Saturday, May 27, 2017

Far over and above...

What a week it's been!  Our newest grandchild was born, grandchild number six!  As I look back on the years of infertility and miscarriage that our two oldest daughters went through, and the years that our youngest daughter wondered if she would ever meet the man she was to marry, I can say that God truly has done far over and above all that we dared to ask or think.  Our oldest daughter and her husband have two miracle daughters after almost eleven years of fertility problems and three miscarriages.  Our second born daughter and her husband have three miracle children, two via adoption and one God surprise biological child.  Our youngest daughter married a wonderful man two years ago.  Two days after their second anniversary, their son, our sixth grandchild and third grandson, was born.

When you read the paragraph above, there is no way for you to know what it was like to live though the years and years of praying and interceding for each of our children as they struggled through the pain of hope deferred and the grief of loss. There were many times when we wondered if we would ever see the answer to our and their heart cries.  There were many times when we asked God why...
(Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 28th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Scripture and Snapshot

The Mom Gene

Also happily linking up with the lovely

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beautiful viburnum...

Viburnum, or "snowball bush", as my husband calls it, is one of my favorite spring blooms.
We had a huge viburnum growing in our backyard in Portland,
and I'd love to plant one here at our home in Vancouver.

I foraged one wee branch for this photoshoot from a viburnum
 that was hanging over into the street near our local park.
I wish I could have gathered an armful!

I set up this simple still life using an old tarnished silver tray, an antique bottle from Scotland, 
and a couple of tattered antique books.
Each photo was edited using Kim Klassen's waterfront texture, one of my favorites.

Hopefully, next week my photos will feature our newest grandson!
He's due today and my daughter is being admitted to the hospital in the wee hours tomorrow.
Prayers appreciated for a safe delivery and perfectly healthy baby boy!

still following,

Flower Friday

Monday, May 22, 2017

Thanksgiving as my sacrifice...

Obviously, it's a whole lot easier to praise God and give Him thanks when life is going my way. But, the truth is, while I know, see, and acknowledge that my life is blessed, there are still a lot of areas where I feel stretched thin, a lot of prayers that I've prayed for many years that I've yet to see answers to, a lot of times that I feel overwhelmed with life in our sin-twisted world.  Choosing to offer thanksgiving when I don't feel all the feels is one way I've learned to fight against the encroaching darkness of unbelief, doubt, fear, worry and anxiety.  It's one way that I re-focus my vision and re-set my mind onto God's goodness and faithfulness and steadfastness instead of letting myself drown in discouragement.  Daily taking a few minutes to take note of God's blessings in the midst of my life's messy moments is a respite to my weary soul.

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 beautiful pheasant strutting around in our backyard
-God's faithful care of us
-peonies full of buds, beautiful irises in full bloom 

-the way God brings order to a full day
-new sandals for summer!
-dreaming about my trip to Maine with my daughters this summer
-a walk between downpours
-yummy homemade soup
-my hardworking husband

-the comfort of these words, "Be still and know that I am God" and "God rules over the nations"
-our youngest grandson's delight at seeing his "favorite" cousin
-Papa making a fire in the fire pit and roasting hotdogs with his grandgirlie even though it started to rain

-hanging out with my oldest granddaughter after school
-praying together with other women
-the daily pregnancy status texts from our youngest daughter who is due any day now

-our middle daughter's birthday
-the beautiful acapella harmony while singing old hymns
 of our oldest granddaughter's class at grandparent's day at her school
-a fun bbq at our nephew's
-our granddaughters getting to play with their cousins
-getting to see my sister and my new great niece

-Matthew 11:28
-the way God knits me back together when life's bumps and bruises makes me feel fragmented
-falling asleep early

-sunny Sunday!
-God's promises to us when we sing over our barrenness (Isaiah 54)
-lunch with our daughter and son-in-law

still following,

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rest for the weary...

Recently, I've heard the words, "I'm just so tired!", from many different people. Everyone has their reason. Each one is different. There are probably as many reasons why as there are people and circumstances.  There are those who are genuinely physically depleted from lack of sleep and rest. Some have children that haven't been sleeping through the night.  Some have a grueling work schedule with long hours.  Some have a calendar bursting with obligations that leave them no time to rest or recreate.  Some are simply not sleeping well.

But then there are those who are more than physically tired.  They are deep down weary.  Again, the reasons vary.  Some have been through a long season of difficulty and trial.  They feel beat down and beat up.  Some are suffering from hope deferred and years of unanswered prayer.  Some have jobs and/or callings that require them to pour out their energy helping others.  Some are broken hearted with concern over a loved one's wrong choices.  Some are just bone weary from the everyday bumps and bruises that result from life in this sin-twisted world.

