Friday, November 27, 2015

watching over my Stuart's ship

Again this afternoon I am working with the Father's call on our every days. I laugh with such joy every time I see the word "stewardship" and recall one day when the sweetlings were little and they thought for sure I was talking about a boat belonging to a guy named Stuart. Once we were certain of our terms, we had a roaring laugh together. What fun!

I found a little quote tucked in my EE that paints a beautiful picture of the Father and stewardship, and I thought it might bless you, too...

"She delighted in seeing her (daily) plan upset by unexpected events, saying that it gave her great comfort, and that she looked on such things as an assurance that God was watching over her stewardship, was securing the accomplishment of His will, and was working out His own designs."

Oh, what beautiful perspective.
What a challenge ♥

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Jamie singing to himself and to the entire house as he makes breakfast. The joy he finds here with us, the way he makes everything more fun. His eyes ♥

Meredith sitting in her chair on the back stoop with a book, and Licorice close by keeping watch over her favorite person.

Samuel gaming, building, and running from room to room to keep us updated on his latest scores or projects or ideas.

Ila in the little fort she built just this morning, playing and practicing her songs for the concert coming up on Tuesday.

Beautiful blue! Skies so clear that you can almost hear them whispering, shouting joy and thanks and praise. Cool, crisp breezes just perfect for the day.

Turkey in the oven ^_^ Memories of so much fun yesterday in the kitchen getting all of the other parts of our meal ready for today.

Gentle quiet. Everyone home, everyone content and just "be-ing" together.

Having listened just an hour ago to "Alice's Restaurant" with Jamie. A silly tradition of many years now: we watch the clock carefully for the time (noon on Thanksgiving Day) -- sometimes we set a timer to be sure not to miss it, we grin, anticipating, and then we sing and laugh and sing again. Oh, his face ♥

Looking forward to seeing Dad (the shouts of "Poppy!!!" ringing through the house) in a little while and a lovely visit together. Memories of last night's celebration with Cookie, Linda, Johnny, Mel, Thomas, and Jeb. The joyful play, the visit, the faces of our family.

Missing, longing for those precious ones that we will not see today.

Knowing that our little family has a few more days together before we return to our every days. The gift of adventure coming soon. And the joy of Christmas!

This life. It's just so beautiful. This gift that the Father has given, all that He has done. Time. Time. Time. Every single moment. O my heart!

You'd think it would be the simplest thing to say thank you, wouldn't you? But I begin, and there is so very much to say. Each thing that comes to mind builds the joy, the gratitude, swells the tears, and once again I am struggling to find the words. The list will take all my life to recite, and that, too, is a part of the blessing.

And so, the words for this day:
Thank You, Father, for who You are.

Happy Thanksgiving ♥

Monday, November 23, 2015

precious Mrs C

Reading my EE today, and she is speaking of a precious lady who took the time to see her, to know her, and to be Christ to her. Here are the words used to describe her precious Mrs C...

Her radiant face was full of sympathy, love, and understanding as she listened. She would be quiet for a little, then she would pray and, looking up, cheer and strengthen me with words from God. During and after my missionary years she wrote to me until she died.

It was what she was that taught me. It was her availability to God when He sent her to my door. It was the surrender of her time, an offering to Him for my sake. It was her readiness to "get involved," to lay down her life for one anxious school girl. Above all, she herself, a simple Scottish woman, was the message.

A lovely, extraordinary testimony to who we are called to be.
As I read the above today, I circled the words you see in bold type.
What a challenge! What a call ♥

Monday, November 9, 2015

tiny little sprinkles of liquid joy

He was a little more than three feet tall. Wearing a navy blue winterish coat with a hood, he danced his way right into my heart this afternoon. I do not know his name, but I will not forget his face, his hands, his joy.

It was an errand day for me, so I was out toodling around town enjoying the rain. I love the way the rain makes the greens breathe and the fall colors pop. I love the laid back, gentle way that rainy days feel (even when I have to get out in them). And, yes, I love the music of the rain and the sprinkles on my skin.

Today I added another reason to my list of why I love rainy days. The little sweetling I described above brought another thankful thing and plopped it right in my lap as I stepped out of the car to go into the grocery store. This little guy and his grand were also headed into the store, but he came to a dead stop right in the middle of the parking lot. Face to the sky, grin reaching around to his ears, he flung his arms wide and high and rejoiced in the rain. He giggled at the sprinkly kisses of the rain on his face, and his precious grand joined right in. Oh, his face! Oh, the gift of a grand who didn't fuss or worry or hurry --but joined right in!

