Has Your Family Had This Virus?

A Epidemic of Family Proportion
       I shivered as we approached the automatic doors thinking, this is last place I want to be on a subzero night. I strode over to the check-in desk with my teenager in tow.
      “May I see your insurance card?” the receptionist asked.
       While she entered information into the computer, I gazed over the brimming waiting area. Coughing, sneezing, glassy-eyed and crimson-cheeked patients and their companions filled nearly every chair. The walk-in clinic in flu season promised a lengthy wait.
       “Thank you. Please have a seat.”
       In a medical clinic, it isn’t difficult to guess which are the sick people. We judge from their symptoms, and we avoid them. Who likes getting sick? Even at home, when someone is ill, we wash our hands more, use separate hand towels and we try not to share germs. But a bigger epidemic than influenza is sweeping our culture. This wave is more subtle than a respiratory virus, but if we look close enough, we might see that the disease has spread even to our own homes.
       Listen closely to those around you. Listen to your own words. How often do you hear, “I’m too busy,” or “I can’t rest right now?” In the grocery store, we see the mother with little ones trailing behind. “Hurry up,” she says, “We’re going to be late.” This is the disease of feeling chronically short of time which leads to an ongoing sense of frustration. People with hurry sickness never have time to relax.
       Hurry sickness isn’t the only culprit in the epidemic. Its near cousin is overload syndrome, a title that describes the stress that comes from having too much—too much stress, too many possessions, a crowded schedule, and an overloaded mind. The overloaded person seems to live from one crisis to another, and when a new stressor comes along, he or she goes into a meltdown. Eventually it wears down the physical body as well.
       A close examination of the hurried or the overloaded person might give some clues to yet another culprit in the epidemic. Those who are always trying to keep up with the Jones, with ever-increasing debt, likely suffer from what has been coined affluenza. As our culture becomes more affluent, there is increased pressure to have more material things. Victims of affluenza frequently suffer from both hurry sickness and overload syndrome as they struggle to get ahead.
        If a quick check-up reveals that you are afflicted with any of these or even all three, there is hope. Just as with viral infections, treatment and prevention are essential. Like an antibiotic for an infection, the first prescription in getting better is to deal with the worst of the problem right now. If too much stuff is bogging you down, it’s time to purge your possessions. Give to charity, auction on E-bay, have a yard sale, or take a trip to the landfill, but do whatever you need to do to free yourself of the things that are suffocating you. If hurry is your problem, ask yourself what you are doing right now that you don’t really need to do. Purge your schedule by focusing on what really matters.
       Affluenza is a sneaky virus. Sometimes we don’t even realize we have it. I’m a great bargain hunter, and I love shopping at thrift stores, but that doesn’t mean that the pursuit of more stuff doesn’t affect me even in my bargain hunting. It may be difficult to deny our children a Nintendo Wii when everyone else has one; and it’s easy to fall into traps of thinking we need things that we don’t.
       Once we identify solutions, it’s time to think about prevention. Just as we wash our hands to prevent the spread of colds and we immunize against the flu, it’s important that we protect our schedules and our minds from relapses. The best prevention is learning to say no. It sounds simple enough, yet it’s difficult to put into action. I struggle too, but it gets easier the more I practice. We can learn how to say no to purchases, no to new commitments, and no to more stuff—even if it is free.
       We can wipe out this epidemic, at least in our own homes, by renewing our focus on godliness (Ephesians 4:19), and letting go of worldly desires. We bring emotional health and tranquility to our families by guarding our time, spending wisely, and making God-honoring choices. I think our family could use an overload syndrome booster shot.
Reprinted from Michelle’s March 2008 “Habits for Quality Living” Wisconsin Christian News Column

I love blog parties! This post is linked up with The Winter Bliss post at The Inspired Room

Show Off What You Made- Blog Hop #5

 Friday Blog Hop (Link Party)

Trash to Treasure Decorating

It’s my 5th Blog Hop MckLinky Party and this week, I’m widening the guidelines to include any thrifty craft or project in addition to your trash to treasure makeovers and yard sale finds.


This week, my theme has been recycling wallpaper and I featured these 2 projects:

I can’t wait to see what you made and what you found!

