Archive for the ‘inspiring people’ Category

Quilting

April 12, 2008

On the topic of quilts, which followed the beloved topic of lint in my last post, I was excited to receive a personal email from Jeanne Williamson, who wrote The Uncommon Quilter. I also came upon a blog called allsorts with a most lovely quilt story. I haven’t quilted myself, (apart from a baby doll blanket that my mom helped me with, which I still have, in fact), but from a young age, I remember the women in my church gathering together to do “quilting”. I remember being in their presence as they sewed the pieces and lengths of fabric, as their hands worked with the thread and their quilts grew to completion. There is such depth to a quilt as each patch, stitch and piece of fabric has a story to tell. There could be a lot of metaphors drawn here, but I will relate it back to lint, because lint has a special depth of its own, especially when it is infrequently removed from the lint trap.

Lint

April 9, 2008

Here I am writing again about my fascination with dryer lint. I noticed that I have not had a lot of hits to my blog about lint, but I know that it will soon become all the rage. Lint is great. It is free. It is fluffy. It is warm. It is soft. It is thick and it can grow. It is a fabulous recycling material. It can even come in different colours.

I have been searching the web for other lint-lovers, such as myself.

Here are some more lint sculptures:

The second picture is purple blanket lint. They come from a

National Lint Project.

Some more unique uses of lint:

Dryer Lint Birds nest

The Uncommon Quilter

The last one is an artist called Jeanne Williamson who uses lint as a design element in her fabulous quilts. The Uncommon Quilter is her newly published book. She has a blog with many posts related to dryer lint.

I have a great love of the concept, “beauty from ashes.” It comes from one of my favourite verses in the Bible:

“To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of despair.”

Isaiah 61:3

God can take anything ugly: a heart, an attitude, an emotion, an action, even lint, and transform it into something incredible to use for his good purpose.

Friendship: My Best Girlfriend

March 26, 2008

Think on things that are noble.

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My trip to Hornby was more than just a family vacation, it was a time to relax and reminisce with a long time friend of mine. When I think of my friend Rebecca, affectionately known as Becky, Beck or the Beckmeister (the latter was my dad’s nickname for her), I think of history and loyalty. Becky and I have known each other since Kindergarten and became inseparable best friends in grade eight when we agreed to share a locker together (a most bonding event). The summer before grade eight was spent at Rebecca’s house down on Northcliffe Cres. on the edge of Burrard Inlet. We would disappear into the cavernous bushes behind her house, exploring rough trails and best of all, screaming as we swung on a rope swing over a huge ravine. It had been made by rope tied to an arrow shot around a high branch by her next door neighbour (and sometimes boyfriend) Ben. Other times we would wander down to the inlet to put coins on the train track and stood back as they were flattened by the train and shot, “ping!” off the track. We’d head back up to the trampoline in the backyard for flips off the balcony as we jumped overlooking boats and waves in the background.

It is a comforting feeling to have a friend who shares interests, dreams, laughter, disappointments and even times of great sadness. It is great to curl up on the couch at Hornby, with a bellini or a cup of tea talking about the past and now watching our kids play and create new adventures of their own.

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Jesus

March 22, 2008

I want to celebrate Easter with this sermon, That’s My King, by Dr. S. M. Lockridge. I first heard it at a Christian camp this last summer and I loved it. I wanted to learn more about S.M. Lockridge, but I couldn’t find a lot on the internet about him. I get so inspired by passionate preachers who know and love the Lord.

It’s a powerful seven minutes long. Enjoy and Happy Easter!

Easter Traditions

March 12, 2008

img_4043.jpgI love holidays and celebrations. When I was young, my mom put a special effort into making holidays fun and festive. Kids get so excited about traditions, decorations, crafts and activities.

