Saturday, April 29, 2017

Steadfast love...

definition of steadfast-

a: firmly fixed in place: immovable

b :  not subject to change

  1. Synonyms-constantdedicateddevoteddevout, goodloyalfaithfulsteadytruetrue-blue(from Merriam-Webster's online dictionary)
    I'm currently re-reading the book of Psalms in my English Standard Version journaling Bible. Today during my devotions I was struck not only by the frequency with which David writes of God's love for him, but I noticed that in the E.S.V. when he mentions God's love it is always accompanied by the word steadfast. 
    Psalm 26:3, "Your steadfast love is before my yes, and I walk in your faithfulness."
    If something is "before my eyes" then that means I am focused on it. In other words, I should be focused on God's immovable, unchangeable love for me. If I am focused and convinced that God's love for me is constant, dedicated, loyal, faithful, true-blue, then I will be a lot less prone to fear, worry, anxiety, putting too many expectations on my other relationships, seeking love in wrong ways, and other attitudes and behaviors that a lack of feeling loved can trigger.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, April 30th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Faves...An Adventure Themed Baby Shower

We are only a month away from welcoming grandbaby number six into our family!
It's a boy, which means we will have an even split of three grandsons and three granddaughters.
Our youngest daughter is the mama-to-be.
When she got married two years ago, she wanted a travel themed wedding.
Since their wedding, the happy couple has traveled to something like a dozen different countries!
It seemed appropriate, therefore, to have an adventure themed baby shower for their soon-to-be-born son.
My oldest daughter was the hostess and brains behind the theme and decor.
We had the baby shower in the fully restored year 1900 farmhouse that she and her husband recently bought.
For the refreshments there was a tray of meat and cheeses, some artichoke dip, assorted crackers, a veggie tray, assorted cookies, chocolate cake and apple pie and this amazing hippo melon fruit salad.
Animals from the Dollar Tree were spray painted gold and found here and there in the party decor.
Here's the mama-to-be!
We played the silly game of dividing up the guests into teams with each team dressing one of the team members up like a baby using toilet paper, a blue or pink ribbon, and a fake pacifier as the only supplies.
The mama-to-be got to pick the winner.
We also played a bingo game where the guests filled in a bingo card with items they thought the new baby might receive and then they crossed off the items that he actually did get as the gifts were opened.

My oldest daughter made these amazing vines using leaves she bought at the Dollar Tree attached to a "vine" she made from twisted up paper.

Our middle granddaughter was so excited to be able to attend the baby shower.
I guess she wanted a close up view of all the action!

Well, it's Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
and a safe and BLESSED weekend!


Shabby Art Boutique

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What to do when you've made a mess of things...

Good grief! You'd think that since I'm knocking on the door of age sixty that I'd have left my toddler tendencies behind at least five and a half decades ago. Yet, last week I gave in to two very toddler-like character traits, and let's just say, it didn't turn out so well.  Impulsivity combined with an attitude of "I'll do it myself" was my undoing.

I've been going to the same hairstylist for years and years.  When we moved from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington two years ago, I kept going to my hairstylist who works in a salon east of Portland. The half hour drive, (if the traffic cooperates), usually works out fine, since I only need a cut and color every two months. However, for some crazy reason, last week I decided that I could put my appointment off even farther if I just "did it myself" and gave myself a little trim.  How hard could it be?  I watched a YouTube video and it made it look as easy as pie.  A pair of scissors and a few minutes later and I had made an embarrassing mess of my hair. I had bangs and short layers of hair around my face that I didn't used to have and the back of my hair didn't seem to be any shorter.  That YouTube video led me astray! Trimming my own hair wasn't easy and it didn't turn out looking like the lady on the video at all!

Thank God that I only had to live with it two days before my hairstylist was able to squeeze me in for an appointment.  Graciously, she didn't shame me or scold me. She just smiled and went to work, chatting away with me as she worked just like always.  She cut a couple of inches off the back of my hair, trimmed the new bangs and the layers around my face properly and freshened up the color of my hair.  You'd never know that this slightly new and different look wasn't preplanned!

I wish I could say that I've never been foolish and impulsive or acted like a toddler with my "do it myself" attitude in other areas of my life much more important than a superficial thing like my hair.  I wish I could tell you that I've never been influenced or led astray from sound judgement by something or someone.  The truth is, I have.  Yet, like my hairstylist, God doesn't shame me, make fun or me, or reject me when I run to Him with the mess I've made.  He just goes to work cleaning me up and getting me back on the right path.  And, like my new haircut, I've seen God take the mess I've made and work it out for good when I relinquish the situation to Him.

The moral of this story?  Don't try to cut your own hair.  Don't believe every tutorial you find on YouTube.  Most of all, when you've made a mess of something in your life, run to God for help.  He's a pro at making something beautiful out of messy lives.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bible journaling...

I thought it would be fun to share with you some photos of my Bible journaling.
Two years ago I journaled my way through the entirety of one of their Bibles.
Reading the scripture while interacting with it creatively was an amazing and impacting experience.
My one complaint was that the size of the text was so small.
I was thrilled when I learned that they recently produced one with larger text
 so we bought one for our oldest daughter for her birthday.
It made me long to journal my way through the Bible again, and so I too got a copy of the larger text edition.

The wide margins can be used to take notes as well as to illustrate or highlight portions of the text.
For my artistic doodling I use Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens,
 Staedtler Pigment Liner pens that come in a package of six point sizes,
 and Crayon Twistable Colored Pencils.

The key to an enjoyable Bible journaling experience is to relax, lay aside perfectionism and to engage with the Bible in the same way we should engage with the Author, which is relationally.
In other words, use the generous margins of the journaling Bible in a way that suits your own uniqueness.
Since I'm almost equally right and left brained, you'll find some pages of my Bible filled creatively
 and some filled with notes, lists, and original language word meanings.
The goal isn't to produce a masterpiece, but to let the masterpiece that is God's Word transform you!

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Flower Friday

Monday, April 24, 2017

Voicing my thankfulness...

I've been gratitude journaling since the fall of 2009.  I've found that the practice of writing down at least three things that I am thankful for each day, three blessings that I have noticed in that day, has been life changing.  It has completely altered my focus in life.  I KNOW that I live a blessed life because I have recorded God's faithfulness in the good times and hard times of the past eight years.  When I began, Ann Voskamp used to do a blog link-up every Monday where we would post our gratitude list from the previous week.  Once she discontinued that link-up I lost contact with other "gratitude gatherers" except for one.  I was wondering if there are other gratitude journalers out there who might also be missing the weekly connection with each other.  If that's you, I'd love for you to comment and let me know if, perhaps, you might be interested in participating in a link up.  I'm just thinking about this and testing the waters!
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)


-God's faithful provision
-my favorite songlist to play as I pray
-a 17th birthday party for a sweet girl

-a sweet time snuggling my youngest grandson and telling him stories, which he loves!
-creative uses for leftovers
-our home group

-our youngest daughter texting that our soon to be born grandson has the hiccups
-making homemade mac and cheese with my middle granddaughter (she's eight)
-"I love you" texts from my hubs

-everyone pitching in to help with our youngest daughter's baby shower
-Mama's tried and true oatmeal cookie recipe
-praying friends

-feeling better after days of headache
-my oldest sister coming to my house!
-a fun, relaxing visit with my sister

-our youngest daughter's baby shower went so well!

-helping her put away the baby's clothes and hang the decor in his room
-a bbq at my secondborn's
-my grandson spending the night 

-God blessing my hub's during his time at IHOPKC
-a day of REST!
-sharing prayer requests

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