Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just a Little Heart Cleaning

this is a devotional that is so applicable to my life, and i think it is probably to many others, as well, since forgiveness is something not easily attained...or given...

Just a Little Heart CleaningT. Suzanne Eller 
"So iIf you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come offer your sacrifice to God."
Matthew 5:23-24 (NLT)         
Devotion:Yesterday I swept the mahogany wood floors in my house. I worked with so much energy it might have looked like I was a clean freak or, at the very least, industrious. I am neither of those things. In fact, I really didn't even notice the dust bunnies flying through the air. I was hurt, trying to sweep away harsh words spoken the day before by a friend.
I had spent most of the morning mulling over the words from the day before, wondering why I didn't say something. Wondering why she did. I finally put on some music, took out the broom, and asked God for His grace because mine didn't seem to be big enough at the moment.
I've heard people throw out advice on forgiveness as if dispensing aspirin. They casually say things like, "Jesus forgave, why don't you?" The reality is it's often an uneven journey for us as we accept His grace, learn from, and strive to live out His example.
The practice of living a forgiving lifestyle can be an ominous task. There is incredible freedom in living a life of mercy, but it's not something that we just stumble into. It takes a purposeful choice to move beyond the restrictive burdens of bitterness, anger, and other unresolved emotions tied to a person or event.
Forgiveness is a bridge I thought I had crossed already, and yet here I was again. I had forgiven an abusive, dysfunctional childhood. I understood the joy and freedom that come through forgiving others. So why was the small stuff with my friend tripping me up? Perhaps it is because I am still growing, a process that will never stop.
Jesus met a man who was paralyzed. His friends brought him to Jesus on a mat. The need was obvious, but instead of healing his legs Jesus said, "Your sins are forgiven." (Matthew 9:2, NLT) Isn't it interesting that He addressed the issue of the man's heart before attending to his physical body?
Jesus hasn't changed. He still sees to the heart. He sees my heart. I have forgiven - but I will continue to become a forgiver as I meet life's challenges. To do that, I have to give myself a little grace, and invite Him into the process.
Maybe you too are dealing with hurts of the past and forgiveness seems impossible. Forgiving doesn't mean that abuse can continue, or that what happened is okay. What it does mean is that you are ready to follow Jesus' example, and to live life free of entanglements to the past.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." As I talked, broom-in-hand, with my Savior, He settled in and made Himself at home in the situation. My perspective on the incident with my friend changed.
Yesterday my house got cleaned, and so did my heart.
Dear Lord, help me to forgive one person today. I lift up my heart. I won't pretend that it doesn't hurt, but I am willing to forgive. I'm not always big enough, but You are and I am grateful. I won't forgive based on a person's response, or even what is fair, but instead I will trust that You desire my heart to be free so that You can love in and through me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

get your party on!

 here is a link for you!...hey...i would love THIS party!!!  (smile)....what i AM going to do is those adorable marshmallow snowmen!  darling or what?????



Friday, December 10, 2010

vintage fun



...because i am having an extreme feeling of guilt over the obvious absence of my blogging skills as of late..i decided to AT LEAST share some of my lovely vintage images with you!...why does vintage warm my heart so?  i am not sure...but i sure do love it!  enjoy!...and hey, don't stress yourself for this Christmas season..that is NOT what it is all about!......









