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Ruby for Women A Voice for every Christian woman

May, 2012 Super Spring Issue!

“Her worth is far above rubies” Proverbs: 31:10


Contents May, 2012 www.rubyforwomen.ning.com

In This Issue . . . Page 5

Digging for Worms Nina Newton, Sr. Editor

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Celebrate Moms of All Kinds! Amanda Johnson

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The month of May brings us the joy of springtime, the blessings of Mother’s Day, the remembrance of Memorial Day, and the gift of new life all around. Please join us this month as we celebrate all of God’s good and loving gifts that come to us bringing showers of blessings and the sunshine of His love! www.rubyforwomen.ning.com

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Yummy Springtime Lemon Cupcakes Katherine’s Corner

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We Don’t Just Make Things; We Make a Difference Shannon Mediskey

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Salvaged Linen Sachet Tutorial Amy Harper

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A Home on Mother’s Day Maxine Young

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Mom’s Pancakes and Apples Maxine Young

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Patterns Keith Wallis

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A Very Special Lady Kristin Bridgman

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Footprints in the Mud: Ode to the Spell Check Police Beth Brubaker

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May in the Prayer Garden Thomas B. Clarke

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Be Tough! Word Puzzle Beth Brubaker

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Senior Editor Nina Newton Assistant Editor Amanda Johnson Creative Assistant Katherine Corrigan Family Fun Editor Beth Brubaker Gardening Dorothy Homer Devotions Lynn Mosher, Deborah McCarragher Poetry Keith Wallis, Lee E. Shilo Quilting Laura Brandt

Ruby for Women is an online Christian women’s magazine that offers words of hope, inspiration, and encouragement to women everywhere. Knowing that every woman has a story to tell, we seek to give a “voice to every Christian woman,” from all walks of life, of every age, from all around the world.

Feature Writers Carol Mokry, Connie Arnold, Kristin Bridgman, Amy Lignor, Sheila Watson Kraklow, Scott Henderson, Theresa Ceniccola, Shannon Mediskey, Charlotte Siems, Yvonne Anderson, Angela Blake Morris, Kausar Iqbal, Elizabeth Baker, Maxine Young, Gloria Doty, Yvonne Carson, Kendra Peterson, Tina Smith, Christena Hammes, Jean Ann Williams, Ginger Kauffman, Lisa Simpkins, Amy Harper

If you would like to share your story with Ruby for Women, please email our Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson, at ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Also, please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com where you can connect with other Christian women. Ruby for Women 2731 W 700 N Columbia City, IN 46725 editor@rubyforwomen.com 1

For advertising inquiries, please contact Nina Newton at editor@rubyforwomen.com


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Springtime in the Garden Dorothy Homer

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Berry, Berry Cheesecake Vintage Mama

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Sew Along with Laura: Contrary Husband Bible Block Wedding Sampler Laura Brandt

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How I Silenced Sister Mary Critical Theresa Ceniccola

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Introducing Diane Cunningham of National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs

Children’s Book Corner: Page 45 The Teddy Bear by David McPhail Reviewed by Kendra Peterson

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Night May Come Keith Wallis

A Tribute to Mothers Anonymous

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A Bittersweet May Jean Ann Williams

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Memories Amanda Johnson

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To Remember Love by Tonya Ferguson Reviewed by Create with Joy

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To Be in Black Keith Wallis

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Love – The Highest Goal Thomas B. Clarke

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Celebrate Spring with Kites! Kausar Iqbal

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Whimsical Springtime Treats

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Here Comes the Bride Deborah McCarragher

Ask Beth: Real Life Angry Birds Beth Brubaker Hanna: The Mother Who Gave Her Child Away Elizabeth Baker

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Fun Spring Cooking! Christena Hammes

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All the Empty Chairs Lynn Mosher

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Disconnect Four Puzzle Beth Brubaker

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The Perfect Mother Gloria Doty

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Make a Sweet Mother’s Day Banner Vintage Mama’s Cottage

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Introducing Betsy McCall: Vintage Paper Dolls Vintage Mama

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An American Tradition: Mother’s Day

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The Creative Adventures of Vintage Mama

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Be Tough! Word Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker

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Disconnect Four Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker

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The Ruby for Women Writers

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Credits and Copyrights

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Bride on a Budget Christena Hammes

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Our Hearts Shout Keith Wallis

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Ruby for Women We want to hear your story, because God has given a voice to every Christian woman.

Let us welcome you into our community of Christian women! * Daily inspirational posts * Featured bloggers * FREE monthly online magazine * Community groups and forums * Crafts, recipes, poetry, and stories

Join us today at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com 3


* National Bike Month * Date Your Mate Month * National Hamburger Month * National Photograph Month * National Salad Month * Foster Care Month

May 1: May Day May 1: Mother Goose Day May 2: Brothers and Sisters Day May 5: Cinco de Mayo May 6: National Nurses Day May 6: No Diet Day May 8: Iris Day May 8: National Teachers Day May 8: World Red Cross Day May 10: Clean Up Your Room Day May 13: Frog Jumping Day

May 13: Mothers Day May 15: National Chocolate Chip Day May 17: Pack Rat Day May 18: No Dirty Dishes Day May 19: Boy’s Club Day May 20: Pick Strawberries Day May 23: Lucky Penny Day May 25: National Missing Children’s Day May 25: Tap Dance Day May 28: Memorial Day May 30: Water a Flower Day

Find more beautiful wallpapers and desktop calendars by Kathy Funk www.kscraps.blogspot.com

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Digging for Worms by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor The other day our girls decided it was time to have an adventure in the woods behind our house. We live near a lake, with a corn field on one side of our house and a lovely wooded area right out our back door. Daddy told them that if they could find some worms back in the woods, that he would take them fishing. So, with great anticipation they pulled out the mud boots from the back of the garage where they had been hiding all winter, checked for spiders and cob webs down in the toes of the boots, and pulled them on over their bare feet. Shovels in hand, they went trudging into the woods. Not too far, of course, because they wanted to be sure they could still see me standing by the back door . . . . you know, just in case. Digging for worms is great fun because you never know what you are really going to find! “I wonder if there are any worms under that old, rotten log!” Gracie announced as she reached down and gave it a shove. “Yikes!” she shouted when she discovered a colony of ants scurrying around their little underground neighborhood. “Those are the kind of ants that will bite you!” she knowingly informed her sister. Suddenly Annie burst out giggling! “Look, Mama!” she called to me as she pointed up at two squirrels that were chasing each other around and around a tree. “Those two squirrels are playing tag!” she observed. Meanwhile, Gracie was kicking another splintered log, searching for those fishing worms but not wanting to touch any more woodland debris in case she came upon another colony of those biting ants. Just as she came upon a gnarled old stump, a tiny white bunny darted out from behind the tangle of brush and newly sprouted weeds. “Look, Mom! A bunny!” shouted Gracie, taking off at a run in the direction of the little guy’s escape. “He went right under there,” she said, pointing at a pile of old boards that were covered with moss and decaying leaves. “Let’s move these rotten old boards to see if we can find him!” she called to her sister. Together they pulled and shoved and kicked the boards (and of course, by the time they made all that racket, the little bunny was long gone!) until they uncovered the dark, rich soil underneath the layers of leaves. “No bunny here,” Annie declared, “but there sure are lots of worms!” “Let’s scoop ‘em up and put ‘em in the can so we can go fishing!” Gracie ordered, and soon that beat up old tin can was filled with wiggly, slimy worms to present to Daddy when he got home. “We’re goin’ fishing with Dad!” they announced, proudly displaying their can of worms. Some days are like that . . . . we search and wander, kick logs and cans, dig in the dirt and trip over stumps, but if we just keep following the pathway that God has put before us, eventually we will find the “worms” we have been searching for. When we discover God’s plan for our life, we can “go fishing,” too! Let’s enjoy the journey and the adventure of “digging for worms.” 5


Celebrating Moms of All Kinds! by Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Happy May and a special Happy Mother’s Day to all of our Ruby for Women Moms! Last year on Mother’s Day I was going through the checkout line at the grocery store when the cashier asked me if I was a celebrating mom. I smiled and started to say no, but then changed my reply to “Well, yes I’m a celebrating mom of the four legged kind!” She laughed and admitted that she was also a mother of the four legged kind. She shared about her dog and I told her about my sweet Dakota (Pomeranian) and Toby (a Paint). We laughingly wished each other a special Happy Mother’s Day.

When I shared this story with my mom, she was quick to point out that I’m also a mom figure to my two nieces as well as my best friend’s little girl. I spend a lot of time taking over for the moms in my life in order to give them a break. I may not be a mom in the technical sense, but I’m definitely ready to stand in when a mom needs to sit down! So this Mother’s Day make sure to wish all of the moms a special day and send a big Thank You to all of those who step in to help carry the load! Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms, aunts, sisters, cousins and best friends!

Blessings, Amanda

Dealing with Life Problems

Abba, Father; A Simple Prayer by John Poche “It’s not a matter of if we will experience problems, it’s when.” For most of us, problems are inevitable. How do we deal with problems related to relationships, marriage, divorce, family, employment, work, finances, addiction, health or the death of a loved one?

life

John shares his personal story of how a short prayer and simple praying helped resolve some stressful problems and change his life into happy, joyous and free. He describes the development of his simple prayer plan and numerous experiences of his twenty year prayer journey. He offers many suggestions in hope that his biblically-inspired simple prayer will help you experience the joy of knowing that God is present and working in your life. It worked for him; maybe it will work for you!

Visit Amazon to purchase “Abba, Father: A Simple Prayer” by John Poche 6


Fresh as a springtime breeze

Lemon Cupcakes from the kitchen of Katherine’s Corner What is it about the smell, the yummy soft yellow color, and the light, sweet taste of lemon that always makes us think of springtime? Perhaps it is because daffodils are yellow, I don’t know, but lemon yellow has always been one of my favorite colors and it always brings a fresh and glorious reminder of the renewal and rebirth of springtime. I hope you enjoy making these beautiful and delicious cupcakes for your family or to take to the next church supper. What you need: * 1 cup cake flour (you may need a pinch more if the batter looks too thin) * ¾ cup sugar * 2 lemons, zest only * 2 Tbsp poppy seeds (toasted) * 3 eggs * ½ cup vanilla or plain yogurt * ½ cup butter, melted and cooled * Muffin tin, 12 cup * Muffin / cupcake liners * Wire cooling rack * Large mixing bowl * Whisk

For the icing: * 1 cup butter (softened) * 1 ¾ cup powdered sugar (sifted) * 1 lemon (juice only) * Yellow food coloring * Electric mixer * Piping bag with large star nozzle, or Ziploc bag with tip cut off * Premade icing flowers to decorate (found in the baking aisle at your market)

Before you start: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Let’s make it! In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds together and mix. In a medium bowl, use a whisk to beat the eggs into the yogurt; add dry ingredients. Mix well and add the cooled, melted butter. If batter is too runny, add a few more pinches of flour and mix well. Mix together with whisk until smooth; then divide equally into baking cups. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven when tops are still pale and not golden), and cool for 5 minutes in the muffin tin. Carefully lift onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Make the icing: In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium high speed until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar and lemon juice. Stir in a few drops of yellow food coloring, just enough to create a pale lemon yellow color. Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle, or place in a Ziploc bag and twist until you have a corner tip. Cut a very small piece off of the corner of the bag. Pipe one spiral o icing around the edge, then pause to break the flow before moving the nozzle towards the center slightly and piping a second, smaller spiral that continues until there are no gaps in the center. Slightly rest the nozzle, making a dot into the center of the icing as you stop squeezing to finish neatly. Repeat to cover all cupcakes; then top each one with an icing flower. Serves 12. For more fun and delicious recipes, please visit Katherine’s Corner at www.katherinescorner.com 7


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“We don’t just make things; we make a difference” by Shannon Mediskey I’m an artist. But my medium is my children, not paint or clay like you might expect. I’m a gambler. But I don’t bet on chips, dice or cards. Instead, I go “all in” on whether or not I can really make a difference in the life of my kids. I’m also a shrink, mediator and fortune teller. I’m constantly striving to keep my own sanity in check. I’m a continual advocate for both my boys in school and elsewhere. And I’m constantly telling my kids that they’ve got a bright, exciting future despite all the challenges and frustrations they’re facing now. And - come to think of it - one could argue that I’m a liar, too, at least by omission. I don’t share with them that roadblocks, pitfalls and hurdles to navigate around, dig their way out of and claw their way over will only continue to come their way. The truth will hurt soon enough. I’m a mom. And the longer I have that title, the more aware I become of the reality that being a mom means a lot. The moans of “I’m bored…” demand creative thinking on the spot. The honest inquires of “Why?” require patience and willingness to delve deeper, even into the mundane that one might ordinarily take for granted. The sometimes frustrated pleas of “But how?” beg to be answered with unflinching optimism, even if history would have us know better. To be a mom - to be a good mom - is indeed to answer a high calling. Unfortunately, though, doing anything well isn’t always easy. It takes work, demands sacrifice and exacts a toll that can be beyond what we ever imagined. And so it can be with the role of mom. Rewarding? Yes. Exhausting, taxing and frustrating? You bet. Unfortunately, though, it would seem that society as a whole feels the need to “sell” us on that idea, because very few people actually talk about how difficult being a mom actually is. Maybe it has to be sold. .

After all, who would voluntarily sign up for a job that requires 24/7 attendance, demands ongoing on-the-fly training and doesn’t even guarantee as much as one daily (private) bathroom break? Yeah, motherhood’s great… Really? For me, the truth is that I found my way to allpowerful “Mom” status via two routes: biology and adoption. For better or worse but hopefully the prior, two boys are in my care. And let’s just say that sometimes I fear it’s the latter because I don’t have all the answers, I often make mistakes and I’m admittedly far from perfect. Despite all my best efforts and often depleting all my own emotional, physical and mental energy, my “best” never seems like quite enough. This “Mom” job really is an art. If it were a science it’d be much easier. We could read a manual, take a class or at the very least consult with others who have also worked in this occupation and readily receive tried and true answers that will (always) work. While we can admittedly read parenting books, take workshops and chat with “been there, done that” moms, we can never get all the answers we need because no one knows our kids better than us. And because our kiddos are always growing and changing, we’re always dealing with at least some element of the unknown, especially when said kidlets enter the teenage years. And so I say, “Cheers!” to all the other artists out there who also work in this medium called “children.” We sculpt lives. We paint beautiful pictures of bright futures to which our children can aspire. We weave together meaningful experiences and encouraging words to help our children reach their fullest potential. We don’t just make things. We make a difference. 9


Shannon Mediskey, an educator turned parent turned writer, Shannon Medisky enjoys sharing ways that kids can help themselves. Through entertaining and accessible presentations, stories and activities, Shannon engages and empowers kids to take the leading role in writing their own school—and ultimately life—success stories. Through a relatable tone and immediately applicable ideas, she enables parents to help their children become the very best they can be. Shannon has experience working with children ranging in age from preschool through the 8th grade, and is a parent herself to two young boys, including one with a multitude of special needs. Shannon earned a double BA in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Central Washington University, but credits her children—biologically, via adoption and in the classroom—as her greatest educators. Her articles have been featured in many prominent magazines such as Exceptional Parents, Adoptive Families, Hybrid Mom, Mothering and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. She lives in Renton, Washington with her husband, Jason, and their two high-spirited boys, Nate and Mark.

