Saturday, August 31, 2013

a moment

"You know the number of my days
So come paint Your pictures on the canvas in my head
And come write Your wisdom on my heart
Teach me the power of a moment..."

A moment. Such glorious or devastating power is there.
Just in a moment we can give life or destroy it.

"...a word, a seed, a thorn, a nail, a cup of cold water..."

Singing, praising, praying these things tonight ♥

(quotes from C Rice)

Friday, August 30, 2013

all items free

Popping in tonight to share a prayer request with you:

Our church is hosting a free yard sale tomorrow! This is a first for us, and we are very excited. Our hope for the day is very simple: to glorify God and to bless our community.

Will you pray with us?

• for those who will come
• for a rain-free, cool morning
• for those who will share and minister
• for strong backs and joyful hearts

It is a joy to have friends who pray! Thank you ♥

Thursday, August 29, 2013

peace

"Are you looking to Jesus now, in the immediate matter that is pressing, and receiving from Him peace? If so, He will be a gracious benediction of peace in and through you.

But if you try to worry it out, you obliterate Him...

We get disturbed because we have not been considering Him. When one confers with Jesus Christ the perplexity (confusion, distraction, tangle) goes, because He has no perplexity. And our only concern? It is to abide in Him."

Treasures from Uncle Oswald ♥
(parenthesis and some punctuation mine)


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

playing puppy

I wish you could have heard my sweetlings playing just a little while ago! They began with giggles, then came the laughter, and finally the hoots and shouts of completely cracked up. Their joy is one of the most beautiful sounds --ever (:

They have a new game invented this summer by Meredith for the entertainment of her younger brother and sister. They call it "playing puppy." The star of the show is Meredith's long-time (since she was one year old) best stuffed friend, Puppy.

The true brilliance of the thing, according to Samuel and Ila, is Meredith herself. She voices puppy and takes them all on the most wonderful adventures. It began with big sis creating the entire thing (including music) spontaneously as they played. These days, Samuel and Ila ask for particular adventures. Right now it is Mr. Tolkien's trilogy, and it is hilarious!

One of Puppy's greatest hits is a song we call "Coconut Cheese" --part of the song talks about eating bananas washed down with coconut cheese. Don't ask ^.^  I have no idea! But how they laugh when Puppy includes it in the day's adventure.

And my favorite part? Well, lots of parts really...
Listening to that beautiful laughter. Stepping to peek around the corner to watch them at play. Knowing that God gave them to each other as gifts. He chose them for one another for this time and for their whole lives, and I get to be here to watch their relationships grow. Anticipating the times when we gather through the years to come --and we recall this game together. Joy! ♥

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

one week

One week from today our new school year begins. We will kick the year off with a celebration on Labor Day, and then we hop right into kindergarten, second grade, and seventh grade.

I have been praying all summer long about this next school year. It seems so big! Every fall at this time I wonder how in the world everything will be accomplished, and this year is no exception.

Truly, I am excited. The gift that is inherent in these days calls to my heart, and the joy bubbles right up. I love to learn. I love to teach. And to see my sweetlings, be with them in the moment when understanding happens and learning takes flight is incredible.

How thankful I am to know that what seems so very enormous to me right now is completely taken care of in the Father's hands. I will plan and prepare. The sweetlings will work. But is is He who will make the days. It is He who will add the blessings. It is He in whom everything will be accomplished.

Will you pray with me this week for next? I will pray with you, too ♥


Monday, August 26, 2013

handprint

This morning I was working in the kitchen and noticed a new decoration that had been added to the wall beside the pantry. A very small, muddy handprint (:

It's quite light, so it may have been there for a day or two. And to be honest, I haven't wiped it away yet. One more day won't hurt, right?

I suppose that only a mom would find treasure in blotches of dirt on the wall, yes? Well, yes! My first thought was probably the same as yours: Ack! I am always reminding sweetlings to wash hands! When will the lesson become a true habit for this little one?

