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Ruby for Women A voice for every Christian woman May 2013

“. . . . her worth is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

Cover image courtesy of Katherine Corrigan of Katherine’s Corner

Ruby for Women May, 2013

The month of May holds so much promise and hope! We are looking forward to planting the garden, going to the beach, remembering Mother’s Day, and remembering our American heroes on Memorial Day. Won’t you join us this month as we celebrate all of God’s gifts to us each day? A special thank-you to Katherine Corrigan of Katherine’s Corner for generously sharing this beautiful photo of the Spring Hat Door Hanging that she created for Mother’s Day.

In This Issue . . . Page



A Tale of Two Mothers Nina Newton, Sr. Editor


You Never Know Until You Try Amanda Johnson, Asst. Editor


Vintage Mama’s Adventures in Square Foot Gardening Vintage Mama


Ah, Spring! It Looks Like it Really is Here Dorothy Kurchak


Check the Temperature Puzzle Beth Brubaker


Vintage Mama’s Craft Adventures Vintage Mama


My Love to You Always Anthology Gloria Doty, Contributor


Spring Showers of God’s Love Vondalee Ogg


Low-Sugar Blueberry Muffins Katherine Corrigan


Low-Sugar Lemon Cups Katherine Corrigan


My Life as a Super Model Heather King


A Chorus of Frogs Keith Wallis


Maintaining the Miracle – 35 Years Later Sharon L. Patterson

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Senior Editor: Nina Newton Assistant Editor: Amanda Johnson Website Administrator: Ann Marie Weaver Creative Assistant: Katherine Corrigan Family Fun Editor: Beth Brubaker Gardening: Dorothy Kurchak Devotions: Lynn Mosher Poetry: Keith Wallis

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: Connie Arnold, Sheila Watson, Theresa Ceniccola, Mimi Spurlock, Daphne Tarango, Angela Morris, Sharon L. Patterson, Elizabeth Baker, Maxine Young, Gloria Doty, Vondalee Ogg, Elissa R. Peterson, Christena Hammes, Taylor DeVine, Rhea B. Riddle, Amanda Stephan, Tricia Goyer, Michelle Lazurek, Lisa Simpkins, Kristin Bridgman, Maria Greene, Debra Ann Elliott, Corallie Buchanan, Kathleen Kohler, Heather King, Cindy J. Evans, Lanette Kissel

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

For advertising inquiries, please contact Nina Newton at




Sunny Spring Wreath Craft Anne B.


Are You Growing? Gloria Doty





Spring Hat Door Hanger Craft Katherine Corrigan


Mother’s Day Corallie Buchanan

Footprints in the Mud The Life of a Juggler Beth Brubaker


Page 55 North of Hope by Shannon Huffman Polson Book Review from Create with Joy


Make Your Own Garden Apron from a Repurposed Feed Sack Lisa Steele of “Fresh Eggs Daily”


The Happy Housewife – Chapter Nine “Children” by Elizabeth Baker


Duck Cloth Spring Wreath Craft Kim of “Made in a Day”

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The Glory Trees Sharon L. Patterson

I Dare You to be Set-Apart! Debbie Luxton


Project Inspiration: Chocolate Sharon L. Patterson


Balcony People Lynn Mosher


Focus on Healthy Eating Green Ginger-Peach Smoothies Nancy Creative


Ask Beth Beth Brubaker


Honey-Sweetened Cucumber Salad Nancy Creative


Vintage Betsy McCall Paper Dolls Vintage Mama


Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd Book Review by Amanda Stephan


Living in Indiana Gloria Doty

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Where is Toby? Gloria Doty

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Berry-Topped White Cupcakes Christena Hammes Red, White, and Blue Berry Trifle Vintage Mama “Keys to Grandma’s Heart” Mother’s Day Banner Craft Vintage Mama

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Are You a PAHM? Daphne Tarango


Our Heroes in a Distant Land Lanette Kissel


Mothers and Daughters Lanette Kissel


Unforgiveness Hurts Amanda Stephan


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Double Meanings Crossword Puzzle Beth Brubaker

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Page 73 Make Your Own Teacup Pincushion Vintage Mama


Check the Temperature Number Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker


Double Meanings Crossword Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker


Christian Hymns through History: “Have You any Room for Jesus?”


Meet the Ruby for Women Writers


Credits and Copyrights

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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


Time for Tea Giveaway at Katherine’s Corner May 1 – 25, 2013

Spring in the Garden Giveaway by Kathleen Kohler May 1 – 21, 2013


A Tale of Two Mothers by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens Anyone who has been a mother for more than two or three minutes will tell you that motherhood is the best thing that has ever happened in her life. But about two or three minutes later, she will have to admit (if she is honest!) that there are moments when she asks herself, “What was I thinking????” So, much like Charles Dickens in his classic tale of war, love, loss, and redemption, many mothers will understand when I say that my “lives” as a mother have included some of the most joyful moments, but I have also experienced the heart break and pain that frequently accompanies us along our journey called “Motherhood.” As a young mother, I believed that somehow I would figure out how to be the one and only “perfect” mother . . . . I would never let my children see me without my hair combed, and would certainly never, ever let them know that mamas sometimes are tired, or sad, or . . . . Good heavens! Mamas actually get mad sometimes, too. But that was never going to happen to me when I was a Mama. So as the sweet little babies came along I began my journey to the land of “Motherhood Perfection.” But it didn’t take long before I realized that this was going to be a bumpy ride with many challenges along the way. Never fear! “Super Mommy” would come to the rescue, fix every scrape and bruise, kiss away the pain, and bandage all wounds with a smothering of “Mommy Kisses.” And so I tried . . . . and tried . . . . and tried. But as the years went by, somewhere along that rocky road I lost my way. One day, apparently, I wandered off into the Woods of Motherly Discouragement and couldn’t find my way back. For a very long time. You see, all those years of flying through the air with my Wonder Woman cape billowing out behind me had gotten me nowhere. Except exhausted. And as I wandered around in the fog of confusion wondering why all those “Mommy Kisses” had apparently not fixed anything, I began to doubt myself. I began to ask questions such as, “Why did I waste all that time trying to “get it right,” only to find out that I did it “all wrong?” Sitting on a rotting log in the shadowy Woods of Motherly Discouragement one day, I poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father and asked if He would be so kind as to give me a clue where I went wrong. 5

That was the moment that the sun broke through the dense canopy of that wooded prison of my heart, and I knew that it wasn’t all my responsibility to make my children happy. It wasn’t my job to be the epitome of “Motherhood Perfection.” It is my job to love my children, pray for my children, tell them about the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, teach them right from wrong, respect and responsibility, dress them, feed them, hold their hand and wipe their noses . . . and hopefully keep them alive long enough so that they could, in turn, travel that rocky road of their own journey through life. Wherever that might take them. Suddenly, I was free. No longer would I wander through the dark and gloomy Woods of Motherly Discouragement questioning the wisdom of the choices I had made for the past 30 years. And in that moment of freedom, God called me to another journey of motherhood. This time with a strong, loving, and faithful man who we call Daddy – a man who walks with me through every valley and on every mountaintop. A man who comes looking for me when I start to wander off, just in case I’m headed back to the Woods of Motherly Discouragement. This time, my life as a mother reflects the confidence and joy that comes with understanding and believing that I am NOT perfect, and I never will be perfect, but that’s OK because only God Himself is perfect and that was a ridiculous standard to set for myself in the first place. This time, I’m a different mom and I’m a different woman. God has set me free from the fear of failure, the insecurity that comes with striving for perfection, and He has given me the opportunity to be a Mama to our beautiful daughters who understand that their Mama isn’t perfect, but they know for sure and for certain that they are loved. A Tale of Two Mothers – one young, vulnerable, trusting, and believing that the message she was hearing from her community was the truth. She believed that in order to be acceptable to God and those around her she would need never make a mistake, never be sad, never be angry, and certainly never, ever allow anyone to know if any of those horrible things should ever happen. The other mother – me. Vintage Mama - a mama who knows that there is no other job in the world that God honors more than that of Motherhood. And so I continue this journey, no longer seeking the land of Motherhood Perfection, nor wandering in the Woods of Motherly Discouragement, but resting peacefully in the joyful place where “normal” is OK, no Wonder Woman capes are allowed, and it’s no big deal when Mama makes a mistake. I hope you live there, too. 6

You Never Know Until You Try by Amanda Johnson How many times do we look at a task and think “Oh no, I just don’t have time for this” or “I don’t want to be bothered by this.” or one of my favorite, “I can’t handle this right now!” I love working from home and helping national and international missionaries with their “behind the scenes” administrative operations. It’s a rewarding experience to know my gifts and talents can make background work a lot easier for those gifted to be on the front lines near and far spreading the love of Christ! There are, however, times when I’m just not sure I am qualified to handle some of the administrative and technical issues that arise. This morning, one of the ministry web sites crashed.

For the first time I noticed a major problem that needed to be changed! In a matter of minutes the problem was fixed and the site was not only up and running, but it was loading faster. I couldn’t believe it! “Thank you Lord” was all I could say because I knew it wasn’t me! Sometimes we think we know how a situation will turn out. We think we know or don’t know the answer before even stepping in to see the details. When I decided to step forward and give it another try, I was openly declaring I can’t do this.

I’m no expert on web site building and I’m not afraid to call in the professionals, but this was an issue we’ve dealt with for a while and I was not happy about it.

Likewise, the Lord was openly declaring “But I can if you will just ask for help.” When we submit to the Lord, admit our defeat (no matter the circumstance), we open ourselves up to the ability to be helped, guided, and led in the right direction!

Despite my desire to ignore the issue, I opened up the site and took a look around.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

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Vintage Mama’s

Adventures in Square Foot Gardening For those of us who like things neat and tidy, including all of our outdoor “stuff,” square foot gardening is truly a joyous endeavor! Several years ago we had a lovely garden that included vegetables such as tomatoes, green beans, peppers, peas, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, and carrots. One of my little guys would stroll down the pathways between the raised beds and pick a pea pod off one of the plants, pop the peas in his mouth and toss the pod over his shoulder. From that day to this, I have fond memories of square foot gardening. Then, for many years, we also had a beautiful herb garden. It was tricky keeping it from becoming overgrown, trailing across the lawn and up the fence, and tangling around the shrubs, but the vision of those gorgeous plants tumbling over each other and the delightful fragrance of all those different herbal smells, keeps me thinking that I would like to try that project again where we live now. In that herb garden I had several varieties of mint, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, lemon balm, lavender, parsley, and a bunch of other stuff that I can’t remember. The mint can be very annoying as it will grow over everything else until you have tangled and twisted mint trails everywhere in your garden. It seems to keep things a bit tidier by putting the mint in containers to keep them under control. This year we are planning to create a few raised beds for vegetables, but I’m thinking I would like to try herb gardening again. Every year when I had my other herb garden, I would enter a beautiful bouquet of my fresh herbs in the county fair and I always won first place . . . . because no one else in our little town grew herbs! So I’ve always been a bit on the edge of “typical,” but that’s OK – I was having fun. So for today, I was thinking about getting out in the garden and starting a few new varieties of herbs, and then there are the window boxes that need to be filled, and the tomatoes that need to be planted, and so many more wonderful adventures that come into our lives with the arrival of spring. What’s on your To Do list this spring?


Ah, Spring! It Looks Like it Really is Here by Dorothy Kurchak The cherry tree looks good this year. This last winter the deer didn’t prune it as they usually do. The tree is far enough from the house that they feel safe coming there. I do believe I’ll plant more hyacinths this fall and fill in more around the base of the tree. The fragrance of them is wonderful! For Easter Sunday we decorated the church with spring flowers, lilies, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. The pastor had to take allergy pills to make it through the service as he is allergic to the flowers. But, it was beautiful. As I was checking out the gardens I noted this columbine that was just opening its leaves. There were rain drops on the leaves. Thank you Lord for such beauty! The columbine are very generous with their seeds and I save every one that I find. The bees cross pollinate them and you’ll get all sorts of colors. I now have six or more colors. While walking in the woods I found this hollow stump, which I’ll use for a flower pot. A trailing vine and an upright plant will have room in it. It will all depend on where I place it, sun or shade. It seems I have many decorations and I try to distribute them throughout the gardens. This pot is one that I saw in a magazine a few years ago and longed for it. This year I found one with a reasonable price tag at a nearby shop. I think a grass such as one of the Carex or Hakone, which like shade would look very good. I plan to use this planter in my new shade garden. The theme of this garden will be feminine as the bench is feminine and I’ll make a cushion for it with a pink flower pattern. I’m just itching to get going, but the rains have been persistent as well as the itching (I ate some sharp cheese for lunch and it makes me itch, but I eat it anyway). I may be one year older this summer, but I have lots of enthusiasm which I hope will keep me going. A friend and I are planning a garden tour of our neighborhood in town. I won’t be included because I live too far from town and I have a church group coming for a picnic in July anyway. 9

We have four lined up so far and hope to get a few more. It would be nice if we could meet some new people who would be interested in attending our church also. Our pastor has encouraged us to bring new folks into our fellowship and having a common interest is a way to get acquainted. I attended a garden tour in my local community last summer and I plan to get acquainted with those who took part as they may have interesting stories I can pass along to you all. Thank you Lord for this beautiful earth! Love in Christ,

Aunt Dots


Vintage Mama’s Crafty Adventures Every month here at Ruby for Women, our very own Vintage Mama explores the blogosphere for the very best in seasonal crafts. And, every month, we find some amazing crafters out there who love to share their ideas with the readers of Ruby. This month, Vintage Mama was looking for a few cheerful sewing projects that are quick, easy, and inexpensive . . . . and here’s what she discovered! The complete instructions for all of these crafts are found online, so be sure to click through the links to find the tutorials to create your favorite springtime craft. And be sure to check out the other crafting articles in this issue of the Ruby for Women magazine. We have several bloggers who have been generous enough to share their craft tutorials with us, as well, and we know you will LOVE them!

SWEET! Adorable Little Pincushions from Better Homes and Gardens If you love to sew, then you know that you always have scraps and snippets of fabric and trims left over after every project you do. And, of course, if you love to sew, you also probably not only need several pincushions, but you probably also think they are cute! The tutorials available on the Better Homes and Gardens website will teach you how to make a wide variety of these sweet pincushions . . . . perfect for keeping your pins tucked up off the floor. On the Better Homes and Gardens website you will find tutorials for patchwork pincushions made from leftover bits and pieces of fabric and trims; these beautiful pincushions made from vintage hankies; cute little pincushions made with craft paper box bases and finished with poufy cushions created from more scraps of fabric, ribbons, and other embellishments. You can create crocheted pincushions, hand-stitched felt pincushions, pincushions shaped like ladybugs and butterflies, and so much more! We would love to see pictures of YOUR pincushions, so be sure to tell us all about it! Email us with your ideas and pictures at Hope to hear from you! 11

Fun and Fashionable Retro Apron from Better Homes and Gardens! Here’s a springtime craft project that Vintage Mama really loves! Not only is this funky little retro apron absolutely charming, but it is also very practical and useful for all of the summer cookouts and picnics coming up. Super-duper simple to make with the pattern template and complete instructions found on the Better Homes and Gardens website. Give it a try and make one for yourself – then send us pictures of your very own Retro Apron from Better Homes and Gardens!

