Tuesday, February 5, 2013

God's Love

“I know that your love will last for all time, that your faithfulness is as permanent as the sky.” (Psalm 89:2 TEV)
There’s a limit to human love. It wears out; it dries up.
That’s why you have to have God’s love in all your relationships if they are going to last. God’s love never wears out. God’s love is patient, persistent, and persevering.
Isn’t it good news to know that God never gives up on you? No matter what you do, his love never gives up. It’s wide enough to include everybody, and it’s long enough to last forever.
God will never love you any more than he does right now. But he also will never love you any less than he does right now.
He loves you on your good days; he loves you on your bad days. His love is not conditioned by your response. God is love, and his love is given freely. It cannot be earned, and it is not deserved.
Accept his love and worship him, knowing that his love is long enough to last for all time: “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully” (Ephesians 3:18-19a NLT).

(all images taken from Pinterest)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

25 Things

It's January and at this time of the year we can start to feel a little down, a bit sad or just simply crabby. Some days nothing goes right. I heard a bit of advice and thought I would give it a try. Instead of journaling about your bad day, make a list of 25 things that make you feel happy. Maybe a little bit shallow but here goes....
1.Sweet old photos of adorable little children.
2.A cup of hot black tea.
3.Intricate old lace and antique buttons.
4.An unexpected sincere compliment.
5.A Bible verse read in a modern translation that speaks to my heart in a fresh way.
6.Text messages from my family. (especially when they answer my texts back)
7.Dove chocolate.
8.Comfortable cozy pajamas.
10.Pinterest.(it's a stress-reliever)
11.Working out.(afterwards~not before or during) :)
12.Homemade soup in my crock pot.
13.Little birds~reminds me of God's Love.
14.Chopped on Food Network and American Pickers on History.
15.Scented candles. (mostly baking scents like vanilla, cinnamon etc.)
16.Downton Abbey watched with my husband. (on Season Two)
17.Art and Design Magazines. (Somerset Life is my favorite)
18.Glitter. (esp. German Glass Glitter)
19.A clean kitchen. (even if I was the one that cleaned it)
20.Starbucks Peppermint Mocha.
21. Glitter nail polish. (The Living Daylights by OPI) a little bit gaudy but it makes me smile.
22. Dangly earrings.
23. Naps with my kitty.
24.Thrift Stores~good ones.
25.Wildflowers. ( minus bugs)

So what do you think? Thinking about your favorite things for a few minutes actually feels nice. It may not make your life a lot better but for a few minutes indulge yourself and think about what you like. If you are anything like me, I don't think too much about what brings a smile to my face. I am more concerned about taking care of others. Now, to go have a cup of hot tea, watch Downton Abbey and get out my glitter nail polish....oh yeah, after I throw in a load of laundry, start up the dishwasher and think about what is going in the crock pot for lunch after church! Take a few moments for yourself! God loves you and you are important to so many!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Not-so-Common Cold

I would love to know who coined the insulting phrase,"the common cold." If you are struggling with rampaging cold symptoms it feels anything but "common".
The one smart thing I did at the beginning of the week when my symptoms were beginning was make a huge pot of soup. All this week whenever I felt hungry but didn't really want to eat anything this soup filled with veggies was the only thing that really made me feel better.
I had a low grade fever and felt very weak as well as having red watering eyes and the typical nasty cold symptoms.
I shuffled around in my pjs all day with absolutely no make up on (which is astonishing even for me) and tried to comfort myself the best I knew how. Two of my children have had mono this year so in the middle of the night, I freaked myself out with the thought that perhaps I had mono. Once I calmed down and googled the symptoms on my iphone at 3AM in bed, I drank some Sleepy Time tea and realized I did not have mono....just the "common cold".
I have a flannel neck wrap filled with soothing herbs that I heat in the microwave and I used that a lot this week. It is heavy and sometimes that gets claustrophobic but for the most part I love it.
I would love to say that my servants aka Downton Abbey~esque served me pots of perfectly brewed tea but let's just say I zapped a lot of tea in my microwave! LOL
There have been so many people sick with illnesses much worse than my own that I don't want to complain too badly but I must say it has been one long week. Today is the first day that I don't have any fever and I feel a bit of energy returning to do laundry and take care of my family.
I was wishing to hide away from everything in this little cabin until I recuperated. I pray that no one else in my family gets this nasty virus. They would have my every ounce of sympathy if they did. I would know exactly what to do to help them feel better.
Now I can perhaps get myself looking back to "normal" after the "common cold". I hope you are feeling well and avoiding the many illnesses that are around. If you come down with a nasty cold you can send me a message and I can offer you some advice and sympathy.
Whenever I see a little sparrow, it reminds me of how much God loves me. The Bible says He even cares for the little sparrows and how MUCH more important I am to Him. I saw a little sparrow in the snowy tree today and I know God sent him to say "hello, I haven't forgotten you my dear daughter." Isn't God good like that to us?! Blessings to you and to your health!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Winter Thoughts

"I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And that it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, 'Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.'"

