Monday, September 26, 2011


You might think that title is referring to some spiritual quality, but today it has to do with crafting. After my confidence was boosted after learning to gather fabric and learning to sew a stretchy stitch, I have now progressed to making garments.
Baby doll garments.
They are like regular clothes, but in miniature.
Baby Rosy, shown here in her pink dress, needed some new clothes and I was up for the challenge. So I gave the pink dress a quick look over, looked at some patterns online and then decided to wing it with no pattern. Too cheap to print them off.
So I eye-balled, it came up with a pretty decent looking dress (for my first try ever). Professional sewers, do not read further, you may gag.
First off, my first button-holing experience was a bit dramatic leaving the area around the button hole a bit frayed looking. Overall however, I think it turned out okay.
New techniques I used: button-hole foot & stitch, finishing a raw edge without a serger, and sewing in a circle for sleeves. All very interesting and not nearly as overwhelming as I thought they would be.
I finished the dress in about 4 hrs, but next time it won't take so long. At least an hour of that was trying to figure out how to get my button-hole stitch to work properly. Thank you Brother manual for such good pictures.
Oh, and it turns out that baby doll dress sleeves are too small to fit over the end of my machine's sewing platform thingy, so I had to hand-stitch them on. Still, they turned out fairly well too. Although I'm not sure they would hold up if I were to wash it in my washing machine, they will hold up okay being played with.
I wish I could say the same for my first button hole. It may not last, but if it totally falls apart, I will just sew on some velcro strips, since I think my 2 year old would appreciate them better. I've already caught her trying to rip the dress off while almost ripping the single button off in the process.
Velcro is probably in this dress's future.
My final quirk that will be fixed on my next dress. I forgot to cut a neck scoop. Look at how the neck portion stretches almost straight across the poor dolls neck. If this were a real dress, I guarantee my kids would hate it. So note to self, next time cut a neck scoop.
And there you have it, my first garment of miniature. Look how happy Baby Rosy looks.

By the way, do you recognize that polka dot fabric Martha, it is from your blessing of scraps you donated to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Being Crafty doesn't come Cheap.

Sometimes it is cheaper to make things than it is to buy them new, but I have been finding that some things are still cheaper to buy pre-made from the store. Seriously, like quilts, unless you find all the material at 50% off and stockpile a ton of it over the course of the next few months, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars for fabric. You will spend that much at least if you plan to quilt a blanket big enough to cover a real size bed, even for just a twin. I've looked, fabric is not cheap.
A glimpse of my own little crafting space. In my closet.
Like it, check out more about it here.

Another project that is turning out to be not so cost effective for me right now - crocheting a blanket for my daughter's twin bed. By the time I'm done I probably will have spent over $50. That is even with me only buying the yarn when it goes on sale. (you can get yarn cheaper, but it is crap and all scratchy and pills up when you wash it, don't go cheap with yarn if you want it to last)

Lastly, scrapbooking and cardmaking. By the time you buy the stickers/embellishments, papers, and tools, you will have spent way more than you would if you had just gone to the dollar card rack at Walgreen's Pharmacy.
So why do I still craft?

Because handmade is special and making your own stuff is memorable and a form of good pure enjoyment. Sure, I spent like $50 bucks to crochet my daughter's blanket, but when she asks about it when she is old enough to appreciate it fully, I can proudly say that I made it. The project itself has also provided me with a lot of spare-time entertainment. I can watch the prayer room and crochet and sing to the Lord all at the same time. It is truly glorious.

So then why am I making my huge quilt? That will not be cost effective either, will it?
Well this particular quilt is being made out of scraps that have been donated to me over time. I think I've only spent maybe $20 on a few extra fat quarters of fabric. So even though this blanket will fit my King size bed, it will have been achieved at hopefully very little cost to me.
Most quilts however do not end up being so cheap. My last quilt, big enough to suit a toddler bed, I spent over $100 on the fabric, and that was after using my 50% off coupons at Joann's. Still, it is beautiful and my first half way decent looking one. I will treasure it always.

Scrapbooking is another memorable one. Nothing says special like handmade memories set in stylish papers and embellished with love.
Card making is less memorable, because in my opinion a card is only as memorable as what is written in it. A card that is simply sent to a loved one is appreciated for the moment, but is later discarded, but if it has a memorable and loving message handwritten inside, it tends to be cherished longer. So who really cares what is on the outside of the card? Wouldn't it just be cheaper to buy one at the dollar rack at Walgreens?
Well, for most people I would say yes, go to the dollar rack, but if you are also a scrapbooker, then you already have most of what you need to make cards also, so make a few and save that dollar. That is me, the savvy card maker, using scraps from my scrapbooks....most of the time.
Why am I even writing this post?

