Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving defined: thanksgiving [ˈθæŋksˌgɪvɪŋ (US) θæŋksˈgɪvɪŋ]
1. the act of giving thanks
2. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms)
a.  an expression of thanks to God
b.  a public act of religious observance or a celebration in acknowledgment of divine favours
While my husband and I are spending Thanksgiving together with no other family it has afforded me some time to contemplate. This may sound melanchology or morose . . . but really it isn't.  It is just a deeper experience of gratitude, thankfulness.
As I was crocheting a beaded necklace I found myself thinking of some of the choices I have made in my life that did not turn our like I expected.  And some of those had some very big consequences for myself . . . and for those I love and care about the most.
At the time of those decisions I was quite confident things would turn out just great. 
Everyone would win.
The problem was  that I was too self-reliant, too self-dependent.  I had the strength and stamina of youth and was quite capable and believed I could do and accomplish anything I chose as long as I had the perserverance and self-discipline to stay the course. . . . . and I did have those things . .. . for quite a long while.....
Another part of the probem was that I lost sight of the original goal. 
My need for the accolades of accomplishment from the world to fill my need for validation diverted me from my original goal/plan. 
And Ultimately ----  I failed at both.  
Both completing my original goal and any lasting validation from the world.. . .
I hear the LOUD buzzer of defeat:  Annhh !!! --- Wrong Answer !
Failed. . . . once aGAIN !
When am I gonna get this right???
And the TRUTH hit me.
Only in hindsight am I able to see -
Only in hindsight am I able to understand ---- what I did and why . . .  and why it didn't work the way I thought it would.
I had listened so long to the world and it's "logical" solutions to the issues of life.
Lord knows there are plenty of self-help books and gurus out there to spend a lifetime wasted in reading and trying to do as they say only to discover that their solutions are temporary at best and  deeply depressing at worst.
While self-reliance, independence and automony are great worldly values and great attributes to bring to the work place, they are not at all valuable when it comes to finding the the real, eternal, dependable, life-long confidence and security that I long for deep in my soul.
It is good that through these experiences I was forced to look and deal with my own pride, lack of self esteem and fear of financial insecurity and,  to, more importantly resolve those issues and discover  two very important things.
1. Safety, Security, Validation, Love, can only come from my Creator.
    And then, only in my personal relationship with Him.
2. Forgiveness for the damage done to others (big or small) in my selfish quest for a place in  
    this world can only come from my Creator.
   And what glorious, wonderful redemption He provides.

I found the perfect song on You Tube that expresses my eNORmous gratitude.

         "I know how hopeless feels  ...
          when you're staring at the bottom of an empty hole (heart) ...
          when the hands of love touch a broken heart ...

           I know how healing feels
          ......................all my chains have been lifted
          ......................all my pain and all my shame
          ......................and all my tears have been erased.

          ...............................................    It feels like Redemption."

Feels Like Redemption   Michael English

I know how hopeless feels
when you're staring at the bottom of an empty hole (heart)
In my life I know how forgotten feels
wondering if the world even knows who you are

But I've never known anything, felt anything
like the love of Jesus
but it's hard to describe what's happening inside
but right now all I know is. . . . .

It feels like redemption raining down on me
feels like forgiveness come to set me free
all my chains have been lifted
'Cause when the hands of love touch a broken heart
it feels like redemption

Now I know how thankful feels
'Cause I'm overwhelmed by the Gift of His Grace
And I know how healing feels
'Cause all my pain and all my shame
And all my tears have been erased.

It feels like redemption raining down on me
feels like forgiveness come to set me free
all my chains have been lifted
'Cause when the hands of love touch a broken heart
it feels like

Say goodbye, the past is ending
Say hello to a new beginning
No more night
The sun is shining

It feels like redemption raining down on me
feels like forgiveness come to set me free
all my chains have been lifted
'Cause when the hands of love touch a broken heart
it feels like redemption

I cried out to the Lord, He heard my cry
He healed my heart and He touched my life
And it feels like redemption

Say goodbye, the past is ending
Say hello to a new beginning
It feels like
It feels like redemption

Credits: Mizell, Sam (Songwriter); West, Matthew (Songwriter); SONGS FOR LULU (Publisher); WORD MUSIC 
 , LLC (Publisher)

This song brings deeper meaning when you learn that Michael English (a Christian musician) wrote this song after having had an affair and his wife divorced him.  There was no reconciliation with his wife.
 re·demp·tion   /rɪˈdɛmpʃən/    Show Spelled[ri-demp-shuhn]    Show IPA
1. an act of redeeming or the state of being redeemed.
2. deliverance; rescue.
3. Theology. deliverance from sin; salvation.
4. atonement for guilt.

I am grateful that I have lived long enough to be able to look back in hindsight and have a greater understanding of my life . ..  and to correct my thinking . . . to change . . . to be forgiven and understand more clearly why I need forgiveness. 

Understanding WHY I need forgiveness serves only to INCREASE my gratitude that forgiveness is available and even possible.

I am grateful for the forgiveness, the redemption that my God provides.  I only need to ask for it and it is given to me.

His Hands of Love touched this broken life.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Etsy Holiday Bootcamp Pledge

I just opened my Etsy Shop in early August 2010 so all of it is new to me. I have found that other sellers and the Etsy Staff are very helpful.  There is SO much to learn.  Apparently they have decided to have their First "Holiday Bootcamp" for Sellers to gear up and be successful during the Holiday Season. 

Bootcamp started Sept. 23rd, but apparently I didn't read the email.  So today when the "Bootcamp Instructions" arrived in my inbox, I did read it.  And I've decided to take the Etsy Holiday Bootcamp Pledge."

Here's The Holiday Boot Camp Pledge. If we're going to rock this season together, we're going to have to make a few promises to ourselves and to each other. So here it is:
I, ______________, pledge to participate in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp to the best of my abilities. I vow to check in every week, do my homework and support my fellow Holiday Boot Campers. I will read the weekly newsletters and blog posts, check in on the weekly forum thread, read the weekly blog post, check off the checklists and salute the mascot. I promise to share what I've learned with those who need it, support my fellow Etsy indiepreneurs and, most of all, have a positive and persistent attitude. I understand that together we can spread the word about our handmade and vintage goods, making this holiday season a more unique and meaningful one to gift givers and give-ees everywhere! 

Here's wishing everyone a Wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas Season, complete with:
1. Never having to rush
2. Everything being well-planned
3. Never a cross word or bad mood
4. Plenty of funds to buy the essentials
5. Plenty of fabulous (calorie stripped - if only in our imagination) food.
6. The love of family and friends.
7. Compassion and giving to strangers
8. Good Health for everyone
9. Happy, joyous, smiling faces
10. Praise for our Heavenly Father for His Wonderful Love for us.

Happy Halloween
Happy Thanksgiving
Merry Christmas

My Etsy Shop

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Getting Started

So, I have spent all day taking pictures (incorrectly) and then redoing them in order to use a 50% off coupon  that expires today to buy a photo book of my creations . . . only to discover that the discount does not apply .... Rats !

So in the process of ordering this photo book, it asks me if I want to share on my blog.  Well, then I had to go back and find the email to figure out my password etc.  So here I am. 
Making my first post just to get the web address to my blog so I can share the photos. 
Somehow I thought my first post word be more . . . . hmmm. . . . profound.

So much for that thought.

Here's hoping it works.