The Journey — day 20

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10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 | NIV

Nearly ten years ago, an idea welled up inside me like a volcano – an idea that sparked a desire to do God’s will in a mighty way.  I was filled with excitement, and remembering praying out to God to let Him know I wanted to be his servant with ALL of my life.  I wanted nothing more than to be able to lead other people to Christ, and I thought for sure that God would want that, too.  I remember praying in my quiet time, and listening for God’s voice, which I assumed would say, “well done, good and faithful servant.”

Instead, I heard the inaudible yet unmistakable voice of God saying, “Fix your home.”

You see, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and God knew that there were areas of my life that I had not fully surrendered to Him.   He knew it and I knew it.  What He was telling me on this day was this:  Surrender ALL to me – give me your entire home.  Then, and only then, can I pour blessing out on you and give you the desires of your heart.

Proverbs 3:5  “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”.

At the moment that God spoke to me, I had a choice to make.  I could either cower away feeling defeated because God said, “wait” to my prayer.   If I had done that, I would surely have missed out on the blessing that God wants to pour out on me.  To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure how to surrender all of the areas of my life that I needed to, so I started by asking God to show me how.  Then I started moving in that direction.

I could see bits and pieces of my dream, but in all honesty, it wasn’t all crystal clear.  I began to pray about it and kept moving in the right direction, both spiritually and experientially.  Every so often, additional pieces of the dream would become more clear.

The scripture verse above, from Ephesians, assures us that we are created by Him to do good works for Him – which He has prepared in advance for us to do.  Our job is obedience.  I believe, with ever fiber of my being, that God was, and is, preparing me to do works for Him, and that every experience I’ve had since the inception of that dream nearly 10 years ago is to prepare me for those works.

I am beside myself giddy with excitement to see God’s plan unfold – and even more excited to share His gifts with other people.  I am confident that He has a plan, and I know that His timing is perfect, so I will wait as patiently as possible while it unfolds.

The journey to the cross is such an amazing journey – I pray that all of you will come along on your own journeys!

If you have already followed my journey – thank you, thank you, thank you!  If you haven’t, please click, “follow” me to follow my journey for Life – which I have for eternity through the saving grace of my Lord and Savior, Jesus.

May God richly bless your Journey!

Blessings!

SB

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The Journey — Day 19

19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

Mark 5:19 | NIV

Are you willing to share your story?

That question was what I heard God ask me last summer as I drove from the Creation music festival I was attending to a wedding to play music for a special bride and groom. My initial thought was, “what story? I don’t really have a story”, I mean, at least in a spectacular sense. My life has been rather ordinary, though I can see God’s hand on it from a very young age, but I don’t have incredible tales to tell like Harmony Dust, the author of Scars and Stilletos, or the countless testimonies I’ve heard over the years of speakers at Creation Festivals and church services, stories of how God has rescued them from drug use or prostitution, and other miraculous transformations.

In my rather ordinary life, however, I’ve experienced Gods hand reaching down into the muck and mire to pull me out of the pit of self pity I fell into after my father died. I experienced His blessing after surrendering to him an area of my life I was holding onto for without realizing I needed to let it go. I’ve experienced his healing touch in bleak situations.

Yes, Lord, I’m willing to share my story.

I am on final stages of publishing my first book as a result of the conversation I had with God last summer. It’s what I call “embellished fiction” but is based on spiritual battles I have faced throughout my life. I am willing to share my story (although under a pen name) so that God may be a blessing to others.

If you’ve followed my journey, thank you so very much. I am truly humbled every time I receive a notification that someone else has “followed” me on this blog. Ultimately I trust that my path is leading them to God who is waiting to bless them as He’s blessed me. Ultimately it not “me” I want you to follow, but the God who leads me.

Are you willing to share your story? Are there blessings that you can see in your life that you know could have only come from God? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Please join The Journey to heat more about how God is blessing us! May you have a rich and wonderful day!

Blessings, SB

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life. All rights reserved.

The Journey – Day 18

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The cost of salvation.   It’s really almost incomprehensible, to be honest.  To think that the God of the Universe loved me so much to send His Son to provide a way for me to spend eternity with Him.   To know that He would do it even if I were the only one on Earth is absolutely crazy, but it’s the truth.  God loves each of us so much and wants to have a relationship with each one of us.  Even though I don’t deserve His grace, He gives it freely, and wants what’s best for me.

This journey to the cross is a humbling one indeed.  When I think about it, I can only conclude that to live my life solely for the One who gave His life for me is the very least that I can do.

I’d like to challenge each one of you to join me in the Journey – the journey to the cross this Lenten season, and the Journey for Life.

I’d like to ask you to follow my journey if you haven’t already.  If you have already, I’d like to thank you.  I’m excited about the things that God is doing in my life and the lives of others around me.   What I’m learning, through this journey, is that one can never quite know exactly how God will bless you, but know that He will indeed bless you!

I’d love to hear how your journey’s are going!  Please let me know!

