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

Friday, February 12, 2016

Long Line of Love + Giveaway!

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It's not too often that I have a blog title come to me before a post is actually written. But, that's what has happened with these words here today.

If you know anything about me and my story and our current family's situation...you can conclude that I don't favor to change(s) very well.

A lot has been happening the past few months that can almost reflect the bitter cold of the outdoors.  That's only true, right now, because of the arctic chill that has come down and settled in over our region.
And we're anticipating a lot more changes rising high on the horizon.
We know the why - but there is no telling when or how they'll come about.

Not all the changes happening around here are terrible, though.  They are changes just the same.  They stiffen.  Hold us back- till we "warm up" to the idea. It's okay! 
 They rattle.  They upheave - till it settles back down and we're ready to "ride out the wave" the rest of the way.  Going with the flow.

But when one starts to look for the color that love brings; the cheer in the dark and hardened places... because, it is there!... it really can revive and bring life and meaning back into the stone-cold heart.

What can crack that for you?

What brings that life-blood pumping again - for you?

What warms that ole heart of yours?

Are you longing for some color - crystal clear - in your darkened world?

***
Walk with me for a minute through this "cold and blustery" morning.  The sun is shining - yes!! and the sky is bright and gorgeous blue!  Icicles hang on and low - line upon line. 
 I look for them.  Nestled in here and there.
They make me smile!!

They remind me of the warmth of God's love melting.....forming...shaping...the cold into something new!!
Ooohh, what's this?  I see my kids names etched in the snowbank - line upon line - all in a row.

Fun!!

Enter indoors - it's time for a warming-up, kind of cup of coffee (and soon some lunch, boasting one of my favorite condiments... pickled beets!!) and my eyes scan the dining room table.  Leftover bits of paper-heart making is strewn all over... my heart swells just a tad fuller as I see handwritten love notes from my four and seven year old.  With that I hardly see the mess.

Together we clean up the pieces and somehow the heart seems willing (You know, this isn't always the easiest of chores - to clean up after the fun is done!)... I can't believe it!!  
Where is the easy button?

Has their hearts melted somewhat, somehow, too?  Changes...




I know.  We've been praying this prayer lately.  
Create in me a clean heart, oh God!  And renew a right spirit within me...
Well.  He's obviously doing this.  In all of our hearts...
***
On the heater... I see more hearts laid out, lined up, all in a row... my seven year thought to do this to dry ALL THE GLUE needed to layer these valentines... which she used entirely way too much glue, was my first thought, and I wanted to scold.  But in the end - this was her creativity in full swing and I decided if I'm to continue to "build my home" the way I know I want to then I need to let it go!

Let my love grow... and use WAY more encouragement and praise than ever before!

You see - I know I've come from a long line of love.
Why... out of the blue this potted plant from my mom - who stopped by on a whim!  
Really?  No... it's because she loves...and to say, I'm thinking of you.
Happy Valentine's Day!!

As I have been loved so I must love you!

Which reminds me.

How about a GIVEAWAY today?

I've been reading this book... slowly but sure.  And even passed it on to a friend or two, to borrow...

Love Walked Among Us, by Paul E. Miller.
Can I just say....It's amazing!  

This love is Jesus and in a very practical way - teaches us how to love like he loves!!

I do have to tell you the book I give today is a bit tattered. Loved on.  "Gently used", you might say - because it is my own copy. However, I just want to bless you with this quietly compelling and encouraging read.  Your comment today - will allow you a chance to win this wonderful book as my giveaway today... simple as that.

The winner of this giveaway will be declared and notified, sometime next week!
Until then... seek to see some color in your world today?  Can you?

***
Do you know you're from a long line of love?

How can I be praying for you today?

And, may I wish you a lovely weekend!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

When...when this post has everything to do with encouragement and nothing to do with the snow! ;)

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I could stand in a snow-globe world forever and feel bliss!

***
I want to share a few verses with you from Proverbs 3:27-28.  I know I've talked about these verses before - but they bless me so much, everytime I read them,  Therefore, I feel the need to share them with you again and again.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
    when it is in your power to act.
 Do not say to your neighbor,
    “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
    when you already have it with you.

I recently came across this interesting challenge (whether you're a gift-giver or not - it's for all of us) in a small circular that comes through our doors every other month or so.  I thought it would be fitting to share with you, for today.

EIGHT GIFTS THAT DO NOT COST A CENT

1. The Gift of Listening...
But you must REALLY listen.  No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response.  Just listening.

2. The Gift of Affection...
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the pack and holds hands.  Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for your family and friends.

3. The Gift of Laughter...
Clip cartoons.  Share articles and funny stories.  Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."

4. The Gift of a Written Note...
It can be simple "Thanks for your help" note, or a full sonnet.  A brief, hand-written note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

5. The Gift of a Compliment...
A simple and sincere compliment can make someone's day.  "You look great in red."  "You did a super job!" "That was a wonderful meal."

