Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It's All About Love - Part 3

1 Corinthians 13:5It (love) is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. "

5 Christ is not rude, He is not self-seeking.” No kinder man has ever walked this earth, and He always sought and obeyed His Father’s will. It is easy to be rude this day and age, especially when we are busy. So, busy that we lose patience waiting in line. Before the holidays I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from a long day, as my husband wanted a soda for a movie that night. (We don’t keep soda in the house.) The specific brand he wanted could only be purchased inside the store in one of those coolers near the checkout. The store was terribly busy – lines were long. I had ONE soda! The express line had about 8 people, and all of course, appeared to have the maximum amount of items to check out. No one was at the service counter.
I was tired, and not in a good mood - all of this waiting for one soda. Finally, a new checkout line was opened up…and three of us jumped to the new line. The woman ahead of me saw that I had only one item and a dollar bill in my hand –and no doubt I was tapping my foot like I do when I am terribly impatient. She asked if I would like to step ahead of her. Bless her heart! I had no idea if she was a Christian – but who had the better behavior that day? Shame on me.
That random act of kindness was a very good lesson. Now, when I am in a check out line I notice those around me. If I see a woman in line with a young child, acting up, I can relate. I’ve been there (and still have those days when shopping with my daughter). I am more than willing to offer them my spot, and show a little compassion. It costs me nothing, but sure fills my heart.

“Christ it is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs.”
There is only one instance in the Bible where I can recall Christ becoming angry – and not for the lack of opportunity. So many things happened in the Bible that would have simply ticked off an ordinary man. Christ is so forgiving – He knows of our human frailties and short-comings. If we were to put all our faults on a balance scale, and Christ’s love on the other – His love will always outweigh the wrongs we commit.
Since Christ has entered my heart there is very little that makes me truly angry. One of the most wonderful things about our household is that there has never been an outburst -we've never yelled at each other. This is not to say we don't get upset with one another, but it's how we handle it. Christ's love is pretty evident in our home by how we treat one another.
Dealing with frustration and anger is more difficult for me, outside the home. I have tuned in to my signs of potential anger, and have learned how to ward it off by lifting up my frustration in prayer. When I can see a situation's potential for heated discussion, I just take a deep breath and ask the Holy Spirit to take over my lips and my mouth. I can tell you that the person who is angrily having a discussion with me is simply taken aback by my calmness. I come away from the situation feeling I did all I could in the name of Christ's love, and am inclined to pray for the other person and the situation.

Today I challenge you to do a random act of kindness for a stranger. Whether it be allowing a young mother ahead of you in the checkout line, holding the door for another, or complimenting a person on their appearance - little things that can be so big in showing Christ's love as we continue our journey towards heaven.

Monday, January 29, 2007

It's All About Love - Part 2

Today I continue on with my thoughts on the "love" chapeter from God's holy word. It amazes me how true these written words ring today...such a great lesson for living.

1 Corinthians 13
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Verse 4 – “Christ is patient, Christ is kind.” Considering how impatient I am as a person, it amazes me at just how patient Christ has been, and continues to be. Life is a balancing act…and when I fall off that balance beam in one direction or another – it pulls me away from Him. His kindness, and loving patience, helps me to refocus and become centered on what is really important.
“Christ does not envy, Christ does not boast, Christ is not proud.” Here again, I fail. Although I am pleased to say I have come a long way since I have brought Christ into the center of my daily living. It used to be so easy to envy those with large, beautiful homes and newer vehicles. But I have learned that all that does not matter – afterall, you can’t take it with you. When I see the poverty of people living in third world countries, or indeed – 6th world countries such as Haiti – I realize how blessed I am to have a home at all, and food on the table, and a car that has been pretty reliable about getting me to where I am going. I am grateful for friends and family members who have traveled to these countries, and have helped me realize just how fortunate I am to be living in the U.S.A.Christ is not proud or boastful – He was a man of humble existence – born in a lowly stable. I admit I had problems in this area also. I used to wonder why my scrapbook pages weren’t being snatched up by the publishers, afterall – my pages were good, and I thought “above average”. Well, how proud is that?! It was an awful thought to have swimming in my head. Not only did pride set me up for bitter disappointment, I was focusing on myself as an artist – and not the One who actually gave me artistic talent. A year ago I put pride on a back burner and gave up expectation when calls went out for the magazines and/or big contests. My, how much easier life can be when pride is set aside. Instead of feeling bitter disappointment I shrug my shoulders and say to myself, “oh well, it is not in God’s timing – He has something else for me down the road.” Indeed, He has … and He has blessed me with a good year of page calls for idea books as well as other opportunities to share my talent with others.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

