July 26, 2015

A God-thing? You Tell Me

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and
through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
~ 2 Corinthians 2:14
You'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!

It has to be a God-thing! My husband had taken off two days early for his family reunion weekend so that we could spend a little extra time researching his maternal side of the family, namely looking for evidence of his 3rd- great-grandfather's burial site at a Civil War camp along the Missouri River, which we didn't find. However, I was surprised to find some information at the library we visited concerning my 3rd-great grandfather that I later shared with a fellow researcher and afterwards we went back into the state capital city to buy some craft supplies I needed (for below). Next door to the craft and hobby shop, there is a bookstore where I found a book on central Illinois. G.F., the genealogist who invited me to Lincoln, IL to speak about my 3rd great grandfather, said somebody must have been with me that day to help me shop, for I  got so excited when I discovered not only my 4th great-grandparents were in the book, but also his brother. LOL!
As far as the craft supplies I had to have, it was because I've joined a new craft club making ATC's (artist trading cards) once a month. Over on my craft blog, I've got a paper challenge going until the next meeting and have been adding to the post most every night about all the free goodies I've been collecting and cutting down from inside my house. God must have known I needed to clean house as I found an eye appointment I completely missed last month. Yes, it's been rescheduled! Thank you, Jesus.

And along that line, I also found two newsletters from a church in central Missouri that many of my husband's relatives attend and also several cards we've received during the year, like an anniversary one that our Pastor sent to us.  You wouldn't believe how fat my notebook is getting to be now! But one thing I wish I could find again are those document sleeves I once had that had a little flap at the top that prevented things from sliding out.
Also, the side of our  son's face swelled up this week. He looked like he had the mumps. I remember having the mumps, but he had a vaccination against them when he was a baby. He went to the doctor and was able to get some medicine for the infection in his jaw. I'm glad for modern medicine when it's needed. And his paternal grandparents purchased his birthday gift a little early -- it's a window unit air-conditioner! Nice!
The company my husband works for schedules a community service project once or twice a year. It's strictly a volunteer thing, but it is great for any employee's high schoolers who need community service hours to graduate and helps those in need. This morning we went down to the Harvesters warehouse downtown. Harvesters rescues and collects food for the hungry from local groceries, restaurants, community gardens, and donations and distributes it to several food pantries and schoolchildren in this area. Our job today was to sort and break down recycled boxes and pile the flattened good ones back up on pallets so that they can reuse them at a later date.  The guy who drove the pallet jack could turn that puppy on a dime!

After Harvesters, we went to pick up my husband's nephew. He had come up to visit his grandparents this week. He enjoys history like we do and museum hopping, so we like to indulge him. We took him to visit two museums today. At one of them, which I had never been to before, I immediately noticed a metal Gratitude Tree on the wall near the entrance. It was a metal tree with individual leaves attached to the wall. On each of the leaves were inscribed names of financial donors to the museum. I thought that was such a neat thing to acknowledge people you were grateful for right there in the public eye.

Well, I've had a long day and my bed is calling my name.  I just wanted to update you on a few of the happenings in our lives at the moment, so I'll say -- good night!

July 19, 2015

A Mother's Prayer

I was reviewing some of my poetry tonight and found one that I'm going to share with you. I wrote it while homeschooling our son. Writing it was therapeutic because we were having some hard times then. I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.

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A Mother's Prayer
By Mrs. Dolores J. Rush

Yea, I am the mother of an ADD child
Daily, I practice tough love
I shall not want to
Strangle that stubborn little neck,
But guide him towards paths of
Righteousness. To you, Lord.
Even though I walk through
The shadow of the Valley of
Weary Resignation
(Am I getting through to him??)
I will fear no hopeless situations
For you art with us;
Your presence and your arms comfort me.
And even though I walk through
The valley of the shadow of
Governmental “social reformers”
I will fear no evil
For you art with us.
You prepare a table of Joy
In the presence of my enemies
You annoint my head with wisdom.
My cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love follow me
As I try to follow you all the days of my life.
(Oh, for your stamina to live through today. . .)
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Thank you, Lord, for your provision of grace. Amen!

July 05, 2015

Happy Independence Day!

"I thank my God every time I remember you." ~ Philippians 1:3

Hope everyone had a happy Independence Day! I'm thankful we did not have any injuries from fireworks, but it sure was smoky from all the people out celebrating and shooting off firecrackers in the streets this evening.

I finished up reading this book. I like this concept of documenting my faith more and more and I hoped this book would give me some ideas as to what to gather for my Documented Faith scrapbook and it did!

Pages of Faith: The Art of Spiritual Scrapbooking.
By Sharon Sheridan.
Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, NY: 2007.
To give you an indication of what's covered in the book, here's the Table of Contents:
1. A Place to Tell Our Stories
2. The Modern Scrapper
3. A Chance for Reflection and Witness
4. Recording the Journey
5. Wedding Bells
6. Miraculous Beginnings
7. Teaching Tools
8. In Loving Memory
9. When Two or Three Are Gathered
10. Celebrating Shared Ministries
11. A Lasting Witness
12. Tools of the Trade
13. Page Design
14. Words to Scrap By (poetry, quotes,  scripture, etc.)
15. A Scrapbook Timeline
16. Resources and Notes 
I wrote down meaningful ideas and quotes on index cards and will be storing them in the backs of the flip-up photograph sleeves in my notebook, so I can refer back to them as needed. There are many ideas in this book for compiling a faith-book and I would recommend a read if you have no idea as to what to gather for your Documented Faith notebook, other than the paraphernalia I mentioned before. Perhaps a few of the  quotes below will help you get a handle on what to insert into a faith-book.
"It really is amazing just to see how people often don't record the very things that do give us hope for the future." ~ Rhonda Anderson, Creative Memories founder.
"In our ever busier world, spiritual scrapbooking offers an opportunity for quiet reflection and new insights into God's importance and influence in our lives. It lets us join with friends and share our faith stories in community. And it provides a lasting record of our spiritual journeys, a witness of faith for the generations to come." ~ Sharon Sheridan
"It is often said we learn by doing. The truth is, we also remember by doing. This happens in simple ways. Just writing down something I need to do and seeing it in print often helps me remember the task, even if I never look at the list again.
Remembering by doing happens in more profound ways as well. When Christians celebrate Holy Communion or the Lord's supper or the Eucharist, they retell the story of salvation through Christ. But more than that, they perform an act of remembrance. . . So when God tells the Israelites to remember something, he also calls them to actions of remembrance. . . In Deuteronomy, for example, God commands the Israelites to keep his words in their hearts, recite them to their children and discuss them. 'Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:8-9).  ~ Sharon Sheridan.
"While very intense at the time experiences such as attending seminary or participating in another spiritual formation program often pass quickly. In time we lose the intensity of those thoughts and experiences. A scrapbook helps preserves those memories. It also shows us the steps of our spiritual development: the things we discovered, the challenges we overcame, the highs and lows of our lives and how they relate to the peaks and valleys of a faith journey. We can see how much we've grown spiritually, how we've acquired new leadership skills and taken on new responsibilities in God's service and where God may be calling us to future ministry." ~ Sharon Sheridan.
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Strips and scraps and plastic sleeves,
Kaleidoscope colors and memories,
Die-cuts and stickers and two-sided tape --
Dear Lord, what a glorious mess it all makes1
But out of these tools and crafter's passion
A powerful album I hope to fashion.
Guide my art as I tell this story
And make this record to your glory.
~ Sharon Sheridan.