Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Forward to New Beginnings


"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning."

Louis L'Amour

"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.

Great is his faithfulness

his mercies begin afresh each morning.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance

therefore, I will hope in him!”

Lamentations 3:22-24

After celebrating two Christmases, and two birthdays this past week, I'm enjoying the freshness and freedom we feel when we look to the new year. This morning as I've been contemplating the close of the year 2008, I've enjoyed reading your posts and have been inspired by your words. I'm ready for new beginnings. . . new hope. . . new accomplishments. . . new ways of looking at the same things. . .new strength to face each day. . . new friends. . .new opportunities. . .new joy. . .

This is what I wish for you!



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house. . .
Watching "It's a Wonderful Life"
Lighting candles
Reading the Christmas Story

And wishing all of you a wonderful, peaceful Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You lift up my spirit, You shine on my soul

This song was just a gift to myself. I fell in love with Paul McCartney when I was 9 years old, about 44 years ago now. I discovered this new song the other day and I couldn't listen to it enough. Listen closely to the words. While I haven't always known if we shared the same philosophy, these words reflect my heart.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmastime Thoughts

Ice Day! Woohoo! The schools were closed here on Tuesday because of icy roads so we had an unexpected day at home together! It was so warm and cozy inside and freeeeeeeeezing outside. Yep, ice is kind of a big deal here in Texas and I'll take any version of "white" I can get at this time of the year!

Beautiful surprises in the mail from friends bring joy and remind me of the gift of thoughtfulness and time that make a difference.
I feel really behind on getting ready for Christmas this year as far as shopping goes, even knowing what I need to be shopping for, but I've been blessed with the small gifts of Christmas. I'm reminded that it's the small things and the simple moments that I enjoy most about the Christmas season. Somehow the rest will happen and Christmas Day will arrive as it does every year, full of presents, food, and family, and a feeling of awe as I realize what the day means. How the whole world is changed for a day. . . as ours is changed for eternity, because of the birth of Christ.

Baking and decorating Christmas cookies. . .with the same cookie cutters we used when I was a little girl! This was a yearly event in my childhood and it brings back lots of memories. I'll admit I've skipped a few years in carrying out this tradition, but it's never too late to begin again!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Morning Praise

I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:2

O my strength, I will sing praises to You;For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.

Psalm 59:17

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

Psalm 104:33

Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; His love endures forever.

Psalm 106:1

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beautiful Words

It seems when I'm busiest, my blog posts become reflections of random ideas or words that have reached me through the busyness, not always having the time to explain my reasons. Every moment of my days are filled with prayers for my friend and his family. Lifting them up to God for His healing and strength. In the midst of these days, I'm aware of a loving Presence with me.

Sometimes beautiful words catch our attention unexpectedly whether through movies or books, reaching that part of us that needs to hear and believe them. While watching the movie "Prancer" the other night, I heard the quote "there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding." For some reason, those words broke through and gave me encouragement to BELIEVE. That truth lies underneath and over and beyond everything we see in this world.

I just finished reading my second book by Harold Bell Wright, called "The Calling of Dan Matthews". The book was full of gentle words and strong truths. I need these moments of quiet reflection, of being wrapped in another world, drawing some of the beauty into my own world. One of the quotes that was a gift to me is this, " ...do you think that anyone could ever replace the mountains, the ocean or the stars, or any of these wonderful things in the great universe, if they were to be destroyed? ...And do you think that anything in all this beautiful world is of greater importance- of more value to the world-than a human life, with all its marvelous power to think and feel and love and hate and so leave its mark on all life, for all time? ...Then don't you see how impossible it is that anyone should ever take your place? Don't you see that you have a place in the world-a place that is yours because God put you in it, just as truly as he put the mountains, the seas, the stars in their places? And don't you see why you must feel that you have a right to your own life-place, and that you must hold it, no matter what others say, or do, or think, because of its great value to God and to the world? And...do you think that anything in all the universe is dearer to the Father than a human life, that is so wonderful and so eternal in its power? So life should be the dearest thing in all the world to us. Not just the life of each to himself, but every life-any life, the dearest thing to all. I think this was true of Christ; I think it should be true of all Christians. I believe this with all my heart."

