Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Last Goodbye

If you've been coming to my blog, are one of my blog followers, and you are reading this post, you will instantly see that things have change a lot. Many posts are now gone. I've had to make a decision and that decision is for me a matter of destiny. Eternal destiny. If that sounds far fetched, I hope you will hear me out. I realized that I have become too attached, addicted, to this digital scrapbooking. It has been taking more and more of my time, eating into time I should be spending on more important things. I tried tapering off. I have been especially addicted to following the freebie sites, to downloading blog trains and FB hops. It has become overwhelming. Addictive. Time I have needed to spend in prayer and Bible study has, instead, been spent on the internet. Not just in digital scrapbooking, but on other sites as well, but digital has been the worst.

Friday night I was listening to a sermon that struck home to me how far I had strayed away from truth. As a Christian, I believe the Bible's prophecies. Those prophecies tell the astute reader that Jesus is coming again very soon. Much sooner than many people think. And it isn't going to be some secret rapture. The apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that Jesus' return would be with a voice, a shout,  and a trumpet (1Thess 4:16). There's nothing secret about it. Jesus told us we can know it is near, even at the door. Do you hear someone when they are standing outside your door, making a bit of noise? Most of us do. Matthew 24 lists the signs that are for us the noise outside the door, the noise that tells us his coming is soon.

I know that we are saved by grace through the blood of Jesus Christ who died for us, that we might be set free from the bondage of sin. Because I love Him, I want to show my love for Him by obeying Him. He told us, if you love Me, keep my commandments. John repeats Christ's command, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1John 5:3).

I cannot continue to be addicted to digital scrapbooking and develop the loving, Christ-like character that I want and need. An addiction, no matter what it's to, is still an addiction. It is something that takes time and resources away from other areas that need focus and attention. Last night I started the process of cutting it off by deleting links in my bookmarks, posts on my blog, and will continue deleting and eliminating anything that would draw me back in. It was not an easy decision to make because it is something I have truly enjoyed. But on principle and for my own eternal salvation, I had to do it. The only post left (that I know of) referring to kits or stores or freebies is the one for the October blog trains. They will stay up this week, then I will be taking them down. Eventually I will also take down this blog entirely, but not for awhile. I will also be closing down my FB fanpage as I will not longer have a need for it.

As I was going through each post deciding to keep or delete, or edit, I was also reading comments that had been left. I thank you for those comments. They were lovely and heart warming. I appreciate every one of them. I hope that you all have an enjoyable time scrappying your memories with the kits you downloaded from this site. Just don't let it become an addiction as it did me. Your eternal destiny rests in the choices and decisions that you make each and every day. I know that there are those who have come to my blog who won't understand what I am saying. But as disasters increase, both natural and manmade, and the world grows more and more violent and turmoil of all kinds is everywhere, more people will be seeking for answers to the problems that seem so insurmountable. The answer is found only in God's Word, His letter of love give to us in the Holy Bible. Study it as for your life. Ask for God to give you understanding as you read, and He will. He has promised to guide us into all truth.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Blog Train Fever

They've come down. Thank you all for downloading. I hope you enjoy. I'm still working on getting into a new normal. With God's help I'm headed that way.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Do You Know this Girl? We Were Best Friends

This post doesn't have a freebie, just a layout and a story. Maybe, just maybe, there will be someone who reads here who might know my childhood friend. I made this LO over three years ago and it is one of the most meaningful layouts I have done for myself. I would love to find my old friend, even knowing that after so many decades, we would be virtual strangers. But one can always hope cant' they?

Here is what the journaling on the LO says:

Best Friends

Every child has memories of a best friend, a childhood playmate. My best friend was Patty. She lived with her grandparents and 2 older sisters in a house whose back yard bordered our side yard. We played endlessly together. We would pull out our dolls and clothes and play for hours. One year, we both received the same kind of doll for Christmas. Patty Play Dolls were 3 feet tall, and wore a child’s size 3 clothes. As you can imagine, those dolls were nearly as big as we were, but we loved them and played by the hour with them.

We loved Paul Shannon’s Adventure Time which came over the cable from Pittsburgh. West Virginia with its mountains meant poor TV reception, so cable was the only way to received good reception. Yes, cable TV has been around a very long time. Pittsburgh was one of the stations cable received and Adventure Time was a whole hour of cartoons for kids every afternoon. At 4:00 we marched in to watch on the Hyre’s TV (we didn’t have one at our house). When the hour was over we marched out, and Patty’s sisters came in to watch American Bandstand with Dick Clark.

