Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Random Acts of Poetry day...

It's Random Acts of Poetry day!
In honor of this occasion and because today we had some long overdue rain here in the Portland/Vancouver area,
I'm reposting this poem by yours truly.

Ode to A Soup Pot

In summer it sits upon the shelf and rarely sees the light of day
Come fall and winter out it comes on gloomy days with skies of gray
Its color red it is my favorite, no plain jane pot will do for me
It makes me happy just to see it, filling heart and home with glee
A pinch of this, a dash of that, who knows what wonders it contains?
I want to eat its lovely contents, with bread to sop up last remains
A spicy chili?  Marinara?  A Sendak style soup with rice?
The smells they waft, they woo, they linger, they oh so shamelessly entice
Oh lovely soup pot, ‘tis your season, these Northwest rains they beckon me
To bring you out from hidden pantry, this year’s debut, what shall it be?
Boeuf Bourguignon?  It was a highlight, on autumn day some months gone by
A hearty stew? A roasted chicken? A flakey crusted chicken pie?
Whatever it is, it’s sure to gladden, sure to cheer and to sustain
Oh lovely soup pot how I’ve missed you, it ALMOST makes me glad for rain!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Autumn beauty...

(edited with Kim Klassen's urban texture, hard light, 50% opacity)
After getting my exercise by walking/jogging the same circuit around our old neighborhood for over sixteen years, it's been a challenge for me to find my groove since moving to our new neighborhood.  Today I think I finally have a good hour long walk/jog through our new neighborhood figured out, which makes me happy.  

(edited with PicMonkey's tranquil preset, 70% opacity)
This scripture was quoted on a podcast I was listening to on my walk today.  As I sat down to edit these photos of some flowers I foraged on my walk,  the truth of this verse wouldn't leave my mind.

(edited with Kim Klassen's music texture, screen mode, 30% opacity)
You know what I've discovered after 39+ years of married life and sixteen moves?  There is no perfect place. When I'm craving something or someplace, (like my dream beach cottage),  I idealize it in my mind.  But, I can tell you from experience living on the coast that beach cottages often come with issues like moisture and mold problems.  It's true, there is no perfect place.

(edited with Kim Klassen's elevate texture, lighten, 20% opacity)
I learned to love and enjoy our former home, in spite of it's imperfections, (like its itty bitty kitchen).  I'm learning to love and enjoy our new to us home, too.  It's sad how often we don't enjoy what we have because we're too busy craving what we don't have.  Been there, done that.

Today I enjoyed what was available to me on this warm and sunny autumn day.  These beautiful autumn blooms were spilling out of someone's yard, over and through the fence, and into the street.  I rationalized that they were now on public property and broke off a couple of sprigs to enjoy and photograph.  I hope you enjoy the results.

(edited with Kim Klassen's flow texture, hard light, 30% opacity)

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Living the prayer of thanksgiving...

My home state of Oregon was rocked this week with a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. It's hard for the human mind to grasp such senseless violence and such tragic loss.  It almost feels wrong to continue with daily life, to enjoy daily life, when for the loved ones of those whose lives were taken life will never be the same.  I'm not sure I know how to mourn with those who mourn other than praying for those who are living through this nightmare. It somehow feels not enough.  Meanwhile, I'm holding my loved ones a bit tighter and continuing my commitment to live the prayer of thanksgiving. 

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little green journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-a sweet visit with my sister-in-law
-God's tender words of love in Isaiah 62
-confirmation from God to trust Him
-a sweet evening with my guy

-laughing that our original idea was to buy a house with a tiny easy to maintain yard
 and it didn't quite turn out that way
-fresh veggies from and a good visit with friends
-a nice evening walk in our new neighborhood
-falling asleep early

-making my husband a yummy frittata for breakfast
-God's provision of a good dentist
-a spontaneous date with my husband to see a good movie

-a foggy fall morning
-so much help from our church family with our move and renovations
-reading the book of Romans-thanking God for the peace of God that I have through Jesus
-spending the afternoon with my youngest grandson
-discovering our neighborhood park
-more people at our weekly prayer night
-the joy of worship 

-a new stainless steel refrigerator and dishwasher on clearance for half price!
-Friday date day!
-a great lunch out with amazing service
-hanging out with our two oldest daughters and their families at the home
 my second born and her husband are renovating
-the two youngest granddaughters having their first sleepover at our new house
-some good news

-our electrician friend from church putting in new lighting for us
-going to the park and to our oldest grandson's football game with our granddaughters

-my first post for Woman to Woman Ministries

-the Name above all names
-His broken body and shed blood for me
-Sunday afternoon resting

gratefully yours,

Sunday Soul Food at Woman to Woman Ministries...

This summer my husband spoke at a church conference in London.  What a wonderful blessing it was to participate in this conference and to visit London.  Of all of the amazing sights we crammed into our nine days there, one of the most meaningful was our visit to Westminster Abbey.  No photography is allowed inside, but if you've watched any of the royal weddings you have some idea of the splendor of this place of worship.  I was particularly moved by seeing the burial place of missionary David Livingstone as well as the burial place of my favorite composer, George Handel.  However, what impacted me the most were the words of Revelation 11:15 written on the wall of this abbey, the place of the coronation of the kings and queens of Britain down through the centuries. 

 "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord,
 and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever."...

To continue reading please join me at Woman to Woman Ministries on Sundays where I am sharing some "Sunday Soul Food".

