Monday, March 27, 2017

Multitude Monday

It's rainy and gray outside, and the day is gloomy.  I slept fitfully last night and am not feeling the best this morning.  It's Monday, the day most dislike.  But I actually like Mondays.  It's my day to stay alert and look for things to be thankful about.

It's a brand new start; a weekly do-over.  And it's the day when I remember how blessed I really am.  I'm happy that I started doing this years ago, because no matter what is going on in my life, it's a good way to remember the many ways God is watching out for me.  It makes me grateful for my life.  It gives me a better attitude and outlook.

This week I'm thankful for blessings #2,881 - 3,000.

2881.  Simple meals that are easy to prepare and healthy.

2882. A leg that is slowly healing.

2883. Church growth.

2884. Signs of new life.

2885. Stephen is enjoying his internship at a friend's church.

2886. A daughter who makes me laugh every day.

2887. Nathan is enjoying his job.

2888. Deer on our yard, another sign of spring.

2889. I'm so blessed with a husband who helps me out.  He loves to serve and does the dishes almost every single night.

2990. Frugal flowers that are gorgeous.  Aldi - $8 for a dozen roses.

2991. Our worship team.  We pray together, we laugh together and we enjoy one another.  Yesterday, my phone was blowing up with texts back and forth between them and most of them were silly, but I realized how much I love each of them.  Good friends!

2992. I'm so thankful for our church body who reaches out to those in need.  We have different ones going through difficult times and our church steps up with whatever is needed.

2993. Paninis.  Silly, I know, but I'm thankful for whoever invented the grilled cheese sandwich! lol Yummy.

2994. Seeing life through a child's eyes.  I love teaching children's church because as I tell the Bible stories, the kid's get so into it at times.  Sometimes, you just need a fresh look at a familiar story.

2995. Notes of encouragement sent through the mail.

2996. A wonderful team of women I work with as I plan a retreat.  I could not do any of it without their help!

2997. A date lunch with Dan.  We haven't done that in a very long time and it was good to just sit and chat about various things in our life.

2998. The anticipation of seeing friends from around the state next week at our District Prayer Conference.

2999. Emily was accepted into all three colleges she applied to this year.  She knows where she wants to go, but it was good for her to see the acceptances.

and finally...

3000.  Reaching 3,000 on my list of thankful things!  Because I've done this on Facebook as well, it has far exceeded 3,000 but it has been a wonderful exercise. 

I am blessed and I am thankful.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Zip It!

Zippers are the one thing that I despise and avoid as a seamstress.  I don't like putting them in, so generally try not to work with them.  But when something goes wrong in a piece of clothing, it's generally the zipper.  The teeth get bent and the zipper refuses to close properly.  Unless you replace it, the garment is generally useless.

Just like faulty zippers, there are times that I need to properly keep my mouth closed.  If I don't, then the words I speak, no matter how right and good they are, become faulty.  This is especially true of my adult children.

I've struggled with this a LOT lately.  I see my young adults making mistakes, or not being wise and I so want to correct them.  However, when I open my mouth and let my words of wisdom and knowledge 😉 flow out, it is met with resistance, defensiveness and anger.  And that, in turn, sparks my anger and I want to pour out words that aren't so wise or kind.

So this past year has been another period of learning for me.  Learning to allow my kids to make some mistakes without correcting them constantly.  Allowing them some room for growing pains.  And learning to just take my anxiousness to the Lord and let him work in their lives.  The choices they are making aren't catastrophic or detrimental to them, just not necessarily what I would do.  And that's okay.

Quoting words of wisdom or bible verses to them doesn't work.  In fact, as Christians, they already know what they should do.  But sometimes, it takes me letting them work it out themselves for them to get to the right conclusion.  And sometimes, the conclusion they come to may look differently than how I would do something.  And that is part of being an adult.

So, I'm installing a zipper on my mouth and keeping it closed.  If they come to me and ask my advice, I will offer it.  However, I am trying to keep calm, not react and learn to trust God for my children's well-being.  It's not an easy lesson, but I'm getting there.  The zipper wants to keep coming undone, but it's staying closed longer! 😉

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Reflections for Easter: The Seven Last Sayings of Christ - #3

John 19:26-27 (HCSB) ~

When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple He loved standing there, He said to His mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”

My heart aches when my children are hurting.  I am so emotionally connected to them that it's hard to see them struggle or hurt by the unkindness of others.  So I cannot even imagine the emotional horror and pain Mary was going through as she sees her son hanging on that cross.  She watches him labor for each breath.  She knows that he is going to die.  She is heartbroken.  I'm sure she would have taken his place if she could.

