Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday gratitude...

It's Monday! Youngest daughter has a doctor appointment this morning that will hopefully enlighten us a bit on when to expect grandbaby number seven, (granddaughter number four)! We are under two weeks out from her due date, but indications are that she might be born sooner. We shall see. Meanwhile her big brother, seen above, is almost twenty months old and is keeping his mama on her toes!

I'm going to make this quick. As I write this a bird has decided to take up residence in the vent above my stove-an unexpected Monday surprise to deal with! Ewww!

Meanwhile, God is good and I am blessed. Life always has its challenges and hard things, but the love and mercy and presence of God is ever near. I'm so thankful.
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 journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-God's provision
-driving my daughter on an errand-a good chance to catch up with each other
-my Monday school pick up of the youngest grand girlies
-dinner with my oldest and her family

-a restful night's sleep
-an invitation to a lovely lunch 
-texts from my guy

-a nice walk with youngest grandson while mama gets an ultrasound
-sweet ultrasound photos of our youngest granddaughter
-a new crib for our little princess

-2 Corinthians 1:3-7 TPT
-sweet video of our grandson singing himself to sleep

-getting my Saturday chores done today so I can relax with my guy tomorrow
-so much treasure in the book of Philippians
-my guy safely home from

-enjoying a slow Saturday morning
-this beautiful cold, frosty, blue skies day
-the smell of pot roast cooking that reminds me of Sunday lunches at Mama's

-another gorgeous winter day
-the power of prayer
-some evening Bible journaling all cozied up in bed with my lap desk

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Clinging to Perfection in this Imperfect World...

I wasn't very old when my youthful idealism and sensitive spirit collided with the ugly reality of this imperfect world-loud, sometimes violent, arguments, Mama's depression and stay in the mental hospital, Daddy's affair and decision to leave Mama and us kids. I coped by frequently escaping into the perfect world I built in my imagination. In my mind I fashioned a perfect little house and a perfect little family-my dream of what life would be like when I grew up. 

It was our freshman year of college. I fell in love with his icy blue eyes, that dimple that only shows up when he's caught off guard smiling or laughing, and his singing voice. We got married the following summer. But, our life and marriage was nothing like I had dreamed it would be! Still in college, we lived in a small, furnished apartment, not the cozy cottage of my imagination. We were opposites from each other in so many ways, except for our common trait that we both had strong opinions that we very stubbornly clung to, butting heads frequently in our willfulness. The perfect life I had dreamed of was not to be. It took me a long, long time to let go of my perfectionist ideals, to accept the life I had, and to see how blessed I was in the middle of my life's messy imperfection.

I still lean towards being an idealist. I'm still shocked when betrayed by a friend, when a church leader fails, when I see the awful things people say to one another on social media, when I watch horrific things on the news. Perhaps the idealist tendency is in many of us. Perhaps it's because something in us knows that this sin twisted world wasn't supposed to be this way. It was supposed to be perfect, sinless, unmarred.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 13th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Also happily linking up with the lovely

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Faves...How to make your own Beeswax Jar Candles with Essential Oils

Our unofficially adopted granddaughter, (she was our middle grandson's nanny and is our two oldest grands' bosom friend), is home from college for holiday break. This week she came over to spend the afternoon with me. I've been wanting to try making beeswax jar candles, so we decided it would be a fun project to tackle together! 

1/2 cup coconut oil
essential oil of choice
lead free cotton candle wicks
(I got mine at JoAnn's Fabric store.
 Check what size wick you will need based on the diameter of the jar)
three 8oz jars
1 quart jar
bamboo skewers

Pour the beeswax pastilles into the clean gas quart jar and microwave until completely melted.
(A remaining handful of pastilles would not fit into the jar, but as the wax began to melt after a couple of minutes in the microwave, I was able to pour the remaining pastilles in.)
Every few minutes, being careful to use potholders, use a wooden skewer to stir the melted wax.
Continue to microwave until the wax is completely melted.

Meanwhile, put a small dot of hot glue on the metal disk at the bottom of the wick and place it in the center of the inside of the jar.
Place a wooden skewer across the top of the empty jar and tie the wick to the skewer.
When the wax is melted, carefully remove it from the microwave and stir in the coconut oil.
Add and stir in 30 or so drops of your favorite essential oil or oil blend.
Carefully pour hot wax into the jars being careful to keep the wicks centered.
This made two 8oz candles but did not completely fill up the third candle jar.

Once the candles are completely cooled and hardened, trim the wick to about 1/2 inch and enjoy!

Have a blessed and happy weekend everyone!



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

An adventure walk with my buddy...

My husband and I raised three beautiful daughters. We both loved having all girls and wouldn't change that for the world. We now have an even three granddaughters and three grandsons, but the tie will be broken any time now with the birth of our seventh, and more than likely last, grandchild-another sweet baby girl. We love both our grandgirlies and grandsons to the moon! They are each one our favorite!

However, having grandsons has been like a whole new world to me.  When our first grandson, now age fourteen, was born, watching him develop was so fascinating to me! How do little boys instinctively know how to make the car sound while they roll a little toy car on the floor before they even know how to walk? Why does any random stick have to be picked up and become some sort of imaginary weapon? 

