Showing posts from March, 2012

A Spot in My Heart

Every other Wednesday night, I lead a program at our church called, 3D Girls.  This is for girls, ages 6-12 where they come and we focus on 3 D's - digging into God's Word, creative disciplines (cooking & crafting), and drama & music.  This year is our smallest group ever, as the other girls have all aged out and are in youth group. There are times when I get tired and discouraged and feel like my time with this program is over.  Yet, I love these girls.  The group this year have particularly difficult things going on at home. They also have a much harder time staying focused on anything so we have to keep things moving fairly quickly with LOTS of activity.  It's been neat to see the transformation that has been happening over the year though. I love when I hear things like, "This is the best thing in my life."  "I love 3D Girls."  "I can't wait to come!"   They are already asking about next year. How can I stop doing

Song of the Soul

Song of the Soul by Khalil Gibran In the depth of my soul there is A wordless song - a song that lives In the seed of my heart. It refuses to melt with ink on Parchment; it engulfs my affection In a transparent cloak and flows, But not upon my lips. How can I sigh it? I fear it may Mingle with earthly ether; To whom shall I sing it? It dwells In the house of my soul, in fear of Harsh ears. When I look into my inner eyes I see the shadow of its shadow; When I touch my fingertips I feel its vibrations. The deeds of my hands heed its Presence as a lake must reflect The glittering stars; my tears Reveal it, as bright drops of dew Reveal the secret of a withering rose. It is a song composed by contemplation, And published by silence, And shunned by clamor, And folded by truth, And repeated by dreams, And understood by love, And hidden by awakening, And sung by the soul. It is the song of love; What Cain or Esau could sing it? I

Stretching Those Dollars

Times are tough right now and prices are going up, up, up.  Yet, incomes are staying the same or even going down.  It's hard to make those dollars stretch and I'm afraid it's going to get even tougher.  I know I've talked about saving money on food alot but I've found ways to save money in other areas as well. Here are some areas to stretch your dollars: $ Stay home or combine trips!   Obviously if gas prices keep going up, it is going to be difficult to stop up that leak unless you are willing to drive less or combine your trips.   If you work, try carpooling.  If you work fairly close to home, walk or ride a bike (exercise and save money).  If you have to go grocery shopping or run errands, try combining that chore with other tasks that are in close proximity.  Get rid of that giant gas guzzler and buy an economy car! $ Change the way you give gifts.   Dan & I really had to make changes through the years on this one.  At Christmas, instead of giving

Cast That Thing Away

I Peter 5:7 ~ "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." In light of my whiny post from yesterday I'm posting this more for myself than anyone else!  The idea in this verse is not just to hand over your worries to God but to hurl them onto Him. In other words, throw them so far away from you that you won't be tempted to keep taking them back. So often when I'm upset about something I'll talk about it constantly to Dan.  I think about it all day long.  I replay the situation over in my mind.  All that manages to do is keep the anxiety in the forefront. Yet, when I pray and ask the Lord to work in the situation and then put it out of my mind, I really do start to feel better. But that takes discipline. It takes constantly taking every thought captive. It takes not mulling it over and over again and start thinking about other things. When I'm anxious about something, I find that I can barely concentrate on anything els

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I've had a mixture of the good, bad and ugly this week. GOOD ► Stephen did very well on his college placement exam. ► We had a wonderful work day at the church and the trees that fell on the lawn and property over the winter have been cut down and cut up and the place looks great. ► Nathan met with his job developer and the guy was extremely excited and encouraging about Nathan's experience with the fire department and rescue squad and we are on the way to finding a job! ► Gorgeous weather has been here every single day! BAD ► Emily sprained her foot and is now wearing a boot for two weeks.  Just in time for.......TRACK!  It seems to now be a yearly Spring event with her.  Spring time = broken bone or injured limb. ► I spent Saturday night in the emergency room for 3 hours with possible heart attack symptoms.  Turns out it wasn't a heart attack.  My heart & blood pressure are fine.  It may just be stress. ► I've literally driven 200 miles in 4 da

