Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Healing and Growing

Thank you to those who have prayed and encouraged us through this loss of our friend.

The memorial service was today, and although it was a time of seeing some friends we do not get to see often, it was a bittersweet time.
We can rejoice at Kyle's being with the Lord, but we are shedding tears at the thought of his death, and of missing him, missing all we would have shared with him, all the life he would have had.

It causes a person to be very introspective, analyzing our lives in relationship to our impact on others.
How we may say we will pray, and do we? We say we care, but do we take the time to really build relationships and be there for others?

I know we cannot be close and of great support to everyone that God puts in our path, but there are those few that we are called to take time with. To share a bit of ourselves with, and to let them share themselves with us.

It takes time, a lot of time. It takes a commitment. It takes following through. It takes listening to the Holy Spirit, and not putting off what we are nudged to do.
It means taking our eyes off ourselves so we can see others. It means putting some of our own pain aside, so we can share the pain of others.

Our granddaughter, 14, was receiving a math award at her high school tonight. We only found out at the last minute.
The thought never crossed my mind when we were drying our tears so we could be there for her, that we would be walking into a school filled with kids just like Kyle. Kids with needs.
Kids who might have aching hearts. Who might have pain no one knew about.
I looked at those kids differently. I looked wondering. Wondering if anyone was connecting with them. Did they know they were loved? They all looked so happy on the outside. Were they really happy? Or do they have secret lives where they ache, and their joking is only to cover up their hurt selves? And what about us? Are we in pain but we laugh and cover it up?
Or do we have a friend we can share our pain with? I'm thinking we need to open up and share our real selves with each other. We need to love and be loved, in pain and in joy.

Well, I'm pondering, and you are all good listeners. I'm grateful for that.
I do hope we all learn something from this heartache, and other things that touch our lives so deeply. And that when we realize some of these things, we chose to do something about it. Care more, listen more, hug more.

I expect i will shed more tears for awhile, as many will. But with time God will ease the pain and fill our hearts with joy once again. He will turn our sorrow into gladness and our mourning into dancing. His mercies are new every morning.

Blessings, and thank you,
Barbara Jean

Monday, April 27, 2009

Prayer Please

"God is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Ps 34:18

Please pray for us as we mourn the loss of a precious young man in our church.
At 15, he felt his life too burdensome to keep living.
None of us had a clue.

Please use this as a reminder to keep in touch with those close to you,
to make sure they know they are loved, and you are there for them.
Don't just assume they know it.
Tell them.
Hug them.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Barbara Jean

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Sometimes it is really hard to be thankful.

We had bad news tonight that our friend at church just lost her 14 year old son.
It is uncertain right now whether it is an accident or not.
We do not know any other details.
We are all devastated by this news.

So today, I am going to be thankful for all the prayers that will be lifted up for this family.
I am thankful for a God who will use this horrible event for some good.
I will choose to give thanks, though my heart breaks right now.
I will choose to give thanks for the peace that only He can give.
I will choose to give thanks for strength to go on for this family.
I am thankful for a God who will see us through this storm too.

Please pray with us for this family, and never take for granted those around you.


Barbara Jean

Sharing Suzie's Thoughts

My friend Suzie, has written a wonderful post I would like to share with you.
It is "Things I Believe"
Go on over and be blessed.

Blessings and Good Night.

Barbara Jean

Pondering Time

Good morning everyone!!

When is the last time you had time, or took time, to think?

If you are like most of us, you are running from one thing to another, one appointment, one scheduled event, one more stop, to another.

Our lives seem to be a constant barrage of things to do, places to go, and people to see.

Who really has time to think? And what would we think about if we did have time?

Maybe we could think about the next breath we take. Sounds funny doesn't it?
But think about it. If you are like me, I am so busy running, I do not even take deep breaths any more. My breathing is short and shallow.
Take a minute. Breathe in, I mean think about it, and take a deep breath.
Can you feel yourself really needing that breath? It's almost a struggle to get it in.
Breathe in again. Another deep breath. Don't think about where you need to be in 20 minutes, or what is next on the list, just breathe. Can you feel your body start to relax? Is it making you realize how tense you are all the time, and you don't even realize it? Breathe, relax.
There is really nothing worth rushing for. Nothing worth the tension. Nothing worth the stress we put on our bodies and minds by racing.

