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Psalm 128:1-6 ” How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, You will be happy and it will be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine Within your house, Your children like olive plants Around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the LORD. The LORD bless you from Zion, And may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Indeed, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!”

Fruitful Vine

I love this verse. I guess I am a bit old-fashioned. I stay at home with my children. I cloth diaper them. I breastfeed. I knit and sew and crochet. (And of course, dye yarn!) But I also believe in classic ideals. I love the idea of fearing the Lord. Not like a hungry lion who is about to devour his prey, but more like a young Marine who enlists and a senior official comes on deck. There is a fear, awe and respect for the position and person. That type of fear creates reverence. And in this I fear the Lord.

I am the “Fruitful Vine” this verse talks about. The wife, within the house. The Lord is constantly working on me in this area. I feel like I am a vine with very little fruit. Though I am at the house, I often am not tending to the things of the house. It’s been over this summer that the Lord has been convicting me. I need to be content to be where He has called me to be: at home. I need to tend to the little “olive plants” around my table so that they may grow up into strong trees. They are only little once. They can only receive this type of instruction while they are young. It is not only my responsibility and duty, but my primary calling in life to nourish those in my home. I desire to train my little “olives” to become all that God desires for them to be.

This path is rather difficult for me. It takes a lot for God to work this way. You see, by nature, I am a very messy person. But my oldest daughter responds so much better to organization and order. My youngest is already trying to clean, at 15 mo. So part of teaching my children, is also teaching myself. I am so glad that the Lord is patient with me and that He has revealed this to me while they are young. I have been working diligently this summer to do a better job of being “in my home” while at home. Hopefully, I’ll be able to teach them and instruct them so that they may grow up to be “fruitful vines” in their own homes.

1 Peter 3:3-4 Let your beauty not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes – but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.”
Tranquil Spirit

I’ve always been a outgoing and energetic person. Maybe to the point of being loud and overbearing at times.  It’s funny because I see these traits coming out in my 3 year old daughter.  She’s just always been loud.  I can tell that these things are just genetic and how God made us.

I grew up in a house where the way we looked to the outside mattered a lot.  It was always important that I represent my family well.  I was dressed nice.  I had my hair fixed and make-up just so.  That my outward appearance reflected well on my family.  As I got older, it also included my behavior.  It was important that what I did reflected well  on the family.

But as I got older, I learned the fallacy in this type of thinking.  I grew up thinking that if I looked one way to the world, then I was okay.  But my heart was never addressed.  I wasn’t taught that it’s what my heart’s motives were that were of utmost importance.  I think it wasn’t really even until I was married that it started to become clear to me what God really wanted of me.

He didn’t desire a thin body with a nicely adorned face.  Rather, he’d prefer a beautiful and tranquil spirit.  I had to learn that these were choices I had to make.  And I could not change myself.  Much like a piece of clay, I had to allow God to shape me and make me into a new vessel.  Now does that  mean that I’m no longer loud and boisterous?    Well, my overall nature hasn’t changed.  I am still outgoing and fun.  But my heart has changed.  No longer do I clamor to be the center of attention.  I’d prefer to take a back seat more often than I used to.  I long to be filled with a sense of calm that would have bored me years ago.  But what pleases me has changed as the Lord has changed my heart. And I hope these are the characteristics that I am training my daughters to aspire to have.  Praise be to God for transformations!!!

Psalm 23:1-6 – “ The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Songs of the Shepherd

This is one of the most famous Psalms. It is funny, because my parents taught it to me when I was a little child. Mom said I could recite the whole thing. Over the years, I actually forgot it. It’s funny how things are one way as a child and another as an adult.
Take Psalm 23 for example. I could routinely say it as a child. But it had no meaning to me. However, it is not something I have yet memorized in my adult years, yet it is full of things that mean so much to me these days.

Just as sheep are not the smartest of all creatures, we humans often make really stupid mistakes. I, for one, am in need of a “shepherd”.  I am so glad that the Lord is my shepherd.  He knows me intimately, and knows my path.  Therefore, He can guide me in the right direction.  He can lead me to rest when I need rest.  He restores me when I am in need of it also.  In all the storms of life, He is there for me.  I have nothing to fear, for the Lord is with me and prepares a way for me.  I am so thankful for the “Songs of the Shepherd.”

