Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Never Too Late To Be Thankful

Pinterest has consumed my crafty world! There are so many neat and cute ideas and projects in the vast bucket of Pinterest, and I just don't have the time to do all of them. This Thanksgiving, I searched out many projects and accomplished a couple with the boys. We made Hand Print Turkeys, always a favorite when it involves painting their hands! And we made the Thankful Turkey napkin rings. Although, I didn't use them as napkin rings, I used them to tape around small cups that I filled with fruit for one of the boy's preschool Thanksgiving party.
However, there was one that I absolutely intended to do no matter what: The Give Thanks Gratitude Board.
It is such a neat idea! Each member of the family records what they are thankful for on a card for each of the 30 days of November. Then next year, you can use the back of the card, or add more cards as needed to each day. I just loved the thought of using this year after year and being able to reread previous years' and relive all those thankful memories, especially those recorded by my children. Of course, I will write the boys' responses down until they are able to write, and I'll write my husband's responses because he doesn't like to write anything and avoids it whenever possible, but it's still a great idea.
However, as usual, time goes faster than I like. November 1st came and went and I still hadn't even purchased the items I lacked to start the project. I have a plethora of crafting items in my attic. It's like a Hobby Lobby/Walmart/JoAnn's/Michael's melting pot. But I was still lacking the board, coin envelopes, coordinating ribbon and Fall scraping paper. I didn't want to make the item out of a wooden board as the directions suggested, because I just didn't want it to be that heavy. I knew I had burlap and I love burlap, so I used a foam display board and hot glued the burlap over it. The only coin envelopes I found were at the office supply stores and they were so expensive! I didn't want to spend $28 for 250 envelopes, when I only needed 30. So I improvised and used small mailing envelopes. I simply sealed and cut them, then painted each one with a sponge to make them brown and no one can tell that they are regular mailing envelopes. Plus I can replace my stash for a mere $1. :)
I spent a total of $8. Now I have a beautiful Give Thanks Gratitude Board. So what if we didn't start using it until November 14? And so what if we missed a day because of sickness? We still have 7 days completed and 9 more days of potential memories to record.  I am thankful I did the project this year, otherwise I would have missed out on such precious responses from my boys like; "I'm thankful for God", "I'm thankful for my pillow", "I'm thankful for my new jacket", "I'm thankful for my backpack you promised to get me for Hanukkah" and so many more. I'm thankful I decided it was okay for the project to be late, because it's never too late to be thankful!

Here's a link to the Give Thanks Gratitude Board tutorial I found on Pinterest:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Getaway

Every year my husband and I look forward to a conference in the Fall. This year it was from Friday, October 26 through Sunday, October 28, in Grapevine, Texas, in the Dallas area. It is a weekend getaway that we plan and save for every year. But it's not just any weekend's a Messianic Conference. What's that? Well, it's an entire weekend of learning more about and praising the Lord. It's bonding with like-minded believers in Yeshua from all over the region. It's a time of coming together and feeling part of a whole. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. First let me tell you who runs the conference.
Our boys having fun in the children's class.

The Messianic Jewish Alliance of America is a group that brings together messianic congregations and synagogues from all over the nation. They have an annual national conference in Pennsylvania every year in July and then about 4 regional conferences throughout the year. The conference is full of events like, praise and worship concerts, Torah service, Shabbat service, singles mixers, youth groups, nursery and children's programs, adult classes on specific teachings by Rabbis and Messianic instructors, dance symposiums where you learn Davidic dancing, and so much more.
We always have a great time and we come back so relaxed and renewed.
It is a blessing to be in a room of 200, 300, sometimes 400 people who have like-minded views and call themselves Messianic. Sometimes, being a Messianic can be lonely. Most Messianic congregations and synagogues are relatively small compared to Christian churches who are not only more numerous, but will always have the mega-churches in their mix. I have yet to visit a Messianic mega-synagogue. But I am hopeful!
I am just grateful to be able to attend a conference and feel like I'm part of a bigger mishpacha (family) than I see every week at my home congregation. I am blessed to share talents and discussions and praise time with believers who have the same goal in mind, and that is: To serve Yeshua and reach the unsaved Jewish people.
If you have never been to a Messianic conference before, I encourage you to seek one out! We have been going for 7 years and have always been blessed. The conference we attend are the ones hosted by the MJAA, for more information about those go to their website
Following is a short video I recorded during the last concert of the conference. Paul Wilbur was singing. More people came that night than had been for the entire conference, since he is such a famous praise & worship singer. I wanted to capture the feeling of warmth I felt. There were people of all ages, races, and backgrounds worshiping together. No one had to be told to stand to worship. Some people were even kneeling and laying prostrate, some were dancing. Some were blowing shofars. Some were weeping. And it was all so beautiful. Forgive me for my amateur video, I didn't do so well, but it was hard to stay still while praising and recording the video.
You don't have to be Jewish to attend a Messianic conference. You don't even have to be a Messianic to attend a Messianic conference. My prayer is that if you've never been to one before, you make a goal to attend the next one in your area and get fed by people who have a love for the Lord, His people and serve His Son, Yeshua. You will blessed beyond measure!