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Matthew 6:25, 28-34: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?… And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even [King] Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Royal Robes

“Royal Robes” is the last in a three part series, along with “Birds in Heaven” and “Lilies of the field.

My mom just took me shopping this week. I have been a little frustrated about how my clothes fit. I haven’t had to time to exercise the way I did in college. And then there’s something about carrying a baby (or 2), that can alter your body shape. I really haven’t been worried about it, but my mom really blessed me with this gift.

It’s nice to have clothes that flatter your figure. I had some that fit before, but I’m much more modest than I was a number of years ago. I found myself wearing the same few things over and over. There’s nothing wrong with that. Nor in the fact that I got some nice clothes. But I remember how different I was in high school. I couldn’t wear the same outfit twice in a couple of weeks. I actually wrote down what I wore each day, so that I could keep track of it. I tried on several (like between 6-10+) most nights before I settled on something. I always had to look perfect.

I think I looked nice in high school. Yet, I was very shallow and materialistic. I found myself making really stupid decisions.

Over the years, thankfully, the Lord has taught me to trust in him. I’ve been learning about really looking at what is on the inside of people and not the outside. I’ve been teaching that to my children and trying to really examine myself also. I truly desire to have beautiful character, rather than mere physical beauty.

“Royal Robes” was designed to have colors of a rich, deep indigo and light blue. These colors together reminded me of a what King Solomon’s robes might have been like. Yet even Solomon dressed in all his“Royal Robes” was designed to have colors of a rich, deep indigo and light blue. These colors together reminded me of a what King Solomon’s robes might have been like. Yet even Solomon dressed in all his glory, did not even compare in God’s eyes to the simple lilies of the field. What I’ve come to understand is that God desires for me to simply and wholly trust in Him. As I seek after God, and his righteousness, God will bless me with all that I truly need.

Matthew 6:25, 28-34: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?… And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Lilies of the Field

For Easter, I did a collaboration with Tinkle Traps.
Lilies of the Field - Collab with Tinkle Traps

As Easter approaches, I finally got around to dyeing up my “Lilies of the Field”. I wanted something special to signify this wonderful holiday. And also wanted to let you know about the significance of this special flower.

The Horticulture Department at Texas A&M University (my alma mater), had some fascinating information on the Easter Lily.

THE EASTER LILY HOLIDAY TRADITION

Each holiday is marked by cherished traditions that bring joy, comfort, and warmth, and provide continuity from one generation to the next. Easter has its share of traditions: egg decorations and hunts; gift baskets and chocolate bunnies, sunrise church services, parades, and, of course, the Easter Lily. For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life – the spiritual essence of Easter.

History, mythology, literature, poetry and the world of art are rife with stories and images that speak of the beauty and majesty of the elegant white flowers. Dating back to Biblical lore, the lily is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. One of the most famous Biblical references is in the Sermon on the Mount, when Christ told his listeners: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet….. Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Often called the “white-robed apostles of hope,” lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s agony. Tradition has it that the beautiful white lilies sprung up where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the ground in his final hours of sorrow and deep distress. Churches continue this tradition at Easter time by banking their alters and surrounding their crosses with masses of Easter Lilies, to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and hope of life everlasting.

Since the beginning of time, lilies have played significant roles in allegorical tales concerning the sacrament of motherhood. Ancient fables tell us the lily sprang from the milk of Hera, the mythological Queen of Heaven.

The pure white lily has long been closely associated with the Virgin Mary. In early paintings, the Angel Gabriel is pictured extending to the Virgin Mary a branch of pure white lilies, announcing that she is to be the mother of the Christ Child. In other paintings, saints are pictured bringing vases full of white lilies to Mary and the infant Jesus. …

It seems the thirteenth-century Barthololmeus Anglicus had this in mind when he wrote: ‘The Lily is an herbe with a white flower; and though the leaves of the floure be white, yet within shineth the likeness of gold.” So goes the saying, ‘To gild a lily is to attempt, foolishly, to improve on perfection.” To many artists and poets it seemed that, if any flower could have one, the lily had a soul.

In yet another expression of womanhood, lilies had a significant presence in the paradise of Adam and Eve. Tradition has it that when Eve left the Garden of Eden she shed real tears of repentance, and from those remorseful tears sprung up lilies. The spiritual principle held here is that true repentance is the beginning of beauty.

