I Am Baker

struggles

Today’s guest post by Gianna Kordatzky from Traveling Thought and Family Fun Twin Cities.  So honored to have Gianna back and thankful for her willingness to share her faith with us!

 

 

For once, we didn’t have anything planned. No festivals, no time-consuming projects, no errands. Nothing. The weekend was a blank page.

It was splendid.

Then, the weekend started. With no structure, the kids were really crabby with each other. They cried. They whined. They fought. They stopped listening to directions thinking they were suggestions, not commands.

Consequences ensued and everyone was unhappy, including Mama and Dad.

We suffered for hours together clenching our teeth and pulling our hair out. Chris and I had had it. One more minute like this and so help me…

Suddenly, there was quiet. Peace.

gianna-iamservant

They were playing together.

After supper there was happiness, kids running in and out of the play house, digging in the sandbox. Conversations. Giggles. The kids were transformed.

I looked at Chris and said, “I know this sounds crazy, but they need more unstructured play time. They don’t know what to do with themselves when nothing is scheduled. And the only way to learn is go through it and figure it out.”

Sometimes that’s how it seems that God works in our lives. It seems He lets us struggle through trials and even our emotions like He’s had enough of us and just wants us to figure it out on our own.

But God isn’t like that. Of course, there are times we have to go through a seemingly never ending struggle, but our struggles are not afterthoughts. God doesn’t see us in the middle of something and think, “Oh, they need more of that.” God has ordained each moment. He may not seem close, but He always is. He is always by our side even though He doesn’t always step into our circumstances. He gives us wisdom when we ask, and He is our strength. So we can walk through whatever test we are put through victoriously.

Romans 5:3

image from biblepic.com

I Am Baker

What is the Fragrance?

guest post by Gianna Kordatzky from Traveling Thought and Family Fun Twin Cities

Sitting at my booth at the farmer’s market, I fed my kids a picnic supper (I must say it didn’t last them three hours—I guess that’s what happens when you eat supper at 4:30). We had spread out a blanket, and a gentle breeze was blowing.

It was a picture perfect summer evening. The kids dug out their sandwiches, their graham crackers and their juice boxes. After supper was gobbled up, my rascals scampered off to meet the other vendors at the market (it was a very small farmer’s market—including my booth, six were set up). When they got to know everyone, they came back hoping to find some entertainment.

Once again they dug into the picnic basket hoping to find something delicious. Fortunately for them, success was at hand, and they pulled out a very large container packed with fresh strawberries. Everyone gathered around, and except for my warning to share, no one stopped to breathe. Before I knew it, the strawberries were consumed, and my little ones were off again making their rounds, strawberry juice dripping from their mouths.

iamservant-gianna

Needing a cuddle Jack came back to me and climbed up on my lap. I wrapped my arms around him and squeezed. As I did, an aromatic fragrance filled my nose.

What was that?

Cotton candy? At a farmer’s market?

Where was the cotton candy?

I did a quick scan of the 6 vendors. Nothing. Why was the aroma of cotton candy so strong?

Not long after Jack climbed off my lap, Dash scurried over claiming dominion of Mama’s lap. Again I could not ignore the whiff of cotton candy.

That’s when I realized that it wasn’t cotton candy I was enjoying. It was fresh strawberries. Strawberries that stained Dash’s lips, that made his fingers sticky and that dripped down his chin.

That revelation got me thinking Do I love Jesus as much as my kiddos love strawberries?

Do I inhale Jesus like my children inhaled those strawberries? Am I devouring God’s word and learning about Jesus like my little ones were consuming strawberries? Is the aroma of Jesus surrounding me so much that people can’t ignore it? Does it make them look for the source of the fragrance?

matthew 28 19

image can be purchased on Etsy

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus was speaking to his disciples, people who had immersed themselves in Jesus for years.  They knew Jesus.  His aroma surrounded their lives, their souls.  What is amazing is that I can know Jesus like they did. I can spend lots of time with Jesus and be his disciple. He promised to be with me always, and I can be full of Him.

When Dash and Jack were so full of strawberries, they didn’t smell like Dash and Jack.  They smelled like strawberries.

