Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Chapter Out Of My Life

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]A John Deere lawn mower in a Finnish garden.[/caption]

It's Saturday.

I took Lonnie dog for a walk,

He and Ace, the outside dog, got into it. Fur flying. Over nothing. Both males. Go figure.

I was having none of it. They both got that I was mad at them. Bad boys. Go sulk.

They are fine. Like 2 year olds.

My husband is mowing the yard on the one non rainy day we've had in forever.

I was outside picking debris out of the yard. Amazing what what can find after having winds in excess of 60mph this past week. Just sayin'.

The outside cat, Salem, wanted me to pet her. I did. She is not declawed.

She got her claws caught on my clothing. She panicked. I panicked...because she had her claws on me.

She hissed. I yelled, "stop it". She didn't.


We finally got disentangled. Two girls screaming in the front yard. But only one of us with claws. Not fair.

She went and laid down on the porch. Away from me.

I was thinking I should go inside, when my husband went zipping by on the lawnmower.

He is The Grass Geru. Lord of the Lawn. Mower Master. Okay....I digress.

Anyway, the tire of the lawnmower caught a rock and it shot up and hit our outdoor flood light. Well, it pretty much exploded.

Where I was standing.

Glass flew everywhere.

For the love of pete! At least it hit the light and not me.

I again resumed picking up debris. This time it was glass.

All the exploding excitement got the dogs to barking. Again.

That's it.

I went inside. It's dangerous out there!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Weddings and Other Royal Things

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by JeanM1 via Flickr"]Kate and Wills[/caption]

Okay, people...I didn't get up at 4 am. I got up at 5:45 instead. I started watching when Catherine was riding in the car to the church. She looked beautiful.

Some people say, "Why the big hoopla about a wedding, across the ocean?" Because. Just because.

Because weddings are fun to watch.

Because there is tradition in a royal wedding.

Because I believe Kate and William really love each other.

Because it is fun.

Because it is like watching a story book wedding...come true.

So, yes.

I was up. I watched. I smiled. I enjoyed it.

It was a break from the normal day, to witness a special moment in time.

I watched Williams mother and father marry in 1981.

I was just 13 years old at the time, but I remember it.

I was up early that morning too.

Although, I am quite a bit older now...and this early morning event might call for a late afternoon nap.

Maybe for the next royal wedding, we could try for a late afternoon wedding? Say, around 4'ish?

It's just a thought.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bonnie, at Faith Barista, asked her readers to tell what brings us joy. She wanted us to use photos to tell our joy story. I am all over this assignment!


Family and friends bring me the most joy. Hands down, no doubt about it. I didn't think the people in my life would want their  pictures posted on my blog for the entire world to see, so I'm just saying it...instead of showing it.

Warm light. It makes me feel cozy.

The eucharisteo board that I have in the kitchen.

It reminds me to be thankful in all things.

When I look at the board I feel blessed.

Lonnie, the terrier extraordinaire, makes me happy. I just love him.

This is the kitchen door, that I refused to part with, when we moved. It has the heights of the children marked on it. It is a time capsule, and I enjoy looking at it (and also still marking the heights of my teenagers). It is currently an "objet d' art" setting in the entry way at our new house.

This is my Bible. I've had this particular one for 15 years. It's filled with notes and highlights. I refuse to quit using it, even though it is falling apart. I will just continue to tuck in the books of James and Hebrews that have come loose. I need to look into book binding.

Umm......Just a few of the books in my library. Books bring me a great deal of joy. I should have been a librarian. :)

Aaahhhh....bed. Comfort. Cozy. Vintage linens. Rest.

Yes, those are dandelions in our yard. I couldn't help but feel joyful when I pulled into the driveway this morning. The green spring grass with the pops of yellow. It just looked pretty...even if they are weeds.

This was my view this afternoon. It is a joy to live in the country. I get to appreciate God's handiwork up close.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Living Out What Easter Means

The Greatest Promise of God

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live."  John 11:25

How many of us have stood over a casket, looking down at one we loved?

