a prime candidate to do something drastic such as taking my own life, doing drugs, or something worse.
That is where the power of Christ came into my life. I can honestly say that He protected me from those things because while they were available the opportunity never came for me to do anything so drastic.
On the other hand, I wasn’t perfect. I withdrew from everyone. I have an eating disorder, and I couldn’t talk to anyone without being sarcastic. I am also addicted to romance novels.
But I loved being at church. I loved worshipping and learning about Jesus
And through Christ the anger and bitterness changed. It disappeared and turned into a desire to help other people, to protect children and teach them to be kind to one another.
One day at a wedding that my church was doing for some friends, one of the groomsmen came up to me and asked me if I would do him a favor. I hesitated. I stopped and stammered out an answer. After he left, my mom walked up to me and said, “Misty, we are in church. He is not going to ask you anything bad.” At that moment, I realized what I was turning into and I cried out to the Lord that I wanted to change.
After that day, my mother and I had many talks, and I turned to the Bible to discover what it said about who I was and how precious I was.
I started blossoming. I went back to college and started working on my degree. I started dating. Eventually I moved away from home. I started my own business. I met someone and fell in love. My relationship with Christ was strong.
Then my life fell apart. My business was struggling financially and I made the decision to close it. I moved to Springfield to be closer to the man I was in love with. I had been in Springfield two weeks when he asked me if I wanted to marry him. Then a week after that he told me that he didn’t think we were supposed to marry, and a week after that he became engaged to someone else.
I took it badly. I took it very badly.
They say that hindsight is 20/20. Well, they are right. Looking back I can see that I should have walked away and let it go, but I just kept telling myself that I needed to make sure he was happy, that it was what he really wanted. I kept denying that I was angry. I kept denying that he was even going to marry this other woman.
But the worst part was what I let the break-up do to my relationship with Christ. I was so sure that he was the one for me, that my relationship with him was God’s will for my life, that when we broke up I began to doubt whether I could ever really truly discern what God’s will for my life was. I began to pull away from God. I never stopped believing that Jesus died for me or He wasn’t real, but I stopped believing that He had a plan for me and my life. I stopped believing that I was worth it. I became bitter and angry again, and for years I allowed myself to stay that way.
But you see, God loves me and He didn’t allow me to stray out of His reach. When the time was right, he sent another man into my life. Only this man didn’t believe in Christ. This man challenged everything I believed and the blessing of this turned out to be that I turned back to Christ and I found that I had never strayed that far because all I had to do was turn around and He was there, waiting with open arms.
He has renewed my spirit. He is creating a clean heart within me. And He wants to do the same in you. Will you let him? If He can take this angry and bitter soul with all my imperfections and love me, He can do the same for you. Let Him love you. Let Him cleanse you. All you have to do is believe and repent.
If you want to experience the transformation that He can do simply pray with me:
Even though I am not worthy of your love, you love me. I am a sinner and unclean, but you love anyway. You love me enough that you gave your life for me. ME! I don’t want to be this way anymore. Transform me, Lord. Take my life and make of it what you will. Create a clean heart within me. Renew my spirit that I may walk with you always. Change me so that I become more like you. Give me the strength to walk in your will.
If you prayed with me, will you let me know? I want to walk with you in fellowship and love in Christ.
God bless you,
Misty, the BarnPrincess
P.S. Due to the weather, I may not be able to post for a couple of days. I am currently a caregiver for my grandmother and I have no Internet access at her house. We are expecting a big snow storm later today so I am unsure when I will be able to access the Internet again. this week.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
In the book Secrets, Jessica Morgan is searching for a new start. She has run away from home at the age of 25 years old. That is where the fun begins! She ends up in a car accident, has problems with her boss, and goes on a mission’s trip to Mexico as a chaperone for a group of teenagers. During all of this she is keeping secrets and trying to keep a distance between herself and others because she is afraid of her secrets coming out. Along the way she learns that life is journey, that we need friends, and that God knows us and our secrets and loves us anyway. She also learns that secrets have a way of catching up with us.
Kyle Buchanan ends up being Jessica’s knight-in-shining armor. He comes to her rescue at her car accident, and always seems to be there when Jessica needs helps. Kyle is well known around the town of Glenbrooke. He is a firefighter and has dreams of building an orphanage in Mexico. He has secrets of his own though.
Can Jessica trust Kyle enough to share her secrets? Can Jessica trust God enough to surrender her life to Him?
This is the type of book that I love to curl up with on a cold snowy afternoon so that is exactly what I did. While the snow piled up outside, I curled up and read Secrets which is a sweet and funny love story. Robin Jones Gunn drew me into the story from the very beginning of the story and I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. (I guess it is a good thing that I couldn’t go anywhere. ;-) ) As I was reading I felt like I was right there, that I was friends with Jessica and Kyle and everyone else who is a part of Glenbrooke, that I was a part of their world. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Just standing there and looking out.
