God’s message for Jesus while on the cross?

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, hung on a cross between two criminals.  All 3 were to be put to death. Jesus’ torture prior to the cross was  especially brutal but His suffering went beyond the physical.  Among other things, He was mocked, humiliated, abandoned, and treated unjustly.  The degradation the Son of God took upon Himself was enormous, as He took the sin of humanity upon Himself.

As Jesus was nearing His last breath one of the criminals spoke.cross

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:39-43

 

I can not imagine a criminal having this revelation in the natural and telling the other criminal,  “Do you not fear God?  We are being justly condemned and getting what we deserve. ”  No, I think there is more to this.  I get a strong sense  that the Father was speaking to the Son through the mouth of this man hanging next to Him.

I could imagine the Father saying,

  • Son, you have done everything right.
  • My Son, rest assured, you will soon be with me in the kingdom once again.
  • My Son, remember the divine reason for which you are doing this, this man will be the first of many to enter the kingdom because of you.  The job is almost complete.  The way is almost made.

There have been many times when I have been in need of a strong word of encouragement and it came to me from an  unexpected source.  When this happens to me I believe it is the Divine reaching out to me, encouraging me, helping me, prodding me on to the finish line.  If God can do that for me, why not for His Son that was in dire need of  encouragement?cross-of-stone-small1

How about you, are you sensitive to God meeting you in unexpected ways?  Do you know that God can use you to speak His words of hope and blessing to those around you?  God is amazing.  I believe when we are sensitive to Him, and the way He moves in our lives, He does so even more.

God longs for relationship with us.  He longs to communicate with us and bless us.  This was the purpose of the cross.  To make a bridge between us and God so that we could be in relationship with Him through His Son Jesus.

If you are not familiar with Easter/Resurrection Sunday, it is a holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which occurred three days after his crucifixion at Calvary.  For the whole account you can read Luke 22 to 24  HERE.

john 3 16Happy Easter.  May you have a very blessed day.  I hope you saw a different side of God and the Easter story as you read this post.

Leslie Rose K

 

A surefire way to reduce anxiety, worry and stress

Recovering soldiers knitting

Recovering soldiers knitting

Before I started homeschooling my daughter in the 7th grade,  I was never anxious for her to go back to school after summer break.  She is in her last year of college and I find I have not changed.  After Christmas this year she was ready to rush back to school and three more weeks of winter break.

She lives off campus in an international house where she is very happy.  I however, was somewhat crushed to see her run off.  After the busyness of the holidays and traveling, I felt as though I had hardly spent any one-on-one time with her.  Seeing my disappointment she decided to stay a little longer and spend some quality time with mom.

IMG_3250

My daughter, paddling off…..

I was grateful to have her all to myself for a little while.  While we were in my sewing room she began to complain about me not making her anything.  Mind you, I have made this girl a twin quilt, a scrap quilt, a full size quilt for college and numerous other smaller items.  I told her, find something you like, I’ll make it.  Within minutes she found a lovely pattern in my new quilt magazine Primitive Quilts and Projects.  With her birthday just three weeks away I had to get right to work.  She picked out some flannel and wool she liked and I was off and running as soon as she left for school.

This project took my mind off the fact that she was cutting the apron strings a little more.  I think she was subconsciously preparing us, herself included, for the day she will leave on a year-long internship (if all goes according to planned) or move out on her own.  It is coming soon and rightly so, we trained her for this, but it does not make it any easier.

Ahhh, but the project, the lovely project, working with soft wool and flannel was so soothing.  Tracing the pieces , ironing them onto the wool, cutting them out, all quieting thoughts about an uncertain future.  Then the sewing, stitch after stitch, repetitive but relaxing.   I know not everyone would find this enjoyable.  You may even think I am crazy.  The fact remains and it has been proven, that creating something is a way to get good feelings flowing .  It is a way to soothe and calm the soul.this is your brain on crafts small

In her article This is your brain on crafts,  writer and embroidery artist Lisa Borgnes-Giramonti explores this very subject.  I found it very interesting that in WW I soldiers were taught to knit  as therapy.

ca. 1918-1919, Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DC, USA — Bed-ridden wounded knit to help pass the time. Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DC, ca. 1918-1919. — Image by © CORBIS

ca. 1918-1919, Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DC, USA — Bed-ridden wounded knit to help pass the time. Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DC, ca. 1918-1919. — Image by © CORBIS

Let me highlight a few main points from the article for you:

