“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oops...I Did It Again!

Pièce de résistance #2

So, after my sister-in-law, CammyK of FreckledFarm, bragged all about this "I look good" hat that I made her at Christmas ... I started thinking... hmmm, would her darling daughter who is about to turn 11 years old enjoy having one just like her mom? YES! was the answer... same color... just a smidge smaller.

I made the trek to NW Wools to purchase some yummy yarn. I ended up running into the designer of the "ILG" hat, Judy. I got to ask her help in making it a bit smaller... and then told her about all the fuss about her "ILG" hat. (She said if anyone was interested in the pattern they could send a $10 check made out to "NW Wools" to: Northwest Wools, attn Judy Smitke, 3524 SW Troy, Portland , OR 97219.)

I just love this yarn! It is sooo soft! and soooo beautiful! Debbie Bliss in Alpaca Silk. You need two skeins for this pattern. I'm using an off white color. It is truly a luxury yarn... and I think it is as much of the attraction to this "ILG" hat as the pattern. Okay, so I really think I am becoming a yarn snob.

Grace's birthday isn't until March 13th, but I couldn't help myself... I wrapped up the "ILG" hat (in a little drawstring bag I made from the extra fabric I had used to wrap the box that I gave CammyK her hat at Christmas... can't you just see me giggling over my thriftiness and creativity!).. and sent it on it's way. I can't wait to see a photo of mother and daughter in their "we look good" hats!

So, I've decided it's time for Sheri to start "looking good" so I picked out a baby pink color in the same yarn to make my very own "I look good" hat... I'm wondering if I could make a whole wardrobe out of it... well, at least maybe a bathing suit?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Lawrence and Daniel

Tomorrow the Children of the World Choir will be singing at our church. We have the privilege of hosting Lawrence and Daniel. They seem like regular boys that Christopher might know from school. And for those of you that know Christopher... these boys are actually more active, energetic and out-going than he is! But these are boys who have become orphans due to AIDS. Of course, we do not talk of the past with them. We talk of riding bikes, and basketball, and fun stuff. They call us... Uncle and Auntie. Oh, I love to hear them call me "Auntie"!

They are upstairs having a little "nap"... part of their routine. Tomorrow they will minister to us in song and dance and then be on their way. It's funny... at first I think we're doing them a favor by having them stay at our home... and then I realize that they are they ones doing us a favor... broadening our lives... and our hearts... I know they will not necessarily remember us... but... we will never forget them.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Card Made from My Winnings

On a previous post I was able to show you a sample of the goodies I received from a giveaway. I decided to challenge myself and use as many of the goodies to make a birthday card for my niece who is turning 11 soon. I only added the two little floral embellishments from my own stash.

I think this type of freestyle creation might not be for me. I think I'm more comfortable with a pattern... or sharp lines... measurements... and a little more color. Maybe I'll make another card with as many of the same materials... using a little more logic... and then I'll compare the two.

Okay, I feel like I might be revealing a little too much about myself! LOL

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Intentional Living

Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Proverbs 29:18

Did I tell you I'm working with a coach? A "life" coach that is. In September of last year, I started a program called "Successful Living: Life From God's Perspective." It basically looks at your life from seven different perspectives: Faith, Family, Priorities, Health (ugh!), Finances, Friends, and Service. I have a coach who leads me through a Bible Study about each area... then an assessment... and finally, an action plan.

Since I'm a full-time homemaker, I wondered if this made sense... I mean I really don't have any goals, or set schedules... and do I need to? or should I? But I realized that I have always wanted to live "intentionally" for God... When I look at all of the time spent with the Lord, studying, reading, praying.... and all the experiences I've had that the Lord has used in the lives of others... and what about that Mathematics Degree I earned almost 20 years ago... and what about the gifts the Lord has given me like administration, logical thinking... and what about the fact that I live here in Portland instead of my hometown of Baltimore? Am I really taking advantage of all these things for the benefit of God and those around me?

Sometimes I wonder... what are my dreams? I mean just really thinking outside the box? Can I have dreams within the dreams that God has set forth for me? Hmmmm.... do I want to coach other women after I have completed my coaching? Do I want to teach a class for women about... the friendships of women? Do I want to share about my experience with depression? Do I want to help women learn more about how to have their own personal time with the Lord and in prayer?

