The Good News and the Bad News

I don’t know which part you’ll see as the good news and which part as the bad news.  I’ll just have to let you decide.  It was two weeks ago when I knew I couldn’t go on publishing posts.  I prepared the email to send out with Friday’s post and said I’d be out for a while due to a vision problem – and pretty much left it at that.

I had/have double vision, making it very hard to do anything much in a timely manner.  I’d published all of my pre-written posts during October – except one more tablescape remains.  When I published a post from scratch, it took three days.  Continuing wasn’t an option at that point.

The double vision is caused by a nerve palsy in one eye and is nothing serious.  It should repair itself within six weeks (which is today!) or months  and will heal on its own.  Randomly.  Unpredictably.  We just have to wait.

HH and I are at peace that God will take care of things in His timing.  Thank you all for your prayers!  You continue to be such a blessing to me!

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I do have other issues happening, so I’m trying to get rest, manage pain, and not stress over things while we investigate further (and wait some more).

Rest has been the best thing!  (OK, well, pain medicine can be pretty awesome, too.)  Without blog post schedules looming, I truly got rest.  Complete rest.  And, it was glorious!

As I prayed for God’s direction through the October and early November weeks, I thought maybe He was closing the door to blogging altogether.  I somehow sensed there would be no more tablescapes, diy projects, recipes, or gardening posts.

But, really, Lord…everything?

The thought of leaving you friends saddened me, of course, but I will do as the Lord directs.  I trust Him completely!  I’m committed to whatever He has for me in my fall season of life.  If God said for me to stop blogging, then so be it.  (Although, please know that I would miss you terribly!)

God knows my desire to help women with problems they sometimes face while sewing window treatments or other home decor items.  Immediately following a God session, I received two emails from readers asking for help.  I love that process of helping you work through those things!  God also knows I enjoy your post comments and our conversation most of all.

Then God brought fresh inspiration and promises – partly in a new direction.  And, He blew me away!

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Slow down.  Relax.  I’ve got this.
Keep Curtain Queen Creates, but make it a sewing-only site to support the sewing readers and course members.
Publish sewing posts occasionally when needed as your health improves.  Don’t stress.
Begin a new blog with the blog name I gave you three years ago.  Now’s the time.  Do it with My blessing.

I quickly took a pen to paper as He spilled blog post titles in a list of ten.  I instantly had new topics for this new blog with the title He inspired so long ago (and that I didn’t yet understand).

I painted these words on this old drawer a few years ago, and they stuck like glue!

DIY Drawer Tray

God laid it all out for me, and it was comforting… peaceful…and without time constraints. He placed one post per week  in my heart.  I realized I could do that even now with my eyesight askew.  It will be a slower, more restful pace, and I realize I need that  as I learn to manage my health in the proper way.

I have one final tablescape post for you tomorrow.  It’s a post I prepared in September for Thanksgiving.  🙂  Can it be our celebration of thankfulness for new beginnings?

Embrace This Season

The words that spill out of a paint brush occasionally stick with us for far longer.

I’m so happy for the time we’ve had here at CQC – and for the fun and blessings we’ve shared.  CQC’s future blog look will be leaner with the new focus on sewing home decor specifically.  I realize not everyone will stick around for that, and you shouldn’t if sewing isn’t your thing.  You won’t hurt my feelings if you unsubscribe after tomorrow’s tablescape post.  For those who choose to remain for the sewing posts, I’m very excited about our new streamlined focus.  I hope you are, too.

I’d like to give you all a huge (virtual) hug. – and wish I could for real!

My hope is that you’ll subscribe to receive posts through email at my new blog as we commit to Embrace This Season.  My first blog post there is similar to this post here today – sort of an opening and explanation of origin.  Future posts will include topics that support and encourage women in our fall and winter seasons of life.

I’m looking forward to it and hope you are, too.  Thank you all again.  Very much!  Until tomorrow then?