It's All About Love, Love, Love, Love, Love

Today we studied the “love” chapter in 1 Corinthians 13. Personally, I prefer Ecclesiastes 4:11-13 when it comes to scripture for weddings, but in my work I see 1 Corinthians chosen time and time again.

I love learning the history behind scripture, and what was going on at the time when Paul wrote about love to the Corinthians. Pastor Matt did a great job of this today. Paul’s instruction is not meant for couples and romantic love. Instead he is telling us how we should love one another as Christians – “agape love”.

They will know we are Christians by our love, right? If they know we are Christians, and we come off as being crass, uncaring, and too busy to really listen – what does that say about who we are? What are we doing to show Christ’s love towards our fellow human beings? How might we be examples of His love as we walk our earthly journey, and anticipate the heavenly kingdom? Will we hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant”? I certainly hope so, but agape love does not come as naturally as the love a mother has for her newborn child. Agape is not a new term in our household, but it is a love that is easy to forget. Agape is love based on decision – we need to decide how we will act towards one another. It is a conscience effort, and it is so easy to get wrapped up in one's self, that we forget about others and their need for love.

Today I learned that when someone calls to talk… I need to walk away from what I am doing, or at the very least keep my fingers off the keyboard. I am good at multi-tasking, but this can be a bad thing. For if I am typing, while listening, am I listening merely with my ears, when I should be listening with my heart? I need to become a better listener. I need to make a conscience effort, and do better at being an example of Christ’s love to others.

My blog title today comes from a song by Steven Curtis Chapman. An excerpt really tells us what we are here for – to love one another as Christ loved us.

This is the reason we were made
To know the love of our Creator
And to give the love He's given us away
Yeah, the Maker, and the Father,
and the God of everything
He says to love, love, love
He says love, love, loveLove, love, love
'Cause after all, it's all about love
Gods says love, love, love, love, love
It's all about love, love, love, love, love
Everything else comes down to this
Nothing any higher on the list than love
'Cause after all, it's all about love

One thing Jesse and I learned a while ago about the “love chapter” of the bible, was to replace the word “love” with “Christ.” Since I wrote a LOT about this subject, I will be sharing some thoughts on how Christ has shown His love to me in the next few days of “On My Way – Journey to Heaven.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Just an idea...maybe I will start listing my weekly blessings on Thursdays. We'll see how good my memory is.
At this moment I am ever so grateful for our two healthy children. Coming from daycare, our sitter friend and I were discussing child development. A 19 mo. old in her care has simply not been happy. He's not sick -no ear infection - but you can tell the little guy is not feeling well. Little Derek is not walking, fusses if you try to help him. The doctors are concerned about his having CP and he needs to have tests done. Please keep Derek and his parents in your prayers as you lift your petitions to God.
I am thankful that Kyle has become such a good speller, reader and writer. He has a great imagination. I love seeing a reflection of myself as he writes and illustrates stories, and gets all excited to share his plot lines with us. Math continues to be a struggle, and I hope for his sake, and his chosen field, that this becomes more easy for him. He has such resistance for studies of subjects he does not do well in. I can relate. It is so easy to put off chores or tasks that I am not good at, or don't particularly enjoy. How I would love to scrapbook all day, play with the kids and cook. Skip the laundry, housecleaning, and preparing taxes. Ah yes... I know the last daunting task looms on the horizon. I shudder at the thought.
I am thankful for Abigail's brightness. Recently she has gotten into putting a puzzle together in the mornings before we leave for daycare/work. The large floor puzzles come together in record time... I think it is time to advance our 4 yr old to a 100 pc. puzzle. I was also given good advice the other day - yes, by my four year old. I backed the car down the driveway, and THEN buckled in. With gloves on I had a little trouble. We stopped at the post office, and as I returned to the the driver's seat I am advised from the back seat, "this time buckle up before you start the car mom, we will both be much safer." What could I say - once again she is right. I have to smile at Abigail's early onslaught of wisdom.
There is praise and thanksgiving on the scrapbooking front as well today. I had four layout requests this week. Three layouts were requested for Leisure Arts upcoming book, "Doodling for Papercrafters." I also had a request from Memory Makers for their May Idea Gallery. Apparently they had requested the layout before Christmas, but at our old e-mail address. I was clearing out the folder of junk mail from the providers home page, and was fortunate to notice a subject header that might be legitimately scrapbook related. The magazine is shooting for the May issue Feburary 1. I had to pack my layout up quickly and get it sent out - but had to find it first. After several passes through my stacks of layouts, I found it sandwiched between two others in a page protector. The good thing about this is that I was forced to start placing layouts in their respective albums. I have Abby's 2005 album full, actually need a few refill pages. Her 2006 album is also near full. I need to get all of Kyle's layouts placed as well. I just filled my second devotional album, and am surprised at the number of "all about me" layouts I created last year. Maybe this year I can try to put my pages in their place as soon as I am finished, rather than cart them around to family reunions and such.
I finished my last Hall of Fame layout entry last night - woo hoo!! Now to work on the mini album - my last project. I still hope to send my entry off by the end of the month. But it won't happen if I keep bloggin' - so until next time - count your blessings!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

