Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

I just wanted to post a new years greeting to you... and share a little project I did for a gift!  Our pastor had been doing a message series about preparing! Preparing for the coming of the Lord... preparing our hearts for Christmas! Live well... Laugh often... Love much!  That is my prayer for my life as well as yours! 
Reflecting on the good things of the past year... learning from the not so great things of the past year... praising God for the victories He has brought in the past year!  Have a Happy New Year and don't forget to live well... laugh often... love much! Looking forward to all that God has waiting for us just around the corner!
Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters, "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
If you have a chance check-out Coffee Cup Corner too!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Monday, December 24, 2012


Christmas Eve... the 12th day of the "12 Days Before Christmas."  Spending time with my family... eating, laughing, and lots of chatting!  My hubby and I were blessed to attend a lovely candlelight Christmas Eve service.  It was a nice mix of contemporary music with traditional Christmas music... just really a nice service!  And as we left church it was snowing... they don't have much snow here in the Thumb so I thought it was a nice surprise!
I thought today I would share a card that shows the true Reason for the Season... a precious baby born so long ago... born in humble surroundings, but would change the world forever! Who could have imagined?  What JOY to know He came for you and me!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Best Gift...

Sunday, December 23... Day 11 of "12 Days Before Christmas" ~ Oh my, it has been a long day with many miles traveled.  Left home before 8:00am headed towards Ludington for church... got 1 1/2 miles from home and realized I didn't have my phone... quick turn around and back on the road again. Made it just in time for 9:30 service!  Great services! Lunch with some special friends at House of Flavors... when you are in Ludington you must go to House of Flavors!  Hit the road again... heading across state to the Thumb to be with family!  We put 260 miles on today, but it is worth every inch to be with family!
My card for today is like one I did for my class only I changed up the colors... used Bravo Burgundy with Sahara Sand... of course still had to add glimmer paper and some shimmer paint!
Oh come let us adore Him... grateFUL for the Best Gift I have ever received.

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday Before Christmas...

Day 10! The last 10 days have gone so fast! How about for you?  It has been a busy Saturday for us just here at home... cut-out sugar cookies baked and decorated... banana bread made... peppermint merague cookies... goodies delivered to the neighbors and presents all done and wrapped! Now I can relax for a few days!

I am not sharing a Christmas card today, but instead a sweet Christmas greeting from our kitty cat, Mimsey!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, December 21, 2012

White Christmas... I think so...

Happy Winter! Yes, it certainly came in with a vengeance here in northern Michigan! But I luv snow! It's the wind I am not so thrilled about!

Alrighty... day 9 of "12 Days Before Christmas"... another snowflake card... Melon Mambo and Gumball Green combo:
We just got done watching "White Christmas"... I can watch that silly movie over and over! I like the music... and I absolutely love the beautiful costumes!  I admit it I am a sap!  I watch Hallmark Channel movies over and over too! *Ü*

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Greetings of the Season...

December 20! Day 8 of the "12 Days Before Christmas"... It certainly looks like Christmas here in northern Michigan!  We have about 8 inches of snow so far since this morning!  I have gotten quite a bit done around the house today.  The last of our Christmas cards went out in the mail! Yay!

I have some other Christmas cards to share... have to do it while I can... I love Christmas! And in honor of our snowfall:

My grateFUL HEART has a verse to share with you today... "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1:17
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry, Merry...

Day 7 of my "12 Days Before Christmas"... I am at home trying to get some Christmas projects finished up.  I have a migraine... I get one maybe 4 or 5 times a year... now is not a convenient time for this... I just keep pushing on... slowly!

Christmas came early to our family and I just have to share... my dad's biopsy came back today and he is cancer free!  For anyone that doesn't know, my dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer in August of this year... he had a month of radiation treatments... after waiting a couple months for healing from the radiation they did a biopsy last week... today we got the fantastic news! I believed that our prayers would be answered, but it is always a relief when it is confirmed! God is so good! He is so faithful!

Ok, now for the last Christmas card from my class:
I found a similar card on Pinterest... I luv the color, Pool Party! And of course the silver glimmer paper!

Thanks so much for stopping!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Comfort & Joy...

