Monday, February 29, 2016

Flowering quince...

(Photo edited with Kim Klassen's just a touch2, hard light, 30% opacity)
The other day I had a meeting close to our former neighborhood in the city.  
I noticed that the ornamental pear and cherry trees planted along the streets were beginning to bloom.
Salmon colored flowering quince blossomed in many of the yards that I passed.
(Photo edited with Kim Klassen's elevate texture, hard light, 20% opacity)
I've fully embraced our new to us house as home, 
but I'm still adjusting to life in a more suburban/rural setting.
The streets in my neighborhood aren't lined with blooming ornamental trees.
My former home was close to some protected greenspace in the city.
I used to forage some flowering quince branches that bloomed there amongst the blackberry brambles.
I was missing those things as I drove back to our new home.
As I neared our house, I glanced toward a vacant lot that's for sale and saw, smack dab in the middle of the lot, the telltale salmon colored blooms of flowering quince.
What a sweet surprise!
It seemed like a gift from above, just for me.
(Photo edited with Kim Klassen's dreamit texture, multiply mode 100%)
(for songography-lyrics from Les Fleur by Minnie Riperton.
Photo edited with Kim Klassen's waterfront texture.)

still following,

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Joy begins with thanksgiving...

Sometimes heaviness unexplainably comes knocking at the door.  When you can't uncover any spiritual, physical or emotional cause, maybe the enemy has sent it your way just to see if you'll open the door and welcome it in. Instead, report that the enemy is trespassing on your property to your Father.  Then, open your mouth in praise, worship and thanksgiving because the enemy hates this.  Let him know that he's not welcome.  Let God's presence and peace fill your heart and home as you give thanks. Soon there'll be no room for heaviness or any of its kin.
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)


-time with Jesus in prayer, the Word and worship in my home office
-a basket of succulents
-spring like weather that made my walk/run more appealing
-my husband excited to be sharing Jesus with a young couple
-an email from my brother
-potroast in the crockpot for dinner

-starting the day right
-"Nana school" with my granddaughter
-seeing good changes in her since her mama decided to homeschool her
-her reading a book to our youngest grandson

-good customer service
-forsythia in bloom
-when writing flows

-meeting my brother for coffee
-when God clearly answered no when I asked Him to help me make a decision
-holding my youngest grandson during prayer meeting

-Friday!  My husband's weekly day off and our date day!
-us both choosing the same thing to do for our day off
-a good dinner out and a movie after

-my husband's birthday
-a birthday brunch at our house with the family
-green and white flowers

-people from church bringing me supplies to take to Nicaragua
-lunch with the team provided by my daughter's in-laws
-seeing two rainbows this afternoon, 
(after my husband's message at church this morning in which he mentioned that the rainbow,
God's promise that He wouldn't flood the earth again, is a symbol of His mercy)
-flowering quince
-sugar-free key lime curd made by a friend from church for my husband,
(and he shared some with yummy!) 

still following,

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Moved with compassion...

This week, as I read the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, this verse stood out to me.  In this parable a young man demands his inheritance from his father and then wastes it sinfully and selfishly.  Eventually, he runs out of money and becomes hungry and desperate.  He decides to go home to his father and beg him to take him back into the house as a hired servant.  However, this parable is meant to reveal the heart of our Father God to us.  It says that while this wayward son was still a long way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion for him, and ran to him, embraced him and kissed him.

Perhaps as you're reading this, you are thinking of your very own prodigal son or daughter or some other relative or friend that you are burdened for.  Here's the good news. At the slightest turning of your loved one's heart, God sees, and even while they're still a long way off from Him, He's running to meet them.  You just keep praying that they'll turn their heart toward home, toward Him. 

Perhaps as you're reading this, you are the one who's a long way from home, a long way from God. You are in a mess and you know you're there because of your own wrong decisions.  You don't feel worthy to turn back to God, yet the moment you turn towards Him He will run to meet you.  You're His child and He loves you.  He's been waiting for you to come to the end of your own devices and to turn back towards Him.  He can't wait to wrap you up in His arms of welcoming love.  He's not going to scold you or shame you. He's going to cover you with compassion.

Perhaps as you're reading this, you love God and want with all of your heart to be what He wants you to be. However, it seems like life gets in the way and time for prayer and Bible reading and worship just get squeezed out.  Before you know it,  two or three days have gone by and all you've done is  mumble a few words of prayer on the go. You miss the closeness and companionship you felt with the Father just a few days ago.  So, you find your way back to your place of prayer and you open your Bible, then you spend the first ten minutes asking God to forgive you for neglecting your time with Him.   What makes you think that His compassion isn't for you? (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, February 28th 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, February 25, 2016

Friday Faves...Living Room Window Coverings

We bought our new to us house because we fell in love with the openness and light.
However, there comes a time when you have to cover the windows if you want any privacy,
and if you don't want the direct sun to damage your furniture and fade your flooring.
After looking at other options and getting some bids, 
They filter the direct sun when it is shining on the south side of the house but still let in the light.
At night they give us privacy, but not as fully as you would want in a bedroom or bathroom.
For those rooms the blinds would need to be lined.
Then last week, I found these drapes at Homegoods!
My object was to accent the windows, not cover them,
so all I needed were the two pair.
I hung them high and wide, and let them pool onto the floor, as I've read is the correct way.
The high and wide part was easy, but the pooling on the floor part is a challenge for me,
and I'm often fussing with them trying to get them to look just right.
Here's a photo of the other side of the room so you can envision the room as a whole.
It's fun to see things come together bit by bit.
I'm also pleased with the great prices found at J.C. Penney's and Homegoods,
as window coverings can be ridiculously pricey.
(I'm not advertising for or affiliated with these stores.)

