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

Friday, October 20, 2017

October Blessings

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***
That time of year... when the weather is funky.  Cooler in the morning (or, should I say - down right cold-ish?) and warmer in the afternoons.  The sun sets and rises differently.  There are different smells to the air.  Even the heart of the home (the kitchen) finds itself busier than usual.
Dishing out comfort foods, yummy breads and other fall festive fare.  Reasons to get together with family and friends.
And...so!  The warmth of the season is here.  Full of changes.  Full of Blessings.

I love October!!! 

((Shhhh!!   I know.  We're half way through the month and I'm just saying this all now? You know...I'm just trying to slow it all down.  If only I could.))

Friday, September 29, 2017

How NOT to Be!!

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Earlier this week, as my kiddos were sitting round the breakfast table - I began to hear an rumbling echo of something I had heard the day before while at an eye doctor appointment, with my husband.  My kids words were not happy words, to each other.
  And, I mean it.  They were eerily similar to what I had heard the day prior.   
 ***
As been our new school year, daily habit - we've been pouring over scripture, while the kiddos eat their breakfast.  I try to find one or two verses that we can talk about and find some sort of application...time permitting.

Upon hearing their "ugly" words to each other, over cereal and milk... the verses from Ephesians came to mind.   Ephesians 4:32 - And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

But, as I opened my Bible, to began reading, my eyes fell on verse 29 and immediately - the prior morning scenario became a story.   I read the verses, aloud...and started in.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen....

The Doctor Office was a busy place; the waiting room, quite crowded.  Because, my nose was in a magazine I hadn't really noticed who all was coming and going...but, all of a sudden I hear from across the room - this startling angst, of someone muttering LOUDLY under their breath...
"Whaaa.... just shut up and sit down."
I look up and see an elderly couple across the room from me.  If I could only truly paint the picture.
Here sat this weathered, old man...with a cane across his knee.  I'm assuming it was his wife sitting beside him but as body language would clearly put it... she was sitting as far away from him as possible, with her back turned towards him and her head in her hand.   I thought for a moment they were talking to each other and I went back to my reading.  But several minutes in... I hear it again...
"Come on...! What the h***.  Shut up!... and...sheez!...(shaking head)."  
This time, coming from the woman.  And then, I realized who they were talking about.

Over at the desk, stood another elderly woman of a different ethnicity... her strong dialect giving it away... and she too, was on the louder side; growing impatient... only because perhaps she couldn't understand. ?? I'm not sure.  However, I was impressed as the office staff were patiently working with her and so on... and she eventually, did find a seat...which quieted down the "disturbed" couple.

Obviously, though.  This on-going dialogue, at the counter, was too much for them, since, they repeated their annoyances several times...

I sat there, stunned.... "listening"... saddened by what was going on.  Trying to look past and through the thick skin, to see what might possibly be going on inside.  I wondered if anyone ever made these two smile...?  Did they ever know JOY?  Did they ever have a good day??

As, I shared this story with my kids... I relayed.  Sure.  I don't know what made this elderly couple "react" like that to a situation that wasn't theirs to contend with.  I don't know fully what was going on inside in their hearts and minds.  What their story is or was.  I can imagine, though, based on what I heard and saw that... they don't normally live "happy lives".  With each other or with others.  You know the phrase, "Hurting people, hurt people"?
Here they were, an elderly couple with who knows how much life ahead of them... (none of us, knows or has guarantee for another day.) ... but to be this far in life and to have allowed "bitterness" to take such deep root and have it take over spilling out into life at a moments notice.

Because, then I said, "Kids... what happens if you knock this glass over??  Whatever is in it will spill out, right?  When life comes our way and our "glass" gets knocked around... what's on the inside will come out, right?"

I reread the verses.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  ~ Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV

What an opportunity to see this a lesson to be learned. A lesson, on HOW NOT to BE!!
 ***
I don't share all of this to point out the "flaws" of this elderly couple.  Rather,  I see it as a lesson for myself.  For my family.  To be mindful of what things are taking root in our lives.  I'm just as guilty - in my responses.  I'm just as prone to have my "glass get knocked"... and whatever is inside gets spilled out.  I'm guilty!!   I, too, have my days of muttering, and angst, and impatience and down right ugliness.   That's probably why my kiddos' find it easy to display all of that with each other...
they see MOM.  And, DAD! No one has it all together!

We NEED Jesus, every single day.  I NEED HIM every hour.  
 I'm so grateful for these verses in Ephesians to remind me of how God wants me to live out my days.
As a wife, a mom, a friend, a sister, a neighbor...

I will probably, forever, have the picture of this couple etched in my memory... as a way of reminder in how NOT to be!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Old thing. New thing.

