Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Get "by Grace alone" jewelry--from DaySpring

Recently, I received this "by grace alone" jewelry set, courtesy of  DaySpring and (in)courage. Isn't it sweet?

Today, I thought I'd share my Top 10 reasons that you should get your own set.  Here goes:
  1. It's just precious.  Seriously--just look at that bird!
  2. The earrings are lightweight and don't tug at all.
  3. All the pieces are conversation starters. I can see these opening the doors to some witnessing opportunities!
  4. The pendant is a wearable scripture-memory tool.  The verse that inspired the set is inscribed right on the back!
  5. The cuff is just right--not too big, not too small.  Goldilocks would love it!
  6. Any of these pieces serve as a reminder that we aren't to be too hard on ourselves when we fail--we need to accept the grace God freely gives.  Just like the verse says, "By the grace of God, I am what I am."  And He gives us all the grace we need.
  7. Also, these pieces are also reminders to us to give grace to others, especially in those moments when we don't feel like it.
  8. They would make great gifts.
  9. Did I mention how great they look?
  10. They are all on sale 20% OFF this month!!
So there you have it--my top 10 reasons why you need to get your own "by Grace alone" jewelry set, or any piece individually.  So what are you waiting for??  Head over to the (in)spired deals page and check out the great products!

Disclosure Policy: Please see my Disclosure Tab above.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just a few quick words...

I thought I was just giving up Facebook games for Lent, but it seems I have nearly abandoned all social media.  I have been able to accomplish quite a few things that I always thought I never had time for.  Who knew??

Anyway, I just wanted to share that my first Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative project is for sale!  Mine is #6544, Crazy Love, but by all means, please check out the other quilts.  There are some gorgeous pieces there! 

The April quilt auction begins tomorrow, April 1st too, so go look at those while you're there.  And remember, it's all for Alzheimer's research!!

Just to show you that I've maintained my Quilt-a-Month promise too, here's a shot of my March quilt, #6778 Fleur-de-lis:

Saints fans, anyone??

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five Minute Friday: On Waiting


Waiting.  Seems like that's most of my time these days.

Waiting for the work day to end.
Waiting for baseball practice to end.
Waiting for videos to load, homework to be finished.
Waiting for cars to be repaired.
Waiting for college interviews.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.

But there's also a good kind of waiting--waiting for the Lord.

Not so long ago I was in this in-between place of not really knowing what was next: which way to turn, what to do - just kind of stuck.

Now I can say that I think the waiting is about to be over and the action is about to begin.  And when it does, I'll probably start wishing for the quieter days of waiting.:-)

I've been waiting to miss Facebook games, because I gave them up for Lent.  Turns out I didn't need them as badly as I thought, because I don't miss them at all.

I've been waiting for the writing bug to kick back in.  For the most part, it hasn't.

Now I'm waiting for more direction from God.  An idea has grown a bit more each day, and now I'm excited to see where it will go.  Scared, but ready.

I'm tired of waiting.  I'm ready to do.

What are you waiting for today??

And, a few words about Five Minute Friday from Gypsy Mama:

Here’s how the game works: you simply stop, drop and write. Set your words free. Don’t edit them, don’t fret over them, don’t try to make them perfect.

That’s how Five Minute Friday was born. Want to play? It’s fun. And it’s never too late to link up. Also? My friend Sara whipped up a hunky dory button for the occasion! You can grab the code over there in the right side bar. Then:

1. Write for only five minutes.
2. Link back here and invite others to play along.
3. Go high five the word artist who linked up before you with an awesome comment.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Want To Do," not "Need To Do"

I have a "Want To Do" list a mile long.  So, should I:

  • knit on a baby gift?
  • quilt on a baby gift?
  • knit on another gift?
  • start a brand new quilt project?
  • start my next Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative Quilt-a-Month project?
  • read in the book I started last night?
  • work on designing that St. Patrick's Day project?
  • play Facebook games until my eyes cross?
  • read blogs until my eyes cross?
  • write a compelling blog post of my own? obviously that one's out :-)
  • go to bed early?
  • just watch TV until I fall asleep because my brain is mush?

