Friday, February 28, 2014
Once again it is Friday! This time I am writing from four hours away from home. My husband has a meeting down here in Madison (Wisconsin), at the college for the John Deere Ag Technician program, and we get to tag along for some fun. The hotel we are staying at has a waterpark, so that's where you will find the Gustafson girls for the weekend!
This week has been one of those weeks where God has shown me that he has plans for me, and they are certainly not the plans that I have had for myself. He has opened many doors for me this week. As I said in last weeks coffee date, I gave a speech at a get together for my UEC weekend. This speech was very out of my normal, as I was asked to pour my heart out and speak about my journey with Christ. I was so nervous, shaking uncontrollably, as I haven't given a speech is over ten years and only ever for a speech class. But I got up there and did it! I poured my heart out. My husband said that there were people crying and laughing, and praising the Lord during my speech but most of all my message was heard. I spoke about my personal journey with Christ, but I also wanted everyone to know that we need to open our hearts completely to Him and trust Him to lead us in the plans that He has for us. Here is a blurp from the ending of my speech that might help with some insight:
"God says in Isaiah 43:1 “Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name and you are mine.” We are truly His now with opened hearts, His to execute His plans and trusting him to lead us just as he said in Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have in mind for you declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.” And that is what we have, plans for a hopeful future overflowing with God’s Grace."
I have had so much encouragement from my message, and have even had several pastors calling and asking to either use me and my speech in their sermons or asking me to come and speak. Not in a million years did I think this is what God would be calling me to do!
In this same way God is also telling me to continue with the direction that I thought my life would be going. I have been working hard at making a successful quilting business out of my home the last couple of years and this week I have had booming business.
Well, we are off to do some more splashing around, have a great week.
Friday, February 21, 2014
I can't believe its Friday already! It has once again been a crazy week around here. Busy in the Gustafson house. Last weekend was nice and quiet and was spent catching up on sleep, and also spending an afternoon snowmobiling, of which is one of my favorite things to do with my husband. My husband got his wisdom teeth pulled yesterday, which is just no fun at all. I feel so bad when he is in pain and there is nothing I can do to help him. Dentists aren't really on my good side right now as I get to make my 4th trip back in next week to get a filling fixed from over a month ago, that is still giving me lots of problems.
But to cheer him up, he did buy himself a new truck this week. We needed something bigger than our F-250 Super Duty, so he bought an F-350 Diesel Super Duty with dually tires. Boys and their toys!! So one evening this week, the entire family piled into the new truck and took it out for a joyride, which is always fun to do.
Quilting rulers work great for other things too!
We also have been dumped with lots more snow this week. Monday we got about 6 inches, and we woke up this morning to another 13 inches and it is still falling. It took almost two hours just to get all plowed out this morning, and sadly I had to pull out my husband's John Deere 455 tractor and snow blower with my Ford Expedition this morning. (Yes, we really love our Fords!) I usually love winter, but with all the snow and the dangerously cold temps, this is getting to be a LONG winter.
Yes, there really is a house behind all that snow.
I have certainly have been challenged this week a lot in my personal life, as Neil and I are trying to find our new normal after a couple of life-changing experiences with UEC. I have also been asked to write and give a speech at a UEC event this weekend. I haven't written a speech since my freshman year in college, more than 10 years ago! I have it all written and am practicing it like crazy, but I am still scared to stand up in front of a lot of people and pour my heart out about my personal journey with Christ. It seems so easy when I am just writing it down or blogging about it, when there isn't a live audience. Well, that is about it for us here in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. Hope you all have had a great week.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
So, a while back I signed up to participate in a Beauty Swap hosted by Crystal Cattle and also Cowgirl Crush. Crystal has a great blog that is not only agriculture, but also she like beauty and fashion, and most of all she loves turquoise as much a I do. And Cowgirl Crush is a fashion line that is absolutely amazing, just my style of clothing.
For the Beauty Swap I was paired up with Stacey (aka @4RuffledFeathers) from Arizona. Stacey and I seemed to have a lot in common as far as out beauty routines, and I think more in common that we think, even in our personal styles. So, what did I get?
From Stacey I received: 1.a bag of M&M's (my favorite); 2.elf eye shadow in Happy Hour; 3.elf blush in Tickled Pink; 4.eos lip balm; 5.essie nail polish in Cute as a Button; 6.Dionis hand cream in scented in Love; 6.an adorable make-up bag; 7.and a leather cuff that was made by Stacey herself that says "Be Mine".
Stacey definitely had a valentines theme that she sent me and how fun is that. I love everything that she sent me and can't really say that I have a favorite, but I really like the leather cuff, it is very unique and is just my style. Stacey is very talented.
I had so much fun shopping for Stacey, and it was really great to receive a special package just for me. You can check out her Etsy store and see others of her great leather works at 4 Ruffled Feathers. This Beauty Swap was a lot of fun and I will definitely be doing it again.
Friday, February 14, 2014
It's Friday again, and what an amazing week it has been around here. First of all Happy Valentine's Day! It sure is a special one in the Gustafson house this year! I was unplugged for four days last weekend, and am still trying to get back into the swing of things. I missed last weeks coffee date because I was having the most amazing time of my life! As I said in the last coffee date, that my husband was gone on a Men's Christian retreat, and that I would be gone the next weekend. My husband came home and changed man, so changed that he really started to scare me. Well, I reluctantly went, really missing my husband and my girls, but I tried to go with and open heart. I truly had a life-changing experience. The best way that I can explain it is by telling you that I have been raised as a Christian, strict German WELS Lutheran to be exact. I was baptized when I was minutes old, went to church and a Christian school my entire life, and I always thought that I had very strong faith. It certainly shaped and directed every aspect of my life. But, for the very first time in my life, I truly understand the power and glory of God's undeserved Grace. I met some amazing women, made some life long friendships, learned a lot of lessons about love and grace, cried so hard that I thought I was all dried up, then laughed so hard that more tears fell, and then would experience more love and grace that the flood gates would open again! I ultimately had an experience of a lifetime. I could go on-and-on about my experience, and I am sure you will hear a lot more as I process more and reshape the direction of my blogging, but it is truly an unexplainable experience that my just be experienced by yourself.
This experience with Unidos en Christo, has taken up most of my mind and time in the last couple of weeks, and what other time I have had I have spent catching up with my girls, digging deeper into my Bible, processing and planning my new life and marriage out with my husband, and very little time blogging and social networking. Other than the three trips to the dentist in the last couple of weeks, that is about all I have done. I really need to get some motivation and get back on the blogging bandwagon, but we also have a family vacation to the Wisconsin Dells in less than two weeks, and I leave for a week long quilting retreat just over a week after that, and I am far from ready for any of them.
That is a shortened summary, and I had a hard time containing my coffee date to this, but that is it for now.
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, and you are mine."
- Isaiah 43:1b