Sweetly Tattered Fabric Flower Shoe Embellishments Here’s the kind of refashion project that Vintage Mama has been doing for years! Embellishments can turn an ordinary, plain pair of shoes into your own unique fashion statement. These fabric flower and button shoe embellishments can be attached directly to your shoes or you can attach the flowers to a shoe clip for easy on-and-off convenience. Make a whole bunch of these adorable fabric flower shoe embellishments and dress up your wardrobe this spring. Complete instructions for creating these sweetly tattered fabric flower shoe embellishments can be found HERE.

Patchwork Journal Covers This is a no-sew version of the crazy patch journal covers that Vintage Mama has made and sold in her Etsy shop. For a quick and easy project to personalize your journal, or for gift-giving, check out the complete tutorial for these fabulous patchwork journal covers. All it takes is a few scraps and snippets of fabric and trims, scissors and glue. That’s it! Cut and glue to your heart’s content with guidance from the instructions found on the Better Homes and Gardens website. Other craft project tutorials are available for totebags, pillows, placemats, embellished dish towels, yo-yo art, wallhangings, and so much more! Check them all out today at the Better Homes and Gardens website. 12

The perfect Mother’s Day gift!

My Love to You Always An Anthology of Love Stories Jennifer Wessner, Compiler Ramona Tucker, Editor Contributing author, Gloria Doty of Ruby for Women Forever love . . . . when did you fall in love? And when did you know that love would be a lasting one - celebrating life's joyous moments and walking together, hand-in-hand, through challenging times? Or are you still longing for that person to come into your life, as a sideby-side companion? Experience "my love to you always" kind of love through 42 of the sweetest, real-life love stories collected from across the globe. They're guaranteed to make you misty eyed and renew your faith in the power of enduring love. Contributors: ▪ Tara R. Alemany ▪ Mary Dodge Allen ▪ Beverly W. Bailey ▪ Valerie D. Benko ▪ Holly Blevins ▪ Barbara J. Brunner ▪ Christina Ryan Claypool ▪ Shirley E. Collins ▪ Glen Davenport ▪ Melissa Davies ▪ Susan Schreer Davis ▪ Fredrick G. Dolislager ▪ Gloria Doty ▪ Monika Dyck-Schneider ▪ Phyllis Qualls Freeman ▪ Anne McKay Garris ▪ Judy Lee Green ▪ Val Halloran ▪ Kay Harvin ▪ Marcia Hornok ▪ Lilian P. Hosfeld ▪ Deanna Hoetker Hurtubise ▪ Jenny Johnson ▪ Cindy M. Jones ▪ Jessica Keller ▪ Stanley L. Klemetson ▪ Stephanie Kramm ▪ Delores Christian Liesner ▪ Diana Leagh Matthews ▪ Becky McGregor ▪ John A. Mizerak ▪ Millicent Njue ▪ Andrea Arthur Owan ▪ Kristi Paxton ▪ Beth E. Perez ▪ Alison Winfree Pickrell ▪ Suzanne Reeves ▪ Mona Rottinghaus ▪ Mimi Peel Roughton ▪ Terri Tiffany ▪ Donna Collins Tinsley ▪ Elida S. Vinesett. Don't miss My Love to You Always: 42 real love stories guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart. Purchase My Love to You Always from Ruby’s Reading Corner, and for more great romances, go to

Visit Katherine’s Corner where everyday is filled with the joy and wonder of creativity and beauty! 13

Spring Showers of God’s Love by Vondalee Ogg This morning as I was reading my daily devotionals, there was one that made me stop and take a second look at myself. What kind of scent do I give off? When I was working at a job away from my home I felt that a light scent would be appropriate. But I was convinced that it definitely should not be a strong perfume or cologne scent, mainly due to the allergies of others. Well, God invites each one of us to put on His signature scent, to wear it boldly, and to use it liberally every day. His is the pleasing fragrance of patience and gentleness, forgiveness and joy! It's the bouquet of encouraging words, the heavenly scent of willing service to those in need. It's the lasting perfume of faith rooted in the Gospel of our Lord, of hands uplifted in prayer, of hearts turned toward love of God and neighbor.

Each time we enter a room, we bring with us the fragrance of Christ. Sad to say, this fragrance will offend some people. A coworker may consider it inappropriate for the workplace. A neighbor may suggest you use less of it, at least around him/her. Someone may advise you to wear it exclusively on Sunday mornings, if you must wear it all! Needless to say, our Lord's signature scent accompanies us everywhere we go. We will never feel fully dressed without it. Our Savior's love and compassion cling to us. They leave a hint of His fragrance behind in the lives of everyone whose life we touch. Long after we leave, the sweet memory of your godliness remains in the hearts and minds of others. This is the signature scent we will gladly share with those who ask. Then, just like us, our friends will not consider going anywhere without wearing it. Praise God! II Corinthians 2:14-15 reads: "Thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." Again, ask yourself just what kind of scent am I giving off to others? Dear Lord, shower me in the fragrance of your love. Then let my thoughts, words, and actions reflect your beauty. Amen 14

Low-Sugar Blueberry Muffins from the kitchen of Katherine’s Corner We’re always looking for new and better ways to bring yummy and healthy together for our families. Katherine seems to come up with some of the most delicious and delightful recipes, so we are grateful to her for sharing some of her springtime recipes with the readers of Ruby for Women. You just might want to make up a batch of Katherine’s Low-Sugar Blueberry Muffins for your next Sunday brunch! What You Need: • • • • • • • • • •

2 cups flour 2 tsp. baking powder 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 cup light margarine (softened) 1 cup granulated sugar substitute 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup applesauce 2 eggs 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract 3/4 cup milk

• • • • • • • •

1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries ( thawed if frozen) Non-stick cooking spray Sifter Large mixing bowl Medium mixing bowl Electric Mixer Muffin tin Cupcake liners

Before You Start: Preheat oven to 400°. Line muffin pan with paper liners and lightly spray liners with nonstick cooking spray. Let’s Make It! In a large mixing bowl sift together all dry ingredients and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl beat margarine at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, then gradually add sugar substitute, brown sugar and applesauce, a little at a time beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Fold in blueberries until well combined. Spoon batter evenly into paper lined muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack. Katie’s Tid-Bits: Substitute honey for the applesauce if desired. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the batter to put into the muffin cups. This helps to keep all of your muffins the same size. 15

Low-Sugar Lemon Cups from the kitchen of Katherine’s Corner Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist as I play around with things in the kitchen. I gave this one a few tries until I was happy. I originally tried this using filo dough….I didn’t like the results so I changed it to puff pastries. Easier to work with and tastes delicious, too! These pretty Lemon Cups would be a perfect accompaniment to your cup of tea or coffee. They are low in sugar but you can always use “real” sugar to make yours, too. What You Need: • • • • • • • • • •

1 cup granulated sugar substitute ( or regular sugar) 1/4 cup sugar (optional) 3 Tbsp. corn starch 3 Tbsp. gelatin powder 2 1/2 cups milk 1/4 tsp. Vanilla 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten (set whites aside) 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon zest (extra for garnish, optional) 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

• • • • • • • • •

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (softened-room temperature) I package ( 6) puff pastry shells (from your local bakery, or market’s freezer section) Cling wrap Whisk Basting brush Saucepan 3 mixing bowls Electric mixer Whipped topping ( optional)

Before You Start: Prepare puff pastries according to directions ( use basting brush to brush pastries with egg whites before baking) .When they are gold brown let cool and then cut out the centers. Do not cut through to the bottoms. Set aside for filling later. Note-This recipe requires refrigeration prior to serving. Let’s Make It! In a mixing bowl combine sugar substitute, (sugar), butter, salt, corn starch and gelatin and mix well with electric mixer on medium high speed until well blended. In another bowl combine milk, vanilla, egg yolks, zest, and salt and whisk until smooth. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients slowly, beating on low speed until well incorporated. Pour the whole mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, cook for about 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and pour into a deep dish or bowl and cover with cling wrap. Make sure the cling wrap touches the surface of the lemon filling; this will keep it from developing a skin. When cooled and thickened (about 2 hours) Scoop into cups. If desired add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with a bit of lemon zest to serve. Serves 6 16

My Life as a Super Model Heather King My first grader had worked on her first-ever school project for weeks. When she finally presented it to her class, her teacher kindly sent home a recording of the “performance” so I could see how it went. I was proud, of course, of her hard work and creativity. But I also just about died watching that video. My daughter clearly explained all about her project and what she learned. Then she started talking about the different places we visited in our town as part of the project and what she did there. Pointing to a picture of our local Visitor Center, she said, “This is where people go to find out about our town. Only my mom said we couldn’t go in there because it has stuff that is too valuable and we might break it all.” Wait. What did I say? Had those words really come out of my mouth? And did she in fact tell the entire school population, teachers, staff and administration what I said? Well, maybe I remember telling my kids that we should probably skip going inside the Visitor Center and go somewhere with more space and fewer fragile knick-knacks that I couldn’t afford to pay for if we broke them. After all I have three children, each with two hands. That’s a lot of hands to keep under control when you walk into a small shop with eye-catching, breakable objects everywhere. I just didn’t know she was really listening. I realized then that being a mom makes me a super model. By that I don’t mean I’m a highly made-up elegant fashionista, strutting her stuff in 5-inch heels on a runway. No, I’m the kind of super model who has three godly-women-in-training taking notes on everything I say and do. Not only that, my biggest fans aren’t afraid to share my “words of wisdom” with everyone they know. That’s a pretty big crowd watching to see me show off my God-fashion. We are all walking, talking models for somebody. Someone on this earth is watching you. Maybe your kids. Maybe your unsaved husband. Perhaps it’s your coworkers or the girls in your small group, your neighbors or your friends. That’s enough to make me shake in my boots (well, canvas sneakers. Remember, I’m not that kind of super model).


What trust God has placed in us, allowing us to be the earthly representatives of Him and His Son! Unfortunately, how often we let Him down and mar His name with the grime of our own sin and selfishness. We are, after all, mistake-makers. We’re fumblers. We’re sometimes going to trip and fall down this runway. So, it’s okay to be honest with the world and tell them that’s why we need a Savior—because we’re not perfect. We’re not God. But it’s also incentive to work harder at this modeling gig and to remember that people are looking to see Jesus in us. And it’s a good reason to search Scripture for some super models of my own to emulate–like Mary, the teenage mother of Jesus Christ. When Gabriel appeared to her with the overwhelming news that she, a virgin betrothed to Joseph, was going to give birth to the Messiah, she responded with submission and praise. In the song she sings in Luke 1 after receiving God’s news, Mary refers to twelve different passages of Old Testament Scripture. Twelve Scripture references in ten verses…now there’s a woman of the Word. Even more importantly, we see her legacy of Bible knowledge in her kids. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He quoted Scripture to defeat the devil’s lies. And it wasn’t just Jesus. Mary’s other son, James, wrote a book of the Bible that is often called the “Proverbs of the New Testament.” Within five short chapters, James talks about Job, Elijah, Rahab and Abraham. He refers to the books of Isaiah, Amos, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In fact, his extensive references to Leviticus 19 have led some people to consider the book of James a commentary on this Old Testament passage. James was a man of the Word. Jesus was a teacher of the Word. But, should we surprised? After all, Mary, their super-model mom, was a woman who loved Scripture, knew it, spoke about it, sang it. That’s what her sons could learn from her. What can others learn from you in your life as a super model? Images used from Quotes Buddy at 18

A Chorus of Frogs by Keith Wallis

The Writhing Pond In the writhing pond where pearls grow tails the commotion of life voices the latent croaking a shine of green in evening moonlight. The semi-fish will discard its past with its tail and at no whistle sound rise beyond its trench charging the grassy bank gung-ho kamikaze headlong into oblivion and other jaws.


Froglet The trials begin where tails end; the watery womb forsaken. The dangerous adventure of life beyond a calling siren, with the broad smile of the predator. The playground nursery pool and the sweeping swimmer tails cannot hold nor charm for what was sufficient yesterday, like stale manna does not suffice today. This is life, the fresh air of excitement, the unknowing and the pursuit of destiny.

Froglet Haiku leaving the pondwomb froglet wandering begins onto a menu


The Frog’s Flight from Egypt

Pharaoh’s watery grasp is failing; the plague of tails and bloated blackness receding in the restlessness of legs. The water parts for air-hungry lungs as the exodus begins and the stalag slavery of the pond is shed like outgrown skin. This is the great escape cloned Steve McQueens leap the boundary, multiple Moses in frogskin try their luck in a new disguise. And on the outside beyond grass forests on warm pebble pathways the body count begins to rise. 21

The Afterlife Froglet, nuked by unforgiving sun slowly shrinks to body outline the remains of the day; there will be no autopsy at this crime scene there will be no justice, the sun has gone into hiding.

Frog Apocalypse Too soon in early day you chose to flee the bustling nest and now in final death repose too feeble for the test. For sun begets forgetfulness with rays of pure delight but offers only shrouded dress for weakness in its sight. And all the dreams lie dormant now, the nightmare too is done, the sleep of death enwraps you close wicked, wicked, wicked sun.

