Gratitude

As Thanksgiving has come upon us, (or snuck up behind us and frightened the living day lights out of some of us) It has brought the thoughts of Thanksgiving and counting our blessings. I have thought that What would life be like without gratitude? In my experience, thankfulness brings joy. And “The Joy of the Lord is our Strength.” Neh. 8:10

Being thankful for the ‘hard’ things, is not easy. Hence the word ‘hard’. For instance, being thankful for washing dishes. Something I never thought I would ever say is that I enjoy washing dishes. I hated it! I am being rather transparent here, but I had a horrible attitude about washing dishes. And as the oldest daughter, it is something I did quite frequently. By complaining, I made myself miserable for 30 min. twice a day every day. The Lord showed my once, that finding delight in something is a choice. It took me a while, to change my mindset. But instead of complaining, being thankful was what I needed to do. “Thank you Lord that I have hands to wash with. Thank you that I can serve my family in this way. Thank you for Clean water, for soap and clean towels that most people don’t have. Thank you for the family that I GET to serve daily by this task.” When I started to look at it as a ‘washing the disciples feet’ sort of task and realize that I didn’t HAVE to do it, I GOT to, My attitude changed. It was only recently that I realized that washing dishes is now one of my favorite chores. I have come off as more than conqueror through him that loved us. By praying and asking Him to change my heart, He did it without me even realizing it. I now have a sense of joy and fulfillment when I am washing dishes. And I am most ashamed of my attitude before. Here is one of my favorite stories that helped to put me into perspective. It is the story of Betsie an Corrie Ten Boom when they were in the concentration camp Ravensbruck. They had just been assigned their bunks and this is what happened.

To reach it we had to stand on the bottom level, haul ourselves up, and then crawl across three other straw-covered platforms to reach the one that we would shared with –how many? the deck above us was too close to let us sit up. We lay back, struggling against the nausea that swept over us from the reeking straw. WE could hear the women who had arrived with us finding their places.

Suddenly, I sat up, striking my head on the cross-slats above. Something had pinched my leg.

“Fleas!” I cried. “Betsie, how can we live in such a place!”

“Show us. Show us how.” It was said so matter of factly it took me a second to realize she was praying. More and more the distinction between prayer and the rest of life seemed to be vanishing for Betsie.

“Corrie!”she said excitedly. “he’s given us the answer! Before we asked, he always does! In the Bible this morning. Where was it? Read that part again!”

I glanced down the long dim aisle to make sure no guard was in sight, then drew the Bible from its pouch. “It was in First Thessalonians,” I said. We were on our third complete reading of the New Testament since leaving Scheveningen. In the feeble light I turned the pages. “Here it is: ‘Comfort the frightened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. . .’” It seemed written expressly to Ravensbruck.

“Go on,” said Betsie. “That wasn’t all.”

“Oh yes: ‘. . . to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of Christ Jesus—‘”

“That’s it Corrie! That’s His answer. ‘Give thanks in all circumstances!’ That’s what we can do. we can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!”

I stared at her, then around me at the dark, foul-aired room.

“Such as?” I said.

“Such as being assigned her together.”

I bit my lip. “Oh yes. Lord Jesus!”

“Such as what you’re holding in your hands.”

I looked down at the Bible. “Yes! Thanks you dear Lord that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank you for all the women, here in this room, who will meet you in these pages.”

“Yes,” said Betsie. “Thank  you for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, that many more will hear!” she looked at me expectantly. “Corrie!” she prodded.

“Oh, all right. thank you for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed, suffocating crowds.”

“Thank you,” Betsie went on serenely, “for the fleas and for—-“

the fleas! This was too much. “Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.”

“Give thanks in ALL circumstances,’” she quoted. “it doesn’t say ‘in pleasant circumstances.’ Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.”

And so we stood between piers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas. But this time I was sure Betsie was wrong.”

 

But she was right. Oh so right! Being thankful in the difficult circumstances is never easy, but it is what God calls us to do. It is something he is teaching me lately. Finding joy in the mundane. Being thankful in hard times. Gratitude is important. It shapes our entire attitude and outlook on life. And it is a choice we have to make. We don’t just wake up being thankful, we have to choose to be. And the day of Thanksgiving is the perfect reminder of that.

 

To bring the sacrifice of thanksgiving means to sacrifice your understanding of what is beneficial and thank God for EVERYTHING because He is benevolent. A sacrifice is by definition not an easy thing.” –Ann Voskamp

“Thank you Lord for The sacrifice you made for me. For Loving me enough to die for me. To save me from my sins and Create a relationship between me and the Father. Thank you for Family that loves me. Thank you for a beautiful home, for being able to share it with my best friends. For Clean water, and Heat. For the beautiful snow. For the ability to read your word and live my life in a way that glorifies you. And Thank you for all the things that are good and bad. Thank you for the things that are hard and challenge my faith and cause me to grow closer to you. Thank you for all this and so much more. “

May you be blessed this Thanksgiving,

Truly, only by His Grace,

Victoria

Experience is well worth it

So my first craft sale on my own is over and I really enjoyed the experience. It wasn’t the most lucrative sale wise, but it was worth it considering we only live 2 min. away. I really enjoyed figuring out my booth and how to set it up and setting it up and interacting with people and my chaperon. My brother is a joy to hang out with at any time, but it was fun for it to be just us. We had a lot of fun and he is such a good hard worker and I am very thankful for all of my brothers! I started packing right after the sale was over and my two older brothers arrived and it took us 2 trips out to the car and we were done! Awesome! The lady next to us was surprised we were out so fast. Those guys are the Bomb! So awesome! I love these guys!

