Wednesday, October 18, 2017

seeing you

Sweetest JQ moment of the day so far...

So, Jamie and I have begun texting one another just little bits and phrases during the day. This December, we will have known one another for 29 years - that's the longest time I have done anything, besides be alive! Anyway, what a joy to find a new way to draw a little closer in the hours we are working apart. It always makes me smile to see his notes, knowing what a techie he is not --and knowing his great disdain for texting. In the last few days, he has started saying, "look forward to seeing you later" or something like. Six little words, and my heart just soars! I am always here looking so forward to seeing him again, too. How I love that man ♥

Gentlemen, if you are reading this, say the words. Simple, just you, but say them somehow.

Friday, October 13, 2017

right this minute

To have the joy of sitting in my writing spot with a delicious cup of coffee here in my home and look back on the day. A day at home. A commonplace, regular day. Oh, my heart is so full; I am so thankful!

As I take a look at the date of my last visit here, I am amazed. So many busy, different days. So much time spent hoping and waiting, hoping and waiting, hoping and waiting. So much time spent in prayer and then in counting on Holy Spirit to do that for me as time stretched on.

It's difficult for me to write when I can't "think in a straight line," but praise comes and thanks comes as easy as breathing. And you know that if we don't do it, the rocks will cry out ;) so I'll gladly count myself alongside the granite and stones if nothing is making sense. The Father knows, even when I can't smith the words and phrases.

So, simply, but with a bursting heart...

I have spent the day at home.
It has been a gentle, sweet, productive day.
Dad has had a good day. He is tired but feeling well.
My sweetlings and I have been together every moment of it.
Jamie is now home for the weekend.
We have no plans except to spend it together.

There are absolute mountains of things to do, but I am grinning at them wide and deep. And the grins turn to laughter so quickly (and a few tears are sprinkled in there, too).

For daily bread (in so many ways), for these moments, for health and strength and mercy and joy... I just wanted to say out loud, Thanks ♥

Saturday, September 9, 2017

His view

From my reading this morning...

"We are apt to forget that a man is not only committed to Jesus Christ for salvation; he is committed to Jesus Christ’s view of God, of the world, of sin and of the devil, and this will mean that he must recognize the responsibility of being transformed by the renewing of his mind."

It takes my breath away to consider having Christ's view of things. Seeing things His way seems such a simple thing, and it certainly begins with the basics so to speak. But even the basics are so very far from basic, aren't they?

Love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul, mind, strength.
Love one another.
Forgive.
Follow me.
Hope.

When in one area I begin to see, another nuance, detail, sketch begins to take shape in the picture and on and on like that. Unending delight and unending challenge make a perfect fit into the landscape of the days as I walk.

So grateful here for recognition, responsibility, transformation, renewal ♥

quote from Uncle Oswald My Utmost September 9 classic

Monday, September 4, 2017

making ready

Sweetest all five together blessing of the day so far...

Watching Jamie and the sweetlings as they work with me to make things ready for the coming days. Tomorrow brings back our full schedule, a joyful thing, and a very full thing, too. Hours of planning, dreaming, and creating pare back and give way to living out the moments of the days set before us.

Even as I grieve for the loss of the gentle hours of this year's summer, I ask and hope and wonder for the many, many thankful things there will be to find tucked into this new season ♥

Friday, September 1, 2017

sweet september

Oh, if I had to choose, this would be my favorite month of the year. The only thing that could possibly make it better would be if we added the Christmas tree - lol! So many beautiful faces, places, and memories come to mind when I turn the calendar to September. With a heart so full it's fairly bursting, I am listing just a few of them to mark this precious day, the beginning of this gorgeous month...

my mother's joy at the advent of fall and her birthday later this month

celebrating Paige on her birthday

wonderful trips to Hatteras and Ocracoke with Jamie

football games at Crest, State, Carolina, WFU, & ASU

just the "ber" months in general, so beautiful

the changes in the light

traveling to stay on the parkway

sketching the changing of the trees with my sweetlings

the way the greens make the colors pop as the leaves turn

so many precious friends with birthdays this month, too

stepping into so many new adventures
in the first days of this month over the years

bringing out the Christmas music this month in years past so my
sweetlings would know it by Christmas time and could sing with us

beginning another year of homeschooling

tucking away ideas for projects and family fun when the time changes

fall crafting and planning surprises for Christmas

nature walking for days and days and days so we don't miss a thing

crisp air, sweet fresh inspiration

riding to Hendersonville with Grandmother for apples, learning
all of the names of the varieties, and learning to peel them just so

oh! and making pink applesauce

planning for how we will feed the birds this winter

missions fairs at church when I was young, meeting missionaries
from all over the world, the chance to visit with them

wading in fall-crisp creeks tucked far away in the mountains
and finding beautiful rocks and gems for my collection

sweet porch time to think and dream

So...  it seems that this could go on for a while! LoL! The more I write, the more there is to remember. Perhaps this is better suited for paper and pen, but I couldn't let the day pass unwritten ♥

Saturday, August 26, 2017

a grand time

One of the sweetest sweetling moments of this day...

