There were all of these leaves with holes.
Just hundreds of little holes.
As I walked and looked closer I thought of the word ‘filigree’. This word is normally used in regards to jewelry.
It means delicately made, with intricate detail, and it’s typically created by hand.
I picked up this leaf. I brought it home.
I needed it today.
I needed to see its beautiful detail, drawn together by tiny holes, dried veins, and fragile edges.
It was in the process of decomposing, and even then, beauty.
God whispered to my heart, “Josie, I see you. I know your ‘flaws’ better than you do. I’ve allowed these to be yours. It is through your holes that you look harder for Me, cling tighter to Me, and become more like Me. It is within the decomposing, the breaking down of those things you hold onto, put before me, in the decomposing of your effort and will, my sweet sweet daughter, there I AM and there is your beauty. Like this leaf will soon wither away, so too will your skin, here. BUT what I am working on, what I am creating in you, that THAT which is BEAUTIFUL, that will LAST FOREVER. Take heart my girl, this here is temporary. Your flaws? Love them and surrender them, because once their in My hands, they fall through the holes of grace, the holes of forgiveness, the holes of Love that I allowed to pierce through my hands just for you…
When your flaws fall through those holes, they have fallen away forever. I know it. You just need to believe it.
I love you. I have done all that is needed for you to live well there. Believe Me sweet girl,
My holes make you whole.
I didn’t expect such a deep lesson from a mere dried up leaf. But when the Lord wants me to ‘get’ something, He is usually pretty profound about it.
In the filigree of our making, the detail and all of our flaws, lies a BEAUTIFUL opportunity to give Him our brokenness, our holes, to be made whole…
Praying with you friends. Praying we will see His beauty in our flaws… He is so good and is truly a Master designer. Nothing without intention and purpose. NOT ONE PART OF US.
Hope this helps to make your #MinutesMatter a bit more tonight. Time with Him today changed me.
‘Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom…” Psalm 90:12
There is something about black-and-white photos…
Something I really love, value, and appreciate, something about knowing that more than likely they are black-and-white because they are a part of history branded right there in that moment of time.
More than likely they are old, fragile, and lined with tattered edges. More than likely they are in someone’s frame, on someone’s desk, and as someone’s reminder that in that moment those minutes matter, and that memory became a Snapshot.
Looking at old pictures I’ve learned much about my family, my great-grandparents, my grandparents, their friends, their hobbies, their values, and our heritage.
Black-and-white pictures show so much of a story, a part of a person’s heart, right there in that picture. Whether it’s a knitting Nonna, kids playing in the front yard, or a studious father at his desk, those pictures? Invaluable.
I’ve been reminded again of the value of time in the last few weeks- The value of life, how we spend it, and who we choose to spend it with.
As I was looking through old black-and-white photos, I thought to myself, ‘what if I saw every picture, every snapshot I take, with as much purpose, importance, and historical value as these beautiful black and white heirlooms I am holding…’
What if through my mind’s eye, I could truly feel and appreciate how fleeing the time is with the people who are filling its lens. The truth is, all that is beautiful about the color within that picture, will soon turn black and white in about the same amount of time it takes for the shutter to snap.
Oh how I need to grasp this.
Before long it’ll be my kids showing the grandkids moments of their childhood that they loved, that mommy cherished, and daddy clung to.
It will be my kids showing their grandkids history, tradition, joy, and most importantly, how they were loved. Before I even realize it, these pictures will be the pictures that my kids look at, hold onto, and cling to as a reminder of how and when we loved them well. Time spent well with them caught on paper forever…
Maybe if I set my heart’s filter to black-and-white and focused through that lens alone, maybe I would be quicker to appreciate, slower to finish, and more aware that time waits for no one. Maybe this focus, this filter of intention, will allow my patience to lengthen, my understanding to increase and my thanks to overflow.
What I snap in color today will be black and white by tomorrow…
Time really is no respector of persons.
In these times, the nation lost last week.
People lost friends, mothers lost children, spouses lost mates, and children lost parents.
And for a moment we all lost some joy, we lost unity, and sadly, some lost compassion. For a moment.
However, Hope, hope was never lost.
