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

Monday, June 30, 2014

In what could be a Beautiful Mess. {a repost}

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Families are Messy.  Are they not?

Then again... most any, if not all relationships are (or, can get) messy.  Shew!  that is one mouthful, but I think you'll agree... they can also be some of life's greatest blessings.

I recently read somewhere if you want a perfect relationship - get a goldfish.  I find that somewhat humorous.  But true.  And yet, there are no goldfish here.  Period.

Relationships, within families, are such a pain.  Pardon me - as I liken it to a window pane.


Say you're looking out, your window, on the ones you love.  You can clearly see what they're doing, how they're living life, what they are NOT doing.  But because of fear of breaking the glass (you know -that fragile wall) between us we'll often pull the shade and pretend we don't notice.

Isn't this so sad?  And yet, it's truly said of all of us.  We've all done this very thing.  The question to ask is, this.  Are we willing to risk shattering their world (and ours) in order to "clean" the glass window of their souls?

Why is it the ones that you love the most, that makes it harder to "hurt"?  Not hurt to hurt, but hurt to heal.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful - Proverbs  27:6 (KJV)

Ultimately, God is their true Redeemer - but he does use us... as in Iron on Iron to sharpen:

  • Spouse to Spouse
  • Sibling to Sibling
  • Daughter or Son to Parent and vice versa
  • In-laws & "Out-laws"
  • friend to friend
  • co-worker to co-worker
  • as neighbors?


How does this work?  Scripture reminds us...

There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  ~ I John 4:18
Pray First.

Pray.

And, Pray some more.

An idea for why it might be so hard, is this:  "God's grace needs to be evident in our hearts and life first.  It's really hard to extend grace to someone else if we haven't received grace well - ourselves. "   (31 days of Grace)
Emily Freeman | Chatting at the Sky

Because.  Without {it} we have no business knocking out window panes...

Broken glass- just to have broken glass lying around is NOT a Beautiful Mess.  It's just plain - messy!

May Grace and Forgiveness - both lead and follow us, all our days!
***
Originally posted here as : Families are Messy

As well, I'm linking up again, today, with JES.

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Lost

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Enjoying the lovely quiet of this day!


Wait for it.
Wait for it.
Here comes another..
lovely quiet moment.

***
:go:
Bubbles.
We live in them sometimes.
They are filled with moments...loud and long.
Lively.
Full of friends.
Family.
Future.
We dream.
We hope.
We demand.
A hope.  Not lost.

Where does this bubble go?
Up, around, encircling.  Intertwining with wind and wave. Of emotions.  Of feelings.  Of nothing.
Why?  Such a sphere we wrap ourselves in.  It's so fragile.
What happens when before we know it.  We've bumped into something.  Someone.
And our bubble is burst.

Lost.
Into what?
Silence.
Unknown.
Never to be exact as it once was.

Maybe that is a good thing.
We ponder.
Those quiet moments that come daily and become such a part of us.
We wait for it, Wait for it.  Wait for it.
Here it comes...
Another.

Oops!  Now.
That one is lost too!

May our lives be filled with purpose.  Not lost to the shatter of this world.
:stop:

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday!  You can too...
Check out all the "guidelines" HERE.
Five Minute Friday

***

May you have a wonder-full weekend!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quotes to Ponder

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Wherever a man or a woman turns he can find someone
who needs him.  Even if it is a little thing, do
something for which there is no pay but the privilege of just doing it.
Remember, you don't live in the world on your own.
~ Albert Schweitzer

We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from it.
~ Sir William Osler

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. 
~ Prov. 3:27

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 
~ Galatians 6:2

***
Do you have a friend, today, who needs a listening ear?  
Perhaps a hand in the garden?
A wave hello!, a warm hug to cheer?
Whatever it is..be willing.
Be ready.
For both of you, it'll strengthen.
~ yours truly.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Reading {dilemma}

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Humor me!  Just for fun...let's take a poll.  Shall we?


This is my stack of books...waiting to be read.  My summer reading pile, if you will?  They've all been recently gifted to me - since Mother's Day or before. Two of them (belonging to a series of three...) I won in a recent giveaway, via Ink Dots (* a new favorite blog I like to read every now and again)!!

