Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm Waiiittttinnnnng!

"I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined to me and heard my cry" Psalm 40:1

Do you like waiting? I mean, really, is it ever your favorite thing to do? The only time I like waiting is when I am putting something off. As in, waiting until tomorrow to do it!

However... When I want something, waiting becomes my prey, and I wanna pounce on it and make it change its spots! When I want something, by golly, I WANT IT NOW! :) Are you shaking your head in agreement? I thought so, and I'm glad I'm not alone.

That is why it is my duty to my fellow sisters (is that an oxymoron?)to share a note I just wrote to a friend on waiting. I'm telling you, I am one BIG talker and one teeeensy walker! But I'm like Gumby and can be bent into the submission of learning yet another yummy lesson!

To save time, I just scanned the letter into my computer, and here it is, so you can be Gumby-like, too! (You'll have to click on the note to be able to read it.)

Yep, we wait so we can grow, but also so we can give those "all things" in Romans 8:28 time to connect, and gain an opportunity for our faith to stretch from a 4 to a 5, to learn about leaning and trusting (or our lack thereof), to take smaller steps with Jesus and not get ahead of Him, and well, just lots more.

Waiting is our friend; let's pounce on it and learn to embrace it! (With God all things are possible!)

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him..." (Psalm 37:7a).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bloggers are the Funnest People in the World!

I mean it! Bloggers are the funnest!

I cannot traipse across Blogland without discovering treasures galore. Some to make. Some to merely gaze upon with admiration (well, maybe a tad envy, sometimes). Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd, some.... TO WIN!!!! (More on one that I won, soon to come.)

While gawking on one of my most favorite inspirational sites, I skipped over her fence and got to meet one of her neighbors. She is a delightful gal with a CONTEST for this: (Yes, I 'borrowed' the picture as if I were a long-time friend borrowing a cup of sugar.)

Is that the most darlinest camera strap ever?!!

Those colors would, for sure!, make my face sparkle. Can you imagine how much my photo-taking would improve with that hugging my neck?

Well, how do you think it would improve your camera skills? Why not mozy over there and enter! All you have to do is leave a comment - simple!

I hope one of us wins!

Yep, bloggers are the funnest, and I'm happy to belong! Aren't you?!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stitching Things Up Does Not Always Mean Sewing

Friendship. We women must have it! God gave us females (at first I typed femails... which, does fit, doesn't it?! lol)a very high dosage of daily verbiage. If those 10-20,000 words do not find a release while talking to someone else, guess what? We talk to ourselves!

And we are not always honest with ourselves.

We also do not know everything.

Hold you hats for this one - and our perceptions are not always correct! That's right: I said it.

When I was in the infant (practically fetal) stages of my walk with the Lord, I noticed that one of the leader gals of our church had everything go right with her (I later learned she just wasn't open in sharing the truth about any of her struggles.) As a newbie, I naturally concluded that if you did all the right things that happened for you. I mean, this gal's wallpaper actually ROLLED OFF THE WALL when she removed it. It was in such fine shape that she actually was able to give it to another gal to reuse on HER walls. Yep. I speak with no forked tongue, I assure you!

And there I was, pulling wallpaper.... not coming off in rolls, but in mini shreds. One at a time. I had to soak that wall, again and again. Oh, I can barely stand retelling of it. It was awful, so dang much work!!!

So, my perception was that since my wallpaper didn't roll off, then it was because I wasn't doing everything right in my Christian walk like that gal. And here's where a wise girlfriend came in. As she listened to me blab all this sulking into the phone, she said, "Liz! Men and women who love the Lord obey His call to missionary work. Many of them get killed over there. Do you think it was because they weren't doing things right?"

She went on and backed this all up in a pretty Scriptural package for me, and gave me the gift of truth. A TRUE perspective.

Anyhoo, it's important to bounce ideas and perceptions off of each other. BUT ALSO... to speak the truth in love. To admonish one another and call one another to straighten up and fly right in the Lord.

There was a misunderstanding between me and a friend the other day. I was totally going to blow it off, and obviously, since my phone wasn't ringing, she wasn't going to be doing any dialing, either.

Till.... another friend who saw us together said, "Are you two mad at each other?"

