Love Reflections

How much do I cherish and seek after love? What am I willing to lay aside in order to receive love more fully? (What would possess a person to wear shoulder cut outs in a snow storm? Am I proud of how quickly I am distracted from focusing on Love? Nope…I am shameless; and in that lies my redemption.)

I am unflinching in my confession that I have no hope of ever being kind, unselfish, or loving on my own. Instead, I admit that there is not a shred of anything good in me, except by the Love of God.

Yesterday, I was very upset with my dear husband. I felt that I deserved an apology, I felt that it was delaying beyond what I wanted; so I prayed out my feelings (and my opinion) to God. I told Him that I wanted an apology. I prayed that God would “move his heart to see his error”. (This sounds absolutely awful as I type out the reality of yesterday, but, it’s what I did.)

Anyhow, as I am praying for my husband to be convicted in his spirit for offending me, I felt like I was being asked a personal question.

“Gracie, did you apologize before I died for you?”

Gulp.

Then I remembered the following:

I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

JOHN 13:34‭-‬35 AMP
http://bible.com/1588/jhn.13.34-35.AMP

Hmmm…

How have I been loved? Oh, that’s right, Jesus didn’t just forgive me before I apologized; He took the consequence that I had chosen, before I chose it.  Additionally, He prayed on my behalf, seeking forgiveness for me, before I apologized.

“Just as I have loved you…”

Before an apology.

Before repentance.

Before I even knew that I had sinned.

Ouch.

Instead of simply praying, “Father, forgive him for he knows not what he is doing”, I was also praying;  ” Father, forgive me, for I know not what I am doing. ”

Yesterday I was reminded that I was not reflecting the Father’s love.

What does my story have to do with you?

Are you reflecting His love?

Are you, like Him, praying that the Father forgives them, for they know not what they are doing?

If not, may the Father forgive you, for you know not what you are doing.

<3,

Gracie K.

Lightbreak in the Burrow 2

Lightbreak in the Burrow

Frugal Friday at The Holland Museum

With six kids, we enjoy every sale that we can find! =)

Birthdays will be here before we know it, and I was delighted to see the low prices at

The Holland Museum gift shop.

 

Where else can you find unique gifts while honoring my Dutch kinsman by saving so much money? 🙂

Seriously, I sincerely hope to see you emerging from the Museum with a smile on your face and a gift shop bag in your hand!

This is my eighth and final post in honor of my beloved museum.

The previous links are available at the bottom of this page.

I leave you with some final looks at my favorite place in Holland, Michigan; with a sincere wish that I bump into you soon…soaking up the beauty and absorbing the history!

 

Thankful Thursday – An Artistic Escape

Wordless Wednesday – Ancient Medallion

More Toys!

Toys!

Perspective at The Holland Museum

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

My Hideaway

Thankful Thursday – An Artistic Escape

This Thursday, I am thankful for the artistic escape offered at The Holland Museum in Holland, Michigan.

Paid admission affords patrons the opportunity to sketch The Dutch Masters…or anything else that you are inspired to create.

What an incredibly thoughtful opportunity for a moment of serenity.

If your commute won’t allow you to sketch in person; feel free to take a few stolen moments and simply relax as you bask in the beauty.

HM Gallery Sketching

HM An Artistic Escape photo by Gracie K Harold 2016

What are you thankful for? #ThankfulThursday

My previous posts in this series about The Holland Museum can be found below:

My Hideaway

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

Perspective at The Holland Museum

Toys!

More Toys!

Wordless Wednesday – Ancient Medallion

More Toys!

I simply couldn’t resist a few more photos of the Vintage Toys on display here in Holland, Michigan.

Additionally, look at all the opportunities available for some quality time:

The Toy Exhibit runs until just after Tulip Time 2016, so hurry on over! =)

More information on The Holland Museum for this and other exhibits is found here.

This is post number five out of seven in this series.  The previous links are below:

Toys!

