Monday, September 30, 2013

asking

Popping in again today to ask you to pray with me...

On his way to bed just now Samuel said, "Now Mom, if tonight is the night I am supposed to ask Jesus into my heart, I come and tell you, right?" I asked him if it was the time, and he said, "Well, I have been thinking about it."

I told him that he would know for sure when the time came. (We have been praying that for him since he was born - that he would be certain.) And that, yes, he should definitely come down and tell me.

My heart! This is the first time he has ever mentioned thinking about it. Please lift Samuel up with us, asking with us that the Father let him know unmistakably when the time is here. Thank you, friends ♥

=====
Update: Samuel just came downstairs to let me know! We prayed together, and then he called his Grands. How excited and thankful we are! Joy!

the very call

day by day we quietly lay down self
and take up the towel and water

day by day we push our own plans back
and make the time instead
to feed young bodies, nourish minds, nurture hearts

hour by hour
we follow the example He has left us

this is the very call of motherhood
~unknown


What a privilege to be a mom.

What a blessing to have (and have had) wonderful ladies in my life who understood and became the heart of this calling and followed His example. While I watched, lived, they poured out their lives for me and for others. So many of you are here, and so many are with the Father now.

Because it's 30 September, I am celebrating today. So thankful ♥

Saturday, September 28, 2013

a quiet heart

I know of no greater simplifier for all of life.
Whatever happens is assigned.

Does the intellect balk at that?
Can we say that there are things that happen to us
that do not belong to our lovingly assigned "portion"
(This belongs to it, that does not)?

Are some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty?

Every assignment is measured for my eternal good.
As I accept the given portion, other options are cancelled.
Decisions become much easier, directions clearer,
and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter.

A quiet heart is content with what God gives.
~E Elliot

Friday, September 27, 2013

storytime with Ila (:

I stepped away from the dinner table last night, and while I was away, Ila began sharing a story with Jamie, Meredith, and Samuel...

"Oh, man! Do you remember this story, guys? When Peter hopped right out of that boat and started walking on the water? How cool is that? I would love to do that someday! Maybe even with Peter! Those guys were so scared, but Peter wasn't. He went right on out there with Jesus!"

I was hearing bits and pieces and wanted to know what she was saying, so I called her to come see me for a second. She came running and began to tell me the story. We had a fun conversation going, and then Jamie called her back to the table to finish her supper.

Her reply? "Be right there, Dad! Mom's preaching me a sermon!"

Now you know I would never do that ^_^
But you should have Ila tell you that story sometime ♥

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I remember...

... when I was told we were expecting you. I was three years old, and it was the biggest news I'd ever heard.

... waiting with my hands plastered to Grandmother & Grandee's front glass door for you to "ever, finally" come home to me.

... that Mom and Dad let me hold you as much as I wanted to. How proud I was!

... playing with Chris and Jenny. Best friends just our ages, amazing fun.

.... when I came home from school each day, and you and Mom were waiting for me. You were sitting on the rug by the sliding glass door grinning from ear to ear and bellowing for me to come and play.

... so many things.

The stories pop to mind, so many of them. Funny and fun, absolutely joy-filled, heart-wrenching, there are forty years' worth now. Wow. Best part, hands down? They are the story of us.

Love you so much, Paige!
Happy, Happy Birthday ♥

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

being His

"I have chosen you." That is the way the grace of God begins.

If we would be His, it is He who must make the way.

We love because He first loved us. We receive His grace, a gift freely given and wholly undeserved, because He chose to give it.

If we would be His, daily, moment by moment, in His power, we lay down our desperate grip on ourselves and make way for Him to create in us.

Our Lord's making of a disciple is a miracle, a blessing, a grace-gift. He does not build on any natural capacity at all. He does not ask us to do that which comes easily to us; He asks us to do the things we are perfectly fitted to do by His grace ♥

(OC with a touch of Q)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

autumn tea



I just love fall, don’t you? The change of season finds me wanting to make some things with my hands, planning to bake apple pies and pumpkin pies, pulling out the fall decorations box, and thinking of tea parties (:

Would you like to try a new tea this fall? I have some favorites to share, along with ideas about how to pair them with a little fun.  If you have time for a pause and a cup, here are three marvelous ways to celebrate autumn with tea...

