Posted in Uplifting

When Hard Times Come

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I can’t believe January is over and February is here already. For me January usually feels like two months in one.  I long to start planting things and having longer days of warm sunshine. With the second month under way I was wondering if maybe this whole year would go by faster than others. I know we are still in the beginnings of the year and who knows what lays ahead.

Will it be good times or trials, perhaps a mixture of both but as the year progresses and we find out, I was reflecting on one of my favorite passages in the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 43: 1&2

  1. But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
  2. When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

 

In these two verses I find such comfort. Many ask if there is a God that loves us why does bad stuff happen? Great question but in these verses it gives some of the answer.

I noticed first it points out who is with us and how He feels about us and who we are. Then it says WHEN  we go through hard times not IF, big difference. It means to me that yes hard times come, we live in a fallen world but because I have a God that loves me He calls me His own he will be with me every step of the way! How comforting to have my father with me in the hard times.

Just like when we have a loving parent, friend, partner who is with us so we can cry on their shoulder, we feel their love and can count on them to help us. With God its even better to cry on his shoulder knowing He will comfort us and give us strength to move on.

This year may be a breeze with no major problems or maybe it will seem it is nothing but hard times but I feel the comfort knowing that I have someone who will be with me always.

 

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Posted in Crafts, great finds, Uncategorized, Uplifting

Mi Recycle Blanket

I wrote a blog last April 5th when I first started my business “Mi Recycled Blanket” and thought I would bring it back today incase you did not read it and Spring is not to far away so perhaps when the spring cleaning bug strikes you may keep me in mind.

I hope you find it interesting and if anything maybe get you thinking on what can be done for those in our society that seem to be over looked.

blanket

I think we have all heard of the company “TOMS”. They are a company that saw a need and did something. I always had great respect for this business concept. With this in mind I have been making blankets out of recycled material giving them away and enjoying helping keep others warm.
I see all the hurting and cold people who seem to be forgotten. My heart was compelled to do something, so I came up with this idea of taking old sweaters that will end up in a landfill or a thrift store and refurbishing them into blankets that are sold. I sell one and give one away every time.
Instead of having sweaters just sit in the closet or storage because you don’t know what to do with them. I take the sweaters of you or your loved ones, whether out grown, out used or perhaps even of loved ones that pass away.
I make a blanket for you to keep in place of the sweaters clogging up your closet or I take the donated sweaters to make a blanket to give away.
My prices are fair and I enjoy doing this for you. Keep in mind at the same time I make a blanket out of your sweater I make one out of sweaters that have been donated so I can give them away to someone in need.
I ask you to think when you do your spring cleaning. If you have sweaters that you would like to donate or would like to pay me to turn them into a blanket keep me in mind not only does this clear out the clutter but will help someone less fortunate than you.
“Mi Recycled Blanket” is the name of my new business and no it is not miss spelled but it’s named after my grandson Milo who helped inspired me.
My motto for this business
“Give unto them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for morning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness,”
Isaiah 61: 3a

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Posted in Uplifting

The Grand Finale

I have always enjoyed fireworks but loved the grand finale the best. Just knowing that the best is coming at the end, the anticipation of all the different fireworks put together for one last impressive show is the best part for me.

It doesn’t stop there for me the grand finale at the end of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade can almost bring a tear to my eye.

Maybe for me the ending of things is the beginning of something new is also another reason for me to enjoy the grand finale, who knows.

I have been thinking a lot of endings and beginnings lately, maybe because of a new year or because of my career and business adventure who knows but as I pondered this a thought came to mind that I had never really thought of.

I have always loved being a girl, even at a young age I would state with such pride “girl power”. I never understood how some males thought females are second class. I can get on my soap box on that one and stay on it instead I will spare you.  I believe that we were created by God, that we are so special that each of us are unique but as I read Genesis 2 about creation I realized that us women were not created as an after thought or second but as the grand finale. He wrapped up his creation with women. How awesome is that!

Genesis 2:20-24 New International Version (NIV)
20) So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found. 21) So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22) Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23) The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

In this world as women we can beat ourselves up and accept the thought we are second class but if we stop with the self-loathing, comparing…..on and on goes our list that bring doubt and not living our best lives.  Instead maybe when we start to go down the list of we aren’t enough we can stop and tell ourselves we are the grand finale so in that itself we are special and so loved by God that He chose to save the best for last.

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

New Years Resolution

I am enjoying the first parts of this new year but then again I always look forward to a new one. I look at each new year as having such possibilities especially when I just finished a painful year. I am not one to stay up to ring it in, in fact I never have been one to be able to do that but I do enjoy waking up in the morning knowing its a fresh new year.