A mark of purity and grace throughout the ages, the regal white lily is a fitting symbol of the greater meaning of Easter. Gracing millions of homes and churches, the flowers embody joy, hope and life. Whether given as a gift or enjoyed in your own home, the Easter Lily serves as a beautiful reminder that Easter is a time for rejoicing and celebrating.

The following poem by Louise Lewin Matthews captures the spiritual essence of the Easter Lily:

Easter morn with lilies fair
Fills the church with perfumes rare,
As their clouds of incense rise,
Sweetest offerings to the skies.
Stately lilies pure and white
Flooding darkness with their light,
Bloom and sorrow drifts away,
On this holy hallow’d day.
Easter Lilies bending low
in the golden afterglow,
Bear a message from the sod
To the heavenly towers of God.
-Louise Lewin Matthews”

Christ mentions these beautiful flowers. They are beautiful and lovely to look at.  And they have come to represent the miracle of his death and resurrection also.  As we can trust and believe that he died and rose from the grave, we also can trust him to meet each and every one of our needs.  The lily reminds us not to worry, but to put our faith in him.

 

Matthew 6:25-27,33-34: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the heaven: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? … But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

“Birds in Heaven” is the first in a three part series, including “Lilies of the Field” and “Royal Robes”.

This passage is talking about worrying.  I used to do a lot of worrying, and as a mom, I’ve got even more to worry about. LOL

Before kids, both my husband and I were in commission sales.  I loved it, but it was a high stress job.  You’d never know what you paycheck would be.  Would you do really well or just okay?  Would it be an up year or down year?  Chad decided to stay that route, and is still in commission sales.  The first year I stayed home, I think it was really tough for me not to worry.  (Confession: I worries a TON!)  But God has really taught me to trust in Him.  I know that my husband is good at his job.  I know that he feels like he’s exactly where God wants him to be, career-wise.  So if God put Chad there, won’t he provide for our family?  Of course he will.  And if he gave me everything I own, won’t he take care of it?

We are God’s special creation.  Out of all the things he created, humans are the only ones created in HIS image.  He loves us and cares for us.  And if he provides for them, by feeding and protecting them, won’t he do the same for us?  He says that he will, and in that I have to trust.  God is incapable of lying, so I can trust that when he says not to be anxious.

I have been praying about not being anxious and slowly but surely, God is taking care of it. “Birds in Heaven” was designed to represent the colors of a clear blue sky and the beauty of birds in flight.  A canary, cardinal and blue jay set against the white of the clouds.  These beautiful birds that He created and cares for are so insignificant to how much he cares for us.

 

Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

“Providence” is a unique colorway designed to merge teals and tans. The result is a very striking gold, with hints of tans, chocolates, and navy blues along with rich hues of teal and gold.  Webster’s defines Providence as “God, esp. when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence.”

The story of Ruth is one of my favorites in the Bible. I recently found a message by one of my favorite authors, John Piper, entitled ” Ruth: Sweet and Bitter Providence.” I loved what he had to say on the subject.

Not only does God reign in all the affairs of men, and not only is his providence sometimes hard, but in all his works his purposes are for the good and happiness of his people. Who would have imagined that in the worst of all times—the period of the judges—God was quietly moving in the tragedies of a single family to prepare the way for the greatest king of Israel? Finally, we learn that if you trust the sovereign goodness and mercy of God to pursue you all the days of your life, then you are free like Ruth. If God calls, you can leave family, you can leave your job, you can leave Minnesota, and you can make radical commitments and undertake new ventures. Or you can find the freedom and courage and strength to keep a commitment you already made. When you believe in the sovereignty of God and that he loves to work mightily for those who trust him, it gives a freedom and joy that can’t be shaken by hard times. The book of Ruth gives us a glimpse into the hidden work of God during the worst of times. And so like all the other Scriptures, as Paul says (Romans 15:4, 13), Ruth was written that we might abound in hope.

As I embark on my new adventure in being a WAHM (work-at-home-mom) and running a new business, I can rest in the fact that I am called to this ministry for this stage of life.  I can be sure that the Lord is directing my path, and that it is in His hands.  So “Providence” was named to show the trust I put in the Lord to orchestrate everything in my life.


