Tag Archive Karen

ByAngie

Thank You, Veterans!

To all veterans: Whether you served 1 year or 30, are family or a stranger, living or deceased, retired or currently serving… All military. Past, present, and future…

 

Thank you!

 

RSHTH Veterans 2014

 

If you are currently serving in a branch of the United States Military, please know that you are always in our prayers.

 

ByAngie

Where We’ve Been, What’s New, & What’s Coming

Angie (Me), Karen, Emily, & Judye

Angie (Me), Karen, Emily, & Judye

Where We’ve Been

Ever set out to do something, and know that you have set way too high expectations for yourself, but you try to do it anyway?

On July 31st, we left our home in Southern California for vacation. It was supposed to be a 2 week trip. We drove to visit family and friends in Kentucky and Tennessee first. That’s where I was reunited with Karen, Emily, and Judye for the first time in over 15 years along with everyone else that I love and miss dearly in my hometown. After 5 days there, we drove up to where our family will be moving in a few months, Pennsylvania. We were supposed to spend about a week there.

This is where I laugh. Because that was my plan, but not God’s plan.

We were in Pennsylvania for 4 weeks. When you add our week traveling before that, we were away from home for 5 weeks. Thank goodness I over packed! My husband’s employers took really good care of us and made it a very enjoyable time. I almost didn’t want to come home, except we kind of need to pack so we can move there permanently. I cannot wait to return.

During all of this, I did not have steady internet let alone time to tend to the blog. In the beginning I really tried. I thought I’d be able to keep up. After the 3rd week, I realized it just wasn’t going to happen and gave up.

I truly believe that God allowed for our trip to be so long and undistracted so that I would fall in love with the area we are moving to.

Isn’t it amazing how God does things? Circumstances happen, and we think they are too simple or mundane for God to have planned them, but really, He is in every little thing. Which causes me to wonder, why don’t we include Him in every little thing? I mean right down to trimming fingernails and pouring a cup of coffee. He’s protecting us from slipping and cutting our finger or burning ourselves, after all. Okay, now I’m rambling, and I’m sure you got the point…

One of many photos I took in Pennsylvania

One of many photos I took in Pennsylvania


What’s New

While on this trip, there were a lot of little discussions that led to one big decision.

For some time, we have attempted to monetize this blog. Keyword: Attempted. I’ve read books, gone to conferences, taken online classes, etc. on how to monetize a blog to the point that it was weird that Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven wasn’t making more than a couple of dollars every few months. Now, in my heart I knew it was because God never intended for there to be a profit, but we didn’t want a profit. We just wanted to cover the costs of the blog itself, so I thought what we were doing was okay.

Now, I am not saying that ministry blogs should not be monetizing. I am saying that for whatever reason, that was not what God wanted here.

One day God’s voice came across loud and clear that monetization would have to stop. It was only a few minutes after that a very kind and generous person unexpectedly committed themselves to covering our yearly blog costs. Thank you, Jesus and person who I shall keep anonymous! THANK YOU!

This means no more ads. No more affiliate links. No more of me stressing over if I sound like a late night infomercial pitchman because it does not come to me naturally. YAY for you, YAY for me!

We will still continue to have giveaways and such, but it will be like it always has been: Either donated by the company or compiled by myself and/or other contributors of Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven. Which brings us to…

We took a day trip to New Jersey for a few short hours one day, where I was able to snap this zoomed in shot of the Freedom Tower. No photograph or video I have seen does it justice.

We took a day trip to New Jersey for a few short hours one day, where I was able to snap this zoomed in shot of the Freedom Tower in New York City. No photograph or video I have ever seen does it justice.

What’s Coming

We have so much going on behind the scenes at the moment that I feel like my head is spinning just trying to think of a way to tell you all without giving too much away.

We definitely intend to continue the pregnancy series that we started at the beginning of the summer. Next week we will be participating in the #IAmYourVoice campaign, a way to bring awareness and help refugees in Iraq and Syria, where Christians are being persecuted. This week brings the day of encouragement, and you know Emily always has something fun for that. Since we missed our Blogiversary in August, we will soon be giving away a certain movie about Christian Moms that is rather popular… 😉 I will be posting every Friday as a co-host of A Look At The Book‘s “A Group Look”  linky. (I was supposed to begin a month ago, but the sweet ladies that also host/co-host there have been so understanding of our trip continually being extended.) The list goes on and on…

So be sure to follow us in one way or another so that you don’t miss out on anything. Email, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc etc etc… And remember, we are always available to pray with/for you, so never hesitate to ask.

