Dec 30, 2013

Daniel the aspiring backsmith

Guest post by David Gibson

Here are pictures of my son Daniel's first blacksmithing project; a machete.  He's always been into knives and has wanted to make one. Now, he's actually doing it.

We will start with a picture of the Furnace, a B & O Railroad #29 Union Caboose Stove from his maternal Grand Father, that we fire by hard wood charcoal and Hickory logs from a neighbor's fallen hickory tree (no blower...yet!).

Then we have a Peter Wight 100 lb. anvil and our "willing donor," a bent lawn mower blade from his Paternal Grand Father's Sears Craftsman Riding Mower.  
Unfortunately, the current table is 30' away from the Furnace, but under the edge of the carport. (We are building a new 4' long table from 2" X 6" lumber from our old picnic table to hold the anvil, a Wilton Vise, a Quench Bucket, and his tools.  It will be kept about a foot from the Furnace.  We are also looking for a coal hod in which to keep charcoal and small pieces of wood and a small blower to the accelerate the heating process to the point where the metal is ready to be shaped.)

Here's a picture of the Forge heating very well, in the middle of a rain. 

Here he is shaping the handle (Yes, it's raining steadily while he is doing this.)

While we don't have any pictures of him shaping the blade, here is a picture of where he ended up.  He still needs to grind the blade, sharpen it, and make a handle and then quench the blade (after sharpening, so it will hold the edge and, yes, he's taller than me at 6' 3" and just 17 years old).

(His shirt is a nod to his love of "Dr. Who" and reads 'Bow ties are cool')

Oct 12, 2013

Group from Korea singing the Gaithers Alpha and Omega

Thankful that "There are no orphans of God"

Orphans Of God Lyrics

Who here among us has not been broken?
Who here among us is without guilt or pain?
So oft' abandoned by our transgressions
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this
There are no strangers, there are no outcasts
There are no orphans of God
So many fallen, but Hallelujah
There are no orphans of God
Come ye unwanted and find affection
Come all ye weary, come and lay down your head
Come ye unworthy, you are my brother
If such a thing as grace exists
Then grace was made for lives like this
There are no strangers, there are no outcasts
There are no orphans of God
So many fallen, but Hallelujah
There are no orphans of God
O blessed Father, look down upon us
We are Your children, we need Your love
We run before Your throne of mercy
And seek Your face to rise above
There are no strangers, there are no outcasts
There are no orphans of God
So many fallen, but Hallelujah
There are no orphans
There are no strangers, there are no outcasts
There are no orphans of God
So many fallen, but Hallelujah
There are no orphans of God

Sep 24, 2013


I want to apologize for an inappropriate post.  While the concept is true the words used in the video are not words I choose to use myself.

Please forgive my thoughtless actions and know that I do not approve of that type of language and do not use it myself.

Sep 4, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

Ch 6

"Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but  passing them by transfer your thoughts to God and say:  'O my God, if They creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!'     Nicodemus of Holy Mountain

I have to seek God beautyBecause isn't my internal circuity wired to seek out something worthy of worship?  Every moment I live, I live bowed to something.  And is I don't see God, I'll bow down before something else. 


Aug 18, 2013

Migraine Rant

My mom tries to tell me when she hears of something new for migraines. I really do appreciate it. Today she called to tell me about a product called "Migralex". It's a combo of aspirin 500mg and Magnesium Oxide 75 mg. Nothing special, no new ingredients. Guess how much it costs for 1 bottle of 20 caplets? $39.95 plus 6.95 for shipping and handling.

Un. Be. Lieve. A. Ble.

Snake Oil.

Unfortunately people will pay this ridiculous price because they are desperate for migraine relief. I am desperate for relief but I am NOT STUPID.

I may try the combo on my own. I have aspirin on hand, just need to pick up a bottle of mag ox. It would be great if it works. But if it works I still won't pay this ridiculous price.

And this is the problem with a disease like Migraine.

There. Is. No. Cure. YET!

There are no guarantees that this treatment or that treatment will work for any patient.