Genesis 1: 24-26 ” Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.”

Hippo Baby

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 6- part 1!

This colorway was sort-of added as an afterthought.  (blush)  I was looking at all the ones I had done, and realized I’d missed the beasts of the field.  When I first started dyeing, I had mentioned to my husband that I wanted to do one based on the Hippo and call it “Hippo Baby”.  So when I realized that I needed this segment of scripture to get complete the entire Creation account, I knew it had to be here.

When my oldest daughter was younger, she was fascinated by baby movies.  We bought this very old movie called “Baby Praise.”  It had babies just doing stuff and it was set to Christian songs.  She loved it.  And she learned a lot of the songs.  She’d always want to watch the “baby mobie.”  We watched it until we were blue in the face. LOL

My mom wanted to get one for my niece, after seeing how much my daughter loved it.  But she found one called “Praise Baby” and bought it.  It was not the same movie, though very similar in concept.  The one we got was called “God of Wonders” and it had a hippo on the front.  To distinguish between the 2, we called one the “baby movie” and the other the “hippo baby movie”.  Almost a year and a half later, she still calls that movie the “hippo baby movie.”

This colorway has the gray of the hippo and all the femininity of my very girly daughter.  I will think of her every time I dye it!


Genesis 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”

Rested

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 7!

This day of creation is where God rested.  Much like an artist who finishes a piece of artwork and looks over his work with pleasure, our God rested in His creation.  He was satisfied with the work of His hands.  He stepped back to admire His work. And like a good father also, He was setting an example for His children to follow.  God never NEEDS rest, but He knew we did.  We can get so caught up in our busy lives that we never take time to just “rest”.  God modeled for us what we needed to do.

Taken from the Matthew Henry Concise Commentaryon the Whole Bible:

“After six days, God ceased from all works of creation. In miracles, he has overruled nature, but never changed its settled course, or added to it. God did not rest as one weary, but as one well pleased. Notice the beginning of the kingdom of grace, in the sanctification, or keeping holy, of the sabbath day. The solemn observing of one day in seven as a day of holy rest and holy work, to God’s honour, is the duty of all to whom God has made known his holy sabbaths. At this time none of the human race were in being but our first parents. For them the sabbath was appointed; and clearly for all succeeding generations also. The Christian sabbath, which we observe, is a seventh day, and in it we celebrate the rest of God the Son, and the finishing the work of our redemption.”

Take some time in your life to really “rest”.  It will refresh your body and soul!

Genesis 1:26-28- ” Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 2:7,18, 21-24- “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being…Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”…So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
Genesis 1:31 “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

Unity

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 6- part 2!

The way the pinks and blues of this colorway mold together remind me of a man and a woman joining their lives together. “What God has joined together, let not man separate.” Theses words are often spoken at weddings. The institution of marriage is very important to me. I love, honor and cherish my husband deeply. He has been the greatest gift the Lord has given to me on this earth. We are perfectly suited to one another. I love him with all of my heart and soul. And through this union, we’ve brought two amazing girls into the world. Our love multiplied in a very real and evident way.

On this day of creation, God created a man. Then He gave him a wife as a gift. God had something special in mind when He created man. He wanted the world to see a likeness of Himself in all humans. And He wanted us to know about Himself through the gift of marriage. For in marriage, a man and woman would find intimacy, trust, love and physical satisfaction, while populating the earth. Yet the institution of marriage is only a minuscule representation of the love the Father has for us. He loves us so much more. Even to the point that He was willing to send His son to take away the sins of the world.  So that by believing in Jesus, we might experience perfect unity with God by having the Holy Spirit indwell our very being.  And then someday experience an eternal unity with God in heaven!