Tears leaking down our cheeks...already missing the one that is gone.

The body so still. The breath has ceased. The lids now closed.

Burial. In the ground. Dirt covered.

And we weep.

And yet...

Jesus' words ring out in the darkness. The darkness of hopelessness. The darkness of fear. The darkness of death.

I am the resurrection.

and the life.  Alive again. Living. Breathing. In glory.

Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

He who believes in me, though he dies,

yet shall he live. Shall live. With Him. Forever. Real. Oh, so real.

No more heart hurt, no more rampant cancer, no more diseased body, no more accidents, no more shallow breathing, no more depression, no more pain, no more poor vision, no more sickness...

No more.

Believe in Me, Jesus whispers to our souls.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him, shall have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Jesus says,

I have conquered death. I have taken your place.

It is finished. Words that echo through the ages.

How is Easter real to you? Not only on a Sunday in April...but, all year long?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Don'ts For Girls--A Manual Of Mistakes

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]A mother plays the guitar while her two daught...[/caption]

This past Saturday, my daughter and I went to do some antique shopping in Mount Victory, Ohio. I love this type of thing, and can "get lost" for hours, if left to my own devices. I collect antique books. Most of my books are school books from the turn of the last century. On this particular trip I came across an interesting little book called Don'ts For Girls-A Manual Of Mistakes, written by one Miss Minna Thomas Antrim. The book was copyrighted in Philadelphia by the Henry Altemus Company in 1902. From the inscription in the front cover of the book it was given as a Christmas present in the year 1907. When I see inscriptions such as this, I often wonder what the young lady that received this book looked like, or acted like? Obviously, her parents wished for her to be a proper young lady.

This small, hardback book is packed with little nuggets of wisdom, along with some statements that make me giggle. Some of these verses are so foreign to me, being that I was born in 1968--and by that era, times were most definitely different! In my mind and imagination, I picture a twelve year old girl, on the verge of young from a proper Victorian family. On Christmas morning she opened this gift from her parents, and vowed to read the book from cover to cover.

As she gently opened the book and turned to the first page, this is what she read...

*Don't be ashamed of your parents. They may be unlearned and dull, but they gave you the chance to become what you are. Honor them before all men.  ( I read this to my daughter, and she laughed. I do not wish for her to believe that her daddy and I are unlearned and dull, though I do like the honor part.)

* Don't neglect little deeds, while dreaming of great ones.

* Don't be a prig. Girls who are never a little foolish, are always deadly dull. (I like the word prig. I think I might start using that. Can I bring the word, prig, back?)

*Don't chatter. Babbling is baneful. Gigglers should be punished by solitary confinement. (If one is going to giggle, do it in private!)

* Don't regulate your behavior by geography. Be as modest at the sea shore as at home. ( I love this one. Anyone that has been to the beach lately knows, that some young ladies need to be more modest--allowing everything to hang out is not pleasant for us that are forced to watch.)

* Don't be good because you must, but because you should. ( Amen. Enough said.)

* Don't be anxious to get "in the swim." Many drown there. (Many of our young people today, still have this problem. Following one's peers can prove deadly.)

*Don't fail to lock the family skeleton securely in the closet when guests are expected. ( Doesn't this crack you up? I bet a lot of Victorian closets were bursting with bones...but, the key to the closet was kept cleverly hidden:)

* Don't go anywhere with a young man alone. Convention admits no exception of this rule. ( That would save a lot of heartache, wouldn't it? :)

* Don't listen to anything revolting. There are things in life that should never be made known to a sensitive girl. ( A young Victorian girl would never make it watching the news these days. Or any TV. Or any movies. Or most books. Or...or....or.....)

The book ends with this last page.

* Don't begin the day with a sigh, or you may end with a downpour.

* Don't lament because your neighbor's garden surpasses yours. Keep hoeing. ( I love this one in particular. Plenty of people in our entitlement society, need to read this.)

