The anticipation of spring is one of my favorite times of the year. Thoughts of vibrant colors & new life are right around the corner. 🙂
It makes two of my least favorite chores enjoyable: hand-washing delicates, and ironing…time-consuming tasks that are tedious & slow moving. But this act of tenderly washing delicate craftmanship & smoothing out its wrinkles, parallels my walk with Jesus. And I love reflecting on this while I prepare for the new season, the new births, the new outdoor activities… Jesus has tenderly washed me of my sins, and straightens out the wrinkles of my life more and more each day. Fits so perfectly with preparing to celebrate His Resurrection in just a few weeks! 🙂
Thought I’d share some pics of what the transformation of spring looks like inside our home. 🙂
Marbles? Yes, marbles, lol… Love that they are old & colorful – and um, hidden meaning here… On those hard days when I feel overwhelmed and like I’m “losing my marbles” – this visual reminder will help me stop & LOOK UP to where my Hope comes from. 🙂
It’s a beautiful thing to witness one generation teaching the ones behind them… 🙂
Lord, may we all recognize teachable moments in our daily walks…opportunities to show Love, feel Love, speak Love, and receive Love. Thank You for reminding me that not all learning happens at a desk or from a book – and that Your work is done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Continue to prepare me for Your lesson-plan and may I always remember that You are THE TEACHER. I love being Your willing assistant! AMEN
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. (Deuteronomy 11:18-21 NIV)
I wasn’t a huge fan of cartoons when I was young, but the ones I did like were: The Littles, whenever I got a sneak peak inside Jerry’s mouse-hole on Tom & Jerry, & Smurfs – lol, yeah – I loved matchbox bathtubs, sardine-can beds, & mushroom umbrellas… 🙂
This craft woke up that “inner child” in me… 🙂
I felt like the old toy-fixer-upper-guy in Toy Story 2 who was brought in to make Woody look as good as new – minus the magnifying glass attached to my eye, lol! 🙂
This project completely consumed me for a week – and led to a complete overhaul of my craft “stuff”. I needed to be able to SEE everything and have quick access while I was in “create mode”…
Ended up with quite a few empty containers once I was done! If anybody wants ’em, let me know…
While it did lead to better organization and being more efficient with the space I have, the “timing” of it contributed toward some of the chaotic-ness of our Christmas prep. Perhaps this year I’ll do this kind of stuff BEFORE December, lol?
Back to the doorstop. Originally, I wanted it to be a miniature garden for Mike’s mom because SHE IS gardens around here… But when I learned my 3 boys DID NOT enjoy “miniature creativity” like I did, that “garden idea” grew in me & it morphed into a wee bit more, lol…
In hindsight, I can see it is a completely non-practical gift. Certainly won’t hold up to little fingers or attention from pets… BUT GOSH WAS IT FUN! 🙂
It’s jam-packed with hidden meanings, too. Things I still haven’t sat down with Grandma to tell her. I guess this post will be my record as I study the pics – and I pray I make the same time commitment to share it with her. 🙂
So here goes – a description in words & pics:
Recycled bubble wrap helped level out my surface. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on LEVEL ground. (Psalms 143:10 NIV84)
Brick “bonnet” was the same as our other denim covered doorstops – just a unique front piece…
I added ruffle from some old curtains around the back/bottom of the bonnet because the added bubble wrap caused the bonnet to be too short…
I knew I wanted the top layer(s) removable – so the 2 parts are attached with velcro pieces.
Had fun shopping in the “dollhouse” section of a local craft store – the seed box, veggies/crate, garden tools, & flower pot were purchased. Then with matchsticks, pencils, rocks, moss, canning lids, & hot glue (and burnt finger tips from making the tool holder) the rest was formed…
This other side was attached to a piece of cardboad wrapped in quilt scrap material from a friend. This is the sewing/food prep side – two other hobbies that are big parts of Grandma… Made another matchstick table with pencil legs to hold the miniature sewing machine we bought. The piece of material that is being “sewn” is a piece of scrap material that Grandma used when she made comforter covers for the boys many years ago. 🙂
Bought the milk jugs/carrier, and couldn’t resist making one fallen over with milk (White-Out) spilling out. What kitchen doesn’t have an accident every now & then…?
Made the round table from a canning lid & small allen wrenches, covered with a piece of denim & an old doily as a tablecloth with strings woven through. I think my favorite part is the teeny tiny wedge added under a foot on the table to make it sturdy. Struck me as funny that this craft mimicked my “real-life”. No matter how hard I try, perfection is impossible! Always reminding myself of Paul’s words: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 NIV84) Yes, even with wobbly miniature tables, I can practice being content with what I have, and rely on the Lord to inspire solutions or reveal an alternate route…so glad He incorporates our mistakes into His plan! 🙂
Mike and the boys used scrap wood mainly from 2012’s Algonquin Mill Festival to create these birdhouse ornaments:
A wide-mouth canning lid, rim from a coffee can, scrap material & yarn + a bit of glue…
If you are reading this post, it’s because Mike gave me permission to post it. Otherwise, this page will just be tucked into a page in my Bible…
Rough day today. Ever had one of those?
