liluga - love isn't love until given away

"Loving God means doing what he tells us to do, and really, that isn't hard at all." 1 John 5:3 NLT

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Year of the Turtle?

The other night I was writing in my journal about the "word of the year" phenomenon.  I pondered the whole point of picking a word. Is it a silly exercise or one of value? I don't know. Last January I picked the word "overcome". Great word with great meaning. I have to admit I didn't focus too much on my word nor did I overcome any big things in life.

However, not long after I picked my word, I was hit with "birds".  All of a sudden, I noticed birds everywhere; in arts and in crafts, decorations, writing and more. I had never payed attention to birds before this. 

Then, Jesus's word from Matthew jumped out at me " “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?" (Matt. 6:25-27.  I wanted to trust the Lord for all things, just like a bird. I wanted to spread my wings and fly, just like a bird.

"Bird" became my "word", so to speak. In 2014, I developed a small line of bird plushies and started collecting bird things. Birds make great art. I found a new love in birds.

I still love the birds and want to continue making them and surrounding myself with bird stuff, however, a new year always means something new, right?

As I wrote in my journal,  I prayed that the Holy Spirit would provide a new word for me that I could meditate on and ponder over the next year.  A thought immediately came to my mind - "turtle". Could it be the year of the turtle? They are slow moving, hard shelled and always make it to the finish line (I read that somewhere).

In this fast paced world, the turtle reminds us to slow down, to not let the worries of the world penetrate you (have a hard shell) and have faith that we will make it to the finish line. I like that.

I searched some Bible software for the word "turtle". If turtles were mentioned in scripture that would've been awesome. But they're not. Turtledoves are. What is a turtledove? It's a bird, of all things.  Ok, birds are cuter and are a lot more fun to sew, so maybe I'll stick with them. 

As for my word for 2015? I'm still waiting for the perfect word. I think I have it, but it will have to wait til January!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Christmas Photo

I did it. I got a picture together of the whole family. 

Every year I dream of planning a day where we can all get dressed up and take a professional looking family photo to send out in our Christmas cards. Often, we will take a picture on Thanksgiving to use for our cards, which usually turns out just fine. But, this year, my three kids were with their dad on Thanksgiving, so we did not have a photo opportunity. The thought of rounding all five of them up for a picture was a little unrealistic. With work schedules and a daughter away at college, I didn't see it happening.

So, I got the idea to do a collage with individual pictures of them through out the year (I was originally thinking of a Brady Bunch square, but then nixed the idea). I think I spent more time finding a photo of each of them, cropping them, and then putting them in a collage than I would have if I would have planned a family photo shoot. Oh well.

Hardly professional, but it shows the real us (I wouldn't want to give anyone the illusion of a perfect family!).

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6

Friday, September 12, 2014


Five Minute Friday - "READY" - Write for five minutes.....

Every day, when I wake up to a new morning, I don’t think I am ever truly “ready” for what lies ahead. I may have a to-do list in my mind, but the minute I put my feet on the floor, the day takes on its own agenda.

I think being “ready” goes deeper than just being prepared for the day or a task. To me, to be ready, means to be in a relationship with Christ, grounded in God’s Word, and to be always in prayer.

When I am at this place of readiness, I can handle each day as it comes, and have peace and joy. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Give Some Love Away!

"We know what real love is from Christ's example in dying for us. And so we also ought to lay down our lives for our Christian brothers (and sisters!).

"But, if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well and sees a brother in need, and won't help him - how can God's love be within him?

"Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions."  1 John 3:16-18

Hello friends!  Today a friend from my church shared with me some long term troubles she has been going through in her life. She has gone through much physically, emotionally and financially. Without going into all the details, she is with out a job, without a car, without a phone and in need of money to help pay the bills. She has some family support, but not enough to cover the bills.

I wish I could share with you all of her story, but I respect her privacy. Just know, her situation broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes. So many negative things have come into her life and they just seem to keep coming at her. She loves the Lord, but doesn't know how much more she can take.

After talking with my friend this morning, and praying with her, I thought, "how can I just walk away and do nothing?"  The above verses came to me and hit hard.  What can I do? 

Well, I started this blog as a place to encourage people to give love away. I started making liluga's (stuffed plushies) to give away to people in need of encouragement. I got lazy with it over the years, but it is still a passion on my heart.

My idea? To raise some money through my liluga's and donate 100% of the money to this dear friend.  

For starters, I have a basket full of birds who are ready to be kicked out of the nest. They need a new home!  