For the last two years, we have made an Easter tree, simply from cut tree branches. I put them inside a flower vase and filled the vase up with mini Easter Egg chocolates. We decorated the branches with egg ornaments from the dollar store. There are lots of ornament crafts to make as well. Renee, my neighbour made ornaments out of real eggs, blown out. This year, I hope to make some ornaments out of styrofoam eggs from the dollar store. Each day after lunch, Miranda and Megan choose a couple of chocolate eggs from the vase to eat. They love this! I happened upon an amazing Easter tree on this blog, called Cherry Hill Cottage, (Texas) a must-see!! The tree seems symbolic of the cross, which some refer to as a “tree”. The eggs hanging on the tree remind me of the resurrection, new life.

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This is my favourite little egg (the blue one) because Miranda excitedly made it!

My friend, Corina Kropp inspires me with her talent for creating a rich, warm home and with her welcoming hospitality. Each Easter, she makes an amazing Easter bread called Paska Bread. Here is her recipe:

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EASTER BREAD
Mixture A

1 cup warm
water
1tsp sugar
2 cups warm
milk

Sprinkle 2 Tbsp yeast
(regular, NOT quick rising) on top and let stand for 10 min.

Mixture
B

6 eggs
1/2 cup veg.
oil
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 lemon
1 orange
1 tsp vanilla

Put all “B” ingredients in
blender–use the whole lemon and orange. Blend till smooth Add Mixture A to
Mixture B and add 12 cups of flour. Knead 5 to 10 min. Let rise till double in
bulk. To rise: Turn oven on to 350 for 5 min. Shut off and turn on light
in oven. This is warm enough for the dough to rise. Punch down twice. Put
in tins sprayed with Pam and let rise again until double. Bake at 300-350 for 30
min. Freeze whatever won’t be eaten on baking day.

Icing

(This is enough for the
whole batch of Paska)
1 bag icing
sugar
3/4 cup
margarine
1 Tbsp vanilla
Canned milk as
needed.

 

Badge of Honour

March 10, 2008

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

This Easter, I have been thinking a lot about God’s power. The resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead. Praise God that He gives us his power when we ask him for it.img_4053.jpg

My kids really inspire me. When they are feeling sick, they are often a lot braver than I am. They smile and giggle with a fever. They run and play with a cold. This weekend we had to take Megan to the hospital because she had a painful ear infection. How did I react? I wish I could say that I was like Marmee, the mother in Little Women, who comes right into a situation of illness and was the saving grace, knowing exactly what to do.

But no, I sat helplessly on the couch waiting as Mark took Megan to emergency. The opposite of powerful is helpless, which I often feel as a mother. Not knowing what to do or even thinking I can’t. “This is too much. I can’t cope with this. This is hard.” When I feel this way, I pray about it and God reminds me of what is true: that as a mom, I can walk forward in strength, wisdom and importance! I like to read Proverbs 31:10-30 and I have sensed the Lord saying to me, “This is the way all mothers can be with my power.” I have taken liberties while typing it out here and made it personal by substituting “she” for “I”.  Apply it to yourself as you read it:

“I am a wife of noble character

I am worth far more than rubies.

My husband has full confidence in me and lacks nothing of value.

I bring him good and not harm all the days of my life.

I select wool and flax. I am like the merchant ships bringing food from afar

I can get up while it is still dark; I provide food for my family and portions for my servant girls.

I consider a field and I buy it; out of my earnings I plant a vineyard.

I set about my work vigorously. My arms are strong for my tasks.

I see that my trading is profitable and my lamp does not go out at night.

In my hand I hold the distaff and grasps the spindle with my fingers.

I open my arms to the poor and extend my hands to the needy.

When it snows, I have no fear for my household, for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

I make coverings for my bed; I am clothed in fine linen and purple.

My husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

I make linen garments and sell them and supply merchants with sashes.

I am clothed with strength and dignity; I can laugh at the days to come.

I speak with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on my tongue.

I watch over the affairs of my household and do not eat the bread of idleness.

My children arise and call me blessed, my husband also and he praises me.

Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.

Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

After having this insight, I read the same idea in Joyce Meyer‘s The Confident Woman. She says, “The woman in question is such a famous confident woman and yet her name is not mentioned. I am certain this is because God wants each woman to be able to insert her name in this woman’s story…I disliked the woman in Proverbs 31 until I realized she was an example to me, a goal I could reach for. One that God Himself would help me realize if I put my trust in Him and was willing to change. Over a period of many years this woman I once disliked immensely has become a good friend.”

