Thursday, January 19, 2017

(Almost) Giveaway Winner

Hello friends!

Just dropping in quick to announce the winner of the "Almost Giveaway" from a few posts back.

And the winner is...


Becky, I'll be contact with you soon!

Thanks to everyone that entered!  I wish I could have given something to each of you!!



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

All my yesterdays...

Hello friends!

Do you remember my word for the year - SOAR - and the little figurine that I picked up to help me remember the attitude that I wanted to take... with my hands open to God to both give Him my life and to receive what He had to give me this year?

Sunday afternoon I found myself sinking into the black hole of depression and discouragement.  I had been trying to make a decision between a couple of things and had been struggling that I would "do the wrong thing".  Not that one was evil and the other good, but because they both had good points and I wasn't sure which was better or which one was "God's will for my life" as I've so often heard... and said.   As I was struggling to not slip in the "depths of despair", I began to pray through the Lord's Prayer and when I came to the line, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" it was like a light came on in my head. The verse reminded me that if I was truly wanting to do what was right God would forgive me if I made a mistake in judgement and would continue to lead me.  What a wonderful truth!!  He would forgive me in the same way I was forgiving others!  I was feeling quite pious at that point, because I do try to forgive others right away, but then, suddenly, my mind was filled with a catalog of little painful hurts and memories from my past. Huh? I had often wondered why almost everything I remembered from the past was negative - from small hurts, to cutting words, to being misunderstood, to being wrongly accused, to being humiliated (in fun, but it still hurt), to bigger things as life progressed.  I thought I just remembered them because that's how life was - and I was positive I wasn't bitter about them.  I mean, I liked to talk about them and I could even laugh about them!  But now I realized for the first time that all of those painful memories were not just funny "poor me" moments that I happened to remember for some reason.   They were actually things that I had been hanging on to and things I had chosen not to forgive.    In that moment God impressed on me that if I wanted true freedom to "soar" - like my word for the year - I needed to lift each one of those memories to God just as my little Willow Tree girl was doing with the dove and forgive them from my heart.  I did it.  Memory by memory, I asked God to help me forgive those that had hurt me, and to forgive me if I had hurt others, and not only to take each memory from my hands, but to remove it from my mind so that when I thought of the past it wouldn't be there and it could be replaced with good memories instead.  Oh. My. Word.  All night and yesterday and even today old memories have continued to surface and I've been lifting each of them up to God in the attitude of my little Willow Tree girl.  I wish I could explain it better.  It has been very freeing and I think it will continue to be so. This is going to be an interesting year, I think!!  

  Do you struggle with painful memories, too?  I would encourage you to give them to the Lord and let Him redeem your very thoughts.  Let's soar together this year - closer to our precious Lord.



PS - Don't forget to enter the giveaway drawing on the post below!  I'll be accepting entries through tomorrow night - the 18th. : )

Thursday, January 12, 2017

An (Almost) Giveaway

Good morning, friends!

I have an (almost) giveaway today!  I was working in the GraceWorks paper room yesterday and came across a pile of water damaged Freestyle Beautiful Life Management pages...

And an old style undated calendar printed in black...

These pages are DEFINITELY water damaged - some much worse than others, but I hated to throw them away, because I knew that maybe one of you would like to use the pages and can't because of finances, so I decided to do a giveaway, of sorts.  I would like to give away this binder full of sheets to someone that would really appreciate them.  Please - if you don't like the freestyle pages, don't enter.  There are maybe 25 Style #2 pages that have the daily tasks listed, but all the other pages - and there is probably a year's worth all together - are the freestyle pages with a character quality listed, rather than daily task suggestions.

The pages and calendar will come in this library binder...

So, here is the catch.  To weed out those who would just enter the giveaway because it is a giveaway and not really be thankful for the pages since they are water damaged, I am asking the winner to pay for shipping.  It will probably be between $7 and $9, depending on where you live.  If you are interested, please either leave a comment here on the blog, or email me.  (You can find my email by clicking on "View my Profile" on the sidebar.). Sound good??  I really hope that this will be a blessing to someone!!

Here are a few more details...

* US Addresses Only, please.
* Email me or leave a comment by 3:00 pm CST, Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
* I will choose and contact the winner on Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Have a blessed day!


Monday, January 9, 2017

A Mary Spirit

One of my heart's desires this year is that I will begin to display "A Mary Spirit" in my life.  

That I will love Christ as she loved Him...
That I will pray and care for others and she prayed and cared for Him...
That I may teach others as she taught Him as a child...
That I will submit to my husband as she submitted to Joseph...
That I will be open to God's requests and say 'yes' to Him without reservation...
That I will love those that God puts in my care, as she loved the disciples after Christ's death, resurrection and ascension.

I have thought quite a bit about her during this Advent / Christmas season.  Especially since I have been stitching her in my cross stitch project as well.  I realized that I have always thought of her as a young girl, and forget that she ever grew up.  Just imagine all of the beauty and tragedy that her life contained... the loss of her parents, the miracle of Christ's birth, becoming a refugee in Egypt, the death of her husband, the death of her Son, His resurrection, His ascension, Pentacost...  By thinking of her as just a young girl, I forget that she was a woman of deep thought and varied experience.   And I discount the fact that, being the mother of God Incarnate, she was obviously also a woman of  quiet faith that overflowed into practice.  Wouldn't it be a lovely thing to have said of you that you were blessed because you "heard the Word of God and kept it"??  She didn't just say "yes" to God once.  She was constantly giving of herself to Him!  Just think how having that type of humble, giving spirit would transform your home and make it a place of blessing this year!  

