Thursday, May 31, 2012

Say Your Thank You's

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New motto, begin writing your "thank yous" before they're needed .  I've spent yesterday and today writing, texting, facebooking and calling in some "thank yous" to some of my hosts while I was out of town . I'm not sure if I picked this up when I graduated from high school or if it was always apart of me, but I've learned that thank you's are so very important . Accepting them, giving them, and realizing the importance that those two little words can have . They're important in our conversation with God and they're important in our daily conversations with people . Time is fleeting and we never know when our path and company will change . I've realized that waiting till things are done to say "thank you", sometimes takes away it's value.....for me anyway. I feel rushed, hurried, and pressured.

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When I think on all the different things or people that move me through out each day I realize how much I have to be grateful for and all the people I am grateful to .  It's so important to let people know that you are thankful for their investment, sacrifice and roll played in your life . Even when it's just the delivery person . At times it has been just as meaningful for me to say "thank you" as it has been to the person receiving it .

Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts
with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name!
Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving
That which I have vowed I will pay Salvation is from the LORD.
Colossians 4:2 (NAS) Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping
alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NAS) in everything give thanks; for this
is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

If you are reading this blog, I owe you a thanks! It has become therapeutic, ministry, and flat out fun to share with you what's going on in my life . Sharing everything from a craft, cooking, or shopping tip all the way to what I feel God is speaking into my heart with you is wonderful. So....................

Thank you thank you thank you

I encourage you to take a minute and make a lil' thank you list. It is so much fun to think of different little ways to express your gratitude to the people in your life. I look forward to hearing about your creative ways of saying Thank You!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Laborers Are Few

This is Crystal.................

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

This is Crystals Mission........

Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

My dear sister in Christ has been called by our Lord to go and serve the people of Peru. Through my own missions experience I have learned that we are not all called to GO. Some of us are called to aid in the SEND part of missions. This is my part to help SEND Crystal on her mission.

Crystal is currently serving in ministry at Word of Life Bible Institute where she completed her degree nearly a year ago. I had the opportunity to know Crystal during my time in Chattanooga working at a Christian university. One late walk through the dorm my dog decided to bark uncontrolably at Crystal. The joke from then on out was that she had drugs in her pajama's and he could sense it. We call ourselves DDP- Drug Dog Patrol! Of course she didn't have drugs in her pj's and she became one of Jack's favorite "aunts" in the dorm. I think he loves her because she barked back! She is the real deal follower of Christ if ever I saw it. She has a joy for the Lord that I've yet to see in anyone else. Her heart is genuine in it's desire to serve Him in whatever way or place called. Her goal is to be in Peru by January to begin life as a FULL time missionary. This is no flash in the pan experience for her. Her heart and current calling is full time ministry as a missionary to the country of Peru. In order for this to happen she needs to raise $2000.00 for every month she's there, if I understand correctly. The organization she is going through is Pioneer , <---click to find out more about their ministry.

Clearly she is made for out door life :-)

If you would like to contribute to Crystals campaign or learn more about her specific mission please feel free to let me know and I will get information for you or get your information to Crystal.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Craftastic Update - Summer Wreaths

Crafter-Math : The mess left behind from your crafting.
A word I learned this week courtesy of Glamour Magazine.

Earlier this week I blogged,  Craft-Tastic -Tip 8. Today I finally finished most of the wreaths I began. I still have one that I'm leaving empty waiting for inspiration. I still have supplies left over from the original set of supplies purchased at The Dollar Tree. So I will get well worth my Dollar.
Here are the final projects from this week.

Cute As A Button

Cute As A Button - was made with a vine wreath, buttons that I have saved over the years, and a Lei that was cut into pieces and of course a glue gun. Both the wreath and Lei were purchased at
The Dollar Tree.

Daisies and Pin Wheels - Summer Fun

Daisies & Pin Wheels was made with a vine wreath, 1 pack of 3 pin wheels, 3 gerber daisy napkin holders that I owned a set of 6 of given to me in the past as a gift. Both the vine wreath and pin wheel pack were purchased at The Dollar Tree.

