Tearing Down Lies…

Week 1, New Series

Just over a week ago, I was in Texas for a writer’s conference.  At the end of the week, I made plans to visit Magnolia Marketplace and Silos in Waco. I’m an unapologetic “Fixer Upper” fan.  As I headed into Waco city limits, I spotted a brown historic marker sign, reading, “Waco Mammoth National Park.”  Since I love a good adventure, I diverted my destination temporarily.  What a gift awaited me!

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I learned that in 1978, a Colombian Mammoth bone was discovered by two men looking for fossils. Their find was given to a team of scientists at Baylor University, and between 1978-1990, 16 fossil remains of Colombian Mammoths were uncovered, including a nursery herd which appeared to have all died in a single event – the only find like it in the world, according to the park ranger.  Through 1990-1997, six additional Mammoth skeletons were uncovered, as well as a camel, dwarf antelope, tortoise, and the tooth of a juvenile saber-tooth cat – all within 3 strata of soil. The most recent find about a foot from the surface. It fascinated me to hear the park ranger depict the ice age in Texas, and what has been learned and surmised as they continue to uncover remains.  It excited me to view some of these remains as I stood over top the actual dig site.  I learned that camels originated in the North American Continent.  I always thought they originated in the Middle East!

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The Mammoth bone uncovered in 1978 sparked a search for truth, and most likely unearthed some untruths along the way.

Truth always has the power to unearth lies and set free those held captive by them. 

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (NIV)

I was in Texas to attend a Writer’s Intensive, by author Mary DeMuth.  It was amazing! Mary’s heart for young writers shined, as she poured herself into us with a listening ear and genuine affirmation while teaching us about writing, publishing, branding, book launching, and marketing. Her words spoke truth amidst our fears and misgivings about the gift God has given us, at the same time dispelling lies holding me captive to fear and discouragement.

I met some fascinating people with a passion to tear down lies as they write for Jesus’ fame.  For some, the cost may be quite high. The truth within holding a stronger sway than the lies around them.

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Their passion for truth and setting others free challenged me.

That Friday, as Mary closed the conference, she came to each of the 12 of us, placed her hands on our shoulders, and prayed for our families, our calling as writers, and the books God has placed on our hearts.  Her prayers filled us with courage, because truth does that.

Truth is powerful, especially when our world defames it as unnecessary.  Yet, even when truth is devalued, its power to set captives free is unwavering.

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This conference has changed my life and perspective in ways I’m not fully aware of as yet. However, I do know:

I must speak truth in order to proclaim the power of Jesus to change lives.  No matter the cost.

  • I will be posting only once a week indefinitely. I’m in process of writing a Bible Study, and have ideas for other books.  More later….
  • You will soon see some minor changes as I upgrade the site.

This week begins a new series entitled, “Tearing Down Lies.”  Over the next 4 weeks this social forum will discuss topics the church faces today, in hopes to bolster boldness and courage with great love.  I’d love to see a hearty discussion, with lots of input.

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Lord, our world is full of many voices. Help us, as your body, to listen for your voice alone.  Help us follow your lead so those around us know where to find safety, wholeness, and truth.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

(I wasn’t reimbursed in any way to write the above, but rather wrote of my own free will.)

With love and prayers,

Robin <3

 

 

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Focus – WordPress Photo Challenge

I haven’t done a post like this in a long time, but saw the WordPress Photo Challenge, and decided to go for it, since I just took a qualifying photo I love.  Gary and I were at Ocean City yesterday, and I wanted to get a photo of the boardwalk and beach with the Ferris Wheel at the apex.  I only had my phone with me, and so couldn’t get a super clear picture of the scene as the distance was far too great.  After some editing, this is what I was able to come up with.

 

The blur, for me, emphasizes the spray off the ocean along with the intertwining shapes, rather than each detail.  It seems to freeze time, and therefore takes a place that is teeming with bustle, and quiets it down to a moment I’d love to remember.

via Photo Challenge: Focus

A Little Respite

Hi, friends!

Gary and I are currently getting away, as he is scheduled for surgery next week, with a long recovery.

I will miss you, but need to take a short break of about 2-3 weeks from writing.  I may post some pictures and updates on our excursion.  I may also do some one off posts during the next 2-3 weeks. Please be praying for us, as Gary’s recovery will be extensive.  We are at peace, and know that God has us in all of this.

