Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I am posting the following email in it's entirety. Please take a few moments to read it. If you have been looking for an opportunity to bless someone this Christmas, well, here it is. My family and I have participated in this festival for about 20 years. The only one we missed was 2007 when one of our daughters went into labor prematurely, and we were all at the hospital. (Our daughter started crying during labor when she realized she was going to miss this party!)

The Wingards do amazing ministry with very little resources. They do the work that most of us would shudder at. This festival isn't about the presents. It's about the opportunity to physically, emotionally, and spiritually touch the lives of 283 children and their families with the love of Jesus!

I know it's been a tough year financially for many of us. And things aren't looking too great for next year either. But look around you, at your home, at your cars, at your . . . stuff. Then just think about your kids only getting 3, that's right, 3 presents for Christmas. Nothing else. Need I say more?

I will be glad to answer any questions. I will do the shopping for you if you want to give money instead of shopping. If you can provide one of the games or booths, that would be awesome. You can message me by this blog, email, facebook, twitter, or call/text me. And Charlotte's number is at the end of the email along with their website. They are a 501c3 charity.

God bless,
Renea

 EMAIL FROM CHARLOTTE:

UPDATE!!!! The Happy Birthday, Jesus, Festival is this Sunday on the Dec. 16th at the Trade Mart in Jackson. We have pre-qualified and interviewed 283 children for Christmas wishes and help for their family. WE HAVE ABOUT 73 CHILDREN NOT SPONSORED AT THE TIME OF THIS E-MAIL!

These children are "little lambs" because their Christmas wishes are listed on little lamb cards and are hanging on a Christmas tree at the Flowood Walmart. These children will show up at the festival on Sunday, because it is being given to honor Jesus....... and the needy and homeless children are HIS special invited guests. We do not want them to show up at the festival and have to watch the other children receiving gifts and they have nothing to receive.

Please help us spread the word. If you would like to help, but do NOT want to shop or go out to the Walmart in Flowood, then we would be glad for you to financially support the sponsoring of the child and we will do the shopping.

Just call me at 601-906-1976 and we will arrange to come to you!

To summarize, we need the following:
SPONSORS FOR THE NEEDY CHILDREN (lambs on the tree at Flowood WalMart)
BICYCLES....ALL SIZES
A SANTA SUIT IN XXL
DECORATION TEAM TO DECORATE THE FESTIVAL AREA ON SUNDAY MORNING
A CAKE WALK FOR THE FESTIVAL.....this is the Kid's favorite every year!
ACTION GAMES FOR THE OLDER KIDS AT THE FESTIVAL (football throw, basketball throw, ring toss, bean bag toss)
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!!!
PHOTOGRAPHER FOR THE FESTIVAL (TWO HOURS)
SOMEONE TO VIDEO THE FESTIVAL (TWO HOURS)

Please spread the word and help us get these needs out. We know there are folks out there wanting to help someone for Christmas.....you may be the key to connect them to us ....social media! word of mouth! workplace! church tonight! e-mail! facebook! call the TV & radio station! ...........just please help us spread the word! There is an old Christian song that I remember! It says, "it only takes a spark to get a fire going, and then all those around can warm up to it's glowing....that's how it is with God's love once you've experienced it You want to spread His love around....you want to Pass It On."

You may be the spark that gets this thing wrapped up and the homeless and needy children will surely be warmed by your love and concern for their needs.

God bless you in a great big way,
Charlotte Wingard Festival Director
cell: 601-906-1976

 Charlotte A. Wingard
1279 N. West St. Jackson, MS 39202-2059
Women's Pastor Ministry Co-Director
cell # 601-906-1976
www.wingardhome.org

Friday, November 23, 2012

Creative Chaos and Martha Stewart Markers

This is an old post that I forgot to publish. A few months ago I got to play with some new, some not so new, products at Michaels for a demo. In case you didn't know, Michaels now has it's own line that is similar to SMASH. It's called Creative Chaos by Recollections, and I LUV it! Of course, I forgot to take pictures of the books. But one of them is all black, white, and kraft paper. No color at all. Sounds boring, huh? Well . . . not if you happen to have some Martha Stewart markers on hand! It's really hard to see all the sparkle. You'll just have to trust me. Here are a couple of the pages that had flowers on them that I 'colored' with these fun markers. As you can see in the second picture, the Creative Chaos books are 3 ring binders, which I really like better than the spiral binding on SMASH books. *Pictures are clickable for a better view.
These next two pictures are stamped. The first is a leaf on a wood mounted rubber stamp, I think by Inkadinkado, stamped with Peeled Paint Distress Ink. Then I went over the lines in the veins with a Martha Stewart glitter marker.
This last one has a wreath rubber cling stamp in the middle, I think by Recollections. (I should have written this stuff down.) I stamped with Peeled Paint then colored some of the image with the glitter markers. THEN the real fun began! I stamped around the wreath with the awesome Stamping Gear by Inkadinkado. I used Peeled Paint and Fired Brick. THEN I traced over the lines with the Martha glitter markers. Look at all that gorgeous sparkle! Its way better in real life. Fun stuff!
So, in case you didn't know this either, we are now teaching a Stamping Gear class and have several classes using distress inks and techniques. If you are in the Jackson, MS metro area, I'll be glad to send you a copy of our Flowood, MS calendar. We also have a monthly crop for only $5.00. I'd love for you to join us! Blessings, Renea

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Enter to win . . .