I have my quiet time and reflect on the past year then pray over what I need to let go so I do not bring it with me to the new year and that’s about it, no new years resolution for me. I know they say its good to do but for me each new day I have a resolution.

The definition of resolution is “to resolve to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.”

I choose to make a resolution daily for me it is not as overwhelming and because of that I will end up making life changes. If I choose daily to live a mindfulness life I will live simply and so much happier.  I saw a great pin on Pinterest that serves as a perfect reminder of this. I saved it, wrote it down and thought to share it incase you would like to as well.

I guess perhaps if you are one that loves the new year resolution then how about take each day as it comes to work on what you should work on so you will be a better person. To live a mindful way of life and see if you are happier this time next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

One in Ten

I  enjoy the holiday season with all the extra special songs, movies, cooking, baking and family time plus I like playing secret Santa but with all the fun of this season I also at times feel like Charlie Brown with the commercialism that this time of year can bring.

In years past when my children were small and I had the in-laws to contend with. They were under the impression that it was all about what was under the tree. This always drove me nuts and at times I would allow that to upset me and steal away the joy of the season. I wanted to share in the season with my children and show them in was not in the monetary things.

I am very proud of my children who understand it is better to give than receive. Now they give back not only in monetary means but of themselves and are grateful with what they have or receive.

With that said, I have been hearing a lot lately of the story in the new testament of Jesus healing ten men with leprosy.

Luke 17:11-19New International Version (NIV)

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[a] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Growing up I would hear/read this and think who would be so ungrateful and not go back and say thank you for such a life changing gift. I would almost get on my soap box thinking at least I would go back, or would I?

I realized the other day reading this that I can be like the lepers that didn’t go back. I can get so wrapped up in the excitement of getting something I give a quick thank you or sometimes none at all. I can get so caught up with life that I don’t give thanks to the one that gave me a new life.

I have so much to be thankful.  I don’t have room to write it down but I forget to be the one in ten to say thank you to God for the small gifts and then there is the best gift of all. I have a new life just like the lepers because of Jesus, so Merry Christmas aka happy birthday to Jesus.

It is up to me to embrace the Charlie Brown attitude or to be Linus seeing the real meaning behind Christmas and be the one in ten.

Posted in Uplifting

Fire

I was watching the news a few days ago and as I watched video after video of the fires overtaking parts of Los Angeles I thought how scary, my heart went out to those touched by the fires. I have been in that situation with fire on each side of a freeway in California years ago, it is scary, overwhelming and you realize just  how small a person really is.

As I watched the flames and the aftermath I got to thinking how fire with all the destructiveness it causes can bring comfort, enjoyment, warmth and many other great emotions. I think of a nice warm fireplace and how wonderful it is to curl up on a cold night enjoying its warmth, the sight of flames and sound of the crackle as I read by it. Or how fun a bomb fire is to roast marshmallows over. No camping or summer evening are quite the same with out fire. Then there are the BBQ’s that bring people together, all because of fire.

Our words are just like fire, one spark can cause such destruction and get out of control with in seconds causing so much pain that even to rebuild after the inferno it can still show the scars of that fire but yet words can bring such happiness and empowerment that those feelings are also never forgotten.

I think about this even more with the holidays here. People are in a rush to have the perfect holiday. I know that my fuse can run a little short this time of year as well but I want to use that fuse to light a bomb fire that is full of happy memories instead of using it to cause a wildfire.

Proverbs 15:4
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”

Proverbs 18:21
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits”

Posted in Uplifting

Loving the Unlovable

I was a very young preschooler when my mom left the east cost and my biological dad. It was just the three of us. My mom, older sister and I went to make a new start in the west. My mom having so much courage to start new, to make a great home for us with little to no money.

This did not stop her, she worked tirelessly giving not only a roof over our heads but giving us attention becoming mom/dad to my sister and I . My hats always been off to my brave mom but I didn’t always act this way. Being so young I had no idea what was really going on. Because I did not understand or know much at the time for a while I acted out. That’s putting it nicely, I did everything that would make the average person want to pull their hair out.

To my moms credit she kept her hair. She did what is so hard to do, She showed me love and kindness in spite of my actions. She would hold me tighter even during my fight.

I am sure time dragged on for my mom but her loving actions paid off BIG time. I finally gave up the fight I allowed my mom to love me. I accepted what was going on, I was still hurting but I knew I had a soft place to fall.

