Welcome to "Always Stampin'" where you are sure to find paper art inspiration and quite possibly a bit more! Please contact Kelly Gettelfinger, Stampin' Up! Manager of Sellersburg, IN for more information on anything seen here... kellyjeanstamps@gmail.com

"Anxiety weighs a heart down, but a cheerful word lifts it up." Proverbs 12:25

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sheltering Tree and a Clothesline Devotional...

Yesterday evening was my turn to offer a Devotional
in my CBS (Community Bible Study) Leadership group.

Today's card(s) were inspired by my Devotional.

The "Sheltering Tree" stamp set
is SO precious and SO easy to use!
I have a feeling you will be seeing lots of samples
 made with this great set!

The above is the "inside" of both cards in this post.
I hand-doodled the little T-shirt shown above.
And to simplify the making of a great card,
I simply punched a large heart for the card below.
Add some card stock grass made with the
Fringe Scissors and voila! What a fun and easy card!

On a more personal note...
If you should like to hear (read) the devotional
offered last night, I'm happy to share.
I only ask that you keep in mind that my words are
only as good as me, myself, and I
I am simply a messenger, trying to obey...
I don't claim to have a clue, wink.

I'm sharing my clothesline devotional with you today. We've all heard the phrase "airing one's dirty laundry" but I'm going to ask you to put that phrase completely out of your mind. "Airing one's dirty laundry" refers to gossiping in public or public displays of strife and negative outbursts. My devotional today is something completely different. My clothesline devotional serves the purpose of an analogy.

I've tried to make this particular clothesline look as cute as possible. When we see a clothesline or think of a clothesline, clean laundry accompanies the thought. Many people judge a person by the appearance of their clothesline. Is it too "well put together?" Is the clothesline itself built out of nice, sturdy materials? How often is it adorned with clean laundry... or no laundry at all?

Some people try to make an impressive statement by what they hang on the clothesline. They might hang only the best and most expensive items, (new cars, big house, fancy family vacations) trying to fit in with a particular crowd. Or they might hang what "seems" to be the best or most expensive items, trying to either fit in or simply impress others or simply trying to feel better about themselves or their position in life.

People don't hang their dirty laundry on the clothesline. Then again, some people might hang a few "not so clean" items on their clothesline, trying to cry out for help. Or maybe they simply are in the habit of hosting their own pity parties so that every garment has some kind of woe on it.

1 Peter 5:7 tells us to "cast our anxieties onto the Lord because He cares for us." When we use the clothesline for anything other than its sole purpose, we are hanging out anxieties on other dependencies than our Heavenly Father. When we judge others according to what seems to be on their clothesline, we are expecting others to look to US instead of depending on the Father.

The clothesline is for clean clothes. Our source for washing those clothes is... in the house. We treat the stains and scrub the spots... in the house. Acts 17:24 says, "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands." Because of Christ and the Holy Spirit, God lives in our hearts.

My heart is His home... and it's where my laundry (loneliness, a broken marriage, a prodigal child, an overbearing boss - whatever it is that might soil your laundry in life)... my heart is where I am to take my dirty laundry. If we are to "cast our anxieties on the Lord" and if "our heart is His home," we are to do our laundry WITH the Lord IN OUR HEARTS. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

This doesn't mean that we are to never confide in a friend or speak to clergy about our anxiety. Many people don't have a washer and dryer. Therefore they have to take laundry to a laundromat. A dear friend in Christ (as well as the Church) is like an affordable and trustworthy laundromat. (That can be found at James 5:16, wink.)

Obviously by now you hopefully understand our washer and dryer would be the analogy for God's infallible Word. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

How well is your clothesline equipped for service? Are your garments hung to impress others? Is your clothesline empty for fear of what others think of you?  Do you pay more attention to your own clothesline than you do someone who might be in need of a reliable laundromat? Or is your clothesline adorned with items that have you not only prepared but excited to wave high in the wind His banner of love?

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (This is the purpose of our clothesline! Can you just picture each garment as a fruit of the Spirit?! Oh joy!) Against such is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

Do you get it? 

-Everyone has a "clothesline..." that is... a life.

Everyone has "dirty laundry..." which is our sin.

The washing (or ridding of our sin) must be done ON THE INSIDE (true confession must come from the heart, Romans 10:9) just like actual laundry is washed in the home or laundromat. (PS... I -totally speaking to myself here- want to be -I need to be- a better laundromat for others!)

Once we have accepted Christ's invitation to have Him wash (recognizing His death in the cross for our sins) to wash our laundry (our lives), we then gladly return to the washer with our dirty laundry. And while we wait for our clean laundry, we rest... and we learn... SO THAT...

we will be equipped to possibly be a laundromat for others in need of having their laundry (their lives and the sin in it) cleaned. THAT is where we introduce them to our ultimate WASHER (our Savior, Jesus Christ.)

When we hang out clean laundry (the beatitudes represented in our new lives) on the clothesline of life, we shine Christ's light for all to see. May our clotheslines (our lives) be pleasing to You, O Lord.

"May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

And may his banner of love over us wave gladly in the wind as our clean laundry would on our clotheslines of life.

Thanks so much for visiting! I hope my Devotional inspires you to spend some time with your Creator... aka your "Power Washer!" :)



Sharon said...

Kelly, great devotional!! I love the analogy and all the scripture references! It inspired me to take some time and spend it with my Creator, my Savior, my Lrod. Thanks for sharing! 😉

kellyjean said...

Thanks so much for sharing, Sharon! Thank you for the sweet words of compliment... GBTG! Enjoy your time in the Lord, sweet sistah!