Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Slow Stitching and Two Finished UFO's!

Sunday Slow Stitching 
and Two Finished UFO's!
As I stated here, I am saving hand stitching for the weekends, for the most part.  I worked all week on this binding and tada!  I finished it today - all 296 inches of it!  I even got the label made and sewn on!  Therefore, according to my mind map, it counts as two finished UFO's! I can share the whole quilt later, after the recipient receives it.  Shhhh!  It'a a surprise!  

I can tell you it's a Take Five On Point.  I picked up the pattern at my local Bernina quilt shop!  Here's what it looks like, though!  

It's truly a labor of love.  You see, I bought the pattern and fabric in the Fall of 2014.  If I remember correctly, I was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly afterwards.  My kind daughter offered to piece the quilt for me.  I spent 2015 in chemo, radiation and recovering from various surgeries.  Finally, it's quilted, bound, labeled and washing as I type.  Tomorrow, it's off to it's recipient!

And, for the first time, I'm linking up to Kathy's Quilts Slow Sunday Stitching!

What Fun!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Bible Reading Plan. Proverb of the Day 20:30 + God Saw US. He Still Does. Joyful Song.

My Bible Reading Plan
How many of you have begun a Bible Reading Plan to read through the Bible in a Year or something similar?  How many of you actually completed it?  I know, it’s hard to admit how many times I’ve started a plan and stopped.  The reasons are many:

I fell behind and just gave up. 

I would detoured by a scripture, then stop everything to study it and not continue the plan.

I just didn’t do it.

This time is different for me. 

Even if I fall behind, I just pick up where I left off. 

If a scripture catches my eye, I read up on it very briefly, and then continue with my daily reading without journaling.  I know God will bring it to my remembrance again. 

I make sure I don’t “just not do it”.  I have a goal:  to read through the Bible.  I am determined to reach my goal!

To track my progress I’m using the Bible Study Tools app which downloads to a smart phone or I can use the website.  I chose the chronological plan
Now, this is not my Bible study time, this is my leisurely reading time, reading for pleasure.  So, I switched to the Life Recovery Bible in the NLT version on my Nook.  It’s an easy read, portable and extremely easy to maneuver.  Now, I am highlighting verses which catch my eye, so I can go back for a more in depth study.   I love that there are links to notes regarding character studies with additional links to take me right back to where I was. 
And now, the point of this whole topic:

God Saw US Then and He Still Does
I was innocently reading along in Genesis, when I came upon Abram, Sarai and Hagaar.  You can read about them here
My Nook gave me a version to click on called “No-Win Situations”.  It talked about how Hagaar was definitely in a no-win situation:  completely powerless and trapped.  Yet, at her lowest point, and Angel of the LORD says,

11 And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress.   Genesis 16:11

Now, I’m not saying what happened to Hagaar was right – it wasn’t.  It wasn’t God’s plan.  But, we all have free will and we all sin.

Others have sinned.
Others have sinned against us.
Others have sinned greatly against us.
And it hurt a lot.
It still does.
I know.
I’ve been there.
Many times.

Today, this scripture gave me great hope and comfort.  Because, now, many years later,
I can see how those hurts (EDITED June 21, 2016 3:34 p.m.)  it wasn't the hurts that made these great changes in my life - It was God's presence in my life during those hurts.  It was His grace that allowed me to chose to be have made me

a better person who has more compassion and less judgement,

a more insightful teacher who was able to recognize my hurting students and nurture them,

a person who is becoming a better instead of bitter,

someone who writes this blog in the hopes of bringing God, healing and hope in Jesus' name to hurting people.

EDITED June 21, 2016
I heard the last bit of "You Come Running" by Travis Ryan.  Though I couldn't find a full video of it, here's the chorus:
You coming running
Into all my brokenness
Into all my hopelessness
I am not alone
You come running
Even when I hide from You
There is nothing I can do to keep me from Your love
‘Cause You come running, running
You come running

Which brings us to the Proverb of the Day.
 Proverb of the Day 20:30
Proverbs 20.30

The Good News Translation sums it up.  Yup, it does.  
I know that I know God wept when you and I were being hurt.....remember everyone has free will.
I know that God saw us because when I asked Him where He was, He showed me exactly where He was standing in my hurtful situation.
I know He will reveal more to me.  
I know He still sees me.
I know that, by His Grace, I will be stronger, better........
I know.

My LORD and Savior, it has taken me many years
many tears
many questions
much bitterness
to reach this point.  
But I'm here.
And You're here, for me.  
For her.
For him.
Minister I pray, my LORD, to all of us.

Joyful Song
heal not only our bodies, 
but our hearts,
our souls,
our minds,
our memories!
In Jesus' name I pray.
Dear Friend,
This is my truth.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Proverb of the Day. Mountains and.....confessions! Yo -YO Quilt. Happy Song.

