Sunday, January 31, 2016

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow...

I love this quote from Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts.  "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow" is a familiar hymn, and isn't that saying the same thing?  Everything comes from Him, a good bowl of homemade soup,  rainbows, grandbabies, the strength to go on a run.  My thanks for these things is thanksgiving to the One from Whom these blessings flow.  
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)

-doing some Valentine crafting
-a sweet time of prayer
-a beautiful spring like day
-a run with S.
-still life photography

-spending the afternoon with our two youngest granddaughters
-youngest grandson saying "Nana! Nana!" on FaceTime
-dishes done and bed made by my hubs

-getting to an appointment on time in spite of rush hour traffic
-the story of Joseph, and the lessons it contains about forgiveness
-podcasts while running
-a new chair for our living room

-meeting with my writing friend
-a chance to pray with our insurance agent
-our new to us house more conveniently located for me to meet with others from church in our home

-a safe drive to Bellevue, Wa.
-six rainbows on the drive north!
-eating our favorite, Teriyaki Madness, parked by Lake Washington
-window shopping at Bellevue Square
-a lazy evening relaxing at our hotel

-getting a late checkout so we could have room service breakfast, relax, and get ready for our nephew's wedding
-a beautiful wedding and a good visit with our sister and bro-in-law, nephews, cousins, etc.

-God's lavish love for us
-He never gives up on us, never stops working in us
-a meeting about my upcoming trip to Nicaragua with Forward Edge!

still following,

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Your life line in the midst of your stormy sea...

When writing online, I'm aware that on any given day there is the possibility that someone who reads my posts may be facing the most difficult trial of their life.  In context, this passage is speaking specifically about financial circumstances.  Maybe you are in desperate financial straits and see no way out, no way through.  However, I think that this promise applies to any circumstance that a child of God may face. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 31st, at Woman to Woman Ministries where I'm sharing some Sunday Soul Food.)

still following,
Barbie Swihart

Scripture and Snapshot

Also happily linking up with the lovely Lisha Epperson 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Friday Faves...Free and Easy Valentine Mantel

As I'm reading Marie Kondo's, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and donating carloads of clothes and decorations and such to the Salvation Army, it didn't make sense for me to go out and buy more seasonal decorations, just so I could have something new for Valentine's decorating.  
So, I challenged myself to use things I already had.
 I used a heart shaped hole punch on a piece of thin cardboard, made dots around the edges with a chalk pin, then used an embroidery needle and string so they could be hung from this branch.
My granddaughters bought me this heart shaped box for my birthday.
I'm glad I thought to get it from my bedroom and add it to my mantel.
It goes perfectly with the other decorations.

 I stenciled L-O-V-E and X-O onto some wrapping paper and put them in frames I already had.
Quick, easy, and free!

Well, it's almost Friday, friends.
I hope you have a 
a SAFE and BLESSED weekend!


Shabby Art Boutique

Also sharing at the Share It One More Time Link Party

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

LISTEN, my word for 2016 and how it's already rocking my world...

The dream woke me up in the wee hours.  I wasn't frightened.  I knew the dream wasn't a foretelling. I knew right away that God was revealing another layer of healing He wanted to do in me to bring me into a greater measure of wholeness.  In the dream, my husband and I had been promised a ministry position that was very promising.  However, after we were in the position, we found that we had been deceived and that the pay was only fifty dollars a week. The dream continued on, I couldn't tell you the plot in story form, only that suddenly the next turn of events was a betrayal by someone we loved and trusted. When I woke up, memories of different times in our ministry where we were promised things that never happened and instances of betrayal came immediately to mind.  Lying there in my bed before the sun was up, I knew exactly who God was pinpointing that I needed to forgive.  The Lord then targeted some areas of fear in my life that He wanted to heal.  

If you come here regularly, you may already know that I felt led by God to embrace the word listen as my word for 2016.  My prayer has been that I will grow in listening to God's voice, heeding what He says, and obeying Him wholeheartedly.  We're not even a full month into this listening journey, God and I, but He's already rocking my inner world. It's not as if the things He's been speaking to me about have been a surprise or that they are things I've been avoiding dealing with in the past.  Rather, it's been as if He's taking me another layer deeper, like He's digging up some of the stubborn roots.

