Tag Archives: jesus

Ahoy!

Ahoy! I see treasure

better than any ruby or gold

It is the boldness beauty

of such truth to be told.

Ahoy! I am in wonder

for such innocence lights the start.

Ahoy! I see treasure

alive in the heart.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ( Matthew 6:21 NIV)

Let’s talk treasures. 🌟

Kids like treasure boxes and hunts. Maybe it’s because their hearts are aligned to see and appreciate the beauty in such simple things. Maybe it’s because they are always up for an adventure. Maybe it’s because they themselves are such treasures.

Walt Disney once said, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”

Of course, children are treasures.

But books are treasures too. And together, they make for a powerful combination.

Children are beautiful and genuine. They are honest and fearless in their thoughts, actions and creations. They are natural at loving, forgiving, and teaching. They amaze us at their depth, yet innocence. Together, children and books ignite such creativity, questions, wonder and adventure! They unleash curiosity and possibility. They see the beauty and fun in each page and part. They believe that the possibilities are endless! So imagine then, when we embed God’s word into that too.

Let’s raise readers! Let’s raise leaders. Let’s raiser believers. Youth are inspiring. It is amazing where their minds go in a good book. It is amazing at how naturally they can lead. It is amazing at how easily they trust and believe in God who makes all things possible!

Let’s do our part and fill their minds, aka their precious treasures, with diverse and everyday stories of kindness, inclusion, leadership, faith and Jesus! And while we’re at it, let’s be more like children… seeing the treasures for their imperfect, yet boundless beauty.

What is your treasure today? Where is your heart today? Let’s be like children. Let’s love like children. Let’s see the boundless beauty all around us.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NIV)

“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 NIV)

Dear God,

You created beauty. You are our treasure. Forgive us when we do not see it. We repent the times we selfishly see past the beauty and treasures right before us. We love you. We trust you. We know there is beauty all around. Speak to us today through the greatest book ever written, the Bible. Fill our minds and hearts with treasures words that overflow to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

What They See

This rainy day got me thinking of… Umbrellas!!!

One of my son’s first words was umbrella. Yup, umbrella! It was his third word.

I remember thinking, or hoping “Mama” would come next after “Dad.” However, Elmo came second and then… umbrella 🧐

I was stumped. I barely used that word. In fact, I barely used umbrellas! Had my son even seen a real umbrella? At that time, I was unknowingly battling with PTSD after my son’s anaphylactic reaction and learning of his MANY food allergies. So if I’m being honest, I avoided going anywhere really at that time.

Therefore, it was was sooooo bizarre to me that he would learn, and say such a word so early on. Umbrella!?!?

Recently, almost six years later, I was sharing this with my son and we were laughing at the randomness and silliness of it. We thought maybe it was because we love the beach and he learned it from beach umbrellas.

Then, I thought about it more…

What we see is what we learn. What we turn our eyes to and fill our days with becomes what our minds learn, whether we like it or not, where it’s true or not. It is why it is so important for us to spend time filling our minds with the hope and truth of God‘s word. It is why reading the Bible transforms and renews us. It is why we must fill and teach our children this too.

Now, how does this relate to umbrellas and TJ learning it as his 3rd word?

Well, in our old house, we had cave crickets, what we called jumpy bugs. Once a week one would get into his toy box in the basement. At the time not being a fan of insects, I would take an umbrella from the closet and trap them that way. That way I didn’t need to touch it or risk touching it.

As I laughed at the process back then, I had no idea that my son, barely only 1, was watching too. He was watching enough to even learn the word!

Kids learn what we show them. They learn what we feed their minds with. They learn what they see. However, we learn that way too.

We must feed our minds with God’s truth…and the rest will follow.

“The Art of a Messy House” series is one way to do this, starting with book 1, “How to Be Kind.”

Amazon Book Link

Other Book Links

Pandemic Puzzles

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

The past year has changed a lot! And yet one thing that remains through all seasons is the importance of self care.

If you are anything like me, the year has shifted and made us reevaluate a lot including this area. It has encouraged me to try out new activities like #walking, forcing the #runner in me to slow down.

But it has also added back some old favorites such as …

PUZZLES!!!!

We did puzzles and puzzles and more puzzles. And even if we lost a piece or two along the way, they were a great outlet.

Self care is not selfish. It is necessary. We are not created to be robots. Without caring for our own health, our bodies and spirits grow weak. Our hearts can harden too. We cannot serve others if our cup is empty. Start by filling your cup today with God’s word. Then, add in other activities that take care of you…. like a walk or a puzzle.

What kind of self care did you lean into this past year? What do you plan to continue into this new year? Better yet, what will you do for yourself today? ❤️

Building Bridges

A few days ago I searched and found an old picture of the Golden Gate Bridge to show my son after he completed building a lego of it. It had been over 7 years since that pre-kid trip to San Francisco. (And probably just as long since I looked at those images.)

Then tonight while putting my daughter to sleep, I thought about that image. I thought about bridges and everything going on.

I thought about how bridges represent connection. I thought about how they represent unity between places and people. I thought about how … while bridges are all around us connecting location to location,

there are other #bridges too.

