Monday, December 30, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 25

Chapter 25 Facts and Finds
The next morning, I awake to a note from Stella taped to a full coffee pot. She’s out running. Coffee made, Stella out on a run, I choose to take my cup-o-Joe to the sun porch. A good sit sounded perfect this late morning. I need to set myself straight before I start a long day hunting down answers. As I pursue that secret place with God, it dawns on me that I should read the bible more…
Oh, Lord…here I am, so thankful to You for all You have shown me, all You have done for me…And yet, I find that I want more. Do I need more? You have all of the answers. You have shared some of them with me. How do I keep peace with where I am, while striving for the rest of what is meant for me to have? How do I find that balance?
My dear child, seek My rest and you shall find peace there. Waiting won’t feel such a heavy burden if you lean upon Me. Read the word and you will yet be closer to Me, still.
I sigh. Whether relief, contentment, or resignation I know not – Probably all of the above. Resting my head back, I close my eyes taking a deep slow breath. I feel better than I have in days, having accepted much that is out of my control. I am in that place with God that is secret and sacred. Sorry, can’t share more than that. Most likely because there are no words that exist in this physical world of ours that can possible do justice in explaining what God does with me in this sacred place.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Don't Touch the Gifts Under the Tree...Until it is Time

This time of year is a perfect tangible representation of God's promises to us, that we must yet wait for. We are called to praise and thank God for the gifts we have yet to receive. Sometimes, I find this quite difficult. But, all month long, as presents began filling up the skirt of our tree, it dawned on me how we practice this act year in and year out. Let me explain:

Kit saw the presents with his name on them the first week of December. He had no idea what lived within the wrapping paper, but...

he knew he was getting gifts! He also knew that he had to wait for those gifts...Wait for what felt like an eternity to a four year old.

Quite frankly, it felt like an eternity to me, as well! I just wanted to watch him tear into his gifts!

The amazing thing: Kit thanked his Mommy and Daddy for his presents - prior to Christmas.

That is how it is with God and His promises to us. We may feel that we are waiting for a perceived forever, but everything is in God's timing -- And, God's timing is perfect. Not just for Him and His purposes, but for us. How wonderful is it that God cares so much for our well-being that He waits until it makes sense to give us our gifts? He has told us He will provide us food, shelter and clothing. He will also give us rest, strength and patience when we need it.

The next time I am frustrated with waiting on God, I am going to praise Him and thank Him for all He has done, all He is doing, and all He will do.

Santa, Jesus, and Kit

We have been struggling with the whole Santa thing since Kit was born. I personally have fond memories of believing in Santa, and even realized while I was young that he wasn't real. My husband was devastated when he found out Santa was merely his parents.

And, what about Jesus? How does Santa fit in with Jesus?

And the questions to come: If Santa isn't real, is Jesus? Is God? How do we know????

So...what do we do? How do we allow our children the fun and experience of Santa, while retaining the truth about this holiday, our Savior, Jesus Christ?

We told Kit that the idea of Santa is the spirit of giving, based off of a man named Saint Nicolas, who inhabited the spirit of giving to the less fortunate; which ultimately came from the spirit of Jesus, who gave the ultimate in gifts.

I am hoping that without creating a physical person who represents Santa Clause, revealing him in more of spirit form, with the idea of giving, Kit will be able to take the complete truth with understanding. The rest is in God's hands.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never parish, spoil or fade... ~1 Peter 1:3-4

This gift of life after death began with the birth of a Holy Man, The One and Only Son of God.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Batman Quilt Progress Report

The Batman Quilt

The inspiration for this quilt spawned from The Rustic Knight being adamant about keeping all clothing batman related, and me trying to figure out what to do with them that didn't include keeping them in a box, until Kit had children of his own. We bought Kit his new bunk bed a couple of months ago and decided he needed a new blanket to fit the new twin beds...
Lo and behold, a Batman quilt!

Keep in mind, I have absolutely no idea how to make a quilt.
 I am just sewing on a prayer, trusting that this will all work out...
Because I know it will be beautiful. And I know Kit will love this :)

Here are the materials used: 
Batman t-shirts, pajamas, and costumes...
Some clothing I had that I never wear, but
are the appropriate colors
We bought fleece material for the base of the blanket and batman material for the squares;
I have enough to make pillow covers. I bought a total of 5 yards for $35! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Don't Stop

Below is a poem I wrote a few years ago -- I know I was home with Kit when I wrote it; he was 1 or 2...I had been deep in solitude and felt very alone. I was in a dark place, beginning to see the truth of my own heart; it was heart breaking. This was around the beginning of the severing of my ties to the past that bound me to the world, not God.