  • Psychologist Robert Reiner says, “crafting can decrease your heart rate and blood pressure and even improve sleep.”
  • Reiner says, “your breathing takes on a regular pattern, which shuts down the body’s anxiety-producing fight-or-flight response.”
  • Psychologist Robert Maurer says ” When the mid-brain is engaged by repetitive movement ….the temporal lobe is unable to focus on worry or stress.  The cortex which controls conscious thought becomes quiet and peaceful.”
  • Stitchlinks in the UK organizes knitting groups for people dealing with depression and other health issues.  The director, Betsan Corkhill says, “When concentrating on a pattern, you’re required to be so present in the moment that you can’t worry about the future. Even physical pain fades into the background.”

Some testimonial quotes from Stitchlinks:

  • “I am convinced that the repetitive meditative and creative aspects of knitting was what has gently helped me back into a more fulfilling life. I have absolutely no doubt that knitting daily for over six months ‘reset’ my brain in some way….
  • “It is so meditative. I sit and knit and am lost in my own quiet world. It brings me an enormous boost in self-esteem, making beautiful garments, bags and shawls that people praise.”
  • “Knitting requires me to think creatively, to plan, prepare, organise, co-ordinate and control just one small aspect of my life. Then any other changes are manageable.”
  • “On a bad day, I can think about projects. On a good day, I can work towards realising them.”
  • You can go HERE for many other uplifting testimonial quotes.

A few more interesting facts to keep in mind:

  • If you have struggled with the solution to a problem or with trying to recall something, taking a break to craft may provide the distraction your brain needs to find the answer on its own.
  • Giving away your creation provides addition pleasure.
  • For all of us with unfinished projects, it does not matter if we never finish the project, it is the process that brings us the calm and a variety of sensory pleasures.

So, the best thing my daughter could have done for me was to commission the pillow she wanted for her birthday (along with staying the extra day and a half).  It soothed my mother’s soul that is still in a bit of a transition as my only child moves ever closer to graduating college and living on her own.

The pillow Pattern from Primitive Quilts and Patterns

The pillow
Pattern from: Primitive Quilts and Projects

That’s not all, as I wrote last time in A Key to Living a More Enjoyable Life, the benefits for helping those of us living with lupus and/or other autoimmune diseases can be significant.  The key is, to find something you might enjoy, if you have not already found it.

As we have seen from this post, it doesn’t matter how good you are, or if you even finish the project.  It is in the process, as long as you enjoy what you are doing.  Cooking, gardening, reading, crossword puzzles etc are also acceptable things to try.

So like I said last time. Curious minds (me and the other readers) would like to know, “what do you do to soothe your soul or what are you getting ready to try?”

Until next time….happy crafting.
Leslie Rose K
FOLLOW ME HERE ON PINTEREST
The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.-William James

A key to living a more enjoyable life.

Here we are again, another winter storm on the way.   With the frigid weather I have stayed in most days working on my quilt projects. IMG_4114 When I was sick with a chest cold a few weeks back my husband doted over me for a week, for fear I would end up in the worst possible place-the hospital.  I spent my time reading books and magazines and kept busy the best I could-in spite of not feeling well.  An article in one of the magazines got me thinking about a life changing event I would like to share with you.  Please bear with me if some of this is redundant for some of you.

Each issue of Quilter’s Newsletter magazine, has an article where 4 people respond at length to a certain question.  The question for Feb/March 2014 was, If I could spend a day with a quilter.  I expected people to write about well-known quilters and was  surprised to see that each person wrote about someone who had passed away, someone who impacted their life with quilting.  My thoughts immediately flew to the person who first introduced me to quilting over 30 years ago.  Tears came to my eyes as I thought of my friend, Linda.

IMG_1691

My first quilt. Early 80′s.

I met Linda in my early twenties.  She was just a few years older than me, an  elementary school teacher, who loved “tag-sailing”, and collecting antique things.  Her house was like a museum.  The most memorable thing about Linda was her laugh.  She was one of the happiest people I ever met.  Her eyes even laughed.

Not long after I met her, Linda gave me a personalized quilt block for my anniversary.  I was very intrigued, having never seen anything like it before.  As a result, she offered to show me how to make a simple 9 patch quilt block, like the one in the sampler. (top row, middle block) After her  lesson, I went on to take a quilting class.  Mind you, this was before all the time-saving tools we have today. The class was challenging, but I stayed with it.  In the end, I had this sampler that I still treasure.