The Ol' Red White and Blue
The Ol' Red, White & Blue wreath was made with a vine wreath , 1 pack of 2 wound RWB beads, 1 pack of  3 RWB USA necklaces and several flowers cut from bundles. All supplies purchased at The Dollar Tree.

Team USA

Team USA was made with a vine wreath, 1 Lei from a pack of 2, and 1 flag from a pack of 3. All supplies can be found at The Dollar Tree.

I hope that they along with my blog, Craft-Tastic - Tip 8, inspire you to make a inexpensive addition to your home decor for the summer months. Feel free to share your Craft-Tastic-ness.
I'd love to see pictures of what you create!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Day Is Yours - Psalm 118:24

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made;
 let us rejoice and be glad in it.

A friend of mine recently asked how do I fill my days now that I'm looking for work. Well,  good question. At the beginning of this journey it was difficult not to let the day overwhelm me. I was so use to having something to do every hour of the day sometimes flowing into the next day that it became a task to make my day fill like it had purpose. After the time of resting, recovery, and realization was over I struggled with feeling like my days where useless now. Now, that I didn't have a dorm full of people that needed me at any given minute of the day, how could my day even begin to have purpose. It was a genuine struggle to find a desire to get out of the bed. I'll be honest I had a few dark, lazy and flat out sorry days. Some that I hope never to revisit.

I began filling my days with the obvious job searching, researching, applications, interviews, etc. During the summer months of last year I enjoyed the simple beauty of time being mine again. After life in a dorm and living a campus life it's difficult to accept that you can go to bed with your phone off, go out of town if you want with out asking permission or having someone on duty in your place, and even just be in your own space with out interruption. I spent time in fellowship with friends, God and nature. Began my blog which has been a wonderful blessing to me if no one else. And since the Summer I've continued in all of the above and added new "things" to my days. I've taken on the task of learning how to grow my own vegetables in pots for a "apartment garden". Even though I have space now, I might not always. This was a skill I'd wanted to learn for a long time, but just hadn't had the time. I've done A LOT of reading in the Word, books, and of course one of my favorites....magazines.  I've also decided it's my responsibility to use this time to learn skills both practical, spiritual, and physical that will make me a better wife and mother some day. Last but not least I do my best to do for others. I love baking, cooking, crafting, gardening, etc. and while I love doing it I don't want to keep it all for myself. So, I have adored the opportunities to share my creations with family and friends. It's been so good to have the chance to use these talents and pleasures to love on folks that have loved on me my entire life. I also spend time with my grandparents. Sometimes running errands with them or for them and sometimes just hanging out at their house. I've been "gone" for a long time so they love the fact that I can come over any day and stay for as long as I or they want. They also enjoy having Jack Davis around to care for, spoil and love on. Jack knows now that Mamaw will take him for walks and Papaw will rub his belly, both for as long as he'll let them. HA!
Muffins for a sick cousin.
Wreath  that will be a gift.

One of my several plants.

With each day I have learned that if I begin the day by asking the Lord what He would have me do along with asking His blessings on that day, whatever it may hold, my days are extremely fulfilling. It's also been amazing to see how He chooses to provide for me in those days. Whether it's a meal I didn't have to pay for, a fun surprise, a new skill learned, an encouraging word or otherwise. Something always "comes of it" that I didn't start the day expecting. There have been days that by the end of them I wonder how will I ever fit a job back into my schedule ?! I pray that whatever He has for me next it will allow me to continue loving on folks through giving whether it's a baked good for them, their pet or even a home made craft for their door. Whatever it may be, I feel most purposeful when my days are not my own. I've also noticed that when I don't cling to my own agenda it's easier to see "interruptions" as His changing my schedule and His divine intersession. It makes easier to see His movement in my life as a blessing and not a hindrance. To see it as HIS movement in my life and not the worlds intrusion on my life. I pray your days are filled with His purpose and blessings.  I want to encourage you to give Him your day and see what He does with it. I'd love to hear back from you!! 

Summer Fun for the Little Ones - Pre- Planning Tip 9 - FREE FUN

I have several friends with multiple children and the summer months always prove difficult in keeping the kids entertained. It's either too hot to stay out side all day or to expensive to go to the local attractions for a multi-child family. For those dear friends of mine and the those of you I haven't gotten the pleasure to meet here are a few fun, free, and educational events you should look into. Just check out the sites to find a location near you.