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The perfect handmade Mother’s Day gift Created by Amy Harper of “Threads in the Nest”

Salvaged Linen Sachet Tutorial These beautiful, handmade sachets are absolutely perfect for gift-giving this Mother’s Day! Made from upcycled and repurposed vintage linens, they are quick, easy, and oh-so pretty to give to Mom, Grandma, or any other very special woman in your life. Thanks to Amy Harper of “Threads in the Nest” for sharing this tutorial with all of our readers here at Ruby for Women. Several months ago, I happened across a beautifully embroidered

tablecloth that was

severely stained beyond

all help. I bought the vintage tablecloth for two or three dollars knowing I could salvage the embroidery that ran around the entire piece. I thought I'd share with you what I made by taking a simple pyramid pattern I came across and adapting it a bit for vintage linen. Step 1: Cut one 4" by 4" square of a vintage linen remnant. Cut one 4" by 4" square of cotton fabric. Cut two 4" by 4" squares of Pellon Fusible Featherweight Interfacing 911 FF.

Step 2: Iron one fusible interfacing square to the back of your vintage linen remnant. This will keep any loose threads from the cutting held secure in the back. Iron the other fusible interfacing square to your cotton fabric square. This makes your cotton fabric weight match the weight of the vintage remnant.

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Step 3: With right sides facing, sew a 1/4" seam around 3 edges of your square. If you have a side on the embroidered square that has no loose embroidery, leave that side as the fourth unfinished side. This side will later be hand-sewn, and it will be easier if there is no embroidery.

Step 4: Trim the sides and the corners close to the seams.

Step 5: Turn the sachet right side out.

Step 6: Fill the sachet with equal parts dried lavender and uncooked white rice. I like the feel of about 3 Tbsp. of each, but you may like the sachet to feel fuller.

Step 7: Finger press or carefully iron the open edge 1/4" to the inside.

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Step 8: Pin matching seams together. This will close the sachet and form the pyramid shape.

Step 9: Slip-stitch the opening closed removing the pins as you sew.

Step 10: Embellish with buttons, beads, and ribbons as desired. Try different sizes by starting with 5" squares or 3.5" squares.

Find more craft project tutorials and inspirational posts on Amy’s blog, “Threads in the Nest,” at www.threadsinthenest.blogspot.com

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A Home on Mother’s Day by Maxine Young Preparations start in March these days. There are festive signs in store fronts, one-page ads in newspapers and coupon codes online loudly reminding you that Mother's Day is coming, and you should not be caught without a gift. By the end of the season, the companies are happy, mothers are happy, children are happy that they made their mothers happy and all of the trinkets are put away until next year. Sadly, Mother’s Day is not a happy occasion for everyone. For some of us, it is one of the most difficult dates on the calendar. For two months we endure each sign and shout reminding us of what we do not have, and it can be agony. It has been ten years since my mom died, but the longing to simply talk to her never goes away; it is a feeling I’ve come to live with, but on the Mother’s Day, eight years after she died, everything seemed particularly unbearable. After having spent most of the beautiful morning in tears by myself, I began talking to God. I cried out for His help, because I felt so incomplete. I didn't understand why this day was getting more and more difficult as opposed to the pain being eased with time. I didn’t understand, but I knew God would. I decided to write down what I was feeling, and after reading it over, I understood that I was feeling displaced. On what was supposed to be a happy day of celebration, I felt I had nothing much to celebrate. With no children of my own, and no mother of my own, I felt that on Mother's Day I belonged no where. The realization of it all hit me like a ton of bricks. What do you do when you feel as if you belong no where? I knew I couldn’t be alone in my feelings of 'homelessness' on Mother's Day. Mothers who no longer have children, children who no longer have mothers, mothers who have never been able to have a child, and people who just do not have good maternal relationships could be just as crushed by Mother's Day as I was. What did they do? That afternoon, as I cried and prayed for peace; I felt as if I were being lifted from the inside. It "dawned" on me that if we are in Christ we are NOT displaced. It is impossible. We will always belong, because no one who abides in Him is homeless. He is our Home. It was as if I could just hear the Father whisper – “You may not be a mother, and, no, your mom isn't there with you, but you are My child. You are no less precious and cherished than anyone else. Above all you are not displaced. You belong to me. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). 14


After experiencing those words, I felt I could face the rest of that day because I knew that God was with me. My mother was no longer here with me, but that didn’t stop me from still being her child. I was so blessed by my mother, and grateful to God for the time I had her. It was then I knew that I did have something to celebrate - the time I had here with my mother. Our circumstances here on Earth might be less than perfect, but God's love and care for us never changes. He knows our pain just as we do, and at times that may seem impossible to comprehend, but it's true. Not only does He understand; He knows how to help us through. Since that Mother's Day two years ago, I haven't dreaded the day quite as much. It's still not a walk in the park, but I don’t feel nearly as hopeless as I once did. I just needed a reminder that on Mother's Day I did still belong, I did have something to celebrate. I want to remind you today that you too belong and can celebrate. If you are a mom who has lost her child, or you are a child who no longer has a mom, or you are a mom who just doesn’t happen to have a child yet, or you have a difficult relationship with your mother, this day may be bittersweet, but one day - our sorrows will be turned into joy! (Psalms 30:5) Never again will we have to live without those we love, never again will we experience even a moment of feeling as if we didn’t belong. This is a promise that God has made to us, and I don't doubt Him - do you? Because grieving is such a personal emotion, no one can tell you how you should celebrate Mother's Day, but we can take a peek at some of the ways others in similar situations do. Maybe you'll see something you'd like to give a try, or perhaps this year you will begin a tradition of your own. So on Mother's Day (if you're up to it) celebrate the love you have in your heart for those who are gone, and those still on their way.

Ideas for Mother's Day * Plant a garden or tree in your mom's memory, include some of her favorites. * Write a letter to your mom explaining how much she meant to you and what a difference she made in your life or write a letter to your future child telling him/her of how very special they are (whether a newborn, or a seven year old) to you even now. * Create a photo album of your memories together with your mom * Plan a celebration of her cooking, and be sure that some of her favorites are on the menu. If you are a brave soul, you might even try your hand at one of her specialties. * Attend an event where motherless/childless individuals celebrating Mother's Day come together to offer one another support, encouragement and company. * If big crowds are not your style, create your own quiet tradition to honor your loved ones. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; but it should be something you can call your own. Here is one of my favorite recipes from my Mom! 15


Mom’s Pancakes and Apples Special Sundays in my childhood featured my mom’s pancakes and apples. INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon white sugar 1 1/4 cups milk 1 room temperature egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg (or just use ½ tsp of pumpkin pie spice) Squeeze of lemon juice

DIRECTIONS: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix well. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot. Makes 8 - 12 pancakes Pancake Apples 1 Golden Delicious Apple 1 Red Delicious Apple 1 Granny Smith Apple (3 of any cooking apples will do, you want at least one apple that can stand up to heat) 1 tsp Lemon Juice ¼ tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp water 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar (or to taste depending on the sweetness of your apples) ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp nutmeg

1. Peel and cube or slice apples (place apples in cool water with lemon to prevent them from turning brown) 2. Remove apples from lemon water. Add to medium saucepan 3. Sauté apples over a medium flame for 1 minute. Add lemon juice and water. 4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg cover pot and turn down flame to low to draw some of the juices from the apples. Cook for 5 -7 minutes. (depending on how soft you want your apples to be) 5. Add sugar, mix until completely dissolved. 1 – 2 minutes. Turn off heat. 6. Add vanilla Tip: Apples are done at this point, but sometimes I add a cornstarch slurry to thicken the apple juices. You’ll get a consistency of apple pie filling. (You could also use flour, but your sauce will have a cloudy look to it.) Cornstarch Slurry 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch 2 Tbsp water Mix until smooth – slowly (in a stream) add to hot apple juices. Heat the liquid through *just* to boiling in order for the cornstarch to activate. Gently mix until desired thickness. 1 – 2 minutes. Do not overcook. Serve Pancakes with apples. 16


May Day, 1959

Patterns The beginning of patterns youths early windings ribbons of weft threads that begin indistinctly unfolding with each infiltrating skip. I may hold this anchor but others spin and twirl in passing pirouettes that web their lives with mine. I have no control of this pattern; mine is the spasmodic touch the gravitational pull which momentarily holds your orbit before you snake off to other moons. Star trek on the village green before sputnik or satellite pierces the sky. There are other patterns at play; in sounds which leave no trace by their transient recreation, and in shadows that mime dumb ethereal bodies prostrate mimics that bend no grass. When the music calls I will move on adding my fleeting touch, blessing or curse, upon other ribbons.

~ Keith Wallis 17


A Very Special Lady by Kristin Bridgman As I sat in my ABF class one Sunday morning listening to my teacher speak about David, emotions, doing the right thing, laying prostrate on the ground, I couldn’t help but think of a modern day story about a very special lady…one who, as a young lady, thought her life would live out as the fairy tale stories she watched on the big screen in her day. Because of people in her life who made bad choices, took wrong turns, and some living in their own sin, one making a very right choice to go across the seas with a missionary group, another taken away because of circumstances, everyone in her family ended up gone for one reason or another. She spiraled downward into a deep well of depression that lasted for years. Doctors put her on anti-depressants which she remained on for years. Her loved ones were gone for years. This lady ended up in a mental institution several times with doctors never “curing” her. She always returned home as bad off as ever before. Not quite the fairy tale she expected. People perceived her as weak because she was down and couldn’t seem to get up. This lady had been a Christian for years, but she allowed her emotions to get the best of her. The devil thought he could get her to give up by falling completely into this well of emotions. But one evening, as this lady realized everything was gone in her life, she fell prostrate to her bedroom floor where she surrendered; fully surrendered her whole entire being, her entire family, everything! She even surrendered her emotions to do only what the Lord would have her to do. There was no earthquake, no great lightning, no emotional response. She got up and lived obediently to her Heavenly Father and slowly but surely, she became healed of the emotional illness the enemy tried to drown her in.

She became strong; she got off the antidepressants she had been on for years, never to go back on them again. Slowly, her family came back, a son after 14 years, a daughter after 9 years. This lady is not weak. It took great strength for her not to give up. It took great inner strength in the midst of her turmoil and pain and aloneness, to go prostrate on that floor and say, “Jesus, I’m 100% yours and everything I have I completely surrender. She didn’t know what God’s plans were for her. She didn’t know what answers would come if any. But she trusted her God with all of her being. This lady has become a dearly loved woman over the last 30 some years to so many people, helping, giving, and loving them with a Christ-like love, many calling her mom. As of today she still thinks she is weak, but she knows what strength is in her is from the Lord. She gives him all the glory. She IS strong. She has shown the strength of a warrior. The enemy, strong in his tactics could not defeat her. She fought, she fell prostrate, she arose with strength from the Lord she didn’t even recognize herself and together they claimed victory over this life and her family. To this day, this lady thinks she has no legacy to leave. Oh, but she is so wrong! She will leave a legacy of great strength, faith, and love that only comes from the Father. Because of her faith decision that night on the bedroom floor, my children grew up with a healed, whole, loving, and fun grandmother. You see, this special lady is my mother. As she would and always says, “To God be the glory!” A happy ending after all! I love you Mom, with all my heart! 18


Footprints in the Mud

Ode to the Spell Check Police by Beth Brubaker Speaking as both a writer and mom, some things make me quiver and quake, Especially when I am reading a post And find all these spelling mistakes! It's lose and not loose I explain with a cringe, To people who don't really care, Although it is true you can loose all your clothes, either way, you'll be utterly bare. To loose is to loosen, to lose means it's lost, How can I explain any better? If you meant that you lost it and not that it's loose, get rid of that darn extra letter! Another that pesters is there, their, and they're, they all sound the same to our mind, 'There' means not here, and 'their' means not mine, and the last means 'they are'- just combined! Don't depend on the spell check- it's not all ways rite, as you sea bye the weigh that eye rime, it mite sound core wrecked but its deaf nit lee knot, and all those core wrecked shuns take thyme! So read what you write before you hit send, I promise you'll never regret it, Just watch for those O's and give them 'their' due No correction posts if you just edit! Want more Footprints? Beth has a blog! You can find it at http://footprintsinthemudblog@blogspot.com. And don't forget to share her blog with your friends!

www.theresaceniccola.com 19


The Perfect Gift Book for Mother’s Day! www.agardenoflove.com Join author and seasoned gardener Tom Clarke as he artistically describes the natural beauty of flowers and the multi-faceted dimensions of love. “I thoroughly enjoy Tom's writing. He is presenting the beauty of his Lord Jesus revealed in the well-tended flowers of his church's Gethsemane Prayer Garden. You will want to spend time in these pages and allow the love of our Lord to flow over you through the beauty of His own creation. Amazing insights!" Iris “I gave the book to my mom for Christmas. It was all she talked about.” Tom W. “I bought seven copies: one for each of my three daughters, and then four more for their girls. This book really spoke to me and I read it all the time. I wanted to pass it on to my family.” Vera “Are you overwhelmed with life? Then pick up this delightful book for a peaceful return to sanity. You will come away, as I did, encouraged to love others as Christ loved us.” Sally “Tom sold me ‘A Garden of Love’ about a year ago. Since then I’ve bought five copies, one at a time, to help different ones be able to see the beauty of love that is expressed in this book.” Donna Kathy gave a copy to a good friend. Together they went through the Bible quotations with its connections to flowers and concluded, “It is a work of art and a treasure.” “I found the artistry of this book both restful and nourishing to my spirit. I recommend this lovely book for young and old alike.” Cara “If you or someone you know is an avid gardener, then you’ll want to get a copy of A GARDEN OF LOVE for yourself or your loved one or friend.” Laura, pastor’s wife “I mailed the book to my sister’s girlfriend. She called me right away to thank me and thank me and thank me. I had a sense that this was the right message for her.” Diane “This book uses similes not unlike Scripture to describe love. I plan to make this a gift book to a dear friend that enjoys her garden in the same way that this author must enjoy his.” Val

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“I bought this book for my wife as a Valentine’s Day gift. We both love it and now we sell it.” Jaime “Love truly blooms in this book, inspiring a feeling of Christ’s love within as you read.” Connie “I love this book! The description of each flower as they relate to God’s love for us has left such lasting imprints in my mind of the ways that God cares for me.” Sharon “A must read for anyone who enjoys flowers and desires to know the LORD more.” Jennifer Please visit A Garden of Love to order your copy of this beautiful and inspirational book: www.agardenoflove.com

Thomas B. Clarke, “A Garden of Love” I am the caretaker of the Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY, and an author / publisher of Christian books. Both gardening and writing are part-time jobs for me, but they are my heartfelt passion: to help others experience Jesus Christ in a more personal way and to grow in love. www.agardenoflove.com

Twitter Party with Author Amy Lignor Tuesday, May 8, 2012 8 p.m. Eastern Follow hashtag #UntilNextTime as author Amy Lignor answers your questions for 90 minutes live on Twitter. A $50 cash prize will be given to the person who has a receipt confirming an ebook purchase of Until Next Time and tweets at least once during the Twitter Party. We'll also be giving away a variety of ebooks and print books throughout the event. Let us know if you are planning to attend by tweeting @TributeBooks or @HelloWritersAmy to RSVP. 21


May in the Prayer Garden by Thomas B. Clarke Ruby for Women Gardening Sponsor

The Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY, is a oneacre landscaped garden for people to enjoy the beauty of God our Creator and to rest in His presence. The garden is open to the public and there is no admission fee. The hope is that people would visit this small but intimate garden, seeing it as an outdoor sanctuary and a place to experience God and His love. There are sixty perennial flower varieties and several hundred shrubs and trees, all intended to usher in God’s peace. Benches are available for a quiet time with the Lord. Why the Redbud is My Favorite Tree The outstanding redbuds opened early this year, meaning we should be able to savor their beauty for the first one or two weeks in May. Like everything else in Central New York, these trees are three or possibly four weeks ahead of schedule. The deliciously aromatic lilacs are already starting to open and the crab trees have begun their vibrant display of multi-colored pinks.

