A Calm in the Eye of the Storm

I warned you that it might get quiet around the ToG blog for awhile…and indeed my attention has been elsewhere the past couple of months! The Garibaldi family is in the midst of a season of chaos. Crazy times, I tell you!

Those of you who know me, know I like to have my ducks in a row. It’s not a wonder where my son gets it! At age one he was sorting cereal on his highchair tray by category. This is a true snapshot of how he leaves the shower every day:

ducks in a row

Literally…ducks in a row!

My ducks are currently anything but in a row! It feels like they’ve been blown out of the bathtub!

Since I last posted to this blog two months ago, here is a *somewhat* brief synopsis of what’s happened in our lives:

* My husband and I (pretty much out of the blue), felt led to take a step of faith and put our home of the last 8 ½ years up for sale. Then, in the span of 5 days , we met with a realtor, prepared the house, got it photographed, and had our first open house.

* With just a few days notice (and with the house newly on the market!), I left my husband and kids and jetted off to Utah with my sister and her family for 8 days to help with the adoption of my beautiful niece Georgia.

Calm in the Eye of the Storm 2(Couldn’t resist the urge to include a photo!)

* Due to the adoption trip conflicting with the annual big Throne of Grace trip to the Believe Boutique, we had to cancel Throne of Grace’s plans to travel to Arizona. The Believe Boutique is usually one of our top-selling boutiques of the year. Instead, my resourceful sister, Emmy, hosted an “Instasale” on her Instagram account and in a matter of about 2 hours, sold more than 45 sets of prayer cards and about 15 prayer journals!! Praise God for his incredible provisions! Thankfully, He also provided the help of some dear friends upon my return to invoice, package, and ship all those orders!

* After just a couple weeks on the market, our house sold and we put an offer in on another home in our same town on the same day, hours before heading to Northern California to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. Our offer was immediately accepted but then 5 days later we learned that the home we were in escrow on had to be taken off the market due to the fact that the sellers had fallen out of escrow on the home they were purchasing. (Did you follow that? One of those chain reaction things…)

* We ended the Thanksgiving vacation with a trip to urgent care (after I had endured horrible, unexplained foot pain for several days) and then a sudden and violent onset of the stomach flu that wiped out the whole family for a week!

* The past several weeks have been spent pounding the pavement looking for a future home for the Garibaldis – to no avail! We finally came to the point of deciding a small apartment would be the best bet to give us more time to scrimp and save and keep us “free” to jump on just the right house when it becomes available. Yet, finding an affordable apartment that offers short-term leasing options has proved to be extremely difficult as well!

So now you are up to speed! Here we are, attempting to pack but not really knowing if we are packing for a new home, packing for an apartment, packing for storage…wondering why we ever brought this on ourselves! We’ve been waiting for the neon signs from the Lord pointing us in the direction we should go and they aren’t coming! Yet, the Lord has given us confirmation that He is asking us to let go of this home we have loved and enjoyed and that we need to trust Him to provide in His perfect timing.

God has given me several seasons of life like this one. Thankfully, I can count them on my fingers! But each time He does I find Him whispering the same eternal truth and each time He does, the reality of this truth sinks just a little bit deeper.

“Be still…and know that I am GOD.”
(Psalm 46:10a NIV)

You see, just about anyone can experience peace next to a quiet fire with loved ones gathered ‘round while familiar Christmas carols play in the background and a soft snow falls outside (being an Orange County girl, it is interesting that this is the picture of peace that comes to mind!). Just about anyone can experience peace walking barefoot along an empty beach at sunset, listening to the waves lap along the shore. (Better?) 🙂

But the real challenge, the real calling we have as Christians is to experience peace in the midst of the chaos.

In the midst of boxes.

In the midst of mess.

In the midst of family strife.

In the midst of devastating diagnoses.

In the midst of marital strain.

In the midst of unpaid bills.

In the midst of over-packed schedules.

It’s when the storms of life are swirling around us, and yet we have a treasured inner calm, that we can really see the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s nothing short of supernatural! And you know what excites me even more? It’s when the storms of life are swirling around us, and yet we have a treasured inner calm, that OTHERS can really see the work of the Holy Spirit! That’s when we give the Lord the opportunity to really get the glory for what only He can do!