Ok, I lost track of my day and totally missed day 5 of "12 Days Before Christmas!" So I will be doing day 5 and 6 today! Yay!

I cannot hardly believe Christmas is a week from today! We had a beautiful snow covering, but all the rain we got over the weekend pretty much took care of that... oh well!  I don't know if it is just me or if other people are like this, but there are certain things that I think I need to have for it to be "Christmas." Do you know what I mean?  For instance, the other day I was trying to get baking things done and I could feel this ornery feeling coming over me. My hubby asked me what was wrong and I just burst into tears... I was feeling so overwhelmed and I wanted to get this done and that done, but I was tired and quickly running out of time! Don't you know Christmas isn't Christmas without Snickerdoodles??? *Ü* My level-headed hubby so gently hugged me and said to me, "Christmas isn't about all those things... those things are good memories of Christmas-past. And that is ok."  Um, reality check for me!  I guess with feeling like so many things in my life are up in the air... I was just looking for the familiar.  It did help me to refocus... I am thankful for my hubby that God gave me to ever so sweetly remind me of what is important!

Ok, enough of that... onto the 2 cards for today:

 This card's layout I originally saw from Jennie Maier.
And this card was something I cased from Amanda Mertz... just made the colors my own!

More Christmas projects to get done... so I better run!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Cheer...

Day 4... of 12 Days Before Christmas... It has been a very busy weekend... got so much accomplished. Our home is decorated... baking is almost done... just need to get Christmas cards in the mail tomorrow.  Speaking of Christmas cards... here is today's from my class:

Christmas Cheer! The glimmer paper is one of my favorites! Anything sparkly!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him...

Day 3 of the "12 Days Before Christmas"... It is hard not to have a heaviness looming in my heart today after the horrible events in CT yesterday.  I just keep praying for the families... that they would run for comfort to our Heavenly Father and feel His peace holding them up.

You hear the phrase, "Jesus is the reason for the season." And that is true, but with such an incredible Gift that God gave us over 2000 years ago... Jesus should be the reason for life! I guess, this time of the year it is easier or more acceptable to show our faith more, but it is the word of our testimony that will bring others to Christ (Revelation 12:11)... and that has to be more than just for a season. God has really been working on me about sharing my faith.

My Christmas card for today is:
Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him... I bought this set, Come to Bethlehem, when it was on sale last month... I had to have it! I love the word stamp that comes with it... "Giving thanks for God's Gift of Love and the joy we share through Christ the Lord."  'Nough said!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, December 14, 2012

Preparing for Him...

Here I am a little earlier than yesterday! It is a beautiful, sunny day here in northern Michigan... we do have the ground covered with snow but it has melted some over the last couple days! I am trying to get myself organized with decorating, gifts and baking, but I am feeling a tad scattered! No stress, right? No stress!

Over the last few months I have really felt like God was giving me the message of "patience and perseverance"... in the last few days He has also added "preparation."  He is giving me a chance to get my mind, spirit and home prepared for the next step, but I was also thinking of how He wants each one of us to get our hearts prepared for Christ's coming.  He is patiently waiting, but we have to remember... He will not wait forever.  Praying His peace... His strength... and His comfort over you as you make preparation!

Ok, here is the second Christmas card class card... did I say "card" a lot??? *Ü*

The wonder of the first Christmas!

"In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart]." Psalms 5:3

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Twelve Days Before Christmas...

It might be after 10:30pm, but it still is December 13th... and I am going to try to share a Christmas card for these 12 days before Christmas.  I had 2 Christmas card classes last week and I wanted to share the cards we did at them.

I know I saw a similar card somewhere on the internet, but I put my own twist on it! This was the simplest card of them all.  We made 2 each of 7 different cards in total.

I hear my bed calling me! Thanks for stopping!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Prep???

I am not one to rush the whole Christmas season... not because I don't like Christmas... I love Christmas and all that it represents, but I also do not want to rush past the month of giving thanks either! With that being said I am in preparation for 2 Christmas Card classes which are the end of next week... my first attempt at doing a class!!!

