Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tomorrow

I have to tell you, I had no idea what to expect when I announced opening my designing and teaching doors last week. God has sent encouragement in many different ways throughout the last 10 days, and I'm so thankful for all He's done.

To celebrate the opening, I'm giving away the winner's choice of a premade design, and today is the last day to get in the drawing. If you haven't entered and you want to, be sure to go to this post and leave a comment. Sometime on Sunday, May 1st I'll post the winner.

I've added some more information about the premade layouts--stuff like how many columns each layout has, if there's a navbar and which layouts have post dividers, making them great bargains. ;-)

Oh! Almost forgot... I'm at Clash of The Titles today with an interview.

Happy Saturday!
Hope you get to get outside some today!
Hugs all around.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Time to Pour Out

With all this rain we've had, our well has flooded. Repeatedly. But that's not a big deal because it tends to happen once or twice a year, so we just plan accordingly and draw enough water to last us a few days, bleach the well and move on, drinking the water we drew.

So this morning, as it grew darker instead of lighter, thanks to more rain moving in, I was reading in 1 Samuel and came to this:
The Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you.” They gathered to Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” 1 Samuel 7:5-6

The phrase “drew water and poured it out before the Lord” caught my attention. Drawing water is something I've been doing it since my years in Ecuador where we were careful to keep water drawn because we never knew when they'd turn off the power and water, and it's something I'm still doing when I see storms rolling and water rising. But why did they pour it out before the Lord? I thought maybe it was part of a ceremony that I had missed in the times I've read through the Bible, but as I cross referenced it, look what I found...



Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.

~Psalm 62:8
Arise, cry aloud in the night
at the beginning of the night watches;
pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord;
lift up your hands to Him...

~Lam. 2:19


Then I turned to my commentaries and the gist of it was that it was a sincere prayer, an unleashing of the innermost thoughts and emotions and sharing them with the Lord.

It made me stop and think about all that's going on in my life right now. Sometimes I feel like it's as crowded with jugs as my counter was. It made me realized I hadn't poured out much water before the Lord recently. I was carefully clutching it to myself, scared I'd drop something important.

Just like I drew the water to be poured out and drunk, I need to pour out my soul to God as Hannah had (1 Samuel 1:15) and as Israel did. And look at the results of their sincere repentance and prayer: The Philistines attacked!

I bet that is NOT the response they were looking for from God! I bet that I kinda understand their feelings to some small degree. In my mind, the enemy's attack shouldn't follow my repentance, yet so very often it does.

Thankfully, the account doesn't end there!
Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistine drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel. 1 Sam. 7:10

God fought their battle for them. And I have a feeling God's thunder is so much more than the thunder that's been rolling around here, and the rumbles in my life.

God's response and protection came after they had poured out all that water, all those innermost thoughts and emotions and sincere prayers, before the Lord.

I don't know about you, but I have some pouring out to do...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Preview


It's that time of year again when all the Easter plans, practices and rehearsals are coming to a culmination. Since moving to FBC, my family has been involved with the Christmas and Easter presentations, and what a tremendous blessing that's been!

Here's my youngest, four years ago, trying on a Roman soldier's helmet. I can't believe how much he's grown in only four years!!



Today I'm posting at The Barn Door about one of my favorite Easters.  I hope you come and join me there and see how this transformed into a presentation that gave some of chills!


For those of you who attend FBC, it will be a walk down memory lane to that first Easter presentation.

And just to show you what four years has done to my family (because I can and because I'm amazed at the difference!) here we are then...
Easter 2007

...and now...

Easter 2011
 What a difference four years makes!!
Hope you have a wonderful Easter! (And don't forget to join me at The Barn Door! AND if you scroll down, there's an opportunity to win a premade blog design.)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm Designing! & Blog Design Giveaway

For months, I've toyed with designing blogs and websites for others. It's something that I absolutely love doing and something I've considered part of my ministry. This month it's become part of the answer to a problem and it's so cool to see God's hand in it, preparing and leading me, especially in these last six months. What a great God of detail we have!

Today I'd like you to celebrate with me as I officially open my design and teaching doors. To help celebrate, I'm giving away the winner's choice of a premade design. Leave a comment to be entered into the drawing and the winner will be posted sometime on May 1st. =]

Want some extra entries in the drawing? Each time you share this link on Twitter, Facebook or on your blog, I'll throw your name in the drawing again. (Yes, I'm on Twitter.) Email me when you do. patty at pattywysong.com.

Click here to see some sites I've designed, recommendations and pricing. Not only are there blogs there, but there's a couple of websites, too. These are hosted on Blogger, but I am working on Wordpress now too.