Darn. I thought I was doing very well at dealing (ok, hiding) it! Bet the other gal thought the same thing, too.

So, because of that faithful girlfriend, I was called to righteousness. I had to call that other friend and stitch the whole mess up. Never easy. Definitely not fun! But Jesus would want us to be humble like Him, don't ya think?

Girlfriends do this with one another! It is worth it, and don't you dare let anyone tell you it's not.

Anyhoo, can you imagine how hard it was for my girlfriend to have to tell me that I really needed to make things right with that other friend of mine? It's not easy to speak the truth in love or to admonish one another, is it?

But it's for our good. It brings glory to God!

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend." That truthful friend of mine told me I was in the wrong to let things blow off, so that I could live in the 'right'. That is a true blue friend! Got one in your corner? I sure hope so!

So, call up your friends, have them over, get it all out, speak in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, speak of sales and nail polish and homemaking and recipes and things that bug the tar out of you. Use those words to pray together, to make a joyful noise, to magnify the Lord. Spill them out in wisdom from hard-learned lessons, and let them taste like apples of gold in building one another up with kind words.

Just grab your friends and have fun gabbing!!!

"Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man's counsel is sweet to his friend" Proverbs 27:9.
"Do not forsake your own friend..." Proverbs 27:10.

And now, my husband just pulled into the driveway; no time to proof...hope this made sense! If not, let's talk about it tomorrow!!!! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Few More of My Favorite Things

First... For those in California, it's time to plant your fall crops. Superman is planting our favorite one - spinach! We will eat and be strong like Popeye!

Keep snipping your basil stems and hanging them to dry. This freshly dried basil will become one of your winter's favorite seasonings, and not only because the flavor is yummy, but because you will feel a great sense of pride with every single sprinkle, again and again, all winter long! This is being like the teeny ant who "prepares her food in the summer {And} gathers her provision in the harvest" (Proverbs 6:8).

And then, little gadgets that turn things into fun.

Another of my favorites is an old Mont Blanc pen I bought on Ebay, years ago. Its smooth writing helps me keep track of the rough lessons in life. And, of course, of God's nearness in those lessons. Like a parent that is right in front of their child when administering teachings and discipline, we can trust our heavenly Father for that closeness, too. He is a nigh God. And amen for that!

Yesterday, Celina came over for lunch and more quilting lessons (she's doing so great! It's awesome to watch her grow into a QUILTER!!!). However, while I gave her lessons on matching those seams and such, she shared lessons from the Lord on being a prudent wife. When she finally blogs about it (and I am going to keep on her till she does), I will link you up so you can share in this and grow, too!

So, sew, another of my favorite things - iron sharpens iron! If you do not have a girlfriend who will hold you accountable (though not always an easy task), encourage you to grow in the Lord, and share her own hard (and easy and sweet) lessons with you, then pray for one!!!! Yes! You want this favorite thing in you life!!! You do! (While Celina ate and shared, I journal ed. If I don't take notes, it just passes through the brain and says, "Sayonara!")

These are just a few of my favorite things. I have so many, and I've been spotting them, little, normal things - like the breeze causing my elm trees branch to 'go Hawaiian', or little corners of my home, and the thought of pumpkin and burnt orange and pomegranates and Christmas cheer and crackling fires and snuggling under a thick flannel quilt with my Honey.

OK. Enough for now. What are some of your favorite things, to which your heart just thrives on?

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17.

Keep sharpened...and sharpening others!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Almost a Granny

Have you ever seen a cuter bug? This little mite is my niece's son - and my adopted grandson! My sister graciously shares him with me and invites me to tag along to all of Brandon's 'firsts'. This 'first' was a trip to preschool.

As you can see, he is packed and ready to go. In the humongous backpack of his was a slew of pencils - all un-sharpened, so not much use, but very fun to have on your first day of preschool. And then... the soft, fleecy blanket, folded carefully to fit perfectly in the big zippered area. Knowing familiar comforts are within a hand-grab is very reassuring! Did you see that feast in his new vinyl Spiderman lunch bag? He ate it all, too! Preschool's demands make one starving for a good ol' warm p & j, with all the fellow companions.

And we're off!

We're here!


The inevitable.

Yes, it happens.

Tears just gotta flow..
'Cuz letting go..