God bless!

ByAngie

Baking A Cake Without A Recipe – When We Try To Do God’s Will Without Him

Have you ever just felt the urge to do something, but weren’t quite sure what it was you wanted to do? Maybe you were in a crafty mood with no creation in mind, or felt like driving without a place to go. Hungry, but didn’t know what to eat? See, I knew everyone could relate to that one. Let me tell you a little story…

 

Want to do something for God but aren't feeling certain that it is His will?

 

Picture it: Christmastime 1997. Northwestern Tennessee dry freezing cold. It’s early evening and the house is busy with friends and family about to arrive. (Though why they were coming, I don’t remember why…) Karen and her husband David were still newlyweds, I was a teenager hanging out at their house for the weekend, and Emily was still a little girl. Christmas decorations were already perfectly decked out in Karen’s home, as she often has her halls decked out in  October. Dinner was nearly ready and we felt like baking something, probably to show off our domestic skills as we were coming of age. We looked through the few recipes Karen had and came to a wall pretty quickly. The ingredients required were not already in Karen’s pantry. “But who needs a recipe, anyway?”  was our thought and we just decided we had baked enough in our time on this planet and we could come up with something.

We tossed together some flour, sugar, butter (softened!), eggs, vanilla,  salt, milk, more flour, more sugar, cinnamon, and there might have been oil in there too. We were CERTAIN that this delectable was going to be the new sought after recipe among our friends, family, and church. The one that HAD to be at every potluck and would be on the cover of the next church cookbook. We threw around some names while the “substance” baked (At 350 degrees, which was determined because that’s what all the good stuff bakes at.) and I made an icing with water, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. It dawned on us that because this was going to be famous, we should use our last names. “WildIrby” pronounced “Wild Derby” was what we settled on. Upon Emily’s request Akers was added on to the end and we could not wait to share it with everyone. (At the time, both unmarried, my last name was Irby and Emily’s was Akers. Moving on…)

Dinner was done, family and friends were in attendance, and we broke out our concoction. One problem: It was SO dense that it was hard to get out of the pan. Similar to pound cake, but even more… I’m not even going to pretend I have the word to use to describe this to you. It was just, odd. Once we got it on the plate, we drizzled it with the icing and it was served.

Emily, being young and innocent, went along with Karen and I when we said how delicious this new dessert was upon tasting it. Everyone else in the room loved us so much that they couldn’t lie to us. It was terrible. There was not one single good thing about “WildIrby Akers”. Nothing. You could pick it up with a fork, turn it upside down, and a thick inch flake would fall off but the rest of it would not change at all. There was not enough liquid to drink to help you overcome the thirst it gave you. Emily even insisted we remove “Akers” from the name and never refer to it as that again. The thing I remember the most is Karen and Emily’s mom laughing, and our admitting that maybe it wasn’t so great, but we’d try again later that evening. We never did, however, because one of Karen and Emily’s cousins began vomiting and WildIrby’s taste took the blame.

Sometimes in life we just jump into something because it feels right or the thing to do in that moment. We don’t look for a guideline or a plan. We don’t even ask someone else who might know better, or even God, what they think about the matter. We just dive in head first and expect a great outcome. Once in a while that works out, but most of the time it really doesn’t and the outcome is disappointment and failure.

As Christians, we need to be aware of our decisions and the direction we are heading. We need to ask the Lord what His plan is, where He wants us to be or go, and if what we are about to do is actually His Will. We need to go back to our Bibles and do some deep searching. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that there has been a time or two (or 163) in my life that I said or did something just because it felt right or someone else I looked up to was doing that same thing as well. It’s not to say what I was doing was wrong, but it isn’t what God Will was for my life. He had something else for me, that fit better and was a lot more comfortable… But I just did what I felt should be done because, hey, I was in the mood. There were times that because of this, people were hurt. There were other times that no one knew any different, but in the long run I will never know what God had for me had I not just been going willy nilly about my life thinking “Oh, I’m doing the work of the Lord. This is so good. I’m so happy to be doing something for Him.” when it wasn’t what He wanted me to do. That’s pretty tough stuff to deal with, honestly.

 

Stop going without God's Plan

 

When Karen and I were writing down our recipe as we made it up so we could share it with the world, we thought we were doing a good thing. We didn’t know that it was (LITERALLY) going to make everyone who ate WildIrby sick. It didn’t mean that we weren’t great in the kitchen or couldn’t bake, because believe me, we can tear up a kitchen and make you not even care that you had to clean the mess up. It just wasn’t following the course that is intended for food to be edible. Had we followed a correct plan, we would have all had a great dessert and no one would probably even remember anything about that Saturday at her house.

