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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No words...just read the pictures...they say it all. ;)

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Brokenness | Review of Chapter Three

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Biblical Portraits : Broken and Unbroken

It was another - really good session - last Monday.  
By the way.  The Ladies Discipleship Group is not meeting today - so there will not be a "review of Chapter Four on Brokenness", for next week, Monday the 6th.  Just so you know, awhile, and don't think I forgot or something.  I'll follow through the week after that.

I just wanted to share...

This lesson on Broken or Unbroken really hit home to me.  We're only halfway through the study and already I can see where the Lord is beginning to do a real work in my heart.  When we (as the group of ladies) talked about the several illustrations of people portrayed... and we read in-depth of their character...it was clear that in all instances both "parties" sinned.  But when they were confronted about it - it was their response that made all the difference.  Some were broken and some were not.

We talked about and made comparisons between these four different individuals or groups of people:

(the proud) King Saul vs. (the adulterous) King David

The (self-righteous) Pharisee vs. the (cheating) Tax Collector

(another self -righteous) Simon, the Pharisee vs. the (sexually promiscuous) Woman with the Alabaster Jar

The (lustful, wild-living) Prodigal Son vs. the (angry & arrogant) Older Brother


Considering ourselves and identifying who we felt we most related to was hard.  It's very easy to read of these Biblical Characters in the Scriptures and yet, when it was time to stop and really place yourself in their shoes - and when the shoe fit - PERFECTLY....wow!

I found it humbling to think about it this way.  And I'll quote from the book.

**Could it be that God is more offended by those of us who appear to be respectable and spiritual but who have proud, unteachable spirits, then he is by adulterers, fornicators, sodomites, abortionists, or pornographers who make no pretense of being godly?
The sobering reality is that proud, unbroken Christians have done far more damage to the church of Jesus Christ than any sinners outside the church could inflict.
In our focus on the needs and failures of those we consider less spiritual then ourselves, and in our drive to perform and to protect our image, we may be missing the heart of the gospel and the grace of Christ.
You see, the message of repentance is not just for adulterers and prodigals; it is also for elder brothers and Pharisees and respected leaders.  The good news is that regardless of what category we may find ourselves in, the grace of God is always available to those lay down their pride and offer the sacrifice of a broken, contrite heart.**   
(**The last three paragraphs, on p. 61, of Chapter Three | Brokenness, by Nancy Leigh De Moss)


It's real easy to get discouraged when our sin and pride gets revealed to us by the Lord, isn't it?  But, remember, He will not reveal things to us that He does not intend to change in our hearts and lives. 

This chapter really hit close to home for me, as later, this past week, the opportunity came to iron out (between my husband and I) an area of sinful pride and self-righteousness.  Where one or the other thought they were broken, soft and yielding but due to the response(s) made - realized that they really weren't. 
One was just as guilty as the other.  Very humbling.  We're still a work in progress... together.

Thankfully, it's ALL by His grace alone that changes us (and unifies us).  It's nothing that we can do - better, or even at all - that will make that change take place in us. 



:: If your portrait was taken...What would it look like? 

God creates out of nothing. 
 Therefore until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him.
~ Martin Luther

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I still don't feel ready...

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Earlier today, I took a few minutes to sit and reread a few posts from last December.  I had to chuckle as I realized that some of my current thoughts are STILL very much the same as last year.  And, that this post  (It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas) is pretty near verbatim to what I'm planning to do over this weekend.

Someone mentioned that they can't wait to see our home decorated for Christmas. 
Well, I feel terrible... while admitting this... but not much changes from year to year in the way I decorate.  What you saw "last year" pretty much is what your going to see this year.

I still don't feel ready for Christmas - this year.

Do I need help?  Inspiration?  Different Ideas?

Does it matter?  Yes, I am trying...

* I've got some new gift giving ideas. 

* I've got to-do-lists running crazy wild, through in my mind. 

* I did pull out the gift - a Jim Brickman Christmas CD

* We have family planning to enjoy Christmas in our home, again this year.

* We finally drew names for our annual Christmas gift exchange and I'm all over that. ;)  Now... I can really get busy...making, crafting, sewing, buying...

* I did bake a batch of Berry-Sage Thumbprints that "feel so seasonal".  Click here for the recipe!

Although these are made as Cherry-Sage Thumbprints.



You know what!!!  We had our first snow flakes fall on Thanksgiving Day.  It was beautiful.  So, maybe I am getting in the mood afterall.