Blessings~

 

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Meet “Dr. Quinn”, the Spiritual Medicine Woman

My goal is to encourage you in faith each week.  While I have no idea what’s going on in your life, I share how God has encouraged me, “worked” on me, and sometimes very powerfully impacted me each week.  This past week, God piled on so many layers with Priscilla Shirer’s “Chat” session from 2013.  (God’s teaching is never old…never out of date.)

Before I put my crown on and begin each day, I need reminders from He Who is my King.  God has the power to adjust my crown, but I must be open and receptive to the straightening.

Psalm 119:11

It helps to start each day with God and His Holy word.  When you’re in the habit of filling yourself up with Him first thing, you definitely know when you’ve missed a day or two!

We all have areas we need to work on, right?  Some of us (ahem…me) require extra time and many sessions of “God lessons” for something specific to take hold.  I can be dense, and if you’re like me, you know what I’m talking about.

Granted, some of the ugly-ness is pure old pride.  Also, we (me included) have developed a life pattern of wrong thinking that needs reversing.  “Dr. Quinn”, the brain doctor, explains how God wired our brain.  It makes perfect sense now!

 

We thought it was all physical, but it simply comes down to renewing our mind regularly.  God knew the remedy and included it in His instructions.  If we would only follow what He instructs.  The Grand Designer knows how we operate!

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
(Romans 12:2)

Let’s choose the good, our 99% of implanting the positive that God gives us, shall we?  Rather than dwelling on what we don’t have, let’s focus on our blessings.  God has blessed us – all of us – with such goodness!  The goodness of life is wrapped around the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His love for us, His forgiveness, His grace.

I mess up every day.  Do you?  The baggage of our mistakes can be heavy.  So, why do we continue dragging them around?

Old habits are hard to break, but He has the power to break any doozie.

I hope you’re with me on this because we all need the good stuff.  Can you feel the good stuff that’s wrapped all around our focus on the Lord?

Blessings~

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Are You Trainable?

Winston is enjoying having a friend.  ID Diva’s new dog, Dorothy, is staying with us until she moves to a more pet-friendly apartment complex later this summer.  So…we have a new dog to train.  She has a bad habit of jumping on us in excitement as her form of greeting.  Training will continue until she understands our dislike of the action and behave in accordance with our actions.

We learn a lot from dogs.  It’s the same with horses, too.  When training either dog or horse, it’s useless if their focus is elsewhere.  How do we get them to change their focus from something else in their surroundings – to us?

With dogs, it’s love and treats.  Those two things mean everything to them.  Love and attention tops it all, really.

Horses respond to pressure – pressure against what they naturally want to do.  When we make their natural inclination uncomfortable for them, they are more likely to follow our lead.

That requires time and relationship.  We don’t ride our horses anymore, and they sure make good pets.  At the beginning, we trained them and built that relationship.  Now, even while we don’t “work” them, they respond to us (most often) in the ways we desire.

I collected a few pictures from December when the grass was dormant and they ate hay.

Their morning nap time – so rare for one not to be standing guard while the other two nap!

Because of our established relationship, they want to be near us and involved in what we do.

They come to us and respond positively to tying them up for hoof care or cleaning, which they totally rejected in the beginning.

We learn from horses and dogs that changing their focus takes time as they experience us.  Once we have their focus, they are trainable.

Are we much different than they?

God doesn’t treat us like dogs or horses, but He wired us with instincts for His involvement in our lives.  We desire His filling, His indwelling, His nearness.  When our focus is on the Lord, we are trainable.

Some might question whether God trains us.  We aren’t God’s pets to train, but the natural laws of training work in the same way in relation to our heavenly Father.

God allows pressure or hardships in life to change our focus.  Who do you turn to when life gets hard or unbearable?  My point exactly.

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When our focus is on God, things sure get a lot easier – even the hard stuff becomes bearable!

God allows consequences to our poor choices – or life situations in general – as learning and growth opportunities.  He loves us through all our behavior, good or bad.

When blessings come along, we are thankful.  One might wonder…

Is a blessing the same as a training treat – a reward from God?

