February 27, 2005

Cup of Hope--Issue #3

The third issue of Cup of Hope (print edition) is now available! This issue contains 12 pages.


Cup of Hope--Issue #3

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February 24, 2005

Primmy #2


My cutie patooty


This is the second prim annie that I made yesterday. The picture is horrible because my camera isn't acting right, but it will give you an idea of what she looks like.

February 23, 2005

Craft Day

Today was my day "off" writing. Elijah is sick--AGAIN. He has run a very high fever all day. So since I couldn't focus or concentrate on writing, I spent my day doing this....

Madeline
"Madeline"


Isn't she sweet?! I have been dying to try my hand at making primitive raggedy dolls. I finally bought some patterns and this one was my first attempt. I promised her to Emily. She's already named her "Madeline." I had to hurry and snap a quick picture before Emily carried her off.

February 22, 2005

The Notebook

I read this book when it first came out and cried through the whole thing. Why did I think watching the movie might be any different? I've cried on movies before, but not like this. I sobbed throughout the entire movie. I'm glad I watched it alone because my girly outbursts of insane snotting and bawling would have thrown anyone into fits of laughter.

I've always been a sucker for a sappy love story. Let me tell you--THIS is a sappy love story! If you've read the book already, then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't read the book, well...you may as well go to Wal-Mart and buy yourself a BIG box of Kleenex before you go home to watch it. Trust me...you'll need it!!

I think the thing that "got me" most about this story is that (a) it reminds me of my maternal grandparents (my Maw had Alzheimer's) and (b) I can totally envision "Noah" and "Alli" as "Robert" and "Hope" one day.

I MISS MY HONEY PIE!!!!

COMING SOON

Your opportunity to participate in Inspirational Apprising via e-mail! Sound interesting? Keep watching my blog. More details coming soon!

February 20, 2005

Art

I love art. It makes me think.....and it makes me "not" think. :) Artwork allows me to be creative without worrying if it's good enough or not.

This is a journal I did this weekend for a special friend. I removed the covers from the binding and redecorated them, using mixed media. It's almost ugly, but I think that was the look I was trying to achieve. Every detail on each cover represents something specific for this friend. I am going to give this to her, along with a note that will tell her what each "thing" stands for. This will be called her "Healing Journal."


front cover

back cover


Here's a list of the details and what they mean (in my eyes.
FRONT COVER:
¢ pen - This is your voice. Pen gives life to words.
¢ red swirls - The ink that flows from your pen will revitalize you. It stands for the stimulating words that will flow as you write, and the rebirthing of something new inside you.
¢ blue tissue - This represents the broken fabric of the relationship you are mourning. Something that you thought "was" was not. One day this will be healed and whole again.
¢ perfume bottle - Something "sweet" will enter your life. Then you will realize that you have everything you've ever needed and wanted and LIFE will be sweeter.
¢ "journal" - well…this one is DUH! lol
¢ "dream" dictionary page - To remind you to keep dreaming, because dreams creates desire and desire prompts us to action. One day your dreams WILL come true!
¢ "feel" tag - Allow yourself to feel the pain, then learn from it. Pain isn't bad, unless you make it bad.
¢ puzzle piece - The piece of puzzle that seems to be missing from your life will be placed in your hand by God at the right moment. For now, while your puzzle is missing that single piece, focus on what you DO have-GOD.

BACK COVER:
¢ First of all, as you notice, it is upside down. This is a symbol of how you may feel some things in your life are right now. When things feel "upside down" though, we can see them differently. Whatever is feeling upside down, take a closer look. See something you never saw before?
¢ lady - Sadness might fill part of your life, but it doesn't fill ALL of it. Jesus will turn your sorrow into JOY.
¢ checked paper - represents your friendships. Know who your TRUE friends are. These are the ones who are knit tightly and interwoven in your life. They are the ones who are there for you, stick by you, through thick and thin, no matter what. If they don't honor YOU, they aren't your TRUE friends.
¢ red tag - a reminder that sometimes you keep looking at the SAME situation because you didn't see what you were SUPPOSED to see in it the first time around. If you face a trial for the second time around, stop, look and listen. What did you miss the first time?
¢ "why?" - We all ask this question MANY times. Don't be afraid to ask, "Why?" It's okay to ask that question. You WILL find the answers you seek.
¢ red blob - your heart may feel broken and bruised. but one day….
¢ heart - …it will be whole again. You will love and be loved by someone who respects and deserves you.

