Archive | February 2013

Valentine Show and Tell

It’s show and tell time, and I have several things to show you.  Mr. Postman delivered my Valentine packages, so as promised last week, I can now share the results of those crafty inspirations.

First, I thought of my three girls, and their beautiful diamonds, engagement and wedding rings given as a token of love and commitment. I sorted through my jar of buttons, and glued a border on a small picture frame.  I also attached a dangling hook, and wrote a little verse.

Just a little something
Made with love
To hold your diamond ring
While you scrub

photo(6)Won’t these be handy by the sink?

Next, I thought of the four guys.  Hubby and I made a list of character traits for each one.  Then I wrote them on individual construction paper hearts and stuffed them in an envelope.

DSC01338It’s a good kind of heart attack!

I could not leave out our grandson.  He is getting pretty good at putting puzzles together. So I printed a silly picture of Pops and Mema, glued it to cardboard and cut out puzzle pieces.  I don’t know how long the puzzle will last, but I’m sure he’ll be able to put it together at least a couple times.  I can almost hear him exclaim, “Pops and Mema!” as it gets put together.

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Gift giving does not have to be expensive, and there are many things to do or make especially if  one is on a tight budget. I personally enjoy the time it takes to craft a gift, because I also use that time to think of and pray for the recipient.

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”   2 Corinthians 9:7

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Powerful Words

He could have brought me a beautiful bouquet, baked my favorite cheesecake, or any number of gifts, yet none would be as special as the e-card he sent. His message was not one of empty words. It was powerful, filled with love, straight from his heart.

I didn’t even know my husband knew where to find, nor how to send an e-card. I send e-cards frequently and show him what I’m sending, but I cannot recall a time when he sent one himself. For a first time visitor to bluemountain.com or other such e-card sites, the task of selecting, personalizing and sending a card can become quite time consuming.

Before reading the personal message or opening the card, I was touched by the gesture of love and surprise I found in my “In Box”. However, a big lump closed my throat as I read his sweet, personal sentiment. Then tears welled up in my eyes as I read and watched  the slideshow card play.

My husband of 30 years is not a man of frivolous words. Rather, he says what he means and means what he says. He is not usually the first in a group to speak, but listens intently, ponders awhile, and then speaks. That’s why I treasure notes from him. I know he doesn’t scribble something hastily, and he probably read and viewed a dozen e-cards before making his selection.

Can you tell this made me feel loved and cherished? In our society, cutting and sarcastic words seem to be the norm. However, such words, even if intended as jest, often emotionally hurt and tear down. Words are very powerful, and once they leave our mouth they cannot be taken back.

 “Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.” Proverbs 12:28 NLT

 “Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24 NLT

 The Bible is full of instruction of how we should and should not talk to one another. Quickly scan through the book of Proverbs for the key words: tongue, words or speak. There is verse after verse pertaining to what we say whether good or bad, uplifting or deflating, encouraging or insulting. A wise woman often said:

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”

Words are powerful! Choose words that encourage rather than tear down.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”  Psalms 19:14 NLT

Armed with Hearts

It’s that time of year again, and I am armed and on a mission! In case you missed it, last February I wrote about “I Love You” Hearts. Now that Hubby is home from Haiti and Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, it is time for the fun to begin.

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To get started, I made “I Love You” hearts. The first one is staying cold with Hubby’s favorite beverage, which I restocked in the pop frig without him knowing.

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Next, I started an “I Love You Because…” message board on the mud room mirror. I’ll write a new reason why I love him every day.  Dry erase makers work wonderful with little-to-no mess. Just simply wipe off; you don’t even need window cleaner. However, by the end of the week it will be time to use cleaner on the mirror again any way.

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Our mornings begin with coffee, and Hubby is the one who usually gets it brewing. I just finished grinding some coffee beans, loaded them into the coffee maker and left a heart. He’ll be surprised when he lifts the lid.

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Hubby’s old childhood chalkboard has been a fun addition to our office/family room. I often write Bible verses we want to memorize. Today, I wrote a little poem on it expressing my love. He has been in that room most of the afternoon, and has not noticed. Hahaha! 🙂

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Homemade cookies are usually what you’ll find in my kitchen, but once in awhile we get a craving for Oreos. When grocery shopping, I picked up a package of Double Stuffed, and then hand delivered my last “I Love You” heart with this sweet treat.