Do you want to learn to work on your own blog? Click the Blog Workshop tab for details. I teach a 4 week class, Clearing the Blog Fog, that's email based (yahoo group). It teaches how to set up and customize your site. If you don't need or want the whole class there's tutoring and all now I'm offering workshops in webinar format so you can see what I'm doing on my screen as I talk through it. So far I have workshops on how to make blog buttons and headers, which have learning how to work on Paint.net, a free option to Photoshop, as a great perk. ;-)

Another thing I've added is a selection of premade layouts, offered reasonably. I'll even install it for you. It's one of these I'm giving away. ;-)

Designing and teaching like this will enable me to work from work—something that has become necessary at this point. God is so good to give me something to do, something I LOVE doing and that I can work on it at home.

If there's something you're looking for but don't see, ask me!

Premade Layouts

These premade layouts are ready to go. Just drop them in place and you're ready to roll. Don't know how to drop them in or are you out of time? I'll do for it you, just select the layout + installation option. I'll also put your blog/site title on the header for you, in the colors and font shown. If you want to add your own text, I'll send it to you without the text and let you add it yourself. =)

O'Fallber
O'Fallber has a NavBar, 3 sidebars columns (a wide one and two skinny ones underneath) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too. Comes with a post divider as a bonus feature.

~*~*~*~

Summer Stripes
Summer Stripes has a NavBar, 3 sidebars columns (a wide one and two skinny ones underneath) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too. Comes with a post divider as a bonus feature.

~*~*~*~

Tumbled Blue
Tumbled Blue has a NavBar, 3 sidebars columns (a wide one and two skinny ones underneath) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too. Comes with a post divider as a bonus feature.

~*~*~*~

Scriptie Scrollie Sophisticate
Scriptie Scrollie Sophisticate has a NavBar, 3 sidebars columns (a wide one and two skinny ones underneath) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too. Comes with a post divider as a bonus feature.

~*~*~*~

Spring Plaid
Spring Plaid has a NavBar, 3 sidebars columns (a wide one and two skinny ones underneath) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too. Comes with a post divider as a bonus feature.

~*~*~*~

Water Daisies
Water Daisies has a NavBar, 4 sidebars columns (a skinny bar to the left of the main post area, and a wide one to the right with two skinny ones underneath it) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too.

~*~*~*~

Purplie Pastelie
Purplie Pastelie has a NavBar, 4 sidebars columns (a skinny bar to the left of the main post area, and a wide one to the right with two skinny ones underneath it) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too.

~*~*~*~

May'd for Plaid
May'd for Plaid has a NavBar, 3 sidebars columns (a wide one and two skinny ones underneath) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too.

~*~*~*~

Marbled Green
Marbled Green has a NavBar, 3 sidebars columns (a wide one and two skinny ones underneath) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too.

~*~*~*~

Summer Clouds
Summer Clouds has a NavBar, 4 sidebars columns (a skinny bar to the left of the main post area, and a wide one to the right with two skinny ones underneath it) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too.

~*~*~*~

the work of Thy hands
"The work of Thy hands" has a NavBar, 3 sidebars columns (a wide one and two skinny ones underneath) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too.

~*~*~*~

AquaFreeze
AquaFreeze has a NavBar, 3 sidebars columns (a wide one and two skinny ones underneath) and three columns across the bottom of the page and a full-width column, too.

~*~*~*~



Layout with or without Installation:


Monday, April 18, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours

Last week was a humdinger! I wish I could say I've not been blogging because I've been reading and popping bonbons, but that's not the case.

Two doozies in one day is more than enough for anyone! The nice one was learning our heater/ac was no longer repairable. How can that be nice? Well, our repair man happens to be a friend we've referred a lot of work to and he gave us a super-duper deal on installing what we needed to get us some heat (it was COLD part of last week!!) and ac going again. I am so very thankful for him!!

Since our air handler thingie is in the attic, I had to clean out the attic so the guys could have room to work. Ay yi yi. Such fun. My house has been trashed (again) from head to toe and it was awful. Just yesterday we blitzed on it between lunch and running out the door for Easter rehearsal so it's much better, but it still has a ways to go.

In the midst of all that mess that big storm rolled through, leaving us with damp, rainy days, which is when our kitchen sky light decided to leak. Now, I can hear some of you grumbling about sky lights always leaking, but ours don't. Jim is very good at what he does and he custom made these for us. They're big and they don't leak and haven't for over 10 years. Earlier in the week they covered them for the summer (we had no ac then and before the storm it was getting hot in here so that was a quick and easy fix to cool things down) and didn't see anything wrong... but something's up. We had drips at three of the four corners, so he had to find out what was going on.

With all the other repair going on, one more patch in the ceiling didn't matter. LoL. This was just too good to pass up. He found where the leak originates and will get it taken care of.

It was just one of those weeks. In some ways it was that final straw that pushed us to some more changes here. Please pray for work for Jim. It's been a very long haul the past few years. We want God's best job, in God's time and way. I know God supplies for our needs. He's been doing all these years we've been self-employed, but it appears the self-employed days might be over.

