31 December 2014
Every year we like to welcome the new year at midnight with the clanging of pots and pans, laughter, and eager anticipation of the days to come. How quickly one year ends and a new begins! But the best part of it all? That our God is all-powerful and ever loving, good, and faithful.
Looking back with thanksgiving and forward with hope, I found the following both beautiful and humbling: A Prayer for Year’s End from “The Valley of Vision.”
O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when thou givest,
when thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for thy use.
A joyous New Year to you all!
3 October 2014
Hello, again. I’m so glad you’re here! Summer was a wonderful season filled with living and growing and learning and loving… as well as a break from blogging. (You might’ve noticed that I’ve still been around a bit on Instagram and Pinterest.) But Autumn is here, and while these days don’t look like they’ll slow down anytime soon, I’m looking forward to carving out time to post here again.
Life is full of seasons with love, mercy, faithfulness, pain, forgiveness, beauty, hope, and much, much more – all because of the greatness and goodness of God.
“For everything there is a season, and
a time for every matter under heaven.”
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in Him.'”
As always, things are cooking in the studio, but the latest one just released on October 1st! There will be more about that next week…
14 March 2014
This embroidery features a flourishing homestead full of life, centered around Proverbs 24:3-4:
“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
This pattern was delightful to embroider and is a beautiful reminder of the joy of living in the way of the Lord. The stitches used include straight, back, stem, seed, lazy-daisy, and French knot. The finished work fits perfectly in an 11″ x 14″ frame. (Makes for a wonderful addition to the home or a wedding or housewarming gift!)
6 March 2014
When I picked up a little book titled “Free Grace and Dying Love,” I couldn’t help but begin pouring over its pages. The first part is a collection of devotions by Susannah Spurgeon and the second part is a biography on her life.
Charles and Susannah Spurgeon’s story is a beautiful and inspiring one. They came together as one and faithfully served and sacrificed much to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and seek first His kingdom and righteousness. (She’s actually featured in one of our paper doll collections.)
Susannah’s writings in the collection of devotions is beautiful evidence of her great love of and submission to her Savior. While her life was far from trial-free, Susannah saw the goodness of the Lord through the afflictions and trusted in His good pleasure – the One “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” and “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
A couple of my favorite quotes from this volume:
“Lord, You have told me who You are, You have in mercy revealed Yourself to me, I know You to be that blessed ‘gift of God’ which alone can save and satisfy my soul. The depth and compass of heavenly love are manifested in You, and You have shown me, not my need only, but the sufficiency of Your grace and power to meet it. I am an empty sinner, You are a full Christ!”
“The soul that has learned the blessed secret of seeing God’s hand in all that concerns it, cannot be a prey to fear, it looks beyond all second causes, straight into the heart and will of God, and rests content, because He rules.”
I need Christ in all things and I know that He is sufficient. He rules and reigns and I can rest content in Him. How thankful I am that, by the grace of God, I serve a full Christ!
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
13 November 2013
There are many wonderful ways to record the blessings in our lives. We get to take note, remember, study, and proclaim the works of the Lord and share them with those around us and future generations.
One way we have enjoyed writing down and displaying reminders of God’s mercies toward us has been through “The Thankful Tree.” A vase of branches becomes home to a record of many of the blessings we are thankful for. We’ve used pretty paper for the “leaves,” and even wooden chalk tags.
We still have last year’s “Thankful Tree” set up in our kitchen, ready for another Thanksgiving.
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them.”
24 September 2013
It’s the third day of Autumn. The temperatures are dropping, the sun takes its rest in golden skies, and the fields are being harvested. We’re surrounded by reminders that this beautiful season is upon us.
Apples and pears are being picked, friends and neighbors are getting out their scarves and boots, raspberries are ripe, the grape jelly has been put up from this year’s harvest, the trees are well on their way to a full bloom of what is fondly called Autumn colors.
Just as there is a time to plant there is a time to pluck up what is planted. “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
There’s something peaceful and exciting about each new season – as one goes, another comes.
We look back at what God has taught us and brought us through and look forward to what He has in store for the future. We see His merciful hand at work every step of the way, knowing that His works are good and His ways are righteous.
With each new season – and each new day – comes a reminder of the faithfulness of the Lord. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)
His promises never fail.
20 May 2013
Praising God for this new family!
It was a delight to stand and rejoice with this dear couple as they covenanted before God and man to be husband and wife. Looking forward to all that the Lord has in store for this family as they seek Him in all their ways!
“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
26 March 2013
Great joy comes with working together as a family. With businesses born and run in our home, we’ve learned what a blessing it can be to manage cottage industries.
Each part of the family contributes a different skill, giving the rest of us even more appreciation for the various talents God gives people. We’re all working alongside each other towards the same goal, growing in our relationships with one another and in our walks with the Lord. We love it! Whether it’s illustrating a new art print, or writing a note to be shipped off with an embroidery kit, we take pleasure in the work God has given us.
Although it wasn’t necessarily a dream of ours to own businesses, we are thankful that the Lord has directed our steps and laid in our laps many projects and opportunities over the past few years.
We’re certainly not business experts, but a lot has been learned along the way (more than we ever imagined!). There is much, much more to learn and we always find it a great opportunity when we can gain wisdom from wise and experienced entrepreneurs.
We’ve listened to the audio from a couple previous Family Economics Conferences, which has been a source of encouragement as we work together as a family and, Lord willing, grow our businesses.
The great news is that Generations with Vision is hosting yet another conference this year! The 2013 Family Economics and Discipleship Mega-Conference has a full panel of wonderful speakers including Joel Salatin, The Botkin Family, R.C. Sproul Jr., Scott Brown, and more!
This May, in St. Louis, Missouri, you can spend four days learning about economics, meeting and enjoying fellowship with other families, soaking up sound biblical wisdom, being encouraged in family discipleship – the list could go on and on!
You can find out more about this great opportunity here:
The early bird discount ends March 31st, so if you plan to register,
make sure to do so by the end of the month!
P.S. Our businesses will be represented at a booth in the vendor hall – whoever is there would be glad to have you drop by and say hello!
28 February 2013
“He only can be esteemed really and permanently happy,
who enjoys peace of mind in the favor of God.”