Tuesday, January 31, 2012

February Focus - Beanie Knitting

February Knitting Challenge 
for Kindred Bloggers
Use your crafting talent to help kids deal with their cancer by making fun beanies and totes.  

Craft Hope - {spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time}

From the Craft Hope Website:
So are you ready?!? For Project 16 :: The Littlest Warriors, we will be collecting handmade beanies and bags for kids like Pierce who are fighting cancer. Pierce’s mom, Melanie, has graciously volunteered to collect and distribute the items to the kids who need them most.

Here are the details:

We need BEANIES (hats) for babies through teenagers. All noggin sizes. They can be knit, crochet, fabric. You name it. They can be embellished with flowers and bows. But don’t forget about the boys. They need hats too. It’s very difficult to find adorable hats and we think this community is the best place to get them. There are a hundred and one patterns online for beanies/hats. If you have one you’d like to share post it in the comments and I’ll put up a post to share with everyone.


We need BAGS for the kids to take with them to the hospital. They can be simple tote bag style or whatever suits your fancy. And if you are so inclined fill them up with goodies for the kids. Some ideas are books, puzzles, crayons, coloring books. The opportunities are endless.
As with any Craft Hope project, don’t get lost in the details. Make a bag or a beanie. Make twenty. Get a group together and make bags and/or beanies. It’s totally up to you!
Melanie lives up in Minnesota and will be distributing the beanies and bags to the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, the Miracles of Mitch Foundation, and the Ronald McDonald House.

Please mail the beanies and bags to:
Melanie Bimson
16026 Temple Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55345 

Time to pour another cup of coffee and get started on my beanie knitting!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Morning Coffee - Jumbled Pieces

“When My Presence is the focal point of your consciousness, all the pieces of your life fall into place.”  
Sarah Young – Jesus Calling
When I read this I thought of a jig-saw puzzle and how we try to make sense of the 1,000 little pieces heaped in a jumble on the table.  The first thing we look at is The Box.  We need The Box to show us where we are headed; to tell us what the various colors and patterns of the individual pieces mean and where they fit into the whole.  The only way to see the result of those jumbled pieces is to keep that Box close and let it be our guide. Without it we are lost.

And so it is with my life.

Time to pour a second cup of coffee and make sure My Box is close by so that I can better see the purpose and direction of the jumbled pieces of my life.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Morning Coffee - A Point of Light

“The guiding force in Bonhoeffer’s life, underlying all that he did, worked and suffered for, was his faith and love of God, in whom he found peace and happiness.  From his faith the breath of vision came which enabled him to separate the gold in life from the dross and to differentiate what was and what was not essential in the life of man.”
Memoir by G. Leibholz
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I am finally - months after receiving it from my son, Chris – beginning to read The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   I am still in the Memoir, barely 20 pages into this tome, yet find I am already very intrigued by this man, his life, his faith and his writings.

The “breath of vision” as described in the passage above encapsulates exactly what so many of us are searching for in life.  What is important; what is not.  Where should my energies be directed; what is the point of light of each day?   

The timing is perfect for me to have finally picked up this book.  I am eager to find some direction and guidance for my journey ahead into the new year.   I believe I'll pour a second cup and read a few more pages.

"One moment there had been nothing but darkness;
next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out..."
C. S. Lewis


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Morning Coffee - Promised Blessings!

“Instead of running away from challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in the difficulties.  Don’t waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been [or thinking life is unfair.]  Start at the present moment – accepting things exactly as they are – and search for My way in the midst of those circumstances.”

Sarah Young
Jesus Calling
I can’t begin to tell you how important this is; or how much I count on this promise of His blessings.  There are times – each and every day – when I find myself eyeing the path of self-centeredness and pity.  And if I allow it to open before me, there is no end to the reasons I can find for feeling sorry for myself.  (I rarely have trouble with that particular list.)  But it is a path that leads nowhere and I know that.

As Sarah Young writes, each day begins with the “present moment”.  How it unfolds from there is up to me.  Each step – forward or backward - is a decision of mine manifested. 

I believe I will refill my cup and look for the blessings of the day ahead.  Life can be good despite its ever present challenges!  He has promised!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Morning Coffee - Country Roads Take Me Home

Matty at Lazy Bee Farm Blog included this picture as part of her post about the country drive she and The Mister took last Saturday.  She noted how the road went right through the rock in its way.  Jim and I always loved these winding back roads, studying how the road builders dealt with the obstacles they faced.  No matter what,  the road always reached its destination.

