Tag Archives: scripture

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.

Playing Chess His Way

So much is discussed about Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday but what happened between?! I read a great teaching about it today by Pastor Roy at Evangel Church that connected it to a game of chess. It spoke to my heart in a way I had no choice but to reflect on.♟

Let me start by saying, while I love games, I don’t play chess. I respect it and am intrigued by it; however, I myself have never learned to play. (If I’m being fully transparent, it is a bit intimidating… much like life sometimes…) However, after rereading what happened two days after Palm Sunday and relating it to a game of chess, a better way to describe it is ~ I’m in awe.

So let’s go back to the days that followed Palm Sunday, Jesus was questioned as he entered the temple courts. The chief priests, teachers of the law and elders questioned who gave Jesus the authority to do what he was doing. The authority of Jesus was challenged! However, Jesus responded back with a question, “John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!” (Mark 11:30) The elders came back for their turn with their answer of “We don’t know.” They were torn. They did not know what move to make. However, their indecisiveness or unwillingness to believe did not stop Jesus who said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” (Mark 11:33)

Much like the game of chess (or so I hear) there are rules and boundaries that cannot be broken. They do not change because we question them or try to overpower them with our own versions and adaptations. They do not change because we are indecisive and unready. The pieces don’t lie much like God’s words. His words only speak truth. The board doesn’t adjust to our own liking. Instead, it remains constant. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 )

His words, hope and truths do not bend for us. Instead, they help to guide our every move. Therefore, my prayer is that no matter what I am up against, I play alongside Jesus and not against. He will always have our backs. He will provide the best moves in and through everything. And for that, I am forever grateful and in…such awe. ♟✝️

(All rights reserved. @theartofamessyhouse )

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

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Against the Winds

I’ve never been a big Science person. Sure, I find some of the information and discoveries to be amazing; however, reading, writing, math and even art have always been more of my thing. But now I have a son who has a mind fascinated by science and engineering. So these concepts that I once found little interest in, I now find myself wanting to learn.

One concept that I read and learned more about this past year was the fact that planes take off against the wind.

My reading was inspired by Henry Ford’s quote, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Most people, including myself believe, it has to do with resistance. However, after some reading, it has to do with this being the way it requires less acceleration to get to a certain speed.

Basically it is the way to higher altitude using less time and less speed.

For many of us though, and figuratively speaking it may seem like a paradox. Taking off against the wind seems to be counterproductive.

But this brings us back to the biblical concept of leaning on God against the trials,

against the challenges,

against the changes,

against the discomfort…

against the winds.

“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”(Matthew 14:24, 27 NIV)

God wants us all to do this. He doesn’t expect us to have the strength ourselves. He doesn’t expect us to have the momentum and power to take off alone. He wants us to lean in and allow Him to do His thing.

So today, no matter what we are up against, let’s praise God for it. Let’s be thankful knowing that he is using those very challenges, those very winds… for beauty… for strength even if we can’t see or feel it yet. For suffering is a moment compared to what eternity holds.

“Lean on me against the winds of each day. For true strength is built in this way.”

Therefore, today …

I am thankful for the winds.

🤍 For more imperfectly perfect posts, follow me ➡️ @theartofamessyhouse

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

2020 Reflections

2020 was a lot. A lot of discomfort, change, loss, pain, challenges and the unexpected for so many. It was a lot.

Throughout #2020, I’ve learned a lot too:

⁃ A lot of people had struggles and experienced loss this year. I learned that even when I don’t know how to comfort someone or the right words to say, #praying is something I can always do. It is something we all can do. #alldayeveryday #everydayfaith

⁃ I learned that I #love and miss hugs more than I thought. (Guess I am a hugger at #heart.)

⁃ I learned that #healing is possible. I saw miraculous healing and protection this year in family and even in myself. I saw the #powerofprayer !

⁃ I learned that waiting is not time wasted. Instead, it is time to grow. (I learned #patience is still an area I’m working on.)

⁃ While on the growth topic, I learned that we limit ourselves when we stay inside our comfort zones. Growth often happens in the discomfort.

⁃ I learned different ways to connect through virtual teaching. I learned different programs, techniques and platforms to use. I learned a lot of technology that I otherwise would never have learned! (My eyes may argue that it is too much #technology though.)

⁃ I learned how to connect with loved ones on a different level and also that it is okay to need space and quiet time too.

⁃ After 15 plus years, I learned to not be addicted to #running and that stretching and core is so important too. I learned to not be reliant on working out (even if it took a knee injury to get me there.) @ thanks for helping with your great videos and workouts too. And for helping me think outside the box.

⁃ I learned that when a dream is on your heart and won’t go away, chances are- it’s waiting for you.

⁃ I learned that even a baby step is a step. Each step is important to the process even if it involves some backward steps too.

⁃ I learned to appreciate quiet moments, and the loud ones. I learned to appreciate the small moments and the big. And that sometimes the quiet, small moments turn out to be the greatest.