 : :  I'm going to live vicariously through you all, right now. 
Share with me some ideas or thoughts that help you get in the mood for the Christmas Season. 

Will you?

Friday, November 26, 2010

(end of ) Autumn | and giveaway

Replacing the usual Friday's Finds for this form of poetry, today.  I hope you enjoy!
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~ Autumn ~


The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;



The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.




The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.


Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.



(taken from the Quiltie Ladies Garden Journal)
* * * *

Actually, and, how perfect! 
 It's the end of Autumn (sort of) and, the snowflakes (and sleet) fell yesterday - on Thanksgiving - our first snowfall for the year.

Now, I'm actually getting excited for Christmas!  Looking to start decorating our home for the Holidays, sometime this weekend - probably while Scott is off deer - hunting.

By the way. We had a wonderful day - yesterday - with our extended family. 
However, both our little ones now have a croupy, yucky cough going on - so not fun! 
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Have a wonderful weekend!!


~~~~~

: : For a trinket of your own, my real life friend Staci is doing a giveaway on her blog - for a piece of her handmade jewelry.  Go check it out!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The view from my kitchen window...almost.

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I know I came across with a pretty heavy post yesterday - a different approach for a Thanksgiving post, at that - so I'm going to lighten it up just a bit today. ;) 

I'm afraid, when it comes to taking fall photos, this year, I just can't seem to get out of my own way for some reason.  I've been so enjoying ALL the beautiful scenery and these photos are no exception.  

This is pretty much the view from my kitchen window

Well, almost. 

There is a cow pasture in between (which I love, too) our house and this field.


Okay.  Here you are...
One afternoon, I threw the little ones into the van, went down to the next driveway, trying to vie for some "close ups".   I love these photos... just thought I'd share them with you, too. 







****


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, today!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ThanksLiving

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Gratitude is the Greatest Antidote to Jealousy.
~ Unknown

 


I know this may be a different twist on Thanksgiving, as we know it, but think through this with me...if you will.
~~~~~~

Malachi 3: 6-12 talks about Robbing God.

