When your cup ran over

When I was a new christian I ran around trying to do EVERYTHING for Christ. EVERYTHING. Like eating tomato soup in the college cafeteria is doing a world of good. I would look for opportunities to fight for God. Even if I was wrong and only had a half baked understanding, I still tried.

Now that I'm a little older and VERY occasionally a little wiser I've stopped trying in the same way. My level of caution is at an all time high, with all the offense people take to things these days. So I'm wondering...what now? I'm not who I was at the start. I'm more.....God has matured me...but what the heck to I do with all this maturity? Is it like David, dancing in the streets time? Or do I share God in a different way? With my kids? Sure. With my neighbors? They don't speak enough English. Do I tell everyone I meet at the store? 

It's a work in progress.  

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Why oh the why

Proverbs 16-

What is your name? WHAT is your quest? WHAT is your favorite color? 

Looking at my motives; why I do what I do.

Back in the Saddle Again....

Well, it's been real, and not fun. It has been REALLY NOT FUN. This whole business of life is bit of a struggle. A Work In Progress if you will. 

I'm back. 

Updates are going to go differently. For one, I'm writing less. Posting sketches more. Doodling? Most certainly. But as fabulously verbose as I am I can't keep up with the program. I mean, it's cool Jesus inspired catharsis, but not at the expense of my stress levels. Nope. 

So for those of you who stuck around waiting, thanks. I know my husband did, so yeah, thank you love. 

Peace

Ebs

This is the day

First of I just gotta say that my husband is fantastic. I mean it. I can't believe he's really mine. He's recently launched his project: MAN CARDS!!!! I'm so excited for this!!!!!! (you can tell because of the bold words!) This is a straight and practical study on biblical manhood (heh, quoting his video). Please go check him out, (wellll you know, not him, but his project.....) A fully marked deck of playing cards which a year long Bible study on them.

As for the rest of today is good. 

God said, "Let there be light". And you know what when He was all said and done, he called everything Good. So as long as there is light today, I'm going to rejoice and find a reason to be glad for today. Because I'd be doing God a disservice by trying to make it anything less. 

Peace y'all. 

Shout out To Mrs J.K. (not rowling, before you EVEN ASK)   She said something to me yesterday that made me feel like a whole person. Thanks for the love. Here's a doodle!

 

Bright and Early

I had a horrible dream. Not to say I had a nightmare, or that I woke up with my heart racing. My dream was......pleasant. I felt comfortable. Upon waking I found my self thinking (not typically a normal morning activity that. it reminded me of sin and death. 

So not the best dream. And not the best example of a daily routine. Routines are habits, and habits are comforting. But no matter how easy they may be, some habits need to be stopped. 

.Easy right? Well, not always, but no where does it say in the Bible, "psst, hey, that thing you're doing? yeah it's impossible...so just stop." It says, Let's not grow weary in doing good for in due time we'll reap the harvest if we do not give up.  

DON'T GIVE UP! Right there it tells me it's going to be rough going. I don't like it, but if I want to live, I have to change. 

Yeah, that took me a while, but I got there. Get ready. Here's some deep though for ya. We have to change.............(drum roll) LIKE BUTTERFLIES! Those little suckers go from being squishy squishy lumps to majestic fluttering waifs. We go from being sinful and incomplete to sinless and holy. It isn't without it's hardships, but that's the goal. A fundamental change in the mentality of the individual.to be holy as He is holy.

It's a new dawn

I'm finding out sin, is a lot like a Netflix binge. How do I know? I did this recently and I am not proud . 

I got hooked by a pretty screen shot promising amazing characters and a fantastical plot line. In the middle of the series I decided to make sure it would end well, so I skimmed the last episode. So far so good (I'm a sucker for a happy ending). Needless to say I stuck around for all SIXTY THREE EPISODES only to finish- at last- and realize I had wasted my time.

Everyone died, went into a coma, or was left alone. AND this was meant to be a never ending cycle for these people. THEY WILL GO ON LIVING INTO ETERNITY LIVING AND DYING FOR NOTHING!!!!

Huh. Sins.....are enticing things, that become empty habits...that lead to death........forever. I feel like God is tying a bow around it here. For me a least. 

THANKFULLY ( I have caps to show HOW thankful), Thankfully God, unlike immortal tv dramas, comes  equipped with mercy and grace. Who else but God is going to discipline me, hold my hand like a four year old, and get down on one knee and explain things in English (or in this case  Mandarin w/ subtitles). He know's me and I'm so grateful that he sees exactly what I need and gives me help when I ask.  

OF course I'm posting today.

So I saw Rogue One today. AHHHHHHH So good. Easily my favorite Star Wars movie. EVER. And of all the things I did during the movie I didn't expect to cry. 

Sure I'm a woman. Yes, I know I'm emotional and have "feeeeeelings", but I didn't see it coming. I won't give spoilers too bad. So if you haven't seen it don't read this until you have. 