Here is the problem.  I don't have much time to just sit and read - a book.  I guess I could take "the time"... (a bit more intentionally), but usually life (which includes home-making, and sewing, and friends over and babysitting, etc.) is happening far too busily for me to do that. Plus, I have a hard time with being distracted.  However, I do like to read at night - right before falling asleep..



The only book I have cracked open so far, from this pile, is one that I have been enjoying/devouring.  It is the one on top entitled, My Praying Life - and that's because I'm in a group/book study with this one, right now.  However, we're taking three chapters per month to discuss...albeit to say, it could take awhile.  I could read ahead but then... I sorta want to.  It's that good!  Except.  What would the point of that be? Then I would be backtracking and trying to remember what I read when it comes time to discuss...

Here is the deal.  Here is the poll.  Here's the scenario.

Your list looks alot like mine. Maybe it's longer.  Maybe not.  The books on your pile; they ALL look good (too!)  and you can hardly wait to read each one.  You...

1.) close your eyes and pull one from the pile...

2.) whichever one is lying on top is the one you finish  first - systematically, you follow through from there on out...

3.) read a chapter from one, each night, until they're all read at once...  (the one I'm most tempted to feat)

4.) skim through, each one, to catch its rough draft (calling it "a read book")...

5.) or, subsequently, read the last chapter of each book and then decide.

6.) you take them either alphabetically by title or author or by how they've been gifted...

7.) which one has the least amount of pages - knocking out the smallest to the largest...

8.) the best cover wins!

I don't know.  Help me out!  How would you decide which book to read first?

By the way.  Actual books with their pages in hand are far more appealing to me then anything kindle-like. Then again, I wouldn't know..

Here, let's add that one to the poll...shall we?

9.) hardcover and/or paperback with real pages

10.) you like would rather use a kindle or other device...and why?

Thanks so much for "playing along"... I can't wait to read your takes on this poll.  Maybe you have another solution to this dilemma..?

***
You know, what has been really fun?  Is, watching my 7 year old just pick up a book, from around the house and find a corner and read.  Not perfect.  But he's reading...

He's reading!!  and he's already told me that he's missing school! :)  But, one thing I will tell you (and I'm proud about this!) is that he finished up a through-the-mail 6-week course of Bible Lessons with CEF - Truth Chasers Club.  And he's earned his very own Bible.  It came in the mail yesterday.  You should have heard him squeal with delight at having his very own Bible come to him.  It's a beautiful ESV, thinline style, with his name engraved, in gold,  on the front.  He is so super excited.

I am too!  I hope and pray he'll always be Truth- Chaser.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hear! to be heard. {the art of listening}

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One morning, my girls wanted to go outside - and find something to do, to play.  I can't remember why I didn't think it was such a great idea, at the time (I'm sure I had my reasons)... and so I asked to them to "wait awhile", inside.  One of them was even still in her jammies..

The thing is.  I must have been indisposed, at the time; perhaps upstairs... and upon my return... I didn't hear them, or see them anywhere in the house.  Immediately, I figured they had disobeyed and went outdoors anyway.  As I went to the front door, to call for them; find out where they were and "accuse them" of not listening.  I found them here, crouching down in what I found out later, was now their "house". :)  They didn't actually go outside but close enough.  I crept off to go find my camera... they didn't know I had found them.

This was a picture!


I had a choice, as a mom!  To either relish in their imagination; listen to their reasoning; smile and take a photo or two, or I could scold them for pushing the boundaries... and seeing how far they could actually get outside. I came this close to scolding.  But stopped.  I wanted the memories instead.  (In fact, I don't think I even showed the girls these photos!)  I wanted to hear what they had to say...

You know.  Honestly, I'm not always this gracious.  The other day, while driving around the thought came to me... that I have this expectation. Without too much thought I quite often assume my children should be robots.  Do as I say, when I say, how I say it and while you're at it - go ahead and do the next thing awhile (as you're expected) because haven't I already told you this once before, a.k.a. programmed you to do as I say, when I say, how I say, etc.?

Truth be told.  I realized.  I have children.  Not robots.

