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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

God Knows What We Need -- HIS Plan is Always On Time

Image Credit : rakratchada  torsap /

One day I was deep in prayer wondering where I would get my next meal. But I had faith and I heard (rather FELT) something tugging me to "go this way"

So I started walking. I noticed how strong my shoes were then and Thanked God I had them to get me where I needed to be. As I walked I remember saying out loud several times "where are we going?" , "are we there yet?"

I found myself about 4 miles from home and saw a Blood Bank. AWE I get it... give blood, have a few bucks, buy food. OK Help me through it LORD I'm really afraid of needles.

The lady at the counter said 
"I'm sorry Miss, 
You can not give blood unless you have eaten today"

I was sure GOD wanted me to do this. I even tried to talk her out of a loan for the snack machine so I could eat something. She said "I would but that isn't going to be enough to qualify you... you need to eat a real meal first"

I'm confused by this point but realize I have not listened carefully before so maybe I have missed something?

I started walking home the whole way asking "was I suppose to turn here or there?"

When I got home, within minutes, a knock at the door. It was my friend Mary. "Oh Deb, I am so glad you are here. I made this German stew and there is so much of it I needed to bring some to you. I always make such a big batch. Would you like it? I guess I should have called first."

By this time I'm thinking God just wanted me to go for a walk with Him just for the sake of the walk. Boy that stew was the most delicious I have ever had!

Later that night...
I went to a support group meeting (for Alcoholics in Recovery -- which I have been a sober member of for 18 years)

A tall young gentleman (who was barely skin and bones) walked up to me and hugged me and said "I am so grateful you talked to me this morning. Today is my first day sober. I was at the blood bank to get money for booze and they turned me away. After that -- when I was sitting in the waiting area trying to scheme my next drink, you came in and they turned you away.

When you were looking for money to get a snack, I asked you about that odd looking coin in your pocket -- you told me about this meeting. This day had turned out a lot different than it was going to"

I try to remember this story when ever I think I know where my daily bread will come from. Will it be from this client or that one? Will it be from this project or that one? Will so and so pay what they owe, will I get a new client? On and ON

The bottom line is I just need to take those walks and talk with HIM.  

HE will provide just what we need in the way HE has planned.

We just need to do the footwork,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Make a Decision to REJOICE

The word REJOICE is written in many scriptures.  Many times the message is clearly a directive.  
  • Do THIS.  
Other times it is a sentiment expressing how an experience felt.
  • THIS is so awesome we are going to REJOICE!  
Still other times, it is a statement of faith over circumstance.  In other words... 
  • I may not be really feeling it right now, Dear LORD but, I'm going to REJOICE in YOU, no matter what is going on here in my life.

Here is one of the 'directive verses' telling us 'when' to rejoice.
LEVITICUS 23 :40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall REJOICE before the LORD your God seven days. 
(spoken to Moses"Concerning the feasts of the LORD")
There are at least 194 passages in the BIBLE that say REJOICE (<<---- click on the link to see 194 scriptures) can you find the ones that are:
  • Directive,
  • Experience, 
  • Faith (in spite of experience).
I believe each of us has several of each kind of rejoicing in our lifetimes.  The more challenging one is the 'faith' kind.   

How do we rejoice when circumstances are challenging?

When our circumstances are not what you would normally see as a time to rejoice we must make a decision to do so in spite of our circumstance.  

We might need encouragement from our friends during this time.  We might need to recall when we saw someone expressing faith even in the face of adversity.  Do you know anyone who has ever done this? 

  • We can always speak with God.  Ask for guidance.  
  • Express our challenge and give it to HIM to help us with it.
  • Sometimes we need to recall our previous challenges, how we overcame them and become inspired again.  
Don't let yourself be fooled by thoughts that you have "always" had this challenge.  

You may have had similar situations (and it might seem like you have returned -- which can falsely say you have never had victory).  The truth is: 
  • You will have VICTORY AGAIN.

