Saturday, November 30, 2013

wishing

There's a very special wish setting up residence in my heart just in time for Christmas. I do not even have the words to begin to talk about it really, but I find myself --all of a sudden, though it has been with me for some years now-- hoping, hoping with so much joy!

This is so little information, I know.
Pray with me anyway? Asking simply for the Father's will.

Thanks & love ♥

Friday, November 29, 2013

in the details

One of the things I love most about the Father is that fact that He deals in specifics. This is also one of the most challenging aspects of knowing and loving Him. There is simply no question about who He is, who we are in Him, and how we are to live our lives. The comfort is that we can become more and more like Jesus every day we live; the challenge is in the becoming :)

My studies in Exodus are what brought all of this to mind. I love the minute details He gives about the tabernacle and the furnishings. What a blessing and a joy to read!

It is a picture of the way God loves and cares for us. As He gives us our lives, He sees things in the most magnificent detail. His plans are so infinitely, amazingly crafted. It makes me smile to write that...

It is also a picture of the way we are to love and bless Him. As we live and walk daily, it is in our attention to the details that a part of our praise is found.

Walking today with eyes turned to the "little" things ♥

Thursday, November 28, 2013

a medley of thanksgiving

...and if God cares so wonderfully for the flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? (Matt 6:30) 

…so do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Is 41:10) 

…eye hath not seen nor [your] ear heard neither have entered into [your] heart the things which God hath prepared for [you if you] love him (1 Cor 2:9) 

…glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done (1 Chron 16:10-12) 

…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 5:20)


Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friends ♥

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

snapshot

Right now...
Jamie is playing the guitar.
Samuel is playing with the springy door stopper (lol).
♪ This is an interesting musical combo for sure ♫
Meredith is chasing the sunset outside with Licorice (our lab).
Ila and I have just removed two beautiful pies from the oven.

Home.
So much energy today.
The joy of gentle, together days.
Time.
The smell of Granny Pearl's pumpkin pies.
Looking forward.
Thanksgiving.
Laughter - esp sweetling giggles.
Back yard football.
A cup of cold, fresh water.

Daily days sing - grateful hearts add the sparkle-shine.
The list grows on ♥

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

where is love?

Trying to find a way to say farewell for now. These precious ones are a part of my breathing out and in, and I do not know how to go. My sweetlings wept last night at the thought, and I am in puddles just now. Bah! So thankful for a forever with no goodbyes...

A good night's rest.
Waking to these faces.
A new home on the map of my heart.
Memories to hold close.
A few more hours together.
The gift of six days.
A short flight.
Someone we love so much waiting for us.
Eyes to see: here is love, there is love.

So very blessed.
Lovely, this listing ♥

Monday, November 25, 2013

most welcome

This morning I am thinking about the art of welcome. Do you know the gentle joy of having been made welcome? Not simply an invitation to be present, but the exquisite gift of being invited to belong?

Even more... to know that you are most welcome, belonging, from the first hello?

It was my privilege and delight to have been made welcome into a precious group of friends last night. We sat around Josh and Paige's table for several hours, sharing, becoming family and absolutely hooting with laughter. 

I will not soon forget the blessing and the lesson.
Counting again today. With such joy ♥

Sunday, November 24, 2013

counting

A brand new day.
A warm house.
Breakfast.
Five sweetlings with wake-cute faces.
"Good morning" greetings and hugs.
The sweetling cousins --all five-- working together to get ready.
Visiting at Vineyard Church.
Listening to my nephew sing his heart out for just the Father.
Seeing M sitting alongside her Halle and a new friend, Sara.
S sitting so proudly with  U Josh & Max.
Putting precious faces with names.
Ila dancing hellos to new friends.
A message about sharing - so rich that I had to take a note or two.

And that is just a glimpse of just the first part of this day.
Living joy, counting blessings ♥

Saturday, November 23, 2013

new territory

Cutest in-flight moment on Thursday...

We were getting ready to land and had just come back down through the clouds. At the first sight of the ground, Samuel said, "That's Missouri down there!" using his not so very inside voice ^_^  Everyone around us enjoyed a sweet laugh.

It was the first flight for all of the sweetlings. Fun ♥

Friday, November 22, 2013

being there

You know as well as I do that there is nothing quite like being there (: For four years now, Paige and I have been sharing Missouri stories --and it has been great-- but I really haven't been able to place her in my mind. The places and faces of her daily days have been just a series of ideas and snapshots in my imagination... until today!