The question was asked, "How do we rob, {you}?"  
God's reply was, "in your tithes and offerings

~~~~~~

Ouch!

Our tithes and offerings can and should be more then of just a financial aspect.  But, isn't that what comes to mind.  Tithes & Offerings =  Out of our Finances?   There is a lot more, from our hearts, that we should be giving to the Lord then just an occasional "thank-you for...".  Do you hear what I'm saying?

This is why I started out this post with the quote of "Gratitude is the greatest Antidote to Jealousy". It's more like we need to have a lifestyle of gratitude.  I share this because I'm learning this too. 
I KNOW it's to be more like Living Thanks rather then just in Giving Thanks.  However, both are equally important.

Reading verses 10 & 11 of Malachi, chapter 3
 "...Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house.  Test me in this", says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room for it.  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty....you will be called blessed, for yours will be a delightful land".

If we liken our hearts (our lives) to this land that these verses are talking about.  And we give our thanks to God... as in living a lifestyle of gratitude... there will be no room in our hearts for discontent or jealousy.   The storehouses of God's Favor will be full and abundant.  The floodgates of heaven will open up and so much blessing will be poured out on us.  Amen? 

It's amazing and weird how it works.  Give and more will be given, in return.  Not giving, just to get. 
Do you see or hear the difference?  It's about.... a sacrifice.... of a 'broken and contrite heart that God will not despise'. (see Ps. 51: 17)

: : It's living this way - so that giving this way, will be effective.  Don't rob God in your living... it will effect your giving. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sending a few answers your way...

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Several weeks ago, I was chosen, by my blogging friend Amanda, from Homegrown and Beeyoutiful, among several other women, to answer the following questions about myself. 

On the outset, I just want to say, that I don't typically follow through on this sort of thing.  (Remember Melanie? You've tried to tag me a couple of times.)  It's the same with those good ole recipe circle letters, etc. etc.  Don't mail them to me.... I don't do them.  I'm the one who always breaks the chain.  Sorry about that, but not really!!

But these questions were a bit different, and very fair, and they deserved to be answered... and so I thought I would just give these seven questions an answer. 


Amanda wanted to know and I quote, " these questions begin easy and get DEEP, so I want REAL here, girls."
* * * *
~What is your favorite meal to fix for your family that you enjoy and they enjoy?  One of my go-to meals is Soft Taco's.  I can easily brown up the burger, throw in some (drained) black beans, add one of my homemade taco seasoning packets, get together all the fixin's; salsa, sour cream, cheese, tomato and shredded lettuce,and don't forget the hot sauce.  I usually like to make a side of either corn (or corn bread) and some oven-baked white rice.  The kids love it.....especially Caleb.  Isn't this what every mom would say - a meal that you know your family is going to enjoy is always easier to fix - because you know there is little clean up afterwards.

~If you had a free day with your husband and children and all your work was done what would you spend the day doing?  These are rare... but probably to go sight-seeing or to visit extended family somewhere.  These sort of days usually have to get planned.

~If you had a free day by yourself and your family was taken care of, what would you spend the day doing?
Oh honey, where do I start?  I would probably get myself into a tail-spin of what to do first. And actually, I have had an occasional day like this where- say if Scott was at work and the kids were at grandma's for a couple of hours... I would spend the day cleaning (get that out of the way first), pull out all my paints, decorate a wreath for the front door, and of course sew up a few bags.  It has happened.  And, for that I'm certainly grateful.

~Why did you start blogging? 
Almost two years ago, come January, is when I started blogging.  I thought it would be a helpful way for close friends and family to stay in touch with us - because at the time we were seriously considering a move out-of-state, to NC, to be exact.  In fact a couple of my first posts talk about that. 
As you can tell, that move didn't happen, but blogging continued to be a wonderful outlet for me; a voice; an expression of creativity; a journal of sorts (something I always enjoyed already); a chance to grow in communication while exercising English concepts, grammer and writing skills (stuff I still need much growth in but it's been good).... and than of course, the most obvious, some really great friendships have evolved out of blogging.  There are several fellow blogger's out there that I would love the opportunity to sit down with, face-to-face, over a hot cup of coffee or tall glass of sweet tea - which ever comes first - and just really "connect".

~Do you have a TV and if so what good family movies do you recommend?  Yes we have a TV!  But I haven't watched anything TV wise - in months.  Seriously.  Scott will occasionally try to watch a football game but even that gets trumped for Thomas or Veggie Tales.  Yeah, our TV... it's a small 13" screen tucked inside the confines of an old buffet cabinet that came from my parents...and as far as I'm concerned it can stay like that.  This is a whole nother story though... we'll have to save that for another time. 
If I were to recommend any family movies I would have to say that these are tops in our home.   Anne of Green Gables - series,  Season's of the Heart (Feature Films for Families), Babe - the pig, Old Yeller, Parent Trap, Facing the Giants... and I know I'm missing a bunch.  Oh, I can't forget Simon Birch... I think thats a must see. 
I won't name any names but a couple of my readers are rolling their eyes, right now, I'm sure of it - including my husband.

