Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

Friday, June 24, 2011

Part Two of Six

Purpose #1
You Were Planned For God's Pleasure

One of the surprising things I learned here is the true definition of the word, worship.  I always understood it to be going to church, singing some hymns, praying to God and that was it.  I never considered that worship was so much more than that.  A lot of people I attend church with now, think of worship as the music we sing on Sunday mornings or a Friday night Lighthouse service.  What I didn't stop to consider is that our lives are lived in worship of the Lord.  Anything we do that pleases Him is worship.  That's HUGE!  Love, trust, obedience, faith, praise and the use of our God given talents are what please God and all of it is a form of worship.  We must be authentic and real when we approach God - we must have the right attitude or God won't listen.  We need to surrender our lives to Him, trust in Him and tell him everything!  God wants us to be in a relationship with Him and to do that we must be willing to release our grip on our lives and invite Him into our hearts.  Jesus is the only way to God the Father.  When we finally realize that and tell Him we believe in Him and love Him with all our heart, all our mind, all our strength and all our soul we will come into a relationship with Him that trumps anything else we could imagine.  God's desire is for us to love Him and love our brothers and sisters as we love Him.  This pleases God.  This is ultimate worship.  And He wants us to remember Him even in our pain and suffering, most especially in this time.  This is when being real is where it's at.  When we are genuine in our anguish and we cry out to God, He will hear us.  He has promised never to forsake us or abandon us, so even if His answer is "no" He is with us. 

I've heard "no" before I've even asked Him anything - I made the mistake of thinking I could manage on my own.  I didn't want to bother God with trivial matters, after all He is God and I'm  I've always been aware of my sinful nature.  For a long time, I fully embraced it with a passion and a reckless desire to find something, anything, that would make me feel better.  Anything that is, except God.  I was so angry with Him I chose to turn my back on Him completely.  I blamed Him for taking my mother at such a young age.  Then, I simply stopped looking and merely existed.  I never had the right attitude - I never knew, even when I was a child growing up in a solid, loving, wonderful Christian home, what that meant.  Even when I was baptized at the age of 14, my attitude was not in the right place.  I did it because I thought I was supposed to, not because I was moved by the Spirit.  My view of God, church and everything was seriously flawed.

Now I realize that the way I choose to live my life is how I worship God.  The decisions I make are being tempered by thoughts of "what would Jesus do" in this situation.  It's a learning curve and I'm far from perfect.  As I tell my son when he gets frustrated in learning situations...practice makes perfect.  I'm going to keep the practice of examining my decisions through the eyes of the Word.  Instead of one who says "do as I say, not as I do" I want to be a good example for my son.  Someone he can trust will do and say the truth.

Now, onto less thought provoking things like, what's been happening in my yarn world!

Completion of the Shell Stitch Baby Blanket!  It took a while only because I'd work on it and then put it down for months.  I finally decided who it would be for and then had a reason to finish it!  I'm also making a baby sweater to go with it - the right pattern is being searched for continually!  I've also knocked off some towel toppers and dish cloths for charity.  Otherwise, not much is happening now in yarnville :)

Next up, the chicks!

I feel like a bird woman all right!  They are the sweetest things!  My three Buff Orpington's are just as friendly as can be while the Silver Laced Wyandottes have complete lack of interest in me - LOL :)  Oh, well - they are all growing so fast.  By the end of summer I should be able to integrate them into the flock.  I'm hoping Mister Sister will be so happy by the addition of new hens he'll help protect them from the rest!

And on the bunny front:

New hutch

Wild Man helping with hardware

Bunny's cozy hutch under the umbrella

Favorite hang out!
Yup, I've gone nuts over the bunny.  He's the sweetest guy and he has the best bunny run a bunny could ask for.  Complete with custom made shelter and hutch with added protection from the rain!  He's surrounded by bunny luxury!  We joke that any animal that strays onto our property is the luckiest animal alive since we treat all our furry/feathered/hairy friends so well!