All photographs by Keith Wallis during a week in June 2012 22

Maintaining the Miracle Thirty Five Years Later by Sharon L. Patterson “It’s a little man!” Even before my doctor’s announcement thirty-five years ago (when we still had to wait nine months to know the sex of our child), I knew my son was very special. He was, in fact, a miracle. Unable to have children after ten years of marriage, I responded to an invitation for special prayer our pastor extended one Wednesday evening. Following the others, I took my place in the group and prayed with them. Several months later, I had an answer. I was pregnant. The second announcement the morning Joseph was born stopped my little praise party in the delivery room. The words of the doctor were like an unexpected storm: “Possible carcinoma on the right shoulder and respiratory problems.” Remembering that he was a miracle, I quickly backed out of my fear and returned to faith. Two hours later when the nurse brought my son to me, he was breathing normally. The place on his shoulder turned out to be a bit of an unusual birthmark. My blond-haired, blue-eyed miracle came home and we settled into what I assumed would be a normal little boy childhood of “pails, snails, and puppy dog tails.” It was going well until a misdiagnosed fever at twenty months old turned out to be more serious than rosella. I had noticed a decline in the rapidity of his responses, but just assumed, at first, he had a more cautious nature matching his introverted personality. By age six, we had our son tested by a special child psychiatrist. Medical tests followed and the result revealed our son had petit mal seizures and some neurological problems as well. he early fever had, in all likelihood been encephalitis. Joseph went on medication and we began a roller coaster ride of adjustments until age eleven. The petit mal seizures were over. The EEG confirmed that God had once again answered our prayers. But more would be needed. There have been many struggles, new diagnoses, several meds, and numerous doctors since those early years. Joseph grew from childhood to manhood in body, but remains much younger emotionally and sociologically. He suffers with paranoia. Instructions must be clear, simple, and often demonstrated. Several years ago, his doctors told us he would need to remain with us in his adult years. His IQ is four points higher than that allowed by most programs we have attempted to get him into through the years. At every place of frustration and seeming impossibility, answers continue to come and care continues to go on. Behaviors are impulsive and at times compulsive, sweet and harsh. Highs and lows occur in breathless proximity in a matter of moments. As Joseph’s main caretaker, that requires a constant dance of independent-dependence. I often reach my limit and must seek for a patience and wisdom that is beyond my own. Maintaining this special miracle is more than man-made heroic attempts; it is a relationship with a loving supernatural God who not only answers prayer, but continues to change our hearts, forgives us both for our resentments and impatience as well as frustrations. We are restored by His grace and we begin a new day. The miracle is maintained once again. 23

Sunny Spring Wreath by Anne B I made this "Spring Wreath" for my Mother-inlaw for Mother’s Day. It was fairly easy to do. What you need: • 1 vine wreath pre-made. • 3 different choices of flowers with leaves on them (5 yellow large size flowers, 5 med size peach flowers, 10 small white bunches of little flowers) (colors vary from season to season) • Several very short single stems of leaves • Glue sticks • Glue gun • Twine or ribbon to use to hang the wreath Let’s make it! •

Using the already premade vine wreath, begin by hot gluing all the "short single stems of leafs" onto the wreath, covering the front of your wreath thinly making room for the flowers.

Add your 5 large yellow flowers onto the wreath spacing them out evenly and slightly placing them to point in a counter clock direction, then place your medium peach flower between each yellow flower, again slightly facing in a counter clock direction, follow with the small bunches of white flowers placed on each side of the peach flower.

Fill in any sparse areas of your wreath with more of the stems of leaves pointing them slightly downward into the middle and outer sides of your wreath.

Tie a piece of twine or ribbon onto the back of the wreath and make a loop so it can be hung onto the wall or door.

Give this as a gift or place on your front door or accent any wall in your home with your beautiful, handmade wreath.

Visit Theresa Ceniccola, The Christian Mompreneur, at 24

Are You Growing? by Gloria Doty In the course of the sermon on Sunday, the pastor addressed the need for all Christians to grow in their faith. Regardless of our ‘believer status,’ whether we have recently accepted Christ or have known him our entire lives, it is necessary to continue growing. There are a variety of tools available to help us in our quest to grow; we can attend a bible study, join a small group, and study God’s word with the intent of digging deeper into the meaning of certain passages. In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul states, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” ESV Regular prayer time, devotions and finding a Christian mentor are all good things to incorporate into our lives, also. None of us can do all of these things at once. The list is daunting, not only to a new believer, but even to a long time believer. In fact, usually a person who has recently accepted Christ as their savior is very excited about absorbing and growing as much as they can. If we have been believers for many years or perhaps our entire lives, we can easily fall into the trap of being complacent and comfortable. We tell ourselves we have heard all the bible stories many times; we really don’t need to listen as there is nothing new to learn and therefore we stunt our growth. I dutifully took notes on the sermon and placed them in my purse, thinking I already knew about ‘growing’ in the faith. On my way home, I stopped at a greenhouse, overflowing with the most beautiful and healthiest plants in town. As I walked between the rows of luxuriant beauty, I was struck by the similarities between those plants and the sermon I had just heard. Not one of the customers there was purchasing a plant with the hopes it would stay just that size. How foolish that would be. We plant flowers and vegetables with the hopes they are going to grow and produce something; either food or beautiful flowers for our enjoyment. In fact, we try our best to make them grow. We water, fertilize, and even talk to our plants. We plant them next to other plants so the colors complement each other. I would not purchase a petunia plant and be happy if it was still a single petunia in a few months. No, I want it to flourish and fill the entire pot or basket with overflowing blooms. I also wouldn’t plant a tomato plant and expect to be picking tomatoes for my salad the next morning. Growth occurs over time. There was not one plant in the entire greenhouse, not the single seedlings or the already large baskets that was not intended to continue growing. And so it is with us. We are to continue to grow and flourish and bloom in our faith and in our world.


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Footprints in the Mud The Life of a Juggler by Beth Brubaker Remember when life was simple, and all you had to worry about was doing one thing and one thing only? Me neither. The times we live in require us to be multi-taskers practically from birth. I'm a wife, mother, homemaker, writer and crafter. How do I juggle all those balls at the same time? Well the truth is, I don't. I'm constantly dropping balls all over the place - then stepping on them and flying into a pile of laundry headfirst. You're probably a lot like me, if not in the tasks themselves, then in the number of task in a day. How on earth can we function, no less thrive as human beings? I think that's why so many of us are suffering depression, anxiety, and lack of confidence - we're like new jugglers trying to master nine balls at once, when we've barely mastered two! Even if you pick one specialty, the others intrude no matter how hard you try to avoid them. Some you can't separate (or perhaps in this day and age, the proper phrase is shouldn't separate), like wife and mother. Biblically, you can't do one without the other or both will suffer. So how do we manage to do all this and remain sane? The answer is both the simplest and the hardest. You have to take one step at a time. That doesn't mean you can't multitask, it simply means you need to schedule things out so they run smoother. Unless there are kids involved - then nothing ever runs smoothly - but the idea is to do the best that you can. It would be ideal if the kids could do everything (or almost everything) for you, but because of the sheer volume of chores each day, you'd probably be breaking a few child labor laws. In my case, a lot more than a few! It was a nice thought, but most of these tasks I have to do myself, dagnabbit. Let's take homemaking for instance. It's better for me to start the laundry in the morning and while that's running I make breakfast, and afterwards have the kids clear dishes. By the time we're done, the laundry is clean and I can start the dryer, then work on hand-washing cookware and filling the dishwasher. I've worked around the issue of low water pressure in the house so I can get everything done in a timely manner. Of course if you have great water pressure and can run the washer, dishwasher, and three showers, more power to you! Schedule things so you do what you can when you can for optimal efficiency.


Have things running while you're running errands, like the washer, dryer or the dishwasher. Mop floors before you leave so they are dry by the time you get home. Make a list of errands in the order in which they need to be done, and in a way you aren't driving all over town. Try to make one big circle or a back-and-forth line to and from the house. Not only will you save time, you'll save gas (and your nerves)! It doesn't matter what you do - I'm just using housework as an example but this does work in every aspect of life whether you’re an at-home mom, business person, or student. With practice you'll get better and better at it, until you can juggle more than two things at once with very little fumbling. Of course the kids might graduate by the time I master my particular skill set, but I will master each ball in turn sometime before I die. Then I'll be the best grandmom ever, and my kids will wonder why I'm so good with their kids when I was such a heinous ranting tyrant raising them. I won't tell if you won't!

Ruby Pearls – May 2013 Don't be 'poor'. A poor person is someone who: Passes Over Opportunities Repeatedly -Jimi Akiboh (entrepreneur and writer) May 1 is Mother Goose Day! Read your favorite Mother Goose story to your children today!

Be sure to visit Beth at her blog, Footprints in the Mud, for more inspirational and humorous articles 28

Irresistible! Make your own Garden Apron from a Repurposed Feed Sack by Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily On another one of Vintage Mama’s blogging adventures, she came across Lisa Steele of the Fresh Eggs Daily blog. This charming Garden Apron made from a repurposed feed sack is just one of the inspiring projects on Lisa’s blog. If you are interested in raising chickens or ducks; or if you want to learn more about homesteading; or if you are looking for some gardening inspiration this spring, you really should visit Lisa at Fresh Eggs Daily. On Lisa’s blog you will also find articles about other repurposed craft projects, making your own DIY household products, and recipes using fresh, natural ingredients . . . . . like Fresh Eggs Daily! In addition to her blog, Lisa has a book entitled Fresh Eggs Daily (what else?) that is available through Amazon, and is now being carried in Ruby’s Reading Corner as well.

Visit Lisa at Fresh Eggs Daily for natural, farm-fresh inspiration every day!


Bright and Cheerful Duck Cloth Spring Wreath by Kim at Made in a Day Vintage Mama also discovered this adorable Duck Cloth Spring Wreath, designed and created by Kim at Made in a Day. It is amazing all the new friends that we make every month as we travel around the blogosphere looking for the very best in creative inspiration for the readers of the Ruby for Women magazine!

You can find the complete tutorial for the Duck Cloth Spring Wreath on the Made in a Day blog. Please stop by and visit Kim at Made in a Day for lots of other spring craft project tutorials. 30


I Dare You to Be Set Apart – No “Fitting In” by Debbie Luxton, Life and Leadership Coach •

Be a great listener. Sometimes people just need to get some things out; sometimes they just want to be heard. You will never just listen without a reward. ~ Proverbs 1:5

Be known for your integrity. No matter what comes your way, you have a decision to make. Seek the Lord’s direction in your decisions. Say “no” when needed in order to do what is right. Keep all things in the light - keeping your conscience clear. ~ Job 2:3

Be an inspiration. Share words of encouragement. You cannot tell from the outside what is doing on inside of someone. Encouraging words are a universal act of kindness that deposits helpful seeds. ~ Mark 4:30-32

Be an example of authenticity. Have a “no masks” foundation to your character. If someone spent a few days with you, would they see the same you at work, home, church, shopping, praying, discipling, playing and all the other roles you are called to? Being authentic does not mean that you must tell every detail of your life story to every person you talk to. God will lead you in what is helpful to share when. ~ Zechariah 4:6

Be a person of the Lord. Obey as He leads you. Pray for yourself and others. Thank God for your very life and for all He has done for you. Read His word daily. Repent daily. Journal for accountability to these things. ~ Acts 3:19

Be in control of your emotions, especially your anger as it can quickly destroy others. Do not allow it to be unleashed. Pray before responding, especially when anger is heightened and all you feel like doing is to lash out. ~ James 1:19-20 Debbie Luxton ~ Life and Leadership Coach


Balcony People by Lynn Mosher Have you ever thought about what people would say about you at your funeral? Today, I went to a funeral. A very precious friend’s husband died. As I sat and listened to the trembling voices, soaked in tears, and the preacher’s words of tribute, I heard the same reiteration of accolades and honor. My friend’s husband was a special man who had suffered a massive stroke over ten years ago. After many struggles to adjust to barely being able to take care of himself and to make himself understood, he finally made peace with his bodily condition and praised the Lord the rest of his days. From his wheelchair, he touched many people with his worship and with his deep love and care for his family and others. He was a true encouragement to all who knew him. With his dying breath, he praised the Lord…with his hand raised to heaven. He will be sorely missed. He was a balcony person. Balcony people are upstanding people, encouragers who… * are kind, caring, and giving * draw others up to greater heights * compliment and complement others * build others to attempt notable tasks * instill others with belief in themselves * cheer and clap for others when they are down. They are tank refillers. They fill our hearts’ empty reservoirs with words that offer comfort, peace, love, and care. We have a whole bevy of balcony people, those leaning over the brink of heaven to cheer us on. “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on?” (Heb. 12:1a Msg) *David and Jonathan were balcony people for each other. *Barnabas was a balcony person. He introduced Paul to the other apostles. *Paul was a balcony person for innumerable people. He wrote to the Thessalonian church that he had sent Timothy, “our brother and fellow worker, God’s minister, to visit you to strengthen your faith and encourage you and to keep you from becoming fainthearted in all the troubles you were going through.” (1 Thess. 3:2a TLB) Everyone needs a balcony person at one time or another, one who will come alongside of us to lend an ear for listening, a shoulder for crying, a boost when down, or a clap when lacking courage. Do you have a balcony person in your life? One who cheers you on, who lifts you up when you are down? Will others at your funeral say you were a balcony person to them? 33

Ask Beth by Beth Brubaker

Dear Beth, Summer is coming soon and though the kids have plenty to do when it's nice out, I was looking for something for the kids to do on a rainy day that was educational but fun at the same time. They get tired of the same old 'family history' stories! Do you have any suggestions?

Rainy Day Mom

Dear Rainy Day, Why not turn the well-known family stories into something fun and educational like Mad Libs? Write down the shorter stories, then edit out and put a blank where you replace that word with a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, exclamation, person, etc.? You can also change 'person' to 'family member' so the kids can have fun putting different relatives into the same situation! Save the stories on the computer (the original and the Mad Lib versions) and print out a fresh new Family Mad Lib for each of the kids - no one will know who has what story, and they can have fun asking each other for the words to fill them in! Have fun “Mad Libbing!�

~ Beth


Where is Toby? by Gloria L. Doty

“Come on, Slowpoke! You’re going to be blown away if you don’t hurry!” Hunter called over his shoulder. I was hurrying as fast as I could, but my brother’s legs were a lot longer than mine and he was way ahead of me. I could see Dad standing in the open barn door, but it seemed like he was a mile away. “Where have you two been?” Dad asked as we almost fell through the door. He seemed upset with us, but I thought his voice sounded scared, too. Daddy was never scared. “There is a tornado warning for our area. The way this wind is blowing, I was worried about you two,” Daddy said as he hugged us. “We were next door at Jenna’s house,” I said, out of breath. “We didn’t know it was going to storm until we started home.” “Hurry, and get in the basement,” Daddy said. “Bring the dog and cat, too. We don’t want them to blow away.” “What about Mom?” Hunter asked. “Where is she?” “Your mother was at a meeting in town, but she called and said everyone there was in the basement of the school. She will be safe there, but we have to hurry.” The lightning flashed and the roar of the wind was so loud, we couldn’t even hear the thunder.

“Wait, Daddy,” I yelled over the noise of the wind. “I can’t find Toby. Here, kitty, kitty,” I called as I frantically looked around for him. “I can’t leave him out here. He’ll blow away!”

Hunter scooped up Lilly, our little dog. I was going to get my kitten, Toby, but I couldn’t see him anywhere behind me. “Wait, Daddy,” I yelled over the noise of the wind. “I can’t find Toby. Here, kitty, kitty,” I called as I frantically looked around for him. “I can’t leave him out here. He’ll blow away!” “Come on, Darcy,” Daddy said. “We have to get inside. We can’t waste any more time looking for Toby.” “Please, Daddy, please,” I begged. “I can’t leave him. Hunter will help me look for him.”

