Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Oldies but Goodies

Someone on a forum I'm on asked what our favorite passages of scripture are. I have a few that have meant a lot to me lately, so I thought I'd share here too.

2 Cor 2:15
"For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."

I just love the picture there... being to God the fragrance of Christ. It gives me chills. Can't you just picture God breathing us in and saying, "Aaah, my Son!" I love that.

Ephesians 3:17-19
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

This has been a favorite since the Lord showed me in a mighty way a few years ago how full and unconditional His love really is. I wrote a song based on this passage.

Habakkuk 3:17-19
"Though the fig tree may not blossom,

Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The LORD God [c] is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills."

This one is special to me just because of what I've been going through in life right now. It helps me to remember where my strength comes from and that even all of this stuff is not going right, YET I am to rejoice in him.

Romans 5:3-5
"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

Of course, I already blogged on this one here. But it's still a favorite, because I'm still living it!

Malachi 3:3
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver..."

God has shown me a lot about this concept as I've learned to work with silver. One of these days, I'll finish typing it up and share it here.

And finally...

Psalm 30:11-12
"You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever."

... because I know I won't be in this tough place forever.

So do you have favorites? What are they and why?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I've Got Maille

So tonight the man went to a co-worker's birthday bash and I decided to stay home and nurse my sore throat/achy body. I also took the opportunity to learn a new jewelry skill! The art of chain maille is ancient and frustrating beautiful. It's done by weaving little bitty rings together in a certain pattern. There are as many patterns to choose from as there are stars in the sky. Ok, so maybe not THAT many... but more than I could ever learn.

I decided to try one out. Of course, anytime I try something new with wire, I have to try it on my copper wire first because the sterling is so much more expensive. If I mess up with the copper, it's no big deal. If I mess up with the sterling, that kinda hurts! (Of course, messing up with the copper tonight hurt too, since I sliced my finger open... but that's neither here nor there.)

So here it is... a pair of earrings with a mother of pearl focal hanging from a chain maille weave. (Click for slightly larger photos.) I'm not entirely happy with it and might later on destroy it and use the mother of pearl pieces for something I like better. But for now, I'm happy and proud because I learned something new and (said in as corny a voice as I can muster) I've got maille!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Product Rave: Sip for the Cure

Once upon a time a fellow blogger and I (you KNOW who you are... *giggle*) talked about starting a new blog where we'd choose products to review and then blog about them. Somehow that never happened (yet! Are you still with me??) but once in a while I come across something I love love love and feel the need to share that love love love with you you you. (Wow, that was annoying. Sorry, sometimes I just can't help myself.)

A few weeks ago, mom and I were at World Market and I picked up a tin of some tea made by The Republic of Tea. I have tried a few of their flavors already and liked them, but this one jumped out at me particularly because of what it supports.

The Republic of Tea donates a portion of profits to the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for every tin of their Pink Grapefruit Green Tea it sells. Sure, 75 cents may not sound like much, but every little bit helps and to date, The Republic of Tea has donated over $550,000 to the Foundation through their Sip for the Cure program. Wow, that gets me all teary eyed. Since we just lost my granny to breast cancer, and I adore tea, I couldn't say no. I paid about $9 for my tin, which sounds pretty steep. However, the tin has 50 unbleached bags, so it's not too bad a deal.

I must say that not only does this tea support a good cause, it supports good flavor as well! The first sip I took, I thought, "hmm... this is alright." But the more I drank it, the more I loved it. I found a healthy light flavor (it's not bitter, like some green teas can be) with just the perfect hint of grapefruit. I honestly never thought grapefruit flavored tea could be good, but this really is.

I was drinking it last weekend while the man and I were watching a movie. I couldn't stop drinking it, and we all know what that leads too. Poor hubby had to keep pausing the movie. *grin*

So if you like tea, and more specifically like green tea, go out and give this one a try! Maybe you you you will love love love it too.

