Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Begins At Home...

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer...

I love wind chimes. I like to hang them on the deck, of course we live in a wind tunnel...so my poor wind chimes take a beating.

Summertime is much more laid back...peace and serenity is sitting on the front porch on a quiet summer evening.

My husband put our new flag up yesterday... Looking at the crisp red,white, and blue flapping in the breeze made me so happy.

This is where you will find me in the evenings. My favorite spot. I thought the red pillow just made the sitting area "pop".

Yesterday, my son pulled out a birthday present from a couple of years ago. Now we have a big yard (since we moved) and he practiced shooting off his rocket last night.

"America, America, God shed His grace on thee."

I got these windsocks on sale at Wmart. I thought they looked festive, but they also remind me of the beach. Perfect for summer.


What makes your house feel like home? Do you have a favorite spot?

Monday, May 30, 2011

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by qthomasbower via Flickr"]United State of Art[/caption]

"Oh say, does that Star-Spangled banner yet wave?

Over the land of the free, and home of the brave."
















Thank you. What you did (and are doing) was not in vain...

Let freedom ring!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

God Is In The Storms

He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.  Psalm 147:8  NIV

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stream Of Consciousness

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

I'm having one of THOSE days. Not a bad day, just the kind of day that I can't seem to sit still and put two coherent thoughts together. You know what I mean? It's not dementia. It's being Dawn. This happens to me on occasion. Sometimes I will tell my family members, as I'm staring straight at them, I see your mouth moving...but, what did you just say? Sometimes this happens twice in a row. I can't help it. I need to learn to read lips.

So, because I am physically unable to write anything even remotely "put together" today...I came up with just going all stream of consciousness on you. Did I say that correctly?  I sincerely hope you can follow along, and not just think I'm nuts. (because that is an entirely different story)

Alarm clock went off---Hit the snooze---Overslept by 45 minutes, go figure---Shot out of bed, giving myself a little vertigo---Ran to bathroom, got a look at scary morning self in the mirror, screamed.---Went out to kitchen, had son (who was already up) flip on the news for me---started coffee and breakfast---went with dog to wake up other 2 children--Dog barked and jumped, he is a good "waker upper". ----Lit new lilac candle, hoping it will mask smell of dog vomit.--Um, dog took his antibiotics on a not full stomach. Opps. Yuck.---Vacuumed rugs and floor, chased pet fur around the room. Pet fur is much like dandelions after they turn white and blow everywhere in sight. Just sayin'----Put dishes in dishwasher, then realized that the coffee mug I wanted was in there, dug it out and washed by hand.  I have a bazillion coffee mugs, but I wanted that one. Weirdo. ---

Promise myself that I will balance checkbook today, been meaning to do that for the past 3 days. Oh, well.--Cat curled up in basket in my library--my blanket basket, my WHITE blanket basket. I cannot keep anything out that the cats do not lay on. I hate cat fur. I tolerate cats, and not even that very well. Though I do love them, which makes me mad because I don't want to. Arggh. I'm still more of a dog person. Much more.---The orange creamsicle candle I got from Wmart does not smell like an orange creamsicle. It doesn't really smell much at all. What a rip off. Note to self, do not buy these types of candles anymore.

I need to decide what is for dinner. I have no idea. ugh. I need to prepare menus more often. It would probably help, but where is the fun in that? The sun has not been out today, but at least it has not rained. All 3 of the kiddos have test(s) to take in their home school work today. They are thrilled. Not. The Waltons are on the Hallmark Channel. I like to watch them in the afternoon while I'm fixing dinner, which I still have no idea about. I better go. I have a feeling this evening will be interesting.

I promise to have a REAL blog post tomorrow. Have a fun weekend everyone. Can I have ice cream for dinner? Um. I'm just kidding.....really.

And by the way, if there are any spelling errors you'll just have to forgive me. If this post made no sense to you, don't worry...it didn't to me either.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Perfectionism Is Poison

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]A fudge cake[/caption]

The cake fell flat.

The cat puked.

Ants have migrated to the kitchen.

The flower bed is...well, a mess.

I didn't get enough rest last night.

I need a haircut.

The kids didn't finish their school work.

I didn't read my devotional today.

That thing that happened really annoyed me.

My nerves are frayed.

And I'm still waiting for my 21 year old body to return...any day now.

