Please excuse the under renovations !

Monday, September 14, 2009

Under Construction

Please excuse my blog mess over the next couple days. I'll be under going some major changes, which will probably have a few bugs here and there.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Cloud Pictures

Have you ever gazed up into the sky to see a cloud formation that you could swear looks like a frog or your favorite animal? If you haven't, I encourage you to go stare at the sky (during the day) till you see something. A long time ago, I was the leader of a girls ministry that was similar to Girl Scouts. I'll never forget the lesson that had us to go outside and cloud gaze. It was such a fun time with the girls, which most of them remember vividly to this day.

This afternoon I was alone because my husband had to work the late shift at work. I did a few things around home and then couldn't take it anymore and had to get outside. I grabbed my knitting, my cell and headed out the door. My van stopped just inside the parking lot of our local recreation park. I decided I'd go enjoy some time on the swings. Originally I had planned on knitting while I swang, but when I got there I felt like God was urging me to spend some time alone with Him. So I found the 'perfect' swing, which coincidentally was the one that squeaked the loudest, and began to swing my legs and pull that swing higher and higher.

For a little while, I watched a young family play frisbee on the baseball field. I laughed at the thoughts of the teen boys asking who "that girl" was as I walked by. Sometimes it's nice not to be called ma'am. ;-) But then a set of birds flew by and the skyline caught my attention. I began breathing in that fresh mountain air and noticed that it wouldn't be long before the sun would be well below the mountains that surrounded me. For a brief second, I felt like someone was watching me from behind. I turned my head in an attempt to see if someone was around me, but didn't see anyone. As I looked back forward, the sky got my attention; more specifically the clouds got my attention.

There in a large cloud formation was something that looked like my beloved childhood dog, Ginger. But this Ginger had wings ! LOL. I chuckled outloud and told God, "Very funny!". Then I heard very clearly, "I care enough to want to make you laugh and to see you smile.". It's amazing what happens when you spend time with God and don't expect anything. You just come with an open heart and mind. I didn't come with any specific requests and I wasn't seeking answers. It was all just about spending time with my Father alone in the park this evening.

God's been teaching me some amazing things this week. I began reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I'm part of a book club that's reading this book right now. What an amazing book it is! I'm taking my time, absorbing it's words and letting God teach me through it. There's a few online videos in the first chapter that the author directs you to watch. After watching the last one, I just felt impressed to let my Wednesday night girls class watch it. The video is mainly focused on a call to salvation, but it's not the typical salvation video. The video helps you to think about your relationship with God, how amazing this life really is, and how no one leads an ordinary life. It explains some of the main principles of the Bible and God's love for us.

After the girls watched the video, I could tell that God was working on hearts and we discussed a few things. I felt God's leading, so I gave the girls a challenge for this week. Their challenge was to take a few minutes out this week (especially during a hard moment), go outside or to their bedroom window, pick something to focus on (a bird, a tree knot, etc.), tell God their need for Him, and wait. I challenged them to allow God to show up and let them feel His presence. I went on to explain that I couldn't tell them what they'd feel, but for me when I ask God to do this, I feel like a little girl climbing up into my daddy's lap like I did when I was a kid.

All of a sudden, I noticed tears running down the cheeks of one of my girls. I paused for a moment and asked God to take over. I walked over slowly to the crying girl and comforted her. I'm not sure what I said, but soon another girl was crying. Before I got around the room to her, tears started forming in another's eyes. It kept on like this till the whole room of girls was crying. As much it pained me to see them crying, I knew that God was definitely in our midst and He was working on their little hearts. God was using this time to allow them to open up and let some feelings out. I went around to each one of them and just let whatever God wanted to come out of me. I held them as they shared things and cried some more. The girls began to love on each other too. I really saw God in that room.

All this time, I've been asking for God to show me where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing. But I had it all wrong, I didn't need to be the one to show up, it was Him who needed to be allowed to show up. I still can't pinpoint what was different about this particular night, but all I know is that God was the only thing that mattered in those moments; moments that flew by so quickly. Wow what a blessing it was to be a part of it all!

I believe that God opened up this time with the girls to draw me closer to Him. I can't do anything without Him. I've been so concerned lately with discipline issues and finding the right curriculum for these girls. But I now realized that God can cure any discipline issue I'll ever have with them. The problems and issues that surround these girls are greater than I knew and God alone is their answer. I simply just need to point them in the right direction and to encourage them along the way. This past week has put a passion and a love in me that I haven't felt in a long time.

Thank you Abba for showing me Your grace and mercy. Thank you for wanting to see me smile. Thank you for the girls you've placed in my care. Thank you for allowing me to see Your glory. Thank you for helping my girls to let their feelings, fears, and tears flow out. I pray that I would ever seek You in the difficult and the good times. Blessed be Your Name. A Name Above All.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Are you looking....?

Are you looking for some encouragement today? Well let me direct you to the latest post over at (In)Courage. It's a great one that I think you should read and then pass along to others.