OK, it seems I am beyond the point of writing anything cohesive, so I will bid you adieu :-)  I veered off my original list of what I want to do and starting listing things I'm most likely to do!

What's on your "Want To Do" list?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Personal Safety vs. Compassion: Who Wins?

(Photo from Creative Commons)

I've noticed in recent weeks that I have seen a larger-than-normal number of folks walking along the side of the roads near my house.  It's a little disconcerting, because we know most of them live in a supposed drug house of some kind.

One day, a lady was frantically flagging down cars at the end of that particular street.  She scared me--I thought there was an emergency--so I stopped.

All she wanted was a ride to the grocery store.  And some money.  So I drove her, and talked about my Jesus.  She was receptive, and seemed genuinely touched when I prayed for her while she was in the car.  I gave her a few bucks (because that's all I had) and let her go.  I felt bad leaving her, but I was already running late for work, so I set her out in front of Food Lion and drove away.

I've seen her one more time since then.

I didn't have a problem stopping for her.  But the men I see wandering around?  I don't feel comfortable stopping for them, no matter how pitiful they look.  I fear for my personal safety, so I keep right on driving.

It makes me feel terrible, not doing anything for them.  Those poor guys are exactly the ones Jesus would be healing, hanging out with, calling into ministry.

And I drive on by.

I saw an older gentleman wandering around a parking lot I was in today.  At first I thought maybe he'd forgotten where he parked.  But then he just paced back and forth, and I figured out that he was probably begging.  (We have so many people doing that where I live that they've had to restrict the exit ramps and street corners that these transients camp out on.)

I got to the truck and cranked it up, when I saw this man speaking to someone in a nearby vehicle. 

I started driving away, but still felt like I should help him.  I looked around and didn't see him at first, but then I found him, still wandering, and it hit me: 

This guy is just desperate. 

You have probably lost all your pride and hit rock bottom when you are reduced to hitting up total strangers for cash in a parking lot.

I almost went back and gave him some money.  Then I thought about taking him to the McDonald's nearby and buying him a meal, and sharing my Jesus with him.  Thought hard about it.  All the while, my truck was still driving me right out of that lot...

I didn't go back.  I wish I had.  It pains me that we even live in a world where concern for our personal safety stops us from caring for those who hurt, who are in need, who need Jesus.

Tell me:  do you struggle with this too, or is it just me?  Does the concern over your personal safety stop you from helping others?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Smiley Face in the Fog

Being a working mom is tough.

With the demands of a full-time work schedule, combined with every day life as a wife, and mom to three boys, I find myself drained at night.  It's a struggle to get everything accomplished, so when I actually have the house clean, food in the cabinets and I'm not at work, I feel like I'm finally able to breathe.  Everything is done--the rest of the weekend is mine!

So today, I crashed on the couch, blanket pulled up to my chin, when I saw my youngest drawing on the window with his finger.  A puff of warm breath on the glass, and a smiley face in the fog.

My first thought was, "There goes my clean window."

But almost immediately I had another thought: "He's just being a kid."

Today, I made a choice.  I chose to be Happy Mommy, who quietly watched her son leave his masterpiece on the window, instead of Irritated Mommy, who would have scolded him for doing so.

Every day is a challenge.  We will all face something that annoys, interrupts or frustrates us.  The true test is how we will respond to it.

I admit it:  I have a tendency to let the negative reign in my life.  But I'm being more intentional about asking God to help me find that silver lining instead of focusing on the cloud.  I'm trusting Him to show me the way, and He's giving me a little joy as we go along, just as promised in Romans 15:13:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

If you have a hard time overcoming negativity like I do, I encourage you to claim this verse for yourself.  Let God help you get a new perspective, where instead of smudgy fingerprints, you see the smiley face in the fog.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Saturday!

It is shaping up to be a beautiful Saturday in February here, though a bit chilly.  I will be enjoying mine at work, but I hope the rest of you find something fun to do with yours!!
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