Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pitiable, Poor, Blind and Naked?

In this house it seems the dolls are always lying around naked.  The girls play House, and Church, and Going to Town in such creative imaginative ways that it actually impress me - all the while their babies are completely bare!  It perplexes my mind that my daughters, who love pretty things and dressing up, wouldn’t want to have cute clothes on their dolls.  I think I may have found the answer.
I was asking our youngest, Cassie Jo, about the naked doll she was playing with and “why doesn’t she have any clothes on?”  She informed me quite clearly that she DID have a dress on, and it was pretty and pink!  So I’m thinking that in their minds all the dolls are looking quite their best, and it’s easier to change clothes when it’s all in your head.  The mamma (and any company in our houseL) sees the reality that is a little disturbing – Stark-naked Dolls.


We have a lot to learn about human tendencies by watching our kids.  Often if there’s an area in their character I’d like to see improvement on, I can look in my own life an see something similar.  Oh, you’d never know it.  Grownups are good at making selfishness look okay and beautiful on the surface.  It’s when you dig down into the deeps of your heart and see your motives that you realize the darkness there.


So how many “naked dolls” am I playing with?  Some people subscribe to the concept that whatever you believe or have faith in is right for you.  As though what you believe creates reality.  I don’t subscribe to that philosophy of relativism.  At least I say I don’t.


My mind goes to a verse that to me is one of the saddest, and at the same time most terrifying, verses in the Bible.  It’s followed my some of the most simple, secure, and comforting words of Jesus.


“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered,

and I need nothing,

 not realizing that you are wretched,

pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”


Completely deceived, aren’t they?  Being decived is a scary thing!!!


“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire,

so that you may be rich,

and white garments so that you may clothe yourself

and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen,

and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.


Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline,

so be zealous and repent.


Behold, I stand at the door and knock.

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,

I will come in to him and eat with him,

and he with me.”

(Revelation 3:17-20)



Is the life I’m living is truly what following Christ should look like?  Or is my form of Christianity just a naked doll I’m playing with?  Is it my mind or imagination that sees my faith beautifully clothed with the most beautiful pink dress available?  Jesus says it’s only through Him and a relationship with Him that true Christianity exists.  Do I hear Him knocking?  Am I inviting Him in and enjoying a meal (fellowship) with Him?  Or is my idea of Christianity one that goes no farther than believing I’m looking right?


David Platt says in his book, Radical, that, “we are starting to redefine Christianity. We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and turn him into the version of Jesus we are more comfortable with.

A nice middle-class, American Jesus.   A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism and who would never call us to give away everything we have.  A Jesus who would not expect us to forsake our closest relationships so that he receives all our affection.  A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts, because, after all he loves us just the way we are.  A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who, for that matter, wants us to avoid darger altogether.   A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American dream.

But do you and I realize what we are doing at this point?  We are molding Jesus into our image.  He is beginning to look a lot like us because, after all, that is whom we are most comfortable with.   And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshipping the Jesus of the Bible.  Instead we may be worshipping ourselves.”


Jeremiah says,

“the heart is deceitful about all things,

and desperately wicked; who can know it?”


and,   “They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,

and hewn themselves cisterns that can hold no water.”

(Jer. 2:13b) 


This is typical human behavior.  I am not exempt from it.  Always, God has the answer for my wretchedness.


 Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live…”
(Isaiah 55:1-3)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I’ve always had a love for dolls.  My Mamma found this little shoebox dollhouse in her attic a couple of years ago and now my girls play with it.  I’d made it when I was in my early teens and had some of my little kid friends help me with it.  (I never had a little sister, but the “little kid friends” became my sister-in-laws later in life. J)  It’s tiny, so there’s only a living room and bedroom.
It’s all made from little bits of things from here and there that were found in our house. There’s a definite Victorian feeling to the “vanity” and the wallpaper that came from a sample book.   The slightly cocked chandelier is a gaudy gold button.  The “mirror”is fairly tarnished now, but it used to be the shiny end cap of a bought biscuit can.  The couch is cardboard, quilt batting, and fabric.

The little family was never quite perfected – their wooden ice-cream spoon heads were great, but the pipe cleaner limbs were certainly not gorgeous.  And their wardrobe… well, that consisted of robes.  Poor Papa must not feel too manly after all these years!

