Monday, October 27, 2014

By wisdom a house, or kitchen, is built.

We are in the process of renovating our kitchen.  It is long overdue.  But the process is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. There is so much to be done.  As most you already know I love to be in the kitchen.  But I don't love to be in my kitchen when the family is gathering.  My current situation is quite closed off to the rest of the household population.  I have a galley, aka room for one, kitchen.  I love to cook and create tasty meals and treats for my family and friends.  But in the process I have to be cut off from the company.  I often reflect on the Mary and Martha story as I am standing in the kitchen chopping, slicing, dicing and stirring.  I realize that I miss out on a lot of the family time in the living room beyond the kitchen walls.

Okay, so I guess it is a little silly that I am blogging about my kitchen renovation project.  But bear with me.  As I said earlier there is a lot that goes into all this.  And I am truly blessed to have Greg for my husband.  And doubly blessed that he likes to research and get deals too.  We have a very strict budget.  And we have a firm plan for what we want our space to look like as well.  As I am seeing it right now the two are proving to be not so congruent. I am reminded that it is through wisdom that a house, or kitchen, is built.  God has blessed us with the funds to renovate the kitchen.  But, we are required to be wise with how we spend it and on what it is spent. 

Now that the budget had been decided it was time for the next step.  We had come up with a floor plan.  We had our friend Linda come over and create a design for our new open kitchen. She measured, asked a few questions and headed to the drawing table.  Her design is wonderful.

In order to establish and see her design come into fruition we then had to gain an understanding.  We began contacting people for estimates on what it would cost to have the job completely done. The first proposal came in and we realized that we were already over budget.  We needed to get the appliances,  floors, counter tops and a few other important features into the initial budget plan as well.  Linda gave a great deal on the cabinets.  And she found us flooring at a great price too!  So, without hesitation we ordered them. We spent days searching the internet and running from store to store in search of the best deals on appliances.  We also had to make a decision on the color for the hard wood flooring.   I would come home from work and Greg would be on the internet researching. We went to a few appliance stores not once, not twice, but multiple times just to look at refrigerators.  And do you realize how many different types of refrigerators there are?

Well it appears that things are progressing.  We are still getting estimates for the job from a few contractors.  And I know that God is directing us. It is my hearts desire that God be the foundation of my life and of my home.  Once this project is completed I am certain that we will clearly be able to see His hand in every nook and cranny of the new space.  We have gained much knowledge while researching products and costs .  And we have learned a lot about being patient.  I know that He will continue to direct us as we prayerfully wait for the new estimates to come in.  I am happy to report that God directed our path and we found a refrigerator! Yes, I finally picked one that I liked. We also found an oven, cook top and dishwasher that will all look great with Linda's design. The prices were all pretty good too.  They have all be ordered, delivered and they are currently sitting in our living space.  And what a beautiful sight.  The cabinets and flooring are on their way too. The room seems to be getting filled with beautiful treasures.

Through wisdom a house is built,  and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. ~Proverbs 24:3-4

Saturday, October 25, 2014

When You look at my picture who's face do you see.......

I open my Facebook page or Instagram and I see a wave of "selfies" An ocean full of pictures of all types of faces. So many of these "selfies" capture the true identity of the individual in the snap shot. Some bring a smile to my face and make me laugh.  Occasionally I see sadness, anger, loneliness and hurt in the eyes of the one taking the "selfie".   It is amazing how much a picture can say about a person.

So, today I grabbed my phone and captured my very own "selfie".  I looked deep into the reflection.  What will others see when they look at this picture?  Will they count every wrinkle on my forehead and seek every imperfection?  And what about me?  What do I see in my own reflection?  Is it only my face that I see?   Or is there another reflection sharing this photo opportunity with me?

These past few days I have spent with my precious granddaughter, Grace.  Her parents were at the hospital due to the arrival of baby number two.  So, Grace and I had lots of time together.  She loves to look at pictures.  And she loves to see pictures of herself.  This is exactly how God wants us to react to our own reflection.  After all we were created in His image. Each evening as I put her to bed I prayed that she'd never stop seeing the beauty that God has blessed her with. And I asked God to direct me so that I would be a good and positive influence in her life and each of my grands to follow.

Thursday night, while laying in bed, I began thinking about what legacy I would one day leave my family.  What will they see when looking at pictures of my face?  What story will my reflection tell them about who Grandma Kathleen was to them?  For a few hours I closed my eyes and thought about, not only my grands, but my children.  How will they remember me?  Will they only remember the rough patches we went through.  Or will they smile as they reflect on the triumphs?  Will they think of me as a godly woman?  Or will they remember me as something much different? My only hope is that they will remember me as someone who loved the Lord.  And that when they see my "selfie" they also see the reflection of the One who created me in His image.

As I am sitting here blogging away and reflecting on my reflection.  I realize, that if I truly believe and want others to believe that we are created in His perfect image, my life needs to be the reflection or proof of His love.  My words and my actions must have validity.  Because if my character acts one way but speaks differently I will leave a poorly developed image behind.  You see, God is love. My life is to be a reflection of that great love.  And as I define myself as a christian and have received Christ as Lord, I want to be rooted, deeply rooted and straightened daily in my faith.

 His sacrifice was the ultimate outpouring of love.  So to love is to sacrifice. Over the years there have been many times that I have sacrificed my wants for the wants and needs of others.  There are times that I am doing it out of love.  And other times, to be honest, I am doing out of obedience.   And when I am doing it out of obedience I grumble a lot. I may even delay when it's time to obey.  You might find me walking or even running away. I am sure my "selfie", in those moments, isn't all that attractive. And when I think back on those moments I am not so proud.  How could I snap a picture of those moments and glorify God?  God, who willingly and lovingly sacrificed for me,desires me to have a willing heart. I really and truly do want to be built up in Him.  I want have this abounding joy every time I do for others.  And I want to genuinely be a reflection of His love and show His grace   I pray that my love will one day look like Him.  And that when I am gone it will be love that is the legacy I left behind.  And that my children's children's children are able to clearly see the image of  God's love in the "selfie" I took today.