Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Jesus Challenge week 1

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Like many other followers of Christ, I often have a hard time applying the actual “following Christ” part. Sure, I live a pretty good life, go to “church” and Bible class 3 times a week, pray and read my Bible, but if I’m honest, there’s more to following Christ than this. That’s why, when I first saw my cousin Danny’s facebook post about the “Jesus Challenge 2013” I was immediately interested.

Simply stated, the Jesus Challenge 2013 is a Facebook group started by Danny to challenge us to ACTUALLY LIVE like Jesus! Every week for 2013, he will post a short passage from the life of Christ along with some brief thoughts, a challenge, and a prayer. The challenge is to help us apply a characteristic that Jesus exhibits. Then you can post your own thoughts, receive encouragement and the like. I LOVE this idea! It’s a very easy way to help you be like Jesus in your daily life!

Last week, I thought I had the challenge in the bag without even really trying. It seemed so simple. Like Jesus noticed the little children, he also noticed others who often get overlooked and he made them feel special. The challenge: to notice people in our daily lives others often overlook and to let them know you noticed them. I thought this would be very simple. Kids, I notice them, I work at a preschool, it’s hard not to notice and appreciate their special gifts. The poor, they’re all around us and my heart breaks for their situations, and I try to help when I can. The addicted, I have family members who struggle with addictions. Etc. . . I honestly thought this was going to be an easy week. WRONG!

Friday, I began to notice someone, and it truly makes me feel ashamed. It may sound trivial, but it’s not. No unnoticed person is trivial. I noticed my UPS man. Actually, a friend noticed him for me. I have lived in the same house just one week shy of 3 years now. If you know much about my husband, you know he has a rather large personal theological library. Many, if not most of these books have been acquired from the Internet. Plus, that used to be how we bought diapers. Needless to say, when you have free 2 day shipping on Amazon, and you do a lot of online shopping, the UPS truck will be at your house…ALOT! Our UPS truck visits our house at LEAST once a week, and often more than that. I have had conversations with our delivery man several times and even told him how I got diapers so cheaply. Needless to say, I learned his name Friday. From a co-worker, who was talking to one of the kids in my class, who’s father makes the UPS deliveries in town. My town, to my house. . . OUCH! What really stung is my friend knew more about him than I did and he isn’t even her UPS man. AND I didn’t even connect the dots and realize his child was in my class and had been since August. She connected the dots for me. Talk about a fail.

This all got me to thinking, like it should. I wonder how often do people slip in and out of my everyday life without me even noticing? How many opportunities have I missed to share Jesus with someone just because I didn’t notice? I think it’s safe to say I pretty much failed the challenge this week. I only say “pretty much” because I did realize who I was not noticing but I haven’t had the opportunity to let him know how much I appreciate the great job he does, and how his child makes my days easy and enjoyable.

I plan on carrying this challenge out, for this week as well as my entire life. I pray that my eyes are not closed to the people around me and the opportunities I have to share the love of Jesus with everyone around me.

Do you want more information on the “Jesus Challenge 2013” or want to join me in this challenge to be more and more like Jesus? If so, follow this link to the Facebook page: Jesus Challenge 2013

Cards Anyone?

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Cards Anyone?

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This year, on October 23, we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary! Wow! 8 years is a long time. I wasn’t even in college that long and it took me FOREVER to graduate! We have had some pretty fabulous years so I wanted to do something special for Scott.

Scott is usually a really great gift giver. He always comes up with something great that I just mentioned in passing, or he thinks up something that I really need/want that I never even thought about. I, on the other hand, am not. I am very indecisive and look too closely at the price tag. If I talk myself into getting something for someone, I usually end up talking myself out of it for fear of them not really liking it or needing whatever it is. I have gotten much better in recent years, but I’m still not close to being an equal with Scott. For example, the first gift I ever bought Scott was a cheap game I had never played and some playing cards. I guess I thought he would like it, but I didn’t put much thought into it. He tried not to show it, but he was disappointed. After all, he had just given me an expensive diamond ring and had offered to spend the rest of his life with me. What was I thinking?? Then there was a couple of years ago where I ran to our local hallmark store, the day of, and bought him a picture frame….it still does not have a picture in it.

This year, I had some great ideas, but I also knew I was a little short on money and he would not want me to spend much, if anything on him. However, I really wanted to give him something special so I consulted Pinterest, of course! What would be better than something mushy and made from the heart?

This is what I came up with:20130115-134052.jpgA deck of cards (Anyone else see the irony?), made into a book, each page being a reason I love Scott. How awesome is this idea? It can even be revamped for different things. How about an awesome quote book of your kids quotes on their favorite card game? What about a teacher gift, “Things I Learned In School This Year.” Or something special for parents or grandparents, “52 Things You’ve Taught Me About _____” fill in the blank with life, marriage, God, etc. . .

I really LOVE this simple, meaningful gift. Now, the part you’ve all been waiting for… This craft really is simple. All you need is a deck of cards (new or old), a hole punch, ribbon (or ring clasps), sandpaper, printer (unless you have nice writing), Mod Podge, and any small embellishments.

Let’s do the hard part first….making your “list.” Just joking, this parts not hard! There are even some “generic” lists online you can find if you are having trouble. I wanted to use stuff like this: 20130115-130709.jpg
You need to measure your deck of cards and figure out what size of paper you want to put on them. Some people cover the whole card, I wanted to show the card. Once I found my measurements, I made a template on the computer and copied and pasted. If you have a program like MSExcell, just make each box the size you need, leave some space in between and add a cute border. I didn’t have that luxury but it was easy enough. I only wish I could change a couple of things. I wish my boxes were a bit smaller to show a little more of the card, and I wish I had some white paper. Originally, I was going to stain my cards, but they kept warping. 20130115-134232.jpg
I had to abandon that idea so in the end, my paper didn’t match the color of my cards and the red ink wasn’t as red as I wanted. I still think it turned out nice.

The next part is fun, and super messy… SANDING! Definitely put some paper down under your deck of cards because it will leave a MESS! For our honeymoon, we took a trip to Vegas. It’s a fun place to go and you can stay at some really nice hotels fairly reasonably. We saw some shows, rode horses in the desert, saw the sites, and ate at some awesome places! We also brought back a BUNCH of card decks for souvenirs and gifts for family/friends. I REALLY, REALLY wanted to make this gift out of a deck of cards from our honeymoon hotel, but I could only find one deck from there. I decided it would not be a good sentimental idea to destroy this deck of cards in my experiment if something went wrong. So instead, I purchased a brand new deck of cards with the most interesting back I could find. Then I lightly sanded to roughen up the cards, give them a little character, and to remove most of the plastic coating so they would glue nicely. I’m not sure how well the mod podge will adhere if you leave on the plastic coating. I didn’t want to risk it, so I sanded…and sanded…and sanded the front and back of 52 cards and 2 jokers. 20130115-130918.jpg
After dusting the cards off, use a very thin layer of mod podge and glue the reasons to the front of each card, making sure you center it so there is room to punch holes on the left side. Mod podge the “Title” to the BACK of a Joker card.

After this dries, give the paper side of your cards 2 thin coats of mod podge. Originally, I only gave one coat, and then decided to add the second. It really made a big difference. It also made my deck of cards really thick. 20130115-134340.jpg
When they dry, start punching holes. I made a “template” with my cover and kept using it to make sure everything was lined up correctly. 20130115-134444.jpgThen, stack the cards up, put some ribbon through the holes, and wrap that gift up! 20130115-132621.jpg