Welcome to My Canvas

A fun, random, delightful sort of a place where you can bring your coffee or earl grey and settle in for a laugh, a cry or some much needed encouragement...

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Peddler said "Beautiful Raven Black"

Well, Anne Shirley, you've really done it this time! Talk about a bad hair day! That picture really fits this past week well in the life of Kara with an E.

I began telling you all about it and then thought better of it and hit delete. Who cares?!? It's over and done with. However, I do want to share with you what God has taught me through it.

At one point my hubby had heard me say, "Why is this happening?" one too many times and his shepherding, spiritual leadership came out and it was wonderful. He shared with me about God's sovereignty and reminded me of His grace. Sometimes we think of God's wisdom as a tool to know exactly why He is doing what He is doing or why He is allowing things to happen. This isn't the truth. The truth is that God's wisdom is a gift for knowing how to handle the whys and the tough situations, not to know the details and thought process behind them. Every now and again God does show us why He might have allowed something to take place, but often times we are left wondering. The key is, how are we going to respond?

I responded like a rag doll in a heap behind the steering wheel driving in circles downtown. Once I finally found my hubby, he told me to go ahead and cry and then he said, "It's going to be ok, things like this just happen. We need to trust God." He was right.
Two days later, I was a rag doll at the computer wondering how in the world I messed up my boss' flight so bad. Again, my husband sat me down and reminded me of God's grace and encouraged me to take up faith and trust Him. I'm still not sure why it all happened, but I am learning that I need to respond with God's wisdom, self-control and gentleness in these situations.

Just when I needed to vent about it all, my blog was blocked by horrible ads. I apologize for this and am so embarrassed because I heard some of the ads were NOT good. I don't know how or why this happened, but I am choosing to respond with grace and faith.

I also learned during this time that I needed to be humbled before God, before my husband and before my boss. Once again, the sign smacks me in the face that says, "YOU ARE NOT PERFECT." Far from it, I might add. It's a great reminder every now and again.

It is so important to be on my face before God each day. I must prioritize my time with Him and my time in awe of Him. He is God. I am not. It's not about me. It's all about and for Him.

Hubby and I watched the movie, Luther, last night. It's the story of Martin Luther. My favorite part was listening to him scream at satan at the top of his lungs. He knew spiritual warfare and recognized it. He talked back to the demons and told them the truth of Christ and when the battle was nearly over, he would lay face down and repeat over and over, "I am Yours, save me...I am Yours, save me.... I am Yours, save me..." It was such an emotional time, but one that we can all relate to. We daily need to surrender to the Cross and see ourselves in light of it. We need saving.

Matthew comforted Anne and reminded her of her worth and spoke truth to her heart.

That's what God's word does for us. Let's soak up each word and let it penetrate our innermost being.

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Eph. 5:1-2

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Change is Coming

Can you hear it? Can you feel it? Do you sense it? I do. It's coming. Change is coming.

I find myself in an odd place of limbo. Almost like the air right now. Warmer during the day yet still crisp and chilly at night... Spring is almost here... I can almost breath it in, yet it's still a few weeks away from fully revealing it's sunny, flowering, newness.

That's where I also am with a huge part of my life. More change is coming. I can almost embrace it but not quite because I'm not sure exactly what I am dealing with yet. I am in that limbo state where I can almost stand straight again, but not quite because the pole is still sitting just above my head.

Once the pole is gone...once the chilly nights leave us, what will be left? What am I standing up straight to? What will be involved with the change?

I'm not sure. But I know Who is. I know He knows every detail. He knows every flower that will bloom in just a few weeks time and He knows how many blades of grass are about to burst forth from the earth. He knows.

He knows what is just around the bend and He isn't keep it from me as some sort of game. He isn't laughing at me for not knowing. He is simply waiting. His timing is always perfect and it is for my good and His good. He loves me and He is comforting me as I wait. He is surrounding me and filling me with His peace as I wait.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans not to harm you but to bring you good, to give you a future and a peace." Jeremiah 29:11

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. " Lamentations 3:22-23

I am looking forward to Spring, a new season and more change. With change comes growth, with growth comes sanctification and with sanctification comes a better understanding and closeness with my Lord.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Well, it's late...I'm tired...and it's been a long 2 weeks. SO many fun days and times and SO many long days and frustrating times. God has heard my prayers, comforted me and given me strength. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. My emotions, however, often feel like the wind, ever changing it's direction. It has been a long time since I have just written straight from my heart. I'm usually way too concerned with what people think and how they will perceive me. Somewhere I read though that a great writer is an honest writer. Well, here goes it for honesty!