Watching my sweetlings troop to Poppy's house to work on a project with him. Their diligence and joy were a blessing to see! And when the hour or two of work was done? They came up to let me know that Poppy had invited them to stay a while and watch some soccer with him. You should have seen those smiles!

And then later this evening Dad popped in just to tell me how much he enjoyed the children today. O, my heart ♥

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

everyday dwelling

From my reading yesterday, this touched my heart so very deeply. I am not usually a fan of reading or praying prayers that others have written, but the Father used this to show me that there is a place for that very thing. And, oh! What a joy to add these words to my own morning prayer time...

Dear Father,

"You know me and love me intimately and personally and fully. Let my reactions to all things make it evident that I spend a lot of time with You. I want my gentleness to be evident to all.  I want Your fullness in me to be the atmosphere around me. I want Your love to shine through me. And I want Your peace to be the path I walk. Your truth to be my wisdom when I talk. You are my everyday dwelling place, my saving grace."

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

The first and last lines are the truth.
He knows me and loves me.
He is my dwelling place and my saving grace.
May all that is in between them be true in me, too ♥

Thanks and love to Lysa TerKeurst for the life and love in these words.
Quote from Uninvited

Saturday, August 12, 2017

of tractor tires & becoming

Sweetest all-five-at-home-together moment of the day so far...

When your husband walks in the door from mowing the lawn frustrated to the point of angry, and you can see it all over him. And he is so rarely ever angry, so you immediately feel sorry for him as you wonder how his afternoon will be mended.

As you wait and watch to see how you might help, you see him make the choice to be gentle, to laugh, to enjoy a break with us for a snack in spite of all the frustration. And you watch your sweetlings watching him, realizing that they, too, know full well how he is feeling about that tractor tire.

You stop and pray, thanking God for the gentleman who is their daddy and your own other half. A man who is far from perfect, but a beautiful one who leads with his life anyway ♥

Friday, August 11, 2017

my elijah

This morning brought around one of my very favorite readings of the year with Uncle Oswald. Gracious what a blessing and what a lesson every single time I read it. I am so thankful! I am leaving it here verbatim from the classic with such love and joy --and with hope that it blesses you, too ♥



"And he saw him no more. — 2 Kings 2:12

It is not wrong to depend upon Elijah as long as God gives him to you, but remember the time will come when he will have to go; when he stands no more to you as your guide and leader, because God does not intend he should. You say — “I cannot go on without Elijah.” God says you must.

Alone at your Jordan (2 Kings 2:14). Jordan is the type of separation where there is no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one can take the responsibility for you. You have to put to the test now what you learned when you were with your Elijah. You have been to Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are up against it alone. It is no use saying you cannot go; this experience has come, and you must go. If you want to know whether God is the God you have faith to believe Him to be, then go through your Jordan alone.

Alone at your Jericho (v.15). Jericho is the place where you have seen your Elijah do great things. When you come to your Jericho you have a strong disinclination to take the initiative and trust in God, you want someone else to take it for you. If you remain true to what you learned with Elijah, you will get the sign that God is with you.

Alone at your Bethel (v.23). At your Bethel you will find yourself at your wits’ end and at the beginning of God’s wisdom. When you get to your wits’ end and feel inclined to succumb to panic, don’t; stand true to God and He will bring His truth out in a way that will make your life a sacrament. Put into practice what you learned with your Elijah, use his cloak and pray. Determine to trust in God and do not look for Elijah any more."


Source: My Utmost for His Highest "This Experience Must Come"
August 11 entry by Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

on the day you begin

Hi there! It seems a little strange to be writing to you when you and I have yet to meet, though I feel like I know you and already love you as the son of my precious friend --and for all the joy you are to all those I have heard speak of you. My heart and mind are full of your precious family this early morning on this day. It's a big day, and I am so excited for you! I cannot wait to see what God has in mind for you! Count on my prayers as you begin this next adventure.

I am also praying for your mom's heart. I have listened to her share, watched her eyes dance and fill, and oh! The sweet grins and big, gorgeous laughter as she talks about you have been an absolute delight.

I remember the day my dad and mom dropped me off on the doorstep of a new day. I was so ready! Oh, I can't even express to you how "so ready" I was. It makes me laugh to remember thinking, "Let's get on with this!" And then... I walked them out, and they headed for home. And I walked back up to my room and found a note on my pillow from my mom.

Can you guess what she had written? "I just left, honey, and I am missing you already. I have been missing you for months, trying on the idea of days that you are not dancing through here present with us." She had been trying to practice letting me go. I imagine she had been praying about that moment all my life, knowing the heart of a mother a little more now as I look at my own sweetlings.

And though she wouldn't keep me, though she knew God had plans (and that I had big ones, too), and even though she had been practicing, the actual doing of it was impossible --except for that place where she was reaching with me for all that I hoped. That's the place she asked the Father to meet her and keep her as I walked on.

So, sweet boy, on the day you begin, give her an extra hug and take an extra one for yourself. Much love --and joy and prayers, too ♥

Sunday, July 30, 2017

the glories and wonders

Riding to church this morning, we, as usual, were searching for some wonderful music to enjoy. Failing to find anything on the radio, we popped in our Sunday morning mix and Big Daddy Weave's Joy to the World spilled out all over us :) You know what I mean, yeah? There's just something about that banjo and the way Mike Weaver sings "glaw-ry." So sweet!