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Friday Favs...Pumpkin Cookies with maple glaze

Tis the season for all things pumpkin!
Last week I made some pumpkin cookies with maple glaze for the dessert bar
 that our nephew had at his wedding.
I thought I'd share the recipe with you, found here.

Pumpkin Cookies with maple glaze

Whisk together:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream together:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Add to butter and sugar and beat until smooth:
1 cup pure pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add dry ingredients and combine.

Preheat oven to 350.  Pan spray cookie sheets.  Drop batter by rounded tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15-18 minutes until edges are firm.  Cool on wire racks.
This recipe makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Maple Glaze:
Combine 1 teaspoon maple flavoring, one cup powdered sugar and a scant amount of milk and whisk together until no lumps remain.  Put glaze into a clean squeeze bottle and drizzle over cookies.  (Place wax paper under wire racks first.)  Let glaze harden before storing cookies in an airtight container.

Look at the sidebar of my blog under categories for some of my other favorite pumpkin recipes!

It's almost Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a BLESSED weekend!


TidyMomShabby Art Boutique

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Meeting Sheila - a divine appointment...

(photo on our recent trip to London)

When we boarded our nonstop flight to JFK in New York City, our layover stop on our flight to London, we were both exhausted from the physical and emotional impact of moving and saying goodbye to our home of sixteen years the day before.  I intended to rest on the flight, but I guess God had other plans.

She was in the seat by the window. I was in the middle seat.  My husband was in the aisle seat, already settled in with his noise canceling headphones on, shutting out the world around him. I knew he'd be asleep before long.  By her feet was portable oxygen being pumped into her nose and lungs.  It made a soft woosh, woosh sound.  I guessed that she was in her early to mid seventies, but it was hard to know for certain.

Our conversation began by her expressing concern that my foot room was being cramped by her oxygen, or that the noise was bothering me.  I could tell right away by her accent that she was heading home to New York City, or at least somewhere close by.  I was right.  She lived just across from Manhattan in New Jersey.  Her husband sat a few rows ahead of us and across the aisle.  They were returning home after enjoying a river cruise on the Columbia River.  They loved to travel, and were determined to keep doing so as long as they were able.

It was after she found out that my husband is a pastor that the conversation shifted to deeper things.  I'm used to this, people tend to either shut down or open up.  She did the latter, even saying that she felt she could talk to me because most ministers, most Christians, stand beside Israel. Sheila is Jewish. I explained to her that Christians feel this way because the Bible tells us that God will bless those that bless Israel and that He also told us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  I told her that we believe that God is a promise keeper, and that He made a covenant with Israel that He is fulfilling.  I even went on to explain that He made certain promises to the Arabic people as well.  She and I both agreed that the slaughtering of Arabic believers is of the same spirit as the return of rampant anti-semitism.  She's as sickened at the martyring of Christians as I am of the slaughter of the Jews. 

The next two hours she told me the story of her family, those that died in the Holocaust, those living now in the United States and what brought them here, those living in Israel.  Throughout the conversation there were times when both of our eyes filled with tears.  I loved listening to how she tracked down long lost relatives in Israel, how they often fly to Israel to celebrate Passover.

I grieved with her when she talked about the shift in the U.S. policies toward Israel.  She worries about her loved ones in Israel not being able to count on the U.S. being a place of refuge for them.  She told me about her and her husband's love for travel and all of the places in Europe that they've been and would love to return to.  Except, her husband won't let them go anymore.  He feels it's not safe.  He doesn't want to spend money in countries that are allowing a return of nazism and other anti-semitic activities.  He sees history repeating itself.  Sheila looks at me and my husband, at the Christians we represent, as the last people who won't forget, who won't let it happen again.

As we neared our destination, where we would board our flight to London and she and her husband would catch their ride to New Jersey, Sheila told me about their winter home in Florida.  There, she told me, she has been attending a ladies' Bible study on the book of Revelation.  "I'm the only Jewish person at the the Bible study",  she told me.  

When we parted, I told her what a blessing it was that we had met.  I told her that she'd be in my prayers.  I often think of her sitting in that Christian Bible study.  I pray that those ladies love her well.  I pray that Jesus' great love is revealed to her.   I pray that she has a revelation of Jesus as the Messiah Israel has been waiting for. I don't think I met Sheila by accident or happenstance. I think God put me there for a purpose, to confirm to her that Christians care and so I would be praying for her.  I'm asking you, will you join me in praying for Sheila?

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Monday, September 28, 2015

A sunny yellow mum...

(Psalm 62:1-photo edited with Kim Klassen's elevate texture, hard light, 20% opacity)
When I had the no good, terrible, horrible stomach flu last week, my husband bought me some 
soft, cozy, new pajamas and a bouquet of sunny yellow mums to sit on my nightstand.
He's good to me like that.

(edited with Kim Klassen's 2303 texture, lighten, 30% opacity)
Today, one little sunny yellow mum in an old ink bottle became my still life subject.
Our new to us house is full of wonderful windows and light, 
whereas our former home had only one good spot for shooting photos.
It's fun getting used to this new blessing!

(edited with Kim Klassen's evolve texture, multiply mode)
On another photography note,  the Apple pro told me that my computer memory
 needs to be bigger to run a big photo editing program like Lightroom. 
 So, until we decide to buy a computer with more memory, I'm still hobbling along, 
but having fun doing so, editing my photos using the subscription version of PicMonkey
 and textures I've collected along the way, mostly from Kim Klassen.

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