These words of Jesus show his humanity and love for his mother.  Some scholars believe at this point Joseph is deceased, so as a widow in that society, she was vulnerable.  It was up to the oldest son to fill the shoes of his father as the next in line.  So here we see Jesus doing just that. 

He asks his friend and disciple to care for his mother.  He has compassion on his mother and wants to make sure she is cared for after he is gone.  And the disciple, who may be John, steps up and does that.  At the end of verse 27 we are told, "And from that hour the disciple took her into his home."

Jesus loved his mother and in the midst of his emotional, physical and spiritual pain made sure Mary would be okay after he was gone.  Jesus was the Savior of the world and yet, still cared for this woman who had nursed him, read to him, played with him, nurtured him and loved him.  I'm sure he understood and felt her emotional pain.

And that brings me comfort.  Jesus understands the pain I feel when my children are hurting.  He understands their pain when they are hurt or rejected.  There is not any hardship or emotion I go through that he has not experienced himself.  

And that is what makes the salvation message so poignant.  Christ, being God himself, made himself human so that he could experience all that we go through.  What a beautiful sacrifice!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Thrifty Tuesday

"Industry, thrift and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character." ~ Calvin Coolidge

It has been forever since I've done a frugal post and since I'm couch-bound much of the time, I figured I might as well make use of my time and write one.  I've gotten distracted lately, and there are days when it feels like we are in over our heads financially with a son in college and another on her way there.

However, the other day, I gave myself a pep talk.  "Terri, you can do this!"  "You've lived with less, and you just need to refocus."  So, as a result, I'm back to my "frugal" or "thrifty" posts.  It helps keep me motivated.

As a result of my accident, and the inability to get around, I had to close down my shop.  I didn't have the money to pay rent and not have the doors open.  But I am so very thankful that frugality is ingrained in me.  There were so many times over the past few months that I was tempted to purchase some merchandise for the shop or to buy some display pieces and I kept telling myself, "No!" It made no sense to me to spend money when I could make do with what I had. The store was stocked with beautiful, handmade items from different vendors and I didn't allow myself to fall into the trap of buying manufactured merchandise.  Of course, Dan helped me with that decision from time to time too! ;-)

Now that I've dismantled everything and most of the display pieces came from my home, they just went back to their original space. A friend offered to carry my personal handcrafted items in her antique/vintage shop and so some of the display pieces went there.  So really the only thing I'm out is the last month's rent. I had to give 30 days notice and so I had to pay rent for the last month even though I wasn't open. But it could have been so much worse!

Some ways I've saved:

$ Right before I made the decision to start up again, a friend had given me a large quantity of fabric. So over the past four months I've been using that. The only time I purchased fabric was back in early January for a custom order. I worked hard last year not to buy anything new.

$ If someone offers me craft stuff, I take it! Materials are expensive. What I can't use I always pass on but I'm always so appreciative of offers of craft supplies.

$ I've been working hard at not going out to eat and we really have done a fantastic job with this over the past few months. The few times we have gone it was because we had a gift card for a restaurant. Instead, I've been making meals at home and the other nights, Emily fills in. She is becoming an excellent cook. And to be honest, since my accident, it's so hard to get around on the crutches that I don't want to go out anyway.

$ My website came up for renewal and without realizing it I had it set to auto-renew.  When I saw the charge on our credit card, I contacted them and canceled the website.  I only get a few hits a week on it, so felt it really wasn't worth the money.  Most of my sales come through my facebook page, Terri's Country Crafts & Books, as well as Etsy.  So I saved myself $179 for a 2 year plan.

$ I bought 12 large tomatoes that had a few spots on them for $2.  The farmer's market where we shop always has things like this by the front door and I always check it out.  I cut out the spots and used them right away.  I turned them into fresh tomato, garlic and basil pasta sauce.

$ A friend gave me a garbage bag full of really nice wicker baskets.  Some I've used around the house, others will be used for gift baskets and the rest I'll donate. 

$ I keep following the motto - "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without."  It helps, trust me! :-)

$ And this one has nothing to do with me being frugal, but on Sunday our treasurer handed me an envelope with money in it.  Someone had donated it anonymously for us to use when we go to our denomination's national conference.  That was such a wonderful, unexpected surprise and will help!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Multitude Monday

I haven't done a Multitude Monday list on here for almost 2 months.  It's not that I'm not thankful, but mostly that I've been listing one thing I'm thankful for each day on my Facebook page.  It's been a great exercise because every day I have to think about something I'm thankful about.  Often as I go through my day, I'll think, "Oh, this is a wonderful 'thanksgiving' thing." 

