Restoring Our Womanhood
Each month a new theme will be posted, with verses to encourage, with challenges to inspirire you both in your faith and in your craft. We hope that you will jump on board the journey of Restoring your Womanhood and that God will use these challanges to draw us closer to Him and also give us a purpose in our roles.
We would love to hear from those who are following along so please leave a comment, and share a link to your blog :-) Also on the Scrap of Faith forum there is a weekly thread for encouraging each other through the journey.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
There was a time recently when the wheels seemed to be falling off more than usual and the Lord whispered a little something in my ear …
“What can you be thankful about right now?”
And despite whatever nasty was happening at the time, I was indeed able to think of at least one thing … then another … and so it goes on.
I’d like to think I’m an optimistic person but in reality it seems that my pessimistic side often elbows the optimist right off the radar. I guess it parallels the struggle that Paul talks about in Romans where he describes doing the very things he doesn’t want to do.
What I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Romans 7:19
It isn’t how I want to be and it isn’t what God wants for me either. He wants me to live my life in line with His Word.
So in times of trouble, think on just one thing you can be thankful for. If you’ve ever read the “Pollyanna” series of books by Eleanor H Porter, you might see this as a version of the ‘glad game’ – the game Pollyanna played to find the good in any situation. It was her version of counting your blessings. It drove the pessimists in the story batty – until they tried it themselves and found their lives transformed. And isn’t that a great parallel of life before and after Jesus?
The word ‘Pollyanna’ is still given to people in society today, but it is often used as a way of being derogatory towards their positive outlook – in much the same way as it has become unfashionable to be a ‘do-gooder’. Should we be surprised as Christians that being positive through doing good to others, counting our blessings and being thankful are seen as negatives by the world in general? No, it’s actually a very simple analogy of the battle that continues in the heavenlies today, the battle between good and evil. We just have to choose who to serve.
I for one am happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with Pollyanna – because she was completely in line with God’s word to us. Consider …
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2a
God warned us that it wouldn’t all be plain sailing in our lives …
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
He wants us to be overcomers. Not pessimists. Not without hope. But overcomers – with Him. And He gives us the tools to achieve it.
The creator of 'Pollyanna’, Mrs Porter, said that "Pollyanna did not pretend that everything was sugar-coated goodness - instead Pollyanna was positively determined to find the good in every situation." It sounds to me as though Mrs Porter created a character who used her free will to choose how she saw the world. We too can choose to put our will in line with God’s in each situation.
So even in the darkest times, we can still choose, like Pollyanna, to find the good, to find one little thing to be thankful for – and when we ponder that, think on it, mull it over, selah, praise the Lord for it – then that is bringing light into the darkness and pointing our spirits in the right direction – connecting us with He who is all light, all hope, all gladness.
Sometimes we just need a push in the right direction.
So today, praise God for the Pollyannas in your life. And choose to be one – for yourself and for others.
Way to go Pollyanna! I say you’re back in style!
Love, Tracey xo
Friday, July 25, 2008
I've been having a little stained glass window fun.
In the same way LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Mattew 5:16
When reading this verse I kept thinking of a stained glass window, high up in a beautiful church somewhere. It's real beauty can't be seen unless the light is able to shine through and the light can't shine through unless it's clean and free from dust and dirt. How beautiful it looks when the light shines and the colours dance and the room is transformed with it's beauty.
In the same way, our lives should be free from the dust and dirt of sin and the room should be transformed with the beauty of God that shines from within us.
I used tinfoil, transparencies and glass paint to make my layout shine. Instructions on how to do this yourself can be found here.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
This decision brings about a dance every month. I fully stress out that I’m pregnant, I get freaked out with Mark that “We did all the right things, YOU must have sperm that live FOREVER just waiting!!”, and I get angry with God and say “YOU know the desires of my heart, why would you give me another kid when we have 5 & we are happy with 5?”. Then I feel guilty for blaming everyone that I “might” be pregnant and then I think of all my friends who struggle to fall pregnant, & then I say, “Lord what is going on here?”
