Friday, February 27, 2015

Busy Hands: Fingerless Gloves

I never thought I would be a fingerless gloves person, but last year I changed my mind. Fingerless gloves have really helped to keep my hands warm while using a computer in the winter. I made my first pair of fingerless gloves last year. They have served me well, but sometimes they aren't quite warm enough. This pair is thicker and warmer, which is helpful on the days when my hands are extra chilly.

I used yarn the same yarn that I used for the infinity scarves earlier this winter. You might remember that Adelaide asked me to crochet a matching item for her anytime I crochet something for myself. I offered to make her a pair of fingerless gloves, but she thinks they are too weird and turned down my offer!

This pattern comes from the Crochet One-Skein Wonders book. I like the thick ribbed look of this pattern.These gloves are toasty warm, and the yarn I used is soft and silky, making these perfect to wear while resting on a cold winter day in Minnesota.

What sort of projects are you working on currently?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reviewers for Hope for the Hard Days

This week I am putting the finishing touches on my devotion eBook, Hope for the Hard Days. I have been working on this project for well over a year, and I am so excited that it is almost finished! I look forward to sharing it with all of you.

The eBook will officially release here on Cranberry Tea Time on March 23. I will be giving it away on my blog as a free PDF download for anyone who would like a copy.

Are you interested in receiving a pre-release copy? I am looking for bloggers who would like to read and review Hope for the Hard Days on their blog. I will be sending out pre-release copies on March 2nd. If you are interested in reviewing Hope for the Hard Days, please send me an email at RachelLundy(at)cranberryteatime(dot)com.

*Edited to add: If you don't have a blog, but would like to review a pre-release copy, you may post your review on goodreads.*

I cannot give you anything in return for a review, other than a pre-release copy of the eBook, but you will have my thanks and gratitude! If there are enough reviewers, I will create a link-up on my blog on the release day so that you can share your review with the Cranberry Tea Time community.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or leave your question in the comments.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Five Minute Friday: When

Today I am joining the Five Minute Friday writing crew at Kate Motaung's blog. We write for five minutes on the same writing prompt. This week the word is "when."

Yesterday I needed to be in a very quiet house, so Will took the children out for the day. I had to laugh when he texted this conversation to me:
Adelaide (to waitress): My mom has a migraine.
Waitress: I hope she feels better.
Adelaide (to Will): She will when she dies.

Heaven is something that our family is looking forward to. The symptoms of my dysautonomia never go away. Each day Will, William, and Adelaide see how tired I am. They see the pain and fatigue. They wish I could join them for more activities, and they wish I felt better. We have a longing for eternity. Living with dysautonomia is teaching us to keep an eternal perspective.

Our family has often talked about Heaven, the New Earth, and the resurrection bodies that all who believe in Jesus Christ will one day receive. We look forward to the day when I will have a new body and will no longer be plagued by daily migraines, muscle weakness, and intense fatigue. One day, when I have my new body, I will feel better! It is something that I look forward to and greatly anticipate. Life in a broken body on this earth is preparing me to enjoy my resurrection body all the more!
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us...For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:18, 22-23
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4

Monday, February 9, 2015

Favorite Books in 2014

I greatly enjoy reading on the days when I feel well enough. Sometimes brain fog flares up, and I have to read small books or light and easy books. At other times brain fog makes reading impossible. But even with bouts of brain fog, I was able to read 35 books last year! It was fun to read so much. I especially enjoyed reading biographies and memoirs, books about theology, and books about chronic illness and disabilities. 

I have a goal of reading 30 books this year, and so far I have read three books. If you want to see the books that I am reading currently, you are welcome to connect with me on Goodreads

These are my favorite books from 2014:

Safe in the Arms of God: Truth from Heaven about the Death of a Child

Many people have questions about babies and young children who die. Do they go to Heaven, and if so, how do we know that? In this book John MacArthur answers questions such as:
  • Where is my child?
  • What can we say with certainty to those with empty arms?
  • How does God regard children?
  • Will I see my child again?
  • How shall we minister to those who are grieving?
I recommend this book to anyone who has lost a baby or young child or to anyone who is ministering to a friend who is dealing with the death of an infant or child.

Beside Bethesda: 31 Days toward Deeper Healing

In this book Joni Eareckson Tada takes the reader on a 31 day journey of discovering the ways God uses our suffering to bring about what she calls “a deeper healing.” She shows through her personal testimony and through God’s Word that suffering is not in vain. With the gentleness and wisdom of someone who has suffered, Joni explains how God uses the hard things in life to make us more like Christ. The reader will learn how to live with joy, find hope, and have peace in the hard times. The reader is challenged to walk more closely with Jesus, to see the inner transformation that God brings about through trials, and to trust in God’s sovereign plan for his or her life.