Sometimes things feel a bit like problems of the past for a couple of reasons:
  1. The 'problem area' is at a new level of resolution (we grow and we are able to fine tune even more over time)
  2. We are on the way back:
  • When we have wandered off the path, while getting back to the path we want to return to, we might walk through some of the dark places we went through getting where we left off.
This process is a bit like traveling from your house to a new town.  If you get off at the wrong intersection.  You might:
  • Go down the road a while.  
  • Hit a few pot holes.  
  • Then when you realize you are on the wrong road you turn around and head back to the highway.  
  • You will go through those pot holes again.  
If you realize they are going to be there, you just go on and get back on track sooner.  

But, if you didn't expect them, you might be falsely informed and believe you are still going the wrong direction.

There are Enemies: Mistaken Beliefs Tops Them ALL!!

2 CHRONICLES 20 :27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to REJOICE over their enemies.

  • Rejoice over their enemies...
This may be another challenge we could use an example of.  There are many examples in the Bible showing us how to choose to rejoice in adversity.  Some of the most powerful examples are TODAY  from people we know from church or work.  People who we have met during challenges in our lives.

I remember being in the hospital while a dear friend and elder of the fellowship was in the process of transitioning into Heaven.  For several days he was surrounded by family and friends.  Each one carrying a challenge in the face of impending loss.  Most were holding tightly to a little faith -- in the 'mustard seed' sense.  They were sharing the wisdom he had taught with each other.  Each story was shared with the friends and as people were saying good bye to him.  Discussing how he had shared his time with each of them helped them to rejoice and to show him how much he had blessed each of them.  

The stories they shared began to reveal how greatly he had touched the fellowship with his time and generous spirit.

The 'little faith' each had, began to become a stronger faith, as each person became closer to each other.  They were Rejoicing in the face of loss.  They were healing with the help of each other, the WORD, and the example of the elder.

We might think 'loss' is our enemy.  We have a choice in this.  When we choose to rejoice we can then find a way to make that decision happen.

It might take time, but, the choice points us in the right direction and then the fellowship, the WORD, and the examples we seek are revealed to us.

So...Today I choose to REJOICE regardless of what circumstances reveal.  I choose to rejoice and I will take the actions to make a 'little faith' stronger in being involved in the WORD, the fellowship, and finding and/or becoming an example. 

How?  PSALM 40 :16 Let all those that seek thee REJOICE and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

Perhaps the first step is making a decision and the second step is reading the instructions ♥ 
The LORD be magnified,
Deb Bryan

Monday, December 12, 2011

Get out of the way and let God work

I have a tendency to get in God's way.  Not in an All Powerful sense.  But in the HE gave us free will sense.

I am Like the child who runs crying with a broken toy and asks for the Father to fix it.  As he is getting out the tools -- I have already had an "idea" and have grabbed it back to work on it myself.

HE is patient.  He waits for me to return it to HIM.  He isn't judging... He is just waiting.

So today I remind myself to "Get out of the way and let God work"

Image Credit: Piyachok Thawornmat /

Monday, November 7, 2011

I am Deb Bryan, aka GypsyOwl. I am an artist, writer, online business coach. My passion is helping people. I have been using GIMP for 7 years for all of my artwork, photography and web graphics. My article topics are varied and include: GIMP Tutorials, Consumer Reviews, Motivation-Inspiration, and of course anything having to do with visual art crafts cooking and simple joys in life. My tradmark motto is "Nurture Your Creativity"

I began my online journey in 1997... I have studied and worked hard to find the best resources for the online business owner. Along the way, as people would approach me to ask for help with graphics, Squidoo, Twitter backgrounds, eBook Covers, Website Header Banners, and How to Use GIMP.

I discovered my love for teaching could be translated into helping people with online tasks. I started a Guide to Squidoo email support group (tips about Squidoo). Which has grown into a network of virtual assistants. I have facilitated private coaching sessions as well as groups.

My volunteer activities include: Lens Sightings (a lens showcase community)and Squidoo Marketing (a community of Lensmasters sharing marketing tips). I 'work' as a site manager (VA Coach - Client Services) for Guide To Squidoo (Lens Builder VA) and Best Handmade Gifts (crafter's shopping cart services). I am the owner of MyEBookVA and help authors move their manuscripts to sales. My college studies major in "eCommerce Marketing with a in-depth focus on Social Media Culture Protocol research.

