Monday, December 7, 2015

My Christmas Tree

Good morning Y'all!!!     It is a bright sunshiny day this morning and I am loving it.  Hope y'all are too.     Got to get busy here in a little bit, but I wanted to share a bit with y'all today before I do get busy.     We had Christmas caroling last night at church and it was fun.    We split up into four groups and went to four different nursing facilities.   We had an awesome time and all the people enjoyed it.    It was a blessing for them and us.

A couple of weeks or so ago I took on a mini craft project for my craft room.     I wanted to share that with y'all.    I took a few pics of what I made and what hubby got me for early Christmas present.
I ordered a couple of those four tiered whirly thingies from Harbor Freight.     One of my friends on Google+ was telling some of us about it and I knew I needed to have some.     So, thanks +Penny Duncan , I am sure the stock for HF just went up a bit.   hahaha    They hold tons of stuff and it's all at your finger tips.    Yay!!!
Next, I took a couple of small boxes and cut the flaps off them and covered them with zebra contact vinyl.    Love that stuff.   Then I took  paper towel rolls and  cut them in half and covered just the first inch or so , inside and out, with the contact vinyl and then glued them inside the boxes to store tools and pens and markers and stuff in.
You have to put the whirlie thingies together, but it's not hard, just time consuming.

This is what it look like down in the boxes.   I really like them a lot.    I believe it was +Sylvia Tabor over in the Google Kraafters Kommunity who showed us how to make these holders with empty paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls.
Here, you can see the tall ink pad storage.   I used a couple of boxes that I get peanut butter crackers in at Walmart.   I get those to put in hubby's lunch box for work and they are perfect for ink pad storage.   I took pizza boxes and cut them down to size and made shelves and I can get 19 ink pads in each one.   I will get a couple more of those made in the future.     This really cleaned up a big big mess on my work desk.   I am so thrilled about that.

My Christmas Tree

What if I asked you to decorate a Christmas Tree and put only things on it that would describe you, your relationship with Jesus and your relationship with others.    Could you do it?     Would you do it?    I was sitting in church service Sunday morning and as the Pastor spoke, I was concentrating on his sermon and all the time I kept getting this mental picture.     Do any of y'all ever get that mental picture that you just can't get out of your head?    I do.    Sometimes mine is an all out comedy skit of something that he is preaching on.    Yeah, I know, only I could find the humor in some of the things that he preaches on and, by the way, every bit of it is scriptural.    I just have say that I know God has a very good sense of humor, because He gave me a pretty good one, if I do say so myself.    So, I can actually blame it on Him, right.    Anyway, as he was speaking, I kept seeing a Christmas Tree in my mind.    I finally just had to ask God what that was.     Well, it was a Christmas Tree that was decorated with things that represented my relationship with Jesus and the people in  my life.     I didn't get a really clear image of it though.     I was so intrigued by the idea that I thought I would try to mentally decorate a Christmas Tree for y'all and describe it as I go.

So, first off it would have to be a Cedar Tree.   A Cedar tree never looses it branches and it stays green all the time.     It will grow in places that a lot of other trees can't.   It has a smell that only the cedar tree has.    I love the smell of cedar.     As a small child, I would pick up cedar shavings and smell them.    I would actually rub them on my nose and sleep with them and get them tangled in my hair.    Anyway, that's what we always had growing up and I remember all the fun I had when I got to help decorate it.    Sometimes, I would get to decorate it more than once if it fell over.     hehehe      Redecorating is not as fun as it was to decorate it the first time.    So, Cedar Tree it is. 

Next I would put lots of colored lights on it.     I do love the clear lights, but I am a colorful person and I love lots of color, so colored lights it is.    God didn't say anything about colored lights or clear, He just said to let our light shine for others to see.    And we are not to put our light under a bushel, but to have it out and shining bright.   So, I do believe a lot of colored lights on my tree would be seen.    So, colored lights, it is.

Next, for garland, I might string some popcorn and put that on my tree.     Most everyone likes or loves popcorn.     It does smell wonderful when it's popping.     What is the first thing you smell when you go to the movie theater?     Yeah, popcorn.    The smell of it is inviting and pleasing.    Have you every thought about popcorn?    It takes a lot of heat, to make that kernel of corn transform into something that is so delicious.    It has to "go thru the fire", so to speak, for it to be transformed into something that we love so much.     Guess what, we have to "go thru the fire" also, to be transformed into something useful that God can use.    Notice I said "go" thru the fire to be made into useful.    If popcorn stays in the fire too long, it goes from delectable to detestable in just a matter of seconds.    Sometimes we take our eyes off the popcorn and it burns.    God will never take His eyes off us and He goes thru the fire with us.     We are never alone.     So, popcorn it is.