We Live in Wait


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Reflections from Women of Faith 2009

I'm writing these entries a bit out of order. But I just couldn't wait any longer to share this with all of you. (And by you, I mean the one or two of you who read this blog.)

This is directly from my paper journal.....

I realized this weekend that I don't know how to extend grace to myself. Maybe I've never even known the true meaning of grace. Talking about this on the drive home, I explained grace as the ultimate pardon of which one doesn't earn. God extends grace to us because He wants to, not because He has to. Personally, I've never given grace to myself. I've only saw perfection and failure with no in betweens. I've left grace out of the mix and caused a lot of unnecessary hardship to myself. Oh what mistakes I've made and oh how horrible I've been to myself !

I know God has been trying to get this message across to me for so long. Yet I've closed my ears so many times to this wisdom. But this weekend, my ears were finally opened and I heard from God. I saw very clearly for the first time in so long.

My grief, bitterness and mostly regret were washed away the moment I asked God to help me allow myself grace. I've been holding on to so many things; much of which I didn't even realize. I've allowed these things to steal my joy and to rob me of the peace from release.

Thank you Father for opening my eyes and my heart. You always mean good for me but I've not been seeing some that good Father. I've been hanging onto the what-ifs and if-onlys in life. But I make a commitment from this point forward to show myself grace in all situations. I ask Lord that You would help me to extend Your grace to myself just as I would to others. I vow to learn the ultimate truth of grace. I want to live in grace instead of regret.
In Jesus Precious Name......AMEN

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardship, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

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So as you can read above, my life is in for a big change. It's also one of the reasons why I want to give this blog an overhaul. I've focused my life over the years through two categories: Success and Failure. No more. My life is much more than a hit or a miss. And so what if I make a few misses here and there. Ultimately those misses shape who I am. Rarely does success make a lasting impact in the grand scheme of things.

I hope you've been encouraged by this entry. I hope God starts speaking to you about grace too. As I mentioned earlier, I'm sure He's been trying to show me this for years, but I was just too stubborn to listen. Please open your ears and listen today. Don't let your own insecurities and/or upbringing keep you from experiencing the grace and joy that God meant for each of us. I encourage you to join with me in this quest for grace.

Blessings to each of you,

P.S. There will be a lot more entries on grace in the future. I'm going to be studying this until I feel like God releases me from it. Also the entries about Women of Faith will be coming soon too.
Oh and please if you read, I'd appreciate if you'd leave a comment. Your responses and feedback are very important to me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Quick Little Interuption **ETA

So this post has nothing to do with my entries about the Women of Faith conference, but I just had to take the time to blog a bit about my life as of late.

Well I've been in a great mood for a little while now. It's gotten so much better since the conference, but in general I just feel happy. It's so refreshing to feel like I'm able to let go of things in my brain a bit and just be content with life. I feel the rush of freedom flowing through me and it's quite exhilarating. As I told someone recently, I'm going to thoroughly enjoy this feeling as long as it may last.

My husband's squad has set up a little gym in one of their truck bays. I've been going up there and working out some lately. It's nice to be able to work out and not feel like the whole world is staring at me. Best of all, it's completely free to use at anytime we wish. There's also that added benefit of working out with your husband (*blush*). I enjoy spending the time with him and keeping our bodies healthier. Last night I could really tell that the workouts helped to mellow my brain clutter. Brain clutter....aka the never ending chatter, thoughts, pictures, memories, etc. that go on inside my head. I was able to go to sleep last night before midnight with absolutely no trouble at all. I didn't have the 30-45 minute fight with myself before laying down. Nor did I have the hour or so of tossing and turning before I fell asleep. It was lovely !

I'm also excited about my upcoming anniversary and trip. Friday my husband and I will celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss. We are planning to spend the day together and have a nice meal out somewhere. But we are waiting till later this month to take a week long beach trip. We went to the same beach on our 5th anniversary. It was the first time I'd ever been to the beach. I'm hoping and praying that hurricanes and tropical storms will stay away for the duration of our trip, because I really want this one to be special. I'll share more details about it all later.

I wish I had more time to blog on a daily basis. It seems that I've lost many of the readers I once had and that saddens me. But with everything in life its just so hard to keep up sometimes. I'm taking a lunch break right now (and have yet to get anything to eat). I'm working hard on making more plarn bags for my shop on Saturday. There's more details about in my Creative Radiance blog. So I guess I'd better get my food and back to work.

Lou and I on her 15th Birthday !!! My my, where have the years gone? My sweetheart looked so beautiful on her day!


**ETA : Oh and I forgot to mention that I've finally decided it's time for a blog change. I'm still gathering up ideas (and courage) to make a complete change. I'll probably change sometime next week after all my conference weekend updates. I'd love any ideas you have to share. I think I'll change both this blog and my Creative Radiance one too. My life is changing all around so why shouldn't my online presence change too?

My Bookshelf

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I Took The Handmade Pledge!
The Breast Cancer Site