Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ps 139

So, right now I'm juggling holding a bottle, holding a baby, and typing. Slightly difficult. Does anyone have any tips on how to prop a bottle?

Anyway, I was thinking of Psalms 139 today. Not only is it a beautiful, rich psalm to God, but it is also the theme for this year's HSLDA art contest. I've been trying to find a verse, a phrase - even a word - to base my drawing on. The first thing that came to mind was a baby in her mother's womb, but I'm pretty sure that'll be everyone's first idea, so I'm trying to come up with another, more unique, angle.

Here's Psalms 139 -

1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Anything stick out to you, or speak to you? I'd love to hear any suggestions or thoughts on what I should do for my drawing. I know that with HSLDA's essay contest, I can't have any outside input, but I couldn't find where it said that for the art contest - so comment away!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An Inspiring Video

My mom showed me this video today, and I wanted to share it with you all:

Monday, December 26, 2011


How was everyone's Christmas?

Mine was great. And, although the day is over, Christmas really isn't done for me. Relatives are still coming over today to celebrate Christmas. So, I'm kinda tired because this is the third Christmas dinner in a row (conflicting schedules are the culprit) - two of which were at my family's house. So... it's ham again!

But, really, it's great. The food, the fellowship, the family - it's great to get together. We don't do it nearly enough the rest of the year.

So, I know it's fun to list off all the things we receive each year (for me, I got SHOES XD, a Skillet cd...), but this year I was super excited about the things I gave to people. In my family, we kids make gifts for people, instead of buying things. It works well that way, because I'm usually mostly broke :) So we bake cherry hideaway cookies, make ornaments, knit scarves, etc.

This year, my most favorite gift that I gave was a lozenge headband. I lace knitted it out of dark taupe yarn. It took me forever to finish it, but the end product I loved (as did my mom, who received it - which was a plus). And I had fun making it, and keeping it a secret, for three months.

Alright folks - now I'm expecting all of you faithful readers of this blog to comment on your favorite gifts that you gave this year! I'm sure you've got something that you gave that was absolutely amazing...


Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Human Heart

In a class I am currently taking, we are talking about how the human heart has always had a longing for a human figure to come and rescue them from misery and oppression.

In Genesis, we find Joseph (among others), in Exodus, we find Moses. In The Odyssey, we find Odysseus.

And now, who do we find?

This guy.

As I'm sure many of you know,  the myth of "Santa" started out with Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas, in a longing to be generous and show God's love, gave gifts to the poor--in the name of God.

And what do we have now?

In practically every mall, there's an overweight man in a red suit and white beard sitting on a chair, with a long line of children behind him with aggravated parents. The children want to tell him everything they want--and they fully expect that whatever they ask for will be under their Christmas tree Christmas morning with a "From Santa" card on it.

Sadly, they often get it.

Now, it's even worse than that. Kids are praying to santa. Is it just me, or is that extremely wrong on so many levels?

People want to have a relationship with someone perfect, but Satan tries to feed them replacements (like santa). God is the only one that is perfect.

And, because of Him, we don't need a replacement.

Because of His gift of Jesus, we don't need to pray to things like santa.

Because of Jesus, we are free.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas

If you want to see this full size, click here. Merry Christmas!!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Standing Tall

"But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way." Daniel 1:8

I've been reading the Book of Daniel lately. The second half of the book is full of prophecy and revelation, but the first part of the book is about faithfulness to God. While I was reading it I was struck by Daniel and his friends' humility and courage. They faced the most powerful rulers in the known world at that time and said, "Sorry, but my God prohibits me from doing what you want." Just like that.

Even though they defied the men who thought they could harm them, they did not defy God. And that's what is important. God showed His approval of His servants, and His supreme power - and saved them again, and again, and again.

So, reading all that, it made me think. I'm not faced with a fiery furnace, being beheaded, or being eaten alive by lions. If Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could stand up for their convictions with humbleness, why can't I? I don't have nearly the pressure to bend to worldly things as they did. Put into perspective, my stand for Christ should be much easier. So, I'm going to try today. I'm going to try not to snap at my sisters, give in to laziness, or hold on to anger. God's not asked much of me right now. It's not like I have to interpret dreams to a king, or anything!


Friday, December 16, 2011

A Poem I wrote...

Saint Nicholas gives many gifts
And brings young children happiness,
But without his presents and his toys
He would not be anything to the girls and boys.

He cannot give them everlasting joy-
A love that makes them want to employ
And use for good all that they have
To make others brighten and be glad.

But I, though a little girl may be,
Know One who gives everlasting peace;
He brings joy that stays forever,
A joy that I can take wherever.

Not just a happiness that stays
For a certain amount of December days,
But a joy that I feel all year long
No matter even if things go wrong.

- Aylin Brandt

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Ok... So, I like experimenting with food.

