Living a Legacy of Faith

The relevance of this discovery was not lost on me…. A couple weeks after the funeral my mom started going through his things.  In his wallet she found a torn scrap of newspaper.  No other quote could better exemplifies the character of my grandfather and childhood best friend:

“Resolve to be tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving,
and tolerant of the weak and the wrong.
Sometimes in life you will have been all of these.”

After retiring from the refinery as union president, Fairburn Moseley took on the job of chaplain for a hydrant/valve corporation in Beaumont, Texas.  My grandfather’s job was to visit and pray with employees that were sick or injured.  He thrived in this capacity as someone who showed mercy to others with an attitude of humility.

For as far back as I can remember, he was always present in my life. He was there at my piano recital.  He was there at my ballet performance.  He was there when I busted my knee in the driveway.  He even took me fishing.  So many times, we would sit together on the wrought iron swing in the back.  We would swing for hours on end.  Sometimes we just sat.  Sometimes we would talk.   But always, he was there.

 

always-watching

 

Every Sunday after church we would go to my grandparents’ house as they lived just down the street from the church.  We had a weekly ritual of ordering pizza and eating it on tv trays in their living room while watching tv and talking.   Our Sunday lunches were definitely low-key, but that didn’t change the fact that they made a big impact on me.   I can still smell the pizza and feel the warm sunshine that streamed through the windows over my grandma’s sewing machine.

Late one Saturday night, I talked to my parents and decided to invite the Lord to “live in my heart,” as Baptists say.  Basically, I invited Christ to be Lord of my life by asking forgiveness of sin and professing my trust for salvation in Him because of Christ’s sacrifice.  This was the beginning of my relationship with Christ.  This was not an empty act but the first day of the rest of my life. 

My grandpa recognized that…

I “walked the aisle” that morning at church and we went over to my grandparents for lunch as usual.  As everyone went into the kitchen to get their pizza, he sat with me and solemnly said, “Karin, what you did today was a really good thing.”

There was nothing profound about those words but by his heartfelt demeanor, I knew He valued what I had done….rather, what Christ had done in me.

His presence in my life was vital to understanding how God loves me.  I learned that humility and mercy go hand in hand.  Out of his mercy, my grandfather wanted to give me the very best but was humble enough to realize that the best he could give me was not of him.  He was a conduit of love, grace and peace that was straight from God.  In my grandpa, I saw Him.

The same applied to how he loved others.  No matter their age, not matter their social status or intelligence, he loved them with the very love of Christ.

baba

What God needs most are men and women like him, who are willing to be present, to be full of grace and to exemplify the very qualities of God Himself.  Because of my relationship with my grandpa, whom I called Baba, I was able to better understand the same kind of characteristics in God. –  He approves of me.  He never leaves me.  He wants to spend time with me.

So often I struggle as a parent to know if I’m doing enough to encourage her faith.  In reality, the biggest impact I can make on her is focusing on my own faith – spending time with Him and allowing her to see Him in me.  My greatest parenting strategy is nurturing my own relationship with Christ.  

The greatest impact we can make in the life of another person is loving them well and encouraging their relationship with their Creator.  True ministry means getting out of God’s way in order for Him to intercede through us to offer grace, mercy and love to a lost and dying world.

This is not a flash in the pan ministry strategy.  There is nothing hurried or showy about God’s most important means of discipleship – establishing meaningful relationships with others.

leaving-a-legacy

Leaving a legacy of faith means desiring to give someone your best, but recognizing the best we can give is not of us.  We make our greatest impact on others by living a life that points to Him.  God designed us to reflect His characteristics by leaving a legacy for others like a bright light for others to see.  Through an attitude of mercy and humility that comes from God Himself, we can do that.

dojusticelovemercy-copy
Free Scripture Verse Printables HERE

My grandfather lived out Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you: to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”  God desires to free you from the burden of slavery and sin.  He is gentle and humble in heart – not giving us what we truly deserve but instead, lavishing us with grace and love beyond measure. 

baba

 

As I pass by this quote on my bookcase, I’m reminded not of the words on the page but the man who made them come to life.  I only knew him for 12 years but the lessons He taught me about how God cares for His own will last me an eternity.

 

 

Here’s a poem I wrote about him as a senior in high school:

poem

 

resolve-2

 

Thanks for taking the time to read about my grandfather that is still so close to my heart and memory.

Til’ Next Time,

signature

DIY Entertainment Center (without building a thing!)

When we moved into our house a year ago, I realized we would need a better solution to fill this large wall in our living room.  A small TV stand wasn’t going to cut it.   I needed an entertainment center with some shelves so the space wouldn’t look so barren.

before

I looked at several media centers in furniture stores but they just weren’t my style and most were a few thousand dollars.   I needed a sleek, inexpensive solution to fill a large amount of wall space.

At one of the furniture stores, I stumbled upon this dresser in the “scratch and dent” section of the store.  At the time I purchased the dresser, it went on clearance for $300, less than half the original price!  It had a few scratches and one broken knob – I figured I’ve rehabed much worse!

scratch-and-dent-dresser

I realized I would need something on each end so I found these shelves at Target.  I liked the way the molding and the legs were very similar to those on the dresser.

target-bookcase

I have a deck of Behr paint swatches and found the color that best matched the white of the dresser.  Who knew there could be so many shades of white?!  I used that paint to touch up the scratches on the dresser and also paint the shelves.  (I used Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer before painting since the shelves were so dark.)  This picture gives you an idea of what the shelves looked like with just one coat of primer.  It really made all the difference!