And so, I pray this could be my gift to you today, these words to take with you. I guess it's time to get on with my day, of sweeping the floor, washing dishes, shopping for and preparing some food, hearing about my kids' day at at school, having a new crown put on my tooth, and heading off to work this evening. Through it all, I'll remember these things I have pondered and carry them with me.

Love to all

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Dear Editor, I am 8 years old."Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus."Papa says, 'If you see it in The Sun, it's so.'"Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon
115 West Ninety-fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
Calvin Coolidge

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Prayer Request

A very dear friend of mine is having heart bypass surgery tomorrow morning. Please pray for God's healing through the doctor's hands and peace for him and his wife, (Karen M at LovedandEngraved. )

They are both very special, giving people and invest so much encouraging others. I pray that they would be encouraged and comforted at this time by our love and prayers and God's presence and healing.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Finances . . . The Final Frontier

I discovered a new website this morning http://www.ourprayer.org/. I couldn't resist clicking on the title Financial Worries! My ends lack a long way to meet these days, and just this morning I was reminded when I checked my bank statement online. Don't you just hate the way banks switch the order of our purchases and deposits, depending on the amount? I know we don't usually discuss our finances openly, but after reading Suze Orman's story, A Matter of Perspective,I decided maybe I should. It really is one of the last frontiers in my life that needs to be explored, tamed and settled.

If you are challenged in this area, like I am, I encourage you to read these stories. I hope this can be an encouragement to you and me, especially as we begin this season of giving.

A Matter of Perspective Read Suze Orman's 7 steps to financial health.

A Spiritual Approach to Financial Worries
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's tips to find strength over financial problems.

How to Find Yourself After Losing a Job Getting laid-off was a blessing in disguise.

The Truth About Money How we all invest a little of ourselves in our finances.

One thing I believe God has given me the idea to do, is to be open with my kids about money. Maybe even to the extent of working up a budget, letting them see what we spend money on and when the bills are due, and what and when my paychecks are. It would give me accountability as well as give them a clear picture of just how this thing called "money" works.

My son just called me to brainstorm about how I could get my photography business going. Talk about timing! He's driving back to Houston after spending Thanksgiving at home. We came up with some great ideas and I'm excited about getting started!


My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Thanksgiving Wishes



This was our Thanksgiving week project. We worked it twice actually so most of us could have a chance to work on it. It's still sitting on my coffee table. I had forgotten how much fun puzzles could be!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shepherd of the Hills


These words were written in 1907 by Harold Bell Wright, in the book, Shepherd of the Hills.

"Here and there among men, there are those who pause in the hurried rush to listen to the call of a life that is more real. How often have we seen them, jostled and ridiculed by their fellows, pushed aside and forgotten, as incompetent or unworthy. He who sees and hears too much is cursed for a dreamer, a fanatic, or a fool, by the mad mob, who, having eyes, see not, ears and hear not, and refuse to understand.

We build temples and churches, but will not worship in them; we hire spiritual advisers, but refuse to heed them; we buy bibles, but will not read them; believing in God, we do not fear Him; acknowledging Christ, we neither follow not obey Him. Only when we can no longer strive in the battle for earthly honors or material wealth, do we turn to the unseen but more enduring things of life; and with ears deafened by the din of selfish war and cruel violence, and eyes blinded by the glare of passing pomp and folly, we strive to hear and see the things we have so long refused to consider."

For many years, for Christmas and birthdays, I would search through out of the way used book stores and antique stores for the out of print books by Harold Bell Wright for my Dad who was collecting them. I had never read one of his books until now. A few years ago, we visited Branson, Missouri, in the Ozark Mountains, where this story takes place. I bought the book to bring home and just now got around to reading it. It's a wonderful story.