Want to win a spot in Courtney Walsh's new class at Big Picture Scrapbooking? Check out the link to see how to win! http://courtneywalsh.typepad.com/telling_stories/2012/11/big-picture-home-blessings-enter-to-win.html#comment-6a00d8341c1a6753ef017c33cf937c970b

Friday, November 9, 2012

Come crop at Michaels in Madison today, 3-9pm. Only $5.00! Fun! Door prizes, too!

Friday, September 7, 2012

for one day only!
Come see me at Michaels in Madison tomorrow 11-3 for Classroom Open House. Meet our certified instructors and get great deals on class registration fees

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lessons in Grace

This post has been sitting in my drafts box for weeks. The title of it could have easily been phrased a thousand other ways. For example:
     Why I will Never Be a Manager;
     Motherly Instincts and Other Forms of Danger to Society;
     Stupid Things that Go Through My Head When I'm Angry;
     What NOT to Do;
     Let He Who Has No Sin Cast the First Stone;

But, I digress. I'll just stick with the original.

A few weeks ago, upon arriving at a small, local retail establishment, I walked by a car that was parked out front, right next to the sidewalk. The car was running. The windows were partially down in front. There was no one in the driver or passenger seat up front. But, to my shock and horror, there was a small child in a carseat in the back. There were actually two carseats, one with the sleeping child, the other empty.

As you can imagine, my mom/grammy instincts kicked into high gear. I stepped inside, saw the manager and promptly informed him about the situation. Fortunately, he was as concerned as I was. He went outside and immediately took ownership of with the situation. He told me later that the young mother's words were, "I was only going to be in there for 2 minutes. They're twins. I can't handle both of them in the store."

Had it been me who found said young mother, these are the immediate responses to that statement that went through my head:
   
     Calling her an idiot while ripping her hair out at the roots.
     Calling the police and accusing her of abandonment.
     Screaming something like, 'You can't handle them? Here's a word for you: ADOPTION!!!!!'
     Snatching the baby out of the car and the other out of the buggy and tucking one under each arm and  
     running for it.

I have no idea what I would have actually done had I gotten to her first. But, much to the manager's credit, and the safety of the young mother, cooler heads prevailed. His response was simple and direct.
   
     "Young lady, those 2 minutes could have you crying for the rest of your life."

Needless to say, I'm so thankful that he got to her first. How much more impact that must have had on her than all the angry, violent responses that went through my head. How much more gracious and kind his words were. How much more Christlike his compassionate answer was than my tirade would have been.

I was humbled. I was embarrassed. I saw her as a villain. But I was the one who wanted to act like one.

Yes, I'm still outraged that a mother would leave a sleeping baby in the car, with the car running, outside the door of a retail establishment. She should have known better. Maybe she did know better. But all that aside, it doesn't excuse what would have been my angry outburst toward her. Yes, I believe I needed to act, and quickly, when I saw the child in the car alone. No, my violent reaction would probably not have helped and certainly would not have represented Jesus well. Would I have actually played out my in-head scenarios in real life? I'm not sure. The 'mama lion' gene is a pretty strong one and not something to be messed with.

As I continued to think about this the rest of the day, I was heart-broken at how quickly I ran to judgement. She was young. Very young. She had twins. She may have been a single mom who has no one to help her with her children. She was still a kid herself. She could have chosen to abort those sweet babies. In my anger, offering her help or wisdom never entered my mind. All I saw was the danger to the child.

As Christ followers, we rub shoulders with the world on a different plane than those who don't know Him. We are called to be different, to react differently, to love unconditionally without condoning un-Christlike behavior. At my age, it's easy to forget how young and foolish I once was. This incident may have had more of an impact on me than it did on her. My prayer is that 'in real life' I would have been more loving, more instructive than destructive. I would like to believe that I would have. But I'm just not sure. The whole incident left me with the strong reminder of my loving Father's compassionate response to me. I did nothing to deserve his mercy or forgiveness. But He gave it. Willingly. And when I look at where I am and where I feel I should be, how self-centered and arrogant I can be, I still stand in amazement at His grace. May I grow to be more like Him. And, hopefully, the next time I see a young mother doing something foolish, I will step up and offer something more tangible that will make a difference in her life.

Blessings,
Renea

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wow. Have I really not posted in that long? Sigh.

Well, tonight I just wanted to pass along this info. I know we are all busy, especially around the holidays. But this is such a great event to get involved with. My family and I help every year and it has become one of the most precious highlights of our Christmas. The year my daughter gave birth to our 1st grand daughter, 3 1/2 weeks early, on the way to the hospital, my daughter said, "Oh, no, Mama! I won't be able to help with the festival now!" Yep. It's that important to us.

Date has been set for the 
Happy Birthday, Jesus Festival !!!!!!
Sunday, December 16 th 3 pm until 5 pm
Mississippi Trade Mart on the Jackson Fairgrounds
Evangelism at it's finest....bringing physical help and the gospel to the widows, children, the needy, and the homeless.
reserve your ministry booth today...
our "little lambs" will be available on November 1
"Gonna ba parrrrrtieeeee....whooop! whooop!"