Glad this almost granny got to tag along!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Monday's Thoughts

I know I'm not pregnant, and no baby is going to come gushing into my arms (though I do miss kissing the wispy-haired top of a baby's head. I especially loved this while rocking my fleeced-embraced little ewe after a warm bath, and then smothered him like butter in Johnson's Baby Lotion. I can smell it still. I know there are other brand-lovers out there, but for me, nothing says lovin' like Johnson's. They need to pay me to say that, 'cuz I truly feel that way. Tell them, won't you, and I'll split the earnings with you.)

Anyhoo, one of the bloggers I chat with was sharing nesting stories. I guess that got into the heart of my brain, because on my way to water aerobics this morning, I got the biggest NESTING URGE on the planet! Me, a fish who loves the water, whipped my silver roadster right around and was homeward bound. My, what has come over me?

I can explain a piece of this. It's my husband, Superman. He works sooooooooooo hard! He flies off to work every single morning, even when he's sick and his cape is dragging. This, so that he can keep the muscles of our checkbook from going flabby. He's the best provider (right underneath God) on this planet, and Krypton, too, I bet.

So, my heart's desire is to make this the best place on earth for him to want to be. Now, you might not believe this, but there was a day, light years ago, when I was the Queen of Nags. You know, even that word (nag) is ugly. Not cute, like so many other three-letter words, such as fun, sex [if you're married!], sew, friend. What? friend isn't a three-letter word? Hmmm... well, it should be! Do you know what a nag is? Let me show you... NAG. Don't be afraid. Go ahead and click on it. It might be a good mirror.

(Hope I don't get in trouble for using this pic off the net.)

Anyhoo, I don't care how inviting you make your home, if you are a nag, the husband will prefer the dirty roof! I won't digress to that unhappy land, but let me just say... If you are related to me (how I once was, I mean), then get a blood transfusion! :)

Okay, back to my nesting urges. So, I turned back towards home...where my heart is. Smile. Beam. Tha-thump. I began to empty the dishwasher, then saw the cupboards that needing Murphy's Soap, then noticed the two unfinished, cluttered closets that I can't walk in, and the empty jam jars that are like heads with no brains in them. So much to do so that Superman can hang his cape in peace.

So, I blog. Yup. Julie Andrews sang that we must start at the very beginning, 'cuz it's a very good place to start. And for me, setting down my thoughts gives me order.

See? I'm all better. I will take my friend Elisabeth Elliot's advice and "Do the next thing." One thing at a time. Happily. Thankfully. Peacefully, with Christian music keeping my heart in tune with the Lord as I work.

"She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue" Proverbs 31:26.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sew Totally Cute!

I have spent the entire day (Saturday) holed up in my sewing room. A heavenly delight!

My original plan was to have my girlfriend bring over her sewing wallet pattern. That not panning out, I had grab the cloth wallet pattern that my grandma gave me when I was in high school. She made it out of a brown grocery sack! I've kept it all these years, 'cuz I love this granny who taught me lots about sewing. She was a quilter, too! I enlarged the pattern and it's pockets....and here's how it turned out!


Oh, keep in mind that you can make this any size that is suitable to you. And the pockets and their seams can be made to fit any favorite sewing tools. Also, if you want to have this multi-colored, buy a charm pack, jelly roll, etc., and sew them together, then cut out the pattern sizes. This way, it is a totally personalized project. I'll give you my measurements, but this one is kinda large, because I have many favorite tools! :)

And please, do not let the length of this blog keep you from trying this. I kid you not - it is simple!!! (Remember, I made this in high school!)

Are you ready to sew? Let's go!!!

* Cut 2 coordinating fabrics + 1 fusible fleece pellon 20"L x 12"W.
* Iron the fleece to the backside of one of those fabrics. You will be sewing your pockets onto this.
* Measure 7" down from top of fabric, and mark small lines. The top of your first pocket will go here.

* Cut two coordinating fabrics, one 4 1/2"L x 12"W, the other 5 1/2"L x 12"W + one piece of lightweight fusible pellon, 4 1/2"L x 11 1/1"W. This will be your first pocket.

* Sew one side with a 1/4" seam.

* Iron it open .
* Fold it in half, matching bottom raw edges, with the seam facing towards shorter
fabric; press.

