Saturday, January 26, 2013

Five Minute Friday: {Again}

Five Minute Friday's prompt i:s AGAIN.

If you don't know what FMF is all about you can wander over here to Lisa Jo's site and check it out.  We're just a flash mob of writers doing what we love, unedited, not thought out ahead of time...just go, for five minutes!  Then you go link up your post and encourage the person who did it just before you!!  It's a lovely community, please come along for the ride, we'd love to have you!

Five Minute Friday

Alright then set the timer for 5 minutes and GO:

This week has been full of 'again's'.

She called to ask for the address again?
This isn't good enough for you, we have to have this conversation again?
Off to the city...again!
You're still coughing, so you're staying home...again.
The husband is off for meetings...again.
I'm back to the same three pounds that will never go away...again (those three never want to let me get to the other 25 that need to go.)
I don't want to get out of bed and face the world...again.
I need serious encouragement...again.
I need a lot of grace...again.
Someone left the peanut butter out...again.
She wet the bed...again.
It didn't work...again.
There was no response...again.
I can't seem to hear Him...again.

My grace is sufficient for you...again.
My power is perfect in your weakness....again.
You can do this, through me...again.
You can trust ME...again.
I've got you covered and surrounded and lifted...again.
They will pray for you...again, if you ask.
I told her to call you...again.
Can you here me...again?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Taking a Plunge: Introducing: Button Beauties

I am sticking my neck out a little here on the blog and reaching for one of my dreams at the same time.  All because I am a sucker for a challenge!! {In November Kelly challenged me to wear skirts/dresses for 30 days just to see if I noticed any difference in my attitudes, etc.  I couldn't resist so I did it.} 
But that is not today's challenge or post.  Last night he challenged me to see if I could make $300 in one week.  A little spending money for our trip (dream #14). If you're not sure what I'm talking about then you can read about it over here - my crazy God-sized dream. 
Disclaimer:  I cannot make 10 dolls in one week...well maybe I could but my family might wonder who the crazy woman is and why they aren't getting fed and have no clean clothes!

He thought maybe I could do something through writing but I'm pretty certain the publishing/writing world just doesn't move that quickly.  For some of my longest readers...remember the 'fresh flowers journal

Before Christmas, however, a young friend asked me to make her some dolls for some little girls she knew.  She had a 'look' in mind and so I drafted a pattern and these little lovelies came to life, designed and produced by me.

Button Beauties

Some of you who saw the pictures on Facebook wondered if I would be making more.  So here's my deep breath plunge. (It appears I have a little issue charging money for things I make.)  I will take orders for 10 of these dolls (for now anyway, I feel that I could do that many in a reasonable amount of time).  I am going to charge $30/doll (if they need to be shipped that cost will be added on).

You can send an e-mail to me with the following information to help me craft your one-of-a-kind doll.  
In the subject line please put: "doll order"  

Then I need to know:
1. eye color (brown, green, blue, black)
2. a color that the little girl likes
3. preferred hair color and style (choose from straight, ponies (1 or 2) or up)
4. 'skin' color (dark, light)
5. any particular interests (these don't always have a bearing but as you can see, the 'Elizabeth' doll has ballet shoes and a tutu.  She was made for my own little dancer girl)
6. Delivery Date:  when does she need to be in your hands? (if you are from far away please keep shipping times in mind - and that I'm going away for 2 weeks in the middle of March!)

*the dolls are made using 100% cottons, acrylic yarns and bits of this and that :) 
*I use buttons and snaps and try to avoid velcro.  
*Each little girl has underwear to keep things modest!  
*They are 24" tall.  
*All the joints (legs/shoulders) are attached with buttons, just for fun!
*payment will need to be made before I will ship (I have a PayPal account and may just have to figure out how to use it!  However, cheques and cash (locally) are fine or money orders.)
*Theoretically they should be totally washable but I have not yet thrown Lizzy's doll into the washing machine (just being totally honest!)
Cost: $30 plus shipping

Let me introduce you to my girls!
This is Esme.
Esme has a pretty little headband with a hand-crafted flower.

Meet Mila.
Elizabeth - the ballerina!
I tried to get a good picture of her bun but it proved a little difficult!