Another change is that I'll be working. From home. Doing what I know: blog and website design. Teaching it and hiring my services out and designing for others—something I've been doing for about 3 years, without pay, but seasons change. I love designing and teaching so I'm excited about the plans I've been working on this weekend. God's been pouring ideas into my head and as soon as I get things on paper I'll let you know. God confirmed this decision the very day we made it and He opened my queue. What a great God He is!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Called vs. Offering

In this month's ACFW course, Terry Burns is teaching a class that changed my life last year and started me down a path that still surprises me. A path where I have to use my mouth instead of my pen—which is NOT easy for me! I'm a wall flower and I love being one. One of my favorite places is the airport because I can just sit and people-watch. It's one of my favorite past times and at the airport no one thinks you're shy or worse yet a snob because you aren't talking to anyone.

One of the points Terry made this last week in the class is that of being called to write vs. your writing being an offering to God. It's a topic that made me do a lot of deep thinking last year, and now I'm doing it again this year.

A big part of me says writing is my offering to God. But peace hasn’t come with that thought. Yet it scares me to death to think that God called me to write. There seems to be so much more responsibility with being called. Yes, regardless of called or offering, your writing must be your best, but being called deals with God's purpose for you. Sometimes I hope that being called to write (if indeed I am) is about what God has for me to learn because let's face it—I learn and think best with my fingers on the keyboard or a pen in my hands. But then I see my thinking and laugh. The world doesn’t revolve around me. I’m here to bring glory to God, to fulfill His purpose for me. Could a call to write be for something as simple as what it will teach me? Does it have to go further than me and the files on my computer or my journal?

For fifteen years I tried to ignore the feeling that God was calling me to write and it just about destroyed my family. It seems that writing isn’t an option for me—as much as I’d like it to be. Life would be so much simpler if I weren’t trying to juggle four teens, one grade-schooler, marriage, homeschool, computer work, and writing. So much easier! But the best things in life usually are NOT the easy things, and God didn’t call us to a life of ease.

Not all of us here are writers but I think the same principle applies. Are you called to what you're doing or is it your offering to God? Does it make a difference in how you do things?

So tell me, do you see there’s more responsibility if you’re called to write (or whatever it is you're doing) vs. it being your offering to God?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Learning Curves

They can be painful sometimes, yanno?
(This is one of my favoritest pictures! My husband often says to eat your frogs first so you can enjoy the rest--meaning, do the thing you're putting off  so you can enjoy the rest of the day.)

Last week I ate my frog—something I've put off several times—and I installed Wordpress on a site. That was the easy part. (Which had me wondering why I let something so minor stop me.) Then, when I finally figured out how to get to right place, I installed a new template, which was also easy. THEN I opened up editor (admittedly, with fear and trembling) and that's when the learning curve shifted from gentle to steep. Ay yi yi.

I love Blogger. Really and truly. It's so user-friendly and easy to work with. I've learned how to work it so it does most everything I want from it. But Wordpress has a whole 'nother level to it—one that's needed for my husband's website, and Adding Zest's new site and... yeah, you get the picture. SO, I've been banging my head on the wall learning how to manipulate Wordpress. And it's given me a headache, eye strain, and completely stalled out almost every area of my life, especially my blogging. (Hear me whining? Think I'll scrounge up some cheese to go with it.)

So what's a girl to do? Shut up and work. (Hehe. Mercy is not my strong suit.) I have a deadline—two weeks from yesterday. By then the site needs to be functional. We can fine tune and tweak it as we go after that. Since it's my husband's site, it certainly won't be girlie! Nor will it look how I want it to look. After all, it's not my site, I'm simply building and designing it for my husband, so it will look how HE wants it to. A site that will be pleasing in his eyes. And I'm good with that. Even if it's beige and brown and doesn't use the blue that I think looks so nice. Even if I think placing something there is all wrong. (Are you getting a taste of how things are going?)

This has been a good reminder to me that just like I'm not the owner of my husband's site, I'm not the owner of my life. I might be doing the decorating, but I need to keep in mind that since I'm not the owner, I need to listen to what the owner, God, wants for me and work accordingly. That means that even if He says He wants colors that I consider ugly or ugly features or things in places where I don't want them, that I need to listen to what HE wants and build a life that will be pleasing in His eyes.

Because after all, my life is not my own. When I'm done, I want my Lord to be happy with the work I've done. I want to be able to hear a “well done” not “that's not what I asked for”. Besides, God sees the big picture of my life while I struggle with even seeing the here and now clearly.

What about you? How's the decorating of your life coming? Are you listening to the Master even when it's tough?
Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Fonts from:

Fan of kevinandamanda.com! Free Fonts. Recipes. Scrapbooking. Photography. Blog Design. Tutorials. Giveaway. Everything you're into!

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009. Design expanded and personalized by PattyWysong.com 2011.

Back to TOP