For more info on their ministry, you can visit their website. http://www.wingardhome.org/
Or you can find Charlotte Wingard on Facebook.
Or you can ask me.

So I'll just leave you with this:

If Christmas is really all about Jesus . . .
If Christmas is really all about giving . . .
If Christmas is really about sharing the gospel . . .
And you always thought you might ought to be doing more . . .
Or you wondered how you could help, even if you don't have much money to give . . .
Or you want your children to see how blessed they are . . .
Or you want to teach your children to be more gracious . . .
Or you don't have one spare dime to spend but you still want to help . . .

I could go on and on. I certainly don't have all the answers on how Christmas should be practiced. But I can tell you that my kids have been to and been in lots of Christmas musicals, Christmas programs, done school lessons on Christmas, made gifts for neighbors, family, and friends. All of those are good things. But in all honesty, none of it, all put together, has ever had the impact on them that this festival has.

There are lots of ways to help.

I'd love to help any of you get involved. Feel free to ask questions!

Blessings!
Renea

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Time . . .

Lately, well, not just lately, but even more so lately, I've been feeling completely overwhelmed. Just so busy that my whole life seems to be spinning out of control. And I feel helpless to stop it. There was a quote I tweeted from the sermon Sunday that just hit me squarely between the eyes.

"That which we practice daily is what we really believe. All else is religious garbage."

What I practice daily is work. And more work. And still more work. Then I whine and complain about work. Then I feel guilty because all I do is work. Then I feel frustrated about all the things I want to do and don't have time - because of work. I've been praying about this and trying to figure out a reasonable answer. The simple answer is less work. But life isn't so simple.

Last night I found this note I had written recently.
A page from my journal
I edited it somewhat below. But I want to remember that every day I live is a gift from God. I didn't do anything to earn it. I certainly don't deserve it. Yet, He continues to give me another day. Time. A gift. I need to refocus my energy and thoughts to this end.


Time . . .
Occasionally seems to stand still.
But usually flies by.
Savor each hour, each minute.
Don't spend all your days looking so intently toward tomorrow that you miss what today has to offer.
Cherish the good times.
But don't assume that the hard times are of no value.
Each day holds 24 hours in which to grow. 
To learn. 
To perceive new opportunities.
To remind someone they are loved. 
Be not a slave to father time.
Life is but a moment in this world.
Before time began, God was.
Time will end.
He still will be.


Blessings,
Renea

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ever been so tired you just can't think of anything to say? I have a list of subjects I want to write a blog post about and simply can't find the energy to get it done. I need a vacation. lol

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MICHAELS, MADISON GRAND OPENING EVENTS!


You won't believe all the stuff we're giving away!!!


Great prizes given away EVERY DAY, SUNDAY, JUNE 3rd - SATURDAY, JUNE 9th! Come in and register!

Sunday, June 3rd - Prize Wheel from 1-4pm. Lots of cool prizes given away! Spin the wheel and win! It's that simple! We will be giving away all kinds of prizes. Art supplies. Scrapbook supplies. A Cricut Expression 2! A Speedball Silk Screen kit! And so much more!

Free Tote Bag to the 1st 10 people who sign up for a Knack Club Card.

Free Child Safe Kid's Fingerprint ID card (while supplies last)

Free Model Car kit to kids (while supplies last)

Free Patons Yarn Tote Bag with any purchase in yarn or sewing (while supplies last)

And LOTS more!

11am-2pm - Cricut Expression 2 demo

1-3pm - Adhesive Dot Glitter Frame - Make-It Take-It

2-4pm - Wilton Cake Decorating Demo

2-4pm - Jewelry Make-it Take-it

 Monday, June 4th - 4-7pm - Jewelry Demo - Spiral Knot Bracelet

Tuesday, June 5th - 4-7pm - Kids' Demo - Foam Stamped Frame

Wednesday, June 6th - 4-7pm - Scrapbooking Demo - We Can Help Classroom Chart

Thursday, June 7th - 4-7pm - Fine Arts Demo - Artist Loft Visual Journal

Friday, June 8th - 4-7pm - Yarn Demo - Pom Pom Chicks

Saturday, June 9th - 11am-1pm - Card Making Demo
12 - 2pm - Duck Tape Demo
12 - 1pm - Cake Decorating Demo
1 - 4pm - Cookie Decorating Make-It Take-It
2 - 4pm - Jewelry Pink & Lavender Pearl Necklace Make-It Take-It

Plus learn about the great activities coming soon for kids, fun stuff to keep them from being totally bored this summer and driving you nuts!

All kinds of good stuff! Come see us!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

You should totally come to FRIENDS AND FAMILY opening of MICHAELS in MADISON tom 6-9pm and see our new classroom!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


MAY is really a big month! It's MOVING MONTH for the north Jackson Michaels. Yep, we are moving to Madison! It's gonna be fun!!!


This week, Thursday, May 24th, 6-9pm, is Friends and Family Preview night! If you're reading this, then you're my friend! Ha! 


So, if you want a coupon for 20% off your ENTIRE REGULAR PRICED PURCHASE, just send me a message on Facebook and I'll email you one tomorrow night! Or, just let me know you're coming and I'll have one at the door for you!


We are located about half-way between WalMart and Malco Theater, right next to Home Goods.


We officially open Friday, May 25th!


