Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tuesday Morning

It is a chilly morning here in South East Kansas.  A cold front came through last night with storms, and we went from air conditioning to the heater. 

This week has already started out busy with appointments and calls and errands.  I think tommorow's tired is calling today!  So, it is a definite coffee morning followed by some hot matcha tea.  Whatever it takes to keep going today when the warm blankie calls!

This morning I'm reading out of Joshua 24.  The famous verse from there is still just as good today as it was when Joshua said it...."choose you this day whom ye will serve...". With the world the way it is, at times it can be very easy to slide over and go with the crowd and serve the god of this world.  There's so much available material wise that looks so good, that commercials say we can't live without.  There's only one thing those commercials don't advertise, and that's the ONLY thing we can't live without.  That's Jesus.  He's the only thing you can't buy. 

I'll be the first to admit I have to remind myself to keep choosing Jesus over the world.  When my eyes dart to the things of this world that are comfortable and rich and cozy, sure I want to go that route.  But it isn't what Jesus says to do.  The wide road is pretty comfy, with lots of rest stops and Marriott hotels and limo services.  Jesus didn't tell us to go the wide road though, but to stay by the straight and narrow.  No hotels, no rest stops, just a straight route to Him.  This verse in Joshua 24:15 snaps me back to reality on the things I create too.  Should I try to quickly produce pieces that appeal to a large audience, or make items that bring focus to Him even if it limits my audience?  The answer to me seems clear, but I tend to drift off course at times.  I find much joy in stitching things that one would associate with modesty, femininity, Scripture, and so on.  The other items that are easily produced and can be found a dime a dozen, not so much.  I want to point people to Him through my work, and I do get pulled to the direction of what would profit more at times.  The flesh still fights.

How are you doing today?  Pull up a seat and enjoy a hot cup of tea and/ or coffee with me, and let's enjoy a peaceful moment together.😀

Monday, October 2, 2017

Early Morning

It is early morning in rural Kansas.  Today is a Monday, and while the pot of coffee perks on the stove I help hubby get ready for an early clinic he is doing in Ottawa, Kansas.  I am thankful he is willing to do these early days in order to help take care of us.

I've done some Scripture reading as he prepares for a long trip to his clinic, reading through I Corinthians on how our body is a temple.  At this time of morning I believe my temple needs rebuilt.  It has cracks and creaks and it's crumbling in places.  We won't discuss the odors from the back of the temple.  It's mornings when I'm feeling older than I am that I wonder why the Holy Spirit would want to reside in this imperfect body.  There's days I don't want to reside in this broken down body.  But one day soon we will have new ones in heaven and there will be no more pain and swelling, arthritis, nerve damage, etc.  I'm looking forward to that day!

Today is a typical day here.  Kids go off to school, then there's laundry to work on, dishes to do, errands to run, bathroom to clean, meals to cook, and settle down this evening with my needle to continue sewing on a tiered peasant skirt.  There will be more in between the chores of course, as things always come up. 

I have now enjoyed a pint of coffee from my Mason jar.  I don't think it's enough.😉

You all have a great day in the Lord!  I'll see you later.....

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Evidently I'm in the midst of a growth spurt.  Not physically, but spiritually and emotionally.  Hopefully not physically--the only way for me to grow that way is sideways. 

In the past few weeks, a friend has inspired me to start deep cleaning again.  Granted it's a little interesting to do while on a cane sometimes, but it has been making progress one day at a time.  The other day I did the dining room.  I tore it up, tossed contractor bags of junk, moved the big table and chairs, and rearranged everything.  It looks nothing like it did before.

The way I positioned our filing cabinet, it is close by to hold some cookbooks and bibles on top.  It is close to my side of the table (I planned it that way), as is a basket weave styled drawer set for holding medications.  I am able to stow my big study bible there, in easy reach, for early morning reading.  I'd gotten out of this practice for a long while, of grabbing my bible and having some quiet time in the morning.  Now, after doing the rearranging and deep cleaning, I can sit with a hot cup of coffee and read through Scripture in the dark morning hours before everyone is up and getting ready for school.  I've started keeping index cards close at hand, in different colors for grins, and pretty colors of ink pens, and with those I've been writing down verses that jump out at me.  Some of these I intend to embroider later for a more permanent means of seeing them, but the index cards work for now.

Starting the day with the bible has made a difference.  It has a calming effect.  Don't get me wrong, there are stresses through the day.  That comes with life in general, and with our special needs family it's a given.  I feel like I've been growing up a little, maturing spiritually as I get to dive more into my bible.  Maybe it's because I am turning 40 in the next week that I've started focusing on growing up...who knows.  I've been reading more from older women who teach on being a keeper at home, and listening to older pastors' sermons as well that tend to go that direction.  The things I've been reading, they are not politically correct, but are biblically correct.