February 17, 2005

You Are Growing

Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.
- George Shinn


You have been willing of late to risk yourself for love. You stepped outside the "box" of what others expected. You dipped your toes into the Waters of the Unknown.

So it isn't going the way you planned. That's okay too. Your are growing. And growing means you cannot stay the same. Just like an infant grows to a toddler, a toddler to a child, a child to an adult, so you are growing and changing, as well.

A rosebud must change in order to grow into a beautiful, delicate rose. It's ugly at first. Enveloped with green on the outside, thorns lining its stem like little soldiers ready to go to war against human palms. But as that little bud begins to develop, as it stretches forth its arms and awakens from its sleep, it turns into one of the most beautiful God creations we've ever seen.

That is YOU. You are the rosebud. You are emerging from your slumber of living according to everyone else's expectations. You are BEGINNING to live your life for YOU! You are rubbing the sleep from your eyes and stretching out your arms. You are saying, "Here I am, God! I am open and ready for all the good things You have for me!"

Nobody said growing was easy. It hurts. It's painful even. But the end results--oh my! You will look back and see that all these trials were only growing spurts, emergents, pushing you out of your "shell" to be the beautiful creation God had in mind for you to be all along!

(I penned this for a friend, but felt compelled to share it here as well.)

February 16, 2005

Give It Away


You will find, as you look back upon your life, that the moments when you really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.
-- Henry Drummond


Love can make us do crazy things sometimes. It will make us do things that we never dreamed we would ever do. It will make us lay ourselves on the line, even when we've been wronged, just because we love someone.

Many years ago a family member was having marital problems. [She] had two small children, whom I loved and adored, and I felt that I needed to help in whatever way I could. Through many months (years, really) of discord in [her] family, I stood by [her]. Yet every time I extended my hand to help [her], it seemed like [she] resented me for it.

I continued to give of my time, energy, money, thoughts, prayers. Eventually we reached a point at which neither of us could stand the other. I had given everything I could to her but it seemed like it just wasn't enough for [her].

I felt as though I were being attacked by [her] because of the good things I had done for [her]. It was very confusing. Not only did I feel attacked personally, but I also felt as though other members of my family were being attacked. I did not like this at all.

I reached a point where I said enough was enough. Up went the brick wall. And let me tell you, it was tall and wide! I constructed it so that [she] (and others) would never be able to "get" me and hurt me again.

My heart hardened against [her]. It got so bad that every time I looked at [her], I would become physically ill because of my ill feelings towards [her].

Now, years later, we have worked through these differences. Life has taught both [she] and I many lessons. [Her] life has reached a settling point, and mine, a place of forgiveness.

I look back now on all those years of learning with a smile in my heart. It was extremely difficult to go through that process. But if you asked me if I would do it all over again my answer will always be, "Yes!"

I didn't give of myself out of a feeling of "duty". I was there for [her] because I love [her]. No matter what comes or goes, no matter if a stumbling block is placed in our path again, I would do it all over again. It was in those moments, challenging as they were, that I learned to love unconditionally. I learned that love isn't love until you give it away--no strings attached.

February 15, 2005

Flight

Illustration Friday

On the spur of a moment I sat down and painted today for this week's Illustration Friday theme, which is "Flight." This was painted with acrylics, then scanned and "prettied up" in PSP. Simple, but I had lots of fun playing.


(Click on thumbnail to see larger picture)

February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

My day started out pretty bad today. I woke up early with an upset stomach and well...it all went downhill from there. I became a permanent fixture on the couch all day. Thank God Elijah was good. I don't think I could have made it through the day if not.