For the next few days my hubby and some dear friends will be spending a little time at Boyne Mountain Resort... I have to shut-off my go button and just relax a little! My like is not super stressful, but it is always good to have a change of pace and to not be looking at what needs to be dusted or vacuumed! Know what I mean??? ;)

When I was in the Thumb with family for Thanksgiving my sister, Renee, and I were able to spend an afternoon paper crafting and here is my finished product... a curly paper wreath!

Hope you like it! They are fun and relaxing to do! We had a good time too, thanks, Na!

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks...

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving... lots to get to today, but I did not want this day to go by without wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I have so many reasons to give thanks... but giving thanks should be a daily occurrence!

I know the holiday season can be so great, but for many who have lost someone it can be a lonely time.  I challenge you to look for those that may be in need... you never know when they may cross your path. And remember our loved one that have gone before us and never far from our hearts!

"I thank my God for all the memories I have of you." Philippians 1:3

I do have a "Thank You" card to share... it is made with the hostess set, "Four Seasons."

with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, November 16, 2012

Online Extravaganza 2012...

Stampin' Up's Online Extravaganza is November 19 - 28!!!  This promotion is our biggest online sale of the year! This is the time to get a jump on your holiday shopping or even a little shopping for yourself! ;)  So during these 10 days only, you receive INCREDIBLE DISCOUNTS-up to 50% on some of your favorite products!

In addition, there will be three products 20% off for 24-hours only on both the first and last days of Online Extravaganza-our very own doorbusters! And it isn't even "Black Friday"! Yay!

Remember, these deals do not start until Monday, 11/19.  To place an order go to my Stampin' Up website HERE or you can contact me direct and I can help you place your order.

Thanks for stopping!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Cheer...

Just a quick post... I am having fun creating Christmas cards.  Since becoming a SU demo I don't have to have an excuse to "play" in my craft room!  I am excited for the holidays... I am planning and believing for extraordinarily good ones!  I will not let circumstances determine my JOY for the season!

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;" Philippians 4:6

Now, for the stampin'... here is a quick, simple card using all my fun Stampin' Up tools... it is hard to see in this picture, but the Cherry Cobbler Dazzling Details was used on the Cherry Cobbler dots on the top... I luv the Dazzling Details because you can make plain card stock look 3 dimensional and sparkly... of course sparkly is my favorite!
Ingredients: CS- Very Vanilla, Cherry Cobbler, Gumball Green; DSP- Be of Good Cheer; Ink- Cherry Cobbler, Gumball Green; Stamps- Ornament Keepsakes, Sweet Essentials; Extras- Cherry Cobbler Dazzling Detail, White Bakers Twine, Ornament Framelits, Big Shot

Thanks for stopping!
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Exciting News...

I am so excited! Stampin' Up! is doing a one-day sale on almost all of our stamp sets! Every single set is 15% off, on Monday, October 29, ONLY. Look through our catalog and let me know which sets you need for Holiday projects, or any sets that have been on your wish list. Now is the time to order them! Or you can order directly from my Stampin' Up website. What a great time for this... just before all the holiday stampiness!

Here are the details:
  • Starting at 12:00 AM (MT) and ending at 11:50 PM (MT), almost every stamp we sell will be 15 percent off.
This means all stamps in the current catalogs including
    • Background stamps
    • Personalized name stamps
    • Incentive stamp sets from the supply list
    • Cookie press stamps
    • Single-image stamps
This DOES NOT include
    • Hostess sets
    • Bundled stamp sets
    • Digital stamp brush sets
  • There is no minimum purchase, and no limit to the number of stamps you can order.

  • Also,  a few weeks ago we announced that until January 2, 2013, you have the opportunity to purchase single stamps from the Word Play, Perfectly Penned, and Seasonal Sayings Stamp Sets. Based on the interest we have seen so far, it appears that both demonstrators and customers love them! And now we are excited to let you know that we have added ten more individual images-including three images that you have never seen before! You can see the details on the single stamps at the following links:
    Assortment 1
    Assortment 2
    Word Play
    Perfectly Penned
    Seasonal Sayings

    Can't be all business... just have to add a little me in here too! We have our house listed with a realtor now... so excited to see what is to come yet!