Whether you are in a place of physical fatigue or deep down soul weariness, and no matter the reason, Jesus offers us restrelief and refreshing.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 21st, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Scripture and Snapshot

The Mom Gene

Also happily linking up with the lovely

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Snippets from the last week...

This spring we've had record breaking rainfall.  On the days when we've had sun, we take advantage of it and get out and enjoy it.  On one sunny afternoon last week we went to a nearby park.  I captured this photo of our middle granddaughter on my iPhone7.  She was completely unawares that I was snapping this photo of her with her cute floppy sunhat.

The following photos were also taken with my iPhone7 on walks around our neighborhood.  The first two were edited with Kim Klassen's waterfront texture, and the last two with her dreamit texture. I love the raindrops captured in this first photo.
These purple flowers are the blossoms from a "money" plant.
The wisteria are in bloom all over our neighborhood.
There is a field near our neighborhood that is blooming in clover.  It's actually quite lovely.

I love my "big camera" but don't always want to lug it around.  I'm thankful for the convenience of  my iPhone camera when I don't have my Nikon with me.

still following,

Flower Friday

Monday, May 15, 2017

thanks forever...

What a busy, rich and full week it's been!  There is a lot of anticipation of our sixth grandchild's, (another grandson!), imminent birth, and a "false alarm" this week when the doctor thought perhaps he might need to come early.  Our two grandsons both celebrated birthdays.  Yesterday we had a gathering of the whole family to celebrate Mother's Day and the May birthdays in our family. As always, I've got so much to be thankful 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)

-woke up after a restless night with God's peace
-our soon to be born grandson "flipped" on his own and is no longer breech
-some good bargains on birthday presents
-this BEAUTIFUL day

-God helping to order this busy day
-lunch with my buddy
-a beautiful walk

-Psalm 40
-another BEAUTIFUL day
-our middle granddaughter working so hard on a Mother's Day surprise for her mama

-youngest grandson's third birthday
-working with my youngest daughter's mother-in-law to help our girl get her house ready for the baby
-a little nap before prayer meeting
-a powerful prayer time

-our oldest grandson's 13th birthday!
-a fun Friday date day with my guy
-a fun evening with the birthday boys at my daughter's

-a helpful store manager with an exchange
-cleaning house, puttering, baking, on this rainy day
-God taking care of things when I pray and trust Him

-my husband's card to me, "I found the one my heart loves"
-sweet cards and messages from my girls
-our whole family together for a wonderful Mother's Day

still following,

Saturday, May 13, 2017

When Mother's Day is hard...

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all of you mamas out there!  My prayer for every woman who reads this post, whether you are a mother or not, is that you will be blessed today.  Let's face it, Mother's Day isn't a wonderful day for everyone.  For some of you, it's just plain hard.

Maybe you're one of the lucky ones whose husband and children will be serving you breakfast in bed and showering you with flowers and construction paper cards with crayoned love messages. The kitchen may be a mess when they get done and your toast may be a bit burned, but enjoy their perfectly imperfect efforts to make you feel loved.  Be blessed young mama, right there in the middle of your messy, busy life.

Maybe your nest is empty now.  You fondly remember those Mother's Day breakfasts in bed and the resulting crumb filled sheets. Sometimes you miss those days when you knew that your children needed you.  You miss the instant gratification of their appreciation shown in little arms flung around your neck and dandelion bouquets delivered lovingly by grubby little hands. Sure, there are some wonderful benefits to having your children grown and out of the house.  Your years of exhausting, hands on, twenty four hours a day parenting are over.  You should be rejoicing in your freedom, and most days you do.  But other days, you miss having your little ones gathered round your dinner table.  God bless you, this Mother's Day.  May your grown children rise up and call you blessed, but even if they don't, may you know the blessing and favor and overwhelming love of God.

 (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, May 14th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

still following,

Scripture and Snapshot

The Mom Gene

Also happily linking up with the lovely

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lilacs, a visit to the Huldah Klager Lilac Garden...

The national landmark, Huldah Klager lilac garden, is only about a twenty minute drive from my home. Last year I took my homeschooled seven year old granddaughter there for a field trip, and she loved it. She loved the history, the restored farmhouse, the beautiful garden and many varieties of lilacs, and, of course, the gift shop with one dollar grab bags for children.
This year I took all three of the youngest grandchildren, ages 8, 5 and almost 3. They all loved wandering through the garden, though touring the restored farmhouse with it's antiques wasn't ideal for the three year old, a rambunctious boy.

( all of the above photos edited using Kim Klassen's waterfront texture)
Not far from the garden is a lovely city park on a lake where my grandchildren enjoyed playing at  the playground and splashing in the water at the lake.  Indulging in ice cream cones at Dairy Queen before we headed home was a perfect way to end this beautiful spring afternoon together.

still following,

Flower Friday