January 28, 2013

Wordless Days

Photo by aopsan
There are days where there are no words. There are no words to speak. There are no words to write. There are no words to give.

There are days when your heart is heavy and your mind weary.

These are the days where you look above and thank the Lord your God for life...and good life in Him.

These are the days you praise Him for who He is, for what He has done, and for what He is going to do. He is the God of your heart, the One who loves and cares.

God is the maker of heaven and earth, the creator of all, and the shepherd of our hearts. He knows our every thought and loves us unconditionally.

He is the strength of our hearts. The One in whom we trust. The Lord of healing and restoration.

I believe in the power of prayer, and I believe God will restore and heal the body and mind of those who need His powerful hand.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, worship His holy name.

January 23, 2013

Before and After: DIY Goodwill Dresser

Finally, my first furniture makeover is finished!  I have been looking for a dresser to store my craft supplies that have been getting out of hand since I've been crafting instead of writing, and I finally found a small scratched dresser at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago... for $18! Here it is in all it's particle board glory!

It had quite a few scratches  on it, but I used a good quality primer that covered them well.

Here is the dresser primed. 

I liked the gray of the primer, so I got some chalkboard paint and had it mixed a Moonstone gray. I've heard that chalkboard paint covered well, and was pleased to find that was the case. I gave it two coats, then decided to stencil a pattern across the drawers. I used a spray adhesive on the back of the stencil to keep the stencil secure while I painted a white acrylic onto the gray.

 I added two coats of polyurethane, then added some cute knobs that I got for 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby.

And here is the dresser finished. Isn't it cute? Now all my crafts are hidden in the dresser and not piled on my kitchen table! 

Here is a breakdown of the cost:
Dresser at Goodwill: $18
I spray can of primer: $4
1 can of chalkboard paint: $14
Polyurethane: $4
Stencil: $5
White acrylic paint: Already had, but it normally costs $1.24 at Hobby Lobby
8 Knobs: $12
TOTAL: $57 (more than I really wanted to spend, but I only used 1/3 of the chalkboard paint and 1/3 of the polyurethane. I can use them and the stencil for another project.)

I must say, this has definitely whet my appetite for some more makeovers! What to do next???

Have you ever done any kind of furniture makeovers or redos? What it successful? 

January 21, 2013

The Mirror of Ancient Words

Photo by Janaka Dharmasena
Have you ever wondered why famous people do stupid things, get caught, and ruin their lives? We think WE would never do that if we had their wealth, their fame, their lives. Why would they mess up a good thing? Well, the truth is, we just might do what they did because we have free will and haven't really walked where they have walked. Who knows what we would have done if we had to walk in their shoes and deal with the things they deal with.

I learned something Sunday at church. The ancient words of the Bible are a mirror for us to see ourselves and learn from.

Take Adam and Eve, for example. They lived in paradise. They walked with God. They had the perfect life. So what does Eve do? She wants more. She wants to be like God and eats the fruit. Aren't we like that? Sure we are! We have jobs and have a good life, but we want more. You've seen it before...a man wants a better looking wife like his neighbor has and has an affair. A couple wants a home to look just like a magazine, so they go into debt and end up living paycheck to paycheck.

How about Cain and Abel? While they didn't have the paradise their parents had, they couldn't have had much of a hard life. There weren't a lot of people to deal with and that usually is where the drama lies, right? But Cain saw Abel getting praise from God and got jealous. Instead of doing the right thing, he decides to just get rid of his brother. No more competition.

The Bible is full of stories that help us see our human nature. The thing is, the Bible tells the whole story, full of the consequences of giving in to our selfish desires, so that we can fully see where we can end up if we live for ourselves and not for God.

God wants so much to be in a relationship with us. He missed walking in the garden with Adam and Eve. Can't you just hear the pain in His voice when they hide from Him and He calls out, "Where are you?" Can't you hear the anguish in His voice when he asks Cain, "What have you done?"

God wants us to desire Him about all else. He wants us to go to him with our thanksgiving, our pain, our excitement, our hurt, our love, our fear. He wants all of us...our heart, soul, mind and strength. He is not scared of our messy hearts. He can take it. He wants to take it. He wants to have all of us, the good, the bad, the ugly. What a great God!

