MAY IS CREATIVE BEGINNINGS MONTH

TL MAY IS CREATIVE BEGINNINGS MONTH

It’s time to start a new hobby or learn that craft you always wanted to master.  How great would it be to help kids at summer camp this year with crafts?  There are also some senior centers that encourage creativity and they would surely appreciate help from volunteers.CREATIVE BEGINNINGS

Wow – Lucinda captured so many creative possibilities here!  Painting walls, flower arranging, writing, music, woodworking, yarn work, painting on canvas.  Isn’t the important message the fact that it’s a new day and we get another chance?  That’s the part I like the most!  🙂

What factors should be considered as you consider the endless possibilities?  I think my first question would be, how much will this project cost?  If you’re on a shoestring budget like me, you don’t want to have to buy a whole bunch of materials or equipment.  Let’s face it, there’s a possibility that you either won’t be good at it or you may not enjoy it like you thought you would.  If you don’t have a lot of money invested, you won’t feel so guilty about walking away from it.

It’s not limited to crafts – being creative could be something as simple as committing to workout three times a week.  Creating a healthier you is definitely a creative beginning.

Have you ridden a horse?  You never know if you’ll enjoy it until you try!  Many places offer riding lessons that aren’t too expensive.

Do you have an interest in music?  Maybe you’d like to be musically creative and take some piano lessons.

Some people have a real eye for photography.  Maybe it’s time to buy a good camera and start taking those great shots.  Choose a subject to photograph and focus on it – (no pun intended).

Count the cost for your creativity and make sure it’s something you have an interest in (or think you do) When you’ve decided what to do, schedule the activity and buy the items you’ll need to be a success.  We should make creativity a sort of second nature in our lives because it keeps life more fun!  When we use our imaginations to troubleshoot our way through challenges, it’s so much more interesting.

Even if you’re on the fence about what to do, find some friends (partners in crime) to try it with you.  If the new activity doesn’t work out for you, at least you’ll have your friends to giggle with you – and really that’s all that matters.

One May I thought it’d be nice to learn sign language.  There was a class at a local church, so I got a couple of girlfriends to go with me – and sadly, I was not good at sign language, but since I didn’t dive in by myself, it was fun anyway.  I had my friends to laugh with.

Your Creative Beginnings month project may be the start of something very exciting in your life – or if you decide to help children learn something new – or help senior citizens learn something new – you may make some very good friends for life.  The influence you have on others may not seem like much to you, but it may mean the world to them.

Ready…  Set…  BEGIN!  🙂

 

DEALING WITH DYSLEXIA

DYSLEXIA WORD CLOUD

BLESSINGS FROM PAIN

I received a message on facebook from a gentleman who has a daughter with dyslexia.  She’s in elementary school and faces challenges daily.  He says it is something new every day…  joked that at least it’s not boring.  He asked if I’d write a post about my experiences with dyslexia and talk about how my parents dealt with it.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Well…   we all take it as it comes – but of all the supportive things I remember my parents doing, the most important one was…  they always encouraged me to be better, but they praised me when I did my best.  I was one of the lucky ones because I was diagnosed early and got into special education in elementary school.  So many people are adults before they are told they have dyslexia.  That has to be so frustrating!

Bless my parents – they made sure that my grade school made use of my talents in music and encouraged the positives I had to contribute instead of focusing on the negatives – the spelling errors, illegible handwriting, careless errors in math, and length of time it took me to write an essay.  I have wonderful memories of playing vibes in a music class performance.  Nobody in my school made me feel stupid or inept.  My teachers encouraged my talents, and I believe it’s because my parents were involved in my education.DYSLEXIA

Parents of dyslexic children have to keep their ears close to the door of the classroom.  They have to be involved every step of the way.  My mother had constant communication with not only the teachers but also the principal and everyone else responsible for my learning experience.

It wasn’t easy…  homework was horrible!  I went to bed crying every night because I felt so stupid.  One thing I did learn early in life is that you need to resist the temptation to compete with smart kids.  Our smart kid was Karen “Blythe” Watson.  I heard through the grapevine that she is now a successful lawyer.  I’m not surprised!  Blythe was everything I wanted to be – I so wanted to be her.  I don’t know why, but I was always invited to her slumber parties and I felt so COOL because the smart girl wanted me for a friend!  Blythe had naturally curly hair – long and thick…  in the 1970’s that was THE cool hair to have!

Keep your child in a good circle of friends because that’s going to help her self-esteem.  If at all possible, surround her with the smart kids – because dyslexic kids are slow – but we’re not stupid.  It takes us longer to notice stuff – but we get there.  We are good and listening to others and catch on when we hear good ideas from smart kids.  Our problem is with visuals – perceptions – concepts.  We can learn!  We are determined to learn…  we just don’t learn the same way.