“No, Darcy, he can’t. And that’s final! I’m sorry, Honey, but I have to do what is best for you and Hunter and right now, that means we are going to the basement.” I tried to be a big girl but now I couldn’t help but cry. I loved Toby. I remembered the day that Mom brought him home. He was just a ball of yellow fur. He was my kitty and I always took good care of him. 35

Why didn’t I pick him up and carry him home when we left Jenna’s house? I thought he was running right behind me. The tears ran down my cheeks. Just then the lights went out, and Daddy lit the battery lamp. Lilly was shaking as she lay curled up on Hunter’s lap. I tried not to think about Toby and how scared he would be out in the storm all by himself. I started crying all over again. Daddy pulled me onto his lap and dried my tears. “It will be all right, Darcy. You know what they say about cats, don’t you?” “What?” I asked through my tears. “They say they have nine lives.” I didn’t quite understand that. I just wanted Toby to keep the one life he had. Dad reminded us of the Bible story about Jesus telling the wind and waves to stop and how we needed always to remember that Jesus is in control. He suggested we say a prayer asking for God’s protection for Mom and everyone in the storm’s path, including the firemen, policemen and all the other helpers who needed to be out in the weather. I added my own prayer asking God to please take care of Toby.

“I didn’t quite understand that. I just wanted Toby to keep the one life he had. Dad reminded us of the Bible story about Jesus telling the wind and waves to stop and how we needed always to remember that Jesus is in control.”

We sat in the dark for a long time, listening to the wind and hearing tree branches breaking. Finally, it seemed to get quieter. We waited for a while. When Daddy’s cell phone rang, we all jumped. It was Mom. She wanted us to know that she was okay. As soon as she hung up, the phone rang again. “I wonder who else is calling us.” Daddy said as he answered it. “Hello? Oh yes, Mrs. Jarrett. Yes, I will tell her right away. Thank you.” Dad turned to me after he closed his phone. He looked at me with a big smile. “Guess what, Darcy. That was Jenna’s mother. She called just to tell you that Toby is in their basement with their family. He must have become confused in the wind and went back to their house. She thought you might be worried about him.” We all said a big thank you prayer for protecting us and Mom and our neighbors. I added a thank you for keeping Toby safe. Even in the dark basement, I could tell Daddy was smiling and Hunter, too, but no one had a bigger smile than me. 36

Berry-Topped White Cupcakes Submitted by Christena Hammes Great for your Memorial Day get together, or your first family picnic of the summer! These beautiful cupcakes will bring a festive touch to any party coming up on your family calendar.

What you need: •

5 egg whites

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup sugar, divided

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-1/4 cups cake flour

2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk


4 ounces Philadelphia® Cream Cheese, softened

1/3 cup butter, softened

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Assorted berries

Let’s make it! Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In another bowl, cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into batter; fold in remaining whites. With a spoon, gently fill foil- or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. For icing, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. Frost cupcakes. Top with berries. Yield: 22 cupcakes. Originally published as Berry-Topped White Cupcakes in Taste of Home April/May 2007, p 27 You can find this recipe at Taste of Home 37

Red, White and Blue Berry Trifle from the kitchen of Vintage Mama With warmer weather it is time for a picnic! This super simple dessert is delicious and it is beautiful. Pile on some fresh-picked berries, with a generous measure of whipped cream, and you’ve got a picnic dessert that will surely become a family favorite. What you need: • • • • • • • • • •

1 cup water 1 pkg. JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin ice cubes 1/2 cup water 2 cups berries 1 pkg. PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese 1-1/4 cups milk 1 pkg. JELL-O Cheesecake or Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding 1 tub COOL WHIP DIPS Strawberry Crème 1 pkg. prepared pound cake

Let’s make it! 1. Add boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to cold water to measure 1 cup. Add to gelatin; stir until ice is completely melted. Let stand 15 min. or until gelatin is thickened. Stir in berries. 2. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with whisk until creamy. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup milk. Add remaining milk and dry pudding mix; beat 2 min. Stir in COOL WHIP DIPS. 3. Place half the cake cubes in bottom of large serving bowl; cover with half the pudding mixture. Top with layers of gelatin mixture, remaining cake cubes and remaining pudding mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour. Adapted from a recipe originally found on the Kitchen Daily website.


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? Perhaps you’ve tried to think of 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! What you need: • • • • • • • •

Scrapbook papers in various colors and designs Craft glue Scissors Round hole punch Scraps of fabric, ribbon, lace, and braid Vintage buttons, beads, and charms Glitter Variety of scrapbook ephemera such as paper flowers, chipboard shapes and letters, etc. Strip of lightweight / sheer fabric 4″ wide X 24″ – 36″ long OR length of ribbon for hanging banner 39

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 mamas*little*treasures! 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. 40

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 (overnight 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). 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 available at mamas*little*treasures.

Keys to Grandma’s Heart

Copyright 2012 Vintage Mama’s Cottage

For more fun and creative craft tutorials, please visit Vintage Mama’s Cottage at mamas*little*treasures. Other e-book patterns and tutorials are available at search “mamas*little*treasures” 42

Are You a PAHM? by Daphne Tarango I’ve been in the corporate world my entire adult life, so I never thought I would have the letters SAHM at the end of my name, but alas, I do— and I’m proud of it. But I’m a newbie, and boy am I learning lots as I go! I’ve been on this learning curve for several months now. I have three children. That’s right—three, all adopted, ages 5, 7, and 8. Talk about a crash course! Transitioning from a very systematic research role in the corporate world into the homemaking world, I felt inspired to start with a list of what I wanted—and needed—to do every day and every week. So I created a one-sheet list for my daily and weekly tasks. I’m proud to say that I’m getting into my routine rather nicely. One thing has struck me about my new role as a SAHM, and that’s the opportunity not only to sit and read the Bible and pray—that too is on my list—but also the opportunity to pray as I go through the tasks on my daily and weekly to-do list. Yes, I have become a PAHM—a pray-at-home mom. When we as moms—newbies and veterans alike—take time to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we invite God into everything we do. We can start the day with praying. •

When we get ready in the morning, we can thank God for blessing us with another day and ask Him to guide us in all we do.

When we make our beds, we can pray that God would bless us and our husbands and that we would always seek to glorify Him in all areas of our lives.

When we unload the dishwasher, we can thank God for the food from the previous day and for the opportunity to sit at the table with our families one more time.

One thing has struck me about my new role as a SAHM, and that’s the opportunity not only to sit and read the Bible and pray—that too is on my list— but also the opportunity to pray as I go through the tasks on my daily and weekly to-do list. Yes, I have become a PAHM— a pray-at-home mom.

As we go through our days, we continue praying. •

When we do the laundry, we can pray that God will protect our families—at work, school, and camp.


When we hang the laundry on the line—or place clothes in the dryer, we can pray for each family member individually, taking into account anything they are going through at that time.

When we clean around the house—whether it’s sweeping or mopping—we can ask that He would continue to clean all areas of our spiritual houses.

When we dust furniture and photos, we can ask Him not only to show us the areas that are accumulating dirt and dust in our lives but also to be with each person whose pictures grace our walls.

As the evening winds down, we pray some more.

When we plan our groceries, meals, coupons, and price-matching lists, we can ask Him to help us be good stewards of the resources He has entrusted to our families.

When we spend time with our kiddos and husbands, we can laugh at our silliness and thank God for the gift of family.

When we observe our children playing, we can ask God to show us how to affirm them for their good choices—and how to respond to their not-so-good choices.

When we sit down to rest, we can thank Him for that time as well.

Yes, I am a SAHM. I’m also a PAHM. You can be too! We can ask God to show us all the opportunities to pray throughout our days—in addition to our sitdown time to pray and read the Bible. God will not only give us the strength to do the things that need to get done; He will also change our attitudes about each and every one of them. If something doesn’t get done on a particular day—or something unexpected happens, we can pray about that instead. As for me—the newbie SAHM, I want to serve my family—now more than ever. After all, when I serve them, I’m serving God too. “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord—you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). Staying at home. Praying at Home. Growing closer to the Lord at home.

Daphne Tarango is a freelance writer who comforts others with the comfort she has received from God. Daphne is a recovery speaker and writers’ group president. She has published numerous inspirational articles in print and online magazines, including several entries in two collections: Women of the Secret Place and Chronicles of a Walk with Christ. Daphne is married to Luis and in the past several months, has resigned from corporate life to take a position as a stay-at-home mom of three adopted children. To connect with Daphne, visit her blog: 44

Our Heroes in a Distant Land (a salute to the U.S. Military) by Lanette Kissel As a soldier, you often bid tearful farewells to your children, husbands, and wives. There are multitudes of prayers being said for God our Father to protect your lives. You must try to protect the innocents from those cruel dictators’ reigns, shielding the world from the countless evils of the Hitlers and Husseins. In pursuit of dangerous terrorists you do not give up the chase, the ultimate goal of your mission, the threat of terrorism to erase. Americans are a freedom loving people whom no enemy shall enslave. You battle to protect our American flag. And forever may she wave. May your courage and your bravery help you move up through the ranks. Our country and countries everywhere owe you all of our heartfelt thanks.


Mothers and Daughters by Lanette Kissel Today I find myself in the hospital delivery room, where you slowly emerge from the safety of my womb. From the warmth of my womb out into the cold, my darling baby girl only a few seconds old. The nurses wrap you in a blanket to keep you snug and warm. I cradle you in my arms to keep you safe from harm. I perform a ritual counting ten fingers and ten toes, and plant a gentle kiss upon your perfect little nose. I’m the one who will have the privilege of watching you grow, the one who will love you more than you will ever know. I will be the one who will teach you the Golden Rule, the one who sends you off for your first day of school. I will teach you about the Father, will teach you how to pray, will show you that He is the One who will help you through each day. I will help you to get ready for your first school dance, will share with you the excitement of your first romance. And I will watch you walk down the aisle when you are that bride so fair, as you begin that new life that you and your beloved will share. Then one day you are the one counting fingers and toes, and loving her more than she ever knows. (originally published in Inspired Women Magazine May 2011 issue)


Unforgiveness Hurts by Amanda Stephan

I'm struggling with something here. So, the purpose of this post is to maybe help someone else who may be going through something similar. I am not trying to be negative. I am not ripping anyone apart. I am preaching at myself. Have you ever done something in your past where you've messed up really badly and then tried to ask forgiveness for it later? I have. I seem to be the queen of mess ups. Big. Small. Medium. It doesn't matter. I screw up. Often. There once was a time where I opened my mouth and said some things that, while true, were not laced with Christian love and longsuffering. I didn't take the time to pray over the hostile situation before I went ahead with both barrels and fired away. And while I was correct in principle, I was incorrect in my delivery. I should have waited on the Lord to deal with the situation. I should have prayed harder. Better. More. I should have asked for a forgiving heart when others wronged me in hurtful ways. I should have asked God to help me see people the way He sees them. Life is full of should have's. But there's a problem with those. When you focus on the should have that didn't happen in a volatile circumstance, you're focusing on the wrong thing. Why? Because that's in the past. It cannot be fixed. You cannot, in any way, shape, form, or fashion go back and change it. The bad news? It's done and cannot be recalled. You don't live there anymore. You want to hear the good news? You don't live there anymore! I am in this situation right now. I know about the rejection you feel after you've bent over backward trying to fix something and the other party won't forgive you. And I have learned something from it. 47

“Memorize what you've read and when you feel that ugly monster rearing its head, fight back by repeating what you've memorized. In the first few days, this may feel like a continuous thing, but eventually, if you stick to it, Satan will leave you alone and attack an easier target. Don't be that target.�

1. Prayer. First and foremost, when the other party won't forgive and forget, prayer is the only balm that will soothe your hurt. Because God cares and He knows what it feels to be rejected. 2. Read the Bible. What does God say about forgiving when someone else won't? 3. Apply what you've read. Daily. Every minute, if need be! Memorize what you've read and when you feel that ugly monster rearing its head, fight back by repeating what you've memorized. In the first few days, this may feel like a continuous thing, but eventually, if you stick to it, Satan will leave you alone and attack an easier target. Don't be that target. 4. Was #3 difficult? Don't give up! Get up, dust yourself off, and try again. Here are some Scriptures that will help. Matthew 6:14-15 - For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:25 - And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Hebrews 10:30 - For we know him that hath said, vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. Matthew 5:44 - But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you Romans 12:21 - Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. I hope this has helped you in some way. I hope this is a blessing to you as you continue on your journey with Him. 48

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Double Meanings Crossword Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Down 1. Military position; a bad smell 2. To focus; remove water from 4. Sea creature; flower 5. To instruct; a group of sea creatures 8. Musical key; military rank 9. Clumsy; a droning sound 10. A drink; to extract from 13. Forgo; distribute

Answer key is on page 86

Stop by for a visit and find fun and creative FREE e-book patterns and tutorials at 50

You can make this gorgeous

Spring Hat Door Hanger by Katherine Corrigan of Katherine’s Corner I used to make these hats with my Mother years ago. Instead of a traditional spring wreath try this easy and pretty alternative. You could make up several of these beautiful embellished hats for every season. So, as you celebrate every day, fill your home with joy and beauty with crafts from Katherine’s Corner! What You Need: * Straw hat * Ribbon * Artificial flowers * Glue gun and glue sticks * Wire cutters * Imagination Start by dabbing some glue around the bowl of the hat just above the brim, then wrap ribbon around your hat and make a bow. Or use a hat that already has a ribbon

Dab a little glue before you tie your bow. Secure your bow with a dab of glue too. How big you make the bow is completely up to you. Keep it simple like mine or puff it up and have ends hanging all the way down. Cut your flowers, trim some flush to the tops so they will lay flat, others you may want to keep long.


Arrange your flowers (do not glue) I tried a couple of different variations until I was happy. After all of your flowers are as you like them, glue them on to your hat. Optional - Glue some ribbon across the inside of the hat for hanging on the door. Display it inside or outside (keep it dry though), Big Taa Daa!

Visit Katherine’s Corner for more beautiful craft projects, yummy recipes, weekly blog hops, great giveaways and so much more!


