Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter is my favorite holiday. And while Easter Sunday I feel joy for the victory over death that my LORD won for me all those years ago, Sunday is actually a refreshing end to the emotional roller coaster I feel that I'm on for days before hand. Usually the pastor preaches about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and that starts the climb up to the summit, I can imagine the click, click, click of the car on the coaster track. Without a doubt, Friday is the part of the ride when my heart feels as if it weighs two tons as if going into a deep, dark tunnel that shoots straight downward. For born-again Christians, the events that took place on that dark day two thousand years ago are hard to bear. To know Jesus is to love him. To say that he's perfect and amazing is like standing a foot from the sun and saying it's a little warm. The meaning and depth wrapped up in that one precious life is incomprehensible. And then he gave it up willingly like a sheep to the slaughter for....... well, I'll let Beth tell it. I have a great quote from Beth Moore to share with you from one of her bible studies.....

In the depths of our depravity Christ died for us. He did not wait for persons to get as close as possible through obedience to the law and righteous living. Never once did He proclaim to His father; "Close enough! This one made it!" In the breadth of our separation from God, Christ died for us. He died for people who yelled, "Crucify Him!" He died for those who ripped His flesh with whips. He died for those who slapped Him and spit on Him, for those who mocked Him, embedding a crown of thorns on His brow. He died for those who humiliated Him by stripping away His garments. He died for the soldier who pounded the nails into His flesh. He died for the one who gave him vinegar to drink. He died for the 11 who ran for their lives. In the moment in all of history when humanity could not have been farther from God, Christ died for us.
Beth Moore, A woman's heart, God's dwelling place

Please, this Easter, don't forget that Jesus was a real man with real feelings. He felt real pain and real rejection. Don't allow the repetitiveness of an annual Spring holiday distract you from these truths. Know that it was for you that he died and for you he lives. These are the greatest acts of love that we can ever know. Amen

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March Life Preservers Meeting

Success! Everyone I asked said that they had a good time at this month's meeting. I hope they liked the project we did. I'm still a little unsure of myself when it comes to creating projects for others. I know what I like but, I don't want to assume that everyone else will too. I don't have any complaints so far and most of the women in the club are close enough to tell me when they don't like something and not worry about hurting my feelings. Like my dear friend, Christine. We've also been having a monthly contest for $25 in free products. This month everyone made a card from a small kit I gave them last month. They were all very cute. Our big winner was Stella Naeger. I don't know why I didn't take a picture of the card. It was adorable. The April contest is for the cutest mini-album (our project from this month), completed with pictures. We had four guests this month, which was awesome.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Romanticizing the past

My kids are all at a great age. Sometimes I wish I could just freeze them right where they are and not have them grow another inch. And I know when they grow up and I look back, this will be a time of great memories. I'm sure I won't remember arguing with my twelve year old that her shorts are too short or telling my ten year old to stop yelling at his sister or my six year old crying her eyes out for not getting her way. I was thinking about how funny it is that we romanticize the past the way we do. When I decided to have sterilization surgery after my daughter was born my doctor said that I should be prepared for the emotions that would inevitably come when someone close to me had a baby. Maternal instinct isn't something you can just shut off. Well, my brother and his wife had their third baby, a girl, about eighteen months later and I was totally fine. The memories were still fresh of the swollen feet and hands, backache, being up all night with a crying baby, and the unpleasant side of breastfeeding. Then my sister had another baby. Then my friends all seemed to become pregnant at the same time. You'd think that a girl's night out with three friends and me being the only one not pregnant would spark any emotions I'd been suppressing. But, actually it was nice to be the thin one. So, the breakdown my doctor was sure was coming didn't happen....... until.......

