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!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First Priority Alzheimer's Quilt: Crazy Love #6544

Well, there it is.  My first quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.  I've been out of the serious crafting loop for a while now, and finally decided to get back in the game.

This little cutie is a Priority quilt, so named because it will fit into a Priority Mail envelope - it's not much bigger than a standard sheet of paper.  This one is called "Crazy Love," and tomorrow it will be mailed to be photographed and loaded onto the AAQI site.  Once it's there, it will either be put up for sale, or chosen for the next monthly auction.

Either way, the proceeds will be donated to Alzheimer's research through AAQI.  I may not be able to cure dad from Alzheimer's disease, but maybe a few dollars here and there will add up and make a difference one day for someone's else's dad.  Or wife.  Or brother.  Or aunt.

Will you help me?  I'd be grateful if you'd consider sharing the web site on your blog, or even bidding in the current auction.  (I'm sure donations would be greatly appreciated, too!)

This will be a regular feature here at The Daily Do-Over, since I pledged to make or buy a quilt a month, and also to raise $1000 through my quilts for the organization.

That will be a lot of stitches!  But it's for a good cause and will be worth every penny.

I sure hope you'll join me in spreading the word!!  (And maybe some ideas for future quilts.  I've got my work cut out for me!)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I am a walking example of Murphy's Law.

Long work days.
Short nights of sleep.
Mountains of aggravations and annoyances.
Short fuses.
Ball games.
Spilled drinks on freshly washed items.
House guests.
Sick kids.
Car trouble.

Man, what a week!!  I feel like everything that could go wrong HAS gone wrong.

I like to think I'm a pretty tough ol' country girl, but sometimes I finally hit the wall where I.HAVE.JUST.HAD.ENOUGH.

And I am there.

When I reach that breaking point, I have to take drastic measures to save my sanity.  This weekend, it looks something like this:

Choosing a quilt pattern for these...

deciding how funky I want to get with a few of these for an Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative project (more on this to come)...

and cranking out a few fast and fun Valentine's Day Heart Pins.

When my brain is totally overwhelmed, one escape mechanism I use is to put it in craft mode.  That may not get rid of my house guests or wash my laundry, but it sure does put me in better spirits and allows me to blow off a little steam in a healthy, productive way.

(Or, I could just go cry.  That would probably work too!)

So, between church and the Super Bowl, you will find me diligently working away on at least one of these projects. :-)

I know I'm not the only one who gets stressed out.  So tell me - how do you unwind when you've just had enough??

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So, who wants to have a little adventure?

I'm still laughing as I write this.  I won a Bible study from Lifeway!

That in itself isn't funny, but pretty darn awesome.

What IS funny is that it's the SECOND Bible study I've won from Lifeway.  The first one was Beth Moore's Esther study that I won a few years ago on her ministry blog (carried by Lifeway).

So, obviously Lifeway and I were meant to be buddies.  Maybe one day they can carry my Bible studies, right?  (Published by Thomas Nelson, too--my other publishing destiny.  Well, one can dream!)

Anyway, whenever it arrives I can set a start date.  It's a seven week study called "When Wallflowers Dance" by Angela Thomas.  I will "moderate" it here at The Daily Do-Over, and I can't wait for you guys to join me!!

Here is the brief product description:
"When we were two, we were no longer babies-we were becoming little girls. And when we were thirteen, we were leaving childhood behind, becoming young women. But somewhere along the way, we stopped becoming. We became "un-women." Wallflowers who are just breathing and smiling and blending in to stay out of the way.
That is not what God had in mind when He created us. He wants us to keep becoming. He wants us to become strong, decisive, wise, creative, passionate, courageous-all the things we've dreamed of becoming. When Wallflowers Dance is a fresh challenge to women who have lived hesitant, cautious lives but long to break free and dance!
Using both Scripture and story, Angela Thomas addresses the attributes of "becoming" and the freedom we have in Christ to keep developing the characteristics that reflect our God-given longings."
Whew! Doesn't that sound amazing? I'm excited already!

So, are you with me, girls? We can go on this little adventure together. I just have one question--who's bringing the chocolate??  :-)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Gettin' Crafty: Heart-Shaped Zippered Pouches

This is the first post that will let you in on a little secret:  I like to make things.  If a needle is involved, I probably either know how to do it, or would like to learn.  I come from a long line of crafty women, and I am proud of that.  Some traditions just shouldn't be left behind! :-)

So, my first crafty post is in honor of one of my favorite holidays - Valentine's Day.  I know, the greeting card companies are in cahoots with chocolatiers and rose growers, but the hopeless romantic in me still gets a little dreamy-eyed in February.