And last but certainly not least...

* Don't fuss. If things never went wrong who'd long for heaven? (Amen, to that.)

I hope you've enjoyed this brief look into the beginning of the last century. It's always fun to look back...

Monday, April 25, 2011

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by bernat... via Flickr"]the cloud and the rays of light[/caption]

Here I sit at my kitchen counter...on yet another Monday morning. A morning that is gray and rainy...again. It seems like the rain is here to stay this Spring. Even though the day outside is wet and drizzly, I have so much for which to be thankful. The light of yesterday breaks through the gray of today. Light shining into this world...light that changed the world forever.

Mondays are always a rough day for me, and yet these days are part of Multitudes On Mondays. A reminder to me and to everyone, that there is always much to be thankful all things big and small. Life truly is a gift.

* Safe travel for my sons as they traveled with friends.

* Time spent with my daughter.

* Discovering that old is new again

* Laughing together

* Quietly working in the kitchen

* Family

* Knowing the TRUTH

* Chocolate peanut butter icecream

* Love

* Conversations with sons

* Helpful daughter

* A husband who is there for me

* Time to just breathe

* Groceries in the pantry

* Cold tea

* Beautiful clouds

* Rain

* An old, rugged cross

* Blood covered

* "It is finished"

* An empty tomb

* A Savior lives


* A promise that He will come again as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Amen and Hallelujah!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Is Risen!

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Jesus[/caption]

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

and because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Jesus conquered death...forever.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Morning

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Downtown Mount Victory[/caption]

I'm reading a decorating magazine, writing in my eucharisteo journal, and drinking a mug of coffee. I'm also watching the news. The sun is actually shining this morning, before the rain returns later in the day.

It's a quiet morning.

I have much to be thankful for, on this day before Easter.

My daughter wants to go to Mount Victory. To check out the shops.

Maybe we will.

Saturdays are good.

Friday, April 22, 2011

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by cindy47452 via Flickr"]Red Barn and Blue Sky[/caption]

Good Morning, so glad you came to visit. I love having company. Would you like a mug of coffee on this chilly, gray day? Yes? Just pull up a stool at the kitchen counter. Let's talk......

I really enjoy getting to know my "bloggy" friends. I know that if we all lived closer together, this scene really would take place. I have readers from all over the world and we are each different...yet, we have so many characteristics that are the same. Many people think that the internet is "evil"...and let's face it, it can be if that is what one is looking for. I choose to use the internet to "talk" with my share more of myself, in hopes that they can also see themselves in my stories. It makes us all feel a little bit closer.

Mmmm.....the coffee is especially good this morning. You want another cup? What flavor creamer? My mom and husband both tell me I need to learn to drink it, straight up, black. I say, why waste good creamer? There is nothing wrong with french vanilla or cinnamon swirl. Right?

This morning I've already been practicing my lines for the "Mary" monologue that I am doing tonight, at my church's Good Friday service. Friends, would you remember me, that the words I speak would not be my own...but, that those listening tonight would hear the words of Mary and realize how much Jesus loves them?

I know it's a gray day outside. This morning when I walked the dog, the wind was starting to pick up. A storm is obviously on the way. That is the Midwest for you...not quite ready for Spring yet. Gray clouds scud across the sky. Hey, why don't you look out my front kitchen window? Doesn't the farm across the road look like something out of a Norman Rockwell picture?  A red barn in the middle of an open field. I really enjoy my view. I like the wide open spaces that the country allows. Maybe, after the rain we can go for a walk? We can visit Jazz, my daughter's horse, in the barn. The dogs would love to go for a walk with us. The llamas across the road will lift up their heads and sniff the air. They are curious animals and will keep an eye on us as we walk.

Walking and talking. One of my favorite past times. There is nothing better than sharing with friends.