When I think of Mother’s Day, my heart gets a little jolt. For me, it is both a time of celebration, and a time of loss. My relationship with my mother has always had its unspoken problems, but last year it took a turn for the worst. I challenged my mother on some issues in our relationship that had been plaguing me for many years. As a result, my relationship with her is now virtually non-existent. Mother’s Day is now a very painful reminder of what I now realise I never had; unconditional and unyielding love from one of the most important relationships in my life. So when I was asked to write an article about Mother’s Day, I found myself really struggling. What am I supposed to write? I don’t even want to think about Mother’s Day, let alone write about it. I know it is supposed to be a special day. I am even a mother myself. I’m supposed to be celebrating the awesomeness of motherhood, but right now I just want to crawl under a rock and forget the day ever existed. I think I’m safe to assume that many of our readers are also feeling the same way. For you, Mother’s Day is a painful experience. I can’t tell you how to make your own Mother’s Day experience less painful, because I don’t know your particular set of circumstances. All I can do is share how, with God’s help, I have managed to find something to be grateful for. Rather than focusing on what has been taken away, I aim to invest that energy into thinking about the positives. The Bible says to be thankful in all circumstances, because this is God’s will for us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It is not God’s will for us to be miserable on Mother’s Day. It is meant to be a day of celebration, not a day of mourning. So why do we not follow God’s will for our lives and find something to be thankful for on Mother’s Day? If you have nothing else, be thankful that you are alive and able to read the words before you. 53

May I suggest that when you first wake up on Mother’s Day, make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Then carry that list around with you all day, and when you are tempted to feel sorry for yourself, pull that list out. Try rehearsing a few of those things on your “thankful list,” instead of the negative nonsense that is probably running a train through your mind. I’m even making my own list, because I know how hard it is going to be to maintain a positive attitude. I am a mother to the most beautiful daughter in all of God’s creation. Esther is almost two years old, and absolutely full of life. I thank God every day for her zest for living, and the love she has for everybody she meets. I am thankful that I live in a beautiful house, that is clean (well, some of the time) and safe. I have a loving husband who provides for me and is understanding (as much as human beings can be) of my struggles. I have a group of motherly ladies at church who love and encourage me. I have a wonderful mentor / mother figure from whom I have learned many things. Most of all, I am alive and healthy, and have a Saviour who has saved me from eternal punishment. What is on your list?

Full time mother and author, Corallie Buchanan, is a woman who writes from her heart. Corallie writes regularly for the Christian Woman magazine, Australia's premier magazine for Christian women. In addition to editing her own work, she contributes material to a number of magazines in the US including The Haven Journal, Inspired Women Magazine, and Ruby for Women. Sharing God's message of love and forgiveness, and mentoring other young writers is her passion. Corallie is also the author of Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose; a book which won her the award of Young Australian Christian Writer of the Year in 2007. She lives with husband David and daughter Esther in Brisbane, Australia.


North of Hope by Shannon Huffman Polson Book Review from Create with Joy Some people experience sorrow beyond anything most of us can even begin to imagine. On the Sunday after a painful break-up, while her heart was still raw, 33-year old Shannon Huffman of Seattle received a message that would forever change her life. The message came from a stranger – Officer Holschen of Kakctovik, Alaska. “Are you related to Richard and Katherine Huffman?” the voice asked. “I’m Rich’s daughter.” “I’m sorry to tell you this,” said the voice, “but a bear came into their campsite last night…” “…and they both were killed.” So begins North Of Hope – A Daughter’s Arctic Journey by Shannon Huffman Polson – a powerful story of one woman’s journey “over the jagged edge of loss” and into the vast wilderness of grief. In an attempt to come to terms with such an incomprehensible loss, Shannon finds herself – one year later – in Alaska, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, on a quest. Her hopes? To re-create her father’s last trip using entries from his journal… To follow in his footsteps… To talk to the people who last saw him… To reconcile with her father, a man she loved but had grown distant from since his marriage to Kathy. North of Hope is a powerful memoir that chronicles Shannon’s inner and outer journey through grief. The book is beautifully written – a slow read that invites reflection and introspection. The book will interest readers who have suffered loss and are going through a grieving process of their own, as well as readers interested in Alaska, Inuit and Inupiat culture, and wilderness and adventure stories.


What awaits you in North of Hope? An excerpt from Requiem: Kyrie. I do not know if song came before prayer, or prayer before song, but I do know that together they are magnified and soar as they cannot do alone. Hebrew and Greek have no separate word for music, nor does the language of the Inupiat: the boundary between singing and speech wavers like a mirage. I come to sing to help me pray, and I come to prayer to help me sing. Sitting in a rehearsal room in a hard metal folding chair every Monday in Seattle after Dad and Kathy’s funeral, I start to sing. I start to pray. I do not know yet that music will lead me to a river. For more information about this book: • • • •

Visit Shannon’s Website, A Border Life. Read Shannon’s Biography. Read North Of Hope, Chapters 1 & 2. Visit Amazon.

For more great books, visit Create With Joy – Book Reviews!

Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy 56

The Happy Housewife by Elizabeth Baker

Chapter Nine: Children If you walk into a store and choose a congratulation card for new parents, you will find pictures of lacy bassinets floating among cottonsoft clouds and pictures of fat, blond-haired babies sleeping on ruffled pillows. The verse will talk about the “little angel at your house,” and nowhere will there be a hint of the hardships and drawbacks of parenthood.

“Sometimes people think children are supposed to be a miracle drug for every ill from a wounded marriage to a lonely night, but a child is not even a bandage for a bleeding marriage, and he is scarcely a sprinkle on the dry desert of loneliness.”

That is logical. Card companies wouldn’t do much business if they made cards that smelled like diapers—just as they wouldn’t sell many anniversary cards if they spoke seriously of the bumps and lumps of marriage. Painting only the happy side is a good thing and celebrating new life is something we should do. It is an opportunity for joy! But there is another side. A baby is not like the dolls we used to play with, and then laid aside when there was something else we would rather do. Babies cry during the night. They demand our time and attention when we are tired or busy. They interrupt our plans and play havoc with our budgets. When small, they may suffer from colic. As the first few years progress, they stumble through cutting teeth, diarrhea, tonsillitis and at least half a dozen “bugs” that have them vomiting in bed in the middle of the night. Children are expensive. They are time consuming. Children are persons who need care and love by the ton! Don’t get me wrong. I am not “down” on children. The four beautiful little people who live in this house are my delight. They are four of the best gifts God ever privileged to my care, and I find joy in my children as in few other treasures. But as Paul said, “I would not have you ignorant.” (I Corinthians 12:1) To constantly view children through rose-colored glasses is to have a warped view of reality, and reality is where God meets our needs. Sometimes people think children are supposed to be a miracle drug for every ill from a wounded marriage to a lonely night, but a child is not even a bandage for a bleeding marriage, and he is scarcely a sprinkle on the dry desert of loneliness.


When parents pour a lot of pain, expense, and long, hard hours into the rearing of their children, we tend to think of them as our own creations. Mothers (this mother included) are especially prone to this attitude. The child is their masterpiece, their creation. It can be as dangerous to point out to a woman that her child is lacking as it would be to point out to Leonardo da Vinci that he forgot to put eyebrows on the Mona Lisa! There is no faster way in the world to provoke a mother than to criticize or correct her child. It is all right for mother to say, “Johnny has a temper,” or “Becky needs a spanking,” but in most cases, Grandma or a friend better not say those things unless they are ready for a fight! Many children wear invisible labels across their backs: “WARNING: Property of Jane Doe. Do not bend, fold, spindle or criticize.”

“The child is their masterpiece, their creation. It can be as dangerous to point out to a woman that her child is lacking as it would be to point out to Leonardo da Vinci that he forgot to put eyebrows on the Mona Lisa!”

Whose Children? There are two people who have a greater claim on the child’s life than his mother. One is the child’s claim to his own life and the other claim is that of God. It is easy and painless to say that our children belong to God if we think of God as some indefinable, misty, mighty blob seated on a cloud somewhere. But when we become Christians and know God as real and personal, then thinking of our children as belonging to Him first and us second is not so easy a matter. Our pride gets in the way, and our selfishness starts showing. God claims ownership of our children, though He has loaned them to our care. We are responsible to Him for how we handle His property. Ezekiel 16 records the tragic story of Jerusalem told from God’s point of view. This tale throbs with sorrow and exposes the very heart of God Himself as His justice and righteousness compelled Him to punish His people. These were people He had nourished carefully and loved dearly through centuries of time. The wickedness in which they had willingly indulged almost defies description. Among the many gods they embraced was one called Molech, the fire-god of the Ammonites. The Jews had left the worship of Jehovah in favor of murdering their children in honor of Molech. Human sacrifice was not uncommon and many, many children were burned alive to please Molech.

“But when we become Christians and know God as real and personal, then thinking of our children as belonging to Him first and us second is not so easy a matter. Our pride gets in the way, and our selfishness starts showing.” 58

“When we reach the point where we can accept the truth that our children are His first and ours second, we will have taken a gigantic step toward love, for—as stated before— perfect love thrives in perfect freedom.”

“Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. [Was this] a small matter, that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?” (vv.20-21) Notice, God calls these little ones, ‘My children.” God claimed them as His own and we can be grateful that He surely took better care of them on the other side of death than their parents ever had on this side. In Psalm 127 we read, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward” (v. 3). When we reach the point where we can accept the truth that our children are His first and ours second, we will have taken a gigantic step toward love, for—as stated before—perfect love thrives in perfect freedom.

Why Do They Misbehave So? One person who has a mighty influence on our children is a man we know only through the pages of Scripture. Adam was the first human created, and God made him in perfection, without sin or spot. Adam was a reflection of the glory of God (I Corinthians 11:7), and image of God Himself (Genesis 1:28). But Adam lost that perfection when he sinned. His heart and mind were changed, and no longer did he reflect God as he had before.

“Don’t be surprised when that little angel-faced threeyear-old looks deep into your eyes and tells a bare-faced lie, or that precious little boy steals the neighbor’s basketball, or that doll in curls and ruffles gets mad and kicks her brother in the stomach.”

When Adam had children, they were born, not in the perfect image of God but in the image of Adam (Genesis 5:3). Children are not good by nature as some would have us believe. They naturally tend toward wrong. You will never have to teach your child to lie; he will figure it out all by himself as soon as he can talk. You will not have to teach him to be selfish; he will master the art as quickly as he figures out what a possession is. Laziness, excessive anger, jealousy will all come to him as easily as breathing. Because each child is different, some will show more of one trait and some more of another; but they are all Adam’s children and that fact will show very early in life. Don’t be surprised when that little angel-faced three-year-old looks deep into your eyes and tells a bare-faced lie, or that precious little boy steals the neighbor’s basketball, or that doll in curls and ruffles gets mad and kicks her brother in the stomach.


The child is not “broken” and there is no reason to feel you have failed as a parent. He is simply acting as human children often act: Rotten. And, he needs the training of consistent discipline to learn a new way.

The Unpleasant Necessity Bad behavior must be corrected. Wrong actions should bring swift, unforgettable justice to teach the child that the action was sinful and must not be repeated. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. But the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15). Children (and parents) are all offspring of Adam, with foolishness and sin bound in their hearts. That is why Christ died for mankind. Speaking of discipline, just as God is our example in life, He is our best example in this vital area also. God does indeed discipline His own children (Hebrews 12:5-11), but a careful reading of the New Testament will show that His action toward us is true discipline (training for our good) not revenge (getting even because He is mad). The dictionary defines discipline as “instruction and exercise designed to train to proper conduct or action.” When God’s child disobeys, God does not take revenge; He disciplines. I fear that far too much of what we heap on our children is not done from a desire to train but is purely the revenge of the kitchen in his cowboy boots and steps on my bare toe. If I shout and call him names or swat him, I am acting out of revenge because I am in pain. The same may be true with spilt milk at the dinner table or an accidently broken knickknack. Children have tiny fingers that don’t always work right. They have active curiosity and clumsy feet. They can’t sit still very long and easily misunderstand our instructions. These things are not bad conduct as a rule. They are simply blunders, side effects of being young and undeveloped.

Some Private Observations

“Bad behavior must be corrected. Wrong actions should bring swift, unforgettable justice to teach the child that the action was sinful and must not be repeated. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. But the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15).”

I won’t presume to set down hard fast rules for other parents to follow in other situations, but over the years I have made some observations about the training of my own children. You may find them of interest. 1. Children need to know the language.


A child’s vocabulary is small but words like sin, punishment and forgiveness can easily be understood by him if they are used in everyday situations. Grabbing a shotgun and blowing someone’s head off is sin, but that fact would be hard for a child to identify with. The words don’t fit his world. However, getting mad at your brother and biting a plug out of his arm is also sin and that a child can understand in practical terms. A child will not find words such as sin half as embarrassing as will an unsaved adult. My son Wesley could talk long before he could walk. Before age two he could speak as clearly as most school-age children. One day I was sitting in the living room working on some mending when Wesley fell through the back door sobbing as though his heart would break.

“Children may not understand words such as salvation and redemption, but they can learn that Jesus came to earth and took the punishment we deserved because He loved us.”

He was still at the stage of walking a short way, then falling down to crawl if he was in a hurry or upset. He toddled to my chair and crawled up into my lap then blubbering through his tears tried to tell me what the problem was. “Mama . . .” sniff . . . “Oh, Mama. Lori is outside . . . and . . . “ sniff . . . “and, she’s just a-sinning all over the place!” He broke into loud sobs and buried his face in my dress. Less than two years old, yet he was beginning to recognize unpleasant, grief-bringing actions as sin. He was by no means ready for a salvation experience but it was a beginning to his training. He was learning the spiritual equivalent of two plus two equals four. Children need words that match their own experience spoken within the context of their world. Often when they hear words from adults— even spiritual words—they begin to parrot them long before they actually understand them. Just because they can say the word, doesn’t mean they have a heart-concept of the meaning. I remember a pastor counseling me to “open your heart’s door to Jesus and let Him save your soul.” I agreed easily. Baptism sounded like fun and I had been in Sunday school long enough to answer all the questions with answers I knew adults wanted to hear. Deep inside, I wasn’t exactly sure what a “heart door” was but it didn’t sound too bad and if Jesus wanted my “soul” that was fine with me. I had no use for it. Children may not understand words such as salvation and redemption, but they can learn that Jesus came to earth and took the punishment we deserved because He loved us.


If the word forgiveness has been used even a few times in the child’s own experience, he can understand something of the forgiveness God offers. If even a few, basic words are used in everyday experiences and understood by the child, when the time comes ripe for him to recognize that he has sin inside himself and needs to ask God to forgive him personally, these words become a necessary bridge we cross to communicate the plan of salvation to our children. 2. They need to recognize the Bible as God-inspired and the basis of all conduct. There is nothing fanatical about telling an angry, upset child that the Bible says “Be patient toward all men.” (I Thessalonians 5:14) Or, when our little one swipes the neighbor’s rake and hides it in the bushes, why should we not instruct him from the Word? “The Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ ‘(Exodus 20:5) When we give our children the Word of God as a basis for conduct, we are standing their feet on something solid that will last them a lifetime. The morals of the world may shift with each situation. The laws of the land may not cover everything and are subject to change, but the Word of God is a code of ethics that none can justly criticize and a foundation for life that will never fail. When children grow older and find the Bible assailed by evolution and so-called, “modern religious teaching,” your own grounding in the Bible will be vital. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, think and search for answers that are both intellectually satisfying and biblical. Because, when the authority of the Bible is questioned, a parent had better be able to come up with something better than, “Believe it because I told you it was right.”