I saw this pattern on The Purl Bee and, even though my house is drenched in testosterone, I had to "get my girl on" and make these.  The link above takes you straight to the pattern if you're interested - it's FREE!

It's pretty easy.  Cut out two heart shapes, draw your sewing lines, pin them together right sides facing...

sew in your zipper (this is my first zipper ever, by the way - I'm excited!)...

sew up the other side, including the handle, turn it inside out and VIOLA!

Heart-Shaped Zippered Pouches!!

Obviously, these would be great for candy conversation hearts or a few pieces of chocolate, but I also think they would be great to store jewelry in while traveling, or as a mini-makeup bag in your purse.

I want to challenge you today to go create something.  I don't care if you're thirtysomething and you make a macaroni necklace - just go be creative!  Take some photos, draw a picture, write a poem, knit a hat, crochet some granny squares, whip up a mini-quilt, (find something interesting?), make your own crayons, build something out of popsicle sticks - ANYTHING!  Then come back here and share what you made in the Mr. Linky below or leave a comment, OK?  I can't wait to see all your creativity!!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Testing, testing...

I'm trying out some new "stuff," so please bear with me while I try a test post.

You will now be returned to your regular programming :-)



I've got the Fever!

I just passed the remnants of someone's snowman, and there are still piles of snow in parking lots and shady areas.

But I just picked up my kids from Saturday School in flip-flops.

And no jacket.

And wet hair.

Because it's 56 degrees outside, and it's given me SPRING FEVER!!!

It's made me want to open my windows, and plan a spring garden.

Even though opening the windows would cool my house down so much that my heat pump would work harder later to catch up.  And I don't have enough sun here at the Enchanted Forest to grow anything but moss.

But I can still look forward to Spring with hope, because as we're told in Ecclesiastes
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."
The seasons are changing - are you ready??

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Heartfelt Prayer

It's no secret: we're all getting older, and my kids are no exception.  They're growing in their independence, and that includes nightly prayers.  They usually say them on their own before falling asleep, but tonight was different.

Tonight, I was invited to their inner circle.  Individual prayers gave way to a group prayer as we all gathered on the bed and held hands.

First went the Little One, then me, then Middle Man.  They thanked God for mommy praying with them, and for daddy visiting friends.  They were thankful for a good dinner, and I think they even prayed for the dog!

Most importantly, they prayed heartfelt prayers, and that's such a great feeling.

So often, I feel stale in my own prayers, thinking they all sound the same.   Day after day.  In a rut.
"Bless my husband.  Protect our children.  Forgive all my dumb mistakes.  Blah, blah, blah..."
Prayer isn't supposed to feel like an obligation--it should be an honest conversation with our Lord.  We've complicated it by thinking we have to sound "preachy," or that we need to use big words and Sunday morning cliches.

Our flesh wants to be seen.  Our soul just wants to speak.

I so enjoyed listening to my little men's original, all-about-my-day prayers. It reminded me what authentic prayer sounds like.

No wonder Jesus wanted to be around the children--they know how to be real.

Want to get out of your prayer rut?  Listen to a child pray - then get back to basics!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Can you put it down?

I love books.  Well, let me rephrase that: I love words.  Books, magazines, blogs, even Coldwater Creek catalogs (have you read their product descriptions?  Love 'em!).  I would be totally content (if money was no object) to work in a library or bookstore.  I adore reading!

That being said, sometimes I find myself in a quandry.  It greatly distresses me when I pick up a book, invest some time into reading it, and then find that the book really doesn't grab me.

I attempt to put pen to paper occasionally myself, so I hesitate to judge.  I mean, some publisher somewhere found these words worthy enough to print.  I tell myself that if I just keep reading, I'll get to the good part (which sadly sometimes never comes).

If I do stick with a book, and in the end I still don't care for it, I feel like I wasted my time - like I was cheated.

That's my own personal dilemma, but I'm curious - if you don't like a book, do just give up, or do you finish it anyway?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I am a figment of your imagination.

I'm not really here.

I'm at Ridgecrest Conference Center, attending Writers ADVANCE Bootcamp.  So while I'm having Reveille, and getting my marching orders, go check out some of my new friends, hosts of this weekend's activities:

Christian Devotions
Cindy Sproles

Sorry - this may be bootcamp, but no combat boots.  Just furry ones with a wedge heel, please! :-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When Plans Go Awry

Image from Dreamstime

I'd planned on a quiet Saturday of reading, writing, knitting, napping...

What I got instead was three trips across the county, two basketball games, snow shoveling and a few hours of disaster recovery with my husband.

We'd planned on opening our salon with two new services and redesigned decor on Monday.