In the verse in the photo above, Jeremiah 7:23, it speaks to God's desire for us to listen and obey, but what stood out to me when I read this verse was God's desire for us to walk in the WHOLE way that He commands us.  However, the meaning of the word whole that sprung up in my spirit wasn't the standard  definition of entire, though we should certainly listen to and obey God entirely.  What I felt that God was speaking to me was that He wants me, wants us, to walk in the whole way, as in undamaged, as in complete inner health and freedom.  When we listen to and obey God's voice we are marked as His people.  Shouldn't it stand to reason that He wants us to walk in WHOLENESS, that, as stated at the end of  the verse, He desires it to be well with us?  He desires it to be well within us, too.  So, since I know that my Father has nothing but good intentions for me, I'm willing to listen and yield to His processes within.  I'm ready to allow Him to get rid of those stubborn roots, even if He has to speak to me through a dream to do it.

still following,
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Darling Downs Diaries

USE this for BLOG

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bowl of {Mandarin} Oranges...

 "But if the world could remain within a frame like a painting on a wall.
Then I think we would see the beauty.
Then we would stand staring in awe at our still lives posed like a bowl of oranges"
"Bowl of Oranges" by Bright Eyes

Today was beautiful in every way.

The weather was sunny and spring like.

(edited with Kim Klassen's elevate texture, lighten, 15% opacity)
I was able to begin my day unhurried.

I had a sweet time in my home office with my Bible, some journaling, some prayer.

(edited with Kim Klassen's 99 texture, multiply mode)
I did a bit of creating and crafting.

I went on a run on the path that runs along the Columbia River with a friend from church.

(desat 10%, flo preset 20%)
I ran some errands and bought a few groceries.

I did some laundry.

(edited with Kim Klassen's benjamin texture, hard light, 20% opacity)
I made a healthy dinner for my husband and myself.

Oh, and I took a few still life photos of the mandarin oranges I bought at the grocery store.
They're in the beautiful pedestal bowl that I found a while ago.
 I wanted an ironstone fruit bowl for quite some time, 
and then was blessed to find this bowl for only thirteen dollars.
It's not antique, but I am still smitten.

(edited with Kim Klassen's 0411 texture, lighten, 20%opacity)
I'm not always blessed to have an unhurried Monday.
Sure, I have a running to-do list of things I could have, maybe even should have done.
Yet, I don't feel a bit guilty.
Today I didn't just photograph a still life, I lived a still life.
It was lovely.

still following,

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I choose thanks...

The week has zoomed by in a blur.  "What happened this week?", I ask myself, trying to remember the days and what I did.  Then I sit down and open up my gratitude journal. It reminds me of the past seven days and this blessed life I'm living.  It may have sped by, one seemingly ordinary day running into the next, if I hadn't stopped for a few minutes and written down my blessings. Reading it, I realized that there's really no such thing as an ordinary day if you have your eyes trained to see the extraordinary in the midst of it all.

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 really good night's sleep
-a wonderful prayer time on my walk/run, God's presence so near on the path with me
-healthy, but yummy, dinner

-God giving me a creative solution for something I needed for the house, when I prayed about it
-my youngest grandson, (20 months), came up to me and gave me a big kiss and hug, 
then later he said "I love you" to me, as clear as a bell!
(Papa got a bit carried away with the bubbles)
-my six year old granddaughter telling her mom, "God doesn't have ideas, because He already knows everything"
-more stuff given to the Salvation Army, lightening the load!

-God doing more clean up work in my heart
-texting with my daughters
-crockpot meals

-a new day
-our oldest grands wanting Papa to pick them up for school so they can hang out with us
-finding my watercolor paintings after asking God where I put them when we moved
-waiting, listening, then knowing what I should write

-a huge hawk standing by the side of the freeway, watching the traffic go by
(He was beautiful, I wish i could have photographed him.)
-comfy, cozy cotton sweaters
-medium rare steak topped with mushrooms and a side of broccolini for our date day healthy dinner
-the huge moon

-another carload of stuff for Salvation Army-YaY!
-my youngest grandson and his dog
-our youngest granddaughter crying about some developers cutting down the trees in the lot behind their house, while her big sister quipped, "at least our yard will get more sunlight!"
-loving texts from my hubs
-Saturday chores around the house
-a beautiful break in the rainy weather, just when I left to go on my walk/run

-beautiful worship
-a challenging and encouraging word
-a thoughtful remark from a friend
-lunch and laughter
-our beautiful Columbia River
-picking our friends up from the airport after they were on vacation for two weeks and getting to visit with them

still following,