Time to sign off -it's late and I've still got to change our bed before climbing in.  Should head up now since we'll be getting a new charge in the morning.  We're dog sitting a gorgeous and sweet golden doodle named Shami for some friends and she's being dropped off in the morning.  Must get some shut eye before all the excitement!

Stay safe!



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Part One of Six

My faith story is a work in progress much like many people I know.  It is rare to find the individual who can claim they have nothing more to learn about the direction their faith is heading.  More like impossible or that person is lying through their teeth!  In any case, my journey has been and continues to be fraught with doubts and fears and the voice of Satan in my ears is louder than I care for.  I have had a difficult time really believing that Jesus died on that cross to save me...worthless, sinful, prideful, full of holes me.  I know better than anyone, with the exception of the Almighty, how much my life has reflected the temptations of this world!  Yet I am choosing to believe in hope and to believe in hope one MUST believe in the Cross and everything that signifies.  Despite the machinations of the evil one, I find myself believing more firmly now than I ever have.  In fact, I thirst for more and more of God's precious presence.  I find myself going to the Word to find answers instead of the world.  I'm spending more time reading studies that are helping me understand certain truths and one of those studies is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

Now this book isn't perfect - not one that has been written by man is - but it has helped broaden my base and see this life really isn't about's about God and how I can learn to live His purposes for my life which is ultimately to His glory.  My one HUGE criticism of this study book is the fact that Pastor Warren plugs all his other books and materials in it.  It's rather annoying actually to read a really great point that is insightful and provoking only to have it followed up with a plug like "my book X would be a great place to explore this or please see Appendix 3 for a list of my X," etc.  He should have saved his self promotion for a more appropriate place! 

So here goes...
When we know our purpose in life we can operate more confidently, right?  When that purpose is given to us  by God so we may build up our character for our eternal home in heaven there is no greater purpose.  We were made for God, for His design.  We are living a temporary existence on this earth.  But to imagine we are only here as ambassadors for God, that our permanent home is with Him and all this stuff around us is foreign soil, is overwhelming for me.  Joy will come, I'm sure of it!  But I never thought about our life on earth in such terms.  Everything we do here builds our character for our heavenly home because when we die the only thing we take with us is our character - who we are.  We get that from the sum of our life experiences and if we experience life through God's purposes, our character will become more Christlike.  This is highly desirable for this sinful chick!  WOW!  So in other words, I shouldn't get too attached to life on Terra Firma...!  It does make sense - the things of this world are earthly things, materialistic and fleeting, I can't take them with me when I die but the things of heaven are permanent and eternal.  So I should fix my eyes on the end prize - eternal life with my Lord.  And so here enters the voice of hope for me - the Voice that is slowly but surely drowning out the voice of the tempter.  I want Jesus to shove aside all the negative and evil thoughts that pop up with unnerving regularity!  As far as I'm concerned, I see no other choice for me if I want hope and love in my life.  Life with no purpose equals life with no hope and I just can't reconcile that.  We were made for something bigger than this life.  So, for me?  I choose to believe that Jesus died on that cross for me - to wipe the slate clean, to give me salvation.  I choose to live my life with purpose.  What that is I'm still working on but at least now I have a direction and I know that whatever God chooses for me I'll trust in His guidance.

Ok, I warned you!  It's unpolished and rough but it's real.  I've never felt so compelled to be involved as I am right now.  Because of my weaknesses and my sinful past, full immersion is the way to go!  I need to be surrounded by my church family and listen to Christian music and learn to pray with the right attitude.  I am too weak to do this on my own.  Thankfully I have the love and support of my family along with my church family - I've developed friendships with some really awesome people!  With God's help and a little determination on my part (as well as some really "out of my comfort zone" experiences!) I plan to stay on the right path.  I don't expect to be completely successful, I am only human and as such, prone to human failures but I do hope to deal with those failures in a more Christlike way.  One can only hope!  Which is, after all, the point!

Enough for now - must go snuggle my freshly bathed handsome wild man!  :D

Stay safe!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Back soon...

I will be back among blogland again very soon!  I miss you all so much! 