1. - Find the closest lego store to you and possibly make a day of it. The first Tuesday of each month (at the Nashville store it's this day- Check the site for the location closest to you for their dates) they do a mini model build. Your child gets to put together a mini lego model and then take it home for free.

2. - National Parks with Junior Ranger Programs:
" Many National Parks offer visitors the opportunity to join the National Park Service Family as Junior Rangers. Interested students complete a series of activities during their park visit, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger badge or patch and Junior Ranger certificate. " Again, a free service offered for your little outdoors men.

3. - A friend of mine did this with his children and they LOVED it. Every other Saturday Lowe's will do a work shop for little ones including the construction and painting of a wood work. My friend took his children in the winter season. The wood work was a train, so each event Saturday they did a different section of the train. At the end having a sweet wooden train to place around their Christmas tree. He has three little girly girls and they loved it!!! They each got a apron, protective eye wear and the wood work for that week for free!!!

I hope that these few little tid bits help as you plan your fun summer activities with your little one's. As I come across more I will be sure to update this blog entry or add another one!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Silence is the Answer

In the midst of spouting out prayers like a wish list to Santa I often find myself shocked when the Lord answers me. It's something that makes me realize how much He truly cares for His children's wants and needs. It also brings to my attention how light heartily I at times come to Him in prayer. While He does care for our every little need, am I fully aware of what I am saying when I come to Him in prayer ?
For the last year I have been praying, researching, applying, & interviewing for a new job. At the beginning of this journey I thought it would be a few months and bang, A new mission in life would be found. Not so, it's been such a incredible and growing journey for me. I still have not come across what the Lord has for me exactly. I'm starting to realize that maybe I'm not thinking on the right things, jobs, careers or ministries. I heard it said the other day that "you're dreams aren't coming true because you aren't dreaming big enough". It slapped me in the face this truth! Maybe my prayers aren't being answered because I'm not praying big enough ? I'm asking God for "just a job", "something to do", "money", etc. Instead of asking Him for whatever He might have for me next. WHATEVER, HE might have for me next not exactly what I ask for next.  He has continued to provide for me in varied ways. I'm so grateful that He does. He has allowed me times of ministry even with out a title of any kind. Whether it be with family, friends or former colleagues.

With each job opportunity that just isn't "IT", it is easy to become discouraged and beat down. But I've started to take these puzzle pieces that don't fit into my life puzzle as good things! Just as much as a "YES, THIS IS IT" would lead you in the right direction, so does the "NO, NOT THIS!". Sometimes the silence is the answer. In His not answering me directly or how I thought He might, He is actually answering me. Just because He is "silent" doesn't mean He isn't communicating. I equate it to having a secret you really wanna tell your best friend, but can't. They know you know something and that you can't tell, but they keep making guesses anyway and you are just about to burst with hints or even the secret cause you want so badly to tell them. I think in this time of searching that might be a little of what God has going on with me. He has this awesome secret and wants so much to let me in on it, but knows that to tell me now would ruin it.

So, I've got to keep guessing. It is my "job" for the moment to keep following after any and all leads into work, ministry and other wise until He lets me in on exactly what He has. It's my RESPONSIBILITY to continue in prayer searching after His will for me. Whatever that might be ?! It's also my responsibility as a Christian to be honest with what he has and is doing in my life each step of the way. I'm so excited !!! Here are a few verses helping me through this time in my life. I hope they are a encouragement to you as well.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Matthew 11: 28-29 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle
 and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will
supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 1:33
But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm.

John 14:27 I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.

Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is
stayed on you, because he trusts in you.


