Monday, May 23, 2016

Sweet and simple blossom...

In the area of our neighborhood where I go on my walk/run, there is a neglected house on an equally neglected lot.  Overgrowing onto the sidewalk is a holly tree, which I foraged from at Christmastime.  There is also a rose bush, overgrown and all abloom with pink blossoms.  Then there is a little clump of these purple flowers.  I don't know if it's a survivor from a long ago flowerbed or a wildflower.  I pinched a small bloom off just for the sake of capturing it's simple beauty.

And for Songography...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Gratitude brings light to the darkness...

"I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.”  Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

This world really is wounded and sin broken.  Gratitude to the Creator is impossible for those who deny, reject and fight His existence. It's we who know Him and believe, who see this world as His creation, who recognize His good gifts and praise Him even when life is hard, that are speaking life into our world when we speak our thanksgiving and praise to the One Who made it all.  This is one way we bring light to the darkness.

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)

-healing that comes, layer upon layer
-hot chai milk with sweetener and a splash of milk
-going grocery shopping and recognizing all of the abundance we enjoy
-God's help to get things done, in spite of weariness

-my granddaughter's note to me- "the rose is red, the sky is blue, oh how I love you"
-planting some herbs together
-a nice day to go to the park after "Nana school"
-praying over a friend's new home

-being able to talk to Jesus about anything and everything
-a beautiful day to sit my the river for devotions
-my husband meeting me for a walk
-dinner by the river

-our secondborn's birthday
-time with my youngest grandson
(Someone was not getting his way at the restaurant.  I love that pouty face!)
-dinner out and spending time with the birthday girl and family

-a Friday day off day of resting
-a delicious lunch together
-reading, watching movies, napping

-a gray rainy day, a perfect day for baking a yummy cake for a church function
-cleaning and doing laundry while listening to worship music
-going to a fun baby gender reveal party-it's a girl!
-texting my long time friend 
-ending a full day with quiet time, Bible reading, writing

-waking up in peace after a restless night
-God working
-another encouraging Vision Conversation Lunch

still following,

Saturday, May 21, 2016

He refreshes and restores my life...

This week I hit a wall, a wall of weariness.  In a phone call with a friend, I told her how I think that all of the transition and busyness and challenges of last year have finally caught up with me.  It seems I'm the type who powers through things, and then wears out and collapses sometime later on.  I've had many others comment, "Me, too!" when I've mentioned this. Perhaps this is the way with us women.  We know that our family, the people at our jobs, our church, our friends, are counting on us, leaning on us, depending on us, so we try to stay strong for them.  Until we just can't.  Then what do we do? (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 22nd, 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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Friday Favs...Lemon Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My sweet friend from church is an amazing baker.
On Sunday mornings she brings some of her fabulous baked goods for our pre-service coffee time.
A short time ago she made a delicious berry sour cream coffee cake for church
and graciously shared her recipe with me.
True to my modus operandi, I "tweaked" her recipe and made it a lemon blueberry sour cream coffee cake.
Here's her original recipe with my tweaks in parentheses.
It's a simple and delicious cake for you to make this weekend!

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


Shabby Art Boutique

When the words disappear, the foundation remains...

A week or so ago, late one night my blog disappeared from cyberspace.  Seven years of words vanished just like that.

Instantly, I thought it must be my fault.  The renewal for my domain had come due recently and I thought that I must have made some sort of mistake and the renewal hadn't gone through.  A little more research showed that other bloggers all over the world using the same blog hosting site as me were also experiencing the same thing.  With that knowledge, I was able to turn off the computer and go to sleep, knowing that things were beyond my control to work out.  Happily, things were back to normal when I woke up the next day.

In looking back on that event, several things stood out to me.  The first one is obvious.  Back up your blog to your computer frequently!  The second one was that, while I was sad that there was a possibility that seven years of writing had disappeared, I also knew that all the hours of writing would still have been worth it for the work the words had done in me as I wrote them.  Through the writing process I am also processing my own experiences, my own memories, my own spiritual insights and relationship to God and His Word.  While my desire is to record these thoughts not just for myself but also for my loved ones and friends and others that find encouragement here, in the writing I've found myself inevitably coming back to the foundational truths that I've built my life on.  Here are a few of those foundation stones.