Developing a Work Ethic in Children

My kids are normal.  Honestly, they are!  They whine, fuss, and complain with the best of them.  I just wanted to put that out there before I talk about this topic.  BUT, for the most part we've been able to develop a pretty good attitude about work with them.  That doesn't mean we don't have our issues from time to time. For example, this weekend the church had a work day where dead trees were cut down and cut up for fire wood and yard work was done.  At the end of the day Nathan & Stephen were milling around so I asked them to start turning over the soil in the garden. Let's just say they were less than enthusiastic and I had to stay on them every 5 minutes or so.  By the way, I only asked them to do a section not the whole thing.  In hind sight, it was probably dumb of me to ask them to do it at that particular moment.  They had worked all afternoon.  Almost everyone was gone and they were tired.  But the point was they did it anyway. When I talk about

Mending Fences

Words.... So powerful, so beautiful, so ugly. They can tear apart fences with a quick flash of the tongue. Just a word and the fence topples down.  I'm ashamed to say that I tore down a fence with my words yesterday.  I felt a flash of anger and heat in my cheeks, words tumbled out and stones fell. The words themselves weren't horrible but the edge in my voice, the frown on my face and the angry tone were enough to cause a rift. Ten minutes later I sang songs with my mouth and the words were words of praise.  Praise after angrily snapping at a friend.  Conviction came swift and hard.  Tears filled my eyes and spilled onto my cheeks.  Tears of remorse and shame.  Tears of guilt.  Guilt that the mouth I praise my God with is also the mouth that can curse men.  Yet, here I was singing of God's forgiveness and mercy and grace.     James 3:9-10 ~ With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likenes

Planning Ahead

Since I'm no longer working outside my home, I've had to work hard at being even more frugal than I was before.  The costs of everything are going up and yet we have less money to work with than we ever had.  Yet, we have been doing okay. A lot of it is because I've been trying to plan ahead and stock up on sale items, as well as being really frugal. For example, because it's St. Patrick's Day, I've found some really good sales on corned beef.  Yesterday, I went to a store that had corned beef on sale for $1.29 per lb.  I've seen it has high as $3.69 per lb. at other times during the year.  So I went ahead and bought 4 packs of it.  Now, I didn't buy 85 lbs. of corned beef as it's high in salt and other things but 4 packs will last us through the end of the year. A few weeks ago, Dan called me and saw solid white tuna at $.66 per can.  I told him to buy it because that is the cheapest we've seen it!   You have to know how often you use

A Giveaway

A friend of mine is hosting a give away on her blog for the prints of another dear friend who is struggling with cancer.  Hop on over to Kate's blog and enter for a chance to win!  Jeannette's drawings are wonderful!

Crafty Things

I didn't get a whole lot done this week - just an apron and table runner. I'm going to show the apron because it turned out very cute.  I had posted it to Etsy and then a friend saw it and bought it already.  I do have a question for you Etsy users.  Is there a way to leave feedback if you don't use Paypal or purchase through Etsy?   For example, this friend goes to my church and she saw the apron and asked for it but doesn't have Paypal.  Because I personally know her I'll take a check.  This has happened with about 3-4 items I had listed there.  I was curious because it would be nice if people who have bought my items could leave feedback for other buyers, even if they don't purchase through Etsy. After today, I think that I'll probably skip posting the aprons here on the Crafty Things posts and just put them in my Etsy shop.  I mean, how many aprons in the same style do you really want to see?  :-)  If I make something different, I'll definitely po


Here are some random shots I've taken over the past week.

Puzzle Pieces

I love jigsaw puzzles and every now and then I'll pull one out and work on it.  However, they can be difficult to do.  It often takes me days of a little bit here and there to finally get it all together.  I have to keep turning the pieces to see if they fit and sometimes, things will look like go together but are off just the tiniest bit. My children's lives are like a jigsaw puzzle and no matter how I try I can't seem to see the pieces fit together. Jeremiah 29:11 ~ “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” I have always loved this verse in Jeremiah and it’s one I have clung to through the years when I’m going through a rough time.  But somehow I forget that this verse applies to my children as well.  I’m a naturally anxious person and forget that God loves my children even more than I do and he has their future in His hands!  I’ve seen this verse in action late

Old Familiar Paths

Isaiah 43:16-21 ~ "This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise" It's easy to walk down old and familiar paths.  Ways of responding that have become second nature.   Impatience.  Anger.  Irritation.  Raised voices. Words that barb and scar. Yet, I don't want to keep choosing the easy path.  Easy because it's familiar.  E