A New Endeavor!

Hi!

I hope you are having a great day.

Easter is tomorrow and I hope, on top of celebrating with Jesus, that you have something wonderful planned with your family and/or friends.

So, before I continue, I’d like to wish you an early Happy Easter. May the Lord richly bless your life this year.

Now, to the point…..

I am beginning a new endeavor! I am super-excited and hope that everyone will pray for me as I start my journey.

As you may know, I am a quilter. I love fabric and creating with fabric. Up until recently, my fabric creations have consisted of quilts which grew into wall-hangings. A few weeks ago, I made a blank journal using fabric pictured below:

and a blank journal using fabric and glue pictured below:

And now, I would like to build on the journal-ing adventure by creating an actual praying journal complete with daily scripture, quotes of encouragement, suggested scripture reading for the day, space for notes, and a kindness challenge calendar with journaling space.

As I begin this journey, I ask that you keep me in your prayers through the whole process. I am not sure if I want to get the prayer journal published or just create the journal myself from beginning to end by creating the inside journaling space as well as the outside covers using either of the above techniques.

Either way, it’s something I have great interest in. Now for the courage to move forward

BTW, both of the above products are for sale here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/590714112/handmade-blank-journal?ref=listing_published_alert

https://www.etsy.com/listing/590717708/hand-made-blank-journal?ref=listing-shop-header-0

 

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Winter-y, Snowy Day

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Would you like a good dose of wind and blowing, wet, heavy snow to go with your ride to work?

And the weather is at it again….

We’re in for another winter storm warning with expectations of snow anywhere from 5-10 inches.

Oh Blah!

I was really hoping winter was just about over and spring would make its’ beautiful appearance, but no such luck anytime soon, it seems.

Ah well, I guess it’s a great day to do some quilting, get caught up on some other work or maybe just be lazy and play with the kiddos.

Happy day to you all.

Life Moment #5 – Visitors w/ a Lesson

There’s a country song that many of you may know aptly named ‘The Heart Don’t (Won’t?) Lie and then the old adage that tells one to follow his heart.

For a long time, I believed exactly that: the heart will never lead one astray.

However, through studying the Bible and attending church, my view has since changed. What you believe about the heart is truly dependant on the state of your heart. To explain: if you are led by the spirit your heart is right in the spirit. If you have a worldly perspective without a religious foundation, your heart will reflect that view. The Bible is very specific in matters of the heart:

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it?

or

Matthew 15:19

For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

When you delve a little more into the Bible and into your devotion to God, other verses start to stand out and make sense:

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

or

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Recently, I had some visitors. During our visit, we spoke of life and what the other has been dealing with. As one knows, it’s a cruel world we live in and life is hard, much more for some it seems.

Anyway, as I was doling out good-hearted, Bible-proven advice, it suddenly dawned on me how accurately I was describing my own life and how I needed to heed my own advice.

And, to connect with the intro, each story I told about myself or listened to from my visitors, aligned so perfectly to the scripture above.

It’s so easy to get caught up in our sorrows and in the sorrows of others, it takes a great amount of strength, with God’s help, to overcome the sorrows rather than wallow in them.

I do hope my visitors left feeling a little more confident in fighting their battles. I know, upon their leaving, my heart felt a little more comfort in knowing that God is with me always even if I don’t always feel it because as we know, feelings wreak havoc on us and more-often-than-not leave us feeling anxious, broken, saddened or the exact opposite. The only true peace we can ever acquire is God’s spirit within us. It truly is the state of our hearts that determine the outlook we have in this life.

Many blessings to each of you.

 

 

Sometimes the Answer is No

One of the hardest parts of a devoted prayer life and daily walk with the Lord for me is discerning between His will and mine. I battle inside to know if I am following Him or following my own selfish desires/wants/tendencies, but I fear – I know – that it’s the latter.

