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Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Story Behind The Dash

While it still amazes me, a simple poem I wrote one afternoon forever changed my life. It all began when I faxed a copy of this poem to a syndicated radio show in Atlanta. Soon after receiving it, the host of this popular show read it on the air. Little did I know how much my life would change from that day forward. Titled The Dash, these 36 lines have touched millions of lives and have literally taken on a life of their own by traveling all over the world. I call it uncomplicated poetry in a complicated world.

People are always asking me what, in particular, inspired me to write this poem. I believe it was a combination of things in my life at the time. It was during a period when I was working for the top executives of a very large and successful corporation. It was a strict company with a tense working environment.

I began to watch how the priorities in many lives there had become misaligned. It seemed to me that the bosses were worrying far too much about that which was inconsequential in the scope of life.

Also, resonating in the back of my mind were the words from a letter which had been previously routed around the office. It had been written by the wife of an employee who was aware that she was dying. I was so moved by that letter that I saved a copy of it and continue to live by her words:

Regrets? I have a few. Too much worrying. I worried about finding the right husband and having children, being on time, being late and so on. It didn't matter. It all works out and it would have worked out without the worries and the tears.

If I would have only known then what I know now. But, I did and so do you. We're all going to die. Stop worrying and start loving and living.

Her words stuck with me. Her letter made me stop and think. This is it. This is all we get.

I remember where I was when I first truly realized the significance of the piece that I had written. I was on a business trip in Minnesota, alone in a hotel room. I received an emotional email thanking me for sharing the message of The Dash from a student who had recently heard it as part of a memorial gathering for the Columbine High School students. I sat on the bed and cried.

Several years later, I found myself engulfed in the thoughts and feelings created by my own words as I listened to them read aloud, for what seemed like the very first time, at the funeral of my father...my best friend.

From being performed in an elementary school play somewhere in the heartland of America to being part of a State Supreme Court Justice's speech, from being printed in best-selling novels to high school yearbooks, The Dash has truly affected millions. I may not be able to change the world with these words, but I have certainly been able to influence a portion of it! The poem's words have convinced mothers to spend more time with their children, fathers to spend more time at home, and reunited long-lost loved ones.

The words have changed attitudes, and changed the direction of lives. They have, in their own way, made a difference. I know writing The Dash has changed my life. I hope reading it, in some way, may change yours.

“Live Your Dash”
~Linda Ellis

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In Your Hands

Heavenly Father, my life is in Your hands.
Yesterday, today, and forever, I am safe and secure in You.
Lord, please help me to know that You are in control.
Help me to believe You are at work in my life right now,
even when I don't see it.
Help me to trust in what I do not see,
when what I see is so painful.
Please help me to know You are taking care of my needs.

Lord, thank You for listening to my cries for help.
Thank You for loving me so much.
Help me to believe You and the promises You have made.
Forgive me when I doubt You and Your love.
I believe, Lord. Forgive me for my unbelief.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8

Devotional excerpt by Jill Kelly, from her book Prayers of Hope for the Brokenhearted.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Glove Topper with Dawn

So you had a "bad" day?

Me: God can I ask u a question?
God: Sure
Me: Promise u won't get mad
... God: I promise
Me: Why did u let so much stuff happen to me today? ...... ... ...
... ... ... ... ... God: What do u mean?
Me: Well, I woke up late,
God: Yes
Me: My car took forever to start,
God: Okay~ ...
Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait,
God:Huummmm...
Me: the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call.....
God: All right~
Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?
God: Let me see, the Death Angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that~
Me (humbled): OH
God: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.
Me (ashamed).........
God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.
Me (embarrasses):Ok
God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.
Me (softly): I see God~
God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of he power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.
Me: I'm sorry God
God: Don't be sorry, just learn to trust me.....in all things , the good & the bad.
Me: I will trust you~
God: And don't doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your plan.
Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today.
God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I love looking after my children......

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stampin' Up Sale-a-bration Favorites #4

Recessed Image Card

God Cares About Every Detail

God cares about every detail of your life…
He collects every tear in a bottle. (Psalm 56:8)
He numbers every hair on your head. (Luke 12:7)
He knows every hurt in your heart. (Psalm 34:18)

The Lord knows all you are going through.
He loves you, He cares for you,
and He will make sure not one detail is overlooked.

Thinking of You and Praying too

God cares, cares right down to the last detail.
James 5:11 The Message

Sunday, February 19, 2012

You Are Approved

This is what you always need to know:
You have nothing to prove to anyone -
if you're in Him, you are already approved.

