Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Face to face with darkness...

My husband, who is a pastor, had just left for a conference out of state when I got the call.  It was someone who attended our church, asking "the pastor" to please come.  They said their loved one was acting crazy and they didn't know what to do.  I called our associate pastor and asked him to meet me at their home.  As I approached their front door, two city policeman were coming out.  I introduced myself and asked them what was going on inside.  I was shocked at the police officer's response.  "That person needs an exorcism..." (to continue, join me here.  I have the privilege of guest posting today over at Emily's place, Imperfect Prose.)

Still following,

Monday, October 29, 2012

One of these mantels is not like the other...

I decorated my mantel simply and in neutral colors because of the wooden cubby on the wall near it.
I wanted the room to look quiet and peaceful not overly busy.
But I've made a small change to my mantel since this post.
Can you tell what it is?
Yes, a lovely white pumpkin just "jumped" into my cart on a quick trip to Safeway.
I think it was just the finishing touch my autumn mantel needed.
I also added some larger music page leaves to the arrangement in Mama's old bean pot.
I can't believe it's going to be November this week!
November's going to be a big month in our family.
My middle daughter and two grandbabies will be arriving here on Thanksgiving day,
(my son-in-law will come closer to Christmas).
The following week our youngest grand baby will celebrate her first birthday.
Then, the race to Christmas begins!
It will be wonderful having all of my daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren here for the holidays.
My oldest granddaughter is very excited that she will be here to help me decorate and bake and I will enjoy having her help.
I hope my white pumpkin survives through Thanksgiving.
Later this week, I have a quick and easy Thanksgiving Pottery Barn "knock off" idea I'll be showing you.

I've got the news on while I'm blogging, watching the storm coverage from the east coast.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you affected.

Still following,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Post retreat...

It's pouring rain, coming down in buckets instead of drops.
Soon the colorful trees will be stripped naked, all but the towering old growth evergreens around our home.
 I feel warm, cozy and wrapped up in love.
I didn't know how much I needed it,
this weekend retreat with the women from our church.
We ate too much.
Oh, the food was so, so good.
We stayed up late and slept too little.
We sat around in our pajamas talking and laughing,
then went to bed and lay there in the dark talking and laughing some more.
We sang and worshipped together, we heard the Word taught together,
we prayed together, we cried together.
It was glorious.
My spirit was nurtured by this time with my friends, these beautiful women, my sisters in Christ.

(Thank you to all who read this post, who prayed for me and prayed about our retreat.
It made a difference.)

I’ve taken the Joy Dare.

I’m counting one thousand thanks in one year.

I hunt for thanksgiving using the prompts Ann gives us each month.

If you are interested in joining in, click the link above or at the bottom of this post.

I continue to count my thanks

piling up gratitude day by day

in my little black journal…


a gift silent-
-my home office in the morning quiet

a gift still-
-my heart as I trust God to bring the details together for our ladies' retreat

a gift strong-
-a drenching downpour

3 gifts begun-
-a new Precepts Bible study
-morning coffee at the desk in my home office, starting on today's to-do list
-a new day

3 gifts accomplished-
-Bible study prep done
-ladies' retreat prep done
-Sunday's message done

3 gifts extravagant-
-His love
-His grace
-His blessings

a gift humbling-

a gift honoring-
-each time I get to stand before people and teach God's Word

a gift happy-
-laughing long and late with the other ladies at retreat

3 gifts in Christ-
-our church family
-the whole body of Christ from every tribe and tongue
-His Spirit

Gratefully yours,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why it's quiet here...

Hello blog friends, followers, and readers.
A special welcome to my newest blog followers!
I haven't had a chance to personally welcome each of you or to reply to all of your comments the past couple of days.
My nose has been to the grindstone, so to speak, as I am getting ready for our church's annual ladies' retreat this weekend.
On top of all that, I didn't feel well for the past two days.
 I just haven't been able to "do it all" this week, so this place might be a bit more quiet than usual until Sunday evening or so.

Still following,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rainy fall day...

I felt restless yesterday.
I had a long list of things on my to-do list, things to do indoors in my office, but I couldn't seen to stay focused.
I used the excuse that I needed to make a quick run to the store to pick up some potatoes for the beef stew I was making for dinner, and run by and pick up our mail, to take my camera and find a bit of beauty on this rainy, fall day.
I took a quick little detour to one of my favorite spots before heading to the store and managed to squeeze in a few quick shots in between rain showers.
I was also hoping to find some fall foliage, or perhaps rose hips, for a little autumn cheer in my enamelware pitcher.
I didn't find any in the woods near the covered bridge, but found this unindentified plant with the little peach colored berries behind our private mailbox building.
Hope they don't mind me snitching a few small branches.

After I got home, I got the stew started, headed to my office and got a few things on my to-do list done, while it simmered.
The weather was crazy all day, alternating between heavy downpours and sun breaks.
About an hour before dinner, I was able to get a quick run in during one of the sun breaks.
Exercising outdoors is so much more enjoyable to me than indoors on the elliptical machine.
Then the downpour started again, but by that time we were seated cozily around the table, enjoying beef stew and cornbread with our oldest daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters.

Still following,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Life is good....