“Children are very special gifts from God that He has loaned us for a few years. Our responsibility is great, but the joy and rewards are great, too. Raising children is not all a piece of cake, but it will always be an adventure.”

3. They need to have trust and love and faithfulness exhibited in the lives of their parents. A child can more easily understand what trust is if someone has trusted him to do a small task. If he has found his parents true to their word, he can more easily trust God to be true to His Word If he has found love in His own home, he can more easily learn to love others. If his parents accept him even though they do not condone wrong behavior, he will more easily understand God’s attitude toward His children. Children are very special gifts from God that He has loaned us for a few years. Our responsibility is great, but the joy and rewards are great, too. Raising children is not all a piece of cake, but it will always be an adventure.


Any Guarantees? We all know that children don’t come with instruction manuals—even though most young parents wish they did!— but they also don’t come with a guarantee. I would like to be able to close this chapter with five steps and four verses, which if consistently applied, would guarantee your child will grow healthy, strong and wise. I would like to give iron-clad assurance that they will love the Lord and continue passing the faith to the next generation. I would like to, but I can’t.

“Children who turn aside from the faith of their parents are not the norm, but it does happen. What we offer our children as we pour our lives and hopes into them day after day is not a guarantee of what they must be, but an opportunity for what they can be.”

The truth is there is no guarantee. Your faithful living, consistent discipline, loving heart, prayers and clinging to Bible promises will go a long way toward making the dreams you have for your children come true, but there are exceptions to the rule and most of us have met one or more. We have seen a child who is raised well by Christian parents then rejects all the parents stood for once he is grown. Children who turn aside from the faith of their parents are not the norm, but it does happen. What we offer our children as we pour our lives and hopes into them day after day is not a guarantee of what they must be, but an opportunity for what they can be. The better and more consistent our training, the wider the door of opportunity opens and the more the likelihood increases that they will walk through the opening. Earlier in the chapter I said that there were two individuals who had a stronger claim on our children than those of us who gave them birth. Our children belong to God and because He is gracious, they also belong to themselves. We guide but we don’t compel; we offer opportunity and train, but we don’t force their future. Remembering that helps in many ways. It helps to keep us balanced so we don’t try to make our kids an appendage of our own lives. They are their own persons, not our property. It also keeps us from excessive and unrealistic guilt. We all make mistakes when raising our children. There isn’t a parent alive who can’t look back and say, “I wish I had handled that situation differently.” When we have done the best we can and asked forgiveness for where we have failed, we have done our duty. We have opened the door of opportunity as wide as our strength allowed. Whether they walk through it is a matter between themselves and God. 63

The Happy Housewife by Elizabeth Baker Elizabeth's classic best seller from 1979 is brought back to life for a new generation. Humorous, honest, Bible based and compelling, this ageless primer on the joys and traumas of dealing with kids, husbands, and dirty dishes will have you laughing and bring you to tears. Her practical advice provides realistic solutions to problems that never change. Join her in an exploration that is a fresh and ageless as mother-love. Elizabeth tackles issues that are modern in every respect while her home-spun style makes the readers feel as though they are having coffee with a wise friend. The Happy Housewife is available from Amazon and on Elizabeths’ website at

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The Glory Trees by Sharon L. Patterson I look for them just after the last major blast of winter in Round Rock, Texas where I live. My wait each year is a bit varied, but usually sometime right before mid-March, prior to the outbreak of the much anticipated bluebonnets, I peer down the street to find the first glimpse of spring’s certain arrival. Suddenly, my insides start sensing a great joy…the glory trees are about to bloom! Vacant limbs of trees noted for their perfect shape reveal gorgeous white clusters amidst tiny green leaves. You probably call these by their common name, “pear trees”, but I call them “the glory trees.” If you ask my almost three year old grandson who visited me recently, he now calls them the same thing. We even made up a game to find the most glorious ones. How delightful to hear his sweet voice from the car seat behind me as we drive, “Grannah, look, a glory tree!” There are many beauties of spring and thanks to the dedicated passion of Lady Bird Johnson, a former First Lady, Texas is especially blessed with blasts of color all along our highways and byways. Fields light up with fire-fly yellows, and Indian sunset reds; roadways and embankments display princely purple and blue patches. Yes, our wildflowers are incredible. Most Texas children have photos their parents took of them sitting in a blanket of bluebonnets. But for me, as much as I adore my state’s awesome fame of color, it is the glory trees I love most. The trees remind me of God and His glory, hence the name I have given them. The bursts of sudden white clusters light up the heart, and take one’s breath away. No matter what is happening in my life at the time, God’s promise of eternal glory breaks in upon my earthly moment as all attention is drawn to the beauty my eyes are beholding. Immediately, prayer rises from my spirit even as smiles spread across my face: “Oh Lord, what majestic splendor you have revealed! I don’t just feel joy, I am overjoyed!” It is a “more than” moment; it is special reminder of the Creator’s handiwork to me and in me. We Christians bear the glory of God in these earthen vessels much like the once vacant limbs of the pear trees bear the glory of the promise of spring in the buds that will flood the world for a special time with intensely white flowers. Then, just as suddenly as they bloomed, the flowers will fall off and the green leaves will mature and then fade into the greens of the trees around them. You will know the trees then mainly by their distinct shape. Winter will come and all you will see is the trunk and the bare limbs just as all other trees affected by that season. But one distinct day, the stunning display of the incredible blooms will reappear and you will know them by their glory. So, if you are as privileged as I am to be where there are pear trees in the spring, won’t you join me in celebrating the glory trees! Better still, if you are one of God’s glory trees, may He openly display His glory to the world through you! 65

Project Inspiration: Chocolate by Sharon L. Patterson I finally figured out the source of my success. Having searched the thesaurus of talent, gregariously applying the ethic of discipline, exhausting the value of patient waiting, and praying for bolts of genius to pop out of my subconscious, I found the most luscious answer. No, wise banter copied meticulously into notebooks did not do it. Neither did numberless hours of reading favorite books by favorite authors. It came, quite by accident, late one night digging into my hidden stash of lush, dark chocolate squares and popping it in my mouth as I sat, pen in hand, to write. Perhaps it unleashed the creative juices by occupying the don’t-try-so-hard part of my brain. I could try to analyze to futility the stroke of genius that followed. But I won’t… quite simply the project needed inspiration. The chocolate works… Excuse me; I’ve got to get to my hidden stash… again!


Focus on Healthy Eating this Spring! Green Ginger-Peach Smoothie by Nancy Creative This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. It has lots of fresh baby spinach, fresh ginger, and frozen peaches in it. During peach season, you could use fresh peaches (it just won’t be quite as thick, because the frozen fruit helps thicken the smoothie). This smoothie doesn’t have any dairy products in it. But I didn’t miss the dairy at all. The original recipe uses water, but I thought it was a little bland with water, so I used a peach juice blend instead. I thought this smoothie was really yummy–a very tasty way to up your spinach intake! Makes about 2 (9-ounce) servings • • • • •

1 cup well-packed baby spinach leaves 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger 2 cups frozen sliced peaches 1 to 2 teaspoons honey 1 1/4 cups peach juice blend (I used Dole® Orange Peach Mango Juice)

Add all ingredients in blender and mix until well-blended (you may have to help stir the mixture along with a spoon at first). Serve immediately. Makes about 18 ounces, or 1 to 2 servings.

For more great recipes for spring and summer, from healthy breakfast ideas, breads and muffins, granola bars, salads, and so much more . . . . be sure to visit

Nancy Creative! 67

Honey-Sweetened Cucumber Salad from Nancy Creative If you are growing cucumbers in your garden this summer, this is a great side dish to use them in! I found a recipe at Our Best Bites that I modified a little…I used honey instead of sugar as a sweetener, used a little less salt, and used white wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar. I thought using honey in this cucumber salad worked out great! I’m trying to use honey instead of granulated sugar when I can because it’s healthier, and this seemed like a great recipe to try it in. The honey gives this salad a yummy sweetness, and there’s a little zing and spice from some diced red onion and red pepper flakes. Sweet and spicy…I love that combination in this salad! If you don’t want much spiciness, add a little less of the red pepper flakes and it should be just fine! This recipe makes about 4-6 servings, depending on how big your servings are. If you’re making this for a larger group, you’ll probably want to double the recipe. Makes 4 to 6 servings • • • • • • •

1 1/2 pounds cucumbers (about 3 medium), peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 cup white wine vinegar (or substitute rice vinegar) 1/2 cup water 3 Tablespoons honey (or substitute same amount of granulated sugar) 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 Tablespoons finely diced red onion

Place cucumber slices in a colander sitting over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss well. Let cucumber slices sit in your refrigerator for 1 hour, tossing them several times as they are draining. Prepare marinade while cucumber slices are draining in the refrigerator: Combine vinegar, water, honey, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup (if you end up with less than 1/3 cup, add some water to bring the mixture to 1/3 cup). Remove mixture from heat and mix in the diced red onion. Let mixture cool to room temperature. When cucumber slices are ready to remove from the refrigerator, dry them a little more by patting with some paper towels and then combine with the vinegar marinade mixture, blending well. Refrigerate until well chilled and then serve (you can serve it without chilling, but it tastes best chilled!). Recipes and images used by permission of Nancy Creative. 68

Spring in the Garden Giveaway by Kathleen Kohler

Enter to win the Spring in the Garden Gift Box (a $55.00 value!)

Drawing to be held May 21, 2013 How to Enter: Send me an email telling how a woman in your life has most inspired or influenced you. What great piece of advice has she shared, or attitude would you like model? Entries will be posted on Kathleen’s blog in future updates to share the words of encouragement from each of the participants in the Spring in the Garden Giveaway.

Box contains: The Ultimate Bird Lover book, Songbird Habitat Scatter Garden, When God Makes Lemonade book, Beans from Jelly Belly, & Lemon Verbena Gardener's Soap. *** U.S. entries only please


Join us every week for our favorite blog hops!

• Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy

• Wordless Wednesday at Create with Joy

• Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner

• Friendship Friday at Create with Joy 70

Betsy McCall Flies a Kite from the collection of Vintage Mama 71

Betsy McCall Plants a Garden from the collection of’ Vintage Mama


Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd Book Review by Amanda Stephan In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiance has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth's circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen's downfall, Helena is forced to choose between her unyielding monarch and the husband she's not sure she can trust--a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences. Vividly conjuring the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots, Roses Have Thorns is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart.

My Thoughts: Historical fiction at its finest! When I want to read historical fiction, I don't want to feel as though I've picked up an encyclopedia and started reading it. I want to feel as though I have been transported back in time and am a part of that particular era. This is not an easy thing to do for any author. Sandra Byrd is one of the very few that can accomplish this. Too often, historical novels become places with major information dumps and I get bored. Quickly. And then I never want to return to the book. This one? In my opinion, this one is even better than To Die For. I have my favorite books and authors. Sandra Byrd is at the top of the list. This story is full of intrigue, suspense, and stratagems almost entirely within your own family. Everyone smiles. Everyone bows or curtsies. Yet almost everyone wants you dead. The solution? Surround yourself with brilliant counselors and ladies in waiting that you can trust. And even then, you may make a terrible mistake. Taking a piece of history that is, in itself fascinating, Ms. Byrd went the extra distance. She found and expounded on a tiny fractional piece of history about a person many people didn't even know existed, and gave her a voice of her own. Her own story. And it was captivating. Thrilling. And I was sorry to see this one end. If you're looking for cardboard characters, limp plots and scenery? Don't waste your time on this book. If you're looking for something to chew on and think about for weeks to come? Even do a little research on your own just to see how much of this could be true? You'll want this book. Highly recommended. *My thanks to the author & publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a review. I was in no wise obligated this review be positive. These thoughts are my own.* 73

Living in Indiana by Gloria Doty Living in Indiana means many things to Hoosiers, but the one event that is synonymous with Indiana for most of the world, is the Indianapolis 500. Also known as ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ it takes place in May, every year. It isn’t necessary to be a racing fan to be aware of some aspects of the race. Pit stops, pit crews, time trials, crashes and victory lane are all terms heard over and over again - before, during and after race day. In 2 Timothy 4: 7 Paul writes about finishing the race. While Paul is speaking of a foot race, I believe there are similarities between an auto race and our lives, also, if we look closely. The drivers are in well-equipped vehicles, and still, they experience mechanical failures. We too, are ‘wonderfully made’ but we can, and do, experience failures in many areas of our lives. A racecar driver’s vision is limited to the area directly around the car; he can’t personally see the entire track or what is happening on the turns ahead. He relies on his crew chief to let him know what is taking place and where he needs to be. If he chooses to ignore the advice, he will most certainly regret that decision. We are unable to see what is happening in other areas of our lives, but we spend a lot of time looking in our rear-view mirrors or straining to see around the next curve ahead when we really need to concentrate on what is happening in the present. We also find ourselves in predicaments when we don’t listen to the advice of our Crew Chief, who is able to see the ‘big picture’ when we can’t. The driver is just one component of the racecar; the crew is also very important to success. The team is there to help in any way possible to accomplish the goal. We should surround ourselves with Christian friends to encourage, mentor and advise us on our journey. We aren’t as familiar with our ‘track’ as the auto racers are, but we definitely spend a lot of our days going around in circles. Occasionally we are aware of yellow, caution flags. They tell us to slow down, for there is danger ahead. If we do not heed the warning to slow down, we are much more likely to crash. God wants us to come in from the frenzied pace of our lives for much needed pit stops. We need to rest in God’s word and be refreshed so we can finish the race. Our entire earthly lifetime is a race of sorts. There are many tests of our endurance and we can say with certainty we want to finish well. God’s love for us is unconditional. He also wants us to finish the race, for the rewards are much more than a checkered flag and a monetary prize. Our reward is beyond our ability to imagine and it lasts for eternity. 74


Make your own Teacup Pincushion by mamas*little*treasures Perfect Mother’s Day gift! Although I’ve been a designer and seamstress for many years, I had never thought of pincushions in any way other than purely practical. I have used them throughout my years of sewing, but they were just always there as part of my sewing room supplies, just like my scissors, iron, and tape measure. Well, I recently discovered some beautiful pincushions and I was so inspired that I decided I’d make some of my own. So, the first thing I saw when I was contemplating my new adventure was a couple of vintage teacups that I had picked up at the local thrift store. And since they had no sentimental attachment for me, I thought I’d try making them into little pincushions with a bit of bling, glitz, and glam. And now I’m hooked! Who would have thought that a pincushion could be a collector’s item or a decorative item to display in my sewing studio? Well, now I know . . . . . and these pincushions are so much fun to make. Quick and easy, they are perfect for a gift for mom or grandma, or for yourself as a special treat for all that you’ve accomplished in life. So, if you have a teacup and saucer around your house (probably not Grandma’s antique china, though!) – or if you stop by your neighborhood thrift shop or antique shop, pick up two or three sets – let’s get started on your very own teacup pincushion! What you need: • Vintage teacup and saucer • Fabric scraps • Ribbons scraps • Buttons, beads, lace, charms • Polyfil polyester filling • Tacky Glue or Hot Glue Gun • Needle and Thread • Stick pins and various beads


STEP 1: Gather your supplies Begin by choosing your fabric, ribbons, and trims. Make sure you have a variety of coordinating notions to choose from. Gather your supplies so you can begin creating your little masterpiece!

