Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beauty in common things...

(edited with Kim Klassen's Monday texture)
 Just a simple autumn still life featuring two of my favorite things, an ironstone pitcher and a transferware bowl.

 (edited with plumbe preset)
Every autumn I think about how I'd love to have have some brown transferware dishes, but I already  own more sets of dishes than I need.  This bowl and the brown transferware cup and saucer I used in last week's still life are all of the brown transferware that I own.

(edited with plumbe preset)
My favorite things to collect are antique objects that were used in homemaking in bygone days.  Ironstone bowls and pitchers, transferware dishes, breadboards, interesting old bottles and demijohns.  I am drawn to the beauty in these common items.
(edited with Kim Klassen's Monday texture)
Are you a collector?  What are your favorite things to collect?

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Seeing God in my daily life...

If I don't see God in the everyday of my real life,  I tend to bow down to the anxiety, worry, fear, negativity, hopelessness and despair that permeates social media, the news, the culture around me.   Or I bow down to the lie that a skinnier me, more stuff, or becoming more well known will satisfy my soul. But He is God with us, not just when Jesus, God in the flesh, walked this earth physically, but in the here and now of my everyday.  I just have to choose to see Him, to recognize and acknowledge His work in my life.  

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)


-an especially sweet time of prayer
-texting with all three of our girls throughout the day
-a fun dinner out to celebrate the birthdays of our Truelife Espanol pastor and his wife

-God's provision for everything we need
-foggy mornings
-a beautiful sunny afternoon
-healthy eating
-two new books in the mail

-writing time
-going on a walk with a friend from church
-free rhubarb to put in the freezer
-my youngest grandson and a sweet little boy from church
 spending the evening at our house and having fun playing together

-the first day of autumn
-beautiful photos of Paris from our youngest daughter
-funny texts about our youngest grandson's potty attempts
-praying with others
-seeing our church growing in reaching out to others
-sweet time of worship together

-Friday date day-staying home and relaxing together
-cold enough weather to have a fire in the fireplace
-a fun evening with friends filled with laughter
-staying up too late watching a favorite show with my hubs

-going to my oldest grandson's football game, (he made a touchdown!)
-a beautiful day for a long walk
-my girl texting me how much she loves France

-God sending us wonderful prayer support
-a restful afternoon

gratefully yours,

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A tender, responsive heart...

A couple of months ago my friend from church read Ezekiel 11:19 at our weekly prayer time.  I found the wording in the New Living Translation to be especially impactful. When I got home, I added it to my list of verses that I have turned into prayers that I use during my devotional time.  "Father, I ask for myself and my loved ones that we will not have stony and stubborn hearts but that our hearts will be tender and responsive to You, Your Word and Your Spirit.  In Jesus' Name. Amen"  It occurred to me that if our hearts are tender and responsive to God, then all the other things we may pray for a person, that they would be saved, that they would walk in obedience to God, that they would walk in God's will, would happen naturally.  A heart that is tender and responsive to God is naturally yielded and obedient to Him and His ways.

Since then, day after day I have been praying this simple prayer, praying it over myself, our family and loved ones, and our church family.  What surprised me was how God began to work in my own heart in such a tangible way.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, September 25th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Friday Favs...More Simple Autumn Decor

Happy first day of Autumn!
Last week I showed you my simple autumn decor in my entry way and living room,
and promised you a peek into my dining room, kitchen and nook this week.

My dining room may be my favorite room in the house.
It's so spacious and open and light!
I'm so glad we turned our small off the kitchen family room into a large dining room.
It's what works best for our family and lifestyle.

I've collected these demijohns at various antiques stores over the past year.
I found a huge demijohn at the antique store marked 1933 the other day, 
that I'll show you soon.
Some velvet pumpkins in an antique brown transferware bowl are a simple autumn touch
 added to this wooden tray from Homegoods.

I moved the white pumpkin I had on top of the dish cabinet in my dining room,
(see photo of dining room above) into the wooden pedestal bowl on my mantel,
and put a light colored orange squash and a light green squash on top of the dish cabinet instead.

I filled the antique ironstone pitcher that I bought when we were on vacation with wheat
 that I bought at the grocery store years ago and have used every autumn since.

 Nothing much has changed in the shiplapped part of our dining room,
(on the left of the side of the room when facing the table). 

Although a new copper pot from France joined the antique one made in the U.S.A. 
on the wall next to the shelves.
It was another Homegoods find.
This post is not a Homegoods ad, but if they wanted me to do one, I'm their gal.
I love that place!

We're still saving money for new countertops and cabinet refinishing/painting in our kitchen.
I'm wavering between having the cabinets sanded down and stained a grayish color
 or having them painted white. 
I'd love for anyone who has done either to solid oak cabinets to share your experience in the comments.

Some fall foliage tucked inside my antique French canning jar is my simple ode to autumn by my kitchen sink.

In our cozy little sitting nook, the red pouf foot rest is a recent purchase from Homesence in Canada.
My hubs was thrilled to cart it around in the car while we were on vacation!  (not!)
But, now he loves having it by his chair.

I attempted a little chalkboard art on the wall in the nook. 
I wrote things I'm thankful for in this season around the words Autumn blessings.

Thanks for popping in for part two of my simple autumn decor!

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


Shabby Art Boutique

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Full service or self serve?

