Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Thing... A New Year...

Happy New Year!  What kind of plans do you have to ring in the new year?  I always felt sad on new years eve, because another year was gone... I spent way too much time looking back, but not anymore... I welcome in 2010 with open arms. 

This past year has been one of the hardest of my life, but for all the growth that has taken place it makes it all worth it.  What is that saying, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"?  Just know that no matter what gloomy moments you may be living through... God will shine through that gloom.  Hard isn't where most of us want to have to go, but hard isn't so bad when you have a soft place to fall... thank-You Papa for being here to catch me.

"Do not remember the former things; neither consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." - Isaiah 43:18-19

One last Christmas card to share with you & then I am done for this year!  SU Baja Breeze looks so good with Sahara Sand... SSand is my new favorite nutral.

Here is to 2010 being your best year ever... I know there are big things just around the corner... so get ready!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, December 25, 2009

God's Goodness...

Christmas Day is fading fast... or is that me that is fading fast??? It was a good day... had a great time with family... played Wii for the first time... I am not very good at racing cows!!! Too funny!

Anyway, just want to wish you all a very blessed Christmas! Hope your Christmas has been everything you wanted it to be.

After all the trying moments of this last year... just sitting around the dinner table made me see God's goodness... we had Christmas dinner in my sister's "new" house, since the fire 8 months ago. My BIL, Frank, being cancer free. Having my parents with me & the rest of my family... what more could I possibly want... just had to share.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gift of the Word...

Can you believe it... it is Christmas Eve??? Just had to take a moment to share one last "gift" with you... the gift of the Word.

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." - John 1:14

Have you ever thought what God might have been feeling the night Jesus was born? Of course we can never know, but think about it... this was a night that God had planned & prepared for so many hundreds/thousands of years... He knew this was the only way to bring His creation, humankind, back into communion with Him. Do you think there was a sadness in God that He had to give up His Son for that... was the sacrifice worth it? God proved His love in a way none of us can ever truly understand... it just floods my heart to think of how much He loves me.

I was watching a movie on the Hallmark channel the other day, called "The Note," btw great movie! The movie starts with a plane crash & how that one of the passengers on that plane writes a note to his child... expressing his love, even unto death. Anyway, a reporter finds that note & tries to find the child of this man, so she can give the child a final gift from the father. When the reporter finally found this man's daughter, the reporter said to the girl, "do you know how much your father went through to give you his love through this note?"... I have seen this movie many times, but this was the first time those words struck me... I instantly started crying realizing that is what I needed to hear from the Holy Spirit... "Do you see how much your Heavenly Father went through to give you His Word of love?" Do I??? I don't think I even can grasp it, but I do see it a little more clearly now.

Just wanted to wish you a very Merry & Blessed CHRISTmas!

Oh, I also wanted to share this little treat I made up... see you did get something crafty too!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gift of Provision...

Lots to do today so I will jump right on in... in my devotions this morning I read about Jehovah- Jireh (the Lord-Will-Provide)... it just touched my heart, so I knew today the gift had to be the Gift of Provision. It just thrills my heart to think of all the ways God provides for me in ALL areas of my life... it may not always be the way I want it to be, but it is always the best way. It is something for me to think of being a part of God's greater plan... and that He will always provide me a way to keep moving in His perfect will for my life. Does that boggle your mind like it does mine?... He is so awesome... it is hard for me to even grasp just a little of it.

"Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." —Matthew 6:8

"Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you." - I Peter 5:7

What ways can you see the Lord providing in your life? Are you casting your care on Him?

Just a picture I made up to decorate the house with... I used my Cricut... SU items... and of course some Stickles! Sorry about the glare of the glass. Hopefully you are finding some comfort & joy in this Christmas Season.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gift of Prayer...

It is so going to be a busy day... but I am looking so forward to it. It is very much a good busy! Tonight is our NOFL (Night out for Ladies) Christmas Party... yah! Great food, great women, great fellowship, & a great speaker (so I've been told since I haven't personally heard her).
My "little" project to share today are these little stockings that are the gifts for the 1st-time visitors at NOFL... had to make it a little more special... the stockings were from Bath & Body & I put a lip balm in each one with a mint & a special note... I think they are pretty cute... I did 120 of them... would rather have too many than not enough... we are planning for 500 ladies total.
Going this morning to help with set-up/decorating... I am so excited! Plus, my mom & sisters are coming to share in the festivities... praying for their safe travel.
That brings me to the gift for today... PRAYER... having the privilege to go to God on someone else's behalf or your own is such an awe-inspiring gift. There are so many people hurting & discouraged in the world... this has been a tough year for so many & at the Christmas season it can be even tougher. How will you use this gift today?
"Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to Thee, when my heart is faint."- Psalm 61:1-2
Thank You, God for hearing my prayers!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gift of Laughter...