STEP 2: Cut out your fabric Place your teacup upside down on your fabric. Measure out 1 ½” – 2” from the outside edge, using a water soluble fabric / quilt marker. Mark all around the outside edge, to make a circle that is a total of 3” – 4” larger in diameter than your cup.

Cut out your circle of fabric. This will be the main pincushion, and you will want it to be to correct size to fit inside of the teacup.

STEP 3: Stitch the gathering stitches on the circle of fabric Set your sewing machine for the longest straight stitch possible. On my machine that is a setting of 5.00 on a scale of 0 – 5.00. If you prefer, you can hand gather all around the outside edge of the circle by taking ¼” stitches around the circle, approximately ¼” in from the edge. Stitch the long running stitch all around the outside edge of the circle of fabric, approximately ¼” in from the edge. For greater strength when closing up the circle for the top of the pincushion, I always run another long straight stitch all around the outside of the circle of fabric, approximately 3/8” in from the edge so that I have two rows of gathering stitches. That way, if one row of stitching breaks, I still have another row of gathering stitches to work with. This really does save time later on! 77

STEP 4: Gather and stuff the circle of fabric Now you will want to begin pulling the gathering stitches up on the circle of fabric to make a little “pouch” to put the stuffing into. I begin by gathering it up just enough to hold the stuffing, and then I put as much stuffing into it as I can before I pull the gathering stitches up tight.

Keep putting as much stuffing as you can possibly get into the little “pouch,” and then GENTLY pull the gathering threads up as tightly as you can.

Keep stuffing . . . . and stuffing . . . . down into the little empty places around the edges . . . . Then begin to pull up the gathering threads, and you will still need to stuff even more Polyfil into the pincushion top. The more stuffing you can get in, the firmer the pincushion top will be. This will make it prettier, but also easier to use.

When I do my gathering, I usually pull up one side of the gathering stitch so that I have one side gathered. Then I tie the threads on that end to keep it from “un-gathering” when I pull up the other side. Pull it first from one side to the middle, and then the other side. This minimizes the possibility of breaking a thread and having to start all over!


When you have pulled your gathering stitches up as much as possible, tie the thread ends together to hold it in place. Again, be very careful with your threads, so as not to break one of the gathering stitches. Pull it up as tightly as you can, and you should still have an opening of approximately 1” – 2” that you will close up later.

Now you stuff even more Polyfil into the pincushion top. Keep stuffing, down into those little corners where the gathers are!

As long as there is room for even one more little “stuff,” go ahead and stuff it in there!

STEP 5: Closing the stuffing opening Now you will need to cut a circle that is approximately 2” – 2 ½” around from your fabric. This will be used to cover the opening in the bottom of your pincushion top.


Pin it in place, covering the opening and the gathering stitches, and hand stitch in place using an appliqué stitch. The hand appliqué stitch is taken by coming up with your needle and thread from the bottom, through the piece you are stitching on (in this case the small circle). Then go STRAIGHT down again, over the edge of the circle, into the fabric to which you are attaching the circle. Go under that fabric for approximately ¼” and come up again, catching the edge of the small circle, and go down over the edge of the small circle into the pincushion top. Continue this stitch all around the small circle to enclose the opening in the bottom of the pincushion top.

STEP 6: Glue the pincushion top into the teacup For this step, you can either use Tacky Glue or a hot glue gun. With the Tacky Glue you will need to wait a few minutes to continue the project and add embellishments. With a hot glue gun, you will be able to continue right away but two words of caution: Be VERY careful not to burn yourself! You will need to place the pincushion top into the teacup, accurately, very quickly as the hot glue dries almost instantaneously. If you have any concerns about getting the top placed exactly where you want it on the first try, you might want to start with Tacky Glue as it allows you to remove and replace the pincushion top if you don’t get it right the first time. Place a line of glue all around the inside of the teacup, approximately ¼” from the top edge. Be sure to use enough glue that the top of the pincushion will attach securely. Carefully place the completed pincushion top into the teacup, adjusting it so that if completely fills the teacup and is centered and even. You might need to “squish” the pincushion top either flatter or puffier, depending on the top of your teacup. Just be sure that it isn’t lopsided or lumpy on one side! 80

STEP 7: Embellishing your pincushion As soon as the pincushion top is securely attached to the teacup, it is time to begin the fun part of embellishment! It might seem that it would be easier to embellish it before you put it into the teacup, but I discovered that if I tried to put on all the embellishments first, it didn’t always line up the way I wanted it to with the edge of the cup. It really isn’t too difficult to stitch on a few ribbons, buttons, and beads once it is inserted into the teacup.

Of course, you can embellish your pincushion any way you want, but here are a few ideas to get you started: I took a sheer ribbon and wrapped it around my fingers a few times to make a bow. Then I took three or four stitches right in the middle to hold it, and pulled the loops apart to make kind of a ribbon flower. When I pulled the loops apart, I also twisted them to make it a bit fuller.

Cut a piece of sage green grosgrain ribbon, about 1” wide and approximately 3” long. Loop both ends forward to meet in the middle, making a point at the folded end. Make two or three of these ribbon “leaves,” and press them flat.

Hand-stitch the leaves on first, and then stitch on a couple of curled ribbon “tendrils” to hang down from beneath your ribbon flower.


Stitch the ribbon flower on top of the leaves and curled “tendrils,” making sure that the leaves just peek out from the edges of the “petals” of the ribbon flower.

If you want to add a button center on your ribbon flower, snip off the shank on the button and glue it right in the middle of the flower.

Add any other embellishments that you want! I added a little butterfly button right on one of the leaves.

Then I added three round pink crystal buttons to make some little “buds” by the leaves.

Glue the teacup pincushion to the saucer, and add a few buttons or small spools of thread . . . . or even a tiny pair of embroidery scissors, all around the base of the teacup.


If you want to make a few pretty stick pins to go with your pincushion, just take some pins that already have a large bead on top. Then use your hot glue gun to add a few more beads either on the top of the bead on the straight pin, or add them underneath the bead that is on the top . . . . . or both! You can also purchase fancy stick pins, but I always like to make my own. They look really pretty stuck into your teacup pincushion!

And there you have your very own teacup pincushion! What a fun gift for Mom or Grandma for Christmas, Mother’s Day, or a birthday . . . . . or just a gift to say, “I love you!” Have fun with YOUR very own teacup pincushion. And when you get it finished, please email me a picture of your masterpiece at

Here’s my “Ivory and Jade” Teacup Pincushion . . . what fun this one was with all the pearls, rhinestones, and gold accents in this sweet cup and saucer of a floral and paisley print, all in shades of light and dark green with just a touch of gold.

This is the Patchwork and Pearls pincushion created from a vintage ice cream cup and saucer. Use your imagination and create your own unique Teacup Pincushion!

For more creative inspiration, please visit mamas*little*treasures where you will find FREE tutorials for seasonal crafts, as well as other projects to inspire you to be creative every day!

Copyright 2007 by Nina Newton aka mamas*little*treasures. All text and images contained herein are owned by and are copyright 2007 mamas*little*treasures. None of the contents of this pattern eBook may be reproduced or republished. This pattern is for the express and sole use of the customer for personal or home use, and may be used to create items for the customer to sell on his or her own.


Ruby for Women Your voice, your ideas, your inspiration! As the ministry of Ruby for Women has been growing over the past three years, God has blessed us with the opportunity to reach out and touch the hearts and lives of women all around the world. Now, God has opened another door for the ministry of Ruby for Women, and over the next several weeks and months you will see the new avenues of opportunity that we are pursuing. As a community of bloggers, writers, and artists / crafters, Ruby for Women will continue to be a friendly neighborhood where we can connect with one another through our groups, our chat times, our prayer request group, and our weekly newsletter which will feature giveaways by our members, as well as all the current news from the Ruby community. The Ruby for Women magazine will continue to be published online monthly, and we will continue to feature inspirational articles, poetry, craft tutorials, recipes, and other fun resources for you and your family. We will also begin bringing you other resources to offer inspiration and wisdom through our publishing company, Gossamer Wings Publications, as well as craft and sewing patterns and kits through our creative team at mamas*little*treasures and Tatters to Treasures. You might have already noticed Ruby’s Reading Corner where you can purchase books for yourself and your family. Every purchase from Ruby’s Reading Corner helps support the ministry of Ruby for Women. But did you know that we also have the RUBY! Café Press Shop where you can purchase tshirts, tote bags, aprons, and other fun Ruby items? We will be stocking the RUBY! Café Press Shop over the next few weeks with new items daily, so please take a minute to stop by and visit us at the RUBY! Café Press Shop. So, you can see that we have been very busy here at Ruby for Women! Your continued support and participation in this ministry is vital to our ongoing success and we so appreciate YOU. Please continue to send us your inspirational articles, stories, poems, crafts and recipes, and we will continue to provide you with the many resources that you have come to know and love here at Ruby for Women. If you any questions, ideas, or suggestions please be sure to email us at or We would LOVE to hear from you!


Check the Temperature! Number Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

Tatters to Treasures Where new beauty arises from the ashes of yesterday in reconstruction garments, shoes, and accessories 85

Double Meanings Crossword Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

Down 1. Military position; a bad smell 2. To focus; remove water from 4. Sea creature; flower 5. To instruct; a group of sea creatures 8. Musical key; military rank 9. Clumsy; a droning sound 10. A drink; to extract from 13. Forgo; distribute

Ask Beth! Do you have a question for Beth? She would love to hear from you! Please email her at 86

Christian Hymns through History “Have You Any Room for Jesus?” by Daniel Webster Whittle NO ROOM! We are familiar with the story of how Joseph, and Mary (expecting the birth of her Child), arrived in Bethlehem. They found it a beehive of noisy confusion, and we’re told, “There was no room for them in the inn” (Lk. 2:7) The poor innkeeper has long been criticized and berated for turning them away. But of course he had no idea who they were, or of the wonderful event that would transpire during the night. And, in reality, he did not turn them away. He apparently found them a place that was warm and dry, out in the stable. But while we point our fingers at the innkeeper--perhaps unjustly--we must attend to our own response to Christ. Is it possible that in our own lives we have turned Him away, that we have made no room for Him? Or is it possible that where there was once a generous place for Him, other things have begun to crowd Him out? In the book of Revelation, we read of the Lord Jesus saying, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20). Sometimes, that verse is used as an individual call to trust Christ for salvation. However, in the context, the words are directed to a church. In John’s day, the church at Laodicea was wealthy and self-satisfied. But its wealth was material, not spiritual. Spiritually, the Lord describes the congregation as “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (vs. 17). About the things of God, they were merely “lukewarm” (vs. 15-16). Though they may have had all the right ceremonies, and clearly were impressed with themselves, they had shut Christ out. His name may have been found in their rituals, but He had ceased to be a living presence in their church life. Major Daniel Webster Whittle (1840-1901) was a veteran of the American Civil War, who later went into evangelistic work. In 1878, he revised a poem from an unknown source, and turned it into a hymn. His hymn is based upon Revelation 3:20, and in it he raises the crucial question, “Have You Any Room for Jesus?” The song begins, “Have you any room for Jesus, He who bore your load of sin? / As He knocks and asks admission, sinner, will you let Him in?” Though Whittle intended it as an invitation to salvation, it remains a question worth asking by every child of God as well. Our lives sometimes bustle with even more hectic activity than the inn at Bethlehem. Not that the things that occupy us are necessarily wrong or sinful. More often, it is a case of the good crowding out the best. And for that reason, we need to periodically assess our priorities. 87

Perhaps we have made room for family and friends, room for hobbies, room for what we desire to do, but what about the Savior? The second verse of our hymn says, “Room for pleasure, room for business, / But for Christ the crucified, / Not a place that He can enter, / In the heart for which He died.” What a tragedy! Perhaps the Lord Jesus has been shunted off into a corner of our busy days, to a spot labeled “Church Stuff,” or something of the kind. Perhaps we expect Him to be content with being a part of our Sunday morning tradition, between eleven and noon, then letting us do our own thing the rest of the time. What an insult to the One whom Scripture says is “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36). Every aspect and area of our lives should be open and accessible to such a One. His lordship ought to extend to every part. That is justly His right. It is not for us to say to the Lord, “No room!”

Daniel Webster Whittle

was named after American politician Daniel Webster. Whittle reached the rank of major in the American civil war, and for the rest of his life was known as “Major” Whittle. During the war, Whittle lost his right arm, and ended up in a prisoner of war camp. Recovering from his wounds in the hospital, he looked for something to read, and found a New Testament. Though its words resonated with him, he was still not ready to accept Christ. Shortly after, a hospital orderly woke him and said a dying prisoner wanted someone to pray with him. Whittle demurred, but the orderly said, “But I thought you were a Christian; I have seen you reading your Bible.” Whittle then agreed to go. He recorded what took place at the dying youth’s bed side: “I dropped on my knees and held the boy’s hand in mine. In a few broken words I confessed my sins and asked Christ to forgive me. I believed right there that He did forgive me. I then prayed earnestly for the boy. He became quiet and pressed my hand as I prayed and pleaded God’s promises. When I arose from my knees, he was dead. A look of peace had come over his troubled face, and I cannot but believe that God who used him to bring me to the Savior, used me to lead him to trust Christ’s precious blood and find pardon. I hope to meet him in heaven.” After the war, Whittle became treasurer of the Elgin Watch Company in Chicago, Illinois. In less than 10 years, though, he entered the evangelism field. During this period, he worked with musicians Phillip Bliss and James McGranahan. His daughter May Moody also wrote music for some of his lyrics. Of his decision to devote his life to the Gospel, Whittle said that, while at work, he: “…went into the vault and in the dead silence of the quietest of places I gave my life to my Heavenly Father to use as He would.” For more historical information about some of your favorite Christians hymns, please visit the following websites: 88

Blog Art by Katherine can help you with all your graphic artwork needs!

Let’s work together and I will create artwork and a style to fit your personality, content or theme. I provide a variety of blog and website art image services including but not limited to: Blog Art, Blog Buttons, Blog Headers, Blog Banners, Advertisement, Social networking links, Giveaway buttons, Page images, Sidebar ,Online Shop Headers, Logos, Website Art, I also provide Blog Set Up and Blog Makeovers too! Do you need something else? Just ask I am happy to help! For more information about Blog Art by Katherine, please visit her blog, Katherine’s Corner for all the details!

