Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time for a GIVEAWAY!!


I have been wanting to have a GIVEAWAY for some time now...but wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to give away.

Until the other day when I came across this New Testament Women's Devotional Bible. I just knew it would be great to give away to one of YOU!

I would also like to add in a copy of the booklet I wrote for Belgium,
Desperation and Hope - A Journey Through Depression

This GIVEAWAY is open to everyone! E-VE-RY-ONE! Yes, that means YOU.

First time visiting Give a Girl a Fig? No problem.

Visit here every day? No problem!

"But I never win anything!"....there's a first time for everything!

My hope is that everyone who pops in and reads this post joins in the fun and enters to win.

So...what do you have to do? Simple. All you have to do is leave a comment here on this post. And you can tell me whatever you want...your favorite color, how many kids you have, the name of your childhood pet (hmmmm....sounds like I'm trying to get bank passwords!! lol I'm NOT...really!)

Anyway...leave a comment...tell me something about yourself...
and I will announce the winner on Saturday, April 2.

Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday in the Word

Esther 4:14

For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

"For such a time as this"...isn't it amazing to know that God has sent us here, to this earth, to this city, to this Internet, to this blog, to this school, to this job, to this grocery store, to this LIFE....for such a time as this?

I often joke that I was born in the wrong era...that I should have been a woman in the 40's or some other simpler time. And sometimes I really believe that! I wonder what I'm doing here, in this time, in this era, because so often I just don't feel like I fit. 

But the truth is...I wasn't supposed to be born in the 40's...or any other time for that matter. I was supposed to be born in 1967...I was supposed to be a woman now. I was supposed to be this this world...for such a time as this. And so were you.

We aren't here by accident. We were planned. We were created by God...and sent to the DO something. To make a difference. To believe in Him. To love Him...and praise Him...and worship Him. And to tell others about Him.

We are here because God has a plan...and we are part of it. It's time to take this seriously. It's time to listen to God...obey His commands...and do what He sent us to do.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

words and thoughts...

Pink...for spring. Go here to find out who took these amazing photos...
 I have a lot on my mind...

Chris and I went to a worship conference this past weekend...we heard amazing worship music...and amazing speakers. I am still processing what I got from much swirling through my head. When things settle down in this brain of mine I will share with's too good not to...

I am praying about an important that I cannot reveal quite yet. If you are one to pray I'd appreciate so much if you'd agree with me in prayer about it. Where two or more are gathered... Right? And we are gathered here...I appreciate much.

Changes and more life...thoughts and words and prayers. So much to think about that the words won't flow...not yet. Until then...enjoy the picture mosaic...and the sunshine if you are blessed with it today (we are!).

Glad you're here...thank you. xo

As a matter of celebrate you being here...I think I'll have a Giveaway later in the week...a little something, just for YOU. Let others know, never know who might need a blessing!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

General housekeeping...

A couple of things...
  • I'm still working on my Disaster/Emergency Kit...and want to encourage YOU to work on YOURS, too. I feel pretty strongly about this...not wanting any of my family or friends to be caught "with their pants down" so to speak!! I am putting together a Master List of supplies for myself...and will share with you when I get it finished. As I've mentioned before, my friend Amy at Homestead Revival (don't you just love that name?) is hosting a Preparedness Challenge to help get us motivated and ready...just in case. Again...we're not fretting or frantic here. Just acting on that sense of "calm urgency" I talked about yesterday...better to be safe than sorry, right? (Oh...and if you have a Nugget grocery store in your area, they have gallons of Crystal Geyser water on sale 2/$1 this week...not bad!)
  • I'm getting ready to make some changes around if Give a Girl a Fig looks a bit out of sorts...a bit wonky...a bit's because she's getting dolled up. It's time for a few changes...a little freshening up. She needs to clean up her act a bit...what can I say? She takes after me!
  • My washing machine broke yesterday. This has absolutely nothing to do with Give a Girl a Fig...I just felt the need to share...because I'm bummed. And because my laundry pile is growing as I type. My husband took a look at the washer last night...tore it apart, tore the laundry area apart...only to realize, it was a job for a professional. And not a professional cabinet maker! (Darnit.) I'll be calling a repairman in a few minutes...I pray it's a simple and inexpensive fix. to start this rainy, gray day. I pray you are all well...that you are committed to putting together preparedness kits...and that your washing machines are working!