I still have moments when I completely relate to how I felt when I initially wrote this prayer. I think it's important to remember, that no matter how far we come spiritually, or how close we get to God, there are times we struggle with being the best we can be. We work hard, we mature in spiritual nature, and we land in that place of contentment. We are succeeding and it feels wonderful!

Then, we hit upon a stumbling block that sends us spinning and we need help getting back to that wonderful place we know to be Good. This is part of the fight in choosing Jesus, choosing His sacrifice, choosing to pick up the cross, day after day.

God led me to this prayer today, to remind me that He has shown me how to pray when I begin to question myself in my relationship with Him. I am sharing this because He has told me to. Every time I have been led to this prayer, it reminds me that I am human, and that God will always allow me to express my concerns with Him. I am filled with peace after reading this. May God bless you and keep you, may His face shine down upon you, and may you be touched by His grace...I love you all.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

God Gave Me Tape

Interesting title, but it is truth verbatim. 

The house we are renting has mostly single pane windows, the storm windows missing. We have to put up plastic and tape to seal out the harsh western winds during this season. You should see the plastic when such weather transpires: our curtains bubble out, the plastic filling with cold is quite an eye opener!

About a week or so ago, I had done the dining room windows. Prior to that, The Rustic Knight and I completed the upstairs. Yesterday, I did the living room, leaving only the kitchen. I ran out of tape upon completion of the dining room. I literally had enough to do those two windows. Praise God!

Yesterday, I was caulking around the molding surrounding two newer windows in the living room. We have four windows: two new facing front, two old facing back. The two newer windows were not insulated properly, therefore you can see through to the outside of the molding. Hence the caulking. In the middle of sealing these cracks, I thought to myself, "It would be totally awesome if God just miraculously placed a role of tape in our junk drawer."

Now, we were going to buy tape, but when we went to the store, we weren't prepared to spend what the stores were asking for. This was not because we didn't have the money for it, we just didn't want/couldn't bring ourselves to spend our money on the tape. It seems odd in hindsight, yet I also understand why we didn't buy it, because...

How would this have happened:

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 24

Chapter 24, Revelation Of The Heart
“I actually think I can work with that, if you would like me to do some digging around?” Todd didn’t miss a beat.
“Isn’t Chet a nickname though? For some reason, I feel that Chet is not his full name. Maybe it was for protection in anonymity?” Though, I couldn’t figure out why my father needed to hide his identity from…From whom? My mind was a blank.
“It could be. I’ll do a search of names associated with the nickname Chet.”
I nodded, becoming restless in my thoughts. My mind began traveling back to what Ava and Todd had said about the boarder, how that woman arrived after my mother left. “Did you search what school my mom went to?” I snuck a look at him. “Maybe my mother met my father in college? Is the timing right for that?”
“Yeah, I searched.” Todd seemed to suck in his breath. Time suspended. “There is no record she enrolled in college.”

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Prayer For Today...

I ask you to forgive me for wanting things not meant for me. 
Please cleanse my heart and fill me up with Your will. 
In Jesus Christ's name, Amen. 

Outerbanks NC
Photo taken by Paisley Sept. 17, 2013

I have had a full week, leaving me feeling a bit depleted. 
This is of the good kind. 
I am spent from the Lord's use of me, and I love it. 
Today is a day for recuperation, of the divine kind. 
This led me to pray the prayer above. 
God revealed my need to pray for something I hadn't realized I needed to pray about. 

And to Him, I am immensely grateful. 

Praise be to God!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 23

Chapter 23, The Return To Friends
Sitting before me were three curious faces. From left to right: Todd, Stella, Ava. What did I have to share? I didn’t know how to process what I had learned, let alone communicate it. So, I did what I have come used to doing these past couple of days. I leaned on God’s strength. I took a deep breath, about to explain myself, and my apparent disregard for the others in this room, shown by my departure, when Ava pierced the air with her words, running them together, seemingly afraid of my reaction to her starting. What she is unaware of, the time God has just gifted me with in sorting through my own scraps of information.
“I’m sorry. I see you are fine. Todd followed you when you left, returning when he saw that you were talking to the owners of Reticence Unlocked. Figuring you needed to do that alone, he returned and the three of us figured out a plan of gathering information. I must say, I can’t keep it in anymore.” Then she took a deep breath looking at me expectantly, as if awaiting my approval. She was sitting in an arm chair under the window, hands in her lap with fidgety fingers. Her knees were closed, though they bounced, peeking out from under a flowing purple skirt. I looked up to her face, noting the deep blue sweater that brought the plum out of the skirt in a striking way, her eyes wide, pools of insight within.
“Shoot.” I was more than happy to have the focus off of me, for a change. Plus, there is the potential that what they have collectively found might help me sort through my recent experiences. Lord, please give me continued strength in absorbing all I am meant to learn. Help guide my understanding of all of the pieces about to come together. Amen.