Craft-Tastic - Tip 8

Thanks to the low low cost of the
Dollar Tree

As mentioned many times before I love a home made gift. Whether it's something you've baked, sew, or crafted. I've been waiting to work on my summer wreath till I was in a super crafty mood and maybe for even a rainy day. Today seemed like a good day to begin working on my wreath and a few others. I gathered my supplies most coming from the dollar tree, turned on some crafting tunes, and sat down to get my craft on. I sure did burn my hand multiple times along with dropping the glue gun over and over. With that said, I only completed one wreath. Along with getting a small start on several others.  I got most of my supplies from the Dollar Tree. Which has a crafting page of their own, Dollar Tree Crafting Corner. Again, it doesn't have to cost much to be worth much!!
Today's Finished Product

Supplies For This Wreath
1 Pack of 3 Lei's = $1.00
1 Pack of 3 Flags = $1.00
1 Vine Wreath = $1.00

I plan to finish more wreaths this week and hopefully get them to the people I intend them for soon. I hope they enjoy them as much as I enjoy making them. Here is a small preview of a few wreaths to come. All of this is in the creative process and not at all complete. I'll be sure to add pictures of the finished products once I get them done.

I have a bag of sea shells
from years of trips to the beach.
I saved them not knowing
what I might use them for.
Soon you will see
what I came up with.
Red, White, & Blue beads in the
process of being wrapped and placed.
1 pack of 2 twisted R,W& B
bead necklaces = $1.00 

Gonna be my Fave!
Summer wreath in progress.
1 pack of 3 Pin Wheels = $1.00

Happy Crafting!!!!
What are some of your inexpensive crafts ? 

Tip 7- For all the Bakers

You may have already known this, but I didn't realize it till my latest baking endeavor . So, I thought I'd share this lil' tid bit for others, just in case you didn't already know .  Usually when baking I use a measuring scoop to dollop my dough, batter, etc . into the baking cups or cookie sheet . This usually also includes using a spoon to get all the dough out of the scoop . For me just too many steps to get to the point . In my latest baking time I ended up grabbing the measuring scoop I had used to measure my oil with . It changed everything!!!! Making my dollops easy to transfer from bowl to scoop to baking cup .

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Next time before you toss your oil or butter measuring cup into the dish water wait and use it to transfer your batter . It slides right out perfectly into your baking cup. Making much less mess and fewer dishes to clean after .

Happy Baking!!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just Because It Didn't Cost Much

Sample Size = Travel Size
...............doesn't mean it isn't worth much . I have a friend leaving for a missions trip over seas soon . I wanted to do my part to help her with her mission so, I put my brain into creative / re purpose mode . I don't know about you , but I have more than my share of sample/travel size toiletries . I think as a female we are conditioned to purchase things that come with a bonus . We can't help it . If there is a bottle of lotion that stands alone beside a bottle of lotion with a miniature sized bottle of body wash glued to it we are getting the lotion with the mini bottle . It's against our DNA to do otherwise . Again, if you are like me you keep these mini sized goodies FOREVER in case you travel, run out of your go-to product or just because you can't bring yourself to throw it away.....because it was "free". We all know that travel these days isn't easy . It involves a particular ounce sized container of your every day products, see through bottles, etc . These new restrictions make sample size products PERFECT for travel. Hence making these sample sized products PERFECT for my care packagec.

I used several of my coupon bargains (mentioned HERE) mixed with some free sample sized items adding in the "bonuses" that are tossed in when you buy certain make up and facial items . In my eyes this is a fun and practical care package to encourage my friend and help get her prepared for her missions trip . Hopefully it will save her a trip to the store and a few dollars .  Everything in the package is the size or below the size required for travel . I was careful to put anything that could leak or explode in it's own individual baggie for mailing purposes . I also threw in a protein bar, a few hair bands, band aids, and a couple other odds and ends that one would need in their carry on in case of a lay over or fashion emergency .

I hope this encourages your creativity and helps give you a few ideas
when it comes to your next care package project!
Happy Rainy Saturday from me and Jack !!

 ( Amber if you read this before you get the package just act surprised when it shows up :-0 I hope you enjoy it. Happy Birthday and Happy Travels!! Bring me back a baby elephant. I think it will get along with Jack Davis just great !! )

Thursday, May 10, 2012

His Provision = Our Responsibility

I LOVE A BARGAIN!!!! I don't know when it began, but it's true. And I feel as though once you begin seeing the benefits of coupons/bargaining you won't be able to keep yourself from doing it. Today I found myself with a little bit of time so I went store hopping to use some of my coupons before they expired. I don't usually store hop for deals, but I had extra time today so it was well worth it. Today's trip included odds and ends things that technically could have waited, but since I had the coupons and the stores had deals it really was saving me money in the long run.