Wednesday, December 1, 2010

oh how i needed this today...want to share it with you

 hey peeps (all 2 of you)...sandi here...i know, i know...i have been so absent...big, i mean BIG things are going on in my life ..well, okay..they are for most of us, i know..sorry...i just can't muster the whatever it takes to get to my blog...but i HAD to post this from Proverbs 31 ministries...i had prayed for comfort and direction this morning..and yes, peace..and no, i don't have it, completely anyway...but this Scripture is my absolute favorite anyway..and i needed to be refreshed by it YET again...Rachel puts this into a perspective that is so unbelievably simple, yet so wise beyond words...and best of all ...it is TRUTH...Scriptural TRUTH...please read to the end and let this truth assist you today!
the picture above speaks peace to me...but an obvious storm brought those trees to their present state of beauty, calmness and serenity........kind of like my life..i am in a storm..i am not saying it is the worst storm i have been in, but it is, nevertheless, a storm...and the winds are howling..(i am OVER THINKING).....i seek serenity..and mostly HAPPINESS...what God wants for me and what i think happiness should be, most likely are 2 different things...what i want is my cake and i want to eat it too..God knows better...i continue to seek, pray...and most importantly...give thanks, praise and worship to my Saviour, my King, whom i adore and love.


December 1, 2010Don't Overthink ItRachel Olsen
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." Philippians 4:6 (NLT)         
Devotion:I don't know what I'm supposed to do with my life - and I'm running out of time to figure it out. What if I never find it? Will I always be unhappy and unfulfilled? Will I never achieve my purpose? What will God do about that - will He call me a bad servant? But I can't help it. Why doesn't He answer my prayers for direction?
Maybe I'm just too sinful or something. I know I should read the Bible more. Is this limbo I'm in some kind of punishment for that? Am I really so much worse than everybody else? Maybe I just don't have any special gifts or talents. Or they just never got developed. Maybe that's it, and maybe now it's too late. So what do I do now? I don't know what I'm supposed to do ...
Does this resemble your thinking sometimes? Perhaps not about your calling, but about finding a spouse, or affording a house, or exercising regularly, or a conflict with your mother or boss. Do you tend to overthink things? To worry and ruminate? To endlessly, passively, excessively ponder the meanings, causes and potential consequences of your problems? Do you dwell on them?
Many of us believe that when we feel down about something we should try to evaluate our feelings and our situation from every angle to attain insight and find solutions to relieve our unhappiness. However, a host of research in the last 20 years has shown that dwelling on thoughts like this creates negative outcomes: it sustains or worsens sadness, fosters negative thinking, depletes motivation, saps energy, interferes with concentration, and typically impairs our problem-solving.
Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky writes: "Although people have a strong sense that they are gaining insight into themselves and their problems during their ruminations, this is rarely the case. What they do gain is a distorted, pessimistic perspective on their lives." She adds, "You need to free yourself from the clutch of your ruminations - in other words, immediately stop overthinking."
Based on what he wrote in Philippians 4:6-13, I think the apostle Paul would agree with the professor. Pause and scroll down to read the whole passage now in the "Power Verses" below and then come back.
As we see, in verse six, Paul gives three clear instructions for those of us who ruminate on our problems. He says: 
1) do not worry about anything
2) pray about everything
3) thank God for everything
What if today we took this instruction to heart and put it into practice? What if today we decided not to worry about anything? What if when we found ourselves worrying, we stopped and handed the situation over to God in prayer? What if we then thanked Him for taking care of the issue?
In fact, what if we spent most of our mental free-time today thinking about what good care our awesome God takes of us?
What if we counted our blessings and God's acts of faithfulness today - and again tomorrow and next week too? What would happen then?
Paul says in verse seven, we will begin to experience amazing peace - a kind of peace we can't even imagine. Peace that makes no earthly sense! This kind of peace is so powerful that it has a protective function on our hearts and minds - which only makes it easier for us to stop worrying and be thankful. 
That sounds like a state of happiness to me! So let's not over-think it today. Let's not under-pray it either. Let's actively choose to have a happy, thankful day. And then let's get up tomorrow and do it again.
Dear Lord, I'm turning over all my fears and problems to You to handle today. I can't fix a single thing by worrying about it - but You can fix anything because nothing is impossible for You! Thanks for being in charge of my day. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Have you gotten a copy of Rachel's new book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know?
Visit Rachel's blog today and leave a prayer request, or a statement of thankfulness. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a free copy of Rachel's new release It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know?
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity by supporting the many areas of ministry we provide at no cost - like this one! Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!
Application Steps: 
Open your Bible and highlight Philippians 4:6-7. Memorize those two verses.
Reflections: 
Do I generally think about what is good, lovely, pure and right -or do I think about what is flawed, frustrating, unfair and wrong?
Day-to-day do I tend to over-think and under-pray? How often do I express gratefulness?
Power Verses:
Philippians 4:6-9, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you." (NLT) 
© 2010 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved. 
Proverbs 31 Ministries616-G Matthews-Mint Hill RoadMatthews, NC 28105www.Proverbs31.org

