Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Even In An Ice Storm

"...and the glory of the Lord shone round about them..." Luke 2:9

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Little of This and That

First and most important, Eli is home! Many thanks for those of you who prayed for him and for his family. They are most grateful. And they got to go home with a Project Linus quilt so if you're one of those who work on that project they are doubly thankful. If you'd like to see another picture (or a thousand eventually) of Eli you can check out his mother's blog - Colorado Belle.

We also have another new blogger out there who is definitely going to be worth adding to your reader. Remember the post I had the other day about the view from the bathroom window? That came from Kim, one of my Sunday School teachers and a good friend. Kim and her husband have four children of their own and they also foster other children so you can bet her stories will be laced with laughter, and probably with a tad bit of chaos. Her blog is Momma To Many. She also quilts ya'll though I have no idea when she can find the time. She'd love to have you visit!

And last, but not least, stomach viruses are gifts from Satan. I woke up yesterday morning at 5 a.m. and for most of the day kept the trash can beside the bed, in my hand, or in front of me in the bathroom. :( My sister and I have a running joke - I pray that God will let me die before her and she prays that God will let her die before me because we don't either one want to face living without the other. I love my sister - can you tell? Anyway, yesterday somewhere in the midst of the horribleness I sent her a text message and said, "God has picked me to die first!" Since I'm here typing this post you can tell He didn't but I sure wanted Him to! It's nearly 4 a.m. the next day and I guess I slept so much yesterday I don't' need any more because I'm wide awake.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweatshirt Sermon #1

Several years ago I went on a girl’s trip to the beach for spring break.  While we were there it turned cold and, naturally, all I had with me were beach clothes…capris, bathing suit with a nice roomy cover-up to cover up all the bulges, a couple pair of sandals, etc.  I’m sure you’ve all probably figured out by now that I’m very cold natured (I told my  husband today that my gynecologist yesterday said it was imperative to my health that our thermostat be turned to 71° at all times in the winter but he didn’t believe me, can’t imagine why).  That meant a trip to the tourist traps to buy a sweatshirt.  Hey, don’t ever pass up a chance to buy a good sweatshirt! 

I found a great sweatshirt at the first store we went into.  It’s white, a pullover with a hood and a place to put your hands to keep them warm, and it’s long.  I bought a big size because I wanted lots of room.  In red letters across the front it says LIFEGUARD.  I thought it was hilarious because I don’t swim a lick.  :)  I’m terrified of water over my head.  I’ve taken swimming lessons 5 or 6 times…as an adult!  The last time I took them I actually jumped into the deep end of the pool, swam across (not very far), treaded water for 60 seconds, and swam back.  So technically I guess I know how to swim.  But the problem is that when in the water I panic and can’t remember that I know how to do the stroke that would get me to the side so I sink like a rock. 

If you think about it there’s a great lesson in that sweatshirt.  A Lifeguard on the beach is scanning an area filled with people.  He’s trying to see everyone but face it, if the beach is full, what are the chances that he will see someone who’s gone too far out and is in trouble?  The person in the water has got to do something to bring the Lifeguard’s attention to himself – wave his hands, yell, scream.  If he doesn’t ask for help he might not get any.

But aren’t we sometimes too stubborn to ask for help when we need it?  If you’re facing something hard in your life it helps to have lots of people praying but do you ask for prayer?  If you wake up to a flat tire the first morning of a new Bible study do you call a friend for a ride or just say, “oh well, maybe I’ll go next time.”  If you promised to bake 12 dozen cookies for tomorrow’s school party and you’re exhausted after work do you ask a friend to help?  If you’re struggling with a  moral issue do you go to a trusted Christian friend and confess what you’re thinking and ask for Godly wisdom? 

Asking for help is worse than getting a tooth pulled…for me.  And why is that?  It’s all about pride, and I don’t want to be prideful.  It’s all about arrogance, and I don’t want to be arrogant. 

