Please excuse the under renovations !

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


"Its so easy to run FROM God, but so hard to run TO God. I'm going to pray that God gives you that last bit of courage and passion to draw you right to the place where He wants you."

 I wrote these words to a friend tonight and God struck a cord in my heart.  "What are you running from child?  Why must you take the easy way when I've called you into the difficult?"

Talk about knock my breath away for a second!  I would never call my life easy, but what does God see that I don't?  Am I making decisions in life because they are easy or because they are what God wants me to do?  At the moment, I can't answer that question with a definitive answer.  

Philippians 2:5-8 (NKJV)  says this...

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. coming in the likeness of men.

This scripture was the first one I saw today and it was the one I needed.  Jesus was God in the flesh.  He knew all and was (and is) all powerful.   Jesus could have done anything He wanted while in the fleshly body.  Yet He chose to take the difficult path.  He chose to become a servant to man. And He chose to be obedient to the point of death on the cross.  It wasn't easy for Jesus to give up His will and lay it all down for us.  None of the suffering Jesus endured was easy or okay for him, yet He went through it anyway.

When I think of the suffering I've experienced, I should remember the suffering that Christ chose to go through for me.  It's honestly often hard for me to think that Jesus knew the kind of suffering I've experienced.  How did he know the emptiness of my arms?  How did he know what it's like to have a child die inside his body?  But when I really think about it, Jesus chose to live a life alone, without a helpmate, without a wife.  Jesus never knew the joy of holding his own flesh and blood in his arms.  I know the Bible doesn't mention his thoughts on this, but I do imagine that being human he felt the absence of that special family bond.  I know that He knew all our pains and I believe that He knows mine too.  When Jesus went to pray in the garden of Gethsemane, He prayed so hard that His sweat became as blood.  Can you imagine someone praying that hard for you?  To know that He was praying for the coming days and all of us is more than I can even comprehend.  It's no wonder that His whole body was affected.  While He was suffering being beaten, carrying that cross, and finally dying, I was on His mind.  All the pain and shame I've been through was on His mind.  My Jesus ran straight into the difficult and the impossible, not because He wanted to, but because He knew we needed Him to.  He not only became our salvation, but He showed the Way.

*taking a moment to let that sink in*

  Examine my heart and mind.  Show me the Way....the way of Your plan, the way of my specific path.  Help me to run to You, God.  I'm much too weak and weary from this journey.  I feel my strength is almost gone. Be the strength and the courage I need.  Help me to put the easy way out of my mind. Give my heart the urgency I once had.  Return to me Lord the complete joy of my salvation.  I desire to see You vividly again. Forgive me for running in any direction other than You.  Thank you Lord for never leaving my side and awakening my spirit.  
In Jesus Name....AMEN

For anyone reading this, be blessed today and know that you have the power to choose which direction you'll run.  


Saturday, February 13, 2010

God Has a Way...

God has a way of working out things in our lives.  For a while now, I have been planning on writing a resignation letter to the Women's Ministry Team at my church.  I had decided that I wanted to concentrate solely on youth ministry.  I couldn't adequately do what I felt I needed to in both ministries, so I went with the one where I felt like God wanted me to be.  I do desire to do some women's ministry, but at this time, I feel like God wants me to stay working with my middle school girls.

I waited and waiting writing that letter though.  I'm not sure if it was just mere procrastination, fear of confrontation or maybe I was actually waiting on God, but in any case, I'm glad that I waited.  This past Sunday I was handed a thank you card and a flower for my service over the past year by the women's director.  Apparently God had been working behind the scenes and the women's ministry was completely dissolved (in the form that it had been).  So now I don't have to worry about writing a letter of resignation, there's nothing to resign from.

Isn't it strange and great at the same time when God takes care of things for you?  I mean, we all say that we trust Him to do just that, but do we really?  Do we really trust that God will handle things for us? Even the things that are the most uncomfortable?  I've been teaching my middle school girls about the different themes of the Bible.  We've been studying about how God cares, comforts and takes care of us.  This past week we were reading Psalm 37 about how trusting God allows him to bring good to our lives.

Look at this...
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
         Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
         And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
 5 Commit your way to the LORD,
         Trust also in Him,
         And He shall bring it to pass.
 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
         And your justice as the noonday.
 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
         Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
         Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
         Do not fret—it only causes harm.

Trusting and delighting in God brings us the desires of our heart. In contrast, anger, worry, or being unpleased with life only cause us harm.  Could this mean that being discontented with life holds God back from bring blessings into our lives?   Are we tying God's hands every time we complain or worry about our lives?  Oh my, this really makes me think twice about how I perceive about things !

