Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring! Changes. Could it be?

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While driving through town, the other day... I noticed something. I noticed people.  Smiling.  Laughing! Walking differently. Fast.  Slow.

Over and through puddles collected on the sidewalks...

Spring is in the air... at least - we hope! That day the pavement was wet with melting snow, the sun was shining and the temps were warmer - asking only for a spring jacket.  The birds were and still are singing...differently!  Have you noticed, this??

I had to smile...

We're walking with a Spring in our step, people!!
At least, some of us have a bounce in our spring.  Some of us are more at a wobble and hobble. :)  In the midst of a very crazy prep week, last week... our youngest was begging to go outdoors to enjoy the fresh air. I didn't blame her.  Spring is on it's way - after all...
She insisted on her princess dress and rain boots (Ahem!! This was pretty much her attire for the whole week, during the day).  Hey... it works for me!

Our family has just come off of a back-to-back banquet weekend.  Our weekend was very busy!  But wonderfully good!!
One event was a Blue & Gold Banquet (for our son's cub scouts) - catered and decorated.

This board was a game challenge we had put together. ..for the FPU class.
 The other was a Graduation/Pizza Party as we rounded out our last class of another Financial Peace University - nine week session.
I wish I would have taken more photos...
We had a great class - we met so many wonderful people and their stories are amazing!
We're so sad it's over already.

 Both of these events, Scott and I have had a major part in... and we couldn't have done without ALL the help that came our way to pull it off.  We're just pooped!  Hence, the hobbly, wobbly statement...
We're also anticipating some answers this week... due to a potential job change for Scott.  Same place of employment, for him - it would be just a lateral and upward move, if it happens.  We're praying... as this would be a nice change - but it isn't necessary.  Scott likes where and what he's currently working...
We'll see, what happens!
We're also counting down days to a family vacation - heading to visit some dear blogging friends, who live in Canada.  You'll be jealous once you find out who it is...
These are folks we have not met - yet, as in face-to-face.  However, our souls have met.  We have talked via email and over the phone a lot (even our husbands!)... we (already) consider these friends - as kindred spirits.

We're also looking forward to opening up our home, again, to more avenues of hospitality.  Reconnecting with dear old friends, and fremily, around our kitchen table, once more... and, as well, seeing a change of immediate next-door neighbors.

You might say the "nest" is getting fluffed and feathered....
Spring always brings change!  Doesn't it??

We also are counting down days to a wedding in the family!
My brother and his girl are getting married - end of April.

My girls are excited - to be a part of this special day!  We all are!  We love - absolutely adore! - Kelsey.

So... some sewing & gifting is in order.
We'll talk more about all these things another time.

Just wanted to let you know - so you're not left to wondering. :)
I'm planning on taking a small Spring Break - from blogging for a bit.

Oh!  And, I also updated Aubrey's artwork (this post!) ...  some of you have been waiting to see this!

Until next time...

Friday, March 13, 2015

five minute friday :: plan

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My hubby uses this phrase a lot.
Plan your work, work your plan.

It's a great thing to live and abide by; holding yourself accountable to and with life, in general.
So many of us who might struggle with procrastination might need this extra bit of "advice" to keep going in the right direction.
But all of us... we all plan for things.  Many things come across our way throughout our lives.
We plan to get married.
We plan for a family.
We plan a garden, vacation or school.
Etc., etc.
All of those are good things ... and there sure are many other things we make plans for.. again, all good things... but, any and all things planned take work.

Hard work!

Scripture says -
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed...
{Proverbs 15:22, ESV}
I've been pondering just how valuable "counsel" is and must be - as part of the plan.

If we don't have a PLAN for the plans we have, what will come of it?

The above verse - in the photo - speaks for itself.  Doesn't it?
We reap what we sow!
Look at this plant - this photo taken just two days later.  If we want this plant to grow... it requires correct positioning in sunlight... just the right amount of soil and water...etc.
Things happen... when we do the work required... even though it is really the work of something far greater in the "unseen" and the "unknown".

Two days later- from the first photo taken...