Today I had a coupon that equaled a Starbucks brand beverage and bag of candy for free. I had another coupon that when mixed with the stores promotional equaled getting one pack of razors for half price and the other for free. And to top it off I had a $2 . 00 coupon for Jacks kibble making it $4 .00 and it came with a box (not a sample size box I might add) of free treats. All of this costing less than $15 .00. That may not seem like a deal to you, but it does to me. The razors usually cost $7 .00 a pack, the drink is over a dollar a can, the candy is close to a dollar a bag, kibble for a small bag (depending on the store) is anywhere from $5-7 dollars (I always get super excited when I find a coupon for Jacks kibble. It seems they rarely have coupons for it in my local paper)  and the treats cost about $4 .00 a box. I often buy my cosmetics and other toiletries at drug stores due to the fact that they usually have a buy one get one free or half off deal running. When mixing those type promotions with coupons it's hard to find a cheaper way to purchase beauty items.

Another way to save a buck takes less than 5 minutes of your time. SURVEYS!! I know what you're thinking. Don't panic, I'm talking about the surveys at the bottom of a receipt. I currently have about $30 .00 worth of savings in my wallet from surveys that took less that 5 minutes of my time to take. So, before you throw away that receipt check it out first it may have $2 .00 of a pair of shoes, a free GINORMOUS beverage, $10 .00 of your fave lingerie shop or a certain percentage off of a clothing store. Often these discounts can be combined with the stores promotion's or other coupons making your savings even greater. One of the many beauties to these discounts is that they either don't expire or don't expire for close to a year depending on the store.

One more money saving tip from me and then it's your turn to share some tips. In my multiple moves over the years there is always a time of purging. Haven't you ever just wanted to throw it all away and start over the next place you land ? Of course I never give into that urge, but I have begun the process of sorting, sifting, selling, and purging. Some items are of no use to anyone anymore so they get tossed. Some items you have multiples of, so they get sifted/sorted with the extra going to a friend, being repurposed or donated. Some items you will never use/watch/read/listen to, but are of financial value, these items are sold or traded. One of the best things about West Knoxville and Chattanooga is that there is a McKays. McKays is a used book/dvd/cd- etc. store where you can take your gently used or new books/dvd's/cd's-etc to be sold for cash or traded for McKay's dollars. I often trade for McKays dollars because 1.there is always another book, dvd or cd that I'd like to have and 2. they will give you more in McKays dollars than in US dollars.  Since most of their items are new or gently used and are almost half the price you'd pay in the store I see no other way to purchase books and dvd's. To research McKays for yourself please feel free to click on McKays .

Through the years I've grown very convicted over how I spend my money. I believe it is my responsibility to do my best with what the Lord has provided. Whether that is financial or physical provision. Physical provision being clothes, books, jewlery, plants, etc. While at the moment I have only myself and Jack to provide for I may one day have a little family of my own to plan meals, purchase school supplies for, etc. And there's no time like the present to begin honing your providing/planning/budgeting skills. I have many friends that are amazing examples of what I hope to be when I am a wife and mother when it comes to helping provide for my family. One of them is very frugal with their finances. I think of this as a GREAT thing!! She is diligent to be sure she is getting the best deal for her money and her families needs. I absolutely believe that the Lord blesses her and her husbands efforts to be responsible, faithful and aware with what He has given to them.

Now, my friend Cindy is the true coupon-er in our group of friends. She has a baseball card sized binder that she organizes them all in. She also has a blog and has been known to post good spots to find deals, coupons and freebies. You can check out her tips and posts by clicking
So The Cook Said

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your
needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be
 food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty,
 “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and
 pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

Enjoy His Provision!!!

It's Just As Much About the Journey.....

