Refracted Light-Life Stuff

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I’ve caught myself in a rare afternoon moment of inspiration. I have a lot to accomplish yet today, but I’ve learned that these moments can’t be repeated, at least not in the same way. I shall never relive this exact opportunity on March 5, 2014. So I hit the pause button on temporary tasks, and hit play on my heart and imagination.

I have this personal hangup that is being redeemed each moment I live. I often hold myself back from spontaneity in publishing my ideas, inspiration, etc. Why? Because I hold myself accountable to unrealistic expectation…the expectation of completely covering a subject currently on my heart. Obviously, when God lays something on my heart, I run into trouble, because I am not capable of perceiving everything on His heart. In the moment, it’s so incredible: the impressions of His thoughts, His character, His emotions, His plan.

In the process of jotting it down, sometimes I become a scholar of extreme caution when it comes to editing. I don’t want to miss any angles. Perhaps I have really been a scholar of fear. “Caution” is a great way of sugar coating that gnarly beast. 🙂

In the past, I’ve let myself be battered by judgement and opinions of my deepest inspirations. As countless other angles discredited my original impression (intentional or not) swept me off my feet, I started growing a thick skin. Have I missed the mark? I edited more. I used more disclaimers to what I was feeling. I worked to keep my word usage concise. My hope was that misunderstandings would dissipate. If my heart was communicated clearly and perhaps if I stated everything I was not stating, there would be fewer misunderstanding about what I was stating. This kind of pressure weighs heavy on spontaneity and fresh winds. It’s stale bread eaten with fresh jam.

As God started softening my heart to His love, I realized that being a scholar of fear has put a film of reproach over the simplicity of a beautiful reality. I’ve realized, God is not always as concerned about other angles as He is the one ray of direct light He is shining on me in that moment. It’s ok to stick with that and bask in that specific beauty, even if those looking on don’t see the refracted light rays. Lovers need to receive love. He is loving me, and I receive it! We can really be free because He has freed us from the bonds of fear and reproach.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

As much as I still want my writing to be clear, these two points have effected my heart dramatically: #1. My heart is not perfect. It’s ok to “take a knee” in my writing, so to speak. My heart is for people to love Christ, not to convince them that my love for Christ is valid. That is no longer my fight. I’m just being redeemed from myself daily. #2. The Holy Spirit can’t be edited. My heart may bow at my human stature, but when I articulate what God has been telling me, His peace speckles the words that flow. There’s no apology, no disclaimer. It’s a lover’s fight from the victory. It’s no longer between me and people. There’s no battle with flesh and blood. It’s knowing Him and pouring out the aftertaste of those moments. So, no, Holy Spirit has no edit button, and I don’t need to waste time selfishly looking for one! His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

As for my impulsive need to procrastinate and check every angle of what I’m writing: fear is a cruel taskmaster. Wisdom deals from a place of rest, and clarity will never come from tumultuous anxiety. So, I’m challenging myself to be more spontaneous. People will only give my words a few minutes of their time. If God says something cool to them, awesome. If it’s misread, I hope God makes up for it. This place is just an aftertaste of something bigger, and that marriage is sealed. A big part of keeping it sweet is keeping it real. 😉

Alrighty then.

How is it March already? I spent  lot of time in February remodeling. Things are winding down finally. Hopefully I will get some before and after photos up soon.

Some favorite “happys” in the everyday grind:

For one: enjoying the fruit of remodeling labor. I can hardly stand the mess that painting causes, but after everything is cleaned up, it’s so rewarding.

This morning, I was feeling super “blah.” The second bathroom was a wreck, and paint fumes were still hanging in the air. The fan was swoosh, swoosh, swooshing in the next door bedroom, and the window was open (intentionally) to air the rooms out a bit. SC was hit with another cold spell, and 40 degree air seeping into two rooms made me pretty grouchy, even if the cold was pretty contained in those rooms.

I was also walking around in uncomfortable paint jeans to keep from getting regular clothes messy with paint and caulk. “Just be more careful,” you say? Nope. I’m afraid, paint and caulk have a way of leaping onto my clothing, no matter how hard I try to avoid it. This “paint wardrobe” also means I can’t really sit down safely or comfortably, so I waddled about the house in my hubby’s over sized hoodie, which became a nuisance when I was making lunch.