I see an eagle. First, one, then two, then three.
I watch them and as I watch them a longing is created in me. It is such a STRONG longing...
I WANT TO FLY!
I want to soar with those eagles.
I can just imagine it...the soaring, the wheeling, the freedom!
I walk off the porch and walk out to the very edge of the cliff.
I throw my arms wide and then...JUMP!
And just like that I am FLYING!
I am soaring through the air!
I am surrounded by the eagles!
Oh, the freedom!
The feeling that I am ALIVE!
I have had this dream off and on for years. A dream of feeling alive. A dream of freedom.
During these years I have been searching for this feeling, and it has always seemed to evade me. It would come for a little while and then go away again.
I thought that the feeling was reliant upon what I was doing and the people who I was with.
In the past few months, I have learned that I was wrong. That feeling of being alive and free it comes from being thankful. It comes from recognizing that every single moment is a gift from God.
It is the idea of Eucharisteo. The idea that faith walks in love and produces thanksgiving and freedom. The idea that we are all sons and daughters of God.
Do you want to walk fully ALIVE? Do you want to live in FREEDOM and soar with eagles? Then be thankful to God for everything. Walk close to Him. Love others.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I worked as a preschool teacher for most of the last 20 years, and one of my favorite children’s authors is Eric Carle (http://www.ericcarle.com)
Eric Carle has a unique method of illustrating his books. And I have been trying to copy the technique and use it in other forms.
He uses painted tissues to make collages. What I love about the technique is the texture that it creates in each picture.
He begins painting by painting the tissue paper. He waters down the paint and uses broad strokes to paint the paper. He applies for one color and let’s is dry before applying the second color. (I usually don’t have the patience for this and I like how it looks when the colors blend.)
Then to make the collage illustration, he draws out the picture onto tracing paper or a transparent paper. He then places the drawing on top of the tissue paper and cuts through both tracing paper and tissue paper one section at a time. As each section is cut out, the tracing paper is also used as a guide to paste the tissue paper onto a white illustration board or poster board.
I am not very good at drawing myself, and while I would love to be able to create collages with the amount of detail that he does I usually stick to using the tissue paper to decorate notebook covers for prayer journals or note taking.
Monday, February 18, 2013
“I realized that Jesus is in the midst of that jumbled thicket—the briarpatch—waiting for me to venture in. He’s waiting for you, too. And if we follow him, we will find him.”
~Shayne Wheeler, The Briarpatch Gospel
The Briarpatch Gospel is about wading out into the briarpatch of our lives. It is about getting real with God, ourselves, and each other in order to become the people that God has planned for us to be and to lead others to Him. Shayne Wheeler spreads the message of the grace and love of Jesus and how Jesus’ love for us can transform our lives.
I found that this book challenged me. As I was reading the book, I took a long hard look at my fears and the mask that I put up to keep others from seeing the real me… the messed up me…and how I do the same with God even knowing that He has always seen the messed me. It has challenged me to look at how I view other people. Am I viewing them through the lenses of the messed up me or am I viewing them through the lenses of Christ? How can I share His love with everyone I meet even those people that I don’t agree with the way that they live their lives? How can I be a reflection of Christ and represent His kingdom here on earth? The Briarpatch Gospel actually created more questions for me than answers, but that was because it caused me to reflect on my life and I am the only one who can truly answer those questions.
I received my copy courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
A few years ago after a bad breakup (by which I mean I took the breakup badly) a friend of mine at the time told me that I should make a list about what I loved about being single. I took her advice and made a list. I am being facetious about some of the reasons listed, but others I am sincere about.
1) It’s all about ME!
2) I can go anywhere I want when I want.
3) No sharing the remote control.
4) No sharing the computer.
5) I can spend money the way that I want.
6) “ME” nights
7) Having “ladies’ nights out” without having to worry about the family
8) So many choices, so little time
9) Being able to serve or volunteer where needed when needed
10) No scheduling conflicts
11) I get to choose the movie, the TV show, the music, etc.
12) I can fix what I want to eat for supper.
13) I can be as clean or as messy as I want to be
14) I can decorate the house the way I want to decorate it
15) No sharing the bathroom
16) All the privacy I want
17) I can walk around my place naked if I want to because there are no children around.
18) I can do what I want when I want
19) I have more time to focus on my relationship with Christ.
20) I get the whole bed to myself.
21) I can be used by God in ways I couldn’t be if I was married.
22) I have to rely more on God than I might if I were married.