Next comes the decorations.     First, I think I would want a box of crayons.     They represent the big box of 64 that I had as a child.    I loved those crayons and the many hours of pleasure they brought me.    They also represent the fact that it's ok to color outside the lines.     Our artistic skill, love and abilities come  from God, so I will embrace my artistic side with the crayons.    Next, I think there would be some big beautiful colorful buttons scattered about on my tree.     I have always loved buttons.    I learned to count with buttons.     I always loved to play with buttons while Mom was sewing.    Buttons are very useful.    They hold stuff together.    They can be plain and be useful.    They can be very ornate and still be just as useful.    So, a few buttons goes on my tree, just to make sure I stay buttoned up and together.     Next, I would want at least eight different cookie cutters hanging on my tree.       Six to represent the guys in our house; dad and five brothers. Then two to represent mom and me.     Cookies was always a special treat.     I would want them all to be different, because we are all different.    God made all His children different, so mine would have to be different too.

Next I would want some glass ornaments.    Glass ornaments of all different shapes colors and sizes.    God made us in His image in all different shapes colors and sizes, but none the less, all still in His image.     The glass represents how fragile we are.   If not handled correctly, they shatter.     So do we, when we are not handled correctly.    

Next, I would have 36 small gold wedding rings hanging on my tree for all to see.     Those would be as a reminder of the all the Christmases my husband and I have spent together.     Representing all the good times and the bad, knowing that God was in the midst of it all.      With the hopes of adding many more as each year rolls around.     The circle also represents the un-ending love that God has for His children.   Yes, a few gold wedding bands it is.     

Next, I would want a few beautifully decorated acorns.     Those remind me of times when my husband and I have gone on acorn hunts and found some really big acorns.    I bake them in a low temp oven (to kill any insects or eggs that may be in them) for a couple hours, and turn the oven off, leave them over night and the next day they are ready to decorate.     From a small acorn comes the mighty oak.     They grow really tall on the upside of the ground.     On the underside, where we can't see, they put down really deep roots!      So, I want to represent Jesus Christ well when you see me, but I also want to know that I am firmly rooted in Christ.    The roots are very important when the storms of life come thru, they determine whether you survive it.    Everything above ground can be damaged, but as long as the root system is ok, the tree can come out of it.    I may be shaken, but if I'm rooted in Christ, I can survive any storm.

Next, I think I would like to have some trumpets on my Christmas Tree.    I have a few now, and when I do decorate, I love using them.     I love the sound of the trumpet.    Of course, I couldn't make a sound come out of one if my life depended on it.    But, I do enjoy the sound of them.     And I do keep my ear pealed, listening for the great trumpet blast that will take place when Jesus comes again.     So, yes I will have a few trumpets.      Next, I would have to have one small broken ornament on my tree.     Why that, you ask?     If we are honest with ourselves and God, we are all broken, in some way.     That's what sin does, it causes brokenness, and we can't fix it.     God can and does when we come to Him with our sin.    So, that one small broken ornament would be a reminder to me, that although it is broken, it is still loved and useful.    God can use each and every one of us, even with our brokenness, to His benefit and glory.

Next, y'all know I love me some purple!     If you don't, it's not because I haven't told ya!  hahaha     Yeah, I think I would have some purple scraps of fabric on my Christmas Tree.     Why just scraps of fabric?     I am reminded of Lydia.    The lady from the Bible.     She was a seller of purple cloth and she also loved the Lord.     Purple is a symbol of royalty.     Since I am a daughter of the Most High God, I think just a few purple scraps would do me well on my tree.     Next, I think I would have to have me some pearls on my tree.     Pearl is my birthstone and fittingly so.      Pearls are the result of an irritation that takes place in the oyster.     Think about how bad an ulcer hurts, that's about similar to the kind of irritation that produces a pearl.     The Bible speaks of pearls as having great value.     The gates of Heaven will be made from pearls.    Each gate will be made from one large pearl.      That's one large source of irritation for each pearl!!!      One of my very dear friends and I have special names for each other.     She is Pearl Love, because she is the epitome of Love, Gods love!!!!      I am Pearl Joy.     My Joy comes from the Lord.      There is also scripture that says not to cast your pearls before swine.      So, pearls it is.

