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Archive for the ‘Making a Difference in Others’ Lives’ Category

I don’t recall how long ago I found these dishes – probably at least six. They’ve stayed tucked away in my private picture folders, awaiting their chance to be really loved. And I do love them.

Ah…what it would be like to sit down of an afternoon and enjoy tea in the company of this striking pattern. I can only think it would make mundane tasks more enjoyable, and, perhaps, make writing even more fun. Someday…

The morning’s coffee would not be amiss in these mugs:

The strawberries on a black ground have given me several useful ideas about how to integrate various decorating ideas I have for my kitchen, which I haven’t been able to pull together. More on that, later.

Note: I do not know what the name of this pattern is. If you do, won’t you please tell me?

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Several years ago, my sister had a telepathic experience with a blanket that belonged to one of her five small boys. She noticed that Child #4 was constantly carrying his blanket with him, even when he was pretending at sword fighting or excavating holes in the yard. It would be over his shoulder, and on the ground nearby, or tied about his waist, and she was concerned because he had really not shown such clingy behavior with a blanket before, and certainly not for some while.

She began to pray about it, and one day was surprised to hear the blanket tell her, through words in her mind, that it stayed with him on account that it didn’t like being in the dark in the closet…where he had put it more than once when he decided he was done with it. So it had asked to stay with him, and the boy had given it permission to tag along.

I don’t know whether the blanket itself was in some way afraid to stay by itself in the dark closet, or whether perhaps these were the boy’s feeling projected onto it. I do know this incident started a change in our thinking…for the better. It confirmed what I had always felt – that even “inanimate” objects deserve respect and compassion.

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1) Embroider where desired on pictures 2) Embroider with fancy stitching around patches (look up stitches in blue sewing book) 3) Embroider with fancy stitching at some of denim seams 4) Put together front and back, with yellow sheet center 5) Tie off prettily with full strands of embroidery floss

This project has been sitting in my “mending and sewing project” cupboard for several years, partly out of a necessity to attend to other projects, and partly because I discovered too late that the inherent fragility of this quilt is no match for Tyger’s energy and curiosity.

I still intend to finish this…maybe for a wall hanging, instead of a quilt. Anyhow, it’s desired, but not urgent. I am posting this here so that the project is made official, and my subconscious can get all the disappointments and details worked out, and I’ll someday wake up and know that now I can finish it.

 

 

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Click here for the main dining room feature.

August, 2014 – Painting the Walls and Ceiling –

As you can see, I finally got my dining room painted. A long-time internet friend whom I’d never met came with his girlfriend in July, for a long visit. It was the nicest time I’d had in years, and provided a much-needed lift to my soul. Richard hates to come to anyone’s home empty-handed, so had asked me what sort of gift I’d prefer. He was thinking about a sword, since we both enjoy weapons, and have done some collaborations on fantasy and sci-fi stories. I told him this would be wonderful…but what seemed more necessary is paint for my house. I had already researched the possibilities, and so the trip to the paint store was an easy and pleasant one.

Much plaster and electrical work needed to be done before painting could begin:

Much of the updating of electricity in the house had already been done, but some things needed tweaked, and we added a couple light fixtures. Billy, above, learned quite a bit about electrical installation techniques and plaster repair from a grandfather with much experience.

Next came the painting itself:

Here are the results:

Copy of Aug10-21, 2014 763Since the painting was finished, the house has been cheerful even in dark winter. Also, the walls are a breeze to wash now, and I can sponge-mop the ceiling in 15 minutes, eliminating smoke build-up from the wood fires.

I left the north wall bare for now, as it is going to be wallpapered. The trickiest part of the whole painting process was measuring to get the blue background (same shade as the ceiling) just so behind my set of shelves, without its sticking out beyond the shelves, but not leaving a yellow rim inside, either. (The house is nowhere near square or level.) I am very pleased with it. I have many blue-themed dishes, and it suits just right. I am thinking of repeating this effect in the kitchen cupboards, but am not sure yet. I’ll think on it a bit.

