Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Stitchin' Post--31 October 2009


German was working out of town all week, which left me with extra time in the evenings (i.e. not as much cooking so not as much cleaning and no one to talk to after the kids were in bed...*sigh*) So, I made up for it with some extra stitching. Truthfully, I'd rather have him home and not get as much stitched. *sigh*

Here are the Three Kings by Imaginating that I completed this week. I'm not doing the rest of the design scene since this will be coupled with "Bethlehem" also by Imaginating and I didn't need two mangers in my Christmas decorating!


This sweet little ornament, mostly worked over one, will be for someone special. It still needs beads to be complete...and of course to be finished into an ornament.

More progress on the Texas Neighbourhood. The cotton field is proving to take longer than I anticipated. I *really* hate making french knots! But it is effective.

So, there you have it. Lots of stitching in a week. What are you up to craft, sewing or stitching wise? I'd love to see it!

Have a spectacular weekend.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In Other Words--Peace


I could live my life in the land of "what ifs." You know the place I mean. It is the place where we play all the worst case scenarios over and over in our heads (or even aloud) and work ourselves into a frenzy of anxiety.

What if his job ends?
What if one of us gets sick?
What if there is a car accident as he commutes?
What if the girls do not learn enough in school?
What if someone questions how I'm doing this?
What if? What if? What if?


We are not called to live in the land of what if. We are called to lean on the arms of Jesus and to trust him regardless if the worst case scenario comes to be. He holds us. He knows what is coming and he will still hold us.

“Peace I leave with you;
My peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled,
nor let it be fearful.”

John 14:27 NASB

Do you live in the land of "what if"? Pack up your anxieties and leave that land. Move into the arms of Jesus. He will hold you, even when "if" happens. Trust him.

Patricia at Typing One-Handed is our hostess today. Please visit the others who are participating today and be blessed.

Father God, you know what is causing me anxiety today. Help me to leave it where it is and trust you. Help me to not rehearse what could happen and live in what you are doing this very moment. I want to feel the peace that you have promised. Amen.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stitchin' Post Saturday-24 October 2009


Well I am back from my lovely two weeks by the sea, and back to posting Stitchin' Post updates. Since most of my days consisted of lying by the pool reading or stitching followed in the heat of the day by laying on the roof terrace reading or stitching, I actually have quite a lot to show! LOL! As always, thanks for looking.

Here is the ornament that I am stitching for Flower for Christmas. It would have been finished but I forgot the flesh colored thread, so for now it is a ghost bike rider. (Note for new readers, each year I make an ornament for the girls that indicates something important from the year. This year Flower learned to ride her bike.)

Here is Jewel's ornament. She started piano lessons this year.

Here is the third installment in the Bent Creek Rows. Autumn complete, only winter to do!
Photobucket Photobucket

Here is the latest progress on my Texas block. The road needs to be complete, the house needs a door and some shrubs and the field needs some cotton in it. Should finish it this week.
I worked on two other Christmas ornaments/patterns whilst in Turkey, but those pictures will come next week. Maybe at least one of them will be finished.

Hugs everyone. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Other Words--Sweet Water


“If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary’s love, for a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.”
Amy Carmichael

Thank you for joining us for In Other Words this week!

No significant words of wisdom this week. I just found, as I was reflecting on what quote to choose this month, that these lines of Amy Carmichael's challenged me anew.

What spills out when I am jarred? A snarl at an unexpected delay? A less than kind word in response to a less than kind word? A look of disapproval at something that *I* would never do?

Or, do I spill out kindness when someone is having a tough day? A smile to "take one's time" when the delay is inevitable? Sweet words in response to less than kind words?

If I'm filled with sweet water, I will spill sweet water. If I am rooted in Christ, I will bear loving fruit.

By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Matthew 7:16-18

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

I would love to hear your thoughts on how we can be "sweet water" spilling out. Please join in the discussion and add your direct link in the McLinky below.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hosting In Other Words on Tuesday


Tuesday I will have the privilege of hosting the In Other Words writing meme. I've chosen a snippet from a poem by Amy Carmichael. Please come back Tuesday to see how God is speaking to me through this quote. And, if you are so inclined, I would love it if you would also write your reflections on the quote and link up with us on Tuesday. Until then, ble blessed!

“If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary’s love, for a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.”
Amy Carmichael

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In Other Words--In the Crucible


It has been well said that ‘earthly cares are a heavenly discipline.’ But they are even something better than discipline- they are God’s chariots, sent to take the soul to its high places of triumph. They do not look like chariots. They look instead like enemies, sufferings, trials, defeats, misunderstandings, disappointments, unkindness.”
Hannah Whitall Smith

Often I wish that the life-changing lessons that I need to learn could be learned in a comfortable setting. But it isn't the case. It is in the crucible that the most important things are imparted.