Strangely enough, after having made a few quilted items, I gave up quilting for several years to make and sell a variety of hand-made items.  I eventually returned to quilting after remarrying and having my daughter.  I took more classes, and made new friends.  Even though I was busy raising our daughter, and doing child care, I made time to quilt in our cramped little bedroom.

Sewing the binding on my daughters quilt in my tiny sewing area

Sewing the binding on my daughters quilt in my tiny sewing area

After we moved to PA., Linda and I kept in contact mostly at Christmas. This went on for over a decade until one Christmas I received a phone call from her companion telling me Linda had passed away from pancreatic cancer.  I was shocked, and very sad for her 3 children, and for all those who loved this vivacious, happy woman.

Linda’s illness came on her suddenly, her suffering was great, but short.  For many of us, living the rest of our lives with the effects and unpredictability of lupus can be discouraging, even overwhelming.  My purpose for blogging is to encourage us, to plow ahead, into perhaps uncharted territory, and rise above this disease that would seek to rob vitality from our life.  Quilting has helped me in this area.

For me quilting:

  • has helped foster friendships I wouldn’t have otherwise

    Stitch n' Peace Quilt Group Gettysburg Pa.

    Stitch n’ Peace Quilt Group Gettysburg Pa.

  • improves my brain and self-esteem
  • helps me develop persistence, patience, and purpose
  • helps me dominate illness in my life
  • gives me much pleasure, relieves stress, and boredom
  • fills my home with many treasures I get to enjoy

Quilting has allowed me to:

  • show people how much they are loved as they receive a one of a kind gift

    One of the baby quilts for Japan

    One of the baby quilts for Japan

  • send  messages of love and hope to Japan after the tsunami
  • bless babies in Romania at Casa Shalom, and here in Pa. at Tender Care Pregnancy Centers
  • earn money for our family by making doll quilt sets for many little girls

I would love to have the chance to:

  • show Linda my little photo album documenting my journey of quilting.
  • To show her how my abilities have slowly improved over time.
  • To thank her for the wonderful friends I have made.  To tell her how they have helped me grow as a person and  in my ability as a quilter.
  • tell her how crucial quilting has been in helping me rise above the effects of lupus
  • I would like to be able to properly thank her.

We never know how we will impact someones life, and then in a domino affect,  other lives. Working with my hands has been a true lifesaver for me.  Do you have a passion? Or, maybe you are ready to try something new?  Whatever the case, use it to enable yourself to rise above the effects of lupus and make life more enjoyable.dominos

In all fairness, I cannot end this post without recognizing the other people who  were a huge influence in this area.  In high school,  I had a strong inclination toward art, which my father and step-mother were very quick to foster, in the brief time I lived with them.  They really believed in me, which I think gave me confidence to  create in my 20′s.   To this day my step-mother is quick to encourage and support my endeavors, offering wisdom along the way.  And I can’t forget my mother, who has become my biggest quilt cheerleader over the last 10 years. Thank you Dad, Ginny and mom.

In the meantime, borrowing a phrase from Wendy Sheppard, an amazing quilter I follow on-line at Ivory Spring, curious minds want to know, what do you do to dominate your diagnosis?

Until next time,
Many Blessings, Can’t wait to hear from you….Leslie Rose K
For more inspiration  follow me here on PINTEREST.
 
Let the favor  of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands! Psalm 90:17 ESV
 
 

Entering 2014 with a challenge?

Happy New Year!  As we enter 2014 I am certain we all face some sort of challenge.  In our little family, guidance and wisdom areguidance key needs starting 2014.

  • Guidance as my husband considers career adjustments and looks for new employment.
  • Wisdom for me in several different areas.
  • Direction for our daughter as she graduates college in May and has many changes to look forward to.

For some readers,

  • courage and hope are your key needs starting out 2014. You are facing challenges bigger than yourself.
  • Perhaps health and strength are your key  needs at the start of this year as you cope with the physical needs of lupus and lonelinessother autoimmune diseases.
  • Maybe friendship and family are areas of need.  There may be a void in your life or healing that needs to take place.  I could  go on  but I think you get the picture.

What is a person to do?  After the celebrations end and life falls back into the daily routine, where will we find help for the key concerns in our life?  For me, the starting place is always God.  I simply cannot handle the big issues of life alone. The people close to me do not have the ability to soothe all the inner stirrings of anxiety, doubt or what have you, in my soul.  My prayers usually start by explaining the situation to God, even though He already knows.  They are usually short and to the point, but consistent, until the situation is resolved.

