Monday, August 29, 2011

Simple Summer... (part 6)

I see my simple summer slipping away!!! We have had such a great summer... very busy, but so good! I have a simple summer pic to share with you today.  This is my sweet hubby taken on a fishing trip... we went with some friends on Friday night.  First of all, I don't really fish, but I love to socialize... secondly, they were fishing for salmon and no this is not a salmon in the pic!!! LOL
I need to show that man more affection I guess!!! *Ü*

I also have a card I want to share... we have so many weddings we are invited to in the next short while and this is the card I made for a wedding we went to last week. I saw a card on SCS that inspired me because the wedding was done in the vintage look, but I cannot remember whose card it was, sorry.
Lastly, I want to share this verse with you... it really encouraged me this morning.  Sometimes I just need to be reminded that God is my defender.  Some days it is only His peace that gets me through.

  “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” Exodus 14:14

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mess into Masterpiece...

I know that God created me perfect in His eyes before I ever took my first breath, but life and sad choices marred His perfect vessel. In Jeremiah 18 it shows me that He, the Potter, takes the messed up vessel and makes something beautiful out of it again.  All it takes is confession and my willingness to let the Master remold me into a new “work of art.”  I am so grateFUL that no matter the mess I have made out of my life… Papa can take those pieces and make something that is great in His eyes!
 To give them beauty for ashes,
      The oil of joy for mourning,
      The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
      That they may be called trees of righteousness,
      The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 

It is wedding day for some friends of ours and here is the card I created for their special day:
Hope they like it!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Lesson 21 Years in the Making...

Twenty-one years ago today I married the love of my life! So I have some thoughts on our marriage I want to share with you... if that is okay.  It is just me speaking honestly to you my blogger friends.
I have had many times in my marriage where I thought it just can’t get any better than this! But there have also been a few times where I said to myself… is this as good as it will ever be? The latter of those two thoughts are in the times when I have become lazy, stubborn and selfish… yes, I admit it… SELFISH!  I quit putting effort into daily married life.  I thought more about my needs/wants than the needs of the other person in this relationship. In those times, I stopped living through Christ’s strength and started trying to do it all on my own. When I said, “I will,” 21 years ago… I had no idea what that really meant!  In our couple’s devotional it has been talking a lot lately about unconditional love.  I knew this is the kind of love God has for me, but I never even grasped an inkling of what that means in everyday life.

I can see now how I spent so much of my married life not loving my sweet hubby unconditionally. I loved him as my possession… he was here for my “amusement” to be at my beacon call.  It was not in an intentional way, that is just how I thought it should be, I guess. But as I look back I see that was how I treated him so many times.  I am so sorry for wasting so much of our time together in that way!  I know past hurts led me to hang onto Luke with both hands, like a kid squeezing the daylights out of a new puppy! I loved him because of how it made me feel to have him; I didn’t love him for the sake of just loving him. My concern was not how my love made him feel, but how I felt by “loving” him.

During Heart Quest I realized I loved him too much… not a good love… it had turned into an idolatry-type love.  Because a person had treated me so awful in my past, and then Luke treated me so wonderful, I put him up on a pedestal.  I put him before God so many times… not because that was what Luke desired, but because I could love someone that I could actually see and touch.  I was putting demands on Luke that I had no right to. God showed me how I had to back up and let go of my destructive, “loving” ways with my husband! I gave my marriage to God for real this time… I let go of my possessive “love” for Luke.  It was very scary for me after almost 20 years of marriage!  How could I stop loving Luke as much as I did, so I could love God more?

In that very moment I gave it all up to God… that very second I told God, “I will love You with my whole heart before anyone else,” that He showed me that it was because I was willing to do that, He in return would teach me how to love my husband in a new way. I could see my fear came from the idea of having to love Luke less so I could love God more, but what really happened was because I chose to love God more, in return that left more room to love Luke even more than before.  It makes no sense but that is what has happened! Looking back at the work God has done on me in this area of my life is so overwhelming… my heart feels like it is overflowing and of course it is flowing from my eyes.  Our marriage has never been better! I don't say that to brag, but to give God the glory for the work He continues to do in our marriage of three.

I just realized that unconditional love has no capacity amount… it is as big as we are willing to let it be! Wow!  When I stopped putting a limit on my love for God then that just took the limits off my love in all areas of my life! Why do I not let God be as big as He wants to be in my life?  He wants to be my “everything” and I hold Him back to being my “something” so many times! I am still a work in progress, but I am so grateFUL for where Papa has brought me and where He is going to take me.

Happy Anniversary to my sweet, loving, adorable husband! Luke I love you beyond measure! ;) 

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things...  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:5-7, 13

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I was reading in Joshua 1 a couple days ago, and while I read this verse where God was talking to Joshua,Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” (1:3)  I was seeing how God allows every step I take.  He has promised to be with me every step of the way… just like He promised Joshua and the children of Israel.
“Be happy with what you have because God has said, “I will never abandon you or leave you.” Hebrews 13:5b 
Am I really aware of that fact at all times? Do I take that promise for granted?  I liked to play Hopscotch when I was a kid… I would toss the stone on the Hopscotch area to see what spot it would land on… that would determine where I could hop and where I couldn’t hop.  I wonder, do I “play” my life out like a game of Hopscotch at times? Do I carelessly pitch a “stone” out there in my life and wait to see where it will land to determine where I will or will not go?  Is that living my life with strength and courage (Deuteronomy31:6)?  Is that living my life with purpose?
When you make a mistake or you forget to do something important… do you ever say, “I didn’t do it on purpose”?  Of course you didn’t do it on purpose, but did you do it with purpose?   God has given us a gift of life and an even greater Gift of eternal life through Christ… am I doing my best with what He has given me?  I pray for guidance from God to live my life with purpose on purpose! 
A good life can just happen, but a GREAT life must be lived on purpose!
Simple Summer moment... big ole' frog taking a dip in our pond.
with a grateFUL HEART, carin