OK. Now, think.
Think about Him. Think about how He wants to place His loving hand on your shoulder. How He wants to share His peace with you. How He has already directed your steps for the day.
How He will use all that happens to help you grow, and that He will be glorified through you.
Think about His love for us. Think about how when you cry, He cries with you, and colllects your tears in a bottle. Think about how there will be no more tears in Heaven.
Think about how when you laugh, He laughs with you.
Think about how He delights in you.
Think about a love, so huge, a desire so big, He would give His son so we can be with Him for eternity.

Just breathe. And think. And thank.

Now go on your way, not rushing to the next appointment, but go in peace, and go out in love,
like He loves us, unconditionally, and with our whole hearts.

May your peaceful heart touch the hearts of those you meet today.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Muddling Through

I see i have been neglecting my friends over here, so here is a fun story.
(Hope it doesn't lose it all in the telling).

Scott and I are teaching a Home Blessings session at our church on May 2nd.
This is a big stretch for us as neither of us are 'public' speakers. We both do well leading a small group but...

It was part of our commitment to announce it at the Sunday service. We were petrified about this.
Sat. night we figured out what we wanted to say and started working on it.
Being the creative person that i am, I already had some ideas. And, being the person he is, my husband said go for it.
So, my plan was that we not make a plain old "here's what's happening. Please come" type of announcement. Too many people sleep right through those.
So we wrote this whole little comedy, and practiced it for an hour! (for a 5 minute announcement). Well, we just laughed our heads off while practicing, but eventually felt like we had it down, and scooted off to bed.

Sunday morning:
We set up our little table in the foyer, pretty table cloth, teddy bears, flowers, things arranged just so.
We are both extremely nervous.

Two worship songs, then we are on! (oh my, I'm getting a queasy stomach just thinking of it again.)

we got off track right from the start!!! We muddled back and forth. People were smiling and shaking their heads in agreement with things we were saying. Women were poking their husbands with their elbows. We just kept on muddling. People were laughing. That was good. We kept muddling, they kept laughing. Finally, we were finished!!!!
WHEW!! So we go back to our pew (good thing we always sit in the same place, or we'd have never found our way back!!) Scott does not think he heard the first half of the sermon, and I wondered how long it took till i was not red any more.

The finale:
Church is over, and people are telling us how great that was. So funny!! (because we had started out with a funny presentation, they just though all the jumping around was part of it!)
They said no one in the sanctuary could miss that announcement it was so funny.
(oh, I forgot to tell you, we are speaking on communications, and how our brains work!) =0)

the Future:
we are just wondering now: it took us 1 hour, and tons of laughter to put together a 5 minute announcement.
We are supposed to share for an hour and a half at the session, and it is less than two weeks away.
Hmmm, do we have enough time to prepare???

Hope we laugh as hard on the next part, as we did on the announcement.
I'm glad God can use even our 'muddling thorough' for His Glory.

Blessings, and oh, prayers requested. =0)

Barbara Jean

Later I was apologizing to the leadership that we took so much time. He said we just did out 5 minutes! Seemed like an eternity to us!

Friday, April 17, 2009

What kind of fruit today?

Ever feel like life's giving you lemons?

Or like someone is throwing rotten tomatoes at you??

Those are my words added to the free images over at Tami's.
Those are the thoughts that came to mind the instant i saw these pics.
Then i had to laugh out loud at myself.

You know, some days, or even weeks, that is how life seems.
Everything seems worse than it is. Every thing, and feeling, seems bigger than it is.
Things seem like they go from lemonade to lemons.
That's just life sometimes.
Then our whole focus becomes negative,and things seem even worse.
We can't quite get things back in perspective.
Just feels like someone is throwing rotten tomatoes at us, when what we really need is a brownie.
That is how my week has seemed.
And things really got out of control in my mind.

Today I am having to make a choice. I am choosing to let the HS be in control.
It is not easy, because my feelings are still telling me things are crumby.
And you know what? They really are still crumby!!!

But, I can trust they will get better. I can trust that the HS will have His way if i let Him.
I can trust that the sun will rise tomorrow, and that life will go on.

