Stepping Out

I did something yesterday I’ve never done before. I joined in a craft show for a worthy cause. I like trying something new be it food or adventure… just nothing too high (sky-diving isn’t on my list)!  This time, however, I was alone and had no idea what I was doing (procedure, decorum etc..) I just gathered stuff I like to make and showed up. It was a $25 investment to sit at a table and sell (9am-6pm). I was so incredibly nervous about my hodge-podge of crafty stuff. I’d rather give things away than see them “judged” for monetary value. I had no idea what to even charge!

The room was large and (major gulp) everyone there was organized and professionally decked out. My table had no covering or display boxes stacked. Clearly these women had done this before. I chose 3 categories to lay on the table (jewelry sets I make, personalized house paintings I create to raise money for Hope Unlimited Ministries and my good ‘ol Tee Shirt Quilts).  I smiled, but people walked all the way around, as in avoidance of, my table. This was not working out well.

I got up and decided to meet all the other vendors. Smart and focused these ladies had pretty amazing businesses going. It was fun to visit and listen to each one. I finally returned to my forlorn table and proceeded to cut out tee shirts, one by one for the next quilt order. At least my time would not be waisted. Then it dawned on me that if shoppers wouldn’t come to me, I would just go to them. I gathered my stack of business cards and proceeded to meet everyone in the room. I kept the focus on my Tee Shirt Quilts and was simply overwhelmed by the response!

After 30 mins I had given out every business card I brought and already had 3 people ready to drop off tee shirts the next week. A great meet-up place for said drop-off is our Law Firm (I’m back working everyday), so a few cards went out for Will & Estate needs as well. That morning I had asked God to go with me and help me and was encouraged by the verse: Walk by faith and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Cards gone, quilt squares cut out, new friends made, I packed up and headed home early. I don’t know if I’ll do this again, but it was an interesting experience. God certainly came through. I did walk by faith and He helped me to step up.

ForGlorySake! -AnnaIMG_2802

 

 

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Old Dog, New Tricks

So… our out-of-state college kid came home this summer and whipped us into shape! He’s been away studying hard, working out and returned all buff and muscular. Enthusiasm  must be contagious because he’s motivating some “older” dogs ( I won’t name names) around here to eat healthier and lift weights. Leave it to the Chemical Engineer to research and lay out the facts. I discovered I didn’t (nor have EVER) eaten enough calories to sustain my basic body functions (BMR) while providing enough to adequately fuel my exercise habits. He explained I was starving myself. This lack of “macro nutrients” was severely slowing my metabolism down. As much as 40% Yikes! David’s data was not much better. We are both in a “metabolic recovery” phase now:)

I also learned that while aerobic exercise (like running) is good, it only elevates the metabolism for 60 minutes, while weight resistant exercises (lifting, pushing, pulling weights) elevates the old sluggish metabolism for 48 HOURS. Go weight-lifting! So, as “macro-nutrients” definitely include carbohydrates… I’m no longer cutting those like I was and I’m on to “clean eating.” See, I told you a new thing would appear.

Still -no white flour, no white sugar, we are trying for everything in its most natural form. I’m back to the old homeschool days when I was grinding our wheat (love my Whisper Mill!) to make muffins and even cookies. I use coconut oil and raw cane sugar or honey to sweeten. At the store, I saw Stevia mixed with raw sugar for baking, but haven’t tried that yet. So far so good, with passing the taste test and getting these items into the lunch bags. School started here and I’m back to work. It helps me when we are all on the same page. I love it when everyone gets on board.

So that’s the update on the health front. School is back in swing, my work responsibilities are increasing and our 20 year old, newly married son is now an EMT – pretty cool. I pray for God to use us daily and that we will all stay strong and healthy to be useful in whatever He calls us to do! Thank you research-kid, may this help others looking for a few new tricks.

Here’s a link to discover your Macro needs: http://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/

ForGlorySake! Anna

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Figs from our tree…

 

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Wonderful Season of Life

Raising adult children is so… different. Different from when they were little- that’s for sure! With our kids 14-25, the people that come through our house are independent thinkers and doers! They are not the little children that once needed us to tell them what to do. They have thoughts, plans, hopes and dreams that belong to them alone.

I like hearing what’s been going on (developing) in their minds; all the opinions being formed. At times I have cringed -at other times I’ve melted. They’re learning to think for themselves. They are becoming their own unique people.

Not everything has gone according to “plan”… very little actually. They have differed from us on likes and dislikes, music, dress, schedules and sometimes hot topics like religion and politics. But it’s OK! David and  I have wanted God (especially) to be their own personal God and not just some tradition they learned from us.

It’s scary to let kids go and become. It’s scary sometimes to see them experiment and test ideas. It can be difficult to listen with mutual respect (!) to their “opinions of the month.” We have had great discussions with our kids that sometimes ended with agreeing only that we love each other and that loving others should be our #1 goal.

My favorite thing is that they call us out on our stuff. They’re watching, weighing, deciding… and it helps us be honest. We as parents are  pushed to re-evaluate. I love them more for seeing another side of an issue. I admire their heart that’s developing.

If you’re surrounded by little ones, you need to know life wiIl open up Big and wonderfully through the eyes of your children. It’s an amazing adventure I wouldn’t trade for anything. It will challenge all of your diplomatic skills, but it is a wonderful season of life!!!

ForGlorySake! -Anna



A few of the kiddos we love….

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Eyes to See

My precious pig-tailed girl filled a bucket with shells. It seemed that her little hands picked up everything she saw. At 6, I knew she meant to take each piece back home to Atlanta…. adding to the growing pile accumulating at our beach rental. 