And then? Then, my heart began to sing. There is a little one here! Alive, well, healthy, creative, lovely, imaginative, playful, caring, fearless, loud... wonderful! She is a song-singer, a joy-bringer, a gift. So bring on the mud!

One day the handprints of my sweetlings will be the size of mine or larger. One day soon. And so, for this day and this time, I am celebrating. Praising the Father for the gift of a muddy handprint ♥


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fruit Oatmeal Snack Bars

A wonderful recipe I tried yesterday and enjoyed so much...

1-1/2 cup AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1-1/2 cup oats
1/4 tsp salt
1-3/4 stick butter
12 oz  fruit preserves


Preheat the oven to 350°
Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish, grease lightly with butter

Mix together the dry ingredients

Cut the butter into pats with a knife
Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients

Add half of the butter & oats mixture to the baking dish
Spread it evenly and lightly press it to firm it a little

Heat the fruit preserves in the microwave for 10 seconds
Scoop the preserves over the mixture in the dish
Spread carefully (try not to lift your knife)

Add the rest of the butter & oats mixture (sprinkle evenly to cover preserves)

Bake for 25 minutes and check (total baking time can be from 30-45 minutes)
Remove when golden brown and let cool in pan

Cut into bars and serve

Notes:  I tried these with strawberry preserves, but you can use any kind that you like. The way that you store the bars will determine whether they are crispy (lightly covered) or chewy (airtight container). They are good both ways! And you can make them with regular oats or quick oats. Enjoy ♥

Saturday, August 24, 2013

my ladies

Some of the precious ladies in my church took me to breakfast this morning. Judy, Patty, Tammy, Eugenia, Virginia -- thank you! It was lovely to be with you, and I appreciate your time more than I can say.

Becoming a pastor's wife was not something that had ever occurred to me. When Jamie and I met, all through school, and in beginning our life together, we had other plans. Then one day while Jamie was mowing the lawn, God changed our plans (:

When I think of being a pastor's wife, remembering my mom who became one in the middle of her life as I did, remembering the other wonderful ladies that have been the wives of my pastors... I am so very thankful. They never had any idea that the things I saw in them as they walked and served would shape my heart and mind for these days.

But oh! The richness of the examples set before me. Not perfect women by any stretch of the imagination, but they were real. The wonderful times and the difficult times shaped them into some of the most profoundly kind, loving, Christ-like people I have known.

This month it has been nine years since I was called to become a pastor's wife. The ladies I am walking alongside are magnificent. Every time I spend even a few minutes with them, I am learning, I am blessed, and I am so loved. What a privilege ♥


Friday, August 23, 2013

in Himself

"Faith is not in what Jesus says but in Himself; if we only look at what He says we shall never believe. When once we see Jesus, He does the impossible thing as naturally as breathing.

If it is an impossibility, it is the thing we have to ask.
God will do the absolutely impossible.

The most impossible thing is that we be so identified with the Lord that there is nothing of the old life left.

Our agony comes through the willful stupidity of our own heart.
We won't believe, we won't cut the shore line, we prefer to worry on."

A little love letter from Uncle Oswald ♥

Thursday, August 22, 2013

ouch!

Please pray with us for Ila tonight. She was playing outside collecting rocks and found "a really, really big one" for her display inside. While trying to get it inside, she dropped it on her foot. Specifically, on her big toe, which now has a broken nail (almost all the way back). It is awful. It looks terrible and is, of course, very sore.

We are beyond grateful that her toe is not broken. Please pray with us that she will rest tonight and that healing will begin quickly. Thanks ♥

=====
Update 8/23: Thank you so much for your prayers! She rested well last night, and is feeling quite herself today. We visited the doctor, and her toe is bruised. She will lose the nail, but it will grow again just fine (: Jamie is still carrying her around, and she will be a bit less busy than usual as it heals. Continue to lift her up if you will ♥

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

a step


He stands. He balances with his pudgy little flat-ish, kissable feet. He looks to see if we are watching him - all of us. He uses his arms as well, seeming to scoop the motion out of the air. His little face radiates with a smile straight from the Father's heart - it's just that joyful. He pauses a moment more.

