Saturday, January 30, 2010

Free Book

     "I am a fanatic about freedom.  And I' fanatical about coming at you hard in this book.  I'm tired of seeing people beaten down by the word's systems and by religion.  I'm sick of seeing people live safe, predictable lives while their God-given passions die.  I hate the assumption that getting close to God means more rules and restrictions.  No more.  God's offering real freedom.  Get yours."
      This is what is on the cover of the bright orange book that has been sitting beside my bed for the last week or so.  The title is Free Book and it is written by Brian Tome, a pastor of CrossRoads church.  Now, I had never heard of the church or Brian Tome before reading this, but let me say I am really impressed.  The over riding purpose of this book is to assist you in finding the freedom that Christ came to give us (Galatians 5:1).  Tome uses Biblical truths, an honesty that most have never heard, and real life examples to illustrate the path.
     I really looked forward to receiving this book in the mail.  I barely had the package open before I started reading it...and after the first two chapters I put it down.  I felt like Tome was giving a false view of freedom - God says you should be free so don't worry about consequences just do what you want to.  But I had agreed to read the whole book, so I picked it up and began chapter 3... and had a hard time putting it down after that.
     In chapter 3 Tome starts to get to the truth of the matter, to receive freedom, you have to submit.  To be free you have to give up things you may not want to give up, to be free you have to change and reality is that most of the time change isn't easy and you will probably not like it.  But he explains that it truly is freedom, and how that truly is freedom.  I found myself nodding my head in agreement frequently.  I was reading passages aloud to my husband, to my children, even to my pastor.  As a matter of fact I am passing the book on to him tomorrow and plan to read it in its entirety to my husband (who hates to read) and have K read it as well.
     Tome does a wonderful job of just talking to you.  He is real, he is honest.  He is so honest that he even shares with you his own mess ups.  Tome doesn't pull the "I am a pastor and have been a good boy my whole life" card and wave it in your face.  Instead he says "Yeah, I made some mistakes in my life just like you, maybe even worse than you, but let me tell you what happened".
     If you really want to find Biblical freedom, knowing that you probably will still have problems and issues in the future, that freedom doesn't mean perfection or an easy life, then read this book.  Curious about what I mean, read this book. 


Week 5- Snowflake Saturday

I have to admit, it was the name of these snowflakes that drew me to them.  This pattern is called Charlie Brown's Snowflake, and who can resist Charlie Brown? The directions say this works up as a small, 2 inch snowflake that would be perfect for a small ornamental tree.  It would also fit nicely on a business card sized tract for me to leave behind this Christmas.  Hope you enjoy the pattern!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yoga - not for the weak!

As I posted before I am on a weight loss journey again.  I am doing a lot of things different this time around.  Some by choice, others are being forced upon me, and still others I am being led to.

One of the changes is my exercise routine.  Last time around I primarily walked.  It was wonderful in that hubby and I would walk together, just the two of us.  He would set the pace (which was a good thing because he walks much faster than I do) and we would just walk and talk and visit with each other as adults.  We weren't mom and dad, or employee or Sunday School teacher.  We were best friends catching up with each other.  It really did a lot for our relationship in addition to my waist line.  This time around however, he is working nights.  That means morning walks are out because he needs to come home and go to sleep.  He has offered to go walking when he gets home, but I won't be selfish and let him.  If he does walk it will keep him up longer and that means less sleep for an already seriously sleep deprived man.  Nope, no walking this time around.  Instead I Wii.

Now I am not and never have been a gamer.  I never owned a video game growing up.  I didn't dream of going to the arcades and spending my quarters.  I didn't get a video game console until many years after I got married and even then hubby and the kids played, not me.  Then I heard about the Wii, a console made for the video illiterate.  Hmm, sounds like it was made for me.  Hubby surprised me one day and bought the Wii and Wii Fit for me.  I liked Wii, and played with Wii fit on occasion, but you can only do the same thing so many times before you get bored.  Then hubby bought me Wii fit Plus.

