Outsiders

January 29, 2017

 “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” Colossians ‭4:5‬ ‭NIV‬
This verse has been on my mind since last weekend, and all that has transpired between immigrants, refugees and even Native Americans (although they’re not actual outsiders) has reminded me that we, who claim to be “Christians,” have an obligation to be different. We have an obligation to really be pro-life and not just hold that stance towards the unborn. We have crisis going on all around the world and we cannot cower in fear. Wheather its food shortages, natural disasters, manmade disasters caused by leaders like Assad in Syria, or even ISIS, we need to be deliberate in our actions. If indeed we are believers of Jesus Christ, his actions were perfect examples of how we ought to act towards outsiders; he welcomed them, cared for them, healed them, and sent them on their way with a blessing. He also reminded us, ‘perfect love, casts out fear (1 John 4:18).’ It’s time for us to walk that out. 

As our boys’ 10th birthday approaches, I find myself reflecting on my time with them, and on what I’ve learned from them. If you’ve followed my social media during my time as their mother, you’ve no doubt read countless quotes I either found pure genius or just funny. 

So to commemorate, I want to highlight some of Max and Dante’s words over the next few days. I’ll begin with one from Dante that I caught myself repeating just the other day. 

This past weekend I shared a bag full of children’s books and the movies with one of my neighbors and also included a train set the boys no longer played with. As I was carrying groceries from our car a few days later, my neighbor commented on how appreciative they were, and that their daughter has played with the train set for hours. 

As I walked away, Dante’s words played itself on my mind, “it feels good to help the world.” Whether it’s his gentle plea to “please give him something (referring to a panhandler),” or to asking his teacher to set aside a plate of food for his classmate who was missing out on their world day celebration (due to a mid-day dentist appointment), helping the world can be small acts of kindness and giving.

“…and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭20:35‬ ‭NET

“…Freely you received, freely give.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:8‬ ‭NET‬‬

Please Speak Up

July 11, 2016


The sad truth is when organizations like the KKK continues to stand in this country, racism has room to fester. When Dylan Roof shot and killed 9 inside the historic church in Charleston (simply because they were black), he lived to face his day in court. It also wasn’t deemed “domestic terrorism.” But here we are today, back at it again. It’s the same story, different scenario, and we only have the removal of some confederate flags to show for it. Not an acknowledgment that yes, it was a hate filled, atrocious, and racist crime. So when some want to say, ‘it’s not a color thing, a black and white thing, or racist thing,’ it most definitely is. 

Yesterday I had a brief conversation with a friend and there was a moment of laughter, soon followed by a moment of sadness. I likened having the need for whites to speak up, to parenting. There are things my husband and I can press on our boys and they remain unfazed, but then, if their uncle says it, they’re completely on board. Sadly, it’s the same for some woman in the board room (I’ve heard plenty of personal accounts from women’s summits). A women shares an idea and the group is unfazed, but a man takes said idea and shares it again and suddenly, it’s a great idea. Sadly, that is why we all need whites who are against racism to speak up. With all the history and the anger over what has happened lately, many have deemed blacks’ fear and Black Lives Matter as not credible.

Is injustice, unfairness and racism not real? No; it’s just not real enough to all. Please speak up against racism. 

In Giving, I Receive

November 16, 2012

I once had an art teacher say, ‘everything you make during your first year will pretty much be worthless.’ Well, that did not fly too well and I certainly beg to differ. The beginning work you make or partake in, sets the foundation for what is to come. Each piece, the missing link to the next. Each piece, purposeful for the final product or the whole.

I have been reminded of that statement because, I have recently begun to work in an unstructured manner that is really contrary to my natural inclination. In many ways, it has lead to something purposeful that is not strived for. I have also felt led to just give away some of my artwork. I do not always know why, but it just feels right. The awesome thing, is when the recipient reaches out and clues me in on the why. Which, for someone like myself, is very important.

During these last few years, God has also been teaching me the gift of simply, receiving. It is something I struggle with at times and it has gotten to a point where it is like God just says, ‘shut up and say, thank you.’ So, in giving away my artwork, I have had some interessing things occure. I have been ministered to and even if the lesson does not apply to me at the moment, instinctively, I know it someday will. Through my giving, I have also gotten requests for commissions, love offerings and people wanting to sow a seed into my work as an artist.

So, I am recieving almost simultaneously; and for the times I am incredulous, God has just as swiftly humbled me one way or another.

Yes, it costs me something… time, resources, going on a lim, but I have learned, stalling or not doing it, is not an option. Many times, if I have not done so, God brings back that conviction or simply puts me in a position where I simply have to do it. It might feel like going against the grain but in actuality, it is the proper thing to do and God confirms that for me every time.

Maybe for you, it is not about giving away a piece of artwork, but about giving, your time, insight, an encouraging word, money, a hug, dinner, you name it. Any act or gift (however small) is purposeful. It is also nowhere as big as the release it brings.

Share with me how you have received in your giving, especially as it is the season.

Thanks for reading! Iraci