Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Shower Of Redemption

Julia stood in the middle of the courtyard staring at the stars, tomorrow she would die. The man that had killed her Father would die. Crucified by the Romans. A bitter smile crossed her lips.  Yes she would be there; she would watch this murderer be brought to justice. Justice - the word made her sick was there such a thing? Maybe once when she had been a child she had thought it had existed but no, not anymore.

She clenched her hands into fists at her sides.

“I swear I’ll hate you until the day I die,” She swore anger boiling inside her.


Julia stood in the courtyard of the governor’s palace with hundreds of other people all-jostling for room.

"You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him,” Pilate said, “Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him."

"Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!" the crowd shouted.

“No!” Julia shouted, “He killed my father!”

“Quiet woman!” someone shouted.

“I will not,” the man slapped her.

"Crucify him! Crucify him!" the crowd shouted.

"Why? What crime has this man committed?” Pilate asked, “I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him."

“No! Crucify him! Crucify him!” The crowd screamed.

Pilate motioned to a slave. He came forward bearing a bowl. Pilate plunged his hands into the water. Julia’s heart sank lower than the pavement beneath her feet.

"I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!”

"Let his blood be on us and on our children!" the people shouted. Julia closed her eyes they would kill this teacher instead of a murderer.  She was disgusted; these people were crazy they would rather have a violent man than a man that had never hurt anyone but the official’s pride.   

She propelled herself through the people elbowing her way through to the edge and then began half running half walking up the street. She knew which way they would go, her father had overseen more than one crucifixion as a Roman Centurion while he had been alive.

She stopped in front of an alley where several children stood with a woman who balanced a water pot on a shoulder and a baby on her hip. She looked sad though light seemed to cascade from her and her children.

“Hello, are you lost?” Her voice was as sweet as honey.

“No, I… They will be taking the prisoners this way on the way to their execution… I just wanted to see one of them,” her voice trailed off as she threw a glance over her shoulder at the shouting coming down the street.

“Oh… You mean Jesus of Nazareth, Don’t you?”  

“Yes, he is to take the place of the man who should have died today,” She felt the anger rising up in her again.

“Barabbas?” Julia nodded, but did not answer, “And you are angry about this?”

“Yes,” her voice was hollow yet burned with bitterness.

“Tell me, my friend, why do you hate this man so much?” she asked surrendering the baby to one of the other children so she could lower the water jug to the ground.

“He killed my father,” her words came through gritted teeth.

“I’m so sorry,” Sympathy creased her brow; “You're a Roman then? 

“Does it matter?” her voice crackled with anger she was still a Centurions daughter she didn’t need this woman’s sympathy.

“No, not to me,” The women said lifting the baby back to her hip, “we are all alike in gods eyes,”

“Which gods?” she asked sarcastically.

“The one true God,” the man that dies in the stead of the man you hate is his Son,” the woman answered as soldiers framed the road blocking them into the alley. The thunder of people's voices was now upon them their voices mingling together into an incomprehensible roar. 

Julia turned and looked at the street the first of the three prisoners were dragging their crosses up the street.  a group of soldiers followed then behind them the second prisoner lugged his heavy cross up the street.

“Why?” the word slipped from her lips before she could stop it.

“To take the punishment for our sins,” a small girl stepped up beside her and entwined her fingers into Julia’s as her mother came up beside them, her other children clinging to her legs. A tear spilled down Julia’s cheek.    

The third cross came into view but the man that she was looking for was not pulling that cross, then she spotted him staggering behind the man lugging his cross. She wasn't sure how she had recognized him. He was beaten so badly that his face was unrecognizable, one eye was swollen shut, blood oozed from multiple wounds.

One of the soldiers pushed him from behind and he fell to the ground. The centurion cursed at the soldier.

The woman next to her handed her baby to one of her children and stepped forward. Julia watched as she knelt before the man her arm out to help him rise, the child that held her hand let go and disappeared behind her before she ran to her mother a small cup of water in her hands. The child knelt before him next to her mother and offered it to him.  A soldier kicked it away.

