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

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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

 

Let Me Introduce…My Greatest Encourager

I realize many who will visit are familiar with blogging, but for the sake of those who aren’t, I’d like to continue the virtual tour I began yesterday.  This also affords me the opportunity for any who regularly visit, to see the changes, as they aren’t in a post format.

Thank you to those who stopped by yesterday, and I look forward to today’s continued tour! 🙂  And welcome once again to my home on the blog sphere!

Please follow me to the “Introduction” portion of the menu.  Hover over it and you will find a true introduction of the author of the blog – me, as well as an introduction of my main contributor and encourager.  I am very grateful for the hope, help, life, and peace that my Lord Jesus gives, and as I state in the “Introducing Me” page, I would never choose to do life without him. Because I love him so dearly, and because He has given me the wonderful life I possess, I have taken the opportunity to Introduce Jesus, for any who may visit me and find themselves intrigued by this One.

I won’t take up any more of your time today – but please take a moment to sit back and read a bit about me, and the One whom I consider to be my main encourager!

With love,

Robin <3

 

Thank You! And Changes Are Coming!

My husband and I are currently on vacation in the Carolina’s – our first vacation other than long weekends since we were married 4 years ago.  We are having a blast!  The weather has been beautiful – the 70’s, which is a very nice change from our Maryland winter.

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It is about 10:58 pm, and Gary is snoring on the couch next to me, after falling asleep during a UK Basketball game.  (I believe they won.)  I have missed interacting with you! My Christmas was probably the best in years, as I shared special time with Gary and 2 of our sons, and our oldest’s girlfriend. God is doing amazing things, for which I am very grateful! I pray that you saw Jesus in your Christmas, and that your heart and soul were comforted and uplifted, even in the middle.

I want to thank you for reading the Advent posts, and for all your wonderful interaction with me – you made it seem more like we were sitting together over coffee.  Your comments meant a lot, and I enjoyed writing, listening to, and praying for all of you.

Several of you mentioned that the series format was greatly appreciated.  So, when I return in a couple of weeks, you will notice some changes.  The first change you will notice will be in the name of the blog – outlined below.  I will begin posting 4 times a week, with a weekly or monthly topic.  Also, the blog will focus completely on encouragement, rather than a variety of themes.  Lastly, you will find some other minor changes that will, I hope, make the blog more cohesive, and more greatly hone in on the theme of encouragement.

The blog’s new name will be “En Courage”.

The word “encourage” is from a french word meaning “to instill heart”.  Along with that, you will find a new Avatar and sub-head, so new and visiting readers can more quickly realize the overall focus.gravitar-photo

As in the Advent series, over the 4 days a week, I will share scripture, stories, worship, and suggestions to keep us going.  I hope to hear regularly from you. I would love you to share the scriptures, suggestions, and worship music that has brought you courage to face life and all if offers.  I would also love to hear your stories of how you have encouraged others, and how you have been encouraged.  I would love to publish some of your stories, to pass on the courage you have given or received.

We all need to have a boost of courage sometimes. As you read, if you are currently encouraged – pass the blog onto a friend who made need a boost.

I look forward to growing in this journey with you, and I love that we can instill courage within each other.

I will sit with you once more in a couple of weeks.  Please, in the meantime, send me any prayer requests.  (In that vain, I will be setting up a new email address when I return, so that you can more easily send me prayer requests and notes privately.)

Love,

Robin <3

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Philippians 1:3

 

 

Sharing My Story

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It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.

Hosea 11:3-4

What a snapshot – God remembering his relationship with Ephraim in their youth.  Linger on it with me a moment in order to savor the emotion captured in these few words.  Today, were Ephraim to look back on those moments, what would they say?*

In the living room of our home, photos and scrapbooks of family and friends populate one side of a large sideboard.  There’s a photo of mom and me at a diner in Michigan.  As I linger over that moment, I am reminded not only of that special lunch date, but of events a year earlier.  January, the year previous, my Dad passed, and not too long before, I had learned that my own husband’s cancer was terminal and our time together was waning.  My mom put my dad’s funeral on hold for 3 months so she could come and help our family through a horrific time.

I smile as I notice a framed picture of my sister-in-law, Carlene and I standing in our Christmas finery soaking wet in front of a Christmas tree, laughing.  We were together celebrating the birth of Jesus for the first time without my husband, her brother.  My son was in a hospital in Atlanta Georgia learning how to deal with the magnitude of the changes to his life.  The picture of our family had altered greatly – even then, we were laughing!  Amazing.

