week in review (and some hoho love too!)

Last week was spent in New Jersey, visiting Doug's boyhood home and saying good-bye to Doug's grandparents home (his grandpa passed away this past winter and the home is being sold any day now).  We debated heavily about whether or not to go this year (we always go up for the 4th) but in the end we are glad we chose to go make a few more memories.  The boys had a great time and in the end that is the most important thing to Doug and I.

The week also ended up being a small spiritual retreat for me and I took that time to step away from social media.  This job of mine involves being steeped in social media and very often it is a double edged sword.  I have met so many wonderful people, many of whom have become very good friends but at the same time I've also been exposed to less than lovely people and sometimes that just saturates me.

It's a strange sort of job and often hard to describe to others.  But just think, in your normal life you are surrounded by people you know and know you, love you and like you and the critics are generally few and far between and come in love.  When part of your job involves social media, you have all of that PLUS thousands of people who think they know you and sometimes love you and often feel free criticize you.  Some days you just feel picked on.  It's just part of the job.  I'm not trying to whine about it, just describe it.

My word for the year is "confidence".  It sounded like a good word to focus on but I am learning that it's pretty much in the same category as patience.  You pray that God will just slather you with confidence but instead He gives you opportunities to grow it instead.  This year so far He's been teaching me why I believe what I believe and instead of dumping confidence on me He is giving me a firm foundation to stand on, which in the end build confidence from the inside out and doesn't just give me something that will slide off in the rain.

For example, this year I am reading The Message translation of the bible.  Purely to gain a new perspective and glean something new from God's word.  Who knew that would open me up to an endless stream of critics?  I didn't, that's for sure.  When I started reading the bible on my ipad each morning (using "the bible app) I also felt like I was supposed to share the verse of the day via my Instragram feed (littlebitfunky).  I've done this for some time now and the fruit from those posts alone has both thrilled and humbled me.   I've also read the bible several times now in several translations.  Each, I've learned offers something new to the heart and ear.

But this year, when I chose to read "The Message" translation and share those verses in that translation...man oh man.  Weekly, I get emails telling me of the sin I am committing.  Everything from accusing me of changing God's word (quoting a verse in Revelation that has nothing to do with the Bible) to feeling sorry for me for not knowing better than to only read King James.  It's been amazingly eye opening.

My heart is this:  Jesus is amazing.  He offers such an incredible gift to every single person willing to receive it that I am willing to do just about anything to share that gift in a way that someone individually can hear it.  The Message translation was created to share God's word in a way that is relate-able to the everyday person.  No flowery language or evasive vocabulary.  Just an amazing message available in language that we use.  The authors intent was not to change God's word or alter it, but to draw people in.  I share the verses in confidence and hope that someone will read them and consider.  Consider looking at the bible in a new way or at God in a new way.  To know that He is approachable and loves them.  The translation of the Bible you choose to read is not a salvation issue.  If we accept the sacrifice of Jesus and then add arbitrary rules that we have to follow, it's like saying that Jesus alone is not enough to save us, that we need to help in some way to push our salvation over the edge.  

Thankfully, I am confident that my choice of translation is not endangering my salvation.  But consider the new believer?  Choosing to hen peck them in their new and growing stage could do irreparable damage.  If you offer them salvation and then present them with a series of "yeah, buts" (yeah....you're saved BUT you have to read this translation to be really saved) how appealing and steadfast are you making Christ appear?  I'm not saying that "all is permissible", I am just praying that we will all consider not insisting that our preferences are the only way to know God.  Putting God in a box never ends well, it only limits the gift we've been given.  

This is just a little sliver of the well intended concerns I get in a week.

So anyway, coming back from that rabbit trail, this past week was a nice deep breath.  Stepping away for a bit allowed for layers to fade away like dust being blown by the breeze.  My thinking cleared a bit, my heart refueled and my focus renewed.  God confirmed my job security and path and that is always a good thing!                    
We also had one last swim in Doug's grandparents pool.  This is the last of the grandparents homes to go home to so it was a bittersweet trip.  I'm so thankful that my boys will have memories of this place and time.  
We also did a little photo recreation...on the left is Doug on top with his brothers below...on the right Doug is on the bottom with his boys above. :) 
And then I came home to this AMAZING gift!  A lovely friend from Instagram made this for me!! Created from a hoho she purchased she made the pattern and cross stitched it all just for me!  Hoho fan art is my FAVORITE!! And I am so in love with this piece, it will hang in my studio for as long as I have one! 
And I just love these little sets...I just imagine the hours of play that will come with each one! 
And one last thing...going on now through my Instagram feed is a happy little giveaway for this hoop and hoho set! :) You can get an extra entry if you pin the photo above to any of your Pinterest boards!

That's it for now!  Thanks for reading and following me down a few rabbit trails this morning!


And don't forget to hop over and leave a comment to enter to win $100 from Fram! 


Krulls in Haiti said...

I am truly amazed, and not in a good way, at what some people choose to make into a divisive issue, such as Bible translations. I think my job as a follower of Jesus is simply to point others back to Him, not to squibble about the things that are simply people's opinion. It is encouraging to see you seeking God, not man's approval. Please be encouraged today, and let that confidence in who God created you to be rain down on you!

ragamuffinbeauties said...

Oh friend, I just love your heart! I'm so blessed with how you love & how you choose to live a vulnerable, transparent life. And for the record, I see you, I see your heart, I see how you strive to glorify Him. If you haven't already google Theodore Roosevelt's quote about critics, it's a great nugget! And I just LOVE the recreation picture & HoHo art...so great! xoxoxoxo

Laurie said...

OMG, that cross stitch is amazing!

Susan Jeffries said...

I love this hoho cross stitch!! What a nice gift! I am glad you had fun - great photo recreation! Susan

Susan Jeffries said...

Thanks for the skirt tutorial Crystal! My daughter and I will be trying it out! Susan

Bunnyslady said...

I love your devotion to your faith and am so proud of you for truly understanding the message of the Lord. I have known so many people that have been turned off of religion because of a few bad apples. You are an inspiration to us all. I'm so happy that you got to take one last trip to Doug's Grandparent's house.

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