Tag Archives: gifts

Love Speaks

No perfect words 

no perfect day 

to stand for what is right 

to hide behind silence 

when the heart has so much to say.

 

No perfect past 

no perfect way to teach 

but there is color 

we cannot be blind 

for in each shade

beauty is what you find. 

 

No perfect draft 

no perfect time 

united we must stand 

hand in hand. 

For in His glorious name 

-Jesus Christ-

all hearts beat the same. 

 

So don’t overthink 

don’t leave it up to the mind 

follow the heart 

united in Christ 

and that is where 

words you will find

united together under God

there is love 

and there is no better kind. 

 

For silence is blind

but love speaks –

and above all God’s gifts – 

love

is

the

best

kind. 

The Justice of Love

I do not understand what you walk through
but I understand pain
I do not understand your story
but I too have a name
and though the world is crooked
and our paths may never meet
I know there is love
waiting to save the world
in glorious defeat.

I do not understand your scars
but I see mine
I do not understand your distance
but I too stay away
and though the world is broken
and these roads all draw different lines
I know justice is for all
no matter the color of these creases
it is the heart that defines.

I do not understand what your days bring
but I hear the birds sing
I do not understand their hate
but I too know what love can bring
and though the world flashes heartache
and reactions act in rage, evil and fear
I know love exists
and colors, shades and scars do not matter
when God is near.

I do not understand what you go through
but I hear your story
I stand by your side against the rain
I pray for a world
where love sees no divides
and loves holds the burden of the pain.
For together we stand
when all else comes against
to have one’s back
is to see the beauty of the colors
of the shade from white to black
for together we stand
against the injustice
using love for all
as the truest, and strongest attack.

Reflection:

We cannot simply stand and watch or even just shake our heads at injustice in this world. We must stand together and unite against it. The divides of skin color and even within the churches all make us weaker. There is strength in number. There is power when voices come together. Ignorance just feeds the hate. But unity and courage stands up against it, and brings love. And love conquers all. Don’t turn a blind eye on injustice today or any day. Don’t believe the excuses the ignorant will throw out to justify hate. That is the kind of ignorance that falls under sin too.

Instead, pray for the courage to step up and to unite together with people who are not the same as you. The labels destroy us. They build walls with no strong foundation so when they crash, and they more than likely will, they take so much around them down too.

So start within today. What is your foundation based on? What are the morals and your belief system that ground you and form that foundation? Make sure they are aligned with the fact that God loves everyone. He created everyone to be different and for incredible purposes. Therefore, each person is beautiful. Pray to see that beauty too. Pray to have eyes like Jesus and not that of the world. Pray for the world to transform to that vision too. Pray for justice and speak up when you can today and everyone just that justice.

Justice is love.

Love is for all.

We ALL can have a voice against injustice. Don’t let that devil’s lie tell you otherwise. You do not need to understand or even know someone else’s story to do what is right. Don’t fear what the world will throw back at you. Instead, fear God’s judgment. God-fearing faith and love are what change the world. But, change starts within when we face our foundation and rebuild and restructure where we need to. Strong foundations can best stand their ground against the

We must unite.

We must stand up for justice.
It’s a sin to stay silent.
It’s a sin to not do what we are equipped to do.

We must use our gifts to stand up for that justice. We must use our gifts to stand for love,

love for all.

Justice for all!

Check Out:

Psalms‬ ‭33:5‬ ‭NKJV
Psalms‬ ‭106:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
Proverbs‬ ‭28:5‬ ‭NIV

Hebrews 13:1 NIV

“He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.”
‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭33:5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

“Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times!”
‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭106:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

“Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all.”
‭‭(Proverbs‬ ‭28:5‬ ‭NIV)

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews‬ ‭13:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Source:
https://www.bible.com

Why Wait?

In even these days alone,

where handshakes and hugs are all pushed aside

forbidden protection behind locked doors

there is a God who provides.

There is something greater,

We can all embrace.

for we all have gifts,

no matter what we face.

We are all made for a purpose,

no matter what giants come our way.

We all have the ability to make a difference,

no matter where we must stay.

For we are all made for more

so we must silence the questions

and doubts that ask, “What for?”

We all have the chance to use this

to make someone’s day or even our own,

for in the quiet times of chaos,

if we rest with Jesus,

out of discomfort,

strength is grown.

 

So while we may be at a pause,

and while the unknown tries to spin us round,

why wait for tomorrow

when today is where life is found.