Special Thank You to Thomas B. Clarke Ruby for Women Gardening Sponsor, author of A Garden of Love and caretaker of Gethsemane Prayer Garden, Syracuse, NY

The delightful dogwoods are just emerging, some deep purple magnolias are in full blossom, and the soft fragrance of the apple blossoms is in the air. This spring is early and this spring is suddenly gorgeous! Give me but one tree, shrub or flower that I would especially want in an intimate garden, it would be a redbud. I don't know why it is called "red" bud for the blossoms are hardly red at all. But then again, would you call it "purplebud" or "pinkbud"? What is that color anyhow? The crab trees can be stunning, but all of them have leaves that compete with their flowers. Cherries, pears, hawthorn, and linden trees can arrest us with their beauty, but all have that same competing leaf problem.

www.agardenoflove.com

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Forsythia flowers also open without leaves, but that was in April. In May in our area, only the flowers of the dogwood and the redbud are without that leaf competition for one or possibly two weeks. And while other areas of our country can enjoy the outstanding pink dogwoods, we are pretty much restricted to the white ones. Therefore, my tree of choice is the redbud. While I enjoy the redbud very much, transplanting them is not high on my list. I learned my lesson many years ago when a nurseryman offered me two free redbuds if I wanted to dig them. I cut my landscaping teeth on them! Back in the years when I thought I knew how to play tennis, I talked my regular tennis opponent into tackling them: one for his house and one for mine. It took us five hours to dig those tangled roots out of the rich nursery loam! About four hours into the effort, the nurseryman wandered over asking, "How you boys doing?" I don't know how he asked that with a straight face. So here is my advice on planting redbuds: buy potted plants from a reputable nursery and then select a location with plenty of space so that you will never be tempted to move them again. In the photo above from the Gethsemane Prayer Garden, you can possibly detect a small shrub with white flowers to the right of the redbud. These are the fragrant viburnum and we have three planted there. On a day with a gentle westerly breeze, the most sweet-smelling aroma fills the parking lot of our church, beckoning everyone to come and visit. If you are tempted to plant a redbud, I highly recommend this combination. Tom Clarke is Caretaker of the Gethsemane Prayer Garden and author of A Garden of Love www.agardenoflove.com which is a book about Christian love using photographs from this garden. You may discover more about the garden at www.prayergardeners.com/gethsemane.

Be Tough! Word Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page _75 23


Springtime in the Garden with Aunt Dots by Dorothy Kurchak Homer Ah! May in Michigan! It’s so lovely. This morning I noted this cute little visitor (before the cat did). It’s fun to watch the cat try to catch him and unfortunately, sometimes the cat wins. Well I finally got the grapevines and apple trees pruned and most of the flower beds cleaned. It was an especially warm winter here and the weeds are growing very well. My biggest problem is what to do with the weeds in the garden path. This year I used a paint roller moistened in Roundup to clean up the paths. I had a long handle on it and the job went very well. It sure was easier on my knees! Keeping the asparagus bed clean is also a problem as asparagus is a grass and using Roundup on the bed would harm the asparagus. So I used a small paint brush to “paint” each weed and bunch of grass. That worked very well, too. The asparagus is wild asparagus. When my late husband saw it growing near a fence, he dug it up and planted it in our garden. It went to seed and now I have more than I need. It’s one of my favorite vegetables. No matter now it’s prepared, I like it. Here is one of my favorite recipes:

Asparagus and Egg Salad 2 cups well-drained, cooked asparagus cut into pieces 3 hard boiled eggs 6 large, sliced olives Small head lettuce and bunch of watercress Dressing: 1/2 cup sour cream 2 teaspoons grated onion 2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Cut up lettuce, combine with the watercress and place in serving dish. Combine asparagus, eggs and olives and mix with the lettuce and watercress. Prepare dressing and pour over lettuce and watercress and mix lightly. Serve at once. This is really great with grilled salmon. Out in the garden I’m sure you have some plants that need dividing. It seems the phlox grew very well last summer and needs to be divided this spring to provide air circulation around them to prevent mildew. A spading fork is good for digging up plants. It’s best to divide them before they have much growth, not much more than three to four inches tall. Stay about a foot away from the clump so as not to damage the roots. Loosen the soil around the clump and pull out the clump. Shake the soil off and divide with your hands or use a sharp knife if the roots are woody or tough. The divisions should have more than four sprouts to make a good looking specimen. Water it well and if it’s a sunny day, put a pail over the clump to prevent excessive wilting. Cloudy days are best for transplanting. 24


Mildew is always a problem with phlox. It starts when the nights are warmer and humid. Serenade, a fungicide, is a good preventive. If you prefer organics, mix one tablespoon each of dish soap and baking soda in a gallon of water and spray every 10 to 14 days before you note the mildew. Here is a picture of John and Diane’s wild flower garden. The blue flax is in blossom. It’s like a sea of blue. Later in the summer they will have brown eyed susan, yarrow, daises and poppies. I know there are other flowers too, but I’ll have to check with them as the season progresses to refresh my memory. I’m so thankful I have such a wonderful home with the opportunity to plant gardens. The work makes me hurt but the results are worth it. Thank goodness for aspirin! The Scriptures remind us to be thankful. You know how you feel when you give a gift and don’t get thanks. Our life is a gift from God. Why He loves us I don’t know, but I’m glad He does. So enjoy His creation but remember to thank Him.

Blessings, Aunt Dots

Visit Charlotte Siems at

This Lovely Place

Ruby Pearls May 2012 May 15th is Hug Your Cat day! Send us a picture of you hugging your furry kids! We'd love to see them! (send them to kwiltnwriter@aol.com with “Hug Your Cat Day” in the subject line!

4 Secrets for Keeping Your Home Together When You Feel Like You're Falling Apart

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched; they must be felt within the heart” - Helen Keller

www.charlottesiems.com/thislovelyplace/ruby

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Berry Berry Cheesecake from the kitchen of Vintage Mama A beautiful and absolutely delicious twist on the traditional cheesecake – the Berry Berry Cheesecake would be perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or for your Memorial Day picnic. Use berries that are in season for the best taste, nutritional value, and price and make this very special, very berry dessert soon!

What you need: Crust: * 2 cups graham cracker crumbs * ¼ cup sugar * ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled Filling: * 2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature * 1 cup sugar * 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice * 2 tsp vanilla extract * 4 eggs, at room temperature

Topping: * 1 ½ cup sour cream * 3 Tbsp sugar * 1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves * 1 cup strawberries, stems removed and sliced * ½ cup raspberries * ½ cup blueberries

Let’s make it! Preheat over to 350 degrees F. In a medium size bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Mix thoroughly with a fork until crumbs begin to stick together. Pour into a round cake pan or a 9X’ X 9” square baking pan. Press the crumbs firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes until set and lightly brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition just until combined. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Bake until the edges are set but the center will still quiver slightly when you shake the pan, approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the sour cream and sugar for the topping. When the cheesecake is done, spoon the sour cream mixture over the top, and return the cake to the oven for 5 minutes longer to set. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate over night. In a large, heavy skillet, stir the preserves over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat, add all berries and toss to coat. Run a knife around the pan sides to loosen the cake. Pile the berries on top of the cheesecake, and return to refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill. Serve chilled. Serves 12. 26


Here Comes the Bride by

Everybody loves a wedding! Wedding customs in the Bible centered on the two events of the Deborah McCarragher betrothal and the wedding. On the day of the wedding, the bride dressed in white, elaborately embroidered robes, bedecked herself with jewels, and put on a veil. The bridegroom often attended by friends and accompanied by musicians and singers, went to the bride’s house. After receiving her from her parents, and with their blessing, he conducted the whole wedding party back to his own house. On the way, other friends of the bride and groom joined the party with much music and dancing. A feast was held at the bridegroom’s house. Later in the evening, the bride’s parents escorted her to the nuptial chamber where the bridegroom was waiting. Festivities often lasted for several days.

Jesus performed His first miracle in Cana of Galilee at the wedding of a close friend. He was there with His mother and other relatives, along with His disciples (John 2:1-10). When the servants attending to the feast made it known to His mother that the wine had run out, she in turn approached her son and said, “They have no wine.” Jesus then said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother then told the servants to do whatever He asked. Jesus did intervene on the host’s behalf. Miraculously the six large water-pots, each containing twenty to thirty gallons of water, became filled with wine. The master of the feast then commended the bridegroom for saving the best wine for the end, unlike most weddings which served inferior wine at the end of the festivities. The new covenant, which we as believers share, represents the marriage covenant that will never be broken, and was sealed with the precious shed blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary. Jesus gathered with the apostles during His last Passover meal, and as He shared with them the cup and bread, it symbolized the sacrifice He would willingly make to redeem mankind. In the Jewish marriage contract there were promises the bridegroom would make to his future bride. It also stated the price he would pay to obtain her. If she agreed, the bridegroom would hand her a cup of wine. If she drank from the cup, the marriage was sealed and they became legally married. He would then say to her, “I will not drink of this cup until we are reunited.” Jesus Himself said in Matthew 26:29, “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” The Apostle Paul talks extensively about the bride as it relates to the New Testament church. In Ephesians 5:25-27, Paul exhorts husbands to, “love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Then in verses 31-32, He reminds us of the Genesis 2:24 passage: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 27


“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Then, in II Corinthians 11:2, Paul also writes, “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” Paul was enamored with Christ and understood the position of trust that had been bestowed on him with regards to His church. He established and nurtured many congregations throughout Asia Minor, often referring to them with heartfelt terms of endearment. John, the beloved, also wrote about Christ and His bride – the church. In Revelation 19:6-9 he writes, “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” And in Revelation 21:9 he wrote, “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” God lead me to write this poem during a time of prayer & reflection on the state of the church –

His Bride Jesus awaits His betrothed. She is the Bride His Father chose from the beginning. The day draws near but wait; She primps and fusses - more creams, toners, makeup, polish, perfume, hair prep, etc., etc., etc. [works, works, works] She carefully dons her dress, accessories and shoes. She smoothes out the wrinkles on her dress. She adorns herself with jewels and gold chains. Gazing in the mirror, she is satisfied; a sense of pride wells up…“looking good” she thinks. But there is the deception. Oh, Church … The Bride is grieving her Bridegroom. It is what is on the inside He mourns. The inner beauty and purity that once gleamed from within has faded; the tender heart, her soothing touch, the gaze of a deep abiding love and thoughts of contentment have all but vanished. His Bride to be is frail, disillusioned, and frazzled. He longs for the excitement of when their love was fresh and new. He yearns for her devotion once again. The Lord does not look upon the outward appearance, but upon the heart… Oh, Church … focus once more on the inner beauty – For what Groom would anxiously await such a Bride? “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4) Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion. It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. Visit her website at: http://www.spirituallyunevenmarriage.com

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Introducing Diane Cunningham, President and Founder National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs Diane Cunningham, M.Ed. is the President and Founder of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. Since 2005, Diane has worked under the DianeCunningham.com umbrella as a coach, speaker, facilitator, and entrepreneur. She founded the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs in May of 2010 to help women connect, create, and collaborate. Under Diane’s leadership, NACWE grew from 0 to 165 members in the first year and hosted the 1st Annual Conference, the Inspired Women’s Event with 45 women in attendance. She is a Certified Mastermind Executive Coach. Her training and background is in the mental health field. She worked for many years in a hospital Employee Assistance Program. Prior to that she spent time working with domestic violence and addictions. She has a Masters Degree in Education (Guidance and Counseling) from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington and a Bachelors Degree from the same school in Interpersonal Communications.

“My mission is to inspire women to dream big, catch on fire, and change the world.”

Diane is an author of “Dear Female Entrepreneur, My Friend” and co-author of Inspired Women Succeed just released in May 2011. www.inspiredwomensucceed.com

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She is an avid volunteer and currently serves as the Regional Advocate for the Small Business Development Center for North Texas. She is active in her church, local community events, and non-profit organizations that fit with her life mission. She was named as one of the Top 20 Leaders under the Age of 40 in her community in January 2011 and chosen as the Inspirational Women of the Month for April for Inspirational Woman Magazine. Diane loves people, shopping, Starbucks, reading, and spending time with friends. She has run 4 marathons with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program and loves to go to zumba classes. She is passionate about God and is basking in the amazing journey that He has her on! “My mission is to inspire women to dream big, catch on fire, and change the world.” Diane is available for coaching, consulting, speaking, and retreats. Please contact NACWE with your request or see her other website for more information. www.nacwe.org or www.dianecunningham.com

Thinking about joining NACWE? What does it really mean to join? It is a short simple word that if embraced more fully and more often might just be the ticket to getting unstuck. Do you have something you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t because you’re not sure if you’re fully ready to make the commitment? Is there something you’ve got brewing in your soul and you just haven’t joined the other big players yet because you’re scared or think you don’t measure up? Are you waiting until you are more organized or better prepared before you take the chance? Take a moment to consider what joining something now could do for you and your dreams. We all know how invigorating your first jump can be but oh so scary at the same time. This is usually the hardest step and many times is the one that takes the longest to make. We stay caught up in our heads with the “what if’s” that we’ve dreamt up as if we “know” what obstacles might come our way. We very well might be worrying about things that won’t even happen. Worst case scenario, should the obstacle or challenge you have been worrying about present itself, you are now wiser and more prepared for whatever comes your way because you’re actually “living” it instead of only “thinking about” it. It is in the living we are able to create the knowing. We know this concept well, we learn best by doing. It is when we do things new that knowledge becomes crystallized in our brains and we are able to develop a new normal. If dreams stay only in our minds, we remain exactly the same.

J: O: I: N:

JUMP ON IN NOW

So are you ready to JUMP ON IN NOW or are you going to create another excuse about why it needs to be later? If in your heart you know today it’s time for you to JOIN and connect with other women for support, reach out for help, hire the coach, make the call, send that email, write the first chapter, go to that event, create a movement, be part of the conversation- please do it today and never look back. Start small if you have to, but JOIN in on the action somewhere today!!

www.nacwe.org 30


Night May Come The day song is closing, its sad melancholy and bursts of joy becoming yesterday; a marching band of shadows ambushes the palette. Dark brass gathers for crescendo. A battleground of muted colour bleeds farewell. A fire of red washes, overpowers; a blazing goodbye as the curtain closes. The conducting hand of God sweeps crimson and carmine strokes behind the barrage of sinister clouds. Night may come but behind momentary cloud and time challenged night Light still rules. This ruddy, bloody, vista testament to that other horizon when another darkness tore another curtain. God’s sunset reminder: night may come but darkness has no dominion. ~ Keith Wallis

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Ask Beth: Real Life Angry Birds by Beth Brubaker

Dear Beth, Now that the weather is getting warmer, I want the kids to start playing outside - but all they seem to be interested in is computer games! Can you offer any suggestions?

