Saturday, January 30, 2010

Beautiful Schnibbles!

Look!!! I did it!

January, with its barrage of tax-paper gathering (for the accountant), bathrooms flooding (sewer plugged up... called the plumber), garage flooding (replaced water heater), kitchen faucet quit working (hello again plumber), two cards full of fraudulent charges (on phone one whole morning canceling credit cards), and just the general busyness of life and work, had me wondering if I was going to have to fly the white flag with accomplishing my Schnibbles quilt this month.  

But, look --- it is finished!

It's not a baby blanket, though that was the original intent. The colors were so cheery, I enlarged the borders and am using it as a square tablecloth! Yahoo!

So... each of these Schnibbles has taught me something, about life and sewing...

This quilt taught me that things do not have to be perfect. Being a mediocre quilter was really bugging me, but this time, sewing this one with its beautiful colors, I was quite content in accepting the many flaws in it.

IT IS OKAY TO NOT BE PERFECT -- in life and in sewing!!!

Do you hear me? It is okay! We do not have to be perfect. In our humanity we are going to fail. But it's okay. Though the righteous fall seven times, they get back up. 
Yep, that's what Proverbs 24:16 says.

If we make mistakes, fail, or fall, or sew a crummy stitch, it's okay. We can shed a few tears, wipe the dust off our bottoms, pour peroxide on the scrapes, or start a whole new quilt!!!

So, smile - we are acceptable in the Beloved (Jesus) - as is! (Just read Ephesians 1:6!!!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


One of my favorite blogs, SugarPieFarmhouse, posted a nice, long, cozy, encouraging piece of finery. Though we don't live in the times she speaks about, it is good to remember... and ponder... and choose a few to try again in this day and age. When apples are ripe they can be plucked and popped into a pie and bring blessings and delight to our families. Think of plucking something from her blog and baking it into your day today... you and your family will be blessed!

Here is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask about the ancient paths, ‘Which one is the good way?’ Take it, and you will find rest for your souls...” Jeremiah 6:16 (a & b)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hurry, Spring!!!!

Sure, I know we need rain. It waters the plants, which give us shade and food and herbs and enjoyment, it keeps us supplied with water to drink. And I like all those things! Still, springtime is what I am wishing would hurry along... cheery sunny blue skies, flip-flops clickety-clacking, warmth to chase away my goosebumps. Aw, Spring... hurrrrrry!

The other day I saw that it is at least making a small appearance, teasing us that it is near....

In the meantime... I go into my sewing room, where the normal brightness from the window only lets in the gloomy gray of the winter sky, and I am cheered by the stack of DARLING fabric from my Secret Santa. You know, it is simply heartwarming to be loved, isn't it?!

My daughter fell in love with the fabric stack, too, and gave me that longing look for a quilt made using those "Amour" fabrics. So, I figured it all out and will do my best in the months to come. 

For me, though, with the fabrics not being used in Amy's quilt, I made a pillowcase. Yep, at night when I lay my head on my pillow, I can thank the Lord for secret friendships!

The pillowcase, as you can see, has hearts on it, which makes me think of February, with makes me think of Valentine's Day, which makes me think of spring, which makes me think of sunshine and fragrant blossoms, which makes me think of winter and it's gloomy days of rain, which, we need to water the plants so we have said blossoms that will soon perfume our air... in spring..... Hurry! 

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'd Rather Write Something Else!!!!!!

Ladies, pay attention!

Three times today, uno, dos, three, I got emails from friends in my hometown telling me scary stories of trouble at the grocery store. Don't laugh!

It's not high prices, it's not wilted veggies -- it's creepy men following my friends and other people's friends around the store, around their cars, and 1) stealing their groceries, 2) following them to their cars, and 3) saying fearsome things like, "We just want to have some fun," as they grab the car door.

My sister-in-law's friend threatened to use her pepper spray (gotta get me some... where?!!!) and the two men left her. She was lucky. She was blessed and protected by God!

I hated to share this with you, but the police said that this happens at least three times a day at every grocery store!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shall I begin to carry a gun?! I just don't think a carrot in my pocket would work!

This is not the kind of news I like hearing... or sharing. But, we need to be aware so that we can be aware!!!

Sure makes you wanna eat leftovers, eh?!!!!!!!!!!!

(Pepper spray is legal in all 50 states, but a few, like New York, Michigan, and Massachusetts have certain restrictions on size and strength. Check it out with your local or state attorney's office, if you are interested, that is...)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How Excellent His Name Is!

Good morning...

