Monday, October 20, 2014

Multitude Monday

Knots in my stomach, an ache in my heart and the beginnings of a pounding headache.  This is my reaction when my child is hurt by the unkindness of others.  The emotional hurt manifests itself in a physical way. 

It's hard when you have a child, no matter how old, who aches to have a friend and to feel like they belong.  I can't make others be kind.  I can't force people to be his friend.  I can't ask others to just acknowledge him or talk to him.  I cannot do anything to make it better.  And that aggravates the pain I feel even more. 

This morning as I woke up, my Bible fell open to this passage and the words in verse 29 leapt out at me. 

Psalm 69:29-31 (NIV) ~

But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
    may your salvation, God, protect me.

I will praise God’s name in song
    and glorify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox,
    more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
 
In pain, the Psalmist still gave praise and thanksgiving to God.  It's so easy to praise Him when things are going well and when I'm happy.  It's not so easy, when I'm in either physical or emotional pain. Yet, this brings pleasure to God.  It pleases Him when I can rise above my circumstances and say, "Thank you." no matter what I face.
 
I want to sing the Lord's praises.  He has blessed me with so many things.  He loves me and He loves my child more than I ever can.  He wants not just good, but the best for my son.  That may require going through times of longing and loneliness, through times of hurt and pain.
 
So today I will praise Him.  Today I will trust Him.  And today, I will give thanksgiving.

This week I'm thankful for blessings #2201-2210

2201.  A better week at the shop.

2202.  Changing leaves.



2203. Family Dinners

2204.  Board games.

2205.  Fall decorations


2206.  Brisk, autumn air.

2207.  Checking things off my list.
 

2208.  Warm apple crisp.

2209.  A father-son breakfast.

and finally...

2210. Praising Him in the pain.
 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Crafty Things

I haven't done a Crafty Things post in a while and I thought I'd share some things I've been churning out of my sweat shop.....er, sewing room lately.

I love making wreathes and haven't done it in a while do it's been fun doing a different thing than my normal sewing.






I've also made placemats, napkins and table runners.  Here is a runner I did yesterday.


I made a custom apron for a customer.


And another customer asked me to make a T-Rex costume.  I'm finishing that up today, but here is the head minus the eyes I'm adding.  My little model really got into character by adding the roar.



On top of that I've made about 6 batches of soap in the past week and a half and this morning I'm making more candles.  

I really need to go clean my house!  ;-). 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Gift


This week has been busy and full and all about family.  I posted the other day about the visit we had this weekend from Dan's brother and family as well as Stephen.  Stephen is settled back in his college and doing well.

Tuesday I was also blessed with a visit from my aunt and cousin.

I haven't seen my cousin in three years and before that, we were both teens.  I do have to say that one of the biggest positive things about Facebook is the ability to reconnect with family members that I haven't seen in years.

I took them to the lake and of course, we snapped a few selfies. :-)


 

Last night was spent with Dan, watching Emily sing in a concert at school.  I'm so pleased she chose to sing in the chorale this year.  She has a pretty voice but was going through this self-conscious "I don't like people looking at me" phase.  So it's been nice to see her coming out of her shell a bit and stretching herself.



We are so proud of Nathan.  He has struggled since we moved here, adjusting to a new job and a new fire department.  One of the things that was hard for him was going from being so active on the last department to being the new kid on the block.  One of the hurdles he was trying to overcome was to be able to go "green" which basically means he can now go into structure fires without being supervised. (Not sure if I'm explaining it correctly).  He kept making little mistakes because he would get so nervous but he has worked hard and finally achieved his goal. 

It's been wonderful to see him mature and grow and overcome so many things in his life as a result of being on the fire department.  The Lord has truly done a miracle in him.  In fact, Nathan's life has been about God making possibilities about of disabilities!



Desmond Tutu ~

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."

 
I'm glad God gifted me with this family. :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ~

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


I've worked really hard the past four months to lose weight and have lost 25 lbs. so far.  Yesterday, my aunt and cousin came for a visit and I took them to the lake where my aunt took a bunch of pictures.  When I saw them on Facebook that evening I realized that I still have a lot more work to do.  I really could be so much further ahead if I wasn't so allergic to exercise!  :-)

This passage is one of my favorite ones and I would suggest reading the entire chapter because it is such an encouraging passage. I chose these verses today because it stresses the importance of working on being renewed inwardly.

In our society we are told it's what you look like on the outside that matters. There are creams for everything. Got wrinkles - get a cream. Got cellulose - get a cream. Teeth are yellowing - get a cream. I'm still waiting for that cream that will help me in my weight loss battle.

