Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Looking For A Life In Grace

One year.

One year of church shopping. One year of being "visitors" and not "members". One year of feeling unsettled every weekend.

It's been a journey. We've been tempted to settle on many an occasion.  Surely this one is fine. I mean, yeah, their beliefs are not in unison with our own, but the preaching is good and the music is first rate. Isn't that good enough?

I don't want good enough.

We had the opportunity to worship with our former church family in Indiana this month, and it was priceless. That fellowship of believers. Just thinking about it can bring tears to my eyes.

We had a great conversation with our pastor and his wife, who understood our trials all too well. Their two daughters are going through a similar process in the Chicago area, looking for a church that preaches the Gospel of grace.

I so want that, too.

I've prayed on it, and I've journalled on it.  My pastor has prayed on it. And then something shifted in me.

I was reading Edie's excellent blog, Life in Grace, and she mentioned in a post that she drives one hour away to get to church on Sunday.


Wow. That's a commitment!

And that's when I began to feel the nudging of the Holy Spirit telling me to cast a wider net.

I did a lot of research and found a church with a nice website, an excellent mission statement, and a vibrant and active ministry. The only problem? It is forty minutes of long, winding country roads to get to it.

We visited on Sunday, and for the first time in a long time I feel hopeful again.

I emailed my pastor and asked him "How far is too far to drive to church on Sunday?"

He told me that when he was a pastor in southern Indiana, most of his congregation drove thirty to fifty minutes to get to church. Yes, it does make midweek participation a little more difficult, he said, but you find ways to incorporate the drive into your other weekly routines.

And then he wrote this:

"The teaching is so important because a hollowed out Gospel with law-driven prescription is not the Gospel. "

Yes. I think it would be worth the drive.

Tell me, have you ever had to put a lot of miles on your car to get to church? What has your experience been?

Friday, July 25, 2014

PTI July Blog Hop!

This month's blog hop at Papertrey Ink is inspired by a lovely photo from Pinterest. Sigh! So sweet! The needle art girl in me was definitely drawn to so many elements in this collage of pretties!

I decided to use the stamp set "Stitched With Love", which I had purchased some time back and had yet to use. I know! Crazy, right? I love this stamp set, and all the pretty little dies and elements that go with it!

{Today's Brew: Stitched With Love (PTI), Background Basics Gingham (PTI), crad stock (PTI), inks (PTI), dies (PTI), DMC floss, Distress Stain in Picket Fence }

I am determined to get this card in the mail TODAY! I need to send this to my sweet stamping friend, Cindy. This has been such a busy summer, and I've missed our inky time together. I'm hoping to get back on a normal routine in August. (Is it back to school time yet? LOL!)

Thanks for visiting the cafe, today!

p.s. If I get inspired, I might just make a few more cards with this set later today, so grab a latte and stop back!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Needle to Paper

I've been working on a small needle art project this week. This pattern, from The Prairie Schooler, is for a fraktur-inspired bookmark.

I sighed when I started gathering the floss for this project.

The colors are so soft and vintage and lovely!

It inspired me to gather paper and stamps and ink and try to recreate this same feeling.

I wanted subtle color on a kraft background, but I think I got a little too subtle. It was hard to see the white ink stitching and the pale pink flower.

It was probably a little more noticeable before I decided to run the whole thing through this embossing folder. But that's okay, I still like the linen look.

{Today's Brew: Stitches and Swirls and Solid Stitches and Swirls stamp sets (PTI), card stock and ink (PTI), die cut (PTI), embossing folder (SU) }

I like to do needle art projects in the summer because I can take them outdoors, where the lighting is so much better, And when I am stitching on a 30 count linen, I need all the natural light I can get!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tooth Fairy

We finally got around to finding a new dentist here in our Pittsburgh home. It only took us a year! Sheesh! Sam had his first appointment at the new office, where he showed the hygienist that he had a new tooth growing above an old tooth. She promised him that the old tooth would soon be on its way out, and wouldn't you know, by that evening the tooth was out!

Sam's too big to believe in tooth fairies, but he's not too big to believe in financial rewards. :)

I made a little card to accompany his tooth fairy money!

I purchased some new Mama Elephant stamps from Ellen Hutson's store this month, and they are super cute!

{Today's Brew: Love From Above (Mama Elephant stamps), PTI card stock, prisma markers, stickles, sequins (lawn fawn)}

Happy Day!

Monday, July 21, 2014

CAS: A Day at the Beach

I have been coveting this t-shirt from the Sahalie catalog. This long-sleeved tee is made from Saturday Market Tees in Portland, and it is called "Atlantic". The colors, the swirling water, the leaves. I want one!

So I made a card instead.

{Today's Brew: Masculine Motifs stamp set (PTI), PTI card stock, Strathmore watercolor card stock, Distress Markers and Inks}

I made this card for today's Clean and Simple challenge at Splitcoast Stampers. The theme: A Day at the Beach. But now I'm wondering...aren't koi fish fresh water fish? Probably not a salt water fish, so this may not even qualify as a "beach" card. I'm a midwestern girl...we know our Great Lakes, but ocean? That's foreign territory!

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Folk Art Bright

The Free for All Friday challenge at SCS: Bright!

I decided to make a bright summer card with some folk art flair!

{Today's Brew: Nordic Spring (Waltzingmouse Stamps), Folk Art Floral (PTI), Simple Stories papers, amuse ribbon, PTI card stock and inks}

I love folk art! As a matter of fact, I'm making it a regular feature at my home and relocation blog. Today is Folk Art Friday! Make sure you pop over and see the folk art that inspired today's card!


Happy Friday, cafe friends!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Flying By...

My son, John, used to spend hours making paper airplanes. He would study the books, make the intricate folds, and then test them out in the yard.

I guess it's not surprising that he's in engineering school!

I made this card for John last week. I do not own the dies for this stamp set, so I just fussy cut the airplanes. Piece of cake! I do, however, own the sunshine die because that is just too darn cute!

{Today's Brew: stamps and dies from Lawn Fawn, card stock from Papertrey Ink}

Thanks for flying by today!