I love to spend time in the small patch of woods bordering my yard. In the distance there are rolling hills and silos. Birds sing in the treetops or skip along the pine-needle-covered earth, scavenging for food. Rabbits hop past or peer at me with their big brown eyes.
The other day, as I was sitting there enjoying the fresh air and warmth of spring, I caught sight of a tiny leaf on the ground. The intricacy of it caught my attention, and as I bent down to observe it I was touched by the detail and creativity of our Creator.
Our Creator pays attention to detail. Nothing escapes His view. He cares about the little things in our lives as well. He intervenes in the details we can’t see, weaving our lives together into a tapestry of His glory and grace.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrew 4:13-16)
Will we wrestle with Yahweh, or will we allow Him to work out the details of our lives as we seek His face in prayer and action?
He sees the full picture, when we just see a glimpse.
“The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; From His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works.” (Psalm 33:13-15)
“It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. (Daniel 2:22)
“He provides them with security, and they are supported; And His eyes are on their ways. (Job 24:23)
What a privilege to be a child of God, knowing that He is faithful down to the last detail.
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36)
Sometimes the sky is glittering, and I’m awestruck by the vastness of it.
Other nights it’s blank, and I’m a little disappointed, but I know the truth. The stars will be back. In fact, they’re still there–always there–just hidden from view at the moment.
Creation glorifies its Maker, and it points us back to Him.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.(Romans 1:20)
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. (Psalm 33:5)
Yahweh, the maker of the stars, is always near.
Sometimes we might not see Him as clearly as we wish. We might feel like our faith is gazing at a blank black sky, longing for a glimmer of hope.
It is estimated that there are 100 billion stars in just our galaxy alone.
That’s beyond my comprehension. And yet, we read how, “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.” (Psalm 147:4)
Just as Yahweh called Abram to count the stars as a promise of how many his offspring would be (Genesis 15:5), so when we look at the stars dancing in the night sky, we see a promise.
The One who made the stars, is the One who made us, knows us, and holds us together.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)
He is always there.
He is faithful.
With that truth, my heart can rest each night.
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, not one is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)
I stared out the window at the daffodils that have blossomed around the mailbox, and turned to my sister and remarked, “Those daffodils don’t fit in, do they?” Despite a few spots of grass beginning to turn green, the world outside still looked like winter.
That’s when I thought about what those daffodils stand for, and how they’re an example for each of us.
We can be daffodils.
We can smile at the winter cold, and stand as a symbol of hope to those who can’t feel it yet. We can be a reminder that joy is coming, and new life is blooming.
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5b)
We are the light of the world.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 4:14-16)
How can you be a daffodil today?
Don’t let your lights go down Don’t let your fire burn out ‘Cause somewhere, somebody needs a reason to believe Why don’t you rise up now? Don’t be afraid to stand out That’s how the lost get found
So many thoughts have been running through my mind, and culminating in a headache.
Maybe the headache wasn’t related to all the pondering I’ve been doing. Maybe it was the fact that I need a hair cut and wearing my long hair up might have been giving me the headache (okay, so you probably don’t care about the details). But I do hold to the conviction that God speaks to us in our everyday lives. And He spoke to me through the headache, reminding me that I can’t figure this life out on my own.
I don’t have all the answers.
I don’t know what tomorrow holds.
In fact, tomorrow isn’t even promised. And that leads to some tough questions.
If tomorrow doesn’t come, have I lived a life worth mentioning in the light of eternity?
Have I given all I could?
Or have I held back, not feeling the urgency to live every day fully for the glory of God.
Have I desired the comfort of an easy life, more than the comfort of the God who daily carries our burdens?
Have I even thought seriously about eternity?
All these questions we can ask ourselves. Maybe we have some great answers, or maybe we have some great excuses, but what answers do our lives give to these questions?
I once heard someone say, “You might not live what you confess, but you will live what you believe.”