Hubby and I have just finished our 40 day study of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and I can't wait to share what I've learned.  It's been a remarkable journey, one of many "aha" moments and "WOW" comments.  We did this study at this time in memory of our little angel, Owen, who only lived for 40 days six years ago.  We wanted to see what God had to tell us about this period of time.  He's shown us some amazing truths and caused us to begin examining what we are to do with the lessons learned from the discovery of His purposes for us.

I intend to summarize what each purpose meant to me so I'll have five posts coming up soon!  They'll be rough and full of feeling instead of polished and well thought out - LOL!

I'll have an FO for you as well and some pics of how big our chicks are :)

Until then,

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."  Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

Stay safe!


Friday, June 3, 2011

{this moment}

14 days old
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  

Joining up with SouleMama this week - have a great weekend!


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Never fails.  Doesn't matter how old I get or how carefully I watch what I'm doing.  Every season I end up with poison ivy.  *sigh*  This season is no exception, however, it is the most intense case I think I've ever had.  I believe I had direct contact, usually I get it through secondary contact; like my dog, cat, chickens, etc.  This year I think I managed to get into it somehow. My left arm is swollen, red and itchy/sore constantly.  I have it on the fingers of my right hand which makes typing interesting and knitting or crochet impossible!  I have it all around the ankle on my left foot and the ankle is also swollen and red, though not quite as itchy.  And it's on my neck and chest, but those patches are almost done.  Since I'm a veteran of this stuff I've tried everything under the sun and have a few favorite treatments, like Gold Bond Medicated powder.  But mostly I wait it out the week to two weeks I'm covered with it.  Even my Dr says I have a high tolerance to it and won't prescribe steroids.  He is of the belief that steroids don't really enhance healing anyway and the side effects are worse than the treatment.  I'm ok with that!  I don't want to take or use anything else that has icky side effects!  Unfortunately my regular course of favorites aren't cutting it.  The rash is so intense and severe that I've had to research new options.  I'm trying one now that's a bit on the expensive side but will allow me to reapply as often as I need to.  Tecnu Rash Relief seems to be working and providing some relief from the relentless itch and inflammation.  It should for $15!  If this doesn't work then I'll go back to Ivy Dry which I've had success with in the past.  The Caladryl spray works quite well too but on milder cases.  I'd use jewelweed if there were any around here but I can't even find it in our local whole foods store. 

We're supposed to head down to Massachusetts for a family reunion and 50th wedding anniversary party on Saturday.  Not sure I'm going to go if this rash hasn't let up.  Not my idea of fun, seeing family I haven't seen in years while I'm all covered in poison ivy and bandages!

On the yarn front, there is nothing going on.  I had been working on a Shell Stitch blanket for some friends who are expecting in the fall but I've had to put it aside as I can't effectively work on it and be covered in an itchy rash at the same time! So I'm in limbo at the moment :\

I have been doing a lot of Bible study lately and I've been reminded how amazing God is in how He works in our lives.  I've been discovering how all the books I've been reading and messages I've been hearing are tied together in God's Word.  Our Sunday sermon series, Loony Towns, is focusing on fleeing from evil and pursuing righteousness and along with that I've started a book (and study) called Forgotten God by Francis Chan that ties in with the messages our Pastor is delivering.  In addition, my small group in Women's Journey at Curtis Lake is studying 1st John and some of the Scripture we are reading also ties in with the message series and what Pastor Chan is talking about in Forgotten God!  Also hubby and I are reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren which ties into all this as well!  So, in my own inadequate words, to the best of my ability this is what I'm seeing; love the people of the world but do not love the things of the world because the things of the world are fleeting and you cannot take them with you when you die.  God wants you to build your character by striving to be like Christ, loving Him first then others and viewing the things of the world as a good steward would.  Likewise, pursue the Holy Spirit and let Him guide your actions because if you only concentrate on fleeing evil without pursuing anything you will only cycle back to evil and find yourself doing the very things you attempted fleeing!  We have minimized the effect of the Holy Spirit relegating Him to our own comfort level when we should be embracing the Holy Spirit with fear and awe, knowing that our bodies and souls are in His hands alone.  Our bodies can be destroyed here on earth but ONLY GOD can condemn our souls.  Whew!  We need to stop and ponder the awesomeness of that!  Only GOD can condemn our souls and we are so busy ignoring the Holy Spirit that we are making a mockery of our belief.  You cannot reject the Son and have the Father.  The Bible says "No one who denies the Son can have the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well." 1 John 2:23 (HCSB)  Jesus is the Way! We need to remember that the Holy Spirit is God as well. 