Yay! The sweetlings and I are with the Timers in nevah-land and having a marvelous time. As I type the littlest one is on an errand with Aunt Paige, and the older four are hooting with laughter just over my right shoulder. O my heart ♥

Thursday, November 21, 2013

through my window

M is raking leaves in the yard with a broom, watching Licorice (our lab) play  ^_^
S is dancing around her out there -- talking a mile a minute (in his pjs)  ^_^
I is off to explore the earth (or at least the yard) carrying two walking sticks twice her size ^_^

I just love the way my sweetlings are so very who they are!

A bit of a different day for us here. The sweetlings woke to a surprise I have been working to plan for a few days now. A lovely gift to us all. A grand adventure awaits!

More details to come over the next few days. Meanwhile, please pray with us for a safe, fun adventure and a lovely time together ♥

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

perfect preparation

"Every experience God gives us,
every person He puts in our lives
is the perfect preparation
for the future that only He can see."
~ CtBoom

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

praise Him, praise Him

Shout to the Lord with joy, everyone on earth.
 
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come to Him with songs of joy.
 
I want you to realize that the Lord is God.
He made us, and we belong to Him.
 
We are his people.
We are the sheep belonging to His flock.

Give thanks as you enter the gates of His temple.
Give praise as you enter its courtyards.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
 
The Lord is good. His faithful love continues forever.
It will last for all time to come.

~Psalm 100 from Samuel's Bible (:
(The way he reads it from his NIrV.)

Monday, November 18, 2013

walk now

...walk now in the light of the holiest you know...
~O Chambers

This smallish looking enormously powerful statement is challenging me today. To the best of my ability, to the finest detail of which I am aware, to the fullness of my understanding... walk in the light of the Lord. He has made Himself known; walk now.

Every day - new mercy, new grace, and light in which to walk ♥

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dad - please pray

Please lift up my dad with me as soon as you see this --and as often as this comes to mind. He is on the way to the hospital (out of town) right now, dealing with a recurring issue that is very uncomfortable. The issue usually resolves itself within a few days --and we are praying for a very quick recovery this time. The alternative is surgery, and that would be very difficult with Dad's medical history.

He has been dealing with some pneumonia now for several weeks, and is quite weak.

It is such a blessing to have friends who pray ♥

=====
UPDATE: Your prayers and notes have been such a blessing today! Dad has been admitted and is settled into his room. He is uncomfortable but not in pain (so thankful!)  Now we wait and pray that a resolution will come naturally and quickly.  Please keep Dad close in your prayers, especially for the next few days (:

=====
UPDATE: Dad was able to come home yesterday (Sunday)! He is tired but feeling much better. We are praising the Father for so many things, including precious friends who pray. Thank you ♥

Thursday, November 14, 2013

our "deer" Halle

What joy to share with you that my precious niece, Halle, is going to be a part of a new production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe! She is playing the part of a Narnian deer ^_^  The show has a lovely director who has expanded parts and allowed for lots of creative fun in the show. It is a blessing just to listen to Paige share about it!

Opening night is tonight, and it runs for two weeks, including matinees on Saturdays (whew! a lot of shows). Pray with me? We are all so proud of our sweet, sweet girl ♥

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

hearts in a cup

Did you know that there is a super special recipe for sweetling smiles? There is! You can mix up a batch any time you like. Would you like to know how? ^_^

You'll need every sweetling's favorite mug, and your own favorite, too.

Set them out on the counter in a row from smallest to tallest. This is an optional step, but it adds to the joy of the moment --and is guaranteed to make you smile.

Gather the chocolate (or cocoa) and the milk, and mix to taste. Begin warming on the stove, stirring often. We want no boiling here - just gentle warming to wonderful. (If you think of it that way, all the stirring becomes a blessing, you see.)

In between stirs, go for the garnishes. The ones I keep on hand are whipping cream, marshmallows, peppermints (Brach's, to be precise), cinnamon, mini chocolate chips and multi-colored sprinkle dots.

When the milk mixture is warmed to steaming, pour the cups. Be sure to leave plenty of space at the top for a mountain of yum!