"God Called The Expanse 'Sky.'"

Outerbanks, NC.
Picture taken by Paisley Sept. 20th, 2013

Genesis 1:8-10
8 God called the expanse "sky."And there was evening, and there was morning -- the second day.
9 And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. 
10 God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw it was good. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"He Alone..."

Outerbanks, NC.
Picture taken by Paisley Sept. 20th, 2013

Job 9:8
He alone stretches out the heavens 
and treads on the waves of the sea. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

"You Rule Over The Surging Sea..."

Outerbanks, NC
Taken by Paisley Sept 17th, 2013

Psalm 89:8-9
8 O Lord God Almighty, who is like you?
You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
9 You rule over the surging sea; 
when its waves mount up, you still them.

Friday, October 18, 2013

"His Splendor Was Like The Sunrise..."

One of my favorite pictures taken in the Outerbanks, NC
Taken by Paisley Sept 18th, 2013

Habakkuk 3:4
His splendor was like the sunrise; 
rays flashed from his hand, 
where his power was hidden. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Doors Closing = Time For Prayer

Good Morning!

First sunrise in Outerbanks, NC
Taken by Paisley Sept 16th 2013
Life has been full this past month.

My gift to the Outerbanks was a blessing I will cherish for my entire life. The spiritual revelations God bestowed upon me during my time ocean side is still evolving within my heart. And, much has transpired since my return. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 22

Chapter 22, The Meadow
I have no idea what time it is, the sky darkish.
I am walking slowly, but with urgency; my stride a mind of its own. I am feeling guilty about having left Ivy, Ava, and Todd without word. I realize I do not have my cell phone. I pray that they do not worry. It occurs to me that I should also ask for guidance. And I do. The emotion in me swells, words escape me. In this moment, I feel but cannot think. I pray with my heart, trusting God to know what I am saying and choosing to believe that He will lead me where I am to go.
I brought the locket and letters with me, having placed them in my over-the-shoulder tote. The key must lead to something of worth. Why else would my grandmother show me where it was? I have given up trying to figure out exactly what that exchange was between us. A gift from God, enough said.
The last time I visited her she didn’t recognize me. I tried not to take it personally, remembering it’s the dementia. The disease has crippled her for years...though right now I wish we could talk about all that has emerged during this vacation. Maybe talking about it will spark a memory for her and she will be able to fill in any remaining gaps. I wonder if she was aware of the letters from my father to my mother…
And thinking of the letters, how could I not want to get to know my father better?

Monday, September 9, 2013

"...I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses."

2 Corinthians 11:30-31
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 
31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.

Here, I, The Paisley Butterfly, have come to boast:

I have come to see a place where 
I have not invited God... 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Prayer Misconceptions, Part 4

Misconception #4:
Prayer is to pry riches out of God's reluctant hands. 

I am going to print the direct excerpt from the prayer study’s breakdown of this misconception. The author words this so well:

“Some pray as if prayer is the means of cajoling God into releasing His carefully hoarded riches. Someone has said, ‘Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of God’s willingness.’ God offers us His resources. He invites us to take His gifts. He does not have to be convincing to let go of His blessings. His Word says that He lavishes on us the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7-8) and that He lavishes His love on us (1 John 3:1). He is extravagant in His gifts. He pours them out. Scripture never uses language that would portray God as stingy or hesitant to give. Instead we read that He ‘richly blesses all who call on him’ (Romans 10:12).

“When we pray this way, we expend spiritual energy needlessly trying to convince God of something He already knows. Giving you every good thing gives Him joy; it delights Him. Jesus assures us with these words: ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom’ (Luke 12:32). His heart is set on you to do you good.”

Prayer Misconception, Part 3

Misconception #3:
Prayer is to hold God to His promises.

My thoughts: We do not need to hold God to His promises. One thing I believe we, as people, forget is that God’s timing is perfect. Many of His promises were not meant to be fulfilled in the very moment He made them. Most of them take time; come in time, at a time when God’s plan is coming together.

One of the things the prayer study touches on here is that God made promises “to stir up hope and expectation so that we would have reason to turn to Him. The purpose of His promise is to give us confidence and peace.”

I agree. Through the promises God has made, He has inspired us to hope for the day those promises are brought to fruition. Through hope we are able to have faith. Through hope, we know we can turn to God for anything.

Hope by definition is to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence; to believe, desire, or trust. God's promises have a built in gift of hope, moving us to trust in Him, to have the desire to believe in Him and His promises.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Prayer Misconception, Part 2

Misconception #2
Prayer is to convince God to implement our ideas.

