Friday, May 6, 2011

Creating Me
As I was reading one the many blogs I follow, this link was one I came across and absolutely LOVED! (I'm sharing it with you so that you can get the free download as well.)
For several weeks now, I've been trying to figure out which way to go with my blog, my etsy store, my quilting, my aprons.  I get emails from the etsy team weekly that give you ideas on how to grow your business and how to market your business and one of the consistent things they tell you to do is to "blog".  I started this blog initially as a way to keep people updated on my son, Jordan's, progress with gastric bypass surgery.  Also as a way to share what God has done, and is doing, in my own life.  I went back and forth as to whether to keep it as the one I would use to link my business to, but have finally decided that one: I don't have time to do more than one blog and two: that my business and my life are all about what God is doing!!  I don't know if anyone really cares what I have to say.  I certainly don't think that by posting pictures of what I am working on is going have people following so they can learn something from me...except maybe how NOT to do your seams, etc. that way!!  But there is a huge community of quilting blogs and I, myself, have learned so much from them, so maybe through my links or what's on my site, more people will find them as well.  And I will always share what the Lord has been showing me, because really, that's the most important thing to me when it all comes down to it.
I have two etsy shops Tea 'N Treasures where I sell the tea and aprons and my new one, Little Flock Quilts.  The name of this shop is based on Psalms 91:4 "He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings."  I obtained a new sewing machine in December and knew that with that blessing, I wanted to use it for ministry, so with the help of my daughter, Meghan, I came up with the idea to make quilts for Foster Children.  I will use proceeds from both etsy shops to fund this venture for the most part, but already the bible study I attend has purchased material for both a boys and a girls quilt that I have made for a ministry at our church called "PB&J" that works with the homeless.  It is a huge blessing to me to be able to give of the talents I have been given.
So, I continue to be "created"'s really amazing how you think you know the direction your life is going, and then something else comes along and you see a path you had never envisioned.  I really do take one day at a time.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring??

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pressing On

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 3:14

Happy New Year! Hard to believe another year has come and gone! As I read all the Facebook posts, so many people are hoping for a "better year" in 2011. I think it is so easy for us to look back over the year and think about all the difficult things we dealt with, but I guarantee that if we take each one of those difficult circumstances, we can surely find many blessings embedded in each one!

Our year consisted of a home with black mold; moving; my hand surgery; Jordan's gastric bypass and the usual culprits of car troubles, appliance outages and the all consuming FINANCES! But out of each one, there have been positive changes made and lessons learned.

One of our most positive is the success of Jordan's surgery!! At this date, he has lost 127 lbs and has dropped his BMI 15 points!! His surgeon believes that this is a record for his patients that are four months out!! Most importantly, he feels better and is able to do so much more! Which translates for me: he is in a better mood and does more for me around the house! It was a long, long process, but so worth the time that it took because he was ready for the changes that came with it!

I love the way the Lord uses what we think are "delays" as one of the most important times in our lives. After a long recovery from hand surgery, I began to put my sewing business together with an etsy store and doing more custom aprons. I was so excited about what the Lord was speaking to me about where it was going! For several years now, my love of quilting has grown and my desire is to use that in ways if sharing the love of the Father. I was presented with the God-given opportunity the first of December to purchase a previously owned quilting/sewing machine that I had only dreamed of owning! After much prayer, I took the leap and signed the agreement believing that God would use it for His purpose in moving forward in this dream. Two days after bringing it home, I received a call from my Dr. who had done a routine colonoscopy the prior week telling me that they had found cancer in my colon. The next week consisted of tests to see if it had spread (PRAISE God, it has not!), appointments with surgeons and many, many questions. My initial reaction was peace. Okay, this is what I have to deal with, another bump in this crazy road of life I've been on. But other thoughts crept in as I began to deal with the issue of surgery (January 3 at 10am) and the removing of that section of colon and the surrounding lymph nodes. The "what if's" would begin to swirl. But through the years of the many trials I have been dealt, I have learned that when these "what if's" start, we must replace them with the precious promises of God. The Lord has given me so, so many promises and many, for what I believe is the restoration of what "the locusts have eaten."
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you." Joel 2:25

I will not tell you that I haven't had my moments of fear. That would be a lie (and I don't lie ;)). But I do have such a peace about the outcome of this surgery. I'm not looking forward to it, it's going to hurt! But I'm going to trust that the Lord WILL work all things together for His good and that there will be blessings abounding even as I am pushing that pain-killing medicine button!! Not that I'll lose as much weight as Jordan, but losing a few pounds could definitely be one of the blessings!