Life is chaos around me but by the grace of God, as I abide in Him, He promises me His unexplainable peace! Admittedly, my mind and my heart waver almost daily between walking in faith and swirling with anxiety right now. But I’m clinging to that promise!

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”
(John 15:4-6 NIV)

Oh how I want that! Yes, I want to experience His calm and His peace! Desperately! But even more, I want to bear fruit as I go through this challenging season. Don’t let it go to waste, Lord!

My garage is piled high with boxes that have yet-to-be packed.

Calm in the Eye of the Storm 1

Escrow closes on my home in a couple weeks and we’ve currently got no place to go. Plans A, B, and C have all fallen through to this point! But our foundation is firm.

“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
(Matthew 7:25 NIV)

Dear Lord Jesus, help us to keep You at the center of all the chaos! Let us not forget that You are the foundation of this house. Thank you for the reminder that even as the storms blow around us, You will not let it fall. May we look back in the months and years to come, may our children look back, may those watching our witness look back, and glorify our Lord because of what You have done!

Thank you, dear friends, for your faithfulness to the ministry of Throne of Grace even as we have been out-of-touch!

We would certainly love your prayers and would be especially blessed if you have a few moments to share your stories of God’s provisions of peace in the midst of seasons of chaos. Leave us a comment below!

If you, too, are finding yourself in the middle of a storm right now, seeking HIS calm, we’d love to be praying with you! Leave us a comment, or contact us by email so we can do that!

By His Grace and for His Glory,molly

Fall Fest Fun

It’s been awhile since Molly, Tami and I have all been together at a boutique and the Craft Fair at our local Fall Fest was a perfect place for us to work (and hang out) together!  Our community hosts a festival every year, but this is the first year in many years that they included a Craft Fair.

Molly picked me up in the morning and I knew it was going to be such a fun day.  The weather was perfect…not quite “fall”…but still gorgeous.  Tami joined us at the park and we unloaded everything.  There were other vendors already setting up their booths…we even knew a couple of them already which was super fun!

I really enjoyed setting up our booth.  We had a 10 x 10 covered area and it gave us the freedom to change up our normal set up. We added an extra table on the side which gave us more space to display our products. Here’s what our set-up looked like.

Fall Fest Fun 1

We had lots of people come through our booth and it was great getting to know people in our neighborhood.  It’s amazing that I live in California, but live in a small town where everyone knows each other…I really love this community!

Fall Fest Fun 2

It was also encouraging to meet so many believers…such a blessing!  For all of you who dropped by, it was so great to see you!

We even had the 3rd place winner of the Chili Cook-off drop by…Hi, Lisa!

Fall Fest Fun 3

During the Festival, I was able to sneak away a couple times and shop the other booths.  There was a really a great selection of vendors. I wish I would have taken more pics…still trying to get a handle on this blogging thing!

I really loved Scrappy Girl Handmades which was right next to us.  I always appreciate handmade sewn items.  I am crafty in many ways, but sewing is not one of them!  Kristen had the cutest little girl pillowcase dresses.  Of course I had to get one for my niece!  I also scooped up a bib for our little guy waiting in China…love the turtles!  You can check out her shop on Etsy at scrappygirlhandmades.etsy.com.

Fall Fest Fun 4

Another booth I loved was Little Happy Baby.  I have met Virginia a couple times and have always enjoyed talking with her. She is so super sweet.  She and her friend Heidi had tons of adorable baby burp cloths and binky clips.  Their stuff was adorable!  I was looking through the burp cloths and sharing with Virginia how we had just received a referral for a little one in China…she immediately insisted that she give me a set of the burp cloths as a gift!  Then Heidi threw in a binky clip!  I was so blessed by their generosity and their shared joy in my news of our baby boy!  I simply adore the nautical fabric on the burp cloths!

Fall Fest Fun 5

Late in the day, Molly’s kiddos dropped by the booth.  Tami had made the three of us ladies the most adorable aprons (check out her tutorials:  HERE and HERE ) and she had made a smaller version for Lucy.  So sweet, right?

Fall Fest Fun 6

Here is her brother Colin looking cool:

Fall Fest Fun 7

With the constant stream of visitors to our booth and the lovely breeze, the day just flew by.  I really enjoyed the event and loved spending time with Molly and Tami.  They are such dear friends and any time I get to spend with them is always a blessing.

