Sunday, September 30, 2007

hearing from God

speaking of hearing from God (read previous post first) i have had this on my mind, and i need to tell the story.

all weekend, in our little area of the world, we've been hearing about 2 teens who lost their lives on friday nite. the boy was 17, and got off work at subway to drive the 15 year old girl home. she called her mom at 9pm and said she'd be home soon, never to arrive.

it was a sad story, no doubt one that is played out all the time as young people think they are invincible, and none of us ever think it will be us that it happens to.

this morning Pastor said the boy was a member of our church, although i did not know the family. his family is from the ukraine, we have a large urkranian population here. and Pastor got the call last friday nite, to go stand out in the rain with a wailing mom who wanted only to know "why"?

the thing that struck me, is that apparently after some absence, the boy was in church last sunday. he had gone to the alter and accepted the Lord a couple of years ago, and like many of us, had just gotten "busy" with life. but his mom said lately he had wanted to get involved with the church youth group again. his mentor that had led him to Christ said that last sunday, he wanted to talk about his car, how cool it was, and how he liked to drive it fast. the mentor had only said "be careful."

five days later, he was dead.

but in my heart, i think that God was calling him closer BEFORE that. and that he's now with God, and his family at least can take comfort in that. apparently, the young girl in this story also knew God.

it makes me glad to know that. i just really hope that more and more people realize and get ready in their hearts for the "what ifs" that happen in this life. i have a big ole list that i am praying for, and i'm asking God to whisper in their ears to come to Him, for THAT day.

loud and clear

there are times in life, when i just cannot believe how blatant God is when He is saying something to me. sometimes, or whenever i am being disobedient, i wish i could just turn Him off for awhile. but the more of God's spirit that we allow into us, the more we hear Him, whether what He SAYS is what we want to hear, or not.

so, admittedly, i've been disobeying. lately, i've just gotten lazy concerning God. skipping church. skipping my worship group. skipping reading the bible. no, i take that back. in six years as a Christian, i've NEVER been a real regular bible reader. i know we are supposed to, i know when i do, i usually hear from the Lord, and i know it's a NECESSITY for life in this world!!

but much like my long abandoned running routine, reading God's Word, although good for me, is not all that fun to my natural mind. so even though i read it sometimes, just as often i watch tv (or sleep in) instead.

anyway, today was about the same. not really in the mood to go to church, but i have been feeling crazy helpless lately. i may be dumb, but i know that what is missing is God. so i managed to break out of the self talk telling me to skip today, and went to church.

well, of course the sermon was made for me. the name of the sermon was "you've got the time" and it was about faith increasing by hearing the Word. NOT by hearing some SONG about the Word, or somebody's BLOG about the Word, or even some bible study about the Word. but by READING the Word. duh. but apparently it's not just me, cause Pastor said that 65% of bible believing, church going Christians have never read the whole new Testament. and although i have taken numerous studies, and read occasionally, i can say i fit in that sad category.

anyway, the scripture associated with the sermon was this:

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Romans 10:17

it sounds so simple, but it's not. cause the thing is, youve got to choose to hear. for some people in third world countries, that is kind of hard because access to the Word is not always there. but for us in America, we really have no excuse. and myself, even less so after today because EVERYBODY IN THE SERMON got a cd with mp3s of the ENTIRE New Testament on them. along with a challenge from our Pastor to spend 28 minutes a day for the next 40 days.

wow. i think i'm in training. and i think it's for more than i ever imagined!! pray for me that i make it to the finish line, would you?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

rainy day

you know what is really good to do on a rainy day?

put something in the oven to warm and smell the house up, then go turn your stereo on really loud with some good worship music.

i'm doing that today, and it's nice :)

listening to brandon heath. love. him. the story is that phillip LOVES the song shown here (if you knew phil, you'd understand his love for this song), and talked incessantly about it til finally i went and listened to the cd. oh. it's so good. my favorite song is called "simple man." i could listen to it for days.

turns out, i've seen brandon heath in concert, with bebo norman. i guess i was so enthralled with bebo that i didn't really notice him...shoot! (don't laugh at me kristie!!) better late than never. today is about brandon and the Lord. or maybe the other way around.

