Saturday, December 17, 2022

Weekly Word: Encouragement + Books, Stitches and Gratitude!



 Hello There, 

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you are doing well!  This week has been for us with highs in the 50's and lows in the 20's!  Between RSV, the flu and COVID numbers going up, I've been hibernating except for essential errands.  The winter storms are certainly causing havoc across the nation, aren't they?  I hope you all are safe and warm today/tonight!

I hope you enjoy this post, especially my Slow Stitching squirrel:  crocheted Christmas ornaments, some fun Christmas audiobooks I've been listening to and a fun song to get you up and dancing!  

Both Christmas and New Year's Eve fall on a weekend.  As I usually post on the weekend, I'll be taking a break until 2023.  However, I will be active on my Instagram account @miaismine22.   Please just request to follow me as it is a private account.  

Until I see you again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Here's is an index should you have a special interest you like to read first!  
The Weekly Word - is a short devotional that sometimes becomes a Bible Study series.  
My Reading Life - is filled with current, completed and upcoming reads as well as an occasional short review.      
Stash Report and To Do Tuesday is where I'll share share stats regarding my fiber usage and acquisitions, Slow Sunday Stitching projects, goals met/lack thereof and photos of my projects. 
Gratitude Journal - Sometimes I get lost in my own stinky thinking.  This digital journal reminds me to count my blessings!    
 Faith, Trust and Breast Cancer - - Here you will find updates on life after Triple Negative Breast Cancer.  I was diagnosed in November of 2014 and my last day of treatment was in November 2015. 

The Weekly Word

The holidays are such a joyous time for so many of us.  Yet, for some of us, they are lonely and difficult.
I have a sense that some of you reading this are hurting right now.  You are not alone.  
As we face our current challenges and those to come, I pray that these words from The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere will come to mind.   
"Time in the valley will teach you to be a man, Nathan," she had said.  "It's where your character will form.  I hope you go through the valley so that you'll learn so that you'll learn how to love and feel and understand.  And when life wounds you, I hope it is because you loved people, not because you mistreated them."  It was a blessing of sorts, a blessing that forges love in the darkest places.  

There have been times, especially during those early years without her, that I thought time in the valley was anything but a blessing, but now I know otherwise.   As I grew, I began to understand what my mother meant:  It is those times of struggle and pain that teach us how to live.  It's not really living until you've thrown your heart and soul on the line, rising failure and suffering loss.  And I have come to realize that we're never alone; everyone has been through their own valley or is walking through it now...

There were times when the grief in my life made it impossible to believe that God was alive and working, or the doubts were so great it  seemed hopeless to believe anything at all, but as I look at the faces in the seats before me I now once again that we're all hear for a reason, a purpose that is often beyond us.
-The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLeire
My time listening to Donna VanLeiere's books was such encouragement.  I was reminded of two facts:  

1.  We. Are. Not. Alone. 
Even if it feels like we are, God is with us!  
FEELINGS ARE NOT FACT.
The fact is:  God is always with us - even if we are angry with Him or overcome by grief.  
https://bibleversestogo.com/products/hebrews-13-5-i-will-never-leave-you
2.  We. Are. Here. For. A. Reason.
In 2023,let us prayerfully seek out the reason for our existence and live it fully.  
Someone needs each one of us.  It could be a perfect stranger or a dear loved on.  But, someone is out there who needs us.  

In 2023, let our antennas be up and sensitive to how we can contribute to making our surroundings a softer, kinder place to be.  

Once we focus on God's presence in our lives and on helping others, everyone's lives will be enriched.

My Reading Life
Last week I shared the 2023 Reading Challenges I'm planning to participate in,  however, I may be adding this one if my grandbabies decided to participate!  
Currently Reading
Finished Reading

*****I highly recommend all three of these books by Donna VanLiere!  

Stash Report

Yarny Numbers
I used all but 2 ounces of the yarn that came in last week plus some scraps!  
I was wondering how in the world I was in the negative last week after using and donating so much yarn:  a simple coding error!  Ug.  
I'm learning to think analytically though!  So yea for errors!  


Fabric numbers - No fabric has come in or out this week!