This morning,I was getting myself some Cheerios. Sounds reasonably healthy, right?

Except for what I added to it afterwards. . .

I put honey on my Cheerios. LOTS of honey. But, worse than that, I put sugar on top of it ( the honey makes the sugar stick to the cereal ).

I turned something that was healthy into something that wasn't--and, though it tasted good, it wasn't good for me.

And, while I was sprinkling my sugar onto my cereal, I realized that it's that way with so many other things.

Things--beautiful things!--that God has created, we corrupt and make sinful and unhealthy. . . And, though mans version 'tastes' pretty good when we first bite into it, we tend to pay for it later.

God's version of things are so much better. . . They are healthy and satisfying, while mans things never really are.

So today, I challenge you to seek God's plans for your lives--to not only seek it, but pursue it.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Time

I am typing this in close proximity to the piano on which my sister is playing Let It Snow right now. I guess I'm trying to get it into my head that it will be Christmas in less than two weeks, but that small bit of data refuses to sink in. I love Christmas - the time to focus on Christ's beautiful, precious gift to us in the form of a holy baby, the way family comes together to share dinner, and all of that.

But sometimes I have a difficult time getting into the mood associated with Christmas. I am behind on making Christmas gifts, I haven't baked any cookies or sweets yet, and though I did help decorate the tree, it was for about ten minutes Saturday evening :) I haven't played Carol of the Bells on the piano more than twice so far (this is where everyone who knows me gasps in shock and amazement, because that's my favorite song to play on the piano) I guess I've just been busy with May, recovering from NaNoWriMo, deer hunting, blogging, keeping up with my friends on the Internet, etc, etc, and so on.

So I guess it's time to peel back all the craziness (that isn't even for Christmas yet :D) and just relax. Focus. Take everything one at a time. Read the story of Jesus' birth in the Gospels. Spend time working on my handmade gifts for relatives. You know - all the things I should be doing. And maybe actually listen to the Christmas music perpetually playing in the background...

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, All is bright...


Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Song

Well, my family and I got our Christmas tree last Sunday. It is officially Christmas Time now! We've been decorating the house, filling out Christmas cards to send to our friends and family, and listening to Christmas music.

My favorite Christmas song of all time is Little Drummer Boy by Whiteheart. The song is kinda old, but I love it.

Soon, I will be making Christmas cookies, baking breads, and dipping chocolates with my mom and sisters. We like to make sweets and give them as presents to people. I love Christmas time :)


Monday, December 5, 2011

A Blogger's Prayer

I am no longer my own blogger, but Thine, O Lord.

Refine me with each post how You will, rank me how You will.
Put me to service, or put me to suffering.
Let me post for Thee or be put aside for Thee,
Lifted high, only for Thee, or brought low, all for Thee.
Do with me and each post whatever you will, because You alone know best.

Let me not strive but submit Let me not compete but care
Let me not desire hits but holiness
Let me be a follower, instead of seeking followers.

Let my blog be full of Thee, and let it be empty of me.
Let me crave all things of Thee, let me care nothing of this world.
Let my words be worthy of the greatest of audiences: You.
And You are enough.

May I write not for subscribers… but only for Thy smile.
May my daily affirmation be in the surety of my atonement,
not the size of my audience.
May my identity be in the innumerable graces of Christ,
never, God forbid, the numbers of my comments.
May the only words that matter in my life not be the ones I write on a screen ---
but the ones I live with my skin.

I freely and heartily yield every sentence, every title, every post, every comment… or no comments… all to Thine pleasure and perfect will.

My only fame is that I bear Your name
My only glory is the gift of Your Grace
My only readership, Your eyes that seek to and fro to find a heart hard after You.
Make this so, oh Lord…

Yahweh, You alone are my God, not Google
Jesus, You alone are my Savior, not site meters
And Holy Spirit, You alone are my Comforter, not comments

So be it, today, yesterday, and every post to come.

This is my prayer I have made on earth and over this keyboard… let it be ratified in heaven.

Copyright 2010, Ann Voskamp @ All rights reserved. Please do not copy, paste text or reprint.

I found this prayer as a free download on I echo this prayer with all my heart.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

I want to know. . .

I honestly don't understand this:

Why do we care so much about man's opinions?

Shouldn't God's be all that matters?

And yet. . .I do it too. I do it, you do it, everyone does it. But does that make it right? I just don't get why people care so much.

I mean, man is ever-changing; their opinions can change in a matter of seconds. Plus, what they tell you may not be real, they may lie to you out of many things; jealousy, self-pity, anger. . .

But God's opinion, that doesn't change. Ever.

I find something so comforting about that. . . God doesn't change. His love, His forgiveness, His faithfulness. . none of that ever changes.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." 

Matthew 24:35