It's been a little uncomfortable with the growing.  I've had to have a little chiseled off from the rough spots.  Some attitude has needed work.  Did you know that chisel hurts? 

This is something I think we should be doing more often...growing a little more, smoothing the rough edges, and letting God do the work He needs to do in us.  I know I sure need to do this more often.  Will it make the world a better place?? I have no idea.  But it will make how you handle the world different than how you did before.

How have you been growing in your walk with the Lord?

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Back To Writing

I have missed writing!!  It's been a long while, and I've thought of so many things to write about but didn't get time to put thoughts to blog. 

I have taken off some of the weight.  The scale says I'm at 382, and my size is now a non stretchy 16w top and 18w bottom.  I'm very close to normal sizes and evidently gaining muscle with more activity. 

I have stayed with the Contract to help with the weight loss.  The first month was rough.  There were side effects and wow were they strong.  But, those have subsided and things are going well.  I can focus on things instead of feeling scattered.  I don't have the feeling of wanting to eat all the time whether hungry or not.  It has become a tool to help but isn't a cure all.  I still must control what goes in the mouth. 

With the weight going down I have been more active despite pain.  The knees still hurt, and some days are still on the cane, but I still do more.  I do cleaning of a building other than my home, and spend a lot of time on my feet in general.  I get a lot more work done than I used to. 

We now have a 16 year old in the house.  The oldest child turned 16 last Sunday.  I feel old.  Granted he is my step son, I still feel old.  The next one is 15 and then 13.  They have grown to where we are letting them share a pay as you go phone for emergencies and texting.  It seems like yesterday they were little bitty.

How have you all been doing??  I've missed you all a lot!! 


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Learning To Lean

The past months have been chaotic.  In our house that is nothing new.

Hubby started working in nursing again, which has dramatically increased our food budget and is paying down debt fast.  It is even gaining insurance for now.  The insurance has been helpful, in that I have been able to find what has been wrong with joints and causing pain.

Back in October I hurt my left knee.  It was just a simple thing, twisting it while weight bearing.  It went untreated for nearly nine months before we got private insurance and being able to get xrays or potential MRI.  It has become painful and to the point I had to use a cane in the past weeks.  I suspected a cartilage tear but had no proof either way.

This past week I finally had opportunity to go to an orthopedic surgeon.  I had high hopes, that maybe I would find out what is wrong in the joint and options on how to deal with it.

Oh no.  It couldn't be that easy.

As soon as the doctor saw my weight, he laid into me about it while saying "I'm not judging you.". Now, when folks say that, what are they doing?  He showed me the knees on xray and told me all the bad things I have done to them due to weight.  He treated and talked to me as a subhuman instead of simply telling me he couldn't help until I lost weight.  Insults and demeaning someone doesn't make a situation better.

I did learn both knees are bad, both have spurs.  The one that hurts has lots of spurs, new bone growth under the knee cap that isn't supposed to be there, next to no cartilage left, and what I have is torn.  The right knee had surgery 13 years ago and the cartilage repair took hold then.  It has arthritis but nothing like the left.  Hearing that part makes sense why pain was significant and weight bearing was very hard.

The doctor mocked me about my pain relief....I use naproxen to help with swelling.  I guess I was supposed to use controlled meds or something.  I do not ask for pain meds.  He also told me to lose 100 pounds.  I asked him what are my options after I lose that 100, and he just walked away.

So, after tears of frustration, I gathered up resolve and thought some very un-Christ like thoughts, and decided to meet the challenge.  The goal now is to lose 100 or more and send pictures to the doctor before/after and show him I could do it, and get the knee fixed elsewhere.

Since I want to do this in a healthy manner, I saw my primary office and got the OK to start a pre-bariatric surgery type diet, with high protein, low carbs, low low fat, and low calories.  I was also given a medicine to try to work on the on/off switch in the brain where appetite reigns.  It is a combination drug called Contrave.

I am 4 days in to the med and diet, and I am grateful the Lord has allowed the med.  It has taken the desire to eat and the switch for "full" goes off fast.  Protein shakes made at home is the main course, and have been using Trim Healthy Mama recipes.  Their shakes and sippers are tasty!  I have allowed an apple, a salad, and that's about it for solid foods.

Slow and easy is not the goal now, it is "get it off so knee can get fixed".

On advise of my dear friend, I started a page on Facebook called " You Can Do It".  It is supposed to be encouragement for myself and others who are losing weight too.  It can be found here:  You Can Do It  .

So, that's just a small part of the world here at the Abella house.  How are you doing?

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Walking in Prayer

Lately our women's Sunday School class has been learning more on prayer, like what it is, what we should do, etc.  This has been a good lesson, and definitely something to think on

I hadn't given it a lot of thought til then.  I  mean, throughout the day it's nothing to have a talk with God about things that go on.  If I waited til the end of the day, I'd forget a ton of stuff to talk to God about.  So, while doing housework or quilting or whatever, I talk to God.  Sometimes it is little trivial things, like "Lord, what do ya want me to do about supper?", "Lord, help me find such and such", and then sometimes it's about the kids or hubby or other family/friends.  But, it still pretty well goes along with 1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.

