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Spring-Flowers-Wallpapers-4[1]

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Today begins my birthday week.  Every day that I awake, I have a reason to be thankful.  With each breath taken, with or without difficulty, I am grateful.  In the grand scheme of things, God cares about me so much that He touches and wakes me up everyday, for these 50+ years.

Grateful I am to serve in His vineyard, delighted to do as He bids. With joy, I thank God for this hour, this day and this week in which He gave me life!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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2012828204417.jpgMark 9:35 (NIV)

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.

Today, I chose to lay my needles down.  If you know anything about me and this journey, you know that was a huge but very necessary deal.  For several weeks now, I have been under the weather, multiple doctor and specialist visits, prednisone, antibiotics, coughing, headaches, and all that being sick without seeing the light at the end of the tunnel entail.  Through it all I kept knitting because the caress of the yarny goodness was not for me, but for others.

There is a fire in my belly to create items that a deserving military service member, past, present or future will hold, carry, hug or be wrapped with the knowledge that their special piece was made by loving hands.   But last night I was working on a piece, feeling lousy, just trying to complete it. I pushed and pulled and yanked stitches right off the needles.

When the yank happened, I knew I wasn’t feeling well,  it had been a long physically challenging day, I was tired and had no business touching that scarf or those needles.  Packing away the yarn and needles for the evening, I fully planned to wake up today and repair the  damage.

Then I woke up, picked up my e-reader, read this text and realized that I needed to rest, to take care of myself to listen to the Spirit.  When I feel better, the yarn and needles will be here and God will give me the strength and direction to complete the scarf.

Each day we there are subtle reminders that we truly are powerless without God.  There is not one aspect of my life in which I do not submit to His will. We cannot ask to be healed yet not do all we are instructed to aid in our healing.  My fingers yearned to pull out a ball of  truly yummy yarn and imagine a new hat or cowl, to caress my new needles and dream about the possibilities of what warm love they would hold, but not this day.

Lord, I thank you for opportunity to heal, to get better and to know that in your time, Father, Your perfect will be done!  Today and everyday!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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English: Man Made in the Image of God, as in G...

English: Man Made in the Image of God, as in Genesis 1:26 to 2:3, illustration from a Bible card published 1906 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Genesis 2:15 (NIV)

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Reading the above text, it struck me that God is highly in favor of work!  Not only is He in favor of it, He put Adam in the garden to “work and take care” of it.  In other words God told Adam to “Get to work!”

This holiday break has been an absolute blessing but it is over and now and time to go back to work.  Time to be about completing and undertaking tasks purposed by God for me.  These periods of respite away from the daily grind have a way of providing more than just physical and emotional rest.  Ok, so maybe I did a bit more knitting than actual resting, but those long uninterrupted periods of knitting provided quiet moments of reflection and contemplation.

Rested, ready, reliable and responsive,  let us go into the next phase of our tasks, whatever work we do, give glory to God while working!  Be grateful to be employed and understand that God employs us to be emissaries on behalf of the Kingdom!  Now, it is time to get back to work!  

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Photo: I am donating these full and leftover skeins to Ree's Needle Arts For Hope Initiative: Virginia10221 Krause Rd., #73 Chesterfield,Virginia 23832 where yarns are needed.

John 14:14 (NIV)

14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

The season of giving is upon us once again and for weeks I have been praying, even more diligently than usual for strength and yarn.

Over the past few weeks and months  I have been watching my two bags of yarn slowly dwindle to just pieces.    As the list  of needs expands and exceeds my meager stockpile, I did the only three things I know how to… pray, post a request on Facebook and keep knitting.  Afterall, the Bible says that if we ask for anything in Christ’s name and He will do it.

This period has caused me to become a lot more creative as I pull together hats and scarves from remnants left overy yarn from previously knit projects in order to create a single piece that would wrap someone in a warmth and love.  The blending of  mismatched pieces of yarn from my stash provides a level of excitement because the final outcome is not always visible or known.  Yet, what is known is that these remnant, left over pieces create a whole that are vital and have a  very important mission.

