Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Chat

Since my day tomorrow is going to be crazy and I know I won't have time to chat tomorrow, I thought I'd do a quick chat today. So, let's get into it!

First off... My shop. I didn't realize it was going to be as much work as it is. Not that I don't mind, but at times it gets a little overwhelming thinking about everything I need or ought to do. Thankfully it's not a full blown, 8 hours a day kind of business. It's a cross between hobby and fledgling business. But the Lord has blessed and I'm thankful to be where I am!

Friends... Oh, boy. My friends. They're hilarious, they're encouraging and they're the best people I know. From telling me what I need to hear instead of what I want to hear, to sending puns, memes and jokes... What would I do without their constant texts of support and sometimes awkward conversations? I know what I'd do, I'd go crazy.

Family... We're battling some allergies and it's not been fun lately. Hopefully as the weather clears up, we'll get to feeling better. I'm hoping this summer is going to be a great one for us. I'd love to take some day trips around and about Georgia to places I've seen but my younger siblings have not, I know they'd love that. Besides, one can only go to the Air Force Museum so many times before you have everything memorized...

Hobbies... Okay so lately I picked back up with my sewing, more than what I had been. Three attempts at an Easter dress, some future husband and children projects, a ton of pin cushions- I've been busy. I also rearranged my sewing area to give me more space and organized things a little better so I could get to my projects quickly and easily. Hard to say whether the sewing made me want to rearrange or if the rearranging made me want to sew more.
And my crocheting, I've been working on my wedding veil lace again. I'm up to 130 inches, I think. Still a far cry from the final length, but it's working up slowly. I'm still trying to decide what kind of embellishments I could add (Pearls? Sequins? Crystals?) and if I even want to. I'm all for glitter, but I don't want to look cheesy.
I've started back to practicing my musical abilities. Which basically means I sit in front of my keyboard piano trying to play songs I've heard over the past few days without sheet music. It's going okay. I've got one song down (oh yeah!) and another about half way figured out. Maybe by June I'll have my whole YouTube playlist memorized!
Crafting other than sewing, crocheting and music... Eh, well... I painted with water colors for the first time. Well, I mean, official first time. I don't count years as a child making horrid stick figures and weird looking houses. Yeah, those 'paintings' have pretty much disappeared over the years, thankfully. Oh, and here's some advice: Water color paints Don't stick on glass. At least, they didn't for me. Maybe y'all have better results but I didn't. Major disappointment.

Isn't it amazing how God knows exactly what we need far before we need it? Sometimes the answers we need to questions God has already began working on answering before we even ask the question. The blessing we need has already been started before we came to the Lord with our request. Our God is truly a loving Father who wants what is best for His children, and I'm so thankful for that fact!

I have an ongoing struggle with my social media accounts. Snapchat comes and goes, as I miss the filters but don't have the time or space for it. Right now it's gone. It'll probably be another couple months before I decide to start annoying my friends with it again.
Instagram is still up. I guess I'll always be on there. Pinterest also remains, though I had some trouble with it for a while and the account wouldn't let me in. Oh, and Ravelry is still there, although I've been kind of busy lately and haven't kept a check on it much.

Important notice. Your best friend should live within a day's drive of you. Mine don't and I wish they did. Your states are too far away, best friends. It'd be awesome to have you close enough to go get ice cream or Chick-Fil-A with whenever we wanted to, or to take shopping for yarn and fabric when I need someone to help me feel less guilty for going on a spree 😉. Ladies, y'all need to move to Georgia- now. Okay? Okay, good. Glad we've got that settled.

Dear Future Husband... You really, really need to like gray silk because I made you a tie out of it. Also, please don't hate me for making you weird print ties. I know that one fabric looks like nursery curtains but think how awesome the pastel colors will look at Easter! Besides, the ties are made with love and I promise you won't look entirely like a clown- I hate clowns. So, see, you're good!

I may or may not have changed my mind on some wedding details. Again. Pinterest is an awful temptation when it comes to wedding planning. There's just so many things on there to inspire you...

