Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

2.28.2013

I'm Sorry

sorry
Photo Credit
~ a guest post by Jasmine Baucham~
 
“Now, say you’re sorry.”
 
We know the picture well: two petulant children at odds with each other, both in a full-on pout, arms crossed, angry tears threatening to spill from their eyes. Mom stands in the middle playing referee. She will make everything right by telling them exactly what to say: I’m sorry. I was wrong. And then we can breathe a sigh of relief as they go on their merry ways, free to steal each other’s toys, pull each other’s hair, and smack each other upside the head another day. Whew.
 
Closure.
 
We all have a certain idea of what it means to bring about the conclusion of an argument, or even a relationship. And, in most cases, it’s just a grown-up version of the petulant children: “I’m sorry.” “Me, too.” “I was wrong.” “Me, too.” “I love you.” “Me, too.” Whew.
 
Except, I’ve learned a hard lesson: sometimes, adults just don’t say I’m sorry.
 
And, even when they do, it just doesn’t make things... okay.
 
Gone are the days of half-hearted apologies and side-hugs that allow us to jump back into the world of Legos and finger-paints. Some hurts are just too deep, some wounds are just too searing, some lives are just too fragile for an apology to fix things.
 
And sometimes, apologies just don’t come.
 
The Lord has put forgiveness on my heart lately.
 
Colossians 3:12-13 says,

“Put on, then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.”

 As the Lord has forgiven you.
 
Have you ever heard that saying that bitterness is like you drinking poison in the hopes that someone else will die?
 
The seeds of bitterness grow from those little battles that don’t end in reconciliation. They grow when we feel we’ve been wronged without apology, when we feel that someone has acted without a compassionate heart, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, or forbearance towards us. At first, those seeds are sharp and cripplingly painful...but, after awhile, they settle into a dull, colorless ache that slowly siphons the joy from our hearts and our lives.
 
Maybe I’m the only one who’s ever been there before, in which case I freely admit that I have a wicked heart that constantly needs to be turned to the truths of God’s Word.
 
 And here’s a truth that floored me the other day: I don’t need anyone to apologize to me, I don’t need to be vindicated in a temporal sense, I don’t need to be acknowledge as the victim, the wronged party, in order to experience closure. Because Christ either nailed the sins committed against me to the Cross, or he will exact judgment for them on that last day. Either way, it is finished. I am not bound to sorrow or bitterness until the chapter closes satisfactorily. Because it’s already done. And I’m free from it just like I’m free from the fetters of my own sin.
 
Free. Isn’t that an overwhelmingly beautiful thought: freedom in Christ? Free not to be offended or wounded or prideful! Free to bask in who he says I am! Free to prize reconciliation, because it’s a beautiful thing, but to realize that, even if it never comes, we are reconciled to the God of the universe through the sacrifice of Christ.

Those pouty children don’t even understand what a humble apology or tender forgiveness even is! But I’m learning the value of both these days, and it’s radical and revolutionary and humbling and joyful. And my heart is learning the beauty of closure that has nothing to do with someone saying the right words or doing the right things, and everything to do with who I am in Christ.



By Jasmine Baucham

  Jasmine is the oldest of Voddie and Bridget Baucham's eight children. She is a homeschool graduate, an English major, and a sixth grade teacher at a classical school in Houston. She is also a published author who currently lives at home where she continues to assist her father in his research, is currently pursuing her master's in liberal arts at Houston Baptist university, and enjoys spending spare time with family, friends, and plenty of books.
 



Photo Credit: micagoto

2.27.2013

God's Hand in Hindsight

perspective

A Realization

 
During a normal family devotional time we were discussing contentment and discontentment. As I listened to the discussion I realized our discontentment was against God. No matter the situation, husband, children, family, job or where you live, the truth of discontentment is questioning a sovereign God. "Why, What, When..."

As I sat forgiving my family and as they forgave me for the discontentment toward one another, I realized God's hand in my life once again.
 

A Story


Earlier on this day my father had visited us. After he was there for a while he began to share with my older son about his life and choices that brought severe consequences. You see my father grew up in Hawaii, and the year he graduated high school his parents and siblings headed to the mainland. To be exact they moved to a small town in Washington (where I would be born and raise my children), but my father stayed behind with no intention of moving with his family.