23) I have time to get to know me.
24) I only have to shave my legs and other areas if it’s bugging me
25) I don’t have to deal with it (stroking his ego, etc)
26) I can talk to whom I want when I want
27) No worrying about if he will call or why he doesn’t call.
28) I can kiss who I want on New Year’s Eve or under the mistletoe.
29) Only have myself to worry about.
30) No in-laws
31) No stinky man laundry
32) The fun, witty comebacks to the question, “Why aren’t you married?”
33) I have more time to serve others.
34) No toilet seat left up
35) No ESPN on the TV all the time
What do you love about being single?
God Bless You!
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
As anybody who visits my blog knows, I love to read. I have written several reviews and a couple of book lists. This book list is special. This book list is a list of books that I have read throughout my 20’s and early 30’s that I recommend for young Christian single women to read.
I have been through this book several times. It helps you to focus on your relationship with Christ and growing to be the person that God has for you to be.
Single and Content by Dana Anders, Nathan Clement, Chris Conti, and Lana Trent
Single and Content by Dana Anders, Nathan Clement, Chris Conti, and Lana Trent
This book is a compilation of stories from singles across America. They share what they enjoy about being single and why.When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy
This book is basically an autobiography about Eric and Leslie Ludy, how God worked in their lives to prepare them for each other and to bring them together.
This is a book about what it means to be set apart for God and authentic feminity.
This book is basically a continuation of Eric and Leslie’s love story.
Are you marriable? This book helps you answer the question are you really ready for marriage or not.
Like Marriable, this book helps you answer the question are you ready to date.
Sexy Girls takes a look at modesty and fashion and what kind of picture we want to present.
Technical Virgin helps you to answer the question “how far is too far?”
Mean Girls takes a look at how we treat other women and how we allow ourselves to be treated.
In this book, Michele McKinney Hammond helps you focus on your relationship with God while waiting for Mr. Right.
This book is about being satisfied where you are.
Get a Love Life helps you focus on your relationship with God as a single woman.
Dr. Dobson takes a look at romance and love. He defines what love should look like and how to balance our head and our heart.
What I love about these books is that unlike most books for singles these books don’t concentrate only on dating or courtship. These books talk about becoming the best YOU that you can be so that when God brings that special someone into your life you are ready. They are books that help prepare you for a life with someone else or a life on your own.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Having been single on almost every Valentine's day of my adult life, I have mixed feelings about Valentine's day. On one hand, I love it because it celebrates love. On the other hand, I don't like it because it celebrates love and I don't have a special someone to share it with.
This year I have decided to embrace Valentine's Day as a single person. This year I have decided that even though I don't have a special someone in my life I can still celebrate Valentine's day. This year I am challenging myself and you to celebrate Valentine's Day in three different ways.
Challenge 1: Love God
Find someway to say to the Lord that you love Him. Celebrate your love for the Lord. Put on praise music and sing praises all day long. Set aside one day to just spend the day with Him (reading your Bible, praying, singing, etc).
Challenge 2: Love yourself
Spend some time this week doing something you love that you don't make time for anymore. Just spend some time doing something that makes you happy. For me, it might be sitting down and reading a good book, taking a bubble bath, or going horseback riding. What do you love to do that you haven't made time for lately?
Challenge 3: Love others
Spend some time this week showing other people that they are loved. Do random acts of kindness through out the week. Do something special with your nieces and nephews. Take a friend out to lunch. Take your mother to get her nails done. Take your dad to a ballgame.Find someway to show others that you love them.
Friday, February 8, 2013
Don’t Let Me Go is a heart wrenching story of how love can conquer even the strongest of fears.
Don’t Let Me Go is the story of Grace, a young girl whose mother is an addict, and how she touches and changes the lives of the people who live in her apartment building. In the story, Grace doesn’t want to leave her mother, but she sits out on the front steps of her apartment building every day after school in the hopes that one of her neighbors would step in and help her. Billy, one of her neighbors, is agoraphobic, but when he sees Grace sitting out on the steps of the apartment building day after day, he faces his fear and goes out on his balcony to ask her why she is sitting out there. And thus begins a friendship that helps Billy to face his fears and helps Grace to blossom and bloom while expanding their friendship to draw in the other people who also live in the building. Rayleene takes Grace into her home while Grace’s mother attempts to stay clean. Felipe takes Grace to school every day and teaches her Spanish. Billy watches her every day after school and teaches her to dance. Mrs. Hinman makes clothes for Grace. It is a beautiful story in which each person faces their own fears that keep them alone because of the love that one little girl inspires in each of them.
It is a definite must-read. It is such a touching story that I cried through at least the last half of the book if not more.