I get a little obsessed sometimes...

I've been unusually silent around here for a couple weeks. Two factors played into that. First, I went on a date with my husband and came home to this.


That circle looks suspiciously like a small foot print if you ask me....

So I was computer-less for over a week. I'm ashamed to say that it was very difficult and annoying to me to be without it. But God pours grace on me in merciful doses. He lovingly rebuked me for relying on myself and for focusing too much on checking tasks off my list and not relying on him. He knows better. Here's what I mean.

Over a month ago I met with a bunch of ladies over coffee to discuss our annual Christmas Tea that the women's ministry at my church puts on every year. We expressed our hope that this would be a worshipful experience where we stand in awe of the incarnate God-man Jesus Christ. A time of personal worship and reflection in the midst of a crazy-busy season. I volunteered for the visual aspect of the evening having been inspired by the display at a conference I went to recently where graphics were "written" onto a screen behind the speaker as they were speaking. The other aspects of our evening were to consist of reading scripture and quotes on the incarnation and worshiping in song, so I thought this type of presentation would add visual interest highlighting our readings. I might add at this point that I had no idea how to accomplish this "write-on" effect.

So I went home {pre-laptop screen death} and set to work. I Googled "how to make text look like it is being handwritten on the screen" and then jumped down the rabbit hole. I won't bore you with all the details... the abbreviated timeline looks like this.

Working comfortably.

Laptop screen death.

Not working, not stressing.

Not working, stressing a little.

Not working, starting to sweat.

Not working, demanding a new computer.

Black Friday, found a deal.

One week out from the event we had a meeting to see how everything was going. We decided to change up the text a little so any work I had already done would have to be scrapped. It's cool though, I'm not one to shrink back from a challenge.

I began again that very night watching tutorial after tutorial and attempting to create a design I was happy with in Publisher. I finally left the computer and sat down with a pencil sketching three designs to serve as slides for our presentation. Two days later {5 days until showtime} I got back to the computer with digital copies of my designs in a program called After Effects, of which I had no exposure to before this project. After 4 hours of trial and error I went to bed.


I don't like failing. I don't like having an idea and giving it up. But I was fearing cut-bait time. So I got up early and prayed. "Father, you are the giver of all knowledge. I do not have the knowledge to complete this project and I'm okay with that. But if this is the type of presentation that you would like to be at the Christmas Tea, you are going to have to give me the knowledge to complete it."


Back to the computer.

Came across two tutorials that tied it all together.

3 days later, project completed.

Last night was the tea, and the presentation was not perfect by any means. But it was what God provided for us, and it served to lift up his name in our little church. I'm so honored and humbled to be used in this way to accomplish his purposes. I love this kind of thing, art, computer work, learning something new, figuring out problems, a challenge. God blessed me by allowing me to be a blessing through art, and my heart is soaring.

After the project was finished I started cleaning up my workspace. Four nights of 11pm-1am work was evidenced by 12 {not joking} coffee cups and a mound of chocolate candy wrappers. So I survived on grace, coffee, and chocolate. But really just grace.

My pastor put a copy of the visual presentation online. He had to speed it up 4x because the entire video is over an hour as the graphics paused during songs and longer readings. But it gives you an idea.

2013 Ladies Christmas Tea

He is the giver of all good things.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). And as humbled as I am to be given the gift of figuring out this visual concept. I am more humbled by what the visual concept speaks to.

Glory of Eternity Past. Jesus is eternal. He always was, and always will be. He was not merely an appearance of God, a theophany. Nor a misunderstood teacher of the law. He was God in the flesh.

Veiled Glory. But we could not see this ancient glory. It was hidden from us in the form of a baby, and then a boy who grew up like any other boy, and then a man rejected and despised. Even his own family did not recognize him as the incarnate one.

Glory Unveiled for Eternity. But Jesus is not veiled now and will be unveiled for eternity. "And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea all that is in them saying, 'Worthy is the lamb who was slain to receive blessing and honor and glory and power forever and ever!'" {Revelation 5:13} Everything will worship him. He will be fully recognized as God in the flesh.

{Thoughts from Found in Him by Elise Fitzpatrick}


I pray that you will take time to see the shocking display of love come down for us this Christmas. Not just the cute little baby in the manger, but the fact that that baby was God. God humbling himself to be the most helpless, dependent thing I can think of, a human child. And in becoming a man and dying accomplishing for us victory over sin a death.

Now that's a reason to party. So go get some nog and celebrate ;).