He stated to my son that he was a delinquent as a teen who didn't listen to his parents. Long story short, as an adult he landed himself in jail with only one way to get out: a police escort to the airport to board a plane heading to the mainland to his parents in Washington. As I listened to my father's story, all the facts didn't matter. What I heard was "do you see My hand? I am your God: a sovereign God." You see, God brought my father to Washington...and I am here and my children are here because of that: "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb (Psa 139:13)."
 

Horrible Circumstances? Great God!

 
He, my Heavenly Father, has a plan for you and me that spans the generations. I will trust that He is sovereign and will work out that plan--even through troubling circumstances. Forcing this severe consequence upon my father's life of leaving Hawaii is where God's will in my life began.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to be] conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified (Rom 8:28-30)."
God's supreme, preeminent and undisputable authority is seen all around us. Take the time to see His sovereignty in your own life.  "Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: "I [am] the LORD, who makes all [things], Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself (Isa 44:24)."

By Patty W.

Mrs. W. is the able helpmeet to her husband, Brad, and the joyful mother of four wonderful children: Uriah, Aidan, Iliana, and Olin. When she's not homeschooling or organizing (you should see her closets!) or encouraging the women around her or cooking (you're missing out!) or opening her house up for hospitality or nursing baby Olin, she's probably finding deals on Craigslist and at garage sales or coaching volleyball. The rest of us can only wonder when she sleeps...
 

Photo Credit: Jack Fussel
New King James Version, © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
 

2.26.2013

An Unprecedented Year {and a Giveaway!}

This has been quite the year for this little corner. 

Untitled
Photo Credit
Some of the events have been beautiful, and some of them difficult.  Some of the rockings have been gentle, some traumatic.  But the little corner is still here, and I've just spread a crisp new rose-flecked tablecloth on the tiny table, lit the candles, and put the pot of tea on.  Stay for a moment more, pretty please? 
 
 
In this, our fourth year, Mikaela and I have shared things we have never shared before.  I tackled subjects like the "Myth of the No Man's Land Between Childhood and Marriage" (here and here) that I had never been prepared to tackle before.  Mikaela took on the "Waiting Room"--when God leaves us waiting, and, so we think, hanging (here and here). We invited you to laugh with us at our adventures, and have fun with us when we took you on a "ride" too.  We took risks and opened our hearts to you in a new way. 
 
4 ever
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And it has been awesome. 
 
Because God has blessed like never before. 
Because I have a place in which to share my burning scribbles. 
And because you readers--you friends, have been more dear and sweet than ever.  Hailing from Alaska and New England, the UK and the Philippines, you have made this fourth year of blogging the best one yet! 

 
We had our most difficult year of learning to respond with grace to the foes and learning to ignore the ugly words, but it was your bright smiles in our comment section that made this corner that much brighter this year. 
 
So, because of you, and what God has done here this year, we launch our festival week: our fourth blogoversary. 
fly away
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Posts from authors you are very familiar with and some whose story you have yet to hear...every day.
  • Two giveaways!  (More on that in a bit!)
  • Polls and fun and celebration! 
  • A blog redesign (we need some new paint on these walls!) that will be revealed towards the end of this week. 
  • We would even have confetti and Red Velvet cake and party favors for all if we could, but what with the confetti and crumbs, that makes for an awful lot of vacuuming afterwards. 

Giveaways

Giveaway 1:

Our first giveaway is of these cupcake-pink cabochon chrysanthemum earrings that I made especially for one of you! 



I'm so excited to see who wins this one! 
Here are the rules for this giveaway:
  • You must be a follower.
  • You gain one entry per comment on each blog post during this our festival week. 
  • Only one comment per blog post per person.
  • Winner will be determined via random drawing. 
  • Giveaway ends Friday, February 1st at 11:59, PST after which the winner will be posted and have 48 hours to comment back on this blog with their email address, which will not be posted. 
  • May be shipped worldwide!

Giveaway 2:

Our second giveaway is of this phenomenally encouraging book by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin. 



It's Not That Complicated: How to Relate to Guys in a Healthy, Sane, and Biblical Way.  Mikaela is in the middle of reading it right now and is loving it so much that she insisted this is what we had to give you guys! 