My thoughts: God created prayer as a line of communication between us and Him. It is an avenue of which we can call upon our Creator and request the gifts He wishes to lavish upon us. What gets in the way of our receiving these gifts are our expectations. Many times we believe we know what is best for us, when ultimately, God is the only being that knows our truth, and the truth of everything else. God has no need to consult with anyone. God has never asked for permission or opinions. Who better to trust with our lives than He? Creation began with God.

If we begin to put limitations on the requests we make to Him, how can we expect to receive answered prayer? There is no negotiating with God. He knows best. But most times, answered prayer is inevitable; we just need to wait on the Lord to give us the gift at a time that is best for Him, making the timing best for us.

Simply Christian

I was asked what doctrine I follow. I must be honest and say, I don't necessarily follow a doctrine. I believe in certain things, absolutely, though I am not a religious person. Actually, I could say I have no religion. 

I am Christian. 
I am very spiritual. 
I was raised Lutheran, though I currently do not claim any denomination. 

What 'Christian' means to me: 
I confess Jesus Christ as my Savior, The One True Messiah. 
I believe in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice to absolve me of my sin, granting me the gift of eternal life. 
I believe in living in faith and choosing to be a child of God.
I believe in repenting my sins and asking for forgiveness. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Spiritual Tantrum...And How I Got In THE Way

I don’t want to do this. Point blank.

I find it ironic that I am doing a prayer study and I don’t want to pray about it, because I know I have to do it and I don’t want to.

I am acting like a child.
And, I know this.

I also know that I am just being stubborn, and that I am the problem here. I am choosing to throw a spiritual tantrum.

Please understand I am not sharing this with you for the sake of complaining. Actually, I am not complaining in the least: I am realizing my truth. I am being honest with myself.

This leads me to why I am sharing this:

Prayer Misconception, Part 1

I have had much anxiety over this next day’s exercise. You can read about it here: 
My Spiritual Tantrum...And How I Got In THE Way

Week 2, Day 2 revolves around the Misconceptions about prayer. There are four misconceptions listed, then a final section on the Truth about prayer. I am going to take the assignment and break it up into five separate posts, each to be posted this week. 

Week 2 Day 2 opens with turning a promise into a prayer:

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

My prayer: Dear Lord, Please bring your plans for me to fruition. May Your Hand’s prosper me and keep me safe from harm of all kinds. May You guide my hopes, aligning them with the future you have in store for me – In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 21

Chapter 21, The Voice(s)
“Oh, Sweetie…”
I started at the familiar voice. It was love and acceptance wrapped in regret.
“Ivy, I am so sorry you have to go through all of this.”
I looked up, noticing my cheeks were wet. My vision, blurry at first, focused to bring out the details of a woman before me. She was wearing a long skirt, short sleeved blouse, and her hair was pulled back in a high bun. Clasping her hands together before her, she smiled at me: a knowing smile.
“Yes, Ivy…You have more than you know. All you need to do is open the door.”
“What door? I already opened a door…how am I seeing you? Why are you here?” I am aware that I still sit on my old bed, letters in my hand, the locked room a vivid memory.
“Sweetie, you know I love you?” Such a pained expression on her features, begging for forgiveness, pulls at my heart.
“Of course! I love you too…what is this all about?” My brain was fumbling to make sense of the words she spoke and the vision before me. This has to be a dream, I told myself.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

"We Cannot Turn Ourselves Into Lego's, Only God Can..."

Last night, on our way home from a friend's house, my son started a conversation about God. 
Let me set the stage: 

Kit's birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and having received many Lego kits (superman, batman) he has been quite involved in playing with the Lego's, and learning all of their back stories. He retains this information so accurately, it blows my mind! Because of his interest and pure joy in playing with these new toys of his, they have been very prevalent in conversation. 

As I have mentioned before, I have struggled with how to talk God with Kit. My fear is that I could push him away from the idea of God, but I want Kit to have an intimate relationship with Him. Remember how I felt I was confusing Kit with God/Jesus? The Rustic Knight and I have been praying about this, asking God to show Himself to Kit in a way that works for Kit; to give us the words that Kit can respond to positively. Basically, we asked God to take over Kit's spiritual growth, because we have no clue how to do this correctly.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 20

Chapter 20, More Answers Questions
Flickering of bright light…
Brings to mind a flashlight’s battery nearing death, but determination of the holder knocks it upside the head with hand, relentlessly.
Full blown brightness…
Startling success…
The brightness dims, settling to a soft light, shadows rise in corners.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 19