As a possible rant against all the other crafts that are not cost effective. Like wreath making or silk flower arrangements. I can go buy a silk flower arrangement already made at Big Lots for half the cost of making my own. I can buy my own beautiful wreath already made at Michael's for cheaper than I can buy all the materials to make my own. Unless of course you are use to shopping for these items at places like Crate&Barrel or PotteryBarn, then making your own might be cheaper.
But again, that is not me, I am not the Crate&Barrel, PotteryBarn kind of girl - although I do enjoy looking at their catalogs for inspirations. Still, I can do most of what they do in their catalogs for half the price! It is my opinion that their market must be to the creatively challenged or the extra-time challenged (as in no time to create).

Here are a few more crafts that I find are not cost effective....making your own clothes, painting, crocheting/knitting (even though I do enjoy it enough to fork out the dough), and jewelry making.
Perhaps I have been living in a thrift-world-sort-of-reality for far too long, but I just can not digest the idea of forking out $40 for anything I might want to wear, let alone spend that much to make my own which will take up my time also.

You know what, I think I should just stop there. What is the point of all this rant? My main point has been stated.
It costs a lot to craft! People should craft because they like to craft, not because they think they can make things cheaper than they can buy them in the store.

It is a huge misconception: Don't buy it, you can make it for less.
Most of the time that is a false statement, but one I have fallen into often.

I grew up with a dad that had that as his motto for saving money. Remember those topsy-turvey pony-tail things that easily helped you to flip your ponytail back through itself to make a cool yet simple hairdo. Well I wanted one when I was in grade school and my dad was convinced he could make it. I love my dad, only a man who truly loved me would have went to so much trouble. He was convinced they were a rip off, that they were cheaper to make than what was being charged.
So he found an old ink pen, hot glued a piece of weed whip cord looped into the empty pen and there you have it, a home-made topsy-turvey ponytail thingy. However, the hot glue came loose the first time I used it and it has forever been a joke in our home.  Love you dad, most dads would have just said, "no, we don't have the money right now for that new-fangled thing," but no, you went the extra mile and tried to make what I wanted and although it didn't work, I love you for it.

Back to my point though. Most of the time you can not make what you want for cheaper.
When I realized this, I wondered if I should quit crafting, but to me that felt like I was saying I should stop breathing. So I craft, but with the full knowledge that it is just for fun.
If the store you are looking in is too expensive, don't fool yourself into thinking you can make it for less. Some other store, probably on the wrong side of the tracks, has already thought of that, and they are creating what you want in bulk for half the price you would spend on the supplies. So go on, check out the thrift stores, the discount stores, the less than trendy stores. You will find a smorgasbord of less than perfect and total knock offs of what you were just ogling in that high end store.
I've been there, I've done that! I only go to the trendy, high end stores for things I need in quality (like shoes & bras), and to get inspiration for what I want to look for in the low end and thrift stores.
So, I end with, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle........................and Craft if you must.
I do :-)
By the way, here is my next crafty project, a wreath
made of old book pages.
I can hardly contain my excitement.
Want to make one too, check out the tutorial here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Music Memories