Blog Hop guidelines:

1-Add a permalink to your specific post not the home page of your blog. Be sure to check that the link works after you post.

2-Add a short title for your post. This could be your name or blog name if you’d like.

3- Link back to this post from your blog, or send a link to your tweeps on Twitter (mention @trash2treas).

4-Check out the links and leave some comments on the sites you enjoy.

That’s all there is to it! I can’t wait to see your links and ideas. Never used MckLinky? It’s super easy. You don’t need an account or any software. Just click on “you are next” below and type a title for the post (or your name) and add a link to the location on the web. It’s that simple!

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Not Every Experiement Works–Free Book

In my eagerness to give away some books this month, I experimented a bit with my drawing by setting goals for a certain number of readers. For every 25 readers added, I’d give away another book.  I was over ambitious and I’ll admit, not every experiment works. But sometimes you just have to try right? 
Anyway, I Still DO want to give away something this month and there are only 3 days left in the month. So, I’ve removed the previous post and here’s your brand new opportunity to win a free book. 
I will put the name of every person who responds with a comment below on THIS POST into a drawing on Feb. 1. The winner may choose one of the books listed here and I’ll send it off in the mail to you. Be sure to include a link to your website or your e-mail so that I can contact you  (Feel free to modify e-mails for security reasons. Example: michelle(at) michellerayburn.com). 
Remember, only entries of public comments posted on the blog count. E-mails sent to me are not entered into the drawing. For those who receive the blog by e-mail, you’ll need to link to the blog to leave your comments. (How to Comment Tutorial Here)
To enter , just tell me that you’d like to be entered in the book drawing.

Looking ahead: I have 6 books on hand to review in February so watch for some new books from some fabulous authors!

Metal Cabinet Makeover With Wallpaper

I decided to continue with the theme of projects that use up leftover wallpaper from Tuesday.
My friend who also did the fabulous faux finish of her floor let me take pictures of this cabinet that she made over. It’s an antique metal cabinet and I’m not sure if it was a laundry cabinet, medicine cabinet, or something else originally (please let me know if you know what to call it!). It has a towel bar on the bottom, so it naturally lent itself to a bathroom piece. Sorry, I don’t have a before picture, since I discovered this in her bathroom while visiting and it was already done.
She painted the metal to prevent it from rusting and then she applied wallpaper to the cabinet front and sides. Her wallpaper had little vignettes all over so it was easy to choose and cut a picture from it. I like how she framed it out with contrasting paint.
  
The sides were the perfect width for leftover pieces of border.
If you have a similar piece and you’re looking for a reasonably priced makeover, why not look for wallpaper scraps? Or you could try using decoupage and wrapping paper or other printed paper. Just remember, if it’s in a high-moisture area like the bathroom with a shower, give it some coats of decoupage for a clear coat or some Polycrylic finish. 

Be sure to stop by on Friday and leave a link to whatever you’ve created this week for the Follow Friday Blog Hop. 
I’m linking up this post to:
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Recycled Art With Door Knobs

I came up with this project when I was looking through some odds and ends stored in my craft supply closet. I had a 2-foot section of wallpaper left from my kitchen. (Yes, I know, it’s really country. Don’t tune out now if you hate country. You can use whatever wallpaper fits your taste.) I don’t have the step-by-step assembly, but I did take it apart again so that you could see all of the elements.
Frame 5  Frame 4
In my supply stash, I had a box of door knobs that were taken from my grandparents’ house when it they were tearing it down. For sentimental reasons, my sister scavenged them all for us.
Among the goodies, I found a rustic barn frame that I had purchased for something else and never used. An idea began to take shape and I looked through my stack of matt board (all free from Hobby Lobby’s scrap pile).
100_4533
First, I had my husband help me attach the door knobs to the bottom front of the picture frame. Then cut the matt board to size and I wrapped the scrap of leftover wallpaper around the piece of matt board. You can affix it with rubber cement, wallpaper paste or glue stick. Or you can just pull it tight and tape it on the back.Frame 2Frame 3   Then I slid the matt board with the wallpaper into the frame. If you have multiple pieces of matt board and leftover wallpaper, you could make seasonal pictures and change them out periodically.
Frame 6

As you can see, in my hurry to get it reassembled and back on the wall. I may have missed a tack in the upper right corner that holds the matt board in. But you get the idea.
I’m linking up this week on some of my favorite sites and some newly discovered sites:

DIY Day @ ASPTL
Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Will You Pray with Me Today?