Am I the only one who has trouble asking for help?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Eli's getting better....but he couldn't go home yet. :( His oxygen level just isn't where they want it to be when they take that tube off and let him breathe without it. But isn't he too cute in his pajamas? Thanks so much for your prayers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Would You Pray For Baby Eli Again?

Back in September I told you about Baby Eli who was born while I was in Colorado in late September. Then in early October I came back and told you that Eli was born without a thyroid gland and asked you to pray for him. As you can see from the picture above he has done just great. His sweet mama has just started a blog and some of your have been reading the Colorado Belle. Well today Baby Eli is in the hospital. Yesterday he slept all day long and we all know babies don't sleep all day long unless they're sick. His eyes are red and runny and his nose is stopped up so his mama took him to the doctor. They promptly put him in the hospital and said he has RSV and bronchitis. I know his parents are frantic because I know babies can scare us to death, and especially first babies. Would you please say a prayer for Eli? And for his parents?

Monday, January 25, 2010

This One's For You Kim

On Sunday one of my Sunday School teachers (Hi Kim) told us about being in her bathroom getting dressed one morning, having a power surge (yes, now the whole world knows) and opening the bathroom window to cool off. Kim is the mother of four children and also fosters two babies. You heard me - six children. And she teaches Sunday School. And name it, she does it. She's sort of like the Energizer Bunny. I digress...but then most of my stories are just a succession of digressions. Is that a word? Back to my story.

She leaned out the window and looked to the left. She saw the side wall of the brick house next door. She looked to the right. She saw some woods, thick enough that she couldn't see beyond them. And she thought, "What if this was all the world I could see?"

And God said, "It is all the world you can see. It's all of my world you can's all of my plans you can see." Remember the verse from Isaiah 55:8 "your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts". His world is so big, so wonderful, so beautiful; but all we can see is our little corner. His plan for us is so big.....but all we see is this tiny little piece that we live in right now. If all we could see is what we see from our bathroom window just think about all of this huge world we'd be missing. And imagine - the world He has planned for us is every bit that big and bigger....and bigger still. And more beautiful. And more peaceful. And more....

When your world seems to be closing in, or your day has been a bust from the moment you got up, or your best friend has lost 10 pounds and you've gained 15, or your husband doesn't appreciate you and your children ignore you, or you spilled a Diet Dr. Pepper right smack dab in the middle of the kitchen floor you just mopped and waxed, or that bully down the street was mean to your baby and you've got to go talk to his mother - again, remember this. This is just one tiny little piece of a big picture. This is the view out of the bathroom window. The whole world is just beyond.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Something To Ponder

I'm headed for the sewing room to spend the day - and can hardly wait to get there. :) But I'm leaving you with something to ponder this weekend that Beth Moore said in the study of Esther this week: "You can't amputate your history from your destiny."

I love this and have found it to be so true in my life. But I'd love to hear your take on it...please?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It’s Tough Being A Woman

At my church we’re doing a study of the book of Esther, written by Beth Moore.  We’ve seen the introductory video and done the first week’s “homework” and today we’ll follow up with the discussion of that and have Week One video.  It’s a good study and it’s really made me do some thinking this week.

It’s Tough Being A Woman – that’s the subtitle of the study.  Beth did a small survey asking women to name the three things that make it tough to be a woman.  Oh the answers she’s gotten!  Some hilarious, some profound!  One woman said, 1.  Hormones  2.  Hormones  3.  Hormones    There are days I’d sure agree with her!

This first week we’ve thought about this statement, “It’s tough being a woman in another woman’s shadow.”  For Esther that meant living in Queen Vashti’s shadow:  Queen Vashti refused to come and be shown off when Xerxes ordered her to.  It’s possible that he wanted her to be naked, except for her crown, in front of this crowd of drunk party goers.  It’s possible she was just too busy as she was giving a party of her own at the time.  It’s possible she didn’t want to be ordered around like that.  Whatever her reason, she refused and was banished from the kingdom.  She was the most beautiful woman ever seen so Esther not only had to “compete” with that but she was following a disobedient woman so you can bet that was something that was discussed in that household!