This silly dance happens for about 3 days every month. It’s in those days that I think, well perhaps one of us should get the operation, that would solve this and we wouldn’t do this dance every month. Then I worry that I am letting the enemy fill my head with thoughts of not being able to trust God, would I then forever be questioning myself about the decision. How could I look God in the eye and say “I couldn’t trust you?”
I then come to a realisation that as agonising as this dance is each month, I’m actually really thankful for it. Each month I get angry frustrated and scared, all the “What if” questions fill my mind and after a time God always wins me back. It’s like falling securely into his arms and snuggling in there and saying “I know you are looking after me, and what ever happens this month, I know it’s Your Will and I know that’s the perfect solution and I know I’m okay with that.”
No matter how hectic my life is, no matter how little time I’ve spent with God for the month, we always have this time together, this check up of “I’m still here, I’m still in control, do you still love and trust me?”, and the answer is always “Yes Lord I do.”
So three days of freaking out every month is a bit funny to be thankful for, but I am just so thankful that God is in control, that HIS WILL IS PERFECT and I am just so amazed and in awe that each month He grabs my attention and alerts me to the fact.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This was a great reminder to me that God has given us so much and we need to show him our thankfulness, not just for the big things but also for that butterfly that just landed on your pretty flower, for the laughter of children playing and the beautiful blue sky. And as hard as it is we need to give thanks in our tough times too as we know God is with us through each and every step in our lives.
In everything give thanks 1 Thess 5:18
To download the instructions for the Be thankful Layered mini Album follow this link
Monday, July 21, 2008
I did this 12 x 12 layout using the sketch for July.
It's about a change of attitude in line with other changes going on in our family.
This sketch is fantastic for using scraps of patterned paper... I'm all into that at the moment. The only 'new' thing I used was the white cardstock.
How are you going with your responses to the challenges this month?
Sunday, July 20, 2008
This is my attempt at the verse challenge. I have journaling down the side that reads "God calls us to be lights in this dark world. Our actions & words may be the only way they see God's love, grace and mercy". I had heaps of fun with this challenge and completed it in less than one day (that's massive for me LO's usually take me a week to get it right).
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
We only had entries in Challenges 1, 2 & 3. Poor old Challenge 4 & 5 :(
So after the draw for each category with entries, our winners are:
Challenge 1 - Janelle
Challenge 2 - Monique
Challenge 3 - Jane
Congratulations Ladies :-D Could you please email me you email address so I can make sure that Christian Book gets the correct details to get your voucher to you. Once I have received all 3 confirmed email addresses I will arrange with Christian Book to get them to you. This might take a couple of weeks, so bear with us.
Check out the bottom of the sidebar to check out the entries.
For those of you who still like to be challenged the June Challenges were:
Challenge 1 - Sketch Challenge - to any size layout, traditional or digi based on the sketch by Cecilie over at Life Moments found here. Thanks Cecilie.
Challenge 2 - Verse Challenge - Scrap a Layout or Beyond the Page item featuring the following verse: Psalm 32:7For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.
Challenge 3 - Word Challenge - The word for May is "LISTEN". Do a Layout or Off the Page project based on "LISTEN".
Challenge 4 - Book of Faith Challenge - The theme for this month's Book of Faith is "Evangelising/Reaching out"
Challenge 5 - Mystery Challange - Scrap about a challenge you've had in your life and how God bought you through it.
Please see the header for current challenges :-)
Last year we announced a Book of Faith competition. Here's a recap.
What do you have to do to be eligible to enter? Complete a layout each month on the topic being explored for that month. Topics will be listed each month and previous month’s topics will be recapped so anyone at any stage over the 12 months can join in. All entries must be uploaded into our gallery in a special competition folder by August 30th 2008. You must email Sally for the login details for your competition folder and upload instructions. (This has changed, due to gallery issues please email your layouts to Sally even if you have loaded layouts please email ALL layouts to Sally)
You must do a cover page with the title "Book of Faith" for the album that your layouts will go into.
