Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Missing the blessings

Recently I observed someone miss an opportunity to bless... It was one of those mundane things we do in life, the person was attending to taking care of those in their immediate sphere, their vision narrowed by the strain of living in a broken world... And they passed right over one who was probably blended into the background, and they missed a blessing! They missed seeing the joy of being noticed, they missed seeing the unconditional love waiting to be spent, they missed a healing moment!
Don't we all do that? Don't we all have moments, or seasons of missed opportunities? I know I do! Especially when I am so distracted by my own narrow vision, my own pain, and I am trying to just survive.
Last week I was immersed in family time... 27 other people and we all wanted to connect... It's not really practical you know? Oh we had slivers of time, but it's never enough! I learned a lot from the children, who I loved to observe!
I watched a child blossom, she had felt lonely in the midst of cousins and siblings. It was the right season however for another her age to 'pal' up... And they became a unit! some children thrived on time alone, some just needed to be part of the crowd. Each family had their 'pecking order' and it was amusing to watch it play out as these four family units came together. Most always there was a fair sense of play, some give and take.
Occasionally one could see the younger in one family try to assert dominance over smaller or younger children in the extended family unit.. But this too was short lived and easily corrected. There was some really God ordained moments...like when a younger cousin taught some older cousins new tricks on the trapeze bars! The sense of importance of being recognized as having something worthwhile to share! The opportunity to assist, encourage and bless! Watching children take risks to do something they have never done.. Like slide down the pole to the lower level of the pirate ship, as their cousins encouraged their participation!
One morning as I sought a place to quietly have my cup of tea, I had a shadow... One of the younger grandchildren just wanted to be with me... Not to talk, not to make me notice them, just wanted to be in my presence... So whether I was at the breakfast bar, the table or the sitting room , I was not alone...a huge smile always greeted me! And oh how it BLESSED ME, How like that we should be with God? Just longing to be in His presence!!? Not asking for recognition, not looking for a blessing, just living under the shadow of Him!?
Over the past few months, I have seen watched grandchildren extend love to my generation of relatives they had never met or seldom seen... And I have watched the faces of us who have lived,loved and who are properly secure in who we are at our age...I have watched our faces melt with tenderness, and dropped masks as we are embraced by little arms who welcome us into their world... We are unconditionally loved..we didn't earn it... And just by being who we are, right now, right here...we are loved and accepted!

Matt 18:3 and he said unto them 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven'

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Uniquely and wonderfully made

For the past few years we have spent our winters visiting one of our children who lived in the DFW area. Though the weather was not always balmy we really enjoyed spending time with them, without worrying about the freezing sub zero weather. That little family has since moved to colder parts of NY state, so this year we chose to spend a couple of months in Florida, renting a house with old friends.

The house is in a residential area, mostly single family homes, away from those big condos and hotels, and a quarter of a mile from the beach.

So daily (or almost daily) I walk along the sandy coastline, and inevitably see many of those things one would expect to see along the Atlantic coast.

I am amazed that daily walks along the same shore can have such different sights. The birds are always there- certainly the sea gulls.

.. But such different kinds, some they typical sea gull gray and white... Others with almost black and white polka dots along their back and tail feathers and some really new ones to us.
Black skimmers (the one on the left)

Pelicans waiting for their free meals

And even an egret

All these birds, so similar but none exactly the same, and I am awed ..what a wonderful God we have that makes each one a unique creature.
We have a lot of grandchildren, and since my friend wanted to collect shells, I too decided to start collecting some for mine. If I thought looking at the birds reminded me how God made each a unique creature, I was (and am) overwhelmed by looking at the shells...

Each one so so different from its neighbor... White ones, brown ones, blue one, black ones,

some with burgundy, others almost yellow, tan ones, ivory ones, grey ones, some two toned, three toned ( I guess God made the first ombré!) some with the lines of the curves going from hinge to end, and some with the lines following the curves of the shell,

little ones, big ones... None perfectly shaped, but each of them perfect unto themselves. Unless a shell was attached to its other side it is almost impossible to find the one that originally was made for that other side. There was a few shells that had collected their own collection of shells over the years.

Shells barely out of the nest resting on a star fish that was in the process of growing a new leg/arm.

And one shell that obviously had some breach over time and God had made it able to grow repetitiously on top of itself to cover that breach, but because of sand, those layers looked like shells on top of each other...

All of this reminds me how much God loves us to make us so unique...special...no other can take our place...others might try but they will never be who WE are.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An old t shirt made new

My granddaughter wanted a new shirt, and I had one I was ready to trash! What a great opportunity to try my hand at recycling ..what could I lose? So I took my old stained grey v-neck t-shirt, size 2x, and try to make it something wearable for my then 16year old granddaughter.

I used something to draw a circle...like a plate....and drew a circle...center point marked ...and used my rotary cutter!

Here is the cut portion..it looks uneven because the back neck is dropped down. Next I sewed two rows long 'running stitches', and then pulled up the thread to 'ruche' the top. I did use straight stitch over the ruched area to maintain the look.