I hear the hiss in my ear.

I want the perfect life. I strive for the perfect life.

I fail at the perfect life. Big sigh.

I gripe at times. I hold onto resentment. I long for more.

I play out in my own mind what I think should happen. How life should be.

Perfectionism is the poisonous venom of a serpent.

I've been bit, and it stings.The wound is raw... and painful.

The realization hits me. Again. This life will never be perfect.

And yet, I still search.

What is wrong with me? I wish I could just let it go. Be happy with the way things are.

Wouldn't life be easier if I didn't care about pet fur, and folding laundry? If everyone would follow the schedule, and pick up after themselves? If I had a new vehicle and a snappy wardrobe? If I looked like I did when I was younger and had more energy?

Each day I do battle with perfectionism.

The fangs sink deeper into my flesh.

I need to break free from the bondage of perfectionism. It really is bondage, pure and simple.

The fear of not being perfect, is really the fear of not measuring up to (impossible) standards.

God did not give me the the spirit of fear. His desire is not for me to be a frustrated perfectionist.

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."  2 Timothy 1:7  NIV

He loves me. Imperfections and all.


Keeping it real, in our jam about perfectionism. Won't you join us?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A New Creation

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

This is the third post I've attempted this morning. The other two posts I saved for another day.

Over at A Holy Experience we are talking about new life. What does this mean to me?

I thought I might write something bookish or scholarly...but, it fell flat.

So, I've decided to just be blunt. Plain. Open my heart. Tell about new life, in the only way I know how.

Living a new life in Christ...as a follower of Jesus.

Jesus. The name above all names.

"Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11 NIV

The Jewish people called him, Yeshua. As a Christian, I call Him God's Son. King of kings. Lord of lords. The Light of the world. Messiah. Passover lamb. Rock of ages. Shepherd. The Alpha and the Omega. The Way. The Truth. The Life. The living Word. Wonderful Counselor. The Prince of Peace.

He came to this earth as a baby. He walked this earth as a Jewish man. Began His ministry. Boldly proclaimed that He is the Son of the living God. He spoke wisdom, performed miracles, and changed people's lives. Yahweh. God in the flesh. Sacrificed for me. For you. For us all. There is nothing I could have done to save myself. I was unworthy. I needed a Savior. A Redeemer. And yet, His love for me, for us, was so great that ..... He died in my place. He rose again. Is living today, and will one day return.

It is because of Jesus' sacrifice, the fact that He took my place, that I have new life. It is because of Him that I have hope. It is because of Him that I have peace. It is because of Him that I have assurance. There is nothing else in this world that can take His place. Everything else falls flat and empty. It is only through Him that I do not just survive, but truly live.

My life is changed... all because of Him.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Do you know Jesus? Not just as a historical character. Not just as a Jewish carpenter. Not just as a character in the Bible. But, as Jesus, the Son of the living God. He wants to know you.

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in..."  Revelation 3:20 NIV

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Take Me Home, Tuesday

I am starting a new Tuesday series, called Take Me Home. I don't know about you, but I love to look at other people's homes. Country. City. Small cottage. Big farmhouse. An apartment. Lots of noise or the quiet of a still evening. It's all good...and it's all home.

I'm going to be doing a picture series on my home, here in the rural Mid-west, for the first few Tuesdays. Hopefully, over the next few months, I will be able to show you some of my favorite blogs that deal with home. So, pull up a comfy chair, get your favorite drink (iced tea, anyone?) and enjoy.

Because...it's always good to come home.

Hey, is that you I see at the end of my road? Stop in and visit.

This birdie was singing his little heart out for me.

I love our neighbor's red barns, and wide open field. This is such a picturesque view for me.

Another neighbor...you are seeing my neighborhood through my eyes.

This is what I see every time I get the mail. Yesterday, this little guy was waiting on the fence for me.

I have a thing for barn pictures, can you tell?

Yes, I was in the van. No, I had stopped. Um....I was not driving and snapping pictures. I wouldn't do that. No, I would not. Really.

This is the view from my kitchen window. These are my neighbor's llamas. I love them. I have an addiction to llamas now. I've become a llama mama. Is there a llama recovery group?

The storm was rolling in last night.

This is the view of the side yard from the front porch. The sky was darkening...the storm was coming.

