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

Friday, January 12, 2018

Broadcasting seeds...leads to viable growth!

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It's amazing how just thinking of and taking a word.  One word, for the year!  How thinking on that and pondering over it - and we're what, only about two weeks in? - and how this has really, already made an impact on how I'm thinking and feeling in my day-to-day...

Growth is powerful.   But. 

Before there is growth of any kind - there has to be seeds.

I was listening, this morning, to a preacher share... actually, I caught him by accident.  I wasn't really listening... but he was talking about seeds.  How that they have to be planted before they do anything else.  I mean, you can hold em in your hand and look at the all day - but they won't do any good at all unless they are sown... in other words, "broadcasted" or scattered!!

It made me pause.
Who or what has "broadcasted" those seeds into heart-soil?  The word "broadcast" took me off guard.  Its a big one.  We use it - but not necessarily like this anymore.  To broadcast - gives the picture of " to spread far and wide"...
  The further and wider they are sown out... means a larger and better yield.

What matters, though, is what kinds of seeds there are.  Do I know?

My prayer is that they are good seeds.  Right seeds.  Vital to my life seeds.

Not weed seeds.  No!

Seeds of encouragement.  Seeds of kindness.  Gentleness.  Relation-ally speaking that they would be seeds of good and healthy friendships.  Positive for growth in business skills.

Growing in peace and patience.
Confidence and willpower!  Stamina and resiliency.  

Guess what?

Did you know we are seed sharers? We are.
Think of every time we blow upon that dandelion - we spread a bunch of seeds with every puff.

I know.  Its not something we think about in the middle of January.  But what kinds of growth are you anticipating?  Are you aware the sort of seeds that have been sown into your life?   Are you putting yourself in position to garner those seeds for viable growth?  What are you broadcasting??

Just for fun.  I thought I'd show you my violets.  My mom gave them to me, after we moved in to our new home... and ya'll.  I have not really ever had success with indoor plants growing to their full potential.  Ever.  Whether it was just not the right place in the home, with adequate sunshine, perhaps I'd forgotten to water them...etc.  But... do you see?  They're blooming!!

I think we're going to keep on this topic for awhile...

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

{Grow or Growth} Word for the Year :: Reflections of old and Anticipating the new

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Its not too often that I think of a title before writing my post!  But, this came to mind and I began to ponder the past year and began to anticipate what this new and upcoming year will bring.  Pardon me, that I am a couple of days into the New Year, before this was posted.

Of course, no one knows, what a new year will bring.  But, it doesn't hurt to "dream" and hope, right?
As I reflected on the past year... there were oh so many changes.

Many were planned and anticipated. Lots of plans went into these anticipated changes.  Then, many parts of it - were not.
As in the words of my husband to our three kiddos....
"one of our BIGGEST blessings is the fact that Mamma is still here", (referring the car accident I was in the night before our big house move)...well... this, keeps me humbled.

Yes!  I think of it often.  I am grateful to still be here and part of this plan that God has me in.

So.  With that...comes the proverbial Word of the year!
Do you all do that?  I think of it, sometimes.   But, this year... a word has come to me, pretty clear and strong.  Which... that kinda scares me.  It's like its telling me to do something... I haven't been doing...?  But, I have.  I don't know.  Obviously, I need to more.

The word is Grow!  Or, Growth!

Eeks.  Yes.  I know there are some things I definitely see happening... areas where I need to see growth.
And, then there are areas were to grow any more in would make me feel stretched quite thin.  LOL!

I like the verse from Isaiah 43:19... it speaks of something happening. 
Could it be growth?

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Image result for pictures of plants growing from seeds

One of the poems I do think of, at the start of every New Year, is this.

Your Future lies before you like a field of fresh fallen snow.
Be careful how you tread on it, for every step will show.

That can be said - true - of any field "of growth"... a path made through tall meadow grasses will show as well as somebody stepping on newly planted plants.   Growth is meant to happen and fortunately, for a field of grass or a new plant... it should spring back up.  I know this year will have some "downers"... but, I am anticipating a field of dreams and a whole lot of daises to pluck petals from.