Yesterday I bought some new curtains. Well, actually I used a gift certificate that I had. I don't think anyone else in my family appreciates them as much as I do. That's okay. God gave me an eye for aesthetics. I'm all for practical, but I also long for beauty. I appreciate the way the light pools on the floor, making a warm oasis. The shimmer of morning as it peeks through the curtains. The richness of the wood cabinets. The smell of my cinnamon/vanilla candle. I love color, and texture and smell. I think that God will have heaven be one big explosion of the senses. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Uh oh....the rain has started.

You have to go? Alright then. Maybe you can you come back tomorrow? I've really enjoyed our time together. It's great having you as a neighbor.

*** What's happening at your house on this Good Friday? I'll pull up a chair and you can tell me.***

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Perfect Plan

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Reenacting the Stations of the Cross in Jerusa...[/caption]

I'm portraying Mary (mother of Jesus) in an Easter monologue, this weekend.

Mary had the heart of a mother, when she admitted that she did not understand the purpose of Jesus' death. She knew He was the son of God, and yet she watched Him be hung on a cross to die. To die. Her heart bled out, along with her son's. She knew He was God, but He was also her son...whom she loved. "Why, God? Why? It doesn't make sense to me!"

Today, on the way home from a short trip into town, I was practicing my lines. Her words, so much she did not understand, echo back to my own heart. So much, I do not understand. I have the blessing of knowing that death was not the end for Jesus. I am able to celebrate the resurrection that followed. At the time, right after the crucifixion, Mary did not know.....yet.


Isn't that like so many of us? God does something in our lives...and we question Him. We shake our fists. We cry out. It's not fair! Why me? I don't understand. What is the purpose?

God in His infinite wisdom knows. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him. He is never caught off guard.

If God was small enough for me to understand Him (a woman who doesn't understand her own computer), He wouldn't be much of a God now, would He?  I cannot put God in a box.  Sometimes He does things that seem like they don't make least not to my human, finite mind. I feel very much like Mary, standing in the dark on that day, wondering why? I am grateful that God does not require my permission to complete His plan.

(Jesus) "Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Matthew 26:39  NIV

So, this Easter I will celebrate God's plan. A holy plan. A perfect plan. A plan that took His Son to the cross, to pay the price...for me. That's how much He loves you...and me. Redeemed by the blood of the lamb. The pure and blameless sacrifice...


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You Took My Place

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia The quiet moments. The times of reflection. The times of remembrance."]The Passion of the Christ[/caption]

The quiet moments. The moments of thought and reflection.

Sacrifice. Pain. Tears.

"Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"  The crowds of so long ago, shouted. Their voices echo through time... I cannot blame them. They were imperfect sinners. Just like me. I was in that crowd.

My sin crucified my Lord. It wasn't just "other people". It was me. My sin, put Him there. His love for me, kept Him there.

Selfishness! The slam of the hammer, as the nails pierced His flesh.

Pride! His face twisted in agony.

Resentment! The burden on His shoulders.

Bitterness! The blood dripped down.

God, forgive me. Please forgive me.


You Took My Place

The thorns on your head

blood, runs red.

You hung on a Roman cross

for sin not your own,

the pain unbearable

the sounds of your groan.

You could have called angels to deliver you, free

but you stayed stayed there for me.

"Father forgive her

She doesn't know!"

You saw me, you knew me

before time began,

you hung on that cross

the Savior of man.

You took the blame

You bore my shame.

Jesus my Lord, You took my place

knowing your sacrifice

your gift of grace...

Would deliver me from

death...and its dark face.

The stone rolled away

You are alive, no longer dead!

You stand victorious

Just like you said!

---Dawn Gibson 2011

Won't you join us, as we walk with Him?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Row The Boat, Ashore....

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by soozums via Flickr"]Lakeville funnel cloud[/caption]

It's raining. A lot. Again.

This Spring has been wet and volatile.

At least there have been no funnel clouds in sight. Yet.

Even though I love to watch the tornado documentaries, I don't want to be IN one.