Grand Opening is Sunday, June 3rd!


Just wait until you see the BEE-UUU-TEEE-FULLL classroom! Woohoo! Not only is it gorgeous, there's more room for CROP NIGHT!!!! Woohoo, again!


I'm a little excited. Can you tell? lol


More on Grand Opening soon . . .

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lessons learned while hanging out with my grandson:

I spent the day with this beautiful little boy. What a fun time we had! We had lunch together with his mom and one of my daughters. Then we were off to a busy day outdoors in the 90 degree weather. Whew! It was hot!

First we listened to one of Papa's bands, Latinismo! Little man was the center of attention. So adorable! Then we headed to a carnival to ride some rides and sweat some more! lol

So these are a few of the thoughts running through my head after a very active day with this little bundle of energy.

1.  If you find something you enjoy, give it 100%. And don't worry about who's watching or what they'll think.
     (Dancing while Latinismo! is playing. Adults are usually more concerned about what others will think than about their own enjoyment. I think the crowd enjoyed watching more than he enjoyed dancing!)

















2. If you're curious about something, tune everything else out and look and listen intently. You never know what you might learn.
     (Fascinated by the drummer, he literally didn't move through three songs! And I bet if you asked him afterward, he would say he knew how to play drums. When was the last time you tried to learn something new?)

















3.  Anything can be interesting if you just take time to look.
     (While we sat in a coffee shop to cool off for a few minutes, he 'read' a golf magazine. Every. Single. Page. Cover to cover. Trust me, he isn't into golf. But that was irrelevant. There were pictures so he put words to them. How quickly we lose the ability to use our imagination!)

















4. Making friends really isn't that hard. It only takes a few minutes and just one thing in common. In this case, a simple desire to go down the slide and 5 minutes. 2 minutes waiting in line, 2 minutes going up the stairs, 1 minute flying down the slide.
     (The little boy in the middle was an almost instant friend. After just 5 minutes of 'knowing' each other, they were ready to go on to the next ride together! We adults usually just make things too complicated.)
.
















5.  Persistence often pays off! And you never know how you'll do on something if you don't try.
     (I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, do carnival games. I also never ride carnival rides. But today I did both. He got me on the kiddie cars AND the bump cars. Yep. Grandchildren are the grandest! Anyway, the first thing he saw when we arrived was a kid with a 'flaming bat.'
"Grammy, I want a flaming bat."
"Grammy, I really like that flaming bat!"
"Grammy, can we get a flaming bat?"
"Grammy, will you get me a flaming bat?"
The bats were at the balloon-dart-throw game. Thinking I was being very proactive, I asked the carnival worker what it would cost to get one of those bats if I couldn't pop the balloon. He said just pay $5.00 and if I missed, he'd still give little man the bat. Since I had that information, I let little man throw. He missed the first time. But the nice guy gave him another chance. He popped a balloon on the second try! Silly Grammy. Should have had more faith! He got the flaming bat.)

















6. And most important lesson of all. It's ok to just be silly sometimes! Life is short. Enjoy it!













As adults, we often judge ourselves and others by the labels that society gives. Disabled, challenged, special needs, too short, too tall, too fat, too thin, too old, too young, too inexperienced, too rude, too shy, too . . . fill in the blank. We all have limitations and areas where we just don't quite measure up, mentally, socially, or physically. I have a math disability. Not technically, but let's just say that college algebra was NOT my friend. The older I get the more I realize I also have a memory disability. lol. Maybe you are directionally challenged. Are you someone who wonders how you ever got from point A to point B before you had a GPS in your car?

No matter what limitations we have, we all have something to offer to the world. I love being around this little guy. He reminds me that right now, this very minute, is important. He challenges me to stop what I'm doing and see life from his point of view. He heads into whatever direction his imagination takes him with no regard for danger or consequences. He's intense. He's demanding. He's beautiful!

What labels, limitations, or disabilities are you struggling with? Is there a direction that your imagination is trying to take you but you're just too afraid to yield to it? Maybe a new job, a new ministry, a new relationship? Is God trying to give you a new plan for your life but your labels are holding you back? Be thankful that the only label God has given you is 'child of mine.' All you have to do is accept that. What a precious gift!.

Blessings!
Renea

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone! I can't begin to convey how much this weekend means to me. I never cease to be amazed at the grace, mercy, and tremendous love that was shown to the world, to me, by our Savior. Humbled and overwhelmed.

Blessings!
Renea

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Louder than the voice that whispers you're unworthy, hear the voice of love that tells a different story. Bring it all to Jesus.

Friday, March 30, 2012

WOOT! Michaels now has 12x12 sheets of chipboard for .59! Wow! Woohoo! Yippee! Slightly excited over this.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Classes . . .

LOL! If you look at my "Classes" page, I really didn't put all those extra spaces in when I typed it. Seriously. I have no idea why they are there. Geez.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eyes Wide Open . . .

If you've ever been in an evangelical worship service, you've probably heard the preacher say something like, 'every head bowed, every eye closed, no one looking around.' You likely have also heard a pastor pray a blessing over the congregation at the end of a service. Neither of these things are out of the ordinary. But quite a few years ago my family started attending a new church and the pastor did something I found rather odd, and not just a little disconcerting for me at the time. At the end of the service he said something to the effect of, every head up, every eye open, every one looking around.

