Kintsukuroi (金繕い)

I recently discovered the art of Kintsukuroi:

Kintsugi (金継ぎ) (Japanese: golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い) (Japanese: golden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum.  As a philosophy it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

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I’m so in love with this idea.  I actually purchased a piece of it the same day I found out about it, because I wanted a constant reminder of this concept.

And this is just art, imagine how the God of the universe feels about repairing broken things.

YOU are not broken.

YOU are not beyond repair.

YOU are a daughter or a son of the creator of the universe.  And HE adores you.  HE restores you, and the way He restores you is more beautiful than gold.

“The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart, and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent.”Psalm 34:18

“He refreshes and restores my life; He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him-not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake. “Psalm 23:3

With God, YOU are restored.

With God, YOU are made new.

And with God, it is EVEN BETTER than before.

 

 

 

 

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Boldness

I’ve been obsessed with the song Oceans since the second I first heard it.

It’s not just a beautiful song, it’s a bold prayer.

{print designed for me by my amazing friend Kristin}

And the bridge lyrics:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I’m so passionate about the revelation that when we sing songs of worship, they aren’t just poetic words to pretty melodies.  We are lifting up prayers.

Next time you listen to worship, or sing it on a Sunday, be aware of the words you are singing.  God loves praises, but if you are just singing the words you see on the screen because everyone else is, you are very much missing the point.

There is power in our words.  Proverbs 18:21 reads:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].

The life, praise, and worship we sing collectively with our congregation CAN carry so much weight.  As long as you realize what you are singing.

At our church, we often say, don’t let our worship simply be lip service.  The definition of lip service?

noun. : hypocrisy: an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction

Yikes.

Don’t worship, praise, or pray with lip service or hypocrisy.

Worship, praise, and pray with FREEDOM, BOLDNESS, and COURAGE.

(see what I did there?)

“In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).” – Ephesians 3:12

Current Picture of Perfection

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Don’t get me wrong, I love New York City.  But right now, this is looking pretty perfect.

Don’t mind me, I’ll be researching cabin rentals upstate…

On not losing yourself…

 

I’m totally stealing this from my friend Gracie, because I think it’s awesome.

I would have ignored so many of these things in the past, but when you begin to truly figure out who you are, the important things rise to the surface.

I’ve had (too) many conversations with friends recently just like this, and I think Gracie sums it up so so so well.  It was initially written as a part of a series for girls, but MEN, this so applies to you as well.

A few weeks ago we talked about the importance of being self aware and how it relates to dating/being in a relationship. The key to being self aware, though, is that you continue to do so! I think it’s so unfortunate when people enter into a relationship (or even friendship) and start to change who they truly are in order to please the other person or to make the relationship work.

Losing yourself in a relationship or another person isn’t something that happens overnight. Usually it happens slowly and without you even noticing it. It’s easy to become so caught up in feelings you’re having that you don’t even realize you aren’t being fully your true self.

Here are some questions I think are good to ask yourself to make sure you’re staying to true your identity.

1) Does the person you’re dating support your passions/calling in life?
If not, I don’t think I have to tell you that that’s a huge red flag. Whether he/she “gets” it or not, having someone who supports you and is always on your team is a must-have, if you ask me.

2) Do they get along with your friends (and vice versa)?
Who people “do life” with says a lot about who they are, as it does in your own life. I understand that not everyone is always going to completely hit it off, but feeling like your friends and significant other don’t mesh isn’t something to be ignored.

3) Do you ever feel yourself needing to change (even just downplay) things about yourself?
This is one that you really need to pay attention to because it happens subtly. The moment you feel yourself wanting to make sure to “do this” or “look like this” – really examine why you’re feeling that way (it’s not always a bad thing, but something you should reflect on). This is an area that it’s really good to talk to a friend about. A lot of times our friends can see these things in us better than we can see them ourselves.

4) Is the relationship strengthening or taking away from your relationship with God?
This is probably the number one thing you need to ask yourself. Thankfully, the answer will most likely be very clear to you.

5) If you do find yourself changing, are the changes positive?
Change isn’t always a bad thing! When you get closer to another person, sometimes it’s inevitable. The important thing is to make sure that the changes are for the better. For example – are you being challenged to become a better person and/or grow in your faith? Are you learning how to communicate better? Becoming more spontaneous? etc.