My life shows what I believe and Who I believe in. And it’s not always the right things. It’s not always solely focused on Him.
But the gospel assures me that redemption has called me His own. My life is no longer mine; it’s crucified with Him. His Holy Spirit will guide me. In His love He will prune me. This isn’t easy, but it’s the truth. And truth always sets people free.
What if tomorrow does come?
Will we live it any differently than today?
His mercies are new every morning.
Let’s embrace each morning as a new start, a gift from above, and an opportunity to share His love with this hurting world.
Of course, I will still be posting on Blog of Joy, but you will also find me posting on Sisters on Our Knees.
Our hope is that Sisters on Our Knees can become a joint effort of sisters in Messiah around the world. If you ever feel led to write a guest post or share a testimony of answered prayer, you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quite a few people were interested in coming (even friends who weren’t familiar with the books). We searched the internet and found some great ideas, and then added some of our own to create this one-of-a-kind evening.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted by the lilting melody of “Meryton Townhall” from the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack as they stepped out of their vehicles, I mean, “horseless carriages”. :) We requested that each guest bring a name card for their introduction from the vestibule. Two of our guests came as nobility (a duke and a duchess), and both were introduced with a “red carpet” for them to enter upon.
Everyone attending the party was required to wear a Regency Era costume. Of course, we weren’t strict on how authentic the costumes were. One of my sisters wore a dress that had previously been used for a German costume, and one of the men came as an American patriot (saying he was traveling from America. ha ha!). Some of our guests had homemade costumes, while others pieced together clothes from home or from thrift stores.
Mr. Collins (above far left)
Jane, Elizabeth, and Mrs. Bennet (below)
Mr. Darcy & Miss Georgiana Darcy
Margaret, Elinor, and Marianne Dashwood
Mr. Palmer–He had his phone hidden behind the newspaper so he could check the football scores. (We’re still in the twenty-first century, y’all!)
Miss Catherine Morland
Miss Jane Austen
We had several activities for our guests–some planned and some not! :)
-The “Did You Know?” Game-
Each guest wrote down on index cards at least one unique fact about themselves. My mom (the hostess) mixed the cards and read them one at a time to us all. Everyone would then guess who wrote down each fact.
Here are some examples from the party:
“Did you know…I did karate in a frozen waterfall?”
“Did you know…I weighed 2 lbs. 6 oz. when I was born?”
“Did you know…I can do push ups on my thumbs?”
“Did you know…I played Beethoven on the piano in Paris?”
“Did you know…I have never tasted soda?”
“Did you know…I drove an army truck into the corner of a roof?”
It was quite amusing and surprising, especially because most of our guests had never met before.
Lively dance music from the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack was playing for this game.
The men had their own round of Musical Chairs, since many had such well-bred manners and dare not steal chairs from the ladies.
-Regency Era Trivia-
We found some interesting facts to share about Jane Austen and the time she lived in.
Jane Austen lived to be 41 years old. She published Pride and Prejudice at age 37.
The Regency Era was from 1811 to 1820. England was at war with the United States from 1812 to 1817 (the War of 1812).
Parmesan cheese-flavored ice cream was a favorite!
“Pineapples were very exotic and so expensive that hostesses used them as centerpieces on their dinner tables to show their wealth. They were hardly ever eaten as they were too precious and were often passed from hostess to hostess to use as decoration until they rotted.” (source)
“It cost at least £15 – an average working man’s yearly wage – to light a ballroom with wax candles for one night. Candles were sold in four-hour or six-hour burn lengths, and they dictated the length of the ball.” (source)
-Pianoforte Performances & Singing-
We requested that whoever so desired would grace us by playing the pianoforte. What talent!
The day before the party, we ladies of the household (including a dear friend who was visiting) made the pastries. The leaf details on the jam tartlets brought a seasonal flair to the array (picture taken before the tartlets were baked).
For drinks, we served tea and apple cider (hot or cold). Most everyone requested apple cider.