 

Therefore, think about it.  What have you been gifted? No matter what you do not have right now; you have even more.  No matter how unsettling it may feel; use this time to find peace in God. Use this time to draw nearer to Him and ask that He shows you how to use your incredible gifts.  He has always called us to rest in Him and now is the perfect time.

The time is not perfect.  Our situations are not perfect. But, it doesn’t need to be perfect.  It cannot be perfect. Nothing in life is perfect.  In fact, our imperfections are what make us beautiful.  They are what make us real. They are what make us capable.

So think outside of the box and use your gifts right here, and right now.  Use them to create and spread love at a time when the world needs every shade of hope,

every avenue of love,

every color of the rainbow.

Why wait?

IMG_5972

#bettertogether #thinkoutsidethebox #itsnotperfect #usingwhatwehave #alwayswantedpinkrainbows #spreadlove #godisgreater #pray #everythingwillbeokay #spreadtheword #makearainbow #righthererightnow

 

Equipped with Gifts
Luke 9-10:42, ‭Psalms‬ ‭37:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬, ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

Our gifts are ready
our callings prepared
but they do not come from the world,
still in the craziness of life
the true essence of our lives can become lost,
for though few are needed,
God’s will has a plan for us all
it is free, ready and prepared
but when we waste our skills, time and focus on selfish ways
there is a cost.

Our gifts are ready
our callings prepared
for we are each God’s handiwork
we are each created in Christ to do such work
that is beautiful, selfless and good
God’s will has a plan for each of us
it is free, ready and beautiful
this work He prepared in advance
for us to do
that is the principle
that now must be understood.

Our gifts are ready
our callings prepared
we must trust in the Lord and do good
dwell in the land where He has called
and enjoy safe pasture each day
for God’s will has a plan for each of us
it is free, ready and laid out
so we must go to Him to lead us
He is the truth
He is the light
He is the way.

Ready are our gifts
prepared are our calls
for humble our hearts
and silence our ways
to see and hear like Jesus all of our days.
So let’s discover and uncover our gifts
let’s grow and flourish them in His word
let’s not try to be who we are not
instead let’s be who God calls us to be
let’s use those incredible gifts to do our part,
and to see and act on what He needs us to see.

And even if it is not how we expected
even if it is not how we planned
in love and truth we must live
using our gifts to serve
giving all we have to give.
For every moment can be a new start
where we first
take delight in the Lord
for that is where He will give you
the desires of your heart.

Our gifts are ready
our callings prepared
let’s use them to be who God wants us to be
let’s use them do what God wants us to do
He honors obedience
and so use those gifts and do not wait
for fully equipped are each one of you.

 

 

Use What You Have (Luke 9)

In the chaos the day, in the haunting of the night

what is being lost

God needs you now

so use what you have,

it is free of any cost.

 

Bring what you have, bring the gifts,

bring them all

for He will multiply

do not question

just listen to the heart

for that is where He speaks truth

louder than any lie.

 

What can we do, what can we say

it is a troubled time

each night, and each day

and yet He tells us all,

“You give them something to eat.”

with only what we have

God uses our little to do

great thing after great thing

so be the one who listens

and let it be your gifts that you bring.

 

In the chaos the day, in the haunting of the night

we cannot risk what can be lost

God needs us now

to use what we have,

for if we don’t,

life, lives and love all can be the cost.

So shine the truth, shine your light

through your gifts

no matter where you are at

shine, shine, shine

use it all

so that through the darkness

the great news of Jesus shines bright.

 

 

Legos For Days

It’s so incredible to watch the personality, gifts and talents of a child unfold. All are so distinct and special from each other, a great reminder of how each of us is our own unique person, even at a young age. A great reminder that all of us have our own God-given gifts and purpose.

As a special education teacher, it is my job to discover and teach to each individual student’s own talents and strengths. It is both my privilege and obligation to empower them against any challenges they may have or face. It’s part of my nature now to do this in the classroom. However, in the home, it is a bit more complicated at times.

Both my husband and I played sports for most of our lives and assumed that our children would want to too. And even though they are both so young yet at the ages of 2 and 5, their little but LARGE personalities and interests are already shining through …

I first saw this with my son. He may not be asking to go throw a football right now; but he is following in my husband’s footsteps of loving Legos. Since the age of 2.5, TJ has loved puzzles, activity sticker books, creating, building and taking objects apart. Literally, he could spend hours, and even days partaking in these activities. Proud Mama over here when he turned four and started to tackle legos made for as high up as 10 years old and older.

