Best Year Ever!

Best Year Ever aYes, that’s right… we are expecting this to be the “Best Year Ever” in our home (BYE for short).  I have never been one to make silly New Years resolutions because they are always dropped within a couple weeks and nothing ever really comes of them other than regret and disappointment in yourself.  I don’t need that ;)

However, this year my husband and I came across this course called “5 Days To Your Best Year Ever” by Michael Hyatt.  He designed it for “busy, high-achievers” like me… well at least that is how I would like to think of myself.  My past is spotted with holes of unrealized goals because life just “got” in the way.  In reality I haven’t found the right thing to keep me on the right track.  I had never learned how to plan, create real goals, and I had never learned how to put those goals into workable action.  That is where this course comes in and it has been amazing.

Yes, we just started this the first of the year, so no we haven’t seen the end results yet, but after all the work we have put into this I believe it will be our BYE because we now have clear have working steps for every goal and more importantly, our reason WHY.  I will be sharing about our walk throughout the year, as well as about aspects of all of my goals I have set for myself.  Some are personal and fun, others are serious!  All are good.  I may not hit them all… but I will never reach them if I never try and I never have a plan to work.

Here are my goals for this year… of course simplified for this blog. ;)

  1.  To cultivate a stronger and more pure relationship with Jesus so I know His voice better and I will follow Him no matter what.
  2.  To cultivate a more vibrant and Godly marriage.
  3.  To pay down debt.
  4.  To get healthier.
  5.  To treat myself well.
  6.  To read more books.
  7.  To be a better mom and homeschool teacher.
  8.  To revamp my blog and write again.
  9.  To improve my hand-lettering.

Best Year Ever 1aNow of course my goals in my workbook are much more specific with great action and purpose. What I just posted is very general and if they were left that way wouldn’t get accomplished because they are ambiguous.  That is why I love this course, it gets you into the meat of the matter.

So, as I blog this year, the things in my life that fall into those categories will be on the list to share.

What changes are you making this year?  Like Michael Hyatt says, “Nothing great ever happens in the comfort zone!”

Here’s to our Best Year Ever!

Home-School Art Project

My husband is our daughter’s homeschool art teacher! ;) He is pretty amazing and is helping our daughter learn so much. What do you do to invest in the life and future of your child? I would love to hear some good ideas :)

Maleko's Art

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The above relief art panel was completed by my daughter for her homeschool art project, where she studies a master artist and uses that technique to create a piece of art. We are using the book Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Kim Solga as a guide. I plan on posting recaps of more projects she completes as the school year progresses.

This is a Florentine Relief technique using cardboard, string, paper, glue, paint and aluminum foil in tribute to Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378 -1455). Ghiberti worked his entire life on the golden doors of the great Baptistery at Florence. Upon completion it is said that Michelangelo remarked,

“They are worthy to stand at the Gates of Paradise.”

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“But I Say To You, Love…”

MT rainier cThere is so much Hate going on in our world.  This group of people hates that group of people and that one hates this one.  It is heart-breaking.  Even those who call themselves “Christians” fall into this trap and I see them bashing those who don’t believe as the Bible tells us.  As a “Christian” myself, I would challenge you this way… If you truly believe in and love Jesus you should hate NO one, regardless of their beliefs or choices.

You may disagree with them and not like their choices.  You may even have to make difficult choices regarding participation in some of their choices, though it should always be done with love.

BUT… as far as that person goes… you should love them with ALL of your heart no matter what they believe or how they live and you should treat them with kindness.  Jesus does.  He died for them too.

To everyone reading this… YOU are LOVED and greatly cherished!

(Definition of Hate: intense or passionate dislike.  1 John 3:15 “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”)

(Definition of love:  An intense feeling of deep affection.  Matthew 5: 43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.)

(Definition of a True Christian:  A personal follower of Jesus Christ in word and in deed.)

My Beloved

my beloved 3I was recently part of organizing and creating an atmosphere of worship for a women’s retreat.  It was a retreat like non-other than I have ever been part of before.  The Lord was there in such a way that the blessings are still ringing out. About a month before the retreat the Lord gave me this letter, “My Beloved” to give to the ladies and I believe He would have me share it with you. 

At the retreat someone shared a riveting and powerful video by Graham Cooke called… “To My Beloved”.  It was only God who could of orchestrated the two to be shared on the same weekend to the same ladies… to me!  I am sharing both.  So when you are done reading the letter from Him to His Bride (YOU) please take the time to watch the video, it will richly bless you.  He is calling you…. will you go?

My Beloved

My dearest love, do you not know how deep my love runs for you?  Oh how I long to scoop you up in my arms, twirl you around as your hair blows in the breeze.  I long to catch a glimpse of that beautiful smile that Father God created.  How beautiful is the smile He made just for you.  It fits you perfectly my love.

