Consider It Joy

During this week of Thanksgiving, many of us will gather with family members – sometimes those we don’t see real often.  Is that a stressful time for you?

Do you have family members who don’t share your beliefs?  Are you teased by them from time to time?

Are you a target for poking fun, jeering, or even ridicule?

Spectacular Sunday Poster

Most of our family members are Christians, so persecution from family isn’t much of an issue for HH and I.  But, I realize that may not be the case for others.

James says to consider it joy when experiencing trials.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (James 1:2-3, NIV)

It doesn’t necessarily feel joyful, does it?

Developing muscles, which can be very hard work, isn’t necessarily a joyful thing.  Developing our perseverance muscle is the same way.  Hard work.

I share this word from Jesus today to give you a focus as you endure faith trials of perseverance with a smile on your face during your Thanksgiving/family time this week – or any time in life.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.  Be happy about it!  Be very glad!  For a great reward awaits you in heaven.  And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.  (Matthew 5:11-12, NLT)

To bring back a cliché…………..

Don’t worry.  Be happy.  🙂

Also, I’d like to remind you to pray for those who persecute you.  They need the Lord.  They may not understand it yet, but Jesus loves them and offers redemption to them.

I pray you have a wonderful week of giving thanks to the One From Whom All Blessings Flow.

Have a blessed and spectacular Sunday!

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Love is Stronger

Do you need encouragement today?  Is your world under a cloud?

Life is hard.  Sometimes things happen that we think we can’t endure.

Romans 12:12

Do you feel helpless?  Do you need hope when you feel life is hopeless?

When you find it hard to hang on to your faith, that’s when you need God the most.

Don’t let go.  He understands.  He loves you, and He’ll get you through.

We praise God in the valleys and on the hilltops.  We thank Him for sending Jesus for our redemption…and the Holy Spirit as our constant guide.  The Lord is our strength and comfort.

Let’s thank the Lord on this spectacular Sunday for His ever faithful love and care.

Praise Him from Whom all blessings flow.

Blessings~

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Tips to Tackle Tasks in a Timely Way

People often ask me how I get it all  done.  That question stuns me because I never feel it’s all done.  I definitely don’t get as much accomplished as I used to, before my Fall season of life.

Are you efficiency-challenged?  Are you task-oriented but seem to twirl your way from one incomplete project to another?

These are some things I do (or did during my curtain business years) to make the most efficient use of my time – nothing new or earth shattering.  But, we sometimes need reminders of age-old techniques for efficiency.

Tip One

Lump projects together or combine similar steps.  For example, when you have painting projects, gather everything to be painted a like color and paint them at the same time.

Here is a collection of items I painted earlier this summer all at the same time – some things for immediate posts and some for later.

Projects Painted White

Tip Two

Tackle “thinking-required” tasks when your brain is fresh and physically taxing projects when you have the most energy.

What time of day are you at your peek mentally?  When is your physical energy peek?

Since I’m a morning person, I do things that require the most brain power during early hours.  Late mornings and afternoons are spent on things requiring more physical energy, like doing the projects in my blog posts.  After dinner (when my brain is approaching complete shut-down), I edit pictures or catch up on emails.

I don’t have a completely strict schedule, of course.  For example, physical outdoor work during the heat of summer must be done in the mornings rather than afternoons.

Tip Three

Keep a task list, and keep it updated.  Sometimes it’s necessary to make more than one list, separating by project type.

Tip Four

Work in “location zones”.  You may remember I’ve been known to paint furniture in our kitchen – and usually several things at once.  Because I spent many hours cooking for our family, the kitchen was my painting zone.  (My family probably wanted to strangle me for that!)

Inside Painted

With the recent Project Studio completion, my new painting zone is there.  (Is that HH I hear cheering?)

3 Windows - Natural Lighting

Tip Five

If a large project seems overwhelming, break it down into manageable steps.  Think of each step as an individual project.

Stitching Miter Seam

Chip away one step at a time in the time allotments you can devote to it – 30 minutes here, 15 minutes there.  You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment each time you complete a step, which serves as motivation to get on with the next step soon.  You’ll finish the whole project sooner than expected.  (The littles  total a lot, y’all.)

Tip Six

Limit interruptions and manage distractions.  Turn off your phone, silence it, turn off text and email notifications, or any other way you can manage the distractions of electronics.

Notify family members you are heading into “project zone” and to allow you that uninterrupted time if possible.

(Ahem…grocery-store voice) 

Mommy (or Grandmommy) needs to work for a while.  Come and be with me, but bring some puzzles or games to play so you won’t get bored while I work.  When I’m done, we’ll have some “me and you together time”.

(Kiss and smile.)

How do you make the most efficient use of your time?  Please share your tips in the comments section.   I’d love that!

Blessings~

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Do You Doubt God’s Purpose?

Are you having trouble trusting God in your current situation?  Are you doubting Him – His ability to change things, His willingness to change things, or His care and love for you?

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 – NLT)

Someone posted this on Facebook recently, and it’s a wonderful reminder that God is in control – whether we realize it or not.

God's PurposeSource

Things we experience change us.  We learn and gain a new perspective.  God allows things to happen in our lives for a purpose – to mold us and prepare us for the future.

