Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Start Your Day With Prayer...

“This is the day the Lord has made, now let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 NIV)

The alarm pierces its’ resounding echo throughout “the land of sweet slumber” and starts the cycle that many have become familiar with!

We bounce out of bed, and then with both feet on the floor, we hit the shower running! We stand with the water spewing its’ tiny droplets over top of us, while mentally trying to overview the events that lie ahead in our busy day... all while we lather and rinse!

We then emerge from the bath chambers, and while continually glancing frantically at the clock, we note the precious minutes of our day that have disappeared already! We dry, get dressed, suck in a big dose of oxygen, and courageously take that first step into the hectic pace and reality of our own little world!

We attempt to waken sleepy children that won’t stir on a school day, but somehow manage to rise when the sun does on Saturday mornings! The dog does its’ little dance at the door as it impatiently waits to do its morning constitutional. The cat paces in front of his food dish, while the morning news blares from the radio with all its’ gloomy stories of the day. The coffee brews, and the neighbourhood awakes. There are lunches to be made, kids to get dressed, laundry to put in, garbage to take to the curb, kitty-litter boxes to change, carpools to coordinate, jobs to go to, after-school activities to juggle, supper to plan, last minute grocery shopping to do, and errands to run. We drag ourselves out the door while trying to remember the articles for the library, the rental DVDs, the science project we overlooked yesterday, backpacks, and lunches...

Now, what else was there? Oh yes...the kids. (Sigh)

Then, while the worship music in the background tries to set the tone for our workday, we drive the kids to school, give them a quick “peck and a prayer” to send them off, and head to work with the heart intent, not to mention firm resolve, to pray on the way! (Whew)

Millions of people juggle the onset of daily activities in similar ways. Some are driven to get on their knees at their bedside, while others quietly lie and talk to their Heavenly Father. Some gather around the breakfast table with their spouses and families for prayer and their morning devotionals. Others, will slowly amble their single, lonely, sleepy bodies to the kitchen to slurp their morning cup of java in one hand, while praying, and turning the pages of their Bible with the other. Others still, can be found talking to God while holding and bouncing a tiny toddler on one hip, swinging the other that is wrapped around their leg, and tossing flapjacks with the other free hand. Sadly, very still, some will be found sitting at the bedside of a lingering, loved one with their eyes closed and a head bowed in prayer.

Many of the great, powerful, men of faith, when we read their autobiographies, all state very strongly that they started their day in prayer and study - just minutes for some, and for others, hours. It was the season of life, and commitment that they personally chose to make.

There is no formula or right-or-wrong way, it is just about doing it! For some of us, this may mean getting up a few minutes or an hour earlier in the day, but how much better your day will go when He gets the first portion! In other words, starting your day with prayer is far too important to miss!

With a new baby, a husband who commutes at extremely early hours, or an aged parent that requires medical attention in the waking-up moments; it may not be possible for your schedule, to do it in the mornings. Find the time that works for you personally. Getting ready for the activities, and praying about your day, may have to begin the night before, and that is definitely okay, too!

In seeking the path of my own journey, I have found that what personally works for me is to start in the morning. Committing my day to Him and asking Him to guide my steps, makes for the best day possible. The days I forget to ask, or don’t pause long enough in my demanding schedule to pray first, will often turn into unproductive, and sometimes overly chaotic, days!

Let this be your new morning motto:
“We need to pause and pray, before we start our day!”

NEW HABIT TO DEVELOP: Start your day with prayer!

CHALLENGE: Start a “Prayer Diary”. You can do this as part of your notebook, or in a separate notebook that you can keep with your Bible. Write your requests down, and you won’t over look them. You can note the date received, the request, the date you saw a breakthrough, and those wonderful praise reports!

TIP! You could put your Bible, a pen, a notebook for your thoughts, and your new prayer diary in a pretty basket on your nightstand. It will be there last thing at night, and first thing in the morning! Everything at your fingertips! Or, perhaps, a better location for you would be on the end of the kitchen counter, where you can grab it as part of your morning routine. Some may even like to put on their bathroom vanity, where they get ready in the morning, so they can pray for specific things while putting on make-up! Remember to do what works for you!


During the “homeschooling” season of my life, another mom and I used to wake up before our household, and go to a coffee shop at the crack of dawn. While sleepy husbands worked the very early morning shift, and our pre-teen and teenage children slept, we were strategically getting ready for our day.

First, we would toss in a load of laundry at our respective homes. By the time we got back to our house, it would be ready to add to our dryers. Advocates of kitchen appliances, we would also have our automatic timers going for our bread machines the night before. The smell of fresh bread would be wafting up the staircase, and were timed to shut off almost when our husbands hit the kitchen in the morning. If it lasted through their breakfasts and lunch-making episodes, they would leave it on the cooling rack until we came downstairs, and we would put the remainder into a storage bag for later.

Next would be dinner! This was always an individual choice, but the crockpot/slowcooker was a wonderful tool for those busy days of classes and fieldtrips – and we used them often!

Having checked the menu plans the day before, and while I was preparing other meals for that particular day, I multitasked by cutting and preparing the extra vegetables ahead. They were already chopped, and were placed without liquid into the bottom of the crock - where it sat in the fridge overnight with the lid on. I simply needed to haul the crockpot out of the fridge and place it in its’ container, add the last-minute potatoes, the meat that was already marinating in a zip-lock bag overnight, (so it was ready to dump), and the appropriate amount of liquid. Setting a timer for later, and giving the crockery a chance to warm while we were gone, we embraced the motto that it was just like having a maid at suppertime! Voila! We would even have our meals plugged in and rolling before we left the house!

Since she had a few extra minutes to travel and went by the door, my friend would usually pick me up. We would do a quick catch-up of the latest news happenings, slurp our morning beverage, organize and synchronize our day planners, (for our own household, group homeschooling classes, and field trips), and “head for home”, which really meant my driveway. There, in the early morning quiet, we would pause for 10 or 15 minutes to commit our day, pray for each other, our families, and our homeschooling agendas. On days where several families joined together, and we hired tutors for certain subjects, we prayed for all of them, as well! By the time we had stepped in the door, our kids were ready to wake up, and we were ready for anything! Planning ahead the night before was a big part of making it all work!