~ Gamer Mom Dear Gamer, Yes! In fact, I just recently made up a game that involves a lot of recyclable materials, old stuffed animals, and a lot of fun ways to keep their minds busy as well as their bodies. I'm sure you're familiar with the popular game Angry Birds; this will be just like that, but in real life! Find boxes big and small, cans, cylinders, anything that you don't mind getting beaten up. Then sort through the kids’ old stuffed animals and find ones that will fit nicely in your kids’ hands...softball-sized bodies, not counting the legs. Any larger animals can be used when building the structures. If you don't have any stuffed animals to toss, you can make a simple bean bag with double-bagged sandwich bags and dried beans. The kids now get to assemble some sort of Angry Bird building, one that has the larger stuffed animals tucked in here and there. The idea is for them to balance the boxes, etc. and not secure them in any way. Once they have the structure(s) built, it's time to play! Make sure each child has at least three animals (or bags) to toss. Each child takes a turn and tries to knock down all the boxes, and gets points for bumping the animals. When one child is taking his turn, the others can watch to see how well he scores. The game ends when the structure is completely knocked over or you run out of animals to toss! The best part is the kids get to build the structure differently each time! They'll learn about teamwork, physics (balancing all that stuff takes real creativity!), and playing together in the real world. And that's better than any computer game ever made! Have fun playing ;o)

~ Beth Do you have a question for me? Please send your question with the words 'Ask Beth' in the subject line, to bethatruby@aol.com I would love to hear from you! 32


Hanna: The Mother Who Gave Away Her Child by Elizabeth Baker I Samuel 1:1 - 2:11 c. 1050-BC: Hanna How much courage would it take to turn your child over to someone who had already done a poor job of raising their own? How much grace could you show to a husband who didn’t have a clue about the extent of your emotional suffering? Could you trust the Lord while living with someone who needled and ridiculed you every day? Hanna walked through all those valleys and came out the other side with shouts of praise. She lived during the time when Israel’s rule by judges was drawing to a close. For two hundred and fifty years the nation had enjoyed individual freedoms unknown by others in the ancient world. Yet, surprisingly, most citizens had used their liberty to walk away from God. [1] Hanna and her husband, Elkanah, were different. They not only performed ceremonial acts of worship, they deeply believed in a living God who could hear, see and make a practical difference in life. Like many others, Elkanah practiced polygamy. He loved Hanna dearly but also had a second wife, Peninnah, who may have been chosen because Hanna was barren. Children were critical to family survival and a woman without them was a social disgrace. Hanna mourned her lack of children and Peninnah’s constant ridicule and pride of her own expanding brood inflicted daily pain. Once each year Elkanah offered a sacrifice at Shiloh, where the tabernacle established by Moses had come to rest. It wasn’t far from his home in Mount Ephraim—probably ten or fifteen miles— but getting there would have been quite a project. All members of the family would have made the trip as well as servants, bedding, a tent, food, and live animals for sacrifice. Not to mention pack animals, money, cooking utensils, clothing and children. Once there, the family settled in, washed their clothes, and prepared for a celebration. Then, on the appointed day Elkanah took the sacrificial animal to the tabernacle courtyard where Eli and his Levitical helpers killed it, skinned it, took part of the fat to burn on the altar, cut out a prescribed portion of meat for the priests and returned the rest of the carcass to Elkanah. [2] 33


Back at the tent where the family camped with dozens or even hundreds of other pilgrims, the women were busy preparing a feast to go with the meat he would bring home. Eating the meat was an act of worship much like taking communion is an act of worship for modern Christians. Yet all this busy activity did nothing to ease Hanna’s broken heart. The intense grief that had been building for months—even years—continued to consume her. Elkanah knew his wife was sad but had no ability to understand the depth of her sorrow. The yearly sacrifice was supposed to be a happy time and her depression was dragging everyone down. In exasperation he pleaded, “Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” The answer to that question was obviously no, but she was too wise to offer such a retort. Instead she listened to her husband’s struggles and lay aside her grief long enough to participate in the celebration feast. The next day, Hanna silently made her way to the tabernacle. Its gate, an ornate curtain of scarlet, purple and blue, was rolled open and she slipped inside the open courtyard. About half the size of a football field, the rectangular space was filled with activity. People and priests scurried back and forth while smells of blood, burning fat and incense filled the air. In his ornate robes, Eli, the high priest—past middle age and grossly fat—sat on a low chair watching the organized chaos. The penalty for touching holy things, such as the altar, wash basin or tabernacle tent, was death, but the woman was free to look as long as she stood quietly and did not disturb. Then he noticed her moving mouth and moisture spread face. The woman was obviously drunk and needed to be thrown out. But Hanna was sober as a stone. It wasn’t alcohol that made her look strange. It was desperation. She poured her heart out to a God who was more than symbols and rituals; a living God who could hear and understand her need. All Israel came here to offer sacrifices, yet Hanna had nothing of her own to give. Then a new thought struck her and she offered the one thing dearest to her soul: a son. If God would give her a son, she would return to this place and give him back to God for a lifetime of service. Then Eli approached, telling to her to get rid of her wine and sober up before coming to a place of worship. Elkanah had not understood. Peninnah ridiculed her daily. Why should this man understand her tears? Patiently, she tried to explain and slowly the old priest’s condemnation turned to pity. He assured her that God did indeed hear prayer and encouraged her to believe the request would be granted. Hanna left satisfied. She had done what she could. The rest was up to God. The story of how Hanna’s faith was rewarded with a son and her subsequent gift of him to the Lord’s service is well known, but as you read, don’t miss two subtle and often overlooked details. When Hanna came back to Shiloh to leave her little boy in the care of Eli, she was a happy woman. There is no sign of grieving or reluctance. She dropped off her only son with joy and trusted that God would take tender care of the center of her world. She walked home from Shiloh with empty arms but a full heart. The second not to miss detail is that in the coming years a generous God surprised her with six more children! [1] I Samuel 8:7 [2] See, Leviticus 7 and I Samuel 2:12-17

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Fun Spring Cooking! by Christena Hammes Let the kids help you make these whimsical desserts to celebrate the arrival of spring. Visit www.familyfun.com for more fun and festive ideas for your family.

Compost Cake Ingredients: 8-inch-square chocolate cake Chocolate frosting Pretzel rods Crushed chocolate cookies Candy fruit slices Circus Peanuts Gummy worms Let’s make it! * Make an 8-inch-square chocolate cake from your favorite mix or recipe. * Cover it with chocolate frosting, then press pretzel rods around the sides, leaving some cracks for protruding critters. * Sprinkle the top with crushed chocolate cookies, then decorate with candy fruit slices, Circus Peanuts, and gummy worms and bugs.

Balloon Cupcakes Ingredients: * Baked cupcakes * Frosting (equal amounts of yellow, green, blue, and red) * Curling ribbon (yellow, green, blue, and red) Let’s make it! * Frost the cupcakes yellow, green, blue, and red and arrange them on a large platter or cake cardboard. * Tape a length of ribbon to the bottom of each cupcake. Tie all the ribbons together and curl the ends as shown. If you make one of these, please post your pictures on the ‘Ruby for Women’ Facebook page OR on your blog so we can see how much fun you had! 35


All the Empty Chairs by Lynn Mosher Memorial Day… …originally known as Decoration Day, as it was a day to honor the Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first observed on May 30, 1868 by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. Part of his proclamation says… “What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. “All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and found mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic… “Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude,-the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.” Congress instituted Memorial Day by passing a law on May 11, 1950, intending it to be a national day of prayer for peace. Part of the White House Memorial Day Proclamation says: Section 169g. Memorial Day as day of prayer for permanent peace “The President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each May 30, Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his religious faith, for permanent peace; designating a period during such day in which all the people of the United States may unite in prayer for a permanent peace; calling upon all the people of the United States to unite in prayer at such time; and calling upon the newspapers, radio stations, and all other mediums of information to join in observing such day and period of prayer.” Young people today probably do not know that Memorial Day used to be a solemn day, honoring those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Businesses closed for the day. Parades were held. Speeches and prayers were offered up at cemeteries. People took flowers and flags to the gravesites of those heroes who died in service for their country. In a few places, these things still take place out of respect and honor. 36


A hero is one who puts himself or herself in harm’s way to protect someone he/she doesn’t even know, who puts his/her life on the line that you and I can live in safety. And usually with little thanks. The next time you see one of our nation’s heroes in uniform stand and applaud him or her. Give that one a big hug, a pat on the back, or a handshake. Give that one your heartfelt thanks for protecting your homeland. Please pray for all the families of our fallen service men and women who leave behind empty chairs in their families. And pray for all those troops now deployed in harm’s way that they will return safely to their homes and sit once again with their loved ones. Pray that there will be no more empty chairs. ~~Soli deo gloria, Lynn~~

Disconnect Four Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page 76 37


The Perfect Mother by Gloria Doty Have you ever gone shopping for an outfit to wear on a very special occasion? You know, in your mind, exactly what it should look like, but none of the stores do. Several years ago, I took my mother shopping for a dress to wear to her oldest grandson’s wedding. She knew exactly what she wanted: navy blue, medium-length sleeves, no high collar, a skirt that came just below her knees, no elastic waist AND she needed it in a half-size. Last, but not least, the price had to be reasonable. We skipped the dress shops in her small town and headed to the big city, about twenty miles away. Surely it would be easy to find something there, with all those stores. I want you to know that on that day, in the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, there was no such dress! We found some dresses that met several of the requirements, but not all of them. Finally, empty-handed, dejected and exhausted, we drove back to the small town where Mom lived. In a last ditch effort, we stopped at a small dress shop about four blocks from Mom’s house. She saw a dress that she liked. It was a little long, but she could shorten it. It was not navy blue, but it was blue. It had short sleeves, but it came with a jacket that had medium-length sleeves. It didn’t have a high collar or elastic waist and it was reasonably priced. I felt like singing the Alleluia Chorus!! Mom wore the dress to the wedding and wore it many times after. She always liked that dress. With that scenario in mind, let’s pretend that before we were conceived, we had been able to give God a list of the attributes for the mother we wanted. Can’t you just see it? I want a mother that: 1) Is just the right size; not too short, but not too tall, either (or I might grow up to be a giant) 2) Has a sense of humor (in case I might do something I shouldn’t) 3) Has lots of compassion and understanding (in case I’m sad and need comforting) 4) Has a sparkling personality 5) Has lots of money so I can have everything I want 6) Is perfect in every way Despite what we may think or want, there is no such thing as a perfect mother. But isn’t it wonderful that God chose our mother and gave us just the right one? It doesn’t matter if that person is our birth mother, a step-mother, a foster mother, an adopted mother, a grandmother, an aunt-mother, or an older sister-mother. God put the person that was exactly right for us into our life. She may not have met all of the requirements we had, just like my mother’s dress, but she was still the person we needed. None of us have had a perfect mother and none of us will ever be a perfect mother, but if we lean on God, our Perfect Father, He will always guide us and help us to be the best that we can be. 38


Vintage Paper Dolls from the collection of Vintage Mama

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The Creative Adventures of Vintage Mama When I was a little girl growing up in a small, rural village in Michigan, one of my favorite things to do was to create my own paper dolls. I would cut out a picture of a beautiful young woman or little girl and glue it on to a piece of cardboard. Then my mom showed me how to take another, smaller piece of cardboard and fold it and cut it just right so that I could get my new paper doll to stand up. There! Once that was finished, it was on to designing, drawing, coloring, and cutting out a brand new wardrobe for Miss Fancy Pants. One of the reasons that I always loved creating my paper dolls and designing beautiful clothes for them was because having a beautiful wardrobe of my own was not something that was going to happen anytime soon. As I was growing up, we mostly wore hand-me-downs or thrift store bargains (I remember how much fun it was when my mom would go to the Goodwill store and buy a “grab bag” filled with various and numerous castoffs, all for 25 cents!), so fancy and frilly new dresses just weren’t part of my experience. But when it cam to designing clothing and outfits for my paper dolls, well, that was definitely a time for creativity and imagination! I now have a collection of vintage Betsy McCall paper dolls that I have gathered up over the years, and I love to share them with the readers of Ruby for Women. Betsy McCall paper dolls were one of my favorites because the seemed to portray a little girl whose life was what I wished my life could be . . . . safe, sweet, simple, and filled with love. So, even now, as a mama and a grandma, I still love paper dolls! There are lots of creative projects that can be made using vintage paper dolls, too. One of my current projects is an art journal book that I am making for one of our granddaughters. All kinds of fun and fanciful bits of paper, ribbons, buttons, lace, and fibers have been used to embellish a blank book to remind my little treasured girl that “Home is Where Your Story Begins . . . . “ And of course there is lots and lots of glitter! There are several pages that have decorated envelopes to hold paper dolls and a complete wardrobe for each one, along with little doors and windows that open and close, book marks, “inchie” collages, embellished tags, alphabet letters, Scrabble letters, Bingo cards, and anything else that I can find that will inspire the imagination and creativity of an eight-yearold girl. It is amazing to me that simply remembering all of the fun I had as a little girl playing with my paper dolls has inspired so many creative projects . . . . can’t wait to see what the next idea will be! 40


Bride on a Budget Planning and Praying for your Wedding by Christena Hammes If you are planning a wedding with a budget in mind, you might want to consider some of the great DIY projects and tutorials that are available. Here are a few ideas to think about as you make your plans. Perfect for the Bride on a Budget! Have you ever considered the possibility of making your own wedding cake? For a bride on a budget, paying $8 per slice for a wedding cake may seem outrageous! But what are the alternatives, particularly when you don't have any baking experts in your family? The answer is - making a wedding cake is really not that hard! As long as you allow yourself enough time and patience and look for simple yet beautiful decorating techniques such as the ones included here, you should be fine. The instructions and decorating techniques are aimed at someone who has some baking experience, but has never made a tiered cake or a wedding cake before. I don't think a bride or groom should add making a wedding to their long list of things to do, but certainly one or two bridesmaids or groomsmen should be able to accomplish this feat. The complete recipe and all instructions for this gorgeous Fondant-Covered Wedding Cake with Raspberries and Chocolate can be found on the About.com website, along with a wedding cake guide for beginners. Another DIY project that will add a touch of charm and whimsy to your wedding is a brooch bouquet. Bouquets made of buttons, brooches and baubles have been popular for a few years— some made of family treasures, others made of vintage jewelry—and you can make one of your very own, all on a budget! There are several DIY tutorials for making a bridal brooch bouquet using vintage jewelry, buttons, beads, charms, lace, and even fabric to match your wedding dress. Visit Hampton Roads Bride Blog for all the details and instructions to create your very own bridal brooch bouquet . . . . you might even want to include some nostalgic pieces of jewelry from your mother or grandmother. One of the best things about a bridal brooch bouquet is that it will last forever, and someday you can pass it on to your own daughter for her wedding! 41


Searching for an easy floating candle centerpiece for your do-it-yourself wedding? Consider this super simple design! Your guests will be pleased with the elegant twist on an old favorite and you’ll be pleased with the price. You can find the complete instructional tutorial for this beautiful centerpiece DIY project, along with many other great ideas for a bride on a budget at the Bride Craft website. Bride Craft is a free site for brides on a budget and do it yourself weddings. It boasts clear step-by-step photos of different wedding related craft projects, as well as precise written steps with each image. Bride Craft was created for the bride who wants it all but can’t afford it, the bride who wants to showcase her creativity but may not know how to do it, and the couple who wants to have a nice wedding but doesn’t want to start their new life in debt. Great projects, articles and advice are available to help you on your path to wedded bliss. Another DIY project that is fun and perfect for the bride on a budget is wedding favors. Making your own wedding favors adds a personal touch to your wedding and can save a lot of money. It also allows you to create wedding favors that reflect your unique style and personality. Wendy Dawn on Yahoo Voices has a great article with step-by-step instructions for creating several different designs, with one sure to be perfect for your wedding! “Craft Guides for Make-itYourself Wedding Favors” is a great place to get creative ideas for the Bride on a Budget. The key to successful do-it-yourself wedding favors is getting them done early. You can always store your wedding favors until the wedding. You will avoid a lot of stress as the big day approaches if you plan and prepare ahead of time. Days in advance of your wedding you will not want the added pressure of preparing wedding favors. In fact, you'll probably end up buying something more expensive and less personal if you wait. Plan early and enjoy time with family and close friends making your own wedding favors. There are several easy and inexpensive ways to make-your-own wedding favors in this article, including sachets; votive candles; decorative bubbles; bath salts; personalized tin or plastic case mints of pink M&M's, or pastel almonds; other unique gifts to hold mints or candy; and a personalized candy bar. Each craft is listed separately, along with the supplies you need for that craft. Once you have identified the wedding favor you wish to create, the only limit to decorating and accessorizing them is your own imagination. You can use your wedding colors in a myriad of unique ways to personalize your wedding favors, creating a take home gift your guests will not soon forget. 42