No, I'm not actually breaking down and tearing through a box of kleenex or anything but, I'm having some unexpected feelings lately. I've become casual friends with the woman who bought the house my husband and I built when we first married and she and her huband are expecting a baby boy any minute. I think it's the memories of us in the house with our new babies that's causing it. When we brought our first baby home from the hospital to that house my cousin had made a big sign that said "welcome home baby Shelby" and put it on the front of the house. My two older ones took their first steps, said their first words, and had their first birthday parties there. It's funny that I choose not to remember the weeks my daughter had colic and I paced the floor all night or the time when she was about a year old and somehow got into the fridge and smeared an entire tub of Country Crock butter into the carpet.
Maybe God designed our minds to do this on purpose. Otherwise my mother might make good on the threat she made when I was eight. She promised that when I had a home of my own she was coming over to track mud on the carpet and jump on my furniture. SShhhh. I'm sure she's remembering me as a darling eight year old angel and has suppressed the rest.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It goes both ways!

me and grandpa
There was one lesson I learned as a child that my mother had absolutely no problem teaching us and that was not to make fun of other people. Three of my grandparents suffered from a physical handicap. Both grandpa's walked with a limp and my precious paternal grandma lost a leg because of a serious car accident. Incidentally, the two children she lost in that accident were much harder to loose than the leg. Being so close to the three of them made us well aware of how it hurt to be made fun of. We would have been horrified if a stranger said something unkind about our grandparents so we never said unkind things about strangers either. In fact, the way a person looks on the outside became of little significance to me. I didn't choose my friends according to their size or shape. I had tall friends, short friends, heavy and light. I was always taught that it's what's inside a person that matters. While my husband was attractive, it's certainly not what attracted me or why I married him. I feel very blessed to have learned to see people's hearts. Unfortunately, I haven't always received the same treatment. I'm what many in the world would consider an attractive person. I remember my sophomore year of high school when a senior girl spit a huge wad of gum in the back of my hair because she had seen her boyfriend talking to me. I was 5'2", about 100 lbs. and a cheerleader with thick curly hair almost to my waist. I often wonder if it would have bothered her to have her boyfriend talk to a girl 200lbs with a face full of acne. Why is it so acceptable for a thin, attractive woman (by the worlds standards) to be hated for the way she looks, but not other types of people? Can't we all just get along? I thought these types of incidents were history along with my teen years, I mean the firm little cheerleader is long gone, but it surfaced again last weekend. I went to a wonderful women's convention with the ladies from my church. I was introduced to some other women from other churches and upon meeting one lady, she looked at me and said "oh, I hate you". I just stood there dumbfounded. She wouldn't even shake my hand! She said, "you're too skinny, you stay away from me." What the? Why do we do this to each other? I cannot help having the body that God gave me to inhabit any more than she can. And what's more, she'd probably like me if she'd get to know me. After all, we already have a lot in common. We're at a Christian women's conference. Some might say, "well, boo hoo. you poor little pretty person." Like this is the small price you pay for being worldly attractive. But, seriously, it's not fun to have people say they hate you for no other reason than the way you make them feel about themselves. I would much rather have my daughters grow up to be beautiful on the inside than drop dead gorgeous on the outside. That's what really matters, right? Ironically, that woman would probably never tell a handicapped person she hated them for it. Does she ever go up to someone and say "oh, I hate you, you've got red hair." So, that 's my rant for the day. Just remember that even though someone may be what you think is attractive, they may really want to be known for what's on the inside.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March Life Preservers Project

We're making mini-albums for this month'sproject! This is the one I just finished to use as a demo. Do you have your Spring 2010 Idea Book handy? This month's stamp set is "Enjoy the Journey" on pg. 45. I really like this stamp set! Last month someone recommended that I let everyone know ahead of time which colors we would be working with so they could bring their own ink pads. That is a fantastic idea. Unfortunately, it doesn't help us much this month. While we'll all be working with the same stamp set and mini-album, you'll have your choice of paper packs. I'll have almost all the paper that we offer for everyone to choose from, seperated into kits. I'll be e-mailing everyone with more details.

We will have four guests with us for our March meeting! I can't thank everyone enough for inviting friends to join us! Our February hostess, Rachel Siddle, had an awesome event. Way to go Rachel! I also owe a special thank you to Doris Staffen. She's gone above and beyond for me lately and I'm very grateful. Having four guests this month is awesome. I hope we can keep the ball rolling. The more the merrier. As you all know, we have plenty of room for more.

What to bring:
Adhesive, Blocks, Trimmer, Scissors, Craft Knife,
Any punches that you like to work with, foam tape, self-healing mat, ink pads (I'll go into detail about colors in my e-mail), Piercing tool, sanding kit, scrap paper
As always, if you don't have a specific tool(s), don't worry about it. You can use mine:)
Our meeting is next Saturday, March 20th from 1-3 in the meeting room next to Country Mart, Ste. Gen. See ya there!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My thoughts for the day.