Well, as the last verse was sung (and good gracious how many times have I sung and heard that verse?), I was then and am still this minute as I write --blown away. Prepare yourself, I pray you will see it, too...

"He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of His love."

Now if you sang that (lol - it's hard not to!), go back and read it again and don't pause after prove.

Boom! Right? I'm not going to connect the dots much more, but when I read that for what it really says, peace! Such peace! I don't have to worry, because of Who He IS.

Happy Christmas, friends, right here in the very last hours of July ♥

Quoting text from Isaac Watts' "Joy to the World"

Friday, July 21, 2017

a gift to share

Our littlest sweetling received a belated birthday gift the other day, a bracelet making kit.  What joy to her because she had already finished all of her summer craft kits! She was so excited to get started with it (oh, what a crafting heart she has), but she has been quite busy on projects with Jamie this summer. Today was the first day she had extra time in which to just be, so of course, she opened it up. She spent the better part of this very warm summer afternoon happily tucked away in her room making bracelets.

I have a lovely red and purple one (my fav color & hers), Meredith has a beautiful rainbow one, and Samuel's is a super-cool yellow and blue. We were all delighted and are wearing them proudly. She has plans for bracelets for Jamie and many others of her family and friends, too, but there has been no mention of the one she will make for herself --no plan, no saving of a certain color or particular pieces "just for me." 

She has always loved to share, and it has always been a joy. But today, she has put everyone she can think of on a list before herself, and it was such a picture (such a picture!!) of the kind of heart I long to have. One day I will share what a blessing the lesson she lived before me on this sweet together Friday has been ♥

Monday, July 10, 2017

the moment just before

"There is a moment, a simple moment before history gets recorded, before it goes in the books, before it appears as a question on a game show or on a mid-term exam. A moment right before the headline is written. There is a moment when history lives in the present. When we can watch it unfold in real time right before our very eyes and we can all assume our place in it. Some people live for history. We live for the moment just before."

The moment just before.

Follower of Christ, you who love Jesus, know this. We also live for the moment just before. The moment before making a decision of any kind: the words we speak, the actions we take, each thought, each attitude, the choices we make about priorities, absolutely everything. God has made us a promise - that He is in those moments with us, and that He will give us a way to avoid temptation and sin.

We stop in the moment just before. We pray, asking for His help. He will be found if we seek Him, you know that full well. He will help us with each decision, with the words we choose in any and every situation, the way we act and respond, the way we think, the attitudes we wear, the choice about the priorities in our lives, our moments, our days. Every single thing. And then we can watch with joy and thankfulness beyond expression as our history is written in Him.

Be glad! It is such a thankful thing, that moment just before ♥

The quote above came from a CNN newscast, the network speaking of itself. I thank them for that.
Oh, it spoke to me of myself as well - for it calls me to remember just who He is, who it is that I am,

and what He has put in place for me - for every moment just before ♥

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

all day & anyway

The sweetlings have been helping Jamie with projects big time this week. He has them working in the greenhouse, the shop, and the garden from morning until late afternoon. I don't know when I have seen them so tired! LoL! But, oh! The learning that is going on is inspiring (and messy, muddy, fun, lengthy, hilarious...). Priceless to have time with him, to be enjoyed and valued, needed for their own abilities and gifts and creativity, I don't think they will ever forget these days.

The most interesting phenomenon is what happens when they come in. We have a snack, we catch up on each person's adventures of the day, and we all take a little down time (Ila likes a play bath, Samuel, his video games, and Meredith heads to the barn while Jamie and I work on projects of our own). And then? They say joyful yeses when it's time to help some more.

I love what God does with our hearts when we empty them for others. This week, our sweetlings are living a lesson before us about serving others. It is a challenge and it is so lovely ♥

Friday, June 23, 2017

of this day

Counting them one by one...

a day all five together
gentle mornings, slow to start
homemade breakfast by J
time to play
beautiful rain
the sweetlings' laughter
no particular agenda or schedule
pop-up family projects
friends to celebrate
joy-filled news
answers to prayers
fresh, cold water
the ability to stand and go and be
inspiration & just so much creativity
a new book to enjoy
the sweetlings singing along to fav radio
return to blooming of the pink roses
a party to plan
praying with & for so many precious folks
sweet fresh strawberries & peaches
blackberries and raspberries on our canes
making plans
crafting fun
notes written and others to write
a fun new movie
the quiet of this late evening
that tomorrow is a Saturday
the gift of so many someones to love
a delicious cup of coffee
sweet memories
goodnight cuddles and sweetling kisses

And looking forward to all the every days with hope ♥

Thursday, June 15, 2017

the marvel

In my reading this morning, Uncle Oswald was discussing the necessity of our forming habits based on the new life God has put into us. We do so many things intentionally, choosing to bear down to make something in particular happen. The same is so very true in our walk with Him. Habits are not born in us, but they are made as we do moment to moment, day after day whatever it is we would become.

Alongside that, there is a gentle reminder...
"We are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God."