Don't get me wrong. I think it is extremely important to be as healthy as we can be.  I know that I do need to work hard on shedding those extra pounds so I can be in top shape.  But the reality is that no matter how hard we work on our bodies they are deteriorating every day. We will die one day. It's an inevitable fact of life.

When we stand before the Lord He is not going to ask us how good we look or how successful we are. He will want to know how we have lived our lives for Him. We need to put effort in what counts. Find out what it is that God wants for your life.  Work at looking as good on the inside as you do on the outside.

I encourage you today to begin your day in God's word and in prayer, asking Him to help you to grow and be renewed. Begin to seek the Lord and include Him in the decisions you make in your life.

Keep that eternal perspective!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Expectation


Do you expect good things from God?  Or do you go through life waiting for the hammer to fall.  Perhaps things are going well in your life and yet, you have this constant sense that it won't last.  That God is just sitting in heaven waiting to catch you unawares so He can spring some new trial on you!

It sounds silly, doesn't it?  Yet so many of us do have that feeling.  That anxiety in the back of our minds that something bad is just waiting to happen.

I love the verses I read this morning in Psalm 65, but verse 4 leapt out at me. 

Blessed are those you choose
    and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple


A different version said, "We expect good things from your temple," which brings me back to my original question.  Do you expect good things from God?

I usually say, "Yes!" until I'm in the midst of a trial.  Then it's not so easy to trust that He will work it out.  I can get so wrapped up in the problem and focus on it so much that I forget that God is in control.  I fixate and fuss and begin to get sick with anxiety.  I lose sight of the fact that I should be waiting in expectation that God will work it out.

I want to encourage you today to wait in expectation.  Believe that God works all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called.  That doesn't mean we'll never deal with hard things.  But we should be expecting that whatever the outcome, it'll be for our good.

Expect God to work.  Expect Him to show up.  Expect to be filled with good things.  Expect that His plan is for your very best.  He can do amazing things through us when we begin to live this way.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Weekend of Family


This weekend was all about family, as both Stephen came home from college, and Dan's brother and family came for a visit.  It was wonderful to have a full house!

They basically were all here for only 24 hours but it was a fun-packed, full 24 hours. We watched the sunset over Lake Ontario.



We ate together, played board games, chatted and laughed. 


The four cousins had fun teasing each other.

 

Then yesterday they came to church with us and it was such a wonderful thing to see Dan & his brother play the offertory together.  They both are very musical and it was the first time they've been able to play together; Paul on the piano and Dan on electric guitar. 

I am thankful that we live closer and are getting to see them more often.  For most of our married life, we have lived too far away to see Dan's side of the family for more than once or twice a year.  I think we've either visited or have had someone visit us at least 7 times in the past ten months. And it is a blessing!

They left around 3 yesterday and Dan left soon after to take Stephen back down to his college.  He ended up spending the night because it was so late when they arrived.

It's not perfect, but I'm thankful for the family God has given to me!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Frugal Friday: Do it Yourself

I have not done a Frugal Friday post in a very long time.  That seems to be because I've been running flat out for months now and just haven't had time to think about the ways I cut corners.

It occurred to me this morning that a major way I save is the Do it Yourself principle.  I love trying new things and find that when I learn to do things myself, that not only do I save but become less of a consumer.  We live in a buy it now, instant gratification society.  No one waits for anything and if they don't have the money, they just charge it.  And people are also increasingly reliant on others to make and do for them. 

One of the things I'm so thankful for is a mother who taught me the value of learning to acquire new skills.  While she didn't necessarily teach me any of the skills I've learned over the years, she gave me the desire to learn how to do things.  She instilled in me a sense of self-reliance that goes a long way in being frugal.  When I can make something myself, I save money but also add one more thing to my repertoire of skills.

Some of the things skills I've learned over the years is....

Bread baking.
 
 
 
Photography.

 
 
Sewing.


Soap-making.



Canning.






Gardening.



Gutting a fish.



And the list goes on.  It's not just confined to homemaking items.  I've learned to write html code and how to design a website.  I learned how to fix electronics and furniture.  I've learned how to run a business.

All it takes is some time, the desire to learn something new and not being afraid to try.  I fail all the time.  There have been some tremendous flops in my attempts to learn new things.  But I just keep trying until I master it.  In the process I have fun, learn a new skill and save money in the long run.

While I do try many new things, I've also learned that there are some things that others just do better than me, and those are the things I'll pay for.  But if I'm paying for it, you can bet that I know the value of it!

Is there something new you've been wanting to try?  Go ahead and take the plunge!  You may find that you enjoy it!