Happy Friday ~ The Ring

With love, Mom

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful week. It has been an interesting week. I want to share something that happened to me this week. Once upon a time….(Kidding! So not writing a children’s book!๐Ÿ˜„)

Years ago, my mother received the opened heart shaped ring above. Not long after my son was born, during one of our visits home to see her, she asked if I like the ring. I said yes and she gave it to me. She said “You’re a mom now, I want you to have it.” I asked if she was sure and she said yes, so I accepted it and wore it for a few years. This week I decided to wear my “mom’s jewelry” things that she had given to me throughout the years. I put on my earrings, put on my “mom” ring, and off to work I went. The ring didn’t fit on my ring finger, but it did fit on my pinky finger albeit a tad loosely. I thought I’ll be careful and it should be alright.

Walking to the mailbox at church to send off some mail, walking through the church building, sitting at my desk working. I did all theses things and managed to keep my ring on. As I sat at my desk working, I didn’t give it a thought. It was later on when I went to wash my hands that I noticed it missing. I thought, NO, not my ring from my mother! I’ve had this ring for over 23 years! I retraced my steps, I went to the mailbox, walked through the building, checked my laptop bag, checked my purse, but all to no avail. It was gone. I had lost the ring. The whole time I was praying asking the Lord to help me find the ring. I backtrack again all the while praying and talking to the Lord. I’m telling Him that it wasn’t the ring itself, but it was the sentiment, it had come from my mom. I tell Him that I know I shouldn’t be worried about material things but…it was a gift from my mom. I ask if it were possible, could I find it. Then I’m saying “I know its stupid to worry about it, it’s just a ring, but my mom gave it to me, if it is possible can I please find it. Please show me.” So I retrace my steps once more, still no ring, so I start going through my laptop bag taking stuff out one at time. No ring. I go through my purse taking everything out, and there at the bottom tucked in a corner, lay my ring.

I started crying, thanking, and praising the Lord. And I sat in awe of the magnitude of finding my ring. It wasn’t the fact that I found it. But what it meant to find it. Of how much I am loved and because He cares so much, He showed me where to find it. I thought about what that meant to me to lose a ring that had sentimental value, to find it, and in that moment, I thought about how far Jesus goes to find His lost sheep. He doesn’t quit. He doesn’t say I give up. He keeps searching until He finds them.

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?

Luke 15:4

Jesus says in Matthew…

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:11

Have you had a similar experience where you asked the Lord to help you locate something and He has? How did it make you feel? I’d love to hear about your experience.

God bless and have a wonderful weekend.

The Artist’s Lesson

No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw.

One of my earlier watercolor paintings.

Recently I took up painting with watercolor. As I sat at the table practicing on a small sheet of watercolor paper that I had for scrap I made a tree. The tree wasn’t quite the way I would have liked it but I was anxious, ready to work on a painting. I made the tree trunk on my paper and frowned. It was too dark and looked more like acrylics than watercolor. I extended the branches next. What a disaster. Next came the leaves, a mix of color because it’s fall. That was so so, I could live with it, but not quite what I had hoped. So my painting turned into another practice session. I took the different colors and made a small area of a colorful bush. I tried to fix the dark trunk that didn’t go over so well. I made it worse by trying to lighten it up with water. I finished my practice page sat back and frowned even more. I scribbled notes on the paper, criticizing everything that I had done wrong. I went over and sat next to my husband on the couch and whined. He stopped what he was doing and listened as I criticized my work. He looked it over, read my notes, and said practice. So not what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to tell me what was wrong, what I needed to work on. You know all the things I had already written down.

As an artist himself, I was looking for criticism -did I really say that?๐Ÿคจ- on what I should have done. (Honest criticism on what I needed to work on.) The problem with that is my husband doesn’t work with watercolor. He works with acrylics and oils so it’s hard to say what should be done except practice until its the way you want it. We both agree that working with watercolor is a whole different animal. If you make a mistake with acrylics or oils you can paint over it and continue on. With watercolor, not so much. Put a drawing pencil in my hand and I do fairly well with drawings and sketches. Working with pastels, I do okay and I can manage working with acrylics. But there is something about watercolor paintings that drew my attention and I wanted to learn how to paint with watercolor. I’ve learned that as an artist, I’m way to hard on myself. Actually, I’m probably way to hard on myself most of the time. ๐Ÿ˜… I should also mention that I’ve only been working with watercolor for about two weeks now. ๐Ÿคจ Yeah, way to hard on myself.

If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves falling into the enemy’s trap and instead of recognizing that it’s okay to make mistakes, we become critical and judgmental. If it isn’t perfect then there is something wrong with it. There is no such perfection here on earth. No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw. There is only one perfect man and His name is Jesus. As I chewed on that thought for a minute, I thought about what the Bible says.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

Save His people from their sins. Huh. Not a word about having to be perfect first.

And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

John 12:47

I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. So, no mention of having to be perfect first. Totally not judging the world but coming to save the world. Can you see where this is heading? Lies. The lies we believe. We know that Satan is a beautiful fallen angel. In my mind’s eye I can visualize him walking up to you or me with that winning smile, carrying on a conversation as he began whispering little things in your ear, things you may have already been thinking about yourself. He probably subtly mentioned you weren’t good enough. Might have even said something about Jesus being a perfect man, (you know after he realized Jesus wasn’t going to fall into temptation) and there was no way you could even be close to Him. Wait.

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:11

Save that which was lost. Well that sounds like Someone you can get close to. Which means we don’t have to be a perfect person first. That He takes us where we are, as we are, and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He begins to create a new person on the inside. God bless!