Sharp Paynes

Never a dull moment…

Archive for the tag “books”

For the Ones Who Can’t Hear “Beautiful”

You shun it as though it were a four-letter word.  When it comes you refuse to hear, refuse to let it attach to you because, surely, you ought to resist that flattery.
Be humble and all that.
Sincere.
You secretly hope that the words are sincere, and inside you desire to wear them gracefully, to be them and believe them.
But your enemy tells you otherwise and you listen to him instead.  To the father of lies?
You have to choose what you wear.

Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness ~ Gen. 1:26

Your Father has said beautiful since you were born.  He’s made beauty in the world, wonder that you capture with camera or imagination or just sheer enjoyment.
Yet you,
created in His image,
won’t listen.
You have eyes to see it all around, but you wonder if it’s ok to see it in you.  As if vanity came from simple appreciation.

Is it ok to think that I look nice?

You ask me one Sunday before church, and I’m remembering the time of no jeans and no mirrors because I was so weak and so consumed.

Imago Dei.  All of us, the image of God.

Yes.  It is good.

Take a little  time in that mirror and gaze at the image of God.  Be blessed by His beauty and comfortable with your skin, your hair, the color of your eyes and the marks of distinction on your face.
Praise Him for infinite imagination, thank Him for hairspray and mascara and jeans if you must.
And then move on from that mirror and see beautiful  all around you, in others.  Go tell someone they’re beautiful and tell them why.  If you don’t see beauty then tell them why Jesus is Beautiful.  Talk about Him.

Attach yourself to Beautiful when you can’t believe He’s attached to you.

When you hear beautiful, wear it.  Be it.

Put it on with your cross and remember the ugly beautiful, the One Story so dangerously beautiful that it saved you from being forever ugly.

Someday, when your husband tells you you are beautiful, believe him.  Believe him because refusing to hear beautiful is calling him a liar.
There will be unlovely days and sweat-pant days and days of acne and bloating and extra pounds.  There will be days when no one says beautiful to you, but won’t you still hear it?
Won’t you listen to the One Who is inside, who created you imago dei and ever lives to display Himself through all His creation?  Through you?

Believe Him because refusing to hear beautiful is calling Him a liar.

Because, really, beauty-full is what you are.  Don’t cover that up.

{And by the way, beautiful is for boys, too.}

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Five Minute Friday: Story

It’s Friday and Lisa-Jo has given this writing prompt: STORY.  We write for 5 unedited minutes each Friday and you could join us!

STORY

GO

Most of us live so much in our own world, in our own heads, that we miss the story of other people.  We all have story, it’s just that we are so busy living ours that we fail to dig in deep and read the stories of those around us.
Not all of our stories are non-fiction.  Some are fiction we create to cope with what is too real, too painful, too boring, or too unbelievable.
One story happens to us all, though.  We get to choose our part.  We have to choose our part, and the ending is beautiful or devastating.
Jesus enters with His story at some point,  and one way or another, we are forever changed.
I used to read those books as a kid, the ones where you choose your own ending.  I would start over each time and read it with a new ending.
I like the story that doesn’t end.

STOP

Forgetting Grace

It’s been one of those days and I’m scrambling for a solution.  Isn’t there a book I can read with a formula I can use to fix this?
I steam inside.
How did we become this?  What did I do/not do/forget to do that allowed all this to be?
I always seem to think that more information will solve the problems.
But life is not lived out in formulas and equations, and in real life there are more recipes that fail because I am always trying to fix heart issues with ‘just the right ingredients’.
Add a little of this, use less of that, try this new miracle formula…and voila!
Same problems, different flavor.
There is nothing on the internet today that will fix the problems in my heart.
There is no earthly book, no potion, no method or manipulation that will solve this lack of grace.
I just need Jesus.
And what more do they  need?  More law, because that really worked for me?
Not so much.
They need a mom who’s been washed, washed, and washed again and once and for all, because sin is a daily battle and grace covers it.
The one encouragement that we can always give our children (and one another) is that God is more powerful than our sin, and He’s strong enough to make us want to do the right thing.”
Elyse Fitzpatrick, Give Them Grace
We are all people with problems, living with people with problems.  There is so much room for grace here, so much gospel to be lived out.
But when we forget grace and use methods instead, we sleep with elephants on our chest because we fail, I fail.
I have this Hero and He won me with grace.  He’ll win their hearts, too.

Marveling at Grace

No man is born, either naturally or supernaturally, with character.  He has to make character.  Nor are we born with habits; we have to form habits on the basis of the new life God has put into us.  We are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God. ~ Oswald Chambers

Practicing thanksgiving…

 262.  smiling sleepers

263.  Hank the Cowdog, and getting to do my best Drover voice

264.  my wonderful wife of 16 years, today *blush*

265.  God’s provision for our family

266.  All 5 of my special children

267.  one home

268.  kind words from others

269. beautiful, quiet Wildcat Rd.

270. morning runs

271. instant hot water

272. summer break

273. 4 kids cuddled up in one bedroom, listening to a book on tape at bedtime

274.  sunshine in my window and a happy anniversary kiss on the forehead to wake me up.