George Mueller has come to mind a bit this week.  For those who don't know who he was, he was a German immigrant to England in the early 1800's, educated in Wittenburg, and began orphanages in England.  He relied on God to provide everything from lodging to meals.  He had a giant faith and a prayer life that I'd love to have.  

This has made me think...do we really pray for everything?  Do we trust in God for everything?  If not...we should.  

Years ago, I learned a lesson on faith and trusting the Lord in taking care of needs.  As a baby Christian then, I had no clue how to pray much beyond "help me!", and yet the Lord took care of legal matters, food, shelter, health, job, etc.  I know how it feels to be homeless, penniless, jobless, etc and have a child in tow.  I know how it feels to have a home but nothing in the cupboard as well.  But...I also know how it feels to have faith in the Lord and know that He will provide, all we have to do is ask.  

Philippians 4:6 - Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

John 15:7 - If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Did this happen all overnight, learning to trust and pray?  No.  It took, at least for me anyway, 13 years of the Lord showing Himself in answering prayers in ways that I least expected.  He still shows Himself in the prayers asking how I will take care of the needs of the family when money is non-existant after bills are paid, how we will handle situations with special needs, how we'll handle this or that.

Don't get me wrong, I've had my share of freak out sessions when it's been a reaction to information or situation that comes up from what seems as nowhere.  Sometimes it takes a reminder from Pastor or Ms, Jane, or from my long time friend Susan, or from an online friend, or even a hymn heard on the radio...to put the focus back where it belongs and quit freaking out over things, that God is still in control.  It's so natural to worry...we women do that rather well...but He is still in control.

I look up to people like Mueller and Elizabeth Elliott (see quotes on the side) who have a long time testimony of faith.  One day I would like to be among their midst.

Have you prayed today and talked with the Lord and asked Him for your daily needs?

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Latest Obsession

It took me a while to figure out I hadn't been here in a long time.


I've been working on quilting.  It has become an obsession of sorts.  It's been growing into a monster, that has me working at increasing skill and accuracy, as well as trying to learn designing.

In the past few months I've completed a few quilts by hand, and just this week completed 4 quilt tops for a ministry, with a couple more to go and then quilt them (most likely machined).

I also even completed a log cabin cross quilt by hand that I'd started last spring, and it is hubby's lap quilt now.  Then, out came the hexagon quilt I started 4 years ago and put away last spring when it got too hot to work under while hand quilting.  It's been getting a few stitches a day lately to work at getting it completed this year.

Last summer I was blessed beyond all measure with a half of a room full of fabric, as well as lots of cotton shirts and linens and so on that were given to be used in quilts for missions and charity.  I'm trying to make good and make plenty, as well as learn more along the way.

That's the fun part--the learning new techniques and designs and blocks and so on!

Right now I'm in the middle of learning how to reduce patterns, from full sized blocks down to mini blocks to make little quilts.  We're talking baby sized and below.  I love working with tiny pieces--yes, I'm odd lol.

You can see all the work that's been going on while away from here on my Instagram account at the top of the page.  You'll even see a cute cat or two that helps me.

I only wish there were more hours in the day so I could do quilting/piecing on a full time basis.  I have so many ideas to put on paper and make to designs that it's like an adhd moment with them all running around willy nilly.

What have you been up to lately?  I've missed you all!!!!

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!: Star Struck!

Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!: Star Struck!: Stitch a "Star-Struck" Quilt! (Click HERE for printer-friendly .pdf file) This quilt is Sew ...

I've been busy making quilts, and planning on doing at least 6 to 10 this year, minimum of 6 new ones.  I've fallen in love with the scrappy looks from Bonnie Hunter, Thimbleberries, and Little Quilts designs.  

Most of my time has been spent with the needle and thread working on hand quilted quilts.  The current one is to go to a raffle, and the next is one I finished the top to and started quilting on but put aside to work on another project...this year it will get finished!  There is a 3rd one to finish, one I started as a Grandmother's Flower Garden back in September of 2013.  It's still pinned and partially quilted.

This has become an obsession, creating soft comforts from fabrics of all kinds, from the brand new quilter's cottons to the recycled shirt and everything in between.  I've recycled battings, pieced new batting from scraps, used fleece, etc as well.

This year my goal is to work more precise, take my time and make sure all is done well, and to use inspirational embroideries in my work.  There are some Australian pattern designers, such as Elefantz Designs on Craftsy, that have sweet patterns that are economical and take you back to your bible.  I like that!

To see my work, look through my Instagram account, with the name Sunny Patch Cottage. I don't use the big camera much anymore, just the little one on my cheap phone.

Happy New Year!  May it be a good one!

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