(Especially for those of us who know Him personally…)
There was a lot of dark in my last few weeks. A lot of hurt, confusion, and overall sadness…
But – I refuse to let those temporary emotions, those temporary dark moments, define or highlight how I live, spend my time, think, choose, create and remember- my snapshots.
Tonight, we built a birdhouse. We took time putting each side on, placing and gluing pieces, and painting each one. We took time to create joy, a memory, and remember a snapshot of time. My daughter ended up with green hair, sibling frustration, and belly zerberts. My son ended up with painted fingertips, a sense of accomplishment, and well, a birdhouse! Needless to say, it was NOT perfect, the process or the product BUT it was perfectly us.
I felt a bit outside of myself as I watched my husband hold my daughter and lead my son. I felt nostalgic, thankful, and whole. There was nothing fancy but there was EVERYTHING… There in our sunroom, my heart’s lens snapped this picture of a time that will be shared for years to come. Mommy didn’t rush, fuss about mess, or harp on manners and daddy didn’t either. We just loved and lived what would soon be a snapshot of our babies.
Can I say my joy was filled tonight? The Lord gave me a small glimpse into His perspective and I am forever grateful. I really think He allows us these enlightening moments to first see how fragile life is, and second to experience how much He really loves us!
I mean, aren’t these moments a gift?
Like a real magnificent gift of love, joy, laughter, wholeness, and satisfaction from the One who SEES all. I believe that on a very very small scale, those glimpses of ‘heaven’ that we catch here, are just that, a snapshot of HIM, HIS goodness, and HIS love for us!
He gives us a chance to experience briefly here, that which we will know permanently when we meet Him there.
We get to experience this through these moments- these snapshots.
Oh that we would embrace what is so quickly fleeing.
Friends, I didn’t mean to go on a tangent tonight, just sharing what is on my heart through all that has been challenging lately- but can I encourage you in this?
Treat time like an old black and white photo. Handle it with fragility, protect and value it with all you have.
See people. See experiences. See memories. See opportunity. SEE.
And then brand your heart with all of that…
You see, in these trying times, when so much is going on around us and so much is be taken from us- what can never be stolen is that which is within us…
Memories. Moments. And Hope.
I pray you know Him and I pray you cherish them…
Just thinking on these things with you tonight,
Love & Snapshots,
Thanks for visiting me here friends. Means a lot to me, really does. I value your time and appreciate you sharing it with me! Have a great Tuesday! Xoxo
LORD, make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.
Still In Awe…
A Reflection On A King & His Promise…
I am a Clevelander.
Last week, we experienced history.
Our HOPE fulfilled…
WE WON THE #NBACHAMPIONSHIP!
The thing we HOPED for, this thing we waited to experience for over 50 years, FINALLY HAPPENED! Excited? A gross understatement! SO many people, aside from myself, have waited longer than I have been alive to see the #ClevelandCavaliers win a #NationalChampionship!
A promise, from a king of sorts, was fulfilled.
He gives his life for the game.
He said he would come home.
He said he would bring us a championship.
And he did that too…
We waited for this day most of our lives and FINALLY it happened!
The result? UNDENIABLE UNITY!
We have seen an entire city rally in ways unparalleled. It is/was magical. Truly and utterly magical.
I am proud to be a Clevelander.
I experienced something that Sunday.
I will never forget watching that clock run down and feeling overwhelmed with emotion.
More than anything, a sense of ‘see I told ya so!’ I knew it would happen. I just didn’t know when.
I had HOPE.
I HAVE hope.
Today, it still hasn’t hit me that Cleveland actually won the #NBAFinals.
What has hit me is something a bit more weighing, a bit more FINAL than the NBA, NFL, NHL, and the MLB…
I live in this state of hope, this waiting…
I am familiar with anticipation…
There has been another Promise made.
A Promise of explanation, completion, freedom, peace, and forever.
A Promise harder to put hope in, harder to #Believe.
A Promise so extraordinary, that the simple minimize its possibility and the intelligent disregard its probability.
Yet, there is more proof to put Hope in this Promise than any other promise that has ever been made in the history of mankind!