There was a lot of sacrifices. I saw it coming. I said what I thought would happen when the screen rolled with "Long Long Ago....". It struck me as the funniest thing though that there would be so much sacrifice in such dark times , giving up life, giving up their future- ANY- future to bring Hope. HOPE. 

Yeah, It's been on my brain lately. I was thinking about how much I really don't like the Christmas season. Don't misunderstand- the season charms people into doing beautiful things even if they're a stooge the rest of the three hundred and sixty-five. And of course I know just enough about the source of the holiday to be irritated. Why? Because I want my children to understand that is how we should be ALWAYS. A conclusion I came to as a teen with grandparents who gave me $100 in a stocking and designer clothes to wear. 

Then lo and behold ROGUE FLIPPIN ONE puts me back on to Christmas joy, and cheer, and all that. I don't think Gareth Edwards (bless his heart the dear) meant to remind me that Jesus sacrificed Himself so I could have HOPE. That millions could have HOPE. Yeah. Enough said. 

Funk, you either have it or you don't want it.

It has been longer between posts. I may draw every Sunday, but it isn't always "inspired". It took another month to have more epiphany of God's words. And boy howdy was it a real humdinger (yes, I really do say this!, well, not humdinger but lets stay on theme).

I have kids. If you've worked with them, parented them, been parented- you've heard this at least once "You just need to trust me and do what I told you to do." and "I don't have to tell you why. You need to listen." How many of you just had the vision of your parental-units swimming in your head? This isn't the first time either. I just happen to be struggling with humility, and listening. Go figure.

I don't like being corrected, I mean, I DO because It's righteous and I KNOW I need to be, but it still feels pretty lame. Be happy in my trials? I seriously want to punch Paul in the face. HARD. Then I remember I"m not from Aleppo, or the most poor parts of Italy, or ANY inner city in this nation. So when God rebukes me and I react like my seven year old I really just need to take in a deep breath and suck it up.

"Ebony it's okay to keep asking for help" 

No, it's cool. I've got this. 

"No sweetheart, you're not a burden."

I CAN. I WILL do this.

Needless to say....I don't got it. And just like my children are not a burden to me, I am not a burden to God. I've never been one to fall in love with God, but I'm glad He's my father. 

 

 

It's been a while

Sometimes there are just days and days when you wonder when it's just going to be over. Not because it's traumatic, because it's IRRITATING. But, ya know....have patience, be thankful. God..is annoying and love-able....and......annoyingly correct...........

 I need to stop trying to do God's job. I can't fix broken people. I can't put relationships from my past back to the way they were. God knows that plans that He has for me and they're not there to do me harm. Or them. So I'm going to be thankful. For His choices, for my family. ALL of them, and thankful for His enduring patience with me cuz sometimes I feel like I'm just not worth the effort. But I am. Clearly, or there wouldn't be any discipline in the form of annoying sickness, and confrontations, and mental fatigue, and learning. So yeah, Thanks to the one to whom they are due. (whom...i think that's right)

 

It's been

You know, I read some fan fiction. Yes. Soul mates were involved. I thought, "that's like cheating." They know that even though they have to go through a horrible ordeal that it'll be alright in the end. So At first I though well, obligatory soulmates could be homicidal maniacs. Cuz....ya know if's possible. Then I was relieved that God doesn't give us marks and soulmate connections because that might ruin it for me. Ya know, living.

He did tell me He is enough though. I mean because really look at Paul. All that junk he went through he got to the other side because he KNEW how everything was going to turn out. Poor guy. God really loved him. You know as in disciplines those He loves. I wish he's had seen the movie "Evan Almighty" because I bet he would have said "Love me less".

So all that aside, let me be the second to welcome you to this side of the bad things. Alternately let me offer you some encouragement if you're not thought the fires yet.  "when you walk though the fire you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze." Yup, another Scripture Snack by Beckah Shae. Those things are timely.  

What's on the wall?

So, was at the Vivid Women's conference this weekend. Hot stuff, I tell you what. I'll try to keep this brief. 

Highlights? 

  • Mirrors lie
  • Mother's be the woman you want your daughter to be. Even when she isn't around.
  • God made us for the sky. Not to hit the false ceiling or squawk back at a mirror.

Allison Allen (crazy cool lady no joke) was the speaker, or rather story teller. She laid out the real bad guy in all of the disney movies that we should really hate, THE MIRROR.

Now, we all know mirrors don't talk. But what you see in it tells a story. You look into a mirror and see a world full of hurt and baggage and all that stuff that you know about yourself that if anyone else knew, they wouldn't say what a wonderful person you are. Or how beautiful you look today. They'd see the bearded goat woman from hell. (thank you Mr. Foxworthy). And they would know what a terrible person you truly are. 

Allison, bless her, just told everyone in that room that they resembled, in reality, the evil queen. That heinous witch that did nothing but try to kill the lovely, innocent princess. SAY WHAT?!!! I know right. It was hilarious. That's what we do to ourselves. We're masochistic princesses masquerading as evil queens. HA! I just realized today is halloween!