I was so sick that I couldn't even talk to Robert when he got online for our morning chat. Of course, that made me want to cry but I was so sick I couldn't even cry.

"I wish I were there," he typed.

"Me, too," I replied before I made another mad dash for the bathroom.

When I returned he was typing the words to the song "You Are My Sunshine" to me.

"I wish I could take your sickness away." That's the kind of man he is.


Back in "the day" when I was single and "looking" I had grand ideas of what my husband would be like. I would pick the perfect man. He would have looks that would knock every woman dead off her feet. He would be at least 6 ft + tall. He would buy me the perfect presents at the perfect times. Well...he would be a regular old Knight In Shining Armor!

The funny thing about life is that the things we think we need and want are not.

The first time I met Robert I thought he was the goofiest person I'd ever met.

A friend of mine asked me after the party, "What do you think about Robert?"

"I wouldn't date him if he were the last man on the face of this earth!" I retorted and nothing else was ever said about it again.

A few months later, though, I began developing feelings for Robert. Out of nowhere I knew (don't ask me how--it's one of the "intuition" things) that I would marry him some day.

Now the funny thing about this is that up to this point, Robert and I had never even talked to each other. At most, we saw each other in passing at church. But I had that feeling in the gut of my stomach that I would marry him one day.

When we finally got together, it was like a miracle from God. I was so stubborn and full of pride. He was kind, loving, gentle and caring.

I know that if I had searched this world far and wide, looking for the "man of my dreams" I NEVER would have found a man who could be so good to me as Robert is. His love runs so deep and strong that I know I never have to fear of losing it.

No, he's not perfect. But neither am I. And as for my thoughts of glorious grandeur in a man, well...I know I have that man!

He is...

  • sweet
  • kind
  • caring
  • thoughtful
  • understanding
  • tender
  • compassionate
  • goodhearted
  • giving
  • loving
  • MINE ALL MINE!

February 11, 2005

Beautiful Words

Congenial conversation - what a pleasure! The right word at the right time - beautiful!
- Proverbs 15:23


I once had an aquaintance with a filthy mouth. At first, her brash language and manner of speech offended me. Nasty language. Filthy talk. Negative thought processes. After a while though, I grew accustomed to it.

No wonder why I began feeling and thinking the same way!!

It has been said that bad habits more easily rub off than good ones. I believe it! The more I placed myself in conversations with this person, the more her negative energy rubbed off on me.

Then one day she responded to something I said, and it did not sit well with me. My first reaction was anger.

'How dare she say that? Who does she think she is?'

Then thoughts of revenge entered my mind.

'I feel like chewing her out. She doesn't have a clue who she's dealing with!

Then Jesus tapped me on the shoulder.

"Excuse me, Hope. Who do you think you are? Look at where your thoughts are. They aren't on Me. Give this situation to Me. I will take care of it. Show her love. Show her kindness. I will handle the rest."

Talk about a wake-up call! Have I replied to her? No. I'm leaving it in God's hands. He certainly knows better how to deal with this than I do.

We are commanded in the scripture to keep our conversations lovely and friendly. Wasteful words are harmful and destroy our souls. The right word, at the right time, is a beautiful thing!

Let my words and thoughts be beautiful in Your sight, Jesus!

February 10, 2005

Long Distance Hugs
For TWP Creative Themes "LOVE"

It's funny how several years of marriage can turn two people who were once doe-eyed over each other into strangers who feel like they don't know each other. Marriage is like a full-time job, only you have to work overtime as well. There are no breaks. Period. If you don't put time into it, you get nothing out of it.

Somewhere along the way, I found myself solely focused on Robert's irritating quirks that drove me up the wall. Dirty socks on top of the clothes hamper, instead of inside. Outdoor trash cans filled to overflowing with mutating waste because he forgot to put them by the road on garbage day. Slurping sounds coming from behind his coffee mug at 5 am. You know what I'm talking about. You probably have lists of your own.