The front porch. One of my favorite spots.

Glad you dropped by...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Giving Thanks In The Midst Of

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Category F5 tornado (upgraded from initial est...[/caption]

I heard the rain and wind last night

Only semi-awake in the dark of the night

A fleeting thought of stormy weather

As I changed my sleeping position

I woke to the early morning news of more people hurt

more buildings demolished

more lives destroyed

more people gone...just gone

never to return

Those who have lost so much in the deadly winds

Why them? Why not me?

Is it right for me to give thanks on this Monday, when so many are hurting? Lost? Devastated?

I quietly sit at the table

and stare at my computer screen.

Images from the news seared into my thoughts

My heart aches.

*thankful that more people weren't hurt or injured

*for friends and neighbors who reach out their hands

*for those who come to help

*for the human spirit

*for not giving up

*for pressing on

*for trying one more time

*for surviving

*for God, who is still there

Some of us have not gone through the utter devastation of a tornado, but we have lost loved ones. Some of us have never huddled through the howling winds, but we have huddled in fear of losing everything from job loss. Some of us have never watched as our house was torn apart, but we understand fire, floods, or theft. We haven't stood in terror watching the storm approach, but we understand the terror of a deadly diagnosis.

Storms of life come in all shapes and sizes.

I am thankful that God loves us, that He cares for us through ALL of life's storms.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  Psalm 18:2 NIV

What are some things you are thankful for this Monday?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Space To Breathe

Saturdays are for fun.

For living in the country.

For seeing nature, up close and personal.

Space to breathe.

Even the weeds are beautiful.

Notice our neighbor across the road has not planted his corn or soybeans yet. Ohio is waterlogged from all the Spring rain, and planting is way behind. I pray that the farmers are able to plant SOON.

A neighbor who "escaped" into our side yard.

Other neighbors looking at the escapee. Is the grass REALLY greener on the other side of the fence?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Sigh

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]OISHI Green Tea[/caption]

Today is Friday. It has been a fun week.

My birthday. My son's birthday.

Today is sunny, after all the rain.

Things are good. Happy sigh.

Some days I stare up into the heavens... I really see the beautiful sky and puffy, cotton clouds .I watch the stars sparkle.

I really look at my half made bed with the beautiful white quilt.

I really feel the arms encircling me in a hug.

I really taste the orange and jasmine green tea.

I really smell the lavender in the dryer sheets.

I really hear the laughter.

Some days my senses seem so alive. I wonder what I'm like on most days? Are my senses dulled to the world around me? Am I on autopilot that I can't really appreciate what it is that I have?

I long to live this life...my life...with my eyes wide open. Open to all there is. All the things to be wildly thankful for.

As one of my favorite authors writes, "Life is not an emergency". Yet, so many times I choose to live the opposite.

Why do I rush through my days? What am I racing headlong into? So busy, doing what? Don't have time?

I need to live.


In this moment.


Do you ever find yourself wanting to slow down? Do you ever take the time to just stop what you are doing, and give thanks?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Quit

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="105" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Quit It[/caption]

Today at Faith Barista we are discussing--- To quit or not to quit.  Share your thoughts or experience on quitting something or not quitting something.


I don't consider myself a quitter. It's not a word that describes who I am.

If I've started something, I will finish it. Or at least give it a very good try.


I'm quitting.

Yes, you heard me.

*I'm quitting...the fear of not measuring up

*I'm quitting...the paralyzing grip of perfection

*I'm quitting...the thinking that I am in control

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7  NIV

I'll stop worrying about what others might think of me. The truth is, most people are too busy worrying about their own stuff to think about me. I don't mean that in a bad way. I have many people in this life, that love me dearly and care for me without regret. I just mean, they don't really care if I'm wearing yoga pants today instead of khaki's. Or if I fix the same meal, twice in one week, or  if I don't sweep up all the dog fur from under the dining room table where it gets trapped like tumbleweeds in the desert.

I'll stop worrying if my house isn't like a picture out of House Beautiful. Perfection does not mean, not messy. People live here... 24 hours a day. We work from home, and school at home, and love at home. All those things don't fit in my nice containers. (Even if those containers are the cutest things ever!) As the keeper of the home, the house is a reflection on me....may it reflect a family that lives with and loves each other.

