Monday, April 27, 2009

What's in a word?

I am still at my parent's house for a couple more days. I am glad I am here, but I do get homesick for Luke... I know that probably sounds silly... especially after 18 years of marriage... that is just how it is! *Ü*

I am trying to help where I can with regards to my sister & her family. I just hope I am doing more good than harm. That may sound like a strange statement to you, but I am the kind of person that wants to keep everyone moving in a positive direction... as I am told so often, "you live in La La Land". I just believe that the words that come out of my mouth sets the tone for my attitude & outlook on things. I have not always been that way, unfortunately, but God has done a real work in me where that is concerned. The words that I speak are the words I hear & not only me but anyone around me & also the devil... why should I give him the chance to use my own words against me????

The written word can be so really can impact life... for instance the Bible... there is life in those words. Just like the spoken word... we can speak life or we can speak destruction. Try taking a verse & reading it out loud... it might sound weird, but I have found when I do that it gives me so much comfort. On the other hand, when I speak something bad about someone or even about myself... is there ever any comfort in that???

"Be done with every trace of wickedness and all deceit and insincerity and grudges (envy, jealousy) and slander and evil speaking of every kind." I Peter 2:1

We, as Christians, are told to be encouraging to others... my question to you is... how do you encourage people that may not want to be encouraged?

Just a little card I put together for a birthday wish... like I said before, I have this butterfly thing going. It is simple, but I love the colors. And yes, I actually used some of my jeweled flowers!

Thanks for stopping & reading my thoughts... your visits are appreciated! with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, April 25, 2009

God's love still stands...

I have been fascinated with butterflies lately...I love what they life...resurrection. They seem so happy. I guess if I was stuck in a little cacoon for weeks & then sprung free & able to fly... not to mention going from being a creepy, crawl on your belly caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly...I would be happy too! Hmmm... you know that is exactly what I was before I came to know my Savior. My spirit was low & hopeless... I was stuck in what could be compared to a cacoon... then I met Jesus... I had to die to myself to live for Him... the transformation may not have been on the outside but on the inside I was made free... my spirit was able to soar.

"... if any one be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." II Corinthians 5:17

Luke & I are in the "Thumb" staying with my parents for the weekend... actually Luke is going home tomorrow afternoon, but I am staying for a few more days. It seemed like a good time to be here with my family with all my sister, Renee, & her family are going through after the fire. She has been handling it all very well... their testimony of trusting the Lord is going to play a big part in this whole tragedy...
non-believers are watching to see how they handle it all... we just pray through it all... people will come to Christ... God deserves all the glory! Today... Renee is feeling a little down... I think she feels like she doesn't have a place to call her own right now... she works from home & her home is very important to her... not in a materialistic way, but more as "home is home"... do you know what I mean? It is her refuge. They are looking at possibly a month before they can be back in their home. Their daughter, Brooke, graduates the end of May. They will also have a graduation party & all... it can just be so overwhelming. It will be fine... God promised us that.

I was reading in the Our Daily Bread today... the final thought really jumped out at me:

"God’s love still stands when all else has fallen."
If you have a chance just send a word of encouragement to Renee... she knows people are praying for them... of course that is most important, but an email or a note could really help her along this journey.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Do not be dismayed...

It has been quite the last 24 hours... I wanted to get this posted yesterday, but my camera was not cooperating. I made this card to give myself comfort... and hopefully you too!

Yesterday morning my sister, Renee, (she is the SU Demo) and her family had an electrical fire in their home. They woke up at 1:00 a.m. to thick black smoke rolling out of their basement into the main part of the house... how scary... I just can't imagine. The good news is that they got out safely... the bad news is that the house is a mess from fire & water damage in the basement, (btw that is where Renee's stamping room is) to major smoke damage through the rest of the house. The really good news is that God protected them through it all... the room in the basement where the fire had started was right under the master bedroom... my dad said you could see the burn marks on the floor boards to Renee & Frank's bedroom... wow! Our God is so good... even in devastation He makes it so clear that His hand of protection is always on His children.

So I used this verse as a reminder... it says what I need to hear today.
In another translation it says: "Don't be afraid. I am with you. Don't tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories." Isaiah 41:10
with a grateFUL HEART, carin
My recipe: well first of all I saw a card like this on SCS, it came from Happy Thoughts & Inkspots. I changed mostly everything but the layout. Paper: SU whisper white, always artichoke, green tea DP; Ink: always artichoke; Stamps: God's Way & God's Beauty; Accessories: SU eyelet boarder punch, MS butterfly punch, diamond stickles, misc. ribbon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


There is sweet treats... blog candy over at All the things I love... check it out!