Plan to thrive?  Do you plan to do well in school?  Marriage?  Parenting?
Let's go one stage deeper...
What condition are the roots of your heart and soul?
Whose counsel are you seeking?
Any plans for that?
Joining up with Kate @ Heading Home for the Five Minute Friday link-up.  It's so great to be a part of a community where no one judges and we all take five.  Five minutes to write and be real...
all on one word topic.  Today's word prompt was PLAN.
Thanks for reading!!

May you have a wonderful weekend!!
It's in the plans, right?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lessons learned from a three year old!

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Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. ~ Isaiah 26:3 KJV

How can a three and a half year old possibly upset me so much?  Challenge me so much?  Teach me so much?  Humble me, too?

She's a sweet little girl.  A big girl - yes!!!
Yet, stubborn and strong -willed.  Silly and fun-loving.  Bossy and loud! She has to be... to keep up with everyone else in the family. :)  She was always my "easy baby", the easiest - the one whose name means Gift of God and a Father's Joy! She is just that. Absolutely!!! A beautiful gift and joy!! However...
 She's growing up so fast.  Too fast.  I tease, actually, when people ask me how old she is that I'll say she's three going on thirteen.  Inwardly, I cringe - every time those words escape my lips. Because she already is fiercely independant.  I hope this doesn't get worse or continue.
So, I fear for her.
She's three!
She still has a lot to learn about safety... and trusting.  Whom to trust in!
She sings it herself.  Stop and listen to stay safe.  Stop and listen... 
I'm not sure where she's first heard this song... but I remind her of it often - when she herself forgets..

So, the other day.  I wanted to hold her hand - while crossing an ally street and through a parking lot.
She didn't want to.
It was a fight.
There was a determined will on both parties.
Throw in the fact that people were watching... me... us...in this power struggle.  Who would win?
I felt the pressure... to be in charge (of course!) and not fail.
Fail I did.
She ripped away from me and darted out almost into the path of a very slow moving vehicle.. thankfully, it was very slow moving..
((sadly, this hasn't been the first time!))
It scared her.  It scared me.  But - I let her know that it REALLY scared me... because I need this to have an affect on her.
I say... this is WHY Mommy wants to hold your hand. Why I NEED to hold your hand!  I want to be sure you're safe.  YOU NEED TO HOLD MY HAND!  I don't yell this -but I speak them sternly as possible... and with much emphasis. I say.  I love you!  I want to keep you safe.   And, I ask... Why don't you want to hold my hand?  Don't you trust me?
(there is no verbal answer...)
I know the answer.
Will of her own.

Explaining all this to a three year old with an attention span of a gnat isn't too productive.
One of the things I've been working on, recently, with my daughter - is when there is a moment of correction that needs to happen I will ask her to place her hands in mine and we'll (try to) make eye-contact.
I really want to get to her heart.
Oh - this is a fight, too!

Open hands.  Open Heart.
For Giving.  Forgiving.

What I'm realizing is ...the lesson my daughter has been teaching me (unknowingly to her) is the same questions asked by my Heavenly Father to me.
He asks: Why don't you want to hold my hand?  I love you!  I want to keep you safe.

These days,.... one minute... I'll hear the stubborn, disturbing words of... "I don't like you - Mommy! You're so mean!".   The next minute, out of the clear blue, come some of the sweetest words you'll ever hear of ..."you're the best Mommy in the whole world".

Aren't we just the same?  We're so fickle.
We want to love!  Trust!  Obey! We can't... always. We're too fiercely independant!
Full of pride.
Self-sufficient and well... what we call a strong-will is really a strong-won't.  Isn't it?

All of us!!   We NEED Him.  We NEED to trust Him!  And, we have no idea just how much!
We also have no idea just how deep the Father's love is for us.
We have no idea just how perfect His heart is.
He never feels like a failure - because of our consistent shortcomings.  He can't.  He never fails!
I'm sure it saddens him... but He's so long-suffering, patient and full of grace!

That's why I share that verse - at the top!

I pray that my mind will stay on HIM... then, there will be perfect peace.  Peace of heart.  Peace of mind.  Peace of will.

Surrendered still.

He will KEEP me!
Safe and sure.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Let's talk about Brownies!

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Toffee Brownie Bites - a.k.a. A Pile of Sin on a Plate!
There is a little something I want to share with you, today!!