Thursday Thirteen #13

After someone said something a little insensitive to me last week, I almost posted something along these lines then. But, I decided to cool off first and now that I'm "over it" I thought it would make for an interesting Thursday Thirteen. I realize that most people are just trying to be helpful, but I also think most of the time people don't think before they speak. Infertility is a touchy subject and is very painful, and you never know who is touched by it since it's not normally a visible problem. I have chosen to share some of our struggles, but many choose not to... and thanks to more than a handful of insensitive people, I now know why. So, in honor of those of us who spent mother's day wondering about and perhaps mourning over the unknown futures of our motherhood, here are:

Thirteen things you shouldn't say to people having trouble conceiving (or just to be safe... anyone, really...)*

1. "Have you considered adoption??" Personally, YES, we have considered adoption and I plan to adopt someday regardless of whether or not we have biological children. However, why is that anyone's business unless I choose to make it their business? Sometimes it takes a little while to grieve the children you may never have. You have to be ready in SO many ways to adopt... emotionally, financially, mentally... Don't assume someone hasn't considered it, and don't assume they SHOULD consider it. Ever. Not everyone can or wants to, and that's okay.

2. "Just relax!!" If stress was a main cause of infertility, half the population would not be here. Relaxing will not fix infertility. Taking a "fertility cruise" or other such nonsense will not miraculously cause your body to grow a child. Not to mention, it's virtually impossible to relax when you find out you can't get pregnant as easily as you think you should and there are a million and one things you have to think of, and you live your life in two week increments. This is one of the most insulting things people can suggest to someone struggling with this issue. If only it were that easy.

3. "Maybe it will happen if it's God's will...
" For people who don't believe, it sounds crazy and downright mean. For those of us that do, it's just plain painful. Yes, I believe in the will of God and it's in His control. That, strangely, does not offer comfort. It really just reminds me of the fact that the Lord doesn't always truly give us the desires of our hearts (or at least not always in the ways we hoped and planned). Don't presume to know His will for my life, please. Thanks!

4. Any other Christian cliches, for that matter. "It's in His hands" "It will happen in His time" "Give it to Him" and on and on and on. I'm not a Christian cliche type of gal, obviously. If you want to offer religious comfort, pray with me and for me.

5. "Is your husband avoiding ______, ______, and ______? (Insert heat producing clothing items, activities, or possible fertility impairing consumables of your choice.)" Would you like to come over and make sure our house isn't baby-making-proof? And is it really your business what my husband wears under his pants?!

6. "My cousin's neighbor's aunt's dog sitter knew a woman who was having trouble conceiving her 3rd child and after nine long months of no luck, she tried ______ (Insert awkward, overly personal, didn't-want-to-know information here.) and she got pregnant! Have you tried that?" First, if you were pregnant with a successful pregnancy in any amount of time less than a year, you're not infertile and most people who really are don't want to hear your "advice". Be thrilled... it's not a club you want to join, believe me. Second, those who ARE infertile are usually obsessed with gaining information on the topic and have heard just about every "remedy" in the book (and off the books, even) and have probably tried them all at least 10 times, naively thinking that maybe... just maybe... they'll get lucky.

7. "If you would not have used birth control when you first got married, you wouldn't be having this problem now." I have no nice words to say about this one, and I hate birth control. It's nice how people that hardly know you love to diagnose your issues, whether they be physical or even supposedly spiritual. (As if God really punishes someone for using the evil hormonal pills by withholding the blessing of a child from them. Yes, people really believe this. I know... wow.)

8. "It might be because of your weight."
or "Maybe if you just lose/gain xx pounds, that will help!" It doesn't matter if you're skinny or fat, people love to ask if your struggles are because of it, one way or another. Unless you're my doctor or nutritional counselor, just don't go there.

9."Some women just aren't cut out to be mothers." This one hasn't been said to me, yet, but to others. I'm going to have to stop writing about this one now, in case there are little eyes reading my blog.

10. "You should be thankful you don't have a baby yet. Once you have one, you won't be able to _____ anymore!" (Insert whatever thing you can think of that is supposedly more important than a child. Yeah, when it's put it THAT way it's not so easy to say, is it?) Sadly, this one is most often said by mothers. Tell you what... I'll trade you my sleeping late, still hot meal, extra money, nice house, and childless vacations for your baby. Sound like a good deal? Didn't think so. Remember that next time you try and use this to "encourage" a struggling woman. Most of us would give the world to have cold meals and sleepless nights because of a child.

11. "Just stop trying, and that's probably when it will happen." Riiiiight. Nope, sorry, didn't work.

12. "So when are you going to have kids/make me a grandma/make me an aunt/uncle/great grandma/cousin??" or "Why aren't you pregnant yet??" It's bad enough when this question is asked when you don't know the person's struggles... once again, it's a very personal issue that is only your business if I make it your business. But once you DO know and you STILL ASK? Wow.