I grew up in a home that laughter was a very big part of life. My mom's dad was a prankster... you might say he saw things from a strange perspective. Grandpa Floyd loved us kids to pieces and he especially loved to see our reactions when he would pull a joke on us. So that is where I get my "unique" sense of humor from which in turn makes me laugh... at some of the most inopportune times might I add. I am so grateFUL for the gift of laughter... some days that is what gets me through... this God-given part of me that He knew would be a main-stay in my life. Hey, I enjoy a good cry, but if I can laugh 'til I cry now that is a true blessing!
I actually have a card to share with you today... this is a card from a set I did for an order... I saw a similar card on the web some place but I can't remember where... of course I changed it a little with my own touches. I found that iridescent ribbon at Michael's & a little diamond stickles for sure! Hope you like it... hope my customer liked it too!

We have been dealing with a little snow the last couple days here in northern Michigan... by little I mean 8-10 inches, so it is putting us in the Christmas spirit. In fact I finally got my tree up yesterday... I will try to post a picture later.

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." -John 15:11

So for today I share with you the gift of laughter... hope it brightened your day a little.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gift of Time...

Sorry it has been a few days since my last post, but they have full, busy days... actually the last couple days have not been really busy, but full just the same. My hubby & I have been able to take a couple days to go to Boyne Mountain for a little R&R before the busyness of the season gets the better of us. I mean what I said in a previous post, I am not going to give into the "everything has to be perfect" this year. I don't even have my Christmas tree up at home... oh well, it will happen soon enough.

Today my gift is the gift of time... the time that God has blessed me with to share these quiet times with my sweet adoring husband. We bought this time-share at Boyne when I was still working & we could afford it better, but now when finances are tight... had we not bought this 2 years ago, we would not have this place to get away to.

There is snow here but the slopes are not open yet... they are making snow and this is a picture my hubby took last night as the snow machines were going... it is like a mini blizzard!

"Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." Psalm 62:8

What gift of time do you have to share today? Or do you feel like time is too short? Like the verse says, "pour out your heart to God, He is your refuge."

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gift of Family...

I realized this morning that Christmas is 3 weeks from today... how can that be possible??? I am trying to go with the flow this year... trying to leave my "everything has to be perfect" mentality behind. Is is possible... can I turn over a new leaf??? Hmmmm let's see.
The gift I want to share with you today is the gift of family. I have been blessed with a great Christian family... my parents did a great job raising us (me & my 2 sisters). Mom & Dad, you are truly a gift from God! We are not your "typical" family of today, which makes it even more of a gift. We have laughed through the good times... we have cried through the bad times... and we have laughed & cried through both at the same time!

This picture was taken at Thanksgiving... me & my baby sis, Chele... she is a sweet joy in my life!

These two pics are of my older sis, Renee, and her 2 girls... Lindsay above & Brooke below. Na, that is what our family calls Renee, has been my inspiration many times throughout my life. Her sweet girls are like my own or as close as I will ever have... I miss them so much with not being in their lives on a daily basis anymore.

No, stamping today, but if you would share a memory of the gift of family with me... I would love it!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Best Gift Ever...

December 1st... only 24 days until Christmas... it is coming ready or not! The hustle & bustle is already starting, but I want to take the time and share some "gifts" with you through my blog.

The gift today is salvation... this is the BEST Gift I have ever received and what good would this Gift be if I kept it to myself & didn't share it? I assume that most of the people that follow my blog are believers in Christ, but assuming that is never a good thing, so I am starting with sharing the fact, "that the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23) Have you accepted this Gift? If not it is never too late as long as there is still breath in your body.

"Now thanks be to God for His Gift, [precious] beyond telling [His indescribable, inexpressible, free Gift]!" II Corinthians 9:15 (Amplified)

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for... (part 7)

I am thankful for so much, but when I saw this silly picture... I just knew what I had to post today... I am thankful for my strange sense of humor God gave me. Don't know how I would get through some things without it. Anyway, hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving. with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for... (part 6)

Sorry to say I am in a little rush today, but what I am thankful for is I got my oil changed, bills paid, cake baked, laundry done, dishes done, Pampered Chef order sorted & orange tapioca salad made. May all be trivial things, but I am thankful for them just the same.