~Tell me three things you are passionate about.  Well,  I would love to say the usual, expected response of things like the Lord Jesus Christ - first and foremost.  My Church  and my family.  But I'm going to be really honest and share... that right now... I would have to say it's
1.) Photography.  I'm always looking for the beauty in the ordinary and it's all about finding that perfect shot.  Granted I have a long way to go in this field.  There is a lot I don't know or understand but the passion for photography is there, and I want to make it happen. 
2.) Creativity.  This kind of goes along with the first answer here, but it also reaches into my sewing (http://www.bagsbybevy.etsy.com/), my kitchen in meal prep, etc.  and just in general home keeping - finding something new to re-purpose, paint over or to redecorate.  I'm all about getting creative when you have to. 
3.) I would have to say I'm passionate about the Spirit of Hospitality.  In my life or in my home.  It's a desire of my heart and I am appreciative of the opportunity - lately- to practice that.... in many, many ways.  May the Lord be glorified.

~If God had not called you to be a wife and a mother what do you think he would have called you to do?
Well, not being 100% sure... I would have to assume that it would be to remain in the nursing field.  Before I was married I was working as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA), on a Maternity Ward and before that in Pediatrics.  I've often wondered if Nursing was a route I was to pursue. At one point, I thought about going to school.   I prayed about it - a lot - and, even started the idea/process of going to college... but, the door, for that, soon closed and I was okay with that.

Also, I've always wanted to own a very low-key Bed & Breakfast.  That idea is sort of dying out and yet, at the same time - this is where hospitality gets played out from time to time  in our home that keeps this very idea fresh and alive.  Will a full fledged B & B ever take place?  Who knows...

All my life, I've felt called to be a wife and a mom (and the best one that I could possibly be).  Have I arrived?  Yes and No.  There is always room for growth and improvement... and I'm workin' on that.

* * * *

So, there you have my answers!  It only took me all morning to do it -  of course, around the usual home life activities and the onset of a major migraine.  ((sigh))  But, I wanted to do this...

Amanda, thank you for bringing this questionnaire my way, it made me really think.    I will say that I don't intend to "tag" anyone else with it, so you can all breathe a sigh of relief.  I told you I'm the one who likes to break the chain... around here.  I don't know if that's good or bad. 

 But, it made me think about this....

If you (dear readers) have any other pertinent questions for me (this seems like it's becoming a popular trend in blogging right now and not that I want to follow the in-crowd) but if you have any specific questions for me... I would like to extend the invitation... I would love to take on another Q & A post.  I'll just let the questions come on in and then when I get a good handful - I'll just take the time to answer them (the best I can) in an upcoming blog post, and so on. 

 What do you think?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Brokenness| Review of Chapter Two

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It was really neat to be gathered with the ladies again - for this past week's (last Monday) Ladies Discipleship Group.  If you recall... in last week's introduction and review of Chapter One, I was admitting to my many, many reasons for not wanting to attend.  I really believe the Lord has led me to be with this group of ladies and to dwell on the subject of Brokenness. And for that I am grateful.

I just want to add at the outset "a disclaimer" of sorts.

This series of postings on the subject of Brokenness is in no way to add my view or ideas, nor is it to "reteach" the class. It's just a way for myself to be accountable to myself and to journal the path of Brokenness the Lord may or is leading me on.
I share it with you, so you can be praying for me and with me. This isn't an easy walk and I'm sure it's only going to get more intense, as we go along.

* * * *

So, what is Brokenness?

I didn't really share my answer that day -although others were chiming in with their thoughts and there were several ideas mentioned, in the (2nd) chapter, as to what true brokenness looks like.
Here is what I thought of:  To me, true brokenness is like coming to the end of yourself.  Remember my Reckless Abandonment post? 

We talked a lot about "practicing His presence" and desiring to spend time with Him.  Because, true brokenness has both a vertical and a horizontal dimension to it.  If we're with Him (in the vertical sense of the word) - coming to Him with true humility of heart - than all of our relationships (what is horizontal) will also be full of humility - reflecting Jesus as the light of our life. 
Quoting from the book: One writer has likened our lives to a house with a roof and walls.  For our hearts to be revived, the roof must come off (brokenness toward God) and the walls must come down (brokenness toward man).


Even though it often feels like this...we are not each other's enemy.  The Lord will often use others in their weaknesses to grow us up by bringing along the process of sanctification for us.  Generally it is a lot easier to see areas of pride or weakness in someone else before we realize it about our own self.

I really appreciated hearing this.  I needed this reminder.




: : Have you ever asked someone else if they've noticed an area of pride or weakness in your life?  Did you welcome their perspective - walls down - and - with roof off - take that to the Lord to further evaluate?

Was it about humiliation or true humility?  I think there is a difference...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday's Finds: {no. 37/10}

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{Welcome to Friday's Finds! For those of you who are new to this blog and/or just poppin' in - Hello! and welcome. On Friday's I like to try and feature "a find" of no particular value or sentiment, no reason or rhyme and yet, exactly for all of those reasons I just mentioned.}

I'm so glad I found these...







 
before the heavy frost did. 
 
