Monday, February 27

Manna Monday- Worship instead of Whining

As I listened to my pastor preach yesterday morning about the joy the apostle Paul had in prison, I wrote something down on the front of the order of service that he said at the end of the sermon. It hit me like a ton of bricks. See the picture below.

It is so easy when life is not going your way to succumb to an attitude of whining.
Whining looks to our situation, our feelings, our thoughts about what life should look like instead of looking to God. Worship looks to God and seeks to lift Him up.

The apostle Paul's didn't whine or complain about his hardships. Instead he worshipped God. His aim was to make Christ known and it didn't matter what circumstance he found himself in because he knew God was with Him and if the oppportunity afforded him to be able to preach Christ more, it was worth it to him.
He said to the Philippians, "What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice" (Philippians 1:18). He rejoiced in his hardships.

This Monday morning, God has you exactly where you are for a reason. Look around at the people you work with, the people you see while you are out running errands, your family and friends, your neighbor. You have a purpose to make Christ known to others through your attitude and actions. Whatever you are doing this Monday morning, make your aim to worship God first instead of whining about what you do not have or what you think you have lost.

Here are a few scriptures to jumpstart your Monday's worship of God. (Place your cursor over each scripture.)
Psalm 150:6
Psalm 8:1
Psalm 47:1
Psalm 30:1

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Friday, February 24

Fabulosity Friday- Getting a Handle On Your Junk Drawer!!

 Pen, sharpies, stamps, odds and ends that no one knows what to do with!!
 The junk drawer of your home doesn't have to be a disaster!
 It can be beautiful and functional!
 I pray today's Fabulosity post inspires you to tackle the messy drawer in your home that you don't want anyone to see.
These are the words that God has placed on my heart for 2012. Prepare my home, prepare my life so I can make better use of the time He has given me. Listen is the other word that I will be posting about later.

Back to the drawer.

I had this drawer and it was a catch all.
 It would catch all the junk I would throw into it!!!
Take a look!

I knew that I had to tackle it. 
 Here is the process.
Wipe down the inside drawer so contact paper will adhere.

I couldn't find a shelving paper I liked so I made it myself using craft paper and clear contact paper.
I bought these containers from Target.
This is the catch all junk, it is orderly and can be found.

The other junk drawer is like a mail center for our home. See below.
I had been looking for a sharpie all last fall. Look how many I found!!!! 12!!!

Whatever word God places on your heart for 2012, the question is, "Are you seeing it through as the months go by? Are you seeking to bring all the things that keep you from moving forward in your life to the LORD? You can think it, pray it but if you don't act on it, it's just a wish, a good thought.

These places have been painful for me to act on, but it daily having a BIG impact on daily life inside our home. Have a Fabulosity Friday JT friend!!! I pray this post has inspired you!!!

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Wednesday, February 22

Just for Women Wednesdays-The God of Your Brokenness

Broken hearted.

Broken relationships.

Broken promises.

Everyone has experienced the heartfelt pain of brokenness.

For some, brokenness has simply become a way of life. They expect more brokenness and no restoration.
For others, the pain of brokenness is almost unbearable. The pain is too fresh and it seems like it will never end. For many, brokenness is the journey they have walked through and joyfully have come to the other side of restoration. Praise God! But no matter where you are on the brokenness spectrum, it is normal to ask questions.

People Ask Themselves in the Middle of Brokenness...

 "How will I ever be the same again? How will what is broken ever be repaired?"
In reality, pain changes us.
It never leaves us the same.

Going Back to the Truth when You are Broken
God knows your brokenness.  He is familiar with every heartache you feel spoken and unspoken.
The Bible tells us God is near to the broken hearted (Psalm 34:18). What a promise to hold on to!!!!

Consider how the Bible tells us God heals our brokenness:
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
Psalm 147:3

One of the Hebrew meanings for the word "bind" is compress.God heals our hearts. He compresses our wounds and stops the bleeding.