Proverb of the Day: Proverbs 21:13
Merriam Webster’s definition of “poor” is just what I thought it would be:  minimal material possessions, one’s circumstances incites pity or one who is humbled.  When one of our poor brother’s or sister’s cry out or our LORD points out their silent cry, we must hear and be sensitive to their cry!  As human beings, we must do this.  Not only because if we don’t our LORD won’t hear our own cries of poverty – whatever they may be – but because we are human beings.  We know better.
And when we do this, we need to remember that a relationship begins.  We need to continue it!  It will bless us beyond belief to see this once “poor” person rise to the point where they, in turn, will be able to stand in God’s grace and help other “poor” people.
LORD, thank you for this gentle reminder.  Help me to be sensitive to the cry of the poor!

Mountains and.....confessions!
My daughter's family have been enjoying camping this month.  We went to spend the day with them and believe me it was refreshing to get away from the over 100 degree temps and be in the upper 80's. I'm so blessed to have wonderful grandbabies and a son-in-law who enjoys my company!  :)

Speaking of son-in-laws.....he asked my daughter why we start so many projects before we even finish the one we are working on!  To be fair, she actually finishes her project before starting new ones! 

But me?  Ha!  Let's see if I can answer that question....
1) There's so many wonderful projects I want to make!
2) There's so many beautiful fabrics and so little time!
3) I'm nuts for crafting!

I have been pondering his question though.  I made a list of all my projects - and even counted them!  
He asked me how many I had....I refused to confess....but I will here....
But first, let me show you how I figured this all out.

First, I wrote them in a notebook using one (or two, or three.....) pages for each craft, made an index, then got to work finishing my WIPs.  

It really didn't look so bad, but then I started playing with Simple Mind mapping tool and....oh oh.....
These are projects that I have bought materials for.....ouch! And, full disclosure, I believe there's a few more scrapbook projects out there.  Some, are ongoing, long term, but they are still there.  So, here's the breakdown:

Quilt Labels - 3
Machine Sewing Projects - 9
Crochet - 8
Quilting - 8
Hand Sewing - 7

GRAND (or not so grand) TOTAL:  36 WIPS!   
Eeeesh!  I know I can knock out 3 rather quickly.  Can you guess which they are?  Yup.  The 3 quilt labels!  So, I feel a bit better.....about knowing there's one more project I just accepted:  machine embroidering my granddog's tshirt!  :)

I'll keep you posted on my progress because it's good for me to be accountable.  And my dear Son-in-Law, if you want to know how many WIPs I have, you have to read my blog!  :)

Yo Yo Quilt
I find it difficult to balance work on crochet projects and hand sewing projects.  I'm inspired by Kathy's Quilts Slow Stitching Sunday idea.  The difference for me is that I'm slow stitching on the weekends - which for me is Friday night through Sunday night.  I love it so far and made great progress on my Yo Yo Quilt.  
However, once an adjustment is made to my design board, I'll work on my Grandmother's Flower Garden.  I'm eager to have it off my design board so I can snuggle with it!  
This is an older picture.  It's a lot more finished!  
So, a lot on my crafting plate right now. Writing it out, it feels overwhelming, but I'm also trying to focus on envisioning the finished products and the joy they will bring!

I love's so healing and fulfilling!  

Happy Song
Here's a blast from the past!  I love the beat, it's happy!

Dear Friends, this is my truth!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Crochet Love. Pain and Meds. Proverb of the Day 16:33. Happy Song.

Crochet Love. 
Crochet and fabric Quilt 3
Almost a year ago, Janette from The Green Dragonfly posted this beautiful fabric/crocheted blanket that her mother-in-law made.  Honestly, "beautiful" doesn't do this gorgeous blanket/afghan justice!  So, here is more eye candy that you may enjoy!  Here's one from Lori Holt at Bee in My Bonnet
 Here's another one from Heidi at Sewing Daisies!  
Sewing Daisies: Kaffe Fusion Blanket
These ladies are so talented!  I'm definitely inspired! 

Pain and Meds
Today was tough - pain.....but I think I'm realizing that I cannot skip not one dose - not one - of meds.  I think if I remember to take them, I'll have more good days.  I think.
For pain, I'm taking Gabapentin (for fibromyalgia), Vitamin B Complex (recommended by my oncologist) and Alpha Lipoic Acid (recommended by a fellow cancer survivor).  
This website has some great ideas to help us remember to take our meds.  For now, I'll add an alarm to my Smart Phone.  
How do you remember to take your medicine each day?

Proverb of the Day 16:33

Again, I prayed and was actively looking for a verse that had never caught my attention.  Boy, this one sure stood out to me!
According to Elliot's Commentary, basically we should realize that it's God who provides for us, not coincedence or chance.  Therefore this verse should be an encouragement to us.  
Matthew Henry's Commentary states that we are blessed to "give ourselves" to the will of God, for He knows what's best for us.  
I would like to see the Amplified version of this verse:

So, the way I understand it, there are no coincidences, God determines our fate, our lives....everything....right?