The King who made this Promise, well, He has already made good on two former promises…
He only requires that we would be #ALLIN…
Small requirements for Royalty,
FOR HE IS KING…
Forgiving has more to do with freeing YOU than it ever does about freeing your offender!
Inability to forgive leaves an odor! Please watch what I learned in an unpleasant way…
The hubs and I sing a small bit at the end, judge lightly we are no Sonny & Cher 🙂 but the words of the song Healer say it loud and clear, ‘I believe Your my Healer, I believe You are all I need… Nothing Is Impossible With You- You Hold My World In Your Hands.’
Forgiveness Heals and I am Practicing This With You Friends! Hope This Helps To Make Your #MinutesMatter !
There is Freedom In Forgiving!
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you!
We rarely ask, but he has a name. We would never know, but he has a story. We can’t miss him, slightly hunched, the proud elderly gentlemen with the decorated hat and vest. He usually stands outside of Giant Eagle passing out those little red flowers in exchange for a donation. Faithfully, he stands post. He is a Veteran of War.
As a “thank you” for the small amount of change I put in his bucket, he eagerly gives me that little red flower he calls a ‘Buddy Poppy.’ Until recently, I never contemplated all that the little flower represented. I learned that these little trinkets of thanks are normally assembled by disabled veterans. They construct and pass out these Poppies to raise money for hospital costs and other needs. However, there was something about these ‘Poppies’ that touched my heart even more…read more
I came to realize that as this ‘Poppy’ is handed to me, so is an opportunity. In that split second I can briefly connect myself with a part of the history that has given me my freedom. The one handing me this ‘Poppy’ may be one of the men who experienced the first United States draft registration during World War I. Maybe he aided in rescue efforts after Japan’s surprise assault on the U.S. air base at Pearl Harbor. Sadly, he could be one who returned home after Vietnam, reject and scorned by many who would never understand his experience or sacrifice, and never even try to. These who stand outside of businesses with red flowers in hand, have a story. They are each a thread woven into the fabric that has made the comforter of freedom under which we all so easily lay.
‘Buddy Poppies’ will forever remind me that feeble hands, once strong, fought so that my hands would never have to. Freedom is never free; there is always a cost; it is called sacrifice.
As I was thinking about this, something in an email that my Aunt Jamie sent me last week, really hit home; “Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you….Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.” This is very true, except that Jesus died for our freedom too. Our soul’s freedom…
Many of us never realize that as free as this society allows us to be, we are still slaves to negative thoughts, habits, addictions, and memories. We can be as free as streakers at a baseball game, but if our souls are in bondage, we never truly experiencing freedom at all. We can be held in bondage by fear, regret, shame, bitterness, doubt, anxiety, jealousy, loneliness, stress… the list goes on and on. WE ALL HAVE something that keeps us from being utterly free. Thankfully, God’s Word tells us that Jesus came to set the captives free! (Luke 4:18). We are prisoners of war, battling against ourselves and so many outside influences. Until we surrender and allow Christ to truly change our hearts, we will always be a prisoner to something. We have to choose to love (and trust) Him back and accept the freedom He gives to experience true ‘soul freedom.’
What the ‘Buddy Poppy’ is to the Veteran (a symbol of sacrifice, dedication, and liberty), the Cross is to Jesus Christ and to all of us who choose it, a symbol of love, completion, and ultimate freeing freedom!
Read the background of the Buddy Poppy HERE!
THANK YOU & GOD BLESS YOU!
TO ALL WHO HAVE, WHO ARE, AND WHO WILL SACRIFICE,
YOU ARE REMEMBERED AND APPRECIATED.
• 1 Package of Yellow Cake Mix
• 1 Box of French Vanilla Instant Pudding
• 1 Egg
• 1 cup of Water
• 1/2 cup of canola oil
• 2 teaspoons almond flavoring
• 3 Tablespoons of Poppy Seeds
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a Bundt Pan with oil and lightly coat with sugar (It won’t stick to the cake). Mix all ingredients and pour into Bundt pan
Bake for 40-45 minutes
Cool for about 20 minutes then flip on dish- A nice glaze would compliment this well!