It has been one sweet Sunday... Pastor Chris really hit the nail on the head with his sermon series called "Supernatural"... I am learning so much. You can listen to it at

After church my sweet husband & I went for lunch at our favorite little "party store"... okay, you might wonder what kind of people go for Sunday lunch to a party store??? that is the joke... it is a party store on half of it & a little cafe on the other half... the food is really good & the prices are reasonable. The first time Luke took me there I had a small fit (OK, maybe not so small)... I was dressed in my church clothes & he was taking me to a PARTY STORE to eat! I wondered... no actually I asked him what was wrong with his head???? Luke has a very loving, laid back demeanor, which is good for me most of the time because he can calmly talk me into things... things that he knows will be good for me. If he got irate & defensive with me... nothing would ever be accomplished. God is always so good, but especially when he puts us with the right people.

Anyway, after lunch we picked up a few groceries & then came home for a little nap... sweet dreams. I love a Sunday afternoon nap... it is the day of rest you know!

Last but not least I want to thank all of you for your sweet comments... when I write my blog I feel like I am writing for me, because I really never know if anyone is ever going to read it, so I am thankful for your encouraging words.

"Comfort and encourage your hearts and strengthen them make them steadfast and keep them unswerving in every good work and word." II Thessalonians 2:17

with a grateFUL Heart, carin

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blog award...

I have been blessed to be one of the first recipients of "The Exalting Christ Blog Award"

Diane Noble is the great lady who introduced the new blog award. In her words, "it is given to bloggers who consistently exalt the name of Christ on their blogs. What a joy to see crafters blend their passion for Christ and papercrafting. This award is given to bloggers who share Christ through their posts or through the design of their artwork. We are commanded in Scripture to be 'salt and light' sharing the Good News of Jesus no matter where we are (Matthew 5:13-16). This award is just a way members of Women to Women: Sharing Jesus can say thanks for exalting Christ with us!"

Post the blog award in a regular post on your blog with the explanation, including the original link to WTW and the rules for passing the award along
1. Name five people (more or less is fine!) to whom you want to offer this award and link to their blogs. The blogs need to obviously exalt Christ in some manner.
2. Contact the bloggers you have named to let them know they can pick up their blog award from you.
3. Invite them to permanently display the WTW blog badge and/or the award on their blogs. The badge can be obtained on the WTW site.

So my recipients are:
~Judy Rozema at Joy in a Jar - she has such beautiful cards & I feel shares her heart on her blog.
~Deann Oliver at The Little Inker! - such great ideas she shares & uses her talents as a ministry in itself.
~Marlene at D World of Marlene - she has such a sweet, honest testimony for the Lord & a great talent for cards making too.
~Courtney Fowler at Created by Courtney - she has some really great projects & shares her love for Christ through her blog.
~Becca Feeken at Amazing Paper Grace - I know she gets all kinds of awards, but her cards & her words are so inspiring to me... love the "Our Daily Bread Stamps".

I really hope you will go and check out these amazing ladies' blogs & don't forget to leave a comment. And go to Women to Women Sharing Jesus... they have terrific weekly devotionals for women by women.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Inspire or Inspired...

Saturday, already... the month of April is just flying by... it was a busy week, but a good week... no a great week. God is doing a work in me and hopefully through me too... that is my desire to be used by Him... wherever He leads.

"And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ, developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you." - Philippians 1:6

As you know if you follow my blog at all... I dabble in all different things... well, today I am sharing my first vinyl project I made using my Cricut. My hubby gave me the Cricut Expression for Christmas this past year... I have been thrilled with it! I bought some vinyl to use with it sometime ago... but just hadn't done it... "if I use it -- it will be gone"... anyway, this is a Simple Additions cup from PChef... it is a good-size cup almost what I would call a soup-cup. I used the Home Accents cartridge... the vinyl colors are red & tan. So how do you think it turned out?

I am not the kind of person that can self-promote, so in most cases what I write on my blog are my thoughts of things that have spoke to me and if anyone else can take anything away from it I am thrilled. My goal is to share my thoughts and hopefully inspire you, but I also am inspired by you and your comments. Thanks for stopping.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Attitude adjustment...

I can remember when I was a teenager (yes, I can remember... it hasn't been that long ago!) when I would start with that "I know everything, you know nothing" attitude... these were the words I would hear, "you need an attitude adjustment!"