Random note: I don't have a single weekend planned out for the next 2 months and it is driving me crazy. We have several places we need/want to go, but have no idea how it will all work out or if we will get any of it accomplished. For a gal who has had a planner since she was 10, this is a stretch. Last night I began praying that God would make our schedule clear to us, that I would trust Him and let Him lead us and that we would have the mindset of acknowledging that we aren't even garaunteed tomorrow. I really need faith behind this prayer!

My mom's cousin passed away this past week due to cancer and it is so extrememly sad. Scripture tells us though to rejoice that they are with Jesus if they are saved and I beleive she is. However, she is leaving behind sons and a beloved husband as well as her mom and aunts and uncles, extended family, friends, etc. who all loved her and will miss her very much. I'm really concerned for my one aunt and uncle and cousin in particular. Please pray with me that they hear the gospel through this, that God softens their hearts and that they will be saved.

Compared to that my issues seem so petty...but since I live with my issues daily inside our apartment then they grow into a monster of a mess. Ever feel chained to something? It's like this... everything that I want to be doing right now I either can't due to finances, this season of life we are in or because I will let a bunch of people down. Now, God is bigger than all of those reasons and can totally change the circumstances. Do I ask Him to? Do I wait and see what He has planned? Do I just shut up and trust? Should I take a leap towards a dream? Am I not trusting Him by asking all of this? Am I just waiting for answers to appear in the sky or through someone else? Am I really just struggling with discontentment? How do I know? Why can't I just be happy with where I am?

There you have it. You have heard it. I can't tell you all of the details. I can, however, tell you that God has blessed us immensely. I'm not just saying that to feel better, I am saying it because I know it to be true. Sometimes I just need to hear that, "Everything is going to be ok" phrase. By stopping and thanking God for His blessings, it's a way to remind myself of that truth. It's all going to be ok. He loves us more than I can imagine and that either way, no matter what happens, I must trust Him, take faith and be of good courage. Even when it's hard. Even when my heart is sinking and my questions are rising. Even when daily life doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere near my dreams. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

"For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a peace." Jeremiah 29:11.

Thank you, Jesus, and thank you, my kindred spirits, for helping me process.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Redeem the Time

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16

While my hubby is slaving away in his studies, I decided to take a class myself that is offered for Seminary Wives! It is called "Redeeming the Time" and my teacher is none other than the President's wife. She can be a bit intimidating as she seems to have it ALL together...have you ever met someone like that? Thankfully, though she is teaching me how to at least "appear" that way as well. ha ha!

She truly is a delightful women and has quite a bit of experience in ministry. I came across an article that she had written years ago that I hope will encourage you during this season...

Mary K. Mohler -
Sometimes I feel as though I'm being pulled by the hand, my hair blowing behing me as in a wind tunnel. It's almost as though I'm living in a fast-forward mode with scenes passing by at record speed. I am still in my thirties, yet days, months, and years fly by, especially when I look at the faces of my children.

Our lives are a mere blip on the world's radar screen. We want to make a lasting impact for the cause for Christ. We can recite names of ministry wives from histroy who have made signigicant contributions, women from Katharina Luther to Susanna Wesley to Sarah Edwards to Susannah Spurgeon, to name just a few. Countless others have made a profound impact, althought few people would recognize their names.

God has purposely placed women in our lives whom we can mentor and influence for a season. There are opportunities for Kingdom advancement all around us. How tragic when we let these opportunities clip by! If God grants us length of days, we wil lahve the joy of sitting in our rocking chairs to reflect on our lives. Will you regret that you were too busy to redeem the time? Did you let disorganization and misplaced priorities limit your availability? Today is the day to resolve to make changes, with the Lord's help.

What will history record about your pilgrimage as a ministry wife? Think about what you want your legacy to look like. Pray about how you can take steps toward achieving what the Lord wants you to do- and then redeem the time and do it.

Lord, let us be wise even today to use whatever circumstances come our way to be tasks undertaken for you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Hair Revolution!

