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A dear follower of this blog recently shared a couple of devotionals she received from The Word For Today. They were so powerful that I want to share them with you in prayer that you too will be blessed. Here is one of them:

Brokenness (4)

  • "'The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.'" Psalm 51:17 NIV
We don't always know the reason for our trials, but God revealed to Paul the reason for his 'thorn in the flesh.' It was to keep him from being 'exalted' (See 2 Corinthians 12:7). Success can be intoxicating, and intoxicated people aren't known for being too bright or trustworthy!
What happens when you get a thorn in your flesh? It hurts. And you'll let everything else go while you focus on removing it. Three times Paul prayed for God to remove the thorn, but God had another plan. You see, God is at His strongest in us when we are at our weakest. When Paul discovered that God's power in his life was tied to the thorn that afflicted him, he responded, 'I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities...For whenever I am weak, then I am strong' (2 Corinthians 12:10 NRS). In other words, 'If it's for my good, bring it on, Lord!' If you've a thorny person in your life from whom you've prayed to be delivered and it hasn't happened, maybe God wants you to experience His grace and power through dealing with that person. But you won't experience this until you move from pain to praise. The Bible speaks about 'the sacrifice of praise to God' (Hebrews 13:15). A sacrifice means that something has to die on somebody's altar. So if you want to experience God's grace and power in your life, you must be willing to die to self-interest, ego, and independence. There's nothing wrong with asking God to remove your thorn. But when your prayer for deliverance turns to praise, you're on your way to power, because God is giving you grace.

MoneySaverTip22: Hanging Draperies
As I've said before, when I got my house, it had been foreclosed, vacant, vandalized and empty for years, so there were many needs and almost no funds to bring the entire house up to livable, so I had to be creative. This is one of my living/dining room windows. Remember, we don't see these up close in normal life.
  • I got very cheap green tab curtains to put at the sides of my windows for about $20. This is where most of the sun comes in and, being cheap, they aren't lined to delay fading. I decided that I'd hang them on rods longer than the windows so I could hang the curtains against wall instead of windows to protect them. This also makes my windows look larger.
  • I was blessed to find long scarves that actually matched my sofa pillows. They were a painful $60 each, but really ties it all together.
  • I put up plastic mini-blinds for about $3 per window.
  • When I looked for rods that would look ok, since most of the rod would show with the tab curtains all the way to the sides and only a scarf draped in between, the pricing was awful, especially for the lengths I needed. I ended up with faux painted gold rods...with raw ends...hmmm.
  • I needed a way to mount them to the walls and mounts were pricey too, but I found these sconces at Walmart for $10 per pair - my cheapest option. They are too busy for most people but suited my loves and my decor just fine...except the colors clashed terribly. Look at the "bones" of things, not always the colors - they can usually be changed. So back to my $.98 bottles of acrylic paint and I changed the offending colors to ones taken from my pillows and matching scarves. The gold on them worked with the gold rod.
  • So now I had very raw rod ends showing in my sconces. Finiels were expensive and I'd need four for this room. I went to a craft outlet store and got assorted shapes which I combined into what you see. I screwed them into the end of the rods and painted them to match.
  • A side note about the acrylic paint...I also had a beloved set of napkin holders that were roses...of the wrong color for my dishes, so years earlier, when I bought them, I'd painted them to match the dishes and now they went with the dining/livingroom decor too!
  • The gold and white cord you see just drapes over the top and ends in really elaborate big tassles I got for almost nothing at another outlet store later on and the are the finishing touch!
The total cost was so much less than going the traditional ready made route entirely and those who come to my home say it looks very rich and elegant.

My oldest daughter has a window where she used a long, slightly bending branch I pruned from a Crepe Myrtle bush as her rod. Then she took a gauzy drapery pannel from Good Will and sewed lengths of ribbon to the top hem every so many inches and then tied them in pretty bows over the branch. She tacked (small sewing stitches) small, neutral colored silk flowers scattered sparcely over it. Then she did a cleaver treatment to the bottom catching it up every so often which gives it gentle scallops. She dressed this window in perfect Shabby Chic for only $3!!! She's used it in two homes so far!

And how is this inspirational? We are to be good stewards of all God gives us! This is not only saving money, but recycling! Praise the Lord in ALL THINGS! If you'd like more of these, let me know and have a super day!

Today's gift is a lovely bird for your summer LOs.
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