Prayers for Haiti
Today, I’m praying for the people of Haiti. After seeing news of another aftershock, I can only imagine the panic people must feel. So often, these types of disasters feel so far removed from our everyday life here in America.
Let’s pray together for Haiti today.  Using the MckLinky tool below, enter your title, your prayer (250 words or less) and if you’d like, enter a link to your own blog.
I’m encouraged by the news that they are still pulling people alive out of the rubble today. And I’m praying that God continues to work miracles…Praising Him too that some children have been allowed to come to the US to meet their adoptive families!
If you’re reading this via e-mail or via a feed on another web site, you can post your prayer on www.FaithCreativityLife.com  

Photo from New York Times 

 

Prayers for Haiti

I’ve been thinking about Haiti this week and the aftershock mentioned on the news this morning brings the people to mind again. So I’m taking a brief break from trash to treasure decorating ideas for a few days because I want to keep my mind aware of the great need over there. I started typing a decorating idea, but then it felt superficial and not so important in light of what I see on the news. I’m not judging others, just responding to my own conviction.

So, I’m opening up the blog for a few days for you to enter your prayers for Haiti and prayers for your own loved ones who are affected by this tragedy. Using the MckLinky tool below, enter your title, your prayer (250 words or less) and if you’d like, enter a link to your own blog.

I’m encouraged by the news that they are still pulling people alive out of the rubble today. And I’m praying that God continues to work miracles…Praising Him too that some children have been allowed to come to the US to meet their adoptive families!
Photo from New York Times

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Debut Author Releases Book

Winter is the perfect time for reading. This month and next, I’ll be touring several authors on my blog as I receive books from their publicists for review. The first of these featured authors is Joyce Wheeler. Joyce’s debut novel releases this week from Pleasant Word, a division of WinePress Group.
My LadyAbout the Book

Joyce Wheeler’s debut novel introduces readers to Jolene O’Neil, a passionate woman whose life is both plagued and blessed by extraordinary events. Jolene’s reactions to these events have a rippling effect within the lives of others as she runs from a compromised past toward the hope of a peaceful future. Can she choose a course against the will of the God yet still find His salvation?

                                                ~From the press release
About the Author
Joyce Wheeler grew up on the prairies of South Dakota, learning at an early age to appreciate the greatness of God’s creation. The transition from rancher’s daughter to rancher’s wife when she married Justin came easy, and they have continued to pass their ranching tradition down to their children and grandchildren.
Joyce’s interest in adventure and intrigue persuaded her to conjure up meaningful stories about ordinary people in difficult circumstances. She has walked, ridden, and drove over prairie trails and used those times to not only praise our Creator, but also weave stories that would reflect her appreciation of God’s world.
As an avid reader, Joyce traveled the world in her armchair with a cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other, until her own unfulfilled desire to write a book began to unfold. At the urging of friends and family, Joyce took delight in developing characters of her own in and among the settings of a ranching lifestyle in which she is knowledgeable. The result was Joyce’s very first book, entitled My Lady.
In addition to being a wife, mother, and grandmother, Joyce has enjoyed being a homemaker, bookkeeper, and gardener. Her hobbies include activities like family gatherings, music, horseback riding, hiking and ranch work. Some of her fondest memories are skiing with her grandchildren and white water rafting on the Snake River. Her greatest joy, however, is the growing knowledge that God is a part of every aspect of our lives and serving Him is the most exciting adventure of all.
Excerpt
“Jolene watched the parched Wyoming scenery flash by in a dreary sense of brownness as she straddled the back of Dexter’s Harley. The hot August sun beat mercilessly on her black pants and shirt and ran tiny rivulets of sweat down her back. Even with the helmet and earphones, the drone of the motorcycles all around them was deafening and she only caught a small part of whatever Dexter was saying to her…”
                                           ~Opening paragraph of MY LADY Prologue
My Review

Book Review of My Lady
Review by Michelle Rayburn
I received a complimentary copy of Joyce Wheeler’s novel “My Lady” from the publisher and read it in a weekend. The twists and turns will have readers captivated and waiting for the next surprise, or tragedy. In order to prevent this review from becoming a spoiler, I won’t share the full plot, but main character Jolene O’Neil experiences more than her share of life-altering events. Only a strong woman could remain sane though what she has weathered, and only in fiction can a story move this fast. For the satisfaction of the reader, it’s great to know how each phase of the plot resolves as readers are sure to empathize with Jolene and wonder how she manages to withstand so many losses. I wanted to take her in and protect her.

