Do you even have days where you stop? You stop and think? You stop, think, and realize, you got to this place and you kinda don’t know how you got here...
I feel like I have that experience on a practically daily basis...
Omar and I live a life that is very unlike anyone else we are aquatinted with. We don’t travel full time or have a YouTube channel like the typical, “RVer.” We aren’t designers. We aren’t photographers or videographers... We are average people living a less-than-average life. We have a unique (to say the least) story, a unique way of living, and a unique faith.
I don’t have an Instagram worthy home. We don’t live a life that fits neatly into the social media box. In fact I’ve gotten rid of social media because I can never keep up.
I get mad at my kids. I battle the physical fatigue of stress quite frequently.
I feel more lost than found.
I feel like a horrible Christian.
A mediocre wife.
And a flawed mom.
And truth be told, I am all those things.
Even as a stay at home wife and mom, I don’t keep a pristine home. I don’t cook glamorous meals. And as hard as I try, not EVERYTHING we eat is organic (although I seriously really do try.)
I struggle with gluttony. I struggle with anger. I struggle with dissatisfaction. I struggle with complaining. I struggle with putting Jesus at the forefront of all I do. I struggle. And it’s hard.
What does any of this matter to you?
It may not. And that’s totally fine. I take no offense. In fact, I am not expecting you to care all that much. But I feel the need to share this because in a world of memes, tweets, bloggers, Instagramers, beautiful pictures, and a brain overload of all you could have but don’t (thank you Pinterest) I want you to remember, we are all human. We are all flawed.
You may do a million things better than me. You may be more beautiful.
You may be in a better place financially.
You may have more answers to questions than I do.
You may have better things and a bigger house.
You may have better parenting skills.
You may have better, “fill in the blank.”
But one thing I come to more clearly realize as the sun continues to rise day after day is, we are all in need of Jesus. We all need a closer walk with Him.
He is the most diverse and creative Being, with an infinite mind and perfect, flawless talent. He created my personality one way, and yours, another.
He allows me to live a unique life, but not without its challenges. He allows you to live a unique life as well, but it may be a 180 degree difference from the type of life that we lead. You may be type A, while I sit here an unapologetic type B.
You may decorate in the farmhouse style, while I personally prefer a more whimsical look.
You may be able to sing with the voice of an angel while sit at my piano praying for the Holy Spirit to make His heart known and take me though the worship set without getting pitchy.
But we all mess up.
We have all spit in the face of the Creator of the universe, in one way or another.
We try to be good, but we will never be good enough. I mean, if we aren’t good enough for ourselves, how could we ever be good enough for the perfect God?
My life doesn’t fit the mold, and truth be told, yours doesn’t either. So why in the world do we try so hard to make it so? You think I don’t know about those inner battles? You think I don’t know about the comparison game? You think I don’t feel the pressure to fit myself in the perfect Instagram square?
It’s time to BUST the mold. Quit trying to look, be, say things, and act the way that is most relevant and on trend! It’s time to embrace true individuality! Release the political talking points! Release the prosperity message and the lies that make us temporarily feel good about our humanity!
Release the things that don’t come directly from the Word of God, and start accepting that you are a failure. You are an imperfect sinner. But a sinner who has been rewarded the gift of Grace! Unmerited favor with God.
Not because you are obedient.
Not because you said the right prayer.
Not because you went to the right church.
Not because you got baptized.
Not because you took communion.
Not because you are more special than you neighbor.
But because Jesus, even before the very foundation of the world was laid by His all-powerful Word, chose to willingly allow Himself to be nailed to a splinter-ridden cross, His back practically opened by scourging. Why? Because He loves you. He loves me. He wants my failures, my faithlessness, my disobedience, my imperfections.
And He wants yours too.
He wants them covered by a perfect, sinless, life-filled Blood.
It’s time we leave behind the trends that say we must be “this way” or “that way” to feel accepted and loved. Instead, let us embrace the One who truly creates a sameness between all of us.