Make starting your day earlier in the morning or the night before, part of your regular routine. Laying out clothes ahead, showering before bed, checking menu plans, thawing meat overnight, gathering items to drop off, loading the bread maker ingredients, gathering the laundry, and so forth, can all help the morning to run more smoothly! Along with committing your day to Him, it is a calming way to know what is expected and what must be achieved. It also saves you from those embarrassing moments like missed appointments, and late fees!

NEW HABIT TO DEVELOP: Start your day earlier in the morning, or start it night before.

CHALLENGE: Make a list of the things that you can routinely do the night before, which will help your day start running smoothly. Do the same with the morning activities. Add it to your household notebook/binder - implementing it as part of your “before bedtime” and “early morning” routines.

You may have observed that certain tasks may need to be added on certain days. Make the appropriate notes and if you desire, add it to your binders as separate listings on one page, or spread over multiple pages. Do what works for you! Remember, if you try something and it doesn’t work. Try it another way!

CHALLENGE: Set your alarm, if possible, for an earlier start than your family. Any time frame that benefits you will work. Five minutes? Fifteen minutes? An hour? Do what is best for you! See how this effects your outlook on your day!

And, don’t forget to pray!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Personalizing Your Schedule ~ Part 2

Find yourself a binder, or at least a notebook. (Granted you could use a laptop if that is really your style.)

You will want to keep all your work in one place. That way, if need be, it will be accessible to your household - and it will make your project “household portable". In case of an emergency, this will make it handy for others to see what needs to happen! (This is especially useful, if you are doing your planning tasks while waiting for your children after school, at the doctor’s office, or on your lunch hour!)

It can be new or old. There are some who no doubt, have one hidden in a pile of clutter in the basement or garage, so see what you can come up with. (Have someone watch for the castoff binders from their company’s discontinued training manuals! The companies are often thrilled to see them recycled!)

You may even choose to do your initial planning layout on the computer, but once it is down, I would recommend printing it for easy accessibility and then putting it in a binder! (Page protectors are a wonderful preservative for sheets that are handled often!)

You can find some neat ones with organizers built into the cover, to hold your calculator, pens and sticky notes! Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy. It just needs to keep you organized!

Don’t forget the page protectors and notebook dividers - there are some amazing plastic ones that far outlast the old cardstock versions! You will want at least one package to start! Sticky notes are another handy item and they came in all sorts of colours! As a “visual” personality, I use different colours for different things!

If you want, personalize your cover and make it your own! As an artist, I love to create fibre-art, but I know there are tremendously talented scrapbook artists who can do the same thing! (Remember though, as your “household notebook”, it will probably take a lot of wear-and-tear, so laminate it, or use a protective covering if you want to preserve your creation!)

After asking “Where Does Your Time Go” and figuring out how your current schedule flows, this would be the next practical step. This will take some time, so feel free to spread it out over several days or a week - it is not necessary to try to attempt to do this all in one fell swoop!

Most importantly, before you start, don’t forget to pray and ask God for the wisdom and clarity needed as you lay this “planning stage” out! We want Him to lead our steps, and we want to work with Him!

Now make yourself a week’s worth of 24-hour time charts, in 15 minute increments for a week. If you have different "weekly" schedules, do a months’ worth! Another helpful tool is a monthly calendar for those monthly commitments and appointments that you will be able to see at a glance. (Don’t run out and buy a bunch of calendars! If you don't have one, ask a friend to print some blank pages on the computer for you to use as a working copy! We will be looking at that issue later. Remember we are still in the planning and organizing stages!)

Utilize your computer, or grab a pencil and eraser, and we will now take it one step further.

You will be doing a lot of cut-and-paste, or erasing and moving things, at this point. (Tip #1: A calendar-program or spreadsheet on your computer can work quite effectively. Tip #2: For planning, some sticky notes on a wall that can be moved around will work, as will a dry erase board. Or, you could use recipe cards on the biggest expanse of floor that you can find! Tip #3: This could be a great take-along task for doing in the car while you are waiting, or in a waiting room, over the course of this week. Do what works best for your organizing style!)

Attempt to first break it down into general time segments for your own “individual” household.

This may change over time, so don’t get stressed over it! For example: I initially segmented mine into early morning (5-9, since we are up at 5 due to hubby’s early work hours, and I have a lot on my list “to do” list), morning routine (9-12), lunch hour, afternoon routine (1-4), before supper routine (4-5), after supper routine (5:30-6:30, as I usually have meetings in the evenings), evening (7- 10) before bedtime routine, and bedtime routine (depending on the day of the week and my meeting schedule).

This is the place where I discovered my schedule-calendar meets “the need to be very personalized”, and why a standard calendar-format type of planner doesn’t work for a very “visual” and “colour-coding” me! I also have lists that are way too long for the little, teeny spaces that most calendars provide, and the little “stickies” help for my one-time details. Again, this is where designing your own “personalized” calendar/schedule/binder comes in handy - and why your own “household notebook” will be “evolving” for a short while!

Initially, you may see where events will run over the top of your natural time segments, but that is okay, as it is part of seeing where things fall! This is not about “knowing” what you “do automatically”, but about “seeing” how to make it all work! This is where your own calendar becomes unique and personal!

Enter your “mandatory” activities and “priority” commitments first. (Tip: Be sure to separately show the required amount of travel time that is needed before and after events. People often forget to do this and wonder why they can’t seem to make it all work! And if the event is cancelled, for some reason, it is easy to locate those extra chunks of free time!) Blocking or framing these time segments in a different colour may be helpful for seeing where things are falling. Church time on Sunday is one example. Homeschooling hours during the week, are another. Figure out what your own “blocks of time” are - they may include your job, your alternating custody slots with your children, family time, after-school routines, homeschooling hours, study time, regular hobbies, weekly visits, volunteer hours, church, bible study time, prayer meetings, and whatever other “goals” and regular items that you may have. Those “to-do” lists will come later! Just block out the time zones for now!