On Being An Intercessor

An important ingredient in faith is complete TRUST in God. Without it, there is doubt in the "bread of life" - did Jesus really rise from the dead? Did He die for me? Did He really raise Lazarus from the dead, and heal the sick and lame? Trust is the yeast that makes our bread rise, our prayers come to be answered.

God is the Almighty, all powerful, and with Him nothing is impossible. He can do all things, even heal those we love. But we cannot get to God unless we go through Jesus. He is our intercessor in prayer. In John 14:6 Jesus says, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Also, in Matthew 18 Jesus says, 19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Both my husband and I have been witness to the power of intercessory prayer. When the prayer warriors come out ten fold, hundred fold, thousand fold - He has answered prayer. It could be as simple as healing my niece when she had the flu recently during final exams. Her mother sent out prayers requests. I, in turn, asked prayers of my friends, as did others. The next day my sister received a phone call from her daughter. "Mom - you asked people to pray for me, didn't you? As I was reading and studying last night I began to feel so much better, and by morning I was well for my exam!"

Another friend recently requested prayer for her friend's daughter - diagnosed with a brain tumor. An operation to remove the tumor was likely to leave the woman, with young children, paralyzed. Hundreds of people prayed. The woman's family created a web site, telling of their daughters plight and asking for prayer. Before the surgery, the family sought a second opinion. When CAT scans and all the other tests were completed, the doctors were dumbfounded. The scans revealed no indication of a brain tumor, the woman had been healed - in the doctor's words, "by a miracle". When prayers are multiplied, I am a firm believer that it can make a difference.

How then, shall we pray? It is important to know there are different kinds of prayer. I would like a new car - this is a prayer request on my behalf. It's no secret that our family car, with its rusting body and mega miles has a limited time to cart us back and forth from job, to church, to basketball practice and pre-school. Yet, there is no money for a new car - no money for a car payment. It is not wrong to pray for a want, but I ask God's will in this matter. I also pray that He keep my car running for as long as we have need of it. I trust that He will take care of me and my family. He knows what is best for us. I realize that if our car should bite the dust, it would mean walking to work, fewer trips into Madison to shop, and relying on others to help transport our kids. None of these things, when reluctantly considered, would be particularly bad for me.

