Thursday, April 11, 2013

From Candy Dish to Jewelry Holder

Just a fun little post today to show off my latest vintage find! I found this beautiful vintage candy dish on a swap site I frequent. I admit it was an impulse buy…but at $10 I just had to splurge a little. Once I got it home, finding a place for it became a challenge. I did have some room in the master bedroom…but did I really need a candy dish in there? Well, yes in fact I did…once it found a new life as a jewelry holder!

I love dangly earrings, but they don’t fit so well in my main jewelry armoire. I also have a few watches and bracelets I like to have out in the open and easy to grab and put on. My newest treasure works perfectly as a holder for these! Love it!

On a side note…the beautiful yellow earrings and bracelet were made by one of my Prayer Warrior buddy’s. Check out her online store at DeSignsByDarce!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Choice Is Yours

When I was in high school there was a rather popular movie made. I loved this movie and watched it many times. This is significant because this was during the late 70’s. No HBO, no Netflix, no streaming on the internet, and very few VHS players. To see a movie more than once involved spending money at the movie theater, which I willing did. And then… I bought the record album, and sang to it constantly. Yep, I was hopelessly devoted…have you guessed the movie by now?

Yes, Grease was the word back then, especially for young teen girls who wanted to be Sandy. The sweet, wholesome girl who had met a sweet, wholesome guy on vacation…and then she discovers he is a shallow pig who is willing to brush her off so he can hold on to his bad boy image in the local gang community. Obviously she should count herself lucky to have seen his true nature and move on to a boy with more substance of character! But no, she instead jumps on the shallow bandwagon herself and transforms herself into…well, honestly? Not the type of girl I would want my teenage son to date!

Ah, such is youth. But what about that idea of “wholesomeness”? Is it an antiquated notion? Something that is laughable in our modern world? Would you want someone to call you wholesome? What if someone called your 12, 14, or 16 year old daughter wholesome? Hmmm…it may not sound so bad after all.

According to most dictionaries, wholesome means;

Conducive to or suggestive of good health and physical well-being, or conducive to or promoting moral well-being.

Well, I want to take that just a little bit further. Proverbs 15:4 states;

“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life…”

Ouch! I just hate it when the tongue gets involved! Which is why the book of James is the most worn part of my Bible, I have to read it a lot to stay on track! But author Rebecca Barlow Jordan says it far better than I ever could…

Wholesomeness is choosing to participate in only the things that are helpful and spiritually uplifting in my life. It is a decision I can make to let God speak through me only those words that will edify and help others.

A decision I make. I have a choice of whether to build others up, or tear them down. I decide whether to participate in things that are uplifting and bring glory to God, or that which pulls others, and my own  faith, down. Should it really be such a difficult decision to choose wholesomeness?

In Him ~Marla 

Monday, April 8, 2013

What Kind of Bird Are You?

Just over a year ago someone asked me the following question, “So are you taking up knitting now? What do you do now that you don’t work?” I admit I did not appreciate the tone in which the question was asked, especially as I was on Prednisone just to be able to walk down the aisle at my son’s wedding without a horrible limp. That aside, it was a valid question. What was I doing with all my “free” time? Going from working full time as an R.N., to staying at home full time (with physical limitations), was a massive change in my lifestyle.

One thing I have enjoyed greatly is having time to feed and watch the birds. Today as I watched the birds, I started thinking about yesterday’s sermon at church. It had to do with the church and the importance of gathering together as a body of believers. Now, I love going to church…even if it is a morning service, which my body sometimes does not appreciate. So, as I watched the different birds at the different feeders, my mind began to consider what we, the people who make up the church, have in common with these little winged creatures.

I have Cardinals who use my feeder year round. They like the sunflower seeds and nuts…the meat. And they are willing to work for that meat, cracking the outer shells and going after the nourishment. These are the mature Christians…willing to take the time and effort to get to the meat of God’s Word. Dedicated, they frequent the feeder year round.

Equally dedicated, but maybe a little more hidden, are the Mourning Doves. They are more than happy to clean up the mess under my feeders. These are the dedicated workers of the church, often unseen, but what a mess it would be without them.

Interestingly enough, the most beautiful birds to frequent the feeders are the nectar seekers. Ah, the colorful Hummingbirds and Orioles. They have quite a following amongst the bird watchers. It is always exciting to see them…yet their season is short. These are the less mature Christians, often using flowery words and ideas, bright and charming; they only want to hear the sweet words, never working for the meat, perhaps encountering something that tastes bitter to them in the process.

Some of my feeder birds are obnoxious! Loud, unpleasant in voice, and sometimes in appearance too! These are the Jays, Grackles, Starlings, and Blackbirds. I sometimes toy with not putting out the peanuts and suet that attract them, but then I realize that they deserve to be fed as well. We have all encountered these people. The ones you silently judge and wish would move on to another church…though deep down you know they deserve to be treated the same as a child of God. The people who stretch us to become more like Christ by accepting them.

Squirrels! Every person who feeds birds tries vainly to keep them away, usually to no avail! If you own a feeder it is pretty likely a squirrel will attempt to feed there…eating all your food, so that your birds feel forced to find another feeder. Then off the squirrel will go, always in search of a bigger and better meal to devour. It is unfortunate that many of us have experienced these people, the ones who leave a wake of broken or split churches behind them. Often on to the next church that will feed their ego instead of their soul.

No feeder is complete without the bevy of Song Sparrows that frequent them. They have a pleasing song, though perhaps not standing out much in appearance. Yet our feeders would be quite bare without them. These people make up the bulk of our congregation. Many simply come to be fed and fill the pews…not a bad thing…but perhaps not growing much either. Not quite ready to step out on faith and serve.

So, in the style of Barbara Walters, ask yourself…if I were a bird, what kind would I be? Is this the bird you want to be? The great thing is…we are not birds…we can change, grow, and mature. And finally, give your Pastor, the one desperately trying to keep all the feeders full, a big thank you.

In Him ~Marla

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hearing Voices

I hear voices…all the time. Do you hear voices? I imagine so, especially if you are a woman. These voices are intrusive at times, other times they are quite helpful. The trick for me is learning to orchestrate these voices. The music of my brain is under my direction…I just have step up and pick up the conductors wand. 

For women this can be particularly difficult, more so than with men. Why is this? I have attached a wonderful short video that everyone should watch. It is a great description of the male and female brains by Mark Gungor. I promise it will make you laugh, but it does explain why women in particular allow stressful, negative thoughts to run amok through their heads.

My biggest problem is allowing the voices of negativity and worry to take over the airwaves in my head. They tend to be the loudest and most repetitive of all the voices swarming around in my brain. They also tend to have a great amount of perseverance. Beating them into submission is not an easy task.

So what to do when these negative, stressful thoughts come knocking at my door? Turn to Him…

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things
 ~Colossians 3:2 NIV

Once I have done that, be it through prayer, reading God’s word, or singing His praises, I find the negative voices have receded. Filled with His Spirit there is no room for the negative, and peace can be found. My brain may still be filled with the notes of voices…but ultimately I control the direction the music takes.

In Him ~Marla