What we got instead was 800 gallons of floodwater that delayed everything by at least a week, and took a chunk of change out of our wallets that was reserved for marketing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Real-life Miracles

Let me begin this post by thanking you all for your prayers last week -  I have no doubt they contributed to what I consider a miracle.

It just didn't seem right to share at the time.  But now?  I don't know how I can't share it.  I'll start with the post I wrote last week, but never published:

"Monday night around 1am we received a phone call from the local Police Dept. that water was pouring from the door of our small business.  My husband and I hurried out there to see what was happening.

The snow hadn't arrived yet, and I remember saying "Thank God for that!" as we made our way north.

The cops had waited and they entered the salon with us, almost immediately identifying the source of the water.  A pipe beneath a sink had simply blown apart.

A pipe that probably only cost a few cents.

A pipe that only cost a few cents was responsible for the flood that now had our entire business underwater.

All our equipment.  Brand new flooring.  Brand new furniture.  Baseboard trim.  Computers.  Old paperwork.

Everything, completely immersed in about 3 inches of water.

We knew there was no way we could handle all that ourselves, so we had to call in the disaster cleanup experts (who, by the way, was a really awesome team of guys.)  They drove through the snow, which had finally begun to fall, and a few hours later they were pumping around 800 gallons of water out of our business.

They helped us carry out the brand new floor we had to rip out.  They moved the furniture that Jeff had just finished and arranged on Friday.  They vacuumed, and pumped, and hauled, and vacuumed some more.

While sloshing through the water, I found a Bible on the coffee table placed there just two days ago.  I remembered a blog post I had read only a few hours before.  Edie has just recently lost her home to a terrible fire, and she had blogged about a necklace she had with part of Isaiah 43 on it, where God calls us by a new name - calls us his.  Her post went on to say that a friend decided to read that verse in the bible and was amazed at what she found.  Coincidentally, I decided to look it up as I stood there in the flood waters, and was amazed myself:
"But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life." -Isaiah 43:1-4
Edie got the fire, and I got the water.  Standing there sloshing in my shoes, God reached down through that Bible verse and said, "I'm with you in these waters."  Yes, Lord, you are.  Help us to cling to that promise.

Finally around nine this morning we all left.  Praise the Lord, Jeff's truck actually got us home, through all 10 or 12 inches of snow we now have.  We got a few hours of sleep, but frankly we feel hungover.  Stunned.  We just look at each other, and say little.  Until we know the full extent of the damage, there's just not much to say.

So now, we wait.  Four massive dehumidifiers and an army of fans are running in the salon.  We'll give it a few days and go see what we're left with.

Whatever happens, I know that God has a bigger plan.  There was a reason for this flood, and I simply pray that we are attentive enough to notice what it is.

I would be humbled if you could join me in prayer for whatever we'll now face.  We are hopeful that the mold will stay away, that our equipment miraculously survived.  That we didn't just lose everything.  And that if we did, we'll trust God enough to take us forward through whatever might be next..."
Here were are, a week later.

By the end of today, our business will be almost completely restored to where it was just before the flood.  Sure, we're missing a few dollars out of our pockets that would been nice to still have, but I would be remiss in focusing on that, instead of the gift we were given.

All that expensive salon equipment, that sat directly on the floor, in inches of water, seems to have ALL survived.  The computer tower (that a week ago poured water out like a pitcher) is working just fine. I don't know about you, but the last time I checked, electrical circuits were not supposed to get wet.  If they did, they were toast.  I'm not talking about one or two items here.  It's more like 15 or 16, that all survived.

The mildew, thus far, has stayed away, and the carpets are dry.  The salon smells like it always has - like a salon.  Not like a recently flooded mess. The furniture was all saved.  Except for the flooring and baseboards, which we had to toss, everything was spared.

I find that nothing short of miraculous.

And I just have to share that.  God is still in the miracle business.

Maybe you're in need of a miracle yourself right now.  You're financially strapped.  You're fighting cancer.  You marriage is falling apart.  Your job is bringing you loads of stress.  You have a prodigal child.  The troubles of this world are practically endless.

I can't promise that you'll get a miracle like I did.  But I also can't say that you won't.  Ask God for one.  Cry out to Him with your pain, your worries, your regrets.  Then watch.  He may not send you a miracle, but He may send something just as amazing: peace. Patience. Perseverance, character, hope.  He can use all manner of trials to grow us, to refine us, to purify us.  You do your part by asking God to handle your mess, and then let Him.

Because He can.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I thought I'd have a post ready today. I was wrong.

Isn't it funny how you have your day all planned out, and then it gets so turned around that you don't do anything you wanted to?