If you’re dealing with disappointment from a failure, or are considering an endeavor, and realize that you may have just baked up a batch of WildIrby, I want to give you hope. Jesus does have a plan for your life. His way is so much better than anything we can come up with. While you may feel like a loser or ashamed because what you thought was right really wasn’t the way to go at all, He has His hand out to pick you back up, dust you off, and send you down the way you are meant to go. I know, I really do, how hard it can be to feel like this must be it. Time to just give up and be one of those “every day Christians.” Do nothing but go to church when I can and that’s it. Guess what? There’s no such thing. Every single child of God has a calling and a purpose.

Don’t just make a concoction of some sort and then top the mistake with an even worse icing of giving up. Scrap that cake-like substance into the trash can, get out your Bible, give God a call, and follow the recipe He has for you. He’s going to give you the directions that are just right and as long as everything is followed to a T, your life will turn out blessed and just as He intended it to be.

 

I’m curious, when you aren’t sure if an idea is God’s or your’s, what do you personally do and how do you personally know for sure? Your answer might help someone, so I would really appreciate it if you would share. Thank you.

 

ByAngie

Fall 2013 Photo Contest!!!

You’re a busy mom. You give to others and do everything you can to better your family. That’s why we want to pamper you a little!

 

Who has sticky hands? The Fall 2013 Photo Contest! Find out more at RaisingStickyHands.com

 

 

 

On top of all that you do just being you, we also have something else to celebrate. Last month Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven reached over 1,000 Likes on Facebook. What does this mean for you? TWO WINNERS!

 

 

Fall 2013 Photo Contest on RaisingStickyHands.comThe first winner will receive a mystery gift basket full of many goodies. You WANT this. In it you will find items that will help any busy mom relax, kick back, pamper herself a little, and think about Jesus. The gifts inside have been hand picked by our very own Karen & Emily, so you KNOW it’s gotta’ be GOOD!

 

 

Fall 2013 Photo Contest on RaisingStickyHands.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second winner is also in for a treat! (HA! Silly pun, sorry.) They will receive 1 Velata Fun Fondue Warmer and 2 bags of Velata Gourmet Fondue Chocolate. Perfect for those cold wintry nights coming up! Imagine: snuggling up on the couch with (or without 😉 ) the kids, watching a movie, and dipping your favorite snacks into melted chocolate. Mmm… Is your mouth watering yet?

 

 

So what do you have to do? Head over to our Facebook Page, click on the contest tab, submit your photo, and then wait to see if your photo is voted for the most. (You are allowed to ask your friends to vote for you, but we please ask that you do NOT cheat. We will be monitoring the votes!)  It’s all that simple.

Worried you don’t have a photo where you look picture perfect? That’s quite alright, my friend. Just be silly, goofy, crazy… anything. All we ask is that you keep it clean!

The contest will end on October 6th, 2013 at midnight pacific time and the winners will be announced on October 7th, 2013. So what are you waiting for? Run and grab a camera and get that photo posted!

 

This giveaway is open to those who are age 18 and over residing in the US only. Writers for Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven, their immediate families, and current Velata independent consultants and Scentsy Family employees are not eligible to enter. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Scentsy Family. We hereby release Facebook and Scentsy Family of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If the winner does not respond after another 48 hours, a new winner will be picked. Please allow up to 6 weeks to receive your prize. RaisingStickyHands.com reserves the right, in its sole discretion to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of the web site or otherwise in violation of these Official Rules. RaisingStickyHands.com further reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate or modify this contest if the contest is compromised by virus, technical corruption, non-authorized human intervention, or any other causes which, in the sole discretion of the RaisingStickyHands.com, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, proper play or integrity of the contest. RaisingStickyHands.com reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it believes has tampered with the entry process. In the event of cancellation or termination, RaisingStickyHands.com reserves the right to select the potential winner in a random drawing from among all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to date of cancellation or termination. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS contest IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, RaisingStickyHands.com WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.  If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email! Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven will not sell or use the photos or emails associated with this giveaway in any other way.

ByAngie

Getting Back In The Groove…

Let’s face it, not everyone is called to sing in front of a crowd. I’m certainly not. If I could sing like Karen, I would be SO happy.

But I can’t.

Does this mean I shouldn’t try? No.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of people out there that could use a lot of practice but sing it out anyways… hurting the ears of everyone in a 10 block radius. (I reach about a good 5 blocks, so I figure with practice I’ll hit 4, and not hurt too many.)