Perspective at The Holland Museum

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

My Hideaway

 

Toys!

A wave of nostalgia sweeps over me and I remember lazy afternoons in a myriad of antique stores and flea markets, hoping to catch a glimpse of a vintage tin toy.  I snap out of my reverie and smile.  The Tom and Merrill Taylor Collection of Vintage Toys has been extended at The Holland Museum and it is delightful!

 

Not only is the collection immense, but there are also interactive parts to the exhibit as well.

This kid-friendly collection is heart-warming for kids of all ages!  What a sweet retreat from the hustle and bustle of life (or uncooperative weather). =)

Hopefully you will bring your friends and family for a walk down “memory lane”; and leave with new memories!

If I’m there, I promise I’ll even take turns with the wind up toys 😉

This is my fourth of seven posts in honor of The Holland Museum. The other three posts are listed below:

My Hideaway

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

Perspective at The Holland Museum

Perspective at The Holland Museum

Pour yourself the caffeinated beverage of choice, and relax.

Here’s a fresh perspective on The Holland Museum.

Enjoy!

Perspective HM

Perspective HM

A Light Perpective HM

A Light Perspective

An Up-Close Perspective

An Up-Close Perspective

Happy Sunday from Holland, Michigan!

For more photographs, see my previous posts as listed below:

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

My Hideaway

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

I love capturing “lightplay” in my photographs.

The following shots were taken at The Holland Museum, in early afternoon, about three weeks ago:

Banister Lightplay HM

Banister Lightplay

Handrail Lightplay HM

Handrail Lightplay

Pillar Lightplay HM

Pillar Lightplay

 

This is part 2 of 7 this week, featuring my beloved Holland Museum.  Yesterday’s post is located here.

Enjoy your Saturday; and whether you travel as a local or a tourist; get your photography on at the Holland Museum!

 

My Hideaway

I travel through my town with the eyes of a tourist.

I awaken every morning with the prayer that I will either see something new for the first time, or that I will see something old in a new way.

I roam about town in my free time, discovering and exploring…yet I consistently end up at or near The Holland Museum.  At first glance, it may seem as if my prayer wasn’t answered.  I assure you, it was.  Every single visit reveals something new to me.  Let me explain.

front view HM

When I was a single mom, I would load up my three kids into the car, and we would explore the museum.  The docent would hand us an interactive “i-Spy” print out and we were off in a controlled-not-quite-running pace to locate each item.

After our game was complete, I would gather the children together as we stood in their hushed awe in front of the military display.  I would explain to them why each of the brave men were honored, and I would gently explain why we needed to be thankful to our soldiers and their families. Some of my favorite memories are of their three sets of pudgy hands quietly folded as they stood in somber silence, their cherubic faces reflected in the display case.

Then we would traipse upstairs, following the docent as he or she led us into the world of The Dutch Masters.  My children were immersed in beauty and culture as they soaked up Rembrandt and others with the eager innocence of preschoolers.  On the way down the staircase, we would take turns feeling the coolness of the marble on our hands.

Eight years and a beautiful marriage later, I was sitting at my laptop when the near-panic of fear threatened to wash over me.  I knew that it was time to write my book, and I had everything that I needed to go forth…except for courage.  I ran to my car, and found myself parked in front of my favorite hideaway.

Soon I was accompanied by a kind docent named Roger.  We chatted amicably and he reminded me so much of my grandpapa that soon I was pouring out my fears to him in a torrent.  He smiled gently and said, “Well, it looks like you just need to jump off that precipice in faith, girl!  Go write your book!”.

I did.

I have no regrets…only gratitude for the wisdom of a docent.

This entire week will be dedicated to The Holland Museum, in honor of Roger.

If you’re in Holland, Michigan; come visit.

Tell the receptionist that because of Roger, Gracie K. sent you. 😉

If you can’t visit, I will include a few of my favorite architectural shots for you below.

Soak up the beauty like I do…and remember that each visit paves the way for richer memories on your next one.