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber it is the destination. As mentioned before I had the chance to do a little road trippin' this past weekend. Celebrated the wedding of two friends, caught up with former colleagues, and spent a great weekend with one of my first college friends and her ever growing family. I'm not sure why, but prior to my trip I had suffered with more than my fair share of anxiety. For months prior to my travel I had been asking the Lord to simply work everything out and make it an easy breezy kind of trip. One of the many things He taught me this weekend was that as sure as we are to ask He is just as sure to answer. The trip to the wedding was surprisingly quick with no pit stops. This is very unusual considering I have the bladder of a small child and usually need a potty break quiet often. I hate it as much as the people who travel with me. This trip just had Jack Davis as a travel companion and he never minds a pit stop along the way. The wedding was beautiful and everyone got their safe and sound. We had a good, but quick time catching up and discussing the events of the day. It's always warms my heart to see two people who have sought after what the Lord would have for them in a mate. Then to see Him answer those prayers with such a perfect pairing.

The second half of my trip was to visit one of my first college friends. We haven't seen each other in at least 4 years, but we talk on the phone ALLLLLL the time. We are a true balance for one another when it comes to the issues of life. Sometimes you just need to talk it all out with someone and she is one of my someones. I'm very lucky to have had friends that stand the test of time. My mamaw always says that while the Lord didn't bless me with siblings He did bless me with some of the best friends a girl could have.  It was so beautiful to get to see my dear friends 3 little girls and spend time with them painting crafts, baking dog treats, and doing their nails. They are super girly and just the kind of kid that Aunt Stacie is made for !
freshly baked dog treats
for Jedi & Jack
Perfectly Painted Nails

Painting Butterfly Banks @ the Outside Craft Table !
They of course loved Jack Davis, I mean, who doesn't ?! My friend and I had such a nice time sitting outside with the breeze blowing, taking a trip to town which was a big deal since she now lives out in the country.and just catching up. It's such a gift to be able to spend time with someone doing nothing. I know that sounds crazy in this gotta be somewhere, always running late, not enough time for everything life that most lead. It's exactly that kind of life that makes being able to just sit together such a wonderful thing.  Another funny thing would be that I would now consider myself a translator. A "Country Speak Translator". Not everyone knows what "ov'r yander", "get", "y'all", "y'uns", "orta", and "reckon" mean. I've realized in this brief time with my city friends who have moved to the country that there should be a book if there isn't already that translates southern, country and down right hillbilly terminology for those who might not be able to decode it. I was glad to know that my country up bringing came in useful for more than just talkin' to kin' folk.

Of course Aunt Stacie got them each a tiara! I mean they
are country princesses now. It's only fittin' they dress like it. :-)
This also reminds me that my great g'ma Hannah ALWAYS
wore an apron. It didn't matter if she was in the garden, sittin' on the porch or cooking.
She always had on her apron.

For my trip home I had decided to take it easy. I mean after all what's the rush ? I was determined to take it all in and appreciate the day the Lord had made. Not even a block down the road from my friends house did I spot a slow moving pal to reassure me that the idea to take it slow was a great one!
He seemed bothered that I
interrupted his walk for a photo shoot.
Once I started out on the road I began to feel extremely sick. The road from where I stayed to the interstate was long and twisty so I knew there wouldn't be any filling stations to pull over at if I got ill. So, I called on the Lord , proclaiming that He knew what was ahead and my hearts desires. Asking Him to help me feel better right in that moment so that I wouldn't be robbed of the beauty of the drive. As soon as I asked, He answered. I've read through the Bible several times and am currently reading through Isaiah. I have yet to reach this chapter , but find it so reassuring that He would bring it to mind from my past readings in my time of need. It was a good reminder for me how important time in the Word is.

Isaiah 30:19 O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.
How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.

The Lord truly answered me upon my asking.  I am so amazed to think He would care enough about my drive home that He would prevent me from feeling any worse. The drive was gorgeous and inspiring. I stopped several times to take pictures with my phone and just to take it in. The beauty of His creation, how it can be so different from one part of the world to the next yet it was all made by His hand. I'm glad I took a moment. After all, who knows when we will pass this way again ?!The drive home was a great time of reflection on the weekend but as well as what the Lord has done in this "journey" time of my life. He is so faithful to us. I am grateful for a God who would provide for our every need and want. A God who is so careful as to plan each step along the path so that we wouldn't worry with it and be able to enjoy the pathway. Every now and then I feel like I'm the only one with faith in His plans and preparation for me. Maybe I am, but maybe that's so others would see my faith in Him and His faithfulness to me, His beloved daughter. While on this trip the destinations where extremely important and the reason(s) I even hit the road to begin with , but it was the journey in between that showed me so much about God's care and plans for me. The time in between is so important. I'm grateful to have this "journey" time to reflect on Him, to learn more about Him, and to hopefully become a better servant to His children and reflection of His thoughtful love.