Friday, September 28, 2007

fall friday

oh, i just stepped out the door, and it's CRISP out there.

i love these days when the sun is dappled, and the air is fresh. what i don't love is what comes right after.

so, for today i will just concentrate on the good stuff. Here's what i'm dreaming of this weekend:

apples. on days like today, you need apples. lots of them. better plan on a trip to my folks' "orchard" sometime very soon!

garage sales. yes, still. i like the ones toward fall, those are the desperate people who need to get rid of their stuff before it's too late for this year.

home made bread. why is it fall makes me think of eating? oh yeah. everything makes me think of eating.

walk in the woods. i need to find some woods to walk in. crap, living in the plains just sucks....oops, this is a happy post.

coffee and the farmers market. oh, it's fun to see all the pumpkins. last year i bought a couple for decoration, and actually USED them by cooking the insides and making pumpkin seeds in the oven too. what a concept!

afghans on a warm evening. oh, and slippers and a big fluffy sweatshirt and quite possibly STILL my ratty velvet pants that are calling my name from the closet.

check out this afghan. i want to make it.

happy friday everybody!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

23 hours

that's how long i was without my computer.

you would think someone had ripped my newborn from my arms, that's the kind of helplessness i felt.

but praise God, it's back.

every single tidbit of information intact.
newer, cooler hard drive installed.
daily backup system in place.

i am thanking Him for the healing, but also for the knowledge that it's only a computer, and that life is not attached to this machine at the hip. in fact, this little crisis is part of my learning that i'm not attached to ANYTHING so much as the Lord. i am thankful for that, because He sees what i don't, restores what i can't, and loves like i wish i did.

:) it's a good day.

Word for the Day

Last night in bible study, i didn't do my homework.

Truth be told, i haven't done my "Godwork" for a few WEEKS, except very sporadically, which is surely why i have been so stressed out lately.

I find it hard to give up my pride when i am in this state, and go to God for forgiveness and a fresh start.

so, i went to bible study unprepared and needy. undone. carey had asked us each to bring a scripture, and although i read my chapters, i did not bring one, because i had not read the Word.

this morning, feeling better after realizing it was a NEW day, and that the world is still turning, God is still in charge, and i am still His child, i did go read the Word.

so, here's my scripture, from Ephesians 4. better late than never, right?

But that's no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

when life gives you lemons

well, today is the first full day of my "new" home office.
curtains are up, walls are painted, accessories abound, bookcases in place.

all is well.

except that this morning, while i was doing a simple task, my hard drive on my computer crashed.
so, it's currently in the machospital, having emergency surgery done. a quick check on my backup harddrive reveals that almost zero of my 24 current projects, or my itunes, or my 9,000 emails have been backed up.

so i am sitting here in my pretty office - on a practically useless laptop, trying not to panic.

i don't suppose it's a coincidence that tonite is bible study night, and the topic at hand is dealing with doubt and unbelief.

oh Jesus, i pray you heal my computer! and if not, i pray you help me to deal with whatever I will do (hopefully not involving moving to central america to avoid the inevitable strife that will ensue) in a peaceful and calm manner....

more to come, stay posted :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

wrestlin' match

i feel like i just got done wrestling a gorilla.

to finish up the office project, i needed to find a good sized bookshelf, because i actually cleared up a WHOLE WALL for one. most of my books are either shoved in a closet, or down in the basement, and i knew i wanted some of the reference books close at hand for designerly inspiration.

so, i looked around. target, walmart, kmart, and even for something vintage. only to find....nothing. meanwhile, everybody i know loves ikea, but it's approximately 300 miles to the closest one in st. paul. i could get one, but i would have to wait.

then i remembered a used furniture store i was at a few weeks ago that had a cool "cubicle" like bookshelf for a reasonable price. i decided to go take a second look today, and they still had it. the guy even offered to take it apart for me, so that it would fit in my truck to take home, thus saving the $30 delivery fee.

well, i'm kinda wishing i had gone the $30 route. the dang thing is HUGE! it took approx. 2 hours of wrestling with it to get it together, but it looks nice. hopefully i will not be moving anytime soon. one thing i noticed on the label at the bottom of the shelf is it's from ikea.

how cool is that? organized life, here i come!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

new space

i am excited to go back to work tomorrow!

decided to FINALLY paint the office. i have never really liked the color, and have lived for 4 years with it. so, i thought that since i had a whole free day (yesterday) i'd redo it. man, it was hard work unloading all of the crap in a home office. much of it is still in the living room!

anyway, i always forget to take "before" shots. here's one midway thru the transition:

then the "after" - which is not really quite done, i still have some storage to buy (oh, ikea, where art thou!!) and some general decorating to do. at first, i didn't like the color on the walls, then i decided it will give me a good dose of happy in the winter when i am most needing it. also, now i can work and look out the window!! like i need any more distraction! he he.

oh, the color palette for the room was actually inspired by stuff i already had, and that little cute potholder in the upper left corner of my inspiration board. found this summer while thrifting for 50 cents. so cute!!

