Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Women in the Word Wednesday: Social Networking as a Christian Woman

Happy Leap Year Day, everyone!  As I am getting older, an extra day in the year seems pretty spectacular! I know it all evens out and why we have that extra day, but you know what I mean . . . I am making scripture signs every day to start up the Etsy shop, so I'm praying I can post about that in the next week!  Yay!

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to some wives at my church about forgiveness.  It was a scary topic.  Forgiveness is the core of the gospel, so it should be forefront on our minds and in our horizontal relationships, but SO many ladies said they felt refreshed talking about it.  They felt it is a topic often ignored.  I don't know if you have heard a message on being a Christian women and forgiveness lately, but it was a convicting lesson to write.

You too can listen to the message on audio here.  I have no idea why I keep clicking my tongue on the audio--it is a nervous habit when I am pausing or thinking in the lesson--ha, ha!  I have made a note to self if they ever ask me to teach again.

Back in 2010, I wrote the following post about Christian behavior and social networking on my Helpmate blog.  I have had a couple of friends asking for the link, so I thought I'd repost it today for Women in the Word Wednesday.  Enjoy!

Philippians 2: 14-16a "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life."
Ladies, if you are reading this blog, you have more than likely joined the ever growing population of Facebookers.  This relatively "newer" area of social networking has far reaching effects.  When we post a new status update, share a picture or comment in a thread, it is read by far more people than phone calls or face to face conversations ever affected.  Within seconds, people can learn about your day, your mood, your prayer requests, your needs, your questions, or your schedule.
With this new source of information and entertainment come responsibilities.  Being Christian women, our Facebook posts should look different from those of our non-Christian friends.  I have seen many uses for Facebook, and I want to explore some of the worldly and godly behaviors that result.  I pray this discussion will help all of us to think twice about what we portray, share and tell.

I Timothy 6:6  "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
First of all, many people can use Facebook to gripe or complain.  I am guilty of this.  If one of my kids comes down with something or I have a flat tire, I want to vent on Facebook.  I want everyone to know how truly horrible my day has been.  I believe that we can be real and share requests of challenges we are facing, but we have to check our motives and the attitude we are portraying.  If we are sharing practical needs, asking for prayer and seeking God's will in a situation, we should share away!  It is when we have a negative, discontent and frustrated tone that our post has wandered into sinful territory. 
This especially applies to what we share about our husbands.  If we are unhappy that our husband is late from work, don't write on your husband's wall, "Where are you??????  Dinner is ready."  You have effectively disrespected your husband in front of hundreds of people.  If you are telling a story in which your husband did something silly or stupid, don't post it!  No spouse want his wife to belittle him in front of others.  An example of this could be as simple as posting a picture of your lobster red son and the caption, "Johnny has quite the sunburn!  Jeff forgot to pack the sunscreen on our trip to the beach. Ouch!"  This sounds silly, but, for the sake of a laugh or chuckle, you have thrown your husband under the bus.  This is not godly, respectful or loving behavior. 

Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves."
Besides griping and negativity, Facebook can produce feelings of jealousy and bitterness.  It sounds extreme, but, ladies, how many of you have seen a post about a girls' night out you weren't asked to attend or have seen pictures of a shower or party to which you were not invited and have felt sinful, selfish thoughts about how you have been treated?  I know there was a particular day that I was sinning in my attitude against my husband.  Of coure, satan jumped on that and all my friends seemed to post about how their husbands had bought coffee for them or let them sleep in.  Pictures of flowers "just because" popped up everywhere, and before I knew it, my bitterness and jealousy were in full bloom--fed by my sinful thoughts upon reading Facebook posts.  On the flip side of the same coin, do not use Facebook as a popularity contest.  Don't compare numbers of friends, post about every social outing you attend to make people see how "popular" and socially in demand you have become.  If you think a particular social event was limited and small, you might want to just thoughtfully mention you had a good night out with friends.  Name dropping and mentioning events so you puff yourself up in your own eyes is never becoming for a daughter of Christ.

Psalm 12:3 "May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue."
II Corinthians 10:17 "But, 'Let him who boasts boast in the LORD.'"
This is a great transition to discussing how we can sin through bragging on Facebook.  We should share in great things God is doing in our lives and rejoice with our kids or hubbies when they are blessed with success.  However, again, we must check our heart motive before we post anything on our status update.  Are all our posts about how Johnny and Jane got straight A's again and got MVP of their sports team?  Do we read most of our wall and realize they talk about praising our kids, sharing our spouse's job promotion and talking about all the ways we served at church that week?  This is a gray area, and many posts of praise and rejoicing are just purely sharing good news with friends.  However, it is a fine line between that and bragging--be careful how you are portraying yourself.  A great way to check your motives is to make sure your boasts point to God.  We can better share success if we give all the credit and glory to God, making sure we know that all our abilities, blessings and possessions are His and His alone!