Then he began to pray a blessing over us, slowly looking around the room, looking each person in the eye as he prayed. He thanked God for us, telling God that he loved us, asking God to bless us and protect us, reminding God that we were His people. The uncomfortable feeling I had was such a mixture of affirmation and discomfort that I'm not sure I can even describe!

This pastor, Gary Maze, quickly became a very dear friend to our family. We learned that those benediction prayers at the end of every service were glimpses of  his open and honest attitude toward those God had placed under his care. And it started a habit with me that others may find as uncomfortable as I found his prayer that first Sunday. If you attend church with me, and you decide to check things out during prayer time, you may notice me looking around the room. No, I'm not looking to see how everyone is dressed, or who decided to use that time to check everyone else out. I'm praying for each person that my gaze falls on. Whether I know them or not. Whether I have any idea what is going on with them. I particularly do this during prayer for the kids in our church. Each Sunday in the church we attend now, the pastor has all the children come down front and we pray for them as a congregation just before they go to children's church. As we pray, I look over the group, one at a time, and pray for each child, by name if I know it.

It seems to me that we get so intimidated about prayer. So many of us tend to feel that we won't say the right thing, or we'll say something the wrong way, or we won't seem spiritual enough. Many of us just refuse to pray out loud in front of people. And, how many times do we say we'll pray for someone, but then forget? Or, even if we remember to pray for them, never let them know that we actually did? I've tried, off and on over the years, to pray for someone, out loud, in front of them, as soon as they ask me. I had pretty much gotten out of this habit. Just in the past week, I had made a commitment to start back. This morning I got that opportunity. My sweet daughter, just before she got out of the car to go to class, told me she really wasn't feeling well and she would appreciate it if I just said a little prayer for her today. My first instinct was to say, 'sure, honey, I will!' But I stopped myself. And just prayed for her. Out loud. Right then. With her listening.

Let me just tell you, her quiet, "thanks, Mom. I needed that," was one of the sweetest blessings of all time! I pray for my children all the time. I pray for their protection. I pray for their salvation. I pray for them to see God working. I pray all sorts of things for them. But I'm so guilty of not praying for them where they can hear me. I've been thinking that is taking the easy road. Maybe it's because I don't want to disappoint them when they see my actions not line up with my prayer life. Maybe it's because I'm afraid of not stringing the right words together. Maybe it's just that I don't want to take the time out of my busy schedule. Whatever the reason, I'm challenging myself to do better. Prayer is so powerful! I know God hears, cares, listens, and answers!!! But there is something amazing that happens when we voice our prayers out loud, over the person we are praying for, letting them actually hear us pray for them! There is an energy that is released that can only be attributed to the Spirit's moving. And, if we believe scripture, our audible prayers, just speaking the name of Jesus, sends Satan running for cover! That alone is plenty of encouragement for me!

Have you talked to your Father lately about someone you care about? Out loud? Try it. Come on, I dare ya! Head up, eyes wide open, looking directly at the person you're praying for. And when you do, just imagine the devil fleeing from you - and the person you're praying for - with his tail between his legs, trembling in fear of the awesome power of our God!

Blessings,
Renea

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Need an encouraging study on dealing with problems? Come to our new small group tonight at 6! We're meeting at my parent's house.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I saw it all. And. I've forgiven you. How long will you continue to let your enemy hold it over your head? Just come to me. God.

Clearance flowers at Michaels!

The Recollections bottles of flowers are on clearance at the north Jackson Michaels! Originally $6.99, now $3.99! Lots of colors! ( These were the only ones I got a shot of but there are others.) 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spoken for . . . but free

I love music, all kinds of music, but worship music is by far my favorite. I can hear a song, sing along with it on the radio a thousand times, and still have an epiphany moment from a simple phrase that I've heard numerous times before. That happened a few weeks ago. As usual, it happened while I was driving, with the radio blaring, singing along, not really thinking about the words. This simple statement caught at my heart and got my attention.

"I am finally free. My heart is spoken for."

Wow! If you aren't a Christian, or maybe even if you are, this may sound contradictory. How can I be free and spoken for at the same time?

The answer is simple. I'm spoken for. I belong to God. Totally, completely, forever and always, I'm His.

Because of that, I am free!

Free from my past sin. Free from the embarrassment of my past poor choices. Free from guilt over sins that haunted me for years. Free from the bondage of former failures, fears of making future mistakes, insecurity about day to day choices. I never again have to wonder if I'm good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, or wise enough to be loved. I'm free to know that I am accepted and forgiven by a perfect and holy God. I'm free to have the confidence of knowing that my Savior is guiding me and loves me passionately.

I'm spoken for.

I hope you are living in this freedom! Here's a link to the song sung live by MercyMe.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFfNa-cHTIA

Blessings,
Renea

Friday, March 2, 2012

MICHAELS OPEN HOUSE!