With the left over fabric from the previous cut neckline, I cut out numerous teardrop shapes, covered them with a black netting , used the previous neck edging, putting all together I made a large flower with leaves and a stem. I also gathered what I thought was an appropriate amount of folds and secured onto one side

The sleeves were too long, and boring, as was the bottom of shirt...so I cut the sleeves starting at armpit area about 1to 2 inches out and cut up at an angle. The bottom of the shirt was cut asymmetrical, longer on shirt right than left side.it was easy, and came out pretty good for just winging it!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Hummingbird station/studio

When my son and family moved out of their adjoining apartment, I couldn't even think of another family moving in, nor could I imagine it empty. There was no way I wanted to move our existing apartment to that side... It would have meant we would have our bedroom upstairs, and neither my husband or myself wanted to do those stairs on a routine basis. So after some discussion we all decided that we would rent out the downstairs, and pay partial rent. So a week after we arrived home from Texas I started moving my sewing/ craft room out of it's little 6x8 space, to an area 3x that size, plus a kitchen and bathroom! As I started to organizing and setting everything up, I realized how lucky I was, and thought about those women who wanted to do a little sewing and crafting, but didn't have the space, supplies, knowledge, or free time without children to follow up on their desires. So I decided to make this little space and some of my supplies available to those same women. I am also hoping that all of us women will share with our unique special giftings with each other.
It was my secret wish that I could have a few women over for tea to share my vision, but that isn't working out as well, so for all of you that might be interested I have decided to show you some of the final product, and if you are interested in participating, please message me.

Here is a view from the kitchen sink. An unfinished wall hanging of Schoharie County's 4 seasons is on the wall for inspiration ( I shall finish it soon) As you look at these pictures you will notice different wall shelves with various fabric, all organized by colors, and patterned... All this helps to inspire my creative nature.

-This is looking in the dining alcove. The containers on the left are all my jewelry making stuff? The old china closet holds my good cotton fabric yardage. I also have patterns of wall quilts I hope to do one day (although I still consider myself a non- traditionalist) the bottom open shelf holds quilting magazines and quilting books. The middle shelf and bottom cabinet holds crafting things for my time with my grandchildren! Something I have always wanted to do, but haven't had the space! This Thursday was our first time, we did this: http://www.kidsart.com/q010100.html. And had fun! ( the black object in the middle was the project)

Playing with Gemma Levendusky's special wooden Polish eggs

A table for tea! And a unit that hold more fabric, And lots of craft stuff. And a shelf unit with the same..even the grandchildren find some 'beautiful!' items!

Looking down at the piano, and then turning the corner

Looking at the old computer area, now my cutting area. On the left is one of 4 sewing machines that currently lives here. One serger too. Hopefully we shall have some scheduled nights to sew some dresses for the pillowcase project! Hidden under these curtains are big bins full of fabric for the pillowcase project and lots of scraps, lots, I will never use it all. Below is a picture that looks upon a vintage ( and still working)sewing machine and table I bought in Texas last year, and brought home this year!

And in the kitchen I have my tea pots ready, and for window coverings I chose to sew together my mother in law's vintage hankies that were doing nothing but living in plastic bags

I hope that one day you can join me for tea, and maybe a craft or two... Only one thing you need to do when you enter: a positive attitude!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking forward

In a season where life is changing for most of my children, it is most wise to keep my feet planted in the stability of the Rock! That way I won't feel so buffeted by the waves of the tide that comes naturally. I am not necessarily meant to walk the rocky shore to find their safe harbor!
This morning I was once more encouraged by my eldest to start the gratitude community (http://www.aholyexperience.com/2003/06/gratitude-community/)
And although I am not ready to openly publish them, I was able to journal 18 that were immediately on my heart! And I was able to find myself tendered to the Peace once again.
Two things I can say openly:
1. I am very thankful for my children who inspite of their own wrestlings with life's encounters, are able and willing to encourage each other to walk in the Peace of the Lord.
2. I am thankful the the Lord has opened my creative nature in the past decade.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

I chose

Sometimes words hurt

Thoughtless words

Words meant for another but directed my way

Words Unspoken, unwritten, unsaid

'In between the line' words

Today I chose not to give life to these words, these words unsaid, unspoken, or spoken but not meant for me, but they all bring death none the less

Today I chose to focus on His words, words of life, and believe in the best, believe in truth.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The little things

Softly I closed the door, pleased that I exited my sister's room with minimal noise (considering two happy dogs exited too, this was a feat!) The sound of glass shattering as it hits the floor spoiled the spell of early morning, and in seconds my sister was there with a broom and dustpan. ( note to self: make sure all glasses are picked up night before so there will be no more whipped to the floor by that happy dog's tail!)
I watched as my sister swept up those shards, calmly and swiftly as if this was a common event, and she reminded me- this too shall pass, it was only a glass, no one was hurt. Just a small speck in the road of life. ( and even made a joke about the dog's tail that could so easily throw this glass with such force onto the floor)
Life sometimes brings happy tails that accidentally shatters our peace. How do I clean up the glass? Do I lash out and break some fragile moments? Do I find the means to make it a safe environment once more so no one will get hurt accidentally?
I get annoyed or hurt by someone's actions or word, The wrong word, the wrong look, the interruption without thought behind it.. These are all little things and have no eternal consequence, but what I do, how I react and respond does!
Today may I recognize the need in me to respond in love, peace and patience... In all the little things that go on around me.

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