* Open it up and lay the pellon on the fabric, right at the ironing line.(See
arrows below.)

* Top stitch.

* Using your ruler, make a line with your Mark-B-Gone pen 3" from the left edge of your fabric, and another 3/4" up from the bottom raw edge. This will make a pocket for small scissors and such. For now, sew only the horizontal line.

Here's what this pocket might hold...

* Cut next pocket out of one fabric 6"L x 12"W. Cut one pellon 2 3/4"L x 11 3/4"W. (I only used one fabric for all pockets except first. But you can certainly use two fabrics to give them all a coordinated edge.)

* Fold in half lengthwise and press.
* Insert pellon and press.

* Topstitch. I used a fun heart stitch on my machine.
* Lay this pocket on top of first pocket, even at bottom raw edges. Pin in place. Sew the vertical line, now, making that small-scissor compartment. Zig-zag bottom raw edges. Or, use a cute edging stitch on your machine.

Here's what this pocket might hold...

* Cut third pocket 4"L x 12"W. Cut pellon 1 3/4"L x 11 3/4"W.
* Repeat the folding, pressing, adding pellon, topstitching, that you did with the other two pockets.
* Now, take your pinned pockets over to the machine. Butt up the raw edge of your third pocket against your second pocket's raw edge. The third pocket is going to be sewn upside down, because you are going to fold it up after you stitch the bottom. Notice that you are sewing them onto the large fabric with the fusible fleece pellon. Zig-zag the raw bottom edge, then with a straight stitch sew a seam 1/8" up from raw edge. When done it looks like you did it with a serger, which I didn't realize till after I did it. A fun surprise. lol See the pic below.

* Fold the third pocket up, and press.

* Top-stitch across bottom edge.

* For bottom pocket cut fabric 13.5"L x 12"W. Cut one pellon 6 1/2"L x 11 3/4"W.
* Repeat the process of folding, pressing, adding pellon, top-stitching.
* Line up bottom raw edge of pocket and the fab that the pockets get sewn onto. Pin.
* Now, measure the lines of your pockets, and sew them. You'll want to think what you want this pocket to hold, lay it on top, and then pin it and see if it fits. If there's much bulk, like there was for my phone, then you might have to make the pocket bigger. For mine, I made a pocket for my pencils, phone, and miscellaneous. So, for the pencils, I measusred from left edge 2". Then from bottom edge 3/4 up. (I didn't want my pencils to slide too far down and not be able to get them. Did same thing with my phone pocket.)From the far left edge, I measured 6 1/4", then to keep the phone in place, from the bottom sewed 1 1/2" up.

Here's what this pocket might hold...



We are almost done!

* Measure 1" from the top of the fabric with your pockets and sew a piece of velcro 0n center line. With the opposite 20" x 12" fabric, measure up 4 1/4" from bottom edge, on right side of fab, and sew velcro on center line. If you want this to be more stable, on the wrong side of the fabric iron on a piece of pellon.

* If you look above at the photo of the finished product, you will see a flower with pins on it. If you want something like that, then here's all you do...
* Pick a flower from the fab you like. (Don't cut the flower out yet.)
* Cut a piece of double-sided pellon and iron on the wrong side of your fabric.

* Now cut out the flower. (And, no. I did not use those scissors. However, they are my favorites, and my kids still make fun of me for using their old scissors.)

* Peel the backing off the flower's pellon, and dry-iron it onto the fabric you sewed the pockets onto. I used a blanket stitch, but zig-zag is great, too!

* Take something circular, line it up with corners, mark and cut. To me, rounded corners are easier to sew and turn.

* Lay the other 20" x 12" fabric and lay it on top of all the pockets. Pin.
* Sew 1/4" seam all the way around, leaving a 7" open gap across the bottom (so you can turn it right side out).

* Turn it right side out and push out the corners with a blunt stick. I use a chopstick.

* Press this all nice and flat, pin the bottom edge, top-stitch 1/8" all the way around, making sure to catch all the bottom edges, so that you don't have to hand-stitch it closed.

And now... Fill it up with fun things!!! you can tell by all my photos, I am a very visual learner! Hope they all helped you see what you were supposed to do.

Let me know if you make one!