When I pray for my friends who are sick - do I pray God's will be done? I used to - I admit, because I thought we were always supposed to pray for God's will. But as I listen to teachings, and read more scripture about prayer - intercessory prayer is not a time to say, "well God, I would like You to heal my friend, but if You don't want to - that's okay, too." Where is faith and trust in that kind of prayer? I don't want the sound of doubt canceling out my prayer request. In this passage from Mark 11, Jesus tells us how important it is to BELIEVE in your prayer:
20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!" 22"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

The New Testament offers other such similar stories of great faith. In James, chapter 5, he instructs us how we we might pray for one another.
" 13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
We need to be in relationship with the Lord. Not only in our time of trouble, but also in times of praise and thanksgiving. This is a one on one relationship. Yes, gathering in group studies and for worship is a wonderful time with the Lord, but He also wants to hear from us when we are completely alone. However, when illness comes into play, and healing is needed - it is time to gather the prayer warriors. Yes, we can pray alone for our loved ones, and ourselves. There are immediate moments of dire need in which no one may be available to pray with you, but rally the troops as soon as you are able. I have seen the results of prayers offered up in number. A prayer group not need to be in the same room holding hands, but voices raised for one cause can be very powerful.

Now, when I pray for friends who are ill, I pray for healing and relief from pain. I expect things from God because I KNOW He can. He can - I cannot. But if my faith wavers, if I have doubt - how can I expect God to heal? In Matthew 8 there is a story of a centurion whose servant is suffering. He seeks out Jesus, who offers to come and touch the sick man to heal him. The centurion basically tells Jesus it is not necessary for Him to go to his house, that He only need say the Word and his servant will be healed. Jesus is astounded at the man's faith, and claims it to be greater than that of any man in Israel.

Is belief in God's power to heal a way for mere mortals to manipulate God? I don't believe so. We can't make God do anything according to our will, afterall, He IS the Almighty God, all powerful, Creator of the heavens and earth. However, because of His great love for us - He IS willing to answer our petitions. He is willing to heal our loved ones. I believe that today, just as in the days recounted in the Bible, strong faith and trust in God do make a difference. My desire is to be a present day centurion.

Does God hear the prayer of one? Most certainly. His eye is on every sparrow, and He calls each star by name. Are we, who are made in His image, not more important to God than the stars and sparrows? I know that we are.

1 Peter 2:24 recounts "...by His stripes we are healed." We are healed not by His death, but by the beating Jesus received before He died. Jesus' death brought salvation to the world. Through His suffering we are given the gift of whole body healing: mind, body and spirit.

What I have shared today are my thoughts and feelings on prayer. These thoughts have come about by the people God has put along my path in this earthly journey. I will finish this reflection on prayer with a quote by Kenneth E. Hagin: "You are a person of great faith. You either have faith in your sickness, or faith in God's power to heal you. I hope for your sake your faith is in the right thing." How is your prayer journey this day?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

MIP for Kyle!!!

The weekend is over .... and now a little time to reflect on the journey of the past few days.
Even though I did not get to witness it, I am a proud mother tonight. Kyle had his third basketball game (3rd grade -learning the fundamentals) Saturday morning, and his coach said he was the "most improved player". The entire family went to his first several Saturdays ago, and it was a rather painful experience for this mom to watch. Compared to the other boys, Kyle lacked confidence, seemed so unsure on the court of what to do, and just did not have the ball handling experience of the other boys.

Kyle had only had two practices before his first game. I had been watching the school take home folder like a hawk, looking for the basketball registration. It never came, and we heard about it after practices had began. For a rather shy child who has never excelled, or even really enjoyed, a sport - starting out behind was a strike. He had been looking forward to trying basketball for over a year, and I was glad there was one opening left between the two third grade teams so he could still play.

Second strike - we have no basketball hoop at home. I do wish there was a way to rectify this - especially since Kyle is tall and basketball would seem a good match. He is not able to just step outside and shoot a few buckets like many boys. Our steep driveway and piece of land does not lend itself to a "basketball court".

Kyle had some obstacles to overcome going into this game - the main one being lack of experience. Kyle's coach is good, and is working hard at teaching the boys the fundamentals of the game. I held my breath a few times during the first game as the coach yelled out directions to Kyle. In past years, this would have caused Kyle to have a melt down - but he handled it, and although he was confused during the game - he made it through and felt good about it when the game was over. I will interject that Abigail did not like the game as the buzzer on the clock was too loud. Having her there meant I had to entertain her, and had a hard time focusing on Kyle and his game. I decided I wouldn't attend another game unless we had a sitter for her at home.

