This is the kitchen window just above the sink. It is the perfect spot for violets. They love it, and since I spend a good bit of time standing here, I love it too. These little flowers are the only ones I seem able to grow with any degree of success (every other flowering plant I get my hands on meet an untimely death). I have had some of them for a very long time. The others are their "babies". All I need to do is break off a leaf, stick it in a little pot of soil and wait patiently. Just about the time I'm ready to give up and think that this time it just hasn't worked, I notice tiny green leaves poking their little heads out of the soil around the larger leaf. It is a wonder to behold!
These little plants make standing in front of the sink a much more pleasant experience than it ordinarily might be. I rescued this little one from the grocery store. It was standing among a sad looking bunch of plants that were marked down fifty percent. It's chances of survival seemed "iffy" at best, but I felt sorry for it and brought it home with me. As you can see, it felt quite at home on my window sill and has rewarded me with the sweetest pink violets.
Some words of wisdom from C.H. Spurgeon - words that just pierced my heart as I read them:
"Give diligence if you would get assurance, for lukewarmness and doubting very naturally go hand in hand."
One can be either tremendously inspired or totally intimidated by the magnificent quilts on display. I have decided to be inspired. I'm nearly finished with my own quilt (just 1 1/2 more blocks to hand quilt and then add the binding!)and feel like it really is possible for me to get better at this craft. The finished products are so beautiful you can't help but want to learn.
I know you're just dying to see a few of the quilts, so here goes:
My sweet husband insists that he doesn't mind doing these things with me. He says he enjoys it. How great is that?
This one was a wedding gift. All the guests signed the little white semi-circles with their names and a little message to the couple. The bride and groom are pictured in the center. Some people are amazingly creative.
Wishing you all a blessed weekend,
It folds into a little 4" by 9" holder.
It unfolds revealing little compartments for my "tools" for quilting.
I have scissors, quilting pencil, glasses and pins, thimble and thread in the bigger pocket. She used all the fabrics I love (anything with flowers and cute prints) and embellished it with her crocheted lace. It definitely works for me!
For lots of other really clever ideas click on over to Shannon's blog.
I have seen this on several blogs and enjoyed reading the entries so much I thought I would give it a try.
Outside my window... it is another hot, sunny day. The birds are making regular visits to the bird bath for drinks and leisurely baths. Our neighbor's horses are quietly grazing behind the white fence.
I am thinking...about what it really means to live a life of total surrender and trust.
I am thankful for... a little bit of time today to do whatever my heart desires - a precious gift indeed.
From the kitchen... muffins to share at our new Life Group at church
I am creating... a sampler quilt for my husband
I am going...to the Livingproof Life Event at the Alamodome in San Antonio next month!
I am wearing...tan shorts (only around the house!) and a white tank top with a pretty little pink rose pattern.
I am reading..."Just Beyond the Clouds" by Karen Kingsbury and "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" by Joanna Weaver.
I am hoping...for good reports when both my Dad and my husband go for tests this week.
I am hearing... the hum of the clothes dryer and talk radio
Around the house...lots of packed cardboard boxes from the move that still hasn't happened (sigh)
One of my favorite things...my beautiful piano
A few plans for the rest of the week....the housework I very lazily put off last week, some ironing, piano lessons, a visit to my aging parents and a doctor appointment for my husband.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...my sweet little granddaughter
To read more posts on A Simple Woman's Daybook please visit Peggy's beautiful blog.
If anyone had asked me if I was a “worrier” a few years ago, I would have answered with a definite no. I have always considered myself one of those optimistic people who unfailingly see the glass as half full. I still do.
However, when I listen to my own words carefully, I realize that while I don’t use the word worry a lot, I actually do worry – quiet often. I hear myself using phrases like: “I hope….; What if….; I don’t think we should do that because….; I’m afraid that if….; I’m concerned….; Every time we try to do that…. Not words that reveal a very trusting heart.
To read the rest of this post please visit me at Laced With Grace. I will be there bright and early monday morning.
So, although I am dating myself, I thought I would brighten your day with a little bit of the music we love (speaking of dating myself - we went to our first Senior Life Group meeting at church today - now that we are 60 and 61 respectively we qualify as seniors). This is my particular favorite. Although I am as Italian as you can get, I think a little bit of Hillbilly must have leaked into my blood because I love anything with a fiddle and a lot of foot stompin'. I hope this brightens your day just a little bit.
I don't ever write about politics, and I won't start now. Suffice it to say - we ended that portion of the conversation feeling a tad discouraged. They don't seem to be serving up large portions of hope on the nightly news.
After we moved on to happier things and said au revoir (I'm trying...), I turned to a more reliable source of information, one that never fails to lift my spirits and birth hope in my heart. One of my Psalms for today is Psalm 46. Here are the first few verses:
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of Hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold."
In these chaotic, sometimes discouraging times, there is a place of refuge - a place that is the same yesterday, today and forever. That place is the glorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He is our strong tower, our place of safety. I am so thankful.
As the children grew and one by one left the nest, I began to think that some of those secrets were best kept between the Lord and I. I wrote with no inner censor - just poured my heart out onto the pages - and some of the words could have proven hurtful without me there to explain. I didn't want anyone else to read them when I was no longer here.
So one afternoon I gathered them all together, sat on the floor by my bed with a big garbage bag beside me and destroyed all those Journals. It was hours before I got up and carried the overflowing bag out to the garbage can. I felt a bit sad, but I felt I had done the right thing for me.