    Here is a masculine birthday card I had fun making with the woodgrain embossing folder:
    Ingredients: CS- Sahara Sand, Always Artichoke, Not Quite Navy, Bravo Burgundy, Whisper White; Ink- Chocolate Chip; Extras- Apothacary Framlits, Scallop Oval punch, Buttons Sizzlits, Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack, Brayer, miscellaneous twine and floss.
    It is bedtime so I best get off here! Thanks for stopping!
    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012


    I am so excited... my Stampin'Up order from my 1st workshop came! I cannot wait to dive in! But I have a few things to do around the house first... we have a realtor coming this afternoon! Praying... praying... praying! It doesn't matter what the housing market looks like... my God is bigger than all of it! If He could part the Red Sea... He certainly can sell this house! Believing! Trusting! Praising!

    I heard someone say, "What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were thankful for today?!" That really makes me think... so today I am living with a heart of thankfulness!  And I am sharing a "sample" card I made, using what I had to use... I saw a card like this somewhere but using a little different items.
    Ingredients: CS- Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, Not Quite Navy; Ink- same colors as CS + So Saffron, Rich Razzleberry; Stamps- Delicate Doilies and All Year Cheer 1; Extras- Apothacary Framlets, Scallop Circle punch, 1 1/4" Circle punch, 1/2" Circle punch, rhinestone, dimensionals.
    Thankful that you stopped for a moment to share a little time with me!

    Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
        His love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    Kindness Matters...

    We have had such a gorgeous fall in northern Michigan! Although today it is dreary, but it makes the colors look all the brighter!  Even when the sun is behind the clouds we can still see God's beautiful painting in the trees! GrateFUL for that today!

    Well, I did my first Stampin'Up workshop last Thursday... I had it here at home and had some terrific ladies come to support me! We had a lot of fun... I did anyway!  So I wanted to share the two cards we did as make-n-takes that night.  I had gotten the ideas from past Stampin' Success issues, but I had to change them to go with the very few stamps I have that are still in the catalog!

     Ingredients: CS/Ink- Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Rich Razzleberry; Stamps- Papillon Potpouri, Kindness Matters, Delicate Doilies; Extras- Dazzling Details, Square Lattice folder.
    Ingredients: CS- Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Island Indigo; Ink- Chocolate Chip, Old Olive; DSP- Festival of Prints Stack; Stamps- Delicate Doilies, Kindness Matters; Extras- Scallop Edge Border punch, Pearl Basic Jewels.
    Can you see a pattern with the stamp sets? Yes, I only have 3 sets that are even in the catalog, but after my workshop order... that will change a little! *Ü* If you want to pick up a little something fun from the new Holiday Catalog... I luv the Festival of Prints DSP Stack and it is only $6.95!
    Ok, enough of that... Just a word of encouragement...
    "Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You." Psalms 63:3
    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    Just Sharing...

    I have been slack in my posting... it is not because I don't have a grateFUL HEART, but because I have let myself be too busy. Oh, I also have been practicing the art of procrastination too! Not good!!!

    I have some news to share... I am now a Stampin' Up demonstrator... I signed up under my sister, Renee Ondrajka. Not sure where I will go with this as a business... time will tell.  I luv Stampin' Up products and if I can "play" and it is actually considered work... how great is that!?

    Also, my hubby has gotten a new job. He has been hired by the Helena Chemical Co. working out of the branch in Shelby, MI. It is 25 miles from where we want to move (when our house sells)... it is just over a 100 miles from where we live now.  The way this job unfolded was definitely a God thing... and just another step on the path He has for us.  We are so very grateFUL for this opportunity!

    We were gone on vacation last week to Big Cedar near Branson, MO.  We had an incredible time! When I got home my SU kit was waiting for me, so finally yesterday I dove into that box.  I made a quick little card for a friend to show her the new In-Colors.

    Of course I had to get the Elegant Butterfly punch, along with the Papillon Potpourri stamp set. I used the Gumball Green CS, Primrose Petals, Raspberry Ripple, Midnight Muse, and Summer Starfruit inks. I also used a page from the DS Festival of Prints Stack with a little Bakers Twine and Apothecary Framelits. I know it is really simple, but I just had to get my hands into my new stash!