There are other reasons it might be tough to follow in another woman’s shadow that you and I might live with…being a second wife after the “perfect” wife, being the daughter of a perfect/very very bad mother/grandmother, being the younger sister of the girl who wins all the prizes in school.  I’m sure there are as many shadows as there are women. 

So here’s your question today girls.  First, tell me three reasons (or one if you can only think of one) why it’s tough being a woman.  I don’t think any of us would change and not be a woman but there are certainly times when it can be difficult!  And if you want to elaborate, why it’s tough living in another woman’s shadow and how you succeed at it.

Friday, January 15, 2010


As many of you already know I’m sort-of-not-exactly a “survivalist.”  Whew, there I’ve said it out loud!  I’m not dyed-in-the-wool gun-totin’ but I do believe in keeping enough food and other necessities stored back in case “something happens.”  For me, it’s just…if something happens.  Real survivalists call it TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it).  The situation in Haiti has brought my beliefs into a clearer focus for me.  Scripture uses the word prepare in a lot of different cases:  in Exodus the Jewish people had to take unleavened bread because they weren’t prepared for a journey; all through the Old Testament the Hebrew people prepared burnt offerings for the Lord; in Joshua they prepared for war; Samuel begged the people to prepare their hearts for God; David prepared a place for the Ark of God; Esther prepared herself for talking to the king by prayer and fasting; Psalms tells us that God prepares a table before us; and Proverbs even tells us that the ants prepare their food in the summer to get ready for the winter!  The common thread running through every instance where I found “prepare” in the Bible is the essence of the word itself:  work ahead to be ready for the future.

Spiritually we get ready for Heaven.  We go to church and worship, we pray, we study the Scriptures, we try to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and serve others.  And yet we tend to ignore part of what the Bible says (because we don’t like to think about it)…hard times are coming.  Jesus himself said there would be wars and rumors of wars…nation shall rise against nation…famines…pestilences…earthquakes.  He laid it on the line for us.  Where you live will likely dictate what kind of hard times you might have to face before He comes again.  Some of you will endure in your lifetime hurricanes, floods, tornados, ice storms, terrorist attacks, pandemics, job loss… and I could go on but you understand what I’m saying.  Are you ready to get through those hard times?  Are you prepared to take care of your family if one of those things happens?

As women I think we are uniquely charged and uniquely equipped to care for our families.  It helps if we have a husband who enables us to do that but even if you’re living alone you can do it for yourself.  If you’re a single parent you’re even more responsible to make those preparations.  It’s not always easy; friends and family don’t always understand and sometimes they make fun of me when I buy a case of chicken broth at a time when it’s on sale.  They just laugh and say, “I’m coming to your house if anything happens!”  Which is exactly my point.  As a woman, and as the mother and grandmother, in hard times my children and grandchildren will look to me and I want to be ready. 

So let’s get down to the meat of it…what am I doing?  You know we’re retired and that’s a limited income so I buy a little each month.  I make my money go a long way because I’m diligent about searching for and using coupons during sales.  It takes me a couple of hours twice a week to print, clip, sort and file coupons, but last year I turned in nearly $3,000 worth.  Frankly I’d rather be sewing or reading or sitting on the deck, but that won’t feed my family.  I don’t buy things we don’t eat just because we have a coupon-that would be stupid.  And I never buy any product without checking the expiration date on it.  Not even bread.  I can and I freeze.  And I write the expiration date or canning date on everything that goes in my pantry so I can rotate those items.  If the electricity goes out for a long period of time I’ll have to cook up everything in there and can it, but I’ve taught myself how to do that.  I’ve even canned meat.  I found out this week that you can coat blocks of cheese with paraffin wax and it will keep on the shelf for months!  I haven’t tried it but I will.  It does age and get sharper so it’s best to start with very mild cheese by the way.  And I watch the dates on my stuff closely – if it gets a month away from the expiration date and I don’t think we’ll be using that product for several months (stuff is good way beyond those dates!) I take it to the homeless shelter.  They can’t use it if the expiration date has expired but by doing this I can give more and spend less doing it than I used to. 