All that to say, lets take off our evil queen costume. I know mine almost as old as I am. Smash that mirror and look to the sky. We'll all see our beauty reflected in the apple of our Father's eye. Clear, precious, cherished. That's the only reflection I want to look into. The one that shows me the real beauty there and not the false image.   

Holy, Holy, Holy.

In the presence of God there are creatures that say, at all times, holy holy holy is the Lord God almighty. Over, and over....and OVER AND OVER. 

I had a friend once tell me that if God doesn't mind the repetition he would keep using it in our gospel choir. This was not....exciting, for me because singing "Grateful" for......what felt like 15 min was irritating at best. (It was only a minute thirty....maybe). 

Some days I like to pray like Tevye from "Fiddler on the Roof". Just having a conversation. Out loud asking him what the heck He's thinking and what, for the love of all that glitters, does He want me to do.  And "Do you think this is FUNNY?!" Yeah......But he's there. Not missing, not observing, but actively guiding. 

It's annoying. 

But I'm going to praise Him because He is so very persistent with me.

 

He lives in you!

The Holy Spirit, cool right? Seriously I get God's SPIRIT in me. So what am I doing? Am I being like the servant who buried his coin in the ground and just let it sit there? Am I the guy who goes out and multiplies it?

There is such potential for greatness when we trust God. For EVERYTHING. I've seen it in a lot of places. There a Christians who act like this living breathing piece of art. The Spirit is shining in their eyes, their minds, their actions. I want to be like that. Living, breathing, growing. 

I love the second Lion King (FIIIIIRE!) and the song "He lives in You" has always been the one I treasure most. (Be Prepared is a CLOSE second mwahahaha). but they really got it right. He lives in you, he lives in me, he watches over everything we see, into the water, into the truth, in your reflection he lives in you. 

Hope

My husband dubs this one "Creepy Balloons". I feel this way often. One voice saying "You're not worth it", another saying "You're a fat ugly cow", and even more just whispering sick nothings. I'm thinking the only one that matters is God's. IF feels like they're a part of me and more and more I realize that they're just noise. 

inspired by Meg and Yoko of DotL. They put some amazing visuals to what we should all do with those thoughts, voices, ideas, etc that kill you slowly. 

I've got it sorted....

I've realized a few things this week,:

  • My sense of permanence is a VERY fluid concept in light of God's words
  • Any romcom from China, South Korea, or Japan needs to be avoided.
  • Praying without ceasing is difficult but doable
  • What I cherish needs to be reevaluated. 
  • Diamonds are worthless. 

In reverse order I'll explain. 

So, cool song called "Diamonds" by Hawk Nelson (lotta love)  say's (I sum up) God is continually making us into something much better that what we are now. Yes, I was intentionally redundant. Refining is a process.

It struck me, "what a useless thing to be!" I mean, they're expensive to be sure, but only because of an imagined value OTHERS have placed on it. Except we have real worth in God's kingdom. WE could be worthless to the world, but to God? We can only get better. Get shiny, sparkly, and perfectly good for His work. 

The rest?  Too much time on the internet (haha), I can replace daydreaming with prayer, Those stories are poisonous, God puts us where He will and I'm cool with that. He plans better. 

Planted by streams of water

This one also gets the song "Do Not Give Up" I've had a lot of days filled with impatience and specifically rushing about. I have five sweet children who didn't earn my ire. I need to be calm and kind, be patient and not demanding. They're learning and I could easily use a gentle word with them instead of yelling. Same with my husband, same with anyone. 

I got to rest today. LIke a tree chillin out by some sweet streams. It felt good to just be....I don't know.....inactive. Not really still, but using my time to say no to any plans so we could heal. Colds suck. Pretty grateful though, we played outside for two or three house. YEAH. Mowed out a grass maze. Pretty fun. 

BRING IT MONDAY I"M RESTED! THANKS GOD! 

Growin, growin, growin...

Through fair or foul weather I'm a godly woman. I don't get to stop when bad things happen. I don't have an excuse because I lack sleep. I get to be godly all the stinkin time. I don't always like it. But I know I need to so I have to. No specific song, but I really like this one by Matthew Mole: "Chapel"

He is like a tree...

 God is the master gardener, He prunes the dead bits to make room for growth. This just keeps coming up- which is a big deal. Solomon, how many times does that guy say "Stay away from unavailable women"? TONS. So I figure I'll listen when the message I'm hearing OVER AND OVER is the same. He is like a tree planted by the streams of water. Yeah, gonna have a bucket load of nature pics. This week is Beckah Shae and her Scripture Snacks "Like a Tree"

Did you know there is this odd clash of "Master Gardeners" vs "Horticulturists" ? Wanted to make a modern setting for "The Month Brothers" but stopped because I started to wade through that odd mess.....If plant drama is your thing, google master gardener vs. horticulturalist (mouthful)