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This really got me into the Valentine mood to show love. I got creative and put together some packages to send my kids.  I’ll share pictures of the surprises after I know the they have been delivered.

Though February is the shortest month, it can feel really long in the midst of cold and flu season and the unpredictable weather. What better way to bring some excitement into the days than with random acts of kindness and love.

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Romans 12:10 NLT

Be Careful What You Ask For

Patience is a virtue; catch it if you can.

Have you ever had a day that seemed like everyone was pushing your  buttons? A day full of stress? Did you pray God would give you patience? I’ve done that before, and it really didn’t make things any better. In fact, it may have actually gotten a little worse. My prayer went something like this: “God, will you give me patience today.”  I know, I know; some of you are wondering, “What’s wrong with that prayer?” Well, you didn’t read it in the right tone of voice. Read it again, this time with an impatient, exasperated, begging tone. “God, will you give me patience today, PLEASE!”

Over the years, I’ve formed an opinion about patience, and you may or may not agree with me. My opinion is that patience is not merely given; it is taught. (Pause and ponder if you must.) Would you like to know how I figured that out? Okay, I’ll share my enlightenment.

First, I must confess that I am a slow learner.  You see, each time I would pray my prayer of desperation the day would go from bad to worse. It would be one thing after another that would try my patience.  Like I said, I’m a slow learner so it took awhile for me to figure out what was happening. Then, one day, as if a light bulb came on, I realized the days that were filled with patience-challengers were the days I asked God for patience.

Once I recognized the pattern, I began trying to figure out why. I began to realize, I wasn’t striving to attain the virtue, patience. I was just wanting rescued when I was at the end of my rope. That’s when I recalled a phrase I heard over and over as a child. Practice makes perfect. To be a patient person, I needed practice. Whenever, I asked God for patience, He made sure to give me plenty of opportunities to practice.

Over the years, I have learned to attain patience, I must be teachable and willing to practice being patient. Now when I have a trying day, I try to remember this is my opportunity to practice this virtue. When I am patient, I show love. In 1 Corinthians 13 it says “Love is patient.”

Remember, be careful what you ask for. If you ask for patience, you will be given opportunities to practice.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”   Ephesians 4:2 ESV

Praying for Haiti

Oh what a Saturday! Hubby is in Haiti so I’ve been holding down the fort. I thought I was getting a good start by heading out to chore before 8:00 this morning. However, by the time I hauled bales for cows and heifers; loaded the water tank, filled it and then emptied into the bulls’ tank, and got the cows off the stubble field it was nearly noon. For some reason these tasks take me longer than for Hubby. I didn’t mind though. It was such a beautiful morning, and I thoroughly enjoyed the serenade of birdsong.

When I got back inside, I was delighted to find an email from my Dear Husband. He and 3 others arrived in Haiti Tuesday evening. The primary job is helping some Haitians build a roof for one of their churches. Wednesday they assessed the church and put together a materials list. The following is a portion of Hubby’s email this morning:

They got the metal to build roof trusses, but had nothing to cut it with.  We looked for a metal blade for  a circular saw but could not find any, I’m not sure there is such a thing, but we were hoping so.  We ended up getting some hacksaws and cutting the metal by hand.  Maybe next time we’ll bring a sawzall and a bunch of metal blades.  There were several men from the church there helping so it really was not too bad.  They said they will have a welder there today.  At least that is how we understood them.  If so we should be able to get some trusses built.  I keep reminding myself we are here to help work WITH the local people , not do it For them. 

Sounds like they are off to a good start. I’ll be eager to hear how much can be done before Hubby comes home.

Over the next several days, I’ll continue to feed the cattle, but more importantly I’ll be praying for my brothers and sisters in Haiti.

I fall to my knees and pray to you, Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from your glorious, unlimited resources you will empower these dear people with inner strength through your Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in their hearts as they trust in him. May their roots  grow down into your love and keep them strong. And may they have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep your love is. May they experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then they will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from you. Now all glory to God, who is able, through your mighty power at work within them, to accomplish infinitely more than they might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Taken from Ephesians 3:14-21)