So as you read the Bible, the ancient words, remember to look for yourself in the stories. Don't try to "pose" in front of the mirror, putting your best face forward. Just be yourself and really see your heart in the reflection of God's word.

p.s. Thanks John Ketchersid for an awesome sermon!

January 18, 2013

Folding & Oganizing T-Shirts In A Drawer

I found a new way to fold t-shirts that will save a ton of space in your drawer AND  make it easier to find the t-shirt you want to wear! So I decided to do a little photo-shoot to show you how to do it. Excuse the poor photos. I should have do it in the day light, but I was busy with another DIY project I will share with you next week! (Eeek...so excited about my "trash to treasure" find!) Anyway, let's get started...

First lay out your t-shirt with the back of the t-shirt showing. 

 Next, fold one side over to the center.

 Next, fold the other side in toward the center.

 Next, fold the bottom of the t-shirt about 3 or 4 inches up.

 Next, fold the t-shirt up to where there are two equal parts of the t-shirt left.

 Then, fold the rest of the t-shirt up, so it should look like this.

 Now, turn your t-shirt over, so that you see the front of the t-shirt.

 Now here is the coolest part. FILE your t-shirts in your drawer like so. Look how you can see all the t-shirts, instead of having to dig down to find the t-shirt you want! 

Now you would think the t-shirts would fall over, but because they are tightly folded, they manage to stay upright (for the most part). Now, I didn't "file" these t-shirts by color, but you could certainly sort them according to color...reds together, grays together, blacks together, etc...

This was an easy organization project that only took me about 15 minutes to do! And boy, it felt good!!!

Have you ever seen this done? How do you organize your clothing drawers? Any tips for me?

January 14, 2013

You Are Not Your Mistakes

Who would have thought that the few verses in Genesis 1 outlining the history of creation would have such an impact how I should view myself and others. I was amazed by the insights brought out of the text during John's sermon on Sunday.

In the beginning, God took a blank canvas and  created a masterpiece...the world and all that is in it. As Christians, we believe in a creative God who is still at work in the world. In accepting Jesus, we are a new creation, and God is at work in His people.

We must always remember that we were created in the image of God. We don't need to fear what others think of us and our mistakes. We are more than our mistakes. We are loved by God and given His Spirit to live within us and transform us each and every day. We can stand firm knowing  that we are a new creation in Christ.

And here is part two of that thought: As believers, we are to look at others through the filter of God's love for His creation. Every person you come in contact with is created by God. They are His masterpiece, even as you are. They are not the sum of their mistakes either. We must remember to look at others with eyes full of grace and mercy, showing the love of Christ to all.

Isn't that awesome? What is really special is that on the way home from church I was listening to KLTY and a song I had never heard came on. This song spoke the words of the sermon beautifully. It is called You Are More by Tenth Avenue North. Take a listen and you will be blessed by it.

May you be blessed by the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Have a Marvelous Monday!

January 11, 2013

Close Ups

Taking close ups with a camera is not as easy as I thought. I figured putting on the little "flower" icon for close ups would make pictures absolutely awesome! Nah...not so much. I found out you have to be really, really still to take close ups or else your picture gets blurry. I pulled back, but didn't get the close ups I wanted.

I found it really strange how the color of the roses changed when the flash went off and when it didn't. The red is lighter when the flash went off. I really like the deeper red myself. Here's some of my attempts, using the beautiful roses my husband gave me for our 28th Anniversary last weekend. 



May your Friday be a deliciously RED HOT Friday and FUN, FUN, FUN!

January 09, 2013

Household Notebook...Order to the Home

Since I went back to work 10 years ago, my housework has suffered. It's just harder to have the time and energy to keep a clean, organized home when you spend most of your day outside of the house. One of my goals this year is to get my house in order, so I have done some digging around the internet and found some great ideas.

The first thing I am doing is setting up a Household Notebook. This will be my go-to for everything. I found a great organizing site called Organized Home that shows you how to set up a Household Notebook to keep you organized. It gives very detailed instructions on setting one up and even has free printables for things such as Menu Planning, Grocery Lists, Daily To-Do Lists, etc... Also, the site Life Your Way has some great printables for a Household Notebook. Here is a few things I purchased to get me started.

I purchased a large binder, 3-hole punched folders with pockets, sheet protectors, business card pages, tab dividers, and stick on tab labels. I also bought a 3 hole punch for all the printables, in case I didn't want to put them in the sheet protectors.