The first is a black tea blend made by Harney & Sons called Cranberry Autumn Blend. Their teas are truly excellent, and this blend is available in sachet. I find that this tea pairs best with a wonderful book. It would also be a lovely addition to early breakfast with homemade breads.

The second is a green tea blend made by Stash Tea called Pomegranate Raspberry. Stash teas are always scrumptious, and this blend is available in leaf or bag. Make a fall brunch to celebrate this tea, adding plums, pears, apples and even some pomegranate if you have them available to a fruit plate along with a spicy chicken salad and lovely bread.

Finally, we have a decaf black also made by Stash called Pumpkin Spice. This marvelous blend of tea and spices is available in leaf or bag. This tea would be an excellent treat to take along on a fall celebration walk. I am a die-hard cup and saucer girl, but set those aside for the walk and bring out your favorite wonderful chunky mug.  If you have a mug that will hold a larger portion, invite someone that you love and make it a celebration for two (:

Happy Fall ♥

Monday, September 23, 2013

never

Oh, I am thinking about fear today. Yuck! Tangles and brambles and heart-sick cries, and it just continues and continues until it obliterates the horizon and hope. If I let it.

So, no!

I read this today, a tiny sentence written by precious Ann, and it speaks directly to what has been on my mind all day long.

 All fear is the lie that God’s love ends.

 So, I leave fear behind...again.
Join me, will you? Sure and certain there in His love that never ends ♥

Sunday, September 22, 2013

our friend, Gary

Popping in late today to ask for your prayers for a precious friend of ours. Gary received some PET scan results that were not very good this weekend and had a new biopsy at that time. He will have an MRI early this week and hopes to have all results back on Wednesday.

Gary is such a sweet gentleman, and we all love him so! Please left him up along with his family this week --asking, trusting with us for God's best. Thanks so much!

It is a joy and a blessing to have friends who pray ♥

Saturday, September 21, 2013

the moments


Swirling, the colors dance along their way.
A new year breezing quite suddenly into autumn...

Having set my life to the Father's time, I wonder.
What can the swiftness possibly matter?
Isn't there, then, time enough?

And, then, I see.
Though they are brightly gleaming and then are gone
(like the shimmers in snowflakes and the bright fall in leaves),
it is my privilege and calling to use the moments well - each one.

As they dance, I praise.
I see them bounding, and I am overcome...
Turning from my window, I am so very thankful.
~Q

Friday, September 20, 2013

sunshine, funshine

"Good morning, Merry Sunshine,
How did you wake so soon?
You've sparkled all the stars away
And shined away the moon."
~Author Unknown

Ila has been studying the letter S this week, the sun, and the fact that Jesus is the light of the world. We have been playing in the sunlight all morning! Making nature prints outside with sun-sensitive papers, creating sun catchers with pretty faceted beads and shining ribbons, working on a volcano/lava bottle lamp with red food coloring and sparkling white and gold glitter... I cannot think of a better way to spend the morning, can you?

The sweetlings are fairly buzzing around the house and yard checking on the projects, and the joy is as bright and shining as their eyes. As for me? I am memorizing every moment.

Sending a little sunshine your way ♥

Thursday, September 19, 2013

losing is finding

A mother whose littlest one is battling a deadly health issue...

A wife whose husband of her whole life left for heaven...

A mother seeing her eldest son off as he reaches boldly for the calling of the Father on his life...

A young lady considering motherhood for the first time, unexpectedly...

A mother of some years now who is suddenly struggling with her worth...

-----

All of them are looking into a new day. What do I want to say? These ladies are precious to me. Each of them is laying down a part of her heart. The Father's hands are the most perfect place for that laying down. Loosening our hold on what we think we know is the surest way to finding, beginning, discovering more of His heart.

I want to whisper and shout and laugh and cry... it's true! It's true! Losing is finding. It is so hard some days. Other days joy will burst from the place in you where He dwells, and you will be overcome with gratitude in it.

My own new day was different from these, but this I know. He will astonish you. He will create in you. He will supply absolutely everything you need. In the valley, in the face of the worst I could imagine and more. He was there. And now? Here? I know that losing is finding. In Him, it is true ♥


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

sweet, sweet cool & a fruit-nic

What a lovely change the weather has taken! We are enjoying cooler temperatures and a sweet breeze, and we are so thankful. In fact, we are celebrating (:

We stepped out the door to enjoy for a moment and ended up having history class outside! We grabbed a blanket, our read alouds, some apples & dried fruit, and water --and off we went.

