Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's going to be a Jesus-year!

I remember in school we would inevitably make New Years resolutions, or at least have to share them. And I always kind of knew it was a crock. You start out strong but then never actually follow through. So, I don't participate in the whole NYR thing. I figure it shouldn't matter what day we decide to make a change, if it's a good thing to change just do it and stick to it. Right? Then I also kind of started to think that a birthday is a really good time to make a NYR, because truly that is a personal new year. Not that I ever really stick to those either. Hmmm.

I was reading a recent post on one of my most favorite to read blogs Living Proof Ministries and I have to admit I'm inspired. Beth wrote that she wanted to have a Jesus-year, and so do I! I confess I've been in a real slump devotionally, spiritually, personally, joyfully, well you get it. I've also been saying I needed to be accountable for myself to someone, something, anything. So, this is absolutely perfect! Here's a copy of the "rules" even though it's not particularly an enforceable thing......

*Commit to memorize (or seriously meditate on) 2 Scriptures a month. See? Very, very doable! Doesn't seem like much at first but imagine that, in exactly one year, you'll have memorized 24 new Scriptures! That, my dear sister, is a feat. The reason why I threw in the parenthetical "or seriously meditate on" part is this: a number of people have told me through the years - especially those in their 50s, 60s, and 70s or those of any age with chronic ADD - that they just can't memorize. OK, so meditate! Listen, the whole purpose of the process is to take our minds captive to the knowledge of Christ and demolish strongholds or nip potential ones in the proverbial bud. As long as those Scriptures are rolling around in your head, your mind is being held captive to Christ-centered thoughts and led away from destructive or carnal thoughts whether or not you're getting the words in the exact right order. At least three huge things happen when we memorize: our brains are bathed. Our brains are sharpened. Our ammunition is loaded.*Sign up on this post with your name and the city where you live. Really give it some serious thought before you jump on here and sign right up. Let's pull together a group that makes it all the way to next December! Do you really want to do this all year long? Will you commit to hang with it? Then sign up, you darlin' thing!*Watch for posts on the 1st and 15th of every month where I'll ask you to turn in the Scripture you're feeling led to memorize. (You'll write it all the way out in the version of your choice and put the reference with it because one of your Siestas might read it and want to memorize it next.) This is an important part of our process! We're NOT going to memorize the same Scriptures. I've learned through the years that we have the most victory with the verses that we each need most. Ask God to give you what He wants to prioritize for you this year then listen carefully through your quiet times, your Bible studies and your pastor's sermons for verses that really resonate with you or that you know you really need. He'll highlight one of those in your heart. Choose it with confidence. You'll most easily memorize what means most to you.*Buy a brand new set of index cards with a spiral that is only for this Scripture memory plan. (Most grocery stores and pharmacies have them. Easy to find.) You'll need to have it by New Year's Day so that you can write your first verse in it. Keep it with you A LOT. The car is a really great place to practice your Scriptures. Also be sure to get them out and say them every time you're feeling tempted to obsessive thoughts. You will be amazed at the impact God's Word will have on your thoughts. This right here, Girlfriends, is how we learn to wield the Sword of the Spirit.*Watch your prayer life change. Check out John 15:7-8. The more God's Word abides in us, the more the mind of Christ is developed in us. The end result will be that we will pray more and more of God's will and get more and more of what we've asked. Do not think for a moment that praying in the will of God narrows your requests. It blows them wide open! Ask Him in this Jesus-year to explode your effectiveness in prayer then watch it happen.*Have fun with it! Scripture memory is some work but it's also really fun. Especially if we do it together!! Anybody game?

