Gratitude Tree

I’ve been seeing all these “thankfuls” pop up on facebook and blogs alike. Ever since I read Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts I’ve kepts my own little list. Sometimes regularly, sometimes not. Then, Jones Design Co. (one of my fave fave faves) posted a printable and I swooned. Did my own little spin…

I started with these materials plus my Silhouette. The first thing I did was wrap yarn around my wine bottle. 

Glue every 6 or so wraps after you push your yarn down to make sure there are no gaps.

Here is my end product.

I did a bit of funky toward the top. I like it. I may to another bottle completely spread out like this. 

Then I went to work cutting out my leaves. Did this while ironing so I didn’t “waste” time waiting for the machine to finish cutting… 

Cut a buncha little wormy looking strings… 

Use them to tie on the leaves. I tossed all my leaves in to our Halloween bowl and leave it sitting on the table.

Go out to the yard (or send your manfolk if it’s not too dark … Unfortunately  it’s terribly dark when mine gets in from work… and I’m not one to wait around until Saturday ) to pick up some cool looking sticks. 

I found my best sticks in the “leafiest” part of the yard….

Each night at dinner, share your “thankful” for the day. Cliff and I both do this and Ben’s thankful is the thing he smiled at the most that day {the hub’s idea} then write in on the leaf. . .  and we dated the back. }

We use the same leaf just because.

When you add them to your tree it may look bare {like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree really}  

So I simulated what it would look like with lots-o-leaves…

As I was working on this post, I searched for “thanks.” When I came across the passages in the Gospels I realized something I never realized before. As Jesus broke bread {knowing full well it represented his body to be broken} and drank of the cup {knowing his blood was to be shed for all those who would believe}

He

Gave

Thanks

What?!?! The Son of God, the name at which every knee would one day bow, was giving thanks that he would die a death that was undeserved so that we might have eternal life that is undeserved. What a concept. Let me say this to you again….

He

Gave

Thanks.

He didn’t bemoan his “job.” He didn’t bemoan his president. He didn’t bemoan the agonizing death he would endure on calvary. He simply gave thanks.

“And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you “

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Mumford in My Kitchen. The Gospel in My Heart

Who doesn’t love Mumford? Seriously. If you’ve never heard them, stop. NOW. And listen. I love the lyrics to “Sigh No More.” Possibly  my favorite Mumford song.  “Sigh No More” was inspiration for my most recent project. Take a look ….

I got the frame for 3.99 at Goodwill (I think. Although it’s kind of a blur.)

I then used these materials to transform it… 

I just spray painted my frame

While this guy hung out away from the fumes

Then, I used distress ink until I got the frame the way I liked it, cut the letters out with my silhouette and just like pie, it was done and hanging in my kitchen to remind me of the freedom found in love!

Appropriately I read this in Romans today, “therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” The beauty of freedom is found in Romans 8.

Reflections by the Lake

A long long time ago, when I first starting blogging, I had hopes of  posting some cute crafts and maybe becoming one of those “trendy bloggers.” Now, I just want to journal; to remember what’s going on and write down my thoughts. I want it for me.

So, here we are, 500 miles from everything (and nearly everyone!) I’ve known for my 26 years of life. There are a lot of things I don’t enjoy about being here (keeping on the sunnyside people!) and lots of things I do! One is that I have no pressure here. Nowhere to be. No one to distract me or busy my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love people and always will. But somehow all of it got me away from my deepest of loves. My first love. My only need in this world. Sweet sweet Jesus. I’ve missed Him. I’ve neglected Him. I’ve acted alive when really I am dead inside. With all my free time, I’ve had the opportunity to just be with Jesus, sipping coffee and looking at the lake. (And clean the house. every. single. day. Did I mention I loathe cleaning?)

I read through Revelation. Crazy stuff, huh? Anyway, I realized I was dead when I read what Christ said to the Church in Ephesus…

I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Remember from where you have fallen;
repent, and do the works you did at first.
If non, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place
unless you repent.
Revelation 2:4-5

Then He says this to the Church at Sardis…..
I know  your works.
You have the reputation of being alive,
but you are dead.
Wake up,
and strengthen what remains and is about to die,
for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
Revelation 3: 1&2

I come to this right before the season of Lent. I’ve done the “Lent thing” before… gave up facebook (hasn’t everyone at least once for Lent???) sugar (isn’t that a bit self seeking? It was for me.) I probably would have done soft drinks if I liked ’em! All the things Christians do… Not doing it this year. It would be for me. Not for Him. To make me feel like I was doing what a believer in Jesus Christ would do.

What I am doing is reading through the last days of Jesus here. And, reading through this journal from The Village Church in Texas. I suggest both. Not to mark something off your list. But to return to your first love. Or to meet Him, truly and genuinely, for the first time. And if you know Him, they will remind you why we really need Him so badly… that’s what Lent is about. Remembering our depravity and brokenness apart from Him. We must fully realize how badly we need the cross. Without the death caused by the weight of our sin, there is no resurrection. With no resurrection there is no defeat over death. Our sin is real. Our sin is destructive. Our sin is ugly.

I am waking up again to my sweet Jesus. May I (may we all) not sit idle.

Sums it up… Take a listen.

On a side note. PattyGram, Cliff made Benjamin laugh this morning. He will NOT do it for me, little stinker. He can’t wait to see you in a couple weeks. Maybe by then he’ll be laughing big time.

The Me Syndrome

I’ve got it. And you probably do too!

A. Ann’s blog hit me hard this morning. If you can get past her cute kids, read her post for some challenging thoughts.

Real Life Monday… | resolved2worship on Xanga.

Grace abundant: an authentic and vulnerable post

We all like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isa. 53:6

When I say I am thankful for grace does anyone REALLY stop to think about what that means. We just kind of say it in our “churchy lingo” that Christians use every day. I’m kind of over Church lingo as I don’t think it carries much weight anymore. It’s like we’ve been trained to say the right thing and use the right words.

Until I was married, I did not have a full appreciation of grace nor did I truly feel its impact on my life. God has saved me from immense amounts of pain and hurt by shielding me from so many things of this world. But it has been by HIS GRACE!

Once I was married (not because Cliff has a habit of pointing out my sins, but because I just see it more now than ever. You’ll understand when you’re married but it’s a foreign thought, I know) I saw how incredibly dirty and ugly I am on the inside when I am honest with myself. I am full of pride and selfishness all wrapped into one. I am vindictive and manipulative. I want everything to be the way I want it. I have favorites and not an equal lover of all. I pretend. A LOT. I am quick to become angry and do not show grace and forgiveness to others. I am  a sinner.

But then there’s Jesus. Take a deep breath and really really think…… JESUS! What a sacrifice. What a servant. What a lover. What a teacher. What a man of controversy. What a man who reconnects us to our creator. How humble. How divine. How utterly perfect.

This season, I can honestly say I am thankful for grace and know exactly what that means in my life. . . can you?

Thank you, JEsus. Thank you!

But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities. Isaiah 53:5

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scripture….but BY THE GRACE OF GOD I am what I am, and His grace toward me is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:3-4 and 10

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

…And [we] are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is Christ. Romans 3:24

But sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under the law but under grace. Romans 6:14 (Beautiful!)