I have a God who loves me and wants to see me blossom!!

 Happy and Blessed New Year to each one!!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Here we come a caroling...

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This photo (mix) has got to be one of my most favorite of moments and memories!  Caroling.  I loved it then and always will.

This evening I had the privilege to load my three kiddos, along with three of their cousins to attend a choral production with some home school families, from our church.  We knew quite a bit of them and I tell you - it feels so good to support friends, like this and this is only one way.
However,  on our way home, you can imagine - everyone wanted to sing and pretend they, too, were part of such a beautiful production and so we all took turns leading out in song one of our own favorite tunes.
Of course... those Christmas Carols are ALL so beautiful... and it took me right  back to my childhood days of when caroling in our church community or our neighborhoods was a REAL priority.   I found myself sharing this memory with my carload of choristers...

It was one of the most anticipated events of the year, for me.. to go Christmas Caroling.  Oh, the memories this evokes... Here is what I shared...

We always went Christmas Eve - with our church - to the large local community.  No matter the kind of weather.  I can remember going in the bitter cold, times of heavy snow (lots of memories on this one), even in the rain... however, the community KNEW we were coming. They expected us.  Prior to going our youth group would get together, a couple of nights before, to make up fruit baskets and bake cookies to take to folks along the way. 
This event involved bundling up (little kids and all), carpooling and still there would be what seemed like a mile of cars following each other with their four-ways on... we'd all get out of the vehicles, trudge carefully to the front door, with flashlights and song sheets (though not really needed, as we sung from memory anyway). Someone would knock or ring the door bell.  Someone else would lead us out into song.  Joy to the World, Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels sing, etc.
We'd all gather closer together our harmonious voices echoing through the night sky.  Sure enough the front door would open and huddled in the doorways were the elderly, the growing family, a single person and every now and then, the surprised or "unsure" person (of what to make of all of this).   Some would ask us inside for a cup of hot chocolate ( I remember one year, someone offered chili) ... SERIOUSLY! 50 + plus people getting served... sometimes we were asked to come indoors because of someone to sick to come to the door and they simply wanted us to sing our hearts out- and they with feeble voice did their best to join in. 

It was beautiful.

We'd always end our four-part harmony caroling, at each home, with:

We wish you a Blessed Christmas,
we wish you a Blessed Christmas,
we wish you a Blessed Christmas
and a Joyous New Year. 
Glad tidings we bring to you and your kin,
good tidings for Christmas and a Joyous New Year. 
(said in said- shout unison)

It seemed like forever - but starting at 6pm sharp! and ending more times than not at 10pm (getting to the last folks on the list) was a long time, but worth it - we'd all head back to our church to finish up any remaining cookies and fruit from the fruit baskets & cookie baking.  Someone usually would stay back, usually an older grandmother or two who didn't want to make the trek into the bitter cold or "inclement" weather - they were the ones who "had everything ready" when we returned; the kettle steaming of hot chocolate, the trays of cookies and a roaring fire in the fireplace.  Yes! there was a fireplace in the "auxiliary building".   Someone also had prepared a (handmade) Pinata for the final activity of the evening.  We ALL took turns from youngest to oldest (adults included) to take one turn at bat.  Chaos erupted... as we all dove to get pieces of candy and nuts.

Oh, what fun!

I wish I had a better picture to show - to share of my memories better.  I wish I could make these memories the same, for my kids... maybe one day, we will.


Do you go caroling?  Have you ever considered going?  Bundle up.... let's go.  I'll go with you.
Here we come a caroling... among the leaves so green.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

give us this day our daily bread

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Recently, I was gifted these books, by a dear friend.
The Life-Giving Table
by, Sally Clarkson

 As well, we were recently gifted this table and bench, by another friend.  We've been enjoying it... a lot!!   Here is a thought taken from the second chapter... by Sally's husband, Clay Clarkson, who authored a portion of the book.
"Creating a lifegiving table is an intentional act of
 gathering, blessing, eating, sharing and serving."