Proverbs 21:5
The plans of the diligent lead to profit
   as surely as haste leads to poverty.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday in the Word

Ezekiel 12:1-3

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.

3 “Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious people.

* * * * * * * *

Over the past several weeks God has been bombarding me with Jeremiah 29...specifically verse 11, "For I know the plans I have for you...". Each morning I get up...turn on the coffee pot then sit down to read my bible a few minutes while the coffee perks. And each morning I say a little prayer asking God to lead me to the scripture He wants me to read. For weeks...the same thing..."For I know the plans I have for you...". And...can I be honest here? I'm getting a little tired of Jeremiah 29. I'm getting a little frustrated that He's not giving me another scripture! A different scripture. I think to myself, "OK God, I got it...yes, yes...You know the plans You have for me...yes...yes...I get it. Now...what else?! What's next?"

But...maybe I don't get it. Maybe I don't have it at all. This is usually the case when God puts something in front of me over and over and over again. It's not that He can't think of anything else to say to me. No. Not at all. More than likely it's that I haven't heard Him good enough yet. More than likely He continues to give me the same scripture...or the same lesson...many times over because I have yet to learn what He's trying to tell me.

In the meantime, while I try to let the lesson sink in...I continue to wait on God. And you know...waiting on God is HARD. I feel like I've been waiting on Him for a long time. Waiting for my creative breakthrough...waiting for my call in life....waiting for the business to improve...waiting for everything. There have been times when I've taken things into my own hands...thinking that maybe God wanted me to be take that first step of faith...and then open the flood gates of whatever it is I've stepped out about...only to find that I stepped in the wrong direction. Or...stepped too soon.

I don't is hard. Walking with God is hard. hard. Not knowing is hard. Trying to explain to others where you are at spiritually...and having them look at you like you have three hard. I guess it's not for everyone to understand. Sometimes, things are just between me and God. Or you and God. Sometimes...not being understood by others just could mean you are on the right track with God.

However...ALL that aside...this morning I was actually given a different scripture. Ezekiel 12. And one of the first verses says, "...pack your belongings for exile...". This confirmed for me that God is calling me to be prepared...calling us to be prepared. With everything going on in the world I feel a sense of responsibility to prepare. Not a sense of worry...or of panic. But more a sense of calm urgency. I saw an interview with a young man from Japan last week...he said they had a lot of rice stored...but only a few jars of pickles and even fewer cans of meat for his family to survive on for who knows how long? I realized that I wanted to be better prepared than that...for any situation...because you really just never know. Since the tsunami in Japan I keep imagining that we have some sort of emergency here in the US...and there I sit, with my family, with no means of caring for them. And the worst part is that I knew I should prepare...I knew I should store food, and water...I knew that I should put together a First Aid Kit...I knew these things...yet did not do them.

So...seeing as how my word of the year is DO...I have taken some steps to be prepared. Just in case. I'm not worried...I'm not frantic...I'm just determined to be ready should the need arise. I am following along with my friend Amy at Homestead Revival...she's doing a preparedness challenge that is very helpful and full of good information. I am feeling prompted to put together a 3-month supply of food, water and other supplies. If we only need it for a week...or a month...then that means I have some to share with others. Some lost kids that can't find their parents? The old couple down the street? You never know.

My plan is to get a few extra items each time I go to the store...whatever is on sale more than likely...and add it to the preparedness pile. Extra rice, extra beans, extra canned items, extra first aid items, extra water. I am also saving my milk jugs, filling them with tap water and setting them aside to use for washing and flushing should that be necessary. Storage is a bit of an issue for those of you who know how small my house is.'s just a good excuse for me to rearrange and reorganize a few shelves in the garage...a job I've been putting off for long enough!

