About JoyceAnn

Retired from the public world of fixing things. Now just figuring out how to make use of all that I am with what I have. I'm a bit of a private person and enjoy the one on one with thoughtful people. I never tire of figuring out how life is supposed to work and love doing artsy things with fabric, paper and ink.

First Sunday of Lent 2017 Thoughts

“A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, this line from a powerful hymn still tells of the strength available to us in our time of temptation.

I’m no scholar or theologian but for me a good definition of sin is anything that takes me away from serving God. I am very aware of my greatest temptations in my daily life.  There are big and little battles to be fought.  And we can’t fight them all at one time either.  Some may be easy enough to be handled throughout the day with no more effort than to be aware of what I say.  Others have malicious roots deeply embedded in my being and require major effort.

While I work on watching what I say, I remind myself not to be critical of people I see in passing and what I say in everyday conversations so I avoid gossip.  Wouldn’t I be a much worse person than anyone I could possibly speak poorly of?  Whoever I encounter daily, passing by on the streets or while shopping, have their own burdens to bare and behaviors to deal with, so who am I to judge them?

We listened to a good lesson today – The Temptation of Jesus from Matthew chapter 4. How can any of us hope to not be tempted by sin if our Lord Jesus wasn’t exempt!  And how did Jesus respond each time?  “It is written”.  That makes me realize I need to be reading and studying the Scriptures more so I can keep them front and center in my thoughts.  We are closer to God when we hear his Word.

“The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.”  quoted from Matthew chapter 4:10.

This is something I was taught early on at church.  At the beginning of the reading of the Holy Gospel I make a little sign of the cross in 3 places.  First on my forehead, then my lips and my heart.  In my head I say at each corresponding spot to remind me to keep these words ‘in my mind’, on my lips’, and ‘in my heart’.

Pastor used a tale of an Indian brave and a snake to illustrate how easily we can get fooled by temptation to sin.  The idea is that the little brave believed the lie the snake told him and got bit.  “You knew what I was when you picked me up”, said the snake.  Temptation is always a lie.  The promises are alluring, filling us with desire for something we have no business with.

What temptations are you struggling with today?  From where does your help come?  Share yours, if you will.  I’ll share mine next time too.

A Christmas Greeting Card

Had to use this Mojo Monday sketch one more time, and it is another Christmas card that I really need to get in the mail Monday.

When I decided to stamp the sentiment I first used a couple of light colors of ink to faintly stamp the script stamp from this pretty Verve set. I’ve vowed to use my Spellbinders dies more so I selected the size that would work and cut it out, popped it up on the matted panel.  The flower, also from the Verve stamp set, was stamped twice, one green and one red.  Each was cut close to make this pretty flower for the embellishment.  Had to add a sequin to the center.  The green rhinestones were pasted down, 3 rows, to a strip of cream before adding to card base.  The papers are scraps from my Christmas box of papers.  Hope my friends in Tampa like this!2016DSC_1801_Christmas

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!  Hope your card preparations are close to finished and that you receive many blessings this season of cheer and love.

Reindeer Card for Christmas

Wanting to get a Christmas card ready to send to Arizona friends and use these still new Spellbinders dies I selected the Mojo Monday 477 sketch.  Then I pulled out my box of Christmas stamps and used this Inkadinkadoo stamp.  Had to turn the sketch sideways, though.  Love this Verve sentiment with it.

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I also inked the edges just a little, added some FSJ silver twine for the snowflake image from the sketch.  I used some ink with a brush for some of the flowers on the image to match the lighter blue.  I think it unites the various blues.  I am vowing to use more of my Spellbinders dies that I just had to have this coming year.

Exodus or Exile: Our Daily Choice

This past Sunday my pastor got me thinking about this idea of my own choices.  Two of the main studies in the Jewish Faith is the Exodus recounting when God redeemed the Jews for himself by freeing them from their Egyptian slavery and the traumatic Exile from their homeland where their Temple was destroyed along with their freedom.

The words Exodus and Exile are totally deserving of a capital E!  Not so much for most of us on a daily basis.  Nevertheless, think about the choices we have in this overall vision of our day, if you will.

Life is an exodus, a journey to where we want to be.  Daily.  What are our goals we want to accomplish?  Unless perfect people are reading this blog of mine, I’m believing many of you are like me.  I want to do better in so many areas, like relationships with others, the tasks of navigating daily chores, and enjoying my “toys”.  I want to smile more, worry less.