Mostly during that time, I am going to spend time with the Lord and dream about where He will lead me with this business and how I can further His kingdom through it. And then, when the pain is gone (sooner, rather than later I hope!) and I am healed, I am going to PRESS ON into the future that He has for me!! And a really, really GREAT New Year!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


What comes to mind when you hear the word "success"? For some, it's about a financial situation or a job they have been working on. It may be the end of an educational experience or something you have been building. There are days when it's literally a "success" that I've made it through the day without killing someone! Right now, we are celebrating the "success" of Jordan finally having his gastric bypass surgery! While he is not at the end of the road yet, he is well on the way! He had the surgery on August 30th and other than a few problems with blood pressure and a large liver during surgery, he has done very, very well! He was in the hospital for 3 days and then came home but was immediately required to start walking. He was on full liquids (broths, milk with protein powder, PowerAde Zero) for two weeks and then started his pureed diet (chicken, vegetables, yogurt, scrambled eggs) for another three weeks. At his one week post-op appointment, he had lost 60 lbs since July 1! That my friends, is success!! His blood pressure being down to 130/80 is success! One of the biggest successes with his surgery was the number of friends who supported us through this!! I am happy to say that the drawing for the quilt I made went to a very good friend of mine here in Georgia who is in charge of our babies through Pre-K kids at our church!! She gives and gives and it was wonderful to be able to give something back to her!!
I have found that in life, it is very important to celebrate the small successes! After my hand surgery, I wasn't sure how well I would be able to continue sewing or making wreaths for the small gift shop I sell out of. Every item that gets finished is a success to me! I have recently opened an etsy shop ( for the aprons and to sell the loose leaf tea as well. For every success I have, there is nothing more important to me than to thank God and give Him the glory for even being where I am!!
So, I think I'll go have a cup of tea and celebrate!! The success will be not having a cookie with my tea!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Greater Things

Have you ever been stuck somewhere? Maybe it's been in a car with a whiny toddler or in a line at the drive thru that isn't moving forward and you have three cars behind you. Perhaps it's been at the table where Uncle Joe is telling you about the war...again or in an elevator standing at the back of the car with 20 some other cheerleaders and realizing that you've overloaded it (I can't breathe even typing that!). Obviously we've all been stuck at some time in our lives physically. But what about emotionally. Or spiritually. I'll admit to you, in the past month, I've been stuck in all three! Six weeks ago I had re-constructive surgery on my thumb - on my right hand. It started several years ago with an injury from a car accident that due to the lupus and the steroids that I take, caused degeneration in the bone and finally got to the point that I was unable to move or use it. This is the first time in six weeks that I have been able to type with it (it's actually part of my therapy) and I'm just now beginning the long task of learning to use it differently since they fused part of it and put pins and screws in. Because of the physical limitations, I'm sure that it contributed to finding myself stuck both emotionally and spiritually. It is so easy when you're smack dab in the middle of a situation to think "this is all there is" or "it's never going to get better".
We have been on this journey for Jordan's gastric bypass surgery for 18 months now and sometimes it really does feel like we take two steps forward and three steps back. A little over a week ago, we were at the point of being able to schedule his endoscopy - one of the last tests left to do. The entirety of last week was spent playing phone tag with the person whom he needs to speak to in order to do that. OUR desire is to have him finish this test, get fit with his CPAP machine and be ready when he sees the surgeon on the 28th of this month to schedule his surgery. Our urgency to get this done is not necessarily anyone else's!
When I find myself overwhelmed by just how stuck I really am, the first thing I do is to turn up the music! I'm pretty much willing to listen to anything (except nasty lyrics and rap:)) but when I'm really stuck, nothing works like worship. The first few days after my surgery when I was pretty much drugged beyond oblivion, I would turn my computer on and go to my Pandora station and would play praise and worship in my room for hours. This is so healing for me, to have many of the songs that are actually based on scripture reverberating through my head, even while I was sleeping. A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of the new worship CD from Women of Faith ~ I was one of 50 who was asked to listen and review it on my blog. A great activity considering the situation I was in! What I loved about the CD was that it didn't have just one style of music. There are so many different genres of worship music and they took all of them and made them feel fresh and new. "Healer" and "Amazed" had me on my knees thanking God for who He is and "Just Wanna Say" had the gospel girl in me dancing around the living room! It is this kind of CD that helps put my focus back onto the "Calmer of the storm" instead of the storm itself. A popular worship song right now is "God of This City" (Track 1) which states that "greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done". While the process of the journey is where we learn and is an important part, we can't forget that God is always working toward greater things. My hand, once healed, is going work greater than it has in 5 years. Jordan, after this long road and after the surgery, is going to be healthier and stronger than he's ever been and God has greater plans for him than he can even imagine. So, I'm holding on, and stepping out of being stuck so that I can go for the GREATER!!
(Jesus said) "The person who trusts me will not only do what I'm doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I've been doing. You can count on it." John 14:11 MSG