There was also a mattress and box spring setting in the entrance of the house, taking up space. We are getting a ton of company the end of March, and we finally invested in better sleeping arrangements. I was so happy for the deliveries, but with the remodeling underway, we couldn’t put everything in its proper place yet. Yesterday, my husband laughed at me when I said, “What am I going to do if I have to look at those big mattresses in the entrance all day? Well, I guess I’ll just have to ignore them.” You had to be there to get the entire humor effect. I’m pretty sure paint fumes got to my head.) Remodeling also tends to make the entire house dusty, even if doors are kept closed. All this combined just made me kind of inwardly cross, but I faithfully trudged along.

Enough complaining. I had a lovely lunch break with my hubby to lift my downcast attitude. Marriage is good for the soul; it brings perspective. My best friend is constantly nearby for strength and encouragement. I know it sounds, oh so… perfectly old fashioned, but it’s just true. (It helped when I ditched the hoodie too)

In those blah moments when my soul is sluggish, I usually still feel my spirit fighting, “Hey, I’m in here, soul. Worship with me.”

You know, those moments when your spirit feels like a turtle sticking its neck out, straining to see past the shell’s rim into the brilliant sun. Even though the skin feels a little dry and scaly on the outside, you know your spirit is alive. In a matter of minutes, the soul can begin to align with Christ and feel something besides “blah.” Things like peace, contentment, and self control. Obviously, these are fruits of the Spirit, but me thinks when the soul aligns with God, it begins to feel the emotions of the human spirit being influenced by the Holy Spirit. I’ll take that over fleshly whining.

I got really sidetracked. I was listing happys of the daily grind.

I’m rather hooked on a UK TV show right now. When a show offers more than entertainment to mindlessly watch, and I feel it compelling me to learn, use my imagination, appreciate and experience, I’m happy. Call the Midwife is set in the late 50’s to early 60’s. It follows the life and work of midwives (and a few nuns) in the east end of London.The culture is fascinating, and the stories so true to life/the human condition. (negative and positive.) Bravo to the producer and actors. The first two seasons are currently on Netflix. The third season is coming to the US the end of March. Happy me!

My hubby snapped this iPhone pic and the one at the beginning of this post:

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Despite the cold snaps we’ve had in the past and are currently having, these spring babies are thriving.

I had to pick some.

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More spring evidence:

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I think I finally mastered a paleo pizza crust. I don’t know if “mastered” is the word, but it’s close. It’s always a bit of a struggle to get it right at first because I’m working with completely different ingredients than the norm. This is an almond flour crust. I’m a fan. (I actually whipped up a mini pancake/biscuit batch by memory this morning for hubby to eat with my mom’s jam. 🙂 Happy side treat.) I want to try a cauliflower pizza crust sometime too.

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If you hang out at my place, an iphone photo of you just may pop up on my blog. 🙂 This was a fun movie evening.

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Fresh, messy, pico de gallo. Yum. I actually ate a lot of it plain. With a spoon. 🙂

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Things don’t always come together, but when they do, I take a pic. The wall hanging was a hand made Christmas gift from my sister. Pretty impressive, right?

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A combination of normal bulky trash+outdated pantry items ready to be pitched. I was happy for the extra space. Just to keep it real, ya’ll.

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Unusual breakfast combo that turned out to be delicious and satisfying. I do love fried plantains.

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Here is a smooth photo disguising messy hair that needed a shampoo. Hat is compliments of a random gift from my brother in law years ago. It always meant a lot to me.

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Who can resist a steaming, frothy cup of Organo Gold Latte for an afternoon boost? Not me!

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This may not be a pretty photo, but it’s real life satisfaction after a daily chore. A giant stack of clean dishes. Documenting simple, happy moments helps me keep things fun. Don’t laugh.

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Fun video chats with my little brother. Blurriness due to dance move shot. 🙂

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I feel like I need cool glasses too. (These are my husbands. :))

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One day in February, when my hubby’s running injury kept him from work, he took me to the city and set me loose in a consignment shop. What a nice man. 🙂

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Finding cool treasures for my house is more fun with gift money. 🙂

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We ate an incredibly fresh and invigorating lunch at Chili’s. Beautiful food is also a plus.

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We ended our little excursion at a cute frozen yogurt shop we found downtown. Score! Killer yogurt and an adorable set up.

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It was a fun day. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Cliche quote, but it makes for a much better experience than a bad attitude could ever provide. Hubby’s foot is basically healed up by now. Tendon and muscle damage is a bugger sometimes.

Concerning the nitty gritty, life stuff I’ve been talking about through the length of this post, this verse in The Message translation has something beautifully redeeming to offer:

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-3

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