The temperatures have dropped the last couple of days, 
Mt. Hood,  just east of Portland,  has its first frosting of snow.
My two oldest grandkids called and told me they were making a Christmas chain, one link for each day until Christmas.
I teased them that it's too soon, that it isn't even Halloween yet, but I must admit, I've been thinking ahead too...
planning Thanksgiving, gathering gift and decorating ideas for Christmas.
All of my daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren will be here for Christmas, so I'm really looking forward to it.
But not so much that I'm wishing away today, or neglecting to notice this moment.

There's a chill in the air outside, but it's cozy here in our home.
I'm snuggled up with a wool quilt on my lap, typing away, a movie, (that I'm only barely paying attention to), is on the t.v. 
Outside it's just beginning to get dark, but the light in the neighbor's windows glows warmly, a look that seems unique to the shortened days of autumn and winter.

Youngest granddaughter is standing now, her mama, my oldest daughter, just texted me a photo.
She was really close to doing so when we watched her last week.

The coming week will be busy getting ready for our church's annual ladies retreat next weekend.

Life is good, busy, full, sweet, not always easy, of course, not perfect, but blessed.
I’ve taken the Joy Dare.

I’m counting one thousand thanks in one year.

I hunt for thanksgiving using the prompts Ann gives us each month.

If you are interested in joining in, click the link above or at the bottom of this post.

I continue to count my thanks

piling up gratitude day by day

in my little black journal…

3 gifts reread-
-Jan Karon's Mitford books
-Edith Schaeffer's books

3 gifts burning-
-Mrs. Meyer's holiday scent candles found on clearance
-the fall smell of fires burning outdoors
-two sunny days, (the sun burning is all I could think of), in between rainy days

3 gifts ugly-beautiful-
-how a mud puddle is a thing of joy to 3 year old granddaughter
-how handprints on the patio doors mean the grandbabies have been here
-3 year old meltdown because she missed her mama and daddy

a gift shared-
-how risking to open up, encourages others to take a risk on relationships too

a gift saved-

a gift surrendered-
-the daily struggle to live an "I surrender all" life

3 gifts unexpected-
-new clearance sale boots
-lunch with the Hubs across town
-call from only grandson asking for Christmas craft ideas, even though it's not even Halloween yet

3 gifts unconventional-
-how youngest daughter is as rabid a fan of the Washington Huskies as her dad is
-that the stereotype is that the pastor's wife plays the piano, but my husband is the musician in our family, and I love listening to him play and sing
-my middle daughter, who is unfazed by the inconveniences, strange food, etc. of the mission field

3 gifts undervalued-
-delicious homemade chicken stock made from a roasted chicken carcass
-leftovers, (chicken and rice soup)
-our children's ministries team and nursery workers-to me they are heroes!

Gratefully yours,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Deuteronomy 26:11...

A few days ago, while on a walk with my three year old granddaughter, she was picking dandelions, "for my family", she said.
One for Daddy, one for Mommy, one for herself, and one for baby sister.
Within a minute or two, she had switched to picking up rocks, and the dandelions were forgotten.
Soon she had a whole collection of rocks, 
"This one is shaped like a pizza, Nana!", 
a few pinecones, 
and a stick,
 "This stick would be good to play fetch with a dog.
  I have a dog, but I think my dog's fetchin' brain is broke."
(She has a very old and tired pug dog.)
Anyway, soon she had gathered a "collection", enough bits and pieces of this and that from our walk that it filled a gift bag, which she proudly took home with her to show her mama.
Everything was so interesting, so fascinating to her, everything was a treasure.
I think that's how God created us to see things.
Unfortunately, we lose our childlikeness, and with it, our sense of wonder and appreciation.
We stop noticing and delighting in God's gifts.
I've been keeping a gratitude journal for three years now.
It's life changing.
I'm seeing the wonder all around me and I've gathered quite a "collection".
My gift bag is overflowing.

Still following,


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Friday's Favs...a little Country Living magazine inspiration


My November issue of Country Living magazine came yesterday.
The cover photo got my attention right away.
And a little idea began to form...
however, it had to be one "Ms. Puddle Jumper"...

 and "Ms. Crawl and eat any lint, crumb or pine needle Nana hasn't cleaned off the floor"...
could either help with or that I could do during nap time, (aka "Happy Hour").
They helped me with the collecting leaves part.
Then, while they were napping, I pressed the leaves using the pressing between waxed paper method.
Since I didn't have the spray adhesive recommended in Country Living, I lightly brushed Elmer's Glue on the back of the leaves with a small paintbrush and pasted them on some sketching paper.
I then covered the pages and leaves with the waxed paper I had used previously and set some heavy books on top of them until the glue was dry.
With some miniature clothes pins and my drying rack, my little idea was complete,  just in time before the grandbabies woke up from their nap.
It hangs on the entry hall wall,  just as it leads into the living room.

I think I like it!
After her nap, "Ms. Puddle Jumper" and I made a little something for Mommy who was coming home from her trip that evening.
Using miniature clothes pins and a simple piece of twine is another cute and easy way to display these pressed leaves.

Well, it's almost Friday!

Have a HAPPY,  HAPPY Friday
and a BLESSED weekend!

vintage inspiration button1aaadoveladygfairy006Stuff and Nonsense

I'm Lovin' It at TidyMomSeasonal-Sunday-Teapot-copy_thumb3
Shabby Art Boutique

Also linking to Jennifer Rizzo's Fabulously Creative Friday
and the Fall Nesting Party at the Inspired Room.