I hope you enjoy my collection of Squidoo Lenses. Please help out by clicking on the "thumbs up" icons and sharing on Google +, Facebook and Twitter. It helps to promote my work and helps me to earn revenue from Squidoo.   When people ask how they can help support my work I provide them with these options:
  • Read and Promote Articles (bookmark, blog about them, click on thumbs up, Google +, Facebook Likes etc)
  • Go Shopping.  If you see something you like, please shop from my pages so I will receive a thank you from the providers (I receive small percentage of Amazon, eBay, Zazzle, etc.) when you shop from links on my articles (lenses)
  • Support my Business: Become a client or promote to your friends if my services will add value.
  • Leave a Tip: Some readers have said they would rather leave a tip instead of shopping.  I have provided a tip jar on my Guide To Squidoo site for your convenience.
Don't miss the opportunity to join in the fun!!!  You can Build a page (a lens) about your passion! Start with an "About Me" page NOW.

Brightest Blessings, 

Deborah Bryan
Virtual Assistant (VA Services) Site Management

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Nurture Your Creativity"

This post is in reply to a Facebook photo By Katie Hudnal -- Creative Work Beginners   The closest link I could find is this one to the set.  Look for the image quote by Ira Glass.

My reply to the quote:
Yes.  This is true.  "We all go through this"  The only thing I'm not going to swear by is the "deadline so that every week you finish one piece" because some of my work took four or five times that amount of time to complete even when I spent 40 hours a week on it.  Some of it still takes weeks of focus.  So, depending on the type of work you are doing, that 'one week for a project' might not fit.

So, Rather than a project a week:
Put yourself on an allowance (the amount of time each week you will dedicate to your creativity).  I have always said creativity needs nurturing so nurture it. I believe we need to remind each other to "nurture your creativity" because when we neglect it we tend to cover up our talents.  We might need to go through some of the process over again when we return to it.
Remnants of Echos:
I think a lot of the reason this is true is because we have a lot of internal clearing to do.  We have inner voices that tell us we are not that good.  And echos of those who just don't get it saying stuff like "don't quit your day job" to an 11 yr old with a box of hand me down colored pencils.  Or a teacher who puts other kid's stuff on display ahead of yours.  So her room decor is just so.

Those things stick and we don't even realize it.  Don't agree with it.

Creativity isn't measurable like that.  Put your passion into your work and nurture your desire to do the work.  Let the work evolve. Be consistent. 

Nurture Your Creativity,

About the Advertising: I hand picked this because a friend gave me this book when I was in my time of internal clearing.  I don't know if I would have continued on in the process without it.
The Complete Artist's Way by Julia Cameron was had selected for this post. Julia Cameron has been an active artist for more than thirty years. She is the author of twenty-eight books, fiction and nonfiction, including her bestselling works on the creative process: The Artist's Way, The Right to Write, Walking in This World, and Finding Water.
  The Complete Artist's Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice
  The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life
  Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

... Joyful Stamper: Digital Tuesday - halloween

It has been a delightful journey getting to know DARLA (that digital stamp artist everyone is talking about on Facebook)

I've been blog hopping and discovering amazing card designers... I've decided to start keeping track of them here. Hop on over to ... Joyful Stamper: Digital Tuesday - halloween and see the card Maria entered in Digi Darla's "Fall Fun" Challenge. Want to see more entries in the challenge? Go to

Watch for a new site I am creating to highlight Digital Stamping

A whole new world!

I am developing a "guide" with a hundred project ideas for digital stamps.

Check it out HERE

There is so much we can do with digital stamps. I love the cardmaking , but, that is only the icing flower on the cake. ;-)

stay tuned...

♥ Deb
Don't miss the Club!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Organize Your List of Things To-Do -- How Google Docs Organized my Task List

Have you ever wondered if there was an easy way to organize your list of "things to do" and you have tried checklists and other tools?  This idea uses an online option with an offline adaptation.  Both ways will allow you easy access to your assignments and tasks you do for yourself, your family, and for clients.

If you have access to Google Docs you can create a spreadsheet with a list of each item (include a column for each type of information you will need for each item on your to-do list.  Then create a 'submission form' which lets you quickly enter the information for each column on the form (you make the titles for the columns and you create the form as well).  Then you will have a "task submission" form you can fill in as you receive orders (or family to-do, appointments, etc).  After the item is completed you can put a check mark next to the item on your Google Doc spreadsheet.