Just sayin'.

I have to drive two of my kiddos to a town that is an hour away.

For some academic testing.

That happens each year, at this time.

The test proves how brilliant they are.

Really. I'm not lying.

They are.

Of course, they have wonderful teachers.

I love homeschooling:)

Well, I had better go.

Stuff to do before we leave

I hope this trip doesn't call for an ark....or red ruby slippers and a trip to Kansas.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="160" caption="Image by suttonhoo via Flickr"]the unmade bed[/caption]

Click on the Multitudes On Monday graphic on my right side bar to find out more about thankfulness, from those that are overflowing...

Ann Voskamp said in her book, One Thousand Gifts, that it is impossible to worry and give thanks at the same time.

I choose to give thanks. One thing at at time. It makes all the difference.
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."   Psalms 107: 1  NIV

*Teenage boys that are taller than I am...who can reach the tall shelves for their mom.

*Deep, almost man voices.

*Hugs , that will never grow old.

*Children telling me, "I love you, Mom"

*Words that make me feel rich.

*Back scratches

*Cozy, warm rugs scattered on the floor

*Glass of orange juice

*Wet dog nose

*Morning quiet

*Sound of my husband's voice on the phone

*Gray skies

*Rain on the way

*Weather news

*Old hand-made aprons hanging on the wall


*A rumpled unmade bed

*Warm water to wash my face

*Minty toothpaste

*Warm socks

*Smell of cinnamon in the air

*Smooth, warm wood

*Soft glow of light

*Dog snuggled on his pillow

*Children diligent with school work

*Shelf filled with books

*Comfy couch with pillows


Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Day Death Died

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by via Flickr"]Garden Tomb 02[/caption]

It did not end with Jesus in the grave. The tomb could not hold him. Death could not conquer him. On the third day he arose! Just like he said he would.

A favorite hymn of Easter....


  1. Low in the grave He lay,
    Jesus my Savior,
    Waiting the coming day,
    Jesus my Lord!

    • Refrain:
      Up from the grave He arose,
      With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
      He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
      And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
      He arose! He arose!
      Hallelujah! Christ arose!

  2. Vainly they watch His bed,
    Jesus my Savior;
    Vainly they seal the dead,
    Jesus my Lord!

  3. Death cannot keep its Prey,
    Jesus my Savior;
    He tore the bars away,
    Jesus my Lord!

1 Peter 1:18-20 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. (NIV)

Matthew 28:7   "Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."


Friday, April 15, 2011

Cat Pee and Other Messy Stuff

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Calico cat (Felis silvestris catus)[/caption]

My intention was to finish my story from yesterday....but, that will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm too wound up to type something serious this morning.

Some days are better than others. Just sayin'.

1. The indoor pets needed their flea treatments. The weather is getting warmer and fleas and ticks are already becoming an issue.

2. My husband was gone to a meeting in the evening. I was left to my own device.

3. My son helped with giving the dog a flea treatment. The dog behaved himself at the time....but, then proceeded to roll around in the grass afterward ---during his evening walk. Sigh. I hope any nasty little blood sucking varmints that happened to be in said grass, were repelled. Sigh again.

4. I commissioned my daughter to help with the two indoor cats. I had been noticing a little scratching going on (with the cats, not her) and decided we needed to treat them now, while the getting is good.

5. The cats were okay during the treatment, that takes all of 60 seconds. Joe (the senior citizen cat) took it like a champ. No problemo. Nikki, my calico, stalker kitty....not so much.

6. She sulked in my closet all evening. I tried to get her to come out, but she just turned her head and continued to lay on my shoes. It was a major snub.

7. FINE! Lay in there and  I hope you don't roll over and poke yourself with a high heel!!!! Hmmppfff.

8. Well, Nikki finally emerged, but if ever a cat was ticked was her. Cross my heart and hope to die, if she could speak...she would have cursed me. I'm sure of it.

