Creatively Purposed

Creatively Purposed

I am creatively purposed. Well, I believe that I am creatively purposed, but before I tell you why I feel this way, I need to tell you what being “creatively purposed” means. As far as I know, no one has defined this term before, so this definition is what I personally think it means… Creatively purposed is when you are supposed to use your, God-given, creativity for the purpose that He has for you. In other words, your creativity is what you are going to use to reach and/or walk in purpose. This post is for everyone out there that feels that God has given you a spirit and pull of creativity. I’m right there with you, and for everyone saying that creativity is for hobbies and not for making a living, I trust God with my purpose… not society. So, now that we have our “definition” out of the way, I want to talk to you about why I feel that I am creatively purposed and how you can find out if you are too.

(Backstory Time!) I have always been creative; I’m talking about singing songs before I knew how to even talk! From there, it was a wild imagination that would later turn into writing crazy stories that (while the attempted books haven’t made it past the drawing board yet) would teach me how to write and engage readers (which would help me with my writing when I felt that God was pulling me to blog). In between, this creativity birthed lemonade stands, “card companies”, painting/drawing, attempts at writing songs, and much more… but you get the picture, I was a child who tried to get my hands on anything at all that would let me be expressive (some may even say, creative). In my adult years, this creativity has led to me being a nail technician, refinishing furniture, learning to knit, and creating this very blog. For as long as I can remember, I have had this creativity flowing through me; and for as long as I can remember, I have looked at it as nothing more than a way to keep myself occupied with hobby after hobby. I have never looked at my creativity as being a part of my purpose… until today.

Those of you that know me, know that I love watching Pastor Michael Todd from Transformation Church in Tulsa,OK. I love watching his sermons because he keeps things transparent, he doesn’t just tell you what good you can get out of a right relationship with God, he gives you scripture to give you actionable steps to get that right relationship. I really could go on for a good while about Transformation Church and their amazing sermons (I will put a link to their website and their YouTube page below), but I want to talk a little about their “Planted Not Buried” series. I have been watching it for several weeks, and I went back yesterday to start the series over (when you feel like that sermon series is for you and about you, sometimes it takes a second watch through to get every little piece of information out of it). Let me tell you, it hit me like a ton of bricks. One of the main points in the series is that “Planted and buried look very similar, it’s what’s happening where you can’t see it that makes the difference” (planted-seed growing beneath the surface, buried-no life). I encourage you to go watch the series, it’s so good, but my takeaway from it was that I had been looking at my situation in such a wrong way, that it shocked me.

I had been looking at all of the negatives in my life and (while I don’t want to admit it) I was beginning to feel like God was giving up on me; or at the very least, that I was heading in the opposite direction of what He wanted for my life. So, when the aha moment hit, it changed everything. I felt like God was trying to get through my thick skull and say “you aren’t dead, I’ve just got you planted”. So, I prayed… “Lord, I want your will for my life, not my own, even if I don’t understand it right now and it’s dark and scary, please lead me to YOUR purpose for me”. Then the next aha moment struck (Are you seeing a pattern here?). I am struggling financially, that is just the plain truth. For reasons that I won’t bore you with, money has been fairly tight lately.That being said, I have been looking for a way to earn more money. Notice I said that I was looking, as in, instead of trusting my provider, I kept trying to make a way for myself and it went about as well as expected…. My second aha moment was that I’ve been  listening to what everyone around me has been saying about needing/finding more money, and not what God had been telling me about my walk in purpose. The truth is, I am not analytical or logical in the slightest, and if we are talking about cars or machinery, I’m the last one that you want to get involved… but I have always been creative. My creativity is a bundle of my God-given gifts. I started thinking that maybe, just maybe, God was using each of my hobbies to help cultivate my gifts so that I would be ready to walk in His purpose for me… and instead of working towards purpose, I was complaining about my steps to get there. Not anymore, from now on, I will embrace what God uses me for (what I enjoy and what I don’t) because that’s what will guide me to my purpose.

