Monday, September 2, 2013

A Labor Day Wish

May your day be full of hopeful sunrises and thankful sunsets. May you see the sun rise on new tomorrows and days full of colorful falling leaves, cool breezes, the sound of acorns hitting the tin roof on the shed, and squirrels collecting them and hiding their treasures for later winter munching. May you find one yourself, plant it deep in some rich dirt, water it with the faith that believes and hopes in tomorrow’s oak trees and God’s promises and miracles. May you watch your orange and yellow and pink, vibrant sunsets with a thankful heart for all that summer leaves behind you --- the scent of flowers, the sounds of singing birds, the fresh mowed grass, births, growths, and the creations of an artful heart! Thank Him for lessons learned on dark days, gifts received on bright days, tears shed on sad days, smiles shared on happy days. May you always remember that all are gifts, all are from His hands, all freely given . . .to YOU!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Weekend Blessing

Emily, over at Chatting At the Sky, does these wonderful "For Your Weekend" posts. I have always loved them so much and have forwarded them on many times. Today, I thought, I'll just write one myself. Lea from the Shabby Olde Potting Shed told me she was vacuuming, etc., today. So this was written with her in mind. But it's for whoever reads this today! Even YOU!

May your day be filled with eye-squinting sunshine, glistening leaves that dance in the breezes, and magical whispy clouds that float across the sky. Drop your vacuum and your dust mop and step into the world of turquoise dragonflies, dancing yellow dandilions, and droopy-faced sunflowers. Breathe in the freshness of God’s joyous creation. Breathe out your thanks to God, the Creator of the beauty around you. And may you hear Him whisper, “You are very welcome and it My pleasure to provide it for you!” Don’t miss the splendor this weekend! Dust bunnies will be glad to wait until Monday!

And if you can't find a turquoise dragonfly ---- make one"

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lessons Learned

I read a “daily devotional” today that talked about how we face our past --- do we look at it through the lens of guilt, despair and shame, or do we look at it through the lens of God’s forgiveness, redemption and restoration?

Sprinkled throughout these past months has been the reminder of the word I chose for 2013 --- restoration. I can’t believe how many times the Lord has brought into the forefront of my mind stuff from my past. Some of it was covered with cobwebs as it had been hidden back in the dark corners of my mind. Others rose up out of cloudy, misty memories that I had hoped would stay out in the cold. I do know that we shouldn’t dwell on our past, that we should move on, press on, “forgetting those things which are behind.” Yet, there are times when we need to learn from our mistakes and pass those learning lessons on to others or leave lights along the pathway so others don’t trip over the same things we stumbled over.

I’ve been keeping a list of things I learned when I was in places that seemed to be nothing but desolate deserts. I’m sure the list isn’t complete and I’ll be adding more, but I wanted to share this with you today:

In my hunger, He alone could feed me.

In my thirst for Him, He proved only He could satisfy.

In my weariness, He taught me how to sit and “rest awhile.”

In my loneliness, He became my true friend.

In my restlessness, He became my contentment.

In my longings, He became my fulfillment.

In my desparation, He became my hope.

In my desires, He filled my needs.

In my broken dreams, He became my reality.

In my wanderings, He became my pathway.

In my darkness, He became my light.

In my despair, He became my encourager.

In my questionings, He became my answers.

In the heat of my days, He became my resting place.

In the endlessness of the desert, He became my horizon.

In my questions “why?” He became my answer, “Because I am that I am.”

In my blindness, He became my vision.

In my doubting, He became my faith.

In my midnight hours, He became my song.

In my falling, He lifted me up.

In my sinfulness, He touched me.

In my brokenness, He healed me.

In seeing Him, I became nothing.

In my nothingness, He became everything.

In finding Him to be everything, the desert became my Promised Land.

In finding my way through the desert, I found my ministry as a guide.