He Promises to Be With Us
When you are broken, first look back to God's Word.
Remember the promises of God. One of the greatest promises that calms the soul is the truth that God is "with us."
Read the following verses (place your cursor over each scripture)
Isaiah 41:14
Isaiah 41:13
Isaiah 41:10

I rest in the truth that I am never alone when I am broken. I may initially feel alone. But when I turn my heart back to the truth, I hold on to the promise that the LORD is with me. He promises to be my help.

Last, brokenness is how our LORD, Jesus Christ, was able to bring about the beauty of new life into our lives. He was broken for you and me so we would never know the sting of death.

Bring your brokenness to the LORD and let Him bind every tender wound you have. HE promises to heal!

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Monday, February 20

Manna Monday- Verse for the Day

Rise and Shine JT friends!
 Get your coffee, take a deep breath, find a quiet place and listen to today's text from Hebrews 4:12.

Consider the words that describe the Word of God in Hebrews 4:12.

Which description of God's Word stands out to you? 

Write the description of God's Word that stands out to you the most on a note card, sticky note or piece of paper.Take the paper with you today to work, keep it on your desk, put it on the dashboard of your car....etc. As you go about your day, think about how the Bible describes God's Word upon the heart of man. 

His Word acts quickly upon our hearts.
 It is living and active. When we open and read it His truth begins to act upon our heart.
When we read the Bible we are pouring life into our stagnant hearts.
 Truth has the power to show us what we are really like. 
It discerns our thoughts and motives. 
It pierces through our heart like nothing else can. 

Maybe today you find yourself not wanting to open God's Word. Open it despite how you feel and ask God through prayer to give you a desire to read His Word. Ask Him to speak to your heart through the reading of His Word. Maybe you have taken God's Word for granted and have become complacent in thinking you know it all and don't need to read it often. Ask God through prayer to give you a love for His Word and to show you new things in His Word.

God, show me wondrous things in your law.
Open my eyes to see Your truth.
Give me a desire to read Your Word.

Thank You for giving me Your Word that helps me live.
Thank You for hearing my prayer.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
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Wednesday, February 15

Just for Women Wednesdays- Be Who God created U to BE (Not Someone Else)!

Don't kid yourself.
The struggle to BE who GOD created YOU to be is real.
I wouldn't be posting this today if I hadn't struggled with it in my own life.

Finding my Voice
From the time I could open my mouth, I have always been singing. Still am today. In high school, I grew to identify with female Christian artists. I was a strong believer of Christ and I wanted my life to imitate those who were following Christ, too. If they were women and sang about the LORD, then it was all the better! In the 80's and 90's, two women, Sandi Patty and Amy Grant, were my favorites. But I was partial, very partial....OK super duper partial to Sandi Patty.

She was my all time favorite.

Here is a song I heard her sing in concert back in the 80s. I found it on you tube. You don't have to listen to all of it, just a bit to see what she sounds like.

When it came to Sandi Patty, I wanted to BE like her. I wanted to sound like her. Her voice inspired me. Her music lifted my spirits and encouraged my heart. I vividly remember practicing every song from her tape on my stereo almost every Sunday afternoon. I would play through an entire tape over and over again noticing every note and would belt along with her to the best of my ability.

As my passion for her music grew, I went to her concerts. I followed her whereabouts in newspapers, magazines and on television.

When I got to college, my ultimate dream came true...I played and sang in a group that opened for her concert. Then, I got to meet her after the concert.(No comments please about the true color of my hair!!!!)

My Sophomore year of college, I remember asking myself, "Where is my voice? What is the true voice of just me?" The silent war to be like Sandi Patty that battled within me was only known to me. And it was frustrating. It was keeping me from seeing who God created Ashley to be and pursue the qualities God gave only me. Eventually, I remember revealing my frustration to my parents saying, "I can't find my voice! I want to find my singing voice, not imitate someone else's."