Save some time here now, and check and see what nights you need to plan for meals that need to be eaten earlier, later, or on the run. This will help to ensure that meals are not skipped, and that you are not relying on take-out!

We are living in a different day and age and sit-down dinners are a common rarity in most households. (We will be addressing this in the near future, but do consider making it a scheduled part of your time zones on your calendar, if you do it now. Some families are happy to accomplish this feat once a week or on specific days, while others insist on it daily.)

You may find a busy day and evening activities, require a "crockpot Wednesday" weekly, a "stirfry" Thursday, and the after-school activites on Tuesday mean a "grab-and-go wrap" with all the fixings on the side that that has been put together early morning or the night before!Remember. you are still in the planning stages, so make a note in another colour on your calendar, or on a separate “Meal Planning” page, so you can find this info later on. Even a sticky note on your pages will work for now!)

Now, look at your normal, monthly household calendar.

What is not part of your regular schedule, but part of your customary events? This where you should be writing down vet appointments, doctors, dentists, and car tune-ups! Be sure to include those “every second Tuesday” and “every fourth Wednesday of the month” meetings, and your children’s extracurricular activities. Appointments are only noted on the monthly calendar at this point, unless they are a recurring and regularly-slotted event. (If you are a visual person, like myself, I like to jot appointment reminders on brightly coloured sticky notes and add them to the pages in my dayplanner, as well. This ensures that I don’t overlook something!)

Now, let’s see where the time goes, and what is left over after that.

Not much time left, is there? This is the point where people generally begin to realize they may be overcommitted. If you are feeling that way, see if there is some weeding-out of the activities that is required, or even possible. You may have to re-evaluate what is important to you, and what is not!

Do you need to make any necessary changes to your “plan” based on what you see?

Have a family meeting, with those in your household, and see what changes are feasible. Don’t forget to start with prayer! Delegating certain tasks, and hiring outside help for a season, may be solutions to those dilemmas. It will help you to discern the things that have to change or be added.

So the task is: Grab your binder, which we will call our "household notebook" for the time being, and write down a list of all the things you need to do the next day. Do this every night for the week and note problem areas. Review it daily, in light of your newly planned schedule.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Birthday...

Happy Birthday to the man in my life!

A man of character and intergrity, and a solid rock who is rarely ruffled by anything...

You are my rock, my strength, my support, and my love.

You stand behind me in all that I do, and encourage me that I can do anything!

You honour our parents with devoted respect, time and attention.

Your are a father who is held in high esteem - always there and easy to be found.

Loved by friends, family and all those around you....You are blessed and highly favoured!

Happy Birthday to you... from your wife and family.

Personalizing Your Schedule ~ Part 1

Joyce Meyer is noted for telling the story about feeling overwhelmed with her very busy schedule and how she was complaining to the Lord about it. She tells furthermore, of how in the midst of her quandary, He quickly responded back to her with “Well, don’t complain to Me about it! I didn’t make your schedule - you did!” Almost immediately, the crowds break out into laughter, as does Joyce, because everyone can relate!

Scripture tells us we will stand before Him one day, and give an account. Certainly, that includes our time.

It makes one think, doesn’t it? While we do not know all the days that He has planned for us, we do know the necessary tasks that must be done in order to sustain our flow, and the activities of daily living. Or do we?

Busyness can remove clarity from our sight in an instant! For some, in the midst of their circumstances, it may be the momentum of “maintaining” or “surviving” that is keeping it all together! Others may have simply lost sight of the “necessary” items, and sacrificed them for other deeds and “responsibilities” that were, perhaps, never even theirs to carry in the first place!

Then again, our memories may be good, but just short, and in the shuffle of activity we forget. It could be that it needs to be made more tangible; that it just needs to be written down, so that one can actually see and work through the list. Learning styles and personalities can make a big difference in the approaches taken, when it comes to scheduling, housework, and routines! For example, goal-oriented people love to see a list with checkmarks or lines stroked through, in order to feel they accomplished their “to dos” for the day. (You many want to find out what “personality types” are in your household, and what their learning styles are. It may just give you some new inspiration regarding approaches to the tasks and the motivation to do them! There are some great books with a more Christian-based approach that are available on the market.)

It could be the simplicity of implementing routines to change a “scattered” approach to life and work, which is needed. For those with illness or random care-giving duties, this may be harder to pinpoint, but the idea is to have a starting point, so there is strength to tackle the day.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13 KJV)

But, what are all the things?

The secret to finding out what the "all things" are, is found by identifying your own personal and household schedules. It is the undisclosed, secret weapon of “knowing” what needs to be done and when. It will give added fuel, strength, and clarity as to fulfilling the tasks, and will aid you in “keeping it all together”.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Where Does Your Time Go?

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Life carries relationships, responsibilities, various seasons, and unexpected twists and turns that alter our course on a daily basis. Granted, nothing can rob you more from an organized life than sickness, disease, busyness, and just plain old procrastination.

As a young newlywed bride in our first apartment, I would get up bright and early and clean it from one end to the other. By 7 am the place was immaculate, and nary a thing moved out of place all day. It was always ready for company and a dinner party at a moment’s notice. Those were the days that the “Martha” in me longs for again!

From the time I was a young girl, I had battled sickness and disease. With a career, husband and child, my body began to rapidly deteriorate in my late 30’s, and was finally diagnosed with a rare neuro-skeletal disorder. It finally had a name, but I had spent the greater part of 10 years in bed throwing up every 3 to 5 minutes all day long, and lying in severe agony. The inability to focus beyond the pain left me unable to do anything, except to pray. Things were forcibly set aside and I had to leave it until I felt healthy enough to deal with it – which never really happened. Life, as a result, began spinning out of control; I would get up and start to work on something, go at it full-force for as much of the day as I could handle, and it was back into to bed until the next “good” day, that might be weeks later, and repeat the same cycle all over again. It could be weeks and months before I would get at it to finish it, and by then it was all undone and I would need to start all over – leaving me exasperated, frustrated, and disillusioned. And, that is where my time went.

How about you? Where has your time gone?