I cannot get this little brownie story - analogy out of my mind... it's been so convicting and heart-challenging.
So I asked, and with permission from the blog author herself - I share this story with you, today, as well!!  I hope it will serve to stir something for you to think about, too!
(as quoted and shared with permission from Becky @ Farmgirl Paints. Becky's full, original post is HERE  and if you haven't read it before -- you should! 

Here are Becky's words...
Years ago I heard a story from Joyce Meyer.  She was explaining a life lesson to her kids, she said, What if I made you the richest, most moist brownie ever.  It was absolute perfection. So good you could smell it across the room!  Would you eat it?  Now, what if I put in the teeniest amount of dog poop?  Not much, just a teeny bit.  Would you still try it knowing the brownie had dog poop in it? Well of course not!!

I've never forgotten that illustration.  I filter out a lot of crap from the world, but I've let some dog poop creep in.  I need to listen to that still small voice...that ick in my stomach when I know something is sinful and wrong and turn from it.  Even if it is just a song, a movie, a magazine article etc...  We are called to be different.  To be set apart.  I'm making a decision to put down that tempting corrupt brownie.  A little is still too much...

This analogy from Joyce Meyer is really "pungent and powerful" when you think about it.   And, Becky's words could very well be my own.

It's a slow fade...

And sometimes - just by not being intentional and prayerfully careful in our lives - before we know it... the inevitable has happened.  We are through and through filled with what we know to be as down-right sin.  Easier to see in someone else... harder to detect in and of ourselves.  We need HOPE!

Because there is hope!

There is GOOD NEWS!!!

We shouldn't, we can't, stay in this guilt and condemnation. This is the good news of the Gospel!  Listen, to this...

In Christ, there is NOTHING I can do that would make you love me more and NOTHING I have done that makes you love me less!

Simple as that!!  But we still have a part to play... in being aware of the sin that so easily besets us. (Hebrews 12:1)  As Christ Followers we have every right to challenge, encourage and hold each other accountable to the faith we profess.  Let us be Faithful - to follow Jesus!

**The above quote is taken from this book:  Gospel, by JD Greer. A book our small group (with Church) is currently reading through.  Very, very good book!

And, maybe this isn't right... or you've just sworn you'll never eat another brownie again... but, just for fun - I have to share with you this delicious brownie recipe I have since dubbed as "a-pile-of-sin-on-a-plate"... they're that "wicked".  You will find the recipe ingredients listed HERE!!  In fact, in the original posting of this recipe... I included a warning!!

These are really that good! :)


I hope you hear my heart today!

Have a wonderful, week and God Bless!

until next time....

oh be careful little feet where you go...      oh be careful little eyes what you see...     oh be careful little ears what you hear...

For the Father up above is watching us with love...   Oh be Careful... little heart whom you trust.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Five Minute Friday :: Gather

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** Joining in with this Five Minute Friday Community and today's word prompt is: gather!

:: Go ::
Surprised to see these icicles gathered right here in plain, eye-level sight, I pulled my kids to the bedroom window - first thing, this morning.  The sun was really bright and of course, while they enjoyed the beauty they saw, they also weren't too happy that I made them "gather" a little longer just so I could capture a few photos.  ** I know, more icicles....

I got to thinking how I can relate to this at times ... in a different way.
I balk at being told to "gather".
When our hearts aren't "into it" and it feels like a demand or a duty to be done... it's hard to enter in.  Isn't it?
It's hard to participate.  
Oh, I pray for a softened, willing heart.

I asked my kiddo's later... what it means to "gather" and if it matters?
Does it matter? and why?

One of them said, like when we gather to pray... we pray.
When we gather to sing... we sing.
When we gather to worship... we worship.
To gather always involves a purpose and a reason for that gathering to take place.
Yes! Yes! Yes!

It matters why we gather.
It matters how we gather, even more!

Most importantly... a gathering is obviously more than one in attendance.

I enjoyed those icicles... but I wanted to share what I saw, with  my kids, and enjoy the moment together.

That's why we gather.

Looking forward to gathering with a few ladies for a Book Study and Breakfast, tomorrow morning!

How about you?  Any plans this weekend that involve - gathering?

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