So, let's look at this.  And if our LORD is in charge, we should rejoice and trust in all circumstances......even in the face of cancer. Ouch...Yup...even in the face of cancer, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation treatment, neuropathy, pain, fatigue, painful memories - in all circumstances.....

Eeesh....this is hard.  I have tears in my throat as I write this.....but it does make sense....
This is precisely how I got through, how I continue to live victoriously in spite of all the aforementioned faith leads me to joy of the LORD which leads me to strength.....

LORD, God, my Abba Father, thank you...thank you...thank you....
Let me recall this lesson:  nothing is coincidence, You are my Providence....
Breast cancer made me 
stronger, wiser, more humble.

Breast cancer brought so much more unity in my family!

Breast cancer introduced many wonderful people in my life.

Breast cancer has indeed been a blessing.
Thank you.

On the same note, however:
Inspirational Quotes For Women With Cancer
Happy Song
During Praise and Worship I used to to sing along with songs along this theme with all my heart....
Now I sing along with the same heart, but now I have more clarity about the cost.  

I'm His work of art - scars and all - and - thank God, I'm still praising Him.

Dear Friend, this is my truth!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Proverb of the Day 15:23. Happy Song.

Proverb of the Day 15:23
I agree with Matthew Henry’s Commentary, it is awesome when we know we have given an apt – suitable or proper – answer.  Not only does the speaker find joy in helping their friend, but, indeed, a timely word is good – to me – is a blessing. 

Today I asked God to show me a verse that I have read often and overlooked, hence today’s Proverb.  And look how true verse 23 is!  

Confession time: 
I’m not one for chit chat, small talk, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! I tend to put my foot in my mouth during small talk!   

prefer to get to the meat of a person – of a friend: 
“Hello!  How are you?  Now, how are you really?  I care and want to know!  The cell phone is off.  I’m listening to you.”  Or even just giving them a hug – a really one.  Then asking if they would like to get together – and actually setting a date.

It’s during these times that God seems to work through me – to help me really listen, read body language and tenderly ask questions. Or sometimes to just listen, no judgement, no questions, just compassionately listening. 
Listening is becoming a lost art.
Compassionate listening is also an apt reply. 
But, on the other side of the coin what would I have done without my friends listening to me this past year.  I have definitely been on the receiving end of an apt reply and a timely word! 
LORD, thank you for this hidden jewel in Your Word!  Thank you for my all my loved ones’ listening, crying and comforting me as we all fought breast cancer!  You are amazing, LORD! 
Please help me to be the one who gives and apt reply and a timely word……and help me to reach out to others that I may receive their apt reply and timely words as well.  It’s so much easier to give than to receive….I know I need to work on reaching out and receiving…..
You’re so good, LORD!

Happy Song

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Proverb of the Day 14:15. Finished WIP! Happy Song.

Proverb of the Day 14:15
Observation:  I need to think about what I am hearing, reading and even seeing.  Because I want to be a prudent person, I need to, as my Pastor said, “…push the pause button before proceeding.” 
Have you ever heard or read something that you knew was wrong, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it?  That happened to me the other day as I was researching a Scripture.  I read the whole article, to include a link the author recommended.  I agreed with part of the article, but, the main gist of it…..well, not so much….but I just couldn’t put my finger on my issue….

I sent a link of it to my “spiritual mom” and asked her opinion.  Thank God for our spiritual mothers – the women who nourish and water the seeds of our faith!  
She was able to verbalize and clarify my thoughts – it was strange how she cleared the muddy waters in my mind.  That my dear friends was God!
LORD, help me to be more prudent!  Thank you for my spiritual mom.  Help me to gain prudence (wisdom) by prayerfully digging deeper in to Your Word, into the commentaries and then bouncing ideas off my dear mom.  Thank you for today’s learning!  Help me to remember it!

Finished WIP
I finished my table topper!  I used "Recess", a Schnibbles by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  and I learned a tough lesson in setting triangles and reading directions!  Oh, you don't see the settting triangles?  It's because I so messed  up, that I just cut off those pesky little guys (as suggested by my daughter)!  Not to worry, I plan to make another one!  I love how cheerful it came out.....time for matching coasters?  
I just had to leave my Mia's dog toys in the picture!  

Happy Song

Dear Friend, this is my truth!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Proverb of the Month May 2016. Isaiah 43:2. Happy Song.

Proverb for the Month - May 2016
I love this image……This person seems deep in thought in a beautiful location.  I’m also learning to walk with God, press the pause button, and seek out my motives for my actions.  Of course, I err!  But, as I begin to develop this practice of prayerfully seeking out my heart and motives, I become more loving, more gentle, more Christ like. 