9. She skulked around.

10. Bedtime came. She usually lays at the foot of the bed.....after she gets pet and loved on.

11. Last night she decided to show her ire, by PEEING on the bed. Right up near me. As a matter of fact she peed all over my new Country Living magazine that I was just settling down to read....and a book....and on the quilt, which soaked through to the blanket underneath.

12. At the moment I did not see what was going on.....but, my husband did and grabbed her by the scruff of her neck. He carried her out to the laundry room--where she was banished for the rest of the night.

13. While that was going on, I had to strip the bed linens and wash them in hot, soapy 11pm at night. I was not a happy camper. In my mind I was thinking up horrible sayings....things like...."There's more than one way to skin a cat."  Yeah.

14. Nikki was crying in the laundry room and I was yelling back, "Suck it up sister. You pee you pay!" (along with maniacal, sleep deprived laughter)

15. She got out of detention this morning....none worse for the wear.

16. The bedroom is OFF limits to her today. She is NOT pleased.

17. Hey, that's the price ya gotta pay, girlie. You do the crime, you do the time.

18. My bed is now fresh and clean.

19. I am in a much better mood.

20 And Nikki is sulking behind the file cabinet in the school room.

AND THAT IS MY LIFE.....end of story.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Cross

Bonnie, at Faith Barista, posed this question for today... Share something new you’re learning in your relationship with Jesus? Click on the Faith Barista graphic in my right side bar to find out what others are learning.

As I walk toward Easter, I am reminded of the price that was paid..for me. For you. For us all. May this story never grow old.

When others look at me, this is what they see.

I'm a 42, almost 43 year old, middle class, female.

I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe the Bible is God's word to the world.

I'm college educated.

I am a former special education teacher, turned home school mom.

I shop at Walmart and Aldi's. I drive a mini van.

I crave organization and stability.

I love dogs. I'm learning to love cats.

I hate spiders and mice. Mice even more than spiders. That's why it helps to have cats.

I grew up in the country. Then I lived in the city. Now I'm back in the country...and I love it. I shop at Tractor Supply.

I was married....then widowed...then married again. I informed my new husband he better not die on me....or at least live to 120.

I am a mom. Some days I am a good one...other so much. I never stop trying.

I love Fall. October is my favorite month.

I'm a voracious reader. I enjoy talk radio. I love to decorate and create. I love sweaters and socks. They are sort of my "thing".

I have a flair for the dramatic.

I'm nostalgic about "Americana".

I have several pet peeves that really get on my nerves.

I'm a fairly decent cook. My favorite food is loaded nachos. My favorite drink is southern style sweet tea.

I am a writer. Blogger. Note taker. Chart keeper. Folder filer.

I love to tell stories........
There is more to my story.

I struggle with selfishness.

Sometimes I say things that would be better left unsaid. Me and my big mouth.

I don't forget things. I can hold a grudge. Bitterness creeps in.

I want do-overs, if I don't like how things are turning out the first time around.

I like to have control of situations.

I tend towards perfectionism....which can be insidious.

Patience is not a virtue that I have mastered. Resentments are real.

Sometimes I yell.  Sometimes I get quiet.

At times, I like to be by myself. In my own space.

People can overwhelm.

I want to be left alone.

I am a sinner in desperate need of a Savior.
Romans 3:23  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Romans 6:23a  "...The wages of sin is death..."

Romans 6:23b  "...But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The thorns gouging into the skin...

The beard plucked...

Being spit on and mocked...

Nailed to a rough wooden cross...the pain too horrid to imagine.

Thirsty. Can't breathe. Even the smallest movement excruciating.

He was innocent. He could have called an army of angels to save Him from this.

But He didn't.

Because He knew. He knew that my sin required a sacrifice. Blood. His blood. For me. Redemption.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 NIV

Romans 5:8,  "God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!"

Standing at the foot of the cross on that dark day....