This is a major improvement!  It puts together sets of activities for you that vary from day to day and tells you how many calories you have burned when you complete them.  The game mixes up fun mini game type exercises with strength exercises and yoga.  Let me tell you something, yoga really isn't for the weak!  Sure it looks pretty and calming and serene, but it isn't, at least not for me as I stand on my Wii board trying to contort into positions that I haven't been able to get into for years (if ever) and stand there keeping my balance in perfect alignment (as evidenced by a little blue dot on the screen that seems to jiggle around everywhere BUT the yellow circle it is supposed to stay in).  After just a few poses I am sweaty, stinky, and wondering how I ever let myself get in this shape!  Before you get all discouraged yourself though, I need to tell you something else.  After just a few days, that little blue dot spends more time in the yellow circle than out.  Is my form perfect?  I highly doubt it, but I am doing it and it is getting easier.  I can see the difference it is making in my body.  So yoga may not be for the weak, but it will make the weak stronger if they stick with it.

That reminds me of some lyrics to an old hymn I always liked,
I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
Isn't that the truth!  I have come to the realization that I can't do this weight loss thing on my own.  Even with the temporary successes that I have had, they have been just that-temporary.  I am weak and I can't do this without Him.  So I searched out for some Bible studies about weight loss.  There are lots of them out there.  I came across one though that really seems to speak to me so I started it.  If you too are looking for something to bring God into your own weight loss journey check it out and see if it is was God would have you do.  It is called Setting Captives Free ~ The Lord's Table and can be done online as I am doing it, or in small groups or in book format.

So, that is it for my update.  Friday will mark the end of week 4 on my journey to the me I see me as.  I am making progress, with God's guidance. 


Monday, January 25, 2010

Just another manic monday....

Okay, so this song tells my age quite a bit.  I loved the Bangles growing up.  This morning the title of this song and some of the lyrics kept coming to me.  Today is the first day in about 2 years that the kids have ridden the bus to school.
     I realize that for most kids this is the norm, and it was in my house for years just because it was easier to send the kids out the door without having to bundle up a toddler and pack everyone in the car to drop them off.  Then K started middle school.  The first year or so she rode the bus, until complaints began to trickle in about how they were being dropped off at the school unsupervised because the bus schedule got them there about an hour before school started!  Needless to say bus rides stopped then, and if I was driving one then I could drive them all since by that time they were all in school.
     Now that we are down to 1 vehicle and hubby won't be here with it when they would otherwise have to leave for school, we are back to riding the bus.  I have learned that the schedule has not changed much but the driver stays with the kids on the bus until a staff person at the middle school arrives to supervise.  Both J and K will get to school almost an hour before classes start.  It also means we have to get up an hour earlier.  They have to catch the bus at 6:40 in the morning. 
     So today was the first day.  Baby A didn't sleep well last night and woke up at around 6:30 cranky and exhausted.  I discovered that the schedule posted on the schools website for bus runs was inaccurate.  K and J would have been 5 minutes late for the bus had we not left early and H would have been almost 10 minutes late.  (Fortunately my hubby was home this morning so I drove the kids to the bus stop just to be sure that the times were correct.  Glad I did!)  Baby A refused to eat breakfast and is currently asleep again at 8:30 am when she usually doesn't nap until about 11 am.  Not sure how the rest of the day is going to work out!  Should be interesting.
      Needless to say all of us are going to be tired and probably grouchy this afternoon/evening.  Which is a good segway into today's scripture card.  This month we were attempting to read a chapter of Proverbs a day as our family Bible Study.  It hasn't worked out quite like any of us had hoped.  Up to chapter 15 it was a very grueling process.  We had to stop and review each verse since this book isn't in "story" format.  The kids were having a difficult time following along and understanding everything, especially when wisdom and folly were personified as women.  Once they got used to the personification concept it switches back to a more literal reading.  Finally, with chapter 15 I decided that each person would read the chapter and chose one proverb.  They would then come to Bible study with their chosen proverb, an explanation of what it means to them, and an example of that proverb in action in real life.  so we are only actually discussing 5 proverbs an evening, but those 5 really mean something and sink in.  Today is the 25th of January and we are only on Proverbs 17 (told you those first chapters were grueling and difficult for us!) and that is where today's scripture card comes from:

as always feel free to click here and download a higher resolution image suitable for printing, or grab this and share it as you wish, but please be sure to include a link back to my blog and give me credit for the card.
     Like I said, this is a great verse for us to review this evening since we will all be so apt to argue and quarrel this evening.  Hope you have a great week!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Week 4 Snowflake Saturday