Anyway...I know today's Wednesday in the Word is a bit jumbled... and scattered. It's just where my thoughts are lately...welcome to my world!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

oh how I love a rainy Saturday...

It is raining...a lot. And even more is expected. If you've been reading here for any amount of time you probably know that this makes me very happy.

I've got pork in the crock pot (aka my wife)...flour tortillas are defrosting. Essentially, dinner is ready. This makes me very happy.

Found a good book at the library the other day...can't wait to really "dig in". (Oh...yes...I did.)

I joined this challenge...wanna join, too? To start I bought two gallons of water at the store yesterday. It's a start!

It's a good day to piece together a jigsaw puzzle. We did one last weekend and it was really fun. It was a great family activity. The only problem is...we don't have another puzzle! I think we'll have to pick up another...

I've been trying my hand at zentangles. It's basically doodling...but with a fancier name. I came across zentangles several years ago but had never tried it. But recently I started spending some time at Swap-bot and ended up joining a zentangle exchange. As well as a few others! We'll see how that seems some of the swappers at Swap-bot can be a bit...difficult...and not nice. Hopefully I won't run into any meanies.

Oh...and I had mentioned that I was going to cut some bangs..? Well...I did...sort of. They're more like...a long layer. I sorta chickened out as I am wont to do when it comes to my hair. Bangs are just so...high-maintenance. And...I am not.

Well...the dishes aren't going to wash themselves. I better get a move on...

What have you got going on today?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Every once in a while...

Every once in a need to stop what you're doing...forget about the chores...forget about the have-to's...forget about the stress and the worries and the bills.

 Every once in a need a change of scenery...and you need to remember what's important.

Every once in a need to take some good, deep breaths...throw caution to the wind...enjoy your life...and your family...and have fun.

 Every once in a need to seize the moment...take note that there is NOTHING on the calendar...and load your family into the car and hit the road.

That's exactly what we did a couple of weekends ago. And it was good. Really good. It was a Saturday. We just got home from an early baseball game when we realized that we had the whole rest of the day OPEN. We made the spontaneous decision to hop in the car and head to the coast. It's a beautiful drive. It was a drizzly, beautiful day. We listened to loud music...and dreamt of what we were going to eat when we got to our favorite coastal deli. On the way we stopped at an amazing outcropping of climbing rocks. The boys were like billy goats...thank goodness I remembered my camera.

We ate our dinner...and it was as good as we knew it would be. Fish and chips for two...a burger for one...and chowder in a sourdough bowl with a BIG side of fries for the other. Soda in a a table by the window. It was good. Conversation was good. Enlightening.

It was getting dark...time to head home. It began to rain...just in time. On the way home we drove through Starbuck's for a dessert of frappucinos. The boys played DJ with the iPods...playing music we all like. I danced and sang...they reminded me that I was driving. Oh...yeah...

It was a good day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday in the Word

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

* * * * * * *

Today is March 16...someone on Facebook said it made her think of John 3:16...I don't know that I would have thought of that. I think sometimes I want to get real deep with Wednesday in the Word...when really, sometimes, it needs to be just this simple:

God loves you.
He sent Jesus for you.
Jesus died so that you can live with Him in Heaven forever.
So that you will not perish.
It's a gift.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday...rain...and rambling...

Beautiful favorites on Flickr...go here for photo credits...
It's Monday...I've got the news on in the background...I'm so sad for Japan...I watched a horrifying video this morning...sad and horrifying aren't big enough words. There are no words...only prayers.

I'll be sticking around the house today...laundry...tidying...figure out some dinner...maybe a menu for the's always so helpful, why don't I always do it?

I'm getting my hair cut this afternoon...nothing big in the back but I'm going to brave some bangs after years of not having them. (Mom...are you reading?) From what the young ladies in my life tell me...a "sexy side sweep" is the way to go... ;) Thank goodness I know people who know what to do in the beauty is so not my forte! My favorite beauty product is a hair elastic!

