Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I'm Learning Wednesday: He is FOR Me

I don't even know where to begin telling you all that I am learning right now! It feels like God is screaming at me and whispering in that still, small voice all at the same time. There are so many things going through my head at all times...I can't express everything.

Probably the main thing I am learning right now is that God is FOR us. He roots for us. He is on our side. He wants us to pursue Him as He pursues us. He is strong for us, He is faithful to us, He is merciful and gracious to us. He will never leave us no matter how weak we are. I was reading in Psalm 56 and in verse 9 that phrase appears: "This I know, that God is for me." Amidst all the trouble in this world, God is gracious to us. He comforts us in the wake of attacks by our enemies. No matter what happens to us in this life and how beaten down we are by the world, we can take refuge in our great God who is always on our side.

I love it when I read a verse and a song comes to my mind! There is a song called "You are for Me" by Kari Jobe (my favorite praise and worship artist) and I sing it over and over. You can listen to the song here. It's so neat to read the words to worship songs and think about how the Lord could have been working in the lives of the songwriters to inspire the words to songs that come straight from His Word.

That's all for now. This writing is mainly about His whispers to me. I may write a bonus "What I'm Learning" entry this week to share more about all the screaming.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I'm Learning Wednesday: Be Still

Psalm 46:10: "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

The Lord has really been using this verse to get my attention lately. It made an appearance in my devotions this week and I logged on to my friend Kimberly Merida's blog, Be the Glory, and it was there too! I don't know about you, but whenever God really wants to get my attention about something, that same thing appears over and over (and over) in my life--in various places that are not at all connected with one another. (I think He does that part on purpose so I will know that He's talking to me!)

A lot of the time, I try to control my life. Do you ever do that? I tend to forget that I am not God. That I don't know all the answers. That He does not need to consult me before important changes and decisions take place in my life. Instead, I take matters into my own hands and try to fix things that don't need to be fixed or make things happen that aren't supposed to happen yet. In Psalm 50 (can you tell I've been reading through Psalms?) the Lord says, "If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine." He doesn't need me at all.

I even refer to it as "my" life. It's not. When I asked Jesus to be my Savior, I gave up all rights to this life. It is His to do with as He pleases. Sadly, I didn't let him have control of it for a long time. There are still areas that I struggle to completely hand over to Him.

My prayer has been for the Lord to break my pride, to help me to fully realize that my life is not my own, and that He would be truly exalted through it all!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sewing Fun

I am working on several sewing projects right now, but I can't share them with you yet because they are gifts...and I know at least one recipient is a follower of this blog! They are super cute, though, and I can't wait to share them with you. More details will come soon!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quick and Easy Curtain Update

A few weeks ago, I bought some new curtains for my bedroom. They were the style and color I was looking for, but there was one thing wrong with them--they had copper grommets at the top. This would not be an issue if my furniture didn't have all silver knobs. So instead of leaving them on the shelf at Kohl's, I bought them anyway with a plan.

Here is the before picture of the curtains with the copper grommets:

I got some Folk Art metallic paint (sterling silver) at Walmart and painted the grommets to match the rest of the hardware in my room! It only took a few minutes and was pretty simple to do. It does require a pretty steady hand so you don't get silver paint all over the fabric. I didn't tape off the grommets, but you could definitely do that if you are worried about getting paint everywhere. My new and improved curtains are definitely not perfect and there is a tiny rim of copper all around the grommet, but I figure that people aren't going to be inspecting my bedroom curtains very closely. And if they would like to, I will just pretend that the copper rim is supposed to be there!

Here are my curtains after two coats of paint:

You can barely see the copper rim around it!

I think I like the silver grommets better than the copper ones! What do you think?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What I'm Learning Wednesday: A New Song

You know an awesome thing about God? He always knows what's going on. He knows exactly how to bring someone out of a funk! I have been reading Psalms this past week, and one of the first passages I read after writing last week's post was Psalm 40:1-3. I have come back to it over and over. You can read it below:

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.

The Lord has done all those things for me this past week. He hears our cries and lifts us out of our despair. He sets us on solid ground, so that our feet are firmly planted in Him. The one thing that has brought the most amazement to me, though, is that He has given me a new song of praise to sing to Him. I can't begin to tell you how He has used His Word and others to encourage me in my wait over this past week! From emails to words of encouragement out of nowhere! He is truly an amazing God and I will delight in Him as I wait for the man He has set aside for me. My prayer is that others will see how He has worked through my life in this area and that it will encourage them and bring them to a relationship with Him!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Scripture Memory Booklet

My accountability partner, Shanna, and I meet each week to share with each other the ways that God is working in our lives and what He is teaching us. We discuss various topics each week, including goals we each have. One of our shared goals is Scripture memory, but we are not the best at getting verses memorized each week. One night, I had an idea and decided to make each of us Scripture memory booklets.

I bought one of those spiral bound index card booklets at Walmart and pasted some scrapbook paper on the front in our favorite colors. That was it! It literally took me only a few minutes to make each one and they only cost $1.25 each (the cost of the booklet).

Here is the final product!

Shanna loved her booklet and I love mine as well! I carry mine around in my purse so that I can just get it out and look over it. And, bonus, all of my memory verses will be in one place so I can easily review them.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I'm Learning Wednesday: Waiting

If you know me, you know that I am not married, but very much want to be. I struggle with this issue from time to time, and right now is one of those times. It is the greatest desire of my heart to be a wife and a mom. I get impatient and frustrated with this area of my life.

For the most part, waiting stinks. I don't know anyone who really likes to wait. We live in a time where almost everything is available immediately so we really don't need to wait on anything. At all. In my wait in this area, I get frustrated, lonely, and sad. But the Lord is a great help in the process. He has our days in His hands and helps us keep our focus on Him as He shapes us into people who will honor and glorify Him with our lives.

You see, the Lord has my days laid out. There is a purpose for my wait. I may not know what it is right now, but later on when I look back on this time in my life, I will (hopefully) have a better understanding of the reasons for this season in my life. I forget this fact a lot of times because of my own impatience and selfish desires. Unfortunately, I will probably forget it again. (NOTE: It is not that my desire to be married is is the fact that I want to be married right now.)

I am excited, though, to see how God brings this man into my has got to be one crazy story! Above all, I pray that He is glorified through the story of my life. For today, though, I will do my best to 'be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.' (Psalm 37:7a)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Question Mark Cookies

I'm back! Sorry for the week-long hiatus. It has been a little crazy around here...sickness, busyness, etc. Here is one thing I've been working on!

I am preparing to make some cookies for an upcoming wedding, so I immediately went to Bake at 350 and got some recipe ideas! I love Bridget's blog and all of the fun and creative cookies she makes!

This past weekend I made a test batch. I tested out her Lemon Cut-Out cookie recipe along with her Vanilla Almond Cut-Out recipe. She also has some great tips for cookie beginners on making royal icing and cookies for decorating.

I didn't want my test batch to go to waste, so I used the dough to make cookies for a mystery themed luncheon at church. I cut them out in the shape of an Easter egg, turned them upside down, and then drew a question mark on each of them with the icing. Half of the cookies were iced in red and the other half in black.

Looking back, I wish I would have covered the entire cookie in white first and then drew the question mark on top. But I was very impressed with the taste of the cookies! The coloring of the icing, on the other hand, still needs some work. I got a different brand of food coloring to test out, so hopefully things will improve for the next batch! Do you have any suggestions for me on coloring royal icing? I need the icing to be red and navy blue.