Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Catching up on Creativity

OK, so a few months ago, I talked about this "52 Weeks of Creativity", and while I have been keeping up with actually doing a creative project every week, I most definitely have not been keeping up with posting is a quick catch-up:

Week 4(a): My mother-in-law found this cute valance at Pottery Barn Kids for $3.50. But since we have two windows in Jadon's room, I had to get creative with how to use it!...
Week 4 (b): Add to it the fabric from a few extra receiving blankets, a clear vinyl shower curtain, and a cheap sewing measuring tape, and whala! A measuring tapestry.
Week 5: After consulting several friends, I decided to forgo the diaper genie and use all those extra grocery bags. But I needed a place to store them in Jadon's room, so...some extra fabric, ribbon, and a few little animals I broke off of a cute little "coat rack" Jim's sister gave me. I drilled holes into them and sewed them on like buttons.
Week 6: (Spoiler alert!) We made this beaded serving spoon in MOPS. Cute and easy...So, if you're related to me, you just might find something like this in your Christmas stocking...
Wek 7: A different sort of creativity...Jim and I spent 2 days with our director from To Save a Life doing some major work on our new script. Our dining room was filled with posters like these diagramming characters and their motivations, plot, conflict, etc...It felt like being in my own English class--but way more intense!
Week 8 (a): This was Jim's when he was a kid. His aunt did an amazing job embroidering it. However, it just didn't work in Jadon's room...
Week 8 (b): So I pulled out the power tools and some creative "fudging", and got the following result:
Week 9: Jadon's cousin Kylie turned 1, and since I "learned" how to make balloon animals in Haiti this summer, I volunteered to be a "balloonist"...Then I realized, I should probably practice. So I spent an afternoon watching online tutorials, and came away with mad skills! I can do a butterfly (usually), a flower, a dog/giraffe/other animal with 4 legs, a fishing pole with a fish, a sword, piece d' resistance: (I learned it under pressure at a little boy's insistence!) a radio. Yes, that's right, a radio. :o)
Week 10: Jadon has a ton of extra receiving blankets, so I sewed 2 together, and then embroidered and sewed on this little monogram, so his blanket will be labeled when he goes into the nursery at church.
Week 11: I really liked how the monogram turned out, so I made another one for (and added some exterior pockets to) his diaper bag.
Week 12 (a): I've been wanting one of those waterproof outdoor blankets, but because they're a little expensive, I thought, why not try to make one myself? I had already bought this green flannel throw for $2.50 on clearance after Christmas last year, and then found the leafy shower curtain at Target for $10. Unfortunately, they have different elasticity, and I didn't take my time to keep the green blanket from it ended up a little funky. But I still like it. And of course, why not add another monogram, while I'm at it ;o)
Week 13: Decorating for Christmas is a whole week of creative fun!
Week 14: I've been wanting to do this project for a few years, and finally got around to it! YAY! Every year for Christmas, I use clothespins to hang our Christmas cards from ribbons, and I wanted to embellish them. I found these cute little mini ornaments at Walmart for $2 for 6. I love them!
Week 15: This week, we hosted our annual youth volunteer Christmas party. Feeding 40+ people and figuring out how to cram them all into our house definitely took some creativity!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why I LOVE My Husband

Early this morning, Jim walked into our room where I was cuddling with our precious sleeping son and told me he needed to read me something out of the book he was reading during his quiet time with God. It's about Christians' response to the AIDS crisis in Africa, and he proceeded to read about a 17 year old girl whose parents had died of AIDS and was now walking 2 1/2 hours to work EACH way, EVERY day, so that her two younger siblings could eat and go to school. It was as if Jim was reading verbatim one of the storylines we have created in the newest movie script we've been working on--except this was real, not conceived in our heads in the comfort of our American home. And her story is not unique. At 17, this girl was one of the oldest living people in her village--all the other adults had died of AIDS. It was a village of orphans, doing their best to survive in a harsh world that wants to take advantage of them. As Jim finished reading it, his eyes brimmed over with tears. "Rache," he said, "This is why we've got to do this..." Like our last movie, this isn't just a fun project we work on because we have too much extra time on our hands. No, real lives are at stake. And if we don't do something, they will die.

After he went back downstairs, I quietly opened my Bible, hoping not to disturb Jadon (the world's lightest sleeper!). God showed me favor, and I continued my journey through Psalms. After reading a few, I couldn't get past the end of Psalm 62.

Verse 11-12: "One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done."

My God is strong, and he has the money and people and resources and actors that we need to make this movie impacting so that we can rescue a generation of dying 3rd world orphans and apathetic 1st world teens. He can release those resources to us in a moment, so we pray that he will indeed do so when we are ready for them...

Because my God is loving, and he loves the orphans and teens more than we ever could. And beyond just seeing them healthy and well fed here and now, He wants to see them all join Him for all eternity.

And because our God is so strong and loving, we will press on to do our part in His plan.

What a great reminder. Especially in this Christmas season. I love Christmas--the lights, the decorations, the smells, the cookies, the family time... But as I fret over what Christmas gifts to buy, and how to store all the decorations, and how to get everything done, etc. I have to remind myself, in the grand scheme of things...Who cares?!

James 1: 27 --"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widos in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."