Call in the sweetlings and voila! Sweetling smiles for miles (:

Let them dress their own cups -- sharing a little advice here and there about the best combinations of garnishes. Our favorite right now is whipped cream with sprinkle dots on top ♥

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

for Lizzie

Before Jamie and I had our own sweetlings by birth, God blessed us with the precious children of our friends to love. How blessed we have been to be a part of the lives of some of the most fantastic kids (all now young adults) on the planet ^_^

One of my first, Lizzie Grace, has her own brand new sweetling today! Her first child, ViviAnn, was born yesterday - baby and Mommy are healthy and well. Will you lift up Lizzie and her family with me today?

Thanks ♥

Monday, November 11, 2013

Samuel's Lava Bottle Experiment

Oh, wow! If you have sweetlings (or grands) around the age range of our three, you will want to make a copy and tuck this into your fun file ^_^ We all enjoyed this experiment - and have done it repeatedly. It rocks!!

How to make your own Lava Bottle:

• Start with a washed and dried clear plastic soda bottle with label removed (one or two liter bottle with cap). Fill the bottle with 3/4 vegetable oil and 1/4 water. Be sure to leave a little space at the top (stop filling just where the bottle curves into the neck).

• Add red food coloring (you can add more later if your lava isn't red enough :)  We also added a good bit of white glitter and gold glitter (the effect is fantastic, so we recommend glitter).

• Now the tough part -- wait for the water and oil layers to settle and separate.

• Break an antacid tablet into two pieces (you can break them smaller, but the effect is better with two large pieces). Drop the pieces into the bottle and quickly put the cap on.

• Watch the show!

This can be done as often as you like with the same mixture (you do not need to make a new oil/water bottle) - one tablet a time. Wait and let the layers separate again before you repeat. Also, give it a try with all lights off and a flashlight held to the underside of the bottle - awesome!

Samuel highly recommends this for some super fun science ♥

~project adapted from Spider magazine

Sunday, November 10, 2013

if anything is excellent

Whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable,
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -
think about such things.
~Philippians 4:8



So, if it is not true (if it is a lie or even just supposition or shades of gray), 
don't think about it - or repeat it.

If it is not noble (if it does not have qualities of high moral character), 
don't think about it - or say it.

If it is not right (fitting, proper, or appropriate), 
don't think about it - or share it.

If it is not pure (sinless), 
don't think about it - or dwell on it.

If it is not lovely (if it is ugly or mean), 
don't think about it - or allow it to be discussed in your presence.

If it is not admirable (worthy of respect), 
don't think about it - or live it.

From my thoughtful spot today ♥

Saturday, November 9, 2013

my hope

Tonight at church we are hosting a very special dinner party. The food will be delicious, and the fellowship will be so, so sweet. But the main thing is the story. We will be there having invited those close around us to come and hear about Jesus Christ.

There will be a brief but wonderful video, and Jamie will share a few words. But the main thing is the person. We have asked the Father to be there in the person of Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of those present --and through us/them the world.

Pray with us? ♥

Friday, November 8, 2013

give thanks

Just a little while ago, sitting at the table having lunch with the sweetlings...  listening to the song "Give Thanks" (we are learning it this week)... looking out the dining room windows at the sunshine bursting through the greens, reds, oranges and yellows of the leaves... the backdrop a gorgeous, deep, forever-rich blue...

The wind stirred the leaves.

And the tears come. My heart! I am more grateful, awe-struck, blessed-- than I could ever hope to express --by God's gifts. Oh the joy of a gentle, beautiful reminder ♥

Thursday, November 7, 2013

leaves at play

"Come, little leaves," said the wind one day.
"Come over the meadows with me and play.
Put on your dresses of red and gold,
For summer is gone and the days grow cold."

Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call,
Down they came fluttering, one and all.
Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
Singing the sweetest little song they knew.
~ G Cooper

A beautiful day here! We are learning this funny little poem, and the sweetlings are playing with the leaves as they dance in the wind. Beautiful ♥

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

wonder

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder,
he needs the companionship
 of at least one adult who can share it, 
rediscovering with him
 the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
 ~R Carson

Oh! to be that one ^_^  To be blessed with the gift, the remembering, the vision to see the way my sweetlings do. To enjoy from the top of my head to the tips of my toes --a discovery. They bring them, dancing and shouting, to share...

I think of the Father, as He was creating this world. As He spoke and gorgeous "discoveries" came into being. Using His imagination (I am blown away by the very idea -so enormous, so creative), He made what He thought up. Oh, it makes me laugh with such joy to see Him in my mind's eye smiling and maybe humming and delighting in every moment. Anticipating the next day's project, even as He finds Himself thinking that this day's work was good.

Walking with wonder here ♥