So Lord, this is my prayer. Help me to keep letting the HS have His way. Help me to choose the fruit of the Spirit, and not that rotten fruit that shows itself when the HS is not in control.

Thank you Lord.

Blessings to all of you,
Barbara Jean

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Some of you may have read my earlier post today.

I have been so overwhelmed, frazzled, frustrated and, well, just so not myself the last couple of days.

I kept myself busy, had a nice tea this morning with a friend, worked at the shop. Another friend came in there to visit. It was an OK day, but the problems and frustrations were still there, and some added on!!! Like leaking water pipes at the shop!!
Did I somehow think the problems would disappear? They are part of life!!

I have just been catching up on my blog reading, when i came to a thankful Thursday post!!!

Oh No!! I've been so in my little 'unfortunate' world, I totally forgot. it was Thankful Thursday.

One of the nice things about Thankful Thursday, is that at least once a week, even if i don't do it any other day, I take time to write down what i am thankful for.
(I usually think about that most of the time).

So, before i go to bed, I am going to share what i am thankful for, even though i do not, at this time, feel thankful!

Thank you Lord, that your love for me never changes, no matter how i behave!!
Thank you, that the same way we want our children to be happy, and make good choices, you want that for me too.
Thank you that you are working all things in my life, toward what you know is best for me.
Thank you that you will use even this crumby couple of days to help others, and bring glory to yourself.
Thank you that you will never leave me or forsake me.

I do love you Lord. Help me to show it more, and turn (I mean RUN) to you whenever things start going amok!!.

Blessings, and God's peace to all of you my friends.

Barbara Jean

Frustration Friday??

I am so frustrated!!!!
Oh rats! It is not Frustration Friday!! (I just made that name up, there really isn't one as far as i know).

But maybe we should start one!!

You know, for the weeks that we have a frustration on Wednesday, that 'bleeds' over into Thursday, upsetting the apple cart of our lives. Ones that is still making you sick to your stomach, and you wish were done with, and they are not?

Good news: It is not with a friend, but it is a business transaction!!! One I have been trying to deal with for some months now. Just when you think it is done, it pops up again!
One of those, you canceled a service because you were not satisfied with it, but they keep wanting you to pay, even though you canceled within the allotted time. You did the certified letter, the whole 9 yards, but they keep pestering you and saying you should still be paying, because they have not stopped the service! Well, is it just me, or is that a 'duuuuhh'?

OK my friends, I feel a little better. Going for a walk and try to clear my head a bit more, and enjoy my day.

Thanks for letting me vent a little, and I'll try to add some sunhshine to your days when i get back.

Blessings and peace from our Lord,
Barbara Jean

Monday, April 13, 2009

List of Giveaways!

Great giveaway and beautiful card ideas.
more beautiful card making supplies, and ideas.


I realized i was posting some of the wrong pics with the wrong sites, but, oh well, they are all wonderful prizes, given by lovely and creative people. =0)

Check out these giveaways, and when you enter, make sure you tell them i sent you!!

Be back with more later.

Barbara Jean

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Harrowing Experience

OK, don't panic! It wasn't a huge harrowing experience, just one of those things that makes you're heart beat faster for a few minutes.

Coming home from the shop last night, this car was following me tooo close. (that really irritates me, plus being unsafe).

Two blocks from home, there red and blue flashing lights came on!
EEK! I'm being pulled over!! Now, you may not know me very well to know i am pretty much 'goody two shoes' when it comes to driving. Speed limit 45? I'm doing 45. Stop before turning on a red light? I stop. You get the picture.
So I'm thinking what on earth did i do? Was that a red light i just turned on?

So, I pull over, and start reaching for my purse to get my license out. Can't reach my purse in the back seat, and policeman is walking up to the car.
Well I've watched enough good guy bad guy shows over the years to know not to get out of the car to get it, so I waited till he was up at the window before i did anything. (make a note here: what I should have done is call 911, and make sure they had someone in that area. There are an awful lot of bad guys out there, posing as good guys, and.... well, you know).

He asked for my licence, registration, and insurance card. I explained that my purse was in the back seat, and proceeded to get out and get it. He was watching every step. (too many bad guys have 'things' hidden in their back seat so they are very cautious, and I'm glad.)