The Voice Journey
As much as I loved Sandi Patty, I came to see that I needed to look beyond her voice to find my own. I began purchasing new music from other female Christian artists and listened to their songs. I made myself learn and sing new songs. Even if it wasn't my normal style, I made myself listen to it. It was difficult, but slowly I began to find my voice, not imitate Sandi Patty's singing voice. I now know the kind of songs I can sing and the range that best fits my voice. I am comfortable in the voice God gave me, and only me!

God did not make me to BE Sandi Patty. He made me to be me!
It's not a bad thing for women to admire other women who inspire you to pursue a talent or dream or push you to know more about Christ. These are all good things. But it can become toxic when you are constantly focused on only one person to be like, to imitate.  

Dear sister, "who are YOU?"
Who has God made YOU to be?
What spiritual gifts, personality, talents, heart did God give YOU, and only YOU?

 From the distinct way you say a word, to the way your hair curls or the way you write your name, God made YOU YOU! There is not another YOU.

Psalm 139:13 reveals that God didn't create you to be someone else in your mother's womb. He knit YOU to be YOU in your mother's womb. His fingertips were all over the creation of YOU! Let that truth sink deep into your heart.
Take time to notice the details about the qualities God has given you in your own life.
Enjoy the journey to become who God wants you to become.
The journey to who YOU become in CHRIST is so much better!!!!

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Tuesday, February 14

My Funny Valentine Critters

Hope you all have a great Valentines day today!!
I normally don't post on Tuesdays but I thought this was worth sharing today.
Be encouraged, you will get a laugh!

 I had the best intentions to make something extra special with my son for his class (together with my son!!)
 I ordered these little paper candy holders to put together.
I THOUGHT they would be stickers to place on top of the critters and would be easy to assemble.

Easy was what I thought!

A closer look would have told me that these little critters would take lots more time.
Hours of more time!

My Motivation
It seems like these days we just buy stuff and give it away and that's it, the card is thrown in the trash. No big deal. Nothing really memorable. Everything is like a fast food wrapper- easily opened and easily forgotten. So I thought I would use this Valentines day to teach my son how to take pride in making something extra special for his classmates. At this point there are only twelve! Can't imagine making more of these little
When I opened the bag and saw the white templates (that we had to cut out), I came to see that possibly I had gotten in over my head and take my son along with me.
Yep, you guessed it....all hand cut and glued as well.

Then the lesson became about finishing what you start!

Anybody know what I am talking about?

I admit, they turned out super cute, BUT next time I will read the instructions online better before ordering.
I think it is a good thing to do something extra special for others, but to be reasonable in what is made and to be more wise with the time allotted. Lesson learned by this momma!


Made this for our foyer. Wanted to bring something special into the home this Valentines Day. Didn't turn out like I thought. I like it  but would like to make something a little different next year since this was the first one. Might give this away in a Free Art Friday at some point.

Have a great Valentines day today friend! Enjoy those loved ones around you! Treasure the moment!

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Monday, February 13

Manna Monday- Chewing on God's Word

Does this ever sound like your Monday morning?

Got to go.
 Get into the car.
Eat breakfast on the way to work. Turn on praise music instead of having a quiet time.Say a prayer along the highway as your hands grip the steering wheel. "God bless my husband. God bless my family. God, help me have a good day .God, answer the prayer request of my friend and the lady that shared a prayer request in the hallway at church. God, I love you." 
If this is you :

 Consider Monday's verse:

Consider the phrases:
  • "Stand in awe"
When was the last time you stood in awe of the LORD and ALL He has done?
 Do you stand in awe of His nature? His attributes?
  • "commune with your own heart"
When was the last time you took time to seriously reflect on the state of your heart?
  • "be still"
Be still before the LORD and come to Him with humility. Don't give excuses for your sin.

One of the best ways I have found to focus on God's Word throughout my week, especially on Monday's, is to focus on one verse per week. I usually have something, some phrase, some word, that I am chewing on throughout my daily tasks. On my bed before I go to sleep, I consider the verse. I ponder it as I stand in line at the grocery store. While I am waiting at a red light, my thoughts travel back to the truth. I chew on it again and again and again. Then I learn it. It becomes a part of me. It begins to change my thoughts, my attitude and actions.  I pray the scripture aloud throughout the week too.

