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So you wake up every morning and going to work has become more of a chore than ever.  You’re not excited about the job, the boss, the people on your team – what do you do?  Quit?  Stick around? If you’ve read my Facebook devotionals you’ll see I’m all about seeking God’s will.  Logically, in this economy quitting your job for any reason is a risky move.  Spiritually, if you’re not in the place God wants you, sticking around out of fear is a risky move.  To my friends who know they are where God has called them to be, I share a message of endurance.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Is all of your misery at work tied to one person?  Have you prayed consistently for them?  I’m not talking about a “Bless my butt head boss Phil” before bedtime, I mean really sitting down and praying for peace in their personal lives, wisdom when making decisions, and a softened heart towards other people.  You may be surprised how your heart softens towards them in the process.

Perhaps you’re miserable because you always feel like the oddball out.  People leave you behind when they go to lunch, leave the break room when you arrive, plan events outside of work without inviting you.  Think back over the last year, how have you impacted their lives?  Has your behavior reflected God’s love or his wrath?

Take into account that the situations you are in require a lesson to be learned.  What that lesson is, is between you and God.  Two things.  1 – If you fail, you can count on a retest.  2 – If you avoid it, you’ll find yourself being tested on something else.  Let me assure you that God is 100% committed your education, so rather than fight with him, SUMBIT ALREADY!

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for loving me enough to teach me your ways just as any earthly parent should.  Continue to guide me and open my eyes so that I am reflection of your love.

Still Hungry?  Abraham personifies endurance in Genesis 12 – 22.

 

Originally Published in 2011

Editor's Note - Where No One Has Gone Before!

July 4th brings celebration, fireworks, waterworks, barbeque and lots of red, white and blue.  It’s the time of year where families and friends celebrate where we’ve been and where we’re going.  How amazing it is that we have the privilege to live in a land where there is so much freedom!  Freedom we sometimes take for granted during election season, which can usher in so many different emotions, conflict and division.  Nonetheless, no matter what your political stand, we live in the best country in the world; a place where we can express our thoughts, pursue our dreams and wear want we want - except in restaurants,  “No shoes, no shirt, no service.” This July, as we celebrate the month of freedom, Created Woman celebrates the freedom we have to pursue a dream we’ve had since its birth.  The CW family is excited to announce the launch of Created Woman Magazine premiering in August 2012 during Austin’s Fashion Week.  The road to get here has been an exciting one with many twists and turns, but the journey has been no less than a pleasure all because of you, our readers!

With our first photo shoot behind us and many more ahead, our thanks goes out to the many people who helped us along the way; the writers, readers, make up artist, hair stylist, photographers, editors, stylists, web and graphic designers and wonderful boutiques that made it all possible.  We can’t wait to share with you more fashion, more inspiring stories of women becoming who they were created to be, creative ways to live a healthy life and much, much more!    We invite you to come with us, because where we’re going, no one has gone before!

 

Thanks for being a part of Created Woman and we hope you enjoy Created Woman Magazine! 

Behind the Scenes of our 1st Photo Shoot

Growing Green

With gas prices skyrocketing , I'm willing to cut back on luxuries but  I won't compromise the quality of food that comes out of my kitchen!  I love using fresh herbs  and each time I have a glass of ice tea at Shirley Ray's house, she always throws in fresh mint. So, I thought I'd ask her for a little education in regards to  planting a mobile herb garden.  Recently I showed up with a clay pot and a few herbs and my lesson began. She took me step by step through the process .

Herb gardens have few limitations. They can be planted in the ground , a clay pot or any kind of a wire basket. They can live by a kitchen window, a back yard or an apartment balcony. Shirley begins by lining the basket with her favorite landscape fabric,  WeedFree Pro. This allows water through but keeps roots inside the container.

On this particular afternoon, she put together a couple of herb gardens. I thought this aged bicycle basket was  a perfect place for a mobile garden as well as  the traditional clay pot I brought with me.

Shirley prefers inexpensive gloves, rather than a name brand.

With  numerous choices of herbs to choose from we started off with basil, rosemary and mint. She keeps several kinds of  mint in her garden like pineapple mint, chocolate mint and spearmint. She planted multiple  herbs in each garden, but left sufficient room for each to grow and spread.

Fennel has a long droopy leaf and she planted it in the bicycle basket by the outside edge, giving it room to fall over the basket. She doesn't really cook with fennel but she informed me that caterpillars are attracted to it and  by planting fennel she'll also have butterflies in her garden.

This is called the Butterfly Bush, a member of the lilac family.Its rich nectar attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficial insects.

Shirley plants lavender in her garden  just because she loves the fragrance. In fact, a small pouch of  dried lavender  tucked inside your pillowcase is supposed to help you sleep.

