Thursday, August 02, 2012

Experiencing Joy ~ Life Lately

Viv, who calls herself 'Biv', is growing up...having a favorite color, having opinions on things.
I was singing to her the other day.
'Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are ...'

And she quietly interrupts with 'And purple.'

So I he-haw laugh and begin again. 'Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, and purple, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.'

She smiled.

Different day.
We were blowing bubbles. 'Dear God....(in a tiny almost inaudible voice) thank you for bubbles.'

If you were to ask me, 'what is God teaching you right now'. Easy answer. Sin. What it is? Who suffers from it? And what does it look like.

And of course, he's showing me my own sin.

Real joy comes from knowing the depth of your sin and the extent of your idolatry. 'Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.' Jonah 2:8

I've heard it said that until you understand with your full being that you are actually truly capable of committing ANY sin, and until you realize that apart from Christ there is nothing naturally good in you, (read this carefully) then you will never know true joy.

Well. Here it is. The TRUTH.

Real joy is knowing how terribly bad I am, through and through, and then comparing it to the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. What He has done.

Jesus said it himself: Those who have been forgiven much, love much.

Their gratitude spills over and they find themselves tripping over their own feet, running to bow at HIS feet, crazy in love with God.

They find themselves loving others in an extravagant, unsurpassable way and forgiving unabashedly...from the heart. They. are. quick. to. forgive. others. 

Does this describe you?

It's like the verse that we quote around our house a lot, not because we are getting it so right, but to remind us when we are wrong. 'Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.' Ephesians 4:32-5:2

Do you ever ask yourself...Am I a fragrant offering to God? What is my aroma in the nostrils of the most high God? 

Brian and I sat over a date night dinner last week discussing sin. We got caught on the fact that some sins appear worse than others. Many sins destroy marriages, families and wreck homes. Some are secret and appear to destroy only the singular sinner. But all sin grieves God. Period. All sin separates us from him. All sin is detestable to him. Yet, 'all have sinned.' Romans 3:23 

It's like one of my best friends Mom used to say to her, 'Sin takes you further than you want to go, keeps you for longer than you want to stay, and costs more than you want to pay.' 

But the pathway right back to God is confession and repentance through a relationship with Jesus Christ. It's done. Finished.

God cannot give up on you. His love constrains him.

No matter how long it's been since you prayed. Or how long it's been since you whispered a prayer or listened for God's voice, the journey back to where you belong is one step away. 'Come trembling' to him like a dove and he will settle you in his home. Hosea 11:11

I had a few of the girls friends over Wednesday afternoon for our first ever Baking Class.


1st recipe. 
Chocolate chip cookies...with the incredibly awesome pick-your-own extra sweet option.
Baker extraordinare. Taiter. 
I just love her.

 The next 4 pics were taken by my new little friend Madison, who is five, and seems to have an eye for photography. 

 Finger licking good. Waiting on their turn to add the special ingredients to their cookies. 

2nd recipe. 
Tie dyed cake in a jar! What? The girls loved it.

Tie Dye Cake in Jar
  • 1 box white cake mix made according to package instructions
  • Neon food coloring in pink, yellow, green, turquoise, and purple
  • 3 one-pint canning jars
  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • Rainbow sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly wash and dry the inside of each canning jar. Spray the inside of each jar thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Scoop about 1/2 cups of cake batter into five small bowls. It doesn’t have to be perfect, don’t panic if you get a little more of less of one color than another.  Tint each bowl of cake batter with the food coloring until very vibrant.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the purple batter into the bottom of each jar.  Spoon equal amounts of turquoise batter, then green, yellow, and pink.  Place the jars in a shallow baking dish, add about 1/4″ in water in the baking dish. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Remove jars and allow to cool completely before scooping a small portion from the top of your cake and adding a hefty dollop of vanilla buttercream to the top. Sprinkle & serve, or cover with a lid and store in the fridge or pop into the mail & surprise someone you love!

The Lemonade Extravaganza of 2012
It's been on the summer bucket list for exactly 8 weeks. We've all wanted to do it many times this summer but had other plans in the afternoon and could never work it out. WELL. Today was the day. To say they were excited is the understatement of the century. It's 8:30pm and I still hear Vivian talking, not wanting to fall asleep. She didn't have a nap, so she's been in the bed since 5pm. 

The hit was not the PINK lemonade, but the popsicles. Which we gave away FREE... only stipulation was that you were smiling. :) Not hard for the customers with this sales team. 

The girls either drank or spilt more than we sold. And ate their weight in popsicles.

I sent a few texts and boom. We had Customers. Super duper incredibly cute customers.

Our in house marketing and advertising executive went for the 'ol stand-in-a-pink-chair advertising scheme.
 It worked.
Happy customers. And they sat and enjoyed their lemonade under the umbrellas and listened to music while munching on their popsicles.
No one seemed to mind that the cooler full of ice was soaked in popsicle juice, and that the table was sticky with spilled lemonade all over it, or that the lemonade wasn't made from fresh squeezed lemons. 
They just drank up.

It just so happened to be trash day.  

Wish I got a better shot of it. I didn't have the zoom lens on. This guy paid for his lemonade with a million dollar smile. Should have given HIM a popsicle with that lemonade...we didn't think of that. 


 The ice is starting to look a little funny....


So all in all, we made 1 Million & $15 dollars today. All in a days work. 
Oh, and we checked one more thing off the summer bucket list. Make a stranger feel loved and happy. 

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