It is in dealing with enemies that I learn to forgive. It is in coping with those who say negative things about me that I learn to pray for my enemies. It is in walking away from the challenge that I learn to turn the other cheek.

It is in facing the trial that I realize that God's strength is sufficient. It is in standing at a place of challenge that I learn if God's word in my heart will move to my speech.

It is in suffering that I learn if God's grace is sufficient. It is in a place of daily need that I learn to trust.

All of these concepts are studied in the quiet. In the calm of life I am able to dwell in the Scripture and place the seeds in my mind and heart. But only in the crucible will I learn to apply them. Only when they are the only things left to turn to will I know if they have taken root. The blessing is that we then see God answer his promises. In the application we are carried forward. And when all is said and done, as we apply the lessons God is glorified. His word is proven truthful when we demonstrate obedience. He glorifies Himself as he teaches us to follow him.

For my own name's sake I delay my wrath;
for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off.
See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another.
Isaiah 48:9-11

Father God, as I face things that I see as trials and difficulties and sufferings, allow me to see that you are refining me. I want to glorify you with my obedience. I want to be more like you in the end. Thank you for loving me enough to refine the things in my life that need to go. Help me to be available to your teaching. Amen.

Kathryn at Expectant Hearts is our hostess today. Please visit her and be blessed

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

In Other Words-One of These Doesn't Belong


“Christians make a difference in this world by being different from this world; they don’t make a difference by being the same.” from Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian

Dating myself here, but one of my favorite childhood memories was a certain PBS television program where a little game was played. "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others before I finish my song?" Come on, you know you are singing along with me--and if you are too young to remember I don't want to know. What was the purpose of the little game? It was to decipher what was different. We didn't need to figure out how things were the same--that was pretty obvious--but why something was different.

Putting a Christian in a situation with a group of non-believers, we should be able to do the same. We should be able to determine by the reaction to the situation that something is different. One of these people doesn't belong. Moreover, it is not a game that makes them not belong. It is because they belong to heaven, that they do not look the same as those of this world.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

How does different look? It looks like forgiveness in an angry situation. It looks like mercy to someone who has caused their own pain. It looks like food to a hungry person, drink to a thirsty person, visits to a lonely person. It looks like taking time to see individuals not generalized ideas. Different looks like meeting a person where they are and not making assumptions about how they got there.

And the world looks for different.

There are people out there looking at us to see if what we believe makes a difference in how we live.

We need to let it make a difference.

Father, today as people who are nothing like me look into my life, may they see differences. Let them see that you are the difference. Let my words, my attitudes, my glances, and my actions portray a difference that is worth having. Thank you for making me different. I pray that I glorify you in my differences. Amen.

Debbie at Heart Choices is today's hostess. Please visit her and the other wonderful ladies making a stand to be different with their blogs. Have a blessed day!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Marriage Monday--Extreme Makeover

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

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Extreme Makeover: How God Renewed Our Marriage Against All the Odds

I have to admit when I read this month's topic, I almost opted out of writing. We have been blessed by not having any huge, against all odds, type of issues for our marriage to survive. We've been healthy, employed, mostly content and faithful. We've endured the separations during moves, which at the time seemed unsurmountable but were quickly surmounted. I didn't really think that I had anything to add to this discussion. Actually, not being able to add much first-hand information to this discussion is something for which I am thanking God--for that is His testimony in our almost fourteen year marriage.

But then my thoughts turned to the fact that any marriage surviving is actually "against all odds" and it takes God's constant renewing of the marriage to make that happen. Our society is not exactly balancing the odds for marriage. We see the decline of marriages all around us. Even in the church, the divorce rate mirrors that outside the church, so the odds seem to be stacked against married couples. It is really not surprising. If you take one sinful, selfish being (which we all are) and couple that being with another sinful selfish being you do not magically get a couple who agree on everything. Instead you get two selfish beings trying to make things work their way. We are all like that. So what do you do? I believe the only thing we can do is trust God to be the lead of joining those two people into one--and a desire to follow his word makes that possible. I know that there are decisions that would never happen around here if we didn't depend on God's leading to make the decision. We are just too different from each other, but we have a common trust and desire to follow God. But that desire and trust alone may not be enough. We must be pro-active in protecting our marriages. In addition to our attempts to have God the head of our marriage, we have also undertaken plenty of mini-makeovers that have helped prevent us from needing an Extreme Makeover.