Sunday, November 7, 2010

dear blog...i am sorry..i have missed you, have you missed me?

i have missed you dearest blog..i have been quite MIA for some time now..sorry..in actuality..my husband has been "gone" for 2 months..yes, i have been ALONE for two long, lonely months..well, Simba, my very old, rickety doggie has been my constant companion..otherwise , it has been me, the dog and the thin air in this ol' townhouse !  but guess what?  as we speak type...he is on his way home, and is "almost" here..about an hour away!  woo hoo!
now, it isn't what you might think...we have not been seperated, we are not having marriage problems, or anything in between...he has been without a job for almost a year and a half..yeah, i know..NOT GOOD..it's been rough..but the Lord provides..and we haven't missed a meal or not paid a bill yet..so we go on, day by day.
but he did get an opportunity to go back to my hometown of Forest City Iowa and work for a farmer to help get the harvest in...and YES, that is where he has been...he loved the chance to operate farm machinery once again and get out in those fields and toil away!  he put in over 80 hrs. per week! they had a record year there in Iowa, with the weather being almost perfect for harvest and they got it done , and now he is coming home!...
well, there is the "update" my blog, my friend, and to those who read it (very few, by now)........while he was gone...i just did not have the gumption to blog..not sure why..i did good ol' Facebook..and that was about it..well..i am reading a book...in a Bible study..and crafting  and artsying away...but hey...i am here NOW, huh?
i have many ideas to blog about..but tonite i am going to start with the one i wanted to get out the most...
one of the projects i did whilst my DH was away..was to help Hannah with a chair.  we were perusing my local Goodwill store (becoming my almost favorite stop by now..wish i had time to tell you why)...and Hannah laid eyes on this:
she has a "good eye" for sure...i was quite skeptical at first...but she persisted...and oh my!  what a find!...it was clean as a whistle, heavy, sturdy...and had a down filled cushion...this clued us in to the fact it was probably "good" furniture in days gone by..it had wear..but it was "clean wear".....so we took it to my place and went right to work on it in my "back yard"...
actually, i did most of the "supervising" from an outdoor easy chair...Hannah did the work...it is well on it's way...it did take a drying time and another date in our back yard...then she took it home to finish it...and this is the outcome

above is the finished product!  i am SO proud of Hannah for doing this...since this venture...we have seen other similar chairs and they sell for well over $500.00!!!....what a great deal!  she paid $20.00 for this chair!!!  amazing, huh?  of course there was the cost of materials..but the paint was cheap, the batting was reasonable and she used cotton duck, which is sturdy, but thrifty!...i give her an A+!!!

guess what?  since this..Heidi has bought a bench to be done, Hannah has gotten 2 wingbacks...and they are all waiting to be done...!!!!..and they were all purchased at GW!!...
well, that's it  for now...i have more fun things to share with you...but this will have to be "it" for tonite!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spiral Paper Rose Tutorial



http://www.scrap-a-little.com/2009/09/flower-tutorial-summary.htmlhttp://www.scrap-a-little.com/2009/09/flower-tutorial-summary.html


i had a wonderful day at Archiver's on Wednesday this week with my bestest scrappie friend, Ruthann....and we met some wonderful OTHER scrappies ....we all shared our ideas and a great day was to be had!  i had taken my paper flowers along..and they wanted some links..so i gave them my blog address..unfortunately..i am QUITE sure i gave them my OLD address..which should get them to this one IF they know their way around a computer..anyhoo...here are the links again...hope yall find me!  :)


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Writing on a chalkboard tutorial









 i soooooo wish i could present this to you as MY idea, but, alas, i can't!....so visit this beyond wonderful blog and take a little look/see...she has many other tut-ies you will love too!  i PROMISE!!!