Yesterday was a very cool day for me. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary happened, I just felt....different. It was rainy outside, and so I talked myself into doing laundry. The girls played in my room and around me as I did my cleaning in the midst of laundry time.
We played, we picked up and then it was time for lunch. I put Kalei to bed, she didn't sleep, so I laid with her for a bit. Kinsey wouldn't sleep either, so Ken took her for a walk. My house was peaceful and I was peaceful....on the inside. Nothing could ruffle my feathers, no circumstance could mess with me.
I know this peace, I remember the times I've felt it before. It is supernatural grace, and I love the way it makes me feel. I'm a better mom, wife, cook, housekeeper, friend, and daughter when I am feeling that overwhelming grace.
Like I said, nothing really ruffles my feathers when I'm feeling it.
Does that mean that I don't still have kids that bicker and fight, or that I suddenly love cleaning my floors or folding what feels like endless loads of laundry? No, it just means that I don't feel hopeless or without purpose when I'm dealing with all those things. It means I have this inner peace and I feel overwhelmingly connected to the Lord, so that everything I do, no matter how boring, feels as though it has been seen by Him personally (which is always the case, even when I don't feel His affectionate eye upon me).
We (as Christians) all know the scriptures that tell us that He is the God who sees, but there are those days where you KNOW He sees you, and so you are completely confident in all you are doing.....nothing ruffles your feathers.
Has anyone ever felt this way? I know I wish I felt this way more often, but it is usually just a passing gift, a reminder that what I'm doing is important.
Once you've experienced it though, you recognize it quicker the next time so you can savor every moment. I'll never forget the first time I noticed that I was feeling the supernatural grace. I just kept thinking to myself "I should be freaking out right now, but I feel so peaceful and calm" or I would think, "I should be offended at this, but I'm not, it's fine." It was a bizarre new reality for me.
So, I finished up my night with listening to some Josh Garrels music (Love & War & the Sea in Between), one of my favorite artists. It was then that I felt as though I was even more connected to the Lord. He was now more than the God who sees, He was the God who was listening to my heart sing to Him and He was more than just a friendly bystander, He was tangible in the room.
Just writing about this I feel as though I sound insane. I promise you though, this is how it felt, and I've been loving the Lord for a while now, so I know these things are genuinely true. He really is this personal when you seek Him for a relationship.
So I was just siting at my computer playing Spider Solitaire (not terribly spiritual) and singing Josh Garrels music to the Lord. The words were like a drink offering being poured out of my heart, and I felt like I was joined to an ancient Power (probably because I am) in a deeply personal way. (to draw a human type parallel, I would say it felt maybe like I had been commissioned by Donald Trump to paint a picture for him, but he came to my house to sit in my kitchen while I painted it....poor attempt, but I had to try and explain it further.)
Then it was time to go and so I grabbed the ipod, which I never do and drove to small group, still listening to Josh Garrels, this time the Jacaranda album. It kept up, the connection I mean. I was technically driving in the end of rush hour traffic, and yet I cruised down the back roads only driving the speed limit. The people behind me were probably upset, but I just couldn't rush it.
Small group was awesome.
But when I was back in the car with the ipod it was even enhanced by my time in small group (we had been talking about God given dreams and desires in our hearts). I rolled down the windows and let the wet rainy air come in while I lifted my voice even more. Kinsey was probably a bit puzzled as to why I was singing so loud to seemingly no one, but she is probably use to that by now. I sing a lot in the privacy of my own home, quite loudly.
Seriously though, this will be one of those music memories in my mind. There are a few of those memories that have stuck with me over the years. Probably the one that was the most powerful, ranking above this one even, was one I had as I flew into the Chicago O'hare airport from our New York City mission trip. It was a very cloudy day, so as we flew in over the Michigan lake, and there was this magnificent classical piece playing on the headphones. I love classical music.
Then we started to descend out of the clouds. At first all I could see were glimpses of the bluish green water below us, but all around us were clouds, then we came lower. Out the window I could see the forms of clouds near to us and farther off too, in layers that hid us, and then the water started to appear in bigger patches. The music was magical as I watched the water come more and more into view and the clouds began to drop away from us, and then we were out of them, and the thick clouds were a low ceiling above us and the water was an amazing expanse of greens and blues. Then as we banked toward the airport, I caught a glimpse of the city skyline in the haze after a thunderstorm. It was all so beautiful and surreal. All the while, the beautiful, ethereal music is playing in my headphones and I felt like I was a part of some heavenly realm for a moment. Or in some beautiful movie at least, where the music fits the breathtaking scenes being shown in slow motion.
I will never forget that music or the way it made me feel inside.
Cumulus clouds,
these are what we flew through.

Photo courtesy of NationalGeographic stockphotos.
Just like I will probably not forget the way the music made me feel last night.
It makes me want more and more of this Grace to come in and shine on me. It really is better than chocolate or caffeine combined.....

Side note: I think this kind of Grace is very much available to all people who love Christ, but I also know that I usually get it when I have been pressing in harder than normal. When I say pressing in, for me that looks like....praying in tongues a lot more than usual (maybe going from 5 min a day to 15 min a day), reading my Bible regularly and praying about what I've read, putting myself in places that I can receive sound Biblical teaching (more than just on Sundays), and worshiping in my home. I've also just recently added one day a week where I am trying to fast food. I'm not pregnant, so it is a good season to do so. I got to say, I'm not doing great at it, but the Lord sees my efforts and it all counts.
So just know that it isn't how good you can do all these things that awards you the Grace, it is just your effort in pursuing more of the Lord. He gives you more eventually, and it is always more than you expected. So keep pressing onward for the prize!

