Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Lord Will Provide

My husband's company is laying off 2000 more people. They announced it this week. In the mid-90's they had more than 12,000 employees. This layoff will take them to a total of about 5,000. It's scary. I've told you before how I'm a worrier. It takes every fiber of my being to not worry about this. At the same time, I'm vacillating between wanting to just rest in the knowledge that we're in the palm of God's hand and the desire to scour the classifieds and start to look for a job. 

I also told you before how one of the things I wanted this year was to know God better. Turns out I'm not the only one and the gal who leads my Thursday Bible Study chose this book for our study this semester. God has a way of doing that, doesn't He? The cover says, "A Devotional Study on the Names of God." Well, again, in a way that could only be God, I opened it up today and wouldn't you know it, this week we're studying Jehovah-jireh - God the Provider. 

The study on this aspect of God focuses on Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. For those of you who may not be familiar with the story, God tells Abraham to take his only son and sacrifice him as a burnt offering! This is a passage I've struggled with in the past. Why would God ask anyone to do something so horrific? Couldn't he have witnessed Abraham's obedience in a much "nicer" way? I still struggle in understanding that, but despite my struggles and lack of understanding, I know God can still speak to me from this story and today I saw this passage in a new way. I saw it as God's call to me to lay the things that are important to me on the proverbial altar. That I need to be willing to do that with everything in my life. I don't think God will ask me to lay my kids on a literal altar, but I do pray daily that He would help me remember that they're His and not mine. Today He asked me to lay Mike's job on the altar. In the story of Abraham and Isaac, God provides an alternate sacrifice for Abraham - a ram. This is where Abraham sees God as his provider. In the study I did over the Summer, we read this same passage. That author thought Abraham fully expected to sacrifice his son and believed with his whole heart that God would raise him from the dead. I pray for that kind of faith. 

I was expecting Mike to walk in the door at lunch with a box of his belongings in his hands. When he came in with a bag full of something, my heart skipped a beat. Lucky for me it was our annual delivery of Girl Scout Cookies! I told him about my study this morning. And then I said to him, "So, it's there. At the top of a mountain. On the altar. That's where your job is. I don't know what God's going to do with it. I don't know if he'll provide a substitute sacrifice. But I've given it to him. It's up there. On the altar." 

My Jehovah-jireh is my provider. Not only did he foresee my need for salvation, and provide an alternate sacrifice - his only son - but he sees my day-to-day needs. Matthew 6:7-8 says, "Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." He both sees and knows my needs. A dear friend shared Psalm 34:4 with me this week - "I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears." God didn't deliver Abraham in the way he expected, which tells me it's probably not all going to work out in the way I hope or expect. But whether Mike has a job tomorrow or not, I know that God will provide. He sees my needs and promises he will be faithful. I'm clinging to that and remembering to Consider the Lilies. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Great Swaps

The Great Swaps Girls hosted two swaps in January - one was a New Catalog Preview swap and the other was a Sale-a-Bration swap. I'm giddy at the chance to swap with those girls every time! Seriously! They're my stamping heroes!  Since we've all received our swaps, I thought I'd pop in and share mine with you.  

Here's the card I made for the New Catalog Preview Swap.

I used the Sweet Stems stamp set and stamped the flower image onto watercolor paper with Basic Brown ink. (I took my color combination from the tiny strip of Hawaii Papaya paper on the right hand side, which retired the week after I sent off my swaps! Sorry, girls!) I water-colored the flowers using my Tangerine Tango and Kiwi Kiss ink pads and aqua pens. I used my Chocolate Chip marker to color the center of the flowers and then I covered them in Crystal Effects to give them some dimension and shine. I stamped the sentiment in versamark and embossed it with white embossing powder. A touch of the super yummy kiwi-kiss satin ribbon and some paper piercing around the stamped image finished off the card. 