What are you thankful for today?
We are heading to the Thumb in the morning for Thanksgiving with my family, so I am sharing this picture that was taken looking towards Saginaw Bay. My talented hubby caught this beautiful shot.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful for... (part 5)

Today I am thankful for God's love... even when I am not so lovable... He still loves me & He always will.
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38-39
Sorry no stamping to share today... just this picture of this happy couple.

What are you thankful for today?

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful for... (part 4)

I am finding with my "Thankful for..." posts it is really hard to just pick one thing I am thankful for. God has blessed me in so many ways. And I am realizing blessings don't always come wrapped in pretty packages either... blessings can come from the worst circumstances... it is all how I CHOOSE to deal with it.
So today I am thankful for God being in control... and at this very moment I am choosing to let it all go & be so. How about you... what are you choosing to be thankful for today?
"The LORD gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm. So always trust the LORD because He is forever our mighty Rock." - Isaiah 26:3-4
I have 2 - 8x8 scrapbook pages to share today... these pictures were from 2006 & I finally got around to scrapbooking them last weekend... better late than ever.

This was our first & only time we stayed at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for a couples' retreat. It was as great as I expected it to be... no disappointment on my part.

So I would luv to hear what you are thankful for today... thanks for stopping... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful for... (part 3)

Wanted to share a picture taken of the "PFF girls" at last weekends scrapbook retreat. I look a little frazzled in the pic, because of not getting all the "beauty sleep" I needed! *Ü* I am on the left (obviously), Heather in the middle & Ruth of the right.

This leads me to what I am thankful for... I am so very thankful for the outstanding, loving, gracious people God has put into my life... I am blessed by them all. Today however, I am honoring my PFF's... here's to many more laughs, a few more tears... and years & years of getting to know each other through the good, the bad & the just plain ugly!

"Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other." Proverbs 27:17

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankful for... (part 2)

I came across this quote this morning & thought it was really good:

"Work as if it was your first day.
Forgive as soon as possible.
Love without boundaries.
Laugh without control
and never stop smiling..."

I am thankful for God's grace and beauty and for the times I let myself just live in the moment... which so hard for me to do sometimes.
Just another little card I put together using my sister, Renee's SU set... that tree is so great... thinking I might need that set. And I got a new MS triple butterfly punch... it was on sale plus I had a coupon... how great is that??? Almost free!!!!
Now it is your turn... what makes you thankful today?
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful for...

Since Thanksgiving is only a week away, I decided to post something I am thankful for everyday for the next 7 days. I hope you will join me by leaving a, "I am thankful for..." comment too.

Today I am thankful for the abilities my Heavenly Father has given me to help others in need... whether with my prayers, words of encouragement or physical assistance. He doesn't make junk!

"As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." 1 Peter 4:10

I also have a little holiday card to share with you today. I really like that SU deer stamp & of course his antlers were screaming out for some diamond stickles (even though you can't see it too good in the pic).

I have realized I am like my cats... I am weirdly attracted to sparkly, shiny things. "My name is Carin & I am a stickles addict"... is there help for me???

I would luv to have you share your thankfulness with a comment... oh & I am thankful for you stopping by today.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's Monday Already...

Wow, what a whirlwind weekend... thanks to all of you who made your way through the blog hop... it was really something. Being gone to the scrapbook retreat kept me from doing as much hopping as I would have liked. It was a fantabulous weekend! We laughed so much & just had the best time. Thank you to Mom & Dad who made it possible for me to go.
Please go and check out Women to Women: Sharing Jesus as I have a new devotional on there... but don't do it just because of me... put it on your schedule to go there regularly... it will do your heart good!
Yes, it is the season for Christmas card orders & here is a card I made for an order. Used SU Patterned Pines stamp set along with the words from Nature's Christmas (really old SU set).
Can't see it in the pictures, but of course there is a little sparkle from diamond stickles on there too.

"And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." Galatians 6:9

Thanks for stopping... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friends of Faith...

