Saturday, January 31, 2009

To What End?

Ever get really excited about something, then tell someone else and they are less than excited?

Ever wonder what good the thing you are excited about is doing?

To what end? For what purpose?

Heaven only knows, I thought. And then I wondered if 'heaven' really cared about it.
If He cares one way or the other. I don't mean, does He give a rip, but is He OK with what I do as long as i keep Him first and honor Him in it?

I know the Lord gives us gifts to share, and wants us to enjoy what He has given us, but...

Have I put these things first?

Am I as excited about Him, as I am these 'things'?

Do I tell people about Him? Or just tell about the 'things' I am doing?

I'm thinking if i have to ask myself these questions, maybe i have my priorities a bit out of order right now.
And, maybe i know i do, but I'm enjoying myself too much to stop.
Stop long enough to hear His voice.

Just pondering.

Blessings, and prayers, as I seek Him.

Barbara Jean

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thoughts to ponder.

I love how the Lord uses every day situations to speak to our hearts.

A friend of mine, Pam, has had a dilemma of late.
There is a little kitty that went up her tree, over a week ago.

When I talked to Pam on the phone a couple of days ago, it was still there.
This poor little thing has had no nourishment for over a week.
We have had a couple of nights of freezing weather.
It is cold, hungry, and afraid.

It was not very high up in the tree at first, but as they tried to get her, she just went further up in the tree. She backed off, and things just got worse.
Pam's husband, Eric, came close enough at first to touch her once, but could not grasp her to get her down. In hindsight, he wishes he had just gently pushed her off the limb.
A minimal fall, but safe.

They have tried everything. All the phone calls trying to get help, somewhere, but there was nothing anyone could do. They told her she will come down when she gets hungry enough.
She was 70' up in the tree when i last heard, and no where else to go.

Pam was saying on the phone to me, "If it would just have let us help when we could still reach her, she would be safe now. If she would just have taken that first step."
If she had only trusted those who were trying to help her, she would be safe by now.

Boy, did my spiritual voice take off on that one!

How many times has the Lord said that to us when are in a pickle, "Trust Me. I'll help you".
How many times did we think we could handle it ourselves, that it was not big enough to bother God?
Or, do we think God is not big enough? That He doesn't know or care about what is going on. That friends can help us better than He can?
How many times do we poor our hearts out to others, but not to God? Looking to the counsel of man, instead of the counsel of the creator. How often do we sit and cry, and feel alone, when our Lord is there all the time? (please don't get me wrong here. Do call and ask for prayer. Do seek counsel from Godly men. Do sit and cry with friends, and let them cry with you. Just don't let them take the place of God, and time with Him.)

Why are we so afraid to trust, to ask, to cry, to take that first step?
And it does require that we take the first step. The minute we ask for prayer, reach out, call on Him, He is ready to go to work on our behalf. He is there to guide us. He is there to hold us and comfort us, and surround us with His love.

He has surely been there for us before. He has proven we can trust Him.
Do we forget those times? Do we think this time is different?

God loves us. He is always there for us. He guides our paths. He uses what happens in our lives to help us grow. He knows our every thought. He has great plans for us. He is our hope.
He is the lifter of my head, and the comfort of my heart. He is a friend in times of trouble.
He thinks about us more than there are grains of sand.
He smiles when we smile. He cries when we cry.
He is our protection, and a very present help in times of trouble.

So, where are you in the tree? Are you at the bottom branches, where you can take the first step and get out? Or where God can gently you push you out to safety?
Have you gone further up the tree, where it is harder to be reached? Did you move further away thinking you would be safer there?
Are you clear up in the top, "out on a limb", where, from your perspective, there is nowhere else to go? You have isolated yourself, and feel alone.
Do you feel afraid, but don't know what to do or where to go? There seems to be no answer? Things seem impossible?

God deals in the impossible! He has the answer! It is never to late to call on Him!! You are not alone!
Let Him help you through today, one step at a time

Blessings as you ponder this with me.

