a blanket of blessings

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stitch by stitch 

it was frozen in time 

I watched it grow 

and dreamed it was mine 

soft and warm 

like an autumn sky

an afghan brings memories

of days gone by 

 My mom recently and asked me if there was anything in particular that I would like to have that belonged to my Granny.  Oddly enough, something immediately came to my mind- an afghan.  Not just any afghan- it was one my mom had made for my Pawpaw nearly 30 years ago.

So I said to my mom- “Do you remember that old afghan you made for Pawpaw?  I would love to have it if it’s still at the house!”  She remembered it right away, and said she’d try to find it that weekend.

As a kid, I remember sitting beside my mom on the couch each night as she crocheted it.   I wanted that blanket!  It was soo soft, and I remember thinking about how much my mom must love her daddy to spend all that time making it for him!  I believe she gave it to him for Christmas that year.

And every time we went to visit Granny and Pawpaw, I saw that blanket folded neatly on top of his recliner.  I secretly wanted to sit in his chair so I could spread it across my lap and pretend it was mine!

Year after year, Every time I saw the afghan, the memories of those special evenings I spent sitting beside my mom, watching her crochet… those memories would come right back to me.

As I was sitting in church the following Sunday, I saw a text from mom.  They looked everywhere for the afghan, and mom went out to the garage to put something in the freezer- and there it was, in perfect condition tucked beside the freezer.

I was able to pick it up later that next week.  The afghan was a little stiff, and slightly musty from old age, so I carefully washed and dried it.  Now it’s as good as new!

Its not the afghan itself that’s special- it’s the precious memories it brings back to me…of being a little girl, sitting beside my Mommy on the couch…just simply being together.

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Restoration

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And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  

 1 Peter 5:10

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A little old house…

We were in search of some old wood to use to build a decorative wall for the stage of our church, and I happened to mention it at just the right time!  Someone very dear to me mentioned this little old house that was falling down on their property, and said that we could use this wood if we’d like.

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The house was over 100 years old-perched on top of a hill, nestled under some amazing trees…

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we removed nails and prepared the wooden boards to use for our project

So on a recent chilly morning,  we went up to that little hill

and began prying off the old orange wood.

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a tree of ginormous proportions

I thought about the people who had once called this little peace of heaven their “home”.  It may have been old and crumbling, but the view from this place is heavenly!

And that old wood still had a lot of life left in it!

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one of the mini walls we were in the process of constructing…

These old pieces of wood were falling down, worn and weathered from the elements.  And now we have repurposed them for our worship service!  They turned out so beautiful, even more special since they are from a dear friend- whom I say is more like family!

When we give our lives to Christ-

He restores us- He makes us new and uses us in ways we could never dream of!

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  

Ecclesiastes 3:11

My not-so-Martha Stewart “silk tie-dyed” eggs…

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Our bird’s nest from last year!

I am definitely not the most creative mom on the planet.

But, I do try to do fun things with the girls.

Around Easter time, we do little things like bake bunny cakes and we have mini Easter egg hunts.  It’s those fun little traditions that will make great memories for them when they are adults.

This year, I took a stab at dying eggs with silk ties.  Yes, it sounds a little strange, but it was also another great opportunity to go thrift-store shopping to find some super awesome ties to use for our little project!

So we tugged and pulled the ties apart…

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while my youngest patiently (not) waited for the scissors to cut her ties…

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and then we wrapped them with tender loving care…

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Oh no…I forgot the twist ties to secure the material around the egg! So I used mini rubber bands instead…

Epic fail

I ended up fishing for broken rubber bands in the boiling water…

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And burned my fingers replacing the broken mini rubber bands with clamps and fabric coated rubber bands. We let them boil for 20 minutes and then allowed them to cool for a bit.

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I must say that the colors were slightly disappointing, but it could have been because I didn’t secure the fabric as well as I should have, and it would have been better if the silk ties we purchased had been darker, more vibrantly colored…

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But my oldest daughter said it all with this comment-

“Momma- they didn’t really come out that good.  But I think we had a lot of fun anyway!”

That’s my girl!

There is much JOY to be found in the JOurneY!!

 Just because someone else can do it better doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try it yourself!

What a relief to know my girls didn’t want “picture perfect” eggs… they just wanted to spend quality time with their momma!

Making Beautiful Things

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You’re making all things 

Beautiful in Your own time

Use these hands of mine!

Early on this Christmas Season, I made a vow to do much less shopping and to spend more time making things for others.  I made a scarf several weeks ago, and although it was not perfect, my oldest daughter told me she was putting in her order early.  She wants a purple one for Christmas.

I had surgery earlier this week and knew that I would need to find something to keep me occupied while I rest and recover.  Crocheting was just the thing!  No, my crocheting is not perfect- far from it, in fact!  But as I sit here and weave the loops of bright purple yarn together, I think about how carefully God has hand-crafted each one of us- hand picked  and given special skills and talents to be used for His purposes.   I know that my daughter will love the scarf- not because it’s the most beautiful scarf she’s ever seen, but because I am making it for her with love. It has taken me a long time to realize this-

we don’t have to be the best at something for God to use us and make something beautiful out of it.

I think of all the handmade gifts my girls have made me.  They melt my heart when I look at them because they were made out of love.   It’t not the gifts that really matter- it’s the love that we show one another, the time we spend together, and the lasting memories we make together that are most important.  These are beautiful things that could never be bought.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  

your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139

Lord, I thank You for giving me hands to create things. I thank You for slowing me down a little so that I can spend more time with You. Thank You for the miraculous gift of Your Son.   Lord, You are more precious than silver, more beautiful than diamonds-and nothing I desire compares to You!