While she's not picky about her gloves, she is particular about the soil she uses and she pampers her plants with

Miracle Grow.

After just about an hour in Shirley's backyard, she had put together two distinct herb gardens and guess whose front porch this mobile garden calls home?

Shirley Ray: personal style-Texas casual

I'm inspired by memories of my grandmother's garden. Every time I walked into her backyard, it was wall to wall flowers.

Shirley is  also the founder of Shirley's Creative Solutions. She is a caterer, event planner, provides services as a personal assistant and whips up unique hand made gifts.

Leaving a Fingerprint- Sweetberry Farm

How is it I've lived in the Austin area for twenty years and never heard about Sweetberry Farm? How did I raise my children here and never take them to pick fresh strawberries? Within an hour's drive from our home is a family owned working farm where  customer service  is 11 on a scale of 1 t0 10 and children and adults cover the property carrying boxes filled with bright red , hand-picked berries .

Sweetberry Farm is located 1.2 miles outside of Marble Falls, Texas and as we drove onto the property, there were people swarming the acreage. We quickly spotted the Welcome booth , headed in that direction and made it know that we were visiting  for the first time. In a couple of quick minutes a young man explained the process,'Grab a box, head out to the fields and start picking. When you're through, bring them back, we'll weigh them and you pay for what you picked.'

 

 

We did just that!! Other pickers were young, old, teens and babies in strollers. People laughed and started up conversations with strangers.Everyone, relaxed in the blissful surroundings.

When we were done, we moseyed over to the picnic area, located under a grove of mesquite trees and unpacked our sandwiches. Off to the side of the picnic area were several goats, all accustomed to the Farm's guests and after purchasing mini containers of feed  made quick friends with the brown cuties. We closed out the afternoon with homemade strawberry popsicles and ice cream!

Not only is the Farm providing family entertainment in the spring, but they've also got a full lineup of activities in the fall. The autumn lineup includes hayrides, a pumpkin patch, face painting, Sweet Berry Express,  and let's not forget the homemade pumpkin ice cream!!

This is an aerial view of the Texas Maze, four acres of nature's corridors that guests explore, using a map traveling from destination to destination. There's fun to be had year around for the entire family!

Making memories is a way to leave a Fingerprint in your family, your community and the world. Memories are moments when we share a laugh or a tear and memory makers can be married, single, tall or short. Look around and find someone who could use your Fingerprint on their life.

Click for more information on Sweetberry Farm.

Strawberry Farm is also on Facebook.

The Road to Love.

"Romantic love is one with unjust pressure. We must be willing to admit to those weak sides and want to change them. At its best, it is all forms of love wrapped up in one unbreakable union." I have held onto this magazine clip for five years now. Long before I met my fiance Kristian. I suppose I clipped it with that same flutter that little girls are born with, that love bug. The fascination that begins with dress up and playing wedding. It grows into high school sweethearts and college heartbreak. However, I think I held onto this clip not because of a typical fascination with love but because of my fascination with how people love. I grew up seeing love as control and dominance with my mother's abusive boyfriend. Then the other end of the spectrum, absolute loss of control, as I watched my mother spin into an alcoholic frenzy. I had never dated through high school or college. The idea of romance put me in a tailspin. Then after many years of wondering what love is, how it feels, who determines it, I met the most marvelous personification. Enter, Kristian. Don't worry, I haven't completely transformed into some gooshy lovebird who fawns over her significant other.. well not yet anyway. But knowing Kristian has absolutely opened my eyes to love.

Stumbling Into Love

In the usual way romances begin we were first friends and classmates. As friends, I was a chain smoking hippie and Kristian was more of a mischievous little brother. We'll nevermind the fact that he is older than me. The point is we were most definitely just friends and neither of us thought anything more about it. After a couple of years things seemed to fall into place. Our relationship just sort of  happened. We realized one day that we were only spending time with each other... and actually enjoyed it. Soon after we started dating I quit smoking. This would be the first of many weaknesses I would resolve to work on. He changed too. He started working on the one thing that bothered me most; his snap judgments of people he knew nothing about. For the first time in my life I felt stable. Being with Kristian made me feel normal.

So now, after two and a half years of dating, we are engaged! We have resolved to love each other daily the best we can, forever. We are planning our wedding in New Orleans, which is where I am from, and I cannot wait. I never thought I would meet someone who I wouldn't get sick of spending time with. Not to say we don't get under each other's skin, but I can hardly wait to start my life with Kristian and I can't wait to share each step here! My emotions are all over the place. I'm intimidated, ecstatic, nervous, overwhelmed, a little bit of everything and I'm just hoping I overtake the wedding process before it gets the best of me. I so look forward to every little DIY project and am just hoping I don't turn into a Bridezilla in the process!