It's truly caused me to overflow with thankfulness. 

Colossians 2:6-7 ~

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

There is so much negativity going on in this world.  Yet, as believers, we should be known for our thanksgiving.  That's only going to happen as we are grounded and rooted in Christ.  When I can see things through faith-eyes, then even those difficult and hard things in my life can become something to praise God about.  I may not be thankful for the trial or crisis, but I can be thankful that He's walking with me in the middle of it.  I can be thankful for hard lessons that I learn through them.

They say practice makes perfect.  Let's practice being thankful each day.  Soon you will overflow and spill out with thankfulness and perhaps, that overflow will spill onto another and cause them to be thankful as well.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


After being lulled into dreams of summer with the warm weather we had in February, March came marching in with bitter cold and then a major storm the past few days.  Unfortunately, it matches my mood; stormy.  It feels as if winter will never end, just as it feels as if my broken leg will never mend. 

By the end of each day, I feel as if my skin is crawling from just sitting all day long.  I've even started getting down on the floor to do some sit ups and leg lifts, just so my body can move.  It's no easy task getting back up off the floor since I cannot bend my left leg.  I truly feel so frustrated.

I have been keeping busy, planning an upcoming retreat, as well as a number of other events going on over the next few months, but not being able to move really has cramped my style.  And to be honest, my creativity.  I pulled out a box of lace that someone gave me and while I have a number of ideas floating around, it's hard to want to do any of them.  In order to sew, I have to be able to get up and hobble over to the ironing board to iron and then back and forth between the sewing machine and ironing board.  The amount of effort it takes to do that with crutches is exhausting.  Then I end up hobbling around on my foot anyway which I'm not supposed to do.

So, here I sit, in front of a computer screen or with a book or the television.  I'm longing for the days when I can stroll around my yard or grocery shop or go buy jeans.  There are noticeable see-through spots coming through the backside! lol  But to even do that small task is practically impossible. 

A couple of days I was disobedient and did hobble to vacuum or clean.  I have made meals but then find myself walking across the floor with the crutches hanging and tucked under my arm.  I'm not sure that's what the doctor meant when he said to use the crutches.  ;-)  And yes, I get scolded all the time, especially from Emily, who likes to say things like, "Mom!" "Keep doing that and you will be crippled for the rest of your life."  Nag, nag, nag.  That's all she does! LOL

In other news, she has been making dinner a few nights a week and is doing a fantastic job.  I have not had anything she made that I didn't like.  Even Nathan, who mixes with her like oil and water, has praised her cooking.  Last night she made creamy parmesan and garlic pasta with kielbasa.  Delicious!

The sun is out today and it's pretty on the snow.  I have another 8 weeks to go so I'm praying that the time flies by quickly.  Monday is my next doctor's appointment with an x-ray so we shall see how I'm progressing.

In the meantime I hope this roaring lion of winter leaves with a whimper.  I planned a community Easter egg hunt on April 15th and it's always risky here in Central New York, but I'm hoping the weather cooperates.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Reflections for Easter - The Seven Last of Christ, #2

Luke 23:43 (HCSB) ~

And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

Hanging on that cross in agony, Jesus is asked a question by the criminal who is hanging next to him, "Remember me when you come into your kingdom."  And even in his pain, Jesus assures him of his eternal destiny.

As I reflected on this today, I realized that there would have been no time for this man to ask for forgiveness from those he wronged.  No time for him to make restitution. No time for him to act differently.  No time for baptism nor any of the outward symbols of a changed life.  There was just a desperate plea to be remembered.

And just as quickly Jesus, recognizing his heart condition and his repentance, speaks these simple words, "You will be with me today."  It's just that simple. 

How many times do we think people have to prove that they are changed.  We want to make sure their salvation is sincere.  We make them jump through hoops.   We demand they earn forgiveness. We define them by their mess.

Jesus took people where they were.  He looked through the messiness and into the heart.  He doesn't demand that you clean up your act and then you can come to him.  Approach him from wherever you are in your life.  Be humble about your struggles.  Ask him to change you from the inside out. 

It's just a desperate recognition of knowing you need him.  It is as simple as saying, "Remember me."  And just as simply he will forgive.