Do I know what my full purpose is yet? No. I have no idea what God wants to use me for next. All I can guess at this point is that it’s going to utilize my creativity. After all, my creativity has already allowed me to build relationships with people and do some pretty amazing things to show how great our God is. That’s why, as I’m walking by faith (and not by sight), I will keep listening to what God is telling me to do (and to use my creativity for) and I’m going to start ignoring what society tells me I should do. At the end of the day, I know that God’s plans for me are vastly better than anything I could ever dream of. Besides, if God is for me, who can stand against me? He will lead me to where I need to be, no matter how anyone else feels about what I’m doing, I just have to trust and follow Him for my purpose.

How can you tell if you are creatively purposed? The truth is, you won’t know for sure until you know that you are walking in purpose. If you sound like me, then you are probably creatively purposed. If your creativity has helped you with your walk with God, or helped you show others God’s glory, then you are probably creatively purposed. I think that most of the time, people miss that they are creatively purposed because society says that you should be “marketable” before you are creative. If you believe that you are creatively purposed, please start praying about what God wants for your life, not listening to what society wants for your life. It will make such a big difference.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post; I hope that you enjoyed it! If you feel like you are creatively purposed, go out and own it! It’s time to show that those of us who are creatively purposed, are still purposed for something great. I hope that you all have a wonderful day and please go read Romans 8:30-39, it is very impactful scripture. As always, much love and God bless!

 

If you enjoyed this post, click HERE to read Rock Bottom to Rock Solid (A Story Of Renewed Faith)

 

Click HERE to check out the Transformation Church website

Click HERE to check out the Transformation Church YouTube page

From Rock Bottom To Rock Solid (A Story Of Renewed Faith)

From Rock Bottom To Rock Solid (A Story Of Renewed Faith)

Everyone has, at some point in their life, heard the phrase “when you hit rock bottom, that’s when you start looking up”. I had heard it plenty, seen it plenty, and read it plenty… but it was really nothing more than a cliché inspirational phrase. I certainly never thought of it as a “faith phrase”. I had heard it said as a faith phrase, but I truly never saw a connection from the saying to my life. Until I hit my rock bottom.
Now, before I go any further, everyone’s rock bottom is different and yes, you can have more than one in your life, but this happened to be the roughest patch that I have personally been through.
My back went out, not a little, but a barely-able-to-move blowout. One day I was hurting, but functional, and the next I was unable to put my own shirt over my head. Even little things like sitting down/standing up were difficult at best. All I knew was that something was very wrong and I didn’t know to what extent. After a trip to the doctor and several days of rough and unexplained pain, they found that my spine was curved the opposite way and it was causing nerve and muscle pain/problems. After a few months of rehab split between a chiropractor and a physical therapist, I was feeling much better and finally functional again. The thing is, this was a very trying time for me, physically and mentally.
At that point in my life, my faith seemed to be at an all time low (even though I was in denial about it at that time) and my back going out was the icing on the cake of rocked faith. You see, at first diagnosis, they didn’t know if I’d ever be able to go back to my job (nail technician) again. That’s not a big deal for a lot of people, but those of you that know me, know that I trained to be a nail technician straight out of high school and my husband is in his senior year of college (yes, he works, very hard, but he has to go to part time during his school months). We make enough to live happily and have money for some of the things we want, but having one of us out of work for an extended length of time was not good and the thought of not being able to go back to the only field I’m really trained in was even worse.
We made it through (thank you God for help and for letting us have put back money). I was out of work for almost three months and had to baby step back in for a while after, but I was able to return to the career I had been building. So, I tell you guys all of this, not to get pity, but to prove that “when you hit rock bottom, that’s when you start looking up” is one of the truest phrases there is. During my time out, I spent a lot of time on the couch – on my phone. There wasn’t much else I could do (I could barely walk). One day I came across a video on Facebook of Pastor Michael Todd from Transformation Church. He was preaching a series called Relationship Goals, and after about a minute I was hooked. I proceeded to watch about 3 of the videos from that series (1 hour long each) and I was in tears by the end of every one. The next day I watched the remaining sermons from that series. The following day, I started another one of his series. This continued and is still going on now (his Grace Like A Flood series just ended and let me tell y’all, it was life changing). I had started to find faith like I had never had before. It was like everything around me changed and for the first time in years, I was getting in my Bible again and praying with my heart, not just my words.
In a time where I felt helpless, hopeless, scared of the future, and downright worthless, I realized that God was with me. I had help, hope, a future, and worth, through HIM! Y’all, I am just going to be real with you, I went from crying everyday from anger and sadness, to crying tears of joy! From that moment on, my faith had been renewed. Looking back, I needed that time out to reconnect with God. Now, I’m grateful for something I once thought was the worst point in my life.
Our God is so good, when I felt at my lowest, He put his hand down and was ready for the exact moment that I started looking up. I’m not perfect by any means, and I still have days that I struggle with frustration at not knowing His plans for me, but I haven’t doubted his love for me since. I make it a point to put God first and have him be the center of my life. I make it a point to trust His plans for me more than my own, and I don’t go a day without thanking him for everything that he has done for me.
If you are at rock bottom, whatever your rock bottom may be, please please please realize that God is still with you, all you need to do is start looking up.
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on 5 Christian Must Haves

