Thursday, April 30, 2015

Friday Favs...Viburnum!


My husband's grandma had a viburnum, a snowball bush as my husband calls it, in her yard.
He often commented about it, so of course we planted one in our yard too.


It's huge now, towering above the six foot fence that separates our yard from the neighbors.
It's so full of blooms this year that the branches are bent low under the weight.


On this week's gray, rainy Tuesday, when the phone rang with bad news,
I brought some viburnum inside to put in my old French canning jar,
I lit the tea lights in my mason jar lid inserts,
and breathed in the beauty of my right now while I waited for my husband
 to get home so we could go up to the hospital together.


 To all of those who read my post on Wednesday and are praying for the young mama in our church,
I want to say thank you so much.
Please keep praying!






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





         1aaadoveladygfairy006    

TidyMomShabby Art Boutique



Kim Klassen dot com

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Right now...

Monday's weather was in the eighties, more summer-like than spring.
It was a beautiful day for a baseball game...

...for a ride on the swings...

... for drippy, sticky popsicle stained faces.

Like an unforeseen mood swing,  Tuesday was cold and wet.
The phone rang with news to match the weather.
A young mama in our church was told by doctors that there is nothing more they can do.
My husband and I drove up the hill to the hospital that overlooks our city.
I sat in the room when two little girls were told by their mama that the doctors say she is dying.
She talked about the only options remaining, that Jesus miraculously heals her here,
or that she goes to be with Him.
We prayed, we cried, and we told her to keep fighting to live, 
until she hears the voice of Jesus telling her it's time for her to come home.

Life has no guarantees of always being a sunny Monday.
Rainy Tuesdays will come to us all.
God forbid that we should waste either one,
the sunny days or the cloudy ones.
Fear, worry, anxiety and stress are time thieves of the present moment.
They focus us on the what ifs instead of on the right now.
In a hospital room, when the doctors can do no more,  life narrows to the right now.
We realize, literally, that we are fully dependent on God for our next breath.
We savor this moment.
We memorize our loved one's face.
 We tell them every important thing we want them to hear, to know.
We forgive any offenses and ask to be forgiven.
We smother them with kisses.
We hold their hand.

God forbid that we should wait for a hospital room to live like this.
There's a reason God repeatedly told us not to worry, not to fret.
It blinds us to the blessings and the beauty right in front of our eyes.
It keeps us from embracing life and living it fully.
You and I are no different from that young mama in ICU,
we are all, literally, fully dependent on God for our next breath.
The question is, how will we live our right now?

still following,

  


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Monday, April 27, 2015

Serendipity...


(Kim's 2203 texture, hard light, 60% opacity)

Today was busy, so I didn't have a lot of creative time to think of or set up my still life shots 
for this photography post.
Instead, I decided just to photograph objects already on the dresser in my little home office.
This room doesn't have the best light. 
It's on the second story and has a big cedar tree outside shading the only window.
Yet, in spite of the lack of time and light, the photo above has me smitten.
It's not about my skill, it's just serendipity, a pleasant surprise, 
an unplanned, unexpected sweet shot.

(Kim's avery texture, lighten, 40% opacity)

(Kim's Monday texture, hard light, 30% opacity)

(Kim's hughes texture, screen mode, 20% opacity)

I like this one too.
I rather like the focal point on the unopened buds and the key, instead of on the opened flowers.

(Kim's flow texture, screen mode, 30% opacity)

I hope you don't think I'm boasting when I say I like one of my own photos.
When I sit down to edit them,  it's like opening a surprise.
"Oh, that angle or that light or that focal point really worked!",  I think to myself,
or at times I'm disappointed at how many photos end up deleted.
On the photos that "pass muster",  I try to edit it in a way that enhances the mood of the photo.

(Kim's touch of 1 texture, hard light, 30% opacity)

still following,
Kim Klassen {dot com}







Sunday, April 26, 2015

Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle...


A young mama in our church is in the hospital tonight fighting for her life. She's had two mitral valve replacements. Following the second surgery she was in a coma and the outlook was grim. But God did a miracle and she is now cognitive and alert, talking and walking and eating. However, now  she is experiencing inoperable leaking around the valve and she is in congestive heart failure. 

This morning a dear friend of ours, a gifted Bible teacher, spoke at our church on the topic of Jesus saying, "I Am the resurrection and the life".  The disciples, the family and friends of Mary and Martha, and many in the city saw the proof of His claim when He raised Lazarus from the dead.  When I followed along in my own Bible as our friend read the scriptures I noted that I have written in the margin of my Bible by John 11:41, "Eucharisto, thanksgiving, always precedes the miracle", a quote from Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts.