My brother designed these bookmarks for the ladies and the gentlemen as party favors. Feel free to print and use! (Four bookmarks are printed on each page.)
It was truly an honor to host this party for so many lovely young ladies and gentlemen. Everyone enjoyed it, and one guest said it was the most fun they’d had in a long time. Knowing that it brought so much joy to their hearts was a gift to us.
Thank you to our photographer, Miss Read, for bestowing her talent in capturing this memorable evening.
And thank you to my family and friends who made it happen.
It was a blessed time, for sure!
Which is your favorite Jane Austen book? Have you ever attended a Jane Austen party?
This morning the 22-month-old little girl that I babysit came running up to my doorstep as cheerful as ever. As I swept her up in my arms and greeted her, I thought about how today is election day and how amazing it must be to be a toddler without a care in the world.
As we took a walk around he neighborhood, she swung her arms with her chin held high, exclaiming about the trees and the neighborhood dogs that she saw and singing a song.
I was reminded of Yeshua’s words about having faith like a child.
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)
Of course, as adults we have the responsibility to take action in our country, but as children of God we have to remember to trust in Him above all else.
We need childlike faith to trust that we are provided for, cherished, and protected by or heavenly Father.
Whatever the election holds, let’s not lose that childlike faith.
Let’s keep recognizing the beauty in the world, and trusting in our Father to supply all our needs.
Let’s learn from a toddler, and remember that…
“This is the day that Yahweh has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
Lately I’ve been pondering my past and my future. Perhaps it’s on my mind even more than usual since I’ll be turning twenty soon. It’s funny how it felt like I’d always be a teen. I’m a little sentimental as this stage slips away, but life isn’t going to feel any different, and I’m excited for whatever the future holds.
The other day an acquaintance shared some wisdom with me. “Time flies,” she said, as her sweet brown eyes smiled at me beneath her white hair, “Cherish each day. Take a moment in the morning just to soak it up and thank God.”
Time isn’t “flying” for me, but I know that one day it’ll feel that way.
I want to make a habit now of cherishing each day and living each year on purpose.
This month I’m joining Kings Blooming Rose in their Give Thanks x7 Challenge. It’s pretty easy. Simply write down seven things each day that you’re thankful for.
Often we don’t realize how deeply we are blessed until we pause and recognize His goodness in our lives.
I haven’t lived long, but still I’ve seen His hand lead me year by year–sheltering my heart from what I thought I wanted, and giving me more than I could have dreamed.
Bless Yahweh, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Yahweh, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Yahweh works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. Yahweh is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so Yahweh shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and wit is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of Yahweh is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. Yahweh has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless Yahweh, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless Yahweh, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless Yahweh, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless Yahweh, O my soul!
What are seven things that you are thankful for today?
Yesterday I did something that I had gotten out of the practice of doing. I opened up the Intercessors for Israel prayer e-mail and prayed along.
Every time that I pray along with these weekly prayer prompts, I feel so strengthened and connected to the Father. It keeps me up to date on current events in Israel, and also fills me with hope that the Father is hearing our prayers.
If I want to be so committed to this, why don’t I pray along more often?
Any excuse I come up with isn’t good enough.
I’ve always struggled with praying consistently for Israel for years. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth.
Distraction is often zapping our time, efforts, and prayer life.
But if we open up the Word of Life, and quiet our soul to hear His still small voice, we will know His heart. We will know His will. We will know how to pray.
Sometimes there are many prayer requests on our hearts. We have family, friends, communities, and worldwide issues to pray for. And we need to focus on these important things. But we also need to remember to always “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).
That small strip of land, about the size of New Jersey, is unlike anywhere else in the world. All the earth is His, but Israel is His special treasure.
For the YHVH has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling, saying, “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it. I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food. I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people will ever sing for joy. “Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one. I will clothe his enemies with shame, but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.”
His heart is for Israel.
With so many people in the world standing against Israel today, we must stand up for this Promised Land.