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Archive for April, 2011

Congratulations to Angie of Hickory for winning the first “Sharing My Oatmeal” giveaway!! Thank you all who took the time to make a comment….I really appreciate every word that was said…..and nice to meet a few of you too for the first time! Come back again!

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The winner of my first giveaway will also receive one regular bar of our creamy, moisturizing soaps…your choice! So….one soap, one eye pillow, one lip balm and one shea butter bar!! What a deal!!

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I know there are a group of friends that read this blog of mine regularly and I really do appreciate it. My goal for this blog is to share words of comfort and words of encouragement.  And I hope that I have. With that said, to celebrate the Easter Season…which to me means hope and grace!!…..I am announcing my first giveaway!!

Your color choice of one Flaxseed Lavender Eye Pillow

 

Your fragrance choice of one of the Shea Butter Bars

 

Your choice of one Lip Balm

 So, here is what you should do if you would like to participate in this giveaway. Please post a comment and tell me how long you have been following my blog and what you like about it. And….if this is the first time you’ve read this blog…that’s ok too!  So easy!  This giveaway will go through  9 pm on Friday, April 22nd. Tell your friends too….because the winner will be chosen randomly by an online “random number generator”…which is really cool, I think!  This giveaway is limited to readers within the United States.

So that’s it!  Blessings!!

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“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12: 13).

By Sandy Coughlin   Author of Reluctant Entertainer

I’ve often told my friends that if you want to keep a clean house, entertain every weekend. There’s just something about knowing company’s coming that makes me dig in and get myself organized.

While company motivates and inspires me to clean, what I’ve really learned over the last 20 years is to not sweat the big stuff. In other words, I’ve learned to keep a positive perspective and a healthy attitude on the reasons my friends are coming over in the first place — which would be to enjoy a delicious meal, to get to know our family, and for our family to get to know our guests in a more intimate way. It’s an honor to be invited into someone’s home for dinner, so if guests are coming to “inspect” or “critique” the state of your home, then I can assure you they really are not your friends.

Comfort is what people are looking for, not the most elaborate or perfectly decorated home.

With these concepts in mind, here are 5 habits that help me to keep a healthy focus and balance regarding a hospitable house.

1. Organize: Every night I get everyone to pick up their “stuff” and make sure the kitchen is clean.

2. Clean: Every day, do one cleaning chore (sweep the kitchen, mop the floors, vacuum, etc.)

3. Bathrooms: Always have one bathroom clean and ready for company.

4. Ambience: Make sure you have one room where company can hang and mingle, a room you feel good about. Make it warm and cozy with color, pillows, candles, family pictures on the wall, fresh flowers — make it you!

5. The table: Know where your tablecloths, napkins, extra dishes, candles, etc. are located. Make sure your dining room is ready for entertaining. Too often, families use their dining room table as a place for bill and paperwork collections!

Hospitality is a beautiful thing when we open up and share and make others feel warm and welcome. It’s when we become authentic and real and knowable with one another and it has nothing to do with the physical state of our home.

If you fight perfectionism, here’s some wisdom. The best thing I ever did in fighting perfectionism was to surround myself with imperfect people. I found friends with messy houses, dirty toilets, unorganized closets and cupboards, and better yet, imperfect kids. I became healthier and more courageous to be myself when I realized that we’re all real people living real lives.

Hospitality has nothing to do with “perfect,” and this, my friend, will be the greatest gift to yourself: When you can realize this and relish in its beauty.

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Using wool felt and cute cute fabric, I am making these little bunnies and elephants to sell at the Charlotte Farmers Market and the Hickory Farmers Market (which starts on April 23rd). Very fun to make.

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Free

Free
Lynn Cowell

 “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.”

Psalm 119:45 (NIV)         

Devotion:
Being busy, overwhelmed in fact, made me feel important. I loved nothing more than creating a to-do list, simply for the happiness of checking it off. Even better was recounting the day back to my husband; my life sounded so important! Running around had a purpose. 

Busyness quieted the voices of insignificance that screamed inside my head. But it wore me down. The pay-off simply wasn’t there. 

Soon I sensed God asking me to take things off my plate. When I didn’t, He started removing them…one by one. That is when I began to experience freedom and the peace that comes from simply being. I found my completion in being His girl. The more I embraced the Lord, the more His freedom became the thing I cherished. 

Dictionary.com defines freedom as the state of being free or at liberty, rather than in confinement or under physical restraint. 

Freedom is my word for 2011, a word I want to fully understand. A word I am defining for me as: unconfined by my human limitations; free to be an expression of my amazing God and His revolutionary love. 

David must have been a bit like me; a man prone to have to preach to himself on occasion. He gave himself this command, “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts” (Psalm 119:45, NIV). 

In the original language “freedom” here means spacious, broad, roomy. That’s not exactly how most non-Christians would describe Christians. But spacious, broad and roomy is exactly what Jesus has for those who are His. 

Since God is not a God of chaos or confinement, when I follow His ways He brings freedom. He causes the things He has not called me to do, or to be a part of, to fade in the background. That is where my purpose is peaceful. 

Father, I need Your freedom – the ability to move about without being driven by compulsion or emotions. I seek Your direction to find Your freedom. I choose to allow my expectations to fade, enabling my family and friends to walk in a spacious and broad place. I choose to walk in Your ways, not cluttering life with me and my agenda, but having room to be led by Your Spirit. Thank You, Lord, for giving me what only You can give…true freedom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Clover’s Toys

You couldn’t see her individual toys in my last post, so I am posting them again…!

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