"This, my story, is a very old story. In the hills of life there are two trails. One lies along the higher sunlit fields where those who journey see afar, and the light lingers even when the sun is down; and one leads to the lower ground, where those who travel, as they go, look always over their shoulders with eyes of dread, and gloomy shadows gather long before the day is done."

I pray that I will always choose the higher trail, seeking after the true, the real, the gifts of God.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whole

Hope to the hurting heart,
"run to ME,
I'll hold you close
curing your heart's ache
with My tender
knowing touch
I'll sew up every break
memories. . .
scars, they fade
like the end of day
when My love
is planted there
the pain is washed away
I AM your
Prince of Peace
the Lover of your soul
Let ME in
I'll mend your heart
My love will make
you Whole"
Luke 4:18
I was in Jefferson, Texas one day a couple of weeks ago during a camping trip to Caddo Lake. We stopped in a gift shop called "Blessings". While there I bought a bookmark with this poem on it. I wanted to share it with you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

He is Alive

Awake this morning at 2:30, I listened to the wind. . . the thunder. . . the rain, I saw the lightning flash. There's a channel in my area that plays Creation Scapes and Worship Videos around this time in the morning. It's so peaceful sitting in my dark house, listening to peaceful music and reading scripture. This happens quite often, and this morning, for the first time, I realized maybe God wants my company! There are no distractions, no demands, other than sleep, what a gift to spend this time with my Lord.




. . . this song blessed me tonight, this morning, as I sit here in the quiet darkness. We talked about Christ's resurrection on Sunday, about how He is alive today. He is alive with our Father and He is alive on this earth through His Holy Spirit. He is with us, through it all, every moment. He is alive. He is my. . . our. . . precious Jesus. And because of this, we can be truly alive.

I came across a new blog, A Woman's Worth and she speaks of "Trash to Treasure Because of Christ".

Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Proverbs 30:5

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.

Psalms 42:1

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cottage Garden

At the Cottage Door
In the Garden Cottage Garden at Sunset When I was in Europe, I bought postcards of my favorite paintings from the many museums we visited. One of my very favorites, I framed, and is still sitting on my dresser. It's by David Woodlock, 1842-1929, and is called "Upper Bushey Village". I couldn't find it to share on my blog, but I found similar watercolors by the same artist. They're so pretty and peaceful. I still dream of living in a cottage in England, well, maybe just a little visit.

Lamentations 3:22-23

I substituted in a 5th grade classroom today, and found these verses from Lamentations on the wall next to the teacher's desk. Over the past week I've taught 3rd grade, 4th grade, elementary Art, Resource, and today 5th grade. Tomorrow I'm in an elementary special education room, then Wed. I'll be in a 9th grade special education class, and Friday a middle school special education class. I'm always a little worried before I get to the school for the day, but then I remember why I'm doing this. God is always so good and He reassures me each day.

I feel so privileged to be in each classroom. It's so much fun to see the light come on in a child's eyes when he understands something new!

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ecclesiastes 3:1

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy

One of my favorite things about substitute teaching is discovering the uniqueness of each classroom. I can see the personality of the teacher reflected in the small things placed around the room and on the walls. We should surround ourselves in our homes with as many inspirational words as I find in classrooms! Here are a few I enjoyed recently:

It's all in the attitude!

DON'T WORRY - BE HAPPY!

If you expect respect, be the first to show it

I'm so busy I don't know whether I just found a rope or lost my horse

Doing what is right isn't always easy, but it's always right

There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs

Setting: (A Garfield poster, with Garfield hanging upside down from a branch, a woodpecker is almost to peck all the way through the branch, beneath Garfield are mean, barking dogs)

Twenty years from now I'll look back at this and laugh!

I'll share more another day.