It is certainly a challenge for me. But I like the fact that the challenge means I'm growing... I'm learning... I'm becoming purposeful... and...

I'm dreaming...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

What a cute little kitty!
(c/o Abundant Curiosities)

Make your Valentine's Day memorable... Thanks, Grace, for the great idea to remember Military Spouses and Single Moms especially on Valentine's Day. I took the challenge!

A special Happy Valentine's Day to lorrainez who will be having a mastectomy next week. You know I'm praying for you sweetheart! Get more information about lorrainez at CaringBridge. (CaringBridge offers a free web service that connects family and friends during a critical illness, treatment or recovery. It helps ease the burden of keeping family and friends informed. Patients and caregivers draw strength from loved ones’ messages of support. How cool is that!) Feel free to stop by and sign her guest book as an encouragement.

And to the love of my life... I am truly blessed above all women to be called your wife.

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends! May the true love of Christ be yours today!

"For God so loved the world that
he gave his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in him s
hall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Son of Yardenxanthe

The Big Reveal!
Good thing I only gave a sneak peak last night...
Heather admitted to stopping by my blog and
wondering if the item was for her baby shower today!

Heather aka Yardenxanthe
It's always fun giving a handmade gift to someone who loves to make and
give handmade gifts, too. (For Christmas, Heather gave me homemade blackberry preserves... which she picked from blackberry bushes off the side of the church parking lot.)

There's nothing like your handiwork being worn by the intended!

Heather and I co-led a Bible Study table last fall. Heather is a really cool hip chick. She keeps me young. I think I'm cool just because I get to hang out with her. She is creative... just stop by her website. She is kind... and we worked so well together. Right before she had baby Evander, she moved about 40 minutes away... and will be looking for a new "home" church closer to her new home. Best wishes and God Bless! I'm glad we had this season together... and who knows... maybe a lifetime!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Empty Nest

Tomorrow I say farewell to
another lovingly hand knit gift.
The gift has been completed since September.
(or was it late August?)
It is going to a wonderful home.
But it is time to leave the nest...
Don't forget me!
I'll miss you.
Don't forget to call!

Perhaps I will reveal
the entire gift after tomorrow...
for the recipient is a fellow blogger...
and who knows when she will check her Bloglines!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Friendships of Women #8

My Goodies from a recent Giveaway at Abundant Curiosities

...this is my eighth post in a series on the book titled "The Friendships of Women" by Dee Brestin...

Chapter 9 Roses and Alligators

I appreciated the reminder from Liz that friendships can fall into three basic categories: a reason, a season, or a lifetime. (See comments from "The Friendships of Women #7".) There's actually a little poem you can find on-line about it. But I have my own thoughts in regards to these categories... and feel more than free to disagree with me about them... I'll still be your friend!!!
  • Reason... one person has a need that the other is able and willing to fulfill... once the need is filled... the friendship remains but the intensity of the relationship decreases.
  • Season... friends come together for a period of time... perhaps based on their children going to school together, a Bible Study, an aerobics class, some type of common ground that comes to an end naturally.
  • Lifetime... the friends that have become grafted in like family.
Please note that I do not use any of these categories to justify the lack of conflict resolution. If a friendship ends because two people cannot reconcile their differences, this does not make it a category like a "season." Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself... let's get back to "The Friendships of Women" by Dee Brestin.

Chapter Nine discusses our response when a friend lets us down... even hurts us. We need to determine (no matter what aforementioned category) whether or friend is really just a rose with thorns (now, girls, admit it... we all have thorns!) or is she an alligator that has shown a pattern of destruction? Is it time to move on... is it time to confront... or is it a time to love?

A Reason
Quite a few years back, I met a gal who was having difficulty in her marriage. For a period of time she was also having financial difficulties. I was still relatively new to the area, so I bonded quickly with my new friend. I was able to help my new friend out with groceries, childcare, and a listening ear.

After a year or two, her marriage took an upturn. She began meeting new people. Our lives started taking us in separate directions. I began to realize that we were not as close... and I feared I had done something wrong, so to make matters worse I became possessive and jealous.

Unfortunately, it has taken me almost 10 years to finally realize that our friendship had been based on a reason... the Lord used me to minister to that gal. And I did, but being new to the area I had set all of my hopes and expectations on her to fulfill my loneliness... and that was not God's plan.