To Do Tuesday

Last Week's List
1.  Slow Stitching  
Finish block two of the Bee Humble Sew AlongNOT DONE.  I am really focusing on Christmas preparations, so this one is taking a back seat for now.   
Make progress on tea towel #3! DONE!  It's looking pretty good!
continue with the ornaments DONE!  Just in case you decide to make these, one skein of yarn made 17 ornaments and have proving quite popular with the recipients thus far!


2. Machine Sewing:  
- stuff the Christmas puppies for the grandbabies NOT DONE - YET!  
- I actually got a couple of "To Do's" finished from last week's "On the Radar" !
- Make the five 6.5" blocks for the $15 Sampler quilt.  DONE!
I actually stitched them up in a day!  Rechecking the cut pieces a few times times and reducing my sewing speed, I only lost a few points!  
- Prep Row 12 of the Pieces in the Garden QAL.  DONE and stitched up!  This beginner friendly block is so fun that I found this pattern for making it in 12" squares!  
Next Week's List 
1.  Slow Stitching  
Make progress on tea towel #3! 
- continue with the ornaments
2. Machine Sewing:  
- stuff the Christmas puppies for the grandbabies 
- pick and prep the next Christmas quilt.  I am making my way through my Christmas stash and looking at which "genre" of fabric to stitch through next!
On the radar
- Stitch up a baby quilt that I've prepped.
- Finish up my daughter's crocheted dishcloths.
- Prep kits for January 2023 

Gratitude Journal

Good Feeling by Austin French is sure to get your toes tapping and your body dancing as you lift your hands in praise to our heavenly Father!  Here is the cute story behind the song.  
At one point I started saving Songs from the blog on YouTube.  I've made a note to do this every week.  You can enjoy these songs as a sort of "radio station" any time you like!  

This week LeeAnne had a bunch of suggestions regarding Christmas music.  I have loved O Come All Ye Faithful since childhood!  It has always touched my heart as I praised Him for whom the season is for.  Even today I sing it in hopes that all will come to adore and love Jesus Christ!  
It's the Holiday Season makes me dance!  I love to play it first when we begin to decorate the tree!
My least favorite song is Baby, It's Cold Outside.  
Pre-pandemic I loved attending our church's Christmas pageants.  Now we go to El Paso and enjoy walking through the beautifully decorated downtown plaza!
As I child, I enjoyed participating in our elementary school Christmas programs and loved singing as loud as I could (despite my off-key voice!).  LOL!  

Now to my recent likes on Instagram!
This account, @healthtips.247 posted that Charlie Chaplin left us with the following quotations.
                                                      

Isn't this true?🠇

If you like photography, this account is a great one to follow!
I've begun taking more chances this week 
and am enjoying the results!  Fear - be gone!
This camel saw snow for the first time,
ran to get his/her friends
to make sure they saw it!

Please, even if you pay a bit more,
support your independent bookshops!
I personally support @coasbooks (website), @barriobooks520 (website),  @libeula_books_co (website).  
These ship nationwide!    
Let's support our local bookshops, quilt shops, 
and small business owners as much as possible! 
Please share the names of the indie bookstores 
you support in the comments!

This quote reminded me of the Bible Study series I wrote 
inspired by Matthew West's song, Truth Be Told.  
@Tobymacspeaklife account always gives me food for thought.
This last week my husband found the belt 
he made me when we were in high school!
My favorite like is my constant companion, Mia, 
for whom this blog is named.  

Faith, Trust and Breast Cancer

I was diagnosed the day before we were to host our family Thanksgiving dinner in 2014.  It was tough.
That holiday season was filled with the stress of scheduling tests around doctors and medical offices taking their well-earned holiday breaks.
Less than a handful of years later, a close family member passed away the day after Thanksgiving.  
Yup.
 But, that was then, this is now.
Now, we are extra loving to each other, supportive and patient.    
Now, I still remember, but am filled with gratitude, love and an extra measure of joy.  I believe this very much:   Tough times make us more empathetic, more tender.  
To those of you who are dealing with crisis this holiday season, please know you are in our prayers.  Your pain is in my heart.  When I say we are praying for you, we are.  You are not forgotten.  