So yes, it is true that He DOES restore the years the locusts have eaten. I don’t think there is one thing on this list that was not worth learning!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Update on Paper making

I'm obsessed! Not a day has gone by where I haven't made at least one sheet of paper, and I love how every one has turned out. Usually, I'm a "neutral" kind of person, staying with the earth tones, tans, off white, ivory, etc. But now???? I'm all for COLOR, sparkles, specks, patterns, textures, etc. It's like a new ME has emerged!!! Nothing is safe in my kitchen, my garbage, my mailbox, etc.

My first experimental venture was with strawberries. My sister had some left that were turning a little dark and mushy, so I dumped them in the blender with my paper scraps. Just the color of that blended mix of pulp looked like some delicious homemade ice cream. I followed all the steps of making the paper, but I couldn't wait for it to dry, so I ironed it dry. It's still sitting here in one piece ---- I can't even bear to cut it up. In fact, I haven't done a single project with my papers yet. They are too pretty to cut them. I have all these dies for my Accucut and Sizzix machine and I can't make up my mind what to do, so I just look at them.(The blobs of white in the photo are actually little sparkles I threw in with the pulp!)

Yesterday, my sister gave me one of her beautiful, sparkly, blue sheets and asked me to cut some bookmarks for her. I cut her four. I had the perfect blue ribbon yarn with a glittery weave through it, so did the tassels out of that. She was so thrilled and proceeded to make flowers for them and decorate them up. She is soooooooo hooked!

After the strawberry success, I branched out and made paper out of oatmeal, rose petals, and even used my carrot peelings to make the most beautiful pumpkin colored paper.(no pictures yet ---- it isn't dry!)

I also tried my hand at paper casting, as I had a few of those Brown Bag cookie molds hidden away. It took a while to find them, but it was worth the effort. Paper Alice (video in the last post) has these neat molds for paper casting, and my sister has three of those. They turned out fantastic. I'm in love with my angel castings and can't wait to do more.

I have a collection of antique butter molds, and they have the most unique carvings in them. I got brave and did a paper casting of one with acorns, leaves and wheat. I couldn't believe it turned out!!!!! Now I want to do them all.

So here I am, like a third grader playing with paper scraps, a blender, and a bucket of water!!!!! I have to get a card made and something DONE to show you how beautiful it really looks. I know some of you are trying this, making handmade journals, cards, and artsy stuff, and I can't wait to see your projects! Let me know if you post about your papermaking!!!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Projects for Spring

I am just soooooo glad that Spring has finally come! I'm tired of being cold. I was shocked when I saw that my wisteria had started to bloom. Not a day too soon, either. I'm as busy as the bees that have found those wisteria blooms, believe me.

I don't know where I read about making your own paper ---- perhaps as I hopped down rabbit trails of blogs ---- but it jogged my memory back to a time when I REALLY wanted to get into that. But I never did. So that idea began to brew and boil over in my mind until I couldn't stand it anymore. I googled the topic and read everything written on the subject and watched about 237 videos on how to do it. I am now the "expert" and know more than I will ever, ever need to know about making my own paper.

Then, I found "Paper Alice", a gal who not only makes the most beautiful paper, but gives classes, does shows, and also sells the supplies. I could tell from her videos that she just loved doing what she does. And I was hooked! So last week, I ordered what I needed to get started, and let me tell you, I was like a kid waiting for it to come in the mail. Monday, it came. In the meantime, I picked some of my wisteria blossoms, got them pressed and dried, all ready for my first piece of paper.

The nice thing about making paper is, you can use all the junk paper, junk mail, envelopes, etc., that usually ends up in the trash. Napkins, tissue, wrapping paper, etc., are all appropriate. So I dug in the trash for two envelopes, some cardstock scraps, and I was in business.

So here is my first attempt:

I was tickled pink with it. All I did was, tore up two business envelopes and a half a piece of blue cardstock and put it all in a blender. I covered it with water, turned it on for 30 seconds or so, added some parsley from the spice rack, and poured it into my mold. Unmolded it, and there was a perfect sheet of paper. I carefully pressed my flowers into the wet paper, covered it all with a screen, sponged out the water, and DONE! I am SOOOOOOOO into this! It will go with my card making and add so much to what I'm already doing. The neat thing is, the possibilities are endless ---- like adding sparkles, glitter, flower petals, leaves, colorings, etc. The sky is the limit.

