Friday, August 30, 2013

Ephesians 1:7...



So rich in kindness and grace...
I love those words.
I love the great heart of the One True God, 
the Only God of all of the gods of this world, 
who loves.
The Only God of all the gods, 
who gave His Only Son for us
while we were still neck deep in sin.
The Only God who can truly forgive sins.
So rich in kindness and grace indeed!


still following, 




Scripture and Snapshot




Thursday, August 29, 2013

Friday's Favs...My Back to School Mantel


Usually I am adamant about not making any fall-ish type decorating changes to my house until after Labor Day.
But, this has not been a usual NW Oregon summer.
Instead of being rainy clear up until, or even through, the fourth of July,
we have had a beautiful, mostly sunny, spring and summer this year.
However, last Monday it did rain, and I could smell the approach of autumn in the air.
Combine that with the fact that we had just arrived home from vacation and I was trying to avoid the to-do list and responsibilities of returning to real life, so I spent the first few hours of that rainy Monday morning changing my mantel from "beach cottage summer" to "back to school with a hint of fall".


The main items on my back to school mantel are the set of books by Charles Dickens that I found at the Goodwill this summer,  some birch bark candles that I've had for years, and some school flash cards with words that I chose that pertain to learning.



The little pennant garland was hastily made from some twine and some Dollar Tree gift wrap that I already had.


Sometimes the more simple and easy the decor is the more I like it, and that is the case with this year's back to school mantel.  
Quick, easy, simple...I'm lovin' it!

Well, it's almost Friday, friends!
HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
and have a BLESSED
Labor Day weekend!




vintage inspiration button              1aaadoveladygfairy006

TidyMomShabby Art Boutique




                                                      kim klaxon dot com
                            
 
             
Also linking to Jennifer Rizzo's Fabulously Creative Friday

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hooks...


It was our last night of vacation.
I asked the Hubs if we could go to the beach one last time and stay long enough to catch the sunset.
When the Hubs got settled in his beach chair and engrossed in a book,
 I decided to walk down the beach to the jetty.
It was on my way back to where the Hubs was sitting that I saw a pelican standing there on the sand.
I walked right up to snap his picture.
He didn't fly away.
He didn't run into the sea.
It was then that I suspected something was wrong with it.
I stayed awhile trying to shoo him, to see if I could tell what was wrong.
He waddled closer to the water.
Suddenly, a wave came in and knocked the pelican onto it's back.
It flailed there in the surf, it's neck stretched out, it's wings flailing in the water, 
fighting but not able to turn upright.
My stomach felt nauseous watching it.
I thought it was going to drown right before my eyes.
When the waves subsided it managed to get upright and to get back onto the sand.
It just stood there, immobile.
I finished walking to the Hubs and told him about the pelican, told him what I had seen.
He went to look for himself and came back reporting that he could see a fish hook in the pelican's head.
I felt helpless, not knowing the 911 to call for birds that need emergency assistance.
We watched the sunset and left the beach, left the pelican there in the sand.
The next day we flew home.

On Sunday morning, during a time of worship at our church, 
the whole memory of the pelican came back.
The Lord used the vivid picture of the struggling pelican to speak to my heart about hooks.
Hooks in our lives can be any number of things such as
unhealed hurts,
unmet needs,
unresolved issues.
If they aren't dealt with, removed, allowed to heal up, the storms in life that come our way,
even the smaller waves that we should normally be able to sail through, bowl us over, knock us down.
We feel we will surely drown if we get hit by one more wave.
We flail and we fight, but we just can't seem to get on our feet, and we surely can't fly.
We need Someone to help us.
We need Someone who knows how to remove hooks.
We need someone we can trust enough to surrender ourselves to while He removes the hooks.

First, we have to acknowledge that the hook is there.
It could be the unhealed hurt of a betrayal, a cruel or thoughtless word, abandonment, abuse.
The hook got in and has festered and become infected.
Perhaps there's unforgiveness, bitterness.
Or it could be the hook of an unmet need, 
a mama who never held or hugged you,
a daddy who never spoke the words, "I love you", 
 a spouse who is cold or uncaring,
a feeling of overwhelming loneliness.
The gaping hole in your soul is a hook.
Maybe it's the hook of unresolved issues, 
closure that never came as someone you cared about just walked out of your life,
a family member that you had a disagreement with and you haven't talked to in years,
a child that left your home and hasn't looked back.
Whatever the source of the hook is, whatever the cause,
Jesus already knows it's there.
It's you, it's me, that needs to admit it.
If I'm not able to cope with life's wind and waves,
if I can't remember the last time I soared,
that's a good indicator that there could be a hook.

Jesus is a specialist at hook removal.
He will lovingly and gently remove the hook and apply healing balm to the wound if you'll let Him.
Our part is being willing to let Him,
trusting Him,
surrendering to His healing processes.

I find that it takes time in His presence for this to happen,
time in His Word,
time in worship,
and maybe even some time with a trustworthy sister or brother in Christ.

One thing I'm sure of,
we're meant to be able to weather storms
and we're meant to soar.
Every last one of us.




still following,


                                    

                    

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An owl takeover...


I swore I'd never get sucked into "theme" decorating since my apple decorated kitchen that I had in the nineties.
Once people find out you collect apples you're doomed to have dozens and dozens of apple themed gifts.
I think I've finally gotten rid of almost all of those old apple-y things except my Franciscan ware apple dishes, which I still love.