*disclaimer: All the things I do to press in are not on a daily basis. I am a busy mom, but when I do find time, I find it is easy to fall into time-waster tasks instead; like playing on the internet or watching a movie or sleeping. I have found that doing the things that don't come to me naturally when I have time, result in a touch from the Lord. Example: when I want to watch a movie, I've learned now that it could be better to watch the prayer room and crochet for a while. If I'm too tired to watch the prayer room, then I'm too tired to watch a movie. But don't get me wrong, I still watch plenty of movies, I just try to balance it with plenty of prayer room time also.
Be blessed!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Reading Romans

I'll be honest, I use to really dread reading through the book of Romans. I like Paul, don't get me wrong, but that book was just hard to get. All that 'shall we do this, no!' stuff was really confusing to me. I finally asked Ken what it was all about - I'm good if I can look at the big picture first, then I can pick out the pieces as I find them and fit them into that big picture and it all makes more sense.

It is a love letter to the Gentile people, about how the Lord has extended His grace and mercy and even blinded the eyes of His beloved people to make a way for us (the Gentiles). He teaches about faith and a righteousness that leads to holiness.
It is really good, now that I get it all. Tonight, I prayed before I started reading it because I wanted to see the fullness of what is there. I'm telling you, you can't go wrong if you pray before reading scriptures. He always points out something that gets me all worked up. Well tonight it wasn't just one thing. It was the beautifully orchestrated history that led up to Christ dying for our sins. It was all the arguments that Paul makes for the power of faith and grace. It was like knowing you were looking at a big masterpiece, but for the first time stopping to look at all the fine details and have on 3-D glasses that make it all sort of jump out at you.
Wow. It was really that good tonight.
I've been having some of those moments lately. Where the Lord's power and sovereignty and beauty are just so real and tangible.
The other night while I was quilting (seriously I was sewing blocks together with my machine humming and drumming) while worshiping and I started singing a song that was pretty well known. Then I just started making up a love song to God.
I am not a singer, remember, I'm the girl who can barely clap and sing at the same time. My vocal range is horrid, and yet here I was sitting in my room singing out a song to God and I got to say, it wasn't half bad. At least all the lines made sense and my voice seemed to stay on key (I think).
It was just so beautiful though to sing and know that God was right there listening to me. He was hand feeding me the words, and I was singing them back to Him and I could feel His pleasure. How simple and yet so satisfying.
I know that is essentially what they do in the prayer room, but this was my first time leading the chorus in the privacy of my bedroom. It was exhilarating. I wish I could remember all the words that I was singing, but it was spontaneous, so I didn't write them down.
All I sort of remember was singing something about 'you take my mundane and make it beautiful and complete in you," or something like that at least. There was lots more, I just can't quite remember.
Again I sigh.
So why am I even writing about this? Because I know I am nothing special. If I can have these sorts of encounters, a mother of two who is home most of the time doing mommy sorts of things, then the rest of His people can have things like this too! You just have to want it and welcome it and put yourselves out there to receive it.
I tell you what too. Once you've had a few of these little tastes of His tangible goodness, you are gonna be hooked! I'm actually considering what and where I can meet with Him next because I'm so much more hungry for Him now that He's touched me just that little bit. First with the spontaneous song, and now with the scriptures coming alive.
I'm feeling prepared to go out of my wake up on time so I can read tomorrow, or not take a nap so I can be with Him, or not check my facebook, so I can have my mind be more focused on the Spirit.
Those sorts of wild crazy ideas (or not so crazy).
I want to also point out that Ken and I are in a crazy season right now, when we are rather desperate for the Lord to lead and guide us in what He has called us to in South Carolina. We are stretched thin by all kinds of circumstances, and yet the Lord had been teaching us together and separately to just seek Him. He takes care of the rest. Our jobs are to love Him well and be obedient with what He has made clear to us. The rest is not for us to worry about.
As tough as it has been to trust and let go of worry (I'm a really good worrier, I pick up anxiety way too easily), the reward for when I do is little touches like this. He makes my weak attempts at obedience so satisfying that it makes it easier and easier to keep doing it (being obedient that is).
So that is all I wanted to say. Go for it, ask for a special and personal touch! I pray that He gives you more than you bargained for!