So, the book, Life-Giving Table...what about it?  Well, I have been enjoying thumbing through; slowly reading the first couple of chapters of this book and there is so, SO much to take in.  I said, I feel like I have to "sit and marinate" in it - to let it all soak in.

Its really asking me to think about the "gathering" that takes place around our table.  Sure.  It's the place where a lot of our life happens! Things get plopped. Crafts are crafted.  Its used for play time - of forts and "race tracks"; coloring and games.  Homework is done, there.  Laundry is folded.
Piled high and cleared off again - so that meals can be spread out upon.
Its true that while we gather there to consume our daily bread... that, that is also where training and teaching happens.  Correction.  Encouragement.  Singing.  Prayers are prayed.
Community and Fellowship flow.  Sometimes its raw and loud and not always pleasant.  Most times and more often than not -its amazing!!

I have always said... that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  But, here of late, since reading this book, I've been trying to bring this "idea" to my kiddos.  For them to recognize, that our dining room table... this is a place of ministry... it is the Heart of the Home.  Even more than the kitchen itself.

"For Jesus...the home is not what defines the table; the table 
is what defines the home." ~ Leonard Sweet, from Tablet to Table

Its not a perfect place.  There are scuffs and scars.  Its worn and scratched...
But...it's ours!!
Its function is truly central to our home!
Where daily we pray and ask God... "Give us this day our daily bread."

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Spirit of Loveliness

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It's bedtime.  More often than not, the only time of day - I get to pull out a book to read.  Too many times, the pile of books that I want to read is higher than my arm is long.  I typically never can stay awake long enough to read, let alone retain - anything - that I may have read, in the first place.  Sure, I want to.  It's just that either life is way busier than I think or other conversations take over and take place... but... that really is no excuse.  Personally.  I just don't like reading - not like I'd like to.  I was talking to a dear friend of mine - on Sunday - at church and we were talking about this very thing... and she said ALMOST the exact same thing is true for her... and ya'll... she's an author.  A homeschooling mama... she HAS to read... and yet, she struggles, too!!  I have never felt so supported as to hear my friend admit to this very thing - herself.
Don't get me wrong.  I love books!  I sure do.  In fact, I try to encourage my kiddos' to read, read, read. That books are their "friends".. they need to treat them well, etc.  Honestly, I really do like feeling the pages in between my fingers.  The way they smell,  the way they open, the clever illustrations.... even the font matters a lot!!! I would much, much rather hold a book in my hand than an electronic device - such as a kindle, etc.   And, yet... the "art" of reading; it's novelty, the time it takes itself to read the words and comprehend... is a real struggle.

Why do I share all of this?  And, why the photos of this book - that I share with you today?

Great question.  So, first off, this book was recommended to me by a cousin of mine, some time ago.  My cousin, Carmen, has truly become a dear, dear friend of mine - someone whom I respect quite highly and has become almost, more like a sister to me than some of own immediate sisters.  I clearly remember the day when Carmen truly encouraged me to open this book and take to heart the "teachings" of Emilie Barnes.  A dear saint of the Lord - who has recently gone home to be with her Saviour.  I would say (in my heart and mind) - Emilie has become a pillar post in the foundation of my "home-making"... and home keeping.  I have really admired the things she wrote and shared.  In fact, I have several of her books.  BUT... this one.  The Spirit of Loveliness... has carried me.  I'm forever indebted to my sweet cousin for her persistence that I get myself a copy of this book.

So.  I got to thinking.  There is no better way to get back to who I am than to dust off the cover of this "dear friend" and because it's format is like that of a coffee table book (its easy to read, in bite-sized chucks) ... I can slowly get back into reading (what I would say) has been and always will be one of my first loves.

For me.  The topic of home- keeping, hospitality, and growing in character (to be that godly influence as a wife and mom; a woman of Christ) ... is my deepest passion and desire.

In earlier years of blogging - I have alluded to this book before, although I'm not so sure that I actually referenced it.  There is a post about "glowing windows" whose idea came from this book, I'm pretty sure. You've got to go read that one!!!  I even linked it for you - so you can find it easy and go read...
It is simply another but continual prayer of mine.

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