Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Succulent still life...

My mind thinks in terms of categories.  In still life photos I typically use things that would go together in real life. I decided to stretch myself this week and use random objects, selecting one of my succulent plants as the star of the show.
(edited with Kim Klassen's dream it texture.)
These last two shots are my favorite. I'm not normally a lover of black and white photos, but the last shot in black and white won me over.
(edited using Kim Klassen's just a touch texture)

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Your grace abounds to me...

I sit here propped up on my bed on this warm, lazy summer Sunday afternoon.  The central air conditioning in our new to us house keeps the indoor temperature just right, while the early evening sun comes through the window. It sounds more idyllic than it is in reality, for life is never perfect and always has its challenges and difficulties, its hurts and sorrows.

I heard someone say recently that if we preach a gospel that includes suffering or sickness, then we are preaching the "other gospel" that Paul warned against in Galatians chapter one.  Something about this didn't settle quite right in my spirit, but as has become my habit, I asked God to show me His truth from His Word.  Shortly after,  I was reading about the conversion of the Apostle Paul in the book of Acts.  If you recall, Paul, formerly known as Saul, was a devout Jew and very zealous in persecuting the followers of Christ, to the point of participating in the death of the first martyr, Stephen.  But God had other plans for Saul.  On the road to Damascus, God revealed Himself to Saul in an undeniable way.  Then God called a man named Ananias to go to Saul, in spite of Anania's fear to face this former enemy.  This is what God said. "But the Lord said to him, 'Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the descendants of Israel; For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name’s sake'."  

Like I said, life is not always idyllic.  Sometimes we suffer for the cause of Christ.  Sometimes we suffer due to the consequences of our own poor decisions. Sometimes we suffer simply because we live in this sin-sick world. Sometimes we are weary or hurting or sick.  Can we ask God for help and healing? Absolutely!  Our good Father God is always quick to hear the cries of His children and is well able to heal and help and deliver us. However, sometimes He answers us by enabling and strengthening us to go through the hard things.  Not because He enjoys watching us struggle, but because He who began a good work in us knows the best way to perfect and complete that work.   His grace abounds to us when He heals us instantly, when He delivers us from a trial miraculously but also when we walk through the valley of weeping and eventually come through to the other side.  
It will soon be eight years since I began my gratitude journal. In those years I have experienced miracles and answers to prayer and great and mighty things beyond what I could have ever dreamed.  I have also experienced deep trial and heartache and pain and testing, at times wondering if I was going to make it through.  But, this I know with deep assurance, His eyes are always on me, His ears are always tuned to my cries, His grace abounds to me and His grace will continue to abound to me all the days of my life.
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)

-the first day of summer!
-sitting in the kitchen and visiting with my hub's siblings before they head home
-taking a little walk with my youngest grandson, stopping to pick some daisies
-a yellow butterfly on a purple blossom

-God with us through all things
-picking blueberries with my daughter and youngest granddaughters
-a friend's gracious love
-fresh caught rainbow trout for dinner
-an evening walk with my husband

-a sweet time of prayer and the Word
-funny texts from my oldest granddaughter
-an answer to prayer

-so much rain today-I don't have to water the plants or lawn!
-a new plant for inside
-my husband's mentor encouraging him
-an early dinner with my husband
-our oldest granddaughter coming over 

-Friday date day
-funny texts from our girl
-making homemade marshmallows for the first time

-God speaking to me from my reading in the book of Acts
-standing for the national anthem before my grandson's baseball game, (he won!)
-jumping rope with my granddaughter
-a fire in our firepit and s'mores shared with friends

-our friends being at church after being away in Texas for several weeks
-my husband preached a great message today
-meeting our oldest daughter and her family for lunch
-this beautiful day
-a little Sunday afternoon nap

still following,

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Built upon the rock...

We're living in turbulent, unsteady times.  Terrorism, political upheaval, sin abounding, how do we as God's people respond to it all?

First of all, we must realize that no political figure, no man or woman, is the answer to earth's woes.  God tells us not to put our trust in man. Our trust and refuge is to be in God alone. (Psalm 118:8)
(Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, June 26th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Let Us Grow

Scripture and Snapshot

Also happily linking up with the lovely

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Friday Faves...Simple 4th of July mantel

I can't wrap my mind around the fact that fourth of July weekend is only a week away!
I'd like summer to slow down!
I made a few simple changes to my mantel in honor of Independence Day.
My living room is already decorated in blue and white with red accents,
as those are my favorite colors.
To the mantel, (that I already had my antique bottle collection on), I added some miniature flags,
some wooden letters spelling USA and a wooden Uncle Sam.
A red, white and blue fabric pennant garland hangs on the antique mirror.
The red, white and blue letters are from the cheap bin at Michael's Craft Store. 
I sanded them a bit to make them look not so glossy and new.
I can't remember where I got my wooden Uncle Sam.
He's been around for quite some time.

My daddy was a Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the fourth of July.
If he was still alive, this would have been his 95th birthday.

It's almost Friday!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a safe and BLESSED weekend!


Shabby Art Boutique

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Light of the world...

In my home office sits this watercolor print, done by a friend and gifted to me.

I also have a liking for candles and old fashioned chambersticks.

(photos above edited using Kim Klassen's epic texture)

I strung the wooden beads and cross as a decorative reminder to me
 of the greatest Gift of Love ever given to mankind.

And I have some type of living green plant in most every room in our home.

For songography  the song I think of every time I see my Light of the World watercolor.

Light of the World (Here I Am to Worship)

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Monday, June 20, 2016

First day of summer gratitude...

It's the first day of summer!  We had my husband's siblings and their spouses at our home over the weekend, as well as a large Father's Day gathering at our youngest daughter's house.  After our company left mid-day today, I had chores to do and errands to run.  All of this meant I'm a day late posting my weekly gratitude blog post.  Better late than never, and as usual, there's always so much to give God thanks for!
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)

-reading the book of Acts
-a fun day celebrating our granddaughter turning 13-
a mani/pedi, buying her new red Converse, going to the new Jane Austin movie, 
and dinner with Papa at the Old Spaghetti Factory

-a hot bubble bath

-a fun time at Dizzy Castle with my two youngest granddaughters, 
the youngest's friend and my great nephew
-hearing my seven year old granddaughter and seven year old great nephew 
talking in the car about how much they have in common 
-my hub's running an errand for me
-a June thunderstorm
-praying together

-starting the morning right
-a phone call conversation and prayer together with my out of town friend 
-lunch and a heart to heart with my friend from church
-the hub's spending hours patiently assembling his new bbq that we got him for Father's Day
-Mama's birthday-she would have been 91 today
-the morning light shining on my empty coffee cup
-this quote-"sometimes when things are falling apart, they may be falling into place"
-an encouraging time of worship and prayer

-Psalm 84
-our grandson mowing our yard and the neighbor paying him to mow his yard as well
-my sister and her husband stopping by for lunch and a visit
 on their way through town
-running errands together
-my husband finding us a movie to watch that takes place in Maine,
 (my mama grew up there)

-an encouraging text
-our oldest granddaughter coming over
-dinner and a campfire and s'mores and staying up til midnight 
talking and laughing with my hub's siblings and their spouses

-some of the fathers at church sharing this morning
-twenty three of us at our youngest daughter's for a Father's Day BBQ

-teaching my hub's bro and sis and their spouses a fun card game
-staying up til 1am talking

still following,