***Join me tomorrow as I finish the story.***

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

As Easter Approaches

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]The Great Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Ten...[/caption]

Even though I was born and raised as a Maryland girl, as an adult, I lived in east Tennessee for twenty-three years. Knoxville was my home, only forty-five minutes from Dolly Parton's family "stompin' grounds". I had family passes to her amusement and water parks. I loved Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

East Tennessee is a beautiful part of the the foothills of the  Great Smoky Mountains.

Dolly Parton has held a "soft spot" in my heart for many years.

Now, you might be thinking what in the world does any of that have to do with Easter? Well.....nothing really...except that one of my favorite songs, sung by Dolly, is about Easter. She sings about the risen Savior. He is alive!

Every time I listen to this song, I get goosebumps.

He's Alive! Sung by Dolly at the 1989 CMA awards.

"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me."
-- Matthew 28: 6-10 KJV

"He is risen; he is not here."
-- Mark 16:6


***As we walk toward Easter, won't you join us? Click on the Walk With Him Wednesday graphic on my right side bar.***

Monday, April 11, 2011

Say What?

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="121" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]A leader teach is able to help this student wi...[/caption]

Last evening I was looking through some of my blog archives. I came across one that made me laugh out loud. Such a window into my life.

Oh, the memories! Being an elementary school teacher in the South... Teaching was fun and the day to day escapades were good fodder for my blog.

Ya gotta love it!

Click on over for a good laugh:)

Hard Thanks...

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by ViaMoi via Flickr"]~Did She Cry ~[/caption]

All the reasons to be thankful....Click on the Multitudes On Mondays graphic on my right sidebar to read more.

Dear Reader,

I'll be honest with you. I'm not feeling very thankful today.

Mondays are never my best day of the week, and today seems especially "not very thankful". I feel guilty. I struggle.

Right now I'm seeing all "the holes" in the canvas of my life.  When concentrating on the holes, the rips, the tears... I find it difficult to see the beauty. I know that is a poor attitude, you don't have to remind me. Believe me, I know.

All the things I wish were....and aren't.

All the things I want...and can't.

All the trying to measure up....and falling short.

All the dreams...dashed.

All the little things....that become BIG things.

All the words thought....but never said.

All the wishing....not coming true.

All the obstacles....not overcome.

All the life really broken.

We live in an imperfect world.


Life IS broken. Isn't that true for us all?

Aren't there days when we each wonder, the why?

When our vision is full of gray, and the colors seem dulled?

When we want so much more, but get so much less?


God knew we'd have days like this. Hard days. Painful days. Days of longing for something else. Something that is seemingly just out of reach. The frustration. The grieving. The seemingly unfairness of it all. He knew. He always knew.

Giving thanks through the difficult times. The broken times.  Ann Voskamp calls it the "hard eucharisteo". The giving of thanks when we are searching through the darkness. The saying "yes" to God, when we don't understand. The trusting that this hard place we are in, is not the final destination.

Ann goes on to say, "Grace + Thanks = Joy".  She's right, you know
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything. Not about life plans. Not the wondering. Not the worrying. But in everything That is a big, all encompassing word. By prayer and petition God hears us!  With thanksgiving Always thanksgiving...even when it is the hard eucharisteo. present your requests to God. He wants us to talk with Him. In the good times and the not so good times. He is there.

And on a day when it seems dark, not just because of the storm clouds, I can say thank you. I can give the thanksgiving to the One who hears me even when the words aren't spoken aloud. I am thankful.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Smelling The Flowers

Today is a beautiful Spring day. The sun is shining.  The wind is blowing.

Sometimes I just need to slow down...

and stop to smell the flowers.

11 See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.  ---Song of Solomon 2: 11-12  NIV



Friday, April 8, 2011

Take Me Home...Country Roads

Saturdays are made for home...