A little light, a little salt, and a little pepper ;)
Walking, walking ♥

quote from Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest

Monday, June 12, 2017

hellooo pro-fessah

So this may be the last couple of days I will ever have an eight year old, and that may be breaking my heart even though I am thankful beyond telling that she is healthy and well and growing like crazy. And I may be sitting here at my desk with joy flowing right out of my eyes, down my cheeks and dripping onto my perpetual navy tee - grinning and giggling to myself over her latest adventure, and thanking the Father for her life.

In addition to that, I may just be creating a gift with my hands for that precious crafty sweetling. A box of bits and jars and droppers-full of fun things and a tiny little mortar and pestle, and all manner of herbs and oils, sprinkles, glitters, stones and feathers. There's a gorgeous little journal for her recipes, a wee pair of scissors, and there are extra bottles and jars to stopper her creations.

So I am tipping my hat eve-of-birthday style to wonderful memories of the chem labs I have loved, as well as a certain super hero in disguise potions professor, and saying a prayer for my littlest one as I look forward to all that she will discover in this little laboratory of her very own. Oh, friends, the years are taking care of themselves ♥

Sunday, June 11, 2017

these three words

From my reading this morning, staying with me through the afternoon...

"Jesus Christ makes Himself the test to determine your genuineness. Look how He used the word come. At the most unexpected moments in your life there is this whisper of the Lord— “Come to Me,” and you are immediately drawn to Him.

Personal contact with Jesus changes everything.

Be “foolish” enough to come and commit yourself to what He says. The attitude necessary for you to come to Him is one where your will has made the determination to let go of everything and deliberately commit it all to Him.

“…and I will give you rest”— that is, “I will sustain you, causing you to stand firm.” He is not saying, “I will put you to bed, hold your hand, and sing you to sleep.” But, in essence, He is saying, “I will get you out of bed— out of your listlessness and exhaustion, and out of your condition of being half dead while you are still alive. I will give you the spirit of life, and you will be sustained by the perfection of vital activity.” Yet we become so weak and pitiful and talk about “suffering” the will of the Lord! Where is the majestic vitality and the power of the Son of God in that?"

Where, indeed? Everything has changed. Live that.
Whoo! Writing here with a heart full of longing and seriously squished toes ♥

quote from Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest"

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

in the swing

Sweetest sweetling moments of the day so far...

...all three of them piling into bed with me early this morning for cuddles and to talk over the books we're reading.

...Ila coming to take me by the hand to lead me to the front porch. She wanted to be the one to introduce me to this beautiful day! It is absolutely gorgeous out there. We talked over plans for her birthday coming up next week, laughed about how joyful the birds seem to be today, and wondered over the lovely breeze and relief from humidity.

...listening to them playing together up in Samuel's room right now. They talk and talk, burst into laughter, and I am quite sure they they are building something wonderful (looking forward to being invited to "come and see" here in a few minutes).

Getting into the swing of summer here. What joy ♥

Monday, June 5, 2017

finding freedom

Spending some time working with this today...

"God sent Christ in the fullness and power of His Spirit to bring the heart under the freeing authority of God's Word.  We will find freedom to the degree our hearts accept, rely, and respond to the truth of God's Word."

 Challenged. Asking. Thankful ♥

quote from Beth Moore Breaking Free

Sunday, June 4, 2017

praise & treasure

My day began with this...

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations."

And then wrapped up with this...

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay... "

Perfect for this keeping-heart day ♥

Psalm 100 & 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

the only forever thing

Sitting at my desk tonight with the remnants of the day... A gorgeous day, it was spent as most of mine are, priceless, with Jamie and my sweetlings and the sweet blessings of friends. The little ones are tucked into bed, the eldest enjoying her almost-summertime later hours, and Jamie and I are working away across the room from one another (but close enough for winks and smiles through the glass of the sun room doors).

In my reading this evening, I discovered a treasure: love's the only forever thing. Gracious, it strikes me still! Of all of the things, the time, the dreams I hold so very dear, it's only love I get to keep. I look through the moment to the faces of so many precious family and friends in my mind's eye --and I am awash in grateful thanks for love that never ends. It's forever because, like me, they know Christ Jesus.

And sweet friends, I have to be sure that you know, too. It is God's love, the hope and the love that we have in Christ, that endures. He loves us; He chose us and died for us, and all we have to do is choose Him back.

Make no mistake. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that this world can promise you that will last. Nothing. But if we know Christ, we know love. The only forever thing ♥

Friday, May 26, 2017

snapshot

It was a tough school morning. Do you know those? You're a little off kilter because you are already thinking past the current moments into the rest of the day, and that sets the sweetlings' moods, and then yuck! So we backed up, took a little time to hug and reset our attitudes, and worked it out.

In addition to the mom-created messy, it was a challenging day in MSI's subjects, too. Each one had to re-do several things, which stretched the school day out. Not anywhere close to the light Friday we are spoiled to - lol!

We made it, and I am sitting here listening to Ila hammer away on the piano, creating her own brand of symphony with several instruments beside her on the piano bench. Samuel is running his soccer ball around the yard, and Meredith is lunging her horse. And these points of perspective come to mind...