Even though the answer  is not always what I want or expect, prayer helps calm me going through the situation.  I do not feel so alone inside with all my feelings, fears, and apprehensions.  People are great, but for me, nothing soothes my soul like leaning on Someone bigger than myself.god-of-all-comfort

Whether or not you deal with the challenges in life the way I do, I sincerely pray that you have

  • all the resources you need to meet your challenges in 2014, and that you will have a good resolution.
  • I pray you will have wisdom and guidance when you need it.
  • I pray you will be courageous and filled with hope as you meet every challenge.
  • I pray you will find increased health and strength to live life more fully than last year.
  • I pray your relationships will thrive this year and your family will have peace.
MANY BLESSINGS FOR 2014
Thank you for following this blog and for your encouragement which usually came at just the right time. 
Leslie Rose K
 
From Wisdom From God’s Word  1/1/2014
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.   Isaiah 40:30-31 ESV

run

The Lights of Christmas

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is to sit in the darkened living room enjoying the Christmas tree lights.  We have  big old-fashioned bulbs of all different colors, not the  new LED’s.  Our lights give off deep color and are nice andch lights bright.  For the last three years it has become difficult to buy replacement bulbs. One year I found blue bulbs, the next year green and this year red.  I will miss  these lights when they no longer work.

Enjoying the lights has such a calming effect on me.  It does not seem to matter what has gone on during the day the lights shift me into a different mood.  My friend finds such calm and cheer in the lights that she started using them year round in her home.  Not a bad idea if you ask me.

Our tree

Our tree

What would a Christmas tree be without lights?  As a Christian it makes me wonder what this world would be like without The Light of God shining  bright in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Before I came  to relationship with Jesus I did not live in a very bright world.  There was not a lot of hope in my world.  That all changed in one day.  I have never had to worry about The Light being extinguished.  The Light of the World did not take all my problems away or give me a carefree life.  It did dispel the darkness, give me hope for the future and peace that passes my understanding.walk-dark-light-5

So while the Christmas tree lights are pretty and have a calming effect there is no comparison to how The Light of the World can impact a life when we Let Him.

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with the Light of Christ.
Leslie Rose Knativity
 PS I would like to invite you to stop by Wisdom from God’s Word and check it out.  Each day I share  verses from the bible with a photo and usually a short prayer. It is a great way to start the day. I hope to see you there.

How to Manage the Holidays and Stay Healthy

This year Thanksgiving  snuck up on me. I found myself scrambling to get my in-laws’ Christmas gifts,  decided, bought, and wrapped, in time for our trip at Thanksgiving.  With Thanksgiving wrapped up,  the push was on to get ready for Christmas*.

This year the shortened time between both holidays and  the bad weather has people working even harder to get ready for the holidays.  There must be some frazzled and frustrated people out there.  I know I have had my moments.holiday shopper  The Big Three* can wear any one down, and make life more challenging for quite sometime, whether you have  an autoimmune disease such as lupus or not.

While the end of the year is a great time with family and friends, decorations and music, great food and gifts, there is also the shopping, the deadlines, the spending, the excess food and drink, and the endless running around.  If you have lupus this can add to flare ups, more fatigue and sleeplessness, many “I wish I had not’s”, and extra medication.  If you don’t have lupus, it could still lead to trouble.

How do we avoid these things without avoiding the Big Three*? Have you heard the phrase-all things in moderation?  Most of what we are doing, we want to do, and need to do, but it is easy to  go overboard.  My tip in three simple words is Abstain from Excess.  Excess being the key word here.

  • Abstain from all excess activity.  Activities we have no spoons for (see The Spoon Theory).  The activities that will push us spoon theoryover the edge or that are not really necessary.
  • Abstain from excess indulging.  Excess food and alcoholic beverages, anything that will make you feel sluggish, bloated, headachy, or ill.
  • Abstain from excess spending  that will cause stress for the next few months of 2014.
  • Abstain from excess stress.   This will look different for each one of us.  What besides the three areas above cause stress that wears us down and even takes us out? What demands do we put on ourselves that are unnecessary?

