Monthly Archives: November 2016

A Harvest of Thanksgiving

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Tis’ the season to be thankful…

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love the idea of school starting back up again, and the new school supplies. I love to put away the short sleeve shirts and pull out the warm cozy sweaters that have been hiding since spring. I love that I can add layers to warm up, rather than fighting the ability to cool off. I love the changing colors of the leaves through the season until they drop from their branches. And I love the idea of sharing openly and telling others what I am thankful for on Thanksgiving.

But why wait until Thanksgiving to recognize all that God does for you each and every day? What a privilege it is to say “thank you” to God for the many everyday blessings that come our way!

God’s word says, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” Colossians 4:2

And also, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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As I reflect on Thanksgiving, it reminds me of the harvest season. Some synonyms for harvest are: reap, uncover, store, glean, and gather. These are very active verbs that can help describe a heart of thankfulness as a harvest. Uncover the hidden, forgotten things that we can be thankful for. Store up and remember the good that God has blessed you with. Reap the joy that is a direct result of thankfulness. Glean from the normal every day things that which is good, releasing what isn’t so. And gather the memories to be retold to your friends and family of God’s faithfulness, even through hard times.

I urge you to begin the search for the harvest that thankfulness brings. I find that it changes my outlook on life and the world in which I live. I have the privilege to see what God sees; finding the little things to be thankful for in the midst of some heavy storms of life. I recognize more of what God has done in my life when I take the time to reflect and give thanks for His personal love and care.

I am super thankful for many things. I am thankful for the made. team that provide opportunities to encounter God’s word and dwell there, understanding how God fearfully and wonderfully made us in His creative image! I encourage each of you, to participate in the next made. Creative Gathering and see what God desires to share with you, personally. This conversation with God does take time. It takes a quiet, intentional, and purposeful study of His Word.

I am also thankful for the family God has blessed me with and the gift they give to me in taking time during the month to explore my creative side. This is a true gift.

Slow and pause to reflect on today. Thank God for the colorful changing leaves falling like snowflakes in the breeze, the patchy blue sky after a grey dreary day, the small scurrying critters around the yard, or the light filtering through a stand of trees. Enjoy God’s creation during this season – take a walk, kick up leaves, breathe in the full aroma of fall ~ Enjoy your personal abundant harvest of thankfulness.

~Shauna- made. Creative Team 

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Stormaggedon + made. = Rainbows?

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The day was all rainbows and smiles!

The day was all smiles and rainbows!

The news all around the Puget Sound centered around Stormageddon – two powerful storms approaching the Pacific Northwest and guaranteeing rain and wind that would come to close to hurricane strength.  Warnings to stock up on food and water, candles, fresh batteries for flashlights were featured on all newscasts.  This would be a storm for the books, one that would rival or be greater than the Columbus Day storm of 1962.

And of course, the brunt of the storm was to hit October 15, the same day as our made Gathering.  As schools and colleges cancelled events, the made team prayerfully consider cancelling.  But it was decided to move forward with our Gathering that had been planned for months, with a contingency plan in place should the storm become too great forcing us to end early.

Just as the impending storm had the ability to cause distraction from normal activities, so can the circumstances of our life.  We can easily become so over scheduled and overwhelmed that we go into high gear to prepare and fix and control whatever may come into our lives.

When the disciples were in the midst of a busy season of ministry Jesus told them to come away with Him to a solitary place.  Had I been a disciple my response to His invitation would have been, “wait, I will come but first I need to – fill in the blank – then I will take time away with you.”  And yet, Jesus calls his Beloved daughters to stop now and come.  He knows that even in the midst of busy seasons of life, what we need most is to come away to a solitary place.

And that is what our made Gatherings are intended to be – an opportunity to come away to a solitary place – to step out of the storms of life and enter into a place of peace, community, creativity and time with our Creator. On this day, despite the promised storms, we gathered together to reflect on what it means to live as God’s Beloved.  We entered into creative spaces as a response to God’s invitation; we journaled our way through scripture; we were fed and shared life and laughter.  Though it was rainy and windy outside, inside we enjoyed a precious time of renewal and refreshment.

We ended the day with an amazing reminder of our Creator’s love for us with a beautiful rainbow over Puget Sound. Stormegeddon never came, it fizzled out – but the rainbow was a reminder that God’s promises stand forever.

Perhaps you were unable to join us, but the good news is that Jesus’ invitation is an open one.  At anytime, despite the busyness and storms of life, He invites and welcome you, His Beloved, to come away to a solitary place with Him.  We look forward to seeing you at our next made Gathering, date TBD.

~Cindy Waple-Creative Team Member