Include columns about delivery time, payment amount, date payment received, etc and keep this form updated as you receive payments and feedback about each project or task.

I use this method several ways.  I do the data entry on one of them (for my checklist of all clients).  I have a couple that my clients complete themselves.  Because they send so many emails each day I gave them the link to the form to enter tasks instead of emailing me.  You can always us email to sort our any questions you have and then update the forms as you go to work with your particular needs.

In general each "form" should have all the columns you might need to open a task, take notes about the progress, note date ordered, date completed, price charged, date paid, feedback, follow up, etc.

If you do not have access to Google Docs you can still use the spreadsheet option on your computer's desktop (or literally on a printed out spreadsheet with the name of each task and the basic details (name of client, title of project, word count (if you are a writer), due date, date ordered, date delivered, date payment received, how much paid... any other data that will help you to track your daily flow of assignments. follow up with clients, check off your tasks.

If you find these tips helpful, please bookmark and share.

Thanks for Connecting,

Work In Progress Image:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hats For Homeless -- Order ONE Get ONE Donated in your name!

UPDATED 11-20-2014 Please Contact Grandma Deal Personally To Order And Find Out About Updated Prices and Availability.

 She also creates gloves (the finger-less style -- *fabulous for computer work or to layer over traditional style gloves)

 She also makes Scarves...

& Gloves for men.


Order ONE Get ONE Donated in your name!
"For each item purchased, one matching item will be made and donated with a card attached with your (customer) name as the donor. I will take a photo of the two matching items, one with the donation card, and e-mail it to you (customer)."~Grandma Deal

Select the item you want to order (gloves, hat, or scarf) 
select the color (from the RED HEART YARNS color chart)

$14.00 for each scarf ordered.
$14.00 for each hat ordered.
$15.00 for each pair of finger-less gloves

Also available in SETS (save $3-$5 on set orders -- see SETS below)

1) Pick a Color -- You will need the name and ID # of the Color you want your item created with (examples below) 

2) Pick an item (finger-less gloves, hat, scarf, or sets)...

  • Have your shipping address handy
  • Payments are accepted through
  • Orders are handmade AFTER you order them (please allow plenty of time for them to be crafted and shipped to you -- you will receive an estimated delivery time as soon as possible after your order is placed -- Average 11 days to delivery from day of order as of this posting).  
  • The closer to the holidays the earlier you should order!  
  • Orders are processed by Best Handmade Gifts (an eCommerce Service)
  • The items you order are created by Grandma Deal (Hats for the Homeless)
Time is LIMITED: -- We reserve the right to remove or revise these offers without notice (any unprocessed orders will be promptly refunded).

3) Place Your Order

Finger-less Gloves $15.00 
(one pair of gloves)
(plus $5 Shipping)
Select a Color from the examples above.

Scarf $14.00 (scarf only)
(plus $5.00 Shipping)
Select a Color from the examples above.

Hat $14.00 (One Hat)
(plus $5.00 Shipping)
Select a Color from the examples above.

**SAVE when you order SETS**

Hat and Scarf Set $25 
(one hat - one scarf )
(plus $10.00 Shipping)
This set = $3 Savings

Hat, Scarf and Finger-less Gloves Set $38.00 
(one hat -- one scarf -- and one pair of gloves)
(plus $11.00 Shipping)
This set = $5 Savings plus $4.00 Savings on shipping!

4) For every item you order the same item will be created and donated to Hats for Homeless!

That's Right!

  • Order ONE Get ONE Donated in your name!
    "For each item purchased, one matching item will be made and donated with a card attached with your (customer) name as the donor. I will take a photo of the two matching items, one with the donation card, and e-mail it to you (customer)."~Grandma Deal

Posted by
Deb Bryan

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Join Today -- Join Free -- New Banner I Created!

Good News Coming Soon!
Don't Miss out...
I created a new ad banner 
and wanted to take this opportunity to give you the heads up about the

community website getting ready to launch
just in time for the Holiday Shopping Season.