Blessings,

SB

Postmarked miracle

Several years ago, our oldest daughter was applying for scholarships during her senior year of high school. One application was due to be postmarked by January 16th. The sixteenth of January was a Saturday that year, and Monday was Martin Luther King day, and post offices were closed. On Monday we realized she had not submitted the application in time for the envelope to be postmarked in time. I was very angry that she had missed the opportunity as normally she was extremely responsible. There was no way she’d be considered for the scholarship. As the realization of the cost of college was sinking in, I became even more stressed about the situation.

As I was ranting about irresponsibility, and how there no way the envelope would be post marked in time, I felt a voice tell me to send it anyway. On Tuesday morning, January 19, I gathered the envelope and headed to the post office to be there when they opened. I was first in line, holding the envelope that should have been mailed on Saturday. As I handed the teller the envelope, I asked if it would be postmarked today. The teller picked up the postmark stamp, looked at it and said, “yes”. He stamped the date and looked down in shock. With an apologetic gasp, he said, “oh no! It says the sixteenth! I must have looked at it wrong and thought it was the nineteenth. I guess we didn’t change it on Saturday. Will that be a problem?” “Um, problem?? No, the sixteenth will be just fine. Thank you!”

I stood there amazed, not because I don’t know that God can do big miracles, but because He cared about something so small to show me He’s still in the miracle business. God took a situation that seemed impossible and completely turned it around. God is just THAT kind of God.

If we can trust Him in small miracles, we can trust Him with big ones, too.

Trusting Him for a HUGE miracle!

Blessings,

SB

Copyright 2018. Journey For Life. All rights reserved.

The Journey — day 17

There are days where the journey is humdrum and days where the journey is so crazy you can hardly contain your excitement. I’ve heard it said that if your dream doesn’t scare you then it isn’t big enough. I’ve also heard it said that if you aren’t praying for things that seem impossible, you’re robbing God of an opportunity to show up in a big, big way.

I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer, and I love to imagine the possibilities that can occur. I believe that God has big plans and I’ve committed to allow Him to write His story through me.

We are in the verge of something big and I’m asking all of my praying friends to join me in the journey, join me in the prayer that God opens up huge opportunities for His Kingdom.

I’m asking in His name.

Amen

The Journey – Day 15

“Sometimes in life, we look for God in the destination, but He’s often found in the detour. “

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Direction?!?

These words were posted on a friends’ Facebook page the other day, and i found them to be hauntingly familiar.   I am learning to rely completely on His will, and open to doing whatever He wants me to do.. I wonder if this is what was meant by , “delight yourselves in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”.    I am excited by what God is doing every day – not only in my own life, but in the lives of people around me.  But in all honesty, sometimes the detours in life are the points where we grow the most.   I am embracing the journey!  I hope you are, too!

 

 

The love of all things vintage

A few months ago, a friend of mine posted a picture of a high school girl wearing a shirt that said “86” on it. My friend asked the girl what it meant and she replied that it was “vintage– you know, from 1986”. My friend had graduated from high school in 1986 and just about choked when she heard that she was “vintage”.

I love vintage things. Not 1986 vintage, but truly vintage. The stories that vintage items hold can only be imagined or, better yet, dreamed up in our minds.

I came by my love of vintage items quite naturally. My mom has some very cool items that have been passed down from her parents and grandparents. My favorite is an old steamer trunk that my papa brought with him from Ireland. I asked my moms about restoring about 20 years ago. I don’t think she believes I will ever do it. Someday I will show her. Truth is, I am a little intimidated by it. I mean, with its history so personal to me, I would not want to mess it up.

In the meantime, I picked up this beauty on which to “practice”.

The hinges worked fine. A previous owner had painted the inside, and in the process, slipped paint on the outside, which I sanded off. The clasp doesn’t work, but is intact. The straps are missing from the sides (I’ve almost never seen a trunk with the handles still attached).

I began by washing her with Murphy’s Oil soap (mostly because I was using that on another project, which I’ll show later.

She looks better already. Some trunks come with that musty, vintage smell, but this one really doesn’t. I did clean the inside really well.

Next, I began to work on the outside. I didn’t want to have a “freshly painted” look since, after all, she is an antique, so I chose an ultra flat chalky black paint for the metal parts. On the textured parts, I used a copper metallic paint which I carefully dry-brushed and wiped, just to give an “antique” appearance.

I painted the hasps and buckled gold

I stained the wooden straps with minwax fruitwood.

For the inside, I selected a wonderfully vintage fabric to Modge Podge I started with the lid.and applied a thin coat of modge lodge to the lid before laying the fabric down. I flattened out the wribkles and applied more Modge Podge on top. I let the lid dry completely before moving on to sides and bottom.

The sides and bottom were done in a similar fashion.

On Sunday, I posted the trunk for sale on the Facebook Marketplace and was almost immediately contacted by multiple people who were interested.  I made arrangements to meet the first person and let the others know that i’d contact them if the pick-up fell through.  Just as I was pulling in to the parking lot to meet the person, they texted and said they changed their mind.   “Really?”   I said, more than a little agitated.  However, I went to the next in line, and he was available to meet and came right away.   I am hoping that he loves the trunk – it truly is a beautiful piece.  In all honesty, I’m a little sad to see it go.  I believe I have the confidence to work on Papa’s trunk.