Chapter 19, The Wandering Self
It’s decided: I am certifiably crazy!
I am such a mess right now; I don’t even know what to think. As I try to recollect the past few days, I am sent spinning, a force greater than I could ever hope to overcome. The mind is a mysterious maze of muddled muck! Fortunately, alliteration is on point!
Sarcasm is a wonderful coping tool…but only for a short while. It is amazing how much of the physical world falls away when one is lost within their mind: a dimension all its own, private, secret to the one in possession of said mind.
I am walking a pace that makes me appear to have some urgent errand to run: Purposeful. If only. Of course, I do have a purpose; I just have no way of knowing how to fulfill that purpose.
I keep repeating all that has transpired in the past seven days, a reel stuck on a loop, doomed to play forever. I can’t believe my vacation is half over and I feel farther from the truth than before I got here. My brain, working in overdrive, trying to summarize the information it’s absorbed into a cohesive paragraph of facts, interrupted by questions. Here it goes:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Prayer: A Spiritual Communion With God

The first week's lessons have revolved around the purpose of prayer. Here is my understanding:
To actualize God's will in our lives.

I see prayer as a constant spiritual conversation with God. I believe the intent to be about aligning our hearts with His holy heart, in an effort to permit God to continually harvest the seeds of which He planted. We are in the present when we are in communion with God, the hope to become what God chooses for us as it directly relates to His purpose. 

"Prayer is simply opening our lives to God, acknowledging our total dependence on Him. Prayer is not limited to a segment of our lives or to a scheduled event in our days. It is an attitude of receptivity in which we live every moment. It is being open to Him at all times. It is living in the presence of God, always in the process of being reshaped and recreated by Him." ~ Jennifer Kennedy Dean, Live A Praying Life, New and Revised Anniversary Addition 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Time Out Becomes Focus Session

As I have mentioned before, The Rustic Knight and I have decided to home school. Kit is now four. We have also decided to forego traditional Preschool for various reasons. We have no schedule in place for 'school', but have implemented learning opportunities throughout our days, even if only for 5-10 minutes at a time.

About three weeks ago, we were nearing bedtime when Kit was having a hard time listening to me. Better said, his attention span in remembering to listen to what I just said lasted for what appeared to be mere seconds. He found himself in a time out due to this. We have a semi-foyer, covered in the most hideous blue wallpaper, lovingly referred to as the blue room; though it isn't a true room: there is a five foot wide opening from floor to ceiling, framed out and dressed with molding. Kit was to sit in the corner.

Kit sat, though he did not remain contained in one spot. He was loud, making all sorts of noises, and he kept spinning on his bottom, kicking his legs around, going a little crazy with energy. Not the point of a time out; and certainly not listening to his mother. So, I decided to turn this timeout into a focus session...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 18

Chapter 18, Oliver’s Return
I was doubled over in laughter. My sides felt as if they were being stitched, cinching my stomach closed. I was sitting with my mom at Overlook Pass. We had just had a picnic, its remnants still on the table. Mom was wearing a long dress and jacket; I was wearing a white blouse and blue suspendered skirt. It was a cool day, but all that was needed was a sweater.
Out of breath, but still smiling, Mom asked, “You ready, Ivy? Let’s get this packed up and I’ll drop you off at Grandma’s.”
“But I don’t want to go to Grandma’s!” I missed being with my Mom. I missed the store. I missed Ava.
She wouldn’t look at me, busying herself with cleaning up. “Honey, I have to go to the store–”
“Then take me with you! I haven’t been there in a week! And what about Ava? She’s going to think I hate her, and I miss her terribly! This is NOT fair!” I was on the verge of tears. What was happening? What did I do to make my mother so upset with me that she didn’t want me around anymore?
“Ivy,” Mom was losing patience, “There is a lot going on right now and I don’t need the distraction. You are going to your grandmother’s. Period.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ah, So...Where Have I been?

I would like to start off by wishing Everyone a wonderful afternoon! Personally, I am kind of bummed out -- it is raining...AGAIN! I was hoping to take Kit to the playground today...maybe tomorrow?

So, where have I been? Good question. The past three weeks have been a complete whirlwind! Life has happened, and quite unexpectedly. There have been ups, and there have been downs. We went camping; The Rustic Knight got a promotion; My husband's birthday was a week ago; Kit's birthday was yesterday; We had some medical issues in between all of the above; I picked up extra shifts at the restaurant; Family has visited. 

