Friday, July 24, 2015

2015 Bookmark and a Bonus

I know the year is more than half over, but I'm just now getting around to making my bookmark for the year. You can click on the image below to download a copy and print.

As an added bonus, I was doodling with some chalkboard art and made this one, too. I thought about not putting this one on the blog, but ... well... read the verse! :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Purchased for a Purpose - Word and Verse for 2015

Every year, I try to come up with a word and verse to focus on for the coming year. I say this every year, but this year has been particularly difficult for me to focus on ONE thing I need to work on (thus, the lateness of this post). The more I look honestly at my life, the more things I see that need to be worked on. :(

One thought, though, has been swirling around in my head for several months, and that thought is ownership – how my life isn’t really mine to live and to spend how I want. I belong to God, so my life is His to use how He sees fit. That reality should affect how I spend each moment of each day.

My time is not my own.
My money is not my own.
My possessions are not my own.
My gifts/talents/abilities are not my own.
My life is not my own.


Planning my day is fine, but if God wants to redirect my day, I should embrace that and try to see “interruptions” as divine redirections.

Planning a budget is fine, but if God brings an opportunity to give, help someone in need, or even brings financial difficulty in my life, I should be willing to give all I have and cut back on things I think I “need” in order to live within the means God has given me.

I should have an attitude that anything I possess on earth is loaned to me to accomplish God’s purposes. My comfort or pleasure is not the primary goal. If I can share what I have to help someone in need, I should be thankful for that opportunity.

I should have no pride in my own gifts or abilities, nor should I look down on others for having different gifts/abilities. We are all given them by God to use for HIS glory, not our own.

I am seeing more and more that I fail in all of these areas regularly. So I think my word for the year will be PURCHASED, and my verse will be

For you were bought at a price; 
therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, 
which are God’s. 
(1 Corinthians 6:20, NKJV)

I don't have a bookmark yet, but I hope to have one within the next week.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Books Read in 2014

Here is the list of books I read in 2014.I will be clearing out the sidebar and starting fresh for 2015, but I want to keep previous years' lists so I am putting it into a post. If I reviewed a book, a link to the review is next to the book title below.

I had a nice mix of fiction vs. non-fiction this year, although my reading load was light. I hope to read more in the coming year and have a lot of great books to start me off. 

January (1)
Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God's Everything by Anonymous (Read Review)
February (2)
A Simple Christmas Wish by Melody Carlson
Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God by Sam Crabtree
March (2)
Serving Without Sinking by John Hindley
A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson
April (0)
May (0)
June (0)
July (0)
August (0)
September (2)
The Walk by Richard Paul Evans
Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans
October (1)
The Road to Grace by Richard Paul Evans
November (0)
December (3)
Daily Light from God's Word by Samuel Bagster/Anne Graham Lotz (Read Review)
The Quiet Place by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Read Review)
Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room by Nancy Guthrie (Read Review)

Nonfiction total: 6
Fiction total: 5
Total books:11

What did you read this year? What were your favorites?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Book Review: Devotionals

2014 was the year of the devotional for me. I read three devotionals this year, so I wanted to say a word about each one.

First, I will talk about Daily Light from God's Word by Samuel Bagster/Anne Graham Lotz. The unique thing about this devotional is that it is COMPLETELY Scripture. I love that about it! Each day there is a morning and evening reading of topically-arranged Scriptures. The references are below the passage, so if you want to look up a Scripture to see the context, you can. It also comes packaged in a lovely, small leather-bound book, perfect for gift-giving. I have given these as a graduation gift before, because sometimes busy college students don't have time to read large chunks of Scripture.

During the Christmas season, I also read Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room by Nancy Guthrie. This book is really intended to be used for family devotions, so it is written on a simple level suitable for children. It also has discussion questions at the end of each day that can be used for family discussions. I probably didn't get as much out of it since I was just using it for my own personal use, but it was still nice to think about different aspects of the advent story each day to prepare my heart for Christmas. As an added bonus, it has a few additional sections which break down different Christmas carols and discuss their meaning.

My favorite devotional by far this year was The Quiet Place by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I loved this book so much, I gave a copy to my mother, friend, daughters, sister, and sister-in-law! Every day, Nancy challenged me, encouraged me, and gave me great food for thought. It is also packaged with a sturdy and lovely blue leather-like cover, which makes it a really nice gift. I really can't say enough good things about this devotional. It is one I know I will use many times in the years to come.

Did you read any good devotional books lately? I'd love to hear about them.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gift Mix 2014: A Few of Our Favorite Things

For this year's gift mix, I knew I wanted to wrap them in "brown paper packages tied up with strings." It was a logical conclusion, then, that I needed to repeat a "favorite" gift mix.

The last time we gave out Cranberry Hootycreek Cookie mixes was 2005 and I STILL have people ask me every year if I'm giving that cookie out as our mix. It's a great cookie and a favorite of many of our friends.

So this year, I borrowed a decorative hole punch from my friend Mae (I think I borrow something from her for every crafty project I do! What would I do without her?!?!) and used that on some regular brown paper lunch bags. My friend Gina gave me a good Etsy source for the bakers twine, so I bought that after Christmas last year. The results are seen below.

We made 120 gift mixes this year. This is most of them. Some were on the chair behind the table. I forgot to put in the leaf, so I ran out of room! :)

I designed the tag based on a few others I saw on the internet. You can click on the images below to open them up larger and/or to copy them. One little note on the recipe side: it is probably too small to read, but the words around the edges of the border are the words to the song "My Favorite Things." I thought that was a fun detail. :)

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