Friday, December 21, 2012

Just this simple truth-

"Our calling is to make the afflictions of Christ real for people by the afflictions we experience in bringing them the message of salvation. Since Christ is no longer on the earth, He wants His body, the church, to reveal His suffering in its suffering. Since we are His body, our sufferings are His sufferings."
- John Piper

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cookies in a jar

Need a last minute teacher or coworker gift? These are great fast easy YUMMY gifts. Chocolate chip cookies in a jar- this is a tried and true recipe my family loves!
I used quart sized jars, put the ingredients in, cut out a paper round to put over the lid, screwed the rings on, tied the instructions to the jar and done.
Here's the recipe:

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Place flour mixture in 1-quart jar. Layer remaining ingredients in order listed above, pressing firmly after each layer. Seal with lid and decorate with fabric and ribbon.

RECIPE TO ATTACH:
PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter or margarine, 1 large egg and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until blended. Add cookie mix and 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional); mix well, breaking up any clumps. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Calendar doodles

I was standing here in my kitchen studying my calendar to plan out my next couple days and I was planning a blog post about my favorite pens when I thought, I wonder if everyone's calendars look like mine? I hope my calendar isn't the only jumbled mess of doodles. One way to know how much time I've spent on the phone is take a gander at my calendar. If its filled with doodles you can bet I've spent more time on the phone that I wanted to. (I hate talking on the phone! But sometimes my jobs demand it) So, this month, I've been on the phone a lot as you can see..... Untitled

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Trying to relax on a sinking ship...keep steady...

I've been very busy lately but there are times when I just need to do something to relax.  I enjoy handwriting and practicing calligraphy.  I journal all the time and I practive in my journals and notes taking. Below are a few of the pages from my most recent journal.

Untitled Untitled Untitled That last one is something my dad and I used to say. Somedays it definitely feels like I'm rearranging furniture on a sinking ship- I struggle with keeping focus on the eternal and not getting hung up on rearranging furniture.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Refinement

Since my father died 32 days ago, (read story here) I have experienced deeper sorrow than I've ever known before. And greater joy than I knew possible.
My God has been so very merciful to allow me to see that my father's suffering was not in vain. God asked my family to walk this incredibly painful path for a reason. TO GLORIFY GOD. and because He asked me to, I would do this...I would walk this path simply because I trust my God and I know He is good. If I never had any answer to WHY, if I never saw here on this earth, why my father had to die, i would still do it... because He asked me to.
But, He has been so merciful to show me some things along the way. Here are a few of the things I am being taught, and refined with.

God is good. And i cant even begin to define that word in terms of God's definition. I just trust that truth. His good is right. And it is different than any good I know or can define.

God asks us to suffer for His glory. This is not something He did not ask even His own Son to do. And if there is ANYTHING i desire to do, it is glorify God in this race because I want my father's suffering to glorify God. I know with all my heart, I have this ASSURANCE, that my father is in Heaven with my God and my father now knows completely his Savior. My father, could he tell me anything right now, I am sure, would be this: "finish well, baby. Finish this race. IT IS WORTH IT."
I told my dad before his surgery Id run this race with him, that Id put on my running shoes and trust my God in this race. I thought my dad would be here and Id be running with him as his support. It turns out, I'm running with my mom and my sisters. And we will run this. And we will honor God. And we will support each other. And we will throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and we will run with perseverance the race marked out for us. And we will fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. We run this race, so that the great cloud of witnesses can see and KNOW THE LORD.

God is merciful to show us glimpses of why. God has allowed us to see the impact of my father's life on other's lives. God has been so incredibly merciful to show us when someone asks about God, desires to know more, or when someone's life has been changed by what they saw in my father. The testimonies that have come from this have been humbling. How incredible our God is to use my father's life to bring souls into heaven!! How incredible my God is to use my father's life to change someone else's, to bring someone closer to God! How MERCIFUL of Him to allow me to find out about those stories! Every time I hear someone say, "my life was changed because of what your father went through" I cry in joy. I am overwhelmed with God's mercy when I hear those sweet words.

God has given me a sweet family, filled with men who love and honor the Lord. what a treasure.

 
 

God gave me a mother and two sisters I'd give my life for, who are my best friends, who love and honor the Lord, who in the midst of unimaginable pain, can lift their hands and worship Him.


My God is teaching me to trust Him completely, that I am a work in progress, and refining can be painful. I am sad when I miss my dad. and I am sad as my will conforms to His because it is painful. growth is painful but His will is right and just and all that I desire.

My sister spoke at the memorial. She honored dad and God in her words.
She spoke these words:

Sandy became a Christian in college. His life dramatically changed and was from that point forward marked by a desire to share the love God had given him with others.  Many of you have seen or experienced demonstrations of his faith and love in your own life. If you were to have ever asked him why, he would have confidently answered Jesus. Only this kind of relationship with Jesus can give us eternal security in heaven.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, if you are not certain of where your eternity will be spent, you can be.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. John 3:16-18

We simply are required to believe Jesus died and shed his blood to cover our sins. You can begin this relationship today. You only need to pray and admit that you are sinful and need a savior.  Thank him for sending Jesus to pay for your sin and guilt. Receive him as your Savior and Lord. Turn from your old sinful ways and serve Christ, trusting that He alone has the power to transform your life

If you would like to talk to someone or have any questions, you may speak to any of Sandy's immediate family. His deepest desire as well as ours is to one day again be reunited with each one of you as we stand before the Throne of God singing "Worthy is The Lamb".
 

My husband led worship. He sang these incredible songs:

In Christ Alone
10,000 reasons
It is well with my soul
Behold our God -
I will rise
Christ is risen

I am blessed beyond words.

From Erwin Lutzer:
What is Christ’s attitude toward our homecoming? Repeatedly in the New Testament, Christ is spoken of as sitting “at the right hand of God.” But there is one reference to His leaving His seat and standing; He is welcoming His servants home. As Stephen was being stoned, we read that “being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).

Thus the seated Son of God stood to welcome one of His own into the heavenly realm. A believer’s death may be unnoticed on earth, but it is front-page news in heaven. The Son of God takes note. He will be there to welcome us!



Saturday, December 1, 2012

free christmas tags

I just love shipping tags and I enjoy handwriting special notes to attach to christmas gifts. I made these today and scanned them in so you could print them on card stock and cut them out. add a little special ribbon and you are good to go!

{click on the download button below each set of tags and print away!}
Christmas Tags Christmas Tags2