When Kyle and Jesse arrived home Saturday there was a definite mood of gladness. Kyle had fun, majorly improved his guard/blocking skills, and even had the ball long enough to make a basket. Thus, the MIP. It sounds like this game was a night and day difference from his first. I sure hope I find a baby sitter for Saturday morning - as I really want to watch Kyle play and be his number one fan on the sidelines.

It is too early too tell if Kyle will be a basketball player. I always enjoyed the sport in highschool - as a spectator, and enjoyed games of H-O-R-S-E with my siblings. As his mother I would love for him to become good at a team sport, and develop his social skills, but I know that I need to sit back and watch, as God molds him into the man he will someday be.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Praisin' God for a great and glorious day!!

The sun is peeking over the horizon - surely the sunrise will awash the sky with magnificent color in a few moments.
I went to bed last night with a mind full of layout and journaling ideas. It was late, so I knew I needed to sleep and not try to write everything down. Besides, they weren't the type of ideas I would forget too easily. Ideas for loved ones, persons I need to write to - I can't wait to make them.

However, I must wait - today I will finish my January projects for the Scrapbook Playground. Then I MUST continue with the inventory of product from an old business as I have a potential buyer. My resupply of printer ink and photo paper arrived yesterday - I am anxious to finish my Hall of Fame projects in the next week as well... anxious to clear my plate, so to speak, because.....

DRUM ROLL!!!!!!!!! I was asked to be a Guest Review Team member at Scrapfriends.com for the month of February!! I am so excited. Anyone who knows me also realizes my passion for writing - and I cannot think of a better match than to combine scrapbooking with this passion. I want to clean up my "loose ends" so to speak, as I know Randi will be shipping out product for my February assignments very soon. I awoke this morning thanking God for this opportunity - He is so good to me!

Well, I bet that sun has filled the eastern sky with pinks and orange - I am going to take a look!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

A rose by any other name...

I've been waiting a long time to take this photograph. Waiting for snow. Today we finally had our first accumulative snowfall of winter - and it is about time. Kyle and Abby had a great time playing in the snow. They should all sleep well tonight. Kyle shovelled this morning at home, and then again when he hung out with me a while a church while I worked. We enjoyed a neighborhood party in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. The kids played outdoors there, and then again when we got home. All of our wet clothes are hanging up to dry overnight. The snowfall was so pretty, and although many do not care for snow - it is such a great symbol of the purity and cleanliness when it falls brand new to the ground.

What's up with the rose you ask? The rose comes from a bouquet of flowers at the funeral of a friend who died earlier in the year. I had it on my desk at work, and it dried and became, in my opinion, one of the most perfect of beautiful dry roses I had ever seen. Eventually the rose started making its way home -riding on the dashboard of my car for the past few months, awaiting the first snow, in order to fill my whim of a photo shoot.

There is something about this rose, drained from all life, and yet admirable for what it once was... a viable, living being. Much like my friend, now gone. She fought her battles with a quiet faith, and despite her illness, not once did I hear her complain. She continued to minister to others for as long as she was able.
How refreshing is the snow? It cleanses the air, and blankets the world in a coat of purity. Much like our Saviour, whose blood was shed so that we may be cleansed from our sins, and be made as white as snow in God's eyes.
We are a sinful creation, yet God loves us unconditionally.
We ask forgiveness, He offers grace in return.
For all who believe in Jesus, in Him crucified and put to death, we begin a new life in relationship with our Lord. For every sin there is a new blanket of snow washing us clean. We are all given the freedom to choose whom, or what, we serve, but there is only one path that promises eternal life. As a viable, living being I fail many times. Without faith and trust in God I would not be able to get through discouraging days. The next time you are outdoors in the winter, and are touched by snowflakes falling from the sky, remember how we may be cleansed, and made pure as freshly fallen snow. Don't wait until all life is drained from you before seeking a new life in Christ.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Through the eyes of a child...