He has planned ahead.
Jeremiah 29:11~ For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

If we ask He will answer.
Isaiah 30:19 O people of Zion, who live in
Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be
when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.

He cares for me....and you!
 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

″A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~Lao Tzu

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reduce ~> Reuse~> Repurpose Pre-planning Tip 6

Candle fr Bath Shop

For the longest time I've struggled with the idea of throwing away the glass that a candle comes in. I mean, there has to be another use for it right ? Right ! Many 3 wick candles come in the perfect size glass that can be turned into a center piece, candy holder, flower vase, and I'm sure many other things. Recently I decided to go ahead and do my best to reuse my former candle holder. I used a sharp kitchen utensil to remove the left over wax and metal attachment that holds the wick. Then I let the glass soak in hot and soapy dish water for about a hour. I washed them out, dried them off and put them in the cabinet waiting for the chance to use them. Several weeks ago I took them to a party and used them as center pieces filled with candy. I also have used them as flower vases. I hope this lil' tip inspires you to find a new use for something you might other wise have thrown away.

Turned Candy Holder

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Tall Tale for Your Next Road Trip - Pre- Planning Tip 5 (to-go)

Watch for Falling Rock
Long ago I was one of many in a vehicle headed home from the beach. Everyone was tired, sun burnt, and irritable. In our frustrations with one another, the road and our anticipation of getting home our leader at the time thought it might be fun to lighten the mood(and pass the time) with a little story. As I travel I am always reminded of this funny little story with every "falling rock" sign that I see. Today as I traveled I had my friends three beautiful daughters on my mind. These girls are so sweet, smart and beautiful you just can't help but want to help them enjoy every moment in their little world. I didn't have them with me on my trip, but this little story will hopefully get to them the next time they hit the road.

Per my former youth intern and the best my memory can do..............................................................

            Once upon a time before there where cell phones, text messages, e-mail and face book to communicate to one another with there lived a King, King of the Road. This King ruled all the roads leading up and down the mountain side. It was his job to help protect the travelers so they made it to and from their homes safely. He made sure that when the road was steep gravel was laid for traction. When the road was long the way was paved for safe driving. Along with his duties of protecting the travelers of the land this King had the duty of guiding his daughter, Princess Falling Rock. Princess falling rock had an awful habbit of getting caught up in day dreams while out walking in the beautful fields, mountains, and streams that surrounded her home.
            One day the King was out preparing the way for travelers when he got word from the Queen that Princess Falling Rock had gone missing. King of the Road knew his daughter must have gotten lost while out for a walk and day dreaming like she had many times before. The King did not worry, but he did go looking for his dear dreamy eye'd daughter, Princess Falling Rock.

The King looked for her on the mountain tops.
He knocked down tree's to cross the river.
The King called for the Princess everywhere he went, but to no avail. Nightfall was coming soon and the King knew his daughter would be smart enough to take cover for the night. Possibly in a tunnel, cave, or under a tree.
The King had built tunnels to protect her from the rain, wind,
cold and heat if the Princess needed it.

He placed signs along the roads that
would direct her to the right paths.
He also created small walking bridges for Princes Falling Rock
to help her cross over the sometimes cold, wide
and rough river water.
 Last but not least the King of the Road.......................................................
placed these bright signs with Princess Falling Rock's name
on them all along the path to his castle. This way Princess
Falling Rock would know the King was helping to
lead her home.
After following the Kings thoughtfully placed signs the day dreamy Princess Falling Rock returned  home to her parents the King and Queen of the Roads. The King was so happy for the Princesses return he painted the sky with a rainbow to let his faithful travelers know that Princess Falling Rock was home safe and sound.

This is a very rough version of the story I was told. It was the best my memory could do. With today's beautiful drive home I took the opportunity to take some pics to go with it. I hope it gets your creative juices flowing for the next time you hit the road and need a tall tale to tell.

More Pre-Planning tips can be found here , here , here and here ! Please feel free to check them out.