Live Creatively Oh Oak Tree 🌳
"Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived."--Galatians 6:1-3, MSG I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 28!
Yes, yes I am! Sure I feel a little aged. Sure I'm closer to 30. But regardless of those actualities, I feel young, vibrant, and closer to God now more than ever. There are so many things to be thankful for in this 28th year. And to celebrate, commemorate, pay tribute to, and so forth...I gave myself a little gift.
I am officially inked! Woah! Now, I didn't take this decision lightly whatsoever because it is permanent. I am a firm believer in that if you're going to get a tattoo, make sure there is meaning behind it, real meaning. I wanted my tattoos to be God-glorifying (because they can be), to represent my testimony, to be a daily reminder for myself, and to be a very creative expression of the unique person God made me TO BE.
Proverbs 7:1-3 says, "My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart." I truly believe that tattoos can be a literal way of writing God's word on oneself. My body is my temple and placing God's word, His message on this very temple IS a way to honor Him. It IS a way to bring Him glory. And with just about anything else on this earth, it can also be a way to dishonor Him. I'm thrilled to be a part of a generation of believers who are so in love with Jesus, we are putting Him in every creative avenue. Music, artwork, writing etc. To God be the glory! Our creativity is already covering the dishonor, canceling it out. I believe this wholeheartedly.
Now, there are two inspirations for the tattoos I got; but first, major shout out to Resurrection Tattoo for taking GREAT care of me! And major shout out to one of my best friend's, Amanda Jean for going with me and documenting this greatness.
Now I bring you more on the why, and you have to read it because it's my birthday ;)
After reading Galatians 6 a good while back, those two words stuck with me. To live creatively—it's all I want. It's what I want my life to embrace, encompass, and simply be. Why? Because those words mean everything and in them, everything has meaning. LIFE is about as creative as any one can get and there is only ONE who has breathed life, who created it. God is the ultimate creative One, and it's safe to say He wants us to live creatively too.
Oh Oak Tree
And the oak tree? The oak has literally become one of the greatest symbols in my life. It all started with one very inspirational woman who has spoken volumes into my life. Ladies and gentlemen, Holly Furtick. I'll forever have one of her blog series (which resulted in some insanely-good preaching) scripted in my heart and on my mind. It has helped shape who I am as a wife. It has helped shape motherhood for me. AND, it just so happens that Holly and I share the same birthday! Definitely not a coincendence. Happy Birthday Mrs. Furtick!
Oak trees are also magnificent trees. Mighty, firm, and strong are all the very meaning of the name. The mighty oak eludes life, provides a covering, and its branches can only spread as far as its deep roots spread. I want to be an oak tree. I want to raise my girls to be oak trees. They are easily maintained, bear only as much as they take root, and are a refuge to many. You see them from afar, you look up to them, and you know they can't be shaken.
My husband, my children, may they ever find covering under my branches. May I be firm enough for them to lean on and draw from my spirit. Afterall, being the Holy Spirit is the role I was created to play.
May the life I live be creative and like an oak tree. All for the glory of God, all to point others to Him, and all for the purpose and calling He has imprinted on my heart, within my soul.
And the mighty cross, well it comes from the mighty oak! I just LOVE that!
Galatians 6:1-3 also has 3 main points that come with living creatively—they shape a Christ-like walk.
Restore - We are to bring the good news of restoration to this world. Christ died and rose again for our restoration, that we can begin again with God, that we can experience new life. And the word doesn't say to just restore, but to forgivingly restore those who have fallen into sin SAVING your critical comments for yourself. Because yup, at the end of the day, we usually find ourselves needing forgiveness too!
Reach Out - We are to stoop down, get off the "high horse" we sometimes don't even realize we're on, meet others where they're at and reach out to them. The oppressed need me, they need you. This should be a focal point in all of our callings. For me, I am reaching out to the unborn, I am reaching out for them—standing in between our blood-stained hands and their lives. They are oppressed and I am to be that voice. The oak tree also represents that calling on my life. May I forever share their burdens, may I forever help them. Living these things out "completes Christ's laws."
Regard Others - "If you think you're too good for that, you are badly deceived." We must regard them, regard these directions. We must always think of others before ourselves. Having children, I honestly feel like I'm truly understanding what it is to live that out. Selflessness, regarding others—may we live this way!
These words created a revelation in me. They stirred my spirit. They engulfed my soul. I am not afraid, ashamed, or delayed anymore. I am called and I am going to live out that calling. I walk with boldness, literally sharing these massages on me. And though vultures may try to come (they always do), I stand firm and walk forward. 28 is going to be incredible. I can't wait to see what's in store. I can't wait to keep digging my roots down and branching out.
Cheers to 28,