Barrier Free Friendships: Bridging the Distance between You and Friends with Disabilities

If you want to reach out in friendship to someone with a disability, Barrier Free Friendships by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Jensen will be a valuable resource for you. You will learn why it is important to befriend people with disabilities and how you can reach out to them in friendship. If you have a disability, the last two chapters are specifically for you! You will learn about God’s plan for you in friendship and how you can be a good friend while dealing with a disability.

God Is Just not Fair: Finding Hope when Life Doesn’t Make Sense

God Is Just not Fair is written by Jennifer Rothschild, a woman who started going blind at the age of 15 and has now been blind for over 25 years. A few years ago she really struggled in her faith and was battling depression and questioning God. In this book she writes about her struggle and shares the answers she has found to some big questions of faith. The first question she tackles is “God, are you fair?” Jennifer comes to the conclusion that “thankfully, God is not fair.” He “does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10). He gives grace that is far beyond what we deserve!

Other questions Jennifer answers are:
  • God, do you err?
  • God, do you hear prayer?
  • God, do you care?
  • God, are you aware?
  • God, are you there?

Rinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God when Sparkly, Safe Faith Is No Longer Enough

Kristen Welch shares her story in Rhinestone Jesus. She shares about high school, the early years of marriage, and the challenging days of motherhood. She shares about the hard things God brought them through as a couple and as a family. She tells the story of travelling to Kenya with Compassion International and her heart being broken there. The time in Kenya shook her awake from her American dream, and soon a dream for a maternity home in Kenya began to grow. In the process of telling her story, Kristen shares practical tips and ideas for nurturing our own families, growing closer to one another, and keeping our family focused on glorifying God. Throughout the book, Kristen encourages other Christians to follow the Lord and say yes to Him in whatever He calls them to do, no matter how “big” or “small” it is. 

Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home

In Glimpses of Grace, Gloria Furman explains how the gospel makes a difference in our everyday lives. The gospel isn't just something we believe so that we can be saved. It has implications for all aspects of life. Gloria shows how the gospel affects our home life, friendships, hospitality, generosity, contentment, and cheerfulness. She shows how the gospel removes our shame and gives us hope. I found this book to be thought-provoking, challenging, and encouraging.

PROOF: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace

This book takes a new approach to teaching the doctrines of grace. Instead of relying on the old acronym, TULIP, that has often been used to teach Reformed theology, Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones have come up with a better acronym: PROOF. PROOF stands for Planned grace, Resurrecting grace, Outrageous grace, Overcoming grace, and Forever grace. If you want to understand what the Bible teaches about the grace of God in salvation, this book is for you. Prepare to delight in and be dazzled by God’s amazing grace!

Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship

In this book John MacArthur gives a clear and detailed history of the Charismatic Movement. He uses biblical principles to evaluate the modern Charismatic Movement and discern whether or not it represents an authentic work of the Holy Spirit. After dealing with works that are falsely credited to the Holy Spirit, MacArthur explains ways in which the Holy Spirit truly is active in our lives today.

As someone with a chronic illness, I especially appreciated the chapter on healing. MacArthur shows the difference between modern counterfeit healings and true healings that took place in New Testament times. If you have a chronic illness or disability and have been told that you would be healed if you had enough faith, then you will greatly appreciate this chapter, and indeed the whole book.

For those who wish to understand the errors found in the Charismatic Movement, and wish to learn how the Holy Spirit is active today, Strange Fire is a great book to read. It is biblical, helpful, and easy to read and understand.

A Christmas Longing

This is a wonderful book to read during the Christmas season. Joni Eareckson Tada writes about the joy and anticipation of Christmas, and she reminds the reader that the God who came will come again! Joni’s words and beautiful artwork will draw you in, help you to see the wonder of Christmas, and encourage you look with anticipation to the future return of Jesus Christ. A friend and I read this book together this Christmas season, and it was a blessing to both of us. We will be reading this book again next December!

Up from Slavery (not pictured)

Up from Slavery is an autobiography by Booker T. Washington. I learned about Booker T. Washington as a child, and it was fascinating to learn more about him and read his story in his own words. In his autobiography he shares about slavery, emancipation, and his work during the Reconstruction period. I found it especially fascinating to read about his hard work in pursuing an education and establishing the Tuskegee Institute.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Busy Hands: Matching Scarves

This fall a friend sent a yarn care package to me. I have had so much fun working on projects with the new yarn! One of the things I made was an infinity scarf using this pattern. Adelaide saw what I was making, and she asked me to make a matching scarf for her. In fact, she requested that anytime I crochet something for myself, I make a matching item for her too! 

Adelaide and I have had fun wearing our matching scarves. The yarn is soft and silky, making it very comfortable to wear around the neck. I keep this scarf in the basket next to my bed so that I can grab it whenever I get chilly while resting in bed.

What have you been doing this winter to keep your hands busy?
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