Our kids deserve a badge of honour and so do we!

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Renee

March 4, 2008

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My back neighbour Renee is a huge inspiration to me. She is passionate about her two kids, Erik (5) and Emily (3). She is active, creative and is a source of great ideas. Renee loves swimming and is completing her training as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. She also loves cooking, baking, running and entertaining friends. Renee is always ready to lend a helping hand. She and her husband Glen keep an imaculate house and yard (I learn lots of organization and cleaning tips from them). I am so thankful to have Renee as a neighbour and a friend.

Can Cable Really Be Caring?

March 3, 2008

Last night Oprah Winfrey launched her new show, Big Give, which was apparently the season’s third biggest debut, but a contest about giving just didn’t sit well with me. People should be able to give and receive without points attached. Oprah herself was barely visible and there just didn’t seem to be anything new that drew me in. Others had similar critiques.

After watching the show and not being very impressed, I decided I was going to create a post about one of my very favourite T.V. shows, The Extreme Home Makeover, hosted by designer, Ty Pennington, which has always held a warm place in my heart. I was going to discuss how I enjoy and appreciate this show because it actually helps people. The media has so much money and I had thought, “finally there is a great show that assists people in need.” I was going to mention how interesting the families are and how amazing it is that each new home is built to personally assist and honor each family.

However, today when I was searching for a link to the Home Makeover website, I was astounded to find this website (written two years ago) that shows an email from the casting director of the show, asking for very specific and rare illnesses, such as Progeria (aka “little old man disease”), Cogenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (only 17 known cases in the US), and multiple children with Down Syndrome. Disillusioned, I realized that I had seen some of these very cases on episodes that I had watched. Is it true that the show is exploiting the families? Is its sole purpose to create a circus to draw viewers? The reality is these shows have other agendas, apart from compassion. As for Oprah’s show that same question was already lurking in the back of my mind.

My final analysis is that these shows are created by humans, who as we know can be both caring and conniving at the same time. Of course the shows want ratings, but on the other hand, some people are also helped out. Putting our faith in anything other than the God of true compassion is where our first mistake lies.

Will I keep watching Oprah’s new show? Probably not. But I can’t help watch a few more episodes of the Extreme Makeover show. I love seeing the finished houses and you have to admit, compared to Oprah, the hosts of that show (naming no names) are quite a bit better looking.

The “m’s”

March 2, 2008

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The people who inspire me the most are first of all, my husband, Mark, and my three children, Miranda (5), Megan (3) and Myles (1). Mark and I met at SFU in a second year English course. After introducing ourselves in class, this tall, talkative fellow approached me to inform me that we had both worked at the PNE (local summer fair). I was at the time thinking “so what?!” As the semester went on, I found Mark to be quite animated and amusing. A small group of us started to meet for lunch after class to chat. That class ended and I continued to run into Mark in the halls of SFU, sometimes in the computer lab helping other girls too!!! We ended up in a Shakespeare class together and subtle hints of his affections for me were increasing. Unfortunately, I was seeing someone else at the time. Mark invited me to a housewarming party at his new bachelor suite in early October 1993 and that night he drove me home. Single again, I invited Mark “as a friend” to the Depeche Mode concert in Vancouver. He saw this as an opportunity to kiss me good night at the end of our date and the rest is history. Mark is a man of integrity. He has a heart for God, loves writing, teaching and putting plans into action. He is a fun, caring father and he’s my best friend.

Inspiring People

March 2, 2008

There are many people who inspire me, but the ones who inspire me the most are the people that I know well. Jesus chose to use common, everyday people to spread the gospel, and that is who he also uses in our lives to love us, teach us and encourage us. Chuck Swindoll in one of his messages said that “you can learn something from everyone you meet.” Meeting and listening to people is one of the things I enjoy most in life. Relationships are really what it’s all about.

“When they realized the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13