Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hummus

Yesterday afternoon I made hummus. Do you like hummus? I hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Card for parents

My parents live in Kerala, India. I miss my parents a lot. I always call them on the phone but today decided to send a card to them made by myself. So I wrote one of my absolute favorite blessings from the Bible for my parents. The blessing is from Numbers 6. It says, "The Lord Bless you and keep you; The Lord cause His face to shine upon you, I hope your day is going well. "May God bless you and keep you. May the lord cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Card and scrapbook page

One day when I went to Target to buy Thank You cards for my son to send to all the guests who graciously and kindly attended his graduation party, I spend a lot of time just looking at cards and thinking that someone actually made these cards. That inspired me to make my own cards as well. So I did. I made several and I shared them on the blog. But this morning I decided to make use of the cards I made by sending it to my family.
So I wrote this quote on one of the cards for my younger brother. My brother is one of the nicest and sweetest persons on the planet. I found this quote on blogs--one in a card and the other framed as wall art. The font is something I saw in the internet. Just copied it.
My younger brother is happily married and has two beautiful girls.
I am wondering what I should write in the card for my older brother. Most probably I will write a Bible verse since he loves the word.
Then I spend a lot of time cutting out shapes for scrapbooking my son's graduation pictures. I had made four big collages for his party. I want to make all of the pictures in all of the collages into scrapbook albums. If I do a little bit everyday it will get done. I hope your day is going well. May God bless you!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pink Paper

I hope you are well. Last week I bought pink paper to make a book or album for my nieces. My brother sends me pictures of his two adorable girls and I want to make an album or a story book.
So I bought this paper. I am not sure if I will make a story book for them or an album.
May God bless you.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Blueberry muffins I made with Coconut oil, and my testimony

I decided to make all of 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. I found this heavenly blue in Hobby Lobby on Saturday and started working on it yesterday afternoon. I thought I will make separate 5x7 pieces for each sentence in those verses. I also wanted to share with you this quote from a book I used to like a lot. The name of the book is Wuthering heights and the author is Emily Bronte. "Whatever our souls are made of His and mine are the same." I used to like that book so much. The gloominess and the melancholy in the book seemed to be a reflection of what was in my soul. Then Becky invited me to moms-in- touch and we started praying. In moms-in-touch we pray once a week. The prayer goes like this. Each week we focus on one characteristic of God. For example this week we focus on God's wisdom. Then the next week it will be His righteousness, and the third week it will be His compassion. So for example, if the prayer sheet this week is God is wise, then we praise God for His wisdom. We read two or three or four verses from the Bible that focuses on His wisdom and using those verses as a starting point we praise Him. Each person in the prayer group praises Him. Then there is a time for silent confession of sins if any. Then there is a time of thanksgiving. We give thanks to God for all the little things and big things He has done for us that week. Then after that we pray for each child. So the prayer format is as follows-- Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. I loved this prayer group a lot. Becky invited me because I used to take my kids to AWANA and she saw me at AWANA. She has seen me at Lincoln Elementary where my kids and her kids studied so she invited me. Through praying together we became friends. Becky is a fan of Jane Austen and all chick flicks. She gave me a ton of chick flicks to watch when we were in the church apartment. She gave me Princess Bride I just felt the message in princess Bride was from God for me. Anyway, coming back to Jane Austen, the world in Jane Austen is very different from the world of Wuthering Heights. The World of Wuthering Heights is gloomy and melancholy as though happy endings will never happen. But in Jane Austen the message is like in the Bible. That there can be a happy ending. We can find true love and there will always be trouble, but if you are a good person and seek goodness and stand for goodness there is always a happy ending. From someone who believed in tragedy and gloominess no matter what I do, I became a person who believed that there can be happy endings. That went along with what I was learning from God. That He is righteous, just and wise and He is like our Father and He loves. This change from a belief that there might not be happy endings to believing that no matter how much trouble we see today we can have happy endings is my testimony. The more I came closer to God, God was showing me His goodness, teaching me, and giving substance to the vague longings in my soul. For example the first time I went to the store Pier 1 Imports, I remember feeling so happy. I did not want to go away from that store. I just wanted to stay. Sometimes I would buy some things and sometimes not. God showed me through blogs how there are other women who also loved Pier1 Imports and how I can use the stuff in Pier 1.
Also, I made blueberry muffins this morning. I made it with coconut oil. May God bless you and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Picture for Gallery Wall