When they showed films in school – other kids were taking notes and I was wondering what they were writing down that I had somehow missed.

Even today visual learning is not good for me.  Pop in a CD (back then it was a cassette tape – LOL) – and let me listen to it a couple of times – then I grasp the concept – if I can hear it without words on a screen or pictures – I can get it.  I’m all about books on CD – love ’em! 

I used to listen to my devotionals each day – and I still hop on the computer and listen to them!  Reading weighs me down – I do read because I’m determined to overcome this disability…  I’m stubborn.  This isn’t going to win – it just isn’t.

Not every child learns the same way, and educators need to realize that.12345408_1096907133676554_2760705983542940339_n

Be your child’s biggest encouragement.  People in the world will not be kind, so it’s up to you to find your child’s strengths and offer lessons to them.  Pull the weeds – but make sure you water the flowers.  The flowers I grew were musical.  I took private piano lessons for many years every Thursday afternoon.  I’m not a great pianist – but it’s something I was pretty good at – playing music makes me feel good.

Today I’m more well-rounded and I’m a better reader than I’ve been before.  I’ve not read WAR & PEACE – but I read to entertain myself these days, which I never thought would happen.  I do still have to follow the words with my finger – I don’t think that will ever change.  My eyes tend to skip lines and twist words and numbers – so…  it does get interesting sometimes.

I hope this post helps you as parents.  Dyslexic kids are slow – but there are eye exercises that help (remember the pencil exercise – ???  Keep your eye on the lead portion as the pencil comes closer to your face…  LOL).  They said it would strengthen my eyes – I think it gave me headaches.  :-/

Let your child know that you understand their frustration and keep the lines of communication open with them about it.  If they want to cry during homework time – let the tears come.  Just cry with them and don’t make them feel worse or use a nasty tone of voice or mean words with them.  It does not help.

Encourage your child to be better than she was yesterday.  Don’t compete with others, but be more complete yourself!  Comparison with others makes us feel like failures, but if we see our lives as God sees them, we will know that He gives us gifts and talents.  Maybe I can’t do math in my head, but I can do some things that others can’t…  so if you combine my gifts with the gifts of others – how cool is that?  We sharpen one another’s iron and that makes everyone better, right?  🙂

 

 

 

 

DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

Is it silly to want to take a trip out to Applejack Pumpkin Patch if you don’t have small children with you?  Can I tell you a secret???  I’ve never actually been to a pumpkin patch before.  I suppose it’s because I don’t have kids – but the second part of that secret is…  I’ve always wanted to visit a pumpkin patch!  It just looks like a lot of fun!  Having fun is not a sin – last time I checked.

So, this photo, taken just outside of the Applejack Pumpkin Patch is of my friend, Susan.  She posted it on facebook and I wanted to post it here today.  I love it when my Wichita friends post their day trips (even though I think she was technically on the job – which explains the vest).  I appreciate her giving me permission to share it with you.

The Minion Hay Bale... LOL!!!
Susan & the giant Minion Hay Bale… LOL!!!

I’m so thankful she posted this because we drove past it on the way to an antique store just a few days ago – and did I have my camera???  Well of course I didn’t!!!  I was kicking myself from that moment on.  I even suggested we take another trip just to get a photo of this.  That idea was not met with a great deal of enthusiasm, to say the least.  :-/

Applejack Pumpkin Patch is in Augusta, Kansas.  They have a facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Applejack-Pumpkin-Patch-306961532736120/

There are scheduled activities and loads of fun for everyone (even the childless – well – probably).  I may not have kids – but I feel as though I’m still a kid myself…  for better or worse!

I’ve seen bales of hay made into a lot of different things – I must admit this is the first Minion I’ve seen – how creative is that?  Usually we see hay bales made into  jack-O-Lanterns…  you know, painted orange with the scary black face – that’s usually what we see.

Susan’s husband posted that if she had her way, Susan would take this giant Minion hay bale home with her and put it in their front yard.  I replied by saying, “She would be fighting ME for it – LOL!!!”  In reality, could you imagine either one of us – or both of us together – lifting that thing???  I’d say the argument is moot at best, wouldn’t you?

If you would like more information about Applejack Pumpkin Patch, click on this link:  http://applejackpumpkinpatch.com/activities/

Click image to enlarge

I enjoy living in Kansas, especially this time of year!  We have a lot of farms, which means we have tons of corn mazes, apple festivals, fall harvest celebrations and of course, pumpkin patches!  Now, we apparently have added a giant Minion hay bale to the list.  Does it get any better than that?  I think not!  Wink!  😉

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)

GOD'S FIREFLY

Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest to all of us.  – Meister Eckhart

We’ve all felt the sting of failure in our lives.  I’m the queen of failure at times – I flunked Shorthand I in college – 3 times!  Who flunks shorthand???  So much for that Associate Degree in Secretarial Science.  On the up side, shorthand was soon obsolete, so what difference did it make in my life?  Um…  not much!  I went out into the world and became a secretary without a piece of paper.  Even without a degree, I was secretary for a bank president – then took a few night classes at our local university and became an oil secretary in the early 1980’s.  I leaned on God – and I did okay.