I post to Instagram fairly regularly, so if you are so inclined, you can also follow our adventure that way.

Again, I will miss you.  I will continue to pray for you.  God Bless!

With love and prayers,

Robin <3

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Sunsets near Norfolk VA

Re-post, Introducing Me

This is actually found by perusing the categories at the top of my opening page.  I’ve decided to re-post it because I’ve made some necessary changes.

If we intend on having coffee regularly, or even on occasion, I’d love to get to know you better.  I figure it’s only fair you get to know me as well.  I won’t take up too much of your time, but please let me tell you about myself.  I also figure because we will, on occasion, converse about topics that may hit close to the heart, I thought I’d answer some questions you would ask if you could.

Why did you decide on “En Courage”?

Life isn’t easy, and we all need a good dose of courage now and then!  I know I do.  I want this to be a safe community, where you can encourage and be encouraged when life is at its toughest.

Do you wonder sometimes how you are going to make it?

Do you wish there was someone who understood the cries of your heart?

Do you need hope that there is more to life than the immediate heartaches and struggles?

Do you need to know, this moment, that you aren’t alone?

This space, our table, is a good place to find some courage and hope for the heart during those hard times.

What allows you the ability to write about the hope that you speak of, with such conviction?

I’ve experienced some of the hardest of life and have found where hope and courage to keep going can be found!

Being a teenager for me wasn’t discovering boys and enjoying proms. My pre-teen and teen years were hard enough that I’ve often said I would either be dead, or have lapsed into very unhealthy life choices, were it not for Jesus and parents who taught me about the beauty and power of a relationship with him that protected and carried me.

Raising an adopted son with moderate to severe autism, from 5 years old has brought more challenges, heartaches, and joys than we ever could have imagined.

Losing my first husband to melanoma in 2008 after 25 years of marriage is probably the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced.  It was a 2 year illness that slowly seeped his life away.

Blending two families who have each been through much trauma and heartache since 2012, has had its own challenges.  My son has lost 2 previous families and now a father.  My step sons, also adopted. lost a previous family, and a mother. My husband and I have each lost a spouse to death.

Yet, in all of this, I have come to know a God who is alive, extremely loving, immensely gracious, overwhelmingly compassionate, and powerfully able to change lives.  Because of him, I have found a hope that is enduring.  I want to share that with any who will listen!

What will I gain from spending time with you on “En Courage”?

Through sharing the stories, struggles, and victories of life, I want you to discover there is hope.  Not when you have it all together.  Not when you can finally fix yourself or others. But when you are at your weakest, and when life is darkest.  Because Jesus is safe.  Because His love is relentless. Because He powerfully made a way for US.

I would love to hear from you!

As we sit over coffee, and you begin to feel more at ease, please share your heart and stories with us.  Either at the common table for all to read, or in the quiet of a private email.  email.rlseaton@gmail.com

With love,

Robin  <3

The Importance of Perspective

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Welcome!  What a beautiful day it’s been.  The sun is peaking through right now, but while eating lunch, snow flakes poured from dense clouds just outside… Beautiful!

I’ve thought much about what I’d like to bring to the table this week. If you ever have a comment you’d like to share, please speak up!  Discussions are far more interesting if there is more than one participant!

As I welcomed 2017, I happened to be enjoying the book “If You Find This Letter” by Hannah Brencher.  In it, she mentioned the concept of choosing a “word” for the year.  I thought, “What an interesting idea!” and read on. Later the same day, I read two blogs focusing on the New Year, and each mentioned the same thing!  I began to wonder, “Lord, are you wanting me to do the same?”

As this idea incubated, I reasoned, “The area God has most focused on the last few months has been in regards to being less fearful, more brave.  Aha, ‘brave’ must be the word!” However, the Holy Spirit checked me, and I sensed “no, wait”.

A couple of days later, as I read, the word “perspective” jumped off the page!  “Is this the word?”  “Yes”, I sensed my Lord reply.  I was a bit surprised, as it wasn’t what I would have chosen, but as I mused, I began to understand.
In order to make sense of our world, a proper perspective is required. Click To Tweet
Even “bravery” requires perspective, during trials, in order to truly be brave.