• we are all one week closer to completing another school year

• my sweetlings and I have exercised together every day this week

• there is a three-day weekend to celebrate ► extra time with Jamie

• Samuel and I had a beautiful discussion today about dreams and planning for the future with an eye to longing for the Father's will

• it's an absolutely lovely day outside

• my devotions this week have been speaking directly to some of the things closest to my heart

• there are answered prayers all around in our life and in the lives of those around us

• I have seen a miracle this week, God's protection for a precious friend

• what a joy to have the privilege of praying with and for our family and friends --and for those we don't even know yet

These are just a few of the things tumbling, showering down as I continue to sit and to see. So, happy Friday, friends! Happy weekend ♥

Thursday, May 25, 2017

love them

Here at the end of a lovely day, I am spending some time with my journals. Not writing tonight, as you might expect, but reading. What a joy to find treasures like this one from July 2007...

=====
Today, I took a quiet moment to read the following exhortation from a lovely lady named Jewels, a new friend, written from her mama-heart. It is for all of us who have in our acquaintance the precious gift of a child.

"Live slowly and simply, so that you have the time and space to love deeply and well.

Hold your children close, as often as possible.

Look deeply into their eyes, speak words of life, love and acceptance - into, and over them.

Make it your single aim to be their very best friend (on earth).

Read to them, draw with them, make play dough, take walks, have picnics, make ice cream, tousle their hair, rub their backs, sit beside them, kiss them, kiss them, as you hold them tenderly, close--throughout every single day.

Love them."
=====

A perfect reminder at the very busy ending of the school year, yes? As I look toward planning for our summer together, I am taking another (better, closer) look at the minutes and the hours. The years are taking care of themselves ♥

Thursday, May 18, 2017

if you...


“I am still confident of this: 
I will see the goodness of the LORD 
in the land of the living. 
Wait for the LORD; 
be strong and take heart 
and wait for the LORD."
                                                                     Pslam 27: 13-14

My sweet friend, Lee Ann wrote about this Scripture just yesterday. What a joy to know that verses that have come to mean so very much to me mean so very much to precious friends, too. I know only the tiniest portion of the place from which she writes, shares, holds onto this Scripture --and yet, when God takes hold of these promises for her in my heart, too, we are warriors together. And it is a blessing, and it is hard, but it is also life and rest and even joy --in the Master's hands.

As I celebrated my mom over the weekend, so much love and so many prayers for friends whose loved ones have left for heaven this year filled my heart and mind. So, if you are one among them, know that you have someone warrior-ing with you, and that you are so very, very loved ♥

Monday, May 8, 2017

just how

Sweetest moment of the day so far...

Sitting at the dining room table having lunch with my sweetlings, the conversation loud, playful, and often wonderfully silly, and my son stops still, mid-sentence and asks, "Mom, just how do you know when God is speaking to you? How does he call you? How do you know for sure it's Him?"

With those three questions, we find that the conversation changes in the altogether. No longer loud, we are gentle and quiet, hopeful and earnest. No longer playful, we are quite serious and filled to bursting with joy and wonder. No longer silly, we are amazed and just so very, very thankful.

We talked over their stories and mine --of God's faithfulness. What a gift not always to be the one telling, but to be told!

We remembered the days He called each one of us personally to come and be a part of His family. We shared the ways we know He speaks and makes Himself known in our lives. We reminded one another that He has promised to be found if we seek Him with all our hearts.

The sweetlings helped me tell my own stories, so familiar now to them, of God's great grace and of His sharing with me the callings on my life. They remembered the foot lamp times that I had told them about when the Father shared His heart for days to come with me when I asked.

And I reminded them of so many things, some they could recall and others not, that God has done in answer to their prayers. So much He has done already in their lives!

Oh, the joy of those sweet moments, this day ♥

Sunday, May 7, 2017

eleven eleven

For years and years now, my sister and I have had a clock prayer pact. It makes me laugh to write that, because I can't even remember how this started. I'm pretty sure that's a perk of life-long love, and maybe that's the best part of this story...

Anyway, wherever I am and wherever she is, when we look at a clock and the time reads all the same digits, we stop and pray for one another. Time zones don't matter, and neither do points on the map. Thank God for that because we are so rarely anywhere in close proximity these days (except by heart).

Most of the time - the time catches me by surprise. I walk by a clock, and it will read 4:44, and Paige pops to mind and I am praying. Joy! What a lovely comfort to know that she is out there lifting me up, too, when time catches her by surprise. Oh, it makes me smile, and I am so grateful for a sister who takes time to pray just for me.

At the time of this writing, it is allllmost 11:11 where I am. I can't recall a time I have sat by and watched for the matching numbers to roll up, so this is a first. But I am watching them tonight, MPBT, right now. Love you ♥

Sunday, April 30, 2017

answers

My sweet pastor as he was praying this morning...

"Father, thank You for every answer to prayer that we have seen,
and thank You for every answer to prayer You haven't shown us."

Loving-kindness, mercy and grace are there, yes? Just so much more than I can imagine! The Father takes care to take care as He answers. And He meets our needs - every one ♥

Monday, April 24, 2017

hello, beautiful morning!

Sweetest sweetling related epiphany of the day so far...

It is possible that they will never realize all of the ways God uses them to bless this mommy heart of mine every day. Waking this morning, I realized yet another one. They greet the day so very joyfully --every single day! They have all done that since they were tiny. What a gift for them and for me!

