Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Sometimes I don't think I realize the depth of my sin or the darkness of my own depravity. I don't think I realize the depth of my nation's sin or the darkness of it's depravity either. In my head, in a cognitive sort of way, I understand that I don't measure up to the Lord's standards for my life. I also understand that my nation has completely turned it's back on the Godly sorts of principles our founding fathers put into place at it's beginning. I know that I am prideful, really selfish and ridiculously frivolous. I know greed, wastefulness, idolatry and self-centeredness runs rampant in the streets of America. As a result of sin and it's effects, I know my neighbors are dying, suffering, and living in bondage.

I'm just wondering why I feel so numb about it all lately.

I've heard people say that it's really hard to be repentant or broken when everything around you is "life as usual." I've had moments of feeling ruined, but for some reason, it hasn't lasted long. Since my life is posh and comfortable, since I have food on the table and in my refrigerator, since I have cash in my wallet, since I am healthy, since I can go to the grocery store or the mall or the internet and have anything I feel like I want in a matter of seconds... Even though I cognitively recognize that things are broken, I don't feel broken. I don't feel like I'm in need of anything, and I don't know the meaning of being totally desperate. I don't realize how in need I am of God's mercy, of His kindness. I don't know how to be totally, completely, and desperately repentant.

I have been praying that I would be more repentant, and especially, that I would feel more repentant. I am growing a little scared about praying that prayer, though, because I am realizing that to be truly repentant, the Lord might choose to bring me to a place of great need, brokenness and desperation. Yikes. The good thing is that, throughout my life, God has proven Himself to be a good, good Father. Every hard thing He has brought my way has been worth it. And, as a bonus, He gifts me with strength to stand in the midst of whatever happens. Score.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cricut Project

Oh, I have been crafting up a storm lately. Here's one of the the latest projects... My sister-in-law and her husband just adopted a sweet little girl from China. I made these pictures for her new nursery... And it's was so simple, thanks to the Cricut! If you look at the close up pictures, you can tell they are layered pieces of scrapbooking paper. If you are able to beg or borrow your way to using a Cricut, it can become a crazy fun and cheap way to decorate. Loved working on this!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Trades: Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash

As promised, here are some more trades we've made in the last few months. I KNEW you were dying to hear about them... :)

About Column 1: I was using John Frieda's Brilliant Brunette shampoo and conditioner, and I loved it. I think I mostly loved the smell (warm and vanilla-ish), and was happy it made my hair shiny. I was also using St. Ives body wash...mostly because it was cheap and smelled nice too. Anyway, I did a little bit of research and found out a lot of the chemicals that are used in personal care products are pretty dangerous. To find out more, visit: http://www.myvillagegreen.com/blog/?p=61. You can also find out how your own personal care products measure up by visiting: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. Mine were 6's...10 being the most dangerous.

About Column 2: I switched to Burt's Bees Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash. (4's, according to the cosmetic database.) Big mistake. I held out my hand to squirt some shampoo into it. By the time I could get my hand to the top of my head, all the shampoo leaked between my fingers. It is crazy thin and watery stuff. It also makes your hair feel like a bale of straw. Very attractive. I'm stubborn and cheap, so I was determined to use it up anyway. Let's just say that, in trying to get the shampoo to the top of my head quickly without it running through my fingers, I had to master a small circus feat in the shower every morning. You have to use a ton of conditioner to get a brush through your hair, so I don't recommend that product either. The body wash is fine. No huge complaints, but didn't love it either. My last complaint is that it runs between 8 and 9 dollars for a measly 12 ounces. Not cool.

About Column 3: Cue the confetti and balloons... The Yes to Carrots brand is fantastic. (2's on the database!) You only have to use a little bit of shampoo because it's crazy sudsy, and, imagine this, it stays in your hand...all the way to the top of your head. The conditioner smells clean and soothing...kind of reminds me of a nice smelling baby. The body wash is great too. My hair feels great, it's shiny again and I can get a brush through it easily. AND...it is reasonable. Target sells a 17 ounce (that's pretty big, folks) bottle of shampoo, conditioner or body wash for 9 dollars. Keep in mind my old John Frieda stuff was about 6 dollars for an 8.5 ounce bottle. Not that much more expensive, if you do the math.

I will also throw in a small recommendation for Target in general... If you want to find reasonably priced organic or natural personal care products, they are a great main-stream store to go to. Wal-Mart, not so much. :)

The moral of the story, just say YES...to carrots, or cucumbers or blueberries. Visit there 'just awesome' site here:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Golf Tournament Design

I am in designing mode again! I'm working on a brochure for an upcoming Young Life trap shoot. In the meantime, here is the Young Life golf tournament brochure that I finished up a few weeks ago.

The black lines are where the paper folds to make a tri-fold.

PS - Is it weird that I'm really bothered by how the lime green of this brochure in my post is going to clash with the turquoise/minty green in my blog's homepage? Gross...

Left to right: inner flap, back, front

Inside of the brochure, unfolded.
Special thanks to Minuteman Press on Marion in Sioux Falls for their fast, affordable and quality printing. We love you, Tom!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Trades: Migraines for Exercise

Last fall, I was having tons and tons of migraines, and feeling crappy in general. I finally gave in and started seeing a Christian chiropractor that happens to be passionate about everything natural and organic. When he and his assistants rambled on about natural tree-hugging sorts of things, I would roll my eyes and make fun of them in my head.

Now it's your turn to roll your eyes and make fun of ME, because I (of all people) am slowly becoming a natural tree-hugger myself. Crazy, right? I should also mention that since January, I have had ZERO migraines, which I attribute to lots of prayer, the healing power of the Lord, and...tree-hugging.

Although I thought going natural would be hard, expensive, time-consuming and really inconvenient...I have been pleasantly surprised. There are SOME things that are pretty stinking easy. I will start to post some of my most recent trade-offs. Aren't you just so excited?? Stop making fun of me in your head...

The picture above is my first trade. Thanks to the Lord, I traded in migraines. Now, I have enough health and energy to work out around 4 times a week. I HATE working out with a furious passion, but I am working on determination.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Something's Different

I just can't get enough of Fox News, CNN or NPR lately. I don't have enough hours in my day to read all the blogs and websites about our financial crisis, earthquakes around the world, trouble in the Middle East... I can't wait to put new documentaries on my Netflix queue. Someone take my temperature.

I have never cared about the news or current events. I always chose the Food Network over CNN, Narnia over the newspaper, crafting and foodie blogs over Flash Traffic, and Prison Break over any documentary. Always. I can't even remember if I voted in the last election. Seriously.

But now, everything's different. I'm not sure when or how it happened exactly, but my life has really changed. For the better? Yes, absolutely. It doesn't feel very comfortable - I'm confused about a lot of issues, scared about some things, angry about other things. I don't know what to do with all I'm learning, and I have a lot of questions about it all. But yes, I believe my life is better knowing all of these things. I am ruined and repentant, knowing my sin has led to brokenness in the world. I am motivated to pray, to stand in the gap for people and for nations. I am called to be a watchman - learning to piece together what's happening in our world and how it relates to how God is moving. I am becoming more courageous in sounding the alarm.

For years, I've been running around with my fingers in my ears and my hands over my eyes. Yikes. Now, God is challenging me to be attentive. He is asking me to be a good listener. He is encouraging me to take the brokenness of the world, and His plans for it more seriously.

I'm not in a place of gloom and doom. I am in a place of watchfulness. I am seeing more of the world's brokenness, but I am also seeing more of the Lord's hand moving in powerful ways. It's a great and terrible place to be. (Joel 2, Malachi 4)
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