Wheeler knows how to draw in a reader with drama and narrative, yet I couldn’t help feeling a bit rushed as I processed the story. As the character moved from tragedy to triumph to more tragedy and so on, I couldn’t relate to Jolene’s ability to move on so quickly. But, I felt satisfied at the end with the resolution of the story and I enjoyed the elements of mystery and suspense.

At times, I felt as though the spiritual element of the story was tacked on, and main character Jolene’s decisions sometimes blurred the line between godly and ungodly. Even the threads of redemption don’t clearly demonstrate how Jolene, a believer, was wrong in making certain choices. Ultimately, many of the story elements felt more like guilty pleasure and fantasy for the author and reader than I’m personally comfortable with, mostly because they promoted spiritual mediocrity without acknowledging it was such.

Overall, I think the author has potential and she can write a compelling story, but the competition sets the bar high in fiction.

Inspired to Dream

As I continue to pursue the question, “What is your deepest heart desire?” it is no coincidence that I “happened” to read a book this week that prompted more thoughts about dreams and desires. This book made me think about how God can lead us in directions we’d never dreamed of before.
Book Review
“Summer of Light” a novel by W. Dale Cramer
Browsing through books at the library, I decided to take a chance on an author I’d never heard of and checked out Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer. From the first chapter, I was hooked! Cramer has a way of connecting with a reader. Sometimes I forgot I was reading fiction because I felt like I was in the story. Cramer’s sense of humor is incredible, and I loved the witty and somewhat sarcastic ways Mick the main character responded to his surroundings.

Sometimes, I think Cramer was channeling Erma Bombeck as he turned what could have been mundane situations into a side-splitting scenarios. As a mother, I felt appreciated as Mick discovered his own appreciation for moms, and my heart connected with him as he fell deeper in love with his family. As a wife, Mick’s process helped me to respect the way a husband gains esteem from his work. But over all other qualities, the book was inspiring.

As Mick journeyed from ironworker to stay-at-home-dad to artist, I saw the unfolding of a dream and it inspired me to think that I too could pursue my dream, no matter how implausible it seems. I’m so glad I found this book! I know I’ll be watching for other works by this author and recommending the book to friends.

Summer of Light: A Novel

Follow Friday Blog Hop – Link Up!

Trash to Treasure Decorating
It’s been a while since I hosted a blog roll! Now that I have a few more readers, I thought it would be fun to see how many trash to treasure bloggers are out there. Trash to Treasure Decorating turns 4 months old today! It’s been a fun 4 months of blogging and net-surfing and blogging about my surfing, then surfing some more because of your inspiration!
Blog hops, or link parties as some bloggers call them, are a fun way to see what everyone else has made and what they’re writing about. For example, I saw this great idea on a site I discovered through a link party.
Laurie Anne from Tinker’s Piggies took this picture of a headboard she made from an old door.
And then there’s this cool magnetic board that Kathy from Creative Home Expressions made from an old cookie sheet. Isn’t that cool?
Photo from Creative Home Expressions
I can’t wait to see what trash you’ve turned into treasures this week!

Blog Hop guidelines:

1-Add a permalink to your specific post or the main page of your blog if you aren’t showcasing a specific project. Be sure to check that the link works after you post.

2-Add a short title for your post. This could be your name or blog name if you’d like.

3- Link back to this post from your blog, or send a link to your facebook friends or tweeps (mention @trash2treas).

4-Check out the links and leave some comments on the sites you enjoy.

That’s all there is to it! I can’t wait to see your links and ideas. Never used MckLinky? It’s super easy. You don’t need an account or any software. Just click on “you are next” below and type a title for the post (or your name) and add a link to the location on the web. It’s that simple!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com