Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 - Happy Moments

Ice Fight and Fireworks
Picnics and Picking Flower
Aromas Coffee and the Old Market
Bonfires and Stars
Gourmet Hot Chocolate
Cinnamon Rolls and Encouragement
Picking up Coffee and Painting
Peaches and Summer Walks
Pistachios and Frozen Yogurt
Wishing Wells and Roller Coasters
Hugs and Heartfelt Talks
Blaring Music and Sunshine
Funnel Cakes and Muddy Rivers
Pie and Reading
Shopping and Monsters University
Summer Evening Walks and Life Talks
Pizza and Ice Cream and Pedestrian Bridge
Casual Coffee and Relaxed Smiling
Spices and Tea
Shopping and Monsters University
Oceanside and Cheese and Apples
Niagra Falls Mist
Pie Irons and Panoramas
Donuts and Hay Rides
Ice Cream and Sparkling Grape Juice
Hard Lemonade and Spinning(?) Chairs
Sweet Old People and Summer Slushies
Pillow Fights and Comfortable Silence
Hot Pizza and Slicing Apples
Ferris Wheels and Funnel Cakes
Dodgeballs and Coffee and 40’s and Exploring
Frisbee in the Summer Rain
Hot Chocolate and Candles
Stripes and Boba Smoothies
Accordions and Big Sweaters
Felt Hats and Puppy Chow
"Road Trip" by Myself :)
Lake Michigan Shore and New Friends
Kayaking in the Sun
Long Phone Conversation while Driving
Movie Theater and Walk through LeMars
Starbucks and Storms
Fancy Dresses and Fireplace
Sitting on the Kitchen Floor with Coffee

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


   Well friends, I'd say my Etsy Shop is "officially" open. I finally took pictures that I'm at least content with, though there's lots of room for improvement. Maybe I can figure out better lighting next time.
   With time things should get easier. :) Give me any tips you think of for improvement!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

bits and pieces

walking up the hill toward perfection
I know we'll never arrive, but
we're adding memories to our collections
we're doing more than, more than survive

the sun doesn't rise
it leaps
the stars don't fall
they dive
let's not just politely nod and live,
Let's Run, Laugh, Thrive


driving through
low clouds
flashes of white
like we're

brought the sky
down to me
and made me smile


it's the morning's
golden hour
dew washed windows
sparkling grass
shining trees
and I,
I'm sitting here
in the calm beauty
making coffee stains on envelopes
and hugging my knees
how can life be
so madly
when there is


Thursday, July 25, 2013

judgment and grace

   Man, conservative people or so judgmental. I just really can't stand being around them sometimes. They're really legalistic and just don't give people grace.  

   That's the first thing I usually hear when I mention "really" conservative people to anyone who's not "really conservative".

   In a way, I get it. People can go a little "crazy" when they're talking about their rights to bear arms. People can really get into their debates about politics. And some people sure do enjoy their theology.

   But I've seen the people on the other end of the spectrum go a little "crazy" when they're talking about their rights to tattoos, or whatever. The same people who are complaining can really get into their debates about legalism or church authority. And some of those people sure do enjoy grace, sometimes to the extent of never condemning people's actions - ever.

   Don't get me wrong. I sure do enjoy grace. God's grace amazes me every day. He has forgiven me beyond anything I could dare to ask for without the blood of His Son.
   So I can "get it". We're all climbing the hill toward perfection, and on a lot of issues, if I've talked to "you" and I know you are honestly trying to grow in the Lord and serve Him, I don't care where you've been. Judging you on your past isn't right when God has forgiven and blotted out mine. And in regards to a lot of things, if you're trying to follow the Bible, I'm not going to tell you "You're a sinner!" just because I disagree with you on theological points or views on what's legalistic and what's not. Love covers a multitude of sins.
    And, with God's grace I will be able to look at your opinion from the perspective of God's Word and humbly try to see if I'm the one who's wrong.

   But I also don't get it. We're all climbing the hill toward perfection. Including the super-conservative people. Including the people who you think are judgmental. You're complaining about the fact that "they don't give enough grace", but do you give grace to them?
   Maybe there is pride and legalism and judgement. But maybe there's also pride in resisting "super conservative" views and throwing them off your back. Maybe they're honestly just trying to confront you in hopes of encouraging you towards righteousness. So both sides should humbly look toward the scriptures during discussions to constantly check if their beliefs are aligned with God's word.
   You are trying to sanctify. They are trying to sanctify. In the same way you think they're scorning your beliefs on God-given freedom, you're scorning their beliefs on God's laws and desires.

   Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
   So come on. Before you judge on appearances, learn their heart. And before you judge on "legalism", learn their heart.
   We're sinners in need of humility. We're sinners in need of a Savior. We're sinners in need of grace.

   So be humble in your confrontation and encouragement. Be humble in your response to people who very well might be, or at least seem, legalistic. Do encourage your Christian Family toward growing in God's word. But give grace to your brothers and sisters in Christ, whether they're pierced, tattooed, long-haired, recovering, always-raising-people's-eyebrows, wanting-to-please-God-Christians... or whether they're denim-jumper, tucked in polo, strong-opinioned, sheltered, home-schooled, wanting-to-please-God-Christians.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

black & white & sunflowered

I started off with four matching napkins. ^

And sewed 3 together.