I John 2:10 "Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble."
Finally, a fourth area in which we must tread carefully is our reputation.  There are gray areas that might be better left off of your public wall.  Facebook can be used as a witnessing tool and way to shine light to the lost world, so you have to be overly cautious when you put anything on Facebook.  Why would you post a picture of yourself in that skimpy bikini for all of the guys who you have as friends to view?  Why would that picture of you holding a beer at that birthday party make it onto your photos?  We know that there are many activities that are not spelled out to be wrong in the Bible, but we can stumble others by parading our freedom to do these activities.  Be careful!  Your effective witness could be tarnished by a simple post that forever sticks in the mind of an unsaved friend.

Galatians 5:22-25 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
How should we behave?  Look at your recent posts and comments.  Are you sharing scripture?  Are you encouraging your spouse and lifting him up?  Are you encouraging a friend and strengthening her with Bible verses or sermon links?  Are you thanking the LORD for the blessings you mention in a post?  Are you, without a doubt, the aroma of Christ to those who are friends with you on Facebook?  Ladies, if we use Facebook correctly, it is one of the most wonderful opportunities to shine for God, encourage our spouse and build up friends!  Let us examine our hearts, and use Facebook, yes, even Facebook, for His glory!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bunco Night and Headbands

Today is my sweet niece's birthday.  She is seven.  Having two boys, I jump at the rare chance to make anything girly--ruffles galore.  So, though I bought her a present she wanted at the toy store, I had to make a couple of headbands for her!

I had leftover wool felt from my Thrive (our church's marriage ministry) leader wives craft night, and a pile of those elastic headbands that are great for exercising (or just being seven--or thirty something, for that matter).

I had no plan--just to experiment with glue and felt.  I ended up making 4 felt bows and tucking them into a ruffled strip of felt.  I don't sew, so I used hot glue, but those of you sassy sewers could whip this up quickly with a needle and thread.  The pictures don't do these justice.  They are REALLY cute!  I love when you have no idea what you are doing and it just works--whew!

I love grey felt too.  I don't love the purple headband with it, but it is for a SEVEN year old.  The store only had neon, bright colored headbands.  I am on the hunt for neutral colored ones now to make more.

I thought I'd model it--now I want one!

My favorite

Then, last night, Thrive had an all group activity.  Our amazing activity team planned an amazing night.  We have about 300 people on our ministry roster, so all group activities are big and FUN!  These nights are all about meeting others and just having intentional fellowship. 

We had about 100 people come to play Bunco.  What a great night!

I did much better than past years (three Buncos within two rounds!), but I still was waaaay behind the winners.  Here are some pictures of the night--the red hat is for when anyone yells, "Bunco!" 

Directions/Rule time

Silly hubby

Our activities leader, Justin.  He is THE funniest person you will ever meet.

Love this ministry!

Josh and Jenny

Table 1, the winner table, had See's Candy.  The loser table had vienna sausages, pickled tomatoes, kiddie chairs and sailor hats.


This is our WINNER of the night--Diane.  I have NO idea why, but she is sitting at the loser table in this picture.


Megan got Bunco!

Andrea got a Bunco!

Go Josh!

DJ Darren--our friend Darren had fun playing music, keeping us energetic and chair dancing.

Ice cream sandwich break!

A blurry picture of me wearing the Bunco hat

Megan's score card!

Figuring out the winners

It was a ton of fun!

Happy weekend to all of you!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scripture Art

I will post more details about what I've been up to soon, but here are some examples of scripture art on canvas that I've been making . . . Look for an Etsy announcement soon!!!  Plus, Calico and Cupcakes is at 200 followers, so I will soon host my first EVER giveaway to win a scripture canvas piece.Yay! Stay tuned . . .

Monday, February 20, 2012

San Diego Mini Trip and Craft Night

Our family was needing a little fun, so we took advantage of the long weekend and headed to San Diego for one night. 

We love San Diego.  It is only an hour south of us, and there is so much to do with the kids.  It is our go-to vacation spot for weekends away, along with the Palm Springs area.  Of course, there is Sea World, the zoo, Balboa Park, the wild animal park, and Legoland, but we just wanted a mellow, cheaper trip this time around. 

We still did a ton of stuff--Old Town for Mexican food, the Gaslamp Quarter for dinner, Coronado Island for park time and a visit to the beach, Boomers for some mini golf, swimming at the hotel pool, and Seaport Village for carousel rides and kite flying with the boys.  If you aren't from California and you ever visit, definitely spend a lot of time in San Diego.  It is clean, pretty and has tons to do!

I got home in the afternoon, and I started setting up for a craft night I was hosting that evening.  In the hustle of the night, I didn't get any pictures.  Insert a big frowny face here. 