A woman must have her coffee! Getting up and out, first thing, for no other reason than heading to the nearest Starbuck's for a quick fix, reminds me of the old postman's creed:

 "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers 
from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" 

I'm not so sure that word 'swift' still applies (ahem), but Monday morning when I was out on a mission in the early dawn's darkness, I could just imagine those ancient couriers of the Persian empire scurrying about with determination. They probably feared losing their heads, while I was merely trying to get my coffee and get the fog out of mine!

Anyhoo, thanks to the pocket-sized Canon my daughter handed down to me, I got to pull onto the gravely shoulder on my way home and snap these photos of God's handiwork!

See? Coffee cravings are a good thing, because without them gorgeous sunrises are missed!

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 
what is man that You are mindful of him, 
and the son of man that You visit him?
O LORD, our Lord, 
how excellent is Your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:3 & 9

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Haiti was not the place you would want to be on January 12, 2010. Yet that was the place on the map where Dan Woolley and David Hames were. After a tiring day of filming for Compassion, International, they were headed to their rooms in the Hotel Montana. And that's when it hit, a massive shaking and popping... and darkness, the ground no longer stable beneath their feet, the walls and six stories above them turning into fragments of crushing rain.The Hotel Montana collapsed in one swipe, and these two men were inside.

David is still missing. Please be in prayer for him and his family. I know that "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father (Matthew 10:29)" but if it were my husband I was awaiting news on, I would be frantic. Trusting God's will, but frantic and sadder than ever before in my life. That wife needs our prayers (as well as all the rest of the millions affected by Haiti's tragedy )!

For Dan's wife, the days spent in tearful prayers were ended with pools of joys when they found Dan alive, rescued from the protective walls of an elevator shaft. For more updates on this, you can probably visit the blogger I learned all this from; click here.

We do not always understand the will and ways of God. We know He is good, that He is love, and that His plans are perfect; we also know that it is often sad and hard for us. I love that God's understanding of our humanity is infinite. Jesus is our sympathetic High Priest. Whatever is causing your world to shake right now, run to God. He is the God of all comfort...

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Hebrews 4:16

"Is any among you suffering? Let him pray.

Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises."

James 5:13

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Beautiful Mess

After writing this post, I realized I did the whole thing wrong for what Thomas Nelson wanted. So, here is my review on this book about the country group Diamond Rio...

Most everyone loves a secret, unless you are the one that has to carefully conceal it.  Beautiful Mess begins with a secret. Just what happened to Marty, the lead singer and front man? Why did the group keep it carefully hidden from the public and other musicians for years? You'll have to read this book to find out!

Each member of Diamond Rio is king of his own chapter, giving all the luscious details that your inquiring mind could possibly crave (for me, a bit too many, and it did have a feel of dragging on, sometimes). Just like our own lives, there are failures, victories, weddings, and break ups. You'll get to know each member of the band personally, and discover the road that led him to becoming a member of this popular group, as he welcomes you into his home and life!

From the days of calling themselves the Tennessee River Boys, to winning the coveted Vocal Group of the Year as Diamond Rio (many times), this book takes you backstage through the years and gives you a ride on the tour bus into the present!

God can take any mess we make or experience and turn it into something beautiful - and that's no secret!


Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm Wishing... For the Hobby I Love....

We do not always get what we want in this life (bet you didn't know that lol)!

So, let's not focus on that. Let's turn our attention to what we DO GET in this life....

Philippians 4:8 reminds us/commands us/guides our mental health into dwelling on whatever is true (according to what God's Word says, not our feelings or others' opinions and judgments), honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent or worthy of praise.

If you do not have what you want today, then maybe you'll get it tomorrow ... fiddleeee-deee!

For today, rejoice and be glad. CHOOOOOOOOOSE to look till you find something to be thankful for! Take it from me, the Queen of Dwelling on the HAVE NOTS (as Elisabeth Elliot dubbed them): Dwelling on what you wish for but have not been granted only brings on misery!

And misery begets more misery.

And crankiness.

And unthankfulness.

And just yanks the joy right out of you -- we cannot thrive without JOY! Imagine that plant on your patio that you keep forgetting to water! Without a fresh supply of water, its leaves hang down and sag and turn a yellowish, sallow color (hmmmm... how do I know this????)

But praise is becoming! Praise focuses on God, who really encompasses all of the list in Philippians 4:8, which means  ---- WE CAN DWELL ON GOD AND BE FILLED WITH JOY!  :)

Okay, this was the pep talk I needed this morning (did you?). There are many wishes that the heavenly wand of God's will has not granted in my life. Heck, I have not even been granted the small wish of sitting in my sewing room and whipping out some of my commitments! ugh-o-rama! Oh, I mean, praise God; my times are in His hand (Psalm 31:15)! lol

This is the day the Lord has made - dwell on good stuff, pray for your wishes, wait on the Lord, let your heart take courage!  