Don’t we need to be prepared for the next step?

Don’t we want to become what He wants us to be?  We can rest in His care during hard times…lean on Him as we learn…seek the Lord in the ways He would have us change.

It’s called refining.

As silver is refined in fire, so are we in fiery troubles.  When metal is softened by the heat of fire, it becomes malleable.  It gives in to the pounding for re-shaping, flattening, extending.  The work-smith forms metal into something useful…unique…beautiful.

When the heat of life gets fiery-hot, we turn to God for help.  That’s the point where we become malleable.  We open ourselves to be re-shaped and extended.

And then our Maker forms us into a new creature, one who is evidence of His handiwork.  He makes each of us more

useful…unique…beautiful.

God loves you, and you can trust Him.  Completely.

It’s a beautifully spectacular Sunday.  Let’s praise our Maker today!

Blessings~

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Shower Curtain DIY with Monogrammed Burlap Insert

Making this shower curtain may seem a little intimidating.  I promise – it’s not hard.

Accessories

Cut one width of fabric at 82″ long.  (With a double 2″ bottom hem and a double 3″ header, you will have a finished length of 72″.)   After taking your rod-to-floor measurement, you may need to adjust my numbers accordingly.

Split this fabric width down the center.

Cutting Fabric Width

I separated the two strips to demonstrate how the center panel will fit between.

Curtain Visual

Making The Insert Strip

Cut a block of burlap 23″ x 23″.

Cut two sections of your main fabric at 23″ wide and 31″long.   Sew the two fabric blocks to opposite ends of the burlap square.

Burlap and Fabric Blocks

A French seam works well to eliminate raw or surged edges on the back side.  (See my DIY French Seams in a Flash post.)

Here’s the look at the back side of the french seam.  Nice and neat.

French Seam

Press the seams well.

Pressing Seams

Sew the center strip to each side piece.  Here is one side attached.

One Seam Sewn

Below, both are attached, so your curtain base is complete and ready for hemming and header.

Fabric Strips Attached

Since the burlap square is surrounded with seams, it has neat corners.

Burlap Insert

Side Hems

Press and sew double 1′ side hems as shown in my Ruffled Shower Curtain Tutorial.

Header and Shower Rod Ring Holes

Fold and press a double 3″ hem across the top of the panel, just as you did the side hems.  Same process, different measurement.  Top stitch header across the width of the shower curtain.

Now follow the Ruffled Shower Curtain Tutorial for buttonholes or grommets for the shower curtain rings.

Shower Curtain Header

The Bottom Hem

Fold and press a double 2″ hem along the bottom.  Top stitch to secure, just as you did the side hems and header.

Painting the Monogram

For the initial, cut out a letter from poster board. The straight lines of the H were simple, so I just drew it off with a ruler and cut it out.   Paint a practice run on scrap so you can make adjustments before painting the real thing.   I tested it on scrap burlap for a trial.  It worked great.

Monogram Letter

You’ll probably want a letter template, so here’s a link to the monogram page at The Graphics Fairy.  She has some beautiful monograms!

Place two layers of paper under the burlap to absorb bleed-through.

Center the letter template in the burlap square and paint with craft paint for fabric.  Load paint onto a flat round brush (Wal-Mart craft section) and pounce the paint onto the fabric rather than painting with strokes.

Painting Letter

I used Tulip Slick approved for fabric.

Fabric Craft Paint

Lift the template straight up off the surface.  Carefully removed curtain from paper beneath and hang it flat over the shower rod to dry several hours or overnight.

Now your monogrammed shower curtain is ready to hang.  Woo hoo!

Shower Curtain Complete

NOTE:  You may have noticed my final burlap square was more of a rectangle.  I had some fabric dye-lot issues with the two remnant pieces I was using, and the colors were not an exact match.  So, when I made a second center panel for a better color match, I ran short of fabric.

I made the burlap portion longer than the measurements I gave you above.  You really can make the burlap insert any size you wish.

DIY Monogram

Is this something you might like to make?  Which monogram did you like at The Graphics Fairy?

Blessings~

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I’m sharing with Metamorphosis Monday.  Click the link to join the fun!

Prone to Wander

Are you prone to wander?  The Israelites were.  I am.

How do we keep ourselves from wandering away from God?

2 Corinthians 7:1

Keep clear of sin, cleansing ourselves from everything that can defile us – body or spirit.

We need to strive toward complete holiness because we fear God.

Three years after hearing a haunting sermon, Robert Robinson gave his heart to Christ.   He soon entered the ministry in Norfolk, England.  While preparing his Pentecostal Sunday sermon, 23-year-old Robert wrote this hymn.

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

It was a prayer that the Holy Spirit would flood into our hearts with streams of mercy and enable us to sing God’s praises and remain faithful to Him.  The hymn has been a church favorite since that day.

in 1790, 54-year-old Robinson was invited to preach for Dr. Joseph Priestly in Birmingham, England.  Just hours before his sermon, Robert died quietly in the night.

What a spectacular hymn we have to sing today because of Robert Robinson!  On this spectacular Sunday, let’s meditate on these final lines of the hymn as we thank our Heavenly Father for sealing our hearts.

Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.

Prone to wander; Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

Blessings~

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