Saturday, April 14, 2012

Upside down and shaken up.

I got on here today because I was going to delete my blog entirely. I'm not quite sure why. I guess I'm trying to forget, or make everyone else forget who I used to be and just see me as me now. Then I thought- no, it could be healthy to start blogging again. I certainly miss teaching. And maybe my roller-coaster life-story will help someone else who may be going through the same things.
It's been two years since I last posed anything on here. Don't have time or place to scrapbook these days, and it would probably hurt to do so anyway. That's a big change. I'm not teaching or involved in any heavy book research right now. Another change.... Divorce pretty much turns a person's whole world upside down and shakes it to it's core. I can discuss it now that it's over. It's been officially over since February 21st. The pain is gone. The guilt is gone (miraculously. I'll discuss more later).
"My happiness matters" Those were the words that changed everything for me. I was forced to say those words out loud to a counselor, the third we'd seen, and it took more emotional strength than I had to get them out. I cried harder than I'd ever cried before, and I've done some serious crying over the years.
So, that was both a beginning and an end. I've had to get real with myself about who I am and what I want and what I need as a woman in the past year or so. I beat myself to an emotional pulp over those three words. I found out my sense of duty was a powerful force in my life. I'd never realized that before then. There was a time when I didn't think I'd ever forgive myself. I just thought I'd carry crippling guilt around for the rest of my life. And worse, I didn't think God would ever forgive me. But, as always, he found a way to get his message of love and forgiveness through to me in his mysterious way. Still healing. Still learning. Finding out I really do like myself just as me.
So, maybe I can start to share a little more and stop password protecting every thought.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Splendor of Spring

This month's Life Preservers Craft Club project is a two-page scrapbook layout using the brand new (and super beautiful) Splendor paper! I made this layout with my Easter pics. I used the Splendor paper and the Hot Diggity stamp set, which is also part of this month's kit. I also added some embellishments that coordinate with this super cute kit; the new Splendor brads, some white daisey ribbon, and I've become addicted to the clear sparkles. The moonstruck frame and trim is dimensional elements. I simply sponged the moonstruck ink onto the dimensional elements and then I added some bity sparkles to my frame to give it extra bling.

Our May meeting is next Saturday, May 15th. I've reserved our space for an extra hour this month. Remember to bring your trimmer!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ten Under Ten

What is it about shopping that captivates us- is it the hunt? In today's economy the DEAL is more sought after than ever. We all love to find a good deal on a quality product. Close To My Heart always offers great deals on the products you love. Below is top ten list, voted on by Close To My Heart Consultants, of our favorite and most cost effective products under $10.

Mini-Medley Accents: This pack of embellishments is under $8. It coordinates with our paper packs. Each pack contains enough accents to complete several projects. It's also great for beginners!

Edge Distresser: Under $3!! Pairs great with our white-core cardstock. This tool is long-lasting and durable.

Bitty Sparkles: 100 sparkles for under $3!! Adds bling to any project. Great embellishment for beginners.

Piercing Tool Kit: Under $6! Includes piercing tool, sewing needles, and self-healing mat. Can be used with an assortment of embellishments. A very versatile tool.

Liuid Glass: Under $7! Best money your crafting dollar can buy! Works as a glue, glaze, or accent. A little goes a long way and it lasts forever.

Micro-Tip Scissors: Under $10! High quality. Compact and sharp. Travels well!

Sponge: Under $2!! Durable and can be used on multiple projects with multiple colors.

Dimensional Elements: Under $7! Very versatile! They can be papered, painted, or chalked. Store easily. They come in many shapes including full alphabets.

Memory Protectors Flip Flaps: 15 for under $4. Perfect for any level of skill. Work great with Classic Memory Protectors.

Texture Tools: Under $3 per tool! Distress til your heart's content!

All of these great products can be found on my website!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Purpose and the horsetrailer parade

The weather has been beautiful here in the heartland. Everything is green and beautiful and you can smell the lilacs blooming. It brightens the soul. But, this time of year has a big negative aspect for me. It's time for the "horse trailer parade" as we've come to call it. We live on a county road that connects two highways and is also kind of a gate to the back roads. If you're coming from Illinois into Missouri wine country, you probably cross our road. Horse enthusiasts pass here constantly heading to the many trail rides that take place every weekend. It's been a dream of mine to have my own horses since I was a little girl. In third grade I lied and told my teacher that I didn't finish my homework because I was busy taking care of my horse. My parents weren't amused. You'd think a childish dream would go away with maturity. Like how my little brother wanted to be a stunt driver and my cousin wanted to be a ballerina. But, this one's only gotten stronger. I get to ride occasionally because much of my family and my husband's family has horses and mules. And to me, the only high greater than being on a country road in the saddle with leather reigns in my hands is God revealing himself in a mighty way. These two often occur simultaneously. But, the horse trailer parade hurts. It's all weekend long, every weekend. And sometimes on weekdays too. I've counted four of them pass the window since I started typing. I want to be out there. I love the sound of the birds along with hooves rhythmically hitting gravel. Some city-friends of mine were discussing their favorite smells once and I chimed in with horse-sweat! Yeah, I got some puzzled looks. The hurdles to this dream coming true are exceptionally high. It's a very expensive hobby and I want to do it right, not just throw up a fence and find a hand-me-down saddle. And God hand-picked my spouse for me, who is not a horse person and who has a pretty expensive dream of his own. He wants to have a race car. Ice that cake with three kids and .... well...... summed up... it aint happenin any time soon. In fact I often pray that God would just take the dream away. I'd like for it to just go away and not come back. Let me be repulsed by the thought of shoveling stalls and cleaning tack. But, it doesn't happen.

It's amazing how right when you need something and expect God to deliver on it, it shows up. I got an e-mail from one of my sister-in-laws a couple weeks back and read it without giving it much thought at first but didn't delete. Then this week I was looking for an idea for my presentation at our monthly Women's Mission group at church of which I'm the mission study chairman and the e-mail popped back into my mind. It was from an interview that Rick Warren had given. He's the pastor of Saddleback church in California. (the Saddleback irony hasn't gone unnoticed) Here's an excerpt from that interview according to the e-mail.

People ask me, what is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, live is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever and God wants us to be with him in heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body, but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years (trillions is less than a drop in the bucket, just my thoughts) in eternity. This is the warm-up-act, the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

The reason for our problems is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than he is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

God expanded on this message to me personally. He said he has eternity to spoil me rotten, right now he needs my obedience. He needs to see what I'm made of. Will I hate the people in the horse trailer parade or be happy for them? Will I put the needs of my husband and children ahead of my dreams? Will I harbor bitterness?

Anytime I ever think of heaven, I imagine horses. I don't think that's an accident. The first thing I imagine isn't the crystal sea or the streets of gold. It's mountains with riding trails that go on forever. He has eternity to spoil me, and he intends to do just that. Right now, we're character-building.