I’ve spent two years attempting to make this blog something. And it’s ended up as nothing.
But it’s time there is a platform for true faith. For true individuality. For true Christ-likeness, and unapologetic Christianity.
The world doesn’t need my style blog. But it does need Truth. It does need Hope. It does need Life. It does need Light. It does need Grace. It does need Joy. It does need Jesus.
Gold and Charm is now a platform for all those things. A place of Truth found in the age-old, time-proven, historically backed-up Word of God. And may this same Truth lead to an unfailing hope that comes only from a supernatural endurance of faith by the unmerited grace of Almighty God. A place of life, found only in the blood of our sweet Jesus. A place of Light, where those dark places of your heart can be exposed, cleaned out, and changed for the glory of God. A place of Grace. Gold and Charm is a place for you to be you. For you to be loved for what God sees and for how He’s saved you, even when you really mess up. Even when you really get it wrong. A place for you to recognize supernatural, undeserved forgiveness.
Of this world: “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” Song of Solomon 1:2
Of the Hope found in Christ: “Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13
May you be blessed in the Lord, and I cannot wait to continue this journey with you.
Well, it’s been over two months and this uninspired mom is still a bit, well, uninspired. I’ve come to this place where I am just unsure of what I am supposed to say and the last thing I want to do is say the wrong thing.
The world is so full of controversy right now. It’s ugly, it’s mean, it’s sad and it’s a difficult time to have an opinion. Someone out there is always going to hate you for it. Last night I was practically at the point of tears thinking of all the misunderstandings, hate, and brokenness that plagues, not only the “millennials” but also their parents and grandparents. I look at the picture at the beginning of this post and I’m frightened of the world my boys will grow up in.
Often I sit pondering our current state of affairs and my blood begins to boil. I want to make YouTube videos and write profound Facebook posts that are loaded with opinion and personal feelings, hoping in some way to persuade people into peace and the same mind. But every time I begin to write or record the Holy Spirit stops me in my tracts and reminds me of this one thing; this is not personal to me, it’s personal to Him. The issues that we have faced which cause this sort of hate and violence have nothing to do with guns, who’s president, global climate change, color, prejudice, status, feminism, sexism, rape, or what have you. The issue is with the heart of man, and it’s existed since the beginning of time, when Adam and Eve gave up their perfect relationship with God.
Ladies and gentleman, no words of man can change the fact that every single one of us does the wrong thing. It’s called sin. The evil in this world is based solely on our “Sin Problem.” We have left the leading of the Lord behind us and we have tried to go out and make something of ourselves in our own, and we have failed miserably.
I think of the parable of the prodigal son (you can read the full story here) and how he no longer wanted to work with, or be under the care of his father. He wanted the money that would be his after his father had passed on and then the son left. And within a short matter of time his greed and selfishness had caused him to squander all he had. Now the son’s only choice was to become the hired hand of a pig farmer. This young man was so broke he couldn’t even afford to buy himself a loaf of bread, and his starvation caused him to even long for the trash that was the pigs food. But he wasn’t even allowed to eat that.
Y’all, the world we live in today has done exactly that. We have rejected God, we have taken what we have wanted and we have exchanged the presence of God the Father for the temporary pleasures of this life. We desire to make something of ourselves, and in our pride we have brought about a bankruptcy of our souls. We have squandered what minimal knowledge we have on things that only matter in this life and it has thrown us all into a godless pigsty of backbiting, anger, violence, and rage. We long for anything we can get our hands on to satisfy the deep longing for something more that cries out in the depths of our soul, something that could possibly cultivate peace, or bring about change. But our go-to remedy is nothing but pig’s food.
Thankfully, the end of the story does not leave the prodigal son in the pigsty. Instead he has an epiphany, that if he could just go home, ask his father for forgiveness and then ask to be hired on as a server he would at least have food in his belly. So he begins the long journey home.