*Hope all I've said makes sense, sometimes when I'm feeling passionate about something I think faster than I can type and although I have proofed this twice, my way of writing can still be confusing when I'm feeling rather excited during the writing/reading process. It would probably be good to hold this until tomorrow, but ah, what the heck, I posted it anyways. :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


It's been a while since I've done a randomness post, and there is plenty of it in my life right now, so it is time to share some of it.

1. Ken is getting his hair cut.....I'm a little nervous, but I'm ready to see what he chooses. I think it is just a trim and will still have length, but oh how I love his blond Braveheart look. Mel Gibbson, you ain't got nothing on my man!

2. Just finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett and loved it. It is probably the reason I just used the word 'ain't in my previous random thought. I've been saying things like 'ya'll' instead of "you all", and 'fixin' in place of 'I'm going to'. I didn't know I could pick up a southern sympathy accent just by reading a book.

3. Picked up the movie Bolt from the library and am watching it with a friend who has a strong accent that reminds me of the cat in the movie's New York accent. Looking forward to seeing what my friend thinks. Hope she gets a real kick out of it - in a nice way.

4. Been thinking a lot about deception. It is like a disease that clouds people's ability to hear truth. Literally, like someone who has cotton in their ears, is a person who has agreed with a lie the enemy has sold them on, and when people around them point to truth, they can not hear it. Learning not to waste my breath then, and just pray that cotton right out of their ears. Jesus is the only cure. The books I just read by Ted Dekker illustrate that picture very well - the Circle Trilogy. Check em out if you like allegories.

5. Working on my quilt and realizing that I may not have enough scrap fabric to finish making all my squares. So now I have a half finished afghan that I ran out of yarn on, a quarter finished quilt that I ran out of fabric on, a Christmas present that I"ve run out of yarn on, and a load of cards that I've lost patience to finish. Lord break in with extra provisions.

6. Kalei has begun to use all kinds of words and phrases and even sentences. She is done letting Kinsey speak for her and she is done doing what Kinsey wants her to do. She has her own personality and knows it and is very much expressing it. I'm totally loving it of course. The ability to finally communicate with her and so clearly is totally amazing to me. I use to ask her if she was done and she would just shake her head yes or no, now she says 'I'm done' or "no I'm not'. When she is fussing at the fridge I ask her what she wants and she says 'I want a cup' and when she takes a toy from Kinsey and I tell her to take it back she says 'there you go baby' to her big sister. Seriously, this is a blast for me to hear.

7. Kalei has also started to want to poop on the potty. She has only tried twice, the first time it was gas, the second time she was too distracted talking to Kinsey that she never went. As soon as the diaper was back on, she filled it up. Still, she isn't even two yet, I'm not sure if I"m totally ready to encourage this behavior. Potty training is a lot of work, for me. Sigh.

8. Ken and I are finally under MorningStar's mission covering, and now we can accept gifts and support that will be tax deductible. That is great and it also makes me feel super official. Like we are really doing what we set out here to do. Thank you Lord.

9. Seriously I love MorningStar and the people, but I got to admit a little fear I have of being in the south. Will it even feel like Christmas this year if it doesn't snow? Will it get cold enough that I will enjoy eating a big pot of chilly after taking a crisp walk? There are so many evergreens and trees that don't lose their leaves here, will it even look like winter? Silly fears I'm sure, but still, I don't know what to expect.  Everyone assures me if I miss the snow too much though, I can drive three hours to the mountains and enjoy it there, or drive 3 hours the other way and enjoy the beach. Guess I can't complain.

10. I have decided that people who move into new places, the quickest way for them to make it feel like home is to hang lots of pictures. Everyone comments on how settled our home feels, and comments on all the things on our walls. There must be a connection.
I have to admit, it makes it feel more permanent when you start whacking holes in the walls. So go for it, make your home feel homey, hang a few pictures.