I read something recently about prayer and the answers we receive. I believe God answers our prayers. I have faith that whatever His answer is, it is the answer we need most. This doesn’t always align with what we want most. A thought to ponder when it comes prayers being answered is

God’s timing is perfect timing and may not always happen when we want it.

I question, when it comes to praying,  how to proceed when the answer I want is not the answer I get. I question whether I received an answer at all.

Within the last month, I found myself, my family, facing a very difficult situation, but someone I know and love with all my heart is smack-dab in the middle of the situation so whatever the result is, said person will be affected most. First I prayed and cried, then I worried and fretted, and then I prayed some more. I prayed very specifically for something concerning the situation because as the Bible states:

Therefore I tell you, all things you pray and ask for, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. – Mark 11:24

However, I felt slighted because I didn’t get what I prayed for. God’s answer, at that time, appeared to be no, not right now. So then, out of selfishness, I became angry. I broke down and I blamed God. I was distraught. I was heart-broken.

I lost a little faith at that point, but looking back a few weeks ago on that prayer, I have since re-examined the situation to see that my prayer was answered. It was answered according to His will, not mine. I just wasn’t seeing anything very clearly and I wasn’t putting my faith, my trust in God.

So, in essence, His timing is not always my timing, but His timing is always perfect timing.

And to be the best Christian I can be, I don’t have to like His timing,  but I do have to believe that God is looking out for my best interest and have trust in Him.

God bless us all in our daily struggles.

 

Life Moment #4: Love

So ladies and gents, how many of you have ever looked or your spouse and questioned:

  1. Who is this man/woman I married? What happened to my real husband/wife?

or

  1. Wow! How blessed I am to have such a hardworking, devoted, loving spouse! He/she has blessed my life in countless ways!

If you’re anything like me, I would have to say that these statements/questions pop into your mind on occassion. It doesn’t matter which of the above thoughts you have so much as it matters what you learn from those thoughts in regard to your spouse and to yourself. Both thoughts (or something similar) is just one more key to unlocking the most priceless chest in the world, the heart of both you and your spouse.

I admit it.

Life hasn’t been easy. Marriage hasn’t been easy. Parenting hasn’t been easy. Some day, maybe…..hopefully.

However, through all the messy and through all the joy, one thing that has led me in all my relationships (friends, family, kids, marriage) is:

“Love covers a multitude of sins.” 

                                 1 Peter 4:8

Only six run-of-the-mill words, but when used together carry great weight.

I don’t know about you, but I forgive quickly. I forget quickly. I, more-often-than-not, forgive someone for his/her wrong before an apology is even offered, before he/she can admit to his/herself the wrong committed against me. It’s very seldom that wrongs done against me stay on my mind or even in my mind.

I like to think it’s because I choose to be over it, to love rather than be angry.

And I hope it’s something I can teach my children, that it can influence others to follow God.

May God richly bless your marriage.

 

A Great BIG Uh-Oh

How many of you mothers and fathers out there act like the tooth fairy when your precious child loses a tooth?

We do!

Personally, we play Santa, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy.

Recently, my 5yo lost a tooth and placed it under her pillow. I like to have the kids put their tooth in a little plastic baggie so it doesn’t get lost. I also like them to put it on the bedside stand so it’s not too hard for the tooth fairy  to retrieve.

So, she did all the above.

However, the tooth fairy did a BIG oops!

Mommy forgot to take the tooth and put the dollar in the plastic baggie.

My daughter, sometime in the night, made a pallet beside our bed. When I got up this morning to get her up for school, I saw that tooth baggie on the bedside stand. Right at the moment I saw it, she walked over to it and looked at it.

Her face fell and she just quietly laid down on her bed.

At that point, I tried sneakily to grab the tooth baggie and put a dollar in its’ place, but out of the corner of her eye, I believe she saw me. She still hadn’t said anything. I asked her to get up to get ready for school and she did, looking all down and stuff. I asked her what was wrong and she said something about her tooth. I told her to look where her tooth is/was. She found the dollar, still disheartened.