As I opened my eyes this morning (no matter how I set my clock, I never can seem to be awake before they are - lol), I heard their gentle voices as they talked together. One of them would say something and they all burst into sweet giggles and then outright laughter, and it was just so beautiful. And it reminded me to take a moment to consider how I greet the day.

If I am not careful, all of the to-do lists, all of the busy-ness, all of the challenges begin to pour into my thoughts, and I forget the immeasurable blessing of simply, joyfully beginning a new day ♥

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ready? go! (no need to "set")

"Readiness for God means that we are ready to do the tiniest little thing or the great big thing, it makes no difference. When any duty presents itself we hear God's voice as our Lord heard His Father's voice, and we are ready for it with all the alertness of our love for Him.

A ready person never needs to get ready."

From my reading yesterday, this gentle, gorgeous challenge still resonating ♥

quote from Uncle Oswald

Saturday, April 15, 2017

indeed!

This all I seem to be able to sing and say...

"The power that raised Him from the grave
Now works in us to powerfully save.
He frees our hearts to live His grace;
Go tell of His goodness.
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!"

Happy Most Important Day Of All Time ♥

Lyric from "Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed"  Getty Music
Listen to the song here...

 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

that I have a cup at all

Sitting here at my desk listening to my sweetlings playing outside under my window. Somehow, they always seem to migrate to a place nearby. And that brings to mind a gorgeous piece that precious Ann wrote years and years and years ago. She wrote that many times when we view a situation, our lives, a cup, we consider the question, "Half empty or half full?" When perhaps we should be focusing on the fact that the Father has given a cup at all.

And so, from that place today, sheltered in His right hand, listing...

• a Savior
• a life
• a home
• a family
• friends
• food
• shelter
• clean water
• clothing
• rest
• love
• peace
• joy

...so much. Just so much.

And then the much more overflowing from just the few hours in this one day...

• this gorgeous, perfect spring day
• the Carolina blue sky
• the wonderful, cool temperatures
• a lovely, productive and fun school day
• dreaming & decorating for spring with Ila
• folding clean clothes
• peppermint, lemon, and lavender in the diffuser
• the re-emerging of healthy blooms on the crab apple tree
• sidewalk art - allll the way around to Poppy's house
• Jamie coming in looking happy and rested
• sweet memories in sparkling vases
• time
• the joy and privilege of praying with/for friends old & new
• music that not only sounds but speaks
• understanding (if only a little)
• hugs
• wonderful stories to share
• ex-po-titions (even just out into the back yard and under a bush)
• realizing that I am all-there in the moments of this day
• so many reasons to say, "thanks"

Happy Thursday afternoon, Friends! With so much love ♥

quote :"that I have a cup at all" via a blog post from long, long ago written by Ann V

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

stayed hearts

Working, working, working today! Jamie is off with the sweetlings for a Dad-night and to celebrate the loss of three teeth for Samuel (it's a sensational reason to go out for ice cream, btw).

Listening while I work to Chris Rice playing one of my very favorites on the piano and thought the words might bless you, too ♥

Like a river glorious is God's perfect peace,
Over all victorious in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day;
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
 
Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry --touch the Spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Son of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest--
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

"Like a River Glorious" text FR Havergal

Saturday, March 18, 2017

littlest farmer

Cutest moment of the day so far...

When you look out into the pasture and your littlest sweetling has an old coffee tub in one hand and is leading one of the sheep on a piece of rope with the other hand.

Ila has decided to be a "friend of the sheep" and is currently working on a project with them to be "led and taught things." As I understand it, she and "Annabeth" made a lovely beginning today, and Ila has plans for all six sheep!

There's lotsa love to go 'round when you're living it farm-style ♥

Thursday, March 16, 2017

walk now & hope

From waking, it has been a tough day. Here, among the much more and the life abundant, I am struggling. And it makes me sad, and it makes me angry. God has done so much! Why can't I just glorify, praise, see?

So, I am teary as I grin full-face at my sweetlings when they buzz around me joyfully like three little honeybees. They dance the much more, and I can see that (and am so thankful) - but the burden remains.

Until I realize. The Father has been reminding me all day that He knows, and that the burden -with Him- is light. Light!

Like this...

First thing this morning with Uncle Oswald... "walk now in the light of the holiest you know."

And then through precious friends...

"He will quiet you with His love."

"This One Thing: Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in Him I put my hope."

"A window into any part of your day is a wonderful thought."

"Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."

So for you and for me today, right now...He knows, so walk now & hope ♥

quote 1 - Oswald Chambers
quote 2 - from Zephaniah 3 via Rachel ♥
quote 3 - from Lamentations 3 via Brietta ♥
quote 4 - Paige ♥
quote 5 - H. Nouwen via Marie ♥

Sunday, March 5, 2017

maybe, baby

Those moments when...

...your 8 year old is listening to her pastor teaching on John 17:1-5. For the first time in her memory she learns that when Jesus called God, "Abba," He was calling Him, "Daddy."  She then leans over and whispers in your ear, "Maybe that's why a baby's first word is 'Da-Da!'"

And you really just want to jump right out of the pew and shout a little...