My Return

Hey everyone! I am so sorry that I have been away so long (medical and technical issues), but I am back! Today I just want to take a moment of your time to say hello, how much I’ve missed y’all, and that I’m so excited to see what will happen as we move forward with thelampandthelamb.com!

So, hello and boy have I missed you guys! It’s wild to think of how fulfilling my little blog has been… I know that it isn’t crazy big yet and there may only be a few people that see what I post, but knowing that it could touch one life gives me pure joy. I cannot thank God enough for having pushed me to blogging!

I know that this post won’t be very long, but I wanted to baby step back in after so much time away and I wanted to set up what my plans are for moving forward. Since I truly believe that my blog is part of my purpose, I am going to start treating it less like a job and more like a life plan.

While away, I have really had a re-birth and growth of faith that I have never expierenced before, and I definitely want it to reflect in my posts. I feel like God has big plans for this blog and I can’t wait to see where He takes it!

Thank y’ou for taking the time to read and there will be more coming soon (new schedule update and new posts). To make sure you don’t miss anything, make sure to subscribe and as always, y’all, much love and God bless!

 

Click on the titles below to see some of my other posts:

 

5 Christian Must Haves

5 Christian Must Haves

This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. All of these products are products that I use and would recommend to my friends and family. To see more on my affiliate policy, view my Disclaimer.

Today I wanted to share with y’all some of my favorite tools and reminders of faith. These are items that I use daily and love! Below are (in my opinion) 5 Christian must haves. If you want to incorporate these “must haves” into your daily lives as well, there will be a place to click after each item/items that will take you to their Amazon.com product page.

1. Bibles: This is the most important tool for a Christian. A bible is knowledge, comfort, and power against the devil. Now, if you have ever been to your local Bible bookstore, you know that there are countless types of available. For me, personally, I love doodling and coloring (I promise that this is relevant); this means that, naturally, my favorite Bible is one that I can doodle and color in. My Creative Bible has been the best, hands down, for unleashing creativity while receiving the word. This is easily my favorite Bible to take with me to church (it helps my mind to stay focused and gives me something to keep my hands busy while I listen). So, knowing that that is my favorite for creativity, I have to tell you what my favorite study Bible is. My favorite Study Bible is The Study Bible For Women. This Bible is beautiful, informative, and it asks (and answers) some of the most difficult questions that we face as children of God in a broken world. Both of these Bibles are great to have on hand and each offers something unique.

To get your own My Creative Bible, click here. To get your own The Study Bible For Women, click here.