It may help to remember that nothing in this life stays the same.  To some degree we are all on a journey – it’s either an exodus, a day lived in freedom, or we surrender our selves to a self-appointed exile.

Be thankful Christ is with us.  If God’s light isn’t shining through brightly enough, perhaps we can find ways to let the love Jesus taught us show more.  Think about the analogy of the clay jars and add a few more holes in there.  Jesus promised that God is with us, each and every one of us, we just need to find ways for the light of His message to get out there.

So, I think I’ll start by smiling more, speaking more kindly, especially to anyone I pass in my journey.  And make more cards to actually send out.

It’s up to each of us individually – it’s either exodus or exile.  You choose.

Let’s Start with Coffee

Finally getting started on scrapping photos from our “running from Matthew” recently.  I’ve collected several photos, because that’s what I do, and am debating whether to put in an album all by themselves.  Usually I just stick my pages all in chronological order, whether special event or just a capture of everyday times.

30805758456_a6f4294798_bThe layouts are in chronological order once they are slipped into the albums, but I never quite seem to scrap them in order, so this certainly wasn’t the first set of photos.

The small blocks of papers in the background are from a scrapper named Gabriella.  We each participated in a swap with each other by sending a business sized envelope of scraps from our recent layouts to each other with the goal of seeing what we make out of them this month.  I laid out her scraps on my table.  Knowing I wanted to start scrapping my travel out of hurricane’s way these photos from the coffee shop caught my eye as likely matching some of her paper assortment.  I liked this background solid for tying them all together, the photos and the patterned papers.  Because of the busy photos and busy collection of patterns in the background I matted the pics in ivory.  Used a Cricut cartridge for the title letters.  The Fun Stampers Journey stamp set used here is just perfect.  For the word “Amazing” I colored it in with my new FSJ gel pens.  There are quite a few die cuts used here from FSJ also.

Kris and I really enjoyed our cup!

Is the Child Free to Think?

Are you ever reminded of a time in the past that you wish you had handled differently?

When it comes to relationships I often am.  Today while shopping for a few miscellaneous things in Walmart a small child was slapped by the man pushing her cart.  She was whining a little, trying to say something she was interested in.  Kids are always wanting something when they are paraded through the aisles of a store, that’s human nature.  This particular child wasn’t even obnoxious as many I have heard tend to get when wanting something. He was loud, forceful, and totally rude.  He certainly stopped her from asking for whatever it was and there was no more whining, just a low, pitiful cry from her tiny voice.

This pushed me into instant depression, despite my efforts to let it go in my head.  When I get depressed I often revert back to all the things I’ve done wrong in my life.  I become full of regret, mostly regarding my children.

On my drive home, trying to pull myself away from dwelling in regret, I wanted to share my wisdom with someone in the hopes of lessening their potential for future regret.  It’s like that with any knowledge I get, I always think of who I want to share it with.  I had hit on this thought of a parent listening to what their child thinks without blowing them off or telling them they shouldn’t think like that, no matter what.

Since Leia is the “wind beneath my wings” I thought of things I wanted to say to her mother.  This little girl is often the reason I stay afloat some days.  If she is sad, I feel her devastation most deeply.  When she is happy and delighted about something I, too, am all smiles.

Here is what I wish I had done with my children: Listen to what they are feeling without adding judgment.  This is critical to get them to trust us with their whole being.  As it is, it seems they are only free to tell us what they think we want to hear.  What if we let them tell us about the negative thoughts, also?  Unfortunately, a parent wants to squelch that negative notion, and thereby banishing their fears.  That doesn’t seem to be working out well.  Telling a 5 year old not to have negative thoughts – how is that working out?

It’s not just about any negative thought the child has, they may have a variety of likes and dislikes they are told to forget, to keep to themselves.  Shouldn’t we try to understand all those thoughts our child has?  If we do we may better understand what makes them function as they do – sweet or naughty.

Getting a child to feel comfortable revealing anything to the parent allows for much better communication between the two.  I wish I had done that so maybe my children would have come to me with what was bothering them, with what they perceived was troubling in their life.  It is human nature to seek comfort and relief in some form or another, unfortunately, that avenue could be self-destructive.  Or, at the minimum, they can choose to distance themselves from us and we will never really know them at the heart.