UPDATE:  My cart is not yet full so if you would be so kind as to share this post on your facebook page or by word of mouth I would so appreciate it!!  If you share and someone you know decides to buy one, have them mention your name and I will send you a little giftie for your referral!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I want to be THAT person...

"It isn't the Jew/Lani/___________(put your name here) who maintains outward appearances who will receive praise from God, and it isn't people who are outwardly circumcised on their body.  Instead, it is the person who is a Jew inside, who is circumcised in spirit, not literally.  THAT person's praise doesn't come from people but from God."  (Romans 2:28-29)

* I want to be THAT person, the one who isn't in the habit of being so concerned about maintaining appearances. I want to be THAT person who is in the habit of obeying what God tells me to do no matter whether it looks like foolishness or if someone might laugh at me.
* I want to THAT person who gives it her best shot, knowing that she has laid everything on the table and held nothing back...even if it isn't perfect.
* I want to be in the habit of setting my mind on Christ.
* I want to be in the habit of having my affections with Him.
* I want to hear the applause of heaven.
* I want to be the kind of person for whom God's praise is enough.

THAT is the kind of person I want to be.

If you've read over here today this will make sense (otherwise you might think I'm a little daft), I had to smile.  I have my own notch, but I did it on purpose.  I put a hole in my ear where I knew it would hurt, and it gets tugged once in awhile and reminds me of why it's there.  It is my reminder that I am a bond-slave of who has purposefully put herself under the Master, letting Him pierce me and love me, care for me and carry me.

Monday, January 14, 2013

How to Keep From Being Robbed

I was robbed this weekend.

This time it was only a phone, but I know that often I let myself get robbed of so much more.

The Word says that the enemy comes in to steal, kill and destroy us.  He robs us of our desire to forgive.  He tells us that we are only worth the sum of our parts and tries to steal our worth.  Sometimes I let him take all of that and more.

There are these people in Romans who let Satan steal from them.  He stole God from them and gave them death instead.

I don't want to be THOSE people.

I don't want to be like THEM.

You probably don't either.

I've been reading Romans, memorizing it, discussing it in our devotional time with our kids.

Romans isn't very fluffy.

Romans is weighty and makes you sober up and take a good look.

THOSE people knew God and they cast Him aside.

THOSE people traded the truth of God for a lie.

THOSE people forgot to be thankful.

THOSE people set things up in their lives that pushed God out of the prominent spot.

THOSE people were given over to the foolishness of their mind and their own depravity because God said, "Enough already, have it your way."

I don't want to be THEM.

The way not to be THEM?


Remember the gifts, be thankful...grab on to the grace of thanksgiving...

"Forgive me Father, for letting myself forget to be thankful. Forgive me for letting myself get robbed.  For trading time with you for a video game or a movie that doesn't fill my soul with anything but darkness.  I don't want you to ever say to me, "Enough already, have it your way."  I don't want my way.  THEIR way led to slander, greed, disobedience and all manner of sexual sin and other depravity.  I don't want that for me or my children.  I want to be thankful."

*thankful for the coupon my husband gave me for a night off of cooking dinner
*thankful for my very casual job that gets me out and rubbing shoulders with the community once in awhile
*thankful for the color orange, it makes me smile :)
*thankful for time with my family celebrating Christmas this weekend
*thankful for insurance that covers the theft of my phone
*thankful that it was just a phone that got stolen and not my child
*thankful for the gifts that God has given us that allowed us to bless my sister's church with music this weekend
*thankful for gluten-free recipes that are super yummy
*thankful for those who read these posts...yes, I'm thankful for you!  What are you thankful for?

Crossing off #14

I'm a dreamer and I often set super unrealistic goals for myself.  

I am also a perfectionist whose worth is far too often tied up in what I can do and how well I can do it.

I am a 'good girl' who doesn't want anyone catching her making mistakes/being weak/screwing up.

But this year, I am trying something new.  It's called grace.

This year I am trying to allow myself some breathing room.

In her book, The Do What You Can Plan, Holley Gerth encourages us to set a goal that is short term...a small goal, and then cut it in half.

Last week our assignment was:
Do one thing to move forward in your God-sized dream. You get extra credit if it’s simple, small and takes just a few minutes.

