Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Vision Forum Sale!

I know that many of you are Vision Forum fans, so I'm happy to share some good news with you!

This week, Vision Forum is having a HUGE sale. Almost everything on their website is at least 20% off. Yes, a TON of stuff is on sale!

But the BEST part (in my humble opinion) is that shipping is a flat FIVE DOLLARS for ANY order. No matter what you buy, how much you get, or how heavy it is. Five dollars flat. And that's important, because anytime I get a good sale online, the shipping always gets me. Ugh. But five dollars? I'd pay that for the smallest order, so why not take advantage of being able to get LOTS of items for only 5 dollars?

Now, surely there's something Vision Forum has that you can use for Christmas gifts. Do y
Linkou have G.A. Henty fans in your household? Little girls who love doll clothes? History buffs? Adventurous boys who love hats and knives and spyware? Go take a look!

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that if you go shop by clicking on this link, I will earn a small percentage of what you spend. But I still think it's a great sale. I mean, if you're going to get gifts anyway....why not get them now? :) :) :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Advice for the unmarried

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil." Proverbs 4:23-27

What do those verses mean to you?

Do you know what I think? I think God put those verse there especially for unmarried people. I think it's His solution to the crusade of crushes, flirting, daydreaming, castle-building, and discontentment that runs rampant in even our Christian circles. And even in our own lives, sometimes.

I mean - think about it: it's all there.

Vs. 23 - Guard your heart. Use diligence. Why? Because that's where your life source is. That's where who you are stems from. And you want it to be pure and good and focused solely on Christ.

Vs. 24 - Don't speak boldly and flirtatiously. In fact, don't say anything that could be counted as unfitting to a disciple of Christ. Put such things far away from you. Let it be completely out of character for you to be boisterous and loud and giggly and attention-grabbing.

Vs. 25 - Let your eyes be focused on one thing, and one thing only: Jesus. Let Him be your life and your goal, and your source of happiness. Keep your vision fixed on where He is, and where He wants you to be. Remember eternity. Look at life through His eyes, through His perspective. Don't get distracted.

Vs. 26 - Think about where you're going. Think about who you are. Don't wander into situations that you will regret later. Don't let life just happen to you; you have a purpose and a calling. Follow it. Follow Him. Let your habits and your life be rooted in godliness and obedience. Seek after wisdom with all your heart. Walk with your eyes open.

Vs 27 - Don't give in to temptation. Don't get distracted. When you wander off the path, forsake the byways quickly. Run from sin like you would a poisonous snake. Embrace truth, and walk with the knowledge that the path God has set for you - and His timing and His plan - is the absolute best.

See what I mean?

It's all there.

Nice of our Heavenly Father to put it so concisely, wasn't it?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sewing Project: My Banquet Dress

Back in September, I had the privilege of being part of a banquet for our local pregnancy center. The event was quite posh, and all the ladies involved wanted to be sure we dressed our best. I used the occasion as an excuse to make a dress I've been planning for awhile. I had the fabric, and the general idea of what I wanted.

I was quite pleased with the result. Mom says it's her favorite out of everything I've ever made - and she isn't hard to please, but that still means something.

So here's how the design process went...

First, I dreamed. Then I selected my base pattern. It wasn't this one exactly, but very similar:

The dress had the same lines; princess seams, flared near the knee, knee-length (though I made mine a few inches longer), built-in sleeves, etc.

I had the fabric already; a shimmery navy. I bought the whole bolt (5 yds.) at WalMart, for $5.00. It's so cheap they don't even tell you what it's made of, but it feels like good quality stuff.

I cut the pattern out exactly as called for. (Gasp!!!!) I've discovered which size I am, and - sure enough - this dress fit perfectly right "out of the box" at the size I cut it. (I know, I'm so terribly blessed. I can cut a pattern at one size, and not have to alter it! I should use patterns more often.)

So, this is what it looked like after I sewed the main seams:

Please ignore the mess of my sewing shelves and table. I always have a dozen projects going on at once.

I liked the basic lines, but this look just didn't quite "cut it" for me. I wanted something more.

So I added a sheer shimmery layer on top, and a pleated waistband (which took forever to make, but was so worth it).

And the end result?

Much better.

This dress fits me like a dream, covers everything no matter how I move, and makes me feel like a princess. I LOVE it. It was worth the 10 hours it took to make.

It was worth the $15.00 I spent on materials, too. :) :) :):) :) :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Generational sins

Today I keep thinking of a saying my Pastor repeats quite often.

"What you do in moderation, your children will do in excess."

I caught myself doing a vain thing, and excused myself by saying, "It's all in moderation."

Then that saying came back to haunt me.

"What you do in moderation, your children will do in excess."

Do I want my (Lord willing) future children to copy me in everything?

Um...gulp...no. Most things, yes. Everything? No. I shiver at the thought. They can copy my strengths all they like, but I hope they don't inherit my weaknesses.

But, "What you do in moderation, your children will do in excess."

So...do I want my vanity to become full-blown arrogance and pride in my children? No.

Do I want my private longings to become open selfishness in my children? No!

Do I want my stingy giving to become greed?

Do I want my "independence" to become rebellion in my children?

Will "indulgences" become addiction to entertainment?

Will sarcasm become cutting words?

Somehow I want to make excuses for myself, but I want my children to be perfect. Looking at things from the perspective of several generations makes everything more serious. I can understand why people say that when you become a parent, all of the sudden you grow up. When you realize that the health of your child's soul depends a great deal on you,...it makes a difference.

Lord, grant me grace to live in such a way that I can say, "Follow me as I follow Christ!"