This is how God's Word can come alive in your life.

Dear sister, what truth will you carry with you this Monday? This week?
Seek out God's truth and chew on it.

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Friday, February 10

Fabulosity Friday-Making Your Closet a Place that you Love!!!!

 It's Friday again and I've been posting here on Joy Treasure how I have been preparing my home and preparing my life in 2012. In previous posts I have shared with you the two words that God has placed on my heart for 2012. They are:
I am continuing my posts on the word 'prepare' and showing you what it looks like in my life. This is a year long process and I want you to see that small changes to your life can be made in simple small steps each day. For me, I am tackling the unseen places in my home that cause me so much frustration when I am trying to get out the door in a hurry. My closet has been a point of contention. Slowly, but surely it is becoming a place that I love.

I took most of my jewelry out of a drawer and placed them in my closet where I get ready. I looked at unused space, measured and went searching for things that could help hold my jewelry in a place where I can see it.

I found these adorable door knob hangers in the girls section of Hobby Lobby. They are $9 each and easily can be hung on a wall. They also were half off so I got them for a steal! I could have made them, but why? I am trying to save time here and get on to other things! They were perfect for my bracelets!!! No more fighting in a drawer with my bracelets. I have them all right here when I need them. And I know what I have so I won't buy something similar. STRESS FREE!!!!!
So here is what they look like. I had a few more bracelets so I ordered two more door knob holders from Hobby Lobby and will place them below. My future plans are to repaint the closet this spring to give the closet a fresh look, but for now it works for me. Problem solved!

My necklaces and scarves were two other things that were all a mess. So I solved that as well. This is behind the door of my closet. Unused space now usable!

Last but not least, I had this space above my hanging clothes that was a blank wall. It was perfect for a special picture that I wanted to hang in our closet. This picture was taken on a special trip to Hawaii and my husband and I love it. When we walk in the closet, it is the first thing your eye sees when you walk into the closet.

 As you can see this closet would not be in the glamour shots of the Better Homes and Gardens. The wall needs to be repainted, I still have some containers to buy for the shelves. But the small improvements made have affected my life on a daily basis. I simply took what I had and made it a more enjoyable place to walk into. You spend 365 days a year in your closet and why not make it a place that you can enjoy being in or looking into?

If you don't like your closet and it has caused you much frustration, do something about it.
Look at it.
Think about it.
Plan for it and then tackle it.
You will be SOOOOO glad you did!

Have a fabulosity Friday my JT friends!!!!
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Wednesday, February 8

Just for Women Wednesdays- When Women Label Other Women

You know you do it.
You don't mean to.
But you do.

What am I talking about?
Labeling the women around you.
We all do it.
We don't mean to but we do.

But why do we do it? It is done because we are creatures of habit. And we creatures of habit like to feel secure. Anything that makes us feel insecure and vulnerable, we dash to the closest thing that makes us feel secure e.g. a close and constant friend. 

When you walk into a room, does your mind run off to labeling other women around you as friends, best friends, acquaintances and women you don't know? It's OK if it does. But when we stay in this mindset of labeling, we miss getting to know other women around us. We miss getting to know their story, their gifts, their life. We miss being a blessing to them because we are so busy focused on ourselves and staying on our own agenda. Who of those women could be your best friends for life. But you wouldn't know it because you are too busy staying in your comfort zone with the friends you always have.