To my friends who posted their encouraging comments, I think tiredness contributed to my lack of inspiration recently. Sometimes I think we try to squeeze every second out of the day and it's still not enough. Only with God can anything ever be enough. Thank you so much for your prayers. My time writing yesterday morning was inspiring to me because it was time spent with God and focusing on Him. I had such a wonderful day yesterday teaching 5th grade. It was like a magic spell had been cast over the day. Actually, I think God gave me the strength of His presence which made me a different person. Today I have the privilege of teaching 3'rd grade. I'll keep you posted on my adventures!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Outside Looking In

Have you ever felt that you had stepped out of your faith? You find yourself on the outside looking in. . . in at your trust in God. All of a sudden you realize you are capable of thinking like a doubter and feeling cynical like a scoffer. I know I haven't lost my faith. I'm reading God's word every day, praying, and reading books such as It's Not About Me by Max Lucado to build my understanding and faith. Searching. . .

Maybe this is brought on by unanswered prayer. Maybe I've challenged God to provide and answer my prayers on my own time table not His. I walk through my days wanting to be in His will. . .looking for where He could work in my life and those around me. Am I where I should be? Just to do what I want to do to make a living-is it worth losing ground financially and missing out on time with my kids? I find myself becoming apathetic and cynical. But then, have I really done all I can do to accomplish the most that I can during this time? What are my priorities? Time with my kids, career goals, insurance, security, or following my heart? How can they all tie in together somehow?

Found on the walls of the classroom I was in today, these words gradually drew my attention. . . There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs. I would love to step onto a elevator, push the up button and step out into my first teaching job. But I find myself taking each stair, one day at a time, not knowing how many stairs I will have to climb.

"Why do people struggle? Trust me in your times of trouble and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory. Psalm 50:15

Is there any chance, any possibility, that you have been selected to struggle for God's glory? ...Here's a clue. Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? What you request and what you receive aren't matching up? Don't think God isn't listening. Indeed He is. He may have higher plans.

When our deepest desire is not the things of God, or a favor from God, but God Himself, we cross a threshold. "


It's Not About Me
Max Lucado

Oh, Lord, I'm back. As I seek you, I find peace. I've been reading these verses and memorizing them each night.

Blessed is the man(woman)who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his(her) delight is in the law of the LORD,

and on his law he(she) meditates day and night.
He(she) is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he(she) does prospers.

Psalm 1:1

I'm ready for more, something deeper. God doesn't abandon me in my search. He leads me to Him.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Friendship Award


I love the picture for this award. It's a reminder of what I've been missing for the past several days while my computer was out of whack. Just yesterday I read something about this saying. (What's a whack?)
I'll post later with the questions and the recipients I want to pass this on to, but for now I want to say Thanks! to Karen M at Loved and Engraved for her thoughts and her friendship.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ask and It Will Be Given to You

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Luke 11:9-10

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Beautiful Fall Day

Good morning everyone. I've been feeling the need for some change. I tried dark blue for my blog for a few days but it wasn't very fall like. So in trying to capture a little bit of fall around here, I snapped a few photos of the fall wreath my daughter and I made in brownies when she was around 5 years old. Could it really be 12 years ago? It needs a little sprucing up I guess. Maybe I could add a few new leaves or berries. I could have straightened out the leaves before the took the picture, but it hangs on my front door as is, and I love it. The little speck to the left of the wreath is actually a tiny caterpillar that I didn't think would show up in the final photo but there he is! The weather is so nice and cool this morning. Boy am I ready for fall. Next . . .to put a pumpkin on my porch! Blessings to all!

Monday, October 6, 2008



While driving in my car last week I heard this song, one of my very favorite songs from my growing up years. When I heard it, it reminded me of the political situation now, with the election getting closer. I have to admit, I'm very opinionated about my politics, and I find myself watching the news channels for all of the latest information.

Sunday morning in church, one of the leaders stood up to speak and he said that regardless of who wins the election, true power comes from only one source, and he held up his bible. He then asked us to break into groups of 3 or 4 people and pray for our country and specifically the financial situation. It was so moving, to hear people all over the sanctuary praying for our country. It felt good because it was something I could do. It also helped me to remember that God is in control.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand

Isaiah 40:12

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Yellow

Our new Brenda Photo Challenge is Yellow
The hostess this time is Tabitha of Twinkle Twinkle

This photo was taken in Presidio, on the border of Texas and Mexico.