Next I would have to have to have a ladybug on my tree.    The red one, that is.     Who doesn't love a ladybug.     Scientists done an experiment on ladybugs a few years ago and found out they are possibly the strongest creature on earth.    They can pick up over 600 times their own body weight with those little suction feet of theirs.    Pretty amazing, huh!    They are very strong little buggers.    The ladybug would represent my mom, one of the strongest people I have ever known.    That's what I call my mom sometimes too.     Next, I would have to have a little sweet pea flower on my Christmas Tree.     They are a small, dainty flower; everything that I ain't!   hahaha    The wild ones found in nature are usually purple, woohoo.     They do smell good.     They are considered to be a good gift.    They represent "good fortune", so I say that my good fortune can be found only in what Jesus Christ has done for me.    This is what my mom calls me sometimes too.    So, sweet pea it is.

Next, I love to have candy canes shaped like a shepherds staff.     The shepherds staff reminds me that the shepherd looks after his sheep.     Shepherds were the lowest of the low, but God chose them to announce His plans to that night in the fields while watching their sheep.    Wow, talk about a chosen group of men that night!     The shepherds staff was a useful tool to.     Sometimes he has to use his staff to get one of the sheep that may have fallen in a crevice or something like that.  He can just reach out and pull a sheep back to where it belongs.    But the shepherd always has his sheep's best interest at heart.     The sheep knows the shepherds voice, the shepherd knows the voice of his sheep.     So it is with Christ as our Shepherd, He always has our best interests at heart.     Next, I think I would need a few heart shaped ornaments on my tree.    The heart represents great love.     We see the heart of Christ form the beginning to end of the Bible.     We also have learned to love, because Christ loved us first.    Sometimes it is hard for us to love as Christ loves.    But He has taught us to love others, even our enemies.     So, I will have a few hearts on my tree as a reminder to love others.  

When I get it all decorated with all the different ornaments and items I want on my tree, there's just a couple of things left.     I would take a few hands full of glitter and toss it on the tree.     Why glitter?     It sparkles, it shines, and it shimmers!!!!     It makes you smile when you see it.     If you get close enough to someones glitter, you get it on you.    It's a reminder that you was with that person and enjoyed time spent with them.      I can just imagine how the streets of gold are gonna glimmer, sparkle and shimmer.     So glitter, it is.

Last but not least, by any means is the tree topper.     My tree topper would be a Cross.     The symbol of what Christ has done for me and who I am in Him.     It would not have to be the finest Cross ever made.      I'll gladly take a rough cut, precariously nailed cross for my tree topper.     The Cross was not ever meant to be a thing of beauty.    The only way the Cross becomes a symbol of beauty is when it represents the transformation that has taken place in my life as a result of the finished work of Christ on the cross.    If you see someone wearing a cross, ask them what it means to them.     See if it means the same thing to them that it means to you.    If not, share with them what the cross represents to you.    So, a Cross it is for my topper.

There you have it.    A Cedar Tree, colored lights, popcorn, crayons, buttons, cookie cutters, glass ornaments, acorns, gold wedding rings, small broken ornament, trumpets, purple fabric scraps, pearls, a lady bug, a sweet pea flower, shepherd staff candy cane, hearts, glitter and a cross.     These are the things that would make up my Christmas Tree to describe who I am.

What would you use to describe who you are?       Think about it.     When I got done putting everything down to describe my tree, then it all came into focus and this is exactly what I saw when my Pastor was preaching Sunday morning.      His sermon was about what came from Bethlehem, such a small and obscure little town.  How in the world I got this from his sermon, I'll never know.      Other than it just being what I call a God "thang".     I do have to say that I am quite pleased with my Christmas Tree.     I hope you will do the same thing this Christmas season and share your Christmas Tree with those around you.

I pray everyone has an awesome day.    Share Christ where ever you go, what ever you do.    You won't regret it.     Ladybug, I pray you have a wonderful day and hope I get to see you soon.    Sweet pea loves you so much!!!!