Welcome to Scrapbook News and Review Magazine's A Faith Perspective Thankful for Friends Faith Blog Hop. Today, we're out in force on the internet -- showing our faith and giving the glory to God. United, we stand as Christian paper crafters and blog owners to make a presence on the internet for all to see. We're celebrating the theme of friends and we're happy to share our projects with you based on the verse:
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. " Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a
If you're just joining in on the fun, you can find the start of the train here:
First, we would like to take a moment to thank our generous co-sponsors: Layers of Color Stamps, Gina K Designs Stamps and Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps. Together with Scrapbook News and Review Magazine, these companies have donated some wonderful prizes for today’s blog hop.

Prizes? Oh, yeah! There will be three lucky grand prize winners for today’s event. To enter, simply hop to the blogs of all of the participating staff members of Scrapbook News and Review Magazine, take note of the staff member’s name, and leave a comment on their posts. Then send us an email listing each of the staff members who participated in today’s hop. It’s that easy. All entries must be received by Monday, November 16, 2009 at 12 noon, EST and three winners will be randomly chosen to win.
What are the prizes?
One $100 gift certificate from Layers of Color Stamps AND a 6 month subscription to Scrapbook News and Review Magazine.
One basket of goodies -- four stamp sets from Gina K Designs and a 6 month subscription to Scrapbook News and Review Magazine.
One set of digital stamps from Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps and a 3 month subscription to Scrapbook News and Review Magazine.
In addition, every participating staff member of Scrapbook News and Review Magazine will offer a free one-month subscription to the magazine to one of their lucky visitors by simply leaving a comment on their blog. That's a lot of chances to win, so let’s get to the Hop!
If you are a regular visitor to my blog then you know I just write the way I think... I love sharing little "tidbits" of what God has laid on my heart. God has blessed me with such good friends in my life. I believe a friend will be there through thick & thin... you know friends make this ride of life so much better.
This is a double page 6x6 scrapbook page I did as a gift for a good friend's birthday. The picture on the left is (from left to right) me, Heather & Ruth, the birthday girl. We three are known as the PFF girls... it is a long story how we got that name... all that needs to be said is that we are the best of friends... we laugh a lot... cry a little... and make people give us strange looks in the process. We are on a scrapbooking retreat this weekend together. They are my friends & they are a blessing from God.

This other card is done with a SU set that I have had for years... it is called "On Angel Wings." The words say, "Friendship is love without wings." I think that is such a pretty saying. What do you think? I really like the monochromatic look of this card... and of course I had to put diamond stickles on the wings.

The next stop on this blog hop is: Danielle Holsapple
Thanks for stopping, enjoy the rest of the hop & come back & visit again... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hope for the day...

First of all I want to remind you of the Thankful for Friends of Faith blog hop that will be this weekend... 14 & 15 of November. Please make sure you stop & hop along with us. Let the Christian bloggers know that God's message is getting out there and that you appreciate their efforts by posting a comment.
We were challenged last night at church to spread hope to others that maybe have no hope... I can't imagine living my life without hope. My hope is first & foremost in Christ... there is no hope without Him first.
"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." Romans 5:5
What are some ways you can share hope with others?
Two little creative projects to share. I got these home decor elements from SU awhile ago, but finally put them on my walls the other day. I luv that saying... "we are too great for small dreams"... God has put great dreams into us to follow. This is on my bedroom wall, so I can be reminded every morning when I wake up.

And this little bird is perched above my pantry door in my kitchen... the good thing about this bird is there is no mess... if you know what I mean. *Ü*

Better get moving... lots to do. Leaving for a scrapbook retreat tomorrow through Sunday. Will be spending time with some wonderful ladies... can't wait!

Thanks for stopping... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hope & Peace...

Lookin' like it is gonna be a pretty nice weekend in northern Michigan... maybe it will get out of the 30's... yah!
This time change from day-light savings to standard is kicking my butt this week... we get an extra hour back & I am thrown off schedule. Is anyone else feeling it???
Wanted to share 2 more cards from the pack with you. I know they are very simple, but sometimes simple is best. I used textured cardstock, MS butterfly punch, stickles for the body of the butterflies.

Did two layers to give dimension to the butterflies. Colors are SU Purely Pomegranate & Pretty in Pink with Raspberry Tart dsp.

"But whether we are at home with the Lord or away from him, we still try our best to please him." II Corinthians 5:9

I am making lasagna today... yummy... I have been so hungry for it & we are having some friends over to share. Oh, Luke is making homemade ice cream too!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, November 5, 2009

He strengthens me...

