Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Heb 12:1-2 (NLT)

Friday, May 11, 2012

DIY Photo Board

When it comes to Mother's and Father's day, I'm all about the DIY. I don't like the idea of Mother's Day becoming another reason to spend a bunch of money (save that for my birthday and Christmas). I would rather it be about honoring the special women in your life.

There is something special about a gift from your own hands. (Here are some other simple ideas).

This photo board is pretty simple and the result is something beautiful and functional. I learned how to make them from a woman in my small group.

You will need:

  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • staple gun with staples
  • hammer
  • scotch tape
  • decorative nails or push pins
  • quilt batting (20" x 14")
  • fabric (22" x 16")
  • ribbon (2 pieces 28" long; 4 pieces 20" long - exact measurements will vary depending on thickness of wood - you need the ribbon long enough to cross over the board and be stapled on the back)
  • thin piece of plywood (20" x 14")
  • picture hanger

1. Cut batting to size of wood (in this case, 20" x 14")

2. Iron fabric if creased, and cut 2-3 inches larger than the wood (22" x 16")

3. Lay batting over the wood and then the fabric over the batting. Flip over. Staple the fabric down (I am liberal with the staples, using one every 2 inches or so). Fold the corners down (like you would on a present), and staple down

4. Measure out and cut your ribbon (I like to tape down the measuring tape for measuring). You will need 2 pieces at least 28" long, and 4 pieces at least 20" long

5. Start with the two long pieces of ribbon and make an 'X' across the board and staple down on the back. Don't pull it too tight. 

6. Run the shorter pieces parallel to the X. Use scotch tape to position them. Once you have them where you want them, staple them down on the back

7. Use your thumb to push nails or tacks into the ribbon intersections and then hammer in with the hammer (if your tacks go through to the other side, use the hammer to bend them over so you don't have sharp ends sticking up)

8. Attach picture hanger

Voile! Who wouldn't love this?

Monday, May 7, 2012


Humans where I live seem to follow the general course of nature in that a lot of babies are born in spring. I have had 5 girlfriends give birth (or about to), in the last four weeks. Crazy!

My children's social calendars have also been getting busy with soccer, dance recitals and birthday parties.

Every spring my husband and I also go through a ritual of obsessing over buying an acreage. We have been looking off and on for the last two years but as of yet, it just hasn't meant to be. But once again I find myself spending a lot of time scrolling through listings and taking drives out into the countryside.

With the acreage obsession in full-swing, the kid's activities, our regular commitments, and birthday parties and baby shower's galore, I have started finding myself double or triple-booked (and going poor).

It's a catch-22 for me since I don't enjoy having nothing to do and am prone to loneliness and restlessness, but I equally dislike having to choose who I have to say no to and feeling like I am missing out on something.

I have found myself living up inside my head, continually planning the next thing, or going down my mental check-list that I barely register my surroundings.

I recently read through Ephesians and 5:15-17 jumped out at me:

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

How easily I fall into the general business of life and cast aside the notion of asking God to set my priorities. I should be praying for guidance on how best to spend my time. And then accept and listen to the answer!

Peace comes when we seek God's will.

Proverbs 19:21 says, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." 

I spent so much time praying last fall about what God wants me to put my focus on. The answer was my home and my family. As great and full as our life is, I don' think God meant I should be focusing all my energy on racing around to various commitments and activities while dragging my two kids in tow.

My life always falls out of balance when I do this.

I need God. I need stillness. I need quiet time. I need quality time with my family. I need to slow my brain down.

I needed to be reminded of that this week.
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