I framed a picture of my children for the gallery wall near the kitchen. I was very confused while doing this. I was not sure if I should use blue paper as the background or use a white mat I had bought recently from Hobby Lobby to frame the picture.
First, I took placed the blue paper as background and took some pics and then I removed the blue paper and used the white mat.
Here are both pictures.
Can you tell me which one is better? I will go with the one you like. May God bless you. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Green and pink ruffled pillow

I made this ruffled pillow today. I have been working on it since yesterday.
I hope your day is going well. May God bless you!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pictures of my children and praying for children

I bought a box frame from Hobby Lobby yesterday and framed this picture of my older son playing while we were in the house that we lived when we first came to Iowa in 2000. I put blue paper in the frame. It was in this house that I first started praying for my children super seriously. The verse that inspired me to start praying for my children was from Matthew 19: 13-15. It says that "Then children were brought to Him that He might lay His hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." And he laid His hands on them and went away. I started praying because one day my husband and I found that my five year old son, was not sharing a toy with his younger brother. Till that time he was always very loving toward my younger son. When I saw this, I felt very scared thinking that he might grow up to be unkind. This verse gave me lots of hope for my children's character. So I remember I fasted for three days for both of my children that they would be loving and kind to each other. After that they were back to being kind and loving to each other.
I also framed my younger son's picture from when we went for a vacation to Boston. I think praying for our children is very important. We may or may not be able to bless our children with the best things that money can buy but irrespective of if we are rich or poor we can always pray for God's blessing upon their lives, for God to shape their character so they can be equipped to do God's work for His kingdom in this world.
I am making a gallery wall near our kitchen. I love gallery walls. To me summer has a seaside, beach type vibe to it because generally people go for vacations to the beach in the summer. So for this summer I want to put blue star fish, blue sea shells etc on this wall to give it a summery feel. It will also go with the blue paper with the pattern of stars on it.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42: 9

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

God is more than Good (Updated with Tidbits about prayer)