Well, it's almost Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a safe and BLESSED weekend!


Shabby Art Boutique

Also sharing at the Share It One More Time Link Party

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In the darkness....

My daddy loved road trips and impromptu adventures.  I remember day trips to the beach or to go tobogganing on Mt. Hood's snow covered slopes. Camping and fishing trips were frequent, too, as were drives to visit this or that cousin or shirttail relative.  One of my fondest memories of these outings was driving back home in the dark.  This was before seat belt laws or carseats, so I remember lying down in the back of the station wagon and drowsily watching the moon and stars in the black velvet sky as we drove down some winding back road toward home.  

Daddy had mentioned on several occasions that he'd never been in a car accident, and at that time in my life I'd never been in one either.  I felt perfectly safe and impervious to such dangers.  My daddy was in control.   I was blissfully ignorant of the turn of events to come, of the day when daddy would sit us down and tell us he was leaving mama.  All that I knew in those moments was the warmth of the car, the feeling of contentment and safety, the brilliance of the stars and the moon shining down on me, and the feeling that I was protected from the darkness that was out there beyond the cocoon of our old station wagon.

Before too many years had passed, Daddy moved out, and I never again trusted in him like I did back when I believed he would always be there to protect me from anything bad.  A few years after that, Mama was driving when we were in our first fender bender and I became a nervous passenger ever after.  That little girl who laid in the back of the station wagon feeling perfectly safe seemed long gone.

In the decades since those long ago car rides, some of my suspicions and fears have proved true.  For instance, you can be a perfectly safe and capable driver, and still be in a car accident.  I also know now that you can't trust another human being to always be there for you, to always protect you from the darkness.  These have not been lessons learned without scars.  Yet, I don't say these things with fear or bitterness.  In and through all of my life's dark nights of the soul, I have found the One Who is Faithful and True, the One I can always count on to be there for me and to never leave me or forsake me.  I have found the One Who illumines the darkness, Who is as sure and comforting to me in the times of darkness as a glowing lamp and a crackling fireplace on a stormy night.  I have found the one Who is a cocoon round about me, Who keeps my spirit safe from the darkness.  I haven't liked a single one of the difficulties that have taught me these things, yet to know these truths with an unshakeable certainty has proven invaluable and worth it all.  I can say with the Apostle Paul, "I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed to Him against that day..." or even against the darkness of night.

still following,

Darling Downs Diaries

USE this for BLOG

Woman to Woman Ministries

Monday, February 22, 2016

Copper and Coffee and some photo fun...

Copper is back on trend now,  just like brass which was also a decor taboo for a while.
(Brass is also back in style and it always happens after I've gotten rid of it all!)
(edited with Kim Klassen's 99 texture, hard light, 15% opacity)
I had a "brilliant" idea to buy a can of copper spray paint with my 40% off coupon at Michael's craft store,
 and spray some things I already had around the house.
This galvanized tray, a.k.a. drip pan, was my first victim.
(Don't you love my new sugar and creamer set?
My husband got them for me for Valentine's day.
He knows I love it when the words are written in French.)

(edited with Kim Klassen's waterfront18 texture, hard light, 20% opacity)

This one's for Songography~
(lyrics from You're So Vain by Carly Simon)

I sprayed some shapely bottles and some Dollar Tree ceramic birds with the copper spray paint as well.
Do my "on trend" DIY copper accents make me one of the cool kids now?

still following,

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Blessed to be a blessing...

It was a busy week, in a good way.  It was rich in relationships and time spent with our family, with friends, and with our church family.  With our home being more conveniently located closer to our church, and having more living space than our former home, it's been my joy to host people over more frequently than we were able to before. God blesses us so we can be a blessing. I'm truly thankful.

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)


-our granddaughter's 7th birthday
-President's Day
-making homemade bread to go with my granddaughter's birthday dinner, per her request
-birthday dinner at our daughter's
-my granddaughter loving her new Spy Master kit
-two youngest granddaughter's coming over to our house for a sleepover after the party

-the hubs bringing me my morning coffee and making our granddaughters breakfast
 before he went to work
-fun at Dizzy Castle after homeschool work was done
-watching their swimming lessons

-the hubs helping with tidying the house while I was gone
-going to bed early

-listening to podcasts while doing my chores
-my friend coming to see me and our new home
-yummy leftover homemade soup for dinner
-an evening with nothing scheduled

-God speaking to me through Ezra 8
-God helping me to get everything on today's to-do list done
-new curtains!

-a good worship time

-a slow lazy morning on our day off
-hot tea and spicy chicken pad thai for lunch
-seeing a dear one from church at the restaurant 

-a house full of ladies for brunch and crafting
-help with my curtain hanging dilemma on the big window wall
-my hub's help to install the curtain rods

-God's mercy!  Such a great message on mercy at church today.
-a sunny afternoon
-the two oldest grands hanging out at our house until youth group

still following,