February 22, 2012

All I can say is WOW.

Clearly, even as I type these words I am being bombarded with things to come against me and attempt to put a damper on the moment. But I refuse to let the enemy steal my joy, and certainly not my hope.

God's on a reclaiming streak with me right now. I feel Him taking back each area of my life that I allowed to slip away. Its awful to admit, but I have been in such a terrible rut. And from that rut, based originally on many negative circumstances, came an even deeper "pit" that I seemed to fall into.

 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 NIV

I've been pondering this verse lately. I still am. I think it may be related to a lot of what I was dealing with. Fear of hurt. Fear of giving in to my grief only to see it swallow me whole. Fear of the "what ifs"...fear of being alone, fear of failure, fear of imperfection, blah blah blah....Wondering about the "Perfect love drives out {or casts out} fear" part. I know God is love, and if He is, and I have allowed Him to reign in my life, then how is there room for fear? Ouch. Guess that means that I've let fear displace an area I should be fully surrendering. Man I hate it when that happens.

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 

Just resolved this recently. For the 80 millionth time. But back to the rut...

Lots of prayer. And I do mean LOTS. Still nothing. And more nothing...followed by guessed it, more NOTHING. I know He hears me. I know He never once left. But are you familiar with silence? Ouch. Seemed like everywhere I turned, I just couldn't get a grip. I'm being vague, and for good reason. Sometimes its easier to relate to each other this way....perhaps you've been there too? Rough spot? Circumstances got you down? Girlfriend, I get it. But through all these trials I've been fighting, I never forgot where to turn. I have to tell you, sometimes I didn't say the right things, or do the right things. There have been days when I felt like I couldn't offer enough to my husband or my family, and certainly not to my creator. On those days, and even on the days when I feel a little better about my "offerings", His grace is enough. It has carried me these past several months years. So of course, what I'm about to tell you...totally has the enemy turning his wheels, waiting to ruin it. But I can't keep this to myself.

Despite the awful week I've had so far with a very sick child (not sure if its strep...some other virus..who knows?) and random other things going wrong, I have had a peace wash over me. The past two weeks I have found encouragement that I feel like was totally orchestrated by God. Every area of my life, and in different places throughout my week,  He's found a way to drop me a little "love note". He's still in charge, and He's got this. * More details about the little love notes to follow in another post...

Why did I doubt? 

I'm so thankful that God knows to send just the right encouragement along....He's never too late.

One more thing....

I've read a few good books lately, and I don't think I have mentioned them since I've not been writing. The first one is called Grace for the Good Girl, by Emily P. Freeman. You can visit her blog here to read more frequently, but today she even pointed you to a great deal at Lifeway to purchase her book on the cheap!
The other book is called One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. She has a blog as well, A Holy Experience, which you can find in my blog list on the sidebar. One thing I've noticed in blogland is that many of the blogs I follow have started listing a few of their thankful things at the end of each post. I think I will join that movement, as gratitude just seems to overflow into every crack and crevice. Good stuff.

It feels so good to be back.


Thankful for:
1. Evidence of God's hand in new friendships
2. Anticipating my upcoming trip
3. More orders for my Burlap business
4. Clear answers to prayer in determining which pediatrician to switch to

February 10, 2012

Baby Steps

I haven't slowed down to write in a while. Do you ever feel like life is just "piling up" on you? I've been under the pile for a while now, and trying to slowly climb out from underneath it. I don't just want to get out, I want to climb out and make my way to the top of it. There, it can't pile on me anymore. Might be a pipe dream...but that's what I'm aiming for. 

Anyway, the rut that I've been in has been largely due to some health issues. I finally found a good doctor here and she actually listens to me and my concerns. So I'm hoping that will have a huge impact on the upcoming weeks. I will spare you the details, but I think I may have some thyroid issues, which in turn seem to affect every. area. of. your. life. Ugh. I just haven't been myself. Haven't had any energy to do what I need to do, much less to do what I love. While the energy isn't there, the wheels are still turning in my little brain, and I am craving some creativity. I still want to cook fabulous meals, repaint the house room by room, whip up a few hundred dozen or so burlap crafts to sell on my etsy shop, rummage through the thrift shops, and accessorize with my little divas. But my body didn't get the memo. I guess it isn't really a black and white type of issue, but this doctor is willing to talk me through the gray areas regarding my treatment options and help me start feeling more like me. 
I think just the hope that I've gained from talking to her multiple times has inspired me to push through the exhaustion and ickiness to accomplish a few little things I've been waiting to do. I managed to wrap up a few loose projects for my burlap customers, including this little gal:

Isn't she a trip? I named her "Elle" the Diva. The sweet lady that requested her waited quite some time for me to get it right in my head and put it on burlap. I'm pretty happy with the results, and she was delighted. Of course, I always criticize my own work and can think of a few things I would change, but I still think its pretty fun. 

The burlap stuff became quite exhausting over Christmas, since I was blessed with so many orders. Now as we head into all things Spring, including Easter...I'm hoping to gather a few more orders and get the creativity churning again. 

Another thing that has inspired a little motivation in me, is a women's event. I'm still working out the final details, but a friend of mine is planning to drive up and join me...and there are still a few spots available the last I heard. I am so excited to get away with a good friend, and also to hear a few of my most favorite bloggers ever speak at this event! I've never met them in real life, in fact, I'm pretty sure they don't know I exist, but I am so thrilled! Paige from the blog Simple Thoughts and Edie from the blog Life in Grace are both going to be there. Soooo excited! There also are other speakers that I don't know too much about, but I'm going to guess that if they are in the same category of friends with these awesome ladies, it will be a weekend to remember. 

So all together with the hope of working with my new doctor, and the excitement from the upcoming Pearl Event , I actually started a few little projects for my own home, outside of my burlap shop. It's still a work in progress, but the fact that I did something at all was progress, so I thought I would share what I've done so far. I was hoping to put a little *Spring* in our step around here. I am aiming to be extremely cost efficient these days, since we are intense in our Dave Ramsey plan, so I had to get creative with the financial portion of it too. I purchased an old window months ago, even before everyone started pinning ideas with them on Pinterest. (I'm totally not bashing that either...I'm admittedly a Pinterest addict.) I don't really care to paint it or turn it into a menu or anything just yet. I am enjoying it leaned up on my mantel. But for Spring, I thought I could at least use it in my decor. Joann Fabrics had the garland on a pretty good sale, and I had most of my other items stashed around from thrifting. I am still hoping to buy one more piece at Hobby Lobby, and I do also still have another idea in my head for that birdcage. But here it is so far:

I considered editing out the fan reflection...then decided that was too much effort. :) Now that I look at the picture, I've decided my sweet little lantern needs to go. I'm going to whip out my coupon and head for that rabbit at Hobby Lobby. Also considering some sort of garland or grass along the bottom. I despise the plastic sticky Easter grass. Maybe some of the more natural feeling stuff or garland might do the trick though. I'm working on some little burlap eggs for the inside of that cage. I'll let you know how that works out too. 
For now, I'm off to finish another wreath order that I received late last night from a sweet lady I've known for years. I love it when I can do these for people I know, and pray over them as I make it. Here's to baby steps ...crawling out from under the pile. We'll chat again soon.