Even when you think you have failed – God declares that you are His precious child – and you are a success!  It’s up to us to declare that we will be God’s Firefly – we will fly and we will shine!!!

I believe that we as Christians can share our hearts with God and He will make a way for us to get where we want to go.  He knows the desire of our hearts, after all.  It’s not always so easy to talk to family and friends about our hopes and dreams.  Sometimes they lack the enthusiasm we wish they would have for us.

Never cut corners.  Customers notice everything.  Take the time to do things right and to create the very best products that you can.  – Deborah Bauer

When I began giving piano lessons to pay for school books, I learned that I had to give my very best in every way – my attitude, my enthusiasm, my knowledge – it all had to shine forth for the benefit of my students, who were not always very sure of themselves.  When we serve others or create products for others to buy – it has to be the best.  Be genuine or be second best.

Ignore the naysayers.  I was told I was silly and that this wouldn’t be worthwhile.  Take the leap.  I’ve never been happier.  – Jada Aloisio

Once you have prayed and asked God for direction and help, make sure you stay on top of your trade.  Are there more classes you need to take?  Do you know the most advanced methods, or are you leaning on those you are familiar with (which may not be as good)?  If you are providing the very best to students or customers, don’t sell yourself short.

Charge what you’re worth.  People know quality and will pay for it.  – Kim Wollenburg

https://youtu.be/eocLY53i3Us

So, whether you are making soap, designing jewelry, decorating cookies or teaching piano, seek help from your heavenly Father first.  Trust Him to make the path clear for your success and ultimately, His glory.  🙂

 

 

PHILIPPIANS 4:13 ON 4/13

PHILIPPIANS 4 13 ON 4 13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  – Philippians 4:13

We lose fear and gain faith every time we say this verse because of one little inclusive word – all.  Does it say we can do things only on Tuesdays and Thursdays through Christ who strengthens us?  Are there any limits whatsoever in this verse?  Does it say only men can do all things through Christ who strengthens them?  No – there are absolutely no restrictions of any kind in this verse.

When this passage says I CAN DO, it’s not necessarily talking about doing things, rather it means that Christ will give us the strength to handle the speed bumps in life.  If, however, the things you need to handle with His help involve you doing things, then that’s part of it.  Got that?  LOL…  Tim will explain.

There is a catch though.  You’re thinking, “I knew there would be a catch.”   Yeah, but it’s okay.  You have to make sure you stay connected with the source, Christ Jesus.  It’s a total deal breaker if you don’t do that.  Keep reading your Bible and praying.

Every character has an inward spring; let Christ be that spring.  Every action has a keynote; let Christ be that note, to which your whole life is attuned.   – Henry Drummond

If you feel like maybe your strength quotient is not where it needs to be, check the plug.  If you are unplugged, you will not have power – strength.  The outlet is always good, but sometimes the plug wiggles loose – and sometimes the cord frays and that’s a really bad problem to have.

 We faintly hear, we dimly see,
In differing phrase we pray;
But dim or clear, we own in Him
The life, the truth, the way.
– John Greenleaf Whittier

Have you ever been afraid you’d mess something up if you jumped in and tried to lend a hand?  Well, I am a complete klutz in the kitchen.  When we joined a local Southern Baptist congregation a few years ago, they were in need of help in the kitchen on Wednesday nights, preparing the mid-week meals.  I can’t slice a tomato without cutting my finger!  My husband and I reluctantly agreed to help – and it wasn’t too bad.  I am happy to report I still have all ten of those digits (which is good because I need all of them to play the piano).

My no-nonsense mother used to say, “Make yourself useful.”  It referred to clearing the table or taking out the trash.  But as my ability to be useful expanded, so did the opportunities.  Add something to a meeting, a party, or a project.  Being useful is so widely applicable and enormously satisfying.  – Kelly Corrigan

We really cannot accomplish anything without Christ – the source – providing the strength and wisdom to us.  His ways are not only higher than our ways, but most of the time they leave me saying, “Wow, Lord – I never would have thought to do it THAT way!”  He comes up with the most creative solutions for life’s speed bumps!  Thank You, Jesus!  🙂

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORYTraditionally, people had to enter the church building in order to hear God’s Word preached in 1865.  That changed one day when William Booth was invited to hold a series of evangelistic meetings in the East End of London.  It was a tent meeting in a Quaker graveyard.  The services were an instant success.