If you've read my God-sized dream you may recall that there isn't a single item on that list of dreams that isn't HUGE!!  {I wrote it before she started giving us assignments}

One goal I didn't write down was my desire to finish unfinished projects before I get going on new ones.  There isn't a huge list, but it's daunting enough.  My husband threw out a challenge.  We've been talking for the last year about celebrating our 20th anniversary (#14 on The List).  We decided on a cruise.  He told me that if I could get our accounting caught up on our farm books we would book one.

That was a challenge I couldn't pass up.  So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work girlfriends...a cruise was calling my name.  I petered out for a few days and then pulled up those bootstraps and kept going...I got to the end of September and realized that all I had left to do was file that GST report and in the government's eyes...we were caught up.

So on Tuesday last week, when Holley gave that assignment, guess what small thing we did?  We filed that report and booked ourselves on a cruise people!!!  It only took  a few minutes for that report to get filed even though hours of work had gone into getting to that point.  I still have a bit more to do to get to year end and I just got the paperwork I need to get there today.

Not only that, but my diligence and discipline in that matter spurred my husband on to start the ball rolling on another two of the dreams on that list!  One domino goes down and more have to follow.

That wee bit of success is heady stuff.  I know there will be kinks in the road.  There will be roadblocks and fatigue.  However, I am beginning to believe that just maybe these dreams aren't just ours, they belong to God and we are his and I am going to keep moving forward.
This is the ship we're going on  ms Maasdam

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Contentment, A Discipline?

I am not sure I really want to write this post. It is a lesson that is not yet sealed in my heart or mind and one that haunts me on a fairly regular basis, much to my chagrin.

However, as I prayed about what to post today this is what The Lord laid on my heart, probably more for me than for any of you dear readers.

My 'one word' is a phrase...Grace-full Discipline. Can these two things co-exist? I hope so, or I am hooped right out of the starting gate!! :)

I am also part of a God-sized Dream Team and, honey, the dream in my heart is definitely GOD-sized, it's scares me to death and sometimes when I go back and read it I just want to run and hide from it.

Then I go around reading other people's ideas and dreams and lives and I can I phrase that nicely...put out, annoyed, grumbly, murmuring...d.i.s.c.o.n.t.e.n.t.e.d. (I love/hate Pinterest)

Why is THAT not me?

Is there anyone else out there who has conversations in their head that sound like this:

If only I had _______________ (insert current want) my living room would be perfect!
If only I could lose ____ more pounds I would be happy with my weight!
If only I could get passed________(insert issue) nothing would ever bother me again.

Unfortunately, these words and phrases enter my mind far too often but mostly they are more subtle because that wily old serpent is still up to his garden tricks so he knows how to get me where it hurts. He just gets me to look down.

I look down from the lofty seat that I have fashioned from my unrealistic expectations and ideals and declare, "I have not therefore I am not!"

I have tied up my identity and worth in those things or experiences that I may or may not have. And he whispers to me, "Your life would have been easier if you only had two children like that friend."
"Your life would have been easier if you had said NO when they asked you to take him."
"Kelly should have been more like that girl's husband, so stable and steady in his job, then you wouldn't be hurting for finances."
"Look over there, isn't she a lot thinner than you?"
"She is so much better at home management and home education than you are."

Then he proceeds to offer me up excuses as to why I cannot get to my dreams and goals and what do I do? More often than I care to admit, I lay down and die. I die to my dreams, I let my goals go and I sink into a sea of self-pity. There are plenty of other people swimming in that sea who will comfort me in my misery and tell me just to wait until the kids grow up or some other excuse as to why I am not going where I want.

But this is not the life my God has designed for me.

He is a God of, "Nothing is impossible."
He is a God of, "I can do all things..."
He is a God of, "More than you can ask or imagine!"
...and there is so much more.

So how do I discipline myself to be content. Remember that discipline means to train and correct and bring things into line.

On my kitchen shelf is a beautiful little print from Red Letter Words ( - go check them out, beautiful stuff there). It says this, "She knew that when her affections were set on things above then nothing could steal her joy."

There it is my friend. Romans says I need to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Jesus said in Matthew to set our hearts on things above, not this stuff that can so easily be taken and destroyed.

So, the bad news is, when I am discontent, grumbling, murmuring and complaining I am SINNING. It's an ugly word friends, but it is the truth.

