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Friday, March 29, 2013

Five Minute Friday & an Announcement


It’s Friday again!  I know I’ve been away for a while.  I hope you will understand.   I got to spend a week with my family and I’m still getting back into the swing of it all.  I’ve also been typing my little fingers like crazy getting ready for April.

My lovely Stitch Sisters (Becky, Stacey, Jo & Lizzie) - my cohorts in blogging, teasing and general silliness – are going to blog from A to Z over the month of April, Monday to Saturday, for 26 days!  I’m not a big finisher, so this will indeed be a challenge for me.  Prayers and encouragement appreciated.  I hope you’ll come back on Monday to learn a little more about me.  If you don’t want to miss is spine-tingling moment, you can just go ahead and subscribe over there on the right hand sidebar.

For now I join with another troupe of word-winders and story-spinners for a 5 minute free for all.

Five Minute Friday

The rules are simple: write with abandon for 5 minutes flat without looking back, go link-up with the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker, comment on the post of the one who linked up before you.  I don’t mean to shout, but I’ve noticed that some are ignoring this little courtesy.  Then just explore all the wonderful offerings laid before you like a buffet of goodness. 



Here are my five minutes on: BROKEN 

That small white flake, so clean, so perfectly even: how is it something so small, so seemingly insignificant, is the whole meaning of the universe embodied? The tray, small and silver, passed from filthy, sinful hand to filthy sinful hand.

It’s not the crumb.  In itself, it is powerless, not even enough to quell an aching stomach.  It gives no eternal life on its own.

Oh, but that body.  They one that was broken, on rough wood and rusty spike.  That body, bloodied and mangled, that is the bread that gives eternal life.  That body is the Word that feeds us daily – for all eternity.

Time.


This is too important to leave at that. 

If this is your first time here and you are wondering what this is all about, know this:  Christ died for you on that cross over two thousand years ago.  Like the thief next to him, all you have to do is say your ABCs!  A – admit that your sins have separated you from God and that you are in need of forgiveness. B- Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the perfect sacrifice that can remove that sin.  C- Confess that Jesus Christ in now LORD of your life.  Please let me know if this is something you’d like to know more about at amyctilson@gmail.com


Bless you as we celebrate a risen Savior that takes away the sins of the world.

He is Risen!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Battling Back From Un-Fine

Last Tuesday was the biggest nonevent battle I’ve fought in a long time.  You can read about how I was un-fine for most of the day.  However, I rightly stated that the day had not ended, nor was it the next new day.

After comments and tweets were read I started thinking.  Shouldn’t thinking be one of my first choices?  That’s beside the point now.  I was thinking about the mundane of this life just getting me down.  I wasn’t alone, either.  Instead of letting it drag me down further I spoke out my resolve: this is how I love my family and am making a home of PEACE!  MAKING peace.
I am a PEACEMAKER!

Then the inevitable thought came to mind.  Those good ole Beattitudes from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. ESV

Then I wanted to know more, so I looked up the Amplified Bible version:

Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

Being the word junkie that I am I wanted to know the Greek word and what it held.  That led me to this:

eirenopoios- (i-ray-nop-oy-os')

The founders, promoters and/or makers of peace.
 
This isn’t keeping the peace, y’all.  It’s making it, from scratch, just like those biscuits I love so much.

Now here is the biggie (and if you wouldn’t mind terribly putting on your Southern redneck pants for a spell to let Hee Haw lay it out for us):

“No, you'll never hear one of us repeating gossip,
so you'd better be sure and listen close the first time!"

This word “peacemakers” is used only ONCE in the whole Bible, right here in Matthew 5:9 . This isn’t gossip, but the same thing applies: listen close the first time. This was the key.

I had been listening to a lie being whispered in my ear all day about the drudgery and the pointlessness of what a wise lady I know calls the lather, rinse, repeat of our daily life.
This lie was bringing death, not by a thousand cuts, but by the loads of dirty dishes and socks.  I had to put a stop to it.  Right. Then. And. There.

Friends, we are in a battle every single day whether we recognize it or not.  It’s not against the government, or our neighbors, or these other sinners that live within our own four walls.  There is a deceiver who comes to kill, steal, and destroy.  This deceiver is happy to take your joy, your confidence, your marriage, the relationships with your children, trust, security – whatever he can get his dirty little paws on.