Fourteen of our leader wives in our church's marriage ministry came over and we made Dahlia pins like this--you can see a picture of my first Dahlia pin I ever made, which I love other than the bright polyester felt I used.  I have made several of these and been happy, but my pin from last night was not my favorite.  I had nice, cream wool felt, but I made mine too high, rigid and stacked.  I am going to try to improvise a little bit next time.  Have you made these before, and do you have a trick?

The craft night was great, and everyone's Dahlia pin was a reflection of their personality.  I loved it!  We had lots of fellowship and chocolate to help us enjoy the night even more! 

Yesterday, I had the thrill!  I came running downstairs to show my husband, and he just blinked at me.  He didn't get it--maybe you will!  I found a project off my blog on pinterest.  I didn't pin it, I didn't search for it, and it wasn't pinned by someone I knew.  I had a legitimate pin off my blog onto the Pinterest site--and it had 32 repins just from that one person's pin!  When you are a little blog, it is the little things, folks.  It made me smile!

Today, hubby is home for the holiday weekend, and we are getting odds and ends done.  The boys are playing in a homemade fort upstairs, Ry is practicing a lesson he is giving on I Peter  this week, and I have an impressive load of laundry to do.  Tomorrow I'll get back to crafting for the airplane party and share some more projects.  I also have recorded last night's newest Downton Abbey and can't wait to sit with a cup of coffee and find out what is going on in post WWI English manor life.

 Enjoy your long weekend!
Squinting into the sun in San Diego .  .

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Silhouette Print and Cut tutorial: Airplane party lunch tags

I am the first of my hometown buddies to buy a Silhouette.  A few people own a Cricut, but I get questions about the Silhouette all the time.  What is it?  How is it different?  Do you like it?  What exactly does it do?

I thought it might be fun to take pictures of a print and cut session to show people an example of what the Silhouette does and looks like.  As many of you know, I am throwing my soon to be 3 year old an airplane party.  He walks around the house talking about airplanes all the time.  He is just a teensy bit excited!

I wanted to print and cut the "in flight" lunch box labels for the party, so I am designing, printing and cutting those today.  Join me!  You do not have to print designs for the Silhouette to cut.  You can just cut out shapes/outlines/letters, etc. (no printer involved), which is the first task I learned on the Silhouette.  You simply take the downloaded shape on your computer, size it the way you want, send it to the Silhouette, and it cuts the shape.  You can cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric and more.

I have made vinyl letters for signs and paper letters for banners.  I have cut out shapes for Christmas decor.  I have cut out tags and various shapes for present cards, party tags, etc.  It is my favorite crafting tool.

I bought these DARLING aqua polka dot boxes from Polka Dot Market to hold each lunch for the party.  We are doing a vintage airplane feel for the party, so the "boxed" in-flight lunch was a cute play on that.  I will make little sandwiches, have a bag of chips and add clear cups of fruit. My colors are aqua and orange--so fun!

First, I open the Silhouette program on my computer.  Here I have my computer plugged into the Silhouette.  There are no cartridges to buy for the Silhouette.  Every cut, design, and project comes from your computer.

I had made some circular tags, but I am not over the moon about them.  I will create some new ones for this tutorial.

I first copy my downloaded "ticket" shape (I used these for the invites) onto my blank computer page and "ungroup" the shape.

I remove the airplane shape and delete the rest.  I can resize the airplane to fit into an outer label shape.

I pick a classic, scalloped square shape to be the outline of my labels.

I use the font tool to add the word "lunch" in an "Airplane" font I downloaded for free from Lovely Little Snippets.  I found the link on Pinterest.  I place the airplane and font inside the square and size them.


At first I did everything in black because I was going to print the design on orange paper.  I did a print and didn't love it on the orange. 

I decided to do orange fill paint in each shape and print it on white cardstock.  (Sorry, I didn't take a picture of this, but just click on the shape you want to fill (select it) and then click on the paint can at the top.  Pick your color and you're done!).

On the Silhouette, you need to make sure you check the box "show the registration marks" to print.  This will help the machine to accurately cut the design you are printing.  Here is the screen BEFORE I checked the box.

I also took the one shape I designed and just hit "duplicate" until I filled my page. 

When you choose how the machine will cut your design, you want to select the inside shapes (ungroup the entire design and select each part).  Check "no cut" under the cutting style window.  Then just the outside label will be cut from the printed sheet.  The dark pink line is where the machine will cut.

I printed the sheet on my printer.  The scalloped lines are light since they will be cut.
I put it into my Silhouette and had it read the registration marks.  It got to work and cut out the labels.

I took each label and some teal ribbon I bought at Costco for the spring season.  I wrapped the ribbon around the box and then added my label. 

Perfect!  They are a cross between a suitcase and a boxed lunch--just the look I wanted.

Since I broke down all the steps, it sounds much more complicated than it actually is.  It just takes a few hours of playing with the Silhouette program to grasp how to use the different functions, and they have a great tech support you can call for help.

I'll show you more projects as I prepare for the party.  I still have so much to do, but I'm having so much fun!

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