...and when your 11 year old (also listening to the teaching above) is writing words that describe Jesus for every letter in the word, "righteous." At letter e, he writes, "enough."

And then you really just want to dance...

... and when a prayer that you have been praying for your precious husband is being answered right before your eyes, in such a way that it could be nothing but God saying, "See, sweet? In my time, everything is just so beautiful."

And all you can do is grin and cry and try to sing...

...you realize that this morning is the morning you have been waiting for all week --to be there watching and listening when these moments arrive ♥

Friday, March 3, 2017

parties, plans, & the im-possibilities

Favorite moments of the day so far...

• Jumping out of bed as soon as I was sure Jamie was in the shower to call the sweetlings downstairs (they had set their clocks for 6am and were awake and ready as planned), so we could make a surprise birthday breakfast.

• Beginning the day all together

• Celebrating Jamie

• The sweetlings singing "Found a Peanut" at the most atrocious hour (LOL! Thanks so much, Michelle ;)

• Listening to Meredith play the piano as the sun rises

• Planning, planning, planning for more celebrating later today

• And this from Uncle Oswald, "It is impossible to weary God's love, and it is impossible to weary that love in me if it springs from Him."

Happy Birthday, Jamie ♥
Happy Friday, friends ♥

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

overwhelms & overjoys

Ending a truly beautiful day here with a tiny portion of a prayer a precious friend prayed this morning...

(Father), "...it overwhelms me and over-joys me to know how much You love me..."

Thank You ♥

quote from AJ who would not want me to point to her at all, but to the Father who made her and saved her and loves her so
and who is giving this heart and mind a bit of perspective, gorgeous, glorious, so very reach-able and much needed - a brand new view ♥ 


Thursday, February 23, 2017

M and J moments

That moment when you look out in the pasture and your eldest sweetling is teaching her dad to lead a horse. Jamie has never done that before, not being very fond of finding or putting himself in close proximity to large animals. And yet, he walked out there to the barn and asked her to show him how.

I am sitting here amazed, and all I can think is, "What won't love do?"  If ever that sweet girl has a moment when she wonders about her dad's love for her, she could look back to this moment and know for sure.

Love makes a way to make sure that we know, doesn't it?
Thanking God for that beautiful fact ♥

Saturday, February 18, 2017

tethered

I say it over and over again, but there are just so many things...

• sweet, sweet Saturday

• friends to love

• the privilege of prayer

• time with Jamie

• the sweetlings playing together, their laughter

• learning new things

• talking and laughing with my sister on the phone for more than an hour

• wonderful things to read

• seeing the Father at work again and again and again

• adding the third color to the blanket I am making for Jamie


• adding lovely things to my encouragement wall

• this precious place in time

• wonderful winter with the promise of spring

• beautiful paper and a great pen

• mama-hearts to hear and to share and to know and to love

• this from my reading this week: "the peace of our souls is tethered to all that God is"

• much more

• making valentines

• celebrating every single thing

• sharing a new adventure

Oh, what a joy to realize that I could just go on and on every time I come here to list for a while. Such a full heart today. So many, many thankful things ♥

quote from Uninvited by L TerKeurst

Saturday, February 4, 2017

in, with & by

From my reading this morning, upon the subject of living loved and making sure that I take time with Him daily...

"We run at a breakneck pace to try and achieve what God simply wants us to slow down enough to receive. He really does have it all worked out. The gaps are filled. The heartache is eased. The provision is ready. The needs are met. The questions answered. The problems are solved.

Fully.
Completely.
Perfectly.
In Him. With Him. By Him.

We just have to turn to Him. And sit with Him. No matter what. Even if our toes are bloody from the constant wear and tear of desperately running to Him. Get to Him daily."

Oh, to faithfully remember that He is I AM and that all things --all things-- are to Him and through Him. The LION and the LAMB, the BEGINNING and the END. Oh, to faithfully be there morning after morning after morning working out my faith, my life in His precious heart's words with Him. Pray. Read. Study. Listen. Pray. Practice. Repeat. Until the muscle memory of my heart and soul cannot do anything but recall His power, grace, mercy and love, and the hope that lives and breathes there with Him spills right out and all over everywhere around this one life as I simply abide. And He is glorified. And His Name is proclaimed. And life in Him defeats death again and again ♥

quote from Uninvited by LTerKeurst

Thursday, February 2, 2017

all the things ^_^

A few posts ago I wrote that I was hoping for a day soon to begin to share about the lovely things that have been happening here since the Christmas season. Perhaps a list would be the best way to approach recording the joy and challenge of these new days? Well, let's see...

• I am writing and developing our home school curriculum. The Father began working in my heart toward this end in earnest around Thanksgiving, and by Christmas-time Jamie and I were sure how to proceed. It is enormous, and it is fun, and it is serious work... and we are all enjoying it so much! We are continuing with a few of the basics from our former plan, the maths and some of the language arts basics, but other than that, it's new.

• Our family is learning fiber arts. The sweetlings and I attended our first knitting/crochet club meeting in January, and we now have one knitter and four crochet-ers here. There is so much to learn, and there are so many things to make and to dream. Our short-term goals are even stitches (lol) and fun, and our long-term goals include learning to spin and work yarn from the wool of our own sheep.

