My Friend, I See You. #4

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My friend, I see you.

You’re hurting. Friend after friend is announcing relationship or engagement, and even while you rejoice with them, you feel even more keenly your own aloneness.

My sister, I see you.
You’re afraid. You’ve been betrayed and abandoned so many times that you aren’t even sure you want a relationship any more.

My brother, I see you.
You’ve tried to get married. So many times. You’ve tried and tried and tried, and you’re so so tired of rejection and things “not working out” that you feel about ready to give up.

My sister, I see you.
You fear that being in the work force by necessity will be a turnoff to the kind of guy you want, and that you’ll never be a stay-at-home wife and mother like you dream.

My friend, I see you.
Christ knows your desire for marriage, and it is good. Trust in Him to give you what you need.
Christ never changes, and never leaves. He can provide a man who will strive to be like Him and not abandon you after the novelty wears off.
Please don’t give up. Walk in obedience to Christ, applying His law-word to every area of life, and seek a spouse who is working for the Kingdom too.
Trust that God has you where He wants you right now, and that your circumstances won’t scare away the person that He has for you to marry.

He is too wise to err, too loving to be unkind.

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My Friend, I See You. #2

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Originally published on Facebook.

My friend…. I see you.

It’s New Year’s Eve. You had hopes, a year ago, that 2016 would be “your year”.
God chose to give you pain and hurt, loss and loneliness.
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My friend…. I know you.
You hoped that this year you would find someone who matched you. Who you could be alongside and have communion with, serving God and loving each other.
God chose to give you singleness.
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My friend…. I hear you.
You’re the popular one. Everybody thinks you’re smart, and funny, and they leave heart emoticons on your profile pictures. But you have no true Friends to confide in, to hear your heart, to hold you close through the ups and downs of life.
God has given you loneliness.
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My friend…. I see you.
The more people you see dating and getting married, the more keenly you feel that you are beyond understanding and love.
God has given you brokenness.
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My friend… I know you.
The new year that everyone else is celebrating feels like the gong of a heavy clock, and you wonder why God is so silent. You want to have hopes and dreams and resolutions and new enthusiasm, but you just don’t.
God has given you a season of drought.
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My friend, He knows you.
He has given you what is best for you.
He will provide for you.
Our Father does not give a snake when we ask for a fish.
Sometimes fish look like snakes to us.
Trust Him.
He loves you.
And I do, too.
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Happy new year, my friends. May God restore all that is broken.
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“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

 

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Build a business serving others (resource)

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“You don’t need to worry about ideas. You only need to worry about understanding the true pains and problems that people are having. If you can do that, the right solution will come.” –Source

Which is more important to you: pursuing your interests or helping other people?

Why not make helping people your passion and marry the two?

I just listened to this podcast on starting a business out of nothing (quite literally nothing). I really, really recommend it.

“Shift your passion to improving people’s lives. A lot of people get stuck because they’re very focused on their own passions and skills. Shift your focus to what the pain of the customer is, and become passionate about improving their life.”  –Dane Maxwell

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the Curious Penguin investigates Yarn

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Today the Curious Penguin, feeling decidedly hungry after eating only dog food and Mrs. Marlow’s goldfish, investigated the Suspicious Looking Basket in the living-room.

It looked like a fisherman’s basket, but it only had soft knotty stuff that tasted dry. IMG_6266

Free coloring page: A fruitful tree

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Scan0007I’ve taken on doing the coloring pages for our church once a month (or more if they need me). This was my first week. Pastor is preaching on Psalm 1, and the godly man’s life.

I love taking a concept and trying to put it into a picture: It’s an allegory, an illustration. You don’t understand it just by glancing; there is a story woven into the lines and swoops of the pen.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Scan0007-001The Christian life is one of work; taking the principles God provides for us in His word and applying them to everyday tasks and relationships. God does not demand of His people that they work for their salvation, but that they rest in His finished work in Christ; we serve Him because we love Him and want to obey Him, not to earn our salvation.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

But on the other hand, we are created for work. We are called to be fruitful for Christ, whether we’re washing dishes, driving, speaking with others, or building businesses. Our lives are not our own— we are to govern them according to God’s perfect, unchanging law. Take God at His word, and you’ll be surprised how He blesses it.

And it’s really exciting.

Feel free to download and print this image for the children in your life!

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the Curious Penguin discovers Books

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I love books. I love warm colors. I’ve got a few art projects in the long-term works, but my penguin pet is just too much fun not to take a break for sometimes!

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Questing for beauty: social media

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I never could figure the whole social media thing out.  I had a business. I sold stuff. Okay. I’m supposed to start a Twitter account? Why? What am I going to do with it? Oh, a Facebook account too? And a Pinterest one? Instagram? Really? I can’t keep up with my personal correspondence, how am I supposed to post on fifteen social media sites every single day?

Well…..yeah. I haven’t figured all that out yet. But I’ve learned a few things.

1. I am a producer. My work is to make things to enrich people’s lives and make their work more valuable. I can’t give if I haven’t received. If I’m not filling my mind with good things and thinking on that which is true and noble and beautiful, I won’t have much to offer others.

2. I don’t have follow the rules.  I am not in a season of life where I can devote my whole workday to art and the promotion of said art. That’s okay. I have important work that can’t be charted by how diligent I am on Twitter.

3. I don’t need to follow everybody to get exposure. Maybe that works…..for other people. But I’m not going to worry about that. This is where the “quality, not quantity” thing comes in. What does 2k followers do for for either me or them if neither of us have anything in common? It’s better to follow a handful of people that inspire you and that share your passions than to follow a million random people. Don’t fish for clients. Attract them.

The bottom line is: don’t kill yourself if you’re not doing everything ‘just right’. I’m not full-time with my illustration (far from it: it’s more of a hobby at this point, not a business), but there are really only a few key rules that I’ve learned from studying this: quality content and consistency. If you can put out your 90% best quality and show up consistently, you don’t need to worry about all the rules that, if you try to follow them all, will run you ragged.

Follow beauty. Seek beauty. Create beauty.

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