me and my sordid past

i've spent a bunch o' time in menards over the past 24 hours. will show photos of the repainted home office if my fingers and back loosen up enough for me to walk around and shoot them! man, i am outta shape.

anyway, i find it interesting that my new cool clutch sparked an oddly unexpected conversation while i was waiting in line at the paint counter. a young guy behind me in line commented on the clutch (along the 'that's a pretty unusual purse you have there' line) and then proceeded to tell me that he hand tooled leather for custom motorcycle seats. turns out he is associated with a semi-famous team of people here in SF who have been featured on several tv shows for their custom bikes.

what is odd about this story is that i felt right at home talking with this guy. we chatted about the 70s (he had heard of that era :)) and how hand tooling leather was all the rage. i even remember learning to do this in 5th grade art class! no wonder i loved the clutch! then, we even got into discussing pinstriping and detailing race cars, which i think is the inspiration for me becoming a designer, because i distinctly remember being a kid, sitting in the garage out back, intently watching the guy who detailed my uncle's sprint car with an amazing steady hand. i thought that was the coolest thing.

lately when my girlfriends and i talk about our creative upbringings, i have to laugh a little bit on the inside. although my love for crafting and food most certainly came from the women in my family, i also have to give credit where it's due for the part of me that loved the boys and the racing and the brightly colored cars. and apparently, the late 60s and 70s. there are some things that you cannot bring "back" into style, because they are just a part of who you are.

thanks to the $6 leather clutch for bringing it all back to me! i just hope i have enough good sense not to try to take on ANOTHER craft right at this moment!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

it's that time again


about the same time every day, something happens here in my home office. it's the time of the day when my head starts switching from THIS side of the room....

to THE OTHER side of the room....

think i'll grab a snack right now and swivel my chair around :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

is that a tomato i see?

i have to admit, it's been a couple of days since i've been outside. i mean, REALLY outside. so if i'm looking for a reason why i've been in a funk here lately, i might want to start there. but between the busyness, and the cold and windy crap we've been experiencing, and the sort of sadness from seeing all the plants getting ready to go away, i've just been more into "indoor activities."

i have been eating a few tomatoes, but for the most part i was thinking they were pretty much done. my second year of tomato growing was not all that successful, mostly because of my inexperience combined with 6 weeks of NO RAIN. so, i was happy to just have a few batches of salsa, and to wait til next year.

today i went outside for a bit of a break from work in the late afternoon. it was beautiful out! i thought i spotted a bit of red, then another, so i went inside the house to get a bowl. i kept picking, and before you know it, i had to go inside to get a BIGGER bowl.

yum-o. looks like i will have one more batch of tomato something to make this year. my plants are not quitters, and for that i am thankful! this time, think i'll go for homemade spaghetti sauce, which goes something like this:

wash tomatoes, cut off any bad spots and cut into quarters, or just big chunks. lay into roasting pan, or 9x13 cake pan if you only have a few. drizzle with olive oil and some salt, and throw in a few cloves of garlic and a few fresh basil leaves, chopped.

roast in a 350 degree oven til soft.

when the tomatoes soften up, remove from oven and run through a food mill (see pic) to remove the skins and seeds.

then, add some salt and other spices you like, put back on the stove and let simmer until the sauce thickens up.

you can probably CAN this, but i froze a couple pints for the middle of winter tomato fix i will need :)


here's a look at the latest craft, a partially done apron.

i love this little kitty that came in my book Hip Embroidery.

hip, my foot. this thing is a ripoff from the 50s, no doubt. i remember my grandma having a collection of skinny cat ceramics in her living room. this little kitty reminded me of her.

it also kinda works for you brown and turquoise lovers out there, no? i did have to add the orange just. for. me.


Friday, September 14, 2007

stress reliever

you know when it's a friday, and you have enough work to get accomplished that you kind of wish it were tuesday?

that's the kind of day i'm having.

so, to ease the pressure, i went to a quick garage sale and bought this clutch. perhaps knowing i have a new container for all the money i am going to be making will make the day more enjoyable.