I confess that, at times, I can be a bit spoiled.  Blame it on the fact that I'm the youngest girl in our family of seven kids made up of five "older kids", then a gap of five years which separated them from me and my little brother.  We were  "the babies".  Anyway, there are certain situations in which I like to be taken care of, pampered even.  The gas station is one such situation.

A year ago we moved from the land of gas stations with attendants, Portland, Oregon, across the Columbia River to the land of pump your own gas, Vancouver Washington.  I hate pumping my own gas.  In fact, I believe someone should resurrect the old concept of service stations.  Back in the good old days, you'd drive in to the service station and an attendant dressed in a clean and pressed uniform topped with a jaunty hat would come up and ask you if you wanted regular or "ethyl".  (I have no idea what, or who, ethyl is.)  Besides that, the attendant, or attendants, would check your tire pressure, check your oil level, and wash your windshield.  (Can you hear me singing, "that's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it"?)  Since moving, I have had to experience the antithesis of that, having to pump my own gas.  I try to avoid it if at all possible, manipulating, bribing, cajoling, whining, nicely asking my husband to fill up my car for me.  The problem is, I don't always remember to ask ahead of time, and don't always notice,  that the gas gauge is dangerously near E until it's too late and I'm already out and about. Such was the case last Saturday.  It was a very rainy day, of course.  I had my two youngest granddaughters in the back seat and we were just making a quick run to the grocery store to buy the ingredients to make homemade soup.  I looked down at my gas gauge and realized I would not be able to return my granddaughters to their mama later that evening unless I filled up with gas.  Drat!  I pulled up to the pump and got out in the rain to walk over to the attendant in his warm and dry little booth to prepay for my gas, then proceeded back to the pump to fill up.  In my "I hate to pump my own gas" stupor, I accidentally pressed the button for premium gas instead of regular, noticing only after it was too late and I was already filling up my tank. Double drat!

Fast forward to yesterday. As I was running some errands, I noticed that my eight year old car, with well over 100,000 miles under her belt, seemed to have a bit more pep in her step.   She seemed to be running more smoothly.  Perhaps it was my imagination, but the old gal seemed to like whatever was in that premium gas.

I've got a bit of wear and tear over the years myself, quite a bit of mileage under my belt, not unlike my old car.  I don't think you can wander the roads of this world year after year without it taking its toll on body, soul and spirit. Being "a bit spoiled", as I confessed previously, I'd like the convenience of pulling up to a service station, (aka church), and being fully attended to.  I'd like a whole army of well groomed, well trained professionals to fill me up and check me over and fix whatever needs to be fixed in order for me to hit the road with enough pep to get me through 'til the next time I pull in. There's one problem with that, that's not the way Jesus modeled for things to be.  Even in the well known case of the paralytic who's friends brought him to Jesus for healing, while his friends had to carry the paralyzed man to Jesus for healing, he had to respond to the words of Jesus for himself and take up his bed and walk.  Should I be so blessed as to find a perfect full service church that meets all of my needs, that fills me up and fixes me up, there's going to come a time when I'm out there on the road alone and I'm going to need to know how to fill up my own tank.  The church won't be there to do it for me, my husband, family, or friends won't be there to do it for me.  Sometimes it's just me out there on that long and lonely road with nary a full service gas station in sight.  

My husband would be doing me a disservice if he had always pumped my gas for me and never taught me how to fill up the tank of my car myself.  He had to teach me how to be self sufficient enough to be able to keep going when he wasn't around.  The body of Christ is meant to care for one another and to be able to depend on one another, but we should also be teaching our young believers how to keep filled up and functioning when they face those times that they're out on the road alone. We also need to let them know that they don't have to settle for ho-hum regular fuel, the kind that gets you from one place to the next, but with only enough energy to get you from point A to point B. That's survival. In Christ, all of us have the option to be fueled up with the good premium fuel, the kind that doesn't just get you from one place to the other, but gets you there with some joy, some hope, some extra pep in your step.  That's thriving.  

There's a time and place for being pampered, the nail salon, the spa.  In my opinion, the church is not that place. The church is the place, not for us to be pampered, but for us to be equipped to face the long road before us and to reach our final destination without running out of fuel, joy and hope.  It's the equipping station where we should be taught to thrive on life's long and winding road.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

A cup of autumn tea...

(edited with Kim Klassen's dream it texture-
quote by Dorothy Parker)

Autumn officially begins this week on Thursday the 22nd of September.  After summer like weather last week, this weekend the weather turned rainy and cool as if on cue.

 (edited with Kim Klassen's evolve texture)

Today's still life is a little celebration of the simple joys of autumn, some fall foliage, a good book, a cup of hot tea, a little baby boo pumpkin.

(edited with Kim Klassen's Monday texture)

(I'm particularly fond of Kim Klassen's Monday texture used in the photos above and below.  A bit of a heavier hand than I'd normally use with texture and yet I rather like the effect.)

(edited with Kim Klassen's Monday texture)

I can honestly say that autumn is my favorite season, in much the same way that I can honestly say that each one of my three daughters is my favorite.  There's something unique about each of my girls that makes that one my favorite.  Similarly, there's something unique about each of the seasons that makes the season I'm in my favorite. So, autumn is my favorite for its colorful beauty, its foggy mornings, its homemade soup weather, its pumpkin filled desserts, its cozy candlelight and warm fireside moments, to name a few things.

 (edited with plumbe preset)

How about you?  What do you like about autumn?

(edited with plumbe preset)

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