I was talking to my mom earlier this week about perspectives.  We can look at things through a negative or a positive viewpoint.  There's a mountain directly across from my driveway.  On that mountain there's a wasteland of dead kudzu vines among the bare winter trees.  But there's also some evergreens clinging to rich dark green leaves.  I can choose to look at that mountain and only see dead things or I can choose to look and see that life is still present in the evergreen leaves.  It's my choice what perspective I take, not just in matters of things I see, but also in how I choose to feel about things.  What if we made the conscience choice to alter our viewpoints to the positive side?  What if we found something purposeful or meaningful about everything we go through in our lives?  Would God be able to move more effective in our lives? I'm inclined to think so.

Another thing that came to mind while I was talking to Mom was the differences between boundaries and limitations.  Boundaries are set by God; ie right from wrong, black from white.  Limitations are placed by man (often ourselves).....for nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).  We shouldn't allow man's limitations to hold us back from God's possibilities.  Please join with me in not allowing your own perspectives, fears, worries or complaints to hold you back from experiencing God's best for you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Photo 365: 2010

Yesterday I finally got caught up on posting all my Photo 365's to my Flickr page.  You can now view them via my side bar.  The pics began to take up my whole blog, so now they are all in one convenient place.  If you'd like to see the pictures in a bigger size, just click on the word Flickr and it will take you directly to my page.

I'm not exactly sure my pictures are in order by day, because when I added a new memory card, my phone mixed them all up.  But I almost certain that I'll be ok with that. ;-)

Ok I hope to be back this week with some actual posts. Life has me very busy lately and I haven't taken enough time to blog or write.  I'd like to change that.  Plus I'm dying to share some new design inspiration with you.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Note From My Pastor

Our church has been using Facebook a lot lately.  It seems that people have really opened up to one another through this medium.  While at first I thought it was quite strange that people could be so friendly online, I slowly came around to the idea.  I questioned the validity of their friendship over and over, that is until I saw people actually communicating in real life.  There's a wave of joy that's come over our congregation and honestly it's quite intoxicating.  I have more desire to serve in the church again.  I personally haven't gained any new friendships from any of this, but God has awakened the servant inside of me again.

Today I received the following message from my pastor in my inbox.  He's been sending these out a couple times a week now for about a month.  I thought I'd share his encouraging word for the day to you all as well. 


Encouraging Word
Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. 2 Corinthians 4: 1-2 The Message

It's amazing isn't it? When the whole truth is shared about what Jesus has done in you and I things really get exciting... What's happening in our families is nothing short of a miracle. It's not hype or exaggeration. We're putting Jesus on display - making Him famous, and He is responding to our worship.

I stand amazed really. I received a letter from an adult and a youth in our church this past week. Both said almost the exact same thing - that we need to get into God's Word and allow HIS TRUTH to wash us into holy vessels pleasing to His name.

Be encouraged today to put aside the mask. There's no need to play games. Be encouraged to get real with God. Be real! Walk a real walk! Talk the real talk!

We don't have to twist the obvious because we are all a work in progress. Let everyone see that we are God's children, each in the process of growing into His image. We don't use masks to cover our past or our failures. We are pressing toward His high calling...

However, more important than us pressing forward to reach God, He has initiated the first step in reaching out to YOU and I. It is HE who has initiated this redemptive plan. Thanks God we are part of His plan and have responded to His voice!

Because of such great love, we are NOT ABOUT TO THROW UP OUR HANDS AND QUIT! I'd encourage some of you to get down right angry at the enemy and put your hands on your hips, tilt your head back and look that ole' devil in the eyes and say, "Honey... I'm just getting started. I'm not about to throw up my hands and quit. You might have had me, but you sure don't have me now. I'm blessed. I'm favored. I'm God's child. I'm serving at my church. I'm reaching out to my community. I cannot be deterred, delayed, or denied. I will not quit!"



Saturday, January 30, 2010

Back in Public View

I decided it was time to make my blog public again.  One of the reasons I decided to write in this blog was to journal my journey; my transitions if you will, being on private almost defeated the purpose.  I've taken time to heal from past events and am ready to move on.

My apologies to anyone who might have wondered what happened to me.   I'm still around and will be more active here now.  I have almost 2 weeks worth of Photo 365 to catch up with posting.  I have that on my schedule for this week. 