Here's my second attempt:

This one has green moss and oregano in the mix. Once again, I used two envelopes and some scraps of green cardstock.

If you would like to see "Paper Alice" and her YouTube videos, you can find them here:

Friday, January 25, 2013


Five Minute Friday

Linking up with Lisa Jo and 5-minute Fridays. It’s a time when we set the timer and write for 5 minutes with no corrections, editing, backspacing, or “do overs.” So here it goes:

Today’s Word ---- “Again”


Once again, I made the journey to the Cancer Center for my three--month check up. I’m coming up on my 5-year anniversary in July -- it was in July of 2008 that I was diagnosed with breast cancer and started that journey through treatment. No matter what anyone says, no matter how positive and “on top of it” I am, I was never the same after that. I don’t think anyone is. It’s not a detour, it’s a whole new path.

Once again, I get weighed, I get the finger prick, I get the exam, I get the blood draw from my chemo port, and I get the port flushed out. In some ways, I’m tired of it. In other ways, I am reminded again and again of God’s abundant grace in healing and giving me these past 5 years.

Again, my oncologist reminds me of his own surprise at my “amazing recovery” and absence of any signs of cancer. We discussed those chemo days, how he didn’t think the surgeon would be able to close that spot where the tumor was, how the radiation burned me to a crisp, and yet, it looks so good.

And so, again, I lift my praise and thankful heart to Him who walks with us through the each and every valley! And again, I thank all my friends here who stuck with me through those days, walked with me, prayed for me again and again, and have praised God for all He has done!


Be sure to visit others who are participating in 5-minute Friday here:

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Regrets, Redemption, Restoration

I never meant to stop blogging. I love it here and love all of you who came to visit. But it seemed that I ran out of words for a while. One day passed, than another, then a week, a month, and now. . . . It seems like I’ve disappeared forever. It just seemed that I was boring. I was bored with me. My days seemed to always be the same and finding topics to discuss was just not happening.

Perhaps a break was best for me, though I didn’t even know I was going to take one. But lately, I’ve found myself writing, so to speak, in my head -- especially during sleepless night. And it always sounded like blog posts. So here I am, back again.

I wasn’t completely gone. I loved blog hopping to so many of your blogs. They are always so thought-provoking, beautifully written, and God honoring. I’m so thankful for all of them, believe me!

So many of you have picked words for this new year. I found that to be so interesting, as I really had never done that before. So I decided to think about it and my heart settled on one word ---- no, maybe it’s three words, really. “Regrets,” “Redemption,” and “Restoration.”

It all began with the verse in Joel 2:25 where God says He will restore the years the locust have eaten. Can He really do that???? Immediately, my thoughts went back in my journals of memories and seemed to highlight all the regretful stuff, even from my childhood: Bad choices, no’s instead of yes’s. “I can’t” instead of “I’ll try.” Running instead of staying, and staying when I should have run.

Oh my, do you have any idea what a review of your regrets in life can do to the weight of the burden on your back???? It’s not a good thing, that’s for sure. Especially since there is no way to change any of it. It’s over, done, and I am who I am because of it. But. . . .

Praise God, there is a BUT ! Through the darkness of all those regrets there still stands a Cross of forgiveness and cleansing and He pays the debt owed for all of it. ALL! Redemption! Suich a great word of comfort, isn’t it?

But Restoration. I had never really thought much about it until one day when I was sharing with someone who was hurting, and I told her about how I understood because I had messed up and made some bad choices just as she had and how that sometimes there are consequences we can’t change, but we can grow through them and use them. She asked me how in the world could that be? I read 2 Cor. 1:4 to her, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

It was at that moment that I, myself, understood the whole thing of Restoration: When I am willing to accept God’s forgiveness and comfort, it is then that I can help someone else going through the same thing. And that, my friend, is when the ruins turn to rubies, and the locust loses out.

And so, Restoration has become my word for this year. Whenever I find a “regret” pestering my life and pulling me down, I will pray for a way to use it in the life of another and find redemption and restoration.