IMG_2689.JPG

To help the bookcases and dresser to coordinate, I bought new knobs for both pieces.  I spray painted the existing dresser pulls and new knobs in Rustoleum Universal in Iron Rubbed Bronze.

hardware

The back of the bookcases was laminate and it was pretty obvious because of the big seam down the middle.  I decided to cover the backs in bead board wallpaper to give it added texture and character.

beadboard-wallpaper

If you haven’t used Martha Stewart’s bead board wallpaper, it’s a pretty great product.  It looks identical to bead board and is very easy to install and paint.  I wouldn’t recommend it for super high-traffic areas like a mudroom by an entry door, but it is excellent anywhere else.  (There’s a bead board wallpaper tutorial to come!)

I decided to paint the wallpaper in Behr Sonata, the same color as the backing of my China Cabinet.  This color coordinates really well with navy and it’s one of my favorites!media-center-after

Next I had to decide how to fill my new shelves!  The nice thing about bookcases is that you can easily change the feel of a room by how you accessorize them.

Now I guess I have more of a traditional, nautical feel but it would be super easy to change out a few items to give it another style.

 

My favorite accessory is this framed quote, something my late grandfather carried around in his wallet.  My mother found it after he passed away: “Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong.  Sometime in life you will have been all these.”

baba

He was such an example of godly character and his life personified this saying as He was always kind and considered others as better than himself.  So much I have learned from him has affected how I parent my daughter as I posted in Leaving a Legacy of Faith.

 

 

before-and-after

 

I’m very pleased with my “entertainment center”.  I was able to customize it specifically to my needs and the bead board wallpaper added some extra character and color.  This was a fun project and a much better alternative than our little TV stand.

If you like this project you may also like:

Light and Airy Master Bathroom Makeover

DIY Faux Painted Sign Tutorial with 15 Free Scripture Printables

 

If you would like to receive my posts in your inbox once a week, subscribe HERE.

‘Til Next Time,

signature

*As usual, there are no affiliate links in this post.

without-building-a-thing

 

7 Tips To Find Your Calling

So often when trying to define God’s call on my life, I felt like His plans for me were elusive and intangible.  In reality, however, I had placed obstacles in my own life that made it hard to hear what He was so patiently and clearly telling me. As God’s handiwork, we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).  Our one job is to be obedient to Him and He will take care of everything else.

your-calling-2

1. Just Go With It

When God repeatedly told me to write, my mind was flooded with thoughts like “But what will this lead to?”, “Will this be worth it?” and “Am I SURE this is what He is telling me?”  It was in the midst of this doubt that I read Luke 1, where the angel Gabriel tells Zechariah about the imminent birth of his son, John the Baptist.  Zechariah answers in disbelief saying, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

The angel responds to his lack of faith by taking away his voice until the day of John’s birth.   In other words, believe God when He tells you to do something the first time.  Don’t spin your wheels by questioning Him but be obedient to the last thing God told you to do – even if you don’t understand it.   He will be sure to show you the next step in His perfect time.

2. It’s God’s Calling, Not Yours

C.S. Lewis once said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself.  It is thinking of yourself less.”   Pray for God to redirect your focus to “HIS WILL” instead of “his will for ME”.    Don’t chase your call but chase the God who calls you.

chase-god

God is our only source of power and strength so if we focus on ourselves, even while trying to do good things, we will surely fall flat on our face.  God has given us each different gifts and talents but without His power burning bright in us, we are like a candle without a flame.  A candle can have a uniquely colorful glow and aroma, but without the flame, it cannot fulfill its true purpose of providing light.

3. You Have Gifts and Talents

There are various spiritual gift surveys online including this one that can give you an idea as to what your God-given gifts are.    In addition, be aware of your talents.  Maybe you are great at decorating, gardening or baking.  Perhaps God wants you to combine your gift of encouragement and baking skills to make gifts for neighbors as a means to reach out to them.  Be prayerful about God can use your gifts and talents to honor Him.

4.  Uncover Your Fears

Don’t allow fears to deter you from following God’s plans.  Allow them to be the very catalyst that drives you to the foot of the cross.  Be mindful of fears when they come into your thought life.  Take those opportunities to not only hand over the fear to God in prayer, but to submit the entire situation over to Him.  For example, maybe I realize I am nervous about a meeting with my daughter’s teacher.  Instead of giving just the fear over to God in prayer, pray to give the entire situation to Him in prayer.   Let your fear be a prompt or reminder that highlights opportunities to allow God to intercede through you as you give the entire situation over to Him.

fears

5.  Your Calling Is Closely Tied To What You Enjoy

In most sports, there is that feeling you get…just like when you hit a tennis ball on the sweet spot of your racket. You get a good spin on the ball and you know the racket was used exactly how it should be used. Always be watchful for that same feeling. When you find yourself in the middle of a task, hobby or job and notice that same satisfaction, know that you have found the point where your God-given talents align with the tasks He has laid before you. When you approach the point where your gifts and calling intersect, have found your sweet spot.

6. Be tenacious in pursuing your God-given goals.

Sharpening our gifts and talents will take work.  Within the work lies the preparation, growth and character-building that will be necessary when His plans are fully realized.  Development is part of the process because God wants us to make sure we are ready for all He has planned.  It’s through working towards our God-given goals that He prepares us for the task at hand.   The work God does within us while we wait is just as important as what we are waiting for.

gods-work

7. Stay in the Word

It’s much like drinking coffee for the first time.  At first, you drink coffee in the morning because you know it will help you get through your day.  But before you know it, it’s a habit, something you crave and can’t make it through the day without.  Know that time in God’s Word is not wasted and God’s Word cannot return void.  As it says in Isaiah 55:11, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

My favorite verse is 1 Corinthians 2:9, which states, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has conceived what God has planned for those who love Him.”  Know God has plans for you that are so much greater than anything you have imagined.

Which tip was helpful to you and why?  I’d love to hear feedback and your tips below!

Want to get Renovated Faith’s posts in your inbox once a week?  Subscribe here.