His popularity as a religious leader spread throughout London and he attracted followers who were dedicated to fight for the souls of men and women.

Drunkards, thieves and prostitutes were among the first converts to Christianity.  He preached the gospel message of hope and redemption, his goal of course was to lead people to Christ and get them involved in a church for further spiritual guidance so they could grow in their new faith.

In the spring of 1879, the newly named Salvation Army in London was very small and all the workers knew each other personally.  Eliza Shirley, a 16-year old, joined the Christian Mission and was appointed as an evangelist at one of the “stations.”  At first, her parents were skeptical.

Eliza’s father was an experienced silk weaver and sought employment in the United States.  He found work in Philadelphia and sent for his wife and daughter.  Eliza expressed her desire to begin a work in America after hearing from her father how ungodly Americans were.  She got permission from General Superintendent William Booth, and the rest, as they say, is history!

The Salvation Army came to the United States.  Eliza began the work with Booth’s blessing.  Captain Elijah Cadman, her superior officer, gave her 100 penny song books to take with her.  Little is Much when God is in it!

When they reached Philadelphia, Eliza’s mother shared her desire to begin Army work.  They walked and prayed for an affordable meeting place, settling on an abandoned chair factory.  The whole Shirley family worked together to get the place cleaned up and ready for the opening meeting.

They put up posters announcing “TWO HALLELUJAH FEMALES.”  They didn’t have any standard uniforms, drums, or any of the usual bling that attracted crowds, but people flocked out of sheer curiosity to their open air meetings.  I’m sure the words used on those posters brought out the curiosity in folks…  lol.

The police told them they couldn’t gather out on the street anymore, so they found a vacant lot several blocks away, but no one followed their march to the hall.

God has the most creative way of providing for His own.  A tar barrel fire was set by some boys on their lot.  When the Shirleys saw the lot filled with people watching the firemen, they went ahead with the meeting!  Reddy, the worst drunk in the area, walked over to the hall.  Others followed him over just to see what would happen to him.  Well, Reddy was converted and the news not only reached the local papers, but people were burning up the phone lines spreading the news up and down the coast!  For once the gossip was a good thing.

The Salvation Army was becoming a household name.  Shortly after the Reddy conversion, the Shirleys opened up another hall in West Philadelphia.  Eliza’s father was given a choice by his employer to keep his job or keep the Salvation Army.  He chose to keep the Salvation Army and lost his job.

When General Booth became aware of the situation, he promoted the Shirleys to captain and promised to send George Scott Railton to America to take charge.

Eliza’s father died in a fatal accident a short time later, but Eliza and her mother continued in the work.

Eliza married Captain Philip Symmonds.  They had four children and a good long life.

Philip and Eliza retired in Chicago.  Eliza became an ardent fan of the Chicago Cubs.

I love this part of the story…

As Eliza was on her deathbed, the Cubs were in the final games of the World Series.  She was drifting in and out of consciousness, alternately praying and asking how the Cubs were doing.

When word came that Eliza Symmonds had been promoted to glory, there was a moment of silence in the stadium in honor of this gallant lady.

https://youtu.be/3KnOfYVkCQk

Little is much when God is in it…  if you go in Jesus’ name.  🙂

WORLD CARD MAKING DAY

TL 10-4 WORLD CARD MAKING DAY

 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. – Ecclesiastes 9:10

Do you enjoy being crafty and making a friend’s day? So do I! Today is WORLD CARD MAKING DAY, so let’s get busy making some happy cards!

How cute is that? It’s a real birthday candle!

I like this get well card! I’m sure receiving this would put a smile on my face!

Nowadays there are many methods to create cards of all types! Stamps and ink, punches and other ways to cut shapes, or maybe like me, you want to make your cards digitally. There is no right or wrong way to make a card and the type of card you make is limited only by your imagination!

I’ve never made an interactive card before, have you?

I like to make Thanksgiving cards. I’m so thankful for my friends and like to make them something special to let them know I care about them. I’m not sure if I could do all the drawing for this, but I’d be willing to try this:

How about sending some Thanksgiving Blessings?

Fall is the time of year we begin to think about warmth and nothing catches my eye faster than a cozy quilt. I don’t know how to make a quilt, but I think I could do this cute card:

There are literally TONS of ideas for cards of all kinds on the internet. Pinterest alone can keep you busy searching for just the right idea!

Oh – take a look at this one. I think I could even do this!

So many cute ideas! Get a group of friends together and start making some cards today! I’m sure you can think of someone who could use a handmade card just from you. Many years ago my pastor told me that when you give a gift, it reflects your personality. It’s the same principle with a handmade card. That card is something you took time to make especially for someone. When you take time – time you will never get back – to show someone how special they are, it means a great deal. Have fun making cards today! 😀