:) perhaps.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

oh my

this is what lust looks like. oh, to be young and able to walk on a balance beam :) i would buy these, if only i were that.

in training

this is my favorite picture i have of beener, he was about 13 or 14 when i took this.

this a picture of siesta that i took last night. i think i can see a growing resemblance :)

well, no wonder i love him

i've made it pretty clear that i love chris daughtry. every single time i hear his song "home" i think of it as a worship song. then this past weekend, i heard a blurb on the radio station i listen to about the top 20 christian songs of the week, and "home" was number 20.

so i googled it this morning, and it seems that chris used to be in an alternative christian rock band called absent element.

okay, THAT makes sense. and here i thought i was just hearing things :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

it's all in the details

well, last night i started to embroider for the first time in approximately 25 years. yes, it's been that long. i had some old cross stitch patterns in the box i found with my thread, and i remember using it in college. whew, i'm old :)

anyway, it's kind of fun. i am making an apron out of a really soft linen-ey fabric and some vintage stuff i found at a thrift store. i'm actually just going to embroider the "stems" of some flowers, yet to be determined how i will make those, but they will involve sewing.

it took me a half hour to do one stem, so i can see that this will be a good craft to do whilst watching hgtv this winter :)

Monday, September 10, 2007

what He said

yesterday i mentioned my "coming back" to the Lord. and true to His wonderful nature, He welcomed me. i had a nice day, pretty quiet, went to church and enjoyed worship. our church has a ROCKIN' young pastor on board, moved here from california this summer, was not raised in a Christian home and is born again, and has changed the worship culture of our church. so that was good.

but i was still feeling the heaviness of the last few weeks. i kind of "get it" when people who are not Christian say that the church is all about guilt. because as a Christian, when i am not with God, i am left with just a miserable feeling. i hate it. the thing that i have found though, is that God hates for us to feel that way also, and is so quick to really "clean our slates" and start over again, to let us experience Himself so personally, to welcome us home.

so this morning He did that for me.

i was reading in Isaiah, my daily bible brought me to chapter 6. it's important for me to note that i did not CHOOSE to read this, but God chose it to be printed for september 10th. i put it in it's entire form (from the Message) below, but the gist is this. Isaiah got a chance to witness the Lord in His glory, and it was amazing. he saw the seraphim (angels) and they were so cool, and he saw the Lord's robe, and it was huge and beautiful. then, at the same time, he realized how UNWORTHY for all of this he was. so he said to the Lord, Every word I've ever spoken is tainted—blasphemous even! And the people I live with talk the same way, using words that corrupt and desecrate. when i read this, i knew instantly that the Lord was telling me He knew how i felt. i have a hard time putting it in words, but that's it, right there. that there is NO WAY i'll ever get it right or be good enough. and that even though i have been talking about God, i've been lying inside, because i've sort of been "binge eating" the things of this world. relying on earthly things for satisfaction, for lack of a better description.

then, the following part of scripture made me cry. Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal and said, "Look. This coal has touched your lips. Gone your guilt, your sins wiped out." that is it! the God of all creation, speaking DIRECTLY into me, with the answer that i needed to hear, since yesterday when i decided to have a "God day." so funny that he waited til the following morning to respond, but it truly is as if He came in, sat down with me on the couch, and told me it was okay and that He still loved me. isn't that FABULOUS?

oh Lord, i'm so grateful. i feel like today is my "new day" and that i can do anything. and naturally, He also made clear to me at the end of the scripture what that "anything" should be. And then I heard the voice of the Master: "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" I spoke up, "I'll go. Send me!" yes, Lord. i'll go, you can send me whereever you want me to go.

have a great day everybody :)

Isaiah 6:1-8

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne—high, exalted!—and the train of his robes filled the Temple. Angel-seraphs hovered above him, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. And they called back and forth one to the other,

Holy, Holy, Holy is God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
His bright glory fills the whole earth.
The foundations trembled at the sound of the angel voices, and then the whole house filled with smoke. I said,

"Doom! It's Doomsday!
I'm as good as dead!
Every word I've ever spoken is tainted—
blasphemous even!
And the people I live with talk the same way,
using words that corrupt and desecrate.
And here I've looked God in the face!
The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!"
Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal and said,

"Look. This coal has touched your lips.
Gone your guilt,
your sins wiped out."
And then I heard the voice of the Master:
"Whom shall I send?
Who will go for us?"
I spoke up,
"I'll go.
Send me!"