The weekend was bipolar...beautiful and sunny on Saturday...rainy and gray on Sunday. I took advantage of the good weather on Saturday...Ian helped me clean out the chicken coop and the garden. The poor garden...crusty tomato plants were still tangled in the cages...shriveled cucumber tendrils were still clinging tightly to their supports. It was way overdue...  Ian did such a good job tilling the soil and leveling things out a bit...we even planted some Sugar Snap peas and Mammoth sunflowers! The rain is giving them a good watering. And you gotta love having chickens...everything I cleaned OUT of the coop went INTO the compost heap. We also added some dried leaves, sawdust and fresh grass clippings (thanks Seth!). Sunday we went to church...came home and had a nice lunch...then spent the day working on a jigsaw puzzle. Chris took a nap and the boys treated me to Coldstone...yes, on a rainy day. We had a late dinner...because dinner is always late during daylight savings time (I do NOT like DST...not one bit...I'm out of sorts until it "falls back" again...) Dinner was bean burritos with chicken, rice and cheese. Much of that was from leftovers....that was nice.'s getting late...I better get moving...

How was your weekend?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

creativity...can't live without it..

I love to make things. I always have. Ever since I was a little girl I loved to draw and cut and paste and paint and color. When I was 4 I wanted to be an artist "when I grew up". Expressing myself through creativity has been a part of me ever since I can remember.

I stopped making things for a period of time in my life...right around high school and on into my 20's. I dabbled here and there...but nothing ever stuck. Probably because whatever I tried never worked out how I wanted it to.

In my 30's I was home with two little boys. I wanted a way to make some extra money...and I wanted it to be creative. I ended up sewing pillows and making signs out of old fence boards to sell in a rented booth at a local craft mall. I really liked it. It was fun...and it was a nice way to make a little grocery money. It also made me feel like me.

After a while, things got weird at the craft mall. The owner made some really bad choices...and eventually it closed down. No more craft booth...

I ended up finding some amazing art groups online...mainly collage groups. I began cutting and pasting again...and felt like I was finding my self even more...I was 4 again, and I was listening to that artist I'd forgotten about so long ago.

For spiritual reasons, I had to let go of my connection to these online art groups. I was making art for MY glory...and not for the glory of God. I needed to take some time to realize that the only reason I AM creative is because God gave me that gift...the gift of artistic expression. And since it was from Him, it needed to be for Him.

In the meantime, someone gave me a camera. She just gave it to me. A Canon...35 I was elated...I'd always loved photography...but had never really given it a try. Now was my chance. I took lots of photos...well, as many as I could afford. Film is expensive. You KNOW I was thrilled when the digital cameras came out...and became affordable. I got one for my birthday 4 years ago...and I haven't looked back.

At the beginning of the year I decided to try my hand at paper clay. I made some little heads that were fun...and the dolls that you see in the photo above. Recently I took a watercolor class with mom. And then I went and bought a few beginner's supplies to continue experimenting with watercolor painting. I have drawing pencils and drawing paper. Moleskine journals just waiting to be filled with creativity of one sort or another. I have piles of fabric and a quilters cutting mat waiting to be utilized and turned into a quilt...or something. I am not picky when it comes to the medium of choice...I love so many.

And can I just say...I love graph paper. Nothing like laying out a garden design on graph paper and embellishing it with colored pencil. Ever since I was...7 or 8 I have loved to look at floor plans...I wanted to be an architect for a time. (Should have followed through with that...) I still love to look at floor plans to this day. One of my favorite parts of the design class I took a few years back was drawing out the floor plan of my Dream Home. I enjoyed that part more than I did selecting the fabrics and furniture and window coverings!