I want to be so full of Jesus I smell like Jesus.

 

*****

 

Thank you so much Gianna!  Love your beautiful words and faith!

I Am Baker

i have this dream…

Dreams.

I would definitely consider myself a dreamer.  I like to think about things. I like to dream about things that will probably never happen.  I like to just sit in the fantasy of “what if”.

We have a small stream on our property that empties into a little pond.  The pond is only 8 feet deep, but it’s waters are dark and murky and still.  As I would sit in my living room and look over at the pond on a cool fall day, I would see something different.

Lazy River poolsFBimage from Kuykendall – Lazy Rivers

 A lazy river. You know, the kind that are in fancy waterparks?  With people on big inner-tubes just relaxing and going round and round, moved lazily along by the jets in the water.  The river would be small, but it would empty into a perfectly round pool (that was the former pond), similar to the image above.

I know in my heart of hearts that we will never be putting a lazy river on our property.  We live in Minnesota.  We are not millionaires.  And lazy rivers are pretty darn impractical for many reasons.

It’s safe to say that I have no hope of that BIG HUGE CRAZY idea becoming a reality.

But I still love to dream about it.

audrey-backyard

 

I am reminded of how much God wants to give me the desires of my heart, but so thankful that He already knows what I need.

Maybe He already knows that many memories will be made on the long winding trails by adventurous little kids with endless imaginations and courage. That clubs will be formed and pacts made and discoveries of nests and bugs and new flowers will create far more lasting reflections than concrete and chlorine.

I love that He can see beyond worldly (and sometimes selfish) desires.  That He doesn’t provide something simply because I ask.  That all things, good and bad, will be used to strengthen our relationship and bond.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

He created me.  He knows me better than I know myself.  And He knows exactly what will truly fulfill me.

I have another dream.  And that is that someday the desires of my heart will be in line with God’s will.

Now that is a worthy dream.

 

I Am Baker

Sharing Faith the Duck Dynasty Way

I am a new convert to Duck Dynasty.

Duck Dynasty

I really like the show… its funny, its interesting, and all the people on it seem real. Like, really real.

But my favorite thing about it is the story behind the people.

They love the Lord and they testify His name.

They go on national television is proclaim the way of Jesus of Galilee.  They share the true message of the Gospel.

And I cant help but think its totally awesome.

Have you seen Duck Dynasty?  What do you think of the unabashed proclamation of God’s holy word?

(check out some funny Duck Dynasty quotes here!  They are also on facebook in case you want to follow along)

 

I Am Baker

What is Love?

God answered the question for us over and over again.  I have heard it a million times, but have I really listened?  I just wanted to share a little trick a friend taught…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  New International Version (NIV)

Love is Patient...

(picture origin unknown)

Now, replace the word LOVE with your name.

Amanda is patient, Amanda is kind. Amanda does not envy,  does not boast,  is not proud.   Amanda does not dishonor others,  is not self-seeking,  is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs.   Amanda does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.   She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I dont know about you, but that humbles me and inspires me simultaneously.  I cant say with honesty that I am any of those things.

God calls us to be love.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Faith Hope Love
While Valentines Day is commonly called a man-made holiday, I do appreciate the idea that we are given an opportunity to show love to others.

Even if we dont spend one cent, just try and be love to others today.  Replace your name in 1 Corinthians, then model it.  You could be giving someone a priceless gift.

I know that is what I am going to focus on, as well as trying to be an example for my kids!

May your day be blessed and full of faith, hope, and love.

 

I Am Baker

Rejection and Forgiveness

I came across this quote recently and couldn’t help but take notice.

Inspirational Quote

 

“When you forgive, you heal your own anger and hurt and are able to let love lead again.  Its like spring cleaning for your heart.”

-Marco Schimoff

I sorta dismissed it because I generally disagree with the concept of “healing thyself”.  But dismissing it right away wasnt right.  Because dont we need to let God in so He can do the work He needs to?  Dont we need to make the choice to forgive before forgiveness can begin its healing properties?

Recently the value of this quote shed some light.