Barbara jean

Thursday, January 29, 2009

where have i been??

Where have i been???

If you read my other blog, you know i have been very busy with it, and that has kept me away from here as much, and away from other things too. =0/

Scott and I did take off Monday, and we went to the coast for the day.
You know a day off for me still means going to any thrift stores i can find, and that's fun to me.
(not as fun for Scott, but he's a trooper and goes along.
That is until about the 4th stop, then he resorts to reading and taking a nap in the car.
That was fine till i came out to unload my loot from a store and scared him when i opened the door!!!
I treated him to an ice-cream to make up for that. =0)

On the way back through town we stopped at our Life Group meeting place, so it was a wonderful day beginning to end.

This will be short, as I have more stories and life lessons to share after a take a break.

Enjoy this day.

Barbara Jean

Sunday, January 25, 2009

For the Birds??


It took me 3 hours at the computer today, but my first tutorial is on my other blog now.
"Bird Nest Building 101".

It was quite the challenge, but also a great feeling of accomplishment.

I love birds, and nests and nature. Since i can't find bird nests, (and the best ones are usually taken by the birds), last year i started making my own.
So I decided that i should do a tutorial and share with friends who may also be frustrated about finding nests. Doing a tutorial is certainly different than just sitting and doing one, or showing someone in person how to do it.

If you get a chance, go check it out.
If you have any help, suggestions, comments, please let me know.
This is all just one big learning experience for me, and I would appreciate the help.

Many thanks to my friend Pam who spent hours taking photos for me. ( More like 10 minutes). =0))
Thanks Pam.

Blessings to all of you.

PS If you love nature, birds, and nests, you'll love
My friend Dawn not only does beautiful work, but is a support, encouragement, and inspiration to us all.

Barbara Jean

Friday, January 23, 2009

Frenzy Friday

Till I find a "Flea Market Friday" on another blog and get involved in it, I will call this week "Frenzy Friday".

Actually, I'm not sure this Friday is any different than any other day this week, but it fit with Friday the best.

It's not that life has thrown any more at me this week than usual, but that most of the frenzy has been brought on by myself.

I get on these high energy spurts, where I am in a whirl wind of activity (hey, whirlwind Wednesday, that would have worked). I scurry around doing this project and that, cleaning a bit here and a bit there, running this and that errand, and going around town "gathering" for the next project. (not sure why since i am already a zillion projects behind).

The up side to all of this is I that I get a lot done.
The down side is that a lot of the things i start, don't get completed all the way. (that is in the cleaning and organizing department usually. Craft projects usually get finished, when ever I finally get them started). =0)

So, I'm trying to find a better balance.
My friends will tell you I am pretty unbalanced (or was it imbalanced?), and really do need to work on that. =0)
I particularly have one friend who tries to keep me in line, and I have to say, that although i am not used to being told what i can and cannot do, it has made me slow down to think a few times.
Thank you friend.

One of the things i need is to schedule my time better. There are areas like grocery shopping, and paying bills that i just keep putting off. (No problem if we starve a bit, but the gas and phone, and electric companies do like to be paid for their services).

Every week i wait till Friday to buy groceries. We have finished all the fresh fruits, and the veggies and salad fixin's are gone too. Pretty sparse when you look in that big white box in the kitchen. There's usually meat in the freezer, and spuds in the pantry, but you know, man does not live on those things alone.

So, why do I put these things off? I get tired? It's boring?? Too busy? Who needs heat and food anyway?
I'm usually tired because i have spent the week doing what i enjoy. (well, cleaning i don't enjoy but i do it periodically). I run around gathering, take my grandchildren places (a good thing), and
"putter" at this and that. Spend too much time in blogland. Then the 3 days the shop is open I'm tied up there.
Boring? Can't change that. Let's face it, grocery shop, or build bird nests, make pretty Valentines and visit with friends. What would you choose??