I know even now when I want to do things my own way or do my own thing... the Holy Spirit says to me, "you need an attitude adjustment," okay maybe those aren't the exact words but the meaning is the same. It is amazing how my attitude can change my outlook on things that are going on in my life. On those days when everyone or everything is getting on my last nerve... admit it we all have those days... if I try to handle it myself... what a mess I make out it all... I am hurt or offended, annoyed or frustrated, or maybe all of those at the same time. But if I have prepared my heart with the attitude of Christ even before my last nerve is frayed... what a difference that makes. A verse that comes to mind is:
He must increase, but I must decrease. —John 3:30

We have 3 cats that are our constant companions... you have seen the pic of Mimsey on the sidebar of my blog (she is the baby of the pride)... Schmoo is the old man of the group... then there is Lollipop, she is the poor middle cat... you know the middle child is always misunderstood & picked on (yes, I am the middle child). Well, poor Lolli has an attitude problem... she is a small cat with a big attitude... she is so beautiful, as you can see in her pic... she is so loving & cuddly with me, but she is not usually so thrilled with visitors... she has been known to hiss & spit on occasion. Sometimes she needs an attitude adjustment... just like I do so many times... hey, at least I don't hiss *Ü*

Are you in need of an attitude adjustment? I pray that I can set aside my selfish attitude & have an attitude that pleases God.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nothing trifle about it...

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend... I just love the spring-time of the year... just wish it was a little more spring-like in the temperature department... I'm not complaining! *Ü*
I wanted to share my "masterpiece" with you from a PC party I did last night... doesn't it look so yummy??? And it tasted as good as it looks... it is made in the P. Chef trifle bowl... I named this dessert... "Strawberry Dream Trifle"... chocolate, strawberries, pudding, cream cheese, whip topping... I would say that is a dream! The nice thing about this bowl is that it comes in 2 pieces so you can put the "pedestal" part right inside for storage... also comes with a lid.

Just a little snip it of a verse I came across this morning:

Ecclesiastes 12:1 "Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth."

Anyone that reads my blog on a regular basis knows I get pretty personal in what I write so this will not be a surprise to you... I have to say when I read that verse I thought about my parents... what a blessing they are to have as parents... I don't know where I would be if they hadn't shown me Jesus at a very young age... no, I didn't always like living with restrictions (I was the child that tried my mother's patience... big time!)... but how thankful I am for it now. I guess what I am trying to say is, "thanks Mom & Dad"... I know I have told them this before, but I don't want another day to go by without it being said again. Time is so fleeting... if there is something you need to do or something you need to say to someone... don't put it off for another day. A word of encouragement, a hug, giving your life to Christ, whatever it may be... by putting things off we find ourselves living a mediocre life... I don't want to live an OK life... none of us were put on this earth for that... I want to live a life that honors God... He wants the best for me & you too... take the time to do the things you are being led to do... that is what I am going to try to do... how 'bout you?

Thanks to all of you that stop in & leave a word of encouragement... my blog friends are the best!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lead Me...

It is Easter Sunday…what an awesome day the Lord has made… blue skies & sunshine…woohoo! Here is a pic we took on this glorious Resurrection Sunday!
This morning something happened that led me to think about the way God uses us if we allow Him to. When God moved Luke & I to the Cadillac area 4 years ago…it was so hard giving up what we had to give up but the answer was always “yes, God we are willing”… I believe God always has a purpose & not knowing what His purpose was never slowed us down from being willing… not that it was easy at the time. Anyway, getting back to this morning… we were able to see some of the seed we have been able to sow coming to harvest… it just thrills my heart to know that because we were willing… someone’s life was changed forever. Anything that we gave up means nothing compared to that one soul… just one makes it all worth it.

A song we sang in church this morning, called “Lead Me To the Cross” keeps going through my mind… the words say, “everything I once held dear, I count it all as loss…lead me to the cross where Your love poured out… bring me to my knees, Lord I lay me down… rid me of myself, I belong to You… lead me… lead me to the cross”. Living a surrendered life… that is the ultimate goal.
We will be having Easter dinner with some friends later... thanks Mike & Deb for thinking of us... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, April 10, 2009

No Greater Love...

It is another beautiful, sunny day here in northern Michigan! Thank-You, Lord! I don't have a crafty item to share with you today... but I did take a shot of the hyacinth Luke brought me home on Tuesday... aren't they sooooo pretty... you can smell them all over the house... I love spring flowers!