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
Benjamin Franklin

Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.
Margaret Thatcher
Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.
Charles M. Schulz 
Home is the place we love best and grumble the most.
Billy Sunday

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
Robert Frost

I say, If everybody in this house lives where it's God first, friends and family second and you third, we won't ever have an argument.
Jeff Foxworthy 
People who have good relationships at home are more effective in the marketplace.
Zig Ziglar

The fellow that owns his own home is always just coming out of a hardware store.
Kin Hubbard

Where thou art, that is home.
Emily Dickinson 

Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

For The Love Of Words

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by stargardener via Flickr"]open book[/caption]

I admit it.

There is no doubt about it.

I can't help it.

There's no changing it.

I am a lover of words

and a confirmed bibliophile.

I so enjoy the written word. It is a part of me. I intently listen to the spoken word. It challenges me. Choosing just the right word to is important to me. Words have power.

Today I woke up to gray skies and rain. The perfect day for reading, after I finish the days chores, of course. There is nothing better, than to settle into my favorite chair, with a blanket a warm drink and a good book.

I look around my house now and I see shelved books, stacked books, books on the night stand, books on the floor, cookbooks near my stove in the kitchen, antique books on display in the dining room. Sigh.

Jan Karon's Mitford Beside Companion (If I could live in any imaginary would be Mitford, N.C)

The Inspirational Writings of C.S. Lewis (Great writer of apologetics)

That's My Teenage Son--How Moms Can Influence Their Boys To Become Good Men by Rick Johnson (My greatest desire is to raise godly children)

The Vintage Remedies Guide to Real Food by Jessie Hawkins (Learning to live healthier)

Rereading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts (A book that has changed my perspective and taught me what eucharisteo truly means)

My Bible. The book most important. The book that feeds me. The words from THE WORD. Life giving. Life altering. The pages are worn, filled with pen marks and colors of various highlighters. I've underlined, circled, taken notes, and added exclamation points. The words themselves that never change, but do change me.

***In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NIVJohn 1:1 ***


Thursday, April 7, 2011

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by AmyZZZ1 via Flickr"]Open Hand[/caption]

***Join us over at Faith Barista Jam. We're discussing joy, today. Click on the graphic on my right side bar to read what others are writing about joy.***

Joy (noun)  a source or cause of delight---

It's interesting that Bonnie, at Faith Barista, would choose the topic of joy, for this month. I've been thinking about joy a lot lately. I've been on a "joy journey" of sorts. About two and half months ago I heard about a book called One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. She talks about joy in her book. Joy... in a way that I hadn't thought of it before. She talked about joy in a way that would change me. Forever. For me, changing my perspective, really is changing my life.

I, like many people, tended to blend joy and happiness together. They are really not the same thing. I'm also figuring out that I can have joy--if I choose too. It really is a choice. It's not always something that "just happens" to a person. People, in general,  are not "just lucky" in the joy department. Joy can be intentional.

What I am learning about joy is a challenge. Sounds contradictory to the definition, doesn't it? On pages 32-33 of her book, Ann hits me squarely between the eyes. Right where I am at. Her words sting me.
"That has always been the goal of the fullest life----joy. And my life knew exactly how elusive that slippery three-letter word, joy, can be....   Is the height of my joy dependent on the depths of my eucharisteo thanks? (to God)....As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! (in the here and now of daily life).


Joy in the everyday. Joy in the here and now. Joy in my messy kitchen. Joy in the van driving kids. Joy in snuggling into bed at night. Joy in laundry. Joy in the sunsets. Joy in pet fur all over the floor for me to clean. Joy in reading. Joy in preparing dinner. Sounds crazy, right? But, if I can have thanksgiving in the daily ALL things....then there will be joy. Joy will no longer be some elusive or esoteric feeling that I am constantly searching for. It can be real. Real to me in the daily grind.

And isn't joy what we all long for?

So, for me, I am working on joy in my every day by giving thanks (eucharisteo) to God. Always thanks. Thanks for each moment that He has allowed me to experience.

It's all by His grace. Every. Single. Moment.  I am thankful....and I experience JOY.