    Okay, last thing for today are verses that I wanted to share:

    "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
    God allows unpleasant things in our lives... not to see how much we can take, but to see how quick we will turn it all over to Him! He wants us to need Him more than anything else! He is my peace... He is my comfort!
    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Comfortable Waiting?

    What a beautiful summer we have had! The lack of rain was not so great, but the weather, I thought, was gorgeous!  It has been a busy summer.  We have spent a lot of time running the roads, so I am sure that is why it has seemed so busy.  We have our house for sale and so that has led to me de-cluttering and having a garage sale.  I am procrastinating about getting into my office/craft room to clean though... why is it such a big deal???  It makes my stomach nervous just thinking about it!

    I have been learning a great deal about patience and waiting too. Waiting on the Lord is not comfortable… but I keep reminding myself the true source of my comfort is God! And only by keeping my eyes focused on Him will I find His comfort.  While waiting… it is a great time to be renewed! (Isaiah 40:31)  I am trying to take this "in-between" time and really prepare my heart and my life for the things God has set before us!  I have to look at it as a time to gain spiritual strength so when the path is clear I will be able to run and not grow weary… to walk and not fall by the wayside.  Waiting can be a struggle so many days, but I know as I look back at this time I will be so thankful that God gave me this time to just be. I believe God has great things ahead for Luke and me; and I need to be rested up for the next step.  I love how God keeps teaching me to let go of trying to control things, He has given me “blinders” to put on… so the only place I can keep looking is to Him… that is if I want to keep my sanity and if I choose to put them on!

    "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God… And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."  Isaiah 40:1 and 5

    Here is a masculine card I made for a birthday. I love the Fleur-de-Lis! It has such great meanings!
    Okay, I am going to go into the craft room now to start the chore!
    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    Elementary Elegance....

    Oh my goodness... I have not posted on grateFUL HEART in so long!!! It is the first day of August... already!?  The summer has been crazy busy... so much good... some not so good, but through it all... I give God all the glory!

    In my hubby and my transition, we seem to be on the road a lot! We try to stay overnight in Ludington only every other Saturday, but there have been so many things going on with our church family there that we have been there many, many weekends, not just Sunday for church services.  I am not complaining... it is exciting to see how God is moving in our life!

    A couple weeks ago, my daddy was diagnosed with cancer... it is located in his stomach where the stomach attaches to the small intestine.  That is the bad news... the good news is they caught it without any symptoms! Praise God!  It is so early and the doctor told him if he had to have cancer, thyroid cancer would be the best one to have and this cancer would be the second best!  I know that through this all... God is drawing our family closer together and closer to Him.  I can already see all the good God is bringing to pass through this! Prayers for my daddy would be appreciated as he goes through a month of radiation treatments.

    "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1:17


    Just a simple birthday card to share today... I luv that SU set!

    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Friday, June 22, 2012

    Just for you...

    Friday! Yes, another week almost over!  It has been a really good week... how about yours?  I had a very peaceful week... accomplishing little projects around the house, had lunch one day with a friend (so good!), even got some crafting in!  I have felt so unsettled for weeks and I know I have let that reflect in my motivation at home or lack there of.  I had felt so overwhelmed and I know it was of my own doing... I just kept praying and reading my Bible.  I have set my thoughts on just being... not trying to figure things out ... not trying to make things happen... letting God make things happen in His time.  At least for this week! *Ü*  I really didn't realize how stressed I had been until I wasn't anymore.

    Judge me favorably, O Lordbecause I have walked with integrity and I have trusted you without wavering.  Examine me, O Lord, and test me. Look closely into my heart and mind.  I see your mercy in front of me.  I walk in the light of your truth.  Psalms 26:1-3

    I do have a card to share too today.  This was a birthday card I made for my momma.  Of course, it has my favorite butterflies on it.  I also used the SU scallop square bigz die.
    Thanks for stopping for a little chat! If you have a minute head over to Coffee Cup Corner to see the latest post.

    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    My life is better because...