So have fun and be full of the joy of the Lord as you plan your wedding! And remember to pray for everyone involved. The following prayer list was is from the article, “Praying for Your Wedding People,” found at the Hephzibah Bride blog. * Pray that the Lord will help you choose your wedding attendants. * Pray that your wedding party/attendants will be cooperative and helpful. * Pray that your wedding party/attendants and wedding planners/helpers will support you in your aim of having a Christ-centered marriage. * Pray that the Lord will give you grace and wisdom when dealing with difficult people and situations. * Pray that the Lord’s favor will be on those helping to plan your wedding. * Pray that there will be unity between you and your wedding people, and amongst your wedding people. I would add – pray for yourself to have a forgiving and joy-filled spirit so that others will see Christ in you! This can be a very stressful time, but remember you have the ‘joy of the Lord which is your strength.’ “Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can't live without.” ~James C. Dobson

Spiritual Trail Mix by Elizabeth Baker Spiritual Trail Mix by Elizabeth Baker is the perfect companion for modern life on the go. Whether you’re looking for a moment of down time before sleep or an interlude of laughter while waiting in line, these stories will give a fresh reason to face the day with a positive attitude. From romance to humor to drama, the variety will be refreshing and the spiritual nourishment a boost to keep you going with a smile. Like a quick call from a friend or an unexpected breeze on a summer day, these 30 stories provide a moment of refreshment without weighing you down. And, best of all, every story can be read in ten minutes or less You have enjoyed Elizabeth’s stories in Ruby for Women, now download her e-book free as a member of Amazon Prime, or purchase for $3.99 from Amazon. E-book can be purchased formatted for other readers at www.ElizabethBakerBooks.com 43


Our Hearts Shout by Keith Wallis Our hearts shout when our mouths can only whisper. Your abundance fills our eyes and you pasture our souls with Your love. Yours the day-glowing, dazzle-daisied vista, a simple repetition reaching into the distance stretching incredulity. Master image maker, deviser of new days we form a daisy-chain of praise. 44


Sew Along with Laura

Contrary Husband Quilt Block # 8 Bible Block Wedding Sampler by Laura Brandt Before we get into this month’s block, this is a good time to begin to cut your sashing. I’m making a 30-block sampler, so to create 2.5” finished sashing, I’ll need 71 rectangles, 3”x12.5”. If you’re making a 12-block sampler, you’ll need 31 rectangles, 3”x12.5” and if you’re making a 6-block sampler, you’ll need 17 rectangles also 3”x12.5”. By way of reminder: you’ll need 2 1/8 yard of fabric for the 30-block sampler’s sashing, 1 yard for the 12-block sampler and 5/8 yard for the 6-block sampler. Once you’ve cut your sashing, use any leftover fabric in your quilt blocks! Now, for the Contrary Husband block, you’ll want to choose three fabrics. Mine are pictured below. Please note: all seams are ¼”; final block is 12.5” unfinished. Step 1 – cut your fabric. From Fabric 1, cut four 4 7/8” squares. From Fabric 2, cut four 4 7/8” squares and from Fabric 3, cut one 4.5” square.

Step 2 - Make your half-square triangle units. On the wrong side of your four 4 7/8” Fabric 1 squares, draw a diagonal line corner to corner. Draw a ¼” line on either side of the diagonal centre line. 45


Place your marked Fabric 1 squares right sides together with your four 4 7/8” Fabric 2 squares and sew along the quarter-inch lines you’ve marked on either side of your diagonal centre line.

Cut squares apart along centre line and press seams; square your eight resultant blocks to 4.5”.

Step 3 – lay out your squares

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Step 4 – sew your squares together into rows and press seams

Step 5 – being careful with your alignment, sew your rows together to make your block and press seams. You are done!

Wentworth County Quiltworks Bible quilt updates and a growing Bible Block-of-the-Month collection Visit Laura and follow along as she creates her Bible Block-of-the-Month Collection! www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com

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Sew Along with Laura

Contrary Husband Quilt Block # 8 Bible Block Wedding Sampler Template #1

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Sew Along with Laura

Contrary Husband Quilt Block # 8 Bible Block Wedding Sampler Template #2 49


Sew Along with Laura Bible Block Wedding Sampler 50


How I Silenced Sister Mary Critical by Theresa Ceniccola Do you have a voice inside your head that tells you you’re worthless at times? A tiny nagging whisper that eats away your self-esteem? You may not hear it all the time, but I’m willing to bet you know what I’m talking about. Even the most renowned writers, musicians, performers (and other creative geniuses) hear the voice of the inner critic. I recently attended a workshop with Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and expert on the relationship between creativity and spirituality. Julia has an interesting perspective on the inner critic. She says the voice never disappears – it just perfects its manipulation skills as you succeed. Instead of saying “You’ll never publish a book,” the voice says, “You’re a one-hit wonder.” And when you publish the second book, the voice says, “Now you’re repeating yourself.” The voice continues to hurl clever insults despite your success. And Julia should know – she’s published 30 books! But Julia has an extraordinary method of silencing the malicious voice. She spends some time getting to know her inner critic. That’s right – Julia has a name, a visual and a story for the voice that attempts to destroy her creativity. Her theory: it’s helpful in battle to know the enemy! So I decided to give this method a try…I sat down with my journal and asked my inner critic to reveal herself. I challenged her to insult me and deflate my hopes and dreams. As I listed all her offensive blows, I began to form a picture of this evil voice. And I named her Sister Mary Critical. That’s right – the embodiment of all my self-doubt wears a cross and a habit with very sensible shoes. (No offense to the many inspirational and caring nuns who served as role models and mentors to me as a child!) Something encouraging happened as I playfully wrote the story of this imaginary nemesis. As I described her in detail, I realized I no longer feared her reproachful words. I began to associate the voice of my inner critic with a woman who had no emotional power over me. And guess what! I realized I wasn’t in elementary school anymore and I didn’t have to listen to Sr. Mary Critical! So now when I journal (or write copy for a client, or make dinner for my family, or register for a triathlon) and the voice of Sr. Mary Critical tells me I’m going to fail, I envision this pitiful woman and smile. I’m not threatened by her anymore. Ready to silence your inner critic? Try it in your journal – write a description of your inner critic or draw or paint an image of her. Include as much detail as possible and have a little fun with it! I have a hunch you’re going to enjoy destroying the self-sabotaging voice with this simple character sketch!

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Children’s Book Corner The Teddy Bear by David McPhail Reviews by Kendra Peterson The Teddy Bear by David McPhail is a sweet story for younger readers. In the book, the teddy bear had a good home and someone who loved him very much. The boy took the bear everywhere he went. One day, by accident, the boy left the teddy bear at a diner when he fell asleep after traveling. The bear was mistakenly put in a trash can by the diner workers. I will not tell you what happened to the bear or who found him, but someone found the bear and gave him love, just not in the same, comfortable lifestyle he was used to at the boy's home. Wait till you see what the boy does at the end - better have a Kleenex ready! I read this book to the first graders here at school, and the kids always ask why the "old" man is looking through trash cans. When I turn the page to where the man and bear are sleeping in a dumpster it always starts a great conversation about homelessness. This book is simply written with beautiful watercolor illustrations. It will spark questions from your child, which could lead to doing a kind deed together for someone who is homeless - what a great mission idea! I would recommend this book for 1st - 3rd grade. Other books by David McPhail include Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore, Mole Music, Emma’s Pet and Waddles among several other beautiful children’s books. You can purchase The Teddy Bear as well as the other books by David McPhail in Ruby’s Book Corner.

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A Tribute to Mothers Mothers are everything for us when we are small - our lives revolve around her. For everything that we need, we call mother. To protect us from all perceivable dangers, we want her around us. To pick us up, we hold out our arms to her. To kiss away our wounds, we run to her. And for a warm hug and love, we look for her. She is the focal point of our lives, the greatest human being in the world. On the special occasion of Mothers Day, pay tribute to your mother - the greatest blessing of God in your life. There is simply no way we can ever really thank mother for all she has done for us. She is the one who will be awake all night when we are sick, praying to God to make us well and be ever ready to bear the pain that we may be experiencing. She is the one to wake up early in the morning to make our breakfast and help us get ready for our day. She endures all our tantrums. Mothers are the ones who would forever complain that we are not eating enough or not eating right. They would cook all sorts of things so that we can be strong and healthy. Mothers, in fact, worry more for our examinations than we do. They take pains to help us complete our school projects, leaving all other works behind while we play around with friends or just while away time watching movies. Mother is the one on whom we put all the blame for our failures. We would not hesitate once to point out her single faux pas, though she would not miss even the slightest opportunity to praise us. Isn't it tough to imagine how she must have borne our temper tantrums when we were teenagers? And how hard we must have made her life by behaving so rudely? And yet she was so astonishingly cool. It is easy for the kids to be so demanding from parents, especially mothers, as we take her affection and care so much for granted, often to the extent of selfishness. Mothers Day is the right time to apologize for all the troubles that we gave to our moms, without even realizing at most times how troublesome we must have been to her. Mothers Day is the perfect day to celebrate the joys of having a mother. It is the time to make amends for not being able to spend quality time with her. So turn your wrongs right by making all efforts to give a perfect Mothers Day to your mother. Think about her likes and dislikes; about gifts and ideas on celebration and act accordingly. Strive to make Mothers Day absolutely hassle free for your mother and take the responsibilities on yourself for a day. Pamper her a little on this special day of hers just as she pampers you all the year round. Give her a warm hug and a big kiss as you wish her a Happy Mothers Day! ~ Anonymous 53


A Bittersweet May by Jean Ann Williams

“I’m having a Mother’s Day Tea,” my friend Becky said on the other end of the phone line, “and am inviting some of our writer friends and a few of the ladies from church.” My heart dipped. Six weeks into grieving my son’s suicide, I didn’t know how I could possibly get through an afternoon without crying. Each afternoon played out the same, and escalated into evenings of tears, tears, and more tears. I did not intend to upset my friends and ruin a tea party, so I said,

“That’s so kind of you, Becky, but I’m afraid I can’t go. I’m too weepy and that will bother everyone.” “It’s in your honor.” My throat swelled, so that I could not speak. Oh. My. Becky said, “I know it’s hard, Jean, but you’re a mother and you need to celebrate your motherhood.” My voice quivered. “Oh, I don’t know.” “It’ll be fun,” she said. “Everybody will wear their favorite spring hat and I’ll make lots of goodies. And,” she said with emphasis, “I’m serving fabulous hot peach tea.” I nodded. “I like peaches.” “This will be good. You’ll see.” I wailed, “But I’m a crybaby.” “Invite your daughter and granddaughters. We can’t leave them out.” She got me there. I could go to the tea with my daughter Jami at my side. When the day came, I dreaded going once again. How could I possibly mingle with close acquaintances only two months after Joshua’s death? Maybe they dreaded seeing me more than I dreaded being around them. Besides, I didn’t deserve to honor my motherhood. I couldn’t even keep my son alive. I would not attend. But, then, I thought of Jami and her daughters. After I told my granddaughters about the tea party, it was all they could talk of with me: dressing up in gloves, dresses, and hats and drinking peach tea. My girls and I needed to attend a lighthearted affair after our horrific loss from suicide. Not only did I lose my youngest child, but also my daughter lost her baby brother. Her daughters lost their uncle Joshy, as they called him. 54


That morning, I couldn’t help myself and began to sob as I dressed in my linen skirt and lace top. Would going to the tea make me more miserable for what I no longer had? With one less child in my life, I had one gaping hole in my soul. I bowed my head, and said, “All the other mothers still have their children.” No, that’s not true. I stiffened. Where did the thought come from and was it so? My mind raced over the names that would attend the tea. My remembering settled over Martha from our church. She would celebrate her one-hundredth birthday soon, and she had lost her only child and her husband decades before. I remembered Martha’s gentle encouragement to me one day during worship services. She winked. “You’re doing alright, kiddo.” At the time, I had no idea Martha had lost her son, and resentment rose inside me at her words. How could she know how I felt? I was not doing well. A few weeks later, I discovered the truth about Martha. Right then, thinking of the tea I dressed for, I decided to pray. “Lord, please help me get through this day. Thank you for good friends like Becky and Martha. I am grateful my daughter and granddaughters will be there. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.” A bit shaky, I arrived at Becky’s home. My friends eased my frazzled nerves with their hugs and whispered condolences. My daughter and I sat together and stayed quieter than the other ladies at the tea. I looked around at the oak trees surrounding Becky’s house made from a windmill and listened to women chatter. At one point, Martha gave me a knowing look and smiled. All of it made me feel safe and loved. True to Becky’s word, she had an abundance of delicious finger foods and treats. Cup after cup of the sweet peach tea warmed my insides. My granddaughters ate their fill, getting chocolate on their frilly gloves and dresses. All the while, Becky took pictures and I thought little of it at the time. Within a few weeks, though, she presented me with a photo album of our Mother’s Day Tea Party. Becky offered another blessed moment in an otherwise bittersweet month of May.

“At the time, I had no idea Martha had lost her son, and resentment rose inside me at her words. How could she know how I felt? I was not doing well. A few weeks later, I discovered the truth about Martha.”

I’ll never forget how Becky served me as a friend. Months later, as a woman of action, she suggested I needed a project and together we created a children’s book of Bible stories. It doesn’t matter it never got published. What counted was how Becky kept my mind busy.

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Through my experiences with Becky, I learned to seek women friends who were willing to nurture me. They created some of my most comforting moments. I needed more than what my husband was able to give because he hurt just as much. I scarcely had the ability to struggle through myself, much less be there always for my husband. Like many mothers who have lost a child, I needed to talk about my son. I needed to feel safe in sharing my greatest fears and sorrows with Becky, and I had no doubt she would keep our conversations in confidence. Becky listened to me for countless hours and never gave advice. She not only helped by allowing me to talk, but she showed me by example what being a good listener looked like. Some days I did not feel like answering the phone, nor did I want to visit in either of our homes. When all I wanted was to hunker down and hide, Becky sent me cards in the mail and showed me she cared. One thing Becky could not do was take away my hurt. That was God’s job. She had, however, acted as a ministering angel. I found God allowed Becky to ease my wounded heart. Though I sure didn’t know it at the time, I needed a tea party to celebrate my motherhood. Later, Becky and I shared many teas for two in the comfort of her safe and loving home.

