Monday, November 30, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I have much to be grateful for. I have a faithful husband, healthy children, a home, plenty of food, clothes to wear, and a reason to wake up every morning.

Mostly, though, I am thankful for a Creator who made all things and yet chose to love me, an insignificant speck in the span of time and space.  Without Christ, I am nothing. The things that bring me joy (my family, my art, and my teaching) can only do so because God has given me the ability to participate in them. He is the Ultimate One, the One who gives life and breath. He is the One who triumphs over death and hell, saving those who follow Him completely.

As much as I treasure those things that bring me joy, I know they are nothing in the scope of eternity--which is yet another reason to offer thanksgiving to the Lord of All.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blog Candy Winner!

I didn't forget in all my housework that I had a drawing scheduled for today! The winner of the notecards featured on Stamper's Quest is CAROLYN! And for everyone, thanks for playing!


My house is as clean as it has been since we moved in. You'd think my mother was coming to visit---oh, wait, she IS (hence the cleaning frenzy.) Here is evidence that yes, in spite of teenagers, husband, and greyhounds, my house CAN look nice now and then!

WHEW!  Now I can sit back and enjoy the fruit of my labor!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blog Candy!

I met my goal of 52 posts for 2009! WOOT!!! To celebrate, I am giving away a set of six "thank you" cards that I made for Stamper's Quest. Leave a comment and on November 18 I will randomly choose a winner. Check back on that day, because I'll need your snail mail address to send you your prize!

Thanks for celebrating with me!

Apples of Gold

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Highs and the Lows

Talk about a extreme 24 hours. Last night I received a wonderful note from a student who graduated nearly ten years ago, telling me of his life and thanking me for being a teacher who saw in him something unique and who encouraged him to step out of his comfort zone and pursue great things. His words really encouraged me, confirming again that God can (and does) use me in spite of myself.

Then this evening came a virulent and angry e-mail from a parent who didn't like a quick note I had sent. Perhaps my short communication wasn't phrased perfectly, but the lengthy attack really caught me off guard and shook me up. I still don't understand exactly what the parent was really upset about (and if it was really just about the note I sent, then there are other issues at play), but I sure don't like the way I feel.

Words matter. Job 12:11 says, "Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?" Certainly words have the power to encourage and discourage. Thoughtless and hasty words can do more damage than a physical attack. Exhortations can buoy the spirit through difficult times.

Proverbs 29:11 establishes the value of words: A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. To offer the right word at the right time is to give a treasure. Conversely, an ill-timed or ill-intentioned comment can leave the hearer broken.

The book of Samuel makes an interesting statement when it teaches that Samuel "let none of his words fall to the ground." (1 Samuel 3:19) How often to my words fall to the ground, worthless and fruitless? It is something to ponder.

I am a woman of language, so perhaps the lesson in these highs and lows is to remember that all words have the potential for great harm or great good. To allow my speech to be anything but gracious and seasoned with salt means that I have allowed myself to squander a treasure, and to be guilty of causing the same kinds of hurt that I feel when I am unjustly treated. I need to be more careful to be an encourager and to remember:
Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.
Ecclesiastes 5:2