Finally! Bliss with my curls!!! I have lived in the darkness far too long. I believe it was last Thursday that I dramatically proclaimed to my husband that I was chopping off my hair...again. He laughed and said, no. He reminded me that he loves it long and so do I when I really think about it. He's right. I always miss it after it's gone. So, out of desperation I began searching the net frantically looking for a solution for these wavy, untamed, frizzy curls. Alas, little did I know (until today) that I found a fantastic solution!!! A sweet fellow blogger shared her well-kept secret. Honey. No, I'm not talking to my hubby. I'm serious....HONEY! Here's what you do:

1. Take a jar of honey to the shower along with a glass jar and lid (to prevent mildew and just the center part of the metal lid will do).

2. Wash hair as usual (only 2-3 times per week is necessary for curls) and then condition (I usually let the conditioner soak into my hair while I shave...just throw it into a bun on your head a ponytail holder if needed).

3. Rinse out conditioner.

4. Now here's the fun part, pour honey into empty jar covering the bottom or a little more for longer, fuller hair.

5. Fill jar with warm shower water and shake, shake, shake!

6. Pour over hair and leave it!

7. Towel dry to remove drips.

8. Air dry (or use difuser if a quick dry is needed) and enjoy those curls!!! (I also add a little mouse to help it hold).

* Not only do you get pretty curls but also golden highlights and it is rumored that honey helps your hair grow!

** If hair is too crunchy cut back on the amount of honey next time.

Now isn't that just delightful! I'm always skeptical of these things because my hair usually seems to be the exception, but this actually worked!!! I'm thrilled! Have fun, sista!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Proposal - What Would Be Easier?

Margaret: "There's a reason why I've been alone all this time, I'm comfortable that way. And I think it would just be a lot easier if we forgot everything that happened and I just left."

Andrew: "You're right, that would be easier."

Margaret: "I'm scared."

Andrew: "Me too." (They Kiss)

Never marrying would be a whole LOT easier in many ways. For those that are not married, I'm sure that sounds crazy considering your longing for a spouse, companion, lover and for the many, many joys of marriage (yes, there are MANY). However, for those that are married, you understand exactly what I mean. Almost every decision you make affects your spouse. For women, the cooking, cleaning and laundry doubled. I almost wrote a book and still might entitled, The Day My Laundry Doubled. Of course, it would be an encouraging book full of wisdom (that I am yet to attain) for new brides, yet I do believe everyone must know the truth about marriage instead of the false impression our Christian culture leans toward. Marriage isn't all about sex without sin, it isn't about unending infatuation or even lovingly discovering the mystery of your spouse 24/7. Yes, sex is amazing a lot of the time. Yes, I still look at my husband and often think that he is the most incredible man God could have made. Yes, there is much mystery to my hubby that I am yet to discover and yes, he is my best friend, companion and I wouldn't want to spend life with anyone else by my side. However, marriage is far from easy. In fact, it is the hardest thing I have done in my whole life and I am still doing it every day and will do it for the rest of my life, Lord willing.

That is why I LOVE those lines in the The Proposal. They accurately portray marriage. It isn't easy, they are both scared, but the love each other and are willing to sacrifice those feelings and their comfortable lives in order to spend it with each other. How beautiful!

I am currently reading 3 books and one of them I have read before I was married and I am re-reading it now that I can apply what I am learning. It is one of the most highly recommended books for newly weds and I totally agree! The title? You want to know it? Okay, okay... Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. The big question the entire book is based upon is, "What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?" Isn't that powerful?

Allow me to share with you some inspiring quotes from the book, some by Thomas and others he simply includes to prove a point or add some humor.

"By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher." ~ Socrates

"Marriage can be that holy place, the site of a relationship that proclaims God's love to this world, but Christian thinkers haven't always elected to look at marriage this way. For all their ambivalence about whether marriage is an inferior state, the early church fathers at least recognized that the analogy of reconciliation is the highest aim of marriage, pointing as a sign to the union of Christ with his church." ~ Gary Thomas

"Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion, but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting that any romance, however passionate." W.H. Auden

"Marriage is the merciless revealer, the great white searchlight turned on the darkest places of human nature." ~ Katherine Anne Porter

"A giant thread runs throughout Scripture comparing God's relationship to his people with the human institution of marriage." ~Gary Thomas

Is that enough to tickle your fancy or peek you interest? Even more than teaching me about marriage, I believe it will teach me to how to love God more. I'll keep you posted as I read along, but I just couldn't wait to share with you the incredible concept of holiness rather than happiness being our focus in marriage. What a breakthrough!! Now when Hubby and I have that argument or when I feel discouraged in our marriage, I am reminded that God is sanctifying me right now and I have an option as to how I respond. Godly or dishonoring to my husband and Christ? It can be a super hard choice, but it is easier to make the right one now that I know the purpose and God's plan in the midst of it all.