They are the bridges we build in our lives with our actions and #words .

They are bridges we build by speaking up and using what we have right now … to do what is right.

They are bridges that bring #hope.

Whether we like it or even know it, we are always building something. But it’s not always a bridge; sometimes it is a wall.

In order to build bridges, we must tear down the walls. We must halt the construction of those things that divide.

So tonight even if I do not spend hours building #Legos like my son, I pray and continue to pray I am building bridges and not walls. I pray and continue to pray for a country and world where more and more people do that too.

“Like an expert builder I built the foundation of that house. I used the gift that God gave me to do this. Others are building on that foundation. But everyone should be careful how he builds. The foundation has already been built. No one can build any other foundation. The foundation that has already been laid is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:10-11‬ ‭ICB)‬‬

#unity #bridges #usewhatyouhave #connections ##kids #motherhood #momlife #parenting #scripture #sanfrancisco #beforekids #timeless #lessons #praying #building #bekindalways #speakup #kindness #love #kindnessislove #everydayfaith #howtobekind #suchatimeasthis #jesus #theartofamessyhouse

Leaving Me Behind

My hope once jumped at the chance
to find such purpose
a way out of the old dance.
So you said wait here
Don’t grumble
For what I hold is more than just one glance.
For all the delays
And all the missed boats that sailed away
I trust you Lord
I trust my purpose in You
I pray, I pray, I pray.
For my hope is in you
I praise, I hope, I pray.

I recently read a powerful story in another devotional that a beautiful friend sent. It was about someone who had been disappointed that as they were leaving Slovakia to come to the United States, they were stopped in France. Her great great grandmother had been coughing and they were afraid of her possibly having tuberculosis. So because of their delay, they missed their ship, the ship that held their hope. They had to have so disappointed in the delay and deflating hope of that boat changing their lives. That was until they learned of that boat’s sad fate.

That boat was the Titanic.

Often we put our hope in things that are not God. In doing that, our trust goes into material things or boats that we really know nothing about. Our promise is in the Lord. Therefore our hope is in the Lord. God is using delays like the story above to save our lives, to protect us, to guide us to the paths he wants us on. God is our hope. Therefore if we put our hope in him, we can trust the delays and even the missed “ships” as blessings.

Why am I reaching for the things that are not my meant to be? Why am I reaching and trying to jump onto boats I have no business being on? God knows where he wants me to be. Therefore, I know and trust that he also knows the best and safest way to get there even if it includes some delays and road bumps along the way.

““But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭39:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Reflection:
Am I still holding my hope on any missed ships today? If so, I pray to put my full hope and trust in the Lord.

Prayer:
Dear God,
You are my hope. Forgive me when I try to jump on boats that I have no business on. Forgive me when I put my hope on material things. Empower me. Use me. I pray that my gifts are used for your purpose and for your glory. Show me the way. Despite the delays, open up my eyes with the Holy Spirit and guide me on the path you want me on. Help me make the connections you want me to make and bring your good news and promises to the world. And may I never be quiet of how glorious you are through it all. In Jesus’ name. Amen

#theartofamessyhouse

Book 1 of the children’s series is out now all over including on Amazon:How to Be Kind

My First Book is Out!!!!

Ever since I was little, writing was something I did. Writing was how I made sense of the world. Writing was something that came from my heart.

Now, it’s time to start sharing.❤️

So first up is… How to Be Kind.

It is the first book of the children part of my series “The Art of a Messy House.” It is a book, and soon series, filled with imperfectly perfect stories for families connecting simple life lessons with God’s word.

And it is now available on Amazon!!! (#someonepinchme #godissogood #everydayfaith #kindnessislove #godstiming #snowday #blessing #theartofamessyhouse)

How to Be Kind: An imperfectly perfect story for families connecting a simple life lesson with God’s word. (The Art of a Messy House)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1736218204/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_ce02FbRCJ9GM0

A Ladybug & a Laptop

Deeply broken then made whole
beaten and weary
life knows how to take its toll.
And still there is truth
there is hope on even the darkest night
for there is a purpose
found in God’s light.

The world tugs
and tries to convince us to flee
to give up and in
but that’s not who God wants us to be.

The worries knock
and they pound to get in
but God’s word reminds us
this is a victory He will always win.

So as they shout
and even through each doubt
God has a purpose
greater than what the world says it’s about.
So don’t run from it
don’t hide or flee
for you are God’s handiwork
created so wonderfully.
So trust and become-
all God created you to be.

🐞 For a few days now, there’s been a ladybug in my bedroom. I noticed it first on a part of the ceiling where I can’t reach. Then the day started and online teaching began, and it was something I no longer noticed. Then the next morning I noticed it again but in a different spot. Once again I could not reach it so it was soon erased from my sight and mind. But then yesterday morning as I woke up and went to get up, I noticed that this lady bug was no longer on my ceiling. Instead it had landed right on my laptop on the decal “Just be Who God Made You to Be.”

🐞 And that moment hit me like it was a way to slow me down and bring me back to the basics… to who I am… to who God created me to be.