Memories by Amanda Johnson I’m a big fan of in-home walking. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s basically a workout program developed by fellow believer Leslie Sansone. It takes walking to a whole new aerobic/cardio level right in your own home. It’s a great way to fit in some exercise time when you can’t get outdoors. It’s funny to think that I’m into this workout program in 2012 when I was actually first introduced to it by my grandmother in the 90’s. Grandma was a godly woman. She and I were extremely close. We did a lot of things together including exercising. She was a walker and she passed down her love of walking and being outdoors to me. She also passed down her amazing apple sauce pancake recipe, pound cake recipe, and her ability to sew. She was a beautiful light in my life and even though she’s physically gone, her memory will always be with me. Proverbs 10:7 tells us “The memory of the righteous is blessed”. The memory of my grandmother is a huge blessing to me and I’m using her example to be a blessing to my nieces and nephews (her great grandchildren) that didn’t get to meet her. It’s my prayer that they will not only carry the memory on of Grandma, but also the love of Christ that she shared with all of us. Whose memory are you passing on as a blessing to others? 56


To Remember Love by Tonya Ferguson Book Review by “Create with Joy” Introduction I believe in divine appointments. I believe there are times God brings people into our lives because there is unfinished business He wants us to complete. I believe that sometimes, God prompts us to reach out to strangers because in doing so, He knows that we will entertain angels unaware. A few months ago, in the most unlikely of places, I met a woman named Tonya. During the course of our encounter, she shared that she would soon be publishing her first book. Although I do not normally solicit books from writers whose work I am unfamiliar with, I mentioned that I review inspirational books and invited her to send me a copy when it became available. At the time, I had no idea who Tonya was or what Tonya’s book was about. Little did I know that I had just encountered life-changer Tonya Ferguson – and that her memoir, To Remember Love – Two Promises That Led Me to the Notes in the Ashes, was about to profoundly impact my life! To Remember Love is the brutally honest, emotionally raw, and incredibly moving account of Tonya’s 13-year journey through grief. The story also chronicles her first-hand experience with both sudden and lingering death. The first half of the book describes in heartbreaking detail how Tonya’s life shattered when her father died of a sudden heart attack at her mother’s dinner table. The second half describes the daily anguish Tonya faced as she witnessed her mother succumb, one memory at a time, to Alzheimer’s during the nine-and-a-half years she served as her primary caretaker. Tonya’s book bears testament to the incredible resilience of the human heart, the healing power of God, and the strength of the human spirit. The experiences she shares could easily break the strongest of people, yet Tonya’s strong faith – which she attributes to the parents she so lovingly writes about – provide her with the sustenance she needs to get through the bleakest of days. Chances are, you will shed many a tear as you read this “book with a heartbeat”, for Tonya doesn’t sugar coat her shock, clinically detach from her pain, or toss meaningless platitudes our way as she works her way through her grief. Instead, she lovingly and passionately pours her heart onto each page. Because of her authenticity, each chapter she shares is a stepping stone we willingly traverse as she sojourns through the desolate valleys of death and grief… always forging forward and ever looking upward to her Mount Sinai of Hope. 57


To Remember Love is filled with comforting Scripture, bearing witness to her goal: I want to give you Hope to replace your Hopelessness. I want to give you Glory to replace your Grief. I want to give you Blessings to replace your Battles. I want to give you Faith to replace your Fear. For anyone who has experienced excruciating loss and is carrying hidden pain that only God can reach – Tonya’s book is balm. By openly writing about her grief, she personally helped me process mine. She put into words emotions I could not express. I felt my spirit shift and lighten as I read her words and felt frozen feelings surface and melt in God’s healing light. If you are living in the aftermath of loss – if you feel stuck in grief – or if you know someone who is – buy this book! Likewise, if you are a caretaker or know one – if you have a loved one who is facing Alzheimer’s – or if you need to learn more about this disease – buy this book! It is healing. It is life-changing. It is empowering. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Tonya Ferguson Tonya Ferguson is an inspirational Author, Singer, Songwriter and Recording Artist who changes lives as she shares her personal life journey and struggles through her songs and her books. She is down-to-earth, authentic, and highly engaging. To learn more about Tonya, visit her website. To Remember Love is available in Paperback, Kindle, Nook and Audio Book editions. Please visit Create with Joy for more inspirational book reviews, creative challenges, and weekly blog hops that promote fun and friendship.

www.theresaceniccola.com 58


To Be in Black To be in black on the Lord’s day. A dry and arid place when the oasis is in sight but held at a distance by circumstance and happenstance twin dictators of mood and heart. To be in black on the Lord’s day In a walled room devoid of light, cringing within shadowed soul wounds weeping a hearts cry away from God. To be in black on the Lord’s day. When all the screams of life deafen in tidal flood blind in binding fear. A dumb breath-sucked vacuum where life is somewhere else where reality is a God away and these limbs are useless to move me there. To be in black on the Lord’s day. When the spirit battles to say its yes to all things good and love-cared and somehow falls under the weight of effort. To be in my dark room seeing your light its single ray stretching to me inextinguishable penetrating loving. And the heart makes its cry on the Lord’s day. ~ Keith Wallis 59


Love from the Prayer Garden Love – The Highest Goal by Thomas B. Clarke A soft, contented smile comes over my face as I gaze at the bell-shaped bellflower blossoms. Adorned in their royal purple colors, I can almost imagine how these small bells would sound, ringing softly and gently as they proclaim their good news: the Lord is head over heals in love with us, and he is eagerly waiting for our loving response. ~ Tom Clarke The bellflower (or Campanula if you prefer) is an enamoring border or rock garden plant that offers an intriguing number of forms and shapes. The deep-purple flower shown here is the ‘Sarastro’ bellflower, a recent hybrid that appears to softly ring a delicate tone of loving affection. Each bellflower seems to have its own melodious ring. In the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, the Boston Symphony conducts their summer evening concerts on the lawn at Tanglewood. The dew begins to fall as the concert begins – soon, the sun has set leaving just the lighting from the orchestra and walkway areas. One by one, children fall asleep on their blankets or in their mother’s arms as the concert proceeds to their final piece by Tchaikovsky. Softly the orchestra plays as if in a dream of angels on wings – everything is peaceful and harmonious, absolutely lovely. The ambiance is unforgettable. Suddenly, a cannon shoots a bloodthirsty boom from the center of the audience, the concluding portion of the 1812 Overture. Children are crying and everyone is in shock – the peace is gone. Cannons don’t belong in the orchestra. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance … Love will last forever! (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). The bellflower, with graceful blossoms that arch over one another in humility, is a simple example of how patient, kind, continuous, hopeful, and enduring our love should be. In a non-assuming way, they seem to gently ring their melody in unison – a song that is not noisy or like a clanging cymbal: “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1). Lack of love disrupts; the presence of deep and profound love unifies and brings us closer to our Lord who is ready to send whatever physical or spiritual blessings he may have for us.

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This section of the Scriptures concludes with this: Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love. Let love be your highest goal! (1 Corinthians 13:13;14:1). These verses emphasize the importance of love being manifested throughout our lives. Whatever our regrets in life, our Lord is looking at how we love today, not dwelling on the irritable things we may have done in the past. God is looking for changed hearts – hearts that truly love. The softly ringing bellflower seems to understand that love is its highest goal. Thomas B. Clarke is the Ruby for Women Gardening Sponsor and caretaker of the Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY, which is open to the public. Copyright © 2009 Bible Discernments. Excerpt from A Garden of Love by Thomas B. Clarke, a gift book about love for anyone that enjoys flowers. A Garden of Love is available on Amazon as well as at www.agardenoflove.com.

Visit Charlotte Siems of

“This Lovely Place” where you will find words of inspiration, wisdom, and encouragement for your journey as a homemaker. www.charlottesiems.com/thislovelyplace 61


The Visionary by Pamela S. Thibodeaux A visionary is someone who sees into the future. Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society. Can the love of God and the power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives? Find out in . . . The Visionary . . . . where the awesome power of God’s love heals the most wounded of souls. Pamela S. Thibodeaux is multi-published in fiction and non-fiction. Her writing has been tagged as “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “Steamier and grittier than the typical Christian without decreasing the message.” She is the Co-founder and a member of the Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. As a former member of American Christian Fiction Writers (formerly ACRW), Golden Triangle Writers Guild, Coeur de Louisiane and RWA, Pam won Coeur’s 1999 “Diamond In The Rough” as well as their 2000 “Ruby” Award and received her RWA Pro Pin in 2001. A committed Christian, she firmly believes in God and His promises. God is very real to her and she feels that people today need and want to hear more of His truths wherever they can glean them. Although her writing is Inspirational, she does her best to encourage readers to develop a personal relationship with God. The deepest desire of her heart is to glorify God and to get His message of faith, trust and forgiveness to a hurting world. Her hope is that all of her stories will touch the lives of everyone who reads them and – in some way – bring them a truer knowledge of God and urge them into a closer walk with Him. Pamela has extensive experience in speaking on a wide variety of topics related to writing as well as women’s issues. To invite Pam to speak at your luncheon or event, email her at: pthib07@gmail.com http://pamelathibodeaux.com/ & http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com/ 62


You are invited to join us every week for

Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy Here’s a great opportunity for you to connect with other women who share your passion for creativity and inspiration! Please join us for Inspire Me Monday

Looking for that perfect Mother’s Day gift? Visit S & R Gift World

702-496-6715 www.sandrgiftworld.biz

"Your one-stop shopping experience" 63


Celebrate Spring with Kites! A Passion for Kite Flying: Basant, a Spring Festival by Kausar Iqbal Basant (which means kite flying) is a beautiful event that celebrates spring with a sky flooded with kites. The festival is held at the arrival of spring in early March. In the subcontinent and China, kites have been used in different forms of celebration. From 100 BC to AD 500, kites were used for sending signals and to measure the distance of enemy camps. In AD 930, the Japanese mentioned Shiroshi, meaning paper bird, for the first time. Between AD 960 to AD 1126, kite flying became a popular sport in China. The ancient eastern city of Lahore marks the beginning of spring with the Basant carnival, which is celebrated and watched by the whole country. In the early 16th century, the Lahore fort opened the festival. The palaces would throw open their doors for all night parties and view kites illuminating the sky Today, a similar tradition takes place with kite flying at night. White paper kites shimmer in the night sky diving and soaring as rival fliers joust in duels. In many places there is a rush on kite shops, especially in old Lahore around the time of the festival. Many children are excited to pick out their favorite colored kites and strings to match. Kites come in a variety of shapes, sizes and different colors. People from different cities throng to Lahore where kite flying beings at dawn and continues until dusk. Friends, neighbors and visitors battle one another for victory and cries of triumph fill the air. The festival is part of the country of Pakistan’s culture and a beautiful event of colors and lights. So in short, happiness can be found in sharing and enjoying this simple occasion with laughter and happiness.

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Show Mom You Love Her with these whimsical springtime treats from Family Fun

There’s just something about springtime that makes us all feel renewed and refreshed! The month of May is the perfect time to create fun and fanciful treats, for Mother’s Day or for your first picnic of the season. You can find lots and lots of recipes to dress up your springtime meals and special occasions at Family Fun. We’ll be making the Rose Basket Cupcakes for Mother’s Day when we go to Grandma’s house this year, and the Bird’s Nest treats will be a sweet treat to take to the church dinner next week. Give it a try! You’ll see how much fun it is to be creative in the kitchen.

Rose Basket Cupcakes What you need for each Rose Basket Cupcake: * 1 cupcake (pink or white) * Chocolate frosting * Green-tinted coconut * Candy or frosting roses * 3 strands of red string licorice

Let’s make it: Using the chocolate frosting, frost the outside of each cupcake in a basket-weave pattern or simply pipe a decorative edge around the top of each cupcake. Add the coconut grass and a few candy roses. Braid the licorice for a decorative handle. You can also make your own roses with a rose tip and pink frosting.

Bird’s Nest Treats What you need: * 4 egg whites * ½ tsp cream of tartar * Pinch of salt * 1 cup sugar * 1 tsp vanilla * Shredded coconut * Candy eggs, jelly beans, or egg-shaped chocolate malt balls Let’s make it! Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In mixing bowl, whip together the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar, beating constantly until the mixture is glossy and stiff. Beat in the vanilla extract until just combined. Spoon three mounds of the mixture onto each baking sheet. Use the bowl of the spoon to shape each mound into a 4” wide circle, with a 2” deep depression in the center. Giver your nests a “lived-in” look by sprinkling shredded coconut over each one. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the meringues are dry and the coconut has turned golden brown. Once cook, tuck several jelly beans or chocolate malt egg into the nest for each member of the family. Makes 6 nests. For more spectacular springtime recipes, please visit Family Fun. 65


The Keys to Grandma’s Heart Make This Charming Mother’s Day Banner from Vintage Mama’s Cottage Have you ever thought that it would be fun to give Mom or Grandma something different for Mother’s Day? Something besides a card and a bouquet of roses; or something different from the traditional plant, necklace, or brooch? This Mother’s Day banner is quick, easy, inexpensive, and best of all it is creative and will express your love for Mom or Grandma. All it takes is some scrapbook paper and a box filled with left over lace, ribbons, vintage buttons, and any mismatched scrapbook ephemera still hiding in the back of your craft cupboard. So, instead of sending a card for Mother’s Day, you can make one of these sweet banners (or two or three!), and the best part is that you can mail it just like a card if you want – of course you will need a larger, padded, envelope but this will be so much more meaningful and personal. Try it, it’s fun! Supplies: * Scrapbook papers in various colors and designs * Craft glue * Scissors * Scraps of fabric, ribbon, lace, and braids * Vintage buttons, beads, or charms * Variety of scrapbook ephemera such as paper flowers, chipboard shapes and letters, etc. * Glitter * Strip of lightweight / sheer fabric 4” W X 24” – 36” L

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STEP #1: Cut individual banner tags in the shape of your choice. Some banners are made with triangle tags; others are rectangular with a “V” shape cut in the bottom. I chose to make mine shaped like luggage tags, so I simply cut seven tags 3 ½” wide by 6 ½” long. Then, I just cut the top two corners off of each tag and punched a hole in the top. If you decide to have your banner spell out the word “Mother,” you will only need six tags; you could also add an extra tag on either end of your banner without a letter just with beautiful embellishments. This is also a fun craft project to make to celebrate each new season, using seasonal colors and embellishments; it would also be a great way to send a personalized birthday greeting. You can make a banner with any word or name you would like to use! STEP #2: Once you have all of your tags cut to the size and shape you want, the fun begins! You can use chipboard letters, or sticker letters, or you can go online and print out free alphabet letters from lots of different sources. If you print out your letters on cardstock, they will be stiffer and hold up better than if you print them out on regular copy paper. I found these beautiful brown letters on a great blog with lots of free scrapbook printouts, created by Granny Enchanted. Please visit her blog and let her know you heard about her at Ruby for Women! Step #3: Begin planning each tag for your banner. Try different combinations of papers, lace, buttons, embellishments, fibers, ribbons, or charms. I had several little locks and keys in my stash that I had purchased for a different project and didn’t use them all. If you have any little scraps of fabric, lace, ribbons, braids, or any paper ephemera, bring it all out onto your craft table and begin to plan your tags. After I had gathered all of my supplies, I noticed that I had several pieces of scrapbook papers in shades of blue, brown, and ivory with little bits of green. So, then I started pulling together some leftover paper flowers, a bit of old ivory lace, ribbons, and even some scraps of fabric from one of my refashion projects! (You can find tons of great fabric, buttons, and trims at your local thrift shop that you can cut up and use for other projects). After playing around with the various embellishments to decide what combinations you like best begin gluing it all together. If you want a ribbon or lace strip on the side or bottom of one of your tags, you might want to glue that on before you glue on the letter. Most embellishments can be added after you glue on the letter. 67


STEP #4: To make the little “bunting” shapes, simply take a narrow strip of scrapbook paper (approximately 1” wide and as long as you want), then fold it back and forth, accordion style. Pull it apart and glue each end down flat, fanning out the rest of the folded strip. You will need to hold the ends down until the glue dries (or use a hot glue gun), and then put drops of glue between the tag and the folds of the “bunting” and hold it down until it dries. You can then glue a button, bead or charm at the small curve at the bottom of the “bunting” shape or even on top of it. Use your imagination and be creative! Add little bows or streamers of yarn or ribbon; pom poms are cute all along the bottom of one of your tags; use your decorative scissors to cut a edge of one of the tags and glue a strip of coordinating colored paper underneath. Vintage buttons always add charm and whimsy to any craft project (in my opinion!) so let your imagination run wild!

