Monday, June 25, 2012

church on Sunday


...the trees were our cathedral

...a fallen tree our pew

...the song of birds, rushing of water over rock, click of cicada and chorus of crickets our choir

...oatmeal cookies and water our bread and wine.

And the sermon?

The warming breath of God on wind, reminders of His Word on hill and this:

Yahweh. Yeshua. He is everywhere.

 Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?...He who has clean hands and a pure heart. (Psalm 24:3a, 4a NASB)

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Saturday, June 23, 2012


I'm currently in the midst a creative growth spurt. It can be a good thing and a overwhelm-your-life kind of thing, especially when I add more "to do's" to an already full plate. :) It's a delicate balance, but I also need to acknowledge that our Creator put His creativity in me, so sometimes, I just have to run with it.

My latest project? These:

And I just listed them in my shop. Splashes of summer in a scrapbook or on a handmade card? Yes, please. :)

(P.S. I love picmonkey's collage feature...can you tell?)

Friday, June 22, 2012

summer in a jar: upcyclers creativity challenge

Ever since I joined the Upcyclers Team on etsy, I've enjoyed the ways their engage their members in fun ways. Like the monthly Team challenges. And their blog.

Then, in May, they began a team creativity challenge where interested members could come up with upcycled ideas for a common upcycled medium. I was hard pressed to come up with any upcycling ideas for the first object - a stereo or something that makes sound/music.

But June's challenge was something to get excited about: an empty jar.

I don't know why that is exciting. It may be weird to get a thrill at the sight of pristine glass with unadorned metal lid. But I do. Maybe it's the frugal environmentalist in me. Or perhaps the desire to find God's gifts in the simple.

But I digress.

Back to the challenge.

Upcycling an empty jar isn't new for me. I've put them to good use in the kitchen and in my sewing room. See? 

But I don't think those ideas would knock the socks off of anyone, so on went my thinking cap. And here is the fruit of my brainstorm.

Introducing the...

It's summer and fireflies* and childhood and upcycling in one tidy package.

And the best part? I didn't spend a penny.

Here's a brief look at how I did it:
  • I converted the lid ring of the jar into a firefly net. All it took was some crinoline (any type of netting would work), wire, nut, fabric, glue and a wooden dowel.
  • I added some extra netting and elastic band in the jar (to keep your first catch of fireflies contained while you capture some more)
  • Add the tag with some hemp twine for look and to keep the wooden dowel with the jar
And that's it!

*No fireflies were harmed in the production of this jar. If you make one like it, please be sure to release your winged lights at evening's end. They'll thank you for it. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

invited in

This morning I paused at God's invitation.

To delight in His creation.

It's shocking really.

This inviting in, watching the birthing process of fruit bearing, turned inside out. So we can see.

To some, it may be "only an eggplant." But to me, it's the wildness of God, stunning us with His miracles, if we care to slow down...look...wonder. Pause to notice the first bloom. The first bud of fruit peeping 'neath the petals. Startle at the sudden growth when Love soaked the ground with thirst-quenching rain.

And perhaps the intimacy I witness in the humble eggplant's bloom is life in the natural brushing aside the curtain so we can see through to the spirit-realm.

For we too must bloom at the caress of His voice. Our fruit bears the mark of the One Who gives nourishment. And when Love rains on thirsty souls with roots firmly established in soil rich, we swell and the harvest is plentiful.

How does God startle you with His miracles? Where do you see evidence of the spirit-realm in the natural world?

Sharing with Jen and the girls @

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

lavender & a special offer

Ever since I became interested in gardening, I've developed a love of's scent, the color, the way it's leaves change from silver to green to silver through the seasons. And because it dries well. Which makes it a perfect partner for the cherry pit packs I sell in my shop.

So today (after thinking about this for months :) ) I added a listing for you to add organic dried lavender to any "Cheery Pack" order while supplies last. Brie's been my most ardent harvester, so hopefully, she'll keep in good supply for awhile. Here's the link to the lavender listing.