The Phrase that Still Hurts my Heart
I will never forget the time when a friend of mine in elementary school labeled a friend of mine as her "best friend." Ouch!!! It still hurts a bit when I think about it. Immediately I came to feel inferior, hurt, and ousted. The girl didn't mean anything harmful to me, but it did hurt. It hurt right to my heart.
Even now as grown woman, the phrase "best friend" still can leave a mark on my heart when I hear other women refer to other women in front of me in this way. It's like someone has shot an arrow right to my heart unintentionally and I wasn't prepared for it. I immediately can feel ousted, left out, and inferior because I am not labeled their "best friend." I don't want to feel this way. But sometimes, every now and then I do. I am just being honest. I share this because if I feel it, I know I am not alone. You feel it too! Be encouraged dear sister, with God's Spirit, we have help to overcome these heart wounds.

What's a Girl to Do?

  • Change Your Mindset
     It hurts our heart when we don't have a "best friend"  or when the person we thought was a good friend mentions a "best friend" in front of us. This is a real feeling. The more we hear other women talk about it,  it seems the greater the feeling can become inside our own heart. Don't let any root of bitterness grow in your heart my dear sister! Stay strong in the LORD!
      The greatest way that I have learned to deal with this real feeling of not being someones "best friend" is to seek to be a friend to them no matter what I am labeled according to their eyes. I do not search for a "best friend" anymore. I try to be a friend to all and be as loving, encouraging and supportive as I can to all. Searching to be a best friend to someone else can a lead a woman on a long journey of disappointment. Change your mindset (1 Corinthians 2:16).Pursue the mind of Christ over your old mindset. Be on the pursuit to be a loving Christian friend to all. In the journey, you will find a close friend.

  • Pray
Prayer is how you don't bear the burden of not being someones besty (Ephesians 6:18). If you have to meet with a group of women have closer connections within the group than you do, pray before you go meet them. Ask God to help you keep your thoughts focused on Him and His ways (Colossians 3:2). Thank God for being able to meet with these women and ask Him to help you be about His business and not be focused on how you feel.

I pray this has been a great encouragement to you today. It's painful. But it's real. If someone you thought was a good friend to you has a "besty," love that friend in the LORD and be thankful for her. Don't let your mind simmer in the statement made by her about another "besty." You are loved by God. Chosen. The Apple of His eye and He thinks you are wonderful. Be about His business and don't let these petty things of this world steal time away from being about His business.

Focus on being a friend to all, not looking for a besty.
Ask God to bring you a close friend.
You will save yourself from lots of heartache and wasted time.
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Monday, February 6

Manna Monday- Coming Hungry to God

Good Monday morning JT friends!
I pray your Monday is off to a great start this morning.
And if it's not off to the kind of start that you like, turn your attention back to Psalm 118:24, "This is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Choose to rejoice in the LORD despite your circumstances.

I wanted to post a question for you all to think on this Monday morning- to think on throughout the week.
"Are you really hungry for the Word of God? "

For those of us who have been in church for a while it can be easy to be satisfied on the appetizer of God's Word from the Sunday morning sermons. But the appetizer wears off and the hunger grows. Only God's Word can satisfy your hungry heart. But are you hungry? That is the question.

What are you trying to fill your deep hunger for God with this week?
Reading magazines, surfing websites, spending hours on Facebook, watching television, home improvement projects, kids extra curricular activities, being busy, housework.....?

Sweet friend, what you are hungry for is the LORD. Nothing else will satisfy your craving. Your desire is to be intimate with Almighty God and hear HIS voice through the reading of scripture. Turn your heart toward these truths in the Bible:

"The righteous eat to their hearts' content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry."(Proverbs 13:25)

"The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing." (Psalm 34:10)

When we seek God's WORD we will not be hungry. We will be satisfied. We can eat to our hearts content.

If you feel satisfied during the week and don't feel hungry for God's Word, pray.
Ask God to give you a desire for Him and for the reading of His Word (Psalm 119:36).

Open God's Word. Take it with you to work. The more you open and read it, the more your heart will become hungry for God to fill the nooks and crannies of your empty heart. The more you are hungry and let God's Word satisfy your craving, the more it will become filled and satisfied.
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Friday, February 3

Fabulosity Friday

365 hours.......
That is the time you most likely spend in a year hovered over your bathroom drawers cleaning your face or putting on makeup. Out of those 365 hours, how many of them are filled with frustration because you can't find something? Life is too short to be frustrated over the little things. Make the time to clean them out and make them fabulous!