It is a sunny but very cold day today... thank God for the sun! I just don't know if I am ready for this "winter" weather yet. Ready or not here it comes!
Went to a friend's home today to work on some Christmas projects for our ladies' ministry. We have a long ways to go, but thrilled we got it started!
I haven't mentioned the whole weight loss thing in a few weeks. I have not gone to WW in a few weeks, but I am still trying to exercise some & watching what I eat. I just couldn't aford to keep going at this point, but the good news is I have lost another 2 pounds, so now my total is 10 pounds off!!!
Here are 2 more cards I did for the pack I sold... I did 2 of each of these colors.
They both contain sponging & heat embossing. The CS is Baroque Burgundy, Sahara Sand, Night of Navy.
That is one of my favorite verses too! Hope you enjoyed your short stay.
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Blog Hop

Here is your invitation to the Friends of Faith Blog Hop on November 14, 2009. Please pass the word. grateFUL HEART blog will be participating along with Women to Women Sharing Jesus and many other blogs.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

He likes me...

Our last few Fall days have been very chilly... brrrrr... we woke up to snow on the rooftop this morning... of course it didn't stay, but that is okay! Once again I am preoccupied with a "to do list"... you can know for sure that posting on my blog is always on my list, but doesn't always get done... sorry.

I had an order for a dozen cards from a great lady at our church... this is the 3rd time she has gotten cards from me. So over the next few days I will be sharing the different cards I did for her pack. This is a nice SU set called "Wings of Friendship"... did 2 in each color combo. The first being turquoise
and the second is an old "in color" called Marigold Morning. Used my brayer & some heat embossing.

I came across this verse this morning:
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
I am reading a book called "The Original Sanctuary"... it is about finding the true freedom Christ has for us... what He gave himself for... He was condemned so we wouldn't be. Since I started this book I have been thinking a lot about how many times I "condemn" myself over some of the silliest things. One of my favorite verses is:
"For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things." I John 3:20
God has created each one of us as the special people that we are... He loves you and me. What I have recently come to know is He LIKES me too. In my mind I know He is God... He has to love me because He is God, but I never really thought about Him liking me. Have you ever thought about Him liking you? Do you think of God in that way?
One more thing to check off my list... thanks for stopping... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, October 30, 2009

Off and running...

Had to take the time to post something today... I miss my blogging... I have just gotten too busy being busy! How does it get so out of control at times... I know there are plenty of people out there in the same predicament... where do I jump off??? Take a moment & check out Stressed or Blessed at WTW... it is just what I needed to be reminded of... now how do I do something about it??? You would think that a person that has no "real" job should have all the time in the world, but there is so much I want to get done & so little time to get it all done.
I am reading a book called, "The Original Sanctuary"... I am only in the 4th chapter & I have gotten so much out of it... it is mind blowing for me. The writers of this book will be speaking at our church next weekend & at Night Out For Ladies too... I am really hoping to finish the book before than. So I thought I would share a little paragraph from the book that has to do with my busyness. This is from a section of the book titled, "from the heart of God to me."
"Your value lies not in what you do, but in what you are. And you are My child! You have endowed abilities and talents given to you out of My resources to complete the tasks that I have set before you. If you are pursuing My plans and My Kingdom, the resources from which you will draw are endlessly Mine. However, if the plans are yours, you are on your own."
Are my plans God's or am I running my own agenda??? Something to think about.
Also, wanted to share this card I did at the scrapbooking retreat last weekend... it is a "wiper" card... that SU "bambi" set is so cute... once again it is my sister's set not mine.

Today is the Harvest Festival at church so I need to get scooting... Luke & I are "team leaders" of the inflatables... yes, that is right what we use to call "moon walks"... should be fun.

Thanks for stopping... be blessed... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here for you...