And to celebrate this new listing, I'm also running a sale in my shop between now and this Saturday, June 23 at noon EDT. If you purchase a Cheery Pack WITH the listing for organic dried lavender, you can save 25% on your order. Just use the coupon code CELEBRATELAVENDER25. (Please note: the discount only applies to the purchase of a Cheery Pack with the lavender together.)

P.S. I'll also announce sales like these through Twitter, if you want to follow along there (@whispersofgrace).

Monday, June 18, 2012

something about summer

Has it really been two weeks since my last post?

I guess the advent of summer vacation (and an intentional week-long break from the computer) will do that!

Truth be told, I don't really feel like writing today, but I'm also reluctant to let more days slip by without recording their essence. The mind so easily forgets the gifts God bestows:

  • Ben turning 3! Here's the one picture I did manage to capture. The rest of the day was left to celebrating with a trip to the zoo and making birthday treats (like these pancakes).

party pooper?
(I think it's kind of funny I got more pictures of the animals than I did of the birthday boy ;) )
  • The last day of school - sad to see a great year come to a close, but anticipating the joy of summer too
  • Going on a retreat with Brianna and other girls from her Missionettes group and the simple return-to-childhood pleasure of sleeping on the bottom bunk.
  • Exploring new hiking trails for the Moms & Kids Hiking Club I'm putting together this summer.
Reese started this "eyes bugged out" thing for his pictures
  • Browsing farmer's market stalls
  • Finding a bargain on beautiful bananas perfect for a non-so-chunky monkey style "ice cream"
  • Biking with Reese
  • Beginning a new Bible study

Monday, June 4, 2012


I had forgotten how much I love being at home, just doing random, simple things that bring me pleasure.

But He hadn't.

And, apparently, neither had the enemy.

Which is probably why every time I would take time for myself when the kids were up and around, I would feel this pervasive sense of guilt.

Up until a few days ago, I would immediately assume I was being "selfish" or "inattentive" or a "bad mother." It's what I wore, though I tried to hide those filthy garments.

I also tried to whom?...that I was not those things. I pushed down my desires, forced myself to only enjoy those things that made me me in tiny boxes of time (mostly when the kids were sleeping), denied these desires were even present.

It squelched the guilt for a time. It also began to slowly kill the joy, the freedom, the life in me. So slowly I barely noticed. (I was the proverbial frog in the pot, the water cool at first, then warmed to boiling).

But it hadn't escaped God's attention.

And He finally helped me to see, really see, for the first time what was going on.

It began with my questions to Him about why I felt guilty and why my cloak of patience with the children was worn threadbare. I asked Him how I might be able to survive this summer when the intensity of having all four kids home would press hard. And I asked Him why I wanted to flee or hide and just be in solitude.

And He reminded me of how He made me.

In me He poured the need to recharge in solitude, to dance to the rhythm of the still hush silence. It's where I hear His heart beating in mine.

And do you think the evil one wants me to hear that beat? Absolutely not. Even now, writing this, I can feel my stomach clench with guilt, feel the enemy is trying to take back the territory he staked in me. But we are not to give him a foothold.

If the shape of the story feel familiar to you, perhaps you too are sitting in that pot (the one with the frog). Want to get out? Leave a comment with your email or email me and perhaps we can find a way to hop out together. A book that also helped me to see is "Waking the Dead" by John Eldredge, perhaps it will help you to see to.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

grey pearls

photo credit
  • marbled grey sky
  • gentle fall of rain letting down
  • intimacy invited in
  • God calling through the grey mist
  • sky bowing low

Days upon days of cloud covered skies eventually wear upon my spirit. I long for the sun, the crystal blue, the warmth and light and cheer. But when God slips in a day or two of grey pearls between the bright jewels, I hear His calling of intimacy. The cloak of His presence surrounding me.

Perhaps it is my Spirit awakening to the reality of this and this and especially, this.

Have you noticed where He does the same for you? Where does the God of the Bible slip into your reality? Where does He most surprise you with His presence?