Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Perfect Temperature


A week ago, we were on our way to beating the record high temperature for the fifth day in a row. It reached 81° here in Ohio- that's 32° warmer than the average temperature this time of year. The trees are flowering more than a month early.


80° weather is actually a bit warm for me, but now that it's been more "normal" these last few days, it feels bone-chillingly cold.


My perfect temperature would be 65-70°, with sunshine, of course.

Share with us:  What's the weather like where you live?
                        What's your perfect temperature?


Monday, March 26, 2012

Inspiration & Conviction

I don't know if I have words for what I am thinking about today.


Yesterday, I stayed home from church with a sick pup (he's actually a grown dog, but will always be a puppy in my heart). Thankfully he's acting a lot more normal now, though we are still feeding him a "bland" diet (which he loves and doesn't think is bland at all). Anyways, I had some time to really think.

I got a letter on Saturday from a girl that I am sponsoring through Amazima Ministries, and I was so blessed by it. She talked about how happy people in Uganda are and where her happiness comes from- inside her heart.

"Do you know what brings me happiness Natalie? Thinking of you- that you can also think of me, you are God fearing. I recieved my letter together with your picture in our house and I look at your lovely smile... I feel happy. Thank you thank you for that gift."

I make her happy?

It's incredibly humbling and just-plain crazy that we can have a relationship with someone on the other side of the world, and make them feel happy. They have so little, but yet can teach us so much about what really matters in life.

Katie & her family, via Amazima's facebook page

The founder of Amazima Ministries is 23-year-old Katie Davis. Yes, she's my age, and she's given up the comfort of her American life to physically care for the poorest of the poor. She's the mother of 13 adopted girls, care-taker of whoever crosses her path, and author of Kisses from Katie: a Story of Relentless Love and Redemption, which is a New York Times Bestseller. Has anyone read it yet? I definitely want to. The way she lives her life is inspiring and convicting.





(if you can't see the video, watch her tell her story here)

I can't help but think about my own life and who I am living for.

linking up with Jami

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hunger

Look what I got in the mail last week- my first letter from the child I sponsor through Gospel for Asia!

She's a good artist!!!

Of the 230 million people on this planet who are going hungry right now, over a forth of them are living in India.

Did you know that 6,000 children in India alone die of starvation every day?

Big numbers like that seem hopeless. How can we make a difference for so many hurting people? The truth is, we can't. But we can make a difference for one (or two, or ten), and to that one (or two, or ten), it will mean the world.


Click here for more information on how you an connect your life with someone in need!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome, Spring!


This past weekend was so gorgeous! It seems like the earth just exploded overnight. Flowers are blooming and the birds are singing their hearts out.


I love that spring is a time of newness and growth after the deadness of winter.


This is the perfect season for personal growth, as well. Time to prune away the deadness in our lives. I can't wait to see the new growth the Lord will bring about in my life this season!

Buster loves to help prune, hehe

Happy first day of spring!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday Reflections: Psalm 139

The way God created each one of us and intimately knows us blows my mind. I love Psalm 139. It's so poetic, and describes the vast knowledge and love that our Creator has for us.


O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.


You hem me in- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.


Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.


Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:1-10, 13-14, 23-24

linking up with Heather

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fulfillment


You'd think I would know by now, but God continually reminds me of where my fulfillment has to, must, needs to come from- Him.

Nothing in this world will ever satisfy us long enough. It's just not possible. No one will ever make us feel good enough about ourselves. We can't look to others for affirmation. We will never be good enough.

I've been loving this song by Phil Wickham lately.

Take these hands
I know they're empty
But with You they can
Be used for beauty
In Your perfect plan
All I am is Yours

Take these feet
I know they stumble
But You use the weak
You use the humble
So please use me
All I am is Yours

I give You all my life
I'm letting it go
A living sacrifice
No longer my own
All I am is Yours
All I am is Yours


I lift my hands up
God I surrender
All that I am for Your glory, Your honor, Your fame

I lift my hands up
God I surrender to You


(listen to the whole song here)
All I Am by Phil Wickham on Grooveshark

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Just Lovely Accessories


When Hollie took my new jewelry photos a few weeks ago, I had her take some of my love giant flower clip from Just Lovely Things, too. I love it so much! I've worn it clipped on a belt and pinned on a cardigan and scarf. It's a great accessory for spring.


Heather's shop is on vacation right now, but she's coming back sometime this month (and I've heard with lots of new items for sale!) I can't wait to see what else she has coming!

cardigan, crochet tank- Old Navy
mauve tank- the Loft
jeans- AE
flower clip- Just Lovely Things
necklace, earrings, rings- NS Pottery
linking up with the Pleated Poppy- (click over for more fashion inspiration!)

Friday, March 9, 2012

{New} Modern Rectangle Necklace

As promised, here is my third new design!!! (see the Key to My Heart Necklace here and the Deluxe Statement Necklace here)...