Monday, January 11, 2010


Superbowl Sunday will be February 7th this year, in Florida, for the tenth time. If I were a football player, I'd want all that warm sunshine, too! I've watched many a game being played in the snow, and I sit there and shiver just watching them!

Anyhoo, even though the game is still a ways off, I am thinking about chili and snacks. Do you have a traditional snack you fix for game time? Do you make the world's best chili? If so, pass it to me!!! (That's a football pun, in case you didn't get it.)

I normally don't do a bunch of foods since it's just Superman and me (the way he likes it, with no interruptions), but this year I thought I'd surprise him.

So... I'm ready to catch your recipes -- and score a touchdown with my husband!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Marriage.... STAY!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes marriage sucks! It's not always flowers and candy and pink floaty hearts. Oh, sure, it is on TV, in romantic novels, and chick flicks. But in real life???? Well, it can be lots of guts with little glory.

So... what do you do when your marriage is not what you'd hoped? Or worse, is one that seems like a bad dream you can't wake up from?

An email I got this week had me praying very hard... this is what I felt led to share with the very sad wife (I'm putting it on this post -- minus her name, of course -- in case any of you are struggling to stay in your marriage, also.)

Our very lesson in Bible study this week is on Mark 10... it begins with issues of divorce. (You could read this.)

I am sad over all your findings and how this marriage has been so hard for you. Life can sure be full of problems!!!!!!!!!! And heartache!!!!!!!!!

The question is: Will we trust and obey in the center of all the trauma?

Not easy, is it? It never is.  As Elisabeth Elliot used to tell us, "Simple yet difficult."  Making the choice to obey God's word, to trust Him with our whole heart, mind, strength, and soul, is often a very tough decision. A dying to our will and flesh, as we wait out His plan. Ugh. We've both lived this many times. (And, are guaranteed that we will live out this many more till we arrive in heaven.)

Anyhoo, what God says is "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27.)

...over ALL flesh!  Every human, whether they acknowledge God or not, is under His authority. We are, our husband and kids are, our friends, pastors, enemies. Everyone.

And this God, our God, who is over all flesh asks us if anything is too difficult for Him....
  • Crummy marriage relationships?
  • Overcoming sin and addictions?
  • Changing hearts that are being seduced by the deceitfulness of sin?
  • Love that has gone cold?
  • Discontentment?
  • Heartache?
  • Hope that has gone AWOL?
  • Anything?
Nothing is impossible with God!

Do not cease to pray for the life of your marriage. Now, more than ever, when you know that your husband is searching info about divorce, is the time to up that fervency. Father, do not let the enemy have his way in this marriage! (or, as my version says, "Do not deliver me over to the will of my adversaries.") Glorify Yourself in this marriage and do not let it become just another statistic. Please!!!! In Jesus' name, I pray!

 I know it has been disappointing -- for you and for him -- but I've seen God do miraculous wonders of restoration, healing, restoring, refreshing, and renewing.

Seek Him still! Do not give up! Do not lose courage - but believe and hope in the Living God! He is Mighty God! He is near to the brokenhearted. He heals. "He restores my soul"! He can help you to forgive. He can help you to pray. He can help you to stay!

The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood, and the LORD sits as King forever. The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.
Psalm 29:10-11

(Read all of Psalm 29.)

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavillion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me upon a rock.  Psalm 27:5

Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.  Psalm 27:7

Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!  Psalm 27:14

I am praying for all you dear Readers, in case even one of you is in this place... Liz

Thursday, January 07, 2010

My First Pinwheel Quilt... Arriving Soon (-er or later) :)

Forever and a day, I have wanted to try to sew a pinwheel quilt. The first one my eyes ever spotted was a girlish pink-and-white beauty. So, mine will be the same.

I reeeeeeeeeeeallly wanted to steal borrow the pictures from these two blogs I'm going to send you to, because pictures perk up the post, but that wouldn't be too nice, now, would it? The Bible says, "Let him who steals steal no more" and I don't even want that to have to apply to me this morning. So, off you go to Here & here to see some very darling pinwheel quilts.... and Here for the tutorial.

The one I am going to make has one pinwheel square next to a plain square, using the white fabric from the pinwheel square (did that make sense?). Doing it this way makes the pinwheels look like they are flying free as birds. Something like this....

The fab I am using...

When I finally get caught up around here, I will be found in the sewing room!  Happy sewing & homemaking & praising God!
Read Psalm 106 today and see how great is our God!


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Very Many Frustrations!!!

This is supposed to be an encouraging blog...
The encourager is in a bad mood! 
A VERY bad mood.

Normally, I am pretty cheerful and easy going. I might get mad or depressed, but a bad mood? Not too often.