I just had to give you a full glimpse of Mikaela's terrific floor to ceiling bookshelf. 
Spot some favorites in there?


 
To enter for this book, use the Rafflecopter below. 
But first, I'll leave you with a verse that seems to have been the theme verse for the year for One Bright Corner:
 


"If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall fall on me,' Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You." ~Psalm 139:11-12
 


Four Candles
Photo Credit


Photo Credit:
First Photo: Lauren Treece
Second Photo: caryn74
Third Photo: Darwin Bell
Fourth Photo: Uwe Hermann
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

2.19.2013

Capital Offenses

Typewriter
Photo Credit
 
Capitalization, in case the concept wasn’t painted across your forehead in grade two, is extremely important.  For instance, the time I forgot to capitalize God’s “Law” and several other synonyms in an important college paper all about God’s Law…and was docked ten points.  Ouch. 
 
Lesson learned.  If you want to gain points on school papers and camouflage your innate blondness, I highly recommend you capitalize on the discipline of capitalization. 
 

Capitalizing Things Which Ought not

to be Capitalized

 
Here is the case (upper, that is) in point.  I was attending a music class, and you can picture me planted in my cold metal seat in the position of rapt attention: leaning forward at just the right angle, notebook in lap, pen at the readiness, eager to learn from my new teacher.  And learn I did—many things, in fact.  But I also learned that she had her capitals mixed up in that moment when she shared how she views music as a life-changer: “I like to think of Music with a capital ‘M’,” she said.  Message received, and later expanded upon as a New Age one. 
 
I also received the same message when at Bryce Canyon for a park ranger event on astronomy.  Right before the event in which my family and I were interested was a talk that, from the printed summary, sounded strange.  We opted not to go, but when we arrived early for the astronomy event and were simply waiting around, we peeked in at the end of the talk.  The song that was playing with the video at that point blew us all out of the room and back to our seats in the hall where we gaped at each other.  “The Sun is our salvation,” the ranger had also said, and there was no doubt about the capital in that sentence.  Message received. 
 
Last week I was listening to a fascinating book about a true story.  I had gleaned that the author was not a Christian, but was still learning much from the book.  And then I reached the point where the man’s beloved wife died, in which he shared that his one comfort was Evolution—because this was the cycle everyone went through, and those who had not emotionally survived the death of a loved one had previously been weeded out by Survival of the Fittest.  I doubt he actually used capitals (remember, I only had the audio book), but that was what he meant.  Message received. 
 

Capital Offenses Slip Through Spell

Check and are Revealed in Heart Check

 
The curious thing you’ll notice from these stories is that I don’t even have to capitalize words on paper—everyone can tell from my life what things are capital in my heart. 
 
  • 100 adorable projects pinned on Pinterest, yet I have no time or only a few minutes to spare to read my bible.
  • My Plans are wrecked, and I’m upset with mama or sister or papa or brother.
  • I jumped up on the double when a friend I am doing Work for calls, and I put off a family job I had committed to. 
  • I love spending time on Myself, but I put off ministry to a needy girl. 
  • I steer my life by my Emotions, but god’s will is as foggy as pea soup. 
Yet God says, with correct capitalization:

"You shall have no other gods before Me."  ~Exodus 20:3

 
Capitalization, you see, is not second grade stuff. 

Photo Credit: Arielle Fragassi
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2.12.2013

Figuring Out Love



I have just completed a literary conquest: I have joined the rest of the world and read Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
 
And, just as one might expect from a novel whose title refers to a roaring, blowing squall of wind, I found myself horrified at the ugliness of the story, enthralled by the power of the characters, and affected in my views of man, sin, and the heart.
 
Emily brought me a bit too close for comfort to Heathcliff. He's a man who, despite his pathetic and pitiable beginnings, turns powerful, rich, and manipulative. He's a man who, despite the fact that he "loves" more passionately and more deeply than many people ever do, also hates and wreaks revenge onto three generations of the Earnshaw family. He's a man who, despite his great promise, becomes a murderous, bitter, manipulative psychopath. In short, he's a man who idolizes his beautiful childhood playmate, Catherine Earnshaw, who never forgives those (including Catherine) who separate them, and who spirals out of control because he will never once acknowledge his self-absorption or his vengefulness.
 