Cactus flowers in southwest Texas at Fort Davis State Park.

Sunflowers on my dining table.( not real, but I love them)



Cactus blooms in the gardens at the Alamo, taken on our last visit to San Antonio.



Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Funnies

Ok, guys, I'm going to join the Friday Funnies for today, Kim at Homesteader's Heart hosts this weekly chance to start our day off right! Visit her blog to see more Friday Funnies! This video makes me laugh out loud everytime I see it. If anyone is familiar with the different personality types, they will probably laugh louder, but anyone can see themselves and those they love depicted in these reactions to sitting on a tack!




If you're interested in learning more about personalities visit /www.gkseminars.com/ or read Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. It's alot of fun recognizing yourself and others. As for me, I am definitely phlegmatic! Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Share a Cup of Morning Coffee With Me

My package arrived with my coffee from Joni at Morning Coffee! The aroma was wonderful as I opened it. It's so much fun to receive a gift. Thank you Joni!
My first pot is brewing!

Join me on my front porch, on this beautiful fall morning, for my first cup. Mmmm it's so good! Pour a cup and sit down for a spell.

Hmmm, while I'm enjoying my new coffee I think I'll spend a few moments pondering life and seeking God's wisdom. My next chapter in the Purpose Driven Life is about eternity. "This life is not all there is." "God has planted eternity in the human heart. " Ecclesiastes 3:11

Sometimes I wonder why I'm not more concerned with success in the world's eyes, and then I remember why my heart is changed, why I seek after different things . . .

"For us this is the end of all the stories. . . but for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever and in which every chapter is better than the one before." C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia

So many things to think about, life is so much more than what I typically spend time worrying about. Each moment spent alone with God gives me a glimpse of eternity.

Even so, look at the beauty He has given us on this earth to enjoy for now.


Here's to you, my wonderful blog friends. Cheers!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Coffee Lovers

For all of us coffee lovers, Joni, at Morning Coffee is having a drawing!! She has even created her own blend of coffee complete with her own name, MORNING COFFEE BLOGGER'S BLEND! How much fun is that? So, to celebrate fall, friendship and coffee go visit her blog and enter for the drawing. She is so creative. The drawing will be on the first official day of Fall, Monday, September 22.

(I can't believe I won the drawing! Thank you so much, Joni. I can't wait to enjoy my first cup. I will share it with my blogging friends when I do. Happy Fall!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Walk in the Sunshine

Walks are one of my favorite things, and my favorite posts to read are the walks through neighborhoods, down country roads and city streets. It's so much fun to feel as though I'm right there with you, seeing what you're seeing. Just walking along. . . So today I thought I'd take you on a walk with me just around a few blocks in my neighborhood. I've been inspired lately by some of your blogs to get outside and enjoy the beautiful, cool, sunshiny weather and I'm so glad I did!
My favorite place to read, drink my coffee and ponder life. . .

The grass is getting tall

Pampas Grass is a familiar sight in this part of the country









I love discovering quiet, hidden little places.
I've always loved mailboxes. They communicate a neighborhood's history and personality.









I always enjoy seeing the unexpected on my walks, but I guess in Texas this cactus shouldn't be unexpected!

When we moved in to our home, we had some of these in our front yard and someone called them "surprise lilies". These belong to a neighbor.















This rosebud must like this weather too.















The crepe myrtles are really blooming!




















Well, here we are back home, this is my mailbox. Thanks for walking along with me!
I hope you have a wonderful day. . .

Monday, September 15, 2008

Divorce

In writing my blog, some days I wish it to be all sunshine and light. I think maybe I shouldn't tackle difficult issues facing women and simply share my victories and joys made possible because of my faith in Christ and His redemptive work in my life.

