Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Birthday Project

So yesterday was my birthday.  After last week, doing VBS every night, all I wanted for my birthday was a peaceful day at home with some free time to just do something for me.  I wanted to pick a project and work at it guilt free even though there are baskets of laundry waiting to be folded and clutter waiting to be cleaned up.  On my birthday and I can ignore it without remorse.  There are so many “unnecessary” projects I’d just love to do. But between not feeling well all summer and the normal crazy busyness things just aren’t getting crossed off the To Do list very quickly.
I picked to do a wall hanging that I plan to prop in a grouping on a little dresser type piece of furniture by our front door.  It has the famous quote by Jim Elliot, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”   I kept finding it ironic that even while I was working at making this wall hanging I was getting frustrated with my kids, and my attitude was not something I’m proud of!  I like this quote because it speaks of surrender (can a person be surrendered and frustrated at the same time?) which how I desire to live my life.  But more on that later...

I used 20"x30" foam board from Dollar Tree as a base.

My goal was to paint the quote on unbleached muslin.  I know my lettering skills aren't so great, so I cheated and printed the quote on plain white copy paper and centered it on the fabric.

Then I slowly went over it with a black sharpie so some of the ink bled through the paper and onto the fabric.  I made sure the top and bottom of the letters were well marked so they would be even. Then I went over it with a fine paintbrush and brown paint.

My mamma made me this awesome paintbrush holder that rolls up for storage years ago.  She is amazing - way before pintrest and Martha Stewart she was coming up with stuff like this.  I want to be like her! :)

I glued four 10"x20" layers of foam board together to make it about an inch thick.

Around the edge I used a sponge and serveral shades of brown paint to feather the edges and frame the quote.

I just hot glued the fabric to the back and painted the visible edges dark brown.

The finished product!
The simple profundity of Jim Elliot’s statement has struck a chord with me since my teens.  It’s so obvious that you almost want to say “duh”, but when you say that you’re really saying it about your own life.  We are fools every day, hanging onto things that we cannot keep and clutching at things that do not belong to us in the first place.  In each stage of life there are more tests and God says to me “Will you let go?  Will you give up?  Will you trust Me?”  In my life right now these words from Mr. Elliot keep coming back to me because I’m struggling with hanging on.  Hanging on to my “rights” to a healthy body and clear mind.  The Lyme Disease has changed my summer – not in extreme ways, but small ways that add up.  I do believe I’ll be well again, but only God knows the timing for that.  And for now I know I must give it all up to Him.  It is a small thing compared to what I gain!  This project is my banner to remind me of this Truth.

The final arrangement (for now!)  ;)

Commit your way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Psalm 37:5

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


In July we had a party to celebrate Sheralyn’s hard work and receiving her GED diploma.  Sheralyn is part of our family and has lived with us for a year and a half.  We are very proud of how diligently she worked to get to this point! 

It’s been a while since I’ve been a part of planning any sort of larger party and I enjoyed finding ideas, getting inspired and getting those rusty wheels turning again!

The party invitation.

Hot Doggities - a fun and easy thing for a party! 
Click here for the recipe.

Old crates held a Gerber Daisies and created a centerpiece for small circles of guests who brought their own picnic chairs.

I made flowers and polka dots from royal icing to decorate the cake. (Recipe and directions here.)  It's so much fun to work with and very simple. You do have to allow a few days for it to dry completely, but there is no end to what you can create!

My Sister-in-law, Alison, made this lovely orgami butterfly card for Sheralyn. 


"There you and your families will feast in the presence of the LORD your God, and you will rejoice in all you have accomplished because the LORD your God has blessed you."
Deuteronomy 12:7

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rainbows and Puddles

Summertime showers and the Puddles – what could be nicer
than the free feeling of splashing about?  

One recent Sunday evening a shower produced a beautiful rainbow. The girls and I ran outside to see it before it vanished. The thought kept dancing in my head, “I wish I had my camera”, but a rainbow is so fleeting that I didn’t want to waste the moments by running for my camera. After we’d been out for quite a while it was still as bright as ever, so I decided to dash in and grab the camera!

We savored the rainbow beauty for twenty minutes or more! And then I savored the beauty of two blond heads (with hair crazy from napping) dancing and jumping in the lingering raindrops with sunlight turning the tangles into halos. Savor your own little moments my friends!!!

