Does the Season Find you Weary and Heavy Laden?

In thinking over this past year, I have found that it has exhausted me in many ways.  A mixture of amazingly good and very challenging issues made for a very busy and tiring year.  A lot of what we experienced were even wonderful blessings – but they still can tire a person out.  Some of the events of our year were frustrating, painful or seemingly without a positive conclusion.  Some were things we hoped we would never face, such as dealing with a debilitating injury to my husband’s back that has kept him out of work for eighteen months.  Some of the most exhausting things we experienced this year were just the plain, old boring day-to-day affairs of life!  In other words, we experienced pretty much the same year that you probably did!

Do you ever get tired of doing the right thing when it doesn’t seem to make a difference?  Do you get tired of being consistent in doing what is right no matter how those around you respond?  Do you work at being diligent and yet still feel like the pile of undone tasks only grows? Life can feel more toil than joy sometimes – and that affects the joy we’re capable of feeling during the holidays.

Finding myself in this place, the Lord spoke a scripture reference directly to my heart this week.  I had  no idea what it was going to be, but when I turned to it, I found a wonderful heart-lifting scripture.   It so beautifully addresses this issue I thought I would share it with you.

“Ecclesiastes 3:9-14

What does the worker gain from his toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on men.  He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.  That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God.  I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.  God does it so that men will revere Him.”

If life is feeling a little more like a toil than a joy, remember that if you ask Him, God is working through your toil to accomplish His purposes whether you see it or not. Your exhaustion and experience of “toil” might be at a job, career or ministry.  Your toil might be in relationships – both family and friends.  Your toil might be in a difficult marriage.  Perhaps your toil is financial stress or health issues.  Just know that every bit of it can be made beautiful through his loving touch.  Have you asked Him to make these things into things of beauty?  Have you asked Him to take them and work His purposes through them so that they will become eternal blessings that will last forever?

Everything God does through you will last forever.  Everything God does in you will be made beautiful in His time.  If you are waiting to see results from a lifetime of praying, loving, sharing, being diligent at your career or being a good wife and mother and are feeling a little blue about the visible results…  Remember this verse!  It is God that does the work.  We can’t add to it or take away from it.  We merely need to be faithful to what we know is right, do the good that we are capable of doing, ask Him to work through us and leave the results in His hands.

PRAYER:  Lord, I’m feeling pretty harried and exhausted at this moment with all of the preparations for Christmas, family, and friends.  I’m finding the joy of the season is a little be lost in all the toil of the season.  Help me to find your joy in the midst of the work.

In the year ahead, help me to find joy in the work you’ve given me to do.  You made man for work, and that work is to bring joy to his/her soul.  Help me to find joy in the tasks that are mine to do.  Refresh my strength.  Refresh my vision and my hope.  Give me energy for the tasks at hand and more.  Renew the joy of my salvation and my life!  AMEN

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Custom iPad & iPhone Cases for Young Mothers

Are you looking for a fun gift for a young mom, whether for Christmas, a birthday or for Mother’s Day next year?  These Speck iPad and iPhone cases are AMAZING quality and can be customized with her children’s names.  For that matter, if you have a grandmother hip enough to have an iPad or iPhone, she could have one too!

The text is very easily customized so if you are interested in the design but wish it to say something else – no problem!  There are so many different iPhone and iPad designs to choose from.  If you’re looking for a product to protect your device and do it beautifully in a way that declares who you are and what your style is, these products at Zazzle are for you.  Simply click on either image and it will take you to them in the Zazzle store, then if there are other items you would like to check out use the navigation bar at the top of the page.

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New Personalized Baby Name Wall Art Decor, Ready for Framing

“Precious Little One” is a design with an adorable sleeping little lamb cuddled up with the man in the moon amongst a sky of stars.  The new baby’s name, birthdate, weight, length, and time of birth are included.  These designs have been on the drafting board for about a year and I managed to finish them today.  What I love about these is that you can personalize them really easily and the gift will ship to you within 24 hours most of the time, if you order the print through Zazzle!  Simply click on the image and it will take you to more information.  All you need to know is the new baby’s vitals and you’re ready to order a keepsake gift that can be treasured for a lifetime.

Available in 4 different colors for boys and 4 different colors for girls, these are prints that are suitable for framing.  To create them, we cut a double bevel cut matte, scanned it in and layered it over the image, so the print is ready to frame as is.  OR you can buy an 11″ x 14″ frame with a matte in it and place the print behind the pre-cut matte – a very cost-effective way to frame things as both Costco and WalMart have some really great frames at great prices.  OR you can take the print to your local Michael’s Frame Shop or local Framer and have it framed to suit your decor.

If you would like to order these the old fashioned way, from our company directly.  Personalized, framed, double matted costs $49.95.  Print only, personalized is $24.95 through Zazzle.  We do still manufacture them with frames and mattes directly from our company , you can simply email steveataje (at sign) earthlink (dot) net and customer service will take care of it.

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Coming Soon, First Release Today

NEW!  Personalized art prints suitable for framing.  Available for wedding or anniversary gifts.  Personalize with your names and dates.  Sizes available both 11″ square (fits nicely on a 12″ scrap book paper in a 12″ scrapbook) and 12″ square (fits stock frames designed for scrapbook pages).

I began my business many years ago as a calligrapher.  At the time I didn’t know how to paint or draw.  In designing calligraphy pieces for people I discovered that I needed to find ways to add color and interest to them and thus began my journey into the world of art.

For many years we had a framed print line that we sold at craft fairs all throughout the state of California.  Our favorite being the Harvest Festivals.  Not a fall passes by that we don’t reminisce fondly about those days (amazing how memories of the pain and exhaustion passes after time, LOL!)

We also wholesaled our product to about 4,000 stores during the 90’s and up until 2006.  At that time it simply became too much to manage with the growth of my licensing business and the time commitments that were involved.  We have continued to sell to individuals over the years and have made dear, dear friends with many of our repeat customers – you know who you are 🙂

With my venturing into Zazzle this past year and especially with my growing wedding invitation business, it’s been much on my heart to bring back the calligraphy line but in a new way, with new art for a new generation.  Today is the very first piece that I am releasing.  These are being sold as prints that can be framed or displayed in a scrapbook.  You can order them and take them to your local Michael’s or frame shop.  They can be framed without mats or matted and framed as suits your decor.

Look for many more in the days and months to come.  What I love about this option is that I can do 30 or more versions of 1st Corinthians 13 and not have to have a catalog that shows them all!  The next designs to come will be my best sellers “Lord, Help me to Build a Healthy Child” and “To Build a Lasting Love.”

Also shown in this post are the Wedding Invitations that match.  This collection is called “Trellis Rose Vintage” and has a wide range of wedding related products created to match.  Perfect for spring and summer weddings, the collection will be fully finished by the New Year.  Click on any picture to go to that item in the store.

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IPod and IPad Cases with Fun Art!

Would you like to customize your IPad or IPhone case and show your personality?  Would you like to buy a special gift for a very special person this Christmas?  These cases are so fun I wish they had them for my Droid phone and it makes me want to buy an IPad, LOL!

Zazzle is currently running specials every day before Christmas.  If you click on any of these designs they will take you to the products and to my Zazzle store where you will be informed of the most current special.  There are some INCREDIBLE deals there right now!

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