I was supposed to be getting the Botox injections in September. I won't be getting them at all because, 1. I have no assurance that they will work for even a little while. and 2. Even with the insurance and our deductible paid and we've almost hit the maximum that we have to pay out of pocket for the year, I still was going to have to pay over $1,000 for 1 round of injections. For medical reasons, not cosmetic.


Aug 4, 2013

Time to catch up?

It's been a while since I posted.  Life has gone on.  We've had a very wet, cooler than usual summer so far.  This has caused our yard to become a jungle.  Even though Daniel kept up well with the mowing, the vines and weeds grew out of control. 

Sarah and Daniel have been cutting and hauling brush out to the road a bit at a time.  We can't put out too much or the city will charge us to pick it up, so slow and steady it goes.

I've been trying to sell homeschool curriculum and other books that we are finished with.  That has been slow going.  Finding what we need for the next term hasn't been too easy either.  I don't know why, maybe as they get older there are less used copies available. 

I'm trying to start the planning out, I don't want them to have to do things that are just mindless repetition, but neither do I want to skip over truly important information.

It is truly a balancing act.

Oscar is slowing down.  He moans more in his sleep and has become more talkative in his old age.  He limps more even though he is taking his aspirin regularly.

But last night topped it all.

The kids asked David and me to come out to see how much they had trimmed  from the "jungle".  I know there are divots and other various irregularities in our backyard.  I even know where they are and was telling myself to watch for them.

Unfortunately my eye did not see it but my foot found it with no problem and I was on the ground. 

Long story short, I broke my right leg, at the ankle.  It's the tip of the small bone in the leg.  Nothing bad, but it is surprisingly painful and being on crutches is awkward.

The Vicodin they gave me for pain knocks the edge off but makes me grumpy.  It's going to be an interesting few weeks.  I hope when I get my permanent cast, it can be a walking cast or boot.  I'm afraid I'll fall using the crutches and do more damage.

So, Life goes on...

May 20, 2013

How to drive the Dog, aka Oscar, aka Monsterdog, Crazy

  1. Take dog outside to check the mail.
  2. Have daughter join you bringing dogs FAVORITE toy.
  3. Daughter throws toy for dog.
  4. Toy lands on roof of house.
  5. Dog searches
  6. Dog searches
  7. Mom points up
  8. Dog looks up
  9. Daughter decides that throwing a hula hoop onto roof is a good way to drag the toy down.
  10. Daughter throws hula hoop onto roof after third try.
  11. Hula hoop lands too far back to be reached by daughter.
  12. Mom suggests moving car closer and having daughter stand on hood of car to reach hula hoop
  13. Decide to NOT try #12.
  14. Get hoe to reach hula hoop.
  15. Push hoe too far up and out of reach.
  16. Call son to come help
  17. Son can reach handle of hoe but misses on first try.
  18. Son tries again and successfully reached hula hoop which is surrounding toy and flings all to the ground.
  19. Mom says to son, Dog lost a ball under your car too, will you get that with the hoe?
  20. Son says no it's too muddy there.
  21. Daughter plays tug-of-war with dog and rescued toy.
  22. Mom takes pictures.
  23. Mom blogs,
                                                                       THE END

May 2, 2013

Update on Migraine from Davids perspective

As many of you know, my wife, Susan has suffered Migraine Headaches for about 25 years (for many years, I've often joked that if any of "you" were married - 24 years, to me you'd also have migraines!).  The only time Susan has had any relief was when she was either pregnant or nursing the children (a hormone, relaxin, that allows women's joints to "loosen" for easier labor and child birth is probably the reason she remained headache free during this period).  Two years after Sarah finished nursing, the headaches returned. 

In our long quest to find a cure (and we've tried many, many different Doctors and treatments), it looks like we found a Doctor (actually a dentist) that knows how to perform a "root cause analysis" on Susan's Migraine Headaches.  He asked Susan to bite down 4 times and sustain the bite on the 4th time on oral device that was hooked up to a computer.  The results were plain to even a simpleton like me:  On a bar chart that represented the pressure of the individual teeth, the back teeth (especially on the left side) were at a pressure reading that was 4X the standard deviation of the pressure range.  Like closing a hard backed book, with a pencil near the inside of the spine, would  distort and tear open the Spine of that book, her rear teeth are working as a wedge (actually, a fulcrum) and distorting the mandible joint (the joint at your jaw and skull). 