And it’s not just food and water that you need.  (By the way, how will you purify water if there’s none coming out of your faucet?).  You need medications.  You need things like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, immodium, laxatives, cold medicines, heartburn medicine, bandages, alcohol, peroxide, antibiotic ointment.  You get the picture.  You need toilet paper for heavens sake!  (and feminine products).  What if your stove doesn’t work – how will you cook?  Can you build and start a fire in your backyard?  Got any wood to do it with?  And what if the hard times last a long time?  Can you grow a garden?  Do you have seeds?  Tools? 

We’ve all heard the old saying that God gives the birds their food but He doesn’t throw it into the nest.  Well folks, take that one to the bank.  He expects us to listen to what He’s told us and do what it takes to prepare for that.  If we can’t take care of ourselves how can we take care of others?  At my house, I’m getting ready.  My husband doesn’t really buy into it but he doesn’t hinder me so sometimes it’s a little hard but doable.  But I’m forging ahead!  There’s a song we sang in church a few weeks ago – don’t know the name but some of the words were “People get ready, Jesus is coming.”  I’m getting ready.  What about you?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Remember last week (or maybe the week before) when I talked about being OCD and I showed you my fabric and stuff? I hinted at giving away a prize to be determined later. Well, it's almost later. Which means no I haven't picked out the prize yet. But I have picked a winner. :) There were 31 of you who commented on that post so I had my husband pick a number between 1 and 31 and he chose 15. He thought he was winnning something. :)

And the winner is Phyllis of Crumbs of Happiness - yea Phyllis! If you'll send me your address I'll get your gift out to you, just as soon as I pick one out. :) It'll be good, I promise. You can e-mail me at mbushretired at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Does Anyone Remember?

I graduated from high school in 1964. That's just to give you a frame of reference. :)

When I was in the eighth grade everyone had to take a "Career Inventory." I remember the counselor was a young woman (she must have been really young if, as a teenager, I remember her as young!) who had to give us all the test and then tell us one at a time what it said we should do with our lives. Mine said I would like to be a preacher.

I laughed and laughed. Women weren't preachers! Not in that time or in that place. And besides, my parents didn't even go to church. My sister and I went but that wasn't like families that all went to church together. At least in my mind. I said, "no thanks, I'm going to be a newspaper reporter." Not sure why I picked that but there you have it.

This weekend my pastor's wife and another friend and I were talking in the ladies room after church - all kinds of things are discussed in there you know - and she told our friend that I was "going to the mission field." I'm sure my head whipped around and my mouth fell open. The mission field? I'm going to the mission field? No, no, no. I'm just going on a mission trip. Granted I'll be gone for four months but the mission field, no way, not me. Then it dawned on me. I' That's a scary thing! I don't go till June so I have a good long time to build up my "what if's." Thank goodness I'm not going out of the country or that "what if's" list might be a mile long! What if our house sitter(s) can't do it? What if my mail gets all mixed up and I don't get some bills? What if I don't take enough sewing with me? What if I don't have time to sew? What if I have to get my hair cut and it's 8 hours back here to my hairdresser? What if I hate the bed, the temperature, the town, the work, the.... Oh my, I'm working myself into a dither.

I'm not sure where all that came from! I'm just writing because I think it's really ironic that in the eighth grade my counselor said I should be a preacher and at 63 I'm going to the mission field. Do you think God might have been pointing a certain direction out to me then and I ignored Him? I'm guilty of ignoring Him way too often but in this case I don't think so. I can't see me being a preacher - oh I like to talk that's true. But when it comes to making a point, not so much. However, that whole newspaper reporter thing, isn't that what I'm doing on this blog? So there.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Progress Being Made