Isaiah 43:2
My love with the ocean started in Okinawa, Japan.  It was there, via a wise friend’s comments, that I saw God’s power in the ocean.  Certainly, I had always seen His majesty as I gazed at the ocean, but power?  Not so much.
She was going through medical testing that required cyclical visits to the hospital in the same day.  On her “off time”, we would go to the beach.  I asked her how she could be so peaceful.  She responded (paraphrased), “You see how the ocean waves come only so far?  If God can hold these powerful waves back from overcoming us, He can certainly handle this situation.” 
Yes indeed.
Reminds me of this beloved verse:
This means me. 
This means you.
Yes, my dear friend, you. 
He loves you.
Dear Friend, this is my truth!

Happy Song

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Six Months Out.Proverb of the Day 7:9. Cancer, Get Cancer and Die! Happy Song.

Six Months Out
Ok, so I just got home from Part 1 of my bone scan – you know – the scan that looks for cancer of the bones. 
Part 1 is an injection with mild radioactive materials that allow the bones to be seen on a scan.  Part 2 is the scan taken exactly three hours later. 
We are performing this test to try and figure out the reasons for the continuing foot pain.
Is it chemotherapy related neuropathy?
Is it that the chemotherapy aggravated the fibromyalgia?
My oncologist has decided on several courses of action because his clinical exam does not indicate the first option:  chemotherapy related neuropathy.
1.         A B12 blood test
2.        A thyroid blood test
3.        A bone scan
4.        A nerve conduction study

These tests on top of the

5.        DX mammogram
I didn’t realize how nervous I was about the bone scan until I was on my way to the appointment for the injection.  Eeeesh.  There’s any number of dear friends who would have gone with me, but I thought it was no big deal.  Ha!
But God is faithful, even in our (my) silliness.  I plugged in my faithful Praise list and played this song:

I love this part of the song:
You brought me this far
So why would I question You now
You have provided
So why would I start to doubt
I’ve never been stranded, abandoned
Or left here to fight alone
So I’m giving You control
Even in my roughest most painful times, God was there right with me.  You know how I know?  I asked him where He was and He showed me.
He was there
fighting for me.
You know how I know?
I’m literally alive.
I’m here.
At this point, I’m working out the why’s of past pains,
But I’m here
To work them out
With Him.
I’m here.

If peace is a river let it sweep over me
If I’m under fire I know it’s refining me
When I hear You calling out I follow now
Wherever the road may go
I know You’re leading me home
-          Lift My Life Up by Unspoken
I’m being refined right now and He’s leading me home.  Therefore, I can sincerely sing the chorus with my entire heart – even if it’s through my tears:
I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord,†I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up
Have Your way in me
Have Your way in me

·       Lift My Life Up by Unspoken

Update:  unofficial word is that my bones are cancer free! Dance of joy, people!!

Proverb of the Day 7:9
Night times seems to make everything disquieting.
Fevers seem to go up at night.
Suspenseful movies.
A noise in the back room of the house.
Here’s verse 9 in context:
We believe darkness covers sin.
That’s when temptation and the enemy rear their ugly heads. 
But it’s also a great opportunity for prayer and when our victory through our LORD Jesus Christ can be the greatest!  As we fervently pray for ourselves and our loved ones, His Spirit will move in ways unimagined by our finite minds!
I heard this story during a Sunday sermon many years ago.
A young lady dressed to go dancing.  She didn’t realize the club she was going to was extremely disreputable. 
That same night a Grandmother is suddenly compelled to pray for her granddaughter.  She prays throughout the night without ceasing.  She prays the blood of Jesus over her beloved grandchild. 
The young lady is in line to pay her cover charge.  Suddenly the bouncers start screaming, “Get her out of here!  She’s covered in blood!  Get her out of here!”

Yup, she was covered in blood – Jesus’ precious blood saved her – thanks to a Grandmother’s tender spirit obeying the call of God to pray – at night.
“ via facebook: County Cajun Magic

Cancer, Get Cancer and Die!
I found out a person I worked with has leukemia.  It’s really bothering me.  I’m not part of his inner circle at all.  I was once a colleague and even then for just a brief time. 
But I will write him and say that
he’s being prayed for,
I would like to send him a note once in awhile,
And give him support group information.

Hopefully, he allows me to send an occasional short note.
I keep reminding myself it’s all about him now, not me.  But, I also know I would feel better if I could do something.
My heart breaks for him.  He’s so young and talented in his field.
I will end with this image I came across some time ago.
i wish cancer would get cancer and die | ... - Dear Cancer, I hope you get cancer and die. That is all:

Ok, so I saw this image and just had to post it….it has nothing to do with anything.  It’s just funny.
Happy Song

Dear Friend, 
This is my truth.