The pain she is having is "referred pain" from "hot" muscles (actually irritated much past the point of spasms, to where Susan screamed when the Dentist touched her muscles that close the jaw on the inside right of her mouth).   Looking back on historic events, Susan's migraine headaches started in February of 1988, as she was having Orthodonic work (her Orthodontist had originally suggested that she have her lower jaw broken, to correct a recessive jaw line.  She declined his suggestion.)  When her smile was 95% corrected she had her braces removed, a few months before we were married.

We are going through with this treatment, as we probably spent at least the same amount last year on Doctor's visits (to migraine headache centers in Greensboro and Winston-Salem), Emergency Room visits (2 in one weekend due to a drug interaction that caused Susan to have a runaway Blood Pressure event (226/150 when we got to the Emergency Room about an hour later at 5:45 AM Saturday!), and many different pain relief drugs that leave Susan in what could be best described as a "stupor."  We think this very well could be a LIFE ALTERING event.  The first treatment is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend and will go on for a period of 12 weeks.  Treatments will include:

  1. Dental work to reduce the contact between teeth (Bite Adjustment) at the rear of her mouth, to lessen pressure on the rear teeth and evenly distribute bite pressure (includes a panoramic X-Ray)
  2. A dental appliance to prevent her from grinding her teeth while sleeping
  3. TENS unit therapy to calm the muscles that are "hot" to end the referred pain and headaches and
  4. Alpha-STIM Delivery Therapy as well as physical therapy to retrain her muscles

So we are hopeful that by the end of the summer, she (we) will have a new more active life (that will help some of the secondary health issues that come with a sedintary lifestyle, since she can rarely participate due to the pain).  We will keep you informed.

May 1, 2013

Migraine Update

Last Thursday I saw a dentist who specializes in treating patients like me.  Patients who have Migraine that are caused by things going on in the jaws and mouth.

I am a good candidate for his treatment because there is significant evidence that I grind my teeth and clench during sleep.  I also have a lot of jaw popping and sometimes difficulty in opening my mouth. 

It makes sense that my jaw not working properly would lead to muscle problems that in turn become pain.

I will start a 12 week course of therapy the last week of May that will include a device for my mouth, physical therapy among other things.

This is not a treatment that is isolated to the Charlotte area.  I searched for 'teeth grinding and migraine' and got a lot of hits.  You can also search for 'dentists migraine' and get a lot of results.

The treatment is expensive and the dentist treating me does not accept any insurance.  So we have to come up with the money on the front end.  But the office does the insurance filing for me and I'll get reimbursed directly.

Here is the link to the dentist I am seeing.

I still have a way to go, but David and I believe that this could be a big answer o my chronic migraines. 

I'll keep you posted.

Apr 13, 2013

Why so many Migraines and no healing???

This current migraine cycle is now approaching 7, (SEVEN) weeks, not days, weeks. 
                                           That is 42 days....

Why am I keeping track?  Well for one thing the doctor needs to know.  But I'm not sure why else. 

I'm really trying to keep a positive attitude, for the most part.  Yesterday I had a bit of a pity party.  I was feeling that nobody in my extended family really cares about me and my struggles with migraine disease.  That I'm trying to do the right thing and avoid my triggers, the many foods, products, odors that can trigger a migraine, so why aren't I getting better?  Oh poor me......

Actually I think the pity party was on Thursday night,  anyway, I told David about it and talking to him made me realize how foolish and even selfish my pity party for me was. 

Then yesterday Daniel was reading his assigned book for school and came to me and said, "Have you read this book?"  I told him I had but it had been a while.  He told me that I needed to read the chapter he had just finished.