On Monday, my daily devotion seemed to dovetail with this photograph – providing a wonderful visual for the lesson presented.
“When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you.  You may encounter many obstacles as you move toward your goal, but don’t be discouraged – never give up!  With My help, you can overcome any obstacle.  Do not expect an easy path as you journey hand in hand with Me, but do remember that I, your very-present Helper, am omnipotent.”

“Slow down, and enjoy the journey in My presence.”

Sarah Young
Jesus Calling

 Time for another cup of coffee and a little of my favorite John Denver music.

♪♫•*¨*•♫♪.. Country roads take me home …♪♫•*¨*•♫♪ the place I belong…♪♫•*¨*•♫♪..


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Morning Coffee – “Joyous Discipline”

Sometimes your adoration is a spontaneous overflow of Joy, in response to radiant beauty or rich blessings.  At other times your praise is more disciplined and measured – an act of your will.

Fill up the spare moments of your life with praise and thanksgiving.

Sarah Young
Jesus Calling
Aren't spontaneous joys easy to come by?  We watch the sun set over a calm lake and we are immediately filled with awe and wonder. Or we hold that brand new grandchild in our arms for the first time and our spirit is alive with praise and thanksgiving.

But more often praise and thanksgiving takes real effort.  More frequent are the moments that spontaneously annoy us – those little situations that fill us with irritation, aggravation and frustration.  Maneuvering in traffic, dealing with businesses – or my personal favorite, waiting in lines.  At these times, the joys of life go unnoticed - and unacknowledged.   What a loss for us!

I think it’s time I refill my cup and begin to exercise that flabby “praise and thanksgiving” muscle.  I need to work harder at noticing and experiencing more of those spontaneously joyful moments in life and remember to offer true praise and thanksgiving for His abundant blessings.

This joyous discipline, as Sarah writes, will help me live in the intimacy of His presence.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Morning Coffee - "The future looks brighter...."

On January 1 of 2011, I wrote in my diary: “The future looks brighter than any day past.”

This was the last line of a poem written by Karin Ristau and posted on her blog, Yesterday, Today, Forever.

Serve God with your whole heart, in joy and contentment.
Be strong and courageous. Be not afraid.
You’re never alone in your journey of life.
God will not fail you! Be not dismayed.
Do not look back! Keep your eye on the goal!
Only what’s done for Christ will last!
Don’t rest on your laurels or deny your mistakes!
The future looks brighter than any day past.
Karin Ristau

Who could have possibly known what the year ahead would have in store for Jim and I yet I could not have begun the year with a better perspective given what transpired for us.  In fact when I look back at my journal entries for the months before his illness it is amazing to me what verses and phrases I chose for meditation and emphasis.  God was definitely preparing me for what was to come.

January 4th:  “You never learn faith in comfortable surroundings.” 

January 16th:  “O God!  Take me, break me, make me.” 

January 31st :  “The thing I send is best for Thee.” 

May 23rd:  “He worketh …even now.”

June 1st:  “I entreat you, give no place to despondency.  This is a dangerous temptation – a refined, not a gross temptation of the adversary.  Melancholy contracts and withers the heart, and renders it unfit to receive the impressions of grace.  It magnifies and gives a false coloring and thus renders your burdens too heavy to bear.  God’s designs regarding you, and His methods of bringing about these designs, are infinitely wise.”  Madame Guyon

June 12th:  “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 

June 17th:  “You will hear a voice say, ‘This is the way; turn around and walk here.’  Trust Him.”

June 20th:  Be still and listen.  Thy Father knowest best.  Praise Him for all he has planned.  Do not seek to get out of God’s will.  There is a purpose for being where you are.”

It was on June 20th, our 41st wedding anniversary, over breakfast at McDonald’s, that Jim confided to me that he had not been feeling well.  We immediately scheduled a Doctor’s appointment and thus began our final journey together.  And I believe we traveled it well together having been so decidedly prepared. 

Today begins another year.  And again, no one can possible know what lies ahead. But I do know that if I stay close to God He will prepare me for whatever plans He has.  He has promised that.  And He does keep His promises.

My entry for today, my first of 2012, begins, “Momento Vivere”  Remember to live!

Happy New Year!

(Note - Being journal entries I don't always reference my quotes - but most are probably from Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Chas Cowman - a favorite devotional of mine.)