Oh, I am SO game! Are you? So, I will not only be commenting on the LPM blog about my scriptures, but I figure it might be nice to also post them on my own blog. Maybe someone else can also be inspired by my scriptures too. This is going to be GREAT!
Last Sunday I almost didn't go to church. I was being lazy, it was snowy out, I was running late - blahdy blah. Every excuse, you know? But, then I thought I'd better go if for nothing else than to give my friend Esther her Christmas gift. So, I get there extra late. I always go late because I don't sing and so I go right at the end of the music to avoid the awkwardness of just standing there while everyone else sings. I know, I'm a dork! I walked in, and there was a guest explaining something about the Gospel Mission. And then the sermon starts from our pastor. It was like it was just waiting for me, because truly God had a big word just for me. It was about how we are disappointed when our expectations are not met. And how we are surprised when sinners sin. Wowza dude! That is exactly what is going on in my life! I've recently changed jobs and so getting used to new people and a new environment and missing my old colleagues (boy that sounds official, what I really mean is coworkers/friends!) and just life in general terms. Pastor Russ said something so simple and so profound. We are all sinners, and so will therefore sin. We should not be surprised when sinners sin, it could be sin against us or just in general. The only person who did not sin was Jesus, and none of us are ever going to be perfect this side of heaven. As for expectations, we put huge expectations on things and people and can become frustrated when they don't happen like we want. I know I do that. And from the perspective of others, they can't possibly meet our huge (or even sometimes small) demands and so feel they will never measure up. They will either give up or give attitude. All in all it's better to have low expectations but hope for the best. Hope others will do right by us and themselves.
For me, this is huge, especially at the holidays. This past week was super because I let go of my expectations in people. Just realizing that God is the only one who can meet and exceed my expectations, it's like I can let go of the breath I didn't even know I was holding. And now, with this renewed sense of a "resolution" I can only hope I will not let myself down in the coming year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Swap part 2

Okay, so this was the second package I sent out, it was to my partner, Heidi, for the Pink Vintage Christmas swap that my friend Jennifer had hosted. It was fun to look for things, but also a teensy bit stressful because there was a serious shortage of cute vintage Christmas items let alone PINK items. I'm just hoping she wasn't disappointed! The charm bracelet was my handmade item, again just hope she likes it :)

Then, I received a SUPER fabulous gift from my dear friend, Sarah, who lives in Germany. I can't even describe how exciting it is to get something from another country. A fabulous country that I am dying to visit!!!! Such a great gift. I'm embarrassed to admit that I did also send her a gift that completely paled in comparison. Ugh. A million ughs!. So the candy packages had mostly everything written in German, which was fun :) And the soaps are shaped like little wooden dutch shoes and smell soooo good! I really don't think I'll ever use them!

I bought this cute Christmas-y figurine at the Goodwill, along with the little praying angel. I love them both. I wasn't going to buy the figurine, but them I remembered the last time I didn't buy one that I liked and then when I went back someone had dropped it and broken the hand off. And I really didn't want this one to get broken. So, really I was saving her :) There is a sticker on the bottom that says Napco 1956. So, this is the display on the one bookcase.

Then, I found this other stuff at the Hospice thrift store. I do love it in there. And, I was lucky because the deer candle holders were half off! I bought the thread to store away for future swaps and also for my mom because I know she will love them! And, we all know how I love beads so I couldn't pass them up :)
So, here's a funny story not on the subject of swaps. It's cold here. Super-dee-duper-dee cold - 13 degrees out as I type! Yikes. And last night our water froze. It's happened before and I sort of had and inkling that it was going to freeze b/c when I turned on the water it came out rusty. I know, yuck. But, we have a well and when it gets weird that's what happens. So, I ACTUALLY thought ahead! Me, thinking ahead - what has the world come to? I poured water into big pots and bowls and this morning had myself a little house on the prairie shower. I heated the water on the stove and used it in cupfuls. But, I had to take some sort of shower. You know? So, hubby is working on getting the heater in the pumphouse going.

Swaps part 1

Okay, so I am going to post two separate posts for each swap....
This was the fun ornament exchange that I participated in from the Siesta Fiesta blog. My partner was Cassie and she sent me a TON of fabulous stuff! I loved everything! That's a close up of the ornament.
And then a shot of what I sent her. She had said she wanted a cowboy theme and that it was hard for her to find stuff where she lives. I don't have that problem here, there are two feed stores and the one I frequent had an abundance! and Fred Meyer also had a good assortment. It was tough to pick just one!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Favorites