OK, I've rambled enough. Time to get serious and get back to scheduling. I'm gong to choose a day, Monday or Tuesday, and that will be my grocery shopping day for the week.
One thing out of the way.
We'll work on the other things another day. Can't change it all at once you know!! =0))

Blessings on whatever you do today.
And just a reminder for myself:
whatever I do, do it with my whole heart and do it as unto the Lord.

Barbara Jean

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's Thankful Thursday again, and though this is the one day we share what we are thankful for, I do hope you are thinking of things each day. It's a wonderful way to start any day. =0)

1. I am thankful that the Lord's mercy's are new every morning!
Each day we start with a "clean slate". It's a fresh new day. Yesterday is done. Tomorrow isn't here yet. Enjoy today!!!!!

2. Ps. 139:17,18 says " How precious to me are your thoughts O God,
How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them they would outnumber the
grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with You."
Thank you Lord, that you think of me all the time, and want only what is best for me.

3. I'm thankful for my husband, and that our love grows sweeter with each passing day.

4. I'm thankful for the cycle of life, and that although we lost Mom this year, God has given us
a beautiful new granddaughter to enjoy. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family, and that Mom had a long, and healthy life.

5. I'm grateful for my Mom and Dad, who have showered their love on me, and been a source of help and encouragement in my life.

WOW! What a way to start the day!!

I pray God's blessings on you and your families.

Barbara Jean

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hands, Loving Hands

"Sunday Favorites"

This is a time to share favorite posts we've had so here is one of mine.
Go on over to Happy to Design for more favorites.
Thanks Chari for hosting. =0)

I had a wonderful picture (in my minds eye) yesterday as we worshiped at church.
I hope I can communicate, through words, what it was, and how it spoke to me.

I saw myself, holding Jesus' hand. We weren't walking hand in hand as two adults, but I was a child, next to a very tall Jesus. He in His long flowing white robe and long brown hair (of course), and me, at 7 or 8, in a cute little plaid skirt, white shirt and socks, with my curly red hair. (it amazes me how in a second of a vision there can be so much detail). It was a very peaceful place to be. Very safe.

Then, in a flash, the picture changed to Jesus holding my hand, but in a another way. Slightly ahead of me, and showing me which way He wanted me to go. He wasn't pushing me from behind, or yelling "Come this way! Go that way!". He wasn't yanking on me, but was gently leading me, without saying a word.
He is my guide through life.

The next scene was one of me on the floor, in a puddle of tears, weak and weary, with no strength to carry on. His loving hands reached down and gently lifted me up to Him. He held me in His loving arms, comforted, and cared for me.
He is my comforter when there is sorrow, my strength when I am weak.

In shame I kept my face down. In shame that I had come no further in my walk with Him, had not yet learned to totally trust Him, even with all He has shown of Himself to me, all His help and love.
He gently lifted my face in His loving hands, looked into my eyes, and assured me with a gentle smile, that He understands. A look that said His love is not dependent on those things. His love for me never changes. Gently He stroked my hair with His hands, and wiped the tears from my eyes.

I laid my head on His shoulders. As He wrapped His arms around me, and held me, the tears were no longer of shame, but of the joy of having a God who loves me, knows my every thought, feels my pain and comforts me, knows my heart to love Him, and gently leads me through life.

One day I will be in His presence forever, and the small glimpse of Him yesterday will be nothing compared to His countenance when we see Him face to face.
I can only imagine what that will be like.

I hope we will all meet in His presence some day.
In the meantime, Jesus is there for you, whatever your need.
He is perfect love, and He is waiting to shower that love over you.

Blessings on your day.

Barbara Jean

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sharing our Hearts

A friend came in to the store today and we had a nice visit.

She shared how something i had said at Life Group last week had helped her and touched her heart.

It was basically how men and women think differently and I shared part of what Scott and I have learned about each other that has helped our relationship.

