Sunday, October 30, 2011

Appreciation…

Sunday morning was drizzle-y, drippy and gray.

But inside the rented middle school auditorium warmth and love flowed like a river.

We know God is always with us, but this morning WE KNEW GOD WAS WITH US, in capital letters.

His love overwhelming us and spilling out on one another, the old and the young, the lost and the found, the sick and bound and the well and free.

This is what makes our hearts soar, to see God touch lives and then to see them ignited to reach out to others…like the 40-50 youth from the low income apartments next to the church office that have been showing up on Sunday nights to our new youth outreach these past few weeks.  Some of them have been bringing their younger brothers and sisters, even some of their mamas have wandered in.  So many of our people wanted to be there to serve them, to love on them, we had to say, “Some of you stay home tonight, we have too much help.”  I think that’s the first time in all our years of ministry that we’ve said those words.

All that to say this, seeing changed lives is it’s own reward.  But at the close of church this morning our church showed a video of different ones in the congregation thanking the Hubs and I for being their pastors.  They gave us gifts as well, for pastor’s appreciation.  The gratitude was so meaningful to us.  Honestly, there aren’t words adequate to express how it made us feel, for them to speak and show their appreciation was priceless.

It made me want to make God’s heart feel the same way.  For my gratitude to rise up to Him and swell His heart with joy the way our hearts felt this morning.  To speak and to show my appreciation.  To be ever mindful to say, thank You, God.

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I continue to count my thanks

piling up gratitude day by day

in my little green journal.

#1441-#1453

Thank You, God…

-for a day with my granddaughter and reading about Sal and those blueberries, (again!), and her favorite froggie book,(again!), and walking with her in the fall leaves

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-for the first frost of fall

-for an evening walk with the Hubs

-for crispy, cold fall air

-for the smell of woodsmoke from the neighbor’s fireplace

-for Your always on time provision

-for crafting and creating

-that nothing is too difficult for You (Genesis 18:14)

-for men from church giving time and hard work to help us with a project at our home

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-for house work and hard work and decluttering

-for baby showers and a daughter, 10 years unable to have babies, soon to give birth to miracle baby number two

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-for the way my far away grandbabies say “Hi Nana!” just like that, with an exclamation point in their voice every time I call

-for my Hubs and how in a marriage of 35 years you have dry seasons as well as seasons of falling in love all over again, and for being in the latter one

 

Gratefully yours,

Elizabeth


Friday, October 28, 2011

Peace…

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There is nothing better than when the peace of God rules your mind and heart.

I pray this verse most every day, making it a declaration, speaking it out loud.

“You have given me Your peace…I will not let my heart be troubled or afraid…”

I’m reminding myself while praying it to God and declaring it to the enemy.

Did you know that when the Bible speaks of the Word being like a two-edged sword,

the word for two-edged can also mean two-mouthed?

I believe this is because the Word is a powerful weapon,

first spoken out of the mouth of God, and now spoken out of ours…two mouths, two-edged.

Let me encourage you to speak out the Word of God.

It’s a powerful weapon we should be using.

Still following,

Elizabeth







Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday’s Favs…I’m lovin’ my “vintage” wooden caddy

 

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My goal was to make this $5 wooden caddy look vintage like the ones I’ve seen in antique stores.

Those cost in the $40 dollar range.

Here’s the end result:

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I started out by cleaning the caddy off with a rag and a bit of bleach.

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Next I dry brushed it with some flat white paint.

By this I mean I gave it a light coat with a brush not too saturated with the paint.

I wanted it to look streaky with the paint strokes showing and peeks of blue showing through.

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When that coat was dry I thinned down some burnt umber craft paint with water and brushed that on.

Then I wiped the excess off with paper towels.

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When that was dry I sanded spots that I wanted to look “worn”.

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Then I put a good coat of natural color furniture wax on it and buffed it with a cloth once it was dry.

It still lacked something, so I got some brown shoe polish, the kind in the can, and waxed it again with that!

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And now I’m lovin’ it!

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HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE and HAVE A BLESSED WEEKEND!

 

Still following,

Elizabeth







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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Prodigal daughters…

As I young mama, my heart bursting with love

For our three little girls

Two brown eyed girls with brown hair and one blue eyed blond

I prayed they would love and serve God wholeheartedly

And I just knew they would

My faith was unshakeable on this

They weren’t little saints floating along

Feet unmuddied by this world

But neither was their mama

All three chose Jesus

And never let Him go

All three chose a life of leading other’s to Him

Amazing grace in spite of our imperfect parenting

Then through the years

We gathered spiritual daughters into our lives

Into our hearts

Sometimes even into our home

And I knew for the first time what it was to not be sure

To not be sure that they would choose God and His ways

And then some broke our hearts and didn’t

And went right back into the muck and mire of their past

And I knew what it was to suffer a broken heart as only a mama can

And the tears still come when I think of them

But by faith I still pray

By faith I still listen for the ring of the phone

By faith I still scan the computer for a message

By faith I keep watch out the window

Praying, hoping, believing

that they’ll find the path

that leads back Home

 

Still following,

Elizabeth

 

{Will you pray with me for three prodigals that are on my heart today?}


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why I “need” steel cut oats and Pottery Barn napkins…

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My Hubs can see right through me.

Dog gone it.

When I had my last physical my cholesterol was up.

I exercise regularly and watch my fat intake pretty carefully.

Unfortunately, high cholesterol is in my genetics.

Dog gone it again.

The good news is that my good cholesterol was high too,

so my doctor wasn’t too panicked.

She said to try natural ways to reduce it…oatmeal, omega 3, etc.

So when I saw these steel cut oats at the store I bought them.

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For my health you know.