As she stood before me, still disheartened, I asked her again what was wrong. She went on to tell me that the tooth fairy didn’t come, that dad had her tooth and she wanted it back.

Long story short, I convinced her that the tooth fairy had come and she had the dollar to prove it. She still wasn’t convinced so I told her if the tooth fairy didn’t come then she had to give the dollar back. Well, she then decided, skeptically I might add, the tooth fairy had her tooth and she was keeping the dollar.

I am totally unconvinced that my little fabricated story holds any weight with her. She’s one smart cookie which is either my bad luck or her good fortune, maybe both.

Anyway, at what ‘old’ is too old to keep encouraging belief in Santa, Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy?

I mean, I want my children to be honest at all times, but if we are constantly encouraging belief in something that is not real, aren’t we, in fact, lying to them…..in essence, teaching them to lie?

My sisters and I grew up believing in all these things and we are no worse for wear, but…….

We have taught them that Saint Nick is real, but just not as he is taught to be in society. They know eggs do not come from an Easter bunny, but the Easter bunny brings eggs and Easter snacks every year.

All of my young children believe with a little bit of skepticism.

Maybe I worry too much……

Anyway….

Smiles to you and Happy Parenting!

Restless

I am restless this evening.

I have a million things on my sleep-deprived mind and no answers to be found.

And I don’t feel like I accomplished anything today!

Where do I go from here?

Yes! I should be sleeping. Between the waking with baby and hubby snoring, the early morning routine on little sleep is starting to kick my behind by the time Wednesday rolls around. If I was a coffee-drinking woman, I’d probably be drinking 6-8 cups a day. Funny thing is, maybe that’s a normal day in the life of a coffee-drinker but I wouldn’t know because I obviously am not one!

Okay a little w(h)Ine with my cheese, but adulting sucks sometimes.

Temptations and Self-Control/Discipline

When January 1st rolled around, I set a goal, as most of us do each new year in the form of a New Year’s resolution. My goal, I decided, was to give up Dr. Pepper. I wanted to give it up just to get healthier. I don’t know about you, but drinking six+ cans a day to nothing is a hard feat to master. At first, my resolve was up. I can do this! I kept telling myself. Over and over. Day after day. I can do this! And I did……..

For a few weeks, but then I started getting headaches which progressed into dizziness…..

and dizziness is terrible!

My resolve started to wane.

I was dizzy

All.

The.

Time.

I started complaining about the headaches and feeling dizzy, quite frequently I might add.

One day I decided, one Dr. Pepper wouldn’t hurt me so I drank a Dr. Pepper just to curb the dizziness.

Then a few days later, another.

And so on and so forth.

Finally, my husband decided its cheaper to buy a pack of them. At first I said no, not to do that because, you know, easier access. At least if I was having to drive somewhere to buy one I wouldn’t drink as many.

Regardless, he did, but he hid them.

My sons acted as Dr.Pepper police and would only get me, from hiding, one can a day. The oldest even told me one day, you’ve already had your one can for the day.

And then I found them!

It was over! Now I could drink them at my leisure. One a day progressed to three a day.

My point here: self-control, self-discipline.

Self-control/self-discipline is a very important concept for us to learn and apply daily in our devotion to God.

Didn’t Jesus exhibit and master self-discipline/self-control when He walked the earth? Did He not have plenty of reason to give in to temptation, while remaining faithful and strong to His purpose?

My husband and I have been hitting this topic pretty regular with our children, trying and trying to help them learn it.

But, it came over me last night, in a conversation with our 12-, 8-, and 5- year old about self control during their fits of anger, that I have not exhibited self-control in my cravings for Dr. Pepper. They witnessed that journey with me. They saw my struggle of going without. And they saw me fail and give in to the temptation.

Now, I ask myself, how can I teach and preach self-control, if I am failing to exhibit it myself?

It was a very sobering thought!

So, back to the drawing board I go.