Now.  That isn't to say that there are no boundaries to be had and be put in place... and while yes, there are family rules and expectations... there is also a requirement, on my part as a parent to follow through on those times when not obeyed or fulfilled.  It's hard work and takes commitment, on my part.  If they'd only listen - the first time, every. single. time.  life would be so much easier.  Amen?

Sometimes we just need to give grace!  Enter in to their moments...

Here is another example.

Just last evening.  We were sitting up on my kids bedroom floor, reading a few stories and a verse or two from the Bible. Trying to unwind from the day.  In minutes, my youngest had toys strewn back all over the floor.  She had a little purse draped over her forearm and she was hanging out around the girls dollhouse. By now, we had pretty much finished up reading and I mentioned it to Jayne that she needed to clean this "mess" back up before we turn the light out and go to sleep.   She looked at me in all seriousness, and in her little two year old voice..."but, I'm just playing."  (Oh, my!  The look she gave me...)

It was late, by now.  The kids were so tired.  We have a crazy week ahead.  They need to be asleep already....
I caught myself. Here we go again.  I asked her what she was playing...?  "I'm going shopping", she replied as she began picking toys back up and putting them into her little purse, that swung off her arm.  I snickered...

It's moments like these where I'll find myself...with an agenda.  I'm tired, too!  I want/need to get them settled quickly so that I can get on to the next thing. (I have cookies to bake yet, tonight before camp in the morning!)  I can find myself getting short and irritated.  My robots are malfunctioning... oops!, I mean, my children - they're human too!  They are growing and becoming and maturing.  Their learning...they're absorbing.  They're impressionable.

Bottom line.  The art of listening... is still something I need to improve upon.  I recently came across this little quote that reads:  Children are like wet cement; whatever falls on them makes an impression. 

OUCH!!

I'm taking this one and running with it.  Newsflash:  {because} I'm sure I'm the ONLY  ONE who doesn't have this figured out as of yet (ahem! gasp!)...

Because if I want my children to listen to me (the first time!); then I have got to allow time and room for them to tell me their stories and share in their imaginative play, etc. Respect can never demanded.  It can only be earned.

Hear! to be heard.  This might have to become my new mantra.

A listening ear would leave for sure, one fine impression.  What do you think?

***
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

I've recently discovered this treasure of a blog...called Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth. 
In fact, JES is my newest follower, here, I believe.  She invited me to come by, sometime, and share my thoughts.  So, I thought I would let you know I'm thinking about doing this link- up from time to time.

Today, was a first for me!!






Friday, June 20, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Release

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Following along with Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday.  It where we are setting the timer for 5 minutes...no holding back.  No over thinking or stressing about grammar.  Just pouring out the heart...and being real!  I really appreciate Lisa's own words today...under this prompt.  Wow!

Five Minute Friday

:: Go ::
They say that love isn't love until you give it away.  I think about that.
How can something be given in the first place if there isn't a willingness to be open.

A hand will hold a lot of things.
a dandelion puff
a butterfly
a bird
a balloon

All those things can be held but with an open hand will quickly be released.  Their own will or the one holding?

Love is like this.
It can't be given unless there is a willingness to let it go.

Something deeper and from within is really the source of that will.  I'd like to think (because I know) that there is a Someone.
A someone who has willingly, open handedly released his love towards me in order that I might do likewise.

This is quite a moment...I will, I get to do this.  I don't have to.  Because left to my own.  I won't.


He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  ~ Romans 8:32 

:: stop ::

****

I'm thankful for each one you, my readers and friends.  Thank you for coming by each and every time and be willing to give back - an encouragement, a comment, an email; just something to say you care.

May your weekend be a blessing to you and others with whom you cross paths...

God bless!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

This is only two of them... {winner reveal}

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The rest... 50,000 of them.... are either in my house or upon my wash line...going to and fro from tree to house, or house to tree.  Whichever.

I've killed off a ton, already.
Sprayed.
Squashed. Squished. Squooshed.  
Whichever.
Placed ant traps. 

 The traps, they've been there because I have the tiny ones as well.

Yes!
This is not good.  
I'm gettin' a little buggy over this, to say the least.
***
In the meantime, the winner of the Giveaway is:


Congratulations!
Amanda has been notified, via email.  

Thank you, all, for reading and being such an encouraging part of 
Treasured Up and Pondered.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What my Grandmother used to say...