Not sure where this post is going (or where it went, I should say)...or even where it started. This is my creativity in a nut shell...scattered, all over the place, rabbit trails...but that's OK...that's the good thing about art and creativity...there are no rules. Some people might say there are. But I disagree. Maybe some guidelines...but even those are optional. Art and creativity are a free expression of what's inside of us. And if you turn it into a bunch of take away what it's all about in the first place.'s a part of me. Always has been... Always will one form or another.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

your kind comments...

I've been wanting to write about comments here for quite some time. I LOVE COMMENTS. I love hearing from the wonderful people that take time out of their days to stop by and see read my share their lives with let me know I'm not alone. I don't always comment back to you...but that does not mean that I don't read your comments or don't appreciate them. I do. SO much. I don't know why it is...but some of your comments allow me to respond in the form of email. And...some don't. I have no idea what the difference is between the two...maybe your Google preferences? I don't know...

What I DO know is that I want YOU to know that I love receiving your comments...I read every one...and I respond when I am able. And can I just say...if you have a specific question you want to ask me, feel free to email me directly. My email address is on the right hand sidebar. I will gladly respond...

Thank you for stopping by...and for leaving me encouraging and kind comments. You inspire me to continue writing and sharing...thank you.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday in the Word.

Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Proverbs 29:25

What can man do to me? Psalm 56:11

* * * * * * * *

It's all about God.
It's all about Jesus.
It's not about man...we are not here to please anyone...but God. 
Nobody is the boss of you...but God.
You are not serving man...but God.

If you are doing something for someone else...reconsider your motives. I am speaking mainly of all things ministry...but you can apply wherever it is appropriate in your own life. Why are you serving in the children's ministry? For the Lord? Or out of guilt? Why are you serving in the women's ministry? For the Lord? Or because you want to impress? Why are you going to that particular church? For the Lord? Or because so and so is? Why are you working that job? For the Lord? Or because you are too afraid to step out in faith and do what God is asking of you?

Don't fear man (or woman). Trust the Lord. He will direct your path. And He will keep you safe.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

spending the day with my mom...

Our instructor...Caren Dunn.
I have to tell you...I have the best mom in the world. I know, I know, you probably think that you have the best mom in the world. And that's can think that if you want. But I know the truth...and the truth is that I have the best mom in the world.

Not only did she bring me homemade chicken soup and a small casserole dish of Chicken Divan when I was so sick. (And even offered to clean my house!!) She also treated me to an art class last Saturday. Honestly, we weren't sure we were going to be able to go seeing as how I've been so under the weather lately. But...I just rested and rested all week and by Saturday I felt ready to get out of the house for a while and do some art with my mom. I figured it would be OK since we would just be sitting all day and painting.

Yes...painting. The class we took was a watercolor class at a cool little shop in Berkeley called Castle in the Air. We've been visiting this shop for the past few years on our annual Christmas shopping trips but only realized this past Christmas that they offer art classes! My mom called me a few days later and asked, "Do you wanna take a watercolor class with me in February?" And I was like, "Heck yeah I do!!" So...she signed us up. Woohoo !
The studio on the upper level of the shop...I want to live in this space...
Mom picked me up around 9am Saturday morning and we hit the road...headed to Berkeley. Everyone in the class was so nice...friendly...and ready to get creative. We painted all day long. And it was WONDERFUL.
The ladies at our mom is the one on the left in the front...she's so pretty.
I have wanted to learn watercolor for years and years. I have bit the bullet and bought the supplies and sat down and just went for it a time or two in the past. But...let's just wasn't pretty. Watercolor can be tricky...but like the instructor, Caren Dunn, said, if you know a few key things, it's doable. And she was was doable. 

My painting...a WIP.
The instructor gave us each this same design and step-by-step showed us what to do. A wash in the background...what colors compliment other colors...which brushes work best for what...some shading and highlights...wet and dry painting techniques...even a trick or two with salt and flour! SO fun...what a cool day.

Sitting and painting all day is a really good thing to do...but it's even better when you get to sit and paint all day and be with your mom.

Thank you, mom, for a GREAT day. I love you.