I wasn’t going to let my joy go without a fight last week.  You know what?  I won!
There is still dirty laundry in the hamper, dishes need to be put away, and let’s not talk about the carpet.

It’s a fight worth fighting and I’m up for it to be called a son (daughter, actually) of GOD!  Who’s with me? You get extra rations of chocolate if you had a clue about the Hee Haw reference.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Rest


Minute Friday">Five Minute Friday

I sometimes wonder what it feels like anymore.  There was a time when I could have slept through a nuclear blast.  Now, the slightest cough down the hall jolts me from my sleep.  I push up out of bed with all that is within me most mornings, and thoughts of coffee swiftly make their way to the front of my mind.

At night, I long for it, but I also long to be awake with my husband – just the two of us.  I want to enjoy sitting without the constant request for an Oscar-winning performance as Sally, a LEGO fire truck, or whatever random stuffed animal is nearby.  All these characters come complete with nonstop dialogue in this house.

When naptime comes I want to steal a few minutes, but also long for some productivity at some point in my day.

I tell myself I will rest later. 

Can anyone tell me when we change our clocks to later? 

Thanks.  J

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I'm Un-Fine, How Are You?

Photo credit


I’m feeling so stationary right now, like a jellyfish in a spot with no current.  I can see places I would like to be, but don’t know how to get there.  There are so many places to choose from – directions to aim, but I’m not drawn anywhere in particular.  That seems to contradict the first statement, but it doesn’t really.  The want is more of an idle curiosity than a deep desire within my core.

Coreless – maybe that’s how I’m feeling.  There is a sense of shallowness in all that I am doing.  It’s like that time when you try to nap and find rest, but you can’t sleep. Or you try to stay awake and read or watch a movie only to find yourself drifting off.  That place is where I’m living right now.

I’m unfocused and uninterested and uninteresting!

Blah!

I know there is more.

I want to want the more, but I just don’t.

Maybe tomorrow I will.  Tomorrow is a new day, and this one isn’t done yet.  The tide may turn.  I wasn’t like this yesterday.  So today, I’m going to listen to Lisa-Jo and just say that I am un-fine.  You know what? It’s fine with me to let you know that.

Are you un-fine, too?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Style Shipped to My Door by Stitch Fix


If you follow me on twitterinstagram  or happen to be a Facebook friend, you have seen me gush about Stitch Fix.  You may have even seen a pose or two in some of my latest cute acquisitions.

Photos
So what is all the fuss?

Stich Fix is a personal stylist service catering to your preferences, budget and desire for overall fashion cuteness in your life. [I am sorely lacking in the skills to get the third on my own.]  This is all determined by completing a simple style profile.  You give your sizes and opinions, and they set to work.

For $20, which is applied to anything I decide to keep, I am sent a little treasure box of 5 goodies hand selected for me.  The thrill of seeing the box with the blue circle is hard to match.



I’m a sucker for cute packaging – especially when it comes with a matching sticker and stationery!  Stitch Fix has it in spades, y’al!!

They are pushing me to be a little more adventurous and open minded because I have to try on everything they send.  Honestly, I would walk right past most of these items in a store.  There have been a few misses, but that’s okay.  I’m developing a reference for what works and what doesn’t work.  That’s a good thing.



With my current state of self-examination I have to ask myself it this is just more indulgence and convenience controlling my life.  As I look back over the past month or so I can say that I have actually been less drawn to frivolous spending and shopping.  I have made a few purchases, but they have been completely intentional and part of a bigger picture to simplify.  I’m working on paring down my wardrobe – and life in general – to stop wasting time focusing on the inconsequential.

I am not saying that my appearance is inconsequential.  To the contrary, I am saying that I should be putting enough thought into my appearance that it actually takes less effort to make decisions and weed through items that I have, but don’t wear.  I want my efforts to seem effortless.   As with any aspect of our life, this only comes from intention and practice.

For hospitality to seem like second nature, we must practice hospitality.  For forgiveness to seem like it is a natural part of our character we must practice forgiveness.

If I want to appear to have confidence and style, I need to practice. Stitch Fix is one of my coaches.