Were my prayers answered?  Absolutely and spectacularly!  I received a note from Emily’s Hats for Hope Initiative HQ that someone was sending me yarn.    Imagine my delight when I received this picture and the words that it was not only whole skeins but “partial” skeins.   As I write the tears began to flow because I am again reminded that in God’s hands all broken, discarded,  mismatched, damaged remnant materials  willing to be used by the Master’s hands can fashioned into a whole, able to further and share the message of God’s Love.   Those partial pieces can create beauty and warmth which can be worn.  My thanks to Nimara & Japarta  (Please go like their Facebook page!)  for your generosity and the generosity of others who have opened their stashes and hearts to share with Ree’s Needle Arts for Hope Initiative Virginia!   With each item and gift we truly are…

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Psalm 3:5 (CEB)

I lie down, sleep, and wake up  because the Lord helps me.

It seemed that leading up to and including the one year blog anniversary a quiet has dropped like a heavy drape, not only covering this blog but my life.

I post and comment less on Facebook and my tweets are barely rippling enough to qualify as a chirp.

When God is working on and through us there are times when silence is the wisest choice.  As my fingers have been diligently working my heart and mind have also been busy.  During this silence I have been blessed by and with visits from loved ones and felt the Hand of God move repeatedly and steadily in our lives.

Today I released myself from the pressure of creating 200 knitted items. The frenetic pressure to attain that number was born from my desire to help others but help we shall.  December is not here, yet  and I have again turned  the matter to the Lord!   Joyfully, I honestly  have no idea what God has planned and I look forward with less pressure and heightened expectation!  Ultimately, my desire is  for God’s will to be done.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

P.S. An angel dropped off 20 hats this morning!!   Thank you, Lord!!!

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Mahalia Jackson, 16 April. 1962

Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

Psalm 121

A song of ascents. 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—    where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord,  the Maker of heaven and earth.

Recently I enjoyed a Facebook conversation with some family members.  We were reminiscing about the blessing and healing of hearing and singing old hymns.   I admit to almost daily spending countless hours basking in the upbeat praise and power of contemporary songs.  But on some days when no other song will do these old hymns are the songs that my soul yearns and hungers to hear.  Songs of climbing, reaching and striving for “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and wanting to be “In the Upper Room” and understanding in this walk through life that “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” is not merely a song but a plea for God to lead.

There are so many times when only a gut-wrenching fervor will reach that aching part of my heart and remind me that everything is going to be alright.  Days when “I Love to Tell the Story” promises me that Heaven is my goal and I desire to do as God commands!

How I Got Over – Mahalia Jackson – http://youtu.be/PRVzOV5ZaLs

Steal Away to Jesus – Mahalia Jackson/Nat King Cole – http://youtu.be/-O5hz5KnSdc

Precious Lord – Mahalia Jackson – http://youtu.be/-O5hz5KnSdc

 

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

 

I  we love and are blessed and able to praise with the contemporary by the new songs  those songs we sang that we didn’t understand at the time

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Matthew 14:29-32 (CEB)

29 And Jesus said, “Come.”

Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!”  31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind settled down.



A question was asked on one of the knitting Facebook pages I frequent on yesterday that made me think.  Forgive me, for twisting it but the  gist of the question was “how many WIP’s (work in progress) have turned into UFO’s (unfinished objects) in your house?”.  The responses were varied and I must say surprised and encouraged me.

Currently I have three projects on needles that for various reasons remain incomplete (wip).  There are also one or two complete projects that because of huge mistakes will be frogged (taken apart, stitch by stitch).  The reasons for not finishing range from not knowing a stitch, insecurity about cables and plain old boredom from repeating the same stitches over and over and over.  In truth the most glaring reason is pure intimidation, marinated in a sauce of  misplaced confidence.

When those projects were started I was focused, not paying attention to what I could do, but fully dependent on God to guide the every stitch on the needles.  No matter how challenging the pattern, my ignorance and lack of knowledge were of no import because God was guiding  my hands. Yet, like Peter, I took my eyes off of Jesus and my insecurities fueled the thoughts of inadequate knowledge to do what I was doing, and opened my eyes to every perceived flaw and mistake and the needles went down.

Today I  prayerfully commit to seeking God’s direction as I pick up the needles  and to prayerfully repeat that “I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.  Surely, as He can complete a good thing in me those fingerless gloves, cowle and sweater will be finished solely by His grace!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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