I am home once again. Had a good week with my family in the Thumb, but I am glad to be home. Although today I feel like I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off... so to speak. I have so much I want to get at but seem to be spinning my wheels.
It was a great scrapbooking retreat. The devotions were great... really made me think... not only think but change what needs to be changed. We had a journal contest at the retreat... they gave everyone a notebook & we were to each design a cover. This is mine... I didn't win, but I did get to keep the journal. I like that peacock stamp from SU... I don't have that set but my sis does, so it was fun using her stuff! Thanks Na! You can't tell in the pic, but I put diamond stickles on the tail feathers... it looks so glisteny & sparkly.
Are there ever times in your life you hesitate to say or do what you know God would want you to because you are afraid of making people around you uncomfortable? I have had those times... why do I let others' feelings come before my obedience to God? I now see that in those times I am putting more value on the creation then on the Creator. God loves me without end... He should always be at the forefront of my actions... I am His child.
"Think how much the Father loves us. He loves us so much that he lets us be called his children, as we truly are. But since the people of this world did not know who Christ is, they don't know who we are. My dear friends, we are already God's children, though what we will be hasn't yet been seen. But we do know that when Christ returns, we will be like him, because we will see him as he truly is." I John 3:1-2
Thanks for stopping... I am really hoping to start posting a little more regularly.
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, October 23, 2009

Trick or retreat...

Today is the first day of the scrapbooking retreat at Bay Shore Camp in Sebewaing (pronounced "Seab-wing)... hope to be there by noon. I am excited since I have never been, so I don't know what to expect... I know God is gonna do something good though. My "old" friend Wendy is the devotional speaker for the weekend... I have a lot of history with Wendy & I am so thrilled she has been moved by God to do what she is doing. My sister, Renee, & I had a part in Wendy coming to Christ when we were teenagers, so I feel that I have a part in her ministry even if it is just my love, prayer & support. Plus, she is a little crazy & so much fun... you know I have a little crazy in me too!
Anyway, they have a silent auction at the retreat so I am giving these Pampered Chef Prep Bowls with some yummy kisses in them to be auctioned off. Would you bid on these if you could?

Here is a quote for the day: "the closer we walk with God, the clearer we see His guidance." I pray I am right on His heals today!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Love, believe, hope, endure...

Today is a dreary Fall day, so it was a good day to stay in & help my sister with a little project. I am at my parent's in the Thumb. The last 2 days I helped with moving/unpacking things at my sister's house... still not quite ready to move in completely, but getting closer (6 months today).

Renee is a vendor at a scrapbook retreat this weekend, which I am going to also, so I helped get these little nugget boxes made for little gifts for attendees. I am looking forward to it & I know my sis can use the time to just "be". (sorry the picture isn't the best)

When Luke & I got married, one of the verses we used was I Corinthians 13:13 -
"Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." I was reading about this chapter... what is this love?... do I show this love?... am I letting God's love flow through me to be used to help others in pain? I have to admit I get so caught up in my own life "stuff" that I am sure I don't have a clue how many opportunities I am missing to show love.
In verse 7 of that chapter it says, "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." Have you ever been so down or in emotional pain that you lost your hope... you wondered if you could go on? Maybe when there are people in that state that we come in contact with... those are the times we need to be ready to have enough love to believe, hope & endure for those people... is that what God's love is?
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Monday, October 19, 2009

Light of Creation...

Just had to post this beautiful sunrise God blessed me with this morning. I know a sunrise this gorgeous usually means not nice weather, but it was still eye-opening on this early morning.
I am heading off to the Thumb this morning to help where I can with the transition back home for my sis & her family. I am feeling so blessed to be able to go & help... we'll see if I feel the same way by the end of this week! *Ü*
Had a great day yesterday. Our pastor gave us a great message... I feel like God is really trying to say something big to me, just don't quite know what it is yet. Sometimes I sit & wait for God to speak to me in a quiet "voice" when actually He is speaking to me I just can't hear His voice through all the clutter in my mind & my heart.
"God does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number." —Job 5:9
I want to live my life with more wonderment... like a child. What happened in my life that made me lose that... I know we grow-up... we mature (at least some do), but we are called children of God not grown-ups of God. I really don't know where I am going with this... just a thought that I needed to put down... if I find out where this is leading I will let you know... you can count on it.
Here's a quote I came across, "When we cease to wonder, we cease to worship." Hmmmm... interesting.
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