          Life here is getting a little crazy again.  Earlier this week my husband discovered a HUGE puddle of oil under his/J's truck after work.
          (When J was around 4 or 5 we were visiting grandpa.  J loved the horn on grandpa's truck because it could sound like a horse, chicken siren etc.  He asked grandpa for the truck and grandpa said he would sell it to J for $35.  J said okay, he already had $25 and would get him the rest.  Grandpa didn't want to go back on his word so he asked if he could keep the truck until he had a new one and J agreed.  When grandpa got a new vehicle my hubby went back to Florida to pick up J's new truck.  He was 8 at the time.  J agreed to let dad drive his truck until he was old enough.  How many 8 year old boys do you know that own their own truck?!)
          He drove it home and cleaned the engine and tried to locate the leak.  Couldn't find it.  Put more oil in it and tightened some things here and there (can you tell I am engine illiterate?).  Next day he took it to work only to discover it was still spewing oil.  He now thinks that he knows what the problem is but will have to spend the weekend tearing into it to try to find and fix the problem.  So until it is fixed he has to take my van, which has at least 1 bad CV joint, a miss in the engine, and a power steering problem, to work.  That means the kids will have to get up earlier than usual and ride the bus to school.  We had planned to buy me a new to us van next month when income taxes come in.  Looks like we may have to get two vehicles and park the truck.  Still, I know that God will provide what we need, even if it means being a 1 vehicle family again.
         Baby A is really picking up the sign language that I have been teaching her.  It really makes things much easier than it was with the others.  She is able to tell me she wants a drink and even what type (milk, juice or water).  She asks for ice, she asks for a bite, she signs please and thank you.  It amazes me how much she is picking up.  Seems she is learning sign language faster than I am.
         Okay, so it's Saturday and that means another snowflake pattern.  This week the pattern is from Cheri's Crochet.  It appears to be a bit more hefty in appearance than previous patterns I have posted, but that is why I like it.  While there, check out her other patterns, she has another snowflake and a butterfly that I have now added to my to-do list.  So, here is the link to her Crochet Lace Snowflake.
         Hope you have a blessed weekend!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

week 3 Snowflake Saturday

Okay, I know that this post is WAY late in the day and I apologize.  I have thought about posting all day.  I searched for a suitable snowflake pattern.  I even found one and made it.  But posting, just not enough energy for that.

Baby A is teething again.  Hopefully this is the last time until 12 year molars.  The last visible spaces are being filled this time.  As usual it is two at a time.  One has broke through but the second is just red and swollen and very painful for her.  She didn't sleep well last night and ended up in bed with me at 6 am just so I wouldn't have to keep getting up and walking to her room.  Her nap was short which meant my attempt to sneak a few zzz's was a waste of time.  I have felt blah and fuzzy headed all day. 

But I escaped for a few minutes to sneak into my room and exercise.  I opened the laptop to cue up the video and decided to take a moment and share this weeks snowflake.  It is called the triple crochet snowflake.  The pattern is not attibuted to anyone on the site and it is an archive page.  However, a picture is listed on the page.  I chose to use a smaller hook to create a smaller snowflake.  I believe I used a 1.5 mm size 8 hook rather than the size 5 it calls for.  Hope you like it!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jesus Lives book review

I realize it has been a while since I have done a book review.  It really isn't that I haven't been reading, just that none of them have really been all that worthy of review.  Then I received this book, Jesus Livesby Sarah Young.  This isn't a sit down and read it through book, more like a devotion book or a resource book, but it is one that has really strengthened my relationship with Christ.

