Gods World

Blackberries & Jalapeños

Growing up, we never had blackberries or jalapeños in our home. 

 

My mother never purchased these foods because, for starters, none of us cared for spicy foods. And second, blackberries can be expensive. 

 

While I can't recall the first time I ate these beautiful creations of God, I do remember they both became one of my favorites to eat.

 

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Today, as an adult, I grow my own.  

 

They're two of my ultimate favorite foods. 

 

As I sat in the humid sun today, I was snacking on some of these organic berries.  

 

I studied it for a bit before putting it in my mouth, realizing, that without distraction, how incredible it's design really is. 

 

Which gave me a smile. A smile that reminded me Who's original design this has always been.  

 

And, it's quite incredible. Beyond our understanding how God's creativity in design is really limitless.  

 

I won't apologize for overthinking this. Because all of the other times I sat to eat these treats I didn't consider the Designer at all. I just took for granted the fact that these intricacies are to be quickly and mindlessly consumed.

 

And I say all of that to say that maybe our days would be a bit more sweet and spicy if we just slowed down to consider the creativity of the Great Designer.  

 

The purpose behind the trouble it took to invent seeds and heart chambers and digestive systems and solar systems. And to know that above all of that complexity and beauty, that we are His favorite accomplishment. We are. 

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The filthy, selfish, hateful ones.  

 

The ones that would rather drive-thru for fries than slow down for backyard produce. 

 

Waiting for growth and fruit and to admire and consume the sustenance is hard to wait for. But, it's worth the wait. And it makes us happier, healthier, and better equipped to make our Creator proud. 

 

He is good. His creation is good. And it's so complex and insanely mind-blowing for those who dare to truly notice.  

 

Serving that Creator means taking care of the bodies He loaned to us: His greatest creations. And so, remain purposeful, friends.

 

Dare to examine and really be aware of the goodness found in the goodness of God. The foods He's given, the bodies, the abilities, the surroundings, it's all a gift.  

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What are your "blackberries & jalapeños" foods? Will you purpose to see the care of God the next time you encounter His creation?  

 

 

 

 

God's Purpose or Mine?

 "We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success.

 

We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God's purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite.  

 

We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not.  

 

The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way.  

 

What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself. 

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What is my vision of God's purpose for me? 

 

Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power  now.

 

If I can stay  

calm, 

faithful, 

and unconfused

while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me.  

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God is not working toward a particular finish--His purpose is the process itself. 

 

What he desires for me is that I see "Him walking on the sea" with no shore, no access, no goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see "Him walking on the sea" (Mark 6:49).

 

It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.  

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God's training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future.  

We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. 

What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself. 

God's purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. 

However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious." 

-O.Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

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How to create "outdoorsy" kids.

Most kids nowadays don't get enough outdoors time. iPads, TV, video games, etc have all helped to create stationary children that must be "screen-ertained". After a winter that most of us would agree was one of the worst ever endured, spring is more welcome than ever.

Here are some tips that I've gathered from my outdoor experiences with my kids:

spend more time out than in

If you're a homeschooling mama, it's easy to take advantage of being outdoors more than in. School can be done outside in the fresh air, any outdoor chores can be made into a game for little ones, and picnic lunches on a blanket are just the best. No mess to clean up afterwards...just shake the crumbs into the yard and voila! No huge toy mess to clean on the inside of the house....it's just bliss to be able to stay outdoors all day long. If your kids go to school or daycare, as soon as you get home, let them loose in the yard. Maybe even after a hearty dinner and a good run around the yard a few times, try and tackle the homework together in the fresh air and sunshine.

bikes, balls, and basic tools

Have a collection of outdoor toys that encourage your kids to keep moving. Skates, bikes, scooters, balls, boxes of rice for rice play, garden tools, a large empty box for creative play, sand, trucks, wagons, bubbles, water squirters, etc. The sky is the limit!

rainboots

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After many years of having two boys ruin pair after pair of shoes due to a dirt obsession, I had an epiphany...rainboots! Now every time my boys go outside, the rainboots go on. The way they can simply just be sprayed off after a fun afternoon dirt digging of making mud pies is just simply glorious. And if you don't have rainboots, garage sales and thrift stores everywhere should have them used for super cheap. And to save even more money, just have your kids go barefoot. No shame in that.

yucky clothes

If you have a shirt that developed an impossible stain or a ripped pair of jeans, keep them in a special container or spot and label them as "yucky" clothes. Yucky clothes are for outdoor play, painting, clay making, and any other completely dirty and disgusting activity. You can keep a small box of old shirts in your kitchen, some by the back door or garage, or even the laundry room. Nobody wants that new Gymboree outfit covered in what you thought was washable paint.

20140310-145649.jpg Carter loves to bite his nails, and a little (or a lot) of dirt, unfortunately, doesn't stop him

give them nothing to do

We have a shed in our backyard and it contains all of our outdoor activities and bikes. But many times, I send the kiddos outside without unlocking the shed. Within seconds, they've created their own game, a project, or have just chosen to swing on the swings or climb a tree. I love not giving my kids direction or any resources and see what they come up with. They are pretty creative creatures.

20140310-145640.jpg Hunter with one of his famous dirt meatballs

the only option is outside

Sometimes, the only option I give my kids is "go outside". I love how outside time is never to be earned or taken away because it's not tangible. It's not a video game to be grounded from, it's not a toy to be broken or taken away from a curious sibling thief. Outside is a place to breathe in the fresh life all around, to hear nature and bask in God's glory. Outside usually kills bad tempers, cabin fever, and sibling quarrels. It's also a great cure for mommy overload as if the children consume some magic potion once they disperse into the yard and somehow forget all the demands and questions they had for mommy.

That's bliss. Now go outside.

-Alicia

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