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.
Psalm 34:8

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge – Pets

This is our family pet, Jerusha.  She’s a Shi-tzu with a summer haircut!  She came to our home as just a mini ball of fluff three months after we were married and has been spoiled ever since. 

Five little known facts about Jerusha:
1. She likes raw green beans.
2. She is terrified of the gas truck that fills up the farm tanks.
3. She chases thunder.
4. She doesn’t like other dogs.
5. She ran away from home after our first daughter was born. (yes, she was depressed!)


I’ve entered this photo in the “Pets” photo contest at I Heart Faces.  To see more fun pet photos click on their button!  And you really should check out the stuff from photographer Seth Casteel who’s doing the judging this month!  Those underwater dog pictures are amazing! J  
Photo Challenge Submission

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I thought I’d share a few of the thoughts I’ve been preaching to myself lately.  It’s been a while since I’ve done a Thinking Thoughts kind of post. (Thinking Thoughts, to me, are different than all the random thoughts that are going through my head at all times.  Ever tried really hard NOT to think?!   Thinking Thoughts are deeper and search into life and what is really going on in the depths.)

First of all, I’ve been dealing with Post Lyme Syndrome since I had a tick bite and tested positive for Lyme Disease this past May.  My Doctor says that I’ve been adequately treated and we caught it early, I’m just experiencing aftereffects.  Basically for me it’s just constant headaches and unreasonable fatigue and the foggy brain that goes along with such things. It just gets old.  Then the last two weeks our girls had a sickness that really took them down – the symptoms of strep throat, but they tested negative.  It’s all just compounded around me as I was cooped up in the house a lot. (Thank you to my mother-in-law and sis-in-law for giving me some breaks!)  I can’t help but think about friends who are going through truly difficult things and this seems so minor.  But nonetheless, it’s real in my life right now.  And so come the thoughts about what is this all for? What should I be learning from it?  What causes me to respond the way I do?

Pretty flowers my daughter Kadence picked today.

They're in a bottle my sister-in-law gave me
 with a beautifully encouraging note.

Oswald Chambers says: “No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it removes God from the throne of our lives, replacing Him with our own self-interests. It causes us to open our mouths only to complain, and we simply become spiritual sponges— always absorbing, never giving, and never being satisfied.” 

(I love the stuff from Oz. He doesn’t beat around the bush and sounds kind of harsh at times.  But I think most of us are wimpy people. Myself included. Definitely.  Here’s a great writing on suffering.) 

"My Utmost for His Highest" book given to me sixteen years ago by my Sunday School teacher
and Father-in-law before he knew he would be my Father-in-law!  It's the old classic one that has the
original words like uttermost, getting huffed and where he calls people clods and such things.  I love it!

Here’s a question that’s been fluttering around in my mind “Why is it that when things are tough or when I’m not feeling the best that I feel justified  [defended, validated, explained, rationalized, excused, vindicated, warranted] in doing wrong?”  I don’t feel as guilty for not responding correctly?  Like it’s okay since I’m going through this hard thing?  When words that are unkind slip (or even pour) out of my mouth and I’m okay with it because of the “horrors” I’m suffering.  Poor little me!   

I’m not talking about being “perfect” in all things here.  My house suffers.  We eat simpler meals.  And I’m fine with that.  The things I’m talking about are the things that are wrong and right.

Self-pity does some pretty bad stuff.

What I’m saying with my self-pity is that it’s not okay that this is happening to me.  More than that I’m basically saying,“God you aren’t good.”

A question Job asked his wife comes to my mind,  “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" (Job 2:10)

On a little different but similar note, here’s something that happened just the other night.  I’d slipped out of the bathroom unbeknownst to Nathan, who was in there showering.  I heard him talking to me from back in the bedroom.  So I virtuously went back down the hall, back into the bathroom, and asked him what he’d said.  It was a trivial question and I felt justified when I answered his question in a sort of rude way in a short tone.  As though, since I had been so selfless and made such a sacrifice in walking all the way down the hall, it validated my wrong response.  Funny how the human brain works!! 

So my little sermon to myself is this: “Watch out for your deceitful heart.  Don’t let circumstances in your life affect what you know to be true!”

“Yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
Habakkuk 3:18

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