Posts Tagged ‘Discoveries’

My own idea! Not an idea from Pinterest! It’s amazing how excited I was to make something that I came up with on my own after months of pinning and making, pinning and making (not sure I’m sticking to my “make one for every ten pins” rule). I was led to wonder then if Pinterest is really a conductor of creativity, or an hinderance. Am I spending so much time and thought on pulling together other people’s ideas that I can’t think up anything on my own,  or do these ideas foster in me my own desire to create, improvise, and discover, stimulating my creative hemisphere to the point of spontaneously birthing out something all mine? The other day I saw ON Pinterest a quote that someone had pinned, “You were born an original, don’t die a copy,” and I couldn’t help but comment that a quote like that on a website for sharing/stealing/whatever you call it other people’s ideas and inspirations is sort of a contradiction. Please note that none of this is a complaint. I love my Pinterest and will go right on pinning, using, making, revising and all of that. I was just musing about it. Any thoughts on that my fellow pinners?

ANYWAY . . . . here’s my idea. Which, by the way, if you search for on previously mentioned website, you will probably find twenty other versions of the exact same thing, so DON’T.  I want to go on thinking my idea is really special.

I went to the wedding of some friends Saturday and was rushing at the last minute to pull together my outfit. I ended up in something that needed just a little more oomph but I was clean out of time. I had these old strips of lace lying around here in my scraps basket. They’re the outer lace trim from a round table cloth. Think something like this.  So at the last minute I cut some strips of it to fit my wrists and I tucked it in my sleeves, pinned and ran out the door. I really enjoyed the steampunk sort of feel it gave to my outfit and decided to turn them into permanent accessories. Here’s what I did. Actually, it was sooooo easy, so I’m mostly just going to post pictures . . . I think they pretty much show how they came together.

Cut scraps of lace about 7.5 inches plus an inch for a seam allowance.


Cut a pannel of scrap fabric and pinned along bottom edge. This is mainly to give the hem something to hang on to and to keep the lace from itching my wrists. Am I the only person with sensitive wrists? In hindsight I should have hemmed that top edge of the pannel too, because it will probably start to unravel, but I didn’t think about it until it was already sewn to the lace.
Ready for fasteners and embellishments–be still my heart, I get to use some buttons! This was simultaneously the most difficult and the most enjoyable part. Have I mentioned that I love buttons?
Sew on fasteners. I don’t care for hooks and eyes very much, but it’s all I had and I was too impatient to learn how to do the cloth button hooks. These are working quite well, but I’m definitely doing another pair with cloth button hooks next.
Up close view of the vintage buttony goodness . . . and . . .
Ta Da!

Super fun!


I couldn’t help but check out others on Pinterest to see what was out there. I know, do as I say, not as I do. Here are a couple I thought were just too pretty to not share.



So pretty and a little sexy

Takes a little more talent












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This was a fun exercise in creativity. After you read mine, head over to Dear 18 Me and write yours. Do it today and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $10 iTunes card!

18 Year Old Me

18 Year Old Me

Dear 18 year old me,

I (you) recently watched this episode of Star Trek (yeah, a day will come when you think it’s cool again, even though right now you roll your eyes whenever it comes on) where Captain Picard was mortally wounded and Q offered him a chance to go back to his youth and make changes that would keep him from dying in this particular accident. He made the changes, played it safe, and ended up not dying in the present. The problem was that his now present self was this pansy version of his real self, and he wasn’t anything like the successful, courageous and ambitious captain we all know and love. I guess the moral of the story was something like, “don’t be too hard on yourself, because your mistakes are what make you who you are.” Well it was a pretty predictable episode, not too profoundly presented, but I kind of have to agree with it a little in that there are a few mistakes you’re going to make that will change your life for the better. They’re going to really suck, but they will be used in a huge way to change who you are and what you believe.

That being said, here are just a few tiny pointers:

1. You still need to go to PCC. You’re going to meet your husband there. Go, try to complain less about the rules, and try not to get so bitter about the hypocrites or the legalism. You’ll learn from that too and realize that you’re one from time to time. Enjoy the beach more.

2. Call your folks more while you’re in college and be more honest with them about your struggles and why things are so frustrating. That dialogue could be very helpful. Call them more in general just to say “I love you.”

3. When you meet a crazy red head wearing Buddy Holly glasses and are strangely intrigued, go with that. You two are gonna make some cute babies! (Although you might re-think having him come live with you and your family for the summer BEFORE you get engaged-just sayin’.)