I haven't kept a consistent Journal since then. I tried just doing a prayer Journal, but I was too inconsistent. When I'm involved in a Bible Study, I just prefer to use that to write things down.
I do keep a little daily planner, but I have noticed that as time goes by I write less and less in that too. I put important dates on the calendar hanging on the kitchen wall and forget to write them in the planner. You'll laugh, but most days I would write my "to do" list after I'd already done everything - I suppose just to fill in the space and look busy.
The other day I saw an idea for making your own Journal on Ann's blog. I liked the idea and decided to try it. I bought a little artist sketch book (I debated about buying the large one, but it didn't seem as manageable for now.) Then I gathered all my old magazines together and began cutting out pretty pictures of the things that I like.
When I had a folder full of pictures, I began to paste them on the pages of my book. I've taken up a lot of space with the pictures, but that's all right because I just want to write down "occasional things" - something special I've read in my devotional time, something special that happens during the day, the blessings I am learning to look for in the dailiness of my life, a memento from a trip.... Those are the things I'd like to hold close right now.
I have gotten a few pages done, and I'm ready to begin. Here is a little peek at my new Journal:
I am excited to begin. There is nothing better than a beautiful piece of paper waiting to be written on. I think this is going to work!
"THOU DOST VISIT THE EARTH, AND CAUSE IT TO OVERFLOW; THOU DOST GREATLY ENRICH IT; THE STREAM OF GOD IS FULL OF WATER; THOU DOST PREPARE THEIR GRAIN, FOR THUS THOU DOST PREPARE THE EARTH.
THOU DOST WATER ITS FURROWS ABUNDANTLY, THOU DOST SETTLE ITS RIDGES; THOU DOST SOFTEN IT WITH SHOWERS; THOU DOST BLESS ITS GROWTH."
Psalm 65: 8-10
163. After weeks of hot, dry weather the skies darkened, the winds picked up, the gentle roll of thunder could be heard in the distance - and then the rain! Thank You Father.
164. How quickly all of nature responds when the Father is the One who does the watering. Over-night the grass I tried so desperately to keep from turning brown (without great success) is a beautiful green.
165. The blue sky filled with powder-puff clouds.
166. The smell of freshly cut grass.
167. The blessing of modern technology that allows us to talk "face to face" with our daughter even when she is thousands of miles away across a vast ocean.
168. Magnificent horses grazing peacefully behind white fences - and ponies playing tag and kicking up their heels just for the pure joy of it.
169. Telephone conversations with dear friends.
170. The way the Lord sometimes answers a cry from heart so quickly. I walked into the house and saw that the people who were supposed to call about buying our property still hadn't call. "It's so discouraging Lord," I said as I made my way into the bedroom. I picked up my little devotional book and this was the first sentence I read, "One of the best ways to get rid of discouragement is to remember that Christ is coming again." How that one little sentence puts all of life into perspective.
171. Answered prayer.
172. Hope renewed.
173. Seeing in a fresh new way that no matter how different our circumstances are, the truth of the Word holds fast and meets individual needs. The Lord uses the various trials and struggles we are all going through to make us more like Jesus. We are learning to surrender to His will and trust in His unfathomable love.
174. The encouragement and love of sisters in Christ.
This little plant lives on the window sill in our bedroom these days. I am "plant sitting" while my daughter is in France. I noticed the other day that it was growing toward the sunlight and thought what a wise little plant it is. It is drawn by the sun and reaches out to be bathed in its life-giving light. When I turn it the other way, it simply begins to grow toward the light once again.
It's persistence in seeking the light is a vivid reminder that I too must follow the one true Light. I want to be found leaning into Him.
"AGAIN THEREFORE JESUS SPOKE TO THEM, SAYING, "I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD; HE WHO FOLLOWS ME SHALL NOT WALK IN THE DARKNESS, BUT SHALL HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE."
He was born on the Fourth of July and tomorrow will celebrate his 36th birthday. If I say I can't believe the years have gone so quickly, you will just think, "Everyone says that," but it's true. It really seems like only yesterday he was his little girl's age - running around with limitless energy. It just takes my breath away sometimes when I see him and his older brother with their children. I wonder when all of that happened. When did they become fathers?
He is a precious son, husband, father, brother and Pastor. He pours his heart into everything he does. The place where he works full-time recently honored him for the work he does there. The owner of the company called him his hero. It is his servant's heart that blesses everyone he comes into contact with. He quite literally spends himself for the Lord. My mother's heart worries sometimes that he will just wear himself out. He is the one who is called when the car won't start, when they need something built, when they need help with a church project at another church, when someone is in need of spiritual counseling. He never says no. He calls every day just to check on Mom and Dad.
I have seen him deal with circumstances that would have destroyed most people, with a faith that not only carries him through but encourages and blesses everyone around him. We love him dearly. He is a precious gift from God, and we are grateful.
Happy Birthday son.
And Happy Fourth of July everyone!
We are home from our visit to the kids and grands. It was just great, and I'll write about it in day or two. Tomorrow I will be here with a post on freedom. In the meantime, I am trying to get a little order back into our lives. How can four days away from home result in such confusion? I did manage to get the laundry done and the budget for the month written down in my trusty little notebook, but there's a pile of laundry waiting to be ironed and a pile of bills to be paid and mail to track down (my daughter's which didn't get forwarded to us as it was supposed to) and enough dust to choke a whole group of people.....So I'll be back in a couple of days.