Monday, November 26, 2018

This time I will praise the Lord!

Hi friends,

There are so many fascinating stories in the Old Testament that show us how people lived out their faith in the God of Israel - many times in faltering and imperfect ways. One that I have read many times is the story of Jacob and his wives and sons, but the last time I read it there was a little part of the story that jumped out at me.

 You see, in the story of Jacob's wives, Leah was the one who felt second-best. She was the one Jacob didn't really want. She wasn't the pretty or popular one. So she felt inferior and thought the way she could overcome this was by bearing children for her husband. God had compassion on her and opened her womb and when she gave birth to her first child her response was 'now my husband will love me.' She conceived again and in naming her son once more referenced her husband's attitude toward her and God's provision in response. When she gave birth to a third son she said 'now this time my husband will be attached to me...' Each time she responded to a blessing from the Lord with a hope that this blessing would bring something else she desperately wanted. She didn't see and celebrate the blessing for what it was because she had her eyes on something other than God.

But then Leah conceived and gave birth to her fourth son, and this time her response was different: "this time I will praise the Lord." There was no reference to her husband or her desire for favour from him. She was simply grateful for God's blessing and responded in praise. This story made me reflect on how many times I miss opportunities for gratitude and praise, because I see God's blessing as a means to an end rather than seeing them as pure gifts from God that should be celebrated in their own right, with grateful praise. This story challenges me to make this time (right here, right now) the time when I praise the Lord - not next time, not when I get everything I want - THIS time!

I had so much fun on this page and it turned out as one of my favourites in a while. It started out as a hot mess, with fushia paint spread and stenciled on the page so it looked dark and ugly. I was going to leave it and resign it to the 'tried but failed' pages, but I decided to apply a thin layer of white paint of the fushia and see what happens. That lightened it so it looked a bit better, so I went on to add some gelatos in contrasting colours, blending them into the page with my fingers. I then splattered some white and gold paint over the top, with some musical washi tape and little torn strips of glittery washi tape to finish the background. The images and verse were stamped over the top using Women of Praise, Bitty Minnie Alpha and Rebecca Script Alpha.

Let's remember to be people who praise the Lord THIS time and every time he blesses us - without agenda or waiting until we have 'more' - He is worthy of our praise!

Every blessing...

x Amy x

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