Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cake Waffles

 Are you bored with the same old cake? Done with the usual breakfast waffles? Combine the two and you've got the cutest, easiest, most original dessert ever.

And you don't even need a recipe. Just make a boxed cake mix, orange deamsicle in this case, and heat up your waffle iron.


 Two good-sized spoonfuls will make a full, beautiful waffle.

Then you get to be creative and cover your cake waffle with all sorts of lovely toppings. In just a matter of minutes, you'll have about five of these tasty treats. Cut them up, top them and enjoy!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fear Not!

Repetition can be a very good thing.

Whenever words and phrases are repeated in the Bible, it's for a reason. These are ideas that the Lord is trying to drill into our heads because we're going to need them. And sometimes it takes more than a few repetitions ...

Take the words "fear not," for example. They appear numerous times throughout the Scriptures, and they are often given in a time when morale was low, tensions were high and anxiety was running rampant. Sound like anyone's life you know?

Here are just a few of these "fear not" verses:

And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake. Genesis 26:24

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. Exodus 14:13

Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. Numbers 14:9

Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you. Deuteronomy 3:22

There are four examples from the first five books of the Bible alone! So think about these circumstances - times of uncertainty, days when it was dark and moments when the enemy seemed larger than life. Those were the moments when they most needed to hear the words "fear not" straight from the Lord.

Chances are you've been through these fearful times, are going through them now or will be in the future. That's just how life works. But knowing where these verses are can give you courage, focus and motivation to make it through to the other side.

I challenge you to do a study this week of how many times the Scriptures say "Fear not." It's an exciting adventure in trusting in the Lord.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Sketch

Here's a fun sketch to play with this week! And there are just a few basic parts:

* A solid background color
* A subtle patterned paper
* A bar across the bottom
* A matted phrase or image
* Two embellishments

Pick your theme and then find one of everything on this list. A little balance, a little creativity and a whole lot of color and you'll have a beautiful, interesting card.

For this Mother's Day card, I picked white for my background color, a lovely spring patterned paper and two colors of card stock. The card stock words coordinate perfectly with the flowers, and I added two swirl paper clips from the home office department.

It doesn't take a difficult sketch or lots of parts and pieces to make a dramatic card.

This card, along with many other Mother's Day and Christian cards can be found in our Etsy shop. Come visit us at www.stufffromtrees.etsy.com.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Handmade TV Stand

Ok, I have to brag on my husband for a few minutes. He is an amazing man and is incredibly handy. The newest piece in our living room is proof of that.

I had been looking for a dresser that I could upcycle into an entertainment center, but it's been a very difficult search. I moved the bookshelves that we had in this spot, and we got a television as our Christmas present to ourselves.

But the dresser and entertainment center were elusive. Finally, Danny said, I'll just make you one.

And so it was decided. In just a matter of days I had this beautiful, handmade, lovingly crafted TV stand. It's the perfect size and the perfect color.

I'm absolutely in love. With the stand and with Danny!

And that's my 1936 miniature Cathedral radio there. It's one of my favorite pieces we have.

Now, Danny says, he can make a short version of this table to use as an entry bench. I'm so excited! I'll keep you up to date.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Are You Listening to Understand Or To Reply?

I know a couple of women who will finish my sentences for me - with the beginning of their own sentence. It often makes me wonder if they actually heard a word I said or if they were already thinking of a story of their own.

And unfortunately, I sometime do it myself.

What we need to do, often on a moment-by-moment basis, is think about whether we're listening to understand or listening to reply.

It's fine to reply to someone. That's what having a conversation is all about - give and take, listen and respond. If you don't, it's a pretty boring conversation.

But if that's all you're doing, just thinking about what you'll say next, you're really missing out.

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. Proverbs 1:5

And how can you learn anything if you're not really listening? If we're listening to understand, we have to put forth a conscious effort. It's an effort to put someone else's thoughts and feelings before your own. You may have something really great to say, but does it really trump what's already being said?

What if your patiently listening to someone else is a life-changing experience? For just a few minutes, you can give someone your undivided attention, and that includes interjecting your own thoughts. How rare that is in today's society. You could be the sounding board that helps someone analyze a problem, find a solution or just vent without having you take over the conversation.

It can also be a life-changing experience for you. Imagine getting outside of your own head for a little while. If your brain is like mine, it's good to shut down and listen to someone else without jumping ahead to your own story or your own comeback. There are so many more viewpoints out there than mine, but I'll never hear them if I'm busy thinking ahead about myself.

So ask yourself today: Are you listening to understand or listening to reply?