All of us want to keep Him first place in our lives, and He gives us all the gift of 24 hours a day. What we choose do with them and how much we get accomplished, depends on both the free-will choices that He allows us to make... and our circumstances of daily living. Let’s face it, sometimes we can think that our time is not our own.

With our right heart motives, we want to find our “Mary” and to submit our day to the Lord and accomplish all He has for us to do. We want to prayerfully do all the right things and be like the Proverbs 31 woman who accomplishes so much for her Lord, husband, family and such – that they shall rise and call us blessed, and worth far above rubies!

The enemy in turn, as scripture tells us, longs to rob, kill and destroy - and that includes our time. It takes time away from the important and it squanders, wastes, and distracts us from the necessary; time with Him, our families, and ministry opportunities.

There are husbands, children, aging parents, coordinated schedules, jobs, appointments, basic hygiene, health issues, commuting and travelling times, finances, church commitments, ministries, personal study times, pets, businesses to run, unexpected problems, births, deaths, social activities, vacations, birthdays and family celebrations, homeschooling tasks, and housework, that all vie for our attention on a daily basis!

The responsibilities of this world seem to increase day after day, and technology waves its arms wildly and tells us it that it will help us to do more in a shorter amount of time. In reality, we just feel the pressure of worldly obligations to fill in our time with even more things!

No doubt, you are just itching to jump in here and get at it, but this is an important step this week. Don’t underestimate the value of this exercise! Certainly, don’t rely on your memory for this one - you need to write things down in front of you so that you can see what’s what, and what comes next!

Every good business and project has a plan and a logical order of steps.

God, Himself, created the universe in seven days with sequential order and a plan. Just look what it says in Genesis chapter one: on day one, He created day and night; on day two He created sky and earth; day three, He created plants and vegetation; day four brought the sun, moon and stars (they mark seasons, days and years); day five was living creatures of the sky and seas; day six, He created livestock, and creatures that move along the ground – and importantly, He created man in His own image, (male and female, He created them – all in logical order ), commanding them to multiply and be responsible to care for all that He had created.

If He had a plan for the universe, and according to Jeremiah 1:5, we know that He had a plan for us before we were even in our mother’s wombs, then we need to follow His example - and to cooperate with a plan that lines up with His purposes and plans! Prayer and focus becomes very important in the grand scheme of “keeping it all together”!

The seventh day, of course, was a day of rest. So, let’s pause for a moment in the middle of our busyness and sit in a quiet place. Be still and know that He is God. Grab a cup of your favourite beverage, and a notebook and pen and make yourself comfortable in your favourite spot. We need to see and clarify what is really the most important and begin to weed out the unimportant!

First, take a few moments and ask the Lord to quiet your heart, and help you see things as He sees them from His perspective. Since we don’t always see things as He can, or as others outside of our situations, sometimes this can bring fresh revelation to our problems and circumstances. Ask Him to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:1-6)... acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. (Prov 3:6)

Make a list of what you need to accomplish every day. Remember, not what you “want” to do, but what you “need” to do. There is a big difference between the two. Depending on your lifestyle and season of life that you are in, there is no pat answer on this one, so simply start where you are at and with what you are able. Remember, this is constantly changing and evolving as you go along, so don’t feel like it has to be written in stone. Just start with what you see as a priority or need for your home and life.

On one page for each, write down where your time has gone, what has been well-invested time, what has been wasted time, and any forced circumstances on your time and energy. (Some examples of this may be an unexpected illness, caring for a sick family member, a job transfer, or a financial crisis.)

Continue to make a few more pages...What is your purpose or your destiny? What is it that you were born and created to do? Have you asked your Heavenly Father what that is? Do you have a sense already? How is He guiding you and journeying through the process step-by-step? Do you see it falling into alignment?

What is His Will and plan for you? What are your personal goals that line up with it? If we put Him first, He says He will give us the desires of our hearts. Think in term of long term and short term goals. Don’t get overwhelmed, you don’t have to do it all now. You just need see what they are.

What is the season of life that you are in? Perhaps you have small children and you are homeschooling, and you desire to write a series of books; realistically, you may see that you are not able to write a book a month, but you may find that you can accomplish by 15 minutes a day, an hour at bedtime three times a week, or one day week. What steps can you take to make that “want” or “goal” happen during this particular phase of your life?

Now write down what you need more time for - the priorities in your life - God first, your husband, your children, church, ministry, housework, education, career goals, and so forth. Over the course of this week, as you continue to pray, write down each thought, idea, problem and revelation as it comes to you. This will be a great start to getting things into a workable plan and a semblance of order.

Scripture tells us we will stand before Him one day, and give an account. That certainly includes our time. So do keep Him your first priority and ask Him to lead your time and your day.

Many of the great men of faith, of whom we read their autobiographies, all state very strongly that they started their day in prayer and study. For some, this may mean getting up a few minutes early in the day, but how much better your day will go when He gets the first portion! So, start your day with prayer, it is too important to miss!

Be sure to use discernment. Ask the family members of your household what they think or what changes they can suggest to help keep things running smoothly, as this will affect them too. We will begin incorporating the routines later on, and it will help when you are all working together for the common goal of “keeping it all together”. It will also aid in developing good training, discipline and accountability habits for everyone in your household!

How will you fit it all into His plans and put it into to what looks like an already jam-packed schedule of duties and obligations?

Take the time and figure it out....

Where does your time go?

Copywrite August 2008
Revisions newly made/Originally posted on Take Root and Write

When Life Is A Rollercoaster

Do you feel like life had just gotten so busy, that it is all just one big rollercoaster ride?

Today, I realized that in spite of my attempts to keep it all in perspective and keep it in balance, I am just simply... still way too busy.

I noticed I haven't kept up my posts here due to the business of ministry and school, and my artwork has been almost non-existent for the last six months... and well, let's face it.... all work and no play makes me a very dull girl! (Lol)

Responsibilities never go away. They are just the things that make life... life. And life needs to be taken seriously on so many levels.

We have all those sensory responses to the things that go on around us, and we can get caught up in the loops and movement they carry us on. Sometimes we feel like we are about to swing way out there on one last corner and we are just going to keep on going! ...Which is usually about the time that we actually start praying we can just stay “on track”.