The book is, It's NOT About Me, by Max Lucado

Chapter 12  My Struggles Are About Him

Have you heard about Martin and Gracia Burnham?  They were the missionaries that were taken hostage by terrorists associated with bin Laden.  Martin was killed by crossfire when Philippine Rangers attacked the terrorist camp.

Why did Martin have to die? Did God mess up?  Was He mad?  Can't the Maker of heaven and earth handle bad traffic and prevent bad marriages?  Of course He can.  Then why doesn't He? 

Why did He let my great-nephew Axel be born with a birth defect so severe he didn't make it to his 2nd birthday?  Why did He allow my sister to be afflicted with both migraine disease and bi-polar disorder?  Why is He allowing my neighbor, "Aunt Bert" to be dying of cancer as I write?  Why God, Why?

Have we so exhausted the mercy of God's bank account that every prayer bounces like a bad check?  Did humanity cross the line years ago, and now we're getting what we deserve?  Such an argument carries a dash of merit.  Lucado continues.  God does leave us to the consequences of our stupid decisions.  Think Egyptian soldiers in the Read Sea.  Hebrews in Babylon.  Peter weeping with the sound of a crowing rooster in his ears.  Bang your head against a wall and expect a headache.  God lets us endure the fruit of sin.  But to label Him peeved and impatient?  To do so you need to scissor from your Bible some tender passages such as:

 God is sheer mercy and grace;
    not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
    nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
    nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
    so strong is his love to those who fear him.
(Psalm 103:8-11 MSG)

Don't blame suffering in the world on the anger of God.  Follow your troubles to their headwaters and you won't find an angry or befuddled God.  You will find a sovereign God.

Your (My) pain has a purpose.  Your (My) problems, struggles, heartaches, and hassles cooperate toward one end-the glory of God............

Remember the blind man?  The disciples asked Jesus who had sinned and caused the mans blindness.  Was it the mans parents or the man himself.  Wrong, Jesus replied.  Don't search for who sinned.  Blame this blindness on a call from God. 
                                  Why was the man sightless?  So "the works of God might be displayed in him."

Odds are he (and I) would have preferred another role in the human drama.  This assignment held little glamour.

Mary, be a mother to my son.
Peter, you'll be my first preacher.
Matthew, the first gospel?  It's all yours.
Then God turns to me, "And Susan, you?"
Yes, Lord?
You will suffer migraines for my glory.
I'll have migraines?
Yes, constant, unrelenting migraines.
For your Glory?
But I don't understand.
I know.  You don't need to understand right now.

And I need to learn to say, "Alright Lord.  Whatever Your will, I accept it."

But it's hard, so hard.