Specifically what i had shared was about the little things that bother us, that get in the way of our relationship, that build resentment, and put up walls.
I used picking up dirty clothes as an example. How it used to frustrate me that he just left them in a pile and didn't take them to the laundry room. That's one of the small things that had grown into a big thing many years ago, along with many other little things, and my resentment was growing.

Then the Lord showed me that those things are not worth coming between us.
Nor are any of the other lists of things we women usually complain about: for example- toilet seat, toilet paper, toothpaste, ratty clothes, burping and so on. (well, the burping really does need to go). =0)
These things all pile up and we get irritated, frustrated, naggy, and .... you know.

What if your man wasn't there? What if there were no dirty clothes to pick up? No towels to wash, no .....

So, let's try to take those things that frustrate us, and replace them with something good they do.
Like go to work every day so we can eat, keeping the car drivable, being faithful,
loving the Lord.

I'm sure if you start to think about it, you will think of a lot of things.

Now I know some of you are past the point of looking at things that way. You think if this guy would just change everything would be fine. You are miserable and he doesn't even seem to notice.

I know where you are coming from. I spent 12 miserable years thinking that and it didn't change a thing!!!! I just stayed miserable.

Then the Lord made it clear to me, and made me realize that i was the one who needed to change. I needed to be willing to change. And change me He did.

And you want to know what happened? As I began to change, so did my husband!

It took time, but we have learned to love and appreciate each other more, and communicate better.
And our love and trust in the Lord has grown too.
He is faithful to finish what He has begun in us.

I know the Lord allows things in our lives to help others. So I hope this helps someone out there in blog land.

Blessings as you give thanks for the gift of the husband you have.

Barbara Jean

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I almost forgot this is Thankful Thursday.

We need to think of 5 things to be thankful for.

Here are mine today:

1. I'm thankful for friends I can call on when I feel sad or not quite myself.
2. I'm thankful that i know they will pray and lift me up.
3. I'm thankful for a God who hears our prayers and answers them.
4. Thankful for family who live close, and that we are a close and loving family.
5. I'm thankful to my Lord who turns our mourning into dancing.

OK. Your turn.
Share what you are thankful for today.



Oh, and Thanks for prayers and support when i shared my heart this morning.
The Lord honored your prayers and lifted my spirits.

Blowing it.

I wrote a very nice blog yesterday, and fully intended to apply it to myself.

Did I? Well, is 2 out of 4 OK? Oh, actually it was only 1 out of 4. Hmmm.

I did keep my love for others. I was pleasant and friendly to all I met. It took no effort at all to do that.
But as far as the dreams, rest, and peace? I don't think so.

What I did was replace one kind of busyness (physical labo and work at the shop), with another.
I had commitments for the day; take my granddaughter to French class, and meet a friend I don't see often, but the rest of the day I could choose to do whatever I wanted.
Did I go finish cleaning up at the shop? Did I do much needed house work, or buy groceries?
Did I sit at Jesus feet? Did I give Him a chance to speak to my heart? Did I rest in Him?
NO. I wandered the thrift stores looking for things for the store.

Now I have a list of reasons to justify doing that, which i won't waste time listing.
Bottom line, it was an escape. From what? I'm not sure.
Lingering pain from our loss?
My lack, in several areas, of self control right now? (Too much computer time, and not taking care of other responsibilities?) Is this all to keep busy so I don't feel whatever is inside?

I have asked for prayer before, but just can't seem to overcome it.

This post may seem kind of scattered, and probably not one of the most encouraging ways you have had to start your day.
But, that is how I feel right now. I'm baring my soul to my friends in blog land.
Thank you for listening.

Blessings on your day, and hope you do a better job at resting, listening, and having peace than I am doing.

Barbara Jean

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Too much to do?

Well, I've been racing around the past few days trying to get the shop redone and ready to open again tomorrow. You know, take out the old, put in the new.
Feeling a bit behind because of Holiday's, and the loss of someone very special in our lives.