13. "HAVE YOU SEEN A DR???" Not everyone wants endless medical testing and expensive treatments that can promise nothing. Some choose the medical path, and that's fine. Others choose a more natural one, and that's fine too. Not everyone can afford medical intervention, and not everyone wants it. It doesn't mean one of us wants a baby more, or that she hurts less than the next woman. But don't ask. It's just rude.

So what CAN I say, you ask? In most cases, there's not much to say at all. Unless you've been there and honestly know what it's like, it's normally best to just support us with prayers, a shoulder to cry on, a voice to scream with, a passage of the Word that offers hope and encouragement, and (for those of us who don't mind it) hugs. People who offer their prayers and I KNOW they are really praying from the depths of their hearts bless me the most. Ask us what you can do to help, and most importantly, just be there when we need you.

*This is not directed at any one person.
If you have said these things to me or anyone else, just check yourself and move on with a resolution to do better next time.
For those of you who are my close friends and closest relatives, you know that you are exempt from (some of) this list.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Eat your heart out, Jeff Foxworthy

"If you spend half an hour trying to perfect a blog post about how much you love your big, ugly mole.... youuuuuu might be a redneck."

Roly Poly Holy Moley

I have a doctor's appointment coming up on Tuesday. I haven't had a regular old checkup in, oh, well it's been so long I can't even remember. It's no secret... I'm not a big fan of the doctors unless I'm sick. I only take medicine when it's absolutely necessary (or I'm getting a migraine, which if you've ever had one - or been near someone who had one and you realized your life was on the line if you stepped too close - you know that's pretty necessary!). But it's time I guess, and I need one of those well women's exams (which I've been avoiding because the last one I had a few years ago left me feeling like I had been violated and traumatized me so badly I haven't had one since) and I haven't built a relationship with our family doctor yet, so *sigh* off I go.

The main reason I'm going, however, is because I have some moles that are suspicious and scary. I've been avoiding them for years now, but I read an article on melanoma the other day and it got my rear into gear. I have two that have me worried. One HUGE one on my leg and one small one on my belly. The huge one is worrisome just because it's huge and apparently that's bad. The one on my belly is small, but has changed colors (from a nice honey brown to a pale tan/pinkish with a nice honey brown ring on the outside of half of it - just thought you'd enjoy the visual!) and apparently that's really bad.

The huge one on my leg is so huge it has its own freckles. Shoot, it probably has its own zip code. Got mail, mole? I'm thinking it will have to be removed. I'm thinking the small one will definitely be removed, so they can test it and make sure it's not going to kill me. But the big one, even if it isn't cancerous now, I guess is a risk and will probably have to go. I'm a little saddened by this. Huh? Losing a big, ugly mole is sad? Maybe I should back up. I've had this thing for as long as I can remember. Mom says I wasn't born with it, but I got it really soon after I was born. I've always called it my "birth mark" anyway, because, well, it's close enough and "birth mark" sounds SO much better than "ugly mole the size of your rear end". Granny tried to wipe it off of me one day because she thought it was chocolate. *giggle* Too bad she wasn't right! Chocolate is always good, whether it be on the leg or in the mouth. So anyway, I've had this thing forever, and I guess my childhood doctors were never concerned enough about it to remove it. If I could go back in time, and talk to them about it, I'd demand they remove it. It has given me nothing but grief!

I never felt pretty growing up. I was the only stick skinny, short, fair skinned, freckled faced redhead within a 200 mile radius and that combined with crooked teeth (which I still have, btw) and huge glasses (which I DON'T still have, btw) and being the "smart one" in my small private school made me feel like a freak. I was teased and never liked how I looked. The "birth mark" didn't help that at all. Plus, my mom used it as some weird marker to determine how short my shorts could be. If they were too much shorter than the mole, they were a no go! Maybe I should market that idea... "Need to teach your child modesty? Buy them a Texas-sized mole!" Sounds like a solid business plan, no?