A Season

So, remember the "tea party" I had with the gals from my Bible Study table? Well, as the new Bible Study was just about to begin... I contacted the ladies. All excited about what God had for us in the new year together.

One by one the ladies responded.
  • Cannot attend due to class schedule.
  • Cannot attend due to moving.
  • Cannot attend due to new job.
  • Cannot attend due to selling property for finances.
  • Cannot attend due to previous commitment this term to another Bible Study.
  • Cannot attend due to moving.
  • Cannot attend because assisting daughter during difficult financial time.
  • Cannot attend due to move and new baby.
Not one returned.

So, of course, I had to ask the Lord... "Is it me?" And He said... "It's not about you.... It's about them...." God gave me a wonderful season with these gals. Their reasons for not returning were all bona fide.

I returned to my "empty" table this term, and now, the Lord has brought a whole new group of women to the table I lead. I am so excited for my new friendships! Perhaps they are just for a season, too... but I am confident in the fact... "It is so not about me"!

A Lifetime

Let's look back at the best friend I introduced you on the prior post on this topic when I almost became a "betrayer. " When my friend began to pull away from our friendship, I took it personally. I was hurt. I wondered whether I should begin to pull out of the relationship.

I asked myself these questions:
  • Could I live with the offense?
  • Should I address the offense?
  • Is this relationship worth salvaging?
  • Do we have a history together?
When I examined our relationship, over the MANY years we have been together, I knew that this was a "lifetime" relationship (and knew that my friend did, too), and that ultimately, this friend had always been there for me through sickness and in health... but mostly my sickness.

So, at the proper timing, I gently brought up how I was doing... asking how she was doing... and you know what.... IT WASN'T ABOUT ME! I thought she was rejecting me... but she admitted she has a hard time saying "no" to others... and that their needs came before her wants (which included girl time with me!) Now that I know my friend even better, I am able to offer love and support and gentle encouragement that she is allowed to have some girl time... especially if it is with me;)

I know... some of you are sitting there thinking... "Are you kidding me? Who sits around and thinks about this stuff?" Well, me. Just a logical mind trying to learn about how to have healthy, thriving friendships. And you know what? I'm having the time of my life! ...er, even though... IT ISN'T ABOUT ME! LOL

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Beth Moore

Have you ever stopped by Beth Moore's... er, I mean... Living Proof Ministry's blog? If you have enjoyed a Beth Moore Bible Study in the past, I think you would enjoy reading the current posts on Questions and Q&A . Beth gave women 30 minutes to type in any... and I mean any question... and she would try to answer as many as she could.

I have a couple of sites that I like to download podcasts from... and Beth mentioned Dr.James McDonald in Chicago, so I'm excited to listen to something that someone else recommended so highly.

I also found out that Beth is almost completed with a new study on Esther... which peaks my attention because I will be teaching on Esther at the ladies' Bible Study I attend on March 4th.

Okay, but here's the real reason I'm writing about this.... Beth Moore is going to have a Living Proof Live event in Boise, Idaho in May. I want to go...I mean Boise is not all that far from Portland... and it would only be for the night.. but I'm not sure I want to go on my own... Anthony said he would go, well, to Boise that is... since he goes there for work... but he didn't think he would feel like he fit in at a Beth Moore event... I've been to two of these events in the past. Last year in Seattle, WA. And a couple years ago in Portland. And they are really fun to share with other gals... so, think about it. NO PRESSURE! But it would be unforgettable!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

And the Winner is...

The envelope, please...
The winner of "The Blessing" Give Away is ....

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Congratulations! Beloved Mama!

Beloved Valentine Giveaway

I recently met Beloved Mama at church and we were both excited to "meet a fellow blogger in the real world." She is actually having a "Beloved Valentine Giveaway"... so... who knows... stop by her blog... and maybe you'll win this book!

Thank you to everyone who commented about commenting! I really appreciate your candor. I used to feel bad for not always leaving comments, but now I know I'm "normal." LOL

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Yummy Yarn!

Oh, I am so excited about my next knitting project! I can't give too many details because the recipient might be checking my blog. I picked up this yummy yarn yesterday at NW Wools. Whet your appetite?