There are blessings all around if we are watchful. That wee little fellow packed a mighty punch with his testimony to joy. It's one I want to remember, and it's one I hope to celebrate every single rainy day from now on ♥

Saturday, November 7, 2015

just no one like Charlie Brown

Jamie, the sweetlings, and I had a lovely adventure this afternoon. We went to see "The Peanuts Movie" and enjoyed every moment! The voices were spot on, the story was charming, and the artistic touches were like a big hug. The designers combined a very new look with old school pencil lined sketching in touches to create something bright and shiny --and familiar.

For those of us who grew up with the comic strip in the newspaper and the original TV specials (Great Pumpkin & Merry Christmas), there was everything that we remember and loved -- and we still do. For the sweetlings there was lots of silliness and fun, and there was a great helping of cheering for the Charlie Brownest.

I cannot remember a time I have been to a re-make and been so thoroughly pleased. Mr. Schulz would be so proud! What fun to laugh and cheer together (of course you know the giggles of my sweetlings was part of the very best part).

We recommend this sweet adventure at the movies with our highest rating... five bees ♥

Friday, November 6, 2015

thanks & praise

From my studies last week, but this prayer just keeps coming back to mind. The more I study Daniel, the more I come to love him and look forward to meeting him one day. How thankful I am for his love of God and for the example of his life.

                                            Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
                                                    to whom belong wisdom and might.
                                                        He changes times and seasons;
                                                   He removes kings and sets up kings;
                                                         He gives wisdom to the wise
                                       and knowledge to those who have understanding;
                                                    He reveals deep and hidden things;
                                                     He knows what is in the darkness,
                                                        and the light dwells with Him.

                                                        To you, O God of my fathers,
                                                            I give thanks and praise...
                                                                                                                  Daniel 2:20-23

He changes, He removes & sets up, 
He gives, He reveals, He knows... praise! ♥

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

finding the thankful things

Last night at our meeting I shared a story with my ladies about my sweetlings and me and our quest to find the thankful things. The illustration I used was the story from a day a few years ago when Ila was struggling with her attitude about cleaning her room. You know those times when God joins in your conversation and supplies just the right words? Well, He did that for me that day.

I sat Ila down and reminded her that helping to take care of our home was something that each of us in our family has a part in and that it is the best way we can show God how thankful we are to have a home. I went on to say that when I have a job that I really do not care for, I try to find the thankful thing...

Q: Here's what I mean, sweetie. Did you know that I have to clean the potty?
I: Oh, YUCK!! No WAY!!
Q: Yep! I do!
I: Ewww! I can't even THINK about putting my hands in THERE!
(lots of giggles and silliness here)

Q: You're right. It's not a great job at all, but do you know what I
do when I have to think about cleaning the potty? I remember that
we are so blessed to have one! I remember that years ago outside
was all they had - and then for a long time there were these things
called chamber pots (explanation here and lots more "ewwws" and

I: I see, Mommy! Even if it's something to do like my room or the
potty, I can remember to find the thankful thing tucked in there
somewhere -- like that I have a room and a potty at all.

This has been our go-to story about thankful things for years, and I love the laughter and fun that comes with it, but even more I love the discussion that follows. The sweetlings get started and our lists of thankful things just go on and on. We are so blessed!

My sweet friend, Sheila, who was at the meeting last night, shared this with me from her quiet time this morning which was on the subject of mundane, repetitive tasks...

"It’s a matter of taking up each duty, no matter how mundane, humble, or trivial, and asking God to bless it and put it to His intended purposes. In that way we take the drudgeries of life and turn them into holy work, filled with unseen, eternal consequence.

The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins said, “To lift up the hands in prayer gives God glory, but a man with a [pitchfork] in his hand, a woman with a slop pail, give Him glory, too. God is so great that all things give Him glory if you mean that they should."

If whatever we do is done for Christ, we’ll be amazed at the joy and meaning we’ll find in even the most ordinary tasks."

O the joy of finding thankful things ♥

quote from Our Daily Bread

Monday, November 2, 2015

the not onlys & an invitation

Studying the story of Rahab over the past week in prep for some special time with my ladies tonight, and I am blown away...

Not only did God meet her where she was...

Not only did He allow her to become a vessel used for His glory...

Not only did He allow her to play a pivotal role in the glorious military victory...

He wrapped His arms around her and invited her to go forward with Him.

(...and she lives among the Israelites to this day.) ♥

from the Book of Joshua
and Donna Partow: Becoming a Vessel God Can Use