I really like Psalm 43. It says, "Oh send out your light and your Truth, let them lead me. ........Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him; The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 43: 3-5
In our church sometimes we say God is good; all the time; All the time, God is good. But I think that the statement "God is good" is an understatement because His goodness is amazing. His love is amazing. And the word "amazing" does not even come close to describing How good God is. The Bible tells us that the peace that God gives "passes understanding." That means it is beyond what we can understand. I think it is the same with the hope that He gives. It passes understanding and the goodness that He gives; it passes understanding. I praise you God. Then I think of all the people who reject God and I wonder, why would anyone want to not have this hope, this goodness and this peace in their lives. I don't understand that at all! BTW, this is a scrapbook page I made of my children and myself when we were in Tallahassee, Florida. I hope you have a wonderful day! Tidbits about Prayer One day, a long time ago, when my kids were 6 or 7 and 4 or 5 or so or maybe younger, I don't remember exactly how old they were but they were around that age I was helping out a lady who was teaching Sunday School. She was the lead teacher and I was helping her. After the class ended we were just chatting for a while and I may have mentioned prayer because she asked me what is prayer, how do you pray. For a second I was taken aback and shocked that someone who was a member of the church longer than our family, who was probably older than me and who was leading Sunday school, how come such a person did not know how to pray and what prayer was. So anyway I overcame my surprise at her question and explained what prayer meant to me. I think I also gave her a small prayer sheet of Moms in prayer international since I was part of a moms prayer group. That incident made me realize that not everybody who faithfully attends church knows how to pray. I love to pray and take everything in my life to God. God gives us hope for our life but if we don't know how to pray we cannot access that hope in our life. Jesus prayed a lot. He would wake up early in the morning and pray. If the son of God needs to pray I think, lesser mortals like us definitely need to pray. I feel sad that so many people come to church looking for hope but don't know the basics. Because there are many people who do come to church who are from strong Christian families and who do know how to pray and lead the christian life often everybody assumes that everyone else is also raised in a strong Christian family and knows how to pray. But not everybody does as this incident that happened to me reveals. So I decided to write on my blog some things I know about prayer. #1. A quiet place and a time you know you will not be distracted. we can pray anywhere but it is best to have a calm and peaceful environment when choosing a time and place to pray. It is best to find a time when there is not any demand for our time or attention. For me this time is the morning. Waking up earlier than the rest of your family will help you a lot in finding a quiet place and time to pray. #2. How to address God. In the Bible the disciples did not know how to pray and so they asked Jesus how to pray. Then Jesus said to them this is how to pray and said "Our Father in heaven, holy is your name, Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. we can use this same format to address God, so we can call Him our Father, then we can declare that He is Holy, because He IS Holy and then we can ask Him that He would make His kingdom come. His kingdom is a place where love, joy and peace reigns. When we are asking for His kingdom we are only asking for His love, joy and peace wherever we are. Then we ask Him that His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. We ask for His will because His will is the best. It is always better than our will or anyone else's will. He always knows what is best because He is smarter than us. After addressing Him like this, we can proceed to tell him our requests. We can bring any need we have to Him. We can pray for a job, we can pray for good health, we can pray for guidance in decision making, we can pray that our children do well in school, we can pray that our children become Godly and honor God, we can pray for our near and dear ones, our friends and family. Anything that causes us worry, stress or tension needs to be prayed and brought before God. After we bring our requests to God, we can Thank Him for answering our prayers. This strengthens our faith. For example, if you are praying for a job, we can first ask God for the job we want and then thank Him for answering our prayer because in our faith we already have what we are hoping for because we are confident about our heavenly Father's love and care for us. #3 Consistent and persistent in prayer Our prayer cannot be occasional. It has to be everyday. God is like our oxygen. Oxygen is what we need to breathe in order to live. Prayer brings God's presence into our life and so we cannot live without prayer because we cannot live without God. A life worth living is always with and in the presence of God. Do people live without God? yes, they do. But it is not a life that is worth living. With God, life can be so much more than what it is without Him. #4. Praying God's word over us. Reading the word of God is of utmost importance. The Bible tells us that man cannot live by bread alone but instead human beings live by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Just as bread, pasta, pizza, cereal, fruits and veggies nurtures and nourishes our physical selves, the word of God nourishes our spiritual selves. If we did not eat food we would starve to death. If we do not have the word of God we would starve as well. Another aspect to reading God's word is praying God's word over us. For example God's word promises us many things in our life. It promises good health, joy, peace, blessing, (which means a Godly type of happiness) etc. We can look for promises in the word of God and pray those over us. #5. Pray without ceasing. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. That means that all through the day we can pray. We can pray silent prayers always at the back of our minds as we carry out our various chores and responsibilities. This helps us maintain our connection to God who is the source of all goodness. #6 The Results of prayer The result of prayer is rarely dramatic or immediate although in some instances it can be. But as we persevere in prayer we will notice that slowly, surely, quietly, without fanfare, sound or fury God is changing things in our lives, answering prayer beyond our wildest imagination, always faithful and always trustworthy. Sometimes God's answer to a prayer request is NO. That does not mean that God does not love us or that He does not care or that He is unable to help us. It only means He has a better plan. But sometimes when we get No as an answer to our prayer we can be heartbroken. AT such times it is so important to know that He knows what is best for us and to trust Him.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

In Christ alone my hope is found (updates with picture of crepes I made)