But when he is getting closer to his fathers house, off in the distance he sees a man running towards him. That man is none other than his father, who has been waiting for him, anticipating his return, praying that his son would drop his foolishness and return to his family! The repentant heart of the son combined with the loving heart of the Father changed the end of the story! The love of the Father has covered the stupid, selfish sin of the sin with an abundant, forgiving love! He takes the son back, and not just as a servant, but he takes his youngest back as his beloved son. The father celebrates his sons life, as if he has just been reborn. There is great joy and great rejoicing amongst all the friends and family (besides a jealous older brother, but that’s another story for another time.)
And this story makes me believe that if we would just return to God, return to our Father in the midst of the chaos, evil, hatred, and brokenness, God would begin to restore the hearts of our generation. If we would just realize and repent that in our own strength, in our own understanding we accomplish nothing but ending up in the proverbial pigsty. If people would be filled with the love of God, how many school shootings would we have? If people were filled with the love of God instead of pigs food, how much hatred would truly be portrayed in the media? If people would come back to the Father, there would be a real understanding that we are ALL equal in God’s eyes! But the president wouldn’t be the one mandating it. The feminists wouldn’t be the one demanding it. Black Lives Matter wouldn’t be the ones protesting for it. No, it would be the people of God, not held captive by titles or names, simply returning to that place where fellowship with God is key to changing our world.
Sin will always cause discord, and no matter what there will always be sin this side of heaven. But, the peace of God can transcend all understanding. The peace of God is powerful enough to change the course of our world and where it’s headed. We need God. And that’s it.
Have a a great Thursday. I am so grateful for God putting each of you in my path. Be blessed!
As many of you are aware of, there are horrible fires raging here in Northern California. They have wrought destruction to an area very close to where I live. So close in fact that our air quality was so bad the schools were closed two days last week. The amount of devistaion that they have caused will mean that it could take years to fully rebuild and restore all that was lost.
In relation to the spiritual, we, as believers often think of fire like affliction or trials. We think of fire as destructive and painful. As hot and overwhelming. Indeed, fire posses all of those qualities. Yet, as believers, the cry of our hearts should be, "Lord, send the fire!" Fire brings heat, heat melts away all that cannot withstand the temperatures. The Word of God does just that according to Jeremiah 23:29. The holy words of the Almighty burns away the evil from our hearts, it burns the carnal from our desires. The flesh cannot withstand the fire of God and live, but the Spirit within us is born of the fire of the Holy Ghost. It longs for the purity which the fire delivers.
Isaiah 43:1-2 NASV says, "But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you."
When you are dedicated to Jesus, the flames of spiritual fire cannot burn up your spirit. When you are walking in the way of the Holy Spirit, you have nothing to fear in the fire. If the things of the physical, or the things of the flesh pass away, your spirit is still held, unscathed, in the hands of the Lord. You will walk away not burned, but even more alive than ever before in the Spirit, stronger than you thought you could be. Why? Because the things that cannot withstand the fire are gone! They no longer hold to you or weigh you down. This is what the Word of God does! It burns out those things which are not of God!
As many of us understand, this is not a painless process. In fact, there are some who have found it so difficult to accept they have attempted to smother the fire by making sin acceptable and even welcomed. Yet, when our hearts are dedicated to the Will of Jesus Christ, we must allow His Word full authority to come and burn up what is not of His Spirit or His Nature. I don't know about you, but as a believer, I don't want to be carrying things with me that keep me from walking in the purity of Christ. I don't want to be guilty of twisting the Words of God to avoid the fire. Purity requires the fire. Fire purges from us what is not of the purest nature. And my desire is to be pure before a Holy God, a God that can accept nothing less, for that matter.
So today, let me encourage you to accept the fire of the Word of God. The Word that is, as Jeremiah said, "a hammer," it can smash a rock to pieces. May the purging fire of Jesus destroy in us, what is not of Him. And may we long for the purity that the fire brings. It may be hot, it may even be overwhelming to see our sins, our flesh, laid bare before us as we examine our hearts according to God's holy Word. But let the flames eat up the evil in our hearts. Though it may be as destruction in our eyes, the Lord sees it as wholeness.