Thursday, September 30, 2010

and yes...here is yet another one..

September 30, 2010

Words

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people, who have been made in God's likeness." James 3:9 (NIV)
         
Devotion:
A few weeks ago two of my kids were having a growth opportunity.  "Growth opportunity" is the new phrase us TerKeursts use for "fight."  It's like when people say pink is the new black. Growth opportunity is the new fight.
Anyhow, back to the two kids who love each other but didn't like each other very much in the heat of the moment.  I pulled out my proverbial soap box, got my hand positioned just right on my hip, and told these two young teens to look outside the window of our home.  I told them that outside our home a world exists of people who may or may not be nice to us. There are no guarantees.
"But, inside this house," I continued as I turned them toward one another, "there are certain guarantees.  Since the day I birthed you, I have preached one sermon about the words spoken in our home.  It is a simple sermon.  Before you part your lips to speak, you must ask yourself this question:  Are my words kind, necessary, and true?"
"If the answer to all three parts of that question is yes...proceed ahead."
"If the answer to any part of that question is no...stop the words from coming out."
Does that mean there is no room to address hard issues with one another?  No. But it will always be done with a spirit of kindness using only words that are necessary and true. 
I then ushered these precious teens outside to a bench in my front yard and instructed them to figure out their issues between the two of them.  But they were not going to bring words into our house unless they were kind, necessary, and true.  Thank you very much. Have a nice time on this warm little bench on this warm little day.
Be sure when reading that last paragraph to do it with the mama attitude.  I'll wait right here if you need to go back and re-read with attitude. 
There are some verses in James I'm considering writing on the palm of my hand.  Think of how handy it would be just to flash my palm up in the midst of my people's growth opportunities with this verse in bold ink: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people, who have been made in God's likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My people, this should not be" (James 3 9-10).
That same chapter of James goes on to read, "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice" (verse 16).
Have mercy. I do not want disorder and every evil practice to be invited into my home.  And if envy and selfish ambition (which are where ugly words come from) are the key that opens the door for all that evil mess, then I will do everything with the power of Jesus in me to tame tongues. 
And all my Jesus girlfriends said, Amen! 
Dear Lord, help me to know how to teach my children how to be more like You. Help me to model You in my actions, my reactions, and in every word I say. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Friday, September 24, 2010

i concur

Composed and Quieted


Van Walton

"O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me." Psalm 131:1 (NASB)

Devotion:



I watched the young mother deftly work in her kitchen, amazed at all she could accomplish with one hand. In her left arm she tenderly cradled her little one. With her right hand, elbow, shoulder and hip she opened drawers and shut doors; she pulled out cups, saucers, and spoons; she scooped coffee and poured water.

While Juan Valdez's aroma filled the air, she gathered pastries from her pantry and other refreshments from her refrigerator. When silence replaced conversation, she hummed a quiet melody into her baby's ear. Finally we sat down to enjoy our mid-day visit and I realized her tiny infant had slept through it all, mindless of the constant noise and swirling activity.


Oh, to rest in such peace while all around me chaos reigns. What secret lay hidden in that little heart?


The chapter which contains today's key verse offers the answer- such a short and simple Psalm, yet it says it all, "Surely

I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother..." (NASB).


I long for an escape from life's challenges. Sometimes the force and frequency with which my trials torment me threaten to undue me.


I've been tested and tried this year to the point that I thought, "If the barrage doesn't let up, I am a goner." I held up my hand in the stop position and screamed out to God, "No more! Have mercy. I'm undone! How am I supposed to juggle all this?"