6, The Gift of a Favor...
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

7. The Gift of Solitude...
There are times when we want nothing better to than to be left alone.  Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8. The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition...
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it's not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You!

***
All that to say - look at what came in the mailbox the other day!!!


It made our whole family - jump with joy!!  So happy and so proud of our son!

You talk about feeling encouraged?  This surely did it.

Because let me tell you - this was surely one unexpected way of getting a message across... 
in my son's world!  Mail for him?  From his teacher? 
Out of the Blue?
I kinda think it'll stick...

***
** Linking today's post with Finding the Grace Within | tuesday @ ten :: when

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Who surrounds you?

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Well, this statement stopped me in my tracks!!

I was listening to a radio preacher the other morning and this is what he said.

If folks are on your nerves then they probably are not on your heart.

Ouch!

In other words...
If people are not on my heart (and mind) they're on my nerves!

Same thing!

 How many times does this hold true for me. In particular with me as a mother!  My children get on my nerves and so can other people, at times.  Obviously, this statement implies I don't have a deep care and love for them in the first place...therefore, I must have a relationship problem... because I react with my head and not with my heart.  True... maybe!?
He went on to say... and I'm paraphrasing...

To get people off your nerves you've got to get them on and in your heart!

To love like Jesus loves.
We must surround others with patience and with understanding.

Let me tell you - this is way easier said than done.

**
I really took this to heart and decided to really pay close attention to the what, how and when of "my nerves" being rattled ... as it pertains, in particular, to mothering.

I noticed something.  Usually when someone "got on my nerves" it was because:
 My agenda was being inflicted...
 My schedule was being up-ended...
My expectations were not being met...
Me. Me. Me.

Quite frankly - I knew where this was going... and fast!
It's NOT meant to be about me.

To love means to surround others with patience and understanding and put one's own self last.

This is how Jesus loved!

This is hard!  Quite frankly, I can't do this by myself.  I can't give out what I do not have.  I need more and MORE of Christ's love to the fullness.  I want to overflow...

With patience and with kindness.  With understanding...which means I really have to take time to sit and listen to the needs of others that surround me.


Scriptures say, for out of the heart the mouth speaks!

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. ~ Luke 6:45

I don't know about you - and what you're thoughts are on this... perhaps you'll share in the comment section below, but I got to thinking this - that as blunt as this statement is... I'll take it!  I'll use it as a measuring tool.  A guide to really evaluate my level of love and care I have in my heart - for others.

Here is the question we should all ask ourselves.

Who surrounds you? 
 Are they on your nerves or on your heart?





Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snow or no snow...

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Copying over verses from Matthew 6:25-34, this morning, into my journal, only seems fitting to share again today, in regards to this here word-prompt: doubt.

***
Truth be told I was beginning to doubt if we'd ever see a snowflake.  I read on my gardening almanac type calendar this phrase -
"January warm, the Lord have mercy".

I believed that.  We needed some snow!  At least more than a dusting...


As the kiddos and I were talking this morning...
What one, two, or even three days difference can do with the weather and yet - these little birds have not a single care in the world... about their life.

Snow or no snow...

Why, then, do we worry about ours?
Why do we doubt our heavenly Father's daily and constant care for us?

I was just so encouraged writing out these verses of Scripture this morning!  Verses from Matthew chapter 6 and in particular - this final verse...

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  
Each day has enough troubles of its own. ~ Matthew 6:34

Do I ever doubt? Or, question?  Or, worry?
Sure I do.  I just told you that I do.
I read that line over and over on my January calendar and wondered for the future - what would a winter without much snow do for the following seasons?
I would read "the Lord have mercy" phrase over and over and pray fervently for snow...
I was worried.  :)

Listen, I want it to be said of me that this is a woman who trusts and fears her Maker.
That she is one who rests in the Sovereignty of her God!
Snow or no snow... He is God!!
He will sustain and keep us in HIS righteous, right hand!

Consider the birds of the air; neither do they sow nor reap nor gather into barns... 
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

***

Monday, January 25, 2016

Enjoying the Blizzard of 2016

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And more (snow) is on the way....
Perhaps even later this week!
****
The drifts we get around here - are amazing!!  Like the second and third photo from the top... what looks like foot tracks is really the road plowed through. It might be the angle or the way the photo was taken... but the drifts were amazing out across our front lawn area.  Our mailboxes were actually buried.  Some of those drifts were over five feet ...  and as you see, drifts almost to the top of the barn door there on that one photo.  And other parts of the driveway almost clear - due to the way the wind blew that snow around.

Nothing like feeling safe and cozy indoors.

Remembering this Blizzard of 2016 - as perfect!!

Winter finally and fully arrived in one fell swoop!

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