Feb 23, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

Ch 5

"One act of thanksgiving,
when things go wrong with us,
is worth a thousand thanks when things
are agreeable to our inclinations."
St. John of Avila
...the dare to write 1,000 gifts becomes the dare to create innumerable, endless gifts!  That initial discipline, the daily game to count, keeping counting to 1,000, it was God's necessary tool to reshape me, remake me, rename me, and now how could I stop being "Ann, full of grace"?
      Or was this now only the beginning of really becoming?
Is this going to happen to me?  I want to be remade in those areas where I know I fail my husband, my family, my Father...  I say that but am I willing to go through the hard stuff to get there?  I hope so...
Daily discipline is the door to full freedom, and the discipline to count the 1,000 gave way to the freedom of wonder and I can't imagine not staying awake to God in the moment, the joy in the now.
      But awakening to joy awakens to pain...
Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don't numb themselves to really living.
If I am numbering gift moments to 1,000 and now beyond- what moments in my life count as blessings?  If I name this moment as gift, grace, what is the next moment?  Curse?  How do you know how to sift through a day, a life, and rightly read the graces, rightly ascertain the curses? 
     What is good?  What counts as grace?  What is the heart of God?
Do I believe in a God who rouses Himself just now and then to spill a bit of benevolence on hemorrhaging humanity? 
            ...-and, then finds Himself again too important to deal with all I see as suffering and evil?  A God of sporadic, random, splattering goodness- that now and then splatters across a gratitude journal?
Somebody tell me:
                 What are all the other moments?
Isaiah 14:24  "Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand"
Amos 3:6  "Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has planned it?"
A good God plans everything.  Everything.  So a good God can only...make plans for good?  He only gives good gifts?  A thing of evil cannot be created by a good God?
This is such a hard truth.  But if I believe that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere all the time, then I believe that He knows all about the things I find "bad", the evil in this world.  And there is EVIL.
But, I don't see the big picture.  I have no clue what His ultimate plan is, except that in the end God triumphs, NO, Wait He HAS triumphed, but this world must play out the plan. 
My mind cannot comprehend God.  There is no way I can grasp His plan for me, fur this world.  But as sure as I know that someone invented, created, made, sold the paper in my journal.  Something so simple has a can there not be a creator of this drop of water?  How can there not be a creator of the oxygen molecules? 
So, if I know the paper has a creator, and a plan for how it is used, doesn't the creator of the universe have a plan?  Do I need to understand it?  Does my 2 year old need to understand why she can't go out to the mailbox by herself?  NO! She just needs to obey.  And even though I don't understand the why, I need to obey.  And I am commanded to give thanks in EVERYTHING. 
 1 Thessalonians 5:18  Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God's will in Christ Jesus that you do this. 
"Evil is all that lacks the goodness of God, a willful choice to turn away from the full goodness of God to that empty of His grace."  Augustine
All God makes is good.  Can it be that that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God?  That which seems evil only seems so because of the perspective: the way the eyes see the shadows.  Above the clouds, light never stops shining.
"See that I am God.  See that I am in everything.  See that I do everything.  See that I have never stopped ordering my works, nor ever shall, eternally.  See that I lead everything on to the conclusion I ordained for it before time began by the same poser, wisdom and love with which I made it.  How can anything be amiss?"  Julian of Norwich
Perspective--How. We. See.
To be continued...

Jan 29, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

Ch 4

What was the pastor's most profound regret in life?
    "Being in a hurry.  Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me.  I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry.  But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing...Through all that haste I thought I was making up time.  It turns out I was throwing it away."  Mark Buchanan

Hurry always empties a soul.

I just want the time to live my life well.

...this is the only way to slow time:  When I fully enter times swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.  I can slow the torrent by being all here.  I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment. 

David has a sign on his desk that says "Be here now'".  Sarah has often told me that I don't really listen, pay attention to her.  I need to choose to Be. Here. Now. 

It's difficult.  So many things grab my attention... so many things are many things, people, projects are calling out to me.  Pick me, pick me they scream.

Like being thankful this is a choice I must make.

Will I CHOOSE to Be.  Here.  Now?

Giving thanks for 1,000 things is ultimately an invitation to slow time down with the weight of full attention.

Why is eucharisteo the answer to the time starved and soul famished?  John 6:11, Jesus embraces His not enough, (5 loaves & 3 fishes), ...He gives thanks...And there is more than enough.  More than enough!

The real problem of life is never a lack of time.
    The real problem of life--in my life-- is lack of thanksgiving.

I redeem time from neglect and apathy and inattentiveness when I swell with thanks and weigh the moment down and it's giving thanks to God for this moment that multiplies the moments, time made enough.

I do what I always do.  I reach it.  I preach it to the person I need to preach to the most.  I preach to me.

Emergencies are sudden unexpected events--but is anything under the sun unexpected to God?

And I can always give thanks because an all-powerful God always has  these things--all tings under control. 

Life is not an emergency.
    Life is eucharisteo.

Life is dessert--to brief to hurry.

I want to slow down and taste life, give thanks and see God.

Jan 25, 2013

Please be careful at the pump

I want to tell you guys what happened to Daniel at the gas station in Harrisburg yesterday. This is worth telling every to be careful about. I don't think we're making too much of the incident.

Here is what happened...
Daniel and I went to the QT station on Hwy 49 in Harrisburg yesterday around 4 pm. After I swiped the card and he started filling both my car and the mower gas can I went inside to get us drinks. Usually I leave my keys in the ignition while he fills the car. This time I didn't and I'm so thankful.