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The sights and sounds of the nearing season are always my favorite. I hear a familiar sound of geese overhead and see the ditches filling with mustard seed trees.  The wafts of frequent campfires, perhaps, and the shifting sunlight filters in and out in unexpected moments and ways   I savor it all... as I can.  
Driving here and there down unfamiliar country roads, around our new home - brings to mind memories of what now feels like oh so long ago.

I decided to pull up old photos, today.   Oh!!   Tugging at the heart strings... are days - moments in time-  that I can't ever get back.
My little's.  They are growing up so fast.  Our old homestead. Not the same as it once was.  I tear up!  Where in every season, there - I found time to capture it with the lens.   I have fond, fond memories held in these photos...  its like I was truly being intentional in every thing I did. With everything I saw.  Seeing the beauty in every nick and corner of the old place.
Its hard to do here.   Everything is still so "new" and unfamiliar.  It's not embedded deep within.  Yet!!  There is no nostalgia, here. Yet!!  I'm trying.   I'm trying to imagine... new things.  New things that settle my soul when I see them.  When I hear them.  

Is it strange that when my littlest one says... "I want to move back home to our old house"... that I can relate?!?!  I mutter those same things...under my own breath, sometimes.

Thing is?  We can't.  

This is where new roots are being established. 
Its that old thing, new thing going on.   Can anyone relate?

I remind myself, almost daily.  That God, my Heavenly Father, knows 
all about it.

And... Scripture reminds me, he would say to my heart...

“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past. 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."   - Isaiah 43:18-20

**
What is that NEW thing God is calling you, to??

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dusty Paths

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This morning I was writing out a note of encouragement to a friend of mine.  Her daughter and mine are pretty near the same age and Aubrey wanted to bless her friend with a note - to Get Well!

Broken bones are no fun!

I got to thinking about how often this friend and her family - in their own quiet way - are the best and I mean THE BEST homemade card makers and they're always filled with lots of love and encouragement.  I mean, ALWAYS!

I don't know how many times we've received a thick packet in the mail... from this dear family.  "Just because" or truly because we were walking through something...hard to go through.

They have their own moments and hard times and I (honestly!) don't know that I have been as faithful.

While thoughts came to mind as I wrote this note this morning... "dusty paths" came to the forefront.  Wanting to acknowledge their time of  "difficulty".   A daughter; arm recently "casted", as well as  a job that is over the top stressful... well, I can only imagine.... I know it's been really rough right now, for the husband.

Things. Many more things could be mentioned - that they as a family are going through.

And, while we know God walks these paths before us, beside us and behind...

These paths, they feel dusty!

That's what I wrote.  Acknowledging their "dusty paths"... ways that don't seem clear.  Or, paths that are not filled with ease.  Certainly, not flower strewn pathways.. but in them... there is good!
I miss our old home and farmstead... its part of my own "dusty path".
And again. We walk these paths one foot in front of the other... knowing, God is holding our hand.   Confident he has a plan that far exceeds our own.   I'm encouraged in Scripture... these words of reminder.

 This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls.  ~
Jeremiah 6:16

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Naturally, Budding Art and Artists

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When fun - HUGE, GIGANTIC - white things pop in your yard outta the blue and you've got two youngsters, nearly born with pencils and paintbrushes in their hands... these two!... and when Dad and brother are away on a camping trip and you - as a mama - gotta come up with something creative to do with your girls... well.  We didn't have to look far!!
Out in our backyard -we were provided with such an opportunity!!

Look at these art-forms!!

My girls!!  They pulled out their paintbrushes...
I whipped up a batch of homemade cornstarch paints (*recipe below) and my girls went to town.

Painting "the town" - red!!

That's what this became.  Little houses.  A mini town... per say.
**And I, I CANNOT believe it.  I ended up NOT getting a photo of the finished work!!  
It looked like the Mario Brothers.. lived there.  At least, that is what Scott and Caleb said when they got home and saw all the colored (painted) mushrooms, out across the lawn.   

Don't ask me.  I don't know much about Mario and his brothers.

The funny thing is.  These mushrooms only grew in this particular spot on the lawn.  Only to get mowed over once or twice but that is all they grew. 

Such a neat part of Creation!!   I enjoy finding things like this. 
I'm glad I got a photo of these beauties...

I'm glad my girls had the opportunity to see them up close and personal.  So intense, too!!
Did you Jayne's face??

Paint Recipe, anyone?
Equal parts of cornstarch and water. Mix well.  Divide evenly and color with food coloring.  
It all washes off in the rain...
Easy, Peasy.
***
Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art the mushroom.  ~ Thomas Carlyle

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