He asked me to get out my other papers and he took my licence and said he would be right back. (checking to see if i was who i said, and no wants or warrants out for my arrest, not a stolen car etc.)

He came back, looked at my other papers, and FINALLY told me why he stopped me!
Then, no written warning or anything, just get it fixed s soon as i could.
I thanked him. We both got is our cars and I drove off. (I nearly hit someone when I pulled out i because our nice 'trooper's lights were blinding me!) Oh, dear, a ticket this time??
Whew! He did not come after me.

I drove the last 2 blocks to my house, my heart still pounding, and I'm thinking as I drive off, "MY word, don't these guys have anything better to do?"

OK, now. I know that was not any big deal. I guess i had to share that because my fella has been in Mexico on a mission trip all week, and being pulled over was the most unsettling part of my week.

PTL. A bit of heart pounding!! I can live with that. =0)

My guy comes home tonight, and I hope he has had nothing worse happen to him than a little heart pounding.

Blessings and prayers as the group is on their last part of their journey home.

Barbara Jean

Friday, April 10, 2009


go to : lola b boutique for a


You do not want to miss this opportunity for two giveaways with tremendous prizes!!!

One for a garden party, and another for a certificate for her ETSY store.

Barbara Jean

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Did you ever sit down to write, and had no clue what you'd say?
Well that's me right now. No plan, just seeing what ends up being on here.

Guess the subject should be on something i am thankful for since it is indeed Thankful Thursday.

Let me get my mind working that direction for a bit.
Ooh. What's wrong with that statement?
Shouldn't i constantly be thinking of the things i am thankful for?

Hmm, my mind does get busy with other things. How about you?
Are you able to constantly stay in a mind/attitude of thanksgiving? Or does your mind wander to the problems of the day, or even that's it's bedtime and I'm tired and haven't read yet?

I suppose we all do that sometimes; get our minds on other things. We aren't really grumbling, or fussing, or ungrateful. We just aren't thinking about being grateful.

Do you suppose God understands that? Understands that our thoughts get so divided, and we don't always focus on the abundant life He has given us, or more importantly, on Him? We don't think about our hope for the future? Or His promises to never leave, or forsake us? Or the ones about never giving us more than we can handle? Or that if we trust in Him He will guide and direct us? Prov.3:5,6 That if we wait on Him He will renew our strength? (Is 40:31) Or how about Ps. 139? There are a lot of thoughts and promises in it and it is 0ne of my favorite chapters.

Here are some thoughts from that Psalm:

He has searched me. He knows where i am and what i am doing at all times.
He understands me, even my thoughts. (does that mean that even when we are not focused on Him, or His promises, or being thankful, He understands all that?)
He knows what we are gong to speak before we ever speak it.
He has wrapped His arms around me, and protects me.
He blesses me.
There is nowhere i can go that He is not there. He is always there.
He will guide me and lead me.
He will support me.
He is my light in my otherwise dark world.
He knows me, and He made me, and He promises to take care of me and wants what is best for me.

He thinks about me constantly, more than there are grains of sand in the world!!!!
(that just blows my mind!)
He is always with me.

All these things are promises from God.

and the greatest promise is:


Blessings as you think about His promises.

Barbara Jean

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hurting People

Hurting People........ Hurt People.

They don't mean to. They are just hurting so bad it is hard to be nice to others, hard to see the good in people.
They have a choice when they are hurting, to either fall apart and let themselves cry and be vulnerable, or to become hard, cynical, and negative. They can choose to let people in, or keep people out. Healing, or continue hurting.
For some, it feels safer to keep up walls up, and protect themselves, rather than let anyone else know they are hurting. They may appear to have it all together, or may appear to be stand-offish, or snobby, but inside they are lonely, hurting people.

For others, who are able to let themselves be vulnerable, and share their hurts, there is love, understanding, support, and healing. There is growth. They are able to take what they learn and help others when they are hurting. They are more sensitive to others, because they have felt the pain themselves.

This is something to consider the next time you are hurt. Did the other person really mean to hurt you? Or were they just in their own pain and could not see the love and good around them.

And, how about next time you are hurting? Will you put up walls to protect yourself? Or will you let people in who will love and support you?