“Get back,” he ordered. The Centurion grabbed the soldier’s arm and growled something in Latin as the woman and her daughter retreated back to the alley.  The Centurion pulled the man up and helped him walk up the street sending the soldier who he had grabbed by the arm a glare as he passed.

Jesus turned his head to the side and looked at her. She saw the pain of the world in his eyes.  And then he was gone and the crowd was rushing by, she stepped out into the crush of people and allowed them to pull her along to the place of execution.   

The cross-loomed above the hillside like a sword. The air felt heavy in this place of death, this place of pain and misery. Evil clung to the shadows of the rocks where Julia stood. The clouds above her were black and heavy as if themselves in mourning. Lightning streaked through the blackness in eerie silence before thunder roared in protest of the deed taking place. An earthquake shook the ground revolting against this horrid act. Raindrops mingled with the tears streaming down her face. The earth shook again and she fell to her knees. The soldiers gambled for the prisoner's clothing beneath the crosses. People threw insults at him from the crowd,

“Come now save yourself,”

“Yes you saved others save yourself,” a woman cried from the crowd. Another quake she fell to her hands and knees. One of the soldiers fell and slid down the hill toward her on the steep incline.

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” The man hanging from the middle cross, cried barely loud enough for Julia to hear. The soldier stopped on his hands and knees and looked up at the cross, his mouth slightly agape. Another earthquake knocked him to his stomach. He cursed as he scrambled to his feet.

She wanted to cry out, to stop it, but she was rooted in place her tongue heavy. When she did speak her words were a whisper.
“I believe,”

“Save yourself and us too,” One of the other prisoners on the other crosses, cried out.

"Don't you fear God, since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong,” The other prisoner rebuked him, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,” he said.

"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise,"  Jesus answered the man.

Minutes felt like hours. She was still on her knees on the hill, her tears slowly tracing paths down her cheeks and falling to the dirt and stone beneath her.

 “Eloi, Eloi, lama sab ACH Thani?”  He cried.

“Listen he is calling Elijah,”

“Fool its Hebrew,”

“"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" she whispered his words bowing her head.

“It is finished!” His words were almost lost in the storm but she heard them, her head snapped up her gaze on the man that had taken the place of the man she hated.  The storm intensified the earthquake becoming stronger, the thunder louder, the lightning brighter as if the earth itself screamed against the life of this man leaving.

People around her began to flee in fear.

“Break those two’s legs,” the order came from the soldier who had fallen. “That one’s dead already,” His order was quickly carried out.  Screams of agony followed the soldier’s work.

“Better make sure,” one of the other soldiers said.

“Right,” The soldier who had fallen grabbed a spear, he hesitated only a second before plunging it upward and into Jesus’s side.  She sucked in a breath, she felt physical pain at watching this man's pain, the man who had died for her sins. Could she forgive her father's murder? Barabbas the name sparked anger in her. No, she couldn't, she wouldn't forgive him. 

Blood streamed down the spear and onto the soldiers hand and arm he winced and shook his hand of sending a shower of scarlet drops flying away from him.  one hit her in the center of her forehead instantly unearthly heat seared through her. Her breath caught. She felt the blood burn away her anger, her hatred, She felt the bitterness fall away like shackles, fresh tears swarmed in her eyes blurring her vision.

“I forgive you Barabbas, for killing my father,” she whispered the words though she felt as if she had screamed them, “I forgive you because the man that took your place forgave me,”

The centurion looked around his men stood wide-eyed around him; several had tear streaming down their hard faces. He looked at his blood-covered arm then at the crowd - few remained. A figure kneeling caught his eye and he began to walk toward her. No one noticed, all preoccupied with their own thoughts he reached her as another quake knocked him to the ground next to her.  He grabbed the rocks to steady himself the blood smearing onto them.

“Truly he must have been the son of God,” he whispered so low he wasn't sure she heard him.

“He was,” her voice was almost lost on the wind. She reached out the blood smeared rocks and placed her hand on the stain, heat radiated from the place of contact and up her all the way into the deepest reassess of her heart. She took a deep breath, “Yes,” the whispered word was no more than a breath but it was enough. She closed her eyes and accepted the healing.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Heart 2 Heart - Mirror Mirror

Mirrors lie. Especially to us ladies. They tell us we are fat, that we are ugly. That we are unwanted, unlovable and worthless. I was doing photography last summer for my friends Equine Obstacle Challenge and I was amazed at the fact that almost every lady out there hated something about herself.

 I heard some ask no photos from the side, another that she never got pictures of herself taken. So as I sat there editing photos I couldn't help praying that when they got to see these picture they would see themselves through His eyes, not their own. And you know what, almost all bought them and we surprised at how good they looked. It's amazing how far photo effects and a little prayer will go

How much differently would we feel if instead of looking into the mirror with human eyes and seeing the pimple or zit those irritating freckles that someone enjoyed teasing us about? Or that we aren't as tiny as some people. But instead, we looked in the mirror through His eyes. And instead, we saw what he sees. Mirrors lie because they can only see what the world counts as beautiful not what God considers beautiful.

In the bible, most of the names that stick out are men, but there are some amazing women of God in those pages. Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Jael, Rehab, Ruth, Ester, Hannah, Mary, Martha and her sister Mary, Jairus's daughter (the one that was dead and Jesus brought back to life), Elizabeth, Anna, Joanna, The woman about to be stoned, The crippled woman, Tabitha, Syrophoenician woman & her daughter, The woman who was bleeding just to name a few, trust me I can keep going. Some of them made huge mistakes which are forever remembered through the pages of the bible. But they all have something to teach us. Some are lessons of Faith, others that no matter what others say God can use you for amazing things like Deborah leading the entire nation or Jael in her own back yard (or tent in her case).

All through the New Testament Jesus is reaching out to women and not just the ones that have their life all straightened out. The woman about to be stoned was a prostitute. The women who anointed his feet was __. He reached out to the ones who were considered trash, he reached out to the poor along with the rich. When he rose from the dead who were the first ones that He appeared to? A group of women.

Christians during the first century were often known as the ones that would go to the trash heaps or (dump) where Roman families would leave babies to be exposed, and rescue the infants. They most times were girls, but also children with the wrong color eyes, or hair, or were not physically the way the father wanted or were handicapped in some way. Midwives would place a newborn child at the Father's feet. If they reached out and picked up the child it became part of the family, if not it would be taken outside and was exposed. Left to die. They said that it was up to the "gods" if it lived or died.

Jesus often does that for us.  He goes to the dump and picks us up out of the trash and says you are worth more than precious jewels. You are beautiful. You are not defined by the worlds standards but His.

Proverbs 30:30-31 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

So get out there beautiful!  Be all who He has created you to be and let that beauty shine. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pretty Triple Rosette Bun Updo

 A lot of people ask me why I have long hair, after all, you can't do anything with it and isn't it hot? and isn't it hard to take care of? Well here is my answer. I have long hair, "Because I love it". To address the "You can't do anything with it" that usually follows. Here is a simple pretty hairdo, you can wear anywhere- from church to the pool or beach.  It keeps it up off of your shoulders neatly and keeps your neck nice and cool.
 This is a simple look we did for my grandma. All you need is bobby pins and hair accessories (We used some blue roses on hair pins).  You part the hair in three sections.  One is at the crown top of the head, middle section from ear to ear and then the lower section.  At the top of the head, gather the hair into a ponytail where you want the rosette to be and then twist the hair section around your fingers into a ring up against the head.  Use bobby pins to secure the rosette to the head.  Next, take the middle section of hair. We set it just over a tad from the first rosette and just repeated the same technique and secured it with bobby pins.  Take the last section of the hair and bring it closer to the ear than the other two.  Twist it into a rosette around your fingers, slipping the hair off of the fingers and securing with bobby pins.  You are now finished or you can decorate.  We found these roses at Hobby Lobby and bought some bobby pins with a flat plate on it that you can glue decorations on.  We glued several things on them (mostly flowers) and they made really pretty decorations for the hair and really great gifts for those with longer hair.  Hope you like it.  Please let us know if you try it and send us a picture of your pretty hair. We would love to see it.

Romanic hair, updo, rosettes, summer styles, off the shoulder hair styles, fashion, buns, princess' hair,

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Kara Rose Skirt Pattern In Different Prints

Kara Rose Skirt in Pink and Brown Stretch Knit

 I designed this skirt last year. Actually, its was originally to go with the swimsuit I was making but I really loved the lines on it so I decided to make a few skirts out of the pattern. It's perfect for church or just to wear during the week depending on what you pair it with.

Kara Rose Skirt in Brown, Cream and Orange Stretch Knit


Kara Rose Skirt in Red, White and Blue Cotton 

Friday, June 13, 2014

White Eyelet Skirt and Blouse

Hey there! This week has been absolutely crazy... and I have two rather large prayer request for you. First please pray for my dog, Benji. We took him to the vet Wednesday, night and found out his kidneys had shut down. I get really attached to my animals so it has been a very hard few days for me. We are hoping for a full recovery but I'm really scared it's not going to happen. We lost another dog a few years ago to kidney failure as well. Actually, it was my dog Benji's mom Christmas. The vet seems to think one of our neighbors poisoned him. :( Lord willing we are supposed to bring him home tomorrow if all goes well...

 Second Lil' Bit is spending the weekend with his mom at the prison for the first time. We are dropping him off at the prison tonight and will pick him up Sunday. Please pray for him and his mom. It will be the first time in his three month life he will be away from us. We are all a bit nervous. If he is really fussy the prison will call and tell us to come get him... no matter how late/early it is.

Today I'm wearing a white eyelet skirt, a cream tank, and a blue eyelet shirt.  

 Skirt: Vintage Store
Tank: A gift
Shirt: Vintage Store
Necklace: A gift Earrings: Burkes

Faith and I
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Aubrey's Sleeping Beauty Hair Style

I promised this tutorial awhile ago and here it finally is. It will probably work best on hair that is no shorter than elbow length (just because it has to wrap completely around the head). It also works best if your subject is able to hold still. Ready? Ok, let's get started!

First, you want to start with a small - medium section of hair on the side of the head above the eye at the temple (if the person who owns the hair has bangs now is the time for them to decide if they want them in the braid or not. If they do want them out have them hold them so you don't accidentally grab them and put them in the braid. Don't try to pull strands out after its braided.Trust me on this one).

Next part the section into 3 (see picture above) and begin braiding (if you do not know how Youtube has some great tutorial videos) I crossed over my three sections and then added sections of hair from the top and the bottom (see picture below).  Repeat this process going around the head (see photo 2)

This is what it should look like. Make sure you are braiding nice and tight as you go around the back (See picture below) of the head to keep it from slipping and leaving bagging spots at the back of the neck.

Once all the hair is completely into the braid (if you are leaving the bangs out make sure someone is holding them or they are clipped up). Once all the hair is in the braid keep braiding normally until you get to the end of all the hair. Lay it across the top of the head where you want it.

Then bobby pin end of the braid in place. Next, take the very end which isn't braided and slide it under the braid (you should not be able to see it). Use bobby pins to secure it and any other parts that look like they need it.

If you want you can add flowers on hair pins to cover the place you pinned the end of the braid.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

White Linen Skirt and Purple Blouse

Hey. guys! Hope you are enjoying the beginning of summer, I sure am. In the last two day's I have made 3 new skirts that I will be posting pictures of them this week.  Yesterday my best friend came over and we had a great time from the morning swim in the pool to the nature walk, but boy did we get a lot of ticks! Gee they are bad this year. 

Today we are trying to keep my dog Faith off her feet until we can get her to the vet. My mom woke up at three this morning to feed the baby and noticed she was limping really bad, so she woke me up. Have you ever tried keeping a very active border collie from following you around the house? Well, it's not easy. Pray for her if you would.  It would mean so much to me to know all my friends out there were lifting her up. I know some will say that she is just a dog, but God created her and loves her too I believe.  

Today I am wearing a purple button up blouse with a white camisole under it and cream skirt.

 Blouse: Ross
Skirt: Vintage Store
Cami: Ross
Jewelry: Necklace 1: I made Necklace 2 (horse): A gift

My hair is parted from ear to ear and put into a ponytail.  Then from the ears down it is put in another ponytail.  This is a good way to have your hair back and out of your face for chores or on a hot day.

...Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Mat. 17:20