In that instant God whispered, "Like a child rests against his mother, quiet your soul."

Then the Master Artist sketched for me the picture I described earlier. His reminder recalled a young mother tenderly and safely holding her baby, while all around, life's responsibilities increasingly swelled.


Sweet friend, do you feel like you are losing your footing? Are you struggling to conquer the chaos? If you are like me you are on the brink, throwing up your hands and screaming, "I give up!"


That's good! Give up.


Yes, that is what I said.

Give up and like a child in her mother's arms, trust and rest.


Some matters are too complicated for us to figure out. Let God open and close the doors. Believe that He will prepare and provide. He created you, His precious child. He is protecting you in the crook of His strong right arm.


Father God, Your Word assures me that You are a strong shelter. You don't give me more than I can endure. Out of obedience I believe You and rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

something appropriate for me, how about you?


I'm Not Good as New
"He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them."
John 12:40 (NIV)
         
Devotion:
Years ago, I decided to save money and learn how to cut men's hair. With four males in my home, I figured electric clippers were a good investment. They were. After a few "oops" and "uh-ohs," I got the hang of it and have been cutting their hair ever since.

Recently, after finishing a trim, I dropped the clippers on the floor, knocking the blades from the holder. A quick examination revealed a very small piece of plastic had been chipped away. But the blades seemed to fit on fine, so I cleaned up the mess, brushed the clippers, and stored them in their box. Good as new, I thought.

Time for the next haircut arrived, and I retrieved the clippers from their box. I put the cape around my son's shoulders, snapped on the correct guide and proceeded to turn on the clippers. However, instead of hearing the normal electric purr, we heard a metallic grating. Apparently, that broken piece of plastic was actually important. Without it, the clippers didn't work right.

As I considered that incident, I realized many of us are like those clippers. At one time we have fallen emotionally. We've been hurt, betrayed, left out, overlooked. We carry scars from past relationships, jobs and bad choices. Most of us have been trained to pick ourselves back up and move on. We've been conditioned to put on a smile and pretend we aren't broken. The problem is most things that are broken don't fix themselves, and they don't work right until they are.

In the month between haircuts, that piece of plastic never jumped back on the clippers. Likewise, a leaking faucet doesn't just stop leaking one day. Buttons don't sew themselves back on. In every instance where something is broken, I've had to attend to it with care.

Sadly, I see many people walking around broken, pretending they are okay. Instead of acknowledging hurt and seeking healing from the One who can give it, they ignore it. Instead of seeking professional help when needed, they bury the pain, and hope it's deep enough to not bother them again. But the pain never really heals. It always pops up. And it affects current relationships and commitments when it does.

The truth is, none of us is as good as new. We are ALL broken in some way. We all have hurts we've buried and tried to move past. But that brokenness doesn't completely heal by itself. Thankfully, there is good news if you feel broken.

We serve a God who loves healing and wholeness. He knows it's painful to deal with past hurts. But He's willing to help. While we will never be "good as new" until heaven, we can be emotionally healed here on earth. Maybe we need to pick up our broken pieces, carry them in tender hands and present them to Jesus.

It may not be easy, and it will probably take time. But emotional healing is possible. After all, the One who conquered death, can certainly mend our brokenness.
 
Dear Lord, only You really know the depths of my pain and desperation. I've tried to hide it, even from You at times, but I won't any longer. Today I openly admit my pain and hurt, and ask You to heal me. Please give me wisdom to know other steps I need to take. Thank You for what You are going to do in me and through me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the day we visited with the goats..oh!...and a baby deer!

last Saturday we went to a GOAT FARM in the mountains near Jasper, Ga.....yeah, we are classy like that!  actually, Larry and i used to raise a few goats...we raised them for the milk, since both Heidi and Peter had milk allergies as babies and children
...goats are sweet, gentle animals...mostly anyway...we have fond memories of our goats...i even "HAND" delivered a baby goat and saved it's life...and possibly the mother's life...seriously i did...i delivered it VET style..with my hand..up the mother goat's...(you know what)....i PULLED the baby goat out...i think i have told this story somewhere..either blog or Facebook...