... As he was finishing up a man appeared beside him holding out 2 dollars and asked him to go inside and purchase some sort of candy and he could keep the change. But, the man said, finish filling up the car first. Daniel didn't recognize the name of the candy to begin with but told the man No in no uncertain terms and the man disappeared.

When I returned Daniel was sitting locked inside the car. He was really concerned that this was an attempted car theft.

I know there are a lot of stories that go around the web and they aren't all true, so I'm not sending this just for fun. This happened and we're concerned enough to spread the word to be careful.


Jan 20, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

Chapter 3

I may have always known that change takes real intentionality, like a woman bent over her garden beds every day with a spade and the determined will to grow up something to strengthen the heart.

I may even have known that change requires more than merely thinking the warm fuzzy thoughts about a door and a way through and that Greek word, eucharisteo, holding the mystery to the full life and ever after.

But none of that at all meant that I knew what to do. I learn to practically pick up eucharisteo, the word that I had underlined as a firm foundation to lay down under all my days? I learn to use eucharisteo to overcome my one ugly and self-destructive habit of ingratitude...with the saving habit of gratitude that would lead me back to deep God-communion.

If we thirst, we'll have to drink.

Philippians 4:11-12
I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.

I would have to learn eucharisteo.

To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God.  To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.

So...this thankfulness thing has to be intentional.  I have to practice it, to learn it.  I have to make a choice every minute of every day to be thankful in ALL things.  It won't come naturally for my sinful nature will fight it.  I will have to choose to overcome my sinfulness and make the right choice to be thankful in all things.  

I don't think that this means that hurts won't hurt.  BUT that I will see God's hand in even the hurt and be thankful for what He is doing in my life.

  God is in the details; God is in the moment.  God is in al tht blurs by in a life-- even hurts in a life.

And knowing this, that God is in everything, that even the hurt does not happen outside of His will, makes it a little easier to be thankful. 


I just had an opportunity to practice what I just wrote.  I went to the kitchen to start some lunch.  As soon as I got the last of the cabbage in the skillet for fried cabbage, I was hit with one of my lovely 'throwing up' migraines.  How can I be thankful for this?

  • I am thankful that I was at home.
  • that I made it to the bathroom
  • that the bathroom was empty
  • that Sarah was able to watch the stove for me
  • that David was able to bring me a cold drink
  • that I hadn't just eaten

Sure, I had to really think to find the thankfulness.  But that makes it more meaningful to me.  The fact that I had to dig deep to be thankful means something.  It means I'm not being flippant but am taking this seriously.

How much more is there to be thankful for?  Voskamp challenges us to count 1,000 things.  I hope that it won't end there.

One Thousand Gifts

Ice Skating

                                The kids went ice skating yesterday.   Now MY back hurts!

Jan 14, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

Chapter 2

...Is that the message of nightmares and dreams?  To live either fully alive...or in empty nothingness?  It's the in between that drives us mad.
          It's the life in between,...this is the life in between that makes us the wild walking dead.
          Will I have lived fully--or just empty?

How do we live so fully so we are fully ready to die?

Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the eucharisteo- the table of it that simple?

The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything.  He who has learned this knows what it means to live...He has penetrated the whole mystery of life-giving thanks for everything.

The only real fall of man is his noneucharistic life...ingratitude, was the fall- humanity's discontent with all that God freely gives.

I'd need to forsake my noneucharisteo...and grab hold to euchristeo, a lifestyle of thanksgiving.

Jesus offers thanksgiving for even that which will break Him and crush Him and wound Him and yield a bounty of joy (chara).  the mystery always contains more mysteries.

If I am truly in Christ, mustn't my initial act, too, always be an act of thanksgiving, returning to Jesus with thanks on the lips?

Thanksgiving-giving thanks in everything- prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ.

The act of sacrificing thank offerings to God- even for the bread and cup of cost, for cancer and crucifixion= this prepares the way for God to show us His fullest salvation from bitter, angry, resentful lives and from all sin that estranges us from Him.