    When people think about you, do they say to themselves, "My life is better because of that person"?
    I read this in a leadership devotional by John Maxwell this morning… it really made me think.  I try to live my life for an audience of ONE, but along with that comes the responsibility (for lack of a better word) of treating others well.  I don’t want people to be drawn to me, but I do want them to be drawn to the One who lives in me. 

    "He placed a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see this and worship. They will trust the Lord."  Psalms 40:3

    A new song in my mouth!!! When I speak do my words have a "melody" of praise or does it sound like the same old song?  It really makes me think... am I shining God's glory or is my light a little dim?

    "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."  Matthew 5:16

    We all need to take a little time each day to let the light of God's Word shine in our hearts... are you taking that time with just you and Papa?  Do you miss Him if a day goes by without that time?  It is not about checking that off your list for the day... for me, I feel empty and dim if I miss that. I am not saying I do it perfectly, by no means, but I do really miss Him in those times.

    BTW:  To answer the initial question... I hope people feel that way about me, but I do have great people in my life that God has put there… some I am related to by blood and others I am related to through the blood.  And I can honestly say my life is better because of those people! Thank You, Lord!

    Okay, I have a graduation card to share with you today...
    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

    Fog or Focus?

    Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. I Corinthians 16:13-14

    Being at home so much now is causing me a little anxiety at times.  I was so use to volunteering at the church we attended here in Cadillac, but now with our new church being so far away I am not able to do that, so I am trying to get things around home a little more organized and decluttered!  I luv it when it is done, but not while I am doing it! 

    I joined a group called for decluttering and putting perfectionism out of my life.  It is called FlyLady at This morning FlyLady was talking about driving in fog and how if I get antsy and overwhelmed with trying to clean and organized my home it is like driving in the fog. 

    I was thinking about how it is the same when I let my thoughts and emotions overwhelm me and cause me to be frustrated in my life spiritually! I take my focus off God and put it on the junk going on around me or the thoughts and questions I have going through my head.  I listen more to the enemy’s voice in my ear than the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart.  I try to get through my day in a fog… maybe fog stands for Free Of God??? When I see it written like that… why would I want to live a life in FOG?  I don’t!  Waiting… being still… trusting is soooo hard for me to do.  I have always been a doer and I know God has spoken to me about that so many times in the past.  Maybe this time I will actually learn something.  The anxiety can so easily build up in me because my flesh says He is not moving quickly enough… He is not showing me the next step… He is causing my frustration and loneliness.  But in my spirit I know none of those things are true.  It is in these times I have to take a deep breath, confess my unbelief, and remember it is not about me!  It is my fault for taking my eyes off Him! His timing is perfect!  How many times does the Bible say to be patient?

    If I am standing firm in my faith then courage, strength and love should come more easily... it is a good way to see what I am really standing on. Focus on Him!

    Okay, a pretty little card to share today:
    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Friday, May 25, 2012

    Don't Forget...

    Ah, yes it is the unofficial start of summer... Memorial Day Weekend!  The weather has gotten beautiful here in northern Michigan too!  I knew I had to get this post in today or the weekend would get too busy and I would forget.  Ever notice the busier we are the easier it is to forget?

    What I wanted to share today is too important to ever forget.  We set aside Memorial Day to remember those who fought and gave their lives for all of us who are blessed enough to know freedom.  With all the conflict in the world this needs to be a regular everyday part of our lives! Daily thankfulness! Do you think?

    When my hubby and I went to Virginia last September, we visited the Battlefield at Gettysburg, PA.  We also visited a few places in Washington DC.  The weather was not so nice the day we were in DC, so we wanted to make sure we visited Arlington National Cemetery first.  It was such a moving experience for both of us.  It was pouring down rain while we stood under the over-hang of the amphitheater while we watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Shortly before that I had been complaining about the rain and how it was going to ruin our day.  As I stood there watching the guards marching back and forth in front of the tomb I was so convicted... tears started streaming down my face.  How could I have the nerve to complain about wet clothes and feet as I stood in such a hallowed place?  That was a changing moment for me... big time!  I asked God to forgive me for my selfishness... for my inconsideration! Then I praised Him for letting me grow up where I have the right to praise Him!  It was a good lesson learned for me.

    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    No Fretting Allowed!