⁃ I learned how to #selfpublish a #book! Thanks to @ helping me through. #illustrator #talent

(❤️ This book is now available on Amazon here: Book 1: How to Be Kind

⁃ I learned to lean in more and #trust #God!

⁃ I learned that while our world and country needs a lot of work still, I learned that there are really a lot of #good and good people all around.

⁃ I learned that while I still have a lot of work I need to do, I can do my part here and now (just like everyone can)… despite the mess… despite the imperfections.

So 2021, I pray you bring blessings, laughter, health and love to everyone. I pray and believe for God’s hope and joy !!! I pray and believe. ❤️❤️❤️

#dreambig #hope #bethegood

#howtobekind #childrensbook #bookone #series

#speakup #bekind #faith #christianity #children #kids #parenthood #motherhood #authors #authorsofinstagram #writers #author #writersofinstagram #books #writer #bookstagram #writing #writingcommunity #writerscommunity #reading #book #write

#theartofamessyhouse

#happynewyear

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

6 Years Ago & Grateful

This past weekend TJ had a moment of frustration about his allergies. It was the first time in 6.5 years of his life that he had spoken up and said that sometimes he gets frustrated. He is currently still allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts. He went on to explain that he knows dairy is in a lot of foods. So he vented and we listened. Then we came up with a game plan for what new recipes we could try that were safe and yummy for all of us. That made him happy and so excited.

It was both heartbreaking and precious. But we also agreed we needed to continue to pray and believe that one day he would outgrow more, if not ALL of them. And trust me… we believe!

The next day as I was scrolling on my social media page, I saw a memory of TJ from 6 years ago. Those cozy, adorable pajamas were ones I could never forget. Instantly, I was brought back to that late afternoon. It was the last picture I had taken right before his first allergic and anaphylactic reaction…

6 years ago…

I remember it like it was yesterday …

It was a snowy, December evening when I gave him that tiny spoonful of yogurt for the first time.

I remember the highest level of fear I have ever felt. I remember the terrifying ride in the ambulance that had no epi-pen jr. in it. I remember holding an oxygen mask over his face, praying that he would continue to cry because… crying meant he was still breathing!

But I also remember 45 minutes later and being so thankful to have gotten there in time.

I remember the doctors in the emergency room being so comforting …

I also remember the triumph…

I also remember watching TJ’s resilience that those 21 food allergies could not erase. I remember his smile…

I remember his smile when he saw us standing there.

Back then I used to say, “I’ll be happy when …”

… all the allergies are gone …

Or

… when I have more money…

Or

… when I get to go to Disney World with my kids…

But then I see their smiles…

Then I saw his smile…

And I read God’s word more and more and I realized joy is not something we wait for.

Joy is a gift from the Lord.

So I celebrate the allergy count dropping from 21 food allergies to 3. I celebrate the here and the now because God is here and now. And He is always working!

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So I am grateful. I am joyful. I am hopeful.

Right here and right now.

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.

Wear Those Hats Proudly

This morning as my daughter was getting ready for school, we almost forgot that it was Hat Day! Therefore at the last minute, we searched through her closet and found several options to choose from. From a beach hat to a few wool ones to the princess cap that she picked, they were all right there. She did not need to carry a bag full of them to school or pile them all upon her head. Instead, she picked one and went off to school. I could not help but reflect on the simplicity in that and how life these days has become quite the opposite. Our days seem to be full with a large arrange of hats to wear and roles to fill with no choice on the table but to wear them all.

For most of us, 2020 has given us so many more hats to wear. From wife to mother to teacher to therapist to technology support to coach to comedian to detective to motivator to entertainer to EVERYTHING ELSE, this year has given us all so many more roles to play. And that alone is exhausting. I don’t know about you, but I was exhausted before 2020 even hit.

Still, it came and continues to challenge us to the core. 2020 has challenged us out of our comfort zones and into uncomfortable places. And while most of us do not like to be uncomfortable, it is in the discomfort we grow. It is in the discomfort we learn. It is in the discomfort we are challenged. It is in the discomfort we step into more. It is in the discomfort we become everything we were created to become. It is in the discomfort that God is working and right besides us. So, embrace God during this time and even if it all feels so heavy and like nothing makes sense, lean into Him and trust. Make room for Him. Put it all into His hands. Then, use those emptied hands to grab a hold of His word and His promises. Then together with Him, embrace those hats and wear them all proudly and boldly, knowing that there is a whole world out there, out of our comfort zones, waiting for us.

So, while there may be a lot of suffering, pain and discomfort, choose to trust and believe that with every step you take in and through it, God is using it to make you stronger…because YOU were made for more.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So wear those hats proudly and wave them boldly through the raging storms. Celebrate all that you are growing into…and the strength that is being uncovered within you… because it is something truly amazing! Most importantly, use your gifts and embrace the most important hat we all have access to… being a believer and child of God.