The only deadline is the final deadline August 30th 2008 for all layouts to be completed and uploaded. The aim is for you to scrap a year’s worth of faith layouts and it doesn't matter if you do a layout per month or all the layouts in one hit! The point is that you do them :) You can enter either the class layouts or your own work, but your layouts must correspond with the monthly themes and each must include one bible verse.
THE PRIZE - A full retreat package costing $150 (if you win and have already paid for the retreat your monies will be refunded in full or you can choose the overseas entrants prize). For overseas competitors who cannot make the retreat you will be sent $150 (Australian Value) Gift Voucher to Christian Book. (please note last year we advertised scrapping goodies, but to reflect the direction we felt God taking Scrap of Faith, we feel that growing in Christ is more important than growing our scrapping stash, however if you would prefer the voucher for scrapping goodies, or 50/50 please let us know).
The winner will be chosen by a draw. All persons who have fulfilled the requirements will go into the draw. This is not about how well you scrap, but that you scrapped! All other entries will receive consolation prizes.
Sounds like a good comp hey!! So You have till August 30th to get the following layouts done. & just to help you all out I'll give you a heads up on next months theme too.
Book of Faith Cover page
August 2007 - Your Purpose
September 2007 - Proverbs 31
October 2007 - Our Work
November 2007 - Defeating The Enemy
March 2008 – Change
April 2008 – Lessons
May 2008 – Love of Christ
June 2008 – Reaching out Evangelising
July 2008 – Thanksgiving
August 2008 – Your Inner Beauty
Encase you're wondering there are no layouts for Dec, Jan & Feb.
Email all layouts to Sally (preferably at one time so I can keep track of it easier) by August 30th to be in the Draw!!
Just so you understand the prize a bit better, Scrap of Faith is hosting a retreat this year in November. Click Here for more details.
Just a friendly reminder that tonight is the first Saturday of the month and that means Cyber Crop :-D
We host it in MSN. For those wanting to join in please email Sally your MSN address so we can put you on the Scrap of Faith friends list. I will also email you back the SoF MSN addy so you can put it in your friends list. Read HERE for more instructions.
Cyber Crop starts at 7:30pm QLD (Eastern Standard Time) and New Challenges for the month will be released & the winners for June announced.
For the Winners of May I have placed the order with Christian Book, but I am still waiting for confirmation. *sigh* Not sure why they take so long to process electronic gift vouchers, but rest assured the process is underway :-)
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Here's my take on the Sketch challenge and the Listen Challenge.
It has been a mad house here in the Clifford family this past month. From now until October we get pretty busy with our work, especially June and July, as in triple the workload, talk about busy!! Hmmmmmm it's no wonder I struggle to get my tax return in on time.
With all this crazy busy it get's really easy to forget that there is a world outside the immediate "must do's" and a lot of clients with important deadlines, but there is a world and we were commissioned to go out into it and spread the word of Christ. Mark 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Great, how do I do that when some days I don't even leave the house? It's true I've become a shut in. Okay I exagerate, I'm not a shut in, but not leaving the house except for the mundane tasks, like grocery shopping and the essentials, starts to feel a bit like it.
With all this work, I'll admit I've been hiding, I knew I had to write and article on Evangelising this month, and yet here I am saying "Lord are you for real?? Of all the months to be inspiring and I've had such a bad month at getting out there." Struggling with what to say and feeling like a complete evangelistic failure, I was reminded that it's not the big show, it's not making sure I had a full on conversation with someone about God, but it was being "Christ like" in all the little things.
It's about being a friend, as simple as saying "I'm praying for you", stopping to say "Hi" to the new person at church, stopping to say "Hi" to a long term member of the congregation. Saying "I love you" to your Mum and Dad before you hang up the phone. It's the little things, It's putting on the cross and without a word saying "Hey I know Christ" and looking that check out chick in the eye and saying "Thank you" like you mean it.