Modern Rectangle Necklace

The necklace features a hand-cut, hand-textured rectangle pendant on a brass bronze chain. The rectangular shape is so fresh & modern- perfect for spring! 


Available in 5 glaze colors- Teal, Green Patina, Rustic Cream, Denim Blue, & Light Blue Shino. All the necklaces (and other jewelry) can be seen here!

And ((gasp)) I have a little surprise for you!
THIS WEEKEND ONLY (through Sunday) take 20% off your order with code "spring20"

Hope you all have a happy & restful weekend (and don't forget to spring ahead one hour!) xo




Photos c/o Hollie Marie Photography & modeling skills c/o Stephanie :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring Fever


I don't know about you, but I am SO ready for spring. The weather here in Ohio can be crazy this time of year! It can be 60° and sunny one day and cloudy and bone-chillingly cold the next. I want to break out the short sleeves and sandals and feel the warm of the sun on my shoulders! My pale winter skin has lost all it's color from last summer, and I am itching to head somewhere warm.


I'm also looking forward to gardening again this year! In my area, peas can be planted in the next week or two, so I definitely need to get on that. There is nothing like the taste of fresh produce from your backyard! I want to share more of my gardening ventures with you here this year.

garlic is growing!

I'm also determined to add a new toad house or two to my veggie garden. It's so silly, but I always keep cracked/my least favorite pots for me and my family and sell my favorites. I make them, so why don't I keep the ones I love? I'm going to this year!


What are some of your favorite things about spring?


Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

{New} Deluxe Statement Necklace

A week ago I shared my new Key to My Heart Necklace, and today I have another new design to show you that I am so excited about!! (I think this one's my favorite!)... 

Deluxe Statement Necklace
This necklace will surely get noticed and is great to add a pop of color to an outfit (especially in one of the fresh spring colors!) It features many individual pottery charms delicately dangling from a brass bronze chain.

One of my favorite parts?...


There's a tiny antique brass bronze key charm on the lobster clasp. *swoon*


Great for achieving the layered look, as well.


Available in 7 glaze colors- Purple Orchid, Teal, Turquoise, Green Patina, Rustic Cream, Black, & Espresso Blue. See all the necklaces for sale here!

On Friday, I'll be showing my third and final new necklace design here on the blog, so be sure to stop back!

Photos c/o Hollie Marie Photography & modeling skills c/o Stephanie :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Savory Kale


Are there any kale fans out there? If you're not one, you should be! Not only is kale one of the healthiest foods on the planet, it is so scrumptious- at least when you follow my recipe! I'm sharing it over at Bonhomie Jewelry today, so click on over here to see it and leave some love!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blogging Doubts & Surrender

Let's just get this out in the open, shall we?

I've really been struggling with some aspects of my blog lately, particularly on Mondays. I don't know how many of you reading this are regular readers of what I have called my Sunday Reflections posts, but I have been having so many doubts about them.

I fear I'm boring- that nothing of inspiration is coming forth when I myself do not feel inspired, but rather do this out of what I feel I've made an obligation.

I also fear I'm driving people away from not only my blog, but also my shop.

I was seriously thinking of giving up Sunday Reflections posts, on a regular basis at least, and then I heard a message about Mary anointing Jesus with perfume and the symbolism behind that really spoke to me.


Everyone thought she was crazy, even wrong for "wasting" such expensive perfume (hello, $30,000) on Jesus, but it was her way of giving her best to her Lord and showing where her heart belonged. I took that to mean something for me and this blog of mine. As small and insignificant as it sometimes seems, it really is a ginormous part of who I am.

It's His, and it needs to stay His.

I don't want to be legalistic, but I feel in my heart that what I was contemplating doing was in essence, taking my blog back from Him. 


Blogging is hard. Some days can be filled with doubts.

Mary has been known throughout all of history for her offering to Jesus. 

This is my offering.  

Share with us: Do you ever have doubts about your blog?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Desperation

Hiya friends! I've got a serious post topic for you today- something that I'm afraid we tend to avoid all too often. I don't think I realize how blessed I am to live in America with all the freedom that I have. It's hard to even comprehend how some people live- particularly women.


I think of the ridiculous little things that I can get upset or stressed about, and they don't even compare to the things women in Asia face every single day.

- Being abducted as a young girl and forced into a life of prostitution
- Mother's searching through the garbage to find food for their children
- Wives being doused with kerosene and burned to death by their husbands due to an insufficient dowry
- Widows being blamed for the death of their husbands, therefore being shunned by family and the community

The suicide rate for young women in India is 10 times higher than the national average. They need hope, and we can do something to help.

Watch this short little video...




It costs $30 a month to sponsor a woman missionary through Gospel for Asia. If you aren't able to commit to sponsoring, you can also donate any amount to the widows and abandoned children fund.


You won't know the impact your giving has on these women's lives until you see them in heaven one day.