275.  wonderful dads, awesome Father

276. fishing, swimming, swamp-walking together

277. a phone that withstood the swamp

278.  kids camping in the yard

279. coffee with my husband

280. friends coming to play

Books as Teachers

Along with having a schedule in place for our family, reading books together has been fundamental.  From the time they were born I’ve read to my kids.  Partly for them, partly for me  – reading Dr. Seuss to the kids is much more fun than reading it to myself. Sharing a story together gives us common ground, something to refer to in our daily conversation, something to bring us back together when life scatters us.

A reason to snuggle, too.

The Wiggler

Sometimes it was more of a wrestling match than snuggling.  Forced-listening?  You-will-like-this and we-will-bond?  The boys always wanted to tear the books, eat the books, throw the books.  But we pressed on, and they came around.  Now it’s my son who slyly drops the book on the table next to my lunch plate.

I don’t get to read everything my kids are reading for school anymore, and I think I’m jealous.  My children are going on adventures without me.  Meeting new people, seeing new places.  They are more ‘well-read’ than I and have devoured bookshelves-full.  I taught them each to read, by the grace of God, and now there’s no stopping them.  Even the boys.  But with carefully chosen books as their teachers, there is no limit to their education.  Only a limit on my time, and I don’t have enough to catch up on all the great books.

Because I just can’t do it all.  And I have to be okay with that.

We have had family read-alouds in the evening with Dad.  We’ve read fiction and non-fiction, hero tales, fairy tales, missionary stories and silly poems.  We have forced our way through the Bible in a year of 6 a.m. wake-ups.  Just because we thought we should.

There are  many books that the youngest hasn’t been read.  There are hundreds more great books that none of us has read.  We have started several books that we never finished, and we have had long dry spells with no story.

It’s all okay.  We just start again where we left off.  Or find a new book.

In fact, we just recently picked up the habit again, in the mornings after breakfast.  Even though schedules are packed and life has changed and there are no toddlers anymore, we have to read together.  It is essential for us.  And you know what?  Nobody complained.  All made room in their schedules.

And I’ve learned (am learning) not to make Dad feel guilty about missing out.  Some seasons we can all read together.  Other seasons, life and work happen in abundance and I make time for read-alouds during the day, because I can.  Nobody needs more guilt heaped on their shoulders because of what they don’t do.  Some of the best stories we hear are the ones Dad tells at the dinner table!

Books take us beyond ourselves and our time, giving us fresh perspective, new inspiration, deeper thoughts.  We use books to teach our kids because some lessons are better read than preached.

We ebb and flow with life, but I hope we always come back to sharing stories together.

growing in thanksgiving, through the fog of sickness this week…

143. daddy’s surprises

144. goofy classmates

145. Pooja

146. The Wolfe’s

147. chocolate

148. kids

149. OMSI

15o. doggy kisses

151. Fourteen years with Bailey

152. books as teachers

153. popcorn and smoothies and time together

154. Awesome Uncle Troy!  Dropping by with unexpected thanks.

 

A Few Thanks

This last week has been a blur and most of the thanks were written by my hand.  There are still so many places to squeeze thanksgiving into and so many attitudes to lift…   So many “thank-you’s” still go unsaid, but I am pressed to look back and remember.

I am especially thankful for fellowship these last few days.  I am blessed to be in the wonderful Body of Christ, where nobody gets left behind.  I am reminded how God fits us together and does His kingdom work through cracked vessels.  How when you’re up I’m down, and vice versa.

So this week we are thankful for

131.  running in shorts in February

132. Mrs. Earlywine : )

133.  Spite & Malice

134.  music with the goof-balls (I think that must mean the siblings?)

135.  time for deep conversations

136.  soft hearts

137.  homemade granola bars

138.  free Kindle books

139.  cell phones

140.  a healthy family

141.  cards in the mail

142.  a husband who notices

A few moments of craftiness

I am an impatient crafter.  When I want to do something, I just want to do it, not spend time gathering the proper materials and analyzing the best methods.  Just get it done : )

I’ve been wanting to make my own Kindle cover for some time out of an old book ($35 for a Kindle cover?  It‘s an empty book, for crying out loud!).  I love old books.  Plus, I wanted to maintain some respect among true book-lovers, some of whom think that the Kindle is to books what velveeta is to cheese.  (Yes, I struggled.  But the thought of having 1000s of books at my fingertips over-ruled my altruism.)  

Anyways, I have this wonderful old copy of The Merchant of Venice on my piano that was perfect for this project…but to my homeschool-heart’s delight, my son objected.  “I love that book, mom,” he says.  Melt.  Shakespeare is saved.

So I went to a used bookstore (favorite place!). It was one of those tight, cramped, overflowing bookstores, the ones that play classical music and smell like old books…the kind you don’t take toddlers to.  Love it.  Scanning the floor-to-ceiling shelves, I heard a voice say, “Now which one of you will be the sacrifice, having your words torn from your binding with an exacto knife and your thoughts dumped in the trash like yesterday’s junk mail?”  

I left empty-handed.

This was taking way too much thought. 

Yesterday, I had a few moments between math tutoring and orchestra, so I pulled into Staples. I came out $11.84 later with new inspiration!

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A journal in my favorite green and some velcro : )  I found the scrapbook paper when I got home, and in about 15 minutes I had a Kindle cover!

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Did I mention that I’m not a perfectionist?  Someday maybe I’ll do some pretty ribbon or something to hide the border, since in my haste I cut the paper too short.  But for now, I’m happy.

*No words were harmed in the making of this cover.

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