Merriam-Webster defines “perspective” as:

  1. 1a :  the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relation of objects as they might appear to the eye; specifically :  representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distanceb :  a picture in perspective

  2. 2a :  the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed perspective>; also :  point of viewb :  the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance perspective>

  3. 3a :  a visible scene; especially :  one giving a distinctive impression of distance :  vistab :  a mental view or prospect perspective on the international scene — Current Biog.>

  4. 4:  the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions

It also adds a history of perspective in art which works well in our discussion:

“To the modern mind, it’s hard to believe that perspective had to be “discovered”, but before the 1400s paintings simply lacked accurate perspective. Instead, important people and objects were simply shown larger than less important ones; and although distant objects were sometimes shown smaller than near ones, this wasn’t done in a regular and accurate way. Just as odd, many paintings didn’t represent the other meaning of perspective either—that is, a scene might not be shown as if it were being seen from one single place. Today, perspective is used much like standpoint. Just as standpoint once used to mean simply the physical place where you stand but today also means the way you “see” things as a result of who you are and what you do, the same could be said about perspective.

Does this pique your interest?  I look forward to your thoughts.

Let’s continue tomorrow… Have a wonderful evening!

The rest of the series:

How is My Standpoint Affecting My Perspective?

A Refreshingly New Perspective

When You Long for Change

With love,

Robin <3

Blogger Recognition Award

I mentioned a couple of days ago there would be a surprise – yesterday.  Yesterday, I had my hair done – it took hours, and then last evening, we visited, over dinner, with very dear friends.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day, but at late hours last night, I looked at my computer, and thought “I said I’d sit and have coffee today sometime, but it better to wait until tomorrow. So here I am.  I’m sorry I missed our time yesterday.

May I please tell you the special surprise anyway?

I was nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award!   “Happy Little Housewife” recently began reading my blog, and she kindly nominated me.  I am grateful, especially as her comment to me was “…(you don’t actually have to do anything the post says to do). I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your blog.”  Thank you!  I have truly enjoyed her blog as well, as it has helped me grow in organizing my home.

Below is the criteria for the award (things she kindly said I didn’t have to do):

The Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.

How Did I Start Blogging?

I have always enjoyed writing, and have journaled privately on and off since I was about 20.  When my heart gets clogged, and even I don’t understand me – writing helps untangle emotions.  Writing brings perspective.  And I’m grateful for this gift from God for me.  Truly!

I had been told many years ago “You should write a book”, but had no clue about what I should write, nor how.  About 2 years ago, I came to be home all day for the first time in years,  and those comments came to the for-front of my memory, and they began to take on longing.

A friend had begun a blog about 6 months earlier, and she inspired me.

Soon, I began to look into how to do this thing!  I had never heard of a widget, had no idea what a search engine was, didn’t understand Categories and Tags, and had no idea if anyone would want to read what I wrote anyway.  Frightening!

Now, I look at my small readership, and marvel that sometimes they come from India, or Australia, or China, or….. and I think, “Thank you, Lord Jesus, that I can speak of your love, and the whole world can hear.”  It amazes me.

Three Tips to New Bloggers: (Things I’m learning the hard way!)

  1. My readers need to see that before they become real to me, I’m willing to become real to them. I love Jesus, and more than anything I want others to see how beautiful and amazing he is; and that he can give anyone life, hope, and freedom.  I can only do this effectively if I’m willing to share how he’s given me life, hope, and freedom.  That’s hard, because it means that I must become more translucent – about the messes of my life.  If I won’t, I do it at the expense of others thinking I have all the answers.  Nothing then is shared, and I become “better than they”.
  2. I must write for them, not to them.  I must write with their hearts in mind.  Not with my desire to get my thoughts off my “pen” to a blank journal.  I’m trying more to imagine my reader sitting right next to me at the table.  How would I speak?  What would I do?  Do I want them to experience Christ’s compassion and love, or only hear about it?  I must write as though I couldn’t speak, but wanted desperately for them to experience – through my words.
  3. In becoming real, I  can’t do it at the expense of my family and loved ones – but  in deference to them.  I must protect my family and loved ones, while being real about me.  They didn’t ask me to share their messes, so I must honor them even in sharing mine.

