Monday, March 31, 2008

projects

I have been doing a few cross-stitch projects lately. It's something handy to do while I'm working nights, or watching TV, or whatever. Honestly, I never thought I could get into something like this, but.....it seems that once I get started, it's VERY hard for me to put it down! I started the Care Bears one, and after my niece was born, I decided to personalize it for her. So I added the lettering myself, which I am very proud of. :) And then I even painted the mat blue to match -- the white it was when I bought it seemed to blend into the picture too much.


Anyways, here are pics of my efforts. The other project is one I just did for fun, and I think it turned out nicely.

framed and matted


a close-up of the stitching

the fun project :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

pick a post of pictures

first, here is a picture of my brother and his family with the new addition :)



second, here is a vase of some very lovely tulips I picked up the other day (notice my awesome unique vase :)


the tulips are opening - they are definitely my favorite flower!


here's my favorite boy cat :)

a snapshot of one of our services at the nursing home -- before some of the people arrived

And that is about all the pictures I can handle right now! :) Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'm an aunt again!!!

So, what a Good Friday it was......


Yesterday, at 11:41 a.m., a new life was born into the world and made me an aunt for the ninth time!! Newborn babies are just too cute....something about them that just makes you happy all over, even if you're having a bad day.

So, welcome to the world and to our family, Madelyn Kendall! And congratulations to her ecstatic parents, my brother Andrew and his wife Grace.

And now for your ooooohing and aaaaahing pleasure......


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

follow-up on worrying

I have been thinking (but not worrying of course :) about this subject of worrying many times over the last couple of days. So I decided to email my pastor and ask for a little clarification on what he had said. I think maybe he could have used a different or better Scripture passage for this message, but that is neither here nor there.

Anyways, he was kind enough to email me back with a response. Here is what he wrote (edited some personal things out):

"The question you brought up is a good question. I trust this
will help.


"When ever one is concerned about another it only reflects their love and care. This is not wrong. Worry is wrong when a person fails to believe and enters into doubt that God is unwilling or is not operating in his or her best interest. In the text that was used, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” we realize that we must look toward God, and seek Him. When we doubt, we often fail to seek; then we look for other ways to alleviate our fears. This alleviation leads to anger, rebellion, and withdrawal from God."

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones."

"The above passage is a great demonstration of this. When we trust our own ways, our own wisdom, we fail to acknowledge God, we fail to trust, and our heart wavers. There is nothing wrong with being concerned and then turning it over to the Lord. This brings great peace and according to Proverbs 3:8, it is a healthy thing. The unhealthy part is when we don’t turn it over to God, and we continue to fret and worry.

"In short, whenever the concern for James and his welfare comes to mind, lift him up before God, trusting God will take care of him. Then rest in that. Those concerns may happen many times in a day; then, many times in a day, enter into prayer, giving God your full trust. There is nothing like the peace of God that passes all understanding.

"Anything short of that leads to worry and that is sin. The line is drawn when God is left out."


I was so thankful that my pastor was willing to address my concerns and curiosities and attempt to explain further. In doing so, I believe I understand more where he's coming from. And it's really not the same as what I had interpreted from his message. So, if you are unsure of something or misunderstand someone, don't hesitate to ask about it. Assuming is never a good thing.

Anyone else have an opinion on this? Or just want to add your two cents? :-D

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

on worrying

Well, here I am, finally posting again. I think about potential blog posts all night long while I'm at work, and then somehow they never get written! So here is something I wanted to write about while it is still fresh in my mind.

Our pastor preached the Sunday morning message on the topic of worry, using the passage in Matthew 6. "Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself." Well, that's one of the verses anyways. Jesus talks about how He cares for all the little things of the earth -- He genuinely cares and provides for every living thing. But we, as humans, are His pride and glory -- we are the most beloved in the eyes of our Saviour. We see Him taking care of the birds and flowers and even the most disgusting insects. But somehow, every once in a while (or often!), we question His ability to care for us.

The pastor took this passage and pulled the topic of worry out of it. "Take no thought" equals DON'T WORRY! Why worry when you can pray, right? We've heard this all our lives. Stop worrying. Worrying doesn't help anything (which it doesn't). Worrying means we don't believe God is able. Worrying is not trusting God. Worrying is a SIN.

While I definitely take all these statements to heart, and I definitely believe them, I still have questions. (I'm so curious -- my husband says all I do is ask questions :) What, exactly, is worry? When does a concern for others become worry, and therefore sin? I think my pastor's POV here was that any concern of any kind means worry, and thereby sin. But I can't completely meld with that idea.....yet.

I think God has created us with emotion, emotion that allows us to feel for others. Most of all, I would say any parent (not having experienced this myself) "worries" about their children. My husband is in a line of work that might not always be the safest. When he's at work, I find myself thinking occasionally "I hope he's okay!" I don't obsess about it (unless he's maybe 10 hours later than he said he would be), but I think I am concerned just a bit. And what wife wouldn't be? I don't think I could claim to love my husband and not think about his well-being. But is this worry? At what point does this become sin? Maybe it's sin all along (although I don't tend to believe that). If this were true, then I would think that any Christian at any given point of the day would be guilty of this sin.