I love to walk, so going on walks has been something I've done with all of my grandchildren. With grandkids, especially with my grandsons and one of my more nature loving granddaughters, a simple walk around the neighborhood becomes an adventure. My oldest grandson is way past the age where going on walks with his nana is cool. But, his four year old little brother still does! (And, so does our youngest grandson. At nineteen months, he associates me with walks and runs into his room, grabs his coat and shoes, and climbs into his stroller whenever he sees me!) My little buddy, in the photo above, and his family were out of state for three weeks over the holidays. When they got back, he came over to our house, and we went on an adventure walk around the neighborhood and stopped at our neighborhood park.

I love walks with the grandkids. I think it helps me to see things with new eyes and that it also helps keep me young!

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Flower Friday

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

First Gratitude Post of 2019...

I'm a day late with my gratitude post. Monday was full and busy for me. But, I am committed to continue gratitude journaling and to post my gratitude list weekly on my blog, even if I'm a day late!
I want to continue to declare the faithfulness of God in my daily, ordinary life-through all of life's highs and lows, joys and sorrows. This year I will celebrate the tenth anniversary of this gratitude journaling journey. It has been life changing for me. My outlook on life has been transformed. I encourage everyone to get a some sort of a journal and to give it a try. It's easy! Just write down at least three things each day that you are grateful for. I'd love for you leave me a comment if you are already a gratitude journal keeper or if you intend to begin!
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 journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-a beautiful walk with my youngest grandson while his mama is at her prenatal check-up
-my daughter and baby doing well
-having our oldest grandson and friends at our house for dinner

-a brand new year!
-God speaking to my heart about true unity in my quiet time
-shopping, lunch and a movie, (Mary Poppins-LOVED it!), with a friend, 
(my husband is at the Rose Bowl)
-my hubs getting to check off his bucket list to attend the Rose Bowl with our oldest grandson

-cozy morning candlelight
-my husband and grandson safely home from their trip

-my second born and grandkids home after being gone to S.C. for three weeks
-a fun walk and time with our silly youngest grandson while his mama and daddy went out
-an encouraging time at our prayer and worship night

-Friday date day
-hot tomato soup for lunch on a cold day
-a fun evening of cards with friends

-a wonderful prayer time
-being with my little buddy after he was gone for three weeks
-Saturday chores done and finally getting some quiet time to blog

-wonderful worship
-a powerful word
-God's work in bringing our church into unity with His heart for us

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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Don't waste your present...

“Forget about what’s happened;

    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands." 
Isaiah 43:19 MSG

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Whether it was a good, bad or ugly year for you, 2018 is over and done. We have to let it go. We cannot re-live the good things that happened to us in 2018. They are over and gone. We cannot have a do over for the things we regret about 2018-our sins, our failures, our mistakes. The only thing we can do is to repent, press delete, and move on.

We cannot live in the future either. We can plan, but we can't predict what will come our way. 

The thing is, we can waste our life away, waste our present, when we spend our here and now regretting the past or mourning the passing of time. We can, likewise, fritter away this moment worrying about what may come in the future.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 6th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Also happily linking up with the lovely

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

One Word 365 - My Word for 2019 -

I can't fully put into words how much God has been doing in my life in regards to my word from last year, "YIELD". The more I have yielded, surrendered, to the will of God and the work of His Holy Spirit, the more I have yielded a harvest of peace within. For that reason, I thought of just keeping my word from 2018 as my word for this new year. But, God had other ideas. He spoke to me that yielding to Him and His will, ways, and word will be something that I will need to focus on daily for the rest of my life.  At the same time He began to speak to me in various ways about the word He has for me in 2019. 

It began in the fall. One day as I was listening to Handel's Messiah and puttering around the house, "Comfort ye, Comfort ye my people" began to play. God dropped into my heart that the word "comfort" was to be my work for 2019. I did not yield to His voice, because of two concerns. First of all, comfort is something you need when you are mourning, and after the loss of a niece and a nephew, a spiritual mentor and my husband's boyhood pastor and other hurtful losses in 2018, I was not going to sign up for any more mourning! The second, was the connotation of comfort being living in a rut, not taking steps of faith, staying in my comfort zone. So, instead of embracing what God was saying, I began to search for other "better" words - peace, hold fast, love.  Of course, because I wasn't yielding to God, I had no peace about choosing another word. Then, on the Sunday before Christmas, a friend from church gave me a handmade journal. On the first page she had written this verse. Isaiah 51:3 " For the Lord will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places. And He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song or instrument of praise."  With that, God gave me a direct confirmation that I was to embrace and yield to what He had been showing me, that comfort was, indeed, my word for 2019. He also gave me insight into the meaning. Comfort is found as I yield and surrender to God's processes of rebuilding the broken, devastated, decayed and ruined places within. God is the Repairer of the Breach, the One Who takes all of our bent, twisted, broken parts and restores them into wholeness and realigns them with His heart, purpose and plan. God's comfort is found as I continue to yield, surrender, to His continued rebuilding processes in my life. I am amazed at how every year God builds upon the foundation of the focus of the previous year. 

Here are the words from previous years, beginning in 2011 when I first heard of the concept of a word focus for the year.
2011- HOPE
2013 -TRUST
2014- JOY
2016- LISTEN 
2017- ABIDE
2018- YIELD


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