ANYHOO
we had discovered this goat farm and went to their website..(i will edit and put it in here as soon as i can find it)...it looked wonderful and we really wanted to take the g-kiddos....
it was a great day..the farm was spectacular...it had a beautiful lake...
  the HIGHLIGHT for me was the added bonus of a baby deer who had been "dropped" off on the farm after finding the mother deer dead on the road...this darling little baby deer was right at home with the goats...and she was SO SO darling!...i truly wanted to take her home!...oh my goodness!...the owner of the farm said the deer is free to roam and will probably jump the fences and go back to the wild when it is ready...i want to see if that happens...it was so tame and endearing...the kids were kissing it...no kidding...it came up to me and tilted it's head for some attention...i didn't KISS it...but i sure did HUG it....i loved the experience!
well...here are some pics that capture the day...just for your information...we were nasty dirty when we left!....(and we probably had a few smells circling us too -wink*)























we were jumping








we were swinging














it was a great day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

gettin the kids up on the wall again

so...i know for sure i would get a prize for procrastination...ugh..i hate it...it plagues me...it haunts me...it is disgusting..and STILL..i do it...
BUT!!!
ALAS!!!
i finally got one little thing done that has been on the P list...i got those photos up from Christmas 2009...i mean, really..i thought i better hurry...especially since the kids have already changed from that over a year ago photo!...(d'ya think?)...i ask myself....
so , here they are..AGAIN...center-stage in my little living room  watching over their Nana/NeeNee/PapPap...and we, adoringly looking at their little darling faces!!!




Thursday, August 19, 2010

update on the summer greenery

do you remember quite a few posts ago when i showed you my new spring plantings???...i fully expected to update you on the beyond luscious and wild growings of those spring plants...and in case you haven't guessed it already..there is NOTHING to show you...this has been the worst summer for the front of our townhouse..how bad, you ask?...so bad..i will not even waste the time taking a picture...seriously...what a disappointment...it all started when a stinkin rabbit started munching on each and every flower out there...and it all went downhill after that..so...i am ready to rip it all out and throw down some new mulch and call it a rap...i "might" put out winter pansies...but as of today...i feel quite DONE with the whole thing..
NOW...i do have a few nice growings on the back patio...i have showcased them here for you...











what's that you ask?....well..this little ivy is in a plastic gallon container that i borrowed from my neighbor last year...before i returned it, of course i thought i should wash it..so OF COURSE i put it in my dishwasher...who wouldn't???....when i went to put the dishes away...her poor little cheap container had melted down into a little squished mess...thankfully she didn't mind..and one day she brought it back to me with this little ivy planted in it...and that sweet plant has been thriving ever since!



...and yes...this is Easter Grass!...well, at least it is what i call it..cuz for the life of me i cannot remember the actual name of the plant...i bought it around Easter time this year...it had tall, single stemmed clover -like blooms...i absolutely loved it!...at one point i thought i for sure had killed it..i tried transplanting it and it wilted all over the place and i did not expect it to make it...but after a couple weeks it started behaving itself!....so i transplanted it again into this hanging pot...and it has thrived this summer!  it has even had a half dozen blooms!...not sure what to do with it when the temps drop...hey!...anyone know what it is?  i like it cuz it reminds me of "real" grass...like IOWA grass...instead of the grass here in GA...which is curly and gross...so i guess you might say...i have a pot of REAL grass...
and there you have it...the extent of my green thumb...unfortunately my GREEN thumb is getting very faded...i used to be able to keep up with the best of them...not so much now...
...guess i will blame this horrid red clay dirt here in GA...k?