Remember the wool hand appliqued blocks I was working on last year? That sounds like it was forever ago but remember this is just January so last year really wasn't that long ago. Except I think it might have been longer than I think since I finished all 12 of them. Anyway, last week I made all 206 half square triangles and put them together to make the sashing. Actually I counted wrong and really made 216 half square triangles; hate it when that happens. I used Thangles so they were perfect but, as usual, when I started sewing them into rows the rows weren't perfect. What is it about a quarter inch seam that I can't get right? Six of those in a row should have been 9 1/2" long. Instead it was 9 5/8" long. I know that doesn't sound like much and I could have eased it to make it fit ok but the long rows - they had 22 half square triangles in them. If I'd left the seam as I had it that row would have turned out to been nearly 1/2" too long and that's too long to ease. So I moved the needle. Not enough. I moved it some more. Too much. I moved it back. Too much. You get the picture. Between all the needle moving and the trimming I did I was brain dead! Which is why I put two blocks in upside down and one sideways. :( Had to take them out, turn them around, and resew. But isn't it wonderful now, if I do say so myself! I can see a place or two where I might want to take out a short bit and ease it in to make the seams and points match perfectly but that won't be hard. The black and the khaki background fabrics are flannel and that's all machine stitched. But every piece of every flower, every leaf, every bird or dragonfly is wool and every piece is hand appliqued. This pattern is Folk Art Album from Primitive Gatherings and I bought it in a kit at Houston 3 or 4 years ago. I know, I know...3 or 4 years ago and I just started it this year. I'm a tad behind.
I have it up on my design wall and I'm working on the borders. It will have a 7" black border all around it with vines and leaves and flowers (all of wool) all hand appliqued. It took me 4 hours to draw just one fourth of the border pieces onto fusible and iron them onto the wool. Now I'm trimming them and placing them on the border. And I still have 3/4 of the border to go so this won't be finished any time soon.
Don't you just love having a big project going though? I do, and I go through stages while I'm working on it. I start out excited and eager and going full speed ahead. Then I kind of slow down, start to get maybe a little bored, but plod along. Sometimes I take a break. A long break. But then something sparks and I get a little boost of adrenalin and I restart. At some point I can begin to see the end and I get excited again and eager and start to speed up. When I'm finally finished I'm sad to see the end of it.
How about you? Any big projects going? Some of you are doing Dear Jane and I love seeing your blocks. I saw the real Dear Jane in a museum a few years ago and I just stood there mesmerized. For a very long time. So long that Jerry came to check on me. :) I bought Jennifer Chiaverini's book Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and I'm thinking of joining a group from my guild that's working on that quilt. The blocks are 6 1/2" and I'd like to hand piece them. Oh my. Maybe I'm having a senior moment.
P.S. Have I told you lately that I hate Blogger? Why won't it put paragraphs where I want paragraphs? Blogger is like a cranky three year old - it will when it will and it won't when it won't!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Blogger

Remember when you first started blogging? And thought no one would ever read anything you wrote? I remember it well - I thought I was just writing for myself when little did I know God had plans for me to make friends with other women all over this country as well as several other ones. My sweet niece is newly married (well compared to me!). I think she's been married maybe 3 years (is that right Jen?). And now she has a new baby, Eli, who was born in September. She's a stay-at-home mom, is one of the most creative young women I know, and is working hard at being the woman God wants her to be. And now she is writing a blog. She would love it if you would visit, and leave her a note of encouragement. And I'd love it too.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Get Out Your Kleenex

She will be four next month.
He was one last week.
She's reading him the Bible.
(Reading = singing Jesus Loves Me)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

All Creatures Great and Small

At my sister's house this past weekend we spent some time watching the birds. These turkeys come to eat every day. They're really skittish so it was hard to get a picture of them. At the first sign of movement in the house they would fly away. And when the flash went off, even from a distance, they would fly away. It's as if they knew Mike had taken the screen off the window so he could shoot out it - he wanted turkey for dinner. :( Thank goodness they were smart enough to figure him out and make their escape quickly! The day I took these pictures it was snowing hard - small flakes but thick - for about four hours.

Some of the birds didn't care if we were watching or not, they were there to eat and that's what they were going to do. These pictures are through a window with the screen still on. :) The little guy on the blue feeder seemed to be curious about what I was doing.
This little group of friends almost seemed to be gossiping about that strange human standing in there watching us!