My flower beds are pretty much on their way out the back door, by now.  (The only thing that really looks okay anymore is the parsley.)  In fact they're full of leaves and "dead" foliage from the recent frosts we have had around here.  Seasons change.... is what it is.

Earlier today,  I found this quote (or saying) that I could really identify with - not sure who wrote it - but it says this.

Forgive yourself for all the things you forgot to do or neglected last summer. 
There is still plenty of time to plant spring bulbs, take inventory,
and dream about your garden the way you do about your quilts.
(I do dream about them ole quilts - I'm rather inspired after attending a quilt show last weekend.  I'll have to tell you about it.)
The best thing about gardening is that a new year is coming.



I'll leave you with this thought...

To everything there is a season and time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
  Have a wonderful weekend....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall Inspiration

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Leaves fall all day long

Quietly singing their quiet song

and every day from dusk to dawn

They fall onto every lawn.

~Hannah Shaw, age 9

~*~*~*~*~

Sometimes we opt to pick them up and gather them in.... rust, yellow, orange, crimson, burgandy and even green. Don't stop with just these.... and, hurry.... before they blow away.



Just trying to inspire you today...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On the side lines...

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These never made it to the shop.


~Homespun Baby! Shoes~
(Sold to Gessi & Emely A.)

*****





~Wintering Willows~
(Sold to Rachel G.)
****


Just to show you a little more of the happenings on the side lines, taking place around here.   ;)   I'm continuing to fill orders as they come in...plus I'm trying to keep up with my own "orders/expectations".


Just got another call earlier this afternoon...

"I Crown Thee, Queen O-fence!"

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Are you the queen of taking offense?  Come on... fess up... there can be  is more then one queen in this court.  I'll let you... I do know how to share.  Lol!



Ironically.  This was my "mood" of the evening. I shouldn't be laughing on this picture.  Here I was.  All evening long,  I was the one "taking offense" (a.k.a. moody, grumpy, and simply just not nice to be around.).  I knew it.   When Caleb crowned me with this toy fence, as I was sitting there "trying to have fun with my little ones".  As soon as this thing encircled my head... I knew... this was exactly the conviction I needed for that moment.

My dry sense of humor took over - as I mentally made a note of it.  This was good. I did manage to forge a smile and obviously we re-staged this moment...just to get these photos. However,  I'm sure I'll be reminded of this crowning moment whenever I see this toy fence lying around the house...



I'm not so sure I like this said title, for myself.  But, do you know how much this is true of me?  (Scott- my darling husband-, please don't answer that.)
I'm sure you don't and I am afraid, albeit to say, that this crown fits me very well.  Color scheme and all.




Offense reared it's ugly head, once more, just the other day while at MOPS. No details needed...and you know that.   I share this..only... because even though I'm sure I (unintentionally) offended someone - I let their "act of offense" become my own "offense".  I essentially left MOPS in tears...

threatening myself to not ever return.


Yet.  I knew that I needed to buck up and watch out for my own response.  Not letting my wanna - be reaction(s) take over.

My response makes or breaks a situation.

Dealing with these sorts of things are really, really tough.  I honestly don't ever want to offend someone - yet I do it all of the time.  I also take offense against others all of the time.  It doesn't matter who it is.  My husband, my children, my extended family, my friends, my neighbors, even against those I don't know.

Four miles later, lunch at home, re-grouping me and the kiddo's...it gave me plenty of time to think... I sat down and paused to pray.

Queens live in towers... or castles... and I thought of the verse.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe. ~ Proverbs 18:10

It's in your name, Lord Jesus, I pray.  Can we turn this around?   I read in your word (Psalm 103) that you forgive.  You forgive all of my sins, you heal all of my diseases (pardon my iniquities), you redeem my life from the pit... you crown me with love and compassion (loving kindness and tender mercies as it refers to it in the KJV)... that sounds like grace -extended- to me.  Help me... to do that in those moments when I feel the weight of that offense crowning my head.  I would rather know that "blessings crown the head of the righteous" (Prov. 10:6) and have that be known (be said) of me... than to be the opposite of this. 

I bow low at your feet, Lord.  And  I ask for your grace and mercy to be granted...

May this new crown, this crown of beauty (Isaiah 61:3) be a crown of splendor (Isaiah 62:3) in your hand, and on my head, oh Lord.  I receive it with a grateful heart.
~Amen.

: : Does this mean I will never be Queen O-fence again?  Probably not...

But, I'm desiring growth and change and that's why I shared this with you today.  I need prayer.  You need prayer, because you're most likely a queen right here along with me. 

And, this court is full of queen's.  Is it not?


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

He Cares

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It's been one of those days - literally - and today is not much different.   What do you do when the outside appears to remain ugly but on the inside, there burns a desire... deep inside... to grow more brighter with the love of Jesus and yet...

It's hardly noticed.  Does it matter?

I was made to think of this old hymn, penned by the hand of Frank E. Graeff.  Does Jesus care?

Oh, yes, he cares, I know he cares... his heart is touched with my grief;  When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares.   He cares.

I don't mean to sound so depressing... I'm just...

Just pondering, today... and I'm quite comforted by this thought that he cares

Amen??
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