 -There is a God in heaven Who created me and loves me and Who really is in control even if things around me don't feel like He is.  Through writing I've looked backwards at major life events and seen the constant weaving of God's good plan for my life in events that, at the time I was going through them, seemed confusing and overwhelming.

-Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one can come to the Father except through Him.  Jesus Himself spoke these words, so either they are true or He is a fraud and a liar.  Through my writing I wrestle through things I've been taught and believed all my life.  I wrestle with cultural shifts that have caused us to move away from absolutes.  I come away knowing what I believe and Who I believe.  Believing that the Bible is the inspired inerrant Word of God is another foundational truth that I've become more anchored in and sure of.

-Relationships and people are what counts.  On my blog I love to share recipes, creative projects and home decor besides my writing posts. Being a lover of beauty, a lover of home and homemaking, a lover of cooking and creating is a part of who I am and so my blog reflects that.  In the end, however, it's my relationship with God, my relationship with my family, my relationship with friends, and the relationships with others that I've "met" through this online space that really matter in light of eternity.

In the end, if all of the words I've written disappeared for good, my foundation still stands, and that's a reassuring thing to know.

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Monday, May 16, 2016


If I've got my camera with me, I rarely pass by a barn that I don't photograph.
On Friday, my husband's day off, we went for a drive and I captured these three beauties.
My favorite is this one that's barely standing.
I'd love to salvage a piece of the old barn wood.
For Sonography, some lyrics from the song
Grandpa's Barn by the Roys
"There's an old rusty tractor 
Sitting there in his barn 
Still covered in dirt from working on his farm 
Theres an old faded calender 
From Johnson's hardware store 
Still says July 1954 
There's a piece of that ladder 
I climbed where he couldn't see 
I smoked my first and last cigarette 
And I turned john deere green 
No he never told momma 
When he caught me he just laughed 
And said son that won't make you a man 

Today the sun was shining as the family gathered round 
Teardrops were falling as we laid him in the ground 
But i knew where i could come to be with things close to his heart 
There's a lifetime of memories 
In grandpa's barn 

I rolled back the cover 
On his long white cadillac 
At ten years old he let me steer 
Sitting there on his lap 

There's a picture of grandma 
That he kept in the dash 
An old 8-track 
His favorite Johnny Cash 
In a corner of his tackroom 
Underneath his cross 
There's a worn out Holy Bible 
The one that saved him when he was lost 
It said remember son 
You've got to get down on your knees 
And thank God for the blessings you receive 

Today the sun was shining as the family gathered round 
Teardrops were falling as we laid him in the ground 
But i knew where i could come to be with things close to his heart 
There's a lifetime of memories 
In grandpa's barn 

I'm reliving a lifetime 
In grandpa's barn"

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Noticing God's gifts, big and small...

It's been a busy, rich, sweet and full week.  I've written twenty five things in my journal this week to give thanks for.  I imagine there's hundreds, if not more than that, things I've not noticed, not taken time to write down.  I'm not sure I've ever noticed or written down something microscopic, but I believe Ann's point is that we need to pay more attention to the little things.  To notice God's gifts, big and small, is my desire, to give Him the thanks and praise He deserves is my goal. 
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 copper pot
-a new plant set inside a peanut can
-8 rose blooms on the rose bush my friend gave me
-God's provision
-a Monday evening at home with my husband

-devotions and a walk/run before my granddaughter came over for Tuesday "Nana school"
-talking about Jesus answering prayer after reading about George Mueller
-baking cinnamon rolls together
-laughter over the funny Greek names in her history book
-this beautiful day

-our youngest grandson's second birthday!
-him running all over Dizzy Castle indoor playground
 like one of the big kids with his cousins instead of staying in the toddler area
-birthday dinner with the family

-our oldest grandson's twelfth birthday
-a quiet afternoon after a lot of busyness
-God is working and answering prayers

-grandparent's day at my two oldest grandkids' school

-driving to the beach for the afternoon once the festivities were over
-my hub's singing along to worship music as we drive

-God's encouragement as I walk/run and pray
-an unexpected invitation from my friend
-a sweet end of the day with my husband

-an encouraging word 
-an wonderful "Vision Conversation" lunch
-a long phone conversation with my out of town friend

still following,