I am asking for a minimum donation of $15 per bird.  And I am willing to hatch new birds to help raise money for her.

Your donations will go to helping a sister in need, and you will be blessed by a new little friend to brighten your day. 

To donate, please send me an email at
Let me know which bird you want, I can always make more!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

V is for Victory

"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God". 1 John 5:1-5 NLT

Meet the Victory Birds.....
Sigrid and Bernice

Sigrid and Bernice are Victory birds.  They know that they through their faith in Jesus Christ, they are Victorious. 

The "L" on their behinds stands for Love

Sigrid's name means "a beautiful victory" and Bernice's name means "brings victory". Great names to have, don't you think? I think they will soon become very popular girls names!

Sigrid says "Believe and put your faith in Jesus.
 Read your Bible and obey God's Commandments
 and you will have VICTORY over this world!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Coffee Club Birds


Introducing.... Chai, Mocha, Cortado and Latte

The idea for the coffee club birds has been brewing for a while.  The group has been assembled and I am proud to introduce them to you.

Meet Mocha

Mocha is the leader of the pack and is the first one to land at the coffee shop every Friday morning for their club meeting. Mocha likes arriving a half hour early so he can sip his coffee in solitude before the others show up.  Mocha started the coffee club because he believes birds of a feather should flock together.

Meet Latte

Latte is the most faithful member of the coffee club and has never missed a meeting.  Latte and his wife are empty nesters and Latte really enjoys hanging out at the coffee shop where it's noisy because it reminds him of when his nest was full.

Meet Chai

Chai has a confession to make, he doesn't like coffee. However, he loves drinking tea.  Mocha was a little hesitant to let Chai into the club, but Chai assured him he could sip a chai tea latte from a mug and no one would know the difference.  Chai is a little flighty, especially if he thinks a chai tea latte can pass for a coffee latte. Thankfully, Mocha really likes Chai and let him join.

Meet Cortado

The final member of the group is Cortado.  He is the only Latino member of the group. His accent is a bit hard to understand, but since the love of coffee is universal, he fits right in.  Cortado enjoys salsa and dancing the tango. He tweets in Spanish.

Friday, May 30, 2014


Today I am linking up with Five Minute Friday at The goal is to use the prompt she gives and simply write for five minutes on that topic. No editing or revising. Today's prompt is "Nothing".  Here it goes.....


The world may make you believe you are nothing. That what you do doesn’t matter. If you are not doing something big and noteworthy, you are nothing.

God says you need to believe that you are something. Something big to Him. Everything you do matters to Him. Your thoughts and your actions.  He cares about you.

He cares for you when you are simply reading a book to your kids, He cares for you when you are stuck in traffic and He cares for you when you are volunteering at a soup kitchen.

Believe that He cares and that you are something BIG to Him.

Do not believe you are nothing. It’s so not true. You are awesome.  

Five Minute Friday

Friday, May 9, 2014


Today I am linking up with Five Minute Friday at The goal is to use the prompt she gives and simply write for five minutes on that topic. No editing or revising. Today's prompt is "Grateful".  Here it goes.....

I am grateful that after a long, cold (and I mean REALLY cold) winter, God brings us spring. Even though the trees and grass and plants remained dormant all winter long, they were never dead, just waiting for their time to come back to life. It was hard to believe winter would ever end.

Just like the trees of winter, so much is lying dormant inside of me. There is so much I want to do. I want to write more, serve more, be more and get past this winter season of my life. But it is not my spring time yet. God will bring on the season when the time is right. I know it is coming soon. I can feel it. And for that I am grateful.

OK, my five minutes are up. I have a lot more to say, but it would take me hours to sort it out in my head and put it to paper. That's part of the reason I don't write often:)

Five Minute Friday

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five Minute Friday: FRIEND

Sharon and I

Friends in my life have come and gone. I have had great friends in each season of life. But sadly, I do not do a good job of staying close to friends once the season changes. It's not a bad thing, it just happens. We move to a new town, the friends from my old town fade over the years. 

I'd like to say that with cell phones and the internet I am able to keep in touch with everyone, near or far. But it just doesn't happen for me.

I have a handful of what I consider close friends, the kind I can call at any time and the ones who know me well. One is from college (my friend of 20+ years) and several are "mom" friends I've met over the years of raising my kids. They are great friends and I am blessed by each of them. 