We could never earn God’s love.  Our obedience demonstrates our love for the Lord, and that pleases Him.  It strengthens our relationship.  Therein lies the reward!

God’s love isn’t manipulation.  It’s pure love.  It’s a gift.

Let’s praise Him with gladness today, shall we?

Blessings~

 

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The Presence Within

Happy Mother’s Day!

The video I share today may seem unrelated to Mother’s Day, but you’ll see in a few minutes that it IS related.

You can find God’s Truth everywhere when you look for it. I discover wonderful things on YouTube!   As I searched for a song I was trying to find, this video popped up in the listing.

I clicked on it, even though it’s totally not related to music.  I was curious…

During the first few minutes of watching this video, I thought of this young man’s parents. I knew they must have prayed and grieved like c-r-a-z-y while he wandered away from the faith they instilled in him during his growing years. How they must have questioned God as their son pursued the New Age religion.

Why, God?
How could You allow this?
We did all the right things…why this?

I am so amazed sometimes at the power of God. He reached in and pulled this fellow, Steven Bancarz, out of the pit. I love this story, and I know there are many, many more like it. God is working! We don’t always think so or see it, but He is working things out in His own timing.

And He allows us to participate in what He’s doing – through prayer.

After watching this first video, I was hooked. I subscribed to the YouTube channel of Steven Bancarz and watched several that day. He clearly dove into God’s word after his salvation experience. He speaks God’s truths clearly and with authority because he studies and understands the Lord now.

He mentioned in a later video that he knew his mother prayed fervently while he was wayward. I was high five-ing her and cheering her on while watching that video alone in the Jersey City hotel room two weeks ago.

To you moms who have spent untold hours on your knees petitioning God to bring your child back from the pit, I say a special Happy Mother’s Day to you. God does hear our prayers, and the Lord will always have a tether to your child of God. They may want to temporarily rebel, but your child will return. It takes time, so don’t give up.

I have a personal history with this particular matter. Don’t think I sit here telling you what might sound good  without personal experience with it. You don’t know my history because I don’t air my dirty family laundry. But know this: I do understand the pain, the anguish, the betrayal of a child leaving your home, your faith, and your family.

And, you can survive it. You may not feel like you will, but cling to the Lord, and He will see you through. His grace is perfect, and He is perfectly working out your situation.

Start praising the Lord today – for what He is doing while you don’t see it.  Because I know He is working it out.  He loves you and is faithful to those who are faithful to Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Do you know someone who is experiencing the trauma of a wayward child? Would you like to share this with them? I’d like you to, if you think it would help them.

Blessings~

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Journaling Thankfulness

Do you write down things each day that you’re especially thankful for – like in a journal or on a calendar?

Confession:  I don’t, but I know I should.  Someone (and you know who you are, my email friend. 🙂 )  inspired me recently because she was saying that she planned to start doing that.

I think writing things down makes us appreciate our blessings more.  Do you?  Journaling our thankfulness makes us more intentional about being thankful for those blessings.

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While thinking about and planning for the Thanksgiving gatherings we’ll enjoy this week, I’ve thought a lot about my blessings.  No matter how little or how much we have, we all have reasons to be thankful.

Gee…even the basics are reasons for Praise because God provides every breath we take!  He designed creation itself for all of us to enjoy.

I’m reminded of our 80-degree Friday heat and the sudden plummet to 57 degrees the next day.  We often complain about the weather, but we can be thankful for some part of it.  Our weather change brought rain for some areas that were needed so badly!  We didn’t get any, but at least some did.

I’ll gladly wear a jacket for some to get rain out of the deal!

I noticed something on this picture below.  Above the November month on my wall calendar (that I keep inside a cabinet door), it looks like someone is writing something in a notebook.  What a coincidence, eh?

And, woo-hoo, another coincidence.  Krispy Kreme made the picture and is part of our family history as one of our favorite special treat spots.  I’m thankful for Krispy Kreme and all the memories attached to that place.  Sweet, delicious memories of our smiling kids watching the donuts travel through the warm fountain of love….