 

Psalm 1:1-3: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

Meditation. It is a very popular word these days. Many people meditate often. Yet in Christian circles it is not a very popular word. However, the word of the Lord tells us not only to meditate, but to meditate day and night. But this isn’t just about sitting in a calm place and breathing deeply. It is so much more than that.

God commands us to meditate on his word both day and night. A number of years ago, I don’t know that I would have really believed that to be possible (without being insane, of course). But now that I have children, I think differently. I want to guard their little ears. I want to fill their heads with things that will help them for the rest of their lives. Therefore, we listen to scripture as much as possible. We’ve been acquired many CD’s that have scripture put to music and Bible songs. It is the sweetest thing to hear my 3 year old daughter singing herself to sleep, ” You are holy, holy. Lord of Heaven and Earth.” But it has become such a part of our daily lives that she doesn’t know any difference.

I , on the other hand, can certainly see a difference. My demeanor is more upbeat. It’s hard to say something negative when your daughter is singing “do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth.” And dealing with her has sent me back to the scriptures. Many days, I find myself longing for some time just to gather some wisdom from the Bible. In searching the word and spending time with the Lord, I’ve grown and prospered, just like a fruit tree.

In reading this passage, I immediately envisioned the crystal blue of the water, the green of the grass and tree leaves, the orange of the fruit on the tree and the brown in the trunk. This colorway reminds me of a very calm, serene, and restful place. Hence it is named “Songs of Meditation.”

“Songs of Meditation” is part of the “Songs of …” series, where every colorway is named from a verse found in Psalms.

 

Psalm 65:8: “Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.

“Jubilant Inspiration” was actually inspired by a shirt that I found in local store called “Inspirations”. I was drawn to the colors of the shirt at the front of the store. I pondered on them for days. It really made me think about what inspires me and what makes me happy. And it is my family, my work, my friends, and my Lord.

My husband loves to read about creation science. We are constantly astounded by how God’s work is being proved over and over. How amazing it is to see all that our Lord created. The world marvels at great artist. We have been to museums and galleries all over the world looking at things that man has done. Yet, all of it just is imitation. What I mean is that in the art world, many things are painted, photographed, sketched, etc. about living objects: People, animals, plants. Then you have the natural things, like a stormy sky, a sunset, a rainbow. Our God created each and everything. And the colors that man tries to imitate from nature were done from the original artist.

It was only recently that I felt like my “eyes were opened” to the color of the world. I think before I walked around seeing color, but not really “seeing” it. Now I look around and marvel at the works of His hands.

I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, but I hope to go someday. I can imagine myself standing at the edge, looking over the edge. I would do a small self-evaluation. I am so tiny in comparison with the world. The colors I see, the sounds and smells all point to an amazingly creative God. I think I’d just want to shout for joy! This skein was dyed on a light gray wool in colors of rich chocolate, clay, maroon, soft pink and teal . “Jubilant Inspiration” is an artistic interpretation of the Grand Canyon and god’s perfect artistry.

 

Ephesians 5:8 -10: “At one time you lived in darkness. Now you are living in the light that comes from the Lord. Live as children who have the light of the Lord in them. For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth: Proving what is well pleasing to God.”

Children of Light- Close up

“Children of Light” was inspired by a childhood song we’ve been singing a lot with our children . One of my oldest daughter’s favorites songs is “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. She loves to sing, “red, and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” But it means so much more than just that to me. The black is my sin, that was washed away with the red blood of Christ, which has left me white as snow in the eyes of God. The abundance of yellow in the colorway “Children of Light” represents to me the light that I have now in Christ.
When I read this verse, I knew exactly what it was talking about. My high school years were marked by spiritual disappointment and shame. I made many decisions that weren’t becoming to me and certainly did not live my life as an example to others. I believed in God, but really had turned a deaf ear to the promptings of the holy spirit. I felt like I wanted to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. And the consequences of those choices have followed me until now.