But today's the day.  yup.

After living through a day of bad mood, I'm glad it's rare. And that's all I'm going to say about that. I deleted all of the complaining I had originally let fly onto this page (be very thankful!), and will now write what I originally came in here to write...

It is this....

If you are a homemaker, do your job!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love and nurture your fam. Make the beds, clean the house. Kiss the man goodbye. Create a haven. Use your noggin' and concoct a nice dinner for your loved ones. Pray to relish (and do) the chores inside your home. Be a HOME MAKER! Do not be like that unwise Proverbs chick who tears her home down with her very own hands - perhaps by NOT USING THOSE HANDS TO BUILD (and keep) HER HOME.  (Just a thought...)

I have worked the past two days (librarian sub for elementary schools), and because I got called in 30 minutes before I would have to hop in my car, the dishes had to patiently wait in their soiled messes, the bed's covers remained in a heap, and the napkin the dog ripped up is still sitting on the living room floor, etc. None of this is catastrophic, but.....

It's lovely to come home to an orderly, peaceful home.

But not today, because it was an unwelcoming mess. Understandable, given the circumstances, but yuk! I wanted to slam the garage door shut and find a more peaceful, clean place to hang out in. lol

So, as I was making our bed a bit ago (dang, someone had to do it), I felt what it might feel like for a husband, after a long day away from  home, to return to a mess... as I did today. It's not welcoming, inviting, peaceful, or fun. It's just discouraging. You know how it is; after a long day away, you want to return to something sweet and peaceful, that opens its arms and says, "Yay, you're back!"

Anyhoo, all these ramblings just to encourage all homemakers to love themselves by keeping a thankful heart for such a perfect job. I love homemaking, and though I like being a librarian, my heart is here.

If you only like homemaking for the free computer time, or the girlfriend time, or the TV time, or the cellie time, then pray. Truly, God's understanding is infinite. So is His power unlimited. Nothing is too difficult for Him! What He calls us to, He equips us for. Run to Him for help, then run around your house and spiff it up. (Maybe spiff yourself up, too...)   :)

The wise woman builds her house...!!!

Proverbs 14:1a

Funny, my bad mood is gone!  :)
"Hip hip hoooray," said Superman!

Friday, January 01, 2010


It's here; 2010 rode in with lots of firecrackers, smoke bombs, and clanging of pans (the fun part). I love hearing all these celebratory noises at midnight. It's my favorite part of the holiday! My dog hates it, but I love it! I also love tossing  my old calendar into the trash (or bin, depending on where you are from) and hanging my fresh, clean new one. Silly, but I love these rituals.

New beginnings make me happy. It doesn't matter if it's a new sewing project (this one's gonna be perfect!), a new year, a stinkin' diet (I think I can, I think I can), or just a Monday... the beginning of anything makes me feel hopeful. Is that how you feel too?

Some new beginnings can make us nervous; like when I began Jr. High or High School. EEek! What is it going to be like??? Will anybody like me? Will I have a best friend?

But with the New Year, I begin to think of Valentine's day.. Hmmmmm... Will this be the year Superman finally surprises me with a romantic dinner out?????

See? Hope springs eternal when I change calendars.  :)

Anyhoo, let's get back to January 1st, today!

What is on my mind right now, besides my messy house, which I am still trying to clean (golf, Superman, dinner at friends', pruning, raking.... too many distractions) is trials & tribulations. They simply will not go away, will they?

And neither will Jesus! Hooray for that truth!!!! He will never leave you nor forsake you!!! Oh, I know - believe me -- it sometimes FEELS like He does. But He doesn't. No, He does not!

Remember this, because in 2010 there will be trials & tribs written on some of the days of our calendars. Drats! Yet....

It is good for me that I was afflicted
so that I might learn Your statutes.
Psalm 119:71

As much as we are promised comfort, unconditional love, mercy and grace, so are we promised trials and tribulations. Really, I prefer them not! Still, they come. And so does the very presence of God. He's very near in trouble (Psalm 46:1), ya know -- it's another of His promises, and it's best for us to read our Bibles so that we can know them, and be prepared and armed. The Most High, our Father who art in heaven, has given us a complete arsenal of promises. Yay!

So, I could go on and on. But, the messy house, remember???

If the calendar flipped and the trials of 2009 slipped into 2010, then dang! I know all about that! Here are some verses that make me feel better, and maybe you, too ---

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, 
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habukkuk 3:17-18


There is none like the God of Jeshurun, who rides the heavens to your help, and through the skies in His majesty. The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and He drove out the enemy before you, and said, "Destroy!"
Deuteronomy 33:26-27

Emmanuel, God is with you. 
 Remember that all year!

Happy New Year to you!