If you are interested, I love for you to check it out for yourself with this link.  In full disclosure, if you sign up I get a $25 credit when you receive your first Fix.  Then you can also share with others to get credits for yourself.  You schedule how often you want a shipment.

I’ve had 2 fixes so far.  I’m waiting on the weather to warm up before I go for my third.  I also need to get a better handle on what I already have as well.  It’s easy to forget what has been sitting in a box all winter between capris and tank tops.

I’d love to know if you’ve tried Stitch Fix before, how it worked for you or if you signed up today.  What is your biggest style challenge?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Home



Linking up today with a most beloved group of fellow writers for Five Minute Friday hosted by the ever fabulous Lisa Jo Baker.  To join us go link up, go visit the one who linked up before you and leave some comment love.  Then explore to see what others have written in their five minutes on....




HOME

Home is such an amorphous word.  It changes and flexes and contracts in my rearview mirror.  It’s new and old, unfamiliar, and known like that back of my hand.  I have one and I’ve had many – here, there and everywhere.  Actually, not “here”.  Here has never felt like home to me.  I don’t know if it has to do with the house that we rent, the time it took to get to know a single person, the fact that our church is so large that personal connections are just now starting to form – nearly two years after we arrived.

Some say home is where you hang your hat.  I say home is where your family and friends are.  You can have more than one home at a time if, like me, you have moved more times than you care to count and upon occasion find that odd colored sticker from the moving company 3 moves ago.

As much as I love/hate moving around this amazing country, I know this is not my final destination.  I have a home that’s being prepared especially for me.  It’s going to be the most amazing home because all my friends will be gathered in one place.  The Landlord?  Well, it doesn’t get any better than living with our Heavenly Father and Jesus now, does it?

Time (plus about 45 seconds)

Take a few minutes to sit back and sing along with what has become my personal theme song.  This is one of those perfect songs that has great lyrics, a catchy tune, and invites you to sing along at the top of your lungs.  Who cares if the people in the car next to you think you are crazy??? 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Reviewing the First Two Months of 2013


The first two months of 2013 have vanished into thin air.  I often come to the end of a year wondering where it went and what I accomplished.  I don’t want to let that happen this year.  Time is precious and I am learning to be mindful of the faith history that I am leaving behind.

This year I decided to participate in the One Word 365 challenge and I selected the word CREATE to guide me on my journey.  I have been conscious to incorporate this into my daily life as much as possible.  How’s it been going you ask?  Here is a sampling:

I have begun one mixed media painted canvas.  I hope to share it when that is finished.  It has been interesting to use new materials.


I completed a 4th knitted dishcloth.  This will go to a friend that runs a soup kitchen in my home town.  The yarn was sturdier and the size larger to work better for them.



I have also sewn three infinity scarves.  After I won a completely adorable one from the Pleated Poppy, I knew I could tackle this easily.  A trip to JoAnn, one YouTube video and getting my machine threaded properly and I was off.  Stitch Fix sent me a perfectly lovely one in my first box, but I knew I could make my own.  I just gave one of the three to my sister as a gift.
I am learning that I LOVE giving handmade gifts.  The time involved can be cray cray y’all.  But I believe I get as much out of it as the recipient and I have to be so much more intentional due to the planning.


I made this little watercolor of my OneWord to keep in front of me for inspiration.  A friend commented on it and I made on for her too.  It’s just another way to create community at the same time as “art” – using that term very loosely here!

Many other aspects of my daily life are still a work in progress!  Housekeeping is an Achilles’ heel for me, but I’m getting there. Gotta get all my junk in order for moving into a new place in a few months.  I got to flex my design muscles when choosing the finishes.  I’m picky and can be quite demanding at times.  This is when my last point reared it’s head.

I have been confronted with my own love of comfort and convenience.  I want what I want, when I want it – the way I like it, if you please.  Since this came up a short while ago God has put so much instruction into my ears.  I have to tell you that as I was condemning myself for such idolatrous behavior God was giving me grace and reassurance at every turn.  Even this morning I have been reminded of the teachings in Amos and Micah and that I need to spend some quality time there in study. (Thank you Phil Vischer and Buck Denver!)

So that’s where I am heading into this third month of 2013.  How is your year going so far?  What accomplishments can you share for encouragement?  I’d love to celebrate with you!