The good news is that there is a remedy for sin and his name is Jesus.

I must train my mind to focus on my Saviour, to realize that each and every thing, gift, skill, relationship I possess is a gift given for a short time and then it will be gone. These things are mine to steward and take care of, they are my responsibility.

I am NOT very good at training myself to think this way. One thing I am doing to move forward in this discipline is to memorize scripture. God has laid Romans on my heart this year. So I am going to endeavour to chew on and study and take in Romans....all year long. Then lo and behold Ann Voskamp chooses Romans as the memorizing project for this year. I am all in.

Contentment comes from setting our affections where they belong. Contentment starts in my mind and works its way through to my soul and spirit. If I want to be transformed I will have to train my mind toward contentment, it will take some discipline and repentance for me to get there.

It needs to become a habit, something that I put on every day, gratitude and thanksgiving for what I have, who I am, where I am and where I am going.  Habits aren't easy to form, they take...tada!!...discipline.  However, I am perfectly delighted that the result will be good, more than I can ask or imagine.

Linked up today at:

Monday, January 07, 2013

Thanks for this man...

Last night I had to tell him how thankful I was for him.

This man who thinks I'm beautiful in no make-up and sweats and a ponytail.

This man who faithfully works the land and shepherds the youth in our church and is father to our children.

This man who plans romantic dates and showers me with his love and affection.

This man who knows how much I like gifts and pretty things.

This man who encourages me to be all that God has created me to be and who puts his money where his mouth is and sends me off to Pennsylvania to find out that there are more people like me than I could have imagined.

This man who prays and reads and listens for God's guidance in big and small things and steers our family ship accordingly.

This man who is faithful and kind.

This man who sings and plays and teaches others to use their gifts.

This man who isn't afraid to wash dishes and take care of the kids on his own, who lets his lanky nine-year old son snuggle with him most mornings.

This man that God selected for me...

my multitude of thanks today is caught up in my love for him and thankfulness that he is mine...

Saturday, January 05, 2013

of Balance, Dreaming and Seasons...and Moving Forward

It's 2:15AM and I should be sleeping but my head is whirling with thoughts about God-sized Dreams.  I'm part of that dream team and I sort of wonder how I got there...except that I have this ginormous dream, definitely God-sized.  You can read the whole crazy thing if you want, it's over HERE.

I wonder if any of it will come to pass because I am my own worst enemy.  However, a dear intercessor/mentor/friend/spiritual mama prayed over it and she is excited about what God is going to do and she told me the order in which she is going to pray for these things to come to pass.  It makes a difference when someone is standing with you.  And then several of you dear readers have told me that you think maybe I'm a little crazy but you're going to support me anyway.

And so I will go dream-chasing...

I strive for order and balance and perfection and fall way short on all of it, because, after all, life is a wee bit messy out here on the farm with six kids running around, home school stuff, farming, pastor-ing, music lessons, livestock and the dogs howling at the moon.  There doesn't seem to be space for dreaming and balance.

I read recently about balance.  How this striving for balance may just be a bit of a lie that we've bought in to. Because if you're going to go after something, there will a season that most likely won't be very balanced.

Like training for a marathon, or giving birth, or doing NaNoWriMo or harvesting your crop.  There are seasons where you have to push through and just do it NOW, because it is time.

And then there is time, like Holley Gerth says in her recent POST, to just do the next thing.

That is sometimes the hardest thing to do, because it brings us one step closer to completion and sometimes that's the scariest part.

the what-ifs set in:

- what if I write this book and no one wants to publish it, or even read it?
- what if I go to the trouble of recording this CD and no one wants to listen to it?
- what if I lose all this weight and then I don't have the money to buy new clothes?
- what if I finish building this chicken coop...I will have to buy chickens and tend to them?

There is responsibility that comes with finishing a project.  Like the chickens, there may be success to deal with, we may have eggs to sell, which requires washing, candling and handling and marketing.

If I finish recording that CD and people love it then I may have to do tours and concerts and sign contracts.

Sometimes the fear of success can be more debilitating than than the fear of failure.

So then what?

You do the next thing.

You keep moving forward.

Because someone wisely wrote that perhaps we need to define success by our willingness to obediently follow God's call on our lives and not worry about the results of that obedience.