Fall Fest Fun 8

It was a great start to the Christmas boutique season!

Love,deb

Apron Tutorial – Part 2

Welcome back!  If you missed the first part of the tutorial, which shows how to make the apron itself, check it out HERE!  (It also includes the info on what size pieces to cut from your fabric for the pocket.)

Now, here’s how to add a large, cuffed pocket to your apron!

First, place the two main pocket pieces right sides together, and then place the two pocket cuff pieces right sides together:

36_Pocket_PiecesRightSidesTogether

Next, sew around 3 sides of the main pocket pieces together (i.e. the two short edges and one of the long edges) using a 1/4” seam (leaving the top edge open):

37_Pocket_Sew3SidesTogether

Then, clip the 2 sewn corners of the bottom of the pocket to make them easer to turn right side out.  Be sure not to cut over the seam, but just cut pretty close to it:

38_Pocket_ClipCorners

Next, sew the two short edges of the pocket cuff pieces together (leaving the top and bottom edges open) using a 1/4” seam:

39_PocketCuff_SewTwoSides

Then, turn the main pocket piece and the pocket cuff piece right side out and iron them flat. Make sure the corners of the main piece are pushed out so that they’re as close to fully turned right side out as possible:

40_PocketPieces_TurnRightSideOut

Next, place the cuff piece over the main piece (i.e. the main piece is inside the cuff piece) so that their top edges line up:

41_Pocket_MatchCuffEdgetoPocketEdge

Make sure that the seams on either side line up with each other, and then pin the main piece and cuff together to secure them:

42_Pocket_MatchSeamsTogether

43_Pocket_PinCuffToPocket

 

Sew them together with a 1/4” seam:

44_Pocket_SewCuffToPocket

Next, flip the cuff piece up so that you turn it inside out and flatten it out.  Then, iron it flat:

45_Pocket_TurnSewnCuffInsideOut

Fold the top of the cuff down 1 1/4”, and iron it flat:

46_Pocket_FoldCuffDownFirst

Then, fold the top of the cuff down again another 1 3/4”, and iron it flat:

47_Pocket_FoldCuffDownSecond

Now, your pocket is finished and it’s time to add it to the apron!

Start by finding the center of the pocket and the center of the apron.  Place the pocket on the apron so that the centers of each are lined up.

48_Pocket_MatchCenterOfPocketToCenterOfApron

I placed the pocket 1 1/2” from the top of the ruffle, but you can place it wherever you like!

Once you’re happy with the placement of the pocket, pin it to the main apron piece around the edges and the bottom to secure it.

49_Pocket_PinPocketToApron

Then, topstitch the pocket down around the 2 short edges and the bottom with a 3/8” hem:

50_Pocket_TopstitchPocketDown

If you want one large pocket, you can be finished at this point.  However, if you’d like to separate it into sections, do the following:

First, decide how big you’d like each section.  I decided to make one section about 7” wide and the other about 4” wide.

To do that, I placed my sewing tape measure across the pocket and placed a pin at 7” from the left side:51_Pocket_Find7InchMark

Place a few more pins in line with the first:

52_Pocket_PinDown7Inches

Topstitch down the line you made with the pins to sew the sections.

53_Pocket_SewDown7Inches

And now, you’re finally done!!

IMG_0819

I think the aprons came out super cute, and we’re so excited to use them for the first time!

If you’d like to come see us (and our aprons!) this fall, come check us out at the following boutiques!

 

Ladera Ranch Fall Fun FestSaturday, October 19th, 12 pm to 4 pm

Founder’s Park

28275 Avendale Boulevard

Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

 

Believe BoutiqueFriday, November 8th, 4 pm to 9:30 pm and Saturday, November 9th, 10 am to 3 pm

Cornerstone Christian Church

1595 S. Alma School Road

Chandler, AZ  85286

 

Crossline Holiday Boutique
, Monday, November 18th, 5 pm to 8 pm and Tuesday, November 19th, 9 am to 12 pm

Crossline Community Church

23331 Moulton Parkway

Laguna Hills, CA 92653

 

We hope to see you there!

Love,tami