I give myself and my children to God everyday. He is my refuge. I don't know if I am perfectly beautiful but in the Bible God promises to give me a beauty that does not fade away. The beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. I pray for that kind of beauty everyday. Sometimes I feel God does not love me at all. Then I need a word from God to help me believe. Also, the cards that I made yesterday are completely blank. Nothing has been written on it at all ever. God can write anything He wants on it. My kids also need God's guidance, care, protection and love in their lives.
Also, I made crepes this morning. In the Bible there is a description of Christ making breakfast consisting of fish for His disciples. So, I always wonder what Christ would like to eat in Iowa? I would love to make exactly what Christ wants for breakfast, lunch and supper. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cards I made and our Heavenly Father's love for us

Over the weekend I made these cards. I really enjoyed making these cards.
Yesterday was Father's day and so it made me think a lot about our heavenly Father's love for us. My earthly dad who raised me loved me and my brothers a lot. In my dad's eyes I am perfect. My dad encouraged me in everything whether it was running, painting, writing, reading drawing. No matter what I did it was perfect to my dad.
One day I felt my heavenly father was calling me into a deeper walk with Him. I felt a little scared. I felt my heavenly Father's presence following me through every room in my house. If I was in the kitchen I could feel my heavenly Father's presence there. If I was in the living room I could sense His presence there. I was not sure what my heavenly Father required of me. I had dreams and goals. I wanted to do MFA in the Iowa Writer's Workshop or I wanted to do a Ph.d in Victorian Literature. What would become of my dreams and goals if I gave my life and dreams to my heavenly Father. Then suddenly out of the blue I was reminded of an incident when I was 8 or 9 years old. At the time, one of my uncle's who was in the United States would send the Time magazine to another of my uncle's who was in Kerala. My dad loved reading the Time magazine and so one day while we were in my grand uncle's house (a beautiful house surrounded by trees) and I was looking at the cows and trees and chickens in the backyard my dad called me and said to me, (showing me a painting of houses in the Art page of Time magazine,) if I would like to paint a similar painting. I said yes. When we went back to our home, my dad borrowed that magazine from my grand uncle's house and bought me lots of paints, brushes, canvas etc and I painted that exact same painting. This made my dad very happy. My dad custom framed that painting and hung it in the living room. I had completely forgotten this incident in my life but my heavenly father reminded me of it and then said to me, Can you trust your dad? I said yes. Then He said to me then you can trust me. And suddenly a huge weight lifted off of me It did not seem that complicated. My heavenly Father, God is just like my dad. I can trust him.
Before the past five years I had assumed everyone's dad was like my dad. I thought everyone's dad cared, loved and was kind. However in the past five years, my heavenly Father showed me that not everyone's dad is like my dad. Some people's dad's abandon them. Some people's dad don't care or don't love that much. This leaves a terrible vaccum in their lives and we have to understand them and point them to the love of our heavenly Father.
Our heavenly Father's love for us is really deep. He loves us in detail. That was the insight I received yesterday. He does for us more than we can ask or imagine. An example of that is that I was unable to go for my cousin Anupa's wedding reception in New York, and I was sad about this because my cousin Anupa is one of the sweetest girls in this world. She had taken great trouble to attend my wedding when she was in high school. However I was unable to participate in her wedding. But my heavenly Father truly helped me participate through phone. My cousin Anupa, my uncles and aunts all called me and spoke with me, plus my older son and husband could participate in the wedding.
That and many other little little things my heavenly Father did for me made me realize that He knows, cares about and wants to take care of every detail of my life.
SO I want you to know, if you are reading this that you have a heavenly Father and that His love for you is very, very deep. It is deeper than we can comprehend. He cares about every detail of your life. Sometimes we look at the Bible verses about a father's love and we nod our head but don't really think it is true. Today, if you have doubts about your heavenly Father's love for you I want you to know that it is truly deep. He backs up His love with actions and it is so not empty words. My husband is also a very loving father to our two boys.
You can google verses about a Father's love if you don't know them already. I hope you have a wonderful day basking in your heavenly Father's love for you. (the Time magazine no longer has an art page)