It is a beautiful Fall day... a little chilly, but bright sun & blue skies... what more can you ask for??? Today is WW weigh-in day... I started 7 weeks ago... I am still hanging in there... I did pretty good while on vacation last week. It was when I got home that I had a problem... so I was dreading weigh-in today... also I am blotted & crampy if you get what I mean... and a little no a lot hormonal... I felt like just staying in bed this morning, but I didn't. If it wasn't for my friend who is going too I probably wouldn't have gone. Now, for the bare truth... I was down 1.2 pounds! That is 8 pounds in 7 weeks... not quite like the "biggest loser" but my motto is "slow & steady wins the race".
On to more interesting things... I am going to a scrapbooking retreat next Friday (23) thru Sunday. My sis, Renee, who is the SU demo, has attended it for years & it finally worked out for me to go too. I am not a real big scrapbooker, but I try... it should be a great time with Christian ladies & a good friend of ours is doing the devotions for the weekend. So, I said all that to get to this name tag I made... my sis asked me to help her out by coming up with a crafty name tag for the leaders at the retreat. I used my Cricut, along with SU Old Olive, Ruby Red, Chocolate Chip, and some stickles too! She hasn't seen it yet so don't know if it is what she had in mind... what do you think???

I have this other cool picture I took while we were hiking on vacation... I thought this tree looked like it was trying to hang in there... bare roots & all. I feel like that some days... over-stretched, over-exposed, losing my "grip", but through God's strength I am still hanging in there. Do you ever have those days?

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" II Corinthians 4:16-17

Thanks for stopping... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Strokes of Fall...

We got back yesterday from 5 days away... I can't even tell you how great it was... I am so thankful for the relaxing time God gave us. Was the weather the best??? No, but we didn't let that stop us... my BHF (best hubby forever) is the kind of guy who just pulls up his boot straps & keeps on going, which is so good for me, because I am not always that adaptable... hard to believe I know!
The Fall colors here in northern Michigan are just gorgeous... God is really painting it up right this year. On Monday we hiked to the top of Avalanche Mountain in Boyne City... there are steps built into the side of the hill... 462 steps to be exact! The award for reaching the top is a beautiful over-look of the whole town, Lake Charlevoix & beyond.
Here are a couple of the choice pics Luke took from that vantage point... see gorgeous.... don't you think? Just in the few days we were there the colors really started changing. We wanted to take the hike again on Thursday, but I over-worked my calves on Monday & just couldn't do it... I could have climbed up there, but it was the downward motion that would have given me a problem... oh well maybe next time.

We saw our first snow this afternoon, so I felt it appropriate to share this snowflake card with you... this is the only snowflake I want to see for awhile.
Missed my blogging for the week... the place where we stay has computers in the clubhouse but just enough to check my emails... I told Luke we need a laptop since all the condos there have DSL service.
Time to start supper... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, October 3, 2009

This & that...

Happy World Card Making Day! I have not gotten the things done today I had hoped to, but at least I finished the first challenge on SCS. The challenge was to create a card making a quote or saying the focal point. It is simple but my DH said it was pretty... even without me asking! My gallery on SCS is under the name Carin Melissa.

I have to update you on my WW weigh-in from Wednesday... remember I was visiting my family all last week & they are not the easiest people to be around when I am trying to behave myself! So my loss for the week was almost 2 pounds... to be exact 1.8 pounds... total is 7.8 pounds. Slow & steady wins the race! I am noticing my pants fitting looser around the waist... that is fabulous!

Luke & I are heading north tomorrow afternoon until Friday... I know we live in Michigan's "playland" but we have to go farther north to "play"... Boyne Mountain for quiet relaxing few days. Can't wait to go... not looking forward to the packing! Hopefully the weather will be a little nice & the Fall colors will be beautiful!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall in Michigan...

Ok, I guess this is Fall in northern Michigan... but I am not liking it right now. It is cold, rainy & windy... 46º... almost that cold in the house too! Brrrrrr! This is me whining about the cold, but actually Fall is my favorite time of year... when it is nice & cool... not cold & rainy! I can give thanks that I am indoors & not outside today!
Had a beautiful weekend... went to a pig roast with our church family out in God's nature. The colors are not turned too much yet but it will be gorgeous soon... if this wind doesn't blow all the leaves off the trees! Luke & I did take a little hike into the woods & I had him take this picture of a leaf in "transition"... still a little green, but the beauty of Fall is starting to cover it.

That is kind of how I feel my spiritual life is sometimes... God is taking me in my natural state (green) & little by little He is helping me see His beauty all over me. Just like on the leaf there are those mars & imperfections, but overall you see the beauty God created.
"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." II Corinthians 3:18
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

He's here...

I am still here... although my pictures are not uploading to blogger from my mom's computer... what is with that??? Anyway, I am at my parents' house for the week... everything is good. I am trying to help where I can with all that is going on with my sister's family and their fire restoration... mostly moral support on my part. Let me review the last 6 months of what has happened with my sister & her family:

- in late March they had a pile of wood catch fire in their yard... with high winds the fire department was called.