Patty’s parents were divorced as were mine. Though her father had custody of them, he was a career military man and single, so he left the girls with his parents. But that all changed one day when he remarried. With a new wife he could take the girls to live with him. To my sorrow Patty was leaving. Patty and I were the same age, with birthdays not quite a month apart. Our other friends, twins Margaret and Paula, had their birthday between Patty’s and mine. There were 4 of us who were all the same age within days of each other. We were 10 years old when we learned that the girls were leaving with their father to go to Germany for 3 years. We cherished the days we had left together spending the night at each other’s homes, playing together, but the day came all too soon when they left.

I’ve never forgotten that day. We said our goodbys and I walked slowly home around the corner. On the way I was thinking for the first time about the future. I was calculating in my mind. We would be 13 when they came back, teenagers. For the first time I realized that I was growing up, growing older. Childhood would not last forever. I was leaving one epoch for another. I was leaving my childhood behind, and at some level I understood that that day.

The years went by. I became a teenager. I’d kept in touch with Patty by letters but I didn’t know exactly when they were returning state side. When they did, I was in the hospital recovering from surgery. We spent only a few minutes visiting. Then she was gone. I haven’t seen her since. We stayed in touch for a few more years, but as we grew older, the correspondence lapsed and I lost track of her. A couple of years ago I was given information of her father’s passing which included her married name, but I when I searched for her I found too many Pat Botello’s on the internet and have no idea which one, if any, would be the Patty I’m looking for. I’d love to get in touch with her again. It’s been nearly a half century since the day she left for Germany, 50 years of a lifetime of growing up, marrying, raising a family, growing older. Does she remember me? Would she want to renew friendship with a childhood friend? I can’t answer those questions, but I will always treasure the memories of my childhood best friend.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Faith

I've posted quite a bit last week by way of files, but have said little. Now I'm taking the time to do some explaining. I finally realized that I am moving farther and farther away from designing. I just don't have the desire to do it anymore. If I open my program, I get only an item or two done, and I'm ready to quit. When I reach that state, it's come time for me to face reality—this is what I really want or need to be doing. So now I am winding down. All those partly finished kits are being gathered into folders, named Mini Kit with a number and I will upload them soon. Most of them are from challenges I started and never finished. They'll be put up in a grab bag kind of style. I'll have some paper packs as well. Of course, I have more cu to put up. The cu consists of items that I have scanned or photographed then extracted, or I have drawn in a vector program, then transported to my PSP for use. I also have items, especially overlays, that I have made in Filter Forge or other programs. I'm not trying to glut the market, but since I am finished with it, others might as well have the use of it.

I have a number of kits to post as well, so this week I'm going to try to post one or two everyday. I want to thank all those wonderful scrappers and designers who have downloaded my files. I hope that you enjoy them and find things you can use for your own scrapping and/or designing. I also want to thank echo houman for her generous offer to join her store, though I must decline. It was very sweet of you to extend the invitation. To those who have encouraged me to go back to selling, thank you for your encouragement. It is all much appreciated. Please don't feel bad that I didn't follow it.

Like many others I read the news and ponder over the stories that I read, and the headlines of the ones I won't read. Personally, I just cannot afford to fill my mind with the bloody, gory details of another grisly murder or rape, of the horrors of another war or terrorist attack. The stories of the frequent disasters is bad enough. Each time I read about another tornado, hurricane, train wreck, or mult-car pileup, I think of the words of Jesus in Matther 24: "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." I don't think anyone would deny that today we are seeing the fulfillment of this prediction. Jesus continued by saying, "All these are the beginning of sorrows." Just the beginning? That means there is worse to come. He goes on to tell about false Christs, and false prophets, and persecution of those who believe in Him. That's not a very encouraging picture is it?

But there is hope. After all these things, Jesus said they are signs that He is coming soon. How soon? He tells us, "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." I know that a lot of people, even Christians, no longer believe that Jesus is coming again, at least not in their lifetime. Sadly, many will put off believing and then it will happen when they are not expecting it. His coming will be to them an overwhelming surprise. The apostle Paul wrote that it won't happen to those who are awake and watching.

"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessolonians 4:1-9).

