Sunday, March 24, 2013

Like Bread in the Maker's Hand...

This afternoon as I stood at the kitchen counter kneading bread dough, it came to mind that we, just like the flour, water and yeast I used to make bread, have to be worked and kneaded in order to fulfil our purpose.
The more I worked the dough, the more pliable it became; soft and suede-like to the touch.
A physically tiring ten minutes and if skipped, would ruin the entire loaf.
As I finished off, the bread now light and pliable, I realised that I am just the same as a ball of dough in a bread maker’s grasp.  I, like bread, need to be kneaded and worked upon in order for me to become who my Maker intended me to be.
The process is hard.  I fight, I flail, making my master work all the harder to shape me and make me soft.
My life is one that requires kneading.  It requires the Creator, in whom I have put my trust, to work on my stubborn heart.
It is a long process, and if skipped would destroy me.  Not everyone submits to it.  Some turn it down, convinced they can do without it.
In the times when the kneading is the most painful and my hope is beginning to fail, I feel my Master's warm and strong hand moving me gently; working me to become the perfect creation.  I have to trust Him (Prov 3:5-6).

And when my turmoil is over and I am set to rise, to become the masterpiece my Creator had in mind when he first predestined me (Ps 139:13), my life on earth, of hardship and suffering, will be over.
In my heart I hear His voice...
'I made you in my own image, dear one, to become what I planned for you.  Through all the pain I had no intention of harming you.  What I wanted for you was so much greater than anything else the world offered.  That is why I had to knead you, work you into what I wanted you to be (Jer 29:11).
Well done my good and faithful servant...'

The dough is shaped, smoothed and patted and left to rise...

It is placed in the oven as a floppy mass and comes out a golden brown loaf.  It is beautiful and well worth the effort.  It is what I, as the maker, had in mind when I first took the ingredients out of the pantry...

Dear friend, you and I are so like bread dough ourselves; sinful human beings living in a sinful world where Satan has the upper hand.  We have to be mixed and kneaded and prodded and pushed in order to become the works of art the Lord predestined us to be.  But we have stubborn hearts.    We fight and flail beneath the Maker's hands...
Our Creator wants us to be who He created us to be.  He wants the best for us.  And He knows the process is hard; it is long and painful.  But the reward in the end is of greater value, surely...  The Word tells us that the Lord has amazing plans for us and that He doesn't want to harm us.  He wants to give us hope, a future of eternal value.
But the road to Life is hard.  It is marked with pain and suffering which is like the 'kneading' in our lives to make us more like Him.  We will experience hardship, but if we embrace the will of the Father, the kneading of His mighty hand, He can work with us, use us for His glory...
Jesus wants greatness for us.  But we sin and make mistakes.  Often we reject the Perfect Plan and go after our own desires.  We stumble and we fall.
And Jesus knows these things.  He knows we have selfish hearts full of conceit and pride and vanity.  He knows.  And He sacrificed Himself, His perfect, perfect self on the cross to die for us.  To take our sins, our problems onto His divine self.  He who had no sin became the living atonement for us.  The lamb who was sacrificed, whose blood was shed for us.
How incredible, wonderful, amazing, awesome, astounding and glorious is that?
And He forgives, He forgets.
He kneads us, forgives when we struggle and forms us into perfect creations (Phil 1:6).
And all He asks for this is that we allow Him into our hearts (Acts 16:31).
He only asks us to invite Him in and ask Him to cleanse all unrighteousness.
He can and He will.  (Lam 3:21-23)
He is waiting for you.  Waiting.  Waiting.
Will you accept Him?
Will you?

And most of all, He loves you and has loved you with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3).  It will not die.  Ever.

Blessings in the Lord Jesus Christ,

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
Acts 16:31

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

52 Crafts in 52 Weeks – Week Eleven

Hello everyone!  I apologize for posting this a day late.  I don't know where this week has gone - I have been so busy lately...:)

For the past month my sister, Nancy, and I have been taking sewing workshops at the lovely material shop in Sedgefield.  We have been making patchwork handbags out of gorgeous quilting fabrics.  



Although we do have basic sewing skills, it is always good to learn from someone else – maybe they have an easier way of doing something...  As it turns out, we did learn a lot from Nicolene, the lady who owns and runs the material shop and designed the handbags.  She taught us a few easy shortcuts that we will definitely be using in the future!  And both of us were so happy with our end result...

What do you think?

Now Nancy and I have stunning handbags to go out with.  We look forward to making a few more bags for others when time allows – they are so much fun and are just so beautiful...

If ever you pass through Sedgefield you must stop and visit 'Colour Fusion Material Shop'.  You will find beautiful, beautiful quilting fabrics there which are reasonably priced.  It is one of our favourite shops:)

Till the next craft!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Little girls and their hair.


We spent a momentous morning at the hair salon today.  All six of us young ladies decided we needed a bit of a trim and Nancy and I, being older, thought we would go for a few layers as well.  What an undertaking getting everyone ready and out the house before 9:00am!  Animals still needed to be fed and the garden watered…chores still needed to be done so that we didn’t come back to absolute mayhem!  And I have to admit we caused quite a stir in the salon – six girls in one family getting haircuts…  Of course this took a while, so we decided we’d have a break in between cuts to visit the next door coffee shop for some homemade ice tea…

Little Sofia (1.5 years).

Beth (8.7 years).

Gabrielle (5.11 years).

Rebekah (3.9 years) and I.

Mom entertaining the little girls while the older ones are in the salon…

Now, I haven’t shared any ‘before and after’ photographs of everyone – I have decided to rather share those another day once I have done a full on photo shoot of everyone sporting their new looks…:)

Much love,