After Heathcliff reaches his teens in the book, I never once liked him. And yet...I understood him. This is the brilliance of Emily Brontë's writing; wrong is so very wrong, and never meant to be sympathized, but one can also see oneself in the wrong. One can see how every heart is deceitful and desperately wicked--how every heart could go the way of Heathcliff but for the grace of God.
 
Heathcliff stands in stark contrast with Edgar Linton. Linton marries Catherine Earnshaw out of love and devotion for the selfish, but nevertheless lovable, creature. Catherine, on the other hand, has no love for Edgar--she chooses him for what he can give to her, not what he is to her. However, even as Edgar realizes that Catherine's heart belongs wholly to Heathcliff; even as Catherine thinks only and always of herself; even as Heathcliff continues to taunt him--Edgar remains steadfast. His love for Catherine is quiet, loyal, sacrificial, and sweet, while Heathcliff's love is passionate, vacillating, mercenary, and egocentric.
 
Through three generations of Earnshaws, Emily Brontë explores the themes of love and revenge. Through 320 pages, I was terrified, shocked, contemplative--and at the last, relieved.
 
As we approach that rosy day of all-things love, I wonder, do we love like Heathcliff or like Linton? Do we love for what we can get or what we can give? Do we love patiently or portentously? Do we love in spite of hurts or in the absence of hurts? It's time to figure this out--not because Valentine's Day is on Thursday, but because the success or demise of future generations depends upon it.



Photo Credit: Gabriela Pinto

2.05.2013

The Dress that God Gave Me


It was the beautiful cable-knit that first begged my notice.  Haphazhardly hung amidst cast-off 80’s dresses with stripes plus daisies and 90’s evening gowns of a weird holographic purple at a diverse thrift store, this dress was different.  I rescued the dress from its place of scorn and examined it.  Brand new; seemed to be the right length and size; quite simple but somehow lovely; but was grey my color?  I tossed it over my arm to try on. 
 
A few minutes later, I pulled the grey dress over my head in the fitting room, and I knew I loved it.  But as I rotated in front of the full-length mirror, a question niggled in my mind.  Was it too small for me?  I stepped out of the fitting room, and a friend gushed, “Oh, grey is definitely your color!” 
 
Mama agreed, and, in fact, everyone loved the dress, except for the very question that I had had—it was definitely too tight.  Although the tag clearly stated my size, the fit of the dress on me was simply too form-fitting to be modest.  With some sadness, I hung it on the rack of “discards,” and tried to forget about the dress that had almost been perfect.  I knew I wouldn’t want to wear it as it was, but I still had one of those moments in which I mentally ran through the far-fetched options of a fabric-stretching machine or a wonder-slip to try to make it work. 
 
But the day sped its way on.  A happy blur of trying on, laughter with friends, finding finds, and chatting.  Soon enough another store, another town.  Another rack of clothes, but the same grey cable-knit fabric beckoning to my astonished self.  I was convinced my eyes were lying to me, but I pulled it out and held it at arm’s length, and had to admit that it was the very same dress I had seen at a different thrift store!  With trepidation, I pulled at the neck and peered at the size, only to be floored by the realization that it was several sizes bigger than the other dress I had tried on. 

 
I could not keep this secret to myself, and with excitement bursting out of me, ran across the store: “Guys!  Guess what!” 

 

 The fitting room mirror confirmed that this dress was a perfect fit, and as I stood in front of the mirror, smoothing the fabric down with my hands, I had to be overwhelmed with this gift from my Lord.  Because, really, what are the chances of finding the same dress in the perfect, larger size at a different, random thrift store?  Statistically—I’m sure the chances are small.  But the chances are not small when you are loved by the God who created the world.  In that moment in that 3 by 3 fitting room I was humbled to realize that my Father is one who delights in giving His daughter a gift like that to bring a smile to my face and refreshed faith to my heart.  It was as if He were reaching down from Heaven with a hug and saying, “Because I love you!”  He was living out Isaiah 43:4:

“Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life.”

 
And He was fulfilling James 1:17:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

  And naturally, I wanted to share with you all that wonderful present from God that I opened last week!  What gifts has He given you lately? 

 
P.S. Melanie is the photographer responsible for the photos.  Didn't she do a great job?  She sweetly agreed, and we had such fun doing this photo shoot in our beautiful backyard!
 



Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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