Answers in Genesis has a wonderful article about God’s creating of man. I included just the summary statement.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v16/i4/image.asp

“When God created the vegetation and the animals, He made them all ‘after his/their kind’ (the phrase occurs nine times in Genesis 1:11-25). When He created Adam, He made him after the God-kind — in the image and likeness of God (cf. Acts 17:28). After the Fall, man is still said to be in God’s image (Genesis 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7) and likeness (James 3:9). However, this image was defiled by man’s rebellion at the Fall, and all aspects of God’s image were tarnished. Nevertheless, these aspects were perfect in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was and is ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Colossians 1:15), and ‘the express image’ of God (Hebrews 1:3), both in His life on earth and in Heaven.

The Apostle Paul says that we are transformed or renewed into the image of God by the Gospel, and that this image is then ‘in righteousness and true holiness’ (Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24). This is not something that the natural man can bring about by his own efforts, but is the result of our ‘receiving Christ’ in faith and repentance (John 1:12; Galatians 2:20). It is accomplished by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5; Romans 8:28-29), who takes up His abode within God’s children (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). ‘God is long-suffering towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance’ (2 Peter 3:9).”


Genesis 1:20-23 “Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.”

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 5- Part 2

Are you sick of Frank Harber yet? LOL Well this book is awesome! Another quote regarding the evolution vs. creation. On page 19, Harber provides some great information. “Evolution requires that spontaneous generation (life coming from unliving matter) must have occurred. But not one case of spontaneous generation has occurred. All scientific observations point to the fact that life only comes from life. This scientific law is referred to as the the Law of Biogenesis. Hence, to get life you need life.” But to me this makes sense. God told the birds and the fish to be fruitful and multiply. He created them just as they were and expected them to reproduce their own kind. What a great God.

Regarding this colorway, I took some artistic liberties. No where in the Bible is there a mention of flamingos, per se. However on day 5, God created ALL the birds, including Flamingos. This colorway was actually inspired by a wetbag I own that with an Amy Butler print. It looks to me like flamingos standing in water and I am so glad that it turned out the way I hoped it would. While I am creative and enjoy this process, I pale in comparison to the ultimate artist- God! He created everything we see. He is awesome!

For your viewing pleasure, the print that inspired this “Flamingos.”
Flamingos & bag


Genesis 1:20-23 “Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.”

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 5- Part 1

On this day, God created all the sea creatures. We went to Sea World with both of the girls this year. It was so wonderful to see these creatures. The super intelligent and friendly dolphins. The funny seals performing. The huge orca whales in such a lovely display. We loved it. This colorway reminds me of Shamu and a dolphin swimming in a sea of amazing water.

Regarding God’s creation of the fish, I found this article at Answers in Genesis.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/news-to-note/2007/0324.asp

“It’s another case of science turning to God’s design for inspiration: a study published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics (which focuses on such natural inspiration) describes how engineers may be taking a cue from dolphins in devising improved sonar systems. Dolphins navigate using sonar—sonar that “outperforms any man-made system, particularly in shallow water, ” according to the article.

Enter Peter Dobbins, an engineer for Britain’s SEA Group. Based on the theorized but as yet unverified idea that dolphins use their teeth to improve sonar navigation, Dobbins modeled dolphin jaws to investigate the “endfire array” concept:

The models showed that the endfire-array pattern performs better at close range than the ‘broadside’ pattern often used in man-made sonar systems. In a broadside array, the sound
travels at right angles to the jaw—from directly underneath, for example. Whereas the broadside array loses the ability to determine direction of sound closer than 10 centimetres from the source, the endfire array can still do so.

Of course, since scientists have not proven that dolphins actually use their teeth in navigation, Dobbins’ model only “may be” taking a cue from nature. Despite this unanswered question, the article points out:

Dobbins agrees that further work is necessary to determine whether his models accurately reflect dolphin sonar. But regardless of how that debate turns out, he says, the results can already be used to improve man-made systems.

As humans, we can be thankful for not only God’s incredible designs, which have inspired numerous engineering advances, but also for the logical minds God gave us that allow us to use science to investigate the world around us.”

God created all his creatures with special abilities. And man has just copied God’s design. Electrical, mechanical, acoustical, optical phenomena are already present in nature. What a brilliant God!