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

About 15 years ago, as a new believer, I heard the hymn "Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted" sung by the pastor of my church at the Good Friday service.  I instantly fell in love with the music and the lyrics.

I never forgot about this hymn, but did not hear it sung again until yesterday. I work at my church and the guy I work with was printing out a song they are singing on Good Friday. It made me think of the "Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted" hymn, so I looked it up on YouTube.

I discovered this video by Fernando Ortega that is simply beautiful.  Watch it and be blessed!

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted By: Thomas Kelly

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted,
See him dying on the tree
Tis' the Christ by man rejected,
yes my soul tis He, tis He
Tis the long Expected prophet
David's Son yet David's Lord
By His Son God has now spoken
Tis the true and faithful Word
Tell me he who hear him groan,
Was there ever grief like his
Friends through fear, his caused disowning
Foes insulting his distress
Many hands were raised to wound Him
None would enter posed to save
But the deepest stroke that pierced Him
Was the stroke that justice gave
He who think of sin but lightly
Nor suppose the evil grate
Here may view its nature rightly
Here its guilt may estimate
Mark the Sacrifice Appointed
See who bears the awful load
Tis the work the Lord's Annointed
Son of Man and Son of God
Here we have a firm foundation
Here the refuge of the lost
Christ the Rock of our Salvation
Is the name on which we boast
Lamb of God for sinners wounded
Sacrificed to cancel guilt
None shall ever be confounded
Who on him there hope have built


Hymn # 116 from Lutheran Worship
Author: Geistliche Volkslieder
Tune: O Mein Jesu, Ich Muss Sterben
1st Published in: 1850

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Paint

The first project I tackled this morning was painting a coffee mug for a friend with her "word of the year" on it.  As I was letting it dry, I ventured over to Five Minute Friday to see what the topic was.


Coincidental? I think not. 

I had a hard time with the mug. My hand was wobbly and I was afraid of making a mistake. 

I think that is the way I live my life, a little wobbly and afraid of making mistakes.

I have to believe that I can accomplish great things, and that it is o.k. to make mistakes. God never asks us to be perfect, he asks us to try. And when we do, we can accomplish more than we think.

My mug turned out pretty good (o.k., maybe not as cool as some of the ones I've seen on Pinterest, but cool none the less) and I know my friend will be blessed by it. Isn't that what it's all about?

Five Minute Friday/

Friday, April 4, 2014

Writer - Five Minute Friday

When I think about the word “writer” I think of people who actually have published a book or two. People who make a living out of writing. I don’t think of myself, a lover-of-journaling and a “when I get around to it” blogger, as writer.

But what does God say about me being a writer? Am I a writer anytime I use the written word to jot down my feelings and experiences? Am I a writer when I write a card with an encouraging note to a friend? How about when I do publish a post on my blog and my mom and dad and a couple of friends are the only ones who read it?

I believe he says yes, Jamie, you are a writer. A writer of words that I put into your heart. Amen to that.

Five Minute Friday

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Chicky New Liluga

It's been a while since I've sewn a liluga. While I have always loved the idea behind making a liluga (a little something to give away that says "you're loved!), I have to confess that I never really loved the design of my original lilugas.

I tried to come up with different patterns and shapes and sizes. Although many came out cute, the patterns did not scream at me "this is it"!  So, I put sewing them on the back burner and went about my life.

Earlier this January, I discovered an internet phenomena called "One Word". It's where you choose one word for the year. One word to focus on and live out.  My one word was "Overcome" because there are many things I need to overcome in my life.  But I won't get into any of that here.  What I do want to share is that, with my word, the image of a bird came to me. It was as if, in order to overcome, I need to spread my wings and fly.  Like a baby bird in the nest that needs to be kicked out so it can fly on its own.

I then decided that this would be the year of the bird. I would focus on using birds in my sewing, crafting and writing. Funny, I never noticed before how many people incorporate birds into their artwork. I am noticing now. 

My first bird I made came out ok. It looked a little like folk art. It wasn't until a few weeks ago, while making a couple fabric stuffed Easter eggs, that I thought about making an Easter chick.  I, of course, looked online to see what others were doing, and noticed that there wasn't much in this area.  So I took what I had on hand - recycled wool, fabric scraps, on a ball of this lovely black velvet yarn that I found at the antique mall - and made my first chick.  Immediately I thought to myself, "this is it"!

Not every liluga I make will be an Easter chick, but for this season, chicks are it.

I have four little guys that need to find a home.

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?"  Matthew 6:25-27