"When my spirit grows faint within me, it is You who know my way." (Ps 142:3, NIV)

Every inspiring writer is told to “write about what you know”. In which case, I should not be writing this... Busyness is what I know. Chronic illness is what I know. Forcible disorganization is what I know. How they both can take their toll on your surroundings, in body, soul, spirit, will, and emotions... that is what I know.

Mastering the art of organization and keeping it all together? Well that is where I am still recovering and continually journeying! So, in spite of it all, guess who wound up writing a magazine column on organization for the past year?

Of all people... sigh.

Let's face it. God has one wild sense of humour. I thought my closest friends would have a major laughing fit when they heard the news, but much to my shock it wound up evoking exactly the opposite reaction!

"If anyone should be writing that column, it should be you!”

“You have so much on your plate and you are soooo busy, we are amazed at how you get all the things done that you do!”

“I would love to know how you do it! I can’t get half of things you do, done!"

Believe it or not... I was speechless.

The column wound up also being a very popular one.... but three guesses... I got so busy, I just couldn't continue to write it with my present schedule. (I know there is a lesson in here somewhere...giggle.)

The bottom line? He gives us all the gift of 24 hours a day. What we choose do with them and how much we get accomplished, depends on both the free-will choices that He allows us to make... and our circumstances of daily living.

"The LORD will guide you always….You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." (Isa 58:11, NIV)

We simply need to learn to ask... and then listen.

We need to choose to let Him show us how to order our days. We all desire to find more time for our dreams, destinies, purposes, family and Him, but determining the actual "needs", "wants", and the "necessary are essential to do that. It also helps to keep it all from getting out of control!

It is very true that life these days is a topsy-turvy balancing act for most people, and there are those who struggle with physical limitations and life circumstances. So no, there is not a clear, one-way-only, cut-and-dried solution. That is why it is so important for us to make prayer at the start of our day a priority!

"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Prov 3:6, KJV)

So, now after getting "off-track" and allowing myself to get talked into another rollercoaster ride, (and post a wonderful vacation away from the busyness and business of life and ministry), I am determined to get everything back "on track"... by letting Him take over my days and my schedule...

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way." (Ps 37:2, NKJV)

I can work with Him, or I can work against Him.

Written goals and a hugging of my dayplanner, along side of the "to do lists" will ensure that I keep the reality of life there, but prayer for His "ordering" of my steps daily will ensure that I actually do it His way.

"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy." (Ps 16:11, NKJ)

Besides... doing His Way is always a whole lot more fun anyway!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Four Men Who Dared to Be Different ~ Part 2

I can see those little monkeys set apart and huddled in the corner of their cage saying, “hear no evil, speak no evil, and say no evil”; but, how many of us would boldly do the same? Would we dare to be different from all the rest of the ones in the cage of our society? Are we willing to feed ourselves on something different from the rest of them?

To reiterate; this is about four men who dared to be different - four men who refused to eat the foods that would cause them to defile themselves and set cause to break the laws of their religious beliefs.

A few days before beginning this new journey through the book of Daniel, I was doing a little online surfing for articles and blogs on how people are coping in light of the downward spiral of the world’s economic systems.

Of course, there a great increase in number of articles and blog entries on how people are coping and saving money, of recent. It is reflecting the times in which we are living.

People are downsizing, particularly with the large population of baby-boomers entering their more senior years. Personal debt and bankruptcies are at an all-time high. Companies are moving their production facilities to cheaper lands, investments are plummeting in the stock market arenas, and people are losing jobs left and right. Oh, what troublesome times we are living in, but should we be surprised?

Aside from the inundation of articles and blogs and frugality, there are a newer substantial amount of blogs and sites for a growing number of people who are now opting out of the societal pressures to look like we have it all made. They are choosing instead, to move with a purposed directive towards a new trend called “voluntary simplicity”. They are the new army or breed of those fighting to step back from the society’s focus on self absorption and indulgence, and the overwhelming pressure to “keep up with the Joneses”.

Living the great American dream is no longer the dream.... in fact, it has become a nightmare! Society is starting to say “we have had enough”. They are opting out, and discarding all the stuff that really isn’t necessary. They are no longer interested in accumulating treasures, and storing the “stuff”.

My own sister-in-law and brother-in-law made a decision, a little over year and a half ago, to sell off their home and all of their world possessions, in order to purchase a large RV motorhome and drive off to discover North America. The timing, they felt, was right. Their kids, now in their twenties, had left home, and being only in their forties themselves, they were young enough to enjoy the concept. They also wanted to do it while they have the health to do it. They were both of tired of their jobs and the rat-race, and were ready for an all-out adventure. So in just a few short weeks, they got rid of their stuff, and were waving farewell.
Their challenge and part of the whole exploit would be to see how little they could spend. It would be more like a game, but not a regimented, unbending requirement. They wanted to do it all as simply as they could.

They chose an online trip journal, and daily post their happenings, as well as keep a running tab on their expenditures; namely fuel, food, and overnight fees. Since they have never been big spenders to start with, they spend very little, and have surprisingly, on average, spent only around a thousand a month over the past year, for their new style of living. Internet is picked up randomly here and there, on whatever signals they happen to find along the way, and cell phone pay-as-you-go is a monthly five dollar phone card they keep topped up only for roadside emergencies, should they ever need it.

Board-games, cards, strolls on the beaches, bike rides, dog-walks, and get-togethers with other fellow RV-ers are high on the list of activities. They trade books with other travellers, eat foods in season and with simplicity, pickup cheap dvd movies once in a while to watch on their laptops, they read the headlines and news videos online, and participate in free activities and touristy items as they motor along. It’s a low-key lifestyle they have become accustomed to, and that they absolutely love. So, what started out with intent to be only a couple of years long, has now become a lifestyle, and has progressed into plans for a longer timeframe.

They have chosen, and they have dared to be different.

While there is a part of many of us that may be envious of such a freedom to be able to pick and move like that. I, personally, have to say that I am too busy enjoying this season of writing and ministry. I absolutely love what I am blessed to be doing right now, and of where He has me. I love the simplicity of what we, as a family unit of our own, have chosen for this very busy season in our lives.