(The bookshelf near the stove was moved before we used the stove again in the early fall.)

November 27, 2014 – Picture and Project Wall –

Nov.12-Jan15 2015 307This is part of our homeschooling method. It is our “bulletin board” for all kinds of things – famous speeches and portraits; maps; Scripture verses to memorize; anything that helps with planning art projects (such as the printouts of willow trees, which I am studying for a mural elsewhere); and animals that are beautiful or fascinating. Also, sometimes, we add things that are on our to-do lists – rockets to build, flowers to plant, special foods to try. It is a lot of fun, and many of the pictures get changed every two weeks or once a month, so there is always plenty of variety. I make a point of adding poetry, too, and information on the arts, as we all enjoy exploring many fields of thought.

Autumn Leaf Project –

I had read in an old kindergarten projects book that one could take preserved leaves, and make decorations by ironing them between sheets of waxed paper. So early in the year – the preceding Christmas, in fact, we had begun to save leaves, pressing them between paper towels in various large books. The kids collected throughout the spring and summer any leaves which caught their fancy, and when fall came around, we had a good selection from which to choose. I took ordinary sheets of waxed paper, arranged the leaves however it seemed good (with the kids’ input), laid another sheet on top – waxiest sides together, as the two sides of the paper are not identical – and went over them briefly with a medium-hot iron. They tape to the windows easily with Scotch tape. In bright sunlight, the arrangements look like stained glass. At night, they become opaque, but are still interesting.

When we were finished with the arrangements, toward late winter (it is essential to have colorful things up during the darkest part of the year), we laid them away in a box, ready for another time.

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The attic turned out to be a magical place for me. I had looked at the original 1928 house blueprints enough to discover that it was supposed to include two bedrooms and a small sewing room. A nice thought, but not applicable to my situation. I am still working on getting a floor in it, piece-meal – at least plywood platforms on which I can begin to build my idea of a sewing/craft workroom. I have attained nice but discarded kitchen cabinets for storage and organization of fabrics, yarns, patterns, etc. –

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Right now, I have boxes of quilting goods, buttons, etc., just sitting, trying not to get too dusty –
Wedding and Family Camp 020

I would like to fix up the whole space so that it is pleasant to leave half-finished projects out, as well as planning a guest space. I love the exposed wood, so would like to insulate the room from the roof-side. I will probably have to install a small heating stove of some kind (in the west window alcove, which could be a cozy sitting or reading area), so am praying for God to show me the right choice on all these things.

The windows all need repair and/or replacing upstairs, but there were surprisingly few raccoon droppings among the joists. We had to simply board over one for now, on the north, but this will be remedied in time.

All in all, I didn’t get the attic cleaned up for the first year we were here, but eventually got the boxes and other trash burned, and we blew in cellulose insulation between the joists and into the lower walls…all except for above the east room on the ground floor, as much of the ceiling and walls needs replaced there, due to mold damage.

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I am thinking of doing murals of some sort on the stairwell walls, and have been thinking of ways to tidy it up so it eventually will look complete…not like a pit. Will probably install a rail.

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January 24th, 2010 – Information Overload

This morning I had a conversation with the Lord about my inability to remember everything I’ve ever learned.

That may sound silly, but it’s a big deal to me. I hate the idea that I’ve studied and read and discussed and contemplated on thousands of subjects, and either can’t remember two minutes after what my conclusions were, or can’t remember that I even “met” the ideas.

The moment came when I knew that I couldn’t keep on in this way, and that I had to go to the Lord about it.

A friend helped convince me.

Stack of Books on Table in LibraryOld Tattered Books on a Shelf

A craving for knowledge. So much to remember, so little memory! I feel in love with so many topics, but they don’t seem to love me.

Riley Helps Me Understand the Problem

Riley had come by to help me find the root of my angst, and, after several minutes, announced, “You have a major block. It says, ‘Access is Forbidden.’