Genesis 1:14-19 “Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.”

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 4!

“Eventide” and “Dusk” are both names for Evening. I love sunsets that are just amazing! I was thinking about a sunset we saw in Washington D.C and how lovely it was. I found this picture of a sunset in Hawaii at http://www.hawaiipictures.com
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I’m sure that if I think it looks absolutely stunning in a picture, I can only imagine how spectacular it is in real life.  When God created the sun and the moon and set them into orbit, he gave us such an awesome gift. Each day we see the handiwork of his creation in the beautiful sunrises and sunsets!

“Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” has some wonderful information regarding Day 4 of creation: the sun, moon and the stars.  On page 26, “The moon orbits the earth at a perfect distance at about 240,000 miles which creates the necessary tides upon the oceans. These tides clean up the oceans and their shores, but if the moon were to move in just 1/5 of this distance, the contintents would be plunged under water twice a day. ”

“It is difficult to examine our amazing universe and not conclude that there was a Designer. Psalm 19:1 says,’The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.’ Romans 1:20 says, ‘For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.’

“Although there are only 4,000 stars that can be seen without a telescope, the Bible has declared that the number of stars are as the sand on the seashore. (Genesis 22:17.) Modern giant telescopes have verified that there are about 10 ^25 (ten million billion billion) known stars in the universe.  It is of no small wonder 90% of astronomers believe in God!”


Genesis 1: 11-13 ;2:8-9 “Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a third day.”…
“The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

This colorway is one of my “Days of Creation” series.

Day 3- Part 2!

This colorway actually came from a lei I got at a MOPS retreat. I’ve been staring at the colors for months now. I love the way they go together. It made me think of Hawaii. I’ve seen pictures of the lush vegetation there. I would really like to visit there someday.

Eden is often a place I’ve often thought about. It was this garden that God planted for Adam and Eve to enjoy themselves in. And God caused “every tree that was pleasing to the sight” to grow there. Can you imagine the beauty of it? I’m not sure I can.

God wants us to know him in everything. Even the plants shout out that they were loving made by a creator. I found 2 incredible articles from Answers in Genesis. One is on orchids and how complex they are and point to a creator. http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i1/orchids.asp
The other is “God’s little green machines” by by John V. Collyer

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v16/i3/machines.asp

“God’s little green machines all run on solar power. Long before man discovered how to harness solar power, the Creator had installed miniature ‘solar panels’ in every green leaf.

We sow a seed. The seed is programmed to remain dormant until water and warmth are available. With moisture the stored food in the seed becomes soluble and growth begins.

First, little roots go down seeking more water. Then little leaves come up searching for light and air, exposing their surfaces at right angles to the sun. Another of God’s little green machines has come to life, instructed by the miniature program within it.

The leaves expand, and expose their solar panels to the light for energy to power the chemical factories within each leaf that marvelously combine air and water to form sugars. This amazing process has been taking place ever since the Creator said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding see, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself’ (Genesis 1:11)

In this incredible process called photosynthesis, solar energy is used to manufacture chemicals, whereby sunlight falls on the green cells in the leaf, empowering them to make such chemical changes as splitting molecules of water into their components oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen is released into the air for us to breath, while the hydrogen is used in the making of sugars as it is combined with carbon dioxide from the air.

This whole wonderful process (infinitely more complex than this simple explanation) is being performed while ever the sun shines, all over the world, by countless numbers of God’s little green machines. It has proved to be beyond the ability of the most skilful scientists to replicate. They, and we, marvel, at the wonder of it, and if we are wise, learn the lesson that it teaches.

This process, the basis of all our food supply, was created before any animals were placed on earth, and is evidence of the practical loving care of the Creator for His creatures. His ‘green machines’ are a universal reminder of the fact of divine creation, and that day three, when plants were created, was quickly followed by day four when the sun took over the task of providing energy for God’s plants.”

I hope the next time you see a beautiful garden, you don’t overlook the details God has placed before you.  He has shown you some of Him in His own special way!

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