STEP #5: As you complete decorating each tag, you will want to let the glue dry completely; some of the embellishments can be weighted down with heavy glass jars or cans (so that they won’t stick in case some of the glue escapes!). Also, when you glue on strips of ribbon, lace, or braids, be sure to leave a bit extra at either end and trim it off after it is thoroughly dry. This will make sure that it all stays where you want it and doesn’t slip or shrink as it is drying.

STEP #6: When all of your tags are completely decorated and the glue has had time to dry thoroughly (over night is best), you can begin to create your finished banner. Ribbon works well, but I like the “tattered” look so I used two strips of repurposed sheer brown print fabric (cut from a blouse found at our local thrift shop), and just pulled the ends through the hole in the middle tag and tied a knot. Simple enough! Then, if you are using ribbon, pull a section of the ribbon through the next tag, tie a knot to hold it in place, leaving the two ends of the ribbon extended out the back of the tag and move down the ribbon approximately 3” – 4” to the next tag. If you are using a strip of fabric, simply pull a section of the fabric through each hole, puffing it out like a little bow (which you can glue down later when you know you have all your tags positioned correctly). 68


STEP #7: Adjust your tags so that they are close together, but not overlapping too much so that it is easy to read the banner. If you want even more embellishments, add a few ribbon streamers at either end or in between tags. STEP #8: To finish your banner, tie a loop in either end of the ribbon; if using a strip of “tattered” fabric, tie a knot to finish it off and stitch a small ribbon loop on each end to hang the banner. Then, if you want to, add a handmade fabric flower to cover the ribbon loops. Next time, we’ll look at different ways to make fabric flowers to use in all kinds of craft projects! Have fun with your Mother’s Day banner, and be sure to tell Mom and Grandma about all of the great ideas, articles, recipes, poems, stories, and crafts here at Ruby for Women.

Copyright 2012 Vintage Mama’s Cottage 69


An American Tradition: Mother’s Day Have you ever thought about Mother’s Day? More than just trying to remember to send a card or make a phone call, or buy a plant or bouquet for Mom on that one special Sunday in May? The history of Mother’s Day reveals the cultural influences over the centuries and helps us understand the importance of recognizing the presence, the work, the love, the devotion that our mothers have brought into our lives. While realizing that Mother’s Day is not always a joyous occasion for some of us for a variety of reasons, the history of this special day emphasizes the respect that all mothers deserve. Here are a few interesting facts about the American tradition of celebrating Mother’s Day When the first English settlers came to America, they discontinued the tradition of celebrating Mother’s Day that had been established in Britain. While the British holiday would live on, the American Mother’s Day would be invented – with an entirely new history – centuries later. One explanation for the settlers’ discontinuation of “Mothering Day” was that they just didn’t have time; they lived under harsh conditions and were forced to work long hours in order to survive. Another possibility, however, is that “Mothering Day” conflicted with their Puritan ideals. Fleeing England to practice a more conservative Christianity without being persecuted, the pilgrims ignored the more secular holidays, focusing instead on a no-frills devotion to God. For example, even holidays such as Christmas and Easter were much more somber occasions for the pilgrims, usually taking place in a church that was stripped of all extraneous ornamentation. Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870 The first North American Mother’s Day was conceptualized with Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870. Despite having penned “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” 12 years earlier, Howe had become so distraught by the death and carnage of the Civil War that she called on mothers to come together and protest what she saw as the futility of their sons killing sons of other mothers. With the following, she called for an international Mother’s Day, celebrating peace and motherhood: Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears

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Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. "We women of one country Will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!" The sword of murder is not the balance of justice! Blood does not wipe out dishonor Nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war. Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means Whereby the great human family can live in peace, Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, But of God. In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask That a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions. The great and general interests of peace.

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The Rise & Fall of Howe's Mother's Day At one point Howe even proposed converting July 4th into Mother’s Day, in order to dedicate the nation’s anniversary to peace. Eventually, however, June 2nd was designated for the celebration. In 1873 women’s groups in 18 North American cities observed this new Mother’s holiday. Howe initially funded many of these celebrations, but most of them died out once she stopped footing the bill. The city of Boston, however, would continue celebrating Howe’s holiday for 10 more years. Despite the decided failure of her holiday, Howe had nevertheless planted the seed that would blossom into what we know as Mother’s Day today. A West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began to celebrate an adaptation of Howe’s holiday. In order to re-unite families and neighbors that had been divided between the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War, the group held a Mother’s Friendship Day. Anna M. Jarvis's Mother's Day in 1908 After Anna Reeves Jarvis died, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in remembrance of her mother and in honor of peace. In 1908, Anna petitioned the superintendent of the church where her mother had spent over 20 years teaching Sunday School. Her request was honored, and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother's Day celebration took place at Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia and a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The West Virginia event drew a congregation of 407 and Anna Jarvis arranged for white carnations—her Mother’s favorite flower—to adorn the patrons. Two carnations were given to every mother in attendance. Today, white carnations are used to honor deceased mothers, while pink or red carnations pay tribute to mothers who are still alive. Andrew's Methodist Church exists to this day, and was incorporated into the International Mother’s Day Shrine in 1962. US Government Adoption of Mother’s Day In 1908 a U.S. Senator from Nebraska, Elmer Burkett, proposed making Mother's Day a national holiday at the request of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). The proposal was defeated, but by 1909 forty-six states were holding Mother's Day services as well as parts of Canada and México. Anna Jarvis quit working and devoted herself full time to the creation of Mother's Day, endlessly petitioning state governments, business leaders, women groups, churches and other institutions and organizations. She finally convinced the World's Sunday School Association to back her, a key influence over state legislators and congress. In 1912 West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother's Day, and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. 72


Be sure to visit Ruby’s Reading Corner when you are shopping for books! Every purchase you make from Ruby’s Reading Corner helps support the ongoing ministry here at Ruby for Women. The next time you are planning to purchase a book for yourself, for a friend, or for a family member, please consider shopping at Ruby’s Reading Corner.

www.katherinescorner.com

Tatters to Treasures Where new beauty arises from the ashes of yesterday in reconstruction garments, shoes, and accessories www.tatterstotreasures.etsy.com

www.cicinspireme.com www.cicinspireme.com 73


www.cicinspireme.com

www.vintageimagecraft.com

This Space is For Sale! If you would like to advertise in an upcoming issue of Ruby for Women, please email editor@rubyforwomen.com for all the details

www.mamaslittletreasures.etsy.com

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Be Tough! Word Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

Mission Possible by Deborah McCarragher Deborah began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior in 1989. She uses her spiritual gifts of encouragement and teaching in her home church. She is also a small business owner of over twenty years. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her book. She and her husband have one married son serving in the US Military. They reside in north Florida. Mission Possible is a unique book in the Christian marketplace. It addresses a subject that is often overlooked and misunderstood. It is a candid look at my struggles and quest to reach my husband for Christ. It applies Scripture and biblical principles to everyday struggles encountered within a spiritually mismatched marriage. Mission Possible won the 2010 Readers Favorite Gold Seal Award for best Christian Non-Fiction book, and was nominated for the Christian Small Publisher’s Assoc. Book of the Year Award in 2009. http://www.Twitter.com/unequalmarriage http://www.Facebook.com/Godmissionpossible http://www.Godmissionpossible.blogspot.com

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Disconnect Four Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

Abundant Comfort and Grace Inspirational Poetry by Connie Arnold www.conniearnold.blogspot.com 76


You are invited to join join Katherine’s Corner Book Club At Katherine’s Corner you connect with other book lovers and share a new story every month! Every month Katie will post a new book list and you get to vote for your favorite. Then, together we will read the selected book and discuss it via the Book Club page at Katherine’s Corner blog. Once a month a new book will be chosen and you can leave comments on the Book Club page throughout the month. A new book vote will be posted on the 15th of every month. The Book Club at Katherine’s Corner is a “no obligation” book club! Just read the book with the other members of the club and share your thoughts with one another. Settle in, read along, and leave comments on the book whenever the mood strikes you. Once a month is all the commitment needed. The fun part is that you can make comments throughout the month so you don’t have to keep your thoughts on the book silent until a specific meeting date. If you would like to join the Book Club at Katherine’s Corner, simply visit Katie at www.katherinescorner.com and sign up! Then, if you wan to help promote the book club, you can grab the button code to paste into your blog sidebar. You can find the code and all of the details at Katherine’s Corner.

Introducing Introducing the Ruby for Women Administrative Team Over the past two years, the ministry of Ruby for Women has grown into a full-time ministry for several women here in the Ruby community. We have been blessed to be able to partner with women from all over the United States in the work of Ruby for Women, and we are currently in the process of adding four new administrators to our team. If you would be interested in joining the Ruby for Women administrative team, please email our assistant editor, Amanda Johnson, at ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Here are the current members of the Ruby for Women Administrative team: Sr. Editor, Nina Newton Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson Administrative Assistant, Beth Brubaker Angela Morris, Advertising Assistant Affiliate Administrator and Pastor at Ruby for Women, Carol Mokry Creative Consultant and Graphic Designer, Katherine Corrigan

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A River of Small Stones by Keith Wallis A beautiful and inspirational book of poetry, perfect for gift-giving this Christmas season Poems written as “small stones,” polished moments of paying proper attention to life Available at www.ariverofstones.blogspot.com

A Friend in Need … Is there something you need, but just can't seem to find? Are you looking for a recipe, a store location, or the best places to go in a certain area? Do you have an item you would like to give to someone, but no one near you needs it? Send your requests into the magazine (bethatruby@aol.com ) with 'A Friend in Need' in the subject line and we'll publish it for you! When making a request, please include a current email address for a direct reply. Those who are answering queries are to correspond to the posted email address directly, and not to the staff of Ruby for Women. Items offered must be free (except for shipping costs, agreed to be paid by the receiving party unless otherwise agreed upon by the giver and receiver). All postal regulations must be followed. Ruby for Women can not be responsible for shipping costs or lost items.

Please join us in the Ruby for Women community and connect with other Christian women today! 78


To order “The Recipe Box� by Morgan Von Gunten, visit her website at iWoman Magazine http://iwomanmag.com/recipes

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Rebecca Evans Illustration Children’s illustration art, quality archival prints of original watercolor paintings. The perfect, unique addition to any home décor or child’s room. Distinct from retail prints and designs, these printings offer individual style and character to any room. Each painting tells a story inspiring imagination and sparkling childlike wonder. Visit Rebecca Evans at her Etsy shop, Rebecca Evans Illustration http://www.etsy.com/shop/RebeccaEvans

The Assignment by Elizabeth Baker “I’m not sure when it started,” the angel Rachel began, “probably Bible College. They made a lot of noise in those years about doing ‘big’ things for God. You know, ‘Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life!’ that sort of thing.” “Is that bad?” JaKobe’s eyebrows drew slightly higher and the tilt of his head followed. “Don’t be absurd,” she defended. “But how often have you seen a human who knew what a ‘big thing’ or a ‘wonderful plan’ might look like in ordinary life?” ************* It’s been seven hundred years since the warrior, JaKobe, worked on earth but when his curiosity is piqued by Rachael’s strange request, he knows time has come to return. Follow his angelic adventure as he fills an assignment others have shunned. As you view an ordinary Sunday through angel eyes, a new world of possibilities will open. It’s a view that just might change your own ordinary Sunday’s as well! For more information on “The Assignment,” as well as Elizabeth’s other books, speaking engagements, or daily devotional, please visit her website at www.elizabethbaker.com 80


Let Gossamer Wings Publications transform your writing into a beautiful digital document to post on your blog or website! Are you a writer, poet, author of devotional or inspirational articles, children's author, writer of short stories, or motivational books? We have been creating eBooks and digital publications since 2006, and we are now offering our publishing services to you at Gossamer Wings Publications. Since 2010, we have published Ruby for Women, a monthly online Christian women's magazine which features family-friendly articles on home making, cooking, arts and crafts, poetry, devotionals, inspirational articles and stories, short stories, quilting tutorials, puzzles, kids' crafts, book reviews, gardening and frugal family living articles. In addition, Ruby for Women has published ebooks for poets and writers of short stories and devotionals, as well as ebook tutorials and patterns for sewing and crafts for mamas*little*treasures which are currently sold on numerous websites, including You Can Make This at www.youcanmakethis.com Beginning in 2012, all of our publications will be produced, published, and promoted by Gossamer Wings Publications, and we are now offering our publishing services to you. We will publish your writing, poetry, sewing and craft books, devotional and inspirational articles, short stories, and any other familyfriendly projects that you've been working on. You've been waiting for the opportunity to get YOUR ideas out to the world, but you just haven't known where to start! Now you can have a beautifully formatted eBook created for you at a price you can afford, and we will even help you promote your publication. At Gossamer Wings Publications, we will work with you to design your ebook to reflect your personality and express the words and ideas that God has put in your heart and mind. Email today for your FREE consultation and to set-up your very first publication with Gossamer Wings Publications! gossamerwingspublishing@hotmail.com 81


Introducing The Angel Chronicles by Amy Lignor

Until Next Time How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul? Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache. When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans. From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart. You can purchase your copy of Until Next Time for Kindle from Amazon:

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Introducing Rob Hammes, Songwriter “Our praise in song, to the Righteous and Just One” FAITH HAS A VOICE Faith is imparted to me When I hear You speak Your presence closes in Fear disperses through the wind Your love has captured me There’s no place I’d rather be Your peace has covered me Now I can truly sing Chorus Faith has a voice Let us speak faith Faith has a voice Let us hear faith Faith has a voice We declare faith Faith has a voice Declare victory We are victorious We are victorious I speak with authority Knowing you are with me And when I speak it loud I hear doubt crashing down Your blood is over me You have set me free Your peace has covered me Now I can truly sing Chorus Faith has a voice Let us speak faith Faith has a voice Let us hear faith Faith has a voice Let us speak faith Faith has a voice Let us hear faith Faith has a voice We declare faith Faith has a voice Declare victory We are victorious We are victorious We are victorious

Lyrics by: Benjamin Mosier Music written and recorded by: Rob Hammes Vocals: Rob Hammes and Kathy Mosier Copyright: Has Breath Publishing LLC (2011) http://robhammessongwriter.com/ http://hasbreathpublishingllc.com/ To purchase this song please visit this website http://www.reverbnation.com/robhammes

From the newly released CD, “Faith Has a Voice” 83


The Ruby for Women community is a great place to meet new friends, share prayer requests, chat about your favorite books, recipes and crafts! Springtime is the perfect time to try out a few yummy new recipes! Here in the Kitchen of Ruby for Women we will be posting new recipes weekly and we would love to have you share some of your favorite recipes with us, too!

Spring is a great time to support one another in pursuing our dreams and goals of building our online businesses. Please post your website or online business banner or logo in the Ruby Shopkeepers group so we can share your information with all of the members of the Ruby for Women community.

Do you have a blog? We would love to have you share links to your latest blog posts so that we can tell all of the members of the Ruby for Women community all about it! Please visit us in our Girls Who Blog group.

In our prayer request group, we pray for one another and uphold each other before our Heavenly Father. Please join us at We Are Praying for You and let us know how we can pray for you.

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Discovery House Publishers Feeding the Soul with the Word of God

Visit Discovery House Publishers at www.dhp.org

Nana's BIG Storybook by Sheila WatsonWatson-Kraklow A collection of three of the most popular children's stories and rhymes written by Sheila Watson Kraklow, plus a bonus new story; they are all filled with the illustrations of Sheila Watson Kraklow. 131 pages Color Illustrations Complete Bible references included Ages: 5-12 Read-to-me bedtime or read alone Visit DoveQuill Publishing to order “Nana’s BIG Storybook”

A Garden of Love by Thomas B. Clarke An endearing gift book for the Christian woman who enjoys flowers www.bible-discernments.com www.prayergardeners.blogspot.com

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Introducing The M.O.M System Do you struggle to stay organized? Do you find yourself writing and re-writing lists day after day? Do you struggle to get your children to help around the house? Do you find yourself sounding like a “broken record” constantly repeating to your children what they need to do? Do you find that even if your husband or children offer to help it is easier to just do the work yourself than to explain it to others and coordinate them? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then The M.O.M. System is for YOU!