4. Work harder at maintaining a few of those college friendships-there are some good people you’re really going to miss.

5. Stop making statements about how things are going to be when you have kids. You’re clueless.

6. You’re going to have to work out a lot after the kids, so you might do yourself a favor and start earlier.

7. Enjoy your little debbies and coke a cola, because you’re going to learn about all sorts of nasties in them and won’t let yourself have them anymore.

8.  You really aren’t going to listen to Celine Dion forever, so you might as well stop now.

9. Don’t worry about being cast in the roles of little girls–you’re gonna get to fly!

10. Theater isn’t everything. That’s going to be a tough lesson to learn, I’m just telling it that you’ll learn it someday.

11. You aren’t a very good listener–you could avoid a lot of misunderstandings and awkward moments if you’d work on that.

12. Pay more for your wedding dress and less for your flowers–they aren’t going to be right anyway.

13. Don’t take your grandmas for granted. See them as much as you can.

14. Work harder at staying in touch with your brother–you guys won’t see each other much over the next few years.

15. Keep at it–He’s worth it!

PS. If you read this and were part of my life when I was 18 and you DID try telling me some of this . . .  sorry. Hey! I was 18!!! Who listens to anyone when they’re 18???

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I was thinking of my Grandma Hazel a lot tonight. I don’t talk about her much and I don’t get to see her very often. She’s pretty sick these days and it’s hard for us to have conversations, mostly because she can’t hear very well anymore and whenever I’m with her my three kidlets are too and they cause a lot of noise pollution. 🙂

I have a lot of good memories of Grandma Hazel though. We used to visit her a lot when she lived in Phoenix and I remember how much she liked to snuggle and I liked the slightly raspy, squeeky sound of her laugh. I remember how she used to always make me chocolate pies because they were my favorite and the way she cried EVERY time we left, even if we were coming back a week later. She was really silly sometimes (just like mom!) and used to tell Grandpa to “shut your mouth before I hit you in the snot box!” when we were playing games. She was always giving little presents and nobody’s ever called me “Bethy” in quite the same way she did. Nowadays, she calls Gillian “Bethy” by mistake a lot. It’s sweet and sad at the same time.

It’s hard to watch someone you love get old, especially someone who was so spunky and full of life like Grandma.

I was thinking of her as I rummaged through her sewing desk in search of sewing machine lightbulbs. The search quickly turned into the discovery of a delightful treasure trove of vintage buttons, threads, laces, ribbons and trims. Mom offered to let me take whatever I thought I could use and I could hardly contain myself. My mind started whirring with ideas of the things I could make and the presents I could adorn with them. I couldn’t help but think of my grandma, getting excited and scheming up someday creations over some of the very same things. Then the answer to mom’s question from my previous post came to me. This desire to create things, to repurpose things, to adorn those I love with little works of my own hands came from grandma Hazel! I don’t recall ever in my childhood being identified with her by characteristics either physical or behavioral. It was always Grandma Bea that I looked like or acted like.it’s pretty true-I am a lot like my Grandma Bea, but I love that I’ve found something about me that will help me to always remember my Grandma Hazel, and that now, whenever I’m sitting at my sewing machine bringing new use to some old garment, making doll clothes for Gillian’s baby dolls, or coming up with something entirely new, I can thank her for passing on to me such a rewarding and enjoyable trait.

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It happened without warning. My little boy, my silly, loves potty talk and nonsense,  dancey dancin’, wriggles and giggles boy, turned grown up on me. Maybe it was just for a moment, and maybe tomorrow he’ll be begging for more dancey dance time, but today, as I sort of absent-mindedly began to sing “You Are My Sunshine” in a weird voice (oh, come on! You know you do that sort of thing too!) he quietly, very maturely, but somewhat annoyedly  from the back asked, “um, mom, can you, uh, stop doing that?” Completely unaware that I was singing loudly and like a dork, I was quite taken aback and abruptly,  rather sheepishly I might add, stopped singing. I was hit with the momentary awareness that my kid is now cooler than me and he, while lovingly pitying me, knows it.


Remembering to count has been harder now that I’ve reached 1000. Is that sad? I’m not always giving thanks, but when things are really bad–especially frustrating, or there’s a lot of stress and discontentment, I often realize that I haven’t been giving thanks and it drives me back to the list. I wish habits were easier to form, but I keep trying to remember that they must be learned, trained for and practiced before they happen-if they ever happen at all on their own.


1085. Energy after a night of no sleep

1086. Meeting Sylvia in the waiting room 

1087. Kind nurses and a quiet recovery room

1088. A safe and successful surgery

1089. Our community caring for us

1090. The first day of swimming lessons

1091. An extra “kid” to take care of for a few days

1092. A friend sharing with us painful memories and allowing us to mourn with him

1093. A lawn that needs mowing

1094. Terrible hail and wind storms-and no damage after

1095. Children needing grace as much as I do

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. . . .  in your head while sitting in the ER.