While we have never been too passionate about keeping up appearances, we have opted to step out of the influences and to clamp down on spending. Like others, who are choosing to rebel, we are no longer interested in spending our money or time on the unimportant things. Again, like many others, we have chosen to say "no', and to no longer conform to make the status quo - we choose to store the stuff, instead, where it counts... both personally and spiritually.

Do we, as believers in Christ, want to be strong in our conviction to not be conformed of this world?

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:20 (NIV)

It is all about setting our boundaries. We can choose to be a part of what is happening around us or to standout and be unique – to dare to be different and set apart.

We can certainly live in the world, but we don’t have to live of it.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Rom 12:2 (NIV)

Part of the study of His Word, is the factor of application; taking what you learn and applying it to your own life. So with an awareness of our own financial situations, and with the conviction of my faith - for the length of time that I am studying this amazing book of the Bible, I am personally committing to eat simply and at home (as much as possible), to not to spend any unnecessary money on what could be construed as frivolous items, and to live my life as simply as possible. I shall commit to purging out my belongings in order to downsize our home to its’ simplest form, and its' most mobile, move-ready basics. Not because I have to to, or because circumstances may force it in the future... but simply, because I want to.

We can learn much from the example of four men. Four men, who opted to take a stand for the simpler things - to eat with the simplicity of a diet of strictly vegetables and water, (and not the indulgent diet of a royal palace), and of whose bodies and minds ultimately reflected its intrinsic value. Four men, who chose to not be conformed to the patterns of the world around them, but to take a stand for righteous faith and respect for the Law.

Four men, who dared to be different.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Four Men Who Dared to Be Different

All of the offers of the world, sat before the men who dined at the King’s table. The finest, most tantalizing, highest quality fruits, vegetables, pastries, breads, meats, wines, and cheeses were spread before them in a very specific quantity – all, no doubt, for optimum physical performance and maximum, mental fuel.

Yes, indeed, the prolific abundance and resources of the royal kingdom were being invested into the physical bodies of the finest specimens in the kingdom – all handpicked and chosen to be trained for the king’s service.

There was only one hitch.

There were a couple of men, who didn’t want to touch it with a ten-foot pole. In their culture the foods were considered unclean, and eating them would have defiled the Law to which they would stanchly defend and preserve. To break that Law, would be to sin against their God.

Let’s read the first chapter of Daniel, in the New International Version, and see how the actual story is recorded...

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility- 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king's table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king's service.
6 Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you."
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see." 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

While it was, no doubt, probably an honour to have been chosen, (and most assuredly the family and friends, of those that made the cut, were proud of their loved ones), it was apparent that not everyone was willing to compromise!

Four men, who dared to be different. Notice the court officials even tried to change their names. Talk about losing your identity, and just becoming another one in the crowd!

It was all about motive, pleasure and self indulgence; the king’s, his courts’, his interns’, and his nations’. Oh, how this parallels our life, here in the present day, and from within our western culture! Indeed, we are living in a modern-day version of Babylonia! After all, it wasn’t just the name of a place, it was a culture, a way of life, and a philosophy for living!

The world is our oyster! Our eyes and ears can now hear and see and experience the voices of influence from around the world in a nano-second, through technology and media, all as never before in history - all implying that we really are the center of our own universe!

Think about it. We are enraptured with pleasure for ourselves - our five senses are never dulled and they too, are fed their finest! Education is now available through means and sources never dreamed or perceived in years past; physical health is scientifically explained, altered, reproduced, and cloned in peitre dishes; and dictionaries have words that are now considered parts of everyday speech - words that would make even an animal blush!

Our hands fondle the finest of textures and objects in their purest, natural form or their man-made, artificial counterparts. Our palettes exercise the diversity of cultures and tastes, and exotic aromas fill our nostrils, taking our imaginations to distant lands across the globe.

We can feed not only our bodies, but our egos! We can choose to find ourselves, remake our appearance, access unlimited banks of knowledge, get cash at the touch of a button or the swipe of a card, and cross oceans and continents in a heartbeat! We have choices like no other time, or nations, in history; and, we tell ourselves it is entirely possible to have it all!

Well they too, had it all, and it was being offered to them on a silver platter, literally. However, they made a choice, and like Mary would, many years later, they chose what was better!

Four men, who dared to be different.

© January 2009 Brenda Lois Crowe
All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Insatiable Hunger... Temporarily Satisfied

It was back in time... I can’t tell you where exactly, but I saw myself as though I was on the side of the Road to Damascus or somewhere. The sun was suspended somewhere back and behind me to the right, and it appeared to be late morning or early afternoon. Expectancy and anticipation hung in the air. The atmosphere was like a tangible, insatiable hunger that had to be fed.

Word had gotten out, and throngs of people began gathering in a cluster, that begat another cluster, that begat another cluster. Again and again, one after another, the numbers of the assembly grew. Each member was hoping to catch an opportunity to see Him, close-up, in the living flesh of Glory.

Yes, it was Him indeed... He, the One who was the awaited Messiah, was coming towards the multitude that was gathering.

I glanced, longingly, to catch a glimpse of His face as He was walking closer. Would He look like I had imagined? Would He smile, or look my way?

The heads bobbled back-and-forth in front of me, as all of them struggled to catch their own glimpse of the One who delivered people from demons, and did great miracles all in the Name of God.

There were others with him. Two, or maybe it was three, walked just a step or two in front of Him. They, like Him, were sandal-footed, and small puffs of dust were being raised from the dry soil with each step that they took.

His friends were smiling and glancing back at Him, ever mindful of the need to protect Him, should the crowd press in too closely. Their dark curls peeked out from underneath the coverings over their heads, and their faces were clearly impressed upon my heart. They were having a wonderful time with Him, and were enchanted with the penchant in the hearts of people, to adore Him in the place of His Presence.

I stretched higher on my tip-toes to see over the heads that now moved from side to side blocking my sight-line. I was no longer able to see over these ones that stood in front of me, and all I knew, was that I had to see Him...and I desperately began seeking fresh openings between the moving masses of hair and head coverings...