A lil' meditation for today... Good Friday – I’ve often wondered why it is called “Good Friday”—if this is the day Christ died for me…then why is it good??? I’m not sure why it was named that... being the great theologian I am *Ü*... but for me the day that Christ gave up His life brings mixed feelings… on one side I would not have a chance of eternal life in Heaven without this Great Sacrifice…even that statement leads to mixed emotions… good for the sake of my salvation, but so sad that it was my sins that sent Him to that death on the cross. I was reading in John 15… today my thoughts are focused on verse 13:

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

That verse has always been a mind blowing verse for me… would I be willing to lay my life down for a friend???? As I was thinking on that I had quite the revelation… He was not asking me to just physically lay down my life for my friend, but to spiritually & emotionally lay it all down for Him… I really had to think about that… if someone put a gun to my head & said “deny Christ or die” would I have the strength to die for Him???? I would hope so. On the other hand, everyday I am asked to “die to self”… but how easy is that to do???? Most every day I know I am a total failure at that… since I am not perfect (God knows that *Ü*) He can see I have a desire & a willing heart to lay it all done for Him. And because of His unconditional, unfailing love He gives me an “A” for effort and not an “F” for failure… He made me… He knows I am a work in progress… I am a blessed, priceless child of my Heavenly Father… I am so thankful that He loved me so much to give me a second chance at life by giving up His Son to save me.

Just a thought to share on this "good Friday"... have a blessed day... with an over-flowing, grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Just a quick post today... I have a sneak peak at gifts I have been working on for NOFL... these jar candles I found at our local Walmart... they were so nice & smelled so good... I figured I could re-create them in my fashion... what do you think... will the birthday recipients like them???? Hope so.

The title of this post is "Rejoice"... we should always rejoice... but especially during this Easter season my thoughts are brought to the main reason to rejoice... this verse says it all:

"He is not here, but He has risen." Luke 24:6

I can rejoice in the hope that Christ gave me when He was raised from the dead... He conquered death & sin... all I can say is REJOICE!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


As you may notice my blog has taken on a new look... what do you think? I wanted to jazz it up a bit... did it work?
I have one little project to share with you for now... I am working on so much for our ladies' ministry... maybe I will have something to share later...but for now here is a little notebook I did for a NOFL gift...very simple, I know.

Also, I have a verse for today: John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]" (Amplified)

I love what the Amplified translation says about not permitting yourself to be agitated, disturbed, fearful & intimidated. Remember these words are the “red letter” words so they are right from Christ’s mouth (so to speak). *Ü* What does peace mean to you? It can mean great things like establishing peace from a war in the world, but it can also mean finding peace from the war I have going on inside of me… you know... those days when everything or everyone seems to be irritating… when I get disturbed over the dumbest things… when fear grabs hold of me over a passing thought (those “what if” moments)… when I come face to face with someone I feel is better than me… even on those days when I can’t remember the words I am trying to speak… these are the days when this verse comes to my mind… God gave His Son as my ransom & in return Christ gave me peace that passes ALL understanding… what LOVE… what SACRIFICE… what PEACE! I hope you have peace today! Thanks for stopping!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin


Here is a great blog candy... check it out... nice blog too!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Joy in the little things...

Our life is easing up a bit... we finished the life-group we were hosting last Thursday... "Fireproof Your Marriage"... it was a great study... praying that it strengthened the marriages of those that participated... I know it did ours. I am so grateful for God's working in our life as a couple!
We also just finished a 13 week Financial Peace class... yes, 13 weeks...every Sunday afternoon for 2 hours... it is also a great class, but a major commitment... I would advise everyone to take it... we are a financial work in progress... do we have financial peace? not quite yet, but we are on our way!
I have a card to share with you today... it was one I gave to a friend of mine for a belated birthday... those colors make me think of summer...not cold north winds blowing!!! No, that was not a complaint!
Also, something else I want to share is this scripture, Psalms 51:10-12:
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit."
Do you ever feel sometimes like the only thing you can pray is a Psalm? I have felt recently a little stressed & overwhelmed... I wonder if I am living up to my potential or am I just being too hard on myself???? So many questions... so little time! Then I come across a verse or two that just jumps right out at me... so many times I read Psalms right out loud like I am speaking directly to God... it might sound crazy... but it helps... it also lets the devil hear God's Word & he will be on his way so he doesn't have to hear It.
With Easter just around the corner it reminds me of times gone by... Easter was always a very important day because of the celebration of the resurrection, but my mom always made it a fun time as well with coloring & hiding the eggs... of course we always got a basket full of candy... actually we still do, but now I have to share it with Luke! *Ü* We want to be at our own church for Easter & so we will be without family again this Easter. I think holidays are the hardest... don't misunderstand... Luke & I have such a full life in Lake City & we love our church family, we are living the life God has given us... but it is at the cost of losing close contact with my family... that makes me sad... everyone just gets too busy.
Sorry, I know this is to be uplifting... lift me up by sharing a nice Easter memory with me... with a grateFUL HEART, carin