I hope y'all will come back real soon to check out what I have been up to.     Would love to hear from you too.    Till next time, God loves y'all and so do I!!   hugs, Patty

Friday, December 4, 2015

Happy "Belated" Thanksgiving

Good day Y'all!    Did y'all have a Happy Thanksgiving?    I hope and pray that the Thanksgiving season hasn't stopped for you.    At church, for the month of November, we was challenged to take time every day of the month and thank God for something every day.    I always do every day anyway, but it was so much more meaningful and purposeful when I do it with an attitude of gratitude.    Thanking God for the things that I don't even think about as being blessings from God.    Hot water, clean clothes, shoes on my feet, tooth brush, soap, dishes, a pillow, heat on a cold morning, a comb, food, a lamp.................are you thankful for any of those?    There are oh so many more things that could be listed.    What about the fact that you woke up this morning?    Did you get out of bed?    Can you walk?    Can you speak?    Oh, is your heart beating?     What about those, are you thankful?    I sure I am!!!

I am so thankful to God that He is in control!!!!    No matter what takes place, we must seek God first.     I don't like it when someone asks me, "What's your opinion of whats happening in the world right now?"    The only opinion that matters to me, EVER, is God's opinion, about anything!     God tells us in His Word that there will be troubles in the last days.   My heart breaks for all the pain and hurt that has gone on and that will continue to go on as long as people have the desire to hurt and terrorize other people.    I just have to know that God sees it all and knows what is happening.    This stuff will keep happening because evil is a reality in the world in which we live.    And sadly, some people have CHOSEN evil over good!     God's Word tells us to beware of wolves in sheep's clothing.    He also says that this world is not our home.    The enemy does all he can to take our focus off God.    We must remain dependent on God in every way and focus on Him!!!     God wins!!!!!!     For that, I am thankful!!!!

The spirit of Thanksgiving still holds true on what ever day it is.     We should always start our day thanking God and praising Him for life itself!    And thanking Him for all the blessings of the day!!!!     As we go from the Thanksgiving season and carrying our thankfulness over in to the Christmas season, let us remember what the Christmas season is supposed to be all about........the Birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!!!!     King of Kings and Lord of Lords!!!!!

The secular festivities used to mean a whole lot more to me than they do now.     All the decking of the halls and silver and gold and the lights and sights to see are really beautiful, no doubt at all that it is beautiful.     But, what stirs the depths of my soul is to see the beauty in the manger scene, no matter how simple it is or how large and fine it is, it stirs up Holy Spirit in me and we just have to get our worship on!!!!

A night or so after Thanksgiving I was coming home from somewhere out town, and in the front yard of a home along the street was a very simple manger scene.     It had a spot light on it.    It looks to be about 3 feet tall, the tallest piece and spread out over the front lawn in about 10-15 pieces and it looks to be cut from wood of some sort and spray painted white.     It is such a BEAUTIFUL sight coming down the avenue!!!!!     I just start praising God that someone put that out.     It really stirs my soul to see it and I pray that everyone that sees it will have the same experience that I have when looking upon it.     I want to get a picture of it in the dark and post it to show y'all.     It is breath taking!!!!

So back in October, I went up to my mom's and went to church with her on a Sunday morning and spent the day with her.     We had a terrific time.     I had kinda surprised her and in reality, it was a surprise to me too.    Pleasant for both of us.     She had asked me to come and go to church with her, but I just hadn't been feeling up to going and didn't want to get her hopes up and then not feel like going.    So, on Saturday night, I just prayed about it and left it in God's hands.    If I felt like going, I would know it was what He wanted me to do.     I woke up on Sunday morning, and to my joy and happiness, I felt like going.    Before I headed out, I called mom and asked her what she was doing.    "Getting ready for church, what are you doing?"     "Me too" I said.     Then I said, "With you".     And she squealed with joy, and said "Really?"     I said "Yes"!      She was so excited and I was too after I heard her reaction.  

It was hat Sunday.    Now, I don't wear hats on Sunday morning, or any other time for that matter.   I don't have a hat head.     I have a big head and it takes a big hat to fit a big head!    Seriously!!!!     She said I could come on anyway and she would make me stand in a corner when we got to church.     hahahaha     I was heading to a corner, but both back corners was already filled with flags; the Flag of the United States in one corner and the Christian Flag in the other corner.     I was saved by the flags!!!!!     hahaha      Well, we got someone to take our picture with our cell phones, and it didn't break either one of them.    hahahaha      I had changed my profile picture with that pic of me.     Mom seen it and said I should have left her in it.    I said "really, you wouldn't have minded".      She said, "no".      I asked her if I could put the pic on my blog then and said "sure".      So here it is.      I hope you enjoy seeing my mom and me.     I love that she let me share it with y'all.
I think she really rocked her hat!!!      This is NOT coming from a biased daughter at all (hehehe), but her hat was the most beautiful one there and she was the most beautiful lady there, period!!!!!      She is in her very early 80's and she is an awesome lady with a ton and a half of spunk and gets around better than most 40 year olds!!!!     She can out run me any day of the week.     My husband always picks at her and tells her the nut doesn't fall far from the tree.     hahahaha      I do have to admit that she does have a little nut in her and so do I!!!     Truth is truth, what can I say!!!!     I am just so thankful that I get to spend time with her and that we have a great time when I do get to go visit her.      We left church that Sunday and went to local restaurant in her town and as we were driving in to the parking lot, I met one of my sisters-in-law driving out of the parking lot and we waved like silly people, hahaha.      So when we got parked, my brother was coming out of the restaurant, and we got to see him.    (I took a pic of the both of them, but I don't have his permission to share, as I don't like people sharing pics of me without my knowledge.)      But he thought mom looked really nice in her hat too.