That was me today.  Writing a blog post was supposed to happen, but didn't.

I'll try a real post tomorrow. :-)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Praising God When You Don't Think You Can

I thank you for your prayers, and ask that you keep it up.  We are in a holding pattern right now, still unsure what the future holds.

That uncertainty can be a killer.  It's so easy to get caught up in the "what-if's" and, before you know it, you find yourself in this darkness that consumes you.  I have a tendency to wallow in despair and self-pity from time to time.  As a matter of fact, I just recently climbed out of that pit.

I am not going back in, not now.  Hopefully not ever.

The bible tells us that we will have hard times, but in different translations we are told to take heart, have courage, and be of good cheer.  In John 14:27, Jesus says not to let our hearts be troubled or to be afraid.  Paul instructs us to "rejoice always."

And for me and Edie, we are finding solace in Isaiah 43:1-4, where God promises to be with us in the trials we face. (Just in case you're wondering, we did not have a fire.)

Don't think it will be easy.  Many of my praises have been choked out with sobs and bathed in tears.  But I'm trying to sing praises anyway.

If you find yourself in a difficult time right now, may I ask that you join me in praise?  I have embedded a few songs below that help me to draw closer to God and find some praise when I can't seem to conjure it up on my own (some may just be a motionless photo accompanied by music, while others are actually videos).  I hope they will work for you as well.

And please, please - if you are discouraged about anything right now, would you let me know, so that I can pray for you?  Perhaps we can just pray for one another.

Now, go get your praise on!

Avalon: I Survive

Casting Crowns: Father, Spirit, Jesus

Chris Tomlin: Amazing Grace

Francesca Battistelli: Beautiful, Beautiful
(I can't embed it, so here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbCfyZHSQbE)

 Hillsong: Mighty to Save

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Funny how one phone call can change everything.

All I can say at this point is we can really use your prayers right now...thank you!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pardon me - we're having technical difficulties.

It seems that there is a problem with leaving comments on the ol' blog.  Please refer to my "How do I leave a comment?" page for what I think is the answer. 

I do have comment moderation on, because I got spammed like crazy on my last blog and it was just annoying.  So know that your comment will not appear until I have approved it.

If you still have problems, I would greatly appreciate it if you could let me know so I can look into it.  Find me at ehingersoll@charter.net.

Thank you!!

Have your words branded you?

While attending a family birthday party recently, I had the privilege of spending some time with an aunt that I hadn't seen in years. After just a few moments of talking with her, though, the years faded away.  See, my aunt has this phrase that she used all the time when I was little, and apparently she still does.  I felt like I was six again when she said, "Great goodness!"

If you think about it, many people are known for the words they use.  I thought of a few - can you identify these?
  1. Fiddle dee dee!
  2. Did I do that?
  3. Oh, bother.
  4. Wilma!
  5. Nobody puts Baby in a corner.
  6. That's all, folks!
(answers at the end of this post)

Well, if you're not a thirtysomething female, you might not know some of those but the point is, you can probably think of several people that you could distinguish just by a phrase they say. 

It's kind of amazing when you think about.  Just a handful of consonants and vowels out of our mouths can brand us in someones mind, maybe even forever.

That might be sweet, if it's a case like my aunt, but what if we aren't remembered favorably for our words?

I'll bet you can remember the ugliest thing someone ever said to you.  Maybe you have a coworker with a potty mouth.  Perhaps you just know someone who is complaining all the time and brings down everyone around them with their negativity.

Words are powerful, folks.  The Bible even points out the impact our words have:

Kind words are like honey - sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. - Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)

If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. - 1 Peter 3:10 (NLT)

These two verses show us that choosing positive words not only benefits the recipient of them, but ourselves as well.  Thoughtful speech is beneficial for the body and soul, and helps us to have joy-filled days.  Who doesn't need that?

We all know how good it makes you feel emotionally when someone compliments you, or tells you that they love you, or shows gratitude.  It also has a healthy effect on your body - hearing those nice things can actually increase the release of endorphins, which makes you feel calmer and more at peace.

Here's my challenge to you:

Try it out.  Make it a point to speak kind words to at least one person daily. See if you don't feel happier yourself, and notice a more positive interaction with those around you.

Who would've thought that our words carry so much weight!  But they can absolutely be used for bad and good, so a word to the wise - be careful what you say - you just might be remembered for it!!

OK, the answers are:
  1. Scarlett O'Hara (Gone with the Wind)
  2. Steve Erkel (Family Matters)
  3. Winnie the Pooh
  4. Fred Flintstone
  5. Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle (Dirty Dancing)
  6. Porky Pig

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Every Morning

Thanks for visitng the Daily Do-Over!  I'm so happy you stopped by.  I have something to share with you...