“Become the Household Manager (not the Household Doer)” As the household manager, TheMOMSystem helps you organize your priorities and coordinate various needs and tasks for your family. The lists save you time and energy. Start with TheMOMSystem cards and add your own personalization with details or color coding for specific people, priorities, or tasks you have delegated. This allows you to stay more coordinated and be more efficient, leaving you more time and energy for living life well (not just surviving as you fly from crisis to crisis)! Often I found myself being the “Household Doer” instead of the “Household Manager” — I was trying to be the one doing everything, but kept being overwhelmed by my never-ending “to do” list. TheMOMSystem helps you involve your children in ways that give them clear direction, clear expectations, and clear accountability. TheMOMSystem helps you teach them to be personally responsible for the tasks you assign them and helps you hold them accountable for communicating with you about their responsibilities. TheMOMSystem is also a tool to help you coordinate and communicate with others who interact with your household. Husbands, babysitters and grandparents can become more involved when you use TheMOMSystem to communicate with them. TheMOMSystem promotes you from Household Doer to Household Manager by helping you get better organized, delegate to your family, and communicate with those who interact with your household. To learn more about The M.O.M. System, or to purchase The M.O.M System, please visit www.themomsystem.com 86


Meet the Ruby for Women Writers Aunt Dots, Master Gardener Aunt Dots has been writing for Ruby for Women since the very beginning. Her love for gardening started early in her life: “I believe I got my love for growing flowers from my mother. She had a large flower garden with annuals and dahlias. I had my first flower garden after I married and we lived in a garden apartment.” She now has perennial gardens, rose gardens, grape vines, asparagus, currants, gooseberries, walnut trees, apple trees, and hazelnut trees. In the winter months, Aunt Dots sews, making quilts that she has donated to a Mennonite Relief auction.

Scott Henderson, Vintage Image Crafts Scott is the creator of Vintage Image Crafts, a website where vintage images are the inspiration behind all of the crafts and scrapbooking projects. From the romantic to the whimsical, Victorian and turn-of-the-century illustrations can give your creativity a distinctive touch. These classic illustrations and photographs are rich in color, artistic technique and symbolism. This bygone art captures the essence of life’s highlights - holidays, celebrations and sentiments – vividly. You can find Scott at www.vintageimagecrafts.com

Beth Brubaker, Footprints in the Mud and Ask Beth Beth is the “Family Fun” editor here in the Ruby for Women community. She is a mother of two very active kids whose antics are sprinkled liberally in her columns. She has been married for 13 years to her Knight in Shining Armor, and she is delighted to share with us that they still hold hands in public! Her day job is working as a fabric artist, a homemaker, and a writer. Beth will be writing humorous articles about life in general, puzzles, and an advice column that is based on readers’ questions, as well as sharing hints and tips for everyday life that she comes across in her travels between her laundry room, living room, and kitchen. Don’t miss Beth’s columns in every issue of Ruby for Women! You can read more of Beth’s posts on her blog, “Footprints in the Mud” at www.footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com or email her at bethatruby@aol.com

Laura Brandt is the owner of Wentworth County Quiltworks and a child of the King whose one desire is to please the Lord. She quilts and maintains her website and her blog, as well as serving as a Moderator at Authorized Version Bible Believers Fellowship forum. She’s also edited books for up-and-coming Christian authors. Visit Laura at her new quilting website, www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com, her blog, http://laurasthoughtsonscripture.blogspot.com, or the forum at http://avbbf.com.

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I'm Christena Hammes, married to my best-friend. We met at the Outside Inn so God could change us from the Inside Out!! We have two beautiful daughters (Lena and Amanda), two sons-in-law (Cameron and Justin) and one amazing granddaughter (Savannah Jo). I never knew what the Father's love was all about until I had children of my own. They really do hold your heart and forgiveness comes easy. http://www.reverbnation.com/robhammes

Lynn Mosher, Devotions Since the year 2000, Lynn Mosher has lived with fibromyalgia and other physical conditions. During this time, the Lord placed the desire in her heart to write for Him. Now, armed with God’s purpose for her life and a new passion, she reaches out to others to encourage and comfort them through her writing, giving God all the glory. She lives with her husband in their empty nest in Kentucky. On occasion, their three offspring, who have flown the coop, come to visit, accompanied by a son-in-law and three granddaughters. Visit Lynn at her blog, Heading Home www.lynnmosher.blogspot.com

Carol Mokry, Affiliate Administrator, Ruby for Women

“Jesus found me 37 years ago and we have been walking together ever since. He has been my help, hope and strength as I have walked through dark miles of trials and adversity. First and foremost I am a woman called to follow Jesus Christ. I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God. It is my relationship with God that has made me who I am today. In all these things I can say if God is for me who can be against me, I am more than a conqueror in Him who loves me!”

Lee E. Shilo, Poetry and Short Stories I live on Vancouver Island, in Victoria, Canada, with my loving wife Elisabeth, paranoid cat, and crazy dog. I enjoy writing Poetry, Children Stories, Fantasy/Fiction, and especially (Believe It Or Not) stories. I have been writing professionally for close to 20 years, and have numerous Published Books / eBooks in that time. At present I am retired, but used to work in the print industry producing Wide Format Displays for Conferences and stuff. As well as being my passion, writing affords me some release of daily frustrations and everyday tensions. www.shilocom.com

Katherine Corrigan, Recipes and Crafts Hello, my name is Katherine. I am an open minded and spiritual person who strives to always maintain a positive attitude and greet each new day with grace, dignity and gratitude. I’m honored to meet you and to call you friend! I am originally from England and now living in the US. I have had the privilege of living in, and visiting, several different countries throughout my lifetime. I hold a rare dual citizenship with the UK and the USA, and I am a proud citizen of both. I work very hard to create designs for my shops and to provide an entertaining and informative website and blog. I hope you’ll stop by. Hugs, Katherine www.madeitforyou.com www.katherinescorner.com www.keepsakesbykatherine.etsy.com

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Charlotte Siems is a domestic engineer, perpetual homeschooler, T-Tapp Trainer, teacher, speaker and author. She specializes in making home management and T-Tapp “doable” for real people and real life. Charlotte is grateful to be the wife of a Real Man and mother of their twelve children (ages 6-29), and grandmother of three. Visit Charlotte on her blog at www.charlottesiems.com where she shares tips and advice for homemakers at “This Lovely Place.”

Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur, a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. She empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace through the Christian Mompreneur Mastermind program and her professional Marketing services, which include copywriting, marketing and strategy consulting and private coaching. www.theresaceniccola.com.

Maxine Young I was born into a Christian family, attended church every week and Church schools even, but it is now as an adult that I am truly learning how to have a personal relationship with the Lord. You can read more of Maxine’s articles and posts on her blog, Hope and Writing http://hopeandwriting.blogspot.com/

Kristin Bridgman I’ve been married to a very sweet, patient, loving man for 29 years. I’ve been a mom to two sons I love with all my heart for 22 years. I’ve been a born again Christian loving the Lord for 36 years. I home schooled for 14 years. I’m just an ordinary woman who lives for an extraordinary God. http://www.ponderingsbykris.blogspot.com

Tina Smith is a pastor's wife, a mother of 8, and grandmother of two. Some of her accomplishments include studying Global Business Management at the University of Phoenix and being a recipient of the Louis D Brandeis Honor Roll Award for her work with the Brandeis University National Committee in 2000. Her greatest accomplishment by far has been not going insane with all those little blessings the Lord sent her way in the form of children. =)

Amy Harper, Craft Contributor

is a pastor's wife from West Virginia and mother of two AWESOME kids. (She says she isn't biased.) She currently writes book reviews for a small local paper, and teaches piano lessons in her community. Her blog, Threadsinthenest.blogspot.com combines her passion for Jesus Christ with her other loves -- books, vintage items, and sewing. Visit Amy at her blog, “Threads in the Nest” for daily inspirational posts and craft tutorials.

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Connie Arnold, Poetry

lives in North Carolina, is married and has two children and three grandchildren. In coping with lupus, fibromyalgia and other difficulties, she has turned to the Lord for inspiration and offers her inspirational poetry to offer encouragement, comfort and hope to others who are suffering. She is the author of Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, Abiding Hope and Love, and Abundant Comfort and Grace plus a new 2012 inspirational calendar, Glimpses of Grace. She also writes for children and is the author of Animal Sound Mix-up and has two other children’s books under contract. You can visit Connie at www.conniearnold.webs.com or her blog, www.conniearnold.blogspot.com

Sheila Watson, Kraklow, Guest Writer, DoveQuill Publishers Sheila is the author of several books, including “Nana’s Great BIG Storybook,” and “A Mission for Leedle Burro,” as well as a cookbook filled with her “sassy recipe” articles. Sheila is also the owner of DoveQuill Publishing Company. www.dove-quill-publishing.com

Deborah McCarragher, Devotional Contributor Deborah is the author of a Christian inspirational book for women titled “Mission Possible”. The book addresses living in a spiritually-uneven household. You can visit her website at www.AlabasterBoxPublishing.com for more information about her book. http://www.Twitter.com/unequalmarriage

Jean Ann Williams I became a Christian when I was 19. Beginning at age ten, I've had many losses in my life, but the most sorrowful loss was that of my son Joshua when he was 25. I clung to Christ and saw the blessings through my grief. That one fact has kept me here on earth. I see that God has a plan for my life and I am a daughter of a King. Please visit Jean at her blog, “Love, Truth, Hope after Suicide”

Kendra Peterson has been married to Brad for 21 years. They attend Big Lake Church of God, and they have twin daughters, Rachel and Allissa, who are age 19 and in college. Kendra is a librarian at West Noble Primary School in Ligonier, Indiana for grades K-1. She loves reading to children and helping them learn to read with great books. In her spare time, she loves to camp and ride their Gold Wing around the countryside, and she loves spending time with family.

Ginger Kauffman says she wouldn’t have checked the “autism box” when dreaming about the children she would have, but is so grateful to be the mother of Samuel and his brother, who is also on the autism spectrum. The last 21 years of her life have been an amazing journey. You can read her blog at www.threeminutestonine.com 90


Gloria Doty: I am a mother of 5 and grandmother of 13. I have owned a catering business, and a Grade A goat dairy. I have managed a restaurant, worked in retail and was Dir. of Children’s’ Ministries for a large church for 10 years. I have been writing since I was in third grade. I currently write 2 blogs about my youngest daughter, Kalisha, and our journey together through the world of mild mental retardation, autism and Aspergers. One blog is written for www.MOMS.FortWayne.com and is titled “Not Different Enough”. The other blog is www.gettingitright-occasionally.blogspot.com I write freelance articles for magazines and am a contributor to two devotional publications: Living the Gospel Life and Hope-Full Living. I do not believe it is possible to make it through a day without faith and a sense of humor, even in the darkest times and I try to always reflect that in my writing.

Charlotte Siems is a home-maker, home manager, T-Tapp Trainer, teacher, speaker and author. Her story of losing over 100 pounds with T-Tapp has encouraged thousands of people all over the world. She specializes in making home management and T-Tapp "doable" for real people and real life. She is happy to be a wife and mother of twelve children whom she has successfully taught at home for 25 years. Visit Charlotte and read more of her blog posts at www.charlottesiems.com

Shannon Mediskey, an educator turned parent turned writer, Shannon Medisky enjoys sharing ways that kids can help themselves. Through entertaining and accessible presentations, stories and activities, Shannon engages and empowers kids to take the leading role in writing their own school— and ultimately life—success stories. Through a relatable tone and immediately applicable ideas, she enables parents to help their children become the very best they can be.

Elizabeth Baker is an author and retired counselor drawing on thirty-five years of experience helping individuals apply biblical principles to real-life situations. She currently lives in Pittsburg, Texas where she concentrates on her writing. A widow since her mid 30's, Elizabeth has four grown children, fifteen grandchildren, and six great-grands. You can find Elizabeth’s books at her website at www.elizabethbakerbooks.com

Keith Wallis, Poetry Keith Wallis is an English poet. He is a senior part of the leadership team of Houghton Regis Baptist church. An engineering designer by trade, he brings a eye for detail as well as faith into his poetry. As well as being ‘poet in residence’ at Ruby ezine, he is a moderator at ChristianWriters.com. His blog of ekphrasic poetry is: http://wordsculptures-keith.blogspot.com/ where you’ll also find links to his books and his other blogs. Married to Val in 1970, he has two sons and three grandsons. The eldest grandson is disabled and cannot communicate verbally. Though not an ‘academic’ (school was a disaster!) he was always fond of writing. He began submitting work for publication in the 1980’s after being encouraged by a community writer in residence. 91


Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Amanda has been writing for Ruby for Women for the past year, and she has been a free-lance writer for several years, beginning her writing career as a young teenager. She also works for Love Unveiled, a ministry to women in undeveloped countries around the world. Amanda brings experience as well as a passion for ministry to the work of Ruby for Women, and she has a heart for reaching out and touching the hearts and lives of women everywhere. Amanda will be working with all of our writers on their submissions, as well as assisting in keeping the Ruby for Women blog and website up-to-date with new information daily.

Nina Newton, Sr. Editor When all of my four older children were in school, I returned to college as a “non-traditional student.” Eventually, I earned degrees in Classics and Philosophy, and a graduate degree in Medieval Studies: History of Theology. After teaching at a small community college in Michigan for seven years, my husband and I were blessed with the adoption of our two beautiful daughters, Gracie and Annie. Gracie is 11 years old and Annie is 9. They were both born in China, and we were able to travel to China two times to bring our daughters home. We live in northern Indiana in a small farming community where I work from my home office. For the past six years I have been designing and creating children’s clothing and various crafts. I began writing ebook patterns for my designs in 2007, and have several patterns available for sale on You Can Make This at www.youcanmakethis.com . I have also been a free-lance writer for many years, writing for two local newspapers when we lived in Michigan. My personal blog is at www.mamaslittletreasures.com where I frequently post tutorials and patterns for crafts and other sewing projects, as well as weekly reflections on life as a woman, wife, mother, and daughter of the King.

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the Ruby for Women magazine. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at editor@rubyforwomen.com and visit us in the Ruby for Women community at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com If you would like to submit an article, poem, recipe, story, craft tutorial, devotional, or children’s story or craft, please visit the Ruby for Women blog at www.rubyforwomen.com/submissions All advertising inquiries should be directed to editor@rubyforwomen.com or you can visit the Ruby for Women blog for pricing and details at www.rubyforwomen.com/advertise. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Credits and Copyrights All stories and articles are copyright by the authors. All pictures and images are copyright by the authors and / or have been purchased, used by permission or are in the public domain. If any pictures or images have been used inadvertently, and they do not belong in this publication, please email us and we will immediately remove them. Nothing in this issue of Ruby for Women may be reproduced, copied, or shared without the permission of the author. Advertising information is available at www.rubyforwomen.com/advertise Questions? Email Nina @ editor@rubyforwomen.com or Amanda @ ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Ruby for Women is published by rubyforwomen.com All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women editor@rubyforwomen.com or Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Advertising inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton at editor@rubyforwomen.com Web Design and Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You www.madeitforyou.com Please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com to see how you can help support the ministry of Ruby for Women. Special thanks to Scott and Martin of Vintage Image Craft for sharing their amazing craft ideas with the Ruby for Women community!

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Ruby for Women, May, 2012  

The super spring issue of Ruby for Women features articles, crafts, recipes, poetry, stories, and devotionals for Mother's Day, Memorial Day...

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