This promise I cling to. God has provided a way out of the misery of this world. It's a one way ticket. It is free, costing us nothing. The only condition is to accept it, and follow Jesus. He has died in our place, taken the punishment that we should have had because we rebelled against our Creator. After all He has done for me, how can I not love Him and believe Him? Like every other human being, I have temptations. But Jesus said that he overcame the world and it's temptations, and the same power that He used to overcome, to not give in the temptation, He freely offers to me. I just have to ask for it, and continue to believe that He will not let me go. And if I do fall, He still forgives and cleanses. I know a lot of people don't understand this. A lot of people look at following Christ as some kind of aberration, even a mental condition. So many think that there can't possibly be any happiness in such a life; that real happiness is only in doing what one feels like doing. But the peace of God passes all understanding, and that is what I want in my life. Peace in the midst of whatever storm is swirling around me.

During the years I was selling in stores, I signed store contracts only after I was assured that I would not be required to participate in or contribute to anything that went contrary to my personal beliefs and standards as a Christian. You will never find any kits by me with Halloween themes, or dragons, monsters, fairies, and such. What I found more difficult to do was make faith based kits. That has troubled me, and is another reason I am stepping aside. I want and need to devote more time to personal time with God, to my family, and to my doll making venture which has been lagging behind. I spent the last few weeks sewing some new clothes for myself. The time had come to replace some things that are getting a bit worn.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

O Happy Day

Can you tell that things are looking up a bit for me? I'm glad that God is so patient and kind to us, especially when we are not exactly being trusting of Him. The Bible says, Casting all your cares on Him because He cares for you. How true it is. He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. I know how close Jesus' does stick. I don't have a brother, just as sister, though I should clarify. My father walked out on my mother when I was just a toddler and my sister even younger. As a result I was raised in the East, and my father was on the west coast. It was four decades before I saw him again.

In the meantime, he remarried and fathered 3 more children, a boy and twin girls. They later divorced and I don't know just how many wives he's actually had. I know the boy was named "junior" but I don't know the girls' names. I have never seen them, or communicated with them in any way. I think I was a teenager before I even knew they existed. Sad state of affairs, isn't it? When I finally did see my father after so many years, he showed me photos of my half siblings and told me a bit about them, but that's all I know. So to me I have just a sister. We are never going to be one be happy family. The sad truth is that my father is such a messed up person, that none of his four daughters will have anything to do with him, including me. It took two visits from him for me to be able to forgive him for abandoning us, but to also realize that I could never have a healthy relationship with him as father and daughter. Sadly, he is a man who does not know boundaries. My mother certainly had her problems, but we were much better off growing up with her than with him.

Shifting to another thought: my husband has been getting full time work. But not in the sleep lab. His supervisor told him to talk to the department head about working in another area, so he has been cross training is a different area that is similar to what he is familiar with. He is enjoying it, and he has been able to work full time between that area and the sleep lab. Finally, he drew a full paycheck last pay period and for the first time in months I was able to pay everything that was due. Praise the Lord! I've been borrowing "from Peter to pay Paul" for so long, I had almost forgotten what it felt like to have everything paid. And in May we will have our car note paid off. Yea! We can start knocking down other bills. That's something I've been praying about. I don't like having debts. I want to get everything paid off.

I'm not a person who has to have the latest and greatest. I don't need to "keep up with the Jones." My needs are pretty basic—food, clothing, shelter. The internet is a nice bonus and some sewing and craft supplies. I've got two dolls made up in prototype and the patterns perfected. I'm still working on accessories like shoes though. Doll shoes for cloth dolls have to be made different from shoes for vinyl dolls as the feet are thicker. Right now, I've laid aside the dolls to make a few things for myself. I'm getting to the place where some of my clothes are beginning to look rather old and worn, because they are! So I'm in the process of making a few new things. I'm glad I've been a fabric stasher in the past and hung on to it. The prices of fabric have pretty much doubled in the last three years. The prices are outrageous. I can remember that just a few years ago you could walk into Joanne's and find a lot of good bargains on the discount racks. At the end of the season, the seasonal fabrics would be marked down, and would periodically be marked down over time. I got some wonderful fabrics for one or two or three dollars a yard that had been much higher. I don't see that anymore at Joanne's. It seems that very little gets marked down, and when it is, they might knock off 10% or 15% and it stays there. Needless to say, I buy very little fabric now.

I went to a friend's home this week to pick up scraps and craft supplies she was getting rid of. She's been going through her stash as they are doing to work on their house, and I was able to find quite a few scraps I can use for doll clothes. I am thankful for these things as it means I don't have to purchase them. She even had some vinyl I can use for doll shoes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Me worry?