I think we all go through these cycles in our marriages. There are ups and downs. Differences and indifferences. And somewhere in the middle of it all, you just learn to find common ground. But sometimes it takes something drastic to open our eyes, which is what precisely happened to me.

Over the last few months, I have learned that:
" Dirty laundry on top of the clothes hamper, instead of "in" isn't worth arguing over.
" The garbage man will pass another day.
" Slurping hot coffee isn't a sin - it just means that it's hot.

I understand now that the miniscule things that once seemed like a mountainous range of harrowing habits really don't matter at all.

The miles between Robert and I have served a single meaningful purpose-to bring us closer together. Our relationship is blossoming and emerging into something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. We are learning that we need each other more than we ever expected. Our hearts are connected together with a powerful cord that cannot be broken.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!!!!

I jumped as the penetrating sound roused me from my daydreams.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Baby! What ya doin'?"

A smile spread across my face when I heard Robert's voice. Caterpillars emerged from their cocoons to sprout their wings and flit about within my stomach. His voice, like a warm blanket fresh from the dryer, wrapped itself around me and embraced me in a long distance hug.

February 09, 2005

LUBAR

(LUBAR- Loved Up Beyond All Recognition).

Sheryl, over at Paper Napkin has a post up entitled, "Lubar." I am passing the love as well, to two of my "best blogging buddies". I'm not giving full names because I know you'll know who you are when you read this entry. Here's your virtual gifts...

To "A": I wish I could give you a mother who truly loves you.
To "K": I wish I could give you endless book deals illustrating children's books.

LUBAR
LUBAR someone and linkback to Paper Napkin!

February 08, 2005

Listen

"Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice." - Proverbs 4:20



I once had a friend that didn't listen. She would ask me a question, then when I'd start to talk, she would zone out into another world. Sometimes she would look away at something else, then look back at me with a blank, "Yeah." Other times she would stare at me, with that far away look in her eyes and I knew that she definitely wasn't with me. It made me feel like I and what I had to say was unimportant.

If we are not careful, we get so busy that we forget to stop and listen. Listening is more than hearing. Hearing happens with our ears. Listening happens with our heart.

The word "listen" means "to hear with intention." That means there is a greater purpose than just hearing. We should take the words we hear and digest them into our heart, with the purpose of achieving an outcome that will guide our actions.

I'm sure you've heard the age-old saying that our actions speak louder than our words. You know why? Because when we hear what someone is saying, we can easily walk away unaffected, unchanged, unmoving. But when we listen with our hearts, we are able to digest the words we hear, then take them and turn them into a map that will guide our actions.

Do you hear, or listen?

February 06, 2005

New Website

I built a website for our Family Readiness Group. Click here if you'd like to see it.

February 04, 2005

FREE Wallpaper!!

I created this wallpaper to put on my laptop before I mail it to Robert. I thought it would be nice to share with all you other patriots out there. Clicking on the thumbnail will take you to the larger picture, where you can right click and save it to your hard drive, then set it as your wallpaper. I created it for 800x600 screen size.

FREE WALLPAPER

February 03, 2005

Up and ATTEM!

This morning something is stirring inside of me. My well has felt quite emptied out lately by everything that has been happening. I started refilling it by reading The Right to Write, by Julia Cameron. I jot notes down as I read onto Post-It notes and stick them to the page. I have purple and now blue (because I ran out of the purple ones!) sticky notes peeking out from every page of the book! If you are a writer and need inspiration, or a shove, I highly reccomend this book.

Anyway, so my whole point was that I am ready to conquer the world............er, um..........I mean TODAY. I'm ready to conquer this DAY. I have already done a bit of work this morning and will do so throughout the day today and tomorrow. Then this weekend I am going to play with a new website that I am creating for all the wives of our support group. I'm excited about this project and can't wait to get started on it. I will update you on that later with a link. We're still collaborating on a name for the website.

Happy day to you all! Create a wonderful day. I will do that same! :)