Here are some pics of my booth.

 

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The Master of the photo bomb right here!

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The five new bags I made.

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After The sale, and we got home, My oldest brother brought my nieces and nephews over for dinner and I had fun getting to spend time with each of them. They are such sweeties and so cute! Overall a good day and I am counting my blessings!

By His Grace,

Victoria

Work and a Craft Sale

Tomorrow is the Allendale “Artisan and Craft Market”! Yay! So excited! I am knocking stuff off my list like crazy!

Allendale Artisan and Craft Market Place Event flyer

 

I’ve made 5 new Messenger Bags and 4 Wallets to match them. Upping the inventory just a little. Smile Looking forward to it! What’s left on the to-do list

~ Do a mock booth set up

~ Make sure everything fits

~ Pack all of my wares

~ Pack a Tagging and Cash Register box

~ Pick out my outfit and Iron it

~ Clean my room

~ Take and Inventory

~ Make a lunch

~Photograph items before I pack them.

Oye Vey! lots more to do than I thought!

My sister tapped on the door and told me to give her a pair of scissors. They were playing outside and I came to the door to see my little brother, hanging upside down from the swing set by his boot lace. Poor kid! But I have to admit, he probably did have it coming to him. He is one of the adventurous ones in our family! Well, everyone in our family is adventurous in different ways. Winking smile

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I love my sewing machine! This Puppy can carry a heavy load! Going through lots of layer of heavy canvas!

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Look at these lovely wallets! So pretty!

 

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Looking forward to tomorrow! Will take pictures and post them later!

By His Grace,

Victoria

Our Sale is Done. . .

Ahhhhhhh… {sigh} our sale is over. All the work, and work, and creating, and work has finally paid off! We all did very well! Even my little brothers and sisters sold their little benches that they had made. They were thrilled to say the least. I sold lots of headbands, earwarmers, and pretty ponies. I also sold a few Messenger bags, and several wallets. So Blessed and thankful to the Lord for a successful day. News as well. I may have been contracted for a sewing ‘job’ so to speak, will let you know more about that soon hopefully.

Here are pictures of my ‘booth’.

All the Headbands/Ear warmers

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Bow Ear Warmers on the left and Button Ear Warmers on the right. Most everything show will be going onto the Etsy shop Hopefully this week.

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Knotted headbands made with stretch knit.

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The Ruffled Messenger Bags

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Peony Hair Flowers and lace headbands.

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Wallets, (what was left after day one) more flowers and my Pretty Ponies. (isn’t my brand name cute??!)

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Please don’t get tired of me sharing pictures of my hairstyles. It is one of my passions and this one turned out great! I hope to start doing tutorials eventually. (ignore the commode)

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I’ve got to go! my room is a mess after the weekend and The kitchen needs my attention!

By His Grace,

Victoria

Our “Fall” sale and Fri. Faves

Howdy all!

I know it has been a long time since I posted, but I figured I would never post if I felt compelled to tell you everything that has happened since my last post. So I am just going to dive in to the present!

Today and Tomorrow is our family’s Shop the Barn Boutique Sale! We have had a blast getting ready and everybody pitches in, from us girls baking up a storm, to the boys shoveling snow, snow, and more snow! We bumped our sale back 3 weeks in hopes to avoid the snow and cold. It didn’t work. Living in Michigan makes the weather awfully “changeable”. If you are a Michigander you know EX-actly what I am talking about.Winking smile

I absolutely love the way my little booth looks! It is so adorable! Complete with a sweet little pink chandelier that fits me and my things perfectly. I will post a picture of my booth some other time, but tonight I am too lazy and tired to go take a picture.

Here is all the snow we got! Literally woke up and wala! 6 inches of snow. One day fall leaves everywhere and grass and empty trees, the next this. Isn’t God amazing!? So blessed to wake up to this gorgeousness!

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On to Friday Faves! These boots that I have worn all day. They were bought brand new from my sweet friend Julia. They are brand new and Dr Scholls so they are wonderfully comfortable! Although, not being used to any heel but my cowgirl boots, they are a bit of a break in. . .

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Loving my hair! Rockin’ the six day old hair is something I never thought I would brag about {grin} but I love it! Curls are my fave!

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A nice warm fire to come into after having been in a cold barn a lot of the afternoon. Ahhhhh . . . inviting me to kick back and relax.

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And my story/novel that I am working on. . . thanks to a challenge with a dear friend, we are both writing for 20 min a day. And if I don’t write, like tonight cause I am exhausted. . . I will make up for it with 40 some day. My story has grown significantly just from the motivation. So fun to see it grow!

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Here are my Fave songs of the week. Been listening to them while I bake and wash dishes the last three days.

Owl City feat. Britt Nicole: You’re not alone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DavJ9UKS2ps

I am They: From the Day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUjuRFwwvaw

Ellie Holcomb: As sure as the Sun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuGmcCK7T_c

Also this week I have been listening to the Lamplighter Theatre, The White Gypsy. UH-mazingly done and really enjoyed listening while I was knitting/chilling.

Hope to chill and watch a movie with my brother tonight.

By His Grace,

Victoria