It’s all fun and games until you have 10 boxes of Legos and pieces all over the place.

That is when we created TJ’s LEGO room. While it now holds 40 sets and counting, it is much more organized these days, even if TJ takes it apart five times a day.

So while I can’t help but to be a little sad as we transform his room from baby giraffes and elephants to Legos for days, I also can’t help but to be proud of the amazing person he is and continues to become. A nice organization system amongst the mess helps the transition as well…

Madi wanted in on the fun too…

Unchained Candy Crush

I played Candy Crush for five years.

Yup.

Five years.

And while I do admit I loved it and how it made my mind turn off any worry or stress for those minutes each day of playing …

.. and do not judge anyone who plays it…

 

_Embrace the storm before it ends and learn to dance in the rain, even if it tracks in some mud along the way. (7).png

let me share why I finally stopped playing cold turkey.

 

I have goals. Many of these dreams have been deeply rooted in me since I was a child. One goal this year is that I want to live in the present. Others include wanting to start this blog again, to write and publish my poetry, to write and publish a book or two, to make a difference according to God’s will, to develop a deep connection with my husband and children, to be more in-tune with family and friend relationships, to be my best self…

Back in the fall, one night as we were spending time with my son before bed, he asked to play on my phone. Finding Candy Crush, he then begged me to show him how to play. It was only for a few minutes that night … but soon turned into a few minutes every night that week… a few minutes every night that took away from conversation and soon could turn into hours or even days of valuable time taken away.

My husband challenged me, “You still play that game? Why don’t you delete it?

I started my defensive comeback …

It helped me work out in the morning (Yes I’m guilty of being the one running on a treadmill crushing away!) …

It helped me unwind …

It helped me de-stress …

It helped me …

Avoid …

Now, unwinding is one thing … but avoiding is another. I was avoiding my goals and dreams because it makes you extremely vulnerable to acknowledge them, verbalize them, and even more vulnerable to stretch out and reach for them.

Stretch goals are not easy. They are not meant to be easy. However, they will never be reached or even have the possibility of being reached if you avoid them.

“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.” – Robert H. Schuller

God-given gifts and those dreams that are placed on our hearts that align with those gifts cannot be avoided. They must be prayed for and used to do good.

So 1,825 days later …

I deleted candy crush.

You see the devil will use distractions in life to keep us from out destiny… and Candy Crush was one of mine.

While I could not get any of that past time back, I needed that time going forward…

Prayer … writing … poetry … close family and friends … all help me unwind, destress, and focus. But they also help me, stretch out for those dreams and give me the time to do so.

And even though as the work week comes to an end, the house is messier than I would like, my mind and heart are aligned in knowing they are working together to do good. They are working together for a greater purpose.

For more information:

  • “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” – Colossians 4:5
  • “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” – John 17:4

© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Chocolate Covered Heart Cookies

I have always loved to bake and experiment with recipes out there. However after TJ’s anaphylactic reaction, I became paralyzed in many aspects of my life including my passion for baking. Like I’ve stated in previous posts, I spent the next two years, avoiding… avoiding and avoiding, paralyzed by that fear. For most of my life, I was the person who would enthusiastically volunteer to bake for events,.  However, I avoided this at all costs now. It was easier…

it was safer …

it was what I did to handle the fear the world of allergies brought.

I mean they do say FEAR = false evidence appearing real.

However, soon I started to learn that I didn’t need to do this and that in fact, parties and events that set up an incredible challenge for us…

…were really bringing us an incredible opportunity.

FEAR = forever embodying amazing revival

That’s when we started to experiment with recipes and began to create our allergy-safe recipe book. Yesterday, I took the day off to prepare a couple items for my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower today. One of those preparations involved creating this very recipe with TJ (who has already eaten 3 of these cookies).

So here you go: the perfect heart cookie drenched in scrumptious chocolate and everlasting love.

Heart Shaped Cookies (dairy, egg, peanut free)

Oven: 350 degrees

Time: An hour (But the dough should sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before using.)