Running to me holding up one more broken fragment of a shell, I gently suggested, “How about you only keep the pretty ones.” She turned her surprised green eyes upward and said, “This is pretty, Momma… you just can’t see it.”

Truer words were never spoken. As I swam in the ocean yesterday with this very same, nearly grown, young woman, I was reminded again of that day more than 10 years ago. How quick have I been to pass by and not notice beauty – God’s beauty? Whether in a person, or a day, or even an experience. 

Sometimes I need help to see all the priceless moments I’ve been given. Life is a gift, not something to get through, but something to unwrap. Monday’s that feel like drudgery,  unexpected interruptions, mundane chores, meeting someone new. All of these offer potential beauty if I will accept them as gifts from God… if  only I’ll look for His blessing.

God give me Your eyes to see all the pretty shells ❤️

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

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Renewal

I’m about to relish the last day of our annual trip… just me and my sweetheart. ❤️❤️❤️ Every year we try to get away without the children for a little honeymoon. What started about 10 years ago as a weekend, has grown by weeks. I can’t tell you how much it does for us!

Our only “rules” are that we pray daily to have fun and laugh and love. Work is put on hold, but we still have time for keeping up with kids, clearing out email as needed, reading and sometimes watching a movie. Together is the theme; remembering to notice what makes the other one smile is a goal. 

It takes practice -being friends and staying married. For us, uninterrupted time together has been key. Whenever we have asked God to help us get away He has. Whenever we have asked Him for help drawing us closer and having fun in the midst – He has. 

I remember long days in the hospital for several years, when David couldn’t take a break because of surgeries… even then, God answered our prayers with some small joy and a deeper love for each other. 

Our Father is for marriage! He’s a big ‘ol Romantic and a bigger sucker for a happy ending than I am (if it’s ok to call Him that). I love Him to pieces for it! I couldn’t imagine trying marriage without His divine assistance😉

 The lessons offered in the letters in Revelation are really helpful for marriage. God is serious about 1st Love!

“But you walked away from your first love—why? What’s going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen? … “Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste….” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭2:4 ‭The Message

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  
Going for 28 more…

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Winning the Faith Battle

What does it mean – God is faithful? …Will everything workout like I pray? …How can I tell He really cares if circumstances don’t change? …How can I know He’s listening if I don’t get what I want?  Why does He let me suffer?

Faith to believe is a lifetime affair. It’s a battle of the whits won moment by moment. Can I trust God? Will He prove faithful to me? Can He still do all the Bible says He can do? These are great faith questions -all having the answer, YES.

Then why doesn’t He do it? Today! For me? I’ve Certainly asked these things more than once! Slowly, slowly I have come to the realization that it’s just not all about me. It has taken time to see for myself,  that there’s a BIGGER plan and I’m only a piece of the puzzle. 

When my prayers haven’t been answered the way I prayed, I’ve needed large doses of scripture reading, crying out my woes to God and usually relying on another’s faith to encourage me, “Keep holding tight through the darkness.”

 Winning a right attitude can be an enormous challenge. When chaos strikes, It’s so hard for me to look past the “whys” (especially if someone I love is in pain). Peace has come little by little…. a surrendering of my will for His. It starts with a day by day choice (with the small stuff). 

I’ve always had to choose – it wasn’t just magic.

Reading God alone can see the whole picture, that He never loses control, nothing throws Him or surprises Him, He’s never overwhelmed, …only that He knows. He’s always known.

He is God and there Is NO OTHER! 

My Creator, my Savior, Jesus, teach us to let go and trust in Your infinite wisdom. And for what You do not change, when we ask…? The help to win the faith battle.

Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:14-17‬ ‭MSG‬‬

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

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True Beauty

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:30‬ ‭

Believe me when I tell you, I have been as vain as they come. It’s a daily battle, though, now much much easier. I have come so far from where I was! 

When I say vanity- Im not talking about “wow, I look amazing.” I’m talking about obsessive self-awareness. It’s the “all I can concentrate on is how I look” syndrome… good-bad-or ugly. Image obsessions (like many other obsessions) are funny things,  however, especially if your aim is to reach perfection. The truth is they don’t really ever deliver. It’s always an unattainable goal… totally illusive. 

This game, as your worst enemy, keeps changing the silly rules. With each woman you see (photo or otherwise) the stakes get higher -in one area or another. There’s always someone out there looking better on any given day! You strive and you work and think, “maybe now…” only to cross paths with someone (or thing) better. Then comes the wallowing in self pity.

And on the flip side? The ugly truth… the only way to feel better about yourself is to find someone behind you in this made-up race for perfection, compare, and inwardly gloat. 

For me, in the world of ballet, it became all-encompassing; paralyzingly. Even at 14 it was all about bodyshape. If I could not get the triple piroette or land the coveted dance role… I at LEAST wanted to look the part! 

As I starved my way to a “better me,” inside I raged and seethed with jealousy. Pretty, huh? This lasted long after I left the ballet barre and stage. Old habits die hard,.

Thank God, He was willing to kill me over this one! “Death to vanity” seemed to be the theme of His lessons for years to come. And I am ecstatically joyful to say He HAS renewed my heart and mind in Christ Jesus -just like He promised!  

I am a transformed self-obsessive soul. I’ve trained (with God’s help!) my mind to turn… no, RUN (!) to Him when any “old thought patterns” creep up. For me it’s life or death. I will not be ruled by jealousy and empty conceit. “There is grace for me, there is grace for her.” Something I say to myself often. And, “Lord, be my rear-guard”... when I’m feeling particularly vulnerable. 

I’ve tasted freedom and it is delicious!!! There is more to come and I aim to enjoy that as well.

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

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