Is there anything better than a mom who actually cares? I'm blessed to have a mom who genuinely wants what is best for her children. She listens and cares about us and our futures. She takes time to make sure we are taught and educated, not just left to struggle. My mom is awesome!

My recent Bible studies have been so varied lately, it's not funny. One day it was a word study on righteous. Another was on couples in the Bible and their ages. Recently it's been studying out 'basic' verses that everyone knows but I think we kind of miss the point of because we've memorized them. Oh, and can't forget the comparing of verses on Repentance!

Okey dokey, I gotta go. My baby sister is crying to open the mail, there's chores still waiting and it's already 11 and I have very little done, to my shame. Talk to you later everyone!

PS. Feel free to comment on things you'd like to chat about next time, questions you'd like answered or topics you'd like to see posts about. I'm always open to suggestions!

God Given Means to Minister, Part One- Your Words

Lately I've been tossing around in my mind different ways believers minister to other believers, and thinking on how I can best use the abilities God has given me. I've been encouraged by my Christian friends and have seen first hand the different means to minister God has given different people. Hopefully these posts will be a blessing to you, and maybe will encourage you to use the abilities God has given you to be a blessing to someone else!

"Stick and stones may break my bones..."

Everyone knows the next line. "But words can never hurt me." Eh, sorry, that's not true. Words can hurt more sometimes than physical pain. One slip of the tongue can leave a heart broken, a life ruined or a relationship severed. Sometimes it's intentional, other times by accident, but either way, our words can hurt people.
Sadly, I'm guilty of hurting others with my words. I know I've done it. I'd give anything to take back those words. But knowing I've done it in the past is one of the reasons I'm so careful now of what my words are.

Words can hurt, but words can also heal. They can build up, they can comfort, they can strengthen. Our words are our best tool for encouraging each other, for defending each other and for being a blessing to one another. Using our words wisely isn't an easy thing to learn. Sometimes it takes saying the most foolish thing and hearing our own words to teach us a lesson. Sometimes it takes writing something and regretting it later to remind us that we haven't yet reached that place where our words do more good than harm. Keep in mind Colossians 4:6:

"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

I know we say things like 'think about your words before you say them' and such phrases. But this verse really sums up how our words need to be used- always with grace. A mouth that speaks with grace won't say something harsh or cruel. A tongue that speaks with grace won't say something to tear another person down. A person who speaks with grace won't spread gossip or lies about others.

And think about that, the last part says so that 'ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.' I don't think this necessarily means you'll always be able to answer every question correctly every time you're asked about anything, although that'd be nice. But I do feel it means we're to take our study of God's Word seriously so that we someone asks us about our Faith, we can defend and explain it in a coherent manner.

Another good Scripture I'd point out is Matthew 12:33-35:

33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Your words say A LOT about you. If you're constantly saying or writing cruel and hateful words, people will take note. If you always speak with kindness and support, people will also see that and remember it. Your words, according to these verses, come from the abundance of your heart- what you're thinking is going to come out of your mouth. If your heart is full of evil thoughts, what do you think is going to come out of your mouth? Thankfully, the opposite is also true! If our hearts are filled with the love of the Lord, it'll be that much easier for His love to come from our mouths.

Thinking about God's love... there's a great goal for our words, you know.
To glorify God.
The same One who created your mouth wants you to use it to honor Him. The Creator who gave you hands to write with wants you to write what will bring praise to His Name. This isn't a chore or a burden. It's an honor.

It's an honor to be able to write to glorify God. The minute you really get the full meaning of that statement, you'll understand what a privilege it really is to give glory to our Lord through our words. We have an amazing freedom to speak up and write about our Saviour's wonderful love to us! We have the ability during our short lifetimes to share the Gospel and tell others how Jesus saved us! We have the chance to change the world by telling them that it's God who can change their lives!

Why let that opportunity go to waste? Why use our words to hurt others when we can encourage them? Why use words, whether in person or online, that would give someone the impression we're not a follow of Jesus Christ? I hope when the temptation to use ungodly language appears, you'll think of this... Would you say that to the Lord's face, would you say that word to the One who died for you?

If your God given talent is to use words, in whatever form... Use your words for His Glory.