ahh - the beginning of the balancing act and juggling family activities. This morning was my once-a-month Saturday morning "girls only" outing - meeting Meri and Bernie at Panera at 7 a.m. However, this morning Kyle had a basketball game at 9 a.m. I wouldn't get to relax, chat and have my fourth cup of coffee (Hazlenut with a touch of honey and nutmeg - yum!) as I would have to be home one hour after leaving to tag team Jesse - and care for Abigail.
Well, it did not surprise me that Abby was up early - 5:19 a.m. to be exact. I told her it was still night time and she went back to bed. She was still up early enough to accompany me on "my time" with the girlfriends.
Sure, I missed my quiet drive into Madison and being engulfed in the meditative reflection that comes with listening to the local Christian radio station, and praise and worship music. I noticed the speedometer was even going a little faster than my usual, relaxed putzy drive. The car was full of chatter and questions from the back seat. The early morning winter hours look pretty different to a 4 yr old who has not been out so early. The first question was before we even left the house - "why are we leaving when it is dark out?" When we came over a hill just on the outskirts of Madison Abby exclaimed, "look - it's so beautiful!" I saw newly developed rural land spotted with massive apartment buildins. A new boulevard in place of a simple, two lane country road. But if you look past that - she was right as the break of dawn began to peek over the horizon, and the street lights of the city shone in the sky. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is all right... and I realized I really did not mind sharing my girlfriend time with my daughter. She was an inquisitive, comical driving companion - and we enjoyed a wonderful time at Panera with my my friends.

Today I worked on taking inventory of our former business and the process of tying up loose ends. When we get the shed cleared of all this stuff there will be so much room. We can clear the basement of stored hand me downs and actually walk in the section piled high with boxes.

I didn't do anything scrap related, other than pull some stamps and ink pads out for Abby to stamp with. I visited friends on message boards for a bit, and then this evening decided I should work on one more design team layout due on the 20th for the Scrapbook Playground. The sketch and journaling idea have been done for a while - but I took the time to play with my sketch and fine tune the journaling. I hope I will have time to scrap this tomororw - and then back to my Hall of Fame Entry. My technique layout is complete - I love it! If it weren't for the fact that I have 6 new layout ideas all sketched and set to be scrapped, I could be nearly done. But I want to finishe some of these ideas to compare with what I have, and choose the best. Of the assignments - the only remaining is the mini album and I am excited about what I have come up with for that one.

Tomorrow is another day - looking forward to pastor's message tomorrow as we continue to Rise Up and be part of a church that "stays on task".

Friday, January 12, 2007

2006 Reflections

A new year has begun, and I reflect on 2006 as a scrapbooker - what I had hoped for and what I had dreamed about. I realized how much my perspective on "success" had changed compared to 2005, and how I had grown personally. I decided to create an "all about me" page wtih wonderful Cosmo Cricket products, and my innermost thoughts of lessons learned in the previous year. I hope this layout will inspire others who have dreams of being published, and winning big contests.
Journaling reads:
Another year has passed, and some of my hopes and dreams have passed by with the change of seasons. I did not win a premiere scrapbooking contest. I wasn't asked to be a part of a manufacturer's design team, nor was a magazine knocking down my doors to publish my work, but I am okay with that.
In 2005 I set myself up for disappointment with these types of hopes and dreams. There was a lesson to be learned, and in 2006 I felt I embraced the lesson. It is easy to get wrapped up in a passion, and its perceived achievements. It is easy to lose focus on priorities that matter, and who is important. Through disappointments I found myself in prayer, and asking God to show me what really matters. I learned to accept that everything happens in God's time, and that He knows what I really need. When I returned my focus on Him, my life regained balance and peacefulness. Disappointment rolled off my shoulders like a river flowing south. God showed me what really matters - my family - the real reason I scrapbook.
I smile as I watch my daughter flip through an album, "reading" the stories she sees in the photos. I am proud of our son as he creates his own pages, and takes an interest in photography. I feel a tug on my heartstrings as my husband writes a note to tell me how much he appreciates what I am doing to preserve our family memories. 2006 was the year to erase the fuzzy lines, and focus my eyes on what really matters - God, family, and the love we share.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

They don't film 'em like that anymore!