So, I totally copied this little questionaire because it looked fun and festive!
1. Fresh Tree/Fake Tree?
Fresh, although it would be so easy to have a fake one....This year I just got a little live tree to put on the dining room table so our dogs don't eat it or worse!
2. Favorite Ornament-
I love all of our ornaments! My mother-in-law would buy us those ornaments that can be personalized when we first got married and I LOVE those so much because I can never find something with my name on it so it's extra special to have both of ours together. Colima just isn't the kind of name anyone else has, you know?
3. Favorite Christmas Song-
I really love Bing Crosby, so I love anything he has sung. Since I was a child though I always loved Silent Night, or Little Drummer Boy. I have always loved picturing a little boy nervous and honored to drum for the Lord.
4. Favorite Tradition-
Honestly I don't think we have any traditions. I love to play Christmas music and decorate the tree. I love to turn on the lighted Christmas village and turn off the other lights except the tree and just bask in the soft colored glow.
5. Favorite Gift Ever Received-
I remember two Christmases that I really, really wanted gifts and actually got them. One was a cabbage patch kid. My mom had been on a waiting list FOREVER at Kmart and finally got one, it was a boy named Fletcher Peter and I loved him! And the other was a caboodles organizer. I just really had to have one for my makeup. I still have it, but now I keep my beads in it :)
6. Favorite Christmas Meal-
Okay, so again not traditional. Growing up my mom would buy a ton of crudite and we would seriously snack on that allllll day, and pickles. I've always loved pickles and so for me that was like perfection!
7. Favorite Christmas Cookie-
I love the danish cookies that you can buy in the tin. Just love them.
8. Favorite Place to be-
With my husband and family. Our families are all spread out though so we haven't gotten to spend much time with them recently so I miss the sweet times we spent with them when we were first married. His Grandma and Grandad used to host Christmas at their house and the house would be so perfect -decorated beautifully, fire in the fireplace, cold outside but cozy inside, the tree all lit up and sometimes after much prodding my husband would play acoustic guitar for everyone. I could just cry right now picturing it ;)
9. Favorite Memory-
When I was little my Grandpa would come to visit from Pittsburgh every year for my birthday December 10th and stay until New Year's. I can't pick out any one favorite because I loved everything when he would come.
10. Favorite Christmas Movie-
Charlie Brown Christmas has always been and will always be my hands down favorite!!!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What's new?

Oh man, I have been neglecting my blog for a little bit - sorry! I just have had too much to do, which is good :) The most fun thing was that I was asked to teach some ladies a card class for the ladies Christmas brunch which was yesterday. It was really not a big to-do but it was super fun. There were like 50 ladies there so I had prepared 100 cards of two different designs. But, only about 15 or so ladies actually did the class. Which is fine because now I have LOTS of multi-purpose cards to use for myself!
Getting ready was a perfect storm of procrastination, getting a cold, and underestimating how long it would take to cut up all the paper, figure out my design and cut out the die cuts. I wanted to be completely organized so that I would not get flustered in front of everyone! I had rented a cricut cartridge from the scrapbook store to use with my cricut machine for the cupcake designed card. Unfortunately, the cartridge I thought would be perfect was not. There was an ice cream cone shape that I thought I could just cut off the pointy part of the cone and voila - cupcake.....but the ice cream scoop part was really round and just looked like an ice cream scoop in a cup. Hmmmm. So I had to improvise. Improvising with 50 cards to make is a little tricky. After a little trial and error I got it figured out, then ran out of my backround cupcake paper. Bah! The paper I had I actually bought when I was over in Medford, which is over an hour I found a diffent cupcake printed paper at the store after work Friday and then ran home to start cutting. Once I had the design it was cake (hee, hee!) and I just cut it all up and put them in little baggies so the ladies could just put everything together. Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and put together the second card design - which was another super easy one.
It was seriously a whirlwind teaching the class. The ladies were a mix of understanding levels - some got it right away and others I really had to walk through. There were quite a few that were apprehensive about even doing it because "they weren't crafty" or whatnot. Another lady, Irene also did a class before mine - she did Christmas cards that were SUPER cute! I'm totally stealing her idea ;) She had brought a bunch of those scissors that cut different edges, which I usually don't use b/c I prefer a straight edge. The ladies had so much fun with them though, and they could really take our designs and make it their own. They were all so thankful to us for showing them how to do the cards! It was great to be able to show someone who didn't think they were crafty or could do it that they COULD! I've never had that type of experience and I can't even articulate how blessed I was to share with them a little of what I feel every time I make something and like the outcome.
Of course, I didn't think to take pictures! I did think ahead and bring my camera, but didn't use it. I have a couple pics of the swaps I did but am waiting until the second swap gets to her before posting, even though I don't think she reads my blog. Oh, I almost forgot! We're doing a cookie exchange at work tomorrow so I am going to bake ginger cookies! Yum.