Early in our marriage we had a dear couple who were unafraid to give us marriage advice. We listened since they had been married nearly fifty years--we figured they knew something about that which they spoke. They were honest about struggles, about putting family first, about keeping God at the center of everything you do as a couple and even about keeping things *ahem* active even when you are nearing 70. I look back on those talks now and see them as doing some foundational work in our lives to prepare us for the realities of marriage.

I credit our ability to get away and dream together as mini-makeovers that keep our marriage fresh. A road trip is like a fresh coat of paint in a dull room. We are able to refresh our outlook of our marriage with a fresh coat of dreams, plans and just quiet time together. The longer vacations allow for that even more. We are about to go on a holiday where the main thing on the agenda is "lay by the pool and chat" followed by "lay under the pergola when it is too hot to be by the pool, and chat." I cannot tell you how ready I am for some uninterrupted-by-the-cares-of-home-and-work time with German. I know he feels the same. We should come back from our mini-makeover refreshed and ready for the new challenges that lie ahead.

A more extensive makeover that we undertook a few years ago was to read and discuss and implement Dr. Emerson Eggerichs book "Love and Respect." That book helped us to realize that there were areas we just were not communicating what we wanted clearly. Even last week we referred back to the book and how our cycles of conflict were not even annual anymore, but were almost non-existent. I believe that that book read at a time in our life when our marriage was *good* (i.e. we weren't trying to fix something really broken) helped to get our marriage to a *great* level. It was preventative maintenance that kept the disasters away. I love this book so much I often give it to engaged couples telling them that if they read it now, they might not have the arguments that seem to be universal. I pray that a little preventative maintenance helps them not have any need for extreme makeovers.

So while I cannot testify to God's renewing my marriage in an Extreme way, I am ever-so-grateful that He constantly renews me and renews German and in that way renews our marriage. I am grateful for the preventative, decorative and minor redecorating we are able to do which prevents big problems from occurring. God's love and presence in our marriage is contantly making it over to be something even better than it is.

Do you need some encouragement in your marriage? Needing a mini-makeover? Or maybe you need an extreme overhaul? Visit Chrysalis and follow the trail of others who are sharing their marriage makeover tips as well. Have a blessed day!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Stitchin' Post Saturday--3 October 2009

Wow! Look! It is a Saturday Stitchin' Post, actually on a Saturday!

I have stitched a little surprise for a friend, but I can't show you yet. ;-)

But here is my progress on my Texas block for my Neighbourhood Round Robin 1. The house sort of resembles the house I grew up in. Behind the house I will be putting in a cotton field. Watch this space!


As always, thanks for looking. So, what are you stitching, quilting, crafting now?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Prayer Request

I'm coming begging today for some prayer support for a friend. V was my first e-maginary (computer forum) friend who I had the courage to contact by phone. We have spoken on the phone dozens of times and the number of emails between us on our *ahem* favorite subject (I won't tell you what) probably number in the high hundreds. We've not yet found a way to meet since the UK and Canada are slightly separated by an ocean, but we continue to try. She is a soul-sister and the truest type of friend you can have.

Friday she was was taken to hospital with numbness. While at hospital she had a seizure. The doctors have found three tumours on her brain and a spot on her lung. It is cancer. They must determine which is the primary source before making decisions. Please pray for quick answers, for a treatment plan and for a full recovery.

My heart is breaking for V and her husband and 4 children. Please, please, please pray! I know that we serve a God that can break into this situation in a HUGE way. Praying for miracles.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The October Goal Post


Somehow I neglected to post goals in September. That was probably related to the computer fast caused by back pain. *sigh* So, here is a review of August's goals and my new goals for October.

August goals-revisited:
1. Finish Bent Creek Summer Row--yes!
2. Finish England block on NRR1--virtually, I can't decide if it needs something else
3. Spend time quilting
4. Celebrate as Jewel turns 7!--YES!
5. Enter current family tree information into updated program--yes
6. Try again to get German's closet cleaned out--don't faint but this is done!!!!
7. Complete planning for new school year--yes!
8. Plan a holiday ---YAY!!!

October goals:
1. Finish Bent Creek Autumn Row
2. Finish Texas block on NRR1
3. Stitch Christmas ornaments for Jewel and Flower
4. Stitch 2 more special Christmas ornaments
5. Complete half of Bethlehem Silhouette
6. Enjoy holiday
7. Start Jewel's 2nd grade/year 3 and Flower's Kindergarten/Year One