Out there with the breeze blowing and the trees whispering and the birds talking, it was easy to imagine that we were with Squanto in the forest as he walked to the seaside to meet the men from across the big water ^_^

The sweetlings said history and a fruit-nic were the BEST and asked to do it every day. What absolute fun to bless them ♥

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

the adventure

Samuel would like to let you know that he is a new member of Cub Scout Pack 112! He and his friends are a wolf pack (: and Samuel says it looks like it is going to be cool and fun. He says he has a few things to learn this week to start working on a badge, and that his pack will be selling popcorn sometime soon. He brought home an invitation to his sisters to come along next week, as ice cream for everyone is the main plan.

Samuel and Jamie went to the first meeting tonight, and we are all so excited! Thanks so much for praying with us ♥

Monday, September 16, 2013

a new adventure

Hello, sweet friends! I am popping in to ask you to pray with me for Samuel tonight. He is beginning a new adventure tomorrow --and he is excited and quite nervous.

We prayed together a few minutes ago, and I am excited to see how God will answer Samuel's prayer and mine.

Please pray with us for peace for Samuel as he looks forward to tomorrow. And ask the Father with us for a wonderful time (:

I will update here tomorrow evening to let you know how it goes, and I may even have a guest writer here to help me tell you all about it (which is why I am not giving lots of detail tonight)   ^_^

Thanks so, so much for praying with us ♥

what is wisdom?

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven
is first of all pure;

then peace-loving,

considerate,

submissive, 

full of mercy and good fruit,

impartial and sincere."

~James 3:17

Sunday, September 15, 2013

love


Love has been the theme bridging my studies, my reading, my lesson prep, and lots of little moments in the motion of my days lately. I went searching in my journal for treasures from days past on the subject and discovered this. When I wrote this, it was a heart-cry. It still is, of course, but today it is also a psalm of praise, a challenge, and a prayer of thanks ♥

i am thinking about Mom, and i am missing her. i miss her face, the way she smelled, the way she would light up when she saw me, the way she could infuse a room or an occasion with energy, the joy and delight she found in things, the way she was so difficult, the way she loved. and once again, tonight, i am learning a lesson about love through the fires of having lost her.
  i am to love. i am to love. i am to love. i am to love. i am to love. i am to love.

i know what it feels like to be loved. God has shown me that in Him i have infinite love - He loves me, i am His. Jesus came to express it - in Christ, i can love like He did. only in Him do i have any means by which to do that.  i am to love.

when i wail and cry He knows - He feels it more. He loves me, you see. He knew what it would be to me for her to be away.

a priceless gift it is - how beyond utterly thankful i am - to be able to see Him there and here. i am to love

with the precious gems falling when i care to look and see - those gifts He has for me. this is one.. this is one. to love like that - to love with the Jesus in me.

He knows i can, even when i can't see it. but tonight, i see it. i do. i am to love.

to look at those who are hurting and love them with the love He has given me. to really know what it feels like to have your heart torn apart - but likewise to know that He will mend it. He has. He will.

there, Quinne, love with that. look at them and really see them, Quinne, beyond what it costs you, Quinne, yes when you are frail, yes when you are weak, yes when you are simple, yes when you are fearful. yes when it means you might fail. in My power, love.

i am to love.

...love one another... john 15:17

Saturday, September 14, 2013

tea muffin dressings


For your tea table, here are some of my favorite ways to dress muffins:

• Drizzle blueberry muffins with honey. This combination is just so unexpected and fabulous!

• Top orange cranberry muffins with melted orange marmalade. This makes a beautiful glazed muffin. Or top them with peach freezer jam. The freezer jam should be very cold at the time you serve it. The contrast of a warm muffin and the almost icy freezer jam is wonderful.

• Lemon-poppy muffins with raspberries baked in. Or top them with raspberry jam.

• Strawberry muffins cut in half and toasted with orange butter.

• Bran muffins halved and toasted with homemade apple marmalade.

• Zucchini or carrot muffins with whipped cream cheese and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

• Top apple cinnamon raisin muffins with a powdered sugar glaze.

Try adding combinations of fresh fruit to a plain muffin recipe! Some of my favorite combinations are: lemon-blueberry, triple berry (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry), peach-blueberry, peach-blackberry, apple-cherry.