I love that she was content to be in the background.  She wasn't flashy or proud, and didn't seem to be a woman of position in the town - Not like Lydia who sold purple garments in Phillipi - she was just the carpenter's wife.  But she was approved by God and precious... and isn't that better than all?


Are you looking for a Bible reading plan for the new year?  The Into His Presence Bible Reading Journal is available in both the Classic Size and as a Full Size Download.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Shopping in January

Hello again!  Are you having a good week?  I am really working on staying on schedule and working in assigned time blocks.  I have a list of goals for the month that I am reading every morning.  One says "Home before GraceWorks".  This has been one of the hardest to put into practice, but has already had tremendous benefits - like lowering my stress level.  The morning is for my home, so by about 10:00 in the morning I've had time to shower, eat breakfast, take care of the dog, do a quick blitz of the house, put away any dishes that are on the counter or in the dishwasher, spend time with the Lord, check my Instagram feed, wash and fold a load of laundry or two, and do one or two extra tasks.  Today it was to clean the laundry room and the GraceWorks packing table.  I think tomorrow's task is to clean out the baking cabinet.  As I notice things that need to be done, I turn through the week's pages and assign it a day rather than just putting it on a master task list.  I might not get to it for a few days, but once it is assigned to a day I know that it will get done. :)

The GraceWorks page shown is the Petite Lined Notepaper...

Another thing I am working on this year is curbing my impulse spending.  Here's an example that would have gotten me sidetracked just a few months ago.  I got an ad from the hardware store today with lots of items that would be great stocking stuffers for my husband and son for next Christmas.  And at decent prices, too!  Great!  I'll just go pick those up and figure out where I'll find the $$ when we get our check!  Only with our new Money Challenge, I know for a fact that I don't have any more gift money until February.  AND we set up a Christmas Club account this year so that I would have Christmas $$ to spend in October when it can be withdrawn.  UGH.  I looked through the list to see if anything was a need.  Yes.  One of my drying racks is broken and I need a new one.  I have one like the one that is advertised and love it.  It comes out of the household part of my budget.  Check.  I will get that this afternoon.  But what about all the other wonderful ideas???  I decided to start a section in my planner where I could write down all the ideas, as well as the price that they were advertised at.  In October, when I start my Christmas shopping, I will have ideas and price ranges to guide me.  If they happen to be seasonal, perhaps I'll be able to find them on an even better sale at the end of the season, and maybe I'll have a little extra spending money at that point and can buy them ahead.

 As for the little thermometer...  I think I might raid my "fun money" and pick up one of those for my husband for Valentine's Day.  He would love it. :)

What are some ways you plan ahead for gift giving?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Chalkboard Menus

One of my goals for last year was to work on hand lettering, so when I saw an advertisement for a beginning brush lettering class in October?  November? Well - late in the year, anyway!  I knew that I needed to sign up.  I have always loved handwriting.  I still have fond memories of being a little, little girl - maybe three or four? - standing on a chair in the kitchen by a chalkboard on the wall and practicing my name over and over and over again.  I was SO happy when I could write it well!  Needless to say, I am really, really enjoying learning this new skill.  My goal would be to be able to write out Bible verses to frame and give as gifts or sell, but, for right now, I am concentrating on practicing - anywhere and everywhere!

I was so excited to find this little easel chalkboard and chalk marker at Walmart, especially since both of them together were under $10.00.   Now, each evening as I clean up the kitchen after supper, I wipe off the board with my wet cloth and then I check the menu plan in my planner and write the next day's menus on the board.  Isn't that fun?  My husband thinks it is "pretty cool" because he doesn't have to ask what's for dinner.  I just like it because it's pretty.   Well, not only because it's pretty!  It also helps me to remember to take food out of the freezer at night because I am thinking ahead and to make food before mealtimes because I see it every time I walk in the kitchen.  Otherwise I am often so engrossed in other things that I forget that food requires prep time before you can eat it!! :)

So, have you done any hand lettering?  I would love to see your work!  I am posting some of my practice along with some cards and my cross stitch progress on my Instagram account @simplystamping.  I'd love for you to follow along if you would like!

Talk to you again soon!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Hello friends!

Happy New Year!!  Don't forget that today is the LAST DAY to take advantage of the 17% off a $20 order SALE!!  (CODE:  NEWYEAR17)  Thank you to all of you that have already ordered!  I have quite a pile to work on when we resume shipping tomorrow. :)  If you are wondering how long it will take for your order to ship, here is the breakdown.  Orders that did not contain anything from the Classic Home Journal Line will ship first, while I begin printing all those lovely pages that I highlighted in orange. : )

I will be printing pages in the order that your order was received.  HOWEVER, if you made a special request - say to have your calendar dated starting in February rather than January - those will have to be pushed to the back. I need to update my calendar files in order to fulfill those, so they may take a little longer.  Be sure that you are subscribed to the blog so you get all the updates!! :)

I am really looking forward to the year ahead.  I hope that God will be glorified and that you will be encouraged in this little corner of the web!