    I was praying this morning about trusting in God for the plans He has for me.  How that even though I do not know what in the world He is doing in our family situation His plan is to prosper me, not to cause me harm, to give me hope for a wonderful future.  Once again, I need to remind myself of the things I do know so I don’t let myself get frustrated about the things I don’t know.  I was thinking how not knowing is a really hard part for me, but if I did not trust the One who knows it all, that would be the hardest part and my biggest mistake!

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

    Psalms 37 has come up a lot this week… today verse 7 especially jumps out at me, Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” 
    I have to rest in the Lord and His promises! I get to wait patiently for Him! No fretting! I must keep my eyes focused on Him and not on what others maybe doing around me!  Fret… one of the definitions is “to wear away or corrode the surface of something, or become worn away or corroded.”  When I fret it does start to wear away my joy… it does cause my “shininess” to become dull.  And after awhile I will be all pitted and corroded, like when you use coarse sandpaper on shiny metal.  Fret is just a different word for plain old worry!  I don’t want to be a fretter or a worrier!

    Here is a card I made for a friend... it is a little busy, but the bright colors and all make me happy!

    My hubby and I are off to Ludington today. We are staying at Ludington House Bed and Breakfast... looking forward to it too! We hope to walk around the town a little if Luke gets out of work early enough.

    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Whatever is True...

    Good Morning! Yes, it is really me... posting 2 days in a row!!! It is a beautiful morning here in northern Michigan.  They said we were going to get rain, but it is nice even though it is not sunny.

    I woke up this morning with such a grateFUL HEART... it feels like my heart is literally overflowing with God's goodness!  Why do some days start like that and other days don't??? My mom has been going through health issues for a couple years now and the other day I shared this verse with her:

    "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

    Mom's health problems have attacked her mind and her spirit... the best place for the devil to hit us, so sometimes just reminding her of these things is what it takes to help her at that moment.  I encourage you to do the same thing when you are feeling a little lost and overwhelmed... speak out loud what you know to be true... the real truth is all that matters! Then start praising God for all the excellent things He has given you... call Him by the names the Bible calls Him... Counselor, Refuge, Almighty, Provider, Shield... I could go on and on!

    Anyway, I have another Mom's Day card to share with you:

    Off to the Thumb to spend tomorrow with my mom.  Happy Mother's Day all you moms!

    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Friday, May 11, 2012

    Doing Something...

    So much has been happening in our household, yet I have not taken the time to blog about it.  I am a sad blogger lately! :(  My hubby is oh so busy with the spring planting season going on... it seems that the season is longer than usual this year due to the extra nice weather we had in early March, which got the farmers raring to go!

    God has really been doing some great things in our life.  He is always doing good, but this is exceptionally good!  That may be part of why I have not taken the time to blog... what He was working on in me I was not able to share until I knew for sure what it was.  I am now able to share with you what God is doing. I don't understand it all, but I know that if I understand something then it probably isn't God! Luke & I are being called to serve in a new ministry 80 miles from our home and leaving our church home in Cadillac.

    This has been a long heart-searching decision, but we know that God is calling and it is going to be life changing for us. He has confirmed it for us over & over! All we know is God is expanding the borders of our faith. We could be content just staying where we are, but what would we miss out on? We have to be willing to sacrifice all of what we have in Cadillac… we believe it is worth the reward and blessings to come by following God… all to bring Him glory! We know we cannot limit God in our life. He wants to be so much bigger in my life than I have allowed Him to be. When this started stirring I asked God to expand the borders of my heart… don’t pray it if you don’t mean it! LOL

    We do not know exactly where God is leading us in all this, but we do know He told us we have to commit to this first step before He can show us more. I covet your prayers. We are standing on His promise… “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5
    We are not sure if a household move is in the future, but Luke's job is still here, so God has to open the next door for any thing more to happen. We have a longtime dream and we believe Ludington may be the place for that to happen. We would love for this dream to turn in to a ministry of sorts. But like I said, God has got to make it happen when it is right!

    I am very excited, but a little terrified as well!!! We have been here almost 7 years, so we are believing Papa is really gonna mix it all up! He is doing something new! (Isaiah 43:19)

    I do want to wish all the mommas out there a very Happy Mother's Day!  Here is a card I created for Mom.