I know in my life it truly is a sacrifice to be thankful for the things I view as "bad".  I remember several years ago when I was waiting on the results of a breast biopsy.  I knew the doctor was pretty sure that it wasn't cancer, but having to wait over the weekend for the results gave me plenty of time to worry and fret.  BUT, when I turned my focus from me to HIM, I was truly able to begin giving thanks.  PTL I did not have cancer, but the trial had been real.  The action of making a choice to give thanks, even in my fear, allowed me to see Him through the holes in my life.

Our salvation in Christ is real, yet the completeness of that salvation is not fully realized in a life until the life realizes the need to give thanks.  In everything...
                       I would never experience the fullness of my salvation until I expressed the fullness of my thanks everyday, and eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life.

Eucharisteo, the Greek word with the hard meaning and the harder meaning to live- this is the only way from empty to full.

Luke 17, the story of the 10 lepers.  ONE, (a foreigner) returned to thank Jesus.  Jesus said to him, "...thy faith has saved thee..."
         saved=sozo, (Greek)= salvation
And when did the leper receive sozo-the saving to the full, whole life?  When he returned and gave thanks.
              Our very saving is associated with our gratitude.
        Jesus counts thanksgiving as integral in a faith that saves.

This is very convicting.  How can I claim to be a Christ-follower if I am ungrateful?  It' easy to give thanks when things are going my way.  But the real test comes when things go wrong.  Will I choose to be thankful or will I complain?  I pray I will choose the first.


                         One Thousand Gifts


One Thousand Gifts...

A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.   by Ann Voskamp

These are quotes from the book that have really spoken to me.  And I'm only through chapter 2.

Chapter 1
Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude. 

Our fall was, and always has been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives.

Choose to say yes to what He freely gives.  (Could I live that--the choice to open the hands to what God gives?)  If I don't, I am still making a choice...
               The choice not to.

I wonder too...if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see.
                    To see through to GOD!

As I read this book, thinking about, rereading, underlining, writing in my journal, I am overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed by the way God works in my life to bring me closer to Himself.  I pray that I will see Him more clearly through the holes in the canvas of my life, the holes caused by sin...

One Thousand Gifts

Ann Voskamp's website

Jan 9, 2013

Sewing Project #4, Wallet

Here is the wallet I made for myself.  The ONLY change I would make, and it's really a non-issue since this has so many pockets, is to add a drivers license window pocket.

The wallet has 6 "credit card" pockets, 1 zip pocket and 3 slip pockets.  It doesn't have a place for photos but that too is a non-issue since I can keep good photos on my phone and the ones I had of the kids that I really liked were at least 4 years old.

The pattern was really easy, I only made 1 mistake that I had to fix and that was putting the magnetic snap in, I put one on the wrong side and had to reposition it, but that was a really easy fix.  The instructions look daunting at first but if you've got at least some experience in reading patterns and swing it shouldn't be too big a problem.  I put it together with a migraine in about 2 hours.

Get the pattern here:Have It All Wallet Pattern


Jan 5, 2013


David was on vacation  from Christmas Day through New Years Day.  One thing we enjoy doing as a family is going to the local "junk" shop in Concord.

We had gone to Ikea the day before and I had looked at cushions for the dining room chairs but couldn't justify

paying around $7 per cushion when the fabric was not very good quality.  While we were are the junk shop the next day I was looking for 2 things.  A butter dish that I liked and one of those grease separator measuring cups.  I found the butter dish, and a gorgeous hand-crafted wall basket but not the measuring cup.  while waiting for David to finish I started looking through the aisle of pillows. 

I found a set of 4 hunter green seat cushions in very good condition for our dining room chairs, a manly plaid seat cushion for Daniels desk chair and several throw pillows for the living room.  I think I got 10 pillows in all.

After they were washed and dried and we went to bed that night, here is what I found...

Oscar curled up on the couch enjoying the new pillows!


One of my goals this year is to sew more.  I have a fair stash of fabric that was purchased in the past year with projects in mind, now I just need to make them up.

Here are the results of this past week...

Flannel PJ's for me
Purse Organizer

Flannel PJ bottoms for David