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Beginnings

Spring is in the air! If you live anywhere that experiences seasons (sorry friends in South Florida, but this leaves you out!) there are signs everywhere of a new season - green leaves on the trees, buds waiting to burst open with fresh color on trees and shrubs, birds building their nests in your deck chair, yellow pine pollen on every surface it can hit, grass growing again that needs to be mowed! Yes, definitely pluses and minuses, but well worth it. We have come through a long, cold, damp winter, but life is being renewed outside our window!

As it is with Jordan's surgery, we have come through the winter of insurance problems and delays and are in the spring of beginning again. We saw his surgeon this week and because of the time that had passed, he wanted Jordan to begin as a new patient again. While this was disappointing in that Jordan had not forgotten the material, he felt that it would be the motivation he needed. So, he attended his education class again yesterday and is now scheduled for the gallbladder ultrasound and the cardiologist. Because everything involved with gastric bypass surgery has to be paid upfront, we will begin the process of covering a new deductible and out-of-pocket expenses. We will begin to actively sell raffle tickets for the quilt again so that we can schedule his endoscopy and psychologist. He will be receiving his CPAP machine for his sleep apnea and will continue to work on getting his blood pressure down (Jessika and I are not allowed to yell at him!). He has begun an exercise regiment with a friend from Starbucks who is also the rowing coach here at UGA, so he will be accountable (THANK GOD!) to Michael for his exercise program (Pray for Michael!).

I am reminded that so often we forget that God is the God of winters, as well as of spring. I have struggled myself with some very dark, cold winters, but the Lord promises to "never leave us or forsake us" in the winters of our lives. The verse I lean on most heavily during these times is from Jeremiah (the weeping prophet) 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". There is always a plan. During this time of delay in Jordan's surgery, we have learned a lot about the insurance companies, and Jordan has learned to persevere in times of difficulty. To keep going even when the way seems blocked. So, as long as we keep learning and keep trusting, spring will come! It's right around the corner!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Waiting Room

We've all been there. Waiting. Waiting on the Doctor. Waiting on the stoplight. Waiting in line. Waiting for the mail. How do you wait? Do you wait patiently? Do you wait constructively? Do you wait expectantly?

"That is why I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised." Psalms 130:5

I have personally been in God's waiting room for a long time. Waiting on promises for healing, for restoration, for blessings for Jordan and Meghan. It is somewhere I know very well! Waiting on things you know God has promised is one of the hardest waiting periods ever experienced. But because the promise hasn't come as quickly as I think it should have, does that mean I should quit waiting?
When we started this process for Jordan's surgery, we never knew it would take so long. We knew it was a process of tests and of classes, but we never expected to hit so many roadblocks with insurance, referrals, copays, Dr's. - you name it, we've hit it!
Right now, we are at the roadblock called "Cobra". Jordan is required to work so many hours during a quarter to qualify for benefits with Starbucks. His manager misinterpreted when the end of the quarter was and he came up 1.5 hours short. It can all be appealed and cleared up, but until then, he has to go on Cobra. If you've ever dealt with Cobra, you know that this means high payments, slow processing!! So we wait. At this point, it is easy for frustration and discouragement to slip in. You get tired of waiting. We thought he'd be on the other side of the surgery by now. Does that mean he should give up? A resounding NO!! Why have we gotten to where we don't know how to wait for the proper time for things? "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Eccl. 3:1 We have become such a microwave society - if we can't have it now, we don't want it!

I think personally what I've learned the most in God's waiting room is to try and find what He is teaching me during this time. Am I learning to perservere? Am I learning character? Am I learning hope? Am I learning to fully rely on Him? During this time of waiting for Jordan, the only thing that I, and you, can do is to encourage him not to give up! IT will come! In God's perfect time. Until then, look around and learn.