Someone will probably not like it that you obeyed.

That is not your problem.

Moving forward through the seasons of just do the next thing and the press through it and get it done are what it will take to see your dream through.

Dream we must.

Move forward we must.

Join us on Tuesdays over at Holley's.  Download her book from Amazon, "The Do What You Can Plan".

Start dreaming if you haven't yet


update on my dream state:

My husband gave me motivation to get our farm accounting up to date.  Once all that is caught up it should release some funds that the government currently owes us.  He said that we could go on a holiday (#14), just the two of us, if we could get all that accounting caught up by the end of January.  I finished June today!!

Friday, January 04, 2013

5 Minute Friday {Opportunity}

It's time to join the writing flash mob over at Lisa Jo's!!  The rules are simple:
1. Write for 5 minutes on the topic, no editing or criticism....just write
2.  Link up your post HERE (or just write on paper....)
3.  Go encourage a few other FMF-ers!!

Today's Prompt:  OPPORTUNITY


New year.
New thoughts
New goals
New hopes
New dreams
New opportunities

Every year brings the turning of the page, blank, fresh, like a new snowfall with no footprints.  I love the new year.  It feels like a chance to start over.

I have the OPPORTUNITY to repaint my entryway after an explosive temper took out the bulletin board that had been there for decades...leaving a beautiful brown box on the white-ish wall.  I could be mad about the destruction but I'm looking at it as an opportunity to change something that probably could stand a little freshening up.

I pray that I can use that set of eyes this year...looking for opportunities rather than seeing the disappointment, the hurt, the failure.

I want to see opportunity for new friendships, new ideas, new ___________________.  I don't even know yet.

If it isn't working KEEP MOVING FORWARD...bring along some grace and see the opportunity for Jesus to pour through the situation.


Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

of reVolutions, reSolutions and Solutions and defining such things

Today the blogosphere is buzzing with revolutions, resolutions, solutions and such!  Today I need to leave behind the failures (and successes) of 2012 and move forward to that which God has called me, too.  He has a plan for me for this day, this week, this month and the rest of this year.

One of my favorite movies is "Meet the Robinsons".  It is a children's movie but it portrays and amazing truth.  You can't keep dwelling on MUST 'keep moving forward', you do not know when the breakthrough will occur.  You do know what the day holds.  We do not know what is just beyond the river-bend.  The solution is just over the next hill.  So today:


REvOLUTION - a sudden, complete or marked change in something

REsOLUTION - the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc

sOLUTION - the act of solving a problem, question

Every year I ask the Lord for a word or phrase that might shape this year, give it focus.  If you've read any previous posts you know that I am dreaming BIG, needing a HUGE amount of grace for this good girl to come out from behind the masks I wear.  To be real and unafraid of who God has called me to be.  To breathe and work and do out of a FULL spirit rather than scraping the bottom of the barrel every day.  

I am thankful that He has surrounded me with a great crowd of encouragers in the on-line groups I'm part of and in the real life relationships that He's given me.  I have high hope for this year.  Hope is my drug of choice this year, I plan to drink it up daily.  Setting my mind on things that are His so that my JOY will be real and unaffected by circumstance.

My theme for this year is 
NOT striving and straining and doing...but BEING!!!


 [greys]  Show IPA noun, verb, graced, grac·ing.
elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: 
a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment: 
favor or goodwill. 
a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior:
mercy; clemency; pardon


 [foo l]  Show IPA adjective, full·er, full·est, adverb, verb, noun.
completely filled; containing all that can be held; filled to utmost capacity: a full cup.


 [dis-uh-plin]  Show IPA noun, verb, dis·ci·plined, dis·ci·plin·ing.
training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.

I need a change in my character...a laying down of those things which have thus far held me back (my lack of discipline) and perhaps that will result in achieving those things which God has called me to do.  

I am determined, Lord willing, to be a woman of RESOLVE this year, walking FULL {containing all that can be held} of GRACE.

 (gotta love that example on discipline - definition 2!)

*all definitions from

Now that you're done reading here, if you haven't read Ann Voskamp's post today at Holy Experience you should go read it.  Keep moving forward!!  Fall if you have to...but do it forward!

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