I have been struggling with rejection.  Worldly rejection.  Familial rejection.  Just… rejection.  And I just happen to be that person that lets things fester.

The other day I woke up and it was wonderful.  I worked out, had great devotional time, started the kids homeschooling… everything was going well.

Quite by accident, I found out that some friends had decided to exclude me from a new project.

Now, I have no idea why they made this choice.  It could have been because they had too many people with the same name as me.  Or because it was Wednesday.  Or because they needed a change.  Or because they truly didnt think about me and knowingly reject me.

But in my mind, it was completely intentional rejection.  How could they do this and not include me?  It had to be intentional.  They made a conscious choice to exclude me.

I was devastated and it proceeded to ruin my entire day.  I just couldnt let it go.

In bed that night, the situation kept running through my head.  Since there was no logical way to reason out the situation, I decided that my only option was to reject them back.  Without them knowing why, I was no longer going to support them and their choices.  If they didnt want me as a part of their project, then that choice was going to ultimately remove me from their lives.

I could almost feel the bitterness growing.  My choice to react and reject based on a situation that I had no clear facts on had planted a seed of resentment in my heart.  It grew when I fed it.  It grew when I didnt.  It was quickly growing beyond my control.

The only remedy to this kind of bitterness is forgiveness.  The absolutely only way that I would be able to get my heart back would be to forgive them.

To forgive them.  To make the choice to let go of any hurt I had perceived they caused me.

I had to pray, “Lord, you know my heartache in this.  But I trust you.  I know that sometimes you put people in my life to teach me just like you remove them to teach me.  Lord, help me to truly forgive these precious ladies and to simply love them.  Remove my judgement.  Remove my bitterness.  No matter what they may say or do, help me to love them as You love them.”

Prayer

In all honestly, prayers such as that are not life long in their healing.  Since I still do not know the reasoning behind my friends actions, I still have occasional doubt and insecurity when I interact with them.  But now, instead of feeding into bitterness, I know where to direct those un-godly feelings.  And remember to look to Him for my value.  To trust Him that when I am in His will, He has me exactly where I need to be.

Funny things is that they will never know the heart struggle that their actions inspired.

But I am thankful for their actions non the less, because through them, I am learning to lean more on God.

I Am Baker

Faith and Favortism

With only four weeks left of my James: Mercy Triumphs study by Beth Moore, I am feeling quite bittersweet.

I love that I have learned so much about James and myself, but I just dont want it to end.

Beth said this quote at the very beginning of study and she could not have been more spot on!

As I am learning more and more about James and about the words that he shared in the Bible, I am indeed changing.

In session four Beth touched on the subject of social media.

She suggests reading James 2:3 (NASB)

“and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”

She talked about “followers”.  As in twitter.  Or Pinterest.  Or Instagram.  She asked that we examine the literal translation of the verse in Greek:

“while you say to the poor man: ‘Stand there,’ or ‘Sit here under my footstool.”

This next part is sketchy for me because it was just on the video so I didnt catch every detail. (so if there is any historical inaccuracy, it is mine)  She talked about ancient times where people would go before Kings to be granted favor.  Often times the people would lay before the King with their face on the ground.  The King might place his foot on their head until he was ready to hear from them.  When he would literally lift up his foot, that is when he was ready to listen.

That example really got me to thinking about followers.  About how twitter works.  When I get the notification that someone is following me and I do not follow them back, is that similar to me metaphorically holding them down under my foot?

Am I selectively granting permission to people just to hear what I have to say?

Ok, so I now that is hard to follow.  I am hoping and praying that Beth would do a whole study on the Bible and social media because obviously I am not good explaining it.

But.  She made me realize something about myself.

I do show favorites in social media.

I have been thinking a LOT about how I interact with people.  Its been weighing very heavy on me and I am making changes.

I want to talk a lot more about how much studying James has affected how I use social media.  I want to share how its changing how I view people, and hopefully, how they view me.

But first I think I need to study James a bit more!

In the meantime I have a question.

Have you ever considered social media in a Biblical perspective?  I would love to know how people view this… as I have been thinking about it daily!