Another confession – I stole that “fountain of love” quote from D, my Georgia 2 AM friend, because it’s the perfect name for that glaze coating in action.

Let’s grab any calendar or notebook and start writing down something we’re thankful for each day.  Anything can become a journal – even a school-type notebook.  Once you write in it, voila! – it’s a journal.  🙂

Are you with me in this?

Let’s praise the Lord today with thanksgiving for all of His blessings upon us, whether we’ve written them in a notebook or not!

Blessings~

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You’re the Blessing

This blogging venture has certainly been a journey for me.  I knew so little when I started, but its sort of like the Bible.  No matter how much you learn, you realize how much more there is to learn.

I’ve shared with you before that God was the One Who put this “blog-with-a-Christian-influence” in my head (and heart), leading me to use my home sewing experience to attract those who may not know Him.  I loved His idea of a mission trip without leaving home!

You may not have noticed, but I recently changed my tagline (the line below the name in my header).

When I first started this blog, I struggled to find the right tagline.  How do you explain your site in one sentence and capture the heart behind what you do?

I changed it several times over the course of two years, but I never felt it was quite right.  In the third year, I left it alone and tried not to think about it.

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I did the best I could to put this site together, and in the beginning, I told God it was up to Him to bring people.  In other words, “I did my part.  The rest is up to You!”

He went along with that alright (or so I thought) until about three weeks ago.  I got a loud and clear message that He wants me to do more to attract readers.

Huh?  Aren’t I busy enough?

You do know that when God tells you to do something, He sends help, right?  He has flooded me with help these past weeks – some I didn’t even ask for.  Our Lord is so faithful!

The process of again working on my tagline drew me back to many original thoughts, and I was once again in a quandary of too-many-words-to-explain-what-I-feel-deep-in-my-heart.  As I went to bed that night, I prayed God would reveal what He wanted me to use.

The following morning, I woke up with the tagline right in front of my eyes.  I quickly ran to a notepad and wrote it down before forgetting His exact words. Do you love it when God does that – answers a prayer so quickly?  It’s rare for me, so I saw it as another confirmation.  I am completely at peace now with my tagline.

That day, Friday before last, I changed the tagline in my header name, and He has brought an increase of traffic every day since.  (Isn’t that what God does sometimes?  He moves after we listen and then take the first step, even a giant leap of faith.)

It’s about so much more than traffic numbers, though.  It’s about expanding the number of people who see God’s Word sprinkled throughout.  It’s about people finding value here enough to come back for more, because their need for encouragement and inspiration are filled, spiritual inspiration included.

I desperately want others to know that Christians aren’t the enemy – that we are fun, and loving, caring and compassionate, and to see Jesus shining through me.

The Lord has revealed new ways I can connect with you, as well – ways that I think you will enjoy.  I want to serve you…to help you in your quest to make your home your most favorite place on earth.  I freshened up my “About” page for more clarity, and I hope you see a positive difference.

You will see many changes coming in the next couple of months, including pictures of HH and me at our home.  (Yikes!  I should have gone on a diet!)  That’s another thing God brought my way – a professional photographer, a patient friend.

Writing in itself is exposing, and splashing my picture on my site makes me feel (gulp) nervous – vulnerable.  I haven’t seen the pictures yet, but I’m a little nervous because it wasn’t a good hair day.  (Will I soon have a knock on my door from those people on What Not to Wear?  Yikes again!)

Something that has always bothered me is that I write and I show you my projects.  It seemed like your job was to watch and clap.  I’m not comfortable with people clapping for me.  I want to give you new ideas, to encourage YOU to trust your taste, for confidence in your abilities, for you to try new things.   My focus is all about you  and my goal is helping you.

I hope you’ll like the new “us”.  That “us” includes you.  You are already a part of that “us”.  Without you, I would have little reason to continue here, so thank you!  You are the blessing!

I know I’ve written far more than usual, and I appreciate your patience.  It’s a spectacular Lord’s day, y’all!  Let’s go live it and rejoice!

Blessings~

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