So what exactly is worry? I have thought a lot about this in the last couple of days, and still I wonder. I asked my husband, and his answer was pretty much along the lines of what the pastor had said -- that any worry means you don't believe God is in control, and that's a sin. I think this is where I am right now -- worry means obsessing or thinking constantly about things you have no control over. To let this control your life would definitely be sin. However, to have a healthy concern for your family/friends/loved ones, in my opinion, cannot be called sin. Maybe I'm liberal, and maybe I'm just making exceptions for myself. I don't find myself "worrying" about too many things except maybe my husband's safety and my mom's health. In fact, I had always prided myself (oops, another sin right?) on the fact that I really DON'T worry about most things, I just take the days as they come.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Call me out if you think I'm completely off base here. But this has definitely got me thinking.......

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

on struggling and trials

I love how this song reminds me (and everyone) that we are never alone when we have Jesus. There is NOTHING that is beyond His reach, no problem of ours that is beyond His help. We, as humans, struggle, grieve, hurt, and suffer more than we think we can handle, but Jesus is always there to understand, to hold a hand, to love us more than we deserve.

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time,
You feel like the days you had were not enough
When you said goodbye;

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life,
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right;

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on,
They lost all of their faith in love,
They've done all they can to make it right again,
Still it's not enough;

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains,
You try to give up but you come back again,
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering;

When you're lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you,
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus,
Cry out to Jesus;

To the widow who struggles with being alone,
Wiping the tears from her eyes,
For the children around the world without a home,
Say a prayer tonight.

There is HOPE for the HELPLESS
And REST for the WEARY
LOVE for the BROKEN HEART;
There is GRACE and FORGIVENESS
MERCY and HEALING
He'll meet you WHEREVER YOU ARE,
CRY OUT TO JESUS, CRY OUT TO JESUS.

Monday, March 10, 2008

congratulations

....to my little brother Matthew and his girlfriend fiancee Lauren, who got engaged this past weekend! The wedding is planned for this October, so that will be our trip this year. I am so excited for them!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

on being bored and not knowing quite what else to do

1) If I were a doll, the accessories packaged with me would be:
iPod shuffle, pink cell phone, Starbucks caramel frappuccino, and Lipsmackers

2) I have an irrational fear of:
potato sprouts

3) What type of food do you eat at your grandparents' house?
I don't have any grandparents anymore :(

4) What weight were you when you were born?
9 pounds, 12 ounces

5) What would you do if you were stranded on an island with the person you hate most?
kill them and feast off their flesh......haha j/k

6) What would you do if you found out you had been cheated on?
I really don't know and I don't want to find out

7) Do you stalk anyone on MySpace?
haha no

8) I find the thought of childbirth:
intimidating

9) Next door to my house is:
other people's houses (how novel)

10) My feet are:
currently bare

11) My preferred style of jeans is:
the ones that make my butt look small :)

12) Do you play a musical instrument?
I dabble on the piano

13) Know how to cook?
basically yes

14) I am annoyed with:
bad drivers

15) What is the worst way you were dumped??
I guess on the phone -- no guts to say it to my face

16) What child-related smell do you not like?
ummmmm, sauerkraut

17) What sea creature scares you?
jellyfish

18) What color hair do most of the people you are around have?
like, I go a lot of places, so it definitely varies

19) What object have you broken most recently?
uh, I really can't think of anything

20) Name one of the Spice Girls.
Sporty

21) What was the last thing to make you cry?
probably a dumb fight with Jamie (although I can't really remember, so that's good, right?)

22) What are the stems on wine glasses for?
for holding, silly!

23) My favorite shoes are:
right now, I'm digging my sheepskin slides, but usually a pair of pink flip flops will do

24) Can you use chopsticks?
never tried

25) Do you prefer beaches or forests?
definitely beaches -- forests creep me out

26) What serial killer do you find most disturbing?
either Ted Bundy or that BTK guy

27) Who knows a secret or two about you?
Jamie, of course

28) Have you ever burned yourself?
of course

29) What is one thing you wish to do before you die?
have at least one child

30) Who is your hero[s]?
my mom

31) Do you believe that things last forever?
people, not things

32) What are you listening to?
the voices in my head

33) What do you smell like?
a nursing home :)

34) Are you married?
sure am

35) Does anyone regularly tell you they love you?
Jamie and the rest of my family/in-laws

36) What’s the most confusing to you?
why God designed some food to be sooooooo good and soooooooo bad for you

37) Do you have any bad habits?
of course not :)

38) Have you ever wanted to be a teacher?
lol no way

39) What is one thing you’ve learned about life?
it is fairly predictable and unpredictable at the same time

40) What’s your favorite color?
pink or purple -- I'm such a girl!

41) Have you ever been stuck in an elevator?
yes -- for over an hour -- with about 19 other people

42) Has anyone told you that they like you more than a friend?
sure

43) What are you looking forward to?
the birth of two nieces (or maybe a nephew) in the next few months and my brother's wedding in the fall

44) How are you today?
not stellar, but pretty good :)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

on donating blood

Jamie and I went to give blood at a blood drive hosted at the local Best Western on Friday afternoon. I have always liked to go and donate blood -- it is such a simple thing that can really be so much of a benefit to another individual (or two or three). I have a nice big bruise on my arm, but other than that, it was a pain-free experience that I will repeat in another eight weeks. I feel blessed that I am in good enough health to be able to help others who are in need. So I really encourage you -- ALL of you! -- to go donate blood if you are in a state of health which allows you to do so. It is amazingly easy and takes only a little time. I know if I were ever in need of a transfusion, I would hope that there were enough blood for me. You can donate six times a year -- schedule an appointment today!

Saturday, March 1, 2008