This book is divided into 46 different themes of Jesus life, from adversity, to grace, to worship.  Each theme includes at least 1 devotion/letter on the topic as well as scripture verses concerning it as well.  That is pretty much the nuts and bolts of this book.

I found, as I read through the book, that each devotion spoke to me.  They are written as if they were letters from Christ himself, and each one is full of His love.  They each seem to touch on real life, and are personal.  For instance one devotion under "trials" begins "When life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that I'm not on the job.  Instead, be glad you are in the thick of what I experienced.  Accept your ordeal as a spiritual refining process, with Glory just around the corner."  This is actually a verse from I Peter, however Sarah Young's writing style makes you feel as if you are reading the words written in a personal letter rather than a verse from the Bible.  She brings to the page the reality of scripture being more than just words on a page, but a love letter to each of us.  Ms. Young simplifies this by gathering up verses with a similar theme and placing them together in smaller "letters" to us.  She even goes so far as to italicize the scripture verses in each devotion/letter to illuminate what is truly God's word and what is her additions.

While this is not a replacement for scripture study, it is a great resource for any Christian, but especially new Christians, to assist in personalizing the Word to our situations and feelings.  The subtitle "seeing His love in your life" is definitely apt and appropriate.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Musings

The kids are back in school after a week of snow that ended up translating as only 1 1/2 days of school.  It was great to have that extra time with them, but I am glad to have some time to myself again.  Especially since last week was my first week trying to count calories, work in 30-45 minutes of exercise a day, and my husband worked every night and had to sleep during the day.  (You try keeping 4 kids quite that are experiencing cabin fever!)  Still, I was able to spend a few extra days playing with them, I did get my exercising in, and I lost almost 5 lbs.

I sat here today and edited the sermon from Sunday to post on the website.  Have you ever sat through a service that didn't seem to apply to you only to glean information that really hits your heart?  That is what happened to me not only on Sunday, but again today.  The sermon was titled, "Who's the Man? Leading your family as God intended" and was an address to the men in the congregation.  On the surface that sounds like it totally does not apply to me.  However, lots of things hit me, such as my needing to step back and let my husband lead.  I was raised to be the one to make all of the decisions and to not rely on anyone else.  My mother made every decision and often told my father he was handling situations incorrectly while she was married.  I believe she did this with the best of intentions, but it isn't how God intended it to work.  I saw ways that I was also doing this to my own husband, just not as openly.  I also saw ways that I should be praying for my husband that I had not been.  Let's just say that there were several things that were pointed out to me that I need to work on.

What really stuck with me was Pastor Doug's final thought.  Many of us hear what we should be doing while sitting in the pew.  Quite often we nod our heads in agreement and our hearts are convicted.  But within the day, or the week we find that we haven't done what we were convicted to do.  I am part of that crowd also.  This isn't a new problem, or a new circumstance.  James even addressed it and that is why I chose James 1:22 as this weeks scripture card.

as always you can download a better resolution image suitable for printing by clicking here  Feel free to share this image in any form, but if you place it in an electronic format (webpage, blog, email etc) please include a link to my blog.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snowflake Saturday

How fitting that I am working on snowflakes when everything outside is covered in snow.  It really is beautiful and I am amazed at how God can transform a bleak, dead environment into something clean and gorgeous.

I think that I have decided that I will be attempting to make extra snowflakes.  I plan to create a tag for them that includes a poem that a friend from my CraftSayings forum wrote that talks about how we are each made unique and individual by God and that no other is like us.  After attaching the tag to the snowflake I plan to use them as tracts.

In the past my family has purchased the million dollar bill tracts.  It became a game with us to see how creative and sneakily we could leave them places for others to find.  H actually was able to fold one up and toss it into someone's open purse while we were shopping once!  We have placed them in the plastic bags at the grocery store to be hidden under the next customers purchases to be discovered when they get home.  We have even hidden them in coat pockets and socks on display at stores.  I think it would be really neat to use the snowflakes through the winter months instead.

