Friday, September 25, 2015

All finished and ready to take a cross-stitch break. Time to dust off my knitting needles. Going to send this to a friend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I have been stitching on the same piece as in my prior post. I am making pretty good progress. There are parts of this pattern that are indeed challenging as there are a fair amount of color changes and it can be hard to determine where I am in the pattern. But here it is this morning....

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Here is my latest work in progress. I am stitching this for a friend. It was proving a bit hard until I decided to stitch straight from my computer (got the pattern on my computer) and that way I could enlarge it so that the emblems were easier to see. Now it is moving along a bit better.

Sharing some of my daughter's artwork

Saturday, May 23, 2015

My mother has a dear friend that asked if I would be willing to cross-stitch a couple kits for her that she had gotten but can no longer see well enough to stitch them herself. I agreed even though I detest kits, and these were on black and that is another detest thing for me. I will say these kits were absolutely horrible. I opened the first one and the entire pattern was missing. Thankfully I had the same picture in a book by the same company. The second one was there but so tiny I had more trouble reading the pattern than I had stitching on the black cloth. At any rate both pieces are done and are gorgeous. I hope that she likes them.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I am a minimalist

Four more boxes of "stuff" to be donated...I think the house is finally at the minimalist place where I am happy with it. I question every purchase now so wasteful things typically do not find their way into my house these days.

Every inch of my home has been sorted through multiple times over the last several years. I found that sometimes things I thought I needed to keep were not things I wanted a year later so the process took me some time. My wardrobe is now a capsule wardrobe that I am satisfied with. While I know this is a journey with no real finish line, I am now at this time happy with where we are as far as "stuff"

I am grateful that just over three years ago the Lord started speaking to my heart about simplifying my life. When I first heard of the idea of minimalism something about it touched a chord in me. I even found that it lined up with my Biblical worldview. So I set about learning what it meant and deciding if it is was something I wanted to do but all the time I really felt the Lord nudging me towards it.

 He brought this aspect into my life at the perfect time. I started this journey just right before my life would take an unexpected turn and I would go through something very emotionally hard. I think this minimal focus often gave me the diversion that I needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other during that time. It was as if shedding the clutter was giving me courage to face the things going on in my life.

I wish I would have taken before pictures when I first got interested in living more minimal. I know the kitchen would have reflected a HUGE change Obviously there is a difference in the way that my house looks now. However, the biggest change was inside me.

 I can clean my house really fast now. I have more free time and with it I have been able to actually enjoy doing some things I love doing. I don't look for lost items anymore...having less means I can stay organized with minimal effort so things I need are where they should be.

But inside it was changing me. I find my entire attitude is more giving now. I am quicker to give something away to someone that may need it more than I because well it is just a material thing and that drive to hang on to things has been broken. I have more time to spend with Him because I am not busy sorting and cleaning and organizing stuff.

I no longer try to keep up with the Jones's. It is easier for me to tell if what I am wanting is really a need or a want. Saying no to myself is liberating and freeing in ways I never expected. I don't need more bling to have a sparkle in my eyes. My worth comes not from things but my worth comes from Christ Jesus.

It is said the value of something is based on what someone would pay for it. Jesus gave His life for me...that makes me worth more than I could ever imagine. The King of Kings laid down His life for me. Material things can't give me any joy when compared to that. I don't need some lavish earthly gift because I have the best gift ever, salvation bought with the Blood of Jesus. Nothing in a box could ever compare with that.

No longer do I need the latest and greatest gadget. My computer is older and I will keep it as long as it serves my needs. I don't have a smart phone, nor do I want one. I just need one that will do the basic stuff. God knows I waste enough time on the internet on my computer and my kindle, so I don't need it on my phone too.  The most surprising benefit is the peace and calm that living with less has given me.

I know this isn't for everyone and I am sure there are people in my life that think I may be a tad crazy to find it good and wonderful to see how little I can live with. Before someone who doesn't know me gets the idea I have a home with nothing in it...I still have things. I just tend to have less things. I don't do a lot of decor type things in my home. I prefer clean table tops and counters. I have even tried to limit the number of frames and such hanging on the walls. But it is not like I have nothing. I have what I need and what I enjoy.

Now the focus is on other areas to simplify that aren't material but need some decluttering. I feel the Lord is leading me to make some changes in how I live. Those areas may prove to be more challenging than letting go of material stuff. If I have gotten this many positive things from shedding material clutter I know the next leg of the journey is going to be even more rewarding...although I have a feeling it may take a bit longer. I also suspect it may be a bit more painful to walk out. But I trust Him and I am ready for the pruning to start.

But as far as the time it will take...that time is going to pass by anyway so I may as well spend it doing something positive. And since my work for the day is done I think I shall go spend some time at the feet of the Father and see where He is going to take my journey now. I have a feeling this leg of it is going to require me to hold even tighter to Him. But that is a good place to be...and one that I long to be more fully. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Current project

This has been my winter project. Hoping to finish it here real soon The close up of the stitches is actually more true to color than the picture where you can see the entire afghan. It is a simple seed stitched afghan.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Marriage and Key Lime Pie

When anyone asks my husband, Noel what kind of pie is his favorite he always responds, "hot or cold". The man loves pie and it doesn't really matter which kind of pie it is...but there is one exception to that rule. He does not like Key Lime Pie even just a little bit.

Saturday our church hosted a dinner for those in leadership and  the dessert for the event was a choice of two different kinds of pie. The one was a chocolate cream pie and the other wasn't as easily identifiable. I saw it and reasoned it was some sort of sugar cream, or banana cream or perhaps not even pie at all but cheesecake.

I went through the line before my husband and chose the chocolate cream pie. Upon returning to my seat the lady next to me commented that the other pie was key lime pie. My initial reaction was, "darn, I wish I would have known that." Did I mention that I really like key lime pie as in it is one of my absolute favorites? But then it hit me Noel was still in line.

I smiled and said, "no problem. I guarantee Noel will pick up the key lime thinking it is something else and I will trade him my chocolate pie for his key lime."

Noel returned to the table and as he lowered his dessert to the table I took his plate and said, "you don't want that. It's key lime, but I will trade you my piece of chocolate pie." To the amusement of the others at the table he was happy I had rescued him from the key lime pie.

How did I know he would grab the key lime pie? After nearly 30 years of marriage I know that while he likes chocolate he would prefer something else in the way of pie. And key lime pie isn't often served places so I knew it would not even be on his radar as he tried to determine what the white cream looking pie was.

After decades of being together there are very few surprises between us. We know one another better than we know ourselves. When things happen he knows how I am going to react, and the same is true when me. I know how he processes things.

Some may find it sad that there are few surprises left but not me. I find that intimate knowledge of one another comforting. The reminder of that "knowing" sure made for one delicious piece of key lime pie.