What should we do then, just let them have negative thoughts?  No, we don’t want that.  What we should want if for the child to be comfortable with telling us everything because this is a test of what kind of relationship bond the two are to have later on.  We listen first and when the child is ready to hear a solution then we offer one.  I don’t believe we help them over their fear by simply telling them to “get over it”.

Here is a simplified example of an exchange.

Mom: Please go pick out your jammies, its bath time.

Child: I can’t.

Parent: Why not?

Child: My room is dark.

Parent: Well, turn on the light!

Child: I’m scared of the dark.

This is where the parent may resort to yelling at the child to get over it, right?

What if we opened up a dialogue with the child to discover what was really going on.  Maybe the child is apprehensive about what might be in the dark, or struggles to reach the right spot for the light, or doesn’t want to get the jammies because it means bath time which inevitable means bed time and wants to procrastinate against that.  It doesn’t matter what, it is a chance to explore what is going on in the child’s mind.  If it is just the fear of the dark, perhaps the child can wait for a moment and the parent will accompany the child so they both can check out what waits in the dark.  Soon enough the child lets go of the fear because so far there wasn’t anything to be afraid of for sure.  As for the rest of the reasons, the parent has honestly listened to and acknowledged the child, and moves on in the natural order of events.  Even if the child didn’t get her way, she got herself heard, and there is quite some satisfaction in that.

It doesn’t have to be complicated if we just pause before spouting out what they “should” think.  We should never tell them they are stupid for thinking that or feeling that way. They can’t help what they think at a tender age, they need to be guided by someone they can trust to understand, no matter what.

One of my biggest fears today is that I will not be understood and accepted for who I really am.  Relationships are still very hard for me, I can’t open up and share my true feelings.  It takes a good amount of openness for strong relationships with others to develop.

Let’s listen to what someone thinks, without being judgmental. Our little ones need to know that what they think just is and can be dealt with without judgment against their person, and is not something to be hushed and buried.

A Visit from Dr. Martin Luther

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If you will allow me a moment to explain, you may enjoy this moment we shared at church today.

Our pastor, Rev. Judd Ludder, began telling us “We will have a visit from Dr. Martin Luther on Reformation Sunday.”  It was a day to pull out our red for sure, but, knowing that the veil between the living and the dead isn’t that thin, we wondered what he might be up to since he wasn’t known to be an outright fibber.

However, Pastor Ludder is known for great sermons full of insight straight from the Word of our Lord that always succeeds in further enlightenment for our journey as Christians.  I’m saying he always fulfills my weekly need to replenish my soul during worship on Sunday mornings.  Not only does he provide details about the surrounding times of the Scripture, but we are assured of getting the meaningful message God intends us to hear.

Okay, so, how he pulled off this trick of bringing Dr. Luther to us was actually by way of his disappearing and returning in costume.  The congregation loved it.

Could he have just talked about the history of the Reformation?  Could he have reminded us of Martin Luther’s reasons and the path he took?  But, I ask you, “would it have been as absorbing?”  Pastor Ludder put us in the frame of mind of hearing the history as if we were actually hearing it from the man himself.  I heard it anew, myself, in a new light, on a more personal level of understanding of the person Luther was.  It helps to comprehend how the Lutheran church was formed, not to put down the Catholic Church, but to turn it around to be what the Bible intended.  At that time in history the Catholic Church was making a mockery of the religion and preying on the faithful, disregarding God’s true intention for the believers by selling forgiveness.  Today, we are grateful to enjoy a close relationship between our churches, both headed in the direction of God’s intention for us.

It’s always a good thing to learn more about our history and I, for one, am thankful to Pastor Ludder for his “visual aide” this morning.  His messages always inspire me, whether I need scolding or encouraging, he says tells the truth that I’m sure Jesus wants me to hear.  This man is truly led by the Holy Spirit.

God bless Pastor Ludder and God bless Joy Lutheran Church.

Amen!

Hugs to all my friends and followers.  Hope your Reformation Sunday was as eventful in such a positive way for you as it was for me.

Craft it and Hit the Treadmill

November 05 draws near.  I have two more little bags cut out (Suzy Sacks) that I need to sew.  I can think of a couple more things I need to finish up in the paper crafting area too.  Then I want to spread out what I have created for the craft sale and view what I have so far.  Do still have a little bit of time to make something else but will need to get a move on it.  Here are two pics to share, a kitchen towel with topper and an owl pillow.