Some days I am reminded of the struggles of my own past and of women who are facing those same struggles today. My heart is filled with regret for those difficult days and for the lack of direction, the feeling of being caught between two extremes that were impossible to live out. Where do you go from there? I'm writing about being in a difficult marriage, having tried counseling and prayer, where do you go?

For me, my relationship with God was so wrapped up in my marriage. My identity was wrapped up in my marriage. How do you begin to separate the strands of your heart? How do you hold on to the One relationship you need for all time, and let go of the destructive one. It is a very heart wrenching process and one that I failed at miserably. This can be a very vulnerable time and a time to guard your heart very carefully so as to not walk away from God at the same time you feel you must walk away from your marriage. Is there a way to hold your spouse accountable and protect your home and family? Maybe there is a chance to restore the marriage through this process. Is there a way to know you have tried everything possible and because of that, you can walk away with your dignity intact and know that God is with you in the process?

I felt the need to write about this because I discovered a book and a seminar dealing with this situation. As I read excerpts from the book, tears ran down my face as I longed to have had this support at the time I needed it. The good news is that it is here to help women now. I pray that God will be with you if you are facing this in your life. God loves you and values you. You have great worth in His eyes and He will fight for you.

Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you."
Deuteronomy 3:22

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Honesty from a Frazzled Mom

Yesterday was one of those days. I was substituting for an elementary resource classroom for the third day in a row, which I loved and was looking forward to. But I woke up with no idea what I was going to wear, or what we were having for dinner. Wait. . . make that what my kids were going to have for dinner. My school day would be over at 3:45 and my part time framing job began at 4:00. I would just have time to rush home, change clothes, down a cup of coffee, say hi to my kids and rush off again.

First thing in the morning, my daughter brought to my attention that we were out of toilet paper. Where is that box of kleenexes? I know it's here somewhere. My son reminded me he had invited a friend to come home from school with him to play hockey so I asked my daughter to be at home while I worked that evening. She hadn't been too happy with me lately, so I was afraid this wouldn't go over too well.

It wouldn't have been quite so bad, but last week we had some frazzled evenings as well. Not that I didn't plan dinners and feel pretty organized, but the less time I spend at home with my kids the less we are connected and the less hugs and talks and laughs and everyone starts to feel stressed and we each express that in different ways and a feeling of distance starts to grow between us.

By the time we all left school, it had begun raining, so by the time I got home of course my son and his friend were completely soaked and playing in the creek behind our house which I promptly explained was not a good idea. "Well, what else are we gonna do, Mom?" So, the afternoon of playing hockey outside was not going to happen. I put in a cup of water in the microwave to heat for some instant coffee. I went back to my room to change clothes and my son followed me back to ask me "how much coffee do you put in the cup?" I'm touched by his thoughtfulness. The boys say they're hungry so I search for a snack, realizing a trip to the grocery store is past due. My daughter reminds me we're still out of toilet paper. And, off I go to work feeling neglectful and guilty.

A couple of phone calls home told me all was well and everyone seemed happy. Phew! On the way home I stopped by the store for some toilet paper, dog food and a few other things including two brownie mixes which with the 1.00 off coupon on each box I bought for .50 each!

At 8:20 when I arrived home, my daughter was outside visiting with a friend, and I walked into the house to find my son tightening the screws on the dishwasher. I look around and realize someone has done the dishes! Quietly and very matter of factly he told me he had done them, which meant he had put the clean dishes away and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. He had also scrubbed the crockpot clean except for one burned on place that neither he nor I could get clean. He had also finished his 30 minutes of reading for school. My heart was so blessed to see his hard work. I tried to find the right words to express to him what a treasure he is and he must be the best son in the world. God had reached into my hectic day. But He wasn't through yet. My son informed me that his sister had started vacuuming but had been interrupted when her friend came by. A little while later, she walked through the door, picked up the vacuum where she left off and proceeded to vacuum the dining room and living room. I tried not to stand with my mouth hanging open. I expressed my gratefulness to her with a hug and an "I love you". I told my kids how much it meant to me that they would help out like that. It lifted my burden and removed the worry.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised when God reaches into my life and blesses me when I feel I least deserve it, but somehow I always am.