I scan the table and find a small album, within it are photos capturing the events significant in getting to know and love the man I now share my life with in marriage.  Those images remind me of a year where he drove 2 ½ hours from Richmond almost every Saturday so we could spend time together.  His determination won my heart!

Each of the images on the sideboard capture not only significant events with people, but precious memories – gifts in time with God.

God saw my heart and the grief and anguish that gripped as I watched my husband slowly dying.  He saw our immense struggles as our 15 ½ year old son with autism lashed out in anger and fear.  God knew.  So he sent my Mom.

To finish the story of that first Christmas with Carlene – she discovered a relationship with Jesus the summer before.  As her brother lay dying, her life was just beginning.  That first Christmas was certainly filled with its own grief, but entwined in the grief was an amazing celebration of new life, and the new bond we now shared.

As I peruse the album of our courtship, I am reminded that God brought Gary and I together, and I’m reminded of all he did to draw us to one another as that year progressed.  God’s fingerprints were all over our beginnings.

I love sharing these stories!

We often make sharing our faith seem so complicated, yet Jesus designed it to be so simple and beautiful. My sharing these “snapshots” – each a representation of a chapter in God’s story for me, are the beginnings of sharing my faith, introducing Jesus to someone in my world who has never met him, or who has never met him as he really is.

Today, if we have already met Jesus, let’s look at the “snapshots” in our own lives, stopping long enough to gaze upon and ponder those significant moments where Jesus entered our own world and changed things forever, by grace.  As we ponder and remember, let the beauty of those moments wash over us afresh – and then ask God for someone with whom we can share the story.

If you have never met Jesus, I’m delighted to introduce him to you.

Sharing your faith is…. Simple.  Beautiful!

*Note – Ephraim was one of the tribes of Israel, whose history is recorded throughout the Old Testament of the Bible.

If you want to know more about Jesus, or about sharing your faith, please contact me below!

With love and prayers,

Robin <3

Happy Anniversary, Dear!

In time, God can heal the grief of losing a loved one – turning great sorrow into a beautiful song!

Today would have been my deceased husband, Norman’s 59th birthday. He’s been gone now for just over 8 years.

As I think on this anniversary of sorts, I marvel at the works inspired by the grand love of an amazing God since my best friend left me!

The last 8 years have been some of my most difficult, yet also some of the grandest for getting a magnified view of the character of God.

With every tear and anguish, he has made himself not only known, but felt. He has been so close that I can sense the pressure of his touch to my fingers, and the warmth and smell of his breath as he has spoken peace over my troubled heart and mind.

I am learning that I won’t make the time, or put the energy into the effort to yield and listen and follow my heavenly Father without such painful interventions into my world. My agenda, my control won’t allow his sovereignty on its own. My self centered heart must be captivated. Yet, to begin to experience the beauty of his captivity, and to have the God of the universe pay such close attention to me, with such grace and healing love, now begins to enthrall me.

Only as I begin to quiet and listen with my soul to his Holy words, spoken from his heart to mine, can I begin to realize that the things I fought to maintain control of, in fact only controlled and destroyed me.

God’s captivity, thus frees rather than chains me.

In the last eight years God has protected me from my own foolish choices, and has also blessed me with gifts I am still learning how to unwrap. I have been blessed with a husband I now call best friend. He is kind and thoughtful, and we are becoming all God has made us for, through the joys and the sorrows of the good life we share. God has extended my family with two sons. Our story together has only begun, and God is using our struggles in becoming a family to reveal more of his grand character to me.

God has held and kept my son, even with the severity of his autism and personal pain through the many losses he has endured, even before losing his dad. He is growing and maturing more than most thought he ever would.

I have so much to be thankful for as I look back on this anniversary. Thank you, Lord Jesus for these amazing reminders. Thank you for the opportunity to begin to see a grander scheme encompassing the pain! God, you are amazing!

For any who may be struggling with the death of a loved one, GriefShare is an amazing organization full of amazing people who have been where you are, and who can walk with you through this time.  If you would also like to share with me, I’d be very glad to listen and pray with and for you.

With love and prayers,

Robin <3

p.s. You may also wish to read: White Picket Fences and I Do Matter