In college, I met some friends who encouraged me to live daily as a believer of Christ. I had to examine my motives and actions on everything. And through them, I was encouraged to get back on the right path with God. The difference in those “dark” days and today are so vast. The things I think about, dream about, focus on are such a contrast. It’s not that I don’t struggle to keep myself in check, and it’s not that I don’t slip up, but it’s different. My motives are no longer about “me, me, me” but I’m am constantly striving to have them be about “God’s will” and “God’s glory.” And “Children of Light” is a wonderful representation of who I’ve now become.


John 15: 4,5 & 8: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing… By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

The Vine & Branches
the-vine-branches-swatch.jpg

Originally done to match a beautiful cherry blossom fabric I had, “The Vine & Branches” is dyed as a pair of colorways. Both “Abiding Fruit” and “The Vine & Branches” are done in browns, turquoise, green and varying shades of purple. “The Vine & Branches” has much more browns in the colorway. This is one of the original colorways that catapulted me into the yarn-dyeing business. So it is a special yarn to me.

In fact, this colorway is what we’d refer to as a happy accident. I was very new to the yarn dyeing process. I didn’t really know that much about how to get specific colors and how to control the placement of where it went. I was attempting to match the fabric that resulted in “Abiding Fruit”, and it turned out like this. But I liked it just as much.

John 15: 4,5 & 8: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing… By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

Abiding Fruit
birds-in-heaven-032.jpg

Originally done to match a beautiful cherry blossom fabric I had, “Abiding Fruit” is dyed as a pair of colorways. Both “Abiding Fruit” and “The Vine & Branches” are done in browns, turquoise, green and varying shades of purple. “Abiding Fruit” has much more natural colored yarn in the colorway. This is one of the original colorways that catapulted me into the yarn-dyeing business. So it is a special yarn to me.

It is the process of abiding that is a new thing for me.  Most of my life as a Christian, I’ve spent it trying to “do the right thing.”  I have always failed.  It may seem like I’m doing well for a while, but then I slip.

Recently, after the birth of my 2nd daughter, I found myself slipping into depression.  I had no reason to be depressed.  I had a wonderful God, whom I loved.  I had an incredible husband.  I had 2 lovely daughters, who were both healthy.  I had a nice house and got the chance to stay at home with them.  Despite all these things, I found myself crying for no reason at all.  And I was angry all the time, over nothing.  The patience I had possessed before seemed to just slip from my grasp.  I felt I could not function.  It was a very hard time for my entire family.

I recently heard a sermon on God’s timing.  How sometimes He allows things to happen so that He might perform a miracle in your life.  How He has something greater for you to learn.  Much like how a diamond is formed from the pressure on the ore, we, too, are greater and stronger when we weather trials.  It was through this time that 2 very important things occurred.  One, I understood what it meant to abide in Christ.  That  no matter how much I try to be perfect, perfection alludes me.  And it will continue to do so, except through the power of the Holy Spirit, who will work in me to perfect me.  And two, I learned that God had a powerful ministry set before me.  I don’t know that I would have come into the yarn-dyeing business had it not been for the things I learned from my depression.  Though I never would have liked to relive those days, I am so thankful for the other side and who I’ve become in Him.  “Abiding Fruit” represents the process of who I am becoming.

2 Corinthians 4:5-7:For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”

Treasure in Clay Jars

I love this passage. Instantly, visions of an old clay jar came to mind, with multi-colored jewels inside. I’ve included reds for rubies and garnets, gold, white for pearls, blue for sapphires, green for emeralds, turquoise and purple for amethyst. In an old clay jar, these treasures are hidden from view. Yet they are much more important than the vessel in which they are being stored. The clay jar breaks easily. It does not last over time. Heat and cold can damage it. It will crack and chip. Yet the treasures inside will not be damaged by the same pressures. They will stand up over time and last for centuries.

The same is with our faith.  The power we have through Christ transforms us into beings who have the same outer shell.  But on the inside, we are storing up treasures in heaven.  I grew up in a family where what we looked like on the outside and what the world thought of our actions were of utmost importance.  But in growing with Christ, I’ve realized that it’s my heart and my motives that are more important.  The old adage, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” really rings true.  Trying to live this out is difficult.  It’s even more difficult to teach to young children.

But through the power of the Lord, I am being renewed daily.  And it is not in my strength, but His.  And I pray that my business glorifies the Lord and allows others to see the same God I know.

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