"From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another."
John 1:16

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wings

My favorite little angel!
This wooden angel was made by my Dad years ago. He has always made beautiful things out of wood. This is one of my Christmas treasures.

My Grandma stitched these birds and they were hanging on the wall over her couch for as long as I can remember. She loved birds. We would sit at the upstairs window and look out at the birds flying back and forth to their birdhouse. I'm thankful to have these keepsakes and this reminded me that I need to find a place for them on my wall again.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Do Believe

"if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."
Matthew 17:20

"I do believe, help my unbelief."
Mark 9:24

Monday, September 1, 2008

Surely?

I hope this brings laughter to your day and helps you and me to remember that "SURELY goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Smile Award



Thank you to my friend in AUSTRALIA at A Bite of Country Cupcakes, Ramblings of an Honest Mum, for sharing this new award with me and my blog! It's so much fun to read of life across the oceans and continents in a world where kangaroos just hop over for a visit! I've really enjoyed reading of her life as a Mum. She also creates beautiful faux cupcakes and other crafts.


Characteristics for the Smile Award:

Must display a cheerful attitude. (not necessarily at all times--we are all human).
Must love one another.
Must make mistakes.
Must learn from others.
Must be a positive contributor to blog world
Must love life.

All of my wonderful blog friends deserve and qualify for this award. These characteristics are what you give so generously in your posts and in your comments to me on mine. Encouragement, love for one another, sharing our mistakes, sometimes very humorously, learning from each other, love for life and love for our kids. So I'm going to take the easy way out and award this to all of my blog friends who stop by to visit. Your visits mean so much and if you are half as busy as I've been this week you may not have time to pass it on either. All of your blogs are places I go to be cheered up, encouraged and inspired and your faithful comments keep me going. So, please, if you would like, post this award and pass it on!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tagged!

My friend at Homesteader in Training tagged me to list 7 things about myself. I'll just share some things that are happening in my life right now since I've shared more in depth in earlier posts.

  • My kids first day of school was yesterday!
  • My first day of a new part time job was yesterday too! I really enjoyed it. I'm working in the custom framing department at a Christian owned arts and crafts type store. There's more math involved than I thought, numbers, but I think I'll get the hang of it. You get to see a lot of beautiful art!
  • I get to go observe this weekend with a wedding photographer in hopes I'll get to assist with other jobs in the near future.
  • I'm studying today for the state content test in Special Education I take on Thursday. I'm told that will really increase my chances for finding a full time teaching position. I've discovered that I'm also interested in researching the connection between art and encouraging learning disabled kids, or perfectly normal kids who don't excel in other academic subjects (I should say).
  • There is a local magazine that is distributed to all of the residents in a nearby town and I had the opportunity to photograph a couple of things for them. No pay, but great experience and photos for a portfolio as well.
  • I'm so thankful God has given me the opportunity to have this time to reach out and explore so many other options.
  • At church, I've applied for helping out with the children's ministry in some way and I'm looking forward to that. I used to spend a lot of time doing that kind of thing but it's been several years. I've been inspired lately by a blog friend to give of my time at a local ministry. There is a joy in allowing God's life and love to flow through us and this time off has opened my heart to many new possibilities!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sweets Photo Challenge




As you can see, this is one of my favorite recipes and I just happened to have a whole bunch of over ripe bananas so I baked two loaves, one with nuts and one without. Then, low and behold, I discover the new Brenda Photo Challenge is "Sweets"! (I've been a little out of the loop I guess.) I've been baking this for my family for about 27 years I would guess, and the recipe has the stains to prove it. It always turns out great every time. Just the kind of recipe I need, the kind where you just pour everything into a bowl, stir and voila!