• The sweetlings (and the parents - lol) continue to try to adapt and learn to care for ten fur creatures. Over the past two months, we welcomed a rescue kitten (Pumpkin), a horse (Mystery), and a puppy (Rolo) --in addition to our beloved lab and six adopted sheep. Things are beginning to even out as we relax into it a bit and now that the littlest fur babies have grown some. I guess that about the time we're all in a routine it will be time to bring over the bee hives!

• Meredith is once again taking part in Mrs B's drama class at our co-op, and has received a part that she is delighted to work out.  The rest of the winter and early spring will be filled with rehearsals and planning and creative work-shopping and productions. Samuel is taking his first martial arts class, which is something very new for all of us. He is particularly excited about the athletics involved and how this might enhance his soccer skills. We shall see! Ila is having a super time in her American Girls class. She is learning history through games, stories and fun, and there is a tea party during class every week!

• We are busy working to sell our yellow house. Please pray with us as we look toward wrapping up this season. It was a very special home to all of us; so many gorgeous memories were born there. And pray that it will be a wonderful place of joy and years for the new family that comes to live in it.

• In the last couple of weeks I have decided to expand and share my love of essential oils. I have been researching them and experimenting with them for the past year and have been blown away by their usefulness and effectiveness in keeping our family healthy. In the past twelve months, we have set aside the over-the-counter products we were using for everything --from headaches to colds and allergies to first-aid-- in favor of natural solutions with oils. I have a lab book and journals full of notes and ideas and am so excited to begin to share what I am learning! Please pray with us as I move forward with this and let me know if you have ever wondered and would like to know more about oils.

• We have a fledgling driver in the family! Miss M earned her permit in January, so we have a new family chauffeur. I call her "Granny Jeeves" (which makes her roll her eyes quite strenuously), a nod to her tendency to slow nearly to a stop just after she starts off! She is doing well and having a great time --and is already looking very much forward to her license.

• Our whole family is participating in the new choir at church - what a joy to sing together! And the sweetlings and I are part of the new interpretive movement team as well. It has been a long time since IMFC at EBC, and it is so much fun to be in motion again ^_~

Wow, that is a lot when all written down together, and I didn't mention the eldest sweetlings' birthdays, the new book I started reading yesterday, the blessings jar, or my haircut - lol! What a joy to live these days ♥

Friday, January 27, 2017

pumpkin of joy

Warning!
Possible cuteness overload!
May in fact be so sweet that your teeth begin to ache ^_~

Cutest sweetling moment of the day so far...

Discovering Ila in the garage, dancing with the kitten and singing at the top of her voice: "Pumpkin of joy! Oh, my Pumpkin of joy! Oh, my little sweet cutie baby Pumpkin of joy... Pumpkin of joy! Oh, my Pumpkin of joy! Oh, my teensy little orange and white tiger of joy!"

I warned you! Hee, hee! ♥

Monday, January 23, 2017

concentrated keeping

Working with this from my reading this morning...

"The golden rule for your life and mine is the concentrated keeping of the life open towards God. Let everything else--work, clothes, food, everything on earth--go by the way saving that one thing.

The rush of other things always tends to obscure this concentration on God. We must maintain ourselves in the place of beholding, becoming...

Let other things come and go as they may, let other people criticize as they will, but never let anything obscure the life that is hid with Christ in God."

And this...

"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Happy Monday to you, friends ♥

first quote from Uncle Oswald, second quote from Paul, 2 Corinthians 3:18

Thursday, January 19, 2017

ladybugs, math, and cornbread chili casserole

Sweetest sweetling moments of the morning so far...

• Ila shouting for all of us to clear the way from the sun room to the kitchen door, so that she could rescue a tiny little ladybug and get it safely to a big pot of dirt on the back deck --where it would certainly be much happier than it was trying to fly around inside, bumping into walls or riding on the piece of paper she used for transporting it to safety.

• Meredith and Samuel sitting on the couch in the living room looking over a math question that had him completely perplexed. She was in full teacher-mode, except for the fact that she had forgotten how to do the particular kind of problem, much less explain it! So he had to leave the room while she talked aloud to herself and worked it out. It took her several (loud and exasperated) tries, by which time he had already begun work on a different assignment and so said he couldn't possibly stop for more math in the middle of writing a dialog between parts of the body.

• Working together to prepare food for the family of our precious Mrs. Virginia. What a joy to work alongside them, tasting, baking, making sure that things are as yummy as we can make them for special friends. Remembering together what a gift friends are, and sharing how thankful we are for forever with them in Christ ♥

Friday, January 6, 2017

o this year

Happy New Year, Friends ♥ Oh, I hope it has begun in the loveliest ways for you all. There is so much happening here that I can hardly keep up (already!! and we are only three days back into daily days!!), and I cannot wait to share it all. Hopefully there will be a little time and space in which to think soon, so I can begin to record the joy here.

I was reminded over the holiday season that Mr Franklin said, "Well done is better than well said," but I have to say that I will have both if at all possible. A pen and ink girl in absolute love with words, I cannot conceive of a higher form of expression of the praise that wells up and proceeds to splash all around.

Anyway... I wanted so to say hello and send my love here in the shiny brand new days of the new year ♥