This weeks pattern is from Julie Bolduc of JPF pattern club.  I didn't use the suggested hook, instead I used a size 10 hook which gave me a finished snowflake that was 3 inches from point to point using size 10 thread.  The pattern is called Pretty Snowflake.  Hope you like it!  Here is mine:


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Memo from God

How appropriate that I come across this at the beginning of a new year with so many of us making resolutions.  Take a moment and read it, then apply it.  Otherwise it is just a bunch of sweet, meaningless words.

Effective immediately, please be aware that there are changes you need to make in your life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfill My promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience, but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you. I know, I already gave you the 10 Commandments. Keep them. But follow these guidelines, also:

* Quit Worrying. Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little things that comes your way?

* Put It On The List. Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list, Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to Me. And although My to-do-list is long, I am after all, God. I can take care of anything you put in My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

* Trust Me. Once you've given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? For your sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

* Leave It Alone. Don't wake up one morning and say, "Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here." Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple. You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in My peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back, you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do My job.

* Talk To Me. I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what is making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there's one thing I pray you never forget. Please don't forget to talk to Me - OFTEN! I love you. I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want
to be your dearest friend.

* Have Faith. I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me, you wouldn't want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

* Share. You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any
in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

* Be Patient. I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always
rush, rush, rush.

* Be Kind. Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please know I love each of your differences.

* Love Yourself. As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by Me for one reason only - to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes My heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong. You are very precious to Me. Don't ever forget that!

With all my heart I love you,

(submitted by Debbie Preuss to Glad Tidings; 2/2/200)
May you find it in yourself to quit worrying, turn it over to Him, make time to talk to and listen for Him, encourage those He puts in your path, practice patience, and see yourself as God sees you.  I found this memo especially encouraging after Sunday's church service titled "Something New" in which we learned about the things that prevent us from having the abundant life that God promises, and just what an abundant life REALLY is.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday Musings

It's the first Monday of 2010, I still try to type 2009!  Today was my first day of Body Bootcamp and it really wasn't so bad.  I did 30 minutes of step aerobics on the Wii and I did a 7 minute strength video working on my lower body.  I will probably pay for it later as my legs feel kind of funny, but in the long run it will be worth it!

I also started my first group of crochet projects for GTA.  I went through my yarn stash and organized it first.  I have a 45 gallon tote full of full skeins of worsted weight yarn, a large back of size 10 crochet thread, and a wal-mart bag full of eyelash and specialty yarns.  In addition I have about 5 or 6 skeins of baby weight yarn and about 20-30 balls of yarn.  After I took an inventory I decided what I wanted to use up first.  I decided that I wanted to use the balls of yarn first, so I was limited to small projects that used worsted weight yarn.  That led me to shoes/booties and my first projects.  For the boys, crochet sneaker slippers/booties  and for the girls crochet mary janes and now my fingers are working away!

And as for my Bible Study, I am now reading about Jacob and his dream of the stairway to heaven in my personal study time, in my stay at home mom weekly group we are reading through Ruth, and in my family study we are reading a chapter of Proverbs every day this month (31 chapters and 31 days in January.  To cool huh?!)  And that leads me to today's scripture card from yesterday's reading from Proverbs 3

as always you can click the picture above or click here to download a high resolution version of this card suitable for printing.  Feel free to use this on your websites as long as you include a link back here.

Hope your new year is starting off wonderfully!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Snowflake Saturday

If you are on my Christmas card list, then hopefully you remember that for the last 2 years I have included a little crochet something as well as a poem with each card.  The first year it was snowflakes and this year it was crosses.  I think that I have decided that it will always be snowflakes from now on.  That way, those who want to, can save them to use as ornaments or package tags or whatever they want, but they will eventually have a set of them. 

So this year, every Saturday, I will post either an original snowflake pattern, or a link to one.  That way, by the end of the year, there will be 52 snowflake patterns.  Those of you who crochet are free to work them along with me obviously.  This is the beginning of my goal of starting Christmas crafting early!  Maybe in 2010 I won't be up on Christmas Eve trying to finish last minute projects!

This weeks pattern requires membership at the website, but it also gives you access to lots of other patterns for free also.  It is called Grace

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