We get a do-over.  Every day.

I know that sounds simplistic, but it's so easy to forget.  Trust me!  The past few months, I found myself in this desert of discontent.  At first, just one area of my life had me a little frustrated, but soon other areas joined in and, before I knew it, there I was - fussing about everything.

A wise friend of mine says that if something or someone annoys you, then maybe it really is just that person who has an issue.  But when you think everyone else has a problem, then take a look in the mirror sweetie, because the problem is probably YOU.

To hear my pitiful self tell it, the world was simply horrible and unjust.  Everything and everyone was a headache or a problem that just wore me slap out.  Never mind that fact that I had a beautiful home to house my family, an abundance of food to feed them, clean clothes on our backs, fresh water to drink, good health for all, and even a little bit of money in the bank.  Somehow I still I thought I was justified in my misery. 

I'm sure I sounded a bit like the prophet Jeremiah, who was believed to be the author of this passage below.  See how many of his proclamations you can identify with.
"I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the LORD’s wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light; indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.
He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones.  He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead.
He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains. Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked.
Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding, he dragged me from the path and mangled me and left me without help. He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows.
He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver. I became the laughingstock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long. He has filled me with bitter herbs and given me gall to drink.
He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the LORD.”
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me."  -Lamentations 3:1-20 (NIV)
Looking back, all I needed was sackcloth and ashes and I think I could have wandered the streets proclaiming my sorrow.

One day in the midst of my melodrama, I had a meltdown and yelled at my kids.  Almost immediately  I remembered Luke 6:45, which says:
"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."
I tried to figure out what had my heart so full of ugly, but I just couldn't quite peg it.  I still didn't recognize that the problem was me - that my perspective was completely out of focus.

God took some time, but He eventually opened my eyes so I could see clearly again.  Then I was like, "Oh - that's what was wrong the whole time!" 

I had forgotten something very important -  to see all the good things God had given me.  My choice instead had been to focus on the problems. 

Remember Jeremiah?  Let's pick up where he left off:

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD." Lamentations 3:21-26 (NIV)
So, we've gone from wailing in the streets to having hope.  How did that happen?

By remembering!  "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope."  Stop obsessing on the junk and praise God for the good!  Even if you have to think back a while to find any.  It's there. You've just forgotten it temporarily, like I did.  But when you remember it, you regain hope that God can do it again.

Really, the Hebrew word used here for hope (yakhal) could be replaced with the word "faith."  In this passage, it doesn't mean that we cross our fingers that God will forgive us, or cut us a break, or drop a winning lottery ticket in our hands.  It means that we "have a confident expectation for the future with a sense of anticipation and certainty while waiting for the outcome." (Tyndale NLT Study Bible definition.)

Confident expectation.
Sense of anticipation and certainty.
While waiting.

Sounds like faith to me!  I think we could picture it as a slogan: "What's God gonna do today?"  You can just see someone bouncing on their tiptoes, squeezing their hands together, like waiting to see what's inside a surprise gift.

Choosing despair will just put you in an addictive downward spiral that is incredibly difficult to get out of.  The pit can be so deep that you can't see the bottom.  But when you choose praise over despair, giving thanks instead of giving up, the process starts to reverse.  For some, the ascent into the light will take longer than others, but I promise: if you choose to praise God over everything else, He will help you out of that pit.

Choose hope.  Because who knows what God's gonna do today?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Brand Spankin' New


Today's buzzword.  New year, new decade, new beginning.

Something about the word "new" just makes people feel better.  Hopeful, even.  I think the dictionary should list that as a synonym for new, don't you?

That's how I want you to feel after visiting The Daily Do-Over - hopeful.

My prayer is that this will be a place to get reNEWed when you've had it up to there. 

Got working mommy guilt? 
Hi there.  Come on in.

Marriage troubles? 
Have a seat.

Kids driving you nuts? 
I'm with you, sister!

Sick of your job? 
Let's talk about it.

Fighting a physical condition? 
Let me pray for you.

In a spiritual battle?
You are SO NOT alone.

In a funk, for no apparent reason? 
You might be my new BFF.


I pray that's how you'll feel when you realize you get a daily do-over.

What?  You didn't know about that?

Look, let me show you...
  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor. 5:17
  • Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Ezekiel 18:31
  • See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Isaiah 65:17
and a segment of scripture for this new season of my own:
"I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."  Lamentations 3:19-23
New every morning, girls.  Let that soak in for a minute.

I can't wait to talk to you all about this!!!  We'll dive in on the next post...

Welcome to your Daily Do-Over!
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