Blessings on your day, whatever it brings.
Barbara Jean

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Great Giveaway!!

Seasons of the Past is having a Spring Renewal Giveaway.

She has wonderful prizes, but even better is a chance to think about what you want renewed in your life this Spring.

Thank you Anne, for having such a great giveaway!!!

Barbara Jean

My Prayer

This is what i need.
Not only to see with His eyes,
but to do what He would have me do.

I waste a lot of time.

Barbara Jean

Produtive, or Not?

I was at my daughters this afternoon.
Her husband is out of town, and so is mine.

After lunch, and putting the two little ones down for their naps, we took the two older ones to the back yard to enjoy the sunshine.

I got the girls bikes out and raved about their riding skills, , while Angie washed off the picnic table cover and two chairs. After a bit more puttering, we sat down to watch the girls play in the sprinkler. (it was almost 70 degrees, and we have to take advantage of these 'warm' Spring days.)

As we sat we talked about my blank shop walls (you've heard about those). =0)
We also talked about her plan for the back flower bed, and where to start on it and so forth.
And how did she like this bush or that bush they had put in.
I was so enjoying just sitting with her, and quietly talking, with little or no interruption.
It is a rare commodity these days.

Then as we were sitting, Angie made the comment about it not being a 'very productive day'.
She had hoped to get more done than just wash the table. We were both enjoying the 'sitting', but it was so unusual we almost did not know how to do that.

So, I've been pondering that a bit now.

I'm thinking, what makes sitting, enjoying a visit, watching our little ones play, and relaxing, a none productive day? Are we so busy 'doing' all the time, that we feel bad if we relax? Or do not even know how to relax any more?
I had not done that for so long, it took me a bit of just sitting there, doing nothing but relaxing.
(I easily got into the swing of it._ =0))

I think having a quiet visit with someone, calming our souls, spending time enjoying our little ones, is maybe one of the most productive things we can do.
I know i do not relax often enough. I always have some project whizzing through my mind, or busy with my hands.
I found the calmness and serenity of today, the most productive day i have had in a long time.
I feel relaxed, and refreshed.

So, all that to say, I hope you have had a non-productive day. One that has refreshed you and calmed your spirit.
If not, take a moment. Sit down (no handwork, just sit!).
Close your eyes. Think of a peaceful time or place. Breathe in deeply. Let yourself be refreshed!!

Blessings, and peaceful wishes for you,
Barbara Jean

PS So there is no misunderstanding. None of this was any bit a criticism about my daughter.
She has found great balance in her life of caring for a husband and 4 children, working part time, homeschooling, and making time for herself with friends.
I admire her greatly.

Beautiful Giveaway!! Go to the site for this beautiful cone giveaway!!

Barbara Jean

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday

You know, sometimes i get so busy, that i kind of just thank the Lord on the run for all He has done in my life, and even for who He is.

But sometimes i just need to slow down, and really think about what I am Thankful for, and
it usually becomes even more than i can even write down.

So, where to start:

I'm thankful for a Lord who loves me. He knows everything about me, and He still loves me.

I'm thankful for the friends He has put in my life. They pick me up when i am down, laugh with me, cry with me. We play together, and work together. And it is the Lord who brought us together.

I'm thankful for my husband of 40 years. That he sticks with me through my ups and downs, confusion, tears, depression. He may not cry with me, but he is becoming more tender.
He laughs with me. He is a fun person to be married to.

I'm thankful for kids who love us. Who, though they may not always be walking a right path, have never been disrespectful to us. They may not have always told us all the truth, but they never lied when asked. In this day and age, that is a lot to be grateful for!!

I'm thankful for good health! I do not feel like the '60' my calender age says i am. (and my friends will tell you, i certainly do not act like I am 6o.) =0)
I am grateful for my husband's good health, and that he still has a job, when so many are losing theirs.

I'm thankful that we can lift up our hurts, and cares, and the needs of ourselves and others to a God who loves us and wants the best for us!!

Blessings on your day.

Barbara Jean

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Giveaway test

Giveaway at Treasures from the Heart

This is a test:
I'm checking to see if what someone told me will work.
Now we will have quadruplets I'm sure!! =0))