She wakes with a million thoughts running through her mind.
In fact, the waking is more of a jolt as she considers
a new school year, care for aging parents, her Etsy business, 
a friend who has just lost a child, that ladies meeting at church
and how she really should put together a meal plan
and shopping list for the week to come.

(In my real life it looks like this....my son's wedding on Sunday
which means a week filled with details and cake making, An overflowing 
Etsy inbox, the physical and emotional exhaustion of a huge funeral last Saturday 
and catering of the reception which followed,
working with my Burmese Friends, preparing music lessons for this school year,
an annual physical, a hair cut and color, dinner with friends, and so much more.  
How about you?)

 Her feet hit the floor with a thud
and she sighs as it becomes apparent that the "dressing room"
is already occupied.
This morning is getting off to a wrong start.
She knows who is in there and they take forever.
Now she has a choice.

Will she choose to trust that God has this day
just like all of the others in His care and thank Him
for that fact and the shower loving child in the dressing room?
Or...
will she begin to fume and mumble about how this always happens
and she has so much to do?
Will she assume that her agenda is more important than the 
others in her home?

It is important which attitude she assumes because it will
impact every person she comes in contact with in the next
hour, if not all day.

God has given women a very important role in their homes.
We are the mood setters.
We have the power to take everyone along to our grumpy place
or to lift them from a hard day into an encouraging environment.

We cannot do this in our own strength.
We need to call out to Him daily to receive
His joy...even when we are feeling stressed, sad or tired to the bone.

I admit that I don't always go there first.
But more and more I see the rewards of making that choice
to be thankful in all things.
May God continue to teach me to seek Him first.

It really is the best choice.

Psalm 86: 1-13 (NIV) says it well....

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,

    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
    for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust in you.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,

    abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
    listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
    because you answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;

    no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
    will come and worship before you, Lord;
    they will bring glory to your name.
10 
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
    you alone are God.
11 
Teach me your way, Lord,

    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.
12 
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.
13 
For great is your love toward me;
    you have delivered me from the depths,
    from the realm of the dead.



Blessings on your week!
"Seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:33

Bible Art Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
by Pictures of Faith

Happy Sunday!
Melanie/Beads-N-Style

Take a look at the CAST Shop of the Week, MmmMmmYummy. Well, what can I say?  I know you won't mind browsing through this shop, but please try not to drool on your keyboard.  Cookies, sweet breads, savory bread, brownies, kitchen items, pet treats and more can be purchased and shipped right to your home. You know you want to look now . . .

2 dozen russian tea cakes mexican wedding cookies snow balls



Please note that the only way to be featured as the CAST Shop of the Week is to tag your shop items "castteam" on Etsy and to not hide your teams in your Etsy profile. You will also have to have at least 12 items to feature. Those are the ways that I find great CAST shops to feature each week. 

CAST Members: If you have a minute or two, please feel free to favorite ♥ this shop or promote it on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media.  Thanks!

by Sue of SueRunyonDesigns

1 Peter 4:12-13 Dear friends do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.

A  friend was sharing his story with my husband and I one day. He told us that he lived most of his life in  foster homes.  As he told us his story we had a hard timing holding back the tears.  I was surprised and shocked.  He is a fun loving person who gets along with almost every one. I would never have guessed he had a hard past.
He told us he was a page turner.  He doesn’t reread the past, but makes a new life for himself by turning new pages in his life. 
https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/myabbiesattic?ref=l2-shopheader-name
Isaiah 43:18 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
As we go along the road of life we are not always driving in a Porsche on a 4 lane highway on a sunny afternoon with no traffic.  That would be quite wonderful, but often the road is bumpy  with twists and turns, at times a dense jungle.
Life throws at us many trials and tribulations, which God allows. We have a choice to grow and mature or become bitter and angry.
I am also a page turner.  I turn my pages by always forgiving those who have hurt me and not dwelling on the past. I don’t want my today to be swallowed up by yesterdays problems.  Forgiveness releases me from the past sin, which entangles me in a jungle.
Many people will not forgive or turn the page of their life and move on to a new page. Instead they hold on to grudges and become bitter people.  Often bitterness wares a body out and causes  an assortment of illnesses. 
What amazed me the most about our friend is he has faith in God but does not go to church and does not know his bible other than what he learned in the Catholic church as a child.  He was not told to forgive and move on.  He chose to do that as he knew holding on to the bitterness and hate from  his past held him back, not the others.
We chose our life.  The old saying is 'you make your bed, then you have to lay in it'.
Are you a page turner or is there something in your life that you keep going back to and rereading?

Feel free to share your thoughts here.
 https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ArtisintheHeart?ref=l2-shopheader-name
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 
Psalm 51:10 (NIV)



Blessings!
Jennifer from ElegantQuirk

Take a look at the CAST Shop of the Week, LightofdayCreations. Basil and Daisy's Maine shop is stocked full of woodland treasures.  You will find acorn caps, birch logs, wood slices, beeswax candles, pinecones, gift tags, fairy furniture, twigs and much more.  There is much to enchant you so take a few minutes to browse. 

20 white birch logs



Please note that the only way to be featured as the CAST Shop of the Week is to tag your shop items "castteam" on Etsy and to not hide your teams in your Etsy profile. You will also have to have at least 12 items to feature. Those are the ways that I find great CAST shops to feature each week. 

CAST Members: If you have a minute or two, please feel free to favorite ♥ this shop or promote it on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media.  Thanks!

by Sue of SueRunyonDesigns
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Romans 12:15-16 (NIV)


I chose to share these verses with you all today because I have been distressed to hear of the suffering many of our fellow brothers and sisters in the faith have been going through in recent times.  As Christians flee from Mosul, as Palestinian Christians suffer in the midst of the Middle East conflict, and as many other Christians around the world suffer persecution, it can be hard for us to remember the exhortations in these verses.


In the relative safety of our homes in "tolerant" Western societies, we can only imagine how difficult or dangerious it is to be a Christian in other lands.  But we are called to mourn with those who mourn, so let us pray for our suffering fellow believers, that they may stand strong in the faith and be comforted in God's love and sovereignty.  We can also do whatever we are able to help them, be it through financially supporting Christian aid groups or by petitioning our governments to speak out against the evil being perpetrated.


And as for evildoers carrying out atrocities, how do we bless those who persecute us or our fellow Christians?  One way is to pray for them; pray that God would change them by convicting them of their need for repentance.  We may also one day be called on to be like Ananias and the other disciples in Acts 9 who obeyed God and took care of Saul (who became Paul) in spite of his reputation for persecuting Christians.


So every time you sit down to pray or study your Bible, remember our fellow believers who are suffering right now, and pray for them and for those who are causing their suffering.  And pray for yourselves too, that God would give you the courage and strength to serve Him faithfully in all situations.