Weeping Cherries

faith, family, food and frugality

Mother’s Day (a realization) May 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 8:47 am

My mother’s day was full of ups and downs.  The morning started sweetly as my 6 year old brought me a present- her favorite necklace, wrapped in a sock and tied with a ribbon.  Then we got ready for church and I wanted just one picture of me with my children before heading out where inevitably their outfits would be pooped on, spilled on, etc…  This is what we got.  Yep, this one picture sums up the day so well.

I had a wonderful time with my husband’s Mom and family after church spoiled by a great meal that Papa Jim made and brought over for us to all eat. (The good)

Then they left and my children fell apart.  More than likely the result of delayed naps and worn out from all their play, I had three screaming little ones and my head started reeling. (The bad)

Then things got ugly.  Because of me and my misplaced expectations.  For some reason, every time Mother’s Day rolls around I get the bee in my bonnet thinking that it will be a day of rest and relaxation.  The reality is, I am still a Mom- even on Mother’s Day.  I realize for some of you this is a pretty obvious revelation but this has been a process for me in seeing my own sin and tendency towards selfishness.  I heard nasty words coming out of my mouth to my husband as I expressed “just for one day, I want to be selfish and go upstairs and take a nap!”  Yes, I said that.  I’m not proud of it.  I needed God’s gentle correction, which I received in the following thought.

Not audibly, mind you but just as clear, “Jen look around you.  Look at what you have, not what you don’t have.  You may not be taking a nap right now but don’t dwell on that.  Dwell on the deeply compassionate heart I put in your daughter that blesses you everyday.  Dwell on the joyful spirit of James that lifts your heart.  Dwell on my generosity in pouring down a double blessing on you with Ruth and Anna.  Dwell on these things and truly celebrate what motherhood is.  A wonderfully messy, sanctifying, challenging, joy-filled, grace-filled blessing.”

The good, the bad, the ugly.  Its all made beautiful in Christ.

I am not a perfect mother.  Mother’s day isn’t about that, thankfully.  It also isn’t a free pass to cease all motherly duties.  In fact, we don’t see a Mother’s day celebration at all in scripture.  This is not to say that celebrating mothers is unbiblical.  I believe God has a special place in his heart for mothers.  I see this in the relationship Jesus had with his earthly mother Mary and His desire to see her cared for when He left this Earth.  This is simply to say that I don’t find anywhere, “One day a year, thou shalt be selfish and it be justified”  It’s still sin.  Even on Mother’s Day.

It just like that picture I wanted.  I wanted my children all smiling looking at the camera, clothes spotless, glad to have their picture taking for Mama.  But what I wanted wouldn’t reflect the reality of our life.  Which is better, because it is real.

On Mother’s Day I wanted a picture perfect day.  Kids smiling, serving me, obeying each command, glad to celebrate their Mama.  But that isn’t our life, and God knows better because that isn’t what I needed yesterday.  I needed to be taught a lesson which is actually a great gift.  Not wrapped in pretty trimmings but just as special as a ribbon tied sock.  🙂

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Knowledge and Art (spinoff) May 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 1:13 pm

First, before reading this, go here: http://juliahembreephotography.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/i-am-the-culture/

Image

photo credit: soulshepherding.org

My sister, Julie is an amazingly talented artist.  This is her blog where she recently posted some thoughts on knowledge and art and life.  I commented on it and as I was writing my comment I thought this discussion, of sorts, would make a good spinoff blog post here at weeping cherries.  So, here are my thoughts.  I would love to hear yours!

“Some of my thoughts in no apparent order.  Pertaining to knowledge and is it important to fill ourselves with it just for the sake of knowledge?:  this brings to mind Romans 16:19 for me, “Be excellent at what is good, be innocent of evil”. 

I believe that when it come to knowledge simply for the sake of knowledge we will eventually come to the same conclusion Solomon did in that it is meaningless as it has no purpose beyond our own vanity.  Knowledge, however, for the sake of God’s glory- a beautiful thing.  So, what makes knowledge for the sake of God’s glory different?  I believe knowledge for God’s glory is understanding of “what is good”.  A deep wisdom in things pertaining to God’s righteousness and what He calls holy.  This is vastly different than soaking up the culture and all it has to offer in the ways of “knowledge”.  God’s Word tells us to be innocent of that which God calls evil.  At times I think Christians, myself included, fool ourselves into thinking it is necessary to ponder into all different avenues of thought in the name of being “relevant”.  In truth, we would be much better off being naive in such things. 

When I think about art, I think about a natural overflow of the heart conveyed by different mediums.  This brings to mind the verse, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”.  Granted, it is referring to communicating through speech here but I believe the principle can apply to what we are speaking of with art.  I do not believe that a great artist is one who possesses vast knowledge, or great skill- though he may.  I believe the best artists for God’s glory possess a pure heart.  The closest example that I can think of in scripture that we have of an artist, I believe to be David.  A man after God’s own heart.  David’s heart was like God’s.  In some ways all of our hearts are like God’s as He created us in His image and His likeness.  Therefore, I believe we are all capable of creating art and beauty.  Some, however; have a natural gifting in this area like I believe David did.  Any art worth making glorifies the ultimate creator.  It would stand to reason then that when an artist’s heart is filled with the things of God and is like God’s own heart, the overflow of it would speak deeply to our hearts longing for Him.  This is why I believe an artists first and only muse should be our Lord and Savior. Their first priority, pleading with the Spirit to mold their heart into one that would spill over with God’s likeness. 

This is the only knowledge worth possessing.

This is the art that will really move the human soul.

This is to be our greatest love.”