Finally, the following are blogs that I have discovered to be a blessing to me, in one way or another:

  1.  Beauty Beyond Bones – She’s vibrant, speaks from the heart, and shares Jesus for today’s world beautifully!
  2. Teacups and Pearls – I like her recipes!
  3. Emma Plus Three – She is a young mom in the UK with a son with autism, who wants to be seen as a real person – someone with passions, thoughts, and dreams outside of being a “special needs mom”.  I like her dream!  Her blog is fun and holds variety.
  4. Nourishing Minimalism – I’m learning a lot about the joy of purging things I no longer really need in life.
  5. Tapestry Chronicles – Vanessa is the first blogger I became familiar with, and my inspiration for becoming a blogger.  I love this woman – a dear friend, and sister in Jesus!  She shares from the heart about herself, life, and her passions.
  6. Gray Clouds, Clear Skies – Peggy is an inspiration for me.  She struggles with depression.  She shares transparently.  She loves Jesus, and it shows – giving hope in the middle.
  7. Let Us Live Like We Mean It – Timi has gone through some hard struggles in life, and it was in sharing some of them that I first “met” her.  Her blog is varied, as her life is varied and full of adventure.  She is an interesting lady!
  8. A Blog For Humans – Tom is a philosopher, and a true writer.  His words make me think – and I like that.
  9. Turtle Moon Impressions – Blog.  Janis is an artist, and a photographer.  She takes her photography and turns it into textile art, and I love to view her gift in action.

Not every blog listed comes from the same worldview that I espouse.  Nor would many of them agree with every word I write, but their writing and gifts have blessed me and I’m grateful God has brought them into my world.

And, Christine, thank you for the opportunity today to be blessed by you, and to try and be a blessing to those I’ve listed.

Love,

Robin <3

 

Wonderful Resources

I hope your day has gone well!  I have actually been painting the trim in my kitchen and dining room today!  Please cheer me on, as I’ve put this off for about 2 years now (I mean painting the entire dining room/kitchen), and finally started Thanksgiving weekend with the help of a friend – bless her!  BUT, I’m almost done.  God has been doing a cool work of restoration in me the last few months, and it feels good to be free enough to tackle these bigger jobs around the house without feeling overwhelmed!  Do any of you around the table understand, or is it just me?

I have also found some wonderful resources in the last couple of weeks that have helped me to gain further ground in the area of homemaking, which has never been a task I’ve felt I’ve done well with, even though I have enjoyed pieces of it for many years.

Anyway, now that the paint brush is washed, and the paint can stored neatly nearby for tonight, I am here and ready to finish my virtual tour for the week.  (Tomorrow I will finish up the week with a bit of a surprise!)

The “Resource” tab on the menu has been up all week, but only yesterday did I actually add a sub menu, so if you tried to find resources earlier in the week, you would have discovered the menu empty – but not any longer!

Please follow me to the “Resource” menu, hover over, and you will find 2 pages.  I’ve been working hard on these the last 2 days, and truthfully, I’m not finished.  (So please return again at a later date!)  Currently, I have included two main catagories –

1.  Online and App Bibles, Bible Studies, and Devotions that have greatly blessed and ministered to me at various times in life, many of which I currently utilize.

2. Blogs I have found most helpful. Each blog gives the author, and the area where Jesus has met them and helped them.  Not every post they write has to do with the struggles they’ve been through, but even those posts that don’t, come from the place of victory in life they’ve discovered because of Jesus.

The lists I’m making (especially the Blogs) could be much longer, as I love so many of the blogs I read. I tried to stick with the blogs that would cover areas of pain and heartache, and how God has brought restoration through Jesus.  Over time, I may broaden my scope – let me know what you’d like to see!

I will be adding a “Book” and “Shop” pages as well in the near future.

As I sit at my kitchen table, and view freshly painted walls and tacky white glossy trim, I’m thankful for two additional blogs that didn’t get added to the “Resources” at this time.  “Nourishing Minimalism” and “Happy Little Housewife“.  Even though they don’t necessarily cover the topics I’ve reserved for the “Resources” pages, I am very grateful for them.  God is using their wonderful homemaking resources to help me grow in new ways and instill courage for my daily home duties – and that is always a good thing, isn’t it!

Thank you for joining me once again today!  I look forward to our time tomorrow.

With love,

Robin <3