So back to the feeling not pretty. The first time I felt even remotely attractive was when I met my first boyfriend, at age 17. Until he dumped me, he made me feel beautiful. I'll never forget him telling me how beautiful I was, (and he SPECIFICALLY mentioned my red hair - which was huge to me since I hated it so much back then) because it was the first time someone confirmed what my parents had been telling me all along - I was indeed pretty no matter how my idiot stuck up "friends" made me feel. It wasn't until we got out of that horrid little town and I went to college that I really started to appreciate how God made me and accept what I had and had not. Including the mole. Now, even though it is still ugly and still huge (and even though I no longer use it to determine the modesty of my clothes *giggle*) it's a part of me and I have learned to accept me, mole and all. So I'm a little sad to see it go. I've come to embrace it and even enjoy it for its uniqueness. The crooked teeth I'd love to change, but the mole? As much as I thought I'd jump at the chance to remove it, I really think I wouldn't mind keeping it... provided it won't kill me. But alas, I'm sure it will be removed. It's too much of a future risk if it isn't dangerous already.

If you'd like to remember me and my mole for our doctor appointment on Tuesday, prayers would be appreciated. The little multi-colored one really has me worried. Plus, I'm not looking forward to having ANY part of me cut off, whether I've come to embrace it or not. lol

Can silver hearts beat as one?

You remember the copper heart set I made a couple of weeks ago? Well, someone ordered it in sterling, so I thought I'd snap a photo and share before it's gone today. :o) Personally, I think I prefer the copper! Not only is the copper easier to work with, it stands out more. I do think the sterling would be fabulous with a colored stone though, such as jade, aventurine, RED jade (oooh... ok, I'm making myself one with those), turquoise, or even some kind of jasper. Anything that will stand out. The clear beads sort of get lost.

I learned a few things by making this sterling set. One, thick guages of sterling silver wire are great for making your hands sore. Two, I'm selling this set for WAY too little and my price will definitely go up when it's offered on our website. Three, electrical tape on the pliers works great for preventing tool marks for a little while, but then it just gets gummy. And four, don't try to learn your new hammer and anvil on a new and not yet perfected product. lol

Ok, now that it's all done and ready to go, and I have stayed up all night... I'm going to bed.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Flowers for you

I have a new hibiscus bush on my front porch. When I bought it, I didn't know what color the blooms would be. I was hoping for red, but ended up with pink blooms with a red middle. They're pretty anyway, so I thought I'd share! (And as a bonus, you get a photochopped hibiscus too.)

I bought it the day my granny passed away... which happened to be earth day as well. We also planted a mandarin orange tree in the back yard that day. I'm not entirely sure why I chose that day to work on a garden, but my granny always loved plants and this seemed like a nice way to honor life. I think I'd have 10 of these bushes if I knew where to put them. I adore them.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Itty Bitty Me

So you think I'm itty bitty, huh? Yeah, I guess I am. I'm just barely 5 ft tall and weigh quite a bit less than 100 lbs. I'm tiiiiny and always have been. Or have I?

I was actually a big baby!! 8 lbs, 7 oz and 21 inches long. I was also two weeks late. My poor momma. I don't think I've stopped tormenting her since then. ;o)

Here's itty bitty me back when I was chubby wubby!

I came out really red.

This must have been the start of my singing career:

Awww... doesn't this one just make you want to smell my little head? I want to smell my little head. Is that a marker for some weird psychological issue?

Happy baby!!! :o)

Here it's obvious that I was planning world domination with my diabolical cuteness. Good Lord, did you know they made carpet to match my hair?!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Another little note...

I just wanted to say that even in the face of all I haven't been blessed with, I am truly blessed by what I do have... namely, my husband.

He's so wonderful and I love him dearly.*

Thank you Lord, for bringing him into my life.
And thank you honey, for choosing to share it with me.

*Plus, he's such a cutie! ;o)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Just a little note...

... to apologize to my few faithful readers for not posting much of anything lately or participating in my favorite memes. I'm having a bit of a rough time, and haven't felt like I have much to say. These past couple of years have really done a number on me (for newer readers, that includes mostly dealing with issues in trying to get pregnant) and just when I think I'm getting better, I find out I'm wrong.

I could use your prayers if you'd like to offer them.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Mother's Day Giveaway

5 Minutes for Mom is at it again... and this time there are lots of cool prizes!! I have my eye on that Ipod for sure. ;o) As always, you do not have to be a blogger or a mom to play, so click the picture below to find out more and enter.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It's a set!

I decided my new bracelet was not complete without a pair of matching earrings, so here they are:

Now my man needs to take me out on the town so I can wear them! Oh, have I mentioned how proud I am and that they are totally hand made (even the part that goes in the ear!)? ;oP I think I hear a set in silver calling my name... what do you think? *grin*