According to strengthsfinder.com, I am Empathic. (If you think I’m referring to a certain Bedazoid, you’re a kindred spirit, but that’s not quite what I’m referring to.) I’m talking about the more simple ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy is one of my five strongest characteristics apparently. So, wouldn’t one think that compassion would go hand in hand with that? Think again. My compassion meter was reading just about empty on Thursday night when we deposited ourselves for what would be a night entirely devoid of sleep in the ER of Greenville Memorial Hospital. (For those who haven’t seen on FB, Andy had appendicitis. The “useless organ” is now gone and Andy is mending as should be expected.)  The lobby smelled like pee. A drunk guy kept making that gurggly, horking noise behind us, and a woman in the corner was puking.  I sat there and tried to keep a disgusted look off of my face , thinking that I’d have made a terrible nurse. But I’m empathic! Where’s my compassion?

As I was contemplating my lack of compassion, my eyes began to take in the environment around me. I noticed that, in spite of it smelling like pee, the ER waiting room was much nicer than the “big city” waiting rooms you see in most movies, which led me to remember a lot of ER waiting room scenes from movies and before I knew it, I was assigning the stereotyped roles to different characters in the room. You know, the ones that manifest themselves in every ER should say, terrorists, psycho-ex cop-bomb experts, or desperate fathers needing organs for their dying son decide to take our ER hostage. There’s the pregnant hispanic lady who curses out the bad guys in spanish and isn’t even afraid of the guy with the gun, the scantily clad “lady of the evening” who’s been beat up by her pimp and discovers her own inner strength somewhere in this ordeal and you just know she could never go back to turning tricks if she makes it out alive. There’s also sleazy business man, who we find out is cheating on his wife and, if anyone dies, it’s him and no one is really all that torn up about it. You’ve also got the punk kid who looks like he’s in a gang, but by the end of the movie has developed a sort of profound respect for everyone. I was looking for them, and drumming up some tragic drama for us all that would call each to a higher level of his/her humanity.

Dang. I watch too many movies.

After that little mental adventure I found myself noticing a ton of little kids in the waiting room. Looking at the clock and seeing 11:45, I had to stop myself from getting all maternally irate at people for keeping their kidlets out so late and making them sit for so long in boredom. Then, of course, I had to repent of that because it occurred to me that they might not have grandma close by to come over at the last minute to keep the kids. They might not have a community of friends who lovingly jump in to help out.


Feel like trash! Repent!

Count your blessings again Beth!

I realized how much I take for granted the community we have, being surrounded by so much love and support. I live so sheltered from suffering that I don’t even recognize it when it’s right in front of my face. How can I be so blessed and so blind?

But I’m empathic guys, really.

Thank you strengths finder for that.

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I have a story to tell. Why don’t I get asked to tell it?  

I have a blog. Why can’t it be good enough for hundreds, even thousands of readers?

I can sing. Why didn’t I get asked to lead worship?

I want to serve. Why am I not being used?

Do you ever find yourself bitterly asking yourself these questions? Shallow, self-centered, glory seeking questions that you wouldn’t utter to your closest friend, you cry out in your soul as you wonder why so many others are so useful and so used?  Over the past several months, in now too many circumstances for me go on ignoring it anymore,  there has been an awareness building in me in regards to my heart and how I look at service.

At a women’s conference filled with well known speakers, I look at these amazing women and see how their words touch others and I want to be like them. Reading the blogs and books of talented writers who are rocking the foundations of Christian women all over this world and I ponder why my words can’t come together so well and reach out to so many. Sitting with sisters in a room filled with worship, trying desperately to focus on God,  and my heart has to ask why I’m not on the  stage.  A ministry opportunity opens to us and then appears to be given to another and I cry out in jealousy at the prospect of someone else serving in my place.

All these moments have recently presented themselves to me and in each circumstance my heart has responded in worship–self worship.

I’ve wanted to serve, wanted to be used greatly, but only now, after asking such brazen questions do I realize that my heart has never been to serve God-not completely.  It’s been for me. For status, for popularity, for adoration, for inclusion, for affirmation. I see someone that I want to be like and I realize it’s because I want everyone else to look at me and want to be like me.  Even in asking God to change me, to make my motivations pure, it’s there, lingering in the background. A cyclical “change me so you can use me” sort of  begins and I’m left asking if there’s a single pure motive in there. Is it possible at all for me to ever be used without wanting to be seen by others as useful? It rang true for me this weekend as I heard over and over, “even my GOOD deeds are an extension of my own selfishness.”