We got back to Mom's place that afternoon and she took her hat off.     She came back in the living room and I looked at her for a second.     I said, "Oh no you don't, march back in there and put that hat back on!!!!    I can't stand seeing your "hat hair" now!!!"     We cracked up and she said "that's why I don't like wearing hats".     Me too!     Oh well, it was a great day with lots laughs and I do thank God for those times.

I do hope and pray that as everyone makes their plans for the Christmas season, make room to thank God every day for giving Jesus Christ to a lost, hurting and dying world.     We need Jesus more today than ever before!!!!!     I just pray that you will join me in praying for the planet on which we all live.     It seems to be running rampant with people set on hurting, maiming, and killing others.     The planet earth is covered with people that are in denial of Jesus Christ.    They need our prayers.      It is easy to love and pray for "good" people.      It is easy to pray for the people that we love.     Rubber meets the road when we pray for those that would do us harm.     Rubber meets the road when we pray for the enemies of Christ!      What do I mean by "rubber meets the road"?       We are taught by Jesus Himself, to pray for our enemies.     When we actually put that teaching into practice in our every day lives, then that is where "rubber meets the road" and sometimes it proves to be challenging, at best.     We are then, living out the teaching of Christ.     So, I ask you to join me in living out this teaching.      Pray for those that despise and persecute you for being Christian.    Pray for those that would do you harm.     Pray for those that we would say don't deserve our prayers.     That is true love and compassion.     Father, I pray that you would help me show true love and compassion to the enemies of the Cross!

So, I do have a small craft to share with y'all today.    It is finger crocheted scarves.    They are made from Sashay thread/yarn, the thin kind that I got at Walmart.     I seen it by accident, really!!!!     But when a skein of it jumped in my buggie, (with a little coaxing from me of course, hehehe), I knew I had to do something with it.    Especially since it was purple!!!!!!!!     Have I ever mentioned that I love purple?     Really, have I?      hehehe      Anyway, when I got home with this little treasure, I slipped the paper off it and opened it up to look at the pattern on the back of it and it was "finger crochet".      I said, "that sounds interesting" and in about 10 minutes I had my first scarf made.     As a matter of fact, I have it on in the pic of Mom and me.    So, hop back up there and take a look see at how I have it on.   It finished at about 15-20 feet long and you just wrap and wrap and wrap, till you get  tired of wrapping and then wrap a little bit more.   hahaha     It had been a really big hit.     I went back and got more thread about 2 or 3 times and have made 7 in all, but have given one away.    I have 3 more as presents and will keep the 3 I have already worn.    They are so fun and easy to make!!!!!
The first 3 from left to right are the ones I have already worn.   I do love them!
These are the 3 set aside for gifts and I may have to get some more made.     The blue one is shorter than the others.    It is fuzzy and took up more thread per loop than the others did.   It also does not have any sequins on it.
I tried to get a good close up shot of it so you maybe could see the chain stitch.

This is the close up of the blue one.    It reminds me of those wolly worms you see in the fall that people use to predict how cold the winter will be.    hahaha     These are really simple and so fun to make and I guarantee any one you give one to will love it, (if they don't, just take it back and give them a small lump of coal. hehehe) 

Well, this is it for this time.    I hope y'all read or seen something here that you liked, if you did, share it with someone.     Tell someone you know that there is hope for this sad and hurting world and that hope is found ONLY in Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior!!!!!      Nothing less, nothing more, nothing else!!!!!

Ladybug, I can't wait till I get to see you again.    Sweetpea loves you!!!!!

Remember, God loves y'all and so do I!!!!    Till next time, hugs and love, Patty