SPECIAL 10% DISCOUNT FOR RUBY READERS! Blog Art by Katherine is offering a 10% discount to all Ruby readers for any blog art or blog design service. All you need to do is mention the code “RUBY” when contacting Katherine. Don’t wait! Spring is the PERFECT time to redecorate your blog!


Avoid a Collision with a Positive Vision by Glenda Staten Glenda Staten is the owner of Positivity 4 Ever. Positivity 4 Ever promotes positivity by providing helpful resources to enrich everyone's life. She created "Avoid a Collision with a Positive Vision", a basic guide used to help young adults make positive decisions and live a responsible life while accomplishing their goals. High school students, college students, young adults, parents, and numerous organizations will benefit from the helpful information in the guide. The guide focuses on "knowing yourself", "being open to change", "setting goals", friendship and bullying. Preview the guide at Glenda also created the Positivity 4 Ever mini magazine to promote positivity, and to share positive conversations from entertainers, authors, and entrepreneurs. The magazines are available at Glenda joined the military after graduating from Albany Junior College in Albany Georgia. While in the military, she worked for numerous organizations in the United States and abroad before retiring in 2004. She worked at The National Defense University in Washington, DC where she performed duties as the senior enlisted leader of the organization. Glenda worked on the National Defense University's Security Team during a visit from the President of the United States, and she was commended for her service. Glenda was selected to be the Senior Non-commissioned Officer in Charge for the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army at the Pentagon. She completed her military career while assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Personnel Administration and Services Division. Glenda received her Master's Degree in Management from City University of Seattle in Bellevue, Washington before she retired. Glenda's military experience enriched her life, and provided the necessary insight needed to help her focus on positivity. For more information or to purchase your copy of Avoid a Collision with a Positive Vision, please visit her website, Avoid a Collision, at You can also find Glenda’s magazine, Positivity 4 Ever, at


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 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

Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved: Discover Your Character in God’s Love Story by Michelle S. Lazurek Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved: Discover Your Character in God’s Love Story by Michelle S. Lazurek (Winepress Publishing, October, 2011) invites readers to engage with the story God is writing for their lives and discover their role as a character in that story. The book also asks the reader “What’s Your Story?” and provides thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter to allow readers to interact with the material. The book is available on her website , and . You can follow her on Facebook: or Twitter.


A River of Small Stones by Keith Wallis A beautiful and inspirational book of poetry, perfect for gift-giving for every season of the year! Poems written as “small stones,� polished moments of paying proper attention to life Available at

Visit Debbie Luxton, Independent Consultant for Blessings Unlimited, at 92

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 Beginning in 2012, all of our publications have been 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 family-friendly 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! 93

Please join us at the

Ruby for Women CafĂŠ for conversation, fun, friendship, and encouragement. Just pop in anytime, we would love to see you there! You can find us in the Ruby for Women community at

Need a pretty theme for your profile page? Please check out Ruby's favorite theme designer: Two by Two Designs 94

The Ruby for Women community is a great place to meet new friends, share prayer requests, chat about your favorite books, recipes and crafts! Spring 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!

Read any good books lately? Think some of them might be a good read for our fellow Ruby for Women members? Come share with us what is on your reading list and your views of the journey it took you on. Join us in Ruby’s Book Club and Reviews and join the conversation!

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. And please be sure to stop by the Ruby for Women blog at 95

Visit Tricia on her blog, It’s Real Life, for more information about her books. 96

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.

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 or email her at

Lanette Kissel lives in southern Indiana with her adopted Yorkie-Poo, Benjy. She enjoys singing in her huge choir at Crossroads Christian Church. She has been a freelance writer of Christian/Inspirational poetry for twelve years. Recently, she has been writing Inspirational articles and essays, as well as devotions. Her work has appeared in: Mature Living Magazine, Purpose, Live, The War Cry, The Lutheran Journal, The Catholic Yearbook, Silver Wings, Inspired Women Magazine, and others. . 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.


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, at

Katherine Corrigan, Recipes and Crafts Katherine is a blogger at Katherine’s Corner, an artist, designer, tea drinker and hug giver. She has been a contributor to Ruby for Women for three years. She is originally from England. But she has lived in the USA since 1975. She holds a rare dual citizenship with the UK and the USA and is a proud citizen of both. She greets each day with grace, dignity and gratitude. Thanking God for her strength as she continues to encourage others and moves forward despite her physical challenges. She is happily married and has five grandchildren. After 30 years of working in the medical field and managing other people’s businesses Katherine has her own online shop and graphics business. She never hesitates to contribute to Ruby for Women. She says, “Being part of Ruby for Women is like getting a big hug every day.” Blog Blog Graphics at Shop

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.

Heather King is a wife to a wonderful husband and a mom to three beautiful girls. A former English teacher, she now lives a life of doing dishes, folding laundry, finding lost toys and mending scraped knees. She treks to the grocery store more times a week than she’d like and struggles to keep up with chores, appointments and the to-do list that refreshes itself day after day. In addition to all that, she’s the worship leader at her church in Virginia, a Bible study teacher and women’s ministry leader. Somewhere in the middle of the noise, mess, and busyness of life, she takes time to meet with God at her kitchen table with a Bible, a journal and a cup of strong hot tea with lots of sugar. You can find her blogging about these times with God at her devotional site: Room To Breathe: 98

Donna McBroom-Theriot, Writer. Book Reviewer. Southern Lady. My life is like an episode of "I love Lucy!" I'm a writer, book reviewer, and a Southern Lady who loves her Sweet Tea. My blog: My Life. One Story at a Time. I've been writing since 2009. As luck would have it, the very first short story I wrote was published within months of my writing it. This quote pretty much sums me up: "Deep in my heart, I know there’s no promise I’ll be free from trouble in this life. In fact, I’m usually either getting out of trouble, currently in trouble, or about to meet trouble around the next corner." Well, you know the saying, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" – that’s usually mine! Join me. It's bound to be a bumpy ride!

Sharmelle “Shar” of Sharmelle’s Graphic Haven, Graphic Design I am passionate about graphic design and photography, and I spend a great deal of time developing my talents. Like many, I had set my career aside for a few years while working on other projects, but I found that I missed working with others and feel that many people need support and encouragement to follow their dreams. I have recently resumed the art of design and photography, and I have trained myself in the modern tools of today’s visual artists, using the computer. I’m sure that if, when I was a child, I could have had a computer, I might not ever have gone to school at all! You can find my graphic designs for use on blogs and websites in the Ruby for Women community at Sharmelle’s Graphic Haven. Full time mother and author, Corallie Buchanan, is a woman who writes from her heart. Corallie writes regularly for the Christian Woman magazine, Australia's premier magazine for Christian women. In addition to her editing her own work, she contributes material to a number of magazines in the US including The Haven Journal, Inspired Women Magazine, and Ruby for Women. Sharing God's message of love and forgiveness, and mentoring other young writers is her passion. Corallie is also the author of Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose; a book which won her the award of Young Australian Christian Writer of the Year in 2007. She lives with husband David and daughter Esther in Brisbane, Australia.

Cindy J. Evans is a published Christian poet living in the greater Atlanta area. She enjoys church activities, inspirational movies, Ferris wheels and grand openings. She is still learning to go to her heavenly Father for comfort and not Ben & Jerry!

Rhea B. Riddle was born in Kentucky, in a little town on the Ohio River at the time of the famous flood of 1937, which may have contributed to her sense of drama, and to an amplified love of life. A world view influenced by gentle traditions and strong Christian family ties, boosted her desire to reflect the recollections of a willful (though loving) youngster who was filled with longings to explore, to reason, and write of the vibrations of daily living that surrounded her. She hopes to lure you with current life adventures (truth and fiction) as well as draw you to visit a time of “rewound” living!” 99

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 for more information about her book.

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 and is titled “Not Different Enough”. The other blog is 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. My name is Lisa Simpkins and I have been working online for 15 years now. I have gained enough knowledge over the years to work in many different fields in online business. My specialty: Social Networking and Administration: Content provider, database, public relations, reputation management, member recruitment, marketing manager, link marketing, blog creation & branding/rank and community management.

Coach Deb Luxton: Christian Life & Leadership Coach for Executive and Professional Women I help professional women FIRE UP their leader within to eliminate “having it all together on the outside, while falling apart on the inside,” so they can embrace their authentic priorities and deepen relationships with those they love most. Your life is too important for anything else! Main website: ~ FREE Gift: Inspirational Decor and Gifts: Let’s Connect: http://twitter.comCoachDebLuxton

Gloria I. is a member of the Ruby for Women community where she is a friendly voice of encouragement and inspiration to all of the other members. Please stop by and visit Gloria on her personal page in the Ruby for Women community.


Jean Ann Williams is a writer and the author of God's Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother's Heart, a devotional book written following the death of her son, Joshua. You can connect with Jean Ann on one of her blogs:

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

Amanda Stephan is a multi-published Christian romance author who loves sharing God’s love with others. A homeschooling mother and stay at wife, she finds pleasure in many things from sewing, to baseball and karate, to writing. She is currently working on a three book Christian romantic suspense series and resides in Columbia, TN, with her real-life hero husband of 8 years and two children. You can find Amanda at her website Her collaborative blog - Twitter - and Facebook -

Sharon Patterson, retired educator, career military wife, and leader in women's ministry, has written inspirational encouragement in various forms from greeting cards to short stories, poetry, and Bible studies for over thirty years. She has authored three books: A Soldier's Strength from the Psalms (2007); Healing for the Holes in Our Souls(2008); and Where Is Happy?(2011). She is a contributing author for Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Answered Prayer; also Gettin' Old Ain't for Wimps (Karen O'Connor,2004) and Special Strength for Special Parents (Nina Fuller, 2006). She and her husband Garry live in Round Rock, Texas. They have three sons and five grandchildren.

Debra Ann Eliot is a Southern granny who loves to cook. She is the author of several works, including two poetry books. Debra devotes herself to maintaining several blogs, but the one that is most dear to her heart is Granny’s Down Home Southern Cooking. Debra Elliott


Maria Greene is the author of twenty-three historical romances and two novellas. She is a mixed media artist. Among other interests she loves to garden, eat healthy, read, and educate people about the health benefits of therapeutic grade essential oils. She lives in Florida by the white sandy beaches, where she is currently at work on a fantasy trilogy. To check out her art, log on to her blog: and for more info about the essential oils of the Bible, please contact her at .She also has a health blog: Hey y’all! My name is Taylor DeVine. I live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere but I absolutely love it! Riding horses, working cattle, working with horses, reading, writing, running, and cooking are my passions. A mantra of mine is "Fearlessness." Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, what you're passionate about, and what you know you have been equipped by the Holy Spirit to do. When you are waiting on God to open another door, praise Him in the hallway. Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.come/tndevine “Like” my page on Facebook: “Love Joyfully. Live Beautifully -Taylor DeVine” Subscribe to my blog

Tricia Goyer

is an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family while authoring more than twenty-five fiction and nonfiction books combined. Among those are 3:16 Teen Edition with Max Lucado and the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award winners Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas. Connect with Tricia at

Daphne Tarango is a freelance writer who comforts others with the comfort she has received from God. Daphne is a recovery speaker and writers’ group president. She has published numerous inspirational articles in print and online magazines, including several entries in two collections: Women of the Secret Place and Chronicles of a Walk with Christ. Daphne is married to Luis and in the past several months, has resigned from corporate life to take a position as a stay-at-home mom of three adopted children. To connect with Daphne, visit her blog: Pop over and share your brave Mama story!

Michelle S. Lazurek has been a pastor's wife for over twelve years. Whether it is through writing counseling material, organizing ladies retreats or mentoring women in her church, Michelle considers each day an opportunity to find her place in God's story. In 2007, Michelle and her husband Joe planted Praxis Church. Michelle holds a Master's degree in Counseling and Human Relations from Liberty University. She has two beautiful children: Caleb and Leah. Michelle provides tips for busy writers on her blog The Writers’ Tapestry: Where Writing and Life Intertwine ( 102

Keith Wallis, Poet-in-Residence 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 an 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 His blog of ekphrasic poetry is: 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.

Crystal Mary Lindsey is a retired registered nurse with specialties in emergency medicine and mental health. She enjoys sharing her inspirations of walking in faith in order to inspire and encourage others to live their dreams. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. Crystal lives in Australia.

My name is Marilyn Porter and I live with my husband in Cary, N.C. I have 2 sons, 2 step daughters, and 6 grandchildren ages 5 to 17. My interests range from “tackling the computer to tackling a new craft, recipe, or writing endeavor” and I’m not sure which is more “enlightening.” I seem to take the “scenic route” and end up a little frazzled around the edges, but somehow manage to reach my destination! ☺ I would love for you to drop by my personal page in the Ruby for Woman community (if you’re not familiar with RFW, you just HAVE to check it out!) and send me a message so we can get to know each other better. God’s blessings wrapped in His love, Marilyn

Aileen Stewart is “just your average mom. A gum chewing, bubble blowing, shower singing, flower planting, cookie baking, craft making, photo taking, reading, WRITING, kind of mom who loves the Lord, her husband, soon to be eight year old daughter, and crazy cat Max. I have many interests and hobbies, but the two I'm most passionate about are writing and photography. I am a published award winning author of the book Fern Valley - A Collection of Short Stories and an award winning amateur photographer who was just blessed with a brand new Nikon 3100D. I'm super excited to start taking fabulous pictures with my dream camera.


Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Amanda has been writing for Ruby for Women for three years, and she has been a free-lance writer for several years, beginning her writing career as a young teenager. She also worked 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 12 years old and Annie is 10. 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 on Ruby for Women in my home office. I also work at Huntington University, Huntington, Indiana as the Curriculum Assistant for the Graduate and Professional Programs, as well as teaching as an adjunct instructor in Biblical and theological studies. My personal blog is at 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.

Introducing the Ruby for Women Administrative Team Over the past three 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 Here are the current members of the Ruby for Women Administrative team:

Sr. Editor, Nina Newton Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson Marketing / Business Consultant: Michelle Miller Administrative Assistant, Beth Brubaker Creative Consultant and Graphic Designer, Katherine Corrigan Publications Assistants: Sharmelle Olson Anne B., Christena Hammes, Lisa Simpkins 104

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 Questions? Email Nina @ or Amanda @ Ruby for Women is published by All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women or Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Advertising inquiries should be directed to Marketing / Business Consultant: Michelle Miller Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You Please visit our community website at to see how you can help support the ministry of Ruby for Women. Community Ning theme and banner image used by permission of Two by Two Designs.


Ruby for Women, May, 2013  

The May issue of Ruby for Women features crafts, recipes, inspirational articles, stories, poems, and book reviews in celebration of springt...

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