Um, why is this sounding familiar?

This is where I’ve been camped out for a couple of weeks. I sat up late with Andy the other night and we talked about how much a mess we both still are and it’s hard to not be scared. Terrified, in fact, at where God seems to be leading us. What is God doing? Why would he be moving Andy toward service? How can two people who are so centered on self glorification possibly bring glory to Him without seeking some of their own? How can I lead others into worship, or not be a hinderance to a husband who leads others into worship, when I am secretly crying out to be the one worshiped?

I wanted to wrap up this post with a nice little scripture and an assurance that God has rescued me from my self idolatry. I had hoped to have this lesson learned before I wrote about it, so that it could be an encouragement, could be, dare I say, USED even (good grief!), to help someone else facing this struggle. I can’t though. I can’t claim to have a heart cleansed of this self-seeking, fame-craving faithlessness. But yesterday, I was reminded of the thing I do have.


So I sit here, holding on to hope, REMEMBERING that God is bigger than my selfishness and self adoration. He wants my heart and I can rest knowing that some day, I won’t even be capable of self worship because I will be thoroughly and completely changed. All my adoration will be for Him alone.


895. Temporary bugs tattooed to soft little tummies and arms

896. Surprise kisses from Liam

897. Gillian feeling better

899. Falling asleep at the computer

900. Cleaning out the van after an incident involving vomit

901. Liam saying he enjoys working together as a family

902. Beautiful muddy bottoms

903. He is Risen!

904. Spending Easter morning worship with my church family

905. Resurrection feast-thinking of the “someday” feast

906. Servant-leader husbands cleaning the kitchen

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Have you ever caught yourself watching something you should look away from? Something you keep looking at, enthralled at the atypical-ness of the situation and before you know it, you realize you’ve been staring? I found myself looking in on a scene today between a mom and daughter (I assume) and wish I hadn’t. I was in line at the coffee shop, trying to contrive a mommy-date with Gillian (who wasn’t really cooperating–she would have rather gone to Frankie’s Fun Park for a date.) This girl could have been anywhere between 15 and 25, it was hard to tell through the window, but she was literally screaming at her mother. Her fists were clenched in rage, her face all screwed up, she even shook her fists at her mom at one point and grabbed  a hand full of her hair. It was a full out tantrum. Her mom sat there, still, taking it, then slowly wiped away tears as her daughter continued to rage. I was struck by the violence of her behavior, obviously, because (out of God’s kindness) I’ve never experienced that sort of thing in person. I should have looked away at least, and prayed for them at most.  Why could I not have prayed for them? Instead though, I sat there and took it in. Then, when I finally looked away, embarrassed, I took in my Gillian, who didn’t want to have a mommy date with me, who is arguing with me at every turn, who is consistently making choices that are opposed to my desires. I looked at her and I let FEAR speak to me again. He’s been hanging around a lot lately, using Gillian against me. He taunts me with visions of all the pain she can cause me, all the disappointments and heartaches that could come, telling me that she’ll never walk in the light with me as her example. I’ve been trying to fight his lies, trying to apply the gospel to Gill and open my hands, laying her down before the Savior, but there’s just so much of me holding on. As we’ve been talking about hoping in the Servant I realize how much of my hope lies in my kids and their future. I’d love to say that I’m having victory over this fear, but I’m really still struggling with it. I keep telling myself true things: Gill isn’t my girl, she’s God’s girl; God is sovereign, I can’t do the job of the Spirit; etc.  Yet, the thoughts linger and the fears eat away at my faith, keeping me awake nights and reducing me to tears at the slightest altercation between me and Gilly. It amazes me in a sad way that I’m mourning her failure to meet all my expectations and she hasn’t even done that yet! Incredibly, today it came to me, when I was no longer rudely eavesdropping on this highly intimate moment between these two people, that’s THAT’s my problem. EXPECTATIONS!  Sunday’s message was so for me. My misguided expectations are the enemy of hope, driving me into despondency. So that’s where I’m camping out right now. Constantly speaking truth to myself where Gillian is concerned, asking myself, what does God think of me? What does God think of Gill? What does the Scripture say to this?

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought,

but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who

searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the spirit intercedes for the saints according

to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,

for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:25-28


I know that Fear is not kept at bay forever and that it is each day I must mine for the weapons that will send him running. That is the nature of this war though, is it not? Always in need of new weapons to fight our crafty enemy. Each morning in need of the new and gracious mercies that await us at the foot of the cross. My dear friends who read, please pray for me and Gillian. Me for a better placed hope, and Gill for the illumination of her dark soul, both of which are found only in our good and loving Father.


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