It's hard not to sometimes. I've put off posting anything here as I've been dragging through discouragement, wondering how we're going to get through our current trials. I haven't lost my faith in God, and I know that all the trials He allows to come to us are for our good. They may not feel that way, but I reread these verses the apostle Paul wrote to the the believers in Corinth that are full of hope.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2Corinthians 4:17-18

It doesn't feel like a light affliction, but when we are in the Land of Promise, and we are looking back, it will then be seen as a light affliction. Since Oct., 2009, we've moved 4 times, and we are not military. I don't enjoy moving. Sometimes it would just seem simpler if we lived in a motor home or a camper, then we could just pick up and go, park it in a new spot and set up housekeeping once again. We've moved the last 3 times for my husband's jobs. Our most recent move occurred the last day of 2012. We moved in the pouring rain in the cold. We did hire a couple of guys to unload for us. I felt sorry for them as it was miserable outside. But now that we are settled, things aren't so smooth, which is why things are not as encouraging as I would like them to be.

My husband is in the medical field as a sleep tech (I'll spare you the true title of the position but the initials are RPsgT). He took a job with a large medical center in this city that we now live in and we thought it was a good move. Everything looked like this was the place we should be. This was the door God opened for us. It was the only door open to us at the time. The facility had opened a beautiful new sleep center in a nice part of the city. Things looked promising. Looks can be deceiving. DH has not worked one full paycheck yet and he is hired as a full time employee last fall. That's been five months. He is called to stay home or is sent home two or more (often more) nights every two-week pay period. Since I don't work, he is the only bread winner. When the paycheck is less than half of what it is supposed to be, it makes things very difficult, as most of you can well imagine if you haven't experienced it for yourself. DH is trying to find a way he get a second part time job to earn a bit more.

There are many days I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to make it all work, how I'm going to get the bills paid, keep the utilities on. forget about buying food. But I hasten to say, we are not starving or going hungry. We do have food. I've found that the Dollar Tree sells dried beans and rice for a dollar a bag, which is a good buy. Not all food items in there are a good buy. I've stocked up when I could. A tax refund check allowed me to stock up on toiletries and laundry supplies as well as other groceries. So food is not the worry. It's the other bills that want to spark worry.

But I'm trying not to worry. If I worry, what does that say about my faith in my heavenly Father to provide for us? It says that I don't trust Him too very much. It's human nature to worry about things we cannot control. But—
Worry never climbed a hill,
Worry never paid a bill,
Worry never led a horse to water.
Worry never cooked a meal,
Worry never darned a heel,
Worry never did a thing you'd think it oughter!

It's true. All worry does is increase the stress levels which increases the stress hormones which damages the body. So how does one not worry? The words of a favorite hymn has the answer.

Those moments I spend in the morning with my Saviour are the best time of the day. It takes effort to make that time, and to shove out every thought that wants to press itself into my mind at that time. Those are the moments that my faith is strengthened to meet the challenges and to know that though I don't have the answers to the problems, God does. He is my strength and my refuge, truly a shelter in the storm. He doesn't always make it immediately clear how He will answer or when relief will come, but as I reach out by faith and trust Him, I find the peace of mind that I need.

I don't know what will happen. I don't know what the hospital administration is going to do about the situation as every night tech at the lab is suffering. And of course, the hospital isn't making money on this new facility. It can certainly appear that those at the top care little about those nearer the bottom, but that is only appearance. I don't know how they actually see things. I do know that bureaucracy can and often does move exceedingly slowly giving the appearance that as long as they are receiving their salary and bonuses, nothing else matters. How glad I am that God is a committee of one. He who sees all, knows all, and cares for all, will not allow us to be tried beyond what we are able to bear. Could we wind up homeless? Yes. That's always a possibility. Millions of Americans are only one paycheck away from being on the street. But god's promise is that He will be with us through the fire or the flood. This I do believe:

Jesus said He would come again, and He told us to know when His coming is near, even at the doors. Those signs have been almost completely fulfilled. He said that when the world becomes like it was in the days of Noah and in the days of Lot, we would know His coming is near. Men's thoughts were only evil continually before the world was destroyed by a flood. Now all I have to do is go to the news sites to see how true that is today. But remember, there were eight people who got on the ark, the boat that Noah built, and lived through the flood. Today, there are people whose thoughts are not evil continually. There will be people who will be ready when Jesus returns and are waiting for Him. I'm one of them. I choose, though it is war against my fallen human nature, to submit to whatever my Saviour allows to come to me. I am a rough stone that must be polished so that I can shine like the stars of the morning. So into the grinder and on with the polishing. Someday soon, it will be finished, and I will be safe forever with a new body and a new home. Praise God.