I confess I haven't completely finished my notebook, but here is what it looks like so far. I've set up tabs and printed out the Printables that I wanted to use. I took pictures of a few for you to see.

I haven't filled anything out yet...obviously, but I am slowly but surely getting organized. It WILL happen, I assure you!

So how do you keep your home organized? What is the best thing you do to keep on top of all your chores?

January 07, 2013

Who Are You Praying To?

Photo by thepathtraveler
We talked about prayer in Bible Class yesterday and it struck me that I don't really think about who I am praying to like I should. Many of you probably have heard about the formula for prayer called ACTS.


In the Adoration section, I praise God for being God, but here is something I learned in class. There are three different aspects of God that I have never considered as a whole.

God is High and Holy. The God who is worthy of our praise. The God who is so Almighty and Worthy, He commands respect and awe. He is Creator. He is above all things and over all things. He is our High King to worship and serve wholeheartedly.

God is Righteous. He is perfect. He is pure. He is white as snow. And being righteous  He can stand as one who judges justly. He is a just God. He is the ultimate God, without blemish, without fault.

God is Love. God is  compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. He cares for us, His children...the pinnacle of His creation. He listens to us. He speaks to us. He gives us a relationship with Him that fulfills us and sustains us in this dark world. His love envelopes us, giving us peace.

May the Holy, Righteous, Loving God surround you with His loving presence, that you may know Him and come to love Him with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. May you be blessed by the Maker of heaven and earth and filled with His Spirit to overflowing.

Go in peace and have a Marvelous Monday!

January 04, 2013

First Pictures With A DSLR Camera

My husband and I pooled our Christmas money and bought a good camera at Sam's Club that will take uber awesome pictures! And this year, I am going to share with you my attempts at taking better pictures...so be amazed. (or just laugh...whatever)

I like how the background is a little fuzzy while the subject is clear.

I love that it takes good close ups without being blurry.

And here is what my camera can do if I just put it on auto focus and click as fast as I can! It helps that my sister is so photogenic. 

I love the Bokeh effect (blurry lights in the background). It happens when your subject is far away from lights and you do a close up on your subject. I tried it with my dog, Titus, but he wasn't far enough away annnnd I wasn't close enough to him. I will have to experiment a bit more on that.

So there you have my first foray into the land of digital photography. I don't want to become a professional or anything. I just want to learn to take great pictures for me. (Some day I will have grandchildren who will need to be documented with they are with their Nana or whatever they are going to call me!)

Do you have a good camera? How did you learn to take great pictures? 

January 02, 2013

Organizing...Where to Start?

I bet you have made a New Year's resolution to get organized this year, haven't you? Well, I did to. My goal is to restore order to my home and finances this year. So on Wednesdays, I'm going to share with you what I have done to get closer to my goal.

Pouring over all the Pinterest and blogs about organizing has gotten me both motivated and scared out of my mind! On the one hand, there are awesome sites out there to help you whip your life into a semblance of order and control. But on the other hand, it takes some work to begin to tackle the job of restoring order to your home. It's scary! Where do you start?

I decided to take action and tackle on thing in my home that has been driving me crazy! The shoes in my closet. I share a closet with my husband and my shoes are on the top shelf. I can't tell you how many times I have reached up to get a pair and several shoes fall on the top of my head. It doesn't start my day off well, I can tell you this much. Here's a look at the BEFORE picture:

To solve my problem, I headed to Family Dollar and purchased some plastic shoe boxes with lids and organized my shoes by season. Green lids for spring and summer. White lids for fall and winter. See the finished product...

Now I was ready to try something a little more involved. I was so excited to stumble upon something to help me organize my blogging schedule and I'm soooo excited to share it with you! I found a free printable blog planner created by Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler. It is truly amazing, and I am hoping it will keep me more organized as a blogger. Check out what you get!

Yearly Calendar

Monthly Calendar with check
 boxes for if you have scheduled
 or shared the post with  social media

Blog Notes page with space for
 giveaways,  post ideas, and statistics.

Beautiful cover sheet (with a matching back cover)

Isn't this brilliant? I have needed this for a LONG time and am thrilled to have found it. Now...I just have to USE it! 

This is my foray into simple organization. What tips do you have for me? What do you use to organize your blogging? (if you are a blogger).

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