I not only had my mom and sister but down the road I had a man who chose us, he married my mom and gave my sister and I his last name. Talk about love.

I reflect on this today because I have people in my life that seem to be so unlovable but I know I need to show love just like I was shown.

I not only was shown such awesome love by my mom and dad but my heavenly father as well and because that I get to live loved and when I live loved my actions are not based on those of other people. I just love the SO unlovable.

 

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

 

Posted in Uplifting

Gratitude Garden

I love Thanksgiving! It has always been my favorite holiday, with all the good things that come from the kitchen. The recipes that are only done once a year it brings excitement and joy to me. While I am in the kitchen cooking or in the dinning room setting the table with all the colors of autumn I can hear laughing and yes even the arguing. I wouldn’t change any of it.

This is so pleasing to me and gives me an appreciation of my life and reminds me of what gifts I have been blessed with.

Even in my darkest of times when my children were growing up, their dad was with us drinking or using, I still could see the little bit of joy this holiday would bring. It might not last long because with an addict you never know how much time you have of peace but I would embrace it while I could and make the most of it so my children would have happy memories and I would have some of my own.

My life has changed so much from those days and my grown children have complemented me on having good holidays but I must give credit to God for he was with us even in the darkest of the days and we can enjoy today for what it is.

With Thanksgiving and the holidays coming up I reflect with gratitude on my life. I think of how I like to garden and how it compares with life.

As you plant you prepare the soil, plant your seeds then water but in doing so you also know that weeds will be coming as well as what you planted. It takes work to keep the weeds from over taking, in fact it is easier to grow weeds than the plants you want.

Isn’t life just like that, it takes such hard continuous work to keep healthy.

Unhealthy thoughts of ungratefulness, anger, unforgivness, worry….the list can go on with thoughts that can over take us and still our joy. If we don’t keep up on our weeding we lose our joy making it so easy to only see the problems in our life.

In my past with those dark days I couldn’t let the weeds over take me and I’m sure not going to now. I have to do my daily weeding in the morning when my mind is fresh and before my day gets going. As I have my prayer, medication and devotions I have to mentally pull out my weeds, even the ones that are just coming up or they could so easily take over. I choose daily to have a garden of gratitude not one of whiny weeds.

Do you have some weeding to do in your garden before the big day of thankfulness comes?

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

Change of Direction

I am one of the millions that look forward to Tuesday nights just to tune into “This is Us”. Over the summer I looked forward to the start of season two with such anticipation and so far it has been just as good as the first season. I laugh, I cry and discuss the show with my fellow viewers. My son tells me its my soap opera but I don’t care its just that good.

As I watched last night one of the main characters Kevin who by all accounts has it all, looks, money, career a loving family. It shows him spiraling down. It shows him reliving the major event in his life that changed every dream he had of being a star football player, he gets injured and has to face saying good-by to what he wanted. I found the part in the show when his loving dad tells him yes he has naturel talent for football and he was awesome at it but that he has other things he is great at too, how true.

Yes its just a show but I thought how many times life changes in a blink of an eye. That job, marriage, house, relationship or good health becomes no longer.

We are left feeling like the rug was pulled out from under us. The questions of what will I do or become now? How will I go on?

I know from experience that it’s in those times when I feel the worse if I turn to God he is there. If I allow him to lead and comfort me things will be as they are but my attitude will be better and in time even get good again.

That wonderful cycle of life, the ability to move forward and grow is what makes us better people. If I never had pain I would never be able to know the feeling of such delight and joy or have as much compassion as I do.

To embrace our changes in our directions and enjoy the detour, we might realize we are better off.

Psalm 30:5b

“..weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

Good Advice

Colossians 4:5-6

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

 

What great advice! If you wonder like me on how to live or treat others this is one passage that tells us. I find this so needed now more than ever. For me to live in such a way that my experience, knowledge and good judgment is shared in a loving manner to those around me who may not have the same faith or value system but that are in need of what I can offer without judgment. Notice it does not say walk in judgment and as if you know it all toward them that are with out, big difference! The passage says to share the quality of being wise not share you options.

Next it says how to speak. If we speak with unmerited favor (grace) what major problems can be eliminated if only that pinch of salt is added.

Salt when added to a dish adds flavor, makes you thirst for more. It also has a chemical way it helps, when added to baking it helps slow down the other ingredients so they can do what they should so the dish turns out.

So when we talk with “salt” if will add a positive good feeling leaving others wanting more not less and in time things turn out.

Pretty simple  yet good advise but can be so hard to do but it can be done if we just keep trying.