I look forward to touching base with you again in the New Year!


Enjoyed this post? 
Never miss out on future posts by following this blog!

Your comments are so appreciated! 
I read each one and will respond by email.
You can also expect a visit from me as well!


Here are some blogs I sometimes link up to!
Midweek Makers @ Quilt Fabrication (Wednesdays)
I Like @ Not Afraid of Color (Thursday)

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Weekly Word: People Pleasing + Books, 2023 Reading Challenges, Stitches and Gratitude!

 

Hello There, 

I hope you all are doing well!  Life has been slow and with just a bit of the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  It's been a nice balance, thus far!  😉Famous last words!  
Here is a tip I wanted to share about inserting photos into blogger.  It used to be a long process for me, until I learned this process.  Certainly, if you have another way, please share in the comments!
1.  Take the photos with your Iphone and edit them.
2.  Open blogger and select where you want to insert the photo.  
3.  Select the insert photo button.
4.  Select "upload from computer."  
5.  Select "choose files" then "photo library".  
6.  Select your photo/s and click on "add".
7.  Make sure your photo/s are highlighted, then press "select".
Your photos should now be inserted!  
I wonder if any of you have an easier way?  Please feel free to share in the comments!  

Well, I hope you are enjoying your favorite beverage and/or snack as you read this weekly post! 

Here's is an index should you have a special interest you like to read first!  
The Weekly Word - is a short devotional that sometimes becomes a Bible Study series.  
My Reading Life - is filled with current, completed and upcoming reads as well as an occasional short review.      
Stash Report and To Do Tuesday is where I'll share share stats regarding my fiber usage and acquisitions, Slow Sunday Stitching projects, goals met/lack thereof and photos of my projects. 
Gratitude Journal - Sometimes I get lost in my own stinky thinking.  This digital journal reminds me to count my blessings!     

The Weekly Word


This verse struck me like a baseball bat!  In fact, after I read it, I have become more aware of my tendency to please people rather than standing on the Word of God and being true to His calling on my life. 

I understand Paul is clearly arguing the false teaching that we are saved by works or the law instead of faith.  However, when I read the Word, on top of searching for His truth, I also search for God to show me the practical application to my life today.   

That being said, I went online and read this Bible study.  The author suggested that we ask “What would God want from me?” 

As I’ve begun this practice, the results are amazing:  increased thoughtfulness, kindness, courage and a sense of calm.  When listening to someone speak, I am learning to ask God to allow me to see through His eyes.  The results are amazing, and admittedly, scary at times.  However, He is faithful and His peace and guidance fill the atmosphere. 

Going forward, let us pray for awareness of any people pleasing tendencies in our hearts and then ask ourselves, “What would God want from me?”  As the author suggested, let our actions be for God’s glory, not for man’s glory.  

Amen? 

My Reading Life

Currently Reading


Finished - I've been binging on Christmas audiobooks!
*****Both The Christmas Blessing and The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere are excellent titles to read during the holiday season!  They are part of her Christmas Hope Series which starts with The Christmas Shoes, which I enjoyed years ago.      
**** The New Year's Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini was a bit of a disappointment for me as much of it was recapping the entire El Creek Quilts series.  However, it was partly because of this very series that I started quilting!  
*****+The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea was a difficult read as I learned about this difficult passage that immigrants take.  Though I rarely re-read books, this is one I'll be re-reading.  I highly recommend this book - very highly recommend.  

Reading Challenges
This year was the first year that I participated in reading challenges, other than the Goodreads and a personal library reading goal.  I've met most of my goals except for the Mount TBR (I misunderstood the rules 😏) and the  Alphabet Soup reading challenge.  I mentioned to my daughter that I needed help and she and my grandbabies thoughtfully joined forces and sent me this collection of books to assist me!  
They also sent me these two books!  Do you remember the Serendipity series?  Zippity Zoom is actually one of my daughter's books from childhood!  I used to read The Three Questions to my students.  
This year I learned so much about what I truly enjoy reading and have adjusted my choice of 2023 Reading Challenges accordingly.    