I have been following, pursuing and loving you all the days of your life.  When you were in your mother’s womb and you felt her pain when she thought of you, I was there comforting you.  I was covering and protecting you.  My Spirit was in the water that surrounded your tiny little shape and My Spirit flowed through your lungs giving you life.  He nurtured you for Me because of  My great love for you from the beginning.  You may have not been planned by your family but you were most definitely planned by My Father… We have a purpose for you.

I knew your heart would yearn for me, that you would eventually turn to me and it brings me such joy to see it come to pass.  I also knew the pain that you would endure throughout your life, the struggles that pain would cause you and how much you would fear.  The enemy could see your worth and your love for me too, and he could also see your weaknesses and he formed a terrible plan against you and I sent angels to minister to you and protected you.  I bound the enemy so he could not end your life and I have made sure you have been and always will be under my protection.  You are my girl, you are hidden under my wings.

My sweet love, how I long for the day when you abandon all your fears and run to me.  I see you peeking out from time to time as you think you are sneaking a peak of me.  As soon as you think I am looking you dart back behind the wall you have built.  I love you so much and I have more patience than you could imagine. I will not give up, you will be able to love Me with an abandoned love. I have so much to give you and I am just waiting for you to ask.  Remember my covenant to you?  It is unbreakable and I will forever honor my part regardless of your ability to honor yours.  I know you will make mistakes, I have already taken care of that for you.  Just touch my hands and you will see.

I wait with you to hear your desires and your invitation to be part of your life. You are my girl, my beloved, my passion!  I will always pursue you, I am right beside you. Come Away With Me…                         Yeshua

Carri Schutter ©2015  

https://youtu.be/4KQrg_ss1mg

Unrelenting Love

forest trail 2Many years ago I had a dream where I was visited by Jesus.  It was so vivid and clear that I felt and knew it was real.  In the dream… 

I was walking down a long road that was lined and covered by trees that were creating the most beautiful canopy overhead.  It was fall and the colors were amazing and vivid.  As the wind slowly rustled you could see the light dancing on the roadway.

I felt utterly alone and wishing beyond wishes that somehow my life would be worth something, that I would not be forced to forever wonder if I had a purpose or if I was from the beginning, nothing but a mistake.

As I walked down the old dirt road I could see someone walking towards me.  That person was a long ways off and I wondered what they were doing there.  As I continued to walk they were suddenly in front of me just a few feet away.  I knew without any introduction who it was and all within me jumped with joy and simultaneously shook with fear.  It was Jesus.

I had spent years calling to Him, begging Him to help me from one thing or another.  I had asked Him to help my daddy stop drinking, to stop being so angry, to just stop.  I asked over and over and over and each time I felt that my prayers fell on deaf ears, there was silence and the prayers were unheard.  My heart broke with each unanswered prayer and my belief in a God that loved me and a Jesus that saves all was shaken, of course not destroyed, but damaged.

The very moment I saw my Saviour standing there looking at me all my fears were in front of me.  The joy of seeing Him there was inside of me.  I could feel my heart leap.  But I couldn’t allow it to carry me into His arms.  I couldn’t allow it to help me feel peace.  Instead I felt the fear and the dread.  Is He here to tell me I was asking for too much, begging too much, that He had too much to do to deal with to worry about my miniature problems?  Was he there to crush my very existence because I was a mistake?  Was He there to accuse me of all the bad I had ever done, ready to sentence me to life of unbearable pain and suffering?

Hundreds of questions flew through my head in the split second before He spoke and then they were all silenced by His smile.  What a sweet smile, warm and inviting.  The very glance of His eyes melted my heart and put me at ease.  His voice was soothing and yet it was strong and had authority.

“You are my girl.” 

What did He say, surely He was mistaken, He had the wrong girl?

“You are mine and I love you, no one can harm you.  You were not a mistake and I have many plans for you, you are mine.”

I couldn’t believe that with three sentences He crushed every fear I ever had.  Tears streamed freely down my face and as they did He reached out and wiped up each and every one.  Not one fell to the ground.  I felt relief and joy and peace wash over me and as quickly as He was there, He was gone again.

To this day that memory remains.  It was a powerful, life changing moment.  His love is everlasting, unrelenting and unconditional.  It is pure.  I am thankful for a love like that, a love I don’t deserve but freely receive.  It is a love for the taking.  It is for you.  Have you had an encounter with Jesus?

Fierce Protector

Psalm 91:4

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart”

GU345-2 (resize)

This Bible verse has always captured my heart.  I have had many things happen in my life where I have needed the protection of our Father, and this verse reminds me that no matter what happens, I always have it!  His protection is fierce and requires nothing on our parts other than faith and from past experience, sometimes not even that.

This painting was done by my amazing husband, Mark.  You can see more of his works and writings at markschutter.com.

Know you are loved by the God who made all things.  You were beautifully and wonderfully made and His eyes are upon you!