Come see me tomorrow at Michaels, north Jackson, 1-3pm, and meet all our awesome instructors! Scrapbook and beading classes will be 25% off tomorrow only. Get signed up to learn fun techniques and make cool stuff! And while you're there, go ahead and sign up for crop night, too. Fun, friends, and door prizes! What more can a girl ask for?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Children with disabilities and what their parents wish you knew

I'll never forget when my son was diagnosed with ADD. I was explaining to him what it meant. He was 7. Not explaining wasn't an option. When you have a super intelligent 7 year old that has just met with 500 (not literally, but seemed so) different medical professionals, the inevitable question of 'why' just has to be answered. I'll never forget his only question afterward.
Him: "Mom, does this mean I'm retarded?"
Me: "No, sweetie. It's sort of like your brain has a short in it, kind of like that lamp we have. Sometimes your brain does that. The information just gets lost before it gets to the right place."
Him: "Oh. That makes sense."
Done. Explanation accepted.
I made a point of always explaining to teachers, coaches, Boy Scout leaders, anyone who was working with my son that there were certain things that were difficult for him. He's brilliant. Really, he is. But as a child, put him in a contact sport where people were pushing, hitting, and everything was moving fast, and the possibility of a melt down was very real. Or give him 3 commands and send him off to accomplish them and chances were pretty high that none of them would happen. This is a kid who could memorize an entire page of dialogue to audition for a play but took at least 6 months to learn his multiplication tables - doing them every single day. This is a teenager who was so constantly distracted he could barely complete any assignment for school without a great deal of pushing, begging, threatening, and coercing but managed a basic working knowledge of at least 7 foreign languages and quantum physics before his 16th birthday. By the way, he has made it to adulthood with some major coping skills and, other than driving his wife crazy, pretty much manages his ADD successfully.

My point to all of this is that now I have 2 grandchildren who are considered by some to be in the category of 'different' than other kids. We have a beautiful granddaughter who was born with a lateral cleft. Personally, I never really notice her scar. But she does. And she thinks everyone does. She's only 4. Amazing and shocking how observant they are of the world around them.

We have a gorgeous grandson who is diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. For those of you who don't know, that is in the Autism spectrum. Just google it. He's 5. He's so stinking adorable! Sometimes he has a hard time communicating what he wants to say. But even though he may not be able to tell you everything he thinks or feels, he hears everything you say. And furthermore, he never forgets it! Don't assume that children with disabilities don't notice the comments you make or the way you look at them.

While I may not agree with everything these moms say on their blogs or in their writings, I thought the comments they made in the following link might be helpful. I know it's hard to know what to tell your kids about children who are different from them. But my favorite explanation of understanding learning disabilities came from my youth minister when I was a teenager. He said everyone is retarded in some area; some people just have more noticeable disabilities than others. One of my biggies happens to be math. What's yours?
Anyway, I love the advice in the link. Hope you enjoy.
http://blogs.babble.com/babble-voices/ellen-seidman-1000-perplexing-things-about-parenthood/2012/02/29/what-to-teach-your-children-about-kids-with-special-needs/?pid=199#slideshow

Saturday, February 18, 2012

When hope takes flight, oh my soul. Ever faithful, ever true, you are known. My soul overflows. You never let go. Oh what love!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Scrapbook crop this Fri at north Jackson Michaels, 3-9pm, $5.00, door prizes. Plus get to play with Smooch Inks and sprays!
Shattering the darkness and pushing thru the lies, hear the invitation to come as you are, bring it all to Jesus.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Come scrapbook this Fri, 3-9pm, Michaels north Jackson and play with Smooch Inks! Only $5.00. Plus door prizes and lots of fun!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thank goodness it's Monday!

(*This post was supposed to go out yesterday but I didn't get it finished. Had to work on my thankfulness list a little more. Conviction is an interesting animal!)

I know, weird. No one looks forward to Monday. We want the long weekends, the Monday holidays, the extra time off, right? Well, I guess that all depends on how your weekends have been going! We've had a couple of, let's just say, complicated ones. You know, the kind of curve ball, slap in your face, that come out of no where, kind ranging from terrifying, to frustrating, to stressful, and just about every other emotion you can think of. And, yes, we're all ok. Mostly. And there is a point to this post, not just a long, drawn out whine.

This past weekend we had another emergency. This time it was me. I managed to get my hand in just the right place to be banged between the handle of a metal cart and the door going into the warehouse at work. After another employee got ice for me, and I started breathing again, and talked to my boss, I called my husband to tell him I needed him to come take me to get my hand x-rayed. This story just gets more complicated from here on so I'll just get to the point. But first, have you ever thought about all the things that can't be done, or are really hard to do with one hand? So, if you're going to break your hand, here are a few things you should think about before hand: (Hahaha! Pun sort of intended.)

LESSON ONE: Buy bigger jeans or lose weight.
My first clue of just what a pain (silly puns) this was going to be was while I was waiting on my hubby to pick me up and take me to the ER. I had to go to the bathroom. Hmm. Jeans. I figured unbuttoning wouldn't be too difficult. But buttoning? Joy. The good news here is that it was very late in the day. Only women will understand this. The jeans were stretched out so easier to button.