But this time, I have no one to blame but myself.
It started with the one little owl planter above.



Then I saw this Shawnee pottery cookie jar owl at an antique store and fell in love with him.
Some friends bought him for me, and this is the one owl that I'll keep forever.
The Shawnee pottery owl salt and pepper shakers I found and bought myself.



Then this little owl cup came along.


And now an owl bank.
Help. Me.
{At least they're spread out in various rooms in the house.}


still following,


              



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Re-entry into real life...


A beautiful sunset greeted us as our flight landed home in Portland.
Our son-in-law picked us up at the airport in our car that they had used while we were on our vacation.
It was a happy excuse to have to drop him back off at his house and to get to see our two youngest granddaughters, (and our daughter of course).
When we pulled up to the curb, four year old granddaughter ran out the door and down the sidewalk, her blond little braids flying out behind her.
She had the book The Kissing Hand in her hands and wanted me to read it to her.
First, we gave her the new Minnie Mouse pajamas we had bought for her and her sister in California.
She loved them and was especially happy that they are soft and cozy.



Soon, she had me in the rocking chair, she was sitting on my lap, and I was reading the book to her.
When we got to the part where the mama raccoon kisses the palm of her baby, I went to kiss her palm, but she refused because she already had a kiss in her hand from her mama.
Youngest granddaughter was already asleep for the night, so we had to go home without getting to see her.

When we got home, our house sitter had left our home spic and span, 
and had a fresh bouquet of flowers to greet us.
We unpacked our suitcases and sank into the familiar comfort of our own bed.

I woke up to the sound of the Hubs leaving for the church, 
the closing of the door, 
the reassuring sound of him locking the deadbolt behind him.
That noise makes me feel loved, like he cares enough to take a minute to make me feel safe.
I looked at the clock and it said 5:27am.
The Hubs gets to the church hours before everyone else to get his heart and mind ready for the day.
I dozed back off and finally stumbled downstairs to make myself some coffee at about seven.

It was good to be greeted by everyone at church, them happy to have us home from vacation,
 even though things went well while we were gone.
Of course, the sweetest greetings were from our two oldest grands, who always come into the church and give us big hugs, like they haven't seen us in forever.

The presence of God was especially sweet today.
 I felt like I could dance, kneel and bow low, stand with hands raised and tears running down my face all in the course of this one morning.

The Hub's usually goes back to the church after lunch.
He likes to be around the building during our spanish service in the afternoon and youth group in the evening.
But, today, after a lunch of spicy chicken pad thai, he decided to come home.
We stopped on the way and bought groceries.
The cupboards were bare since I hadn't grocery shopped before leaving for vacation.

When we got home and the groceries were all put away,
the Hubs laid down on the bed and turned on some football.
I picked up a book I had just been given.
I read the author's other books over and over as a young wife and mama, 
so it was like reconnecting with an old friend to read her words again.
Eventually, I ended up dozing off, taking a little Sunday afternoon nap.

As I was typing this blog post, my son-in-law Facetimed us so we could see youngest granddaughter in her new jammies.  
She's all about Papa and kept asking to talk to him.
She cried when her daddy made her say nite-nite to us.

Tomorrow I have a list of to-do's to tackle,
but this day was a just right, slow and easy way to re-entry back into real life.

*************
In 2012 I followed the prompts in Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare in counting my thanks.
In 2013 I'm going back to the way I did it in the beginning,
just noticing and recording the many extraordinary blessings in my ordinary life.
And so I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little black journal.
(and capturing some of them via my camera or iPhone)

#3689-#3726

8-19-13-
-vacation morning, waking up early, reading awhile, dozing back off
-He's got my life in His hands, I have nothing to fear
-a soaking tub full of bubbles and a great book to read


-beautiful relaxing time by the sea, dolphins cavorting just off shore!




-my favorite soft cozy sweatshirt for coolish mornings and evenings


8-20-13-
-walking, walking, walking to find The Cheese Shop in La Jolla



- the lamb sandwich and their famous flourless oatmeal cookies that made the walking so worth it
-seeing Old Town in San Diego that we had missed last time we were there



-buying new Minnie Mouse jammies for our youngest granddaughters
-back "home" at my brother's house after being out and about all day
(so beyond grateful for the use of his house for our vacation)

8-21-13-
-the color of the sea


-beautifully written words that touch my heart


-walking to the jetty
-a friendly fisherman showing me his catch


-eating outdoors at a restaurant by the pier in San Clemente


8-22-13-
-sweet, slow mornings out on the patio, sipping coffee and having devotions


-finding a huge antique mall, enjoying looking, but not being compelled to buying anything
-the old stone walls of Mission San Juan Capistrano




-walking by the sea, collecting white stones

8-23-13-
-a phone video of youngest granddaughter trying to sing "Have Patience"
-reading that things are going well at home on Facebook
-visiting with my nephew
-a long walk on the beach
-staying until sunset


8-24-13-
-breakfast and a good visit with my nephew


-a safe flight home
-a beautiful sunset to greet us in Portland
-seeing our granddaughter, giving her her new jammies, reading The Kissing Hand with her
-our home

8-25-13-
-greetings from everyone glad to have us home
-big hugs from the oldest grands
-sweet presence of Jesus at church
-the surprise that it rained while we were in church
-spicy pad thai for lunch
-the Hubs coming home for the afternoon
-cupboards, freezer and refrigerator restocked with groceries
-a Sunday afternoon nap
-facetiming with the two youngest grands

gratefully yours,