I have a good friend who has so much going on with her parents and sister being ill. She is feeling extremely behind too. My reminder to her was that none of the things that need to be done are the important things. She is doing the 'good' thing', and spending time with her family. The other non-ending list of things to do will always be there.

Of course when you 'advise' someone else, you often need to do yourself. =0/

OK, I could get busy, and just forget that advice and not apply it to me. And I had kind of done that already. (how soon we forget!)
Then I read a Nancy's blog this morning. ( We just met and she is saying things like" taking time to rest, and dream! She has her nerve. I hardly even know the girl!! =0)

Seriously, was I taking time to rest? Dream? No, I was scurrying around trying to get my shop in order! Yes, I do have a vision for a new display, and wonderful and exciting ideas for Valentine's day, and Spring and I'm eager to get crafting on those things. Those are like a mini dreams, but, was I resting in it?? Was I enjoying the process? Well, you know the answer to that.

I'm so grateful that the Lord reminds me over and over about these things. (maybe some day I'll even 'get it' and we can move on to something else).

So, my goal for today is to "rest' in Him, take a deep breath, and enjoy whatever He brings in this 'process of life'.
No scurrying around (probably don't get any more done that way anyway). No panic about having the store in order. (after all, this is an area of ministry for me, and I can love people with the store display finished or not). ;0)

So, Lord, thank you for this day. I will rejoice and be glad in it. I will pause and rest in you.
I will love those you put in my path, and, filled with your Spirit, I will be an example of your
love for all.

Blessings on your day everyone.
Hope it is filled with rest, dreams, love for others, and the peace of our Lord.

Barbara Jean

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Great Blog

I just found a great blog.
It is at:

She has loads of scripture, and does special days too.
Maybe we'll do some.

I loved the "Thankful Thursday".
She listed 5 things she was thankful for.

Sometimes it good to take a moment and do that,
actually think about what we are thankful for. Write it down.
See how blessed we really are, and thank Him from whom all blessings flow.

I go through periods when i am better at doing this than others, so I was grateful for the reminder.
When I do take time to think about it, one thing just leads to another and it's wonderful.

I will thank the Lord for being able to get out of bed in the morning. Then I thank Him for being able to walk, to see the beauty around me, to smell the fresh outdoor air and hear the birds.
Well, you get the drift here. Sounds a little cheesy to some I guess. But I just end up being thankful all over!!! And, for good reason. We do have a lot to be thankful for.

So, what are your 5 things today? Only five now, don't get carried away. =0))

Love you all.

Barbara Jean

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I've gone berserk finding giveaways for us.

This one is at :

Mindy has a book she is giving away for her 100th post.
About organizing, or cleaning, or something.
Oh, well, it's free!! Maybe I'll even read it and do some of it.
My friend Pam would love that. =0))

Please tell Mindy i sent you. I'll get another chance to win. =0))

Good luck.

Blessings on your Thursday.

Another Giveaway!!

I just found another giveaway.
This one is by Sharon at

Don't know yet how to get her cute banner over here, but you can see it when you get there.

Good luck.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hello Friends.

We got back from Southern Cal. on New Years Eve about 7:30.
Trip down was OK. Not much snow, but had to chain up anyway.
It was good to see family, and it was a nice service for Mom.

My folks live in Arizona, about 3 hours from Scott's brother's house, so he said we should go visit them before we came home. He said that when you lose someone close to you it makes you more mindful of spending time with those you love that are still here.
The thought to go see them had never even crossed my mind. Just figured on a 2 day trip down, 1 or 2 days visit, and 2 days drive back.
So, we had a good 1 day visit with them, then headed home. It was a real blessing to them, and us.

Trip home was clear roads, and not even any rain in Oregon!!!
We are back to our usual busy lives, with quiet moments of sorrow when we can't keep busy enough. All part of the process.

Tomorrow we have Christmas with our kids and grand-kids. Turkey, presents, and the whole thing. It will be a fun day.

To all of you who have prayed, and left encouraging messages, thank you.

I pray God's blessing on all our friends and family in 2009.