  • It makes 24 cookies.  I doubled it to make enough for the event.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy butter (We used Earth’s Balance)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 bag of Enjoy Life chocolate chunks
  • 1 tablespoon Nutiva Shortening
  • sprinkles of your choice

Directions:

  1. Melt the dairy free butter. in a saucepan.
  2. Mix the DF butter with sugar.
  3. Stir in apple sauce.
  4. Then, add vanilla.
  5. Slowly mix in 3 cups of flour.
  6. Place dough in plastic wrap or even a plastic baggie after shaping them into a disc. Place in the refrigerator for at least hour, or up to 24 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or use some of the DF butter and flour to grease the pan.
  8. Roll the dough in a 1/2 thick rectangle and use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out as many as you can from the dough.
  9. Repeat until the dough is done.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  11. Have the cookies cool completely.
  12. Use a double boiler or create your own.  I used sauce pot of boiling water and put a mixing bowl on the top of it.  In the mixing bowl on top, add the chocolate chip chunks and shortening. Stir until melted and smooth.
  13. Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate, removing excess by tapping it into the bowl.
  14. Place the cookies on a sheet of parchment paper and quickly add the sprinkles onto the west chocolate. Let set completely.
  15. Keep the cookies refrigerated until time to serve or an hour before to ensure no melting chocolate.
  • Final note: If you battle anxiety from anything,…no matter how long…no matter how deep the scars go… I promise you…you can heal.  You can defeat it.  You can overcome it.  I will be doing more posts about this and mental illness because healing happens…prayer and believe…and eat yummy cookies throughout it all!

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Sunday Motivation

Coffee is Not My Best Friend

I don’t drink coffee.  untitled design (42)

I used to. I used to love it. I use to crave it! But over the years, I learned caffeine and I don’t mix so that bittersweet friendship needed to go…

In middle school, I was tall. In fact, I was almost my exact height now. Five feet six inches at the age of twelve, I was as tall as a few of the boys and towered over most of the other ones including my brother just a year younger than me.

The problem to my “middle school” Jen was that I liked the short boys, but was way too insecure with myself to see that…that was totally okay.. that my height was part of what made me beautiful. I just wasn’t ready to stand tall around anyone…So of course the next best solution at that age was…

“to stunt my growth” so I turned to coffee or so I thought… Untitled design (43).png

(I obviously do not encourage this behavior at all, but can’t help to laugh at myself looking back now. I also wanted bigger breasts and tried some outlandish theories for that too like eating while hanging off my bed ….

I was… untitled design (44)

am upside-down, hot mess and lucky I never choked on anything… but I digress…)

This was where my love of ice coffee and Coffee Coolattas started. I drank them every day throughout high school and college. Then, I shifted to black coffee in my 20s until I discovered a non-fat creamer that I indulged in for way too long. When first pregnant with my son, I tried to give it up but the afternoon migraines were too intense so I would save my cup of Joe for after lunch.

Because of the breastfeeding elimination diet I did for TJ due to his allergies, I could not use my “fat-dairy’ creamer. (apparently no matter how artificial it was, it still contained dairy). 

Then, came my miscarriage a year later which led me to do a three day whole food cleanse where coffee was not allowed…

It was then that I just stopped for what I thought would be a week or two. Soon though, I found myself pregnant with Madison and felt more comfortable sticking to being coffee-free.

Nine months later right on my due date (I have very punctual kids…can’t say that about myself these days… but I digress again ), my daughter arrived. 

During those first hours following her birth, a migraine started and the nurse and doctor both recommended that I drink coffee.   So, I did and sure enough the headache went away but what I didn’t know yet… I was already hooked again.

During those first two months, I found myself waiting for that one cup of coffee as if my day and life depended on it. When I drank it, I could take on anything…. for that hour at least and then

crash!

Untitled design (46).png

Literally, I would crash. It was such a drastic shift in mood and energy level that I decided to challenge myself.   Did I really need this coffee? 

I am always up for a challenge so I took it on. This led to a terrible week of night sweats, exhausted days, and irritability.   It was truly a detox from one cup of coffee…(okay more than 1.5 cups or 2 at this point since my mug kept growing in size. One cup is one cup no matter the size, right?)

Anyways, that is when I finally faced the facts:

If my body had to detox from something like that, it was not meant to be.   

Therefore, I have been coffee free for 2.5 years now and don’t miss it.  I do still love the smell of coffee brewing in the morning though and I still have not given up the wine …. not so sure I will… I mean it’s much more pleasant to embrace the Friday mess of this house…

without feeling the need to clean or do laundry as I sip on a glass of Shiraz…

But once again I digress.

Stay tuned: Read up on some other sources of energy we use coming SOON to a blog near you. 😁)