LESSON TWO: If you're going to have an accident at work, have it after 8am and before 5pm and not on a Friday.
The insurance office that handles approval for workman's comp treatment closed at 5. After 15 minutes worth of questions on the phone with the after hours insurance office while standing at the window of the urgent care facility that was supposed to close in 5 minutes, I finally asked if my husband could answer the rest of the questions and let them go ahead and x-ray my hand. The guy on the phone says, "Oh, I'm sorry, I can't give approval for treatment. That office closes at 5pm." At that point my husband said, forget it. I'll pay for it and I just handed him the phone. For the next hour, my poor hubby had 2 cell phones going at one time. My boss in one ear and insurance dude that couldn't give approval for treatment still asking questions in the other. (Did I mention he's a saint? My hubby. Not the insurance dude. See previous post: http://matildyjanedesigns.blogspot.com/2012/01/married-to-saint.html)
Fast forward to Monday. At 4:00pm, on Monday, after NUMEROUS phone calls, 3 days after I've been told to see a specialist, workman's comp finally approved my claim.

LESSON THREE: If you're going to break your hand at work, you should get your laundry and housework caught up ahead of time.
This goes back to the things you can't do with one hand. I'm re-learning how to type. But some things are just meant to be done with two hands. Like washing dishes. Sweeping the floor. Folding clothes. Not to mention the other basic things of just getting presentable to walk out your door. Ever tried taking a shower while keeping one hand dry? Or holding a blow dryer and a brush in the same hand? Not to mention putting on deodorant. Shaving your underarms. Putting on socks. Putting on a bra. (My apologies to any male species reading this. But, really, it isn't like you don't know about them.) And the list goes on.

LESSON FOUR: If you're going to have an emergency that disrupts your entire family, your life, your work, your schedule, and generally just stresses everyone out, don't do it on the day before your husband's birthday. Yep. Saturday was his birthday. No further comment here. Except, I did mention that I'm married to a saint, right?

LESSON FIVE: And this is the most important one. IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS.
Ugh. Now there's a wake up call for ya. Still working on that one. So, here are a few of the things I've found to be thankful for so far.

1.  I won't be using as much gas in my car. I really dislike pumping gas in the cold. Which means my sweet hubby usually ends up doing it. Usually at 9pm when I remember I need it for the next morning. So I guess this should be a thankful point for him, right? Hahaha!

2. Since I can't go to work, I don't have to put makeup on and fix my hair every day. Which is pretty awesome since it takes me twice as long to do! lol

3. It's my right hand. I'm left handed. That means I can still sign the debit card receipts. (LOL) But more importantly, I can still feed myself, and do most everything else that only requires one hand.

4. It isn't my wrist, which would have been worse and more painful.

5. God has a sense of humor. I wanted some time off. Not the way I wanted it. But I got what I wanted - sort of. (This would fall under the category of being careful what you ask for.) Hey, I might even get those 'new kits coming soon' actually done and ready to sell!

6. I have a great boss who never mentioned how much work we had left to do and was eager to do whatever I needed to take care of me. AND had prayer for me at her church Sunday. And is covering all my accounts this week. What a blessing! (Did I mention that I work for Hallmark Cards and it's Valentine's week?)

7. The pain since Saturday has been minimal. Especially in comparison to Friday night. As long as I'm a good girl and don't bump it, move it, or try to pick something up that I shouldn't, I can tolerate the pain with just ibuprofen. Which is a really good thing for someone with my past and who gets sick from most pain meds.

8. I have an amazing extended family who always step up to help when needed. For this I am extremely grateful, especially in the world we live in where so many don't have this.

9. I can get caught up on my reading. I'm determined to read through the bible this year. I've tried several years before and just never made it. I was already getting frustrated that I was behind. Well, now I have time to catch up. (See related OLW post here: http://matildyjanedesigns.blogspot.com/2012/01/one-little-word.html)

10. I'm thankful that I have a new opportunity to learn some humility. I HATE to depend on other people. This will be an interesting test in learning to ask for and accept help. And in learning to be thankful under all circumstances, even when I don't want to.

So my verse(s) on the mirror now will be,
"We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:14-18 NASB (emphasis added)

God's will.
To be thankful.
In everything.
Rejoicing always.

I have much work to do.

Blessings,
Renea

Monday, February 13, 2012

Prayers for patience and a gracious attitude appreciated. Workman's comp claim hung up in paper work. No dr appt yet.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Come scrapbook tomorrow at north Jackson Michaels and learn about SMASH books! 3-9pm, 6 hours of fun! Door prizes, too!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Married to a saint . . .

No, not a football player. But a saint, nonetheless. Anyone who knows me already knows that he is a saint. He's been married to me for 22 years. He'd have to be a saint! lol! And anyone who knows him already knows it, too. He's just a great guy, my sweet hubby. Patient. Kind. Loving. Tolerant.

Well, anyway, this particular post is regarding his latest incredible act of tolerance. I'm a scrapbooker. If you are a scrapbooker, you already know what that means. I also sew, teach scrapbook classes, sell scrapbook things, and do custom orders. Needless to say, I have stuff. Lots of stuff. It's everywhere. I even have my own room for my stuff. I've had my own room for a while. But I've never managed to get all my stuff collected into one room. There's some in a closet in our bedroom. There's some in the den where I watch tv (remains of the Christmas card project). There's some in the living room waiting to be moved to it's new spot in my room. Right now there's some on the kitchen table (current project I was working on while baby sitting grandchild and needed to be close to where she was playing). And there's still some in the room I used to have before I moved into my current room. Yep, it's everywhere.