Seems like a long week, but not long enough when I consider all I have on my plate at work to get done before the weekend. I am praying that my favorite volunteer will be able to come in later this week to help out - she is such a blessing to me.
Do you ever watch old television shows? Seeing that there is hardly anything family friendly on TV these days, last year Jesse began buying season reruns of shows he and I grew up on. Andy Griffith, Gilligan's Island, and even good ol' McGyver. The first two comedies are the best stress relievers - I can't think of one current program that can make the whole family laugh like these do. The kids will watch them over and over, and we know they are wholesome programs.
We continue to be blessed with our Monday night Bible studies with our good friends and mentors, Marv and Carol. Marv's check up this week to monitor his cancer has given us great reason to celebrate and praise the Lord! Marv has even been able to do away with his eye glasses he was worn for years. The couple attribute their continued improving health to their complete lifestyle change of eating the Maker's diet, and daily walks.
Marv and Carol have also been loaning us the season sets of Little House on the Prairie. Jesse used to watch this program as a child, and I am pretty sure it came on about the time I had to do chores in the barn, so much of it is new for me. We are both amazed that every episode alludes to God, prayer and other matters of faith. One would NOT find this program making the cut in today's immoral culture and age of reality TV. I can be assured that each evening we watch, that I will laugh out loud as well as be brought to tears. The family is getting used to my sniffles, and last night during one of the most distressing episodes of Little House ever recorded, Abby hopped of dad's lap and said matter-of-factly, "tissue mom?" And then the sweet little girl brought the box over. I must learn to just keep tissue handy when we join Laura Ingalls to relive her life on the prairie. (LOL)
On the scrapbooking front this week a goal is to finish my technique assignment for the Hall of Fame contest. I made a good start last night and hope to finish today. I realized, looking at my progress chart, that once finished I could officially be done with HOF, but for the fact I still have too many ideas remaining. I hope to finish 4-6 more and then choose for HOF. I will then have a great start in my entry for the Memory Makers Masters contest, which comes on the shirt tails of HOF.
Scrapfriends Review Team is also looking for a guest team member for the month of February. I had so badly wanted to try for this team late last year, but with illnesses, Christmas and other deadlines I missed the cut off by a couple of days. I was so disappointed. Most people who know me know that I have been a writer since a child, and I cannot think of a better match than to combine my passion for scrapbooking with writing. The guest team member will be announced mid-January. If only for a month - I know I will enjoy the team if I am fortunate enough to be chosen.
The new day is calling - I pray anyone who reads this will have a wonderful and most blessed day!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Crash, shatter, what a mess!

Who would have thought it would take me weeks to finally be able to log back in to my blog - and not from lack of trying! I think the problem might lie in an old email address floating around out there, and any attempts at seeking help were probably sent to an email that wouldn't deliver. After much poking, prodding and retyping possible user names and passwords over and over I am finally here! Now I feel too exhausted to blog. (LOL)

In attempt to move a shelving unit for me Friday, my husband crashed a wire cube storage system. It was really quite miraculous that I only lost one Prima bottle on the concrete floor - supplies crashing down must have cushioned the others. We managed to salvage beads and Prima flowers amongst the shards of glass. I recall holding off on Primas for the longest time because glass, concrete flooring and small children do not mix. Glass apparently does not mix with adults either. I am glad to see Prima now selling product in plastic containers.

In order to combat the unsteady nature of my inexpensive wire cube storage system my husband built me a sturdy new shelving unit out of maple plywood this weekend. Woo hoo!!! (he could crash everything if it resulted in new storage units!) On new year's eve day I painted the inside Spinning Wheel tan and olive trim, and put a clear stain on the outside maple. That night we set my new unit atop a black metal storage unit and I proceeded to organize, purge and toss. I also reorganized my patterned papers and part of my cardstock stash this weekend. I love it!

It was also productive in that I finished three more potential CK Hall of Fame layouts and a DT assignment. I really only have a couple of more layouts to do for HOF, but too many ideas in my head. I hope to create them all and then choose which to send, and hold some back for the Masters contest.

Well, time to say prayers with our son - and time to start scrapping a layout. I spent way too much time getting this blog to work - rather tired of it for tonight. I hope to blog again soon now that I have all my information documented so I can get back in here!