2. Devotionals: A devotional is a great tool for any Christian. Devotionals help you to set aside time each day for just you and God. I think that devotionals are so relaxing and they give you some time of serenity in otherwise hectic schedules. Normally, they are equipped with serene pictures, a verse for that day, an area of text that relates the verse given to our lives, and (sometimes) a section for you to journal in. They are also a good way to get you into your bible for that day and get you focused on the word. The devotional that I’ve been loving lately, is Devotions from the Front Porch. It is a beautiful devotional that never ceases to make me smile.

To get a copy of Devotions from the Front Porch click here.

3. Christian Music: Those of you that know me, know that one of the biggest ways that I worship is through music. I can hear a verse thousands of times and it never seems to hit my heart quite like the same verse put to music. I truly believe that it’s because 9 out of 10 times, you can hear (and feel) the heart and soul put into the words by the singer and you can hear/feel the heart and soul poured in by those playing the instruments. To me, no other music is quite like Christian music. It’s the only type of music that can make me feel like I’m in Church (when I’m in my car)  and give me goosebumps and tears at the same time.  Hymns are classics and contemporary Christian music is growing like wildfire. My favorite musician for this genre is, hands down, Chris Tomlin. His music always gives me chills and you can hear his passion for God in his voice. While there are other Christian musicians that I love, I feel that he just has a style of music that I relate most with. His lyrics are impactful and his music is moving. I could probably write a book about how much I enjoy his music, but I’m going to stop now and just give you a link to my favorite CD of his, so you can check him out yourself.

Click here to access Chris Tomlin’s CD “And If Our God Is For Us”.

4. Worry Stone: Okay, I already know what you’re thinking; “What in the world is a worry stone?” and “Why is a worry stone a ‘must have’ item?”. Let me tell you, my worry stone is one of the best purchases that I’ve made. I know that seems silly, and I’m fully aware that a little stone can’t physically do anything for me, but it is so nice to have in times of worry. I have an extreme fear of needles (like near panic attack type of fear) so going to get my blood drawn is a big ordeal for me. I always carry my worry stone (mine is a small smooth stone with a cross carved into it) and hold it before and during the blood draw. Something about feeling the engraved cross just comforts me and helps to calm me down in times of stress. I think it’s almost like a reminder that God is with me and it helps me to focus on that instead of the problem at hand. A worry stone is also a great way to give your troubles to God. I know that I struggles sometimes with letting go and letting God. It’s like I get so wrapped up in my worries that I forget to do the one thing that would help the most. Having my worry stone keeps me accountable for giving my problems (worries) to God and trusting him to do what’s best for me.

Click here to access a worry stone that is similar to mine. Click here to access the worry stone, in the shape of a cross with “God is never more than a prayer away” engraved on it, that I’m hoping to get soon.

5. Faith Reminders: Faith reminders are just little trinkets around the house that contain scripture or have religious pictures on them. I have my house decorated (overfilled really) with these faith reminders. My two favorites are displayed proudly and serve as smile-makers every time I come through the front door. The first was given to my by a dear friend who seems to always know what I need and when I need it. It’s a plaque with Psalm 37:4 on it (Delight in the Lord  and he will give you the desires of your heart). Mine is this beautiful, weathered paper looking, plaque with a cross encased in glass. My other favorite is a small plaque with Song of Solomon 3:4 (I have found the one my soul loves). This was given to me as a wedding gift, promptly displayed in my home and has been there since. Both of these faith reminders serve to remind me daily that God is with me, in my heart and in my marriage. They make great gifts for the Christmas season and they make great decor for any home.

I searched all over for the Psalm 37:4 plaque, but couldn’t find a replica of mine. If you love this verse and want it displayed in your home, click here to access a different (yet beautiful) Psalm 37:4 plaque. Click here to access the linked Psalm 37:4 plaque. I also can’t seem to find a duplicate of my Song of Solomon 3:4 plaque. That being said, I have linked below two other Song of Solomon 3:4 wall decorations (one on a wooden backdrop and one on a cross) that are stunning. Click here to access the Song of Solomon 3:4 wooden wall decoration. Click here to access the Song of Solomon 3:4 cross.

