Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Connecting with Little Eyes Across the Miles--Shutterfly

I am finally writing my LONG overdue post about the joys of using Shutterfly, my very favorite photo sharing website. On Shutterfly you can store your priceless photos, make Share Pages on any subject you wish, make books and more, all for free! For every project you make, Shutterfly provides a link for you to send to anyone you wish. You can even upload your address book and they will send an invitation for you. What could be easier?

All of these wonderful features I've mentioned so far are all available only online. But Shutterfly will also print your pictures for you, help you make wonderful, one-of-a kind books, cards and gifts with your pictures for prices that compare favorably with every other photo sharing business I've checked, whether online or in a regular discount or drug store. And I almost forgot to mention the amazing sales they have. Most of the time when I purchase something I am able to get a thirty to fifty percent discount and almost always shipping is free for orders over $30.

So far this year I've made a book for our family reunion/vacation on the shores of Lake Michigan, a book for my son's family (plus one for me) with photos of three years at the Minnesota Renassiance Festival and a book for my grandson and I at The Great Train Festival, in Rock Island, IL.

Even though I enjoy buying their products I think my favorite Shutterfly feature is the Share Site where you can post photos of whatever subject you want. For the past few years I've made a sort of family yearbook on my Share Sites. I've also used it as a Christmas letter to friends and family, sending the link online for no charge. When I send a card or letter through the mail, I can include the link and anyone who would like to see more of what we were up to can visit the share site. Love it!
(And if you'd like to see what I'm talking about, here's the link: http://2011rickgail.shutterfly.com/)

In the interest of full disclosure I'd like to tell you that there was a special $10 off my next order on Shutterfly if I would embed the code of my latest project, Valentine cards. I'm planning to include them in our annual family letter, since I missed Christmas. But let me also point out that everyone I know also received a code good for $20 off any order as a thank you gift from the Shutterfly company. I wish all the merchants I do business with would be so generous.

So take a look at Shutterfly today and just imagine all the ways you could start connecting through photos with your precious grandchildren.

To see the lovely cards I'm sending out as my "Valentine" this year, click the link below

Friday, January 20, 2012

Meeting God on a Snowny Morning

Snow, small at first, just a shining in the cold morning air, comes down faster now, larger flakes floating like feathers from the colorless sky to a colorless world.

It's beautiful and today, it feels personal, intimate. Watching it I feel a settling in my churning spirit as if God's grace is floating down around my shoulders.

Somehow, watching this snow, it seems God's reply to my restless heart, to its anxious cry.
Soothing, comforting me, saying,
"I am listening, child.
I AM giving,
I AM blessing,
I AM enough
to cover your world of chaos and pain
(temporary and light afflictions)
with beauty, grace, love.
My mercy is enough to forgive and cover the ugly parts of you.
My grace becomes yours.
I hear from heaven and answer,
sending as many blessings
as there are snowflakes falling from the sky."

Abba Father. Abba father.

The snow is mercy, falling from above, covering me.
The candle glowing is grace, creating light & hope in the grey of today.

I lean on Your tender heart
You are here, I AM,
and I am gonna be fine.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good Lord it's Morning! OR Good Morning, Lord

Another little QTT*

I like to sleep.
I love snuggling beneath my downy comforter and soft pillows and relaxing my aching bones, my mind drifting on a sea of pleasant sensations, cuddly and warm. Ahhhhhh.

if I'm to keep my daily appointment with the Lord, I'm going to need to tear myself out of my cozy cocoon, stretch my arms into my robe and head out to meet Him, greeting Him with praise for the new day.

More often than not, this can be difficult to do.
On mornings when the floor seems just too cold and the bed too soft and warm, I remind myself of this cute poem by Jill Briscoe. I picture God, the needle, pulling me up and out from the covers and somehow it helps me to rise, if not shine. Once again, our dear Savior takes it on Himself to put in us what He asks of us.

Try it, it works.

I am also reminded today as I write this that to become a beautiful butterfly, the caterpillar has to shed the comfy cocoon. Thank You Lord, for speaking new truth to us, each day!

God the Needle

God the needle, the thread,

Get my body out of bed,

How to know You if I sleep,

You the Shepherd, I the sheep.

God the needle, I the thread,

Is my Bible open read?

God the needle, I the thread,

Get this truth inside my head,

Here to weave my time today,

In my work and in my play,

Make a picture, fasten me

Inside Your lovely tapestry.

God the needle, I the thread,

And when all is done and said,

May the picture You have made

Last forever, never fade.

May my thread reflect Your glory,

When You've finished Jesus' story.

God the needle, I the thread,

Get my body out of bed.


*QTT=Quiet Time Tip