- in late April they had a fire in their basement... causing the whole house to have severe smoke damage. The fire chief said that 10 more minutes & the smoke would have made it impossible to get out.

- my sister & brother-in-law have been living with our parents. My 2 nieces have been living with my younger sister, along with their dog & 2 cats.

- the youngest daughter graduated from high school in June.

- BIL had thyroid surgery in July, which resulted in a cancer diagnosis for him & second surgery to remove all of his thyroid.

- August found sister & BIL in Detroit area for 5 days while he received cancer treatments.

- last Saturday my BIL's pickup motor blew... now they are without a vehicle for him to get to work.

I say all this to ask you the question... what would you do if you were dealing with all this? I realize there are so many worse things that could happen... no one died... no one got hurt, but when you have times like these in your life what do you do? When you cry out to God & He seems to be silent... I was trying to encourage my sis that this may be her time in the "wilderness." The wilderness makes us stronger & we know God is always there with us, but what do you do when He seems to be silent? This verse came to my mind:

"And he said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." II Corinthians 12:9

How powerful is that! Where would I be... where would my family be without God? I share all this with you to say that no matter the circumstances... God is still holding onto His children... that is my assurance. Oh & if you have an extra prayer or two say one for my family. Through it all I will praise Him. Praise Him in the good... praise Him in the bad... just praise Him.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good Measure...

Today has been a good Saturday! I am getting ready to go to the Thumb for a few days to be with my family, so I am trying to get things in order for Luke before I leave... not that he needs me to do that, but I want to... I don't like being gone from him, but I really want to be in the Thumb to be with my sister as they are getting closer to being back in their home... 5 months since the fire!

Had a great day yesterday with PFF girls (Pink Flip Flop girls... don't ask!)... I actually did a little, very little scrap booking. Yes, this 2 page layout is all I got done, but we did a lot of chatting & of course a little nibbling too... they are great friends! I am blessed with all kinds of great friends in my life.

I have been thinking lately about blessing people with my actions, words, service, financially... I was raised with the drive to bless others when possible, so that is fairly easy for me... I love to give! However, since I lost my job almost 1 1/2 years ago, the finances have really started to be low... which in turn makes it not as easy to do for others like I would like to. Now, for one of the many lessons God is teaching me through this whole thing is that sometimes I have to be the one to receive the blessing from others... that is a hard one for me! In the past when I have tried to bless someone & they were reluctant to receive, I said the same thing, "I am blessed by blessing you & sometimes you need to not deny me of that blessing"... easier to say than to live... for me anyway. I was talking with my sister earlier today & she just told me to stop being selfish & let someone bless me... she will be happy to know I actually listened to something she said to me. *Ü* I wonder what any of you think on this subject... in general... would you share your thoughts with me?

This verse came to mind today & knew it was what I needed to share with you:

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38
Thanks for stopping... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Walk in light...

Walkin' through Wednesday... first off today was WW weigh-in day... I did have a loss, but I am going to tell you my grand total (so far) at the end of my post today... I know... oh the suspense!
We have a store in Cadillac called Merchandise Outlet... they have some really cool bargains, so I have to limit my visits, but the other day I was in there & came across this really neat yarn, which I used on this card... it was 115 yards for a buck! See what a bargain! Ok, I know I am easily excited by strange things... ah... I find joy in little things. *Ü* So I made this card with mega color... it reminds me of Summer & I am not quite ready to give it up yet... the layout came from a card I saw from Deann Oliver a long time ago. I know it is bright, but it also is happy!

As I was growing up I always had to have a night light on in the hall at night... in fact I still don't like the room to be totally dark... we have a night light in our bathroom just off our bedroom. That was something Luke had to get use to when we got married, but he just wants me to be comfy to sleep so he sacrificed... besides he is a sound sleeper... you could drop a bomb on his head & he wouldn't wake up! So when I came across this verse today... the idea of the light thrills me... I don't ever have to walk in darkness again... through the love of God in Christ He made that my reality... is it yours? I hope so.

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light" Ephesians 5:8

Ok, now the total weight loss after 3 weeks is... 5 pounds! May not seem like much to some but I am so happy... think I'll celebrate with a piece of cake! Just kidding!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin