May 12, 2015

Red Letter Days

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe."
~ Hebrews 12:28
Spending a little time calculating the number of things that go right is a simple but powerful way to reactivate our sense of wonder and gratitude. –Richard Carlson

You know how special days are marked in RED on some calendars? I've been watching quite a few videos and looking at Pinterest for planner ideas, just to see what's out there. I noticed a lot of people use colored stickers of all kinds and shapes to fill their calendars to highlight special events they have to remember. I might go to that later, but for now, I highlighted four days that have been and are going to be special to me this month, by tracing around the calendar square with one of my RED colored pencils. That helped them stand out!

Three of those days are holidays -- national and personal. Mother's Day (which was very nice as we took my mother out to eat and last night our son fixed lasagna for supper, which was nice also 'cause I didn't have to cook for a change!), the upcoming Memorial day (I wrote about how Decoration Day came to be on our genealogy blog:  Click here.), and our upcoming wedding anniversary! The other day I marked is the day for my presentation speech about my third great-grandfather, Elder Martin White. As I've been getting ready for it, potential disasters have loomed such as the car breaking down and the computer blinking to blank and  nervousness  that have kept me repeating those three verses I typed up at the beginning of last week's post plus a quote I gleaned from Stephanie Ackerman's blog. She said:
"Pray. . . don't Panic!"
*smile* I've been asking for prayer from the genealogists in the Fletcher/Griffin/White family and  my friends -- We'll be in God's hands all the way! Our small group was really sweet to us last Sunday, giving us a gift  to take with us and all signed a card that said "You Can Do It!" I'm really thankful for their support and prayers!
As I was roaming through Pinterest this week, looking at planner ideas, I ran across a website I had forgotten about from our homeschooling days about using notebook planners to organize your home while planning lessons. Donna Young has a website chock full of printable planner pages -- in this case, the appropriate ones she has for a spiritual planner, if you are doing as I'm doing -- are blank calendar forms, list forms, and ruled paper. I also ran across two other websites that have several appropriate printable planner pages -- Emily Ley -- she has a Sunday checklist,  verse cards, prayer list and a gratitude list form and Julia Bettencourt. I liked Julia's S.O.A.P. Bible Study form.
Another thing Stephanie likes to do in her planner is to write in encouraging quotes and scriptures that she discovers during the month, even going so far as illustrating them. As I began thinking about that, I wondered if I could do that here as well as in my planner notebook. I wondered how many quotes I could find that deal with gratitude and thanksgiving? I know there are quite a few scriptures in the Bible that deal with having an attitude of gratitude, so, I found a scripture that reminded me of the current events happening in the country of Nepal -- thank goodness our missionaries are safe -- that I posted above. And I found the quote above on John Maxwell's blog. Seemed apropo at the moment! *smile*

And last but not least, I wanted to talk about giving to charities. The first charity I want to mention is GAP. Since one church in our town couldn't begin to possibly  help all the people in need, all the churches banded together to form the  Grandview Assistance Program.  It solicits donations from not only the spiritual community, but the general community as well. I've donated extra educator kits from Colgate that was given to our church, but have received assistance with groceries a time or two when my husband was out of work. I'm thankful God provided!

I heard on the news the other night that Heart to Heart was getting ready to fly to assist the people of Nepal.  I'm sure that the Red Cross will be there too! Our church denomination packs up "Care Kits" to send overseas to the missionaries to be handed out to those in need like people in refugee camps. I remember once assisting in packing up a large amount of donated product that people had brought with them during our district assembly. Instead of the usual workshop, about 300 people lined up in two rows and went down either side of a long row of boxes containing the donated product, picking up a one-gallon size zippy bag to begin with and filling it with one or two of each thing according to the list posted on the box. Someone at the end of the line slipped in a card explaining where the product came from and a salvation tract and sealed the bag and packed it in a box. Then I returned to the end of the line to wait for another round of packing. In no time,  all the boxes were unpacked, newly repacked,  sealed and waiting shipment.

Here's a recent "care kit" list:
1 Hand towel
1 washcloth
1 wide-tooth comb
1 bottle of shampoo (15 oz. preferred)
1 individually wrapped toothbrush
1 tube of toothpaste (4-6 oz. preferred)
1 individually wrapped bar of soap (in a zipper sealed sandwich bag)
10 adhesive bandages
2 one-gallon re-sealable bags

Be careful whom you give to as there are many scam artists out there waiting to lighten your pockets. You won't be very thankful when you realize you've been had and nobody benefits except the thief.

Be safe and may you have a red-letter-special-day this week!

May 05, 2015

Love Notes

"Peace be with you,". . . "Stop doubting and believe." ~ John 20:26-27
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:57

( click on photo to enlarge it)

Stephanie Ackerman has a hobby of looking for things, like a heart, that reminds her of God's love for her, so I decided that was a nifty thing to do, 'cause I could use some love notes too! I was taking photos this day of tombstones in my 3rd great-grandparent's family cemetery for Findagrave and looked up two different times. Can you see them? Two hearts. If you stretch your imagination just a little, you can see the top dip between the two halves of the heart in both photos.
Sorry, I was late with this post. I've been having a pity party for myself. I fell on my face literally a couple of weeks ago when my knee buckled in the kitchen (wooden floors are HARD!), then a friend failed to follow through on a promise she made me sometime ago; a person at one of the websites I'm a member of made me angry when she messed with my stuff and didn't give me a courtesy call.  And last but not least, our car broke down and is costing an arm and leg to get fixed. You know, just the stuff of life, but then the earthquake in Nepal happened and I realized it was time for some forgiveness and grace, even though I didn't want to let go, and tried to argue with God (take it from me, you won't win, LOL!),  it was small potatoes compared to what others are going through right now.  I should be thankful I have a roof over my head, not rubble. I should be thankful I'm alive and well and my family too! I should be thankful I have electricity, food in my refrigerator, clean water to drink, a bed to sleep in and a change of clothes to wear.
As to my Documented Faith planner, April is wrapped up. A couple of weeks ago, I went to the greeter's desk at church. Now I usually by-pass it  as I come in the front door, it's a visitor's center, but I was pleasantly surprised at the goodies to be had. I picked up several informational sheets to insert into my document sleeves and labeled them with titles like -- church bulletins (a complete set for April), ministry opportunities, a prayer chain directory,  a pastoral report/newsletter, sign-up sheets (note to self: date it on my calendar), etc. I also had a good response to my call for friends' wallet sized photos. I received 9. Thank you friends. for sharing selfies with me. In the month of May, I'm going to go for church friend photos, so if you are a church friend, you are forewarned, cause I'll be bringing my camera to church if you don't send me a photo! *wink*
I will be swapping a pocket letter at the end of this month with Tara McGuire. I was watching her tutorial video at You-tube. She  was showing how to make a paint gelli print background for scriptural pocket letters. She's also looking for other swappers to exchange pocket letters with. I know some of you aren't interested in arts/crafts and that's okay, but if you try something out of your comfort zone and a little out of the ordinary,  you might be pleasantly  surprised at how relaxing and rewarding it can be. Nobody said you had to be perfect. Just have fun!
Oh, and I almost forgot. A friend (C.B.) sent me an encouraging "Pass It On message card." It's safely tucked away in a trading card sleeve. It said (ironic how it went along with one of the verses Stephanie sent us this month) "God's plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day. -- I have made you and I will carry you: I will sustain you and I will rescue you." Isaiah 46:4. Thank you, C. B. 

Have a blest week and look for the love notes He sends you!