See ya then....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Walking Down Memory Lane

Tonight I've been studying some for the middle school girls class I teach on Wednesday nights.  I was surfing the web for some resources to help me with the next series of lessons I'm teaching.  Such strange feelings go through me sometimes.  I pulled up my old Crossed Out Youth Ministries email account.  Crossed Out was the youth ministry that my husband and I pastored for 5 years.  I deleted its website several years ago, but I never could bring myself to delete the email account.  All youth related things are still directed there and there are so many memorable emails stored there; emails from students, parents, and fellow peers in youth ministry.

Anyway so I'm sitting here tonight and this feeling comes over me.  The only way I know how to describe it is an intense sudden sense of purpose.  The passion bubbles up so quickly within me and its so easy to go back into youth pastor mode.  Recently our youth pastor empowered all the youth leaders to act as youth pastors over their particular small group.  I'm not exactly sure I understand the logic behind that, but on one hand it does feel nice to have that kind of confidence behind us.

I know that God took RL and I out of youth pastorship for a reason.  I have yet to discover that reason and sometimes I greatly struggle with that.  But it's nights like tonight that reassure me that God has not taken my passion and zeal for youth away.  Albeit strange, I am thankful that God allows such feelings to flood my heart and mind.

ETA:  After I posted this the first time, I glanced up at today's scripture of the day...
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3) ...... Thanks for that reminder Lord. I love you too.


BTW:  I'll be catching up with posting my Photo 365's in the next couple days.  I have taken them, but just haven't taken the time to blog them.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This Is My Year !

I believe this is going to be my year.  I'm bound and determined like I haven't been in a long time.  This belly will be leaving me in the near future.  I have decided that I'll no longer be attached or defined by it.  It's going to take this determination to make it.  I will need help along the way so please do send those encouraging words.  I need every single one of them. 

Tonight I did a 20 minute ab workout on my exercise ball with a DVD.  It's a 45 minute routine, but I thought I'd start slow and try my best to keep up with the pro.  I did well keeping up, which I'm very happy about.  Hopefully soon I'll be able to get all the way through the video.  I did get to the harder part of the workout; ball pushups with pelvic tucks.  So at least I got past the basic crunches.  BTW, if you've never worked out on an exercise ball, I highly encourage you to get one or at least try it out at the gym.  They really help a lot in supporting your back and allow a broader range of motion.  I've gotten more success in the past through occasional ball workouts than I ever did with crunches. 

So here's my planned routine for the next few weeks:
  • Ab Workouts at least 3 days a week
  • Cardio and Weights at least 3 days a week
  • Running on the treadmill each weekday  (attempting this will depend on timing)
I have access to a small gym at my leisure.  It's very small and I'd have to bring my own entertainment, but at least its something.  I'd have to wait for my hubby to go with me because he's the one with the key, but I'm sure he'll help to encourage me.  There's WiFi so I'll probably take my laptop and pull up something on Netflix or Hulu to watch while on the equipment.  It'd be a great time for a good old podcast or two as well.  I'm not agile enough to knit while on the treadmill 

Maybe soon I'll get to buy some cute new workout clothes.  :-)  'Cause you know a girl always look for a good excuse to shop.  Plus I've got a Broadway-inspired Sweet Sixteen party to attend this coming summer.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Photo 365: Day 13

Fun times in the library with Lou.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Photo 365: Day 12

Photo 365: Day 12
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina

Out for a ride near my stepdad's property...goodness I could lost in that dreamy light. I wish I could have just stood out there for hours watching those horses and daydreaming.


P.S.  I'll post Day 11 soon.  It's a picture of a gift that the recipient had yet to see.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Photo 365: Day 11

Photo 365: Day 11
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina

The finished money hat I made for Grayson. I just think it's the cutest thing. I was inspired by the BlaBla brand and made my own. The hat is knit from cotton yarn and is lined with fleece. There's earflaps and a velcro strap there as well, you just can't see it in this picture.


Photo 365: Day 10

Photo 365: Day 10
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina

A view from my workspace today....I looking out my windows up toward the mountain covered in snow. Some days I face the other wall, but today the snow helped inspire me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Photo 365:Day 9

Photo 365:Day 9
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina
I'm so thankful for heat, hot water and unfrozen and maybe even curly wet hair sometimes :-p

Photo 365: Day 8

Photo 365: Day 8
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina
Just after midnight before the snow came barreling down...I was too excited to sleep

Photo 365: Day 7

Photo 365: Day 7
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina
Snow makes me one happy lady.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Photo 365: Day 6

Photo 365: Day 6
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina
I looked so forward to purchasing this circle cutter...came home to try it out to find it doesn't work at all....BOO !!!