And then he takes a step.
And another.
And it continues across the entire room.

Oh, how he laughs and rejoices when he's made the journey.
He "uh-oh"s if he falls and gets back up to try again and again and again.

He is so proud, and we are too. Clapping and shouting "yay!" we encourage him, even when he falls on his cutie little hiney. Sometimes he is frustrated, and sometimes he gets silly. But still he continues - until he is weary, and his legs just won't hold him for another trip. He crawls, then, into our arms to rest.

-----

Yes, do read it all again.

A treasure from my journal, it's a picture of our sweet Samuel when he was learning to walk.

It is also a picture of me and of you.

We are called to take the steps: easy, fun, hard, frustrating, joyful, painful... trying, trying, trying! Continuing each day, we walk alongside and toward the One who loves us so. And when we are weary?  If we crawl into His arms and spend a little time resting in Him, life, strength, joy, love, it all returns. Then we can get up and practice our walk again ♥

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

pocketful of encouragement

Over the past few days, I have been reading one of my favorite books, Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola. It is a lovely source of encouragement as I look toward the new school year and bringing my own sense of excitement and wonder to our days.

At least twice a year, usually in August and in January, I spend several days enjoying the gentle story, gleaning ideas, storing up treasures for my heart. Each time I come away refreshed, though I have read it many times now.

There is much to be found in its pages, but what touches me most is the story of Carol and her children. The glimpses into her heart as she prepares and makes plans to begin homeschooling --and how that works out on a daily basis-- are a delight and a blessing. She takes such care, she prays, and she dreams. While working to make her home, she stops to listen, to watch, to really see her son and daughter.

Within the pages there are also plenty of Charlotte Mason references (: Whether you are a homeschooler or not, whether you agree with the CM approach or not, there are wonderful suggestions to discover and to consider.

What books are you reading right now?
Which ones do you re-visit?
I am always looking for lovely additions to my bookshelf ♥

Monday, August 19, 2013

notebooks

On my desk, in the drawers, in the cubbies of my printer stand, by my bed, by the bookshelf... notebooks are simply everywhere right now.  And by way of clarification, no, not the sweetlings' notebooks. My notebooks (:

This is the time of year in which I find myself making list after list of things to be accomplished: supplies needed, wish lists, reading lists, project lists for the beginning of our school year, honey do lists, music lists, reworked chore lists, Sunday school crafts, schedules, ideas and ideas and ideas...

And for each list, there is a dedicated notebook, legal pad, or sketch book. I cannot help myself, for when the note for the list comes, so come the ideas and the dreams. There is such joy in the possibilities! (Even in something as simple as a school suppies list? Yep!) There is also stress and quite a bit of feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of it all.

So today and this week and for all the next year I am praying this: "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him..." Psalm 37:3-5

What are you planning right now, listing, writing, sketching, dreaming? How are you praying? It will be a joy to pray alongside you ♥

Sunday, August 18, 2013

handwriting

"Beauty is God's handwriting.
Welcome it in
every fair face,
every fair day,
every fair flower."
~C Kingsley

It has been a beautiful day! In the worship this morning, in the laughter of my sweetlings as they rode bikes just now, in the calm of the day before things really crank up for fall here, in the lovely little butterfly we watched drinking from a light purple flower on the porch... it is everywhere I look.

God offers His hand and heart to every moment, doesn't He? 
We just must be watchful, ready to see ♥

Saturday, August 17, 2013

beginning


I am so excited to be re-inventing my little writing corner... truly, when I retired "thou sayest" I thought that was it for me for keeping an online journal.

Just as that space was born for a time, the Father has been working in my heart to create "so wonderfully for the flowers" for the past year.

And so, I am here once again to share a little of our daily days. My goals are very simple: to glorify the Father, to gain perspective and record joy, and to visit with you ♥