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Good, better, best.
Never let it rest.
Until the good is better
and your better, best!  
~ unknown
 


***

Somedays, we keep trying.  It's all we can do!

It was another one of those days round here... you know, of the warm kind!  And while I don't feel like doing much of anything (I figure it's a Lyme relapse... whatever!), I have had the blest privilege to carry on a few conversations with friends who have never heard this saying before.  For whatever it was that we were talking about...this quote seemed quite fitting to share and it led into yet another discussion...or two.

So, I ask you.

Have you ever heard this one before?

It's catchy, isn't it.

Good, better, best.  Never let it rest.  Until the good is better and your better, best!  ~ unknown

By the way.  I miss my grammy!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mugs & Muffins :: Guest Post on Hospitality by Heather Hoover and a Lilla Rose Giveaway {now CLOSED}

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   Welcome, welcome, welcome!!


It's good to be back here - bright and early, this Monday morning with another Mugs & Muffins Guest Post and Giveaway... oh, and a yummy muffin recipe, as well!  If this is your first time of coming by here, checking out this Mugs & Muffins thing...then to you, I am especially delighted that you've come.  
Make yourself at home!!  Please...
I can't wait to share this one with you!  My RL (in real-life) friend - Heather Hoover will be sharing with us today.  Sharing, with us, a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.  Heather does not have her own blog but perhaps after today - we can convince her she should write and keep a blog. :) Needless to say, after reading her words you might conclude that this gal might not be able to sit still... long enough... to write. Lol!  I have the privilege of knowing Heather in real life and this gal is a riot.  
Love, love, love her!!

Let's get right to this.  Pull up a chair and gather close.  We're here, together, to be encouraged.  And, I trust you are.  If you haven't grabbed your cup of coffee, do so now.  And we'll pass around the tray of muffins... :)  Don't you wish?   My daughters are eager to help...


They look scrumptious... and that's because they are!
The recipe, for Heather's Pumpkin Muffins, will follow at the end of the post, today!

Here is our guest, now...
:: Hospitality, at home and away! ~ Heather Hoover

I’m going to spend some time today talking about something Bevy’s talked a lot about!  Hospitality!  I know Bev has covered it and promotes it, but I'm going to have a different approach to it! If you have ever gotten overwhelmed at the thought of having someone over for coffee and muffins, you’ll love this post.  I mean we can't all be Bevy! (Bev: Hey! HEY!!)

I went thru a phase in my life where I had people over almost every Sunday after Church.  And guess what? I didn't even know who!  I just got lots of food ready and we invited whoever we felt like that day.  I loved it and my kids loved it.  I’m not sure my husband loved it.  In fact, I know he didn't love it!  Now, however, my life has changed a lot and now I guard that Sunday lunch with just my family!  I really don't want to have anyone else over.  (Except you!  If you would show up at my church I know I would have you home!  Even my husband says every now and then “Hey, so and so is here, you better invite them over!”)

I’m in the stage of life where I’m running!  We have piano lessons every weds night, baseball 2-3 nights a week, swim team 3-5 times a week, kids club once a month, 4H meetings and responsibilities, chorus concerts, open houses, birthday parties, and you know how endless the list is!  My husband and I try to keep a tight rein on the schedule.
By the way.  This is NOT Heather's calendar...it's just a Stock Photo!

But even with doing the minimum, it still gets very busy!  I love having that Sunday lunch time for just us. And even better, my husband’s home.  He rarely eats supper with us during the week, so it’s great for all of us to come together! Even the neighborhood kids know we are eating lunch together and won’t play.  Of course, they still call just to make sure!
So where in the world can I be hospitable to people?  I really don’t have any more time to have people over and I really feel like I do need to guard my family’s  time. 

Well, I've come up with a few solutions.  Most importantly, hospitality is, I believe, a state of mind.  Being hospitable means being welcoming. We can welcome people wherever we are, not just in our own homes!

Here are a few examples:

When I’m at swim team practice, it’s so nice to sit with my “old” friends and chat!  We have a lot to catch up on after all!  It’s about 4 of us moms love to talk!  But I try very hard to not sit with them every night!