—Lewis Carroll, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass"

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

We have a bit of snow on the ground. Candlelight service tonight at our church. My oldest kids won't be home this Christmas. That's a hard one for me. I've been a stay at home mom since they were born and my world has revolved around them. Bit by bit they are flying on their own and needing me less. It's all good but it's a heart-adjustment. My daughter is getting married January 5. I still have much to do. On the agenda today~making vintage footed platters and dishes~gluing vintage dishes together in a stack to create a cookie display for the wedding. She is using all mismatched vintage and antique china that we have collected all year long. Her guests will be served their meal from these. She is having a cookie table with homemade goodies displayed on the creations I will make today! I will have photos to show after the wedding. I just wanted to share a couple of images that have spoke to me these last few days before Christmas!
If you have a lot to do today, make sure you take a moment and take some deep breaths and talk to God.
I hope the things you "have" to do today are ones you can find joy in doing!
Notice the beauty of the little things that surround you! Listen to God speak to your heart!
Merry Christmas! God loves you just the way you are!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Vintage Christmas

Last week I had the honor of decorating banquet tables for a Christmas dinner. It was sponsored by a non profit organization in my town. ATLAS is a ministry that reaches out to people who have fallen on hard times. They offer financial and spiritual help~free of charge~to anyone who comes through their door. This dinner is offered to the clients that have been touched this year. For some, this may be the only Christmas meal that they have.
I found a beautiful patterened wool sweater at my second hand shop and traced little mittens on the wool and cut them out and little flat mittens. I laid pairs of mittens on the dinner tables next to candles in clear glass globes. The votive candles were nestled into sparkling drifts of salt that emulated snow and I tied rustic twine around the neck of the globes. Each pair of "mittens" was different depending upon what part of the wool sweater they were cut from. They were are 3 inches tall. I also found vintage images on google and printed them out on sepia colored paper and these also adorned the center of the tables with the little mittens.
I wanted the banquet attenders to feel transported back to their childhood and the warm memories of their youth. I hoped that the table decor would help them forget their immediate concerns or problems and for just a  few minutes feel a bit like a child again. Most of us can think back to times in the past when we had no worries or cares and someone else was the "grown up".
Our world is sadder today reflecting on the events of this past Friday. Innocence stolen, hopes dashed and little lights snuffed out too soon. As we reflect on this Christmas season may we love each other from our hearts and remember the joys of being a child. Most importantly may this world celebrate the real meaning of this time of year. A baby sent from God to be our Savior. We need a Savior! It's not about the gifts it's about LOVE!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What Is Important

I am neck deep in wedding plans for my oldest child, my only daughter. She will wed the man of her dreams on January 5 in Nashville. I just came back from a trip to visit her and we got lots of things checked off the "to-do" list. We had lots of girl-time and made fun memories together. My flight got delayed so much that I "had" to stay an extra day with her. I was so happy! I will show you photos after the wedding of all the beautiful details!
My Thanksgiving day was quiet with three of my four children being absent this year. We had a pot-luck at a friend's house and that was great. My life is changing as my children grow older. I am trying to adjust and some days it's fine and other days~not-so-much! I truly do miss the cozy days when they were little of cuddling and reading books and watching favorite little shows. It makes me think of the phrase, "Remember the little things in life, for one day they become the big things."
The other day I had filled my shopping cart up at the grocery store. I had checked out and decided to stop and use the restroom at the front of the store. There was an elderly man sitting on the bench outside the doors of the restroom. He was about 85 years old. He had big hands that probably had once done a lot of hard work. They were crossed patiently in his lap. I smiled at him and asked if he could watch my grocery cart for a minute. His eyes lit up and I imagined it felt nice to be needed. When I came out and thanked him for watching my cart for me, he smiled and asked if I was ready for the holidays. I pointed to my cart and said that now I was. I teased him and said that now I was also broke after buying all that food. He quietly smiled and agreed with me that food is very expensive but he also said that we should be glad that we have so much food. How wise and how content. I thanked him and humbly walked my cart full of food that I was now thankful for, to my car. It's amazing how perspective helps make your day so different.
This holiday season finds me in a different place. I'm not purchasing a lot of toys for my little ones because they aren't little anymore. I'm creating lots of wedding decor for my girl's big day. I realized that I still need to decorate my house for Christmas. Sometimes it seems with a house full of boys/men that they probably don't care about the decor, but then I realize that if I didn't decorate for Christmas that I wouldn't be creating memories for them and for their hearts. They might not even notice or care that their home isn't decorated but I think they would remember it NOT being decorated. I realize too that I need the beauty and peace that the season brings. I'm entering a different stage and it feels uncomfortable and a little scary but I know that God is with me and each day is important.
There is something really fresh and interesting about a Christmas that is a bit "stripped-down" from all the trappings. With the wedding being so close to after Christmas, I know this holiday will be a little bit different and perhaps maybe even more treasured. The uncharted territory of my children growing and changing is a little over-whelming to me but I am embracing the changes and trying to gracefully ride the waves and not let my kids know how often I am holding my breath as I watch them flutter out of the nest and take off for their adventures.

May your season be precious and memorable whatever season you find yourself in! Take some big breaths and take time to appreciate the things that really matter!