Here's my second swap - for the Sale-a-Bration swap. 
There are fun papers and ribbons available for Sale-a-Bration this year, but I went with an alternate color scheme. More Valentine's theme.  I stamped the heart from the Polka Dot Punches stamp set in White Stazon on a transparency sheet. The transparency sheet was cut to 4.25"x4.25". The Riding Hood Red card stock was 4.25"x5.5" and then I scored it at 1.25" and scalloped the edge. I put a scalloped piece of Pink Pirouette card stock under it and attached the transparency inside the flap with sticky strip and tied a strip of Riding Hood Red taffeta ribbon around it to help hide the adhesive.  

For the sentiment, I layered several pieces of card stock to help ensure all of the adhesive was covered, and to provide a spot to write inside the card where it wouldn't show through the front.  On the inside of the card I put a piece of Pink Pirouette. On the back of the transparency sheet I attached a piece of Riding Hood Red. Then on the front of the card I attached a piece of Shimmery White with the sentiment from All Holidays stamped in Riding Hood red.  All of these pieces were punched with the ticket corner punch. When the card is closed these pieces all layer perfectly.  

The last little touch is another heart stamped in Riding Hood Red on Shimmery White card stock. I forgot to add the new Full Heart punch to my first order from the new catalog, so I cut the hearts out by hand, which didn't turn out to be that difficult (but you can bet that punch is on my NEXT order!) Then I layered the heart onto a piece of Pink Pirouette card stock and attached it to the front of the card with glue dots. Although this probably isn't in the list of my favorite cards ever, I thought it turned out nice and was a nice contrast to all of the Sale-a-Bration cards made with the SAB papers and ribbons.

I demonstrated a BUNCH of Sale-a-Bration ideas at a recent demonstrator meeting for our group her in Boise. ALL of those are in the color scheme from the SAB papers and ribbons. I'll try to get those photographed and share them with you soon. It was a great meeting and we got to see lots of fun ideas.  

My camera is on the fritz right now, so it may be a while before I can post pictures of anything. For some reason it won't recognize the memory card, and since my particular camera doesn't have internal memory, there's no way to get pictures without it. Mike and I spent a good deal of time this weekend researching cameras. I'm completely overwhelmed by the choices. Seriously. How can there be so many different cameras!!!  If any of you have a camera you LOVE, feel free to share which one it is and what you love about it (and what you don't! - that's always good info too.)  I'm not ready for an SLR, so we're looking for more of a point-and-shoot type. Although some manual control is probably a good thing. Anyway, I'm open to suggestions. I'll be sure to tell you what we decide, and hopefully we can get it taken care of SOON!!!  Just so you know what I'm dealing with here, Joe Biden was in Boise last week as part of the World Winter Games for the Special Olympics. The news showed his plane getting ready to take off and I ran outside and got some awesome pictures of Air Force 2 flying over our house as he left. I ran inside to show everyone the pictures and there weren't any. None. The camera didn't record anything at all. Grrrrrrrrr. 

The kids are off school today for President's Day, and although it's only 42 degrees out right now, the sun is shining. If the sun stays out and it doesn't get too windy (yesterday it was about the same temp. but felt like it was about 20 because of the wind) I think we'll head to the zoo this afternoon. Our zoo got a whole new African exhibit with lions and giraffes over the summer and we haven't been there to see them yet. I will take my camera, but I make no promises on pictures. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

Some Fun - a gift for you!

I saw this idea over on Jen's blog and thought I'd play along.  Here's how it goes . . . The first five people to respond to this post with a comment will get something made by me! My choice. For you. This offer has some restrictions and limitations:

  1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
  2. What I create will be just for you.
  3. It'll be done this year. 
  4. You have not clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. It may be poetry or an article on properly cleaning your toilet or laundry or (fill in the blank). I may draw or craft something. I may bake you something. Who knows? Not you. That's for sure!
The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog (or facebook/myspace page) and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. 

The first 5 people to do so, and leave a comment telling me they did, win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift made by me! Oh and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it! 

Good Luck!!


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