Cut a neckhole in the fourth.

Gathered the first three and sewed them to the two sides of the fourth.

Added this just-right button to the back middle hem.

Not to my surprise, the shirt is really airy and poofy (so nice and cool, but also not /super/ flattering) but I really like it. :D It also reminds me mostly of a dress a 5 year old would have. But... I don't care. :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

splatter and gingham

Two recent projects I've finished recently: 

The "Splatter Skirt" :-/weirdname/-: has been sitting around for probably a year. Yeah.

^ the tools used.

This skirt used to be a pair of pants. with paint stains. So I added more paint stains after cutting it up and changing it into a skirt. WITH POCKETS.

Now I'm just hoping the paint doesn't come out of ya in the wash, skirt. And then it's an Etsy Listing for you. 
It's so comfy I almost want to keep it...
p.s. I can't see the future.
p.p.s. the future does not involve dordt college.

And now, the "gingham twirl" skirt. EDIT: I just realized "plaid" might be a better description. Miles from perfect pictures, but you'll have to bear it or close the tab.

I took a boring brown skirt I had and added character.
Character synonyms in this circumstance:
Trim made from an old shirt.

You would probably believe that it's slightly dangerous to try spinning really fast on a chair.

Monday, June 17, 2013

reasonable service

I will run the course of Your commandments,
For You shall enlarge my heart.
Psalm 119:32
   During an Olympic "Pressing on" themed week, it's interesting that this verse ended my devotions the first morning of camp. At the time I just caught on to the last phrase and prayed for an open heart, but now it hits me how well the whole verse captures the repetitive thought and feel of that week: Running the course of God's commands. Running the race of faith. A heart that's open to serving others.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1
   Holy and acceptable to God. Following His commands. That's reasonable. That's not too much to ask.

   I'm pretty much terrible at summarizing events really well with a neat and tidy essay of what I learned, but I would use those two verses as the keys to a lot of my thoughts.

   But I think everything I really took away from Joni and Friends were all things I learned from watching others.

  • Christ centered

    Not self focused. Being self-centered is the sin I've been seeing most in myself the past few months.
    So many people at Camp Joni were the opposite of this. Even in the small things. They'd walk by me during the middle of the day, say hello, and ask, "How is your day going?" when they were definitely the ones who had the harder job of both of us.
    They weren't trying to, but every time they'd ask me how I was doing it was a guilty reminder that I had only really been thinking about myself and hadn't thought to ask them the same question.

    Also, I don't know for sure, but possibly one of the reasons it was good for me to be in the Sib Program instead of having a camper was that if I had a camper I probably would have been a lot more focused on what I was doing and how "much" I was giving instead of looking at the situation thinking, "Well God, I really don't feel like I'm doing much of anything right now. So please use this small, small situation (in my eyes) and work through me anyway, even in something that doesn't seem like it's making a big difference."

    I think sometimes it takes more of God's grace to serve in small ways. To notice the small things, to be willing to do them for the right reasons, not for the recognition.

    It's easier in many ways to go on a mission trip to a different country than it is to go weed the garden right after breakfast when you have a list of things you'd been planning to do instead.

  • Prayer

    I was so impressed by all the prayer during Camp Joni. First in the tour where we stopped every so often and prayed for safety during the week. During the "commission" time before the families came. And to top it off, the end where Liz wanted to pray with us before we left.

    Praying with people is special. I think it'd be way more meaningful if someone is going through a hard time, if we stop the conversation and what we're doing right there and offer to pray with them. Not just say quickly, "I'll try to be praying for you guys."

    I don't realize how important and special prayer is, but I got a small taste, and I want more.
  • Reaching out to people

    Introvert, extrovert, or not... I want to be able to have Christ's love shining through me. And I want to be able to forget about myself (again, with the self-centered part) enough to be able to focus on others and what their needs are. To be able to make people feel at ease, too. To have them feel Christian love and fellowship and want that.

    While I was with some of the people there, I couldn't really believe that I had just met them in the last few days.
    Seriously, if you had asked me to bet money on the fact that I hadn't known them a week earlier, I would have had a tough time doing that. My brain said I just met them, my heart said, "You've known these people forever." They were my family.
  • Not judging personality on looks

    It's easy to have compassion for people who are disabled or just different if they are cute kids or good looking.
    It's hard when they can't focus their eyes or control movements. But sometimes they are family too. God's children. And my discomfort being around them or unwillingness to serve them is like saying, "They don't matter." But they do.

    Give me Your eyes, that I may love the broken and the ugly - (the ones who are probably more humble then I am.) The ones who worship with less pride then I do. The ones who You gave Your life for - may I give my life as a sacrifice to You by serving them.

    Enlarge my heart, let me see with new eyes. Give me strength to run the course of Your commands. Give me strength and a willing heart to give my all for You by letting go of all my selfishness and pride.