When Beauty Invades the Process

Welcome to Ruffles and Rifles.  And welcome to a small window into my life. My desire is for this to be a place for me to share the things I’ve created, some tutorials along the way – so you can create it too, and some thoughts roaming around in this introverted head of mine, about truth from God’s Word.

As I share, my hope is that you are encouraged and inspired by my own imperfect life. Because if I could sum it all up, what I’ve discovered, is that this life is more about the journey than the destination, more about the process than the product.

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This truth is easy to say, harder to live. Because, usually, the process is messy and the journey is long. Just remember the wandering Israelites in the desert, parched, homeless and bored with their food for forty years. Or Joseph, sitting seemingly endless days in prison, knowing the end by a divine dream, but letting the word of the Lord test his character until his dream was fulfilled. (Psalm 105:19) But until our character is tested, we won’t ever be ready for the destination; if in the process we aren’t refined, the product will be unfit for its purpose.

In the Israelites journey, a process that should’ve taken just days, not half a lifetime, their hearts were tested, over and over. And in the place of that dry, hot vagabond life, God tells Moses He wants a tent for His glory to dwell. Right smack dab in the middle of the sand storms and manna sandwiches, God commissions a tent to be made. But not just any primitive bare-bones tent, but a place of intense beauty and heavenly design (Heb 8:5). God employed, “every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary as craftsmen, designers, and embroiderers.” (Ex 36:1; Ex 35:35) Not only that, but God told Moses to employ a man named Bezalel, one He had anointed with “the Spirit of Wisdom in all kinds of crafts – to make artistic designs” to be head over the immense project.

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The unsettling reality is, God didn’t wait for the Israelites to get to their destination. He invaded their nomadic wanderings with intentional beauty and holy wonder. Most of us wouldn’t think of making something so intricate and beautiful in an uprooted, mobile, messy life. And yet, He is ever beckoning us to embrace the journey, and to become in the process. He is inviting us to be all who we are, not when we arrive; the Spirit of Wisdom is with us to create today. Isn’t it amazing that through the artists, seamstresses, and craftsmen, God was revealing heaven to the Israelites? Makes me wonder, what the Spirit of Wisdom on our lives can do for the people around us. I think God is still wanting to reveal heaven, and all the more.

In the journey of my own life, I invite you to follow or just stop in for a look at Of Ruffles and Rifles. The title gives insight to what this is all about. The poem by Robert Burns goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry”…. I honestly don’t remember the rest of the poem, and really, I don’t need to, my ending goes like this… “but, God.” The more I wrestle through life, the more I realize life is more about the process than the product. The things I want to see happen may or may not happen the way I planned, but God always steps in and has the ability to make beauty from broken down messy junk. As a type A, introverted, task-oriented person, I love the beautiful finished product. But am I embracing the process, when things look messy and ugly and out of order?

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Welcome to my corner of the blog world. I invite you to join me in the messy, beautiful process called life. And I hope you leave inspired and blessed!