LIFE has been lived

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rainbow Forest

Painted by Paisley Butterfly. Photo taken by Paisley Butterfly
It has been awhile since Kit and I have done an art project 
and today seemed to be the perfect day to do one together :) 

Painted by Kit. Photo taken by Kit

Easy Egg Bake

Yesterday was the Rustic Knight's birthday. I made an egg bake for dinner and the Cinnamon Sugar Butter Cupcakes, though I portioned the batter into three mini loaf pans -- NOTE: if you do this, add time (it took 40 mins to bake at 300 degrees in my toaster oven #2). Actually, I altered the recipe a bit because I was out of the cinnamon sugar butter and was too lazy to make it before making the cake. I put in a stick of butter and eyeballed the cinnamon, adding extra cinnamon to the batter -- The Rustic Knight love's his cinnamon sugar :) -- and chopped walnuts...delicious! Point I am making: feel free to alter the recipe and make it your own!!!! :) 


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Discerning The Call For Action

God plants seeds within all of us from the moment we are created. He plants seeds to develop for His purposes. God developed Moses' character by molding his actions towards His will. Moses was a reactor. When conflict arose, he reacted. God taught Moses the correct way to react, to fulfill His purpose. This was possible because Moses chose to pray. Through prayer we are opening our hearts up to God’s will. 

Through prayer, Moses learned to obey God. This is not saying that Moses never experienced disobedience – he did, once. We see this truth in the fact that Moses was not permitted into the Promised Land. But through his obedience to God throughout his life, Moses became a better person, reacting in ways that aligned with God's will. The story of Moses  referenced within the prayer study, found under Paisley's Wings  shows us how God shaped Moses into a great man, but without changing who he was. In fact, God took the seeds He planted within Moses and fed and watered them until they were suited to His purposes. He nurtured the seeds planted within Moses’ heart.

Inaction vs. Action

I am on Day 5. I have read and answered everything pertaining to the first half of this day’s assignments. Today, I am just about all on board with the author. There is only one question that I question; but I will get to that later. I see many correlations between the part of Moses’ story revolving around the separation of the Red Sea and my life’s journey in obeying God and using prayer as a path to God’s will being performed in my life. This will be shared in Dove's Landing

The opening of Day 5 encompasses the purpose of prayer to allow an outlet for God’s will to be realized within this physical world. That the purpose of prayer is allowing God’s hands to reach down into our hearts in an effort to help us to obey His commands of us.

Upon reading the list of questions to be answered, and their subsequent bible verses to be used as a launching point for answering these questions, I decided to read the entire chapter 14 of Exodus, and then read the notes in my bible before answering the questions provided within the prayer study. Chapter 14 of Exodus is about Moses leading the Israelites through a series of movements that take them to the Red Sea that is parted for their escape from the Egyptians. Ultimately for the purpose of giving God His Glory.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Enduring Through Faith

I had a panic moment a couple of months ago. My faith was seriously tested, and to be honest, I have had some rocky moments since then. That is not to say that I have lost my faith, or that it has dwindled. It just means that I am human and I have to fight very hard to retain my faith, allowing it to grow stronger.

The area I live in has been berated with rain and thunderstorms. There have been high winds, loss of electricity, flooding, branches being ripped from the trees. Rainstorms have persisted for days on end, never ceasing. We get a day of reprieve, just for it to start all over again. This has been our reality since May. 

A couple of weeks into the unending rain, our roof began to leak. I don't mean just a drip. I mean, my living room wall was soaking wet. Water was pouring down the interior of our window, the ceiling was beginning to give way. When we looked at the outside of the house, we could actually see the exterior wall swelling with water. I had to move the furniture, put a bowl under the ceiling faucet, and place a towel over the window in an effort to protect our things. I called my husband, near tears, freaking out. He came home. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Are you kidding me?!

Hello everyone.
It’s been a while since you've last heard from me,
and for that I apologize.
Once again, I am tested and tried.
Losing a cousin to cancer, and finding out someone else has this wretched disease, has certainly taken its toll on me.
Today, I’m not here to preach, but to raise awareness to how quickly and blindly this disease can change our lives forever;
that we, as a people, need to explore everything we can to make this go away.
I recently went to the doctor about a pain in my shoulder,
due to a dislocated collar bone, from an accident a while back and my doctor prescribed me a very addictive drug called Vicodin.
I also asked if there was something I could do about my smoking.
Because of recent events, I've decided enough was enough.
My doctor prescribed me a medication called Chantix.
Great, right?
I went to my local pharmacy to get my prescription for Chantix.
I decided I did not want the Vicodin,because of all the horror stories I've heard about those kinds of drugs.
So, I went to pick up my Chantix and found out that my insurance would not cover the prescription...Huh?
So, I tried something: I put in my prescription at the pharmacy for the Vicodin and my insurance company covered all of it.
Are you kidding me?!
Let me get this straight:
our awesome government will gladly assist us in getting hooked on a narcotic that could, and has, destroyed millions of lives, but they won’t assist us in getting off something that kills.
I’m confused.
Why do I have this corporate government controlled insurance company, when it won’t even help me in the areas I need it most?
I can deal with the pain.
I can’t deal with cancer.
I pray for our government and our insurance companies to open their eyes and see what they are allowing to take place.
What are your thoughts?
How can all of you help?
Can we make a change?
I have faith that we can.
And I pray that we do.