As 2012 continues to roll along, the word "prepare" is one of the words God has placed on my heart to live out. Being prepared means to be a better steward of the time God has given me in each day. For me, that has been to organize the unseen places in my home. These are the places that company would never see if they visited my home.(That's because I wouldn't let them see it!!!!) But just because no one sees these unseen places doesn't mean that it's OK for me to not give attention to this part of my life.

I have to come to find that cute shelf paper is not something most stores have on their shelves. If I have to spend 365 hours of my life a year hovered over something then I want it to look nice and be a color and design that I like.
I couldn't find any shelf liner that I liked so I made my own.
I went to Michaels and bought scrapbook paper that I loved. I put it together by cutting it to fit my drawer and placed clear contact paper over the scrapbook paper to make it easy to wipe with a wet cloth to keep it clean.

Now, this took a bit more time than I wanted to take, but the result....fabulous!!!!

See how everything kind of had a place before....but it was not pretty.
No more hovering over this mess for 365 hours a year!!!!

Pretty! Love it!  Soooooo.... much better!

                          Purchasing an acrylic holder helps you see more of the paper you want to see.

I love putting my makeup on now. It's much more of an enjoyable experience!

Prepare your life so you can spend more time giving attention to the things that really matter in life.
Don't let your unseen places frustrate you anymore.

***********If you do not want to make cute shelf paper, I did find a source online that has cute options to order. Go to

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Wednesday, February 1

Just for Women Wednesdays- Embracing Where U ARE!!!


Does your mind ever wander to a dream you want to fulfill in your life or to a life that you wish you had instead of the one you have at present? Maybe you dream of more free time or less laundry. For some of you, maybe you long for a new job with less stress and a nicer boss. Maybe you long to stay at home with your children and not have to work full time. Maybe you stay home with your children and yet you long for more purpose in life and feel like you are getting old raising your children and life is passing you by. Whatever the case may be, God desires for each of us to thankfully embrace each moment,each breath, each day because He has given us another day to rejoice (Psalm 118:24). He has made your day today my sister! Rejoice in HIM. He is the best part of each day!!!!

Turning Back to What's TRUE
Let's turn our minds away from our wants/wishes and purposefully focus them back on the truths of God.
We want God's WORD to change our minds, which will change our heart and therefore change our actions. When I find myself wondering about tomorrow and wishing away my life, these verses set me back on the straight and narrow and rejoice my heart! I pray they encourage your heart, too!

(Place your mouse over each scripture)
  • John 5:17 (God is always working and never stops working in our lives.)
  • John 2:4; 7:6 (Jesus had to wait for his time at the cross to come. Live in the waiting time.)
  • Job 14:5 (Every moment has been given to us by God.)
  • Psalm 31:15 (Our times are in God's hands.)
  • Daniel 2:21 (God is in control of all things.)
Dear sister, I don't know where life finds you today. I don't know your joys and sorrows. God knows. Don't waste your life today thinking about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). Focus on the people around you today. Live during the waiting time. Learn new things where you are. Embrace new relationships where you are. Find the good in your circumstances. Stop letting the past or the present define your mood and your words. Bring your mood and wishes to the authority of Christ and let the Word of God wash over each thought, each wish, each longing.

Let God's WORD define your life, not your flesh.

Dear God, thank you for giving me the very breath I breathe. Thank you for this day that you have made. I bring my heart to You and ask You to bring me peace where I am in life at this moment. I don't know what tomorrow may bring but I trust in You and Your truth today. Keep my mind from wandering away to the future and instead give me eyes to see every tiny blessing You have given me in each day. Help me learn to embrace where YOU have me each day. Forgive me when I turn away from Your truth and look to my own fleshly desires. Thank You for hearing my prayer.
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