I got to thinking about Jesus thanking His Father for listening to Him.  Then I got to thinking about the fact that the Father loves me, loves us, just as He loves the Jesus.  In the prayer of Jesus, (John 17 :23), He says, "You have loved them even as You have loved Me".  So, as I'm praying for this young mama tonight, maybe I need to remember that, just as He did His Son, my Father hears me, He always hears me and listens to me.  Maybe I need to stop asking long enough to thank Him.  Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle.
***************
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 little green journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)
#6025-#6046-

4-20-15-
-God's forgiveness
-God is my refuge and my strength
-salmon given to us by a friend, and cooked on the grill
-God's protection

4-21-15-
-a piece of whole grain toast smeared with goat cheese and topped with homemade raspberry jam for breakfast
-the hub's coming home early and us getting away for a late lunch and a trip to the lilac gardens
-comfy new shoes 
 (I think they are cute as well as comfy. 
One daughter agrees with me, and two daughters think they look like "old lady shoes". haha!)

4-22-15-
-a couple of hours with just me and my youngest grandson
-backyard blooms
-finishing another project for my daughter's wedding

4-23-15-
-lunch with a friend that I haven't visited with in too long
-counseling and praying with others
-coming home after a full afternoon and evening of ministry and knowing that tomorrow is the hub's day off!

4-24-15-
-a rainy day, staying home together, being lazy and watching a good movie
-dinner with friends
-getting called away from our evening with friends to go up to the hospital, 
but first, us all gathering in a circle and praying together,
 praying at the hospital with the brave young mama and her family,
and noticing that the best view overlooking the whole city is from her hospital room

4-25-15-
-our daughter's future in-laws' family giving her another lovely wedding shower


-going shopping with my daughter afterwards for some new clothes for her rehearsal dinner and honeymoon
-getting my housecleaning chores and my walk done when I got home in inspite of a day of fun!

4-26-15-
-our dear friends ministering at our church today
-taking them to a Jordanian restaurant for lunch afterwards and they thought it was so fun and loved the food
-God hears and listens to our prayers

gratefully yours,

Friday, April 24, 2015

God's guidance...


Oh, how I wish the leading of God in my life was as obvious as this arrow, 
(which is actually a piece of a broken branch, that I came across on my walk recently).
The good new is, God promises to instruct us, to teach us, to counsel us in the way we should go,
if we are willing to be instructed, taught and counseled by Him.
It's rather up to us isn't it?

In my opinion, we can make going the right direction in our life far too complicated.
God's will for our life isn't some mysterious, nebulous thing that God dangles in front of us like a carrot on a stick, and just when we are about to grasp it, He jerks it out of the way, 
laughing with glee at our confusion and frustration.
I believe God delights in leading us clearly.

Here are some common ways that I believe God leads us.
 Through His Word- 
 In the Bible we can find guidance on what is God's will and what isn't.
There are some pretty clear "arrows" pointing us in the right direction in the Bible.
For example, it's God's will that we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
It's God's will that we love our neighbor as ourself.
It's God's will that we glorify Him with our life.
If we just sifted our life decisions through those three filters, 
that alone would eliminate a lot of poor choices.

By the leading of His Holy Spirit- 
If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then the Holy Spirit lives in you.
He is the Spirit of Wisdom.
He is the Counselor.
Let's pretend you're standing in the grocery line and the young mama in front of you
 is five dollars short on her purchases.
That inner knowing that you should give her the five dollars is the Holy Spirit in you.
So is that sudden feeling that you need to pray for your neighbor, or your son who's away at college, 
or that missionary from Uganda that you know. 
Likewise, that sick feeling, that lack of peace, about an upcoming decision, 
may well be the Holy Spirit telling you to wait or to not do it at all.
How do you tell if that "inner voice" is the Holy Spirit, your own thoughts or even the devil?
The voice of the Holy Spirit will always agree with the Word of God,
thoughts in opposition to the Word of God are from the enemy.
The voice of the Holy Spirit will never speak words of hopelessness to you,
again, these types of thoughts are from the enemy of your soul.
He wants you to despair, to give up and quit.
The Holy Spirit will speak words that will direct you to exalt Jesus not yourself, 
in other words, self focused, selfish thoughts aren't from God,
but from your own soul.

By the opening and closing of doors-
I'm a firm believer in the fact that sometimes God answers our prayers for His guidance, 
by simply shutting doors that aren't His will, and opening those that are.
We can be stubborn, though, and refuse to accept a closed door.
We can waste our time and effort beating on it, or figuring a way around it.
Perhaps God has closed the door for now because it's not the right time yet.
Perhaps it's not the right door for you at all.
I think we should give God permission in our lives to open the doors that are from Him,
and to close those that aren't, and then we should trust Him to do just that.

By godly counsel-
It's a good idea to consult trusted and proven godly people in your lives when you are facing a big directional decision.  
Ask them to pray with you.
Ask them for their input.

I'm so thankful that God wants us to know the way we should go.
I'm so thankful that His eyes are on us, that He's watchful over us.

still following,




Scripture and Snapshot


SUNDAY STILLNESS


Also happily linking up with the lovely Lisha Epperson