Okay, I know that my creative blog may not be the best place for this but, I'm home completely alone and NEED to let this stuff out! I'm not a philosopher by any means, just a child of God and studier of his word. I just finished watching Julia Sweeny on one of the movie channels talk about "letting go of God". I'm more than a little puzzled by the whole notion of atheism. The view seems so narrow. She talked about morality like it's something we've evolved into because it just makes sense. Ok. Who's morality is she talking about? I'm assuming she's an American and living in this nice little comfortable bubble our Christian relatives created for us. Somewhere in China, right this very minute, soldiers are storming a home and taking away the baby that a couple was hiding because it's their second child and they're not supposed to have it. The soldiers will take that baby out and kill it because it's illegal for it to exist. Things like this go on all over the world! If you ever look at a Christian map of the world you'll see the difference! The highest concentration of Christians live in the U.S. and Europe. Ironically, these are the same area's where human rights are taken the most seriously. For someone to say that we've evolved into our moral values because it's good for us to have communities and families must be living in Never Never Land because as our own country moves slowly away from Christian values the family is eroding! If ya'll haven't noticed the divorce rate has increased a little bit over the years and more and more children are being born to single mothers. And what about science? What's the foundation of everything? If the Bible, which is filled with scientific observations and prophesy is just a collection of ramblings then why is it still around? We've had some brilliant people exist on the earth since it's conception. Shouldn't someone have killed it dead by now if it's weren't what it claims to be? Ms. Sweeny made some ill-informed points about the Bible in her documentary that just focused on the surface stuff. She didn't do any digging, obviously, into the real reason's for the flood and other biblical events. She just read it, one version, one language, under the guides of one religion, and assumed it was folly. The Bible is crammed full of scientific assertions that the people of the time couldn't possibly have known. I'll give some examples! Hey, I'll even start with the first one! The six day creation. Yeah Genesis says that God created the world in six days. That includes humans. Scientists assert that our universe is 16 billion years old. How do you reconcile that?! Well, who's clock are we talking about first of all? Our universe is finite, everyone agrees on that. It actually had a beginning and is expanding at a rate of -10^12. Well take 16 billion years x 365 days and you get 6,000,000,000,000 (aprox). Take out the expansion rate of the universe and guess what.... 6 days. My,my, my. So is the earth 16 billion years old, yes. Was it created in 6 days, yes. The Bible is always accurate! Always! When we read something we can't rationalize, perhaps we should do a little digging. I'll give another example. This one is from the oldest book of the Bible, Job. You see, it was actually written before Genesis. Not before the events of Genesis! It was penned first. Job 38:31, God asks Job "canst thou bind the influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bonds of Orion?" These just happen to be the only two parts of the constellations, visible to the human eye, that are in direct gravitational bondage to the earth!!! That fact wouldn't be discovered for centuries after the writing of Job. Let's talk dimensions of reality. Modern day particle physicists have discovered, through physics, that there are actually 10 dimensions. It can be proven mathematically. Math is the universal language, it doesn't lie, it's not subjective. 4 dimensions are directly measurable, you operate in them every day, 3 space and 1 time. 6 dimensions are infer-able only by indirect means, meaning with mathematical calculation. Get ready for an eye opener! In the 13th century, a man named Nachmonides studied the book of Genesis and concluded that there are 10 dimensions, with 4 of them being "knowable". We're still way back in the old testament folks. I have a question for anyone willing to discuss this with me. Evolution asserts that this is all just random chance, down to the ity bity code written into each of our DNA. If you had a deck of cards, standing in your living room, and threw that deck of cards into the air, would they ever land in perfect suit? I'm talking four perfect stacks; hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades, and in perfect order? What if you did it ten times? What if you did it a million times? What if you spent your entire lifetime, stopping only to eat and sleep, throwing those cards into the air? What if you then taught your child to keep going upon your demise who taught his child who taught his child? Would it ever happen? We're just talking about a deck of cards. Pretty simple. You've got gravity on your side......