The end.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Finding Tranquility

I gotta say, lately I've been experiencing a lot of weird symptoms.  Physical symptoms that are not terribly alarming so much as a little strange and disconcerting. Lots of headaches, back aches, shoulders and neck stiffness, fatigue, but then insomnia, and lack of appetite.
When I started listing the symptoms off in my head though, I remembered what condition they all pointed to....anxiety.
Then I felt confused.
What am I anxious about? Sure, we have plenty of trials going on in our life, but I have Jesus, so none of that should be getting the better of me. I certainly didn't feel like I was focusing on any of those things. In fact, I was doing my best to completely distract myself.
Whenever I would feel myself worrying, I would go and clean something, or I would take a nap, or I would watch a movie, or make cookies. I would pacify my flesh for the moment, and then move on. Or so I thought. My body was telling me different, and my expanding waistline was telling me that sugar was not the answer.
Then I went to small group, the same night I was processing through all of these thoughts.
What did the small group leader talk about - fears and worries. He asked if anyone would like special prayers for overcoming fear. I was tired of always being one of the ones who raises their hand every week. I was tired of being the terribly broken one in the group, and I was 'afraid' that they would think I just wanted the attention raising my hand brought me, so I didn't raise my hand. I just sat there and talked to the Lord.
Pretty much I said to Him, "okay, I'm listening, what do you want me to do?"
I felt like He said, 'do the things you did at first."
Which to me was like a 'duh' moment.
What have I been neglecting to do all this time (probably for the past month). Read the Word. Watch the Prayer Room. Pray in Tongues (mostly while I"m driving).
Fear is a tactic of the enemy to cripple us, and he was doing a darn good job these past few weeks, but only because I hadn't been eating the right breakfast (wheaties = the Word).
Yes, my Bible is pink. So that Ken will never
run off with it....hahaha.
So what did I do, first I repented for not doing what I know to do and not asking Holy Spirit sooner what to do, and then I prayed for the Lord to strengthen me and give me another go at it.
The next day I jumped back into my Bible reading plan, had some sweet fellowship with the Lord, and then I sat down and worked on my quilt. You know what I discovered. I felt more content sitting on my couch working on my quilt than I had in weeks.
There was a quiet sense of peace that was almost tangible. I had no urge to jump up and clean something, I had no tension in my body, and I felt about ten times better.
How can the Word be so powerful in just a few short chapters?!? It made me hungry for more of that peace and Presence.
So, feeling tired, worn out, anxious? Find your Bible and give it a go! It's better than chocolate, but chocolate is nice too, sometimes, in moderation. :-)
Still, "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" - John 16:33
I feel that pretty much sums up what I've been experiencing!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stretchy Pants

Sewing on stretchy material literally terrifies me.
There, I've come clean, because it was just yesterday that I came to a friend's house to inspect a dress that she wanted to see if I could repair. What was it made out of you ask?
Stretchy polyester/spandex, purple, and I had brought black thread to work on it by hand.....
Already I was feeling like a dork, but I had a seam ripper and she did not, so I felt a little cooler, especially as I began to rip a seam out so as to remove a problematic portion of the lining.
Thank the Lord I looked down and noticed that the stitch holding the lining was also the main seam holding the boob cup (a sophisticated sewing term) to the main skirt (like a baby doll style dress thingy). I had just seam ripped out about an inch and a half portion leaving a gaping hole right below the boob cup.
Crud muffins!
So I smiled and said, "whoops, when do you need this back by?"
Thankfully I was given 24 hrs to correct the issue and finish the removal of the lining.
Did I jump right onto the task like I said I would though?
No, I was totally freaked out.
I have never been able to figure out how to make an elastic stitch. Once I tried to hem a pair of Ken's sweat pants or something with a bit of stretch to them and when he tried to wear them, the seam was so tight that the thread snapped as he pushed his foot thru. There was no give in the seam, I didn't know how to make 'give'. Like I've said before, I'm good at sewing in a straight line, that is why I quilt. And what do I quilt with?
Cotton is what I know, so I use cotton, cotton, and cotton. It's natural, it breaths, it washes well. What could be better than cotton!
Yet even a simple cotton blend can throw me into a slight panic, wondering if I will have to change the thread tension on my sewing machine, or if it will pull away from the 100% cotton backing I'm using.
Oh, the stress of it all.
So I picked the dress up at approx. 3pm, and I had until the following evening at 6pm. When do you think I chose to start working on said sewing project?
Not until the last possible moment, and then I was sweating bullets as I studied and re-studied my sewing machine's recommendations for doing an elastic stitch. Then I practiced on some stretchy pants that belong to my daughter, and then I re-practiced, then I took the plunge.
I sewed an inch and a half stretch on a hem with an elastic stitch. It was a huge success, and now it seems that I've been fretting all day for nothing. Maybe I'm on my way to being a pro!
The finished project! Beautiful, and despite
the look of this photo
the dress is actually more of a plum color.
So now you stretchy pants with a ruined hem, you just better watch yourself! I got the elastic stitch under my belt, and I know how to set my thread tensions and stitch length to optimize the experience.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Healthy Eating