It really is beautiful and I am SO thankful that for once in my life I didn't take the easy way out.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It is high time to enjoy Red Meat!

Well....it is a cold, snowy, Saturday afternoon and I am sitting at Panera doing what I do best...eavesdropping. I know, "how terrible!" you may think...but actually it's A LOT of fun and you can learn so much about the human population. For instance, let me share with you about the ladies next to me. One is pushing 40...she has stated that several times... and the other is in her young twenties and "was on the cheer squad" (so was I but I think her's was a little more..."elite" if you know what I mean). Until a few moments ago I was utterly bored with their conversation but the women at the other table are not speaking English and Facebook has nothing new so I resorted to their dull conversation. I know, "how rude!" you may be thinking now, but honestly, it has been 20 minutes and so far we haven't covered anything but food, health, weight and money management. Boring! And then...alas...two key words struck my ear drums, resonated down to my heart and brought me the inspiration I was longing for today. What could those two words possibly be? RED MEAT. Yep, you guessed it...they weren't talking about how delicious it is, or the numerous health benefits or even how gorgeous those big black Angus calves can be. It was very negative...in fact one of them doesn't eat it at all and one avoids it if possible. Utterly heartbreaking. They stressed the importance of eating "plant based foods". Now, hear me out, I am all about eating healthy, staying fit and having balance in our diet. The key though is balance. This uneducated world is turning their back on another element of God's creation that offers so much to our diets! It would surpise you how often I hear similiar conversations. Oh my, National FFA Organization, we have much to do. For some of you, this means nothing. You may even eat red meat regularly (if so, thank you from the bottom of my heart) but you just do not understand my current rampage. This would be an important place to note that my daddy is a beef cattle producer. Not just any beef cattle producer but he has the most beautiful Angus herd I have ever seen. They look like velvet and taste like a million bucks, but I promise you that's not what you have to pay. I know the quality, health benefits and taste of that red meat so when I hear outright lies being spread about it I grow quickly frustrated. They are not only missing out on truth and the joy of beef, but they are also a part of the society who is hurting my father's business. For example, what if your dad was a chef and you know that he does an amazing job, serves creative dishes and runs a clean business, but one day you are sitting at a coffee shop and you over hear people discussing that they heard from so and so who knows that one person who said they have a cousin who got sick after eating at your dad's restaurant. Now a large portion of your town believes that your dad's food isn't good for them, it tastes bad and isn't clean. What would you do??? What would you say? How would you bring out the truth??? Those are the questions before me. The problem is I am up against a growing portion of the nation not just my town.

I beleive the real issue is that most people have not had a good steak. So many restaurants and people do not know how to fix red meat in a way that makes your mouth water, your toes tingle and your lips curl into a brilliant smile of satisfaction. Have you ever had that experience? If not I feel deeply sorry for you. This needs to change. I wish with all my heart you could taste one of my daddy's steaks that my hubby has grilled to perfection after days of marinating. Wow!

When I was home for Christmas I shared with my dad the concerns I have and the conversations I hear now that I am in "the city". He said that if I came up with a marketing plan he would be more than happy to sell his home grown, corn and grass fed beef to these city folks I have encountered. Our cattle are not massaged or petted daily, but they are never mistreated and have open pastures, no added hormones and little to no antibiotics. I know they will sell and if I can also put together information on the health benefits of red meat and some great recipes it will be a great start to educating the public and opening their eyes to the truth and to the delight they have been missing.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share with you one of my many passions. The cutest set of twins have just strolled in and parked with their parents at the table to my left and I'm eager to hear them "coo" and an odd looking couple just sat down behind me with the most curious expressions. Oh yes, those other two ladies are still here...they have moved on in their conversation to family pictures and the princess doll she just got her daughter - not that her daughter needs any help being a princess I'm sure! All this talk of food and beef though is making me hungry! It's lunch time and I think I am gong to enjoy an Asiago Roast Beef sand which with potato soup. Yes, even Panera, the "healthiest cafe of our time" serves Red Meat!!!

P.S. Here are some health benefits of Red Meat in case you are preparing your weekend dinner menus: Lowers risks of heart disease and high cholesterol. Red meat is a source of iron. Red meat also contains protein, levels of creatine, minerals such as zinc and phosphorus, and vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B, thiamin and riboflavin. Red meat is the richest source of Alpha Lipoic Acid, a powerful antioxidant.