God bless all of you,

Friday, July 19, 2013

God: Mercy vs. Judgment

Maneuvering through day 4 has thus far been the most challenging for me: I am conflicted: I am confused. I find myself somewhere in the middle, not sure where to go, better yet, where I am being taken. I have thoughts of, am I getting this right? Why am I so far from the author on this? How do I go about dissecting this in a manner to put into words for the sake of my readers? To not only read, but understand? How, how, how???????? And, what, what, what????? I also find myself wondering if I should find a prayer study that is more along my frame of mind and spirit. Then I am reminded that I did not choose this prayer study, God did. Ok…so, He wants me to do this. I trust He knows what He is doing. But I am not sure I like it right now. Obey. I must obey. I just must.

It dawned on me, hours into Day 4, that I need to pray – Ha Ha!! Right? I need to pray about my prayer study. Who would have thought? I feel a bit ridiculous, realizing I have not prayed for God’s guidance before starting this chapter of the study…Get over it, I say to myself – And I pray:

Lord, I know it is Your will for me to not only complete this prayer study, but to share what You do to my heart with my readers. I am struggling and need Your help.
Please guide me; Show me Your way; Help me to hear Your truth; I need You in order to do this.
Help calm my frustrations and keep me from focusing on the things that pull me from Your purpose. In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.

So, a prayer and a coffee run later, I am back. I take a few deep breaths, centering myself and emptying my mind of the thousands questions that wish to possess it, and begin again.
I am going to outline the main points of the prayer study and expound my thoughts as I go. Expect tangents within this editorial. If nothing else, it will break up the reading. But hopefully, God will reach into your heart and do things to it you can’t even imagine…And be the better for it :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Show Me Where To Go!"

As I rush through the door, ambulance sitting out front, I see her in a diminished state.  
Guilt envelopes my entire being, proving there is no such thing as a clean slate.  

A barrage of memories, cling to my once freed self, no longer separate from my past.  
A fool I was to believe I was no longer touched by the pain you inflicted, a blast.  

Is this learned behavior, reverting to my previous self when forced under your thumb?  
Molded into a person based upon your needs, resulting in my duty to succumb?  

She is transparent, taking your side without hearing my words, spewing her own harsh judgment.  
I am only seen when I fall in line with how I reflect you, lest you be discontent.  

I know you get some of that from her, the truth of each of us a burden upon you.
But more than that, you are sick with a demon of the false elixir, an ugly hue.  

Swirling red lights, she is on the gurney; help moments away, whether she wants it, or not.  
I fail to reconcile the woman before me with the woman I know, leaving me wrought.  

I question my choice to protect my family from this hold, by turning from your blow.  
Obligation seeps in, a demon of my own; I cry out to God, “Show me where to go!”  

He reveals through this murky sea of grief, a recollection of all I have transpired,  
My God given self pulsing outside of your control, something I have always desired.  

I refuse to let you suck me back in, suffocating all I have become, an effort to snuff my light. 
You transfer blame upon me, hiding behind your chary; my life you no longer indite.  

Choosing God above all else, led to my departure from you; guilt no longer welcome here.
I have gained momentum, Jesus my guide; I smile within, your wrath I no longer fear. 

~ Penned by: The Paisley Butterfly on July 15th, 2013 ~

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Let God Change Your Mind...And Heart

Lately, I have been reveling in the blessings God has thrown my way: my marriage, my family unit, this house, my job, this blog…all is good…

I have more purpose. I am expressing my passion. I love my job. My family is strong and has come together in a way we never have been before our move to this house. I also feel fatigue, aches, and am at times wondering how to get more hours in my day.

So, why have I found myself wanting more? Why do I feel a sense of boredom? Why am I wishing I was already in my southern state living on my homestead? I know it’s not time. I also know I am really not ready, as much as I may think I am.

The Word Of God

I am on Day 3 of the prayer study, and I must say I am utterly astonished. What I find so astounding is that throughout the reading of the author’s content, I find my mind and heart go to one place – and I feel strongly about that place I have been taken. Then I get to the end, prepared to answer the questions she had laid before me, only to find that I am nowhere near the questions she has asked. My heart and mind went somewhere else entirely. Now I am stuck with a dilemma. Do I follow my heart and mind and focus my energy on what was unearthed, or do I set that aside and focus on the assignment?  