Sunday, September 09, 2007

girl days and God days

yesterday kristie and i had another girl day. i've been getting these quite frequently, it seems. and i love, love, love them. it was supposed to be a day for the arts festival, but really the crowd and the drizzle and the craft overload at our houses made the festival seem less fun than our real lives. so, we ended up doing some other things.

for one thing, we visited some puppies at the pet shop, in case kristie decides to get a fuzzy companion. of course, i found a perfect little fuzzball for me. i have been thinking about her alot, but will not add to the menagerie just yet. phillip likes BIG dogs, so i guess maybe a pom that weighs 5 pounds is not a good idea. but someday, i am hoping we get a dog to love. it was fun just to touch them and smell puppy breath, at any rate.

today i am calling a God day, because i feel like i have left Him in the corner somewhere while i have been busy. i hate when i do this. because i can FEEL the absence, and the signs are so obvious. i guess i can say that the lack of the Lord is the worse thing i can think of, and i get so disappointed in myself for going back to my old ways. but then i think about his new mercy every day, and i ask to come back in, and i feel Him telling me that He forgives me.

i am so excited to spend the day with Him. :)

But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple.
Psalm 5:7

Thursday, September 06, 2007

big butts welcome

i find it amusing that just as Carey is bemoaning the arrival of a bigger butt should she stop running, i have EMBRACED my butt size by purchasing a brand new, microsueded, ergonomically correct, wider butt accomodating chair.

hey, i'm a glass half full kinda girl :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

By the light of the moon

kristie and i made a quick thrift shop run at noon today, and i found the perfect little lamp base to go with the wonderful hand embroidered shade she got for me at ikea last week.

now i can do my projects late into the evening, or at least past dark, if the mood strikes. which it probably will, because my embroidery book came in the mail this week, and i "discovered" a nice stash of thread for a little project (or 147 projects) down in the basement.

now, if i can just remember what to do with it?! kirst, i may need some help here :)

one more thing

as if i don't have enough going on in my head, rani plopped this idea into it, and it won't go away.

so, i guess i'll add "old books" to my list of things to look for while junking. i can just see a couple of you voracious readers wanting to try this crafty project also!

Monday, September 03, 2007

girl food

i was so excited when i found an easy recipe this weekend for one of my fave foods, chicken salad.

i eat it practically NEVER, and i love it. when i asked phillip if he liked chicken salad, he paused just one second too long, before saying "i like CHICKEN."

yeah. makes me wonder why i asked, because i swear i have never met a guy who likes chicken salad, ever. when pressed for the reason, all phil would say is "it's the texture i guess."

hmmm. yeah, it's the texture of CHICKEN!!

?! oh well. that meant all the more for me. here's the recipe for all you girls out there who aren't afraid of "texture."

Easy Chicken Salad

Throw a few (i used 3) frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot, along with a bit of shredded carrot, onion, garlic, and chopped basil, rosemary, salt and pepper for seasoning. add a little (1/2 cup?) water so it won't burn.

Cook on high for about 3 hours, til chicken is tender. Flake the chicken with a fork, and refrigerate until cold. When ready to serve, drain the excess liquid, and add in a handful of nuts, some celery for crunch, and mayo to moisten.

mmmmmmmmmmm.....i bet you can almost taste it already.

day of rest

well, today is my official freebie. after a saturday of running errands and cleaning, and a sunday spent at LifeLight with 139,999 other christians, today is MINE, all mine.

i should be using a day with no phones ringing as a time to catch up on a few work items, but first i think i'll spend some time with my new favorite thing.

ever since i sewed that darn quilt last month, i have been jonesing for more sewing. probably because i get to choose from my ever growing "stash" of fabric to make my little projects.

and little projects they are. aprons are "it" right now, but i'd like to make some cafe curtains for the kitchen, and matching potholders and oven mitts too.

yesterday at the festival, i spent a few hours at the "art tent" where a few acquaintances show their art every year in a juried show.

stuff like this:

now imagine my sputtering around as i tried to describe that creatively, i just want to spend my time doing this:

yeah. i felt kinda silly, like i don't belong with a bunch of "real" artists. although everybody was really nice, of course they did not understand that i just want to sew like my grandma! he he. well, you know what, that's okay. i believe that God made each of us as he did just for a reason. and although you probably wouldn't hang my "art" in a gallery, it might come in handy for somebody who wants to bake cupcakes.

and no matter what the end product turns out like, the joy that the artist puts into what they love is really what it's all about.

think i'll go bake some cupcakes.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

communication overload

i finally got around to cleaning up my email yesterday and deleted over 5700 emails in my INBOX. i still have over 4500 left, if i need to see what somebody wrote me.

next i'll have to tackle the 9700 left in my SENT box.

as much as i love to talk, i cannot imagine i said anything important enough that i have to keep it 9700 times. the sad part is, i emptied these boxes earlier this year, so they are just crazy rampant.

and no, these don't include spam, which have a separate box and i empty 100-150 emails a day.

no WONDER when the weekend comes, i just want to shut off the world and make aprons. what did we ever do BEFORE we had email? did we just talk to people? 9700 times in LESS than a year? funny, i don't remember doing that.

anyway, it reminds me that i better go clear out my voicemail system too.