Just like a computer site, I thought.

“Yes,” he agreed.

I had already been dealing, moments earlier, with a physical aversion to touch, and we initially both thought that this block must have to do with this aversion. My body would not accept that it was okay to relax under touch – any touch, any type. This had naturally been a point of contention between my husband and I, and Riley and I had spent much time dealing with it already.

Now, it seemed to be a matter of course that I had planted this block about touch. But then Riley said, “It’s been there at least three years.”

Three years, I thought – shortly after my daughter’s birth. Did it then have something to do with physically healing from the pregnancy and birth? That did not ring true with my spirit. Did it have to do with a particular event, consciously forgotten by me? No, this was not so.

Suddenly, I knew: it had to do with information in general. Any information, of any kind, from anyone. This block was something I had planted in efforts to keep myself from becoming overwhelmed by information. The nature of this block explained perfectly why I could concentrate so far, and no more – not another thought, not another fact, not another sentence. The block was a self-protective measure.

The problem was, physical touch had automatically been locked into the category of “Too Much – Access Forbidden.” My brain and emotions were regularly loaded to the max, and physical touch found in me no resting place.

Riley double-checked all this against the Truth he felt from the Lord, and agreed it was so.

We went to Christ about it.

Christ Explains About Computers

As soon as we came within hearing distance (our spirits in close contact with the Lord, our minds’ eyes seeing our risen Lord as it were, physically), Riley said, “She has an information block. We don’t know how to rid her of it…or if it even should be gotten rid of.”

Christ tilted his head for silence and said to me, “Look at my eyes.”

“That is a hard thing to do, Lord,” I said, willing but feeling incapable.

“I know,” He said. “But do it.”

I did.

I found that I was barely able to let Him have my gaze. His gentleness, His wisdom, His worth and power pierced me through, but I hung onto His will and looked.

He said, “I didn’t mean you to remember everything. You weren’t designed to.”

I could accept this as truth, but my spirit was discomfited. “Then why, Lord, do I have this overwhelming desire to remember and know and be able to retrieve instantly everything I ever saw or read or thought…and am so frustrated when I can’t?”

He dropped his gaze from mine, releasing me to myself, then said, “I have put eternity in the heart of Man. This was My design. But you have a physical, temporal body. It isn’t meant to hold everything. One day, you will be able to know and remember more, but now is not that time.”

I felt disappointed, but ready to continue to listen.

He went on, “I am like the greatest computer ever able to exist – I have the most memory, the greatest capabilities. I can do anything that is allowed by Love, I know everything, I see everything, I hear everything, I remember everything. But you don’t – nor were you meant to. You’re like a small handheld computer.” I saw something the size of a Blackberry in Christ’s palm. “You are mine to use to store and retrieve and send certain information, but not everything.”

Flip Phone Small is big enough for God. I’m a small computer for God’s work.

I felt a certain comfort in knowing that I was indeed a tool in Christ’s hand – that I apparently had functioned correctly in being part of His plan for influencing the world.

“One of these days” – I knew He meant at His side, in eternity, after all His enemies were put down, and He was made in fact the true and forever King of Kings – “one of these days, you will be bigger; your physical body, your brain as it is now, your capabilities, will not matter the way they do now. In that day, you will be able to remember as you would like. But for now, you aren’t meant to be that full. There are certain things I have given you to remember, and the rest belongs to others.”

This was beginning to make comforting sense to me. I listened intently as He said:

“You are overfull right now.” What He meant was, You have squandered the capacity I gave you.

I asked, “Then how do I fix this? What can I do about it?” I felt as if I couldn’t change my desire to know, and couldn’t imagine being able to just let things go. I pictured reading great books on history and science and theology and the arts, and felt despair at having to forego any of that information.

Christ’s voice became very low, and so gentle, I knew He spoke a sorrowful rebuke: “You have never asked Me what things belong.” He paused. “You have never asked Me to fill you with what I want you to know.”

Aha! When I had asked Him, just last night, in what area I had tempted Him with my unbelief, He had said, “Your reading.” I hadn’t understood then, and though He had said that I hadn’t allowed Him to control it as I ought, I knew I hadn’t taken His meaning. Hadn’t I asked Him, Which book next? Hadn’t I paused frequently, meditating on what I read, asking, What would You like to do with this in my life?Yet He had said that I had shunned Him in my reading.

Now I understood.

I knew what I had to do. “Lord, would You please then delete the files that don’t belong? And restore or install those that should have been retained, and weren’t?”

Delight suddenly flooded His face. “I’ve been waiting so long for you to ask this,” He said.

I had given joy to my Lord! I had done it – I had pleased Him!

I had begun before now to feel as if I could do nothing but grieve Him.

He performed the deletions and installations in a few seconds, and while I felt somewhat scattered and flighty while preparing breakfast, I also felt at peace, and joyful – a truly rare thing for me. I felt as if I could learn to pay attention to the important things in life, like my husband’s thoughts, and my children’s hearts, instead of feeling too full to even think about anything beyond their physical necessities.

I knew I could go forward in life now, and that the block no longer said, “Access Forbidden”. It asked now for a password, and if a thought had Christ’s Name upon it, it would go through, and be of use to me.

 

 

As this article was originally published elsewhere, I include a few comments below:

I like the comparison of man to a machine, a gestalt created by and functioning on a more physical and concrete level. It seems to resonate with purpose, showing how human beings are creations free of mysticism and with a very real purpose.

Also, I can sympathize with you in wanting to know everything and retain it. There’s a story about my family back when it was called “Faith” in which a matriarch I’m directly related to was accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. I believe she claimed she was guilty of the crime, and so was not put to death, but there was so much more to the tale that I can’t remember and my great-grandparents took with them to their graves. No one else knows. And I think it tragic in the extreme that it was lost.

Though I’ve had no encounters on the subject, my philosophy is that the burning need in me (and many of us) to remember was present from the moment of my creation, and therefore must be in God’s intent and with His blessing. I often think that we were given this need to remember something whispered to us at birth, something of great importance, and so we spend the rest of our lives in thoughtful forgetfulness, wanting to remember what advice God gave us.

But I could just be off my rocker. I dunno. 🙂 – Jarn

Jarn, that’s a beautiful thought: that God told us each something at birth (or before), and because it was so important, we crave to remember it with all our beings. I think this important whisper is probably what we would call our core Dream, or calling in life – the specific thing that God created us to do, which no other person can accomplish in the same way.

Or, it could be that He says: “I love you. I gave everything for you. I want you to stay part of my life. Please don’t forget Me.”

What do you think? – Me

Thanks for share your thought about this. I think you have good spiritual side. keep it up. – Prasetio30

Prasetio, you’re welcome, and thank you for the encouragement. – Me

ButterflyWings,

This was a lovely hub, and I thank you for writing it. The years go flitting by, and I think of questions I have had, of things I want to know that have never yet found a place in my schedule, and I think, too, of the years of eternity. I have had the distinct impression that some of those “years” will be spent in knowing and delighting in the things we could not take in here. Will I get to see Ireland, Scotland, and Romania then, if I never get to see them during this life? I do not know, but I do know that the Lord says that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart.

I liked Jarn’s thought too, about the Lord whispering to us. – LiftedUp

LiftedUp,

I have wondered, if we were able to truly grasp what eternity means, and if we were able to understand how deeply the Lord wants us to enjoy Him and what He has made, whether we would be more apt to calm down and concentrate on fewer things.

I know I, like you, am looking forward to seeing places I’m not likely to get to visit in this phase of existence. And even if that’s not God’s idea of fun for me (I’ll have His thoughts fully then, I am convinced), I know I’ll be blown away by what He does have planned.

Thank you for reading. – Me

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