But, it was to no avail.

The whole situation for me, almost felt hopeless. He was known for finding the ones who were least likely. So, possibly there would be hope even for me. Even behind the throngs of people, He would notice if His Father noticed... or if the power had gone out from Him.

I too, had heard of the woman with the issue of blood – she had touched the hem of His garment. She had crawled between the feet of the ones who had gathered. There in her desperation, she had allowed nothing to stop her.

She knew He was the One. He was her only hope. No longer would she be a woman who wore a name of shame. It was insatiable hunger... and it drove her to it. She found a way... and now, so would I.

I caught a fleeting flash... mostly of the back right side of his head, going past, and out in front of me.

I had to see Him, and I caught myself slowly lowering myself to the ground, like she had done, and I too began crawling. The dust was now thick from the bare feet and sandals that stirred on the earthen surface below my knees, and I momentarily held by breath, and squinted for the sake and protection of both my extremities and my eyesight.

I would have had to presume that He didn’t know that I was there... but then again, maybe He did. The murmuring and blurred sounds of the crowd were disappearing somewhere off into the back, and over my head, as they continued shuffling off, and following behind Him.

My knees were clamping down on the lower half of the beige garment that I wore. It slowed down any possible speed in terms of progress. The head covering was now dangling and blocking the vista that could possibly lay before me. Frustratingly, within my haste to break free from them, I was continually being forced to pull my fingers out from underneath the feet of the dispursing mass of "Followers" – all to spare any possible breakage of the very hands that guided me. The tops of my feet were now dragging over the small pebbles behind me, and I winced with the pain.

Finally, the thinning crowd in my area had dispersed enough for me to see, and I was able to come out and from around them. I wanted to jump to my feet, and see Him... but, alas, it was too late. All I could see was the back of them.

Sigh.... The crowd was starting to move in tighter behind them, once again obstructing my view, and now there was no longer any chance of seeing Him.

Really, I had not even dreamed of touching Him. I merely wanted to see Him; that was all, and it would have been enough for me. My head hung in disappointment, but my heart held onto its desperation. It was insatiable hunger.

Then it happened...

Suddenly, instinctively.... I began grabbing and clenching the handfuls of fine sand that His feet had walked upon. Perhaps, to the others, if they had even noticed me, I would have appeared to be a desperate, crazy woman who was grabbing sand from the street...but they didn’t understand.

I had touched-not the hem of his garment, because I had no access to it, but I was able to hold what He, Himself, had touched. Some may have thought that might have been settling for second best... but to me, it was the very best.

After all, it made perfect sense to me, that if power went out from Him when she touched the tassels of his robe, then surely the sand would carry the power of His presence where He had stepped. It was the next best thing... it was within my grasp... and it met my need.

I would hold onto it with all I had. It was tangible, it was a memory, it was power, I could take it home, and now, it was mine. I would carry it with me like precious cargo, to a place where I could safely store it. Perhaps, it could be a vessel of some sort, that could I could set in a place of honour upon my mantel. Yes... that would do nicely, for now.

Little did I understand in that moment, it was what I would carry in my heart, that would outlast it all. I had experienced insatiable hunger... and I would only be temporarily satisfied.

With an incredible jarring sensation, I was suddenly removed from the indwelling vision of where I had travelled, to my place of physical reality...

A place of insatiable hunger... temporarily satisfied.

© Brenda Lois Crowe, December 28, 2008
All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 22, 2008

'Tis the Season To Be Busy...

My husband is working madly on lifting the old subfloors up to reveal the wonderful, original plank floors hidden beneath them as I am typing this! It seemed like an opportune time to sneak upstairs, curl up on the bed, and catch up for a few minutes!

This has probably been the busiest season of my life!

Our new ministry blog is up and running at blog.destinyword.com and the website at destinyword.com, unfortuately, is still under construction... so catch me over at the blog if this one seems to be quiet at the moment!

Some incredible things are happening over there, and I will tell you more in January, when I have more time to post about them.

We had part of our incredible Destiny Word staff/team visiting here at my home, in November/December. They arrived in from Hawaii and New York, and blessed us all! Our staff/team members from here in Canada were also delighted to finally meet them in person and not just through email, phone calls and webcam.

The connections were immediate, powerful, and genuine. Eric and I are truly the most fortunate partners,to have such incredible people encouraging us, assisting us, and working along side of us!

My family also wanted to spend time getting to know them a bit more, rather than be working on the renovations - so unfortunately they all had to put up with a bit of mess!

Truly, this would normally, totally, stress me out, not to have things looking perfect, but I forced myself to relax about the whole thing, since there really wasn't a whole lot I could do about it anyway. Thankfully, with their relaxed, easy, casual attitudes, I found myself a tad liberated in just letting it all go... and wound up having a whole lot of fun!

All that to say that we have family coming for Christmas in a week's time, the renovations are still not finished, and I don't have my tree up yet. Lol.

I keep thinking of a sign I once saw hanging on the wall of a quilt shoppe, "God put me here on earth to accomplish many things, and right now I am so far behind - I will never die!" I laugh, but admittedly there are just some days when it feels just like that! Of course, we know we are only meant to concentrate on today, and not worry about tomorrow. It will have enough things of its' own to deal with! Lol.

Let's face it... I am so behind right now, that I am starting to meet myself coming and going. Life as I once knew it, is no longer...
I am in a new season.

Yes, 'tis a new season on the horizon... and I look forward to it and all the adventures it holds! It means changes are coming, and changes have to happen.

Several things that I have been involved in, are going to be let go, in the interest of moving forward into new areas of my life. Newer schedules and routines are being put into place, and more efficient methods of application are being developed. Old unfinished loose ends are being gathered up, and completed, but will not be replaced by newer projects or added to.

It will mean guarding my time, far more closely than I have been, and sneaking away from time to time for some quiet space. However, the quiet is a tad remiss at this particular moment with the musical sounds of sanders "whirring", the vacuum sucking, hammers banging, and music festively playing in the background.... Besides which, hubby is calling my name to move some stuff....