I want to read more of my own books so, I am again joining The Reader's Block Mount TBR 2023 starting at Mount Blanc reading 24 my TBR that I own.
  
This year I was astonished at how much I enjoy reading non-fiction, so I am also repeating the Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted by ShelleyRae at Book'd Out.  My goal is a "Nonfiction Grazer":  reading any nonfiction book and setting my own goal which will be 7 books.
  
As you can see by how long it's taking me to read Chasing Fireflies, eBooks are certainly a challenge for me to get through.  Michelle and Berls at Because Reading is Better Than Real Life is hosting a COYER (Clean Out Your E-Reader) challenge.  It has three "chapters", so I'll be participating in Chapter One and commit to reading 3 eBooks between January 1 and April 30th.  😊  

Please share the reading challenges you're joining in the comments!  It would be fun to check them out!  

Stash Report

Yarny Numbers
It looks like I'll be ending my yarny year in the negative.  ðŸ˜
I purchased 10 ounces of this yarn in ivory to make these decorations!  As an experiment, I added a second, extremely thing variegated wool to the second ornament.   You can see what I did with it in the next section, To Do Tuesday!
    
Fabric numbers
No change in fabric numbers.

To Do Tuesday

Last Week's List
1.  Slow Stitching - I fell down the rabbit hole with a Christmas squirrel! 
A friend sent me a picture of these ornaments by @simplymadebyerin on Instagram.  She generously shared her pattern using a thicker yarn and added greenery to the top of the her lovely ornament.  
I kept mine minimalistic and like the results!  Here is how I made my ornaments.  I used Erin's directions with the exceptions of using the I Love This Yarn Metallic in ivory and a G crochet hook.  As my yarn was thinner, I started with 26 chains, single crocheted in row 1, half double crocheted in rows 2-6, and single crocheted in row 7.  
Though the first skein of yarn makes roughly 17 ornaments.

a.   Finish block two of the Bee Humble Sew Along. NOPE!  I was too busy crocheting my ornaments!
b.  Make progress on my Pretty Kitty tea towel. DONE! 
                                         
c.  Crochet - make progress on the Fall Granny Square Afghan NOPE!  
2. Machine Sewing:  
a.  Make progress on the new Patchwork Christmas Quilt. DONE!  It's going to my daughter for serpentine quilting and she even offered to attach the binding for me!  I'll be slow stitching it down when I get it back!
                                                 
b.  Connect rows #1-11 of the Pieces in the Garden QAL.  DONE!  

I even got these two 9.5" blocks finished for  my $15 Sampler from Be Sew Creative!  I have five 6.5" to make before our next class in January!
                           
Next Week's List (Prioritized)
1.  Slow Stitching  
Finish block two of the Bee Humble Sew Along
Make progress on tea towel #3!  
continue with the ornaments
2. Machine Sewing:  
- stuff the Christmas puppies for the grandbabies

On the radar
- Make the five 6.5" blocks for the $15 Sampler quilt.
- Prep Row 12 of the Pieces in the Garden QAL.  
 - Stitch up a baby quilt that I've prepped.
- Finish up my daughter's crocheted dishcloths.
- Prep kits for January 2023 

Gratitude Journal

During these sometimes hectic holiday times, let this be our anthem!  Here's the story behind the song.    
                    
Time to share our prompt from LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Color "I Like" Thursdays!  This week we're sharing our favorite holiday cookie!  I used to make dozens of Snickerdoodles using this recipe.  Then my daughter started helping me and now, she's taken over this task completely for us!  We deliver ingredients and get all we can eat!

Then LeeAnna asked us which cookies we reach for first at parties!  Ah ha!  I love the decorated ones, sugar cookies and, though they are not cookies:  brownies!  Which do you like/reach for first?
These posts from Instagram started me thinking.

I saw these titles at Target!  Time to hit my local library or bookstore and find them!



Enjoyed this post? 
Never miss out on future posts by following this blog!

Your comments are so appreciated! 
I read each one and will respond by email.
You can also expect a visit from me as well!


Here are some blogs I sometimes link up to!
Midweek Makers @ Quilt Fabrication (Wednesdays)
I Like @ Not Afraid of Color (Thursday)