In past posts I think I have talked about my journey to eating healthy. In there are sprinkled a few detox moments and a couple of my favorite recipes and ideas on how to eat healthy on a budget.
Well now I have found myself in another season where I am again living by faith, even for my food. It has helped me to reevaluate all my healthy food goals, because when you only have a handful of money to buy a weeks worth of groceries and you don't know where the next handful of money is going to come from, then you start to plan your meals very carefully. Even with all of my knowledge on healthy foods and the reasons why to buy organic, pesticide free, rBST free, raw, and all those other healthy food words, I can't always justify the expense.
It is a huge injustice, the cost of healthy food. Sugar free foods are more expensive than foods with sugar, yet there is one less ingredient, so why the extra cost. But I won't get started on that subject, because it could get ugly and would accomplish nothing in the long run. I don't have the ears of any major food companies with this blog, just the ears of a few sweet friends.
Isn't it just scary how perfect these peppers are,
like they are fake or something.
That is how I feel when I go to buy my produce
sometimes, like it is way to perfect to be real.
So moving on, into my reason for writing.
So what do you do when you know all about the benefits of healthy food but can't afford to buy said food? It is one of those things I don't really have the answer too. I still cringe inside when I reach for the colorful, jumbo sized sweet bell peppers which scream foreign produce that is much larger than any normal sized garden bell peppers should be. I also still shy away from cheap beef and highly processed meats. I don't eat much dairy any more, and I still splurge on Almond Milk and bread without high fructose corn syrup.
Yet I feel as though I've had to pick my battles in the food world and leave the rest up to the Lord.
Novel idea right, its a real 'duh' moment to leave my health and the health of my children ultimately in the hands of my Creator. Good place for them to be, and although I am a control freak, and there is something that just feels right about eating as good as possible, we just can't always.
So I have been especially finding comfort in the scripture that encourages the disciples that they will be able to drink poison and it will not harm them and then goes on to say that they will pray for the sick and they will be healed - Mark 16:18. I'm sort of banking on that; that we can eat the poison that is put in food these days and not be harmed, and I love the fact that our God is a healer, so there is always plan 'B' in a way.
Now if you are a theological guru, I don't want to hear from you on this. I am completely aware of the fact that I am probably taking that scripture a bit out of context to fit my current situation. I'm married to a bible student and if he ever read my blog he would probably give me a sermon on what that scripture is really talking about, because I actually don't know.
But alas I'm not making a platform to manipulate and influence the masses with my interpretation, I am simply trying to comfort my own heart as I feel I am forced to buy non-organic produce and can no longer afford my healthy food habits.
The saddest part about this whole thing, is that it has again shown me a level of pride at work in my own heart, and a man-pleasing spirit. For a while I was extremely embarrassed to talk about our food consumption with our friends because I wasn't able to eat as healthy as I use to. Something about being able to buy organic and support the organic agricultural industry made my heart swell up with a bit of pride.....well okay, maybe a lot of pride. Especially being a hort-a-nerd (that is someone who grows plants for a living, infatuated with plants to the point of nerd-dom) from way back, knowing the value in organics first hand and the health benefits.
Still, if you can't afford it, you can't afford it, Katrina, so suck it up and feed your family as well as you can!
So I have been, and taking more comfort from the story of Exodus, how the Israelites were slaves = probably didn't eat well, and how they flourished under the Lord's blessing and they just kept multiplying. As a child of God who has favor in His eyes through the blood of Jesus, I think I can bank on the Lord having His way in my life despite what I consume.
So.....there it is. I am learning to be content in a new area of my life - my food life. Today I shopped and bought stuff I hadn't bought in years and I decided it felt nice to be able to feed my family so well.
I hope this post doesn't sound completely pathetic, like I'm whining, or saying eat healthy or don't eat healthy. I'm just processing these thoughts with the rest of you. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has ever felt embarrassed not to be buying healthy when lots of people around you are. Perhaps I've given you some food for thought....get it, food, the post was about food. I'm cracking myself up!
Okay, enough, be free of the bondage of food envy, and fear of pesticides. Make wise decisions and feed your family as best as you can, leave the rest up to the Lord. He's really big!