Guess what the answer is…BOTH. This does not thrill me, but when called…

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 17

Chapter 17, The Store
I inch closer, pressing my face against the glass, desperate to find out who is here. Not realizing how close my body is to the door, the sound of metal upon glass sends the intruder into a panic – my belt grazed the door. The figure stood quickly, looking in my direction. I stepped to the side of the door, leaning against the wall, my breathing loud in my head. I concentrated on my breathing, focusing on my lungs slowly expanding and contracting, aware of my diaphragm keeping rhythm. The sound of wood scraping against wood startles me. Instantly, I thought of the connecting door to Antiques, remembering a pocket door. Without thought, I ran through the cashier station to the store room to head off the intruder.
I did not expect to see what I found in the store… 

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Bonus Material #5

Reticence Unlocked Bookstore Floor Plan

Image above is built, created, and drawn by me, The Paisley Butterfly.
Ivy's description found in:

Friday, June 28, 2013

God's Sovereignty, Part 2

Day 2 Continued:

Day 2's theme revolved around the Sovereignty of God. The author pulls verses from the bible that focus on this truth. Again, the objective is to see what God is saying to me, during this process. How do I understand God's sovereignty through the words in each verse? When I worked through this assignment, I literally wrote from my heart, completing verse after verse. 

Below, the remaining verses of Day 2's assignment (pg. #'s for my reference w/in my bible):
If you are interested in re-reading Part 1, or have yet to read Part 1, click here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Butter Cupcakes

This lovely cupcake is topped with a Whipped Cream Mascarpone Frosting :) 
It stands up wonderfully! But here...
We care about the cupcake!
This came about as an accident. 
I made Cinnamon Sugar Butter for cinnamon sugar toast, I had to use it before it went bad -- remember, I tend to make more than needed! Creating the butter makes it much easier and cleaner to put on the toast, than doing each step separately. Now, I believe in making the cinnamon sugar to taste, or look. I know what color the mixture needs to be for my personal preferences. 

Here is the recipe (makes 9 cupcakes): 

Whipped Cream Mascarpone Frosting

I love homemade frosting, especially whipped cream frosting. 
But I found many of the recipe's too sweet, and lessened the sugar to cream ratio. 
I also wanted a denser, more substantial frosting. 
Somehow -- ;) -- Mascarpone Cheese entered my mind as a solution. 
I had no idea what this cheese tasted like, 
but I've seen in added to sweets and savories, 
making it a versatile ingredient. 
When I purchased it, I tasted it before adding sugar. 
In my opinion, on it's own Mascarpone is very bland. 
Once I added sugar, it's flavor came out, 
and I realized this cheese takes on whatever seasoning is mixed with it. 
So, here we are!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 16

Chapter 16, The Disorganized Mind
“Why have you kept silent for so long?” This question is asked by a man, clearly concerned, yet also bordering on angry.
I am sitting on the steps leading to the locked room. I know this now. The argument is taking place in the family room. It’s dark outside; I can hear the wind whipping through the trees. I am nervous, fearful of being caught eavesdropping.
“Because,” the words slow, thoughtful, but non-apologetic, “I thought it was the best thing for Ivy…” I recognize her voice, a memory within a dream: Mother. She sighs, sounding near to tears. I do not know where she is, for I am unable to see either of them, but imagine her sitting on the couch, elbows on knees, and head in her hands. Somehow, I have full recollection of what she looks like, how she positions her body, and the way her face changes with emotions. “I honestly thought I would never see him again.”

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Light

 We all have our days of frustration, and sometimes 
the negative things in life can start to take hold, bringing us down. 
I recently found myself in the “part” of being “down”. 
I started feeling tired and weak, 
all my energy gone. 
And on top of that, 
a wisdom tooth was having its way with me…
I hadn’t prayed in weeks. 
It didn’t even cross my mind. 
Then, one night, 
while I was moping on the couch, 
my son turned to me and said, 
“I love you, Daddad.” 
His eyes loving and as beautiful as a full moon, 
his smile as true and pure as the earth’s horizon – a light!

God’s Light!

And the more I looked around, 
I noticed it was everywhere. 
At that moment, I realized I had stopped looking for it, 
therefore, all I saw was darkness and gloom. 
From that moment on, 
I decided to only look for the light, 
for what made me smile, 
and for what I am grateful. 
Life is a gift. 
Be grateful; be pure; be positive. 
Trust in God’s love; He won’t let you down. 
He will teach you lessons and make you think, 
but He will always be there for you. 
And if you just look, you will find His Light everywhere…

The Rustic Knight