I think you get the idea and probably have more to add to the list.  The goal is not lists of things we cannot do, but rather how can we modify or simplify what we do so that we can stay as healthy as possible, and enjoy the holidays.cooking

  • Enlist help. Having a party?  Make it a potluck. Ask one or two people to help get the house ready.
  • Find shortcuts. Shop on-line, purchase gift cards, magazine subscriptions, etc. shop on line
  • Save.  Stick to a budget.  Shop the sales.  Kohl’s is great if you have their card.  A painless way to save for Christmas is to let your credit card rewards build up all year.  Start your own Christmas Club and put money in every paycheck.bank
  • Be consistent. Try to stick to your normal sleep schedule, exercise, and eat right, as much as possible.  Have some good protein before indulging and drink plenty of purified water.

I hope this helps.  I pray you are enjoying the season as much as I am this year.  It is great to know my daughter will be here celebrating with us.  I am enjoying the decorations and the gifting process.  I am looking forward to baking some cookies and seeing  family that I have not seen since last Christmas.  My little niece is walking and my nephew is roller-skating.

Praying that your holidays are filled with lots of joys big and small, and that you are well enough to enjoy it all.

Many Blessings Leslie Rose K

PS I would like to invite you to stop by Wisdom from God’s Word and check it out.  Each day I share a verses from the bible with a photo and usually a short prayer. It is a great way to start the day. I hope to see you there.

*The Big Three:Thanksgiving; Hanukkah,Christmas,Kwanzaa etc.; New Years.

30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 30

Here it is, post 30 of the series.   I bet in the beginning you did not know where I was heading as I wrote about Susan Boyle and Bob Hope.  Part way through I said to my husband, “why didn’t I do 20 posts of enCOURAGEment instead of 30?”  The goal was daunting at times but  I  learned  a lot.  So how do I wrap this up?  What words of encouragement do I have for you?

Encouragement can come in many forms, from all sorts of places and people.   Recently someone tactfully pointed out to me, that perhaps I was missing some of the encouragers God has put in my life.  I knew she was right.  It is so easy to get sidetracked and feel as though we are moving through life alone and unnoticed.  We have to constantly bring ourselves back to reality.

How do we remedy not noticing the encouragers God has given to us?

  • Contemplation: spending quiet time thinking about the different areas in life and the people that have been or are there to encourage us along.
  • Documentation: Get out your gratitude journal or start one and write out the thoughts of gratitude for each person on thegratitude-journal list.  Document how they have encouraged you, what that meant to you, and how it made you feel. This can be broken up over the course of days or week.  Gratitude journals are not to be rushed through.

What do we do from there?

  • I try to thank people for encouraging me, helping me or blessing me in some other way.  I try to be as specific as I can.
  • Sometimes I will send a note or email thanking them.
  • On occasion a gift may even be in order.Gratitude-Image-440

Why bother being grateful? Alex Korb , Ph.D. in his Psychology Today article discusses the impact of gratitude on the brain.

  • One study showed “young adults assigned to keep gratitude journals showed greater increases in determination, attention, enthusiasm and energy compared to the other groups.”
  • Another study showed “even a weekly gratitude journal was beneficial.  Subjects assigned to journal weekly on gratitude showed greater improvements in optimism.”
  • a third study found that “higher levels of gratitude were associated with better sleep, and with lower anxiety and depression.”
  • They found that “subjects who showed more gratitude overall had higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus. This is important because the hypothalamus controls a huge array of essential bodily functions, including eating, drinking and sleeping. It also has a huge influence on your metabolism and stress levels.”

Gratitude should definitely be in the arsenal of tools we use to help us reclaim our lives after a diagnosis of lupus or other autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Korb says, “Gratitude requires an appreciation of the positive aspects of your situation. It is not a comparison. Sometimes noticing what other people don’t have may help you see what you can be grateful for, but you have to take that next step. You actually have to show appreciation for what you have, for it to have an effect.”

I think it is time for me to get my Grace Journal out again.  This time I will be targeting the people God has placed in my life to encourage me in one way or another.  What perfect timing with Thanksgiving just around the corner.  Won’t you join me in the next few weeks and do the same?  The benefits are powerful and will give us strength for the busy holiday.

While I will continue to write this blog, I am going to add a second one titled Wisdom from God’s WordClick here for background information.  Wisdom from God’s Word will simply be daily verses from the bible that will hopefully encourage you and help you on your journey.

I am grateful for you my reader.  I am grateful for the strength and ability to have been able to write this blog for the last 3 years.  I 4507324am grateful for the people who have encouraged me along the way. Thank you. Leslie Rose K

Gratitude-on-Purpose

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