But that's not what this post is about. Recently, I acquired a lot of vintage ribbons and trims. Not that I needed them. But that's beside the point. For the last week or so, I have been hand washing all of them to get them ready for sale or to go in my stash. HAND washing. In our bathroom sink. Every time he went in the bathroom to take his contacts out, or brush his teeth, or shave, he waited for me to move the ribbons. Sink full after sink full after sink full . . . you get the picture. Well, almost. Then they have to be hung to dry. On clothes hangers in our shower. From our shower head. In our bathroom. Every time he got ready to get in the shower they had to be moved. Day after day after day. When they stopped dripping they were transferred to our bedroom door to hang to finish drying. It was kind of like having one of those old fashioned beaded curtains over our door. Except not beaded and slightly damp.

Not one complaint. Not one snarky comment. Not one angry outburst.

Through all this process we have been passing a really nasty cold around our house. And sweet hubby, who rarely gets sick, got it. When he gets a cold, he's, um, a very noisy sleeper. (Was that tactful enough? lol) I tend to have trouble sleeping. Noise keeps me awake. I'm not nice when I can't sleep. So, bless his heart, he insisted on sleeping on the couch for the entire four nights he was sick, so that I could sleep. Possibly in self defense, but still . . .

Not one complaint. Not one snarky comment. Not one angry outburst.

In addition to all of that, we have had a significant change in our lives in the last month. Sweet hubby is an incredible musician. He plays in numerous bands, does arranging, recording, and engineering for other musicians, and, until the end of last year, led worship at our church. With his resignation there, and us changing churches, he no longer has an office. So all of his equipment came home. Keyboards, sound mixers, amps, music stands, boxes of music, recording equipment, etc., etc., etc. My job right after Christmas was to get the living room set up for him to create a studio to work in. But I got sidetracked with the ribbon project and some other work related things and just didn't get around to it. So all of his equipment is piled in the den and in the trunk or the car. And still . . .

Not one complaint. Not one snarky comment. Not one angry outburst.

Now some of you who do not know him at this point may be thinking he's just a wus. Not true. Actually, the truth is, he's just that nice. A true gentleman. A man of incredible integrity. A gift from God. And he chose to be married to me. WOW! Even after 22 years, this still just blows me away. And here's something that will probably blow you away. In all the time we've been married, even before we were married, not once, never, not even one time, has this wonderful man even hinted at being attracted to another woman. Not a comment on another woman being pretty, or sexy, or even slightly attractive. NEVER!

Don't get me wrong, he's not perfect. He makes mistakes. He gets frustrated. But no matter what, I know that he will always try to do what he thinks is right. And part of that means not saying things that you'll regret later and always putting the ones you love ahead of yourself. His life is such a great example to me of what it truly means to 'die to self'. A life given to God is a life given in service to Christ and to others. I'm so thankful that I have a daily reminder of this living right in front of me. Sometimes I forget what really matters. This past week I've been blown away by my sweet hubby's selflessness. I want to be more like that, less like me, more like Jesus. This is my verse that will be taped on my mirror for a while. The bathroom mirror. Over the bathroom sink. That doesn't have any ribbons in it. So my husband can shave, brush his teeth, and take his contacts out without having to wait for me to move something first. Yep. I'm married to a saint.

"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30

Is Jesus increasing in your life? Are you becoming more like him? If not, what's holding you back? And is it worth it? Whatever is keeping you from living the life God intended you to live needs to be re-evaluated. Trust Jesus to be your example. Give him everything. You won't regret it. I promise!

Blessings,
Renea
Previous post was from the song, 'Forever Reign' by One Sonic Society.
You are light when the darkness closes in. You are more than my words will ever say. Oh, I'm running to your arms! Jesus.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Prayer request for a friend who's nephew was killed in a car accident today. He was in his 20s.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

'Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.' Mk 5:19

Monday, January 2, 2012

Got so excited about #OLW I got my husband and daughter involved. My word- consistent. Hubby's- integrity. Daughter- still thinking.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

One little word . . .

Consistent.




con·sist·ent

 [kuhn-sis-tuhnt]  Show IPA
adjective
1.
agreeing or accordant; compatible; not self-contradictory:His views and actions are consistent.
2.
constantly adhering to the same principles, course, form, etc.: a consistent opponent.
3.
holding firmly together; cohering.
4.
Archaic fixed; firm.

If you aren't familiar with Ali Edwards, you should check her out. She's an amazing lady, with an amazing ability to put things into perspective. I've just discovered her work in the last few months and, well, I'm just amazed by her! lol

She has a class called, "One Little Word" that goes for an entire year. I'm participating this year and would love for you to join me on this adventure. What do you want to see happen in your life this year? How do you want to focus your time, your talents, your life for 2012?

My word for 2012 is 'consistent.'



Something I am not.
Something I really want in my life.
Something I strive for but never achieve.
Something I need.
Something my family needs from me.
To be consistent.
In my faith - compatible, constantly adhering to the same principles, course, form, etc. (with what I know to be true)
In my prayer life - agreeing or accordant; holding firmly together; cohering (with my Father's best for my life)
For my life to reflect what I claim to believe - not self contradictory
In my diet and exercise - fixed, firm (following through, completing my goals)


So that's my word for 2012. Consistent.

What word would you choose for your one little word?

Blessings,
Renea
'I trust in Jesus, my great deliverer, my strong defender, the son of God!' A new year. Who do you trust? Happy 2012!