I hope that y’all enjoyed this weeks “5 Things” post and I encourage you to share with your friends of faith. Let me know what y’all think in the comments and, as always, much love!

Aging and The Elderly

Aging And The Elderly

Today, I want to talk about the elderly. While going through a nurse’s journal (a nurse that is very near and dear to me) for Gerontology, I was reminded many things that I believe people (myself included) tend to forget when it comes to those who are older. Let me preface the rest of this post with a little bit of information about Gerontology. Gerontology, by definition, is the study of aging and the problems that accompany it (basically, the study of elderly).

The first thing that struck me, AGE IS INEVITABLE. It seems like it is complete common sense, but I have noticed that as I get older, the days seem to shorten and the years have become nearly non-existent compared to how they used to feel. I think that,without realizing, watch those around us age with a kind of numb adoration of “freedom” and we miss that they (as well as we) are aging. I mean, those of us that are younger (keep in mind that “younger” is a completely relative term) wish away our days by wanting all of the “freedoms”(no age restrictions) of those that are older than us. Meanwhile, while we are wishing away the time ahead of us, they are wishing that time would slow down. I have yet to meet someone in there 80’s that “just can’t wait” until they are 90, yet all the time I see teens wishing to be in their 20’s. The older I get, the more I see those around me aging and truthfully it makes my heart hurt a bit. Some would say that I am an old soul for at 20, I am already wishing that time would slow down so that I could enjoy the days,months,years, and, most importantly, the people that are around me.

Now, I’m not writing this to seem all doom and gloom. I simply believe that sometimes we need little reminders in our lives to help us slow down and appreciate the time that we are given. Age is as much a blessing as it is anything else. With age comes wisdom, knowledge (yes, it is different than wisdom), and memories. Aging gives you another year of life and more opportunities to touch the hearts of those around you and make a difference. Aging gives you another year to grow closer to God and better yourself. Aging is inevitable, but it is also a blessing.

The next thing that came to mind, UNSHAKABLE FAITH. It seems to me that the older generation has faith that is unparalleled by any other. Maybe it’s just around me and the elderly are as diverse in faith as those my own age; but I have a feeling that those that grew up with God in homes, prayer in school, and God in work (not to mention Church every Sunday – no matter what) might have grown closer to Him. I, personally, think that it is inspiring to hear the older generation talk about the Lord and their faith. They always speak with so much passion and love behind their words that it could move a stone statue to tears. When I hear them, I hear no bitterness in their voices when they speak of hardships. I believe that if the younger generation would start praying as much as they complain, the world would be a much better place. The faith that I read about today and the faith that I see daily in those around me that have been gifted with “old” age is truly inspiring.

The last thing  that stood out to me, LONELINESS. I hate even typing this because here I am writing, what seems to be, doom and gloom again. I don’t write this to be a bummer, I write this to be a reminder. Too often, the elderly are forgotten. Maybe thought of in passing, but often a fleeting though. They too, are part of the family and have so much to offer if you will just sit down with them for a minute or two (figuratively, please stay with them longer than only two minutes). They have amazing stories of harder times, wisdom, and knowledge to share. It doesn’t take long to sit with them and make their day; you’d be surprised to find that it might actually make yours as well.

That’s all for today. I know that it might have seemed a bit long and maybe even a bit dark at times, but I really felt the need to share it with y’all. I encourage you today to go and visit an elderly member of your family (maybe a grandparent or great grandparent) or even go to a local nursing home and see if any of the residents would like to have some company. You wouldn’t believe how big of a difference your presence could make. I hope that you will share this with your friends and family so that maybe they, too, will go out and brighten someone’s day. Plus, you never know who might need this message in their life right now. As always, comments are encouraged and thank you to all who take the time to read! Much love!

If you liked this post, check out this week’s Pay It Forward Challenge