    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    The Victory!

    Life has been so busy, but so good! God is doing great things in my life and my hubby's life! Can't wait to see where it is all leading, but I know and believe He has each step planned out... we just have to be willing!

    My hubby and I are getting ready to head out to California for a nice long vacation, but before we do, I wanted to wish you all a very blessed Easter! Since I cannot send a card to each of you, I have a card I created to share with you.

    "Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 15:57 

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

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Give Him a Chance...

    February is fleeting fast, but here in northern Michigan it is looking more like January today.  We have had such a mild winter... not enough snow for my taste, but today the white stuff is coming down pretty good!

    I came across a quote today from the book, Redeeming Love... “Mara, that's the life I want to give you. That's what I'm offering you. I want to fill your life with color and warmth. I want to fill it with light. Give me a chance.”  If you have not read this book then you are missing out!  It is a beautiful love story based on the book of Hosea.  You know, that is the life God wants to give each one of us.  If I try to think of what my life would be like without God in it... I cannot even imagine.  My life would be so empty... it would always be gray and cold... it would be a very dark place.  Thinking about a life without a relationship with Jesus Christ almost sucks the breath right out of me... no, it would actually suck the living breath right out of me... I know that for sure!  He is my everything... whether things are going great or things are going not so great.  I choose to praise Him in the good and praise Him in the not so good... I will just praise Him!

    "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your loving-kindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night" Psalms 92:1-2

    If you seem to be lacking peace and contentment right now... try praising your Heavenly Father.  My truth is... praising brings peace!

    I do have a little project to share today.  My sweet hubby got me a Cinch 2 binding tool and so I made him this journal. (BTW... I luv a bargain and he got it at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon!!!)

    Thanks so much for stopping in today! Sorry for my lack in blogging lately!

    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Slow Going...

    I have been tinkering around the house pretty much all week.  Doing those tedious things that have needed to be done for awhile but I just kept putting them off... well, this was the week I decided enough was enough.  I do luv the snow but sometimes the lack of sun in the winter in northern Michigan makes me move a little slow.

    I was looking at old pictures and I came across this turtle boat I carved out of a watermelon for my niece's graduation party.  I thought the turtle was a good representative of slow going, but also all that fruit makes me think of Summer, which we should see in another 6 months or so! *Ü*

    Also, I just wanted to share a verse with you too...

    Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
    They say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”  Psalms 91:1-2

    Resting in His shadow can be a warm and comfy place... seek rest in Him today!

    with a grateFUL HEART, carin

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Happy Birthday...

    Today is a great day in our home!  My dear, sweet hubby turns 50 today! We don't have anything really big planned for today, but we did just get back from 4 days at Boyne Mountain.  Time to relax, change the scenery and just be together.  It is always good to step back and reevaluate things and be refreshed. We are so grateFUL we had that time.

    So this morning I got up and made Pannekaken (Norwegian pancake) and Canadian bacon for breakfast.  No cake, but I did serve Luke a fried cake for his birthday celebration.

    "For You, Lord, have made him most blessed forever; You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence." Psalm 21:6

    Praying birthday blessings all over my hubby today and in the years to come! Choosing to live today... with a grateFUL HEART! *carin*

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Peace in 2012...

    I am so sorry I have not posted in almost a month! Our Christmas was great! We kept everything very low key this year, which was nice and relaxing! Peaceful was what we were striving for.

    Which brings me to the card I want to share... it was one of my Christmas card designs and it fits with this post:

    I can feel there may be big changes in 2012! There are things that God is working on in me.  I have this overflowing burst in my heart from all He is showing me... it is exciting and a little scary at the same time.  I know if I take my focus off God I could easily be overwhelmed.  I was reading in James 4 today, where it talks about just getting through today... that was just what I needed.  I know I only need to get through the next moment and then the next moment after that.  God gives me the strength I need to take that next breath... if I expect more than that then I am doing it on my own.  And if I can do it on my own then I will "boast" in my own strength and what glory does that bring to God? I will share more when I am able, but for now I just need to take that next breath! *Ü*

    with a grateFUL HEART, carin