The Mamma’s hair is more mussed than it used to be, but I guess that’s to be expected after more than fifteen years of having a family of five children to care for. (Tiny Baby was lost at the time of these pictures, but she’s been found since, still fast asleep judging by the closed eyes and sweet smile painted on her face.)

The family Pup.
 I really haven’t changed much.  I still love dolls.  And dollhouses.  I’ve dreamed of building a real dollhouse for my girls, but I know it’s a huge project. 

 At our local landfill and they have a building where things are put that still have value. Then the county sells them to people like me who love to snoop around there. Well, an unfinished dollhouse caught my eye about a month ago and I thought it would definitely give me a head start. It was an ugly blue and without any doors, windows, or interior trim or stairs, but it was sturdy and a nice design. So I got it and have begun trying to transform it. I could get lost for days in my father-in-law’s shop just working on it. (He’s a generous man with his tools!) So far the times to work on it have been short. I took out a wall and moved the holes for the stairs to the opposite sides of the hallways. Feels like real remodeling! It has siding on the "roof" part now and stucco on the outside walls that's ready to be painted a cream color.


So that’s my project that fits in amongst all my other more important projects right now.  Someday you might see pictures of a completed house!  Someday.
"My tongue will speak of your righteousness
and of your praises all day long."
Psalm 35:28

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ryan and Lacey's Wedding


Ryan and Lacey got married on January the 12th.  When you live in Virginia that could mean temperatures in the twenties or a much more mild day.  God blessed them with Seventy Degree weather!!!  It was one of those days when people look at each other and say, “Can you believe this!?”  It was lovely!
Lacey is my cousin (a sister to Forrest who got married in November) and I’ve known her since she was a little girl.  It was so special to see her beauty, inside and out, on her wedding day!

I don’t know Ryan well, but I believe he will be a wonderful husband. I get that feeling just from looking at his honest face and eyes and the way he smiles. 

The bride’s mother gave her all these little packages with
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed,
and Something Blue. I love it!

Lacey presented this little antique golden key on a chain to Ryan when they first met on their wedding morning. 
She’s had it saved for years and belongs to the one who has her heart.

Lacey is the baby of the family and Daddy’s Little Girl. 
When she came down the stairs after getting ready at their home, her daddy was waiting. 
 It was a beautiful moment. 
Makes me think of this song:
She'll change her name today,
And she'll make a promise and I'll give her away,
Standing in the bride room just staring at her,
She asked me what I'm thinking and I said "I'm not sure,
I just feel like I'm losing my baby girl."
And she leaned over...and gave me...

Butterfly kisses with her mamma there
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
"Walk me down the aisle Daddy, it's just about time
Does my wedding gown look pretty Daddy? Daddy don't cry"
Oh, with all that I've done wrong, I must have done something right
To deserve her love every morning and butterfly kisses at night.
From the song, Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle and Randy Thomas.


 This is all Lacey –she was a lovely bride but
a bit of tomboy showed itself!

photo credit: Marla Martin

The flowers were done by the bride’s sister,
 Charlotte, and friend, Brittany.
They were beautiful!!
photo credit: Marla Martin
Lacey and Ryan were married in the gorgeous historic
 Farmville Presbyterian Church.

photo credit: Marla Martin

Lacey has played the violin and sung
since she was little, and “Gentle Shepherd”
is her signature song.  Her sibling sang it
during the ceremony. 
It’s a beautiful prayer and perfect for
a couple starting their marriage.
"Gentle Shepherd
Come and lead us,
For we need you
To help us find our way.
Gentle Shepherd
Come and feed us,
For we need Your strength
From day to day.
There's no other
We can turn to,
Who can help us
Face another day.
Gentle Shepherd
Come and lead us,
For we need You
To help us find our way."

photo credit: Marla Martin


photo credit: Marla Martin


Lacey’s a woodsy wildflower kind of girl and always dreamed of a warm weather wedding.  She did an amazing job at bringing a feeling of growing beauty in the middle of winter!  She had a gorgeous shade of green accented with yellow.  There were special handmade touches – the cake topper, the bride and groom’s initials made from grapevine, and lots of paper roses made from sheet music.  She has creativity!

photo credit: Marla Martin

These talented siblings played at the reception. photo credit: Marla Martin


Ryan and Lacey, I’m so happy for you! 
Keep letting God direct your life together!

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