Not like “physically rough”, but “spiritually rough”.
Not like: “I hate God”, but like: “God show me where You are in this…”
I’m sharing a burden for my best friend today. A burden heavier for him, because God made him a man. A husband. A father. A provider for this family. A man plagued by his past mistakes. A man made new in Jesus Christ, but still remembering his old self. A man who wants so badly to undo his mistakes. A man who looks so hard for fixes, that he can’t see His Hands. Sometimes.
Then I walked into the barn and saw the gloves he had left behind. Struck me as the perfect picture of how The Lord’s Hands are laced throughout my life – even when I can’t physically see them.
The Lord always leaves “His imprint” for me to find. Sometimes it’s through people. Sometimes it’s through nature. Sometimes it’s through music. Sometimes it’s through circumstances. It’s always there – permeating through my senses. The question for me becomes: am I TRULY looking for it? Seems crazy that what seems obvious in retrospect is so blurred by my in-the-moment-nearsightedness…
So what’s the common thread? The one true strand that He weaves for me? Could it be HIS WORD? The very thing I love to read? I feel like David as he pours his heart out in so many Psalms! Just the exercise of asking these questions – this new willed discipline of coming back to the only Word that is sufficient for my moment’s existence…just this tiny effort of walking in communion with my Heavenly Father…begins to shake the scales off my eyes, unmuffles my ears, and forms words on my tongue that first came from Him. THEY ARE ALIVE!
I’m crying now. Real. Physical. Tears. I can’t believe that my heart cry from this morning – the one where there was no answer in sight – where I felt worthless and unable to offer anything to my best friend – where I had to rely on His Spirit interceding for me because I didn’t even know how to pray…and He sent me a sister at that EXACT moment – to unite with me in prayer…
That heart cry has been heard, and He’s answered me with His Word.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NIV84)
And then one final lesson, The Lord had in store for me… He must have heard me whispering in my mind – how it sure seems like I’m always praying the same thing…different situations, but same requests… I searched my Bible for passages on faithfulness, and He led me to David’s Song of Praise in 2 Samuel 22… Then I went to Psalm 18, and I thought there was a glitch in the Bible app on my phone… The Words I had just read in 2 Samuel were ALMOST IDENTICAL to the Words I was reading in Psalm 18! Wow. This is powerful to me today. NO, I don’t think He minds that I have overlaps in my requests. I think He just wants me to pursue Him. Forever. 🙂
“To the faithful You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless, to the pure You show Yourself pure, but to the crooked You show Yourself shrewd. You save the humble, but Your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light. With Your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (2 Samuel 22:26-33 NIV84)
To the faithful You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless, to the pure You show Yourself pure, but to the crooked You show Yourself shrewd. You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With Your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (Psalm 18:25-32 NIV84)
Yes, Lord, Your Way is perfect, and Your Word is flawless. I pray the meanings of these verses will flow out from me like living water… May my husband receive the same nourishment from them that I do. Use me to help him see Your Hands, Lord. AMEN
So I’ve been 40 now for one month! 🙂
Can’t say I feel much different – still behind in pretty much every category – and still moving slower than I’d like, lol!
I don’t mind, though – I like keeping busy, and I hate rushing… 🙂
Mike made me a frame for one of our school maps out of scrap wood he had laying around. I love it! 🙂
From Michael, I got an ITunes gift card and he also joined in on Paul’s gift… Apparently, “the gift” for turning 40 is chocolate – namely, M&M’s… (Not sure if that’s because they were on sale the day they were shopping, or because we tend to bend our eating habits for special occasions and perhaps the birthday girl would share her loot, lol…)
I decided to try to see if I could get the candy to last as long as possible – after all, it’s not our habit to eat it often, so that shouldn’t be hard to do, right?
My 3 boys rolled their eyes when they saw what I did… 🙂
So how’s my “great idea” workin’ out???
COMPLETE – EPIC – FAIL!!!!! 😦
Every single one of those candies are gone, lol. Didn’t even last one month!! And sadly, I was the worst offender… 😦 This is EXACTLY why I don’t keep this stuff in the house… A terrible example of self-control, I was. 😦
[In my defense, I’d like to say it’s the Peanut M&Ms’ fault. If they didn’t taste the best, I wouldn’t have hunted so much for them and eaten the ones in my way, lol! I know, lame excuse. Uggg.]
We just finished memorizing the first book of James, and there are several verses that were very convicting to me… When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full‑grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15 NIV84) Yikes, Lord, such a simple, little thing – yet a perfect example of how weak I am when I rely on my own power to fight my battles. I guess I felt like I didn’t need Your help in this…that I could handle it with my “big talk” and “methodic system”. I know it wasn’t You tempting me… You were there with me the whole time, just waiting for me to ask You for help. Instead, I allowed desire to drag me away, and that led to sin – the sin of not practicing self-control. It’s easy to practice self-control when you don’t have something you desire in your kitchen cupboard. Strengthen me, Lord, to be better able to handle the next time I’m in a similar situation. How amazing that M&M’s can lead me to repentance, lol! I love Your sense of humor, Lord. Amen