This guy here never turned around to look at me! He was hungry and he wasn't budging from his perch. He was probably afraid someone else would get his food because there were lots and lots of birds at the feeders that day.

And just like the Bible says God takes care of even the sparrows...and bluebirds and woodpeckers and wrens and all creatures great and small. Including me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Here's What I Learned Today

1. When it's minus 2° diesel fuel will gel.
2. When diesel fuel gels it stops up the fuel filter.
3. When the fuel filter stops up the truck motor stops running. Even if you're going 60 miles an hour down the highway.
4. When it's minus 2°, the hazard lights on your truck are flashing, and you're hitchhiking someone will pick you up. There are still people with kind hearts out there.
5. When it's minus 2° and your truck stops you cannot stay in it because you will freeze to death. And eggs inside an ice chest (with no ice) will also freeze. But there are also kind convenience store owners who will welcome you and tell you to hang out until the tow truck arrives.
6. When it's minus 2° floors never get warm, even in McDonald's. Even when you stay there for 2 hours waiting for your truck to get fixed. But you can get on a first name basis with the cleaning lady and the cashiers.
7. Minus 2° is beyond cold - it's brutal. I've never liked to be cold. I will never like to be cold.
8. I've always told my husband we would get along great as long as I was never cold, stranded or broke. Lucky for him he had a little money in his pocket so I could buy chocolate in the convenience store. And chocolate, even frozen, is a comfort food.

I Need A Pattern

I know, I know, I have a million and twenty patterns. But I NEED this one, and I can't find it. Have you ever seen the movie Sarah, Plain and Tall on Hallmark? Love that movie. Anyway, she wears an apron in that movie that I want. I crave it. I covet it. I want it. Anybody seen that pattern or know where I can find it? I can't even find a picture of it! But it's a full apron and it doesn't seem to tie - it has armholes and I don't know how it comes together in the back.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Precious Memories

Today I went to a gun show. My first ever. There was more testosterone in that room than at a Razorback game! It wasn't a huge room and there was a horse auction going on in the next room/arena. Yep, I said horse auction. You could smell it. Enough said.

I was amazed at the number of people who paid $8 to get into this show, amazed that I paid $8 to get in this show, amazed at the sheer number of guns, the kinds of ammo, and the other toys displayed. I saw a sign that said girl knives so I stopped to look. I thought "I didn't know they made knives just for girls!" Except it wasn't exactly what I thought. It was really just knives with pictures of scantily dressed women painted on them. Oh my. I'm sure I blushed.

There were big guns, little guns, old guns, new guns, knives that looked deadly, knives that looked decorative, brass knuckles, stun guns...I could go on. But that's not what I want to tell you about.

I came upon an exhibitor who had small cedar boxes, like for keeping jewelry, or old letters, or keepsakes in. I opened one up and the smell nearly took me to my knees. When I was about 10 years old (and my sister would have been 7) Daddy gave us cedar jewelry boxes for Christmas. They were a little larger than these and had a rounded top with a picture on the top. My sister still has hers but mine isn't with me any more. I have no idea where it is. I could have thrown it away or perhaps one of my daughters has it. I stood there and smelled the cedar and cried. And the exhibitor stood and patiently waited. He was a smart man - he knew not to question or to try to comfort me. He just waited. I bought two. Just for the smell. And the memories.

Farther down at another booth I found an old program that must have come from the Roy Rogers Museum. About the same age as above I was totally, completely, head-over-heels in love with Roy Rogers. My cousin, Carol, was in love with Gene Autry although I'm sure she couldn't possibly have loved Gene as much as I loved Roy. My grandmother used to give us quilts and send us to the front yard to play. Each quilt was a "house" for one of us. We had our dolls and we played for hours. I was Mrs. Roy Rogers and she was Mrs. Gene Autry. I left the program there because somewhere along the way the love of my life changed and Roy was just an old boyfriend. Thank goodness.

And for those of you interested I didn't buy a gun. Or a girl knife.