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My DD took these pics to show to someone so thought I’d share them here too.

I’ve gone back to the site “My Fat Secret” to log what I eat.  I tend to eat too much, especially nuts, if I don’t log everything.  Even though I eating healthier foods I still need to watch how much I eat.  Can’t loose weight if I don’t.  Also, since I am eating more on target of what works for me, which is no wheat or any grain whatsoever, I need to exercise more too.  We went back to Planet Fitness this morning – yea!  I was determined to stay on the treadmill for 30 minutes and I did.img_1598Don’t judge me!  I know it isn’t much compared to some gym goers, but I haven’t been in months and I reached my goal for the day.  Now, to see what other exercises I can do too.

Looking forward to the time where I can get back to playing with my crafty stuff for me.  Having scrapbook withdrawals.  The Thursday card classes at the library aren’t totally fun, it requires lots of prep first so not all “my time” there.

Sometime in Nov. I am going with Kris to Orlando for the Be Amazing Tour with Richard Garay.  Spending Friday night there and driving back after the event on Saturday.  Should be a lot of happy times – Richard is such a treat, always fun!  It’s the first such event I get to go to with Kristy since it in here in the area.

Just felt like doing a post today, so thanks for joining me here.  Have a marvelous experience in doing what works for you.  Remember to be happy in the moment, after all, this moment moment is all we have.  Taking my own advise now and not going to worry about how many craft items I have done, just going to go sew for a while.

If you have the time I’d love to read a comment from you.  It’s always a welcome addition to our blogs, don’t you think?

Hugs,

Joyce

 

What I Did During Evac

My community did well in the grand scheme of hurricanes recently.  So grateful that when we returned home we found all was well.  The worst damage I have actually viewed is some limbs and fencing down.

Ruby, our chicken, was securely sequestered in the garage.  Kristy unrolled a bundle of fencing wire, secured a couple of old sheets over the top to keep her from flying out, and set in her water and plenty of food.  Once Matthew had blown over Kristy asked a friend to go get Ruby out if all was well.  It was.  Even her coop was still standing.  Being a transplanted city boy, Mark had never actually held a chicken before.  He did beautifully.  We knew he would because Ruby has been held often and so is comfortable with being picked up.  Mark send Kristy a fun text telling her that he just couldn’t understand what she was telling him. “She kept saying bawk-bawk, etc”.  Made us laugh.  We were so grateful to him for doing that for us.  We feared that as the heat rose in the garage she might expire in there.

During the short time I had to prepare to leave home, I chose to take the various packs of patterned papers from a bottom shelf with me to go through and organize.  Taking a few stamping supplies, of course, would be the thing to do while we sat in the room at night as well.  It would be like a mini-retreat.

What a surprise to discover that all the rooms west of us were booked.  Kristy started checking as I was driving.  She found one in Spring hill for the first night but it would only be for tonight as all was booked for the next few nights.  So the next closest was Pensacola after that.

Sometimes the Internet can be untrustworthy as in our case for the Pensacola motel.  It was not as represented on line.  It was smaller than it appeared.  There was no pool.  There was no table, only a shelf and one chair.  And there was nowhere else with a vacancy either.  I insisted they find me another chair.

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Here is a shot of the pups when we went out.  When they are in their kennel they are happy.  The big girl, Zoey, is always fine.

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We did do some stamping, Kristy colored, I did a card. And I got the packs of patterned 12 x 12’s organized and in envelopes.

“Olaf” Sweet Crafty Toys

These are for my great grands – the ball for Jovi and the little bag for Tiny Tot.olaf-toys01

The pattern for the ball came from “Patchwork Puzzle Balls” by Jinny Beyer. With the template I fussy cut the characters and used French terry for the squares to add some texture for the little man.  This book is totally intriguing and I love doing these balls.

“Suzy’s Sack” is from a pattern by This and That Patterns.  Leia has always enjoyed purses so I’m confident she will like having this one too.  Instead if a “D” ring I added a ribbon loop.  She doesn’t need a metal ring since she isn’t carrying keys yet.  This was my first time with this pattern but I can say the instructions were good.

These will be added to their Christmas gifts when we send a box out to them.