I'll stop believing that all my plans in life will work out perfectly. Life is fragile, and I'm fooling myself if I ever thought for one second that I was the one in control.

My life is not my own. It is Christ who lives in me.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galations 2:20 NIV

And all I do is for that audience of One.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life Bursting At The Seams

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by Isolino via Flickr"]Water Drop[/caption]

Yesterday was my birthday. Today is the first day of my new year. The excitement. The possibilities...are endless.

The old year is gone. Never to return. Each birthday is a sort of rebirth, isn't it?  Try new things. Be creative. Get better. Smile more. Love more. Laugh out loud.

It's a chance to learn more.  Although I love books, I'm not talking about word knowledge.

*There is a difference between wisdom and knowledge

*Sometimes taking a step back from a situation, is really moving forward

*Being a good speaker, is more than just knowing the words to say

*Being able to say "I'm sorry"...two of the most important words in the English language

*Understanding that life is not a dress rehearsal

*Remembering that there is no one like me

*Life isn't an emergency

*Slow down, rushing around just makes me unnecessarily frazzled

*Love people

*Smile a lot

*Don't be afraid to share my heart

*It is not necessary to say everything I'm thinking

*Really understanding, "This too shall pass"

*Believing that God knows and loves me--on a daily basis

*Sometimes life hurts, embrace this without letting it destroy me

*Jesus walks with me

*Life is short, no matter how long I live

*I need to live my life in light of eternity

*Serve with joy

Proverbs 4:6-7
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (NIV)

Psalm 107:43
Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD. (NIV)

I Feel Just Right...

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Candles spell out the traditional English birt...[/caption]


A time of turbulence in the country.  Hippie peace lovers. Vietnam soldiers. Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated in Memphis. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Weird cults. Rebellion. Rosemary's Baby and Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? OJ was a college star at the University of Southern California. Arthur Ashe, Peggy Fleming, and Detroit vs. St. Louis in the World Series. Jackie Kennedy marries Aristotle Onassis. Elvis has a comeback. The Mod Squad. The Andy Griffith Show, and Laugh-In. Nixon elected. Apollo 8.

In Spring of that year a baby girl was born in a small county hospital in Maryland.

That little girl was me.

Forty-three years have come and gone since then.

A lot has happened.

A lot good. Some bad. Much laughter. Some tears. Things that were a little scary. Some things hysterically funny. So many memories.

I've had a good life. Not everyone can say that... I feel so blessed that I can.

I'm glad to be 43 today.

I don't feel too old...and I don't feel too young.

I feel just right.

Monday, May 16, 2011

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="183" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]A set of small wind chimes[/caption]

"God is great

God is good

Let us thank Him..."

Here I am on yet another gray and drizzly Monday. Spring of 2011 will go down as one of the wettest EVER. I am learning to become one with the rain. Even though it isn't sunny and bright this morning, I can still give thanks. Thankfulness is a choice.

I choose to give thanks. God has blessed me in so many ways. He deserves all my thank you's, because all good things come from Him. Without Him there is nothing.

*the sink full of weekend dishes (this means the family had food to eat)

*a dishwasher that needs emptied (this means I was busy having fun this weekend and didn't have time for unloading the dishwasher)

*a pile of towels on the laundry room floor (we have plenty)

*being able to hear my wind chimes outside the kitchen window (the chimes play part of the song, Amazing Grace)

*a bowl full of oranges (just pretty)

*the smell of cinnamon (even if it is because we've sprinkled cinnamon around the window sills because supposedly ants don't like cinnamon...and we are trying to stave off the migration)

*some good deals at local yard sales this past weekend (a collector Boyd's bear, in excellent condition is pure gold)

*birthdays (mine is Tuesday and my son's is Thursday....each time this week rolls around, I am so thankful. I remember what a wonderful "late" birthday present I got in 1995.)

*the year I turn 43

*times to celebrate

*a busy, but happy week ahead

*good news

*God's amazing grace

*I am loved by the King

*He sees me...really sees me. I am known.

*family that I love

*starting a woman's book club

*an opportunity

*summer around the corner

*it's all good

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 NIV

Won't you join us in thanksgiving?

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Quiet Evening At Home

There is so much to see

When I take the time to really look.

Father, help me to walk through life

with my eyes wide open.



For all things great

and small.