I only want to be a vessel for God to use.  I want to be His hands and feet.  I want to learn more about Him because the more I learn the more I want.  If I were to look objectively at my level of belief say six months to a year ago, I would have said it was the size of a mustard seed.  Looking at my life and growth now, I would say the mustard seed has definitely sprouted! 

I pray for the discipline and maturity to continue in God's Word.  If I'm not surrounded by Him, I'm drowning in despair for I cannot live in a world without Hope.  I am flawed, imperfect, and a sinner, completely unworthy to be in His presence yet somehow He loves me anyway!  He loved me so much He sent His only Son to die for my sins so I might have eternal life with Him!  In my finite mind, I can never understand that level of love and feeling.  That being said, I have lost a child and therefore know the human limit of that kind of pain.  Just thinking of the Cross brings me to tears...  And knowing God is a God of emotion, His sense of loss is surely incomprehensible to us since it's of a level so much higher than ours.  Remember to thank God for all your blessings!

Stay safe y'all and have a happy week!

"Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Books on Tap for 2011

  • Knit Together - Debbie Macomber
  • Captured by Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Murder Most Foul - A Collection of Great Crime Stories
  • Fireproof - Eric Wilson
  • There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
  • Questioning Evangelism - Randy Newman
  • Murder Uncorked - Michele Scott
  • A Sacred Sorrow - Michael Card
  • Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? - Philip Yancey
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore

Books Read in 2011

  • What a Sista Should Do - Tiffany L. Warren
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
  • Forgotten God - Francis Chan
  • The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
  • Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Chill Factor - Sandra Brown
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
  • Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  • Bound for Murder - Laura Childs
  • Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
  • The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  • No Wonder They Call Him Saviour - Max Lucado
  • I Still Dream About You - Fannie Flagg
  • I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
  • The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
  • A Thread So Thin - Marie Bostwick
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  • The Search - Nora Roberts
  • The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  • Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
  • Awakened - PC & Kristen Cast
  • The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  • Photo Finished - Larua Childs
  • Keepsake Crimes - Laura Childs
  • Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
  • The Icing on the Cupcake - Jennifer Ross
  • Fleece Navidad - Maggie Sefton
  • Dyer Consequences - Maggie Sefton
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree - Susan Wittig Albert
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Books Read in 2010

  • The Yada Yado Prayer Group - Netta Jackson
  • Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  • The Hole in Our Gospel - Richard Stearns
  • A Winter Marriage - Kerry Hardie
  • So Long, Insecurity - Beth Moore
  • Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
  • Dead and Berried - Karen MacInerney
  • Murder on the Rocks - Karen MacInerney
  • where do i go - Netta Jackson
  • be sweet - diane hunt
  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  • Raven - Allison Van Deipen
  • Push (Precious) - sapphire
  • Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
  • The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  • Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
  • Fired Up - Jayne Ann Krentz
  • The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
  • Matters Arising - Sarah Harrison
  • The Sheen on the Silk - Anne Perry
  • I Saw the Lord - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Dangerous Protector - Janet Chapman
  • The Seduction of His Wife - Janet Chapman
  • Re-reading all the Tintin graphic novels - Herge
  • The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  • the last time i saw you - Elizabeth Berg
  • Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
  • Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  • Crawl Space - Sarah Graves
  • The Honey Thief - Elizabeth Graver
  • The Otherworldlies - Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
  • A Face at the Window - Sarah Graves
  • Draycott Eternal - Christina Skye
  • Shelter Mountain - Robin Carr
  • Virgin River - Robyn Carr
  • Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum
  • An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris