I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

17 Mar

the real saint patrick

Do you know the history of St. Patrick? ‘Cuz I had NO idea …

I’ll give you a synopsis as I understand it, pulling out some inspiring thoughts that we can learn from today … but if you’re interested in more details you can click the image below for a more descriptive history {totally worth the read}.

So … first of all, St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. And I don’t think he drank green beer neither!

Maewyn Succat was born in Scotland approximately 387 AD. He grew up in a religious home {his father a deacon, his grandfather a priest}, but he wasn’t a particularly religious child.

At the age of sixteen he was captured by Irish marauders and sold into slavery. For six years he herded sheep as a slave on a mountain. It was during his time of captivity that St. Patrick turned to God for comfort, strength, protection, and wisdom.

“I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain … I used to stay out in the forests and on the mountain and I would wake up before daylight to pray in the snow, in icy coldness, in rain, and I used to feel neither ill nor any slothfulness, because, as I now see, the Spirit was burning in me at that time.”

During a dream one night, he was told he’d soon be returning home. Shortly after, he had another dream telling him a ship was ready to bring him home. By faith, he took off on foot 200 miles away. He wrote that God showed him the way and kept him from danger. When he arrived at the port, a ship was there and scheduled to leave that very day.

The history of St. Patrick includes another abduction after his journey at sea. But after two months he escaped and returned to his family in Britain. Once home, he was trained to be a Catholic missionary in France. At some point in his religious training, he had a vision that would bring him full circle.

Not long after his vision, St. Patrick found himself the new bishop of Ireland.

No matter what opposition he faced, he made it his life’s mission to bring Christianity to this country that enslaved him years before. “Through St. Patrick, countless Irish people were converted to Christianity, and through the numerous priests he ordained the word of God spread throughout the Emerald Isle exponentially.”

At his death, believed to be March 17, only one province in Ireland still practiced paganism.

My thoughts?

First, it’s noted in the article that “as a shepherd slave, St. Patrick prayed continuously…as his faith grew his times of prayer grew in turn.” It was in a lonely and hopeless situation of slavery that God revealed Himself to St. Patrick {can I just call him Pat, or would that be disrespectful?}. But I also believe it was because St. Pat was willing to let God work in him. He could’ve chose to remain bitter and angry at his circumstances. He could’ve even blamed God. Instead he softened his heart and allowed God to work in his life.

Second, if you look back on St. Pat’s life, you can see how God was preparing him for his future. As a slave he was able to learn the language, culture, customs, rituals, and traditions of the Irish people. In the end, that’s what ultimately won the respect of the Irish people and led to their conversion.

Third, when St. Pat was back in Ireland as the bishop, he didn’t force his Christian beliefs on the Irish people. He didn’t judge their Druid paganism. Instead, he came alongside them speaking to their hearts and respecting their spirituality, incorporating their beliefs and gently telling them … showing them of a better way to eternity.

Wow. Seriously … wow! 400 AD and the lessons from this man’s life are so relevant to our lives today.

The article says this:

“The history of Saint Patrick is a testament of passion, courage, selflessness and faith. He lived up to and surpassed all Christian virtues.”

I pray the same will be said of me one day!

{care to have each tsj photography post delivered
right to your inbox? click here to have it happen!}

Posted in faith, holiday, inspiration

1 Mar

it’s the first of march!!

And along with March comes a little green fellow and his favorite day … St. Patrick’s Day! Although. I’m not Irish, so technically I don’t know the whole leprechaun-favorite-day thing to be true. But play along anyway?

Since the big green day is on it’s way … I thought I’d revisit some of our past St. Patrick’s Day fun!

{click on the images for original posts … one includes a free download!}

For some special fun, hop over to my friend’s blog for an addition to the St. Pat’s party above. One word for you … bunco!

Posted in craft, creative, free download, holiday, party

31 Jan

i a-s’more you!

Get it? Or do I have to explain it to you too? Maybe it’s just that my cleverness is lost on the kiddlets?

I’ll explain anyway … :)

I a-s’more you … instead of I adore you. Get it now? And the treat bag is filled with s’more goodies! Clever, huh?

I enlisted the help of uber-designer extraordinaire, Nellie, per usual she didn’t disappoint! Lucky readers, guess what she’s offering up on her blog today? Free vday downloads!

nellie’s blog
nellie’s etsy shop
link to custom listing
link to free vday download

Posted in craft, creative, etsy, free download, holiday

22 Dec

our christmas past …

It’s kind of a weird feeling that our Christmas celebration has come and gone.  I called in a favor to santa, he delivered, and we had our celebration almost a week ago.

On “Christmas” morning, once the girls were all awake and we headed to open gifts, I ran back to my room for my camera.  When I came out, this is literally what I saw.  Think they were excited?

We had a nice morning opening gifts.  Different.  Surreal.  A bit lonely.  But nice.

One little tradition that did keep our spirits up was Mr. … ahem, Mrs. Rosy Cheeks.  Our elf came back this year as a girl.  That required quite the explaning to the girls!  And we still called him her a him.  Follow?

Anyway … the girls had a blast this year discovering all the fun our mischievous he/she elf was up to!

I have to share about the last photo.  The elf had put lipstick on Hunter’s nose one night before the “elf” went to sleep.  And when the elf I went to wake Hunter up the next morning, in the low light of morning, it looked like the lipstick had rubbed off during the night.  So I quickly went to Mrs. Rosy Cheeks and took away the lipstick and note {which says, “look in the mirror”} and put them away for another night.  Only problem was … in the full light of day, she still had remnants of lipstick on her nose!  Before she could see it, I started rubbing at her nose while she’s complaining and asking what I was doing.  Humpf.

As luck would have it, Hunter slept with me a few nights later.  Perfect!  Since she was in bed with me, I waited til early morning to rub the lipstick on her nose and then put Mrs. Rosy Cheeks, lipstick and the note in her bed and waited for her to wake up.  She loved the trick so much, she went to school with the lipstick on her nose.  Simple pleasures.

Lastly … here’s a peek at this year’s Christmas card.  Once again, many thanks to Suann for creating the lovely letterpress design for me.

Interested in having {tsj} photography posts delivered right to your inbox?  Click here to subscribe.

Posted in christmas, family thoughts, holiday

7 Dec

wordless wednesday :: st. nick happy dance

Posted in holiday, movie, wordless wednesday, wynter