Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Who Are You Listening To?

My husband and I went to Longwood Gardens last weekend. It was so beautiful!! The tulips were amazing. And planted in such gorgeous ways. Large patches of similar colors and varieties together. Almost like a patchwork quilt in some places.

And then there was this one red tulip in the field of fuchsia ones. I wondered how in the world that ever happened. Everything at Longwood is done with such precision....perfection. Did it happen by accident? Or did they intend to make us smile? Or maybe one rogue Longwood employee enjoyed a joke?

No matter how it got there, it did bring a smile to my face and we enjoyed the proud way that the red tulip swayed in the wind above the others. But it made me think. Often I feel like that lone tulip. Like I never quite measure up. That I'm not good enough. Or that I'll never make the team.

But why do I feel that way?! God is so gentle and kind. He keeps working in my soul....drawing me closer to Him. He loves me....more than I can ever grasp....so much that He gave His all on the cross for me. He has made me whole, complete and clean. Because of Jesus, I have been reconciled to Him. So, God is not the one that is making me feel that way.

So, is it people? When I think of those around me, they are so kind and loving. I have been blessed with a family that loves me and encourages me. My friends are the best. Yes, I have been hurt by others, but all in all, I have been blessed. Those around me seem to build me up.

Is it society? I don't fit in in many ways with society. I really am like that red tulip. But do I care what society thinks of me? Not really. :)

So, who am I listening to when I feel like I don't measure up...like I am a failure...like I'll never be good enough? It is that lying serpent. He's been doing this since the Garden of Eden. And I still fall for it! Satan, the accuser of our souls, is active in our minds. He loves to make me insecure and depressed. He loves to see me squirm. He knows that I am God's child...His beloved Princess. And yet Satan can make me live in defeat if I listen to his messages.

I suppose most of you fuchsia tulips out there learned this lesson long ago. But this tall, red tulip feels lighter and blessed today! I don't have to listen to those thoughts anymore. God has made me His own and He loves me!

So, who are you listening to today?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Raven Beauty

My creative juices are beginning to flow again! For awhile there, I just didn't feel like making anything. Maybe it was just the gloomy weather. But this past weekend, I just felt like making another bracelet.

This one was little tough on my hands. I need to get stronger muscles! And maybe yet another set of hefty jewelers piers. The wire of the bracelet is thick and difficult to work with. But I made it subject to my will. Lol. After shaping it, I hammered it to bring out it's beauty.

The swirls were fun to make too. I started out making ones like I usually do and then went a little crazy. It reminds me of the swirling waves of the ocean.

Then the beads. I knew I wanted to make it black and clear so that it would go with a lot of outfits. It is always exciting at this point because I just start wiring beads on. I'm never sure how exactly it will turn out until I'm done.

Now I'm thinking about a matching necklace and earrings. What do you think?

Item # 1277 $119

If you are interested in this item, please email me at janine@gentlespiritcreations.com. Credit cards are accepted.

More info is also here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Just Keeping Warm

This sweet female cardinal sat on a branch in wind with gusts of 11 mph in 15 degree weather. It's hard for me to believe that she could keep warm! But she sat there calmly, surveying the scene about her.

Why can't I be calm like that when the fierce winds of life assail me? Why do I get worried or depressed when things look bad?

Maybe it's because I doubt. I forget the Lord's provision.

Matthew 6:26

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

I put my trust in the wrong place.

Isaiah 26:3
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."

I can't believe that things looked great to that cardinal. How could it? The ground is frozen. Plants aren't yielding any seeds or fruit. Those little feet had to be freezing. And yet, maybe things looked great!? God was caring for her. She just had eaten some seed from our feeder and there was more there. And for that moment, she was even safe from enemies.

And I think that's the key. For that moment....

God is teaching me so much through this hobby of photography. I'm taking a closer look at what He has created. He DOES pay attention to the details of the lives He has created. And we created beings can trust Him. He will give us what we need for each moment.

So, in this cold winter day, I'll snuggle up in something warm and bask in the light of God's love and grace.