Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Year? Already?

"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass."
Psalm 37:5

It just hit me that Homespun Devotions has been online for one year.
Where does the time go?

I remember the day I began this journey.
It all boiled down to the encouragement of one man....
Mom's youngest brother...
my Uncle Donnie.
He advised me to pick up one of the passions of my heart...
and begin writing again.
I had stopped...
a few years ago.
The passion was shelved...
put aside...
lying dormant...
but still very much alive...
under the surface.
He knew how much I missed it.
His encouragement to write began after a series of emails keeping everyone
up to date on Mom's hospital stay last August & September.
Sharing my heart...
and her condition.
After Mom was home and things were settled,
he told me to keep writing.

So, I did.

I was in a state of complete brokenness.
We were experiencing life-altering change.
God was leading down a very unfamiliar and uncharted path.
I was apprehensive,
but completely certain...
that we were following Him.

What peace to know...
that we still are.

All glory be to God,
we are still standing...
on the Solid Rock.

He is our Guide,
our Deliverer,
our Shepherd,
and the dearest and most precious Friend we've ever known.

Who would have known what the past year would hold for us?
Who could have predicted?
Looking back,
over it all,
the good and the bad,
I rejoice!
I give God praise...
and worship...
and all of the love and devotion my heart can hold.

He is a good God.
A faithful God.
My God.
I love Him with every fiber of my being.
He is nearer and dearer to me today,
than He has ever been before.
The journey with Christ gets sweeter and more precious to my heart...
every, single day.

He didn't promise life would be easy.
His wasn't.
He didn't say we wouldn't cry.
He wept.
He didn't guarantee that our hearts would never break.
His did.
He said if we wanted to come after Him,
and be His disciple,
we would have to do three this exact order:
1.  Deny our self
2.  Pick up our cross...the one He designed...just for us
3.  Follow Him

I don't read anything in that equation that promises no heartache....
a bed of roses....
absolute utopia.
It would be easier to forgo the first two steps
and just follow Him.
But, wait!
In order to do step number three,
number one and number two have to come first.
They are prerequisites.
Because we will never follow Christ...
we will never be His disciple....
without doing what He did.

He doesn't ask us to do anything He hasn't already done.

If we approach Christianity....
if we think we can be successful....
by omitting the first two commands,
we are sadly mistaken.

It is a three-step process,
and we have to be willing to follow His lead.

His life was full-to-capacity with self-denial.
His cross was heavier than a bleeding, beaten man could carry....alone.
His cross didn't only consist of the rough-hewn wooden beams....
one nailed into the other.
It was so much more than that.
He carried your sins...
and my sins....
and the weight of the sins of the whole world.
His cross began the day He left Heaven...
to be born and to condescend to become one of us.
His whole life was selfless.
His whole life was a cross.
His cross was a lifestyle...
a continual denying of Himself.

That's why He promised to help us carry ours.
Though He was forsaken by all who promised they never would,
you and I will never walk alone.

Our cross will never be anywhere close to as heavy...
as His was.

When I talked to Uncle Donnie last October 1st....
he convinced me that God wanted me to write.
I've learned to trust his perspective.
He's talked me through some rough, turbulent times.
He often helps me sort through things,
he reminds me of God's love,
and helps me realize that all is not lost.
He is very discerning,
and has a lot of wisdom.
He picks up on things and shares so much of my history.
He saw the jaded, broken, defeated state I was in,
and he encouraged me to start using the gifts God gave...
to revisit what I love doing....
to take up what I missed so much.

He pointed me in a direction I could handle.

So, here we are....
already one year later.

Writing is pure therapy for me.

Being able to express my heart...
through sharing the words,
and thoughts...
is healing.

I've enjoyed walking this journey with you.
I appreciate you being willing to listen...
to what is in my heart.
You've stuck with me...
through the best and worst of times.
We've shared laughter...
and some tears.
Writing is a one-way conversation,
but so many of you have taken the time to make contact
and share what was in your heart with me, too.

How I appreciate your words!
I love hearing from you
and knowing your thoughts...
and what is going on in your life.

If you are a regular reader,
and you've never made contact,
I would so appreciate hearing from you!

As I ponder the future,
I would love to know if you would like the devotions to continue.
I would love to hear if they have been a blessing to you.
Have they inspired you to be more like Jesus?
What impact have they had, if any?

You can email me at:
to share your thoughts and feedback.

We may never person.
At least, not in this life.
Some of you live across the sea...
some in other states....
miles away from me.
But, what a wonderful thought to know
we can meet in Heaven one day!

What a blessing it is to be able to span the miles that separate us
through the click of a mouse!
As someone commented the other day,
it truly is a mission field.
It is a vehicle to breach the gap...
build a bridge...
and reach those we would otherwise never be able to reach.

God's ways are so creative.
His thoughts so far above ours.
And though there are many undesirable elements transmitted across the internet,
I am so thankful He gave the wisdom and intellect to bring about its invention.

Otherwise, you and I would have never "met"...
and my life would never have been as enriched
as you have made it.

My Aunt Joyce recently taught me the neatest quilt pattern.
A friend of hers gave her a few boxes of fabric pieces.
She cut them into five inch squares
and gave me a shoe-box full.
They are all manner of colors and designs and patterns.
None of them match...
Yet, when you mix them all together,
when you sew them into squares,
they make an amazingly beautiful finished product.
The randomly selected colors come together to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

I thought of the varied colors, patterns, and textures of the fabric pieces.
It reminds me of God's Church....
His people...
His followers.

We are all different.
We all come from various backgrounds.
Each of us have unique life experiences.
None of us are the same.

But, when you mix all of us together,
when we become one unit....
through the saving blood of Jesus Christ,
the picture we create must be a beautiful sight...
in God's eyes.

Isn't that amazing?
He sees the potential...
in each and every one of us...
on an individual basis.
And He envisions the finished product...
that we will make...
as one, unified body.

So, He takes the time and effort to bring us together.
To allow us to walk this Christian path....
hand in hand....
to weave and interlock our lives...
and create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Thank you for reading my devotionals.
Thank you for sticking with me during some of the darkest moments of my life.
Thank you for not forsaking me, when I needed you most.
I appreciate every one of your tokens of encouragement.
I am glad God allowed our paths to cross
through this little blog.
I praise Him for putting people like Uncle Donnie in my life...
to encourage,
to refuse to allow me to drown in self-pity,
to hold my feet to the fire...
and inspire me to keep going.
To remind me that God has His hand on my life,
and that the choice of direction in which He chooses to lead and use me
lies in His hands...
not mine.

So, Happy 1st Anniversary "Homespun Devotions"!

We'll see where God takes it from here.

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