……And God is faithful, He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

I have always believed not only do children learn from their parents but vice versa as well.

Never have truer words been spoken.

Happy parenting!

Silence is Golden

Not to long ago, my son that goes between two homes said to me: “mom you talk to much, go sew or something (my hobby!).” It may sound a little rude, but to understand him is to understand his response. We bantered back and forth a minute or so then he said, “I go from a house where I am barely spoken to, to a house where everyone wants to talk constantly.”

Like him, I am not a big talker by nature. I enjoy the silence. I enjoy getting lost inside my head, trying to work through everything that has gone on in the day. I enjoy my alone time, as fleeting as it is.

At the same, I understand that being around others who are encouraging is uplifting. For many years, as a child and into adulthood, silence has been my friend, not because I don’t enjoy other people, but because talking all the time is exhausting.  My mind gets tired of trying to keep people entertained in conversation or in activity.

As a child, I didn’t talk much out of shyness.

As a teenager, I didn’t believe anyone wanted to listen to what I had to say.

As a young adult, it was a combonation of both.

And now, in my late thirties, I just don’ t care to talk much. Everything that can be said, has been said. Now, I just want to…..

listen…..to….

observe.

And I can hear more in one moment of silence than I can hear in hours of  conversation.

People really do just talk to darn much.

But, back to the beginning, I do go back to sewing or whatever task needs me at the time because I understand his need for silence. However, knowing what’s happening in his life keeps me going back to ‘talk’ to him periodically even if our talks are as short as, ‘hey buddy, I love you,’ or so.

Because, even in his silence and mine, I want him to know (1) he’s loved and (2) I am here if and when he needs me.

I’m really here. I’m not just present. I care about him. I care about his life. He makes a difference in my world and in the world as a whole.

Mostly, I want HIM to know that he’s somebody and to somebody, he is everything.

So no, I will not leave him alone.

Life Moments #3 – It’s Not the Years in Your Life that Count, but the Life in Your Years – Abraham Lincoln

My husband and two of our sons is at their group meeting tonight which is a lock-in at our church. They are members of a group called Troops of St. George which is similar to Boys Scouts. The group gets together at least once a month – fathers and sons – to pray together and to engage in learning skills to be used throughout their life. My hope for them being part of the group is to grow their relationship with God and to continue a life-long commitment to our Savior in what vocation He puts on their hearts.

So, for this evening into some time tomorrow, it is just the girls and I. I appreciate the chance for a little less umm…..I will got with noise…I appreciate the chance for a little less noise, but to be honest, I have a love/strongly dislike relationship with this commitment each month. I love it because, as I said, it’s a chance for my boys and my husband to grow their faith among like-minded individuals (more on that word choice in a moment), but I strongly dislike due to the fact that life seems so unbelievably busy for all of us that it tends to kick our behind most of the time. I sincerely believe my husband and I do not get enough quality time together to talk, to be silly, to relax, heck to even sleep decently most of the time. However, it is a sacrifice I am willing, albeit grudgingly sometimes, to make. In the end, their faith is an important matter.

Now as for my word choice mentioned above: like-minded individuals……People are all different. I do not have any prejudices and I hope my boys can be the light that brings others to God. However, I want for my children to devote their life to God in whatever vocation he puts in their heart. We, as Christians, have a responsibility to (1) live as God is asking us to live and (2) witness through our words and actions to others. With that said, having the influence of like-minded peers encourages us to stay strong in our faith. Therefore, these meetings once a month are surely a blessing to our family,  in more ways than one.

Another blessing from the meetings is the chance for me to spend time with my four girls, bonding and learning of our own. They are young, the oldest is eight and the youngest just six months. We aren’t part of a group as of yet , but maybe sometime in the future. No matter though because we can still grow our faith.

Right now my husband and I are spending the oh-so-very-important quality time with our little ones, setting the foundation of what’s most important in this life: faith. For that, we are grateful.