I used to sing. Quite a bit, actually. Mostly in church. But in my teens, I quit. Why? Because 1 person told me I was horrible at it. People would ask me, “Angie, why don’t you sing? What about that (insert one of the titles of the songs I sang here) song you sang? Wish I could hear it again…” And I would reply, “No, I can’t sing. I’m not any good.”

I later grew up and realized I should have never listened that that 1 (ONE!) person. They were just mean for who knows what reason. Now? I’ve nearly lost the talent I once had… and may never gain it all back. With God, I know I can get back in the groove of it though… with lots of practice… In fact, I was recently asked to sing, and you know what? I’m going to do it.

What about you? Has anyone ever told you that you couldn’t sing, figuratively? Maybe it was another talent that you used for God but you had 1 person tell you that you were not good at it, or that you could never do it in the first place. Did you find your spirit broken, hurt, and unable to attain the confidence needed to do what God asked of you?

I’m encouraging you today to get back on the horse you were violently knocked off of. It’ll be a slow start, but get back in there. You’ll feel better, and most importantly God will be pleased. Do what it was God called you to do, and never listen to anyone but him. You might just be surprised!

In the mean time, I’ll be practicing my singing & piano playing… So those of you in a 10 block radius, stock up on ear plugs…

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Ministry of Friendship

A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

This calling is a rather obvious one… but I would like to still touch on the topic of friendship.

What does it mean to be a true friend? Is it just a social thing? Obviously, it is not. If it were, we would not become so emotional when a friend is lost. Does it mean to be dependable? How about caring? Being a good listener? Offering advice when requested? Understanding and compassionate? I think all of those things and so much more are what make a good friend.

How many times have you been having a bad day, but a good friend called and you instantly cheered right up? I know for me, personally, I have just a few friends that I can vent to. Isn’t it nice to have someone who you can rant to and know that they won’t think differently of you for it? How about knowing you have someone praying for you when you need it? Or a friend who will be honest when your hair color washes you out and you’re jeans make you look great? And of course, it’s great to know you can turn to someone, pour your heart out, and know that anything you tell them won’t be passed on to someone else.

We should always strive to be a good friend, not a mediocre one. We can’t be perfect, but we should try to not be flaky, negative, or distant. Reliable, uplifting, close, and available as much as possible.

What are some ways you can minister to a friend though?

  • Pray: Offer to pray for/with your friend whether it is something small or large. The need for prayer is always there.
  • Offer Help: Sure, you have your own family to tend to… And yes, they should come first. But when you can, help out your friend(s). Maybe they’re sick and need a little help with the kids/house/meals. When a friend has a baby, offer to bring over a meal and hold the baby while they shower or nap.
  • Listen: Sometimes we just need someone to hear us out. Don’t give your opinion or feel as though you need to solve the problem. Just listen.
  • Accept Advice: You know, sometimes I don’t know everything. When someone offers advice, I try not to act like a know-it-all or tell them why I think their idea wouldn’t work. I simply say, whether I like the advice or not, “I’ll keep that in mind!” Sometimes a friend just needs to feel as though they are helping, and by being rude all you are doing is causing confusion. You never know, you may remember what they said for yourself or someone else down the road and be glad you listened.
  • Avoid Being Critical: Depending on the friendship, you may be able to give a close friend constructive criticism. Like I said, and let me highlight: Depending on the friendship! Don’t be mean, negative, or downright inconsiderate. Remember the persons feelings. How would you feel if they did that to you?
  • Apologize: We all make mistakes. Sometimes we do things without realizing it. If you think you may have done something, intentional or not, to offend someone then please tell them you are sorry.
  •  Be There: Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. This is a big “ouch” for me, as I’m always having to cancel things for various reasons. I used to never do that! Something to work on!
  • Be A Witness: Invite your friends to join you in church or begin a devotional/Bible study.
  • Make Time: When possible, meet with your friend and spend some quality time together.
  • Don’t Be Sensitive: No one is perfect. Not even your friends. Cut them some slack.
  • Avoid Jealousy: You are not your friend’s only friend. They have other relationships with other people. Don’t be “That Friend” that feels they have to be a part of every. single. thing… Be an individual!!!

Remember, you can’t choose your family… You CAN choose your friends… CHOOSE WISELY!!! Never let anyone walk all over you in the name of “friendship.” Show God’s love, yes. Be a door mat, no.

And now, in honor of Karen and her love for nostalgic television, I leave you with this… Get the cheesecake!