Category Archives: God

New Year. New Print. Timeless Reminder.

Hey ho, folks!

Did you think I’d given up this blogging gig for good?

No such luck, people. No such luck.

But! I did enjoy the tar out of my break. I’m not going to say there was a lot of sleeping in or anything luxurious like that (although, I think I saw the latter end of the 7 o’ clock hour at least 4 times…which is kind of miraculous), but we did a whole bunch of cookie baking (too much), movie watching (there was one day we had a triple feature marathon), and doll-making. Huh? Yup. Doll-making. But that’s another post for another day.

All in all, it was just what this tired mama needed. No school. No set schedule. I even gave myself pretty much a complete pass on doing anything for Paint and Prose.

But it’s a new year, and Lindsay and I are excited to introduce new prints and products to you.

Starting with this one:

givemejesuscolor

You may actually recognize it, since we already had a black and white “Give Me Jesus” print, but we had so many requests for a colorful version of it that we decided to whip up a fun ombre sunrise version.

I love it.

So much that the second my Christmas decorations came down, I replaced my, “Joy to the World,” canvas with this print.

givemejesus

 

I think it turned out so pretty, but that’s not the only reason I love it.

givemejesus2

In 2016, it is my heart’s desire to be more like Jesus every day. That may only look like tiny, almost imperceptible changes like not snapping at my toddler when she melts down (again) or suppressing a sigh when my 8-year-old asks me what eight times seven is for the 40th time, but I’m convinced that these little increases in: patience, perseverance, kindness, self-control, love will produce genuine and (eventually) noticeable fruit in my life.

To that end, I am making an even greater effort to consistently get up earlier than my kids so I can get at least a little bit of time alone to sit a the feet of Jesus.

So, how have I done? Well, today is January 6th, and…so far so…decent.

The twins get up between 6 and 6:30 usually, and I’ve been staying up until midnight or later sending/answering emails or doing other tasks (I need to figure out how to shift this, yes?), so I’ve only managed to beat them up one morning so far (ha! That wording is so unfortunate that I’m just going to leave it and let somebody get all ticked off at me until they figure out what it really says).

givemejesus4

Even so, each morning, I’ve squeezed in some semi-quiet time while they play in the guest room. We also do family Bible reading each morning, so that’s kind of my fail-safe at the moment, but I am determined to make this a priority more than ever before.

And guess what I can see now each morning from my perch on the couch with my fluffy blanket, Bible, and prayer journal?

givemejesus1

Yup. I really like this print.

If you need this reminder for your new year too, it’s available in the shop now.

And! If you order an 8X10 or larger of the colorful “Give Me Jesus” print, you’ll receive a 5X7 of your choice for FREE! (Just be sure to specify which one you want in the notes). Offer ends at 11:59, Thursday, January 7th.

Also, if you’re an email subscriber, you get a never-expiring code for 10% off the top of any order. As always, standard first class shipping is included in the price.

Happy 2016, friends! Here’s to a year of growth, change, and renewal! God is good, and hard is not the same thing as bad (I think this might be my personal motto for the year).

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The Right Kind of Wings

I am pretty resistant to motivational slogans. I’d like to call myself a realist, but maybe I’m just a grouchy-puss. Either way, phrases like, “Believe in yourself!” and “You can be ANYTHING you want to be!” and, “Dream big, and make it happen!” grate against my nerves something fierce!

Believe in myself? When I’m tired and cranky and short-tempered and didn’t get enough sleep and feel like crawling right back into bed? I know myself too well to believe in myself some days.

I can be ANYTHING I want to be? Really?? Well…I’m actually pretty good at quick, practical math, but when it comes to calculus and statistics, I’m hopeless. So…given that fact, it seems a little unlikely that I’ll ever become a rocket scientist, no matter how badly I want it.

Dream big, and make it happen! I’m all about goal-setting, but some days, my “big dream” is just to pee alone. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what they’re talking about.

So, I just kind of rolled my eyes as I perched this cute little card on my vintage typewriter in the entryway. I mean, really? Keep looking to the sky, and you’ll get wings? Cute sentiment but hardly practical (even my 9-year-old was like: “Um, that’s not true, mama.” Word, kiddo).

life

Also?

Although I already knew they were heinous, when my mom emailed me some links about what’s going on in the Middle East–how Isis is systematically murdering (via brutal crucifixions, beheadings, and dismemberment), raping, and kidnapping Jews, Christians, and pretty much anyone else who doesn’t support their purposes–my heart just felt so heavy.

Here I am in my cozy, safe, comfortable house with my healthy, happy children, and not far enough away to matter, mamas just like me are watching their children die from starvation (or worse…if there is such a thing). What about their dreams? Their wings? What platitudes could I possibly offer that would do anything but belittle their anguish?

I felt so defeated and downhearted. Not just because of the unspeakable horrors taking place in the world but also because there’s a pretty good chance that, unless someone puts a stop to it (the U.S. isn’t doing tons, and even the help we do send ends up in the wrong hands all too often), this cancer can and will spread (already has, if we’re honest) through other parts of the world, which means it will very literally be my (and my children’s) problem too. I don’t want this evil for these Arab and Jewish families. And I don’t want it for mine either.

It’s overwhelming.

And it makes that little quote on my typewriter laughable.

Except that, this morning, I read these words in Isaiah 40:

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
    and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

And then these familiar, comforting verses:

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Where is the Lord in the midst of all of this turmoil, both personal and worldwide? He “sits enthroned above the circle of the earth.”

AND he “is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18).

He is above us, and he is right beside us. He hems us in behind and before and lays His hand upon us.

And you know what else? Isaiah 40:31 says that he gives us wings like eagles.

I can look at that little quote on my typewriter now with new eyes. I’m not looking up out of foolish optimism or delusion but because of a sure promise from my Creator who sits enthroned above the circle of the earth. And my wings? They’re not mine at all, but His.

Oh, how my tired, burdened heart needed this perspective reset this morning.

I used those verses this morning to pray for the young (and the old) in the Middle East who are literally being torn to pieces, or if they’re “lucky,” merely being driven from their homes–who are tired and weary, who are fainting from pure exhaustion and from the atrocities that they have witnessed and experienced.

Of course, as essential as prayer is, so is food (and other necessities) for the refugees.

My mom is great about doing research that I don’t often have (or take) the time to do, so I asked her to recommend two reliable organizations that are doing practical things to provide for refugees from Isis in the Middle East.

These are, of course, only two of the myriad options out there, and I highly encourage you to do your own research on both the crisis and the organizations that are stepping in to help. But, at least it gives us somewhere to start!

My mom told me about Liberty Relief International and RUN–both of whom are helping to give practical relief like blankets, food, and shelter to huge numbers of people who have literally had to flee for their lives.

I’ve been talking to the kids about the horrific things that are happening to children just like them in the Middle East, so I think Shaun and I are going to ask them where we should send our support.

Maybe it’s something you could do as a family too?

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