Photo 365: Day 5

Photo 365: Day 5
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina
The beginnings of my yarn destashing....oi I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Photo 365: Day 4

Photo 365: Day 4
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina
His own kinda style...gotta love the combat boots and pjs.

Photo 365 : Day 3

Photo 365 : Day 3
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina

Homemade Pizza? - Hubby was so proud of his pizza creation, cause I was still to sick to cook.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 Goals

I'm a few days behind in getting my goals posted for 2010.  I went on a youth trip on 12-29 and returned early on 12-31 due to a sudden illness.  I won't go into all the details, but let's just say that absolutely nothing would stay down and I went downhill quickly.  I'm still not well and have barely held anything down since Wednesday.  I suspect I picked up a nasty stomach virus while on the trip.  I'm just glad that it appears no one else came down with the virus.  I'd rather be sick than have a child get sick.

Christmas 2009 came and went by so fast.  I didn't have much time to really enjoy it because I was so busy working on gifts and all the details.  I want this to be different in 2010.  So that leads me to goals for 2010.

1. Live life in the today.
I spend way too much time living for what's coming next that life seems to just pass by without me really even noticing.  It's time to change that.

2.  Enjoy life more.
This goes hand in hand with the first one.  Life is too short not to enjoy it.

3.  Finish things I've started.
I'm tired of leaving things so unfinished.  I want to set reasonable goals and bring them to completion to the best of my ability this year.

4.  Continue to allow myself to be human.
I've been working on this the past couple years.  It's all part of my transitions theme.  I allow myself the right to succeed and fail, simultaneously.  I allow myself to feel.  I allow myself to have human emotion, reactions, non-reactions, etc without guilt.

1.  Do the Photo 365 Project.
I know a lot of people are doing this.  I was inspired to do this in October when I stumbled upon a blog about letting go.  I'll likely be posting a weekly or bi-weekly posting of my photos.  I don't plan to do any themes (unless I change my mind). My main goal is document my everyday life.  I'll be using my Flickr account to do this (and of course blogging too).

2.  Take more photos in general.
I'm guilty of letting months go by and not picking up my camera.  I'd like to change that for 2010.  I once had a deep passion for photography and I let that go by the wayside.  It's time to live again.

3.  Actively look at my personal style and attempt to find it.
I'm going to try several methods including an inspiration journal and participating in some online style forums.

4.  Just go for it ! Designing, Writing, Drawing, Painting.....Anything that comes to mind !
I want to fill up the sketch book that I carry around.  In fact, I might have to buy 2 or 3 this year!  I'm not going to hold back.  No fear, no shame.

5.  Use up as many supplies as I possibly can.
I want to completely declutter and de-stash my craft studio.

6.  Make my craft studio creatively inspiring instead of just functional.
This could should be fun !

7.  Knit myself a sweater !
I've made several for others, but none for myself.  It's time I can wear some of my own lovely handknits.


1.  Stay active.
I have a horrible habit of being active for a while and then having setbacks.  I'd like to be as active as possible.

2.  Loose the first 50 pounds.
I've decided that I want to loose the first 50 pounds before we actively begin trying for a baby again.  For my health and the health of the child, I believe it will be best.  This is a very hard decision because it means that we'll be loosing several months of time trying.  I'll need lots of encouragement with this one.

3.  Continue the natural treatments.
The natural way is still working for us and I couldn't be more happy about that.  I do need to find a doctor that will be ok with our natural choices.

4. Organic Gardening
I'm excited about our spring/summer plans for organic gardening.  I'm looking forward to the fruits of our labor.


1.  Read the Word more.
I'm committing to reading the Word more along with my sisters in Christ at our group forum.

2.  I'm letting go.
I want to let go of those last things from my past that have held me captive.

3.  Seek God before contentment.
I've found myself seeking contentment above other things.  I want to feel ok with the place I'm in, but I really need to seek God.

4.  Fall back in love with God
I want to renew my love for God.

That's quite a list, but I feel every bit of that is attainable.  If you haven't done a goals list yet, I encourage you do so.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Project 365: Day 2

Project 365: Day 2
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina

In jammies all day, not by choice but necessity. Hoping tomorrow will be better.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Project 365: Day 1

Project 365: Day 1
Originally uploaded by hibiscus_ballerina

First thing I was able to stomach in the New Year. Way to bring in 2010, huh?


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