Do Not Forget
Watch for AD Specials

If  you or your audience are in the
Handmade Gifts 

You do not want to miss out on this!!

(more details coming soon -- keep reading to find out how you can be the first to know when the site is launching and the ads are in the introductory rates)

Would you like to receive the news by email?
You will be sent information about
Best Handmade Gifts Community
(offering marketing, advertising and community tools)

Sign Up for the "News" below

Privacy Policy: We do not lend, sell or share your information with anyone for any reason.  You will only receive information you requested (specifically -- news about the Best Handmade Gifts project).  You can opt-out at any time.

While you are waiting for the news about the 
community, jump on over to 
start making those handmade cards to go with your handmade gifts! 

(Disclaimer: Yes, promotional consideration will be received if a purchase is made via this Ad -- But I KNOW and Adore the Owner!  You can shop with confidence with Darla!)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Letting Go – With or Without Hesitation – One Day at a Time

Letting Go – With or Without Hesitation – One Day at a Time

Deb Bryan – GypsyOwl May 1, 2011

I had a conversation with God about my feeling stuck. One comment by someone I do not even know sent my emotions out of control. I prayed to move past, to let go. It was the last thing on my mind before I tried to sleep and the first thing when I awoke. I prayed. I listened. I had a conversation with God.

I had a feeling it was important I share it.

This is it…

Me: Please help me let this go. I thought I let it go before, you helped me with this. I remember clearly.

Lord: Yes. I did, you did.

Me: Why does this keep happening?

Lord: Letting go is for one day, then, the next day you will need to choose to let it go again.

Me: Why Lord? I’m willing. I am sure I have let this go for more than one day and it did not come back again.

Lord: It may have seemed that way because each day as it passed by for you to choose, you let go again without hesitation.

Me: So what about yesterday, last night and this morning? Why have I decided not to let it go without hesitation now?

Lord: How do you know you haven’t let it go?

Me: I’m crying, angry, feeling way too much … it is hard to put into words.

Lord: Good signs you haven’t made a decision to let it go today.

Me: I just want to let it go forever! That’s it; I choose to let it go forever!

Lord: On Earth everything is ‘One Day at a Time’

Consider, that which you choose to hold on to and that which you choose to let go, are like the clouds passing overhead. They are not moving alone…sometimes the wind carries them and sometimes they are moving because the Earth is turning.

You could say they are floating by and to “let go” is a bit like the earth rotating without hesitation.

On the other hand; when we do not let go it is a bit as if the Earth stopped as we tried to hold on. If the Earth stops rotating gravity will cease, things will begin to shift and the Earth would begin to come apart at its core.

Me: Ok. I know what holding on and attaching to anything feels like. Why can’t I let it go today as easily as you described. I’ve been doing it many days in a row without hesitation.

Lord: Every now and then you choose to remember what it was like to be attached to this or that. Then we have this talk and you let go again. Then your gratitude about having the choice is renewed and deepened (again).

I got out of bed to write this down. A couple of times I thought to edit this or that and realized what I was changing actually changed the meaning. So, I left it just how I jotted it down the first time.

Then I found this quote on Facebook posted by my dear friend Deaquelynn (of Quelynn, Inc. ) she said

“Consistency is key to the breakthrough!”

I believe the answer is to let go each day without hesitation ‘consistently’ and on those days when hesitation creeps in, the answer is to accept ownership of the hesitation as part of our process and make the choice to let go ‘out loud’ then transition back into letting go without hesitation as we embrace the gratitude that we have more hesitation free days than we did in the past.

Honestly, there was a time when hesitation free letting go did not exist and each day was buried under the previous day’s frustrations, discontent, and unhappiness. Letting go was the exception and usually required pretending I had let go (distracting myself with entertainment). Pretending to be serene is hard work!

Overtime, as I practiced forgiveness and letting go, true serenity began to last hours at a time. Then, before I knew it I would have several days of serenity in a row. Then weeks, months… yes, even years. Letting go has made itself a consistent part of my life and now and then when I struggle it is good to know it is also a part of the process and even if I don’t remember … the LORD is always ready to have this talk with me again whenever I need Him to.

I hope this conversation has been helpful to you as it has for me. Brightest Blessings Deb Bryan (GypsyOwl)