Be okay with not being liked:
life's about altars not applause.
And be okay with not being seen or heard.
It'll let you hear and see better.

Devotional excerpt by Ann Voskamp, from her heart-filled message titled: What a parent wants to say before a child leaves.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mercy - Christ showed us the way

With a dead end before us, Christ showed us the way;
When we walked in the nighttime, Christ brought us the day.
With our faces all hidden, Christ carried our shame;
When we felt so unwanted, Christ called out our name.
With a cup that was empty, Christ brought us His well;
When facing destruction, Christ saved us from Hell.
With our fate like a leper, Christ reached out to heal;
When we lived like a phony, Christ brought what was real.
With our fists in defiance; Christ stretched out His hand;
When our footsteps were sinking, Christ helped us to stand.
With no hope of heaven, Christ came from above;
When our hearts were so empty, Christ poured out His love.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJV

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2012 Valentine Rose Bud Pens

Inspired by Dawn Griffith, I made these rose bud pens for my 2nd grade cathecism class.



Little Label Card and Envelope

The First Valentine Message

For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

The first Valentine message
is still the best one ever sent.
God bless you Today and Always

From My Heart to Yours
You're loved-
not just a little, but a lot...
not just on this day, but always...
not just by God, but others too...
(me, for example)

Happy Valentine's Day
from my heart to yours.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God.
I John 4:16 NIV

You Are Loved
God's love is different from ours.
God doesn't just give love - He is love.

We are experts at earning the affections of friends, lovers, children, and our families. Coming face-to-face with a God who loves us unconditionally sets us off balance. It's much easier to believe, "If I go to church and read my Bible, God will love me." That makes us feel safe because it seems we can control God's love. It's scary to believe in God's unconditional love.

What if it's not true? Then the deepest desire of our hearts can never be a reality. We watch Cinderella and the prince then hope for our own version of living happily ever after. But life disappoints us, and God is our last chance to be fully, deeply loved. So we do everything possible to please Him because even though we've endured many rejections, His would be unbearable.

But God is whispering the words to our hearts we long to hear if only we can dare to believe them: "You are loved deeply, truly, always." That's the kind of crazy love that sets us free forever. God invites us to take His hand, trust His heart, and believe that the love we've been searching for all our lives is the love we've already found.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Love of Jesus

There's no love more precious,
more costly, more kingly.
There's no love that's greater-
that's more wonderful, more wild,
more passionate, more powerful-
than the love of Jesus.

Believe, receive, and rejoice forever in the greatest love the world has ever known!

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38, 39 NASB

Saturday, February 11, 2012

No Greater Love

There's no greater love than the love of Jesus.
There's no love that's wiser,
that's stronger, that lasts longer,
that's more willing or thrilling.

There's no love more beautiful, more bountiful,
more bold, more basic and unbiased.
There's no love more caring, more sharing,
more daring to risk all in danger for sinner and stranger.

There's no love more gracious, more giving, more living,
more sacred, more selfless, more soul-satisfying,
more pure and undying.
There's no love more verifiable, more valuable,
more validating, more victorious, more glorious.

Friday, February 10, 2012

2012 Valentines

2nd grade cathecism class:

RAK Friends:

2nd grade cathecism class:

husband:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

God Lives Under The Bed.....

I think this is perhaps one of the BEST email 'forwards' I have ever read. Thanks Carolyn! I hope you will enjoy it half as much as I have!!

Don't start reading this one until you've got more than a minute to just 'scan' over it. It deserves some time for reflection.


GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED
I envy Kevin. My brother, Kevin, thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night.

He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, 'Are you there, God?' he said. 'Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed....'

I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.

He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult.

He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.

I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?

Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.

The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.

He does not seem dissatisfied.

He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work.

He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.

And Saturdays - oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. 'That one's goin' to Chi-car-go! ' Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.

His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.

And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.

He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.

His life is simple.

He will never know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.

His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.

He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.

He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is pure.

He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.

Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.

Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an 'educated' person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.

In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.

It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.

It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap. I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care.

Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.

And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.

Kevin won't be surprised at all!

When you receive this, say a prayer. That's all you have to do. There is nothing attached. This is powerful.

Just send this to four people and do not break this, please. Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, but a lot of rewards.


FRIENDS ARE ANGELS WHO LIFT US TO OUR FEET WHEN OUR WINGS HAVE TROUBLE REMEMBERING HOW TO FLY

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

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