A few more delicious dressings that will work with most muffins are: strawberry freezer jam, crab apple jelly, muscadine jelly.

I hope that your Saturday has been lovely, and that there was time to sit and to sip tucked in the moments somewhere ♥

Friday, September 13, 2013

to the uttermost

...God loved me not because I was loveable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now, He says to me, show the same love to others --"Love as I have loved you."

God's love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God's love to me.

Growth in grace stops the moment I get huffed. I get huffed because I have a particular person to walk alongside. Just think how disagreeable I have been to God! Am I prepared to be so identified with the Lord Jesus that His life and His sweetness are being poured out all the time?

Love is a gift. It is a choice. It is inherent in who we are, how we were made. Love is also a discipline that must be maintained.

The knowledge that God has loved me to the uttermost, to the end of all my sin and meanness and selfishness and wrong, will send me forth into the world to love in the same way.

Happy Friday, Friends!
With lots of love from Uncle Oswald and me ♥

(most of this is OC's with just a sprinkle of Q)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

forty-four

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a lovely day! There are a couple of things that I especially like to consider at this time every year. Some of you may have heard me share about this before (:

The first is a conversation Meredith and I shared when she was about eight years old. She was very upset one day - not a usual thing for my even-keeled, joyful girl - and I asked her what was on her mind. She shared that she never ever wanted to be ten. There was absolutely no way that she was ready to be "all grown up" and leave home! For some reason, she had decided that ten was all grown up.

We talked for a little while, and God was so faithful to give me the words to say. I shared that whatever age we are, God meant for us to be that age. We talked about how God made us, and that when He did that, it was for His joy. Meredith reminded me that God has plans for us, and with that came a big smile. She remembered the promise! I assured her that when the time came for her to be ten, God would help her be ready to be ten.

As you can imagine, God had a lot to say to me in that conversation as well. And each year on the eleventh, I remember that He has called me to be the age that I am.

The second is a conversation with my Grandmother on her ninetieth birthday. I asked her that day how it felt to be ninety. She told me that she really didn't feel much different on the inside than she had when she was twenty or so. "I have learned some things, have grown, but other than that I am still the same me."

That moment with Grandmother was precious for the memory of time to share with her. It is also precious as a moment that the Father used to show me something that has blessed my heart more than I can express. You see, it hints at the promise He has made of eternity. Do you see it? Take a moment and consider, and I think you will.

I feel the same way that Grandmother did, don't you? I look in the mirror and see a few wrinkles and other changes, but the me that I am is who I have always been. Again, yes (and thankfully), I have learned some things and will continue to do so. Ultimately, though, I was made for forever with Him. Fully recognizable as me for always to the One whose idea I was in the first place. Joy! ♥

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

farewell little frog

We are missing one of our little frog friends this morning. "Skip" died last night. We noticed yesterday that he seemed to be weak and that he was not spending his time down in the bottom of the tank (as the healthy frogs of this kind do). Samuel has kept close watch over all three of his little guys since we brought them home, and he knew that Skip was smaller and not as busy as the other two. Needless to say, I cried when we found him last night.

I dreaded telling Samuel this morning, knowing how he has already taken these little guys into his heart and under his care. This is what he had to say when I told him:

"It's OK, Mom. I am glad that if he could not live, he could die. God made Skip and already Skip was a good friend to me. Do you think it will be all right if we get another frog for Hop and Jump to play with? I think they might miss him, too."

I am keeping Samuel close in my prayers today. Will you pray with me? ♥

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

a note from my son

Tucked into a math question about oranges in a bowl, I found a treasure. While Samuel worked on his math this morning, he added a little something. He didn't realize it was a love note, but it was.

"School is fun, Mom."

Those four little words and a sketch of my happy son turning flips --on the bottom left corner of page thirty-seven of his math workbook-- meant more than he will ever know ♥

Monday, September 9, 2013

His fullness

If Christ were only a cistern, we might soon exhaust His fullness, 
but who can drain a fountain?  
 ~CH Spurgeon

What a busy day! It has been a good one (: I hope that your day has been lovely , too. This quote has been dancing around in my thoughts today. Considering the fullness of Christ is such a blessing isn't it? And His fullness as a fountain...  It's peaceful, alive, refreshing, regal, and just so very beautiful ♥