Ah well... I shall pop back in for fifteen minutes again later. In the meantime, enjoy your holiday preparations, and I will go put a wreath on the front door!

'Tis the season to be busy.... fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Enjoy It While It Lasts....

It is that time of year when the various allergies, colds, flu, and so forth hit many a household, and ours has been no exception.

Hubby was knocked off his feet last week with some form of virus; and susceptible to asthma even on a good day, of course, it went straight for his lungs. Now, a week later, he is still grasping his inhaler and coughing like there is no tomorrow. His usual calm voice carries a new resonance of bass tones, and sounds like he is trying to see how low it can go. Like always, he is dragging himself though his usual daily stint in the workworld, in spite of the fact that he needs more rest. Being the ever generous soul that he is, however, he passed it on to me.

So days later, here I lie.... still.

Undoubtedly, with the allergies of the season also playing their part, it has been nothing less than frustrating. My to-do list is growing by the minute, and lots of orchestration in the heavenlies has been happening. There is just so much to do. So I drag myself, and then fall onto the bed when I have run out of strength.

It is always nice for the first 24 hours, isn't it? Then it grows old pretty quick! I don't rest well, so while I am lying down, I am usually reading, planning some art-quilt pieces, writing my column, blogs, books and updating my already overloaded calendar.

Yesterday, I started working out the schedule for some upcoming challenges and calls-for-entries that are coming up over the next six months. It pays to think ahead at times, and sometimes you realize there are steps you need to work out in advance. So I was very thankful to see that I needed to get out and take some pictures of fall scenes, and the leaves before they were all gone.

Autumn's brilliant colours can draw photographers, artists, and tourists from all walks of life. And I ask you, "what person can refute a God who can create such incredible ranges and hues of those glorious fall colours"?

My dear friend Val, loves driving around the countryside. Armed with her own camera, it was her intent to take pictures on the way home from doing her errands, anyway. In one hour and a bit, she would have to pick up her children - but, we could do it, it was not a problem!

So she very graciously picked me up, (in spite of my non-energetic and sickly condition), and off we sped across the countryside, to pause and photograph! Indeed, we would be more than willing to accomodate each other's whims to "click and check" as we went along!

Aren't digital cameras wonderful? You can point and shoot, check, and do it again if you need to. A healthy battery is all that is needed! Hundreds of pictures later, you can take those country roads home and peruse your works of art!

Of course, we never think it is enough, and know we will be heading back out again in the next few days, to get some more; provided today's winds don't take all the leaves off the trees!

Right now, I have what I believe to be the essential things for my creations, so far. But since the motto is to "always be prepared", I will have to make sure that I grab the opportunity to go for one more spin, with pointed-purpose, and see what else that we can capture onscreen for interpreting into fiber and art.

If you haven't been out for a tour of those country roads yet, why not consider grabbing your own camera and going for a walk or a drive? Or how about hanging around the house, and grabbing a rake and a wheelbarrow? You can dive into those leaves with your kids again, and enjoy the rustling sound of the leaves blowing in the wind!Maybe you could, go pick a pumpkin in a patch, and make a pie with your mom... or make some pickles or jams for Christmas, with all that fresh, fall produce on the stands.

Christmas? Would you believe it? It is only 11 weeks away from today! And, my list just got a whole lot longer... sigh.

Guess I'd better enjoy it while it lasts.

Update: Turns out they think hubby has pneumonia... and it is possible I may have it, too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Wing and A Prayer!

A family member decided she no longer wanted the dear old thing, and it was destined for the curb. So guess who grabbed this wonderful old wing chair before she could ask "do you want it"?

I am in the middle of a livingroom redo, and thought with some work, it would be a lovely addition to my somewhat classic decor. It seemed to have good bones, the springs seemed sound, and it appeared solid in structure, so how could I leave it there?

The original rose velvet cover did not suit the original owner's ever-changing decor and so she decided to recover it herself in a plushy blanket-cloth type fabric, but it really didn’t lend itself to the traditional lines or style of the chair. Nor had it been done well...so, needless to say she did not end up happy with it!

I had already found a great bargain on a piece of micro-suede type material in my fabric stash – bought a year ago, with absolutely no purpose in mind. I only knew it would match the decor choices that I already had made. The amount could be a problem, but there are ways of making it work! I decided that if I am short on fabric, I am going to combine another piece of coordinating fabric, also in my cupboard already, with it on the internal seat part of the chair. It will solve the shortage problem, while adding a minor touch of contemporary flavour – all, hopefully, without sacrificing any of its’ traditional or classic feel. So, after tossing back and forth between two options in my cupboard, it would seem it is really the only perfect choice in which to cover it!

Taking off layer number one, was a chore to say the least! She used long nails, screws and upholstery nails... whatever she could find to hold down the blue. It was a forever task trying to remove them all, but my son and I finally did it!

Of course, then we discovered the cushion was not reusable, since the family dog had been using it regularly. My very allergic hubby would never be able to take the fur, and I would never handle any smells, so out it went! New foam was purchased, and cut to go.

I also bought some old-fashioned round brads for the back side corners, when I picked up the foam. As an addition to the original, more traditional feel of the chair, it should look great when it is finished!

The front “kick plate” board had a crack in it, but my dad, a carpenter, was able to repair it quite easily from a job leftover scrap piece, so it is nice and solid again. One more freebie bonus! And hurrah, he confirmed the springs are definitely in great shape!

Also needed, some med and lo-loft quilt batting – there are pieces in my stash, and someone just blessed me with a huge “freebie” chunk of industrial wool felt in a delicious cream colour... it will work very nicely!

A soft thin layer of foam is needed to wrap the structural boards in the front section. Lo and behold, a gift piece of art was shipped in such a product, and is perfect to do the job. Another freebie, again!

Now it shall be plunked down in my driveway, once again, in the throngs of reupholstery land! This afternoon, I plan to tackle the balance of the pink layer we left until last... and to carefully vacuum out all its’ nooks and crannies from the dog hair and “crumbies” that have made their way down into the cracks!

So here goes nothing .... a wing and a prayer!