Monday, June 28, 2010

Looking in the mirror

You've undoubtedly heard it before. You may have even said it yourself. The "anything-but" statements.

"I'd do ANYthing to lose weight...but changing my diet or exercising."

"I'd do ANYthing for more time with my family....but cut back hours at work."

"I'd do ANYthing to fit exercise in....but get up earlier."

"I'd do ANYthing to have a clean house...but work all day at it."

Yup. Been there, done that.

We'd all love to change...if it wasn't for all the dadgum hard work that goes with it.

Recently, I was truly desperate to feel well again. I laid down with my son to help him take a nap and found myself exhausted and nauseated, my head spinning and emotions swirling--as usual. I was fed up with feeling "a little off." I made an appointment to see a chiropractor who also does applied kinesiology to help me with my nutrition and to help me get my health back on track.

Leading up to the appointment, I found myself telling people, "I will do ANYthing to feel well again." I really did want to know what I could change and I was willing to give up some things if it meant I could feel like my usual energetic, clear-headed self again.

On the day of the appointment, however, I found myself thinking, "I just hope he doesn't tell me to give up sugar. Or caffeine. Or red meat. Or Cheezits. Or tells me to start exercising. Beyond that, though, I will do ANYthing!!" I realized the absurdity of my thinking and actually laughed. I told my doctor about this and he had a good chuckle, too. It is, after all, so....HUMAN.

It struck me that we approach the Bible the same way.

We need help. We need to change something in our lives. So we do a Google search. We do some research. We talk to some wise friends. We read books and blogs about it.

Then when none of that works, we get really desperate. We may even be at a crisis point. So we turn to the Bible.

We brace ourselves. "Lord...I'll do anything for some help on this."

That's when the 'but' enters the picture.

"Oh, yes, Lord. I'll do anything. Well....anything BUT..."

Anything but change my way of thinking. Anything but repent. Anything but challenge the status quo, hurt someone's feelings, rearrange my schedule, reprioritize, risk my popularity, break a bad habit, forgive someone from my past, or even...GASP!..ask for help.

"Yeah, just not that stuff, Lord."

Changing is just too hard. God is asking too much.

So we do nothing.

James compared it to looking in the mirror, noticing something we need to fix and then walking away.

It's Friday and Drew and I have a sitter coming for a date night. It's an hour before we're supposed to leave for dinner and a movie. I stand in front of the bathroom mirror. There's yogurt smeared across my $3 Target clearance shirt from the baby's breakfast. Yes, that's right, I haven't bathed yet today. My pajama pants are too big, faded and don't match. Mascara is smudged under my eyes because I dropped into bed last night, too exhausted to wash my face first. My hair is sticking up in all directions. I look like a beast. But...I do nothing. I just...walk away. No problem. Drew won't mind and the people in the restaurant will just think I'm getting a night out from the mental hospital. No biggee.

It's ridiculous to think of, right?? But that's the comparison James makes. You see what you need to change--and you do nothing.

James 1:23-24 "Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."

See, the person James is talking about DID look in the mirror. He just didn't do anything about what he saw. It's not ignorance! He couldn't say, "Oh, i didn't realize I had lettuce stuck between my teeth! Why didn't anyone tell me???"

When we see what the Bible has to say, we have to decide what to do with it: change...or do nothing.

Now, whether I go on a date with my husband looking like a weirdo is, at worst, potentially embarassing for both of us. But let's get real. There are times that, if someone held a mirror up to my behavior, I would look away, repulsed.

Case in point. I have discovered my angry face.

I didn't really know it existed until my second son was born.

I have never known anger like the anger that wells up inside when my older son does something to hurt my younger son, whether it's the physical pain of ramming a train into him or just hurting his feelings when he takes a toy away. It makes my blood pressure sky rocket and elicits sounds I never knew I was capable of making. I don't need to look in a mirror to know: it ain't pretty.

I know I have a problem. So what do I do about it?

I go to the Word.

The Bible has plenty to say about anger. The question is, once I look in that mirror, what am I going to do about it? Am I going to go on that date looking like a vagrant...or am I going to take a shower, put make-up on, style my hair, put on a pretty outfit, accessorize and make my date proud?

Am I willing to do the work?

Or do I just walk away, trying to forget what I saw?

I feel strongely about what our pastor mentioned recently in his sermon on this topic. We don't just change for us...we change for other people. We change for our kids, our spouse, our co-workers, our neighbors, our fellow church goers, even for people we haven't met yet. We need to step up to the plate, put our game face on and engage.

We need to undergo a makeover.

I need to overcome my anger problem for myself, yes. But, even more than that, I need to change for my kids and my husband. I need to change for my future grandchildren. If my kids grow up with an angry mom, it will become normal and they will think it's normal to treat their kids the same way. I don't want that. Not for me, not for them, not for my grandchildren.

So I will stand at the mirror for a while. I will take in what I see, even the ugly "angry face." And I will go to the Bible, knowing it will challenge me.

And I will be ready to change. I will do anything to change. No buts about it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Flip Flop card tutorial

It's about time I did a card-making tutorial, eh??

I'm addicted to these flip flop cards because there are a million fun things you can do to embellish them and you can use them as cards or invitations for virtually any occasion.

My five-year-old crafting buddy made these. Well, she chose all the "ingredients" and assembled them--I did the tracing and cutting.

Here's another variation....

I printed invitation info. four to a page in Word and used that for the top layer for these. Adorable!!

The flowers are just paper embellishments with a little bling.

First you need to print the template out on cardstock and cut them out.

flower embellishment

{For these to be sturdy, I prefer card stock for the bottom layer but you can certainly use regular paper, then just add card stock onto the back for durability.}

Using your template, trace and cut the smaller shape out of a solid color IF you want to write on the front. Cut the larger shape out of pretty paper. If the back will be solid, feel free to use two prints for the front.

Before adhering the layers together, cut ribbon for the straps and adhere to the smaller (top) layer. I stapled mine at the top then glued them to the back.

If you prefer to use a silk flower and brad, adhere that during this step, too, so the brad will be hidden between the layers.

Adhere the layers together. If you're using a paper flower, adhere it now.


{notice the ends of the ribbon and the brad are hidden between the layers)

If you use a solid for the top layer, you can stamp a sentiment.

For a folded card, trace the larger flip flop on at the edge then cut. Add embellishments. You could do a double layer on the front, of course. You can use virtually any note card for this but one with a cute print is, naturally, ideal.

I used madras plaid note cards for this one.

Do a search on "flip flop card template" for a gazillion other ideas and templates. The possibilities are endless!

Use them for pool party invitations, birthday invites or just as a thinking of you card. They are so charming! Would also be a fun craft for girls. They love picking out their paper and do-dads.

Have fun!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Elizabeth's "Going to the Zoo" fundraiser

This is Elizabeth Pitts.

This is Hope For God's Children's fundraiser for Elizabeth.

The theme is "Going to the Zoo" so you'll see a lot of zoo and animal-themed items.

This is a link to Elizabeth's Caring Bridge page if you want to learn more about this special girl.

And THIS is how you can help raise money for her family:
1. Head to my Etsy shop and search "HGC Elizabeth" for the eligible items.
2. Go to ETSY and search the handmade category for "HGC Elizabeth."
3. Go to Ebay and search "HGC Elizabeth."

Now go shopping, knowing it's for a wonderful cause!!