🐞 We are all created with a distinct purpose. We are all God’s handiwork. We are born that way and yet from an early start the world throws challenges and distractions at us that can make steer away from that purpose. It can make us think that we must be who the world wants and needs us to be. And in that, everything can become confusing.

🐞 But God’s word and purposes are true and clear. They do not bring confusion.
They bring clarity.


So we must pray to God for it.

🐞 We must pray for those God-given purposes to be revealed, sharpened and used. We must pray to stay aware, connected, and aligned with His wisdom, direction and strength with it. And we must stay aware that the reminders will come when we need them.

God knows what we need.

🐞 We must just be open and ready to see and more importantly, accept them, swallowing away the pride and making the changes we need to make. We must use the reminders to bring us back to reality… to bring us back to what God has created us to be.

🐞 So be ready for those those moments that stop us. No matter how big or small they are, you’ll know them when they come. Pray for the wisdom, acceptance and obedience to be renewed by them too. For God is trying to do such a great work in you.

🐞 And much like that ladybug who held on tight as I walked the laptop downstairs and outside to set her free…
we must hold on tight to God’s word…
for it too will set us free.

Fun Fact: l always assumed a ladybug was a beetle that got its name because of his polka dots. The polka dots leaned towards a female and thus it was a LADYbug. I was wrong in my assumption. Instead, ladybugs are named after one amazing lady, Jesus’ mother Mary. While it is unknown for sure why, many theories state it symbolizes the red cloak Mary is often seen wearing in paintings. There are other theories too related to Mary. Those theories all point to being a gift from God. I always thought ladybugs were pretty but now their beauty has taken a whole other beautiful meaning. 🐞


“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NIV)‬‬

Prayer:
Dear God,
You created it all for a purpose. Your purpose reigns above it all. Forgive us when we steer away from what you created us for. Empower us with the Holy Spirit and fill our lives with wisdom, direction and clarity on our purpose. I pray for the courage to be obedient to it today and every day. I pray for a world where more and more people learn to do this too, all for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

BROKEN TO LIFE

The rays blind my eyes
and still I see your face
trying to slow me down
and restore my pace.

The heat of the days
as the sun reveals each thing
needing to be repaired
in order for love, to truly sing.

And even through the darkness
or the sun of my broken parts
the moon beats the light
into such broken hearts.

So wherever I am
whatever part of day
or even of the night
though I am broken
God wants to fix
He wants to restore
through defensive walls and ways
He wants us not to fight.
He wants us to invest in His word
and also His love
He wants to shine His light.

For what is now broken
can always be
broken into life.

REFLECTION:

When something in our house like a washer or refrigerator is broken, we look to fix it. And when it is thought to be unfixable or unrepairable, we invest in a new one. The same goes with ideas. Sometimes, our ways become broken because we are broken. We are imperfect people with imperfect ways. But that doesn’t mean, we should allow guilt, shame or fear to keep us there. Instead, God loves us each so dearly and deeply no matter what. He wants to grow and teach us to become more and more like him. He wants to do that through these broken areas and ways. And he makes it all possible through him. Therefore, let us reflect on what is broken today and turn to Him, the only one with all the true answers, to guide us how to fix it. And if he says it is not fixable in this way, just maybe he is calling us to turn to Him to invest in a new way. Not everything that is broken needs to be fixed. Instead, sometimes, it is leading us to invest in new ways, new options, new ideas that help to truly break us free.

Whatever is it God is doing, it often cannot be figured out. We cannot put our God and His plans into a box. It’s too big and beyond our understanding to do that. Instead, we must press in and pray for Him to reveal what in our lives is broken and needs to be invested in.

No money in the world can compare to what happens when we invest in love.

Nothing in the world compare to what beauty is grown and even restored when we invest in love like Jesus.

SCRIPTURE:

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Instruct and teach the people all that I’ve taught you. And don’t be intimidated by those who are older than you; simply be the example they need to see by being faithful and true in all that you do. Speak the truth and live a life of purity and authentic love as you remain strong in your faith. So until I come, be diligent in devouring the Word of God, be faithful in prayer, and in teaching the believers.”
‭‭ – 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:11-13‬ ‭TPT‬‬

“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
‭‭- 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:11-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Dear God,

You do not fit in a box. We cannot put your love or any of your will in a box either. Forgive us when we do that. Help us to see within though. Reveal how we can grow our broken parts to be more like you. And reveal to us also when we need to invest in new ways that are more aligned with You. God you are so good and whatever you are in the midst of, is so good too. So I pray today you refresh us and make us afresh and anew. So that whatever we do, you shine through and that we become vessels of integrity, truth and love. I pray that despite whatever you show us and are changing within us we find peace in you and in the everlasting love you have for us despite our flaws, sins and broken ways. Thank you for loving each of us the same and help us to humble ourselves enough to grow and learn and see what you are showing us. Help us to go where you are taking us, invested in love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT…

We all are broken and need repair. God is the only one who can truly bring that. Let us pray that He reveals what needs to be repaired or even replaced within our lives today. And when He does, let’s pray that we continue to invest His word and love into these new ways and restored parts.

© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2020. 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.

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.