Steel cut oats are less processed than regular oatmeal,

therefore they contain more fiber and have more cholesterol lowering power.

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But the Hubs said, “You just bought them because you like the tin they’re in.”

Busted.

{I thought once we ate them, the tin would be so cute with flowers in it.}

But we actually like the steel cut oats.

So, when the tin was empty, I found a bag of organic steel cut oats at Costco and filled the tin back up.

These oats take 30 minutes to cook.

For convenience sake you can bring them to a boil the night before,

cook them for one minute, turn off the heat and put a lid on them.

In the morning all you have to do is stir them up and reheat them.

I like mine topped with fat free milk, dried cherries and some walnuts.

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On another note, notice the lovely cloth napkins in my photos.

Pottery Barn clearance! 

Marked down twice!

We use cloth napkins a lot.

And aren’t cloth napkins better for the environment than using all that paper?

So I needed these.

Just like the oats.

 

Still following,

Elizabeth

 



Beach Cottage Good Life WednesdaysPhotobucket
 

 


 

 

Monday, October 24, 2011

An orange in the toe…

Sweet, juicy oranges remind me that Christmas is on the way.

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When I was a little girl our Christmas stockings always had a orange in the toe,

then some nuts still in the shell and a few candies.

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Oranges were a treat and the few gifts under the tree were anticipated

with butterflies in the tummy excitement

and dreamed about at night.

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I feel a bit sorry for the overindulged children who don’t know what it is to really savor a juicy orange

or to anticipate, dream about, long for, the one or two rare, but oh so special,

gifts they will open Christmas morning.

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Yes,  oranges remind me that Christmas is just around the corner.

What reminds you of your childhood holidays?

 

Still following,

Elizabeth

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blessings that come wrapped in change…

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She’s a wee bit out of sorts lately.

Changes, changes, changes.

Last month Mama and Daddy and she moved from their large, roomy house with the wee, little yard

to a wee, little house with a large, roomy yard.

They moved so they could live in the same neighborhood where they’ve planted their church.

She cried saying, “I want to go home!”

Changes are hard.

But wrapped up with this change came a friendly neighborhood with much more of a community feel,

lovely places within walking distance,

fun parks with swings and slides to play on.

The biggest change is only a month away.

She’s going to be a big sister.

She can’t lay her head on Mama’s lap without baby sister kicking her in the head from within Mama.

She’s moved into a big girl bed now, so baby sister can have the crib.

Yes, changes are hard.

Little does she know that wrapped in this season of difficulty will come one of life’s biggest blessings.

A sister…

someone to laugh with, squabble with, share secrets with, play with…

a life long friend.

Sometimes our biggest blessings come wrapped up in difficulty,

in change,

in being stretched beyond what’s comfortable.

In the season of change

it helps if you’ve trained your eyes to look for

the blessing that is wrapped within.

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I continue to count my thanks

piling up gratitude day by day

in my little green journal.

#1432-#1441

-beautiful fall day for a walk

-dinner with oldest daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter followed by a walk in their new neighborhood,

playing at the park and gelato!

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-phone calls with my daughter in Missouri and my daughter and grandbabies in South Carolina

-blue, blue sky, green, green evergreens, fire-y colored autumn leaves

-juicy oranges

-fuzzy tailed squirrel jumping from fence to tree

-my online community group for women in ministry

-two days of learning how to study the Bible inductively

-laughter and fun with a new friend

-another wonderful Sunday of great worship, great word, and God touching lives

Gratefully yours,

Elizabeth

Friday, October 21, 2011

27 million lost sheep…

103verse

My son-in-law and daughter had a showing of Nefarious:Merchant of Souls at their church on Wednesday.

It’s a documentary on global sex trafficking.

I thought I knew about the severity of the problem.

It’s so much bigger, so much worse, than you can imagine.

Here are some of the ugly facts about sex slavery:

27 million people around the world are enslaved.

Human trafficking is a 32 billion dollar a year industry,

bringing in more revenue than all major sports combined.

Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world.

2 million children are involved in the international commercial sex trade.

80% of all trafficking victims are women and children forced into the sex trade.

The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the United States is 13.

How can you become an abolitionist against sex slavery:

Prayer: through prayer we can defeat the forces of spiritual darkness enslaving people in sexual slavery and bondage (one suggestion is to pray whenever you have to stop at a red light)

Awareness: aggressive grassroots awareness campaigns can sway public opinion.  To make cultural heart change we must expose this.  Please help spread the word.

Giving: give to organizations like Exodus Cry who are praying, raising awareness, and taking action, such as legislative work, social advocacy for victims, building task forces, and developing LightHouses (safe houses for victims.)

We cannot let these 27 million lost sheep be forgotten.

 

Still following,

Elizabeth





Thursday, October 20, 2011

Friday’s Favs… Deepwood Estates {part deux}

A couple of days ago I posted about my blog friend inviting me to meet her

and some other bloggers for a day out.

We toured historic Deepwood Estate in Salem, Oregon.

I showed you some garden and exterior photos,

and now here are some interior shots of this beautiful, historic home.

The sunroom is across the porch from the front door.

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Beautiful stained glass windows are throughout the home.

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In the dining room the wall is curved, so the glass in the windows is curved!

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Beautiful woodwork abounds.

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This is my favorite stained glass window in the house.

Can you believe it’s in the bathroom?

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Lovely old embroidery work.

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Beautiful fireplaces in the bedrooms.

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Lovely old transoms.

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Arched doorways and cornices.

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A stained glass window in the closet!

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Funny old hangers.

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The details on the doorknobs and hinges are amazing.

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I hope you enjoyed these glimpses of this historic old beauty.

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE and HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Elizabeth






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