I sat one night with a Mom who is raising her children in the Jewish faith.  We spent the evening talking about how important we both feel family is and how to balance the time with children’s activities.  She struggles because for her, the Friday night Shabbat is very important similar to our Sunday lunch.  However, there are many practices and games and other events that fall on Friday nights.  So she struggles with how many to do and how many to skip. I had such a great time talking with her.  It reminded me that other people are struggling with the pull of the world’s activities and their family’s needs.  It wasn’t easy for me to go and sit on a different bench away from my friends who were having a great time chatting and laughing. But what a rich time I had, sharing mutual struggles with my new friend.

Sometimes we take our supper to the games or practices.  If you bring extra you can share.  Muffins! Pumpkin Muffins.  They're easy to make, they make a lot and it's one recipe that everyone loves.  So, an idea might be:  you can pass out muffins to all those other little kids your younger kids might be playing with! Who wouldn't like to be known as a Mom who brings muffins to games? (the recipe will be at the end of the post!)

One evening at swim practice, my usual cohorts weren't there!  What to do?  I hadn't brought a book, and my phone doesn’t always get internet in the pool area. So I couldn’t just hide in my smart phone.  I was going to have to talk to a person.  In fact, I was going to talk to someone I didn’t know! I started talking to the mom next to me.  She is from India and I will admit, it wasn't the easiest conversation I have ever had!

But we kept talking and understanding, one another better. We spent the evening chatting about supper times! Traditionally in India, supper is served late like 9 pm.  I asked her if she did that here in America.  (She does not.) We commiserated on how hard it is to feed children easy nutritious meals, especially when practice times are the traditional meal times. Then we realized our daughters were in the same grade and therefore both in orchestra practice together.  When she told me her husband was traveling for business and she couldn't figure out how to do all the transportation, I was happy to help.  I picked up her daughter from orchestra, fed her lunch and took her to the swim meet. My daughter got to know her daughter better, which was helpful during orchestra practices. Another friend and ally in this crazy world!

One evening after baseball practice I asked several other families who I really didn't know all that well if they would like to go to the Dairy Queen after the game! I believe most people are looking for an excuse to go out for ice cream. And/or just to get together with other families!  

That was a great night in getting to know other parents and other kids on the team.  I love the sense of community that comes from being on a team.  I have learned to know so many other people in my town, and I love it!  The more people I know out in the community, the safer I feel having my children being involved in sports.  I feel now like there are always other parents around I trust, in case it’s a night where I have to drop my kid off and go.  Isn't that a great feeling?  That comes from people building a community.  If you attend Church, you probably feel comfortable dropping your child off in Sunday School.  Right?  Well, part of the reason is, is you probably know the teacher.  That’s how I feel at sport events.  But it wasn't always like this. 
It’s from getting out of my comfort zone and talking to other parents.  Especially the parents I don't know!

One other way I've been able to show hospitality is thru my business.  I am actually a consultant for a direct sales company...Lilla Rose.  Because I have inventory in stock, I often have people stopping by to come and buy things.

Now, I don't necessarily brew some coffee and make them a great recipe from Bevy’s blog, but I do sit down and we talk.  Sometimes it’s a business transaction only.  But ofttimes we talk about life and kids and husbands and working.  And maybe even a prayer thrown in there.  I would have never thought having a small business in my home would have me practicing hospitality, but it happened.  The nice part of that is I don't feel like I have to prepare foods or even clean my house.  And it doesn't inconvenience my husband!  He’s not even home when they come over!

I've really come to think of hospitality as a welcoming heart.  No matter where we are!  Maybe you can be welcoming to your neighbor kids.  I’m currently working on that one myself!  Bevy and I would love to hear how you have welcomed people wherever you are.

We are also having a giveaway.  I, Heather, will be giving away my very favorite Lilla Rose flexiclip.  It’s not even available anymore.  This is a purple flexiclip and has these great words on it; “Faith Hope Love”.   As you can see in the picture, it also has a removable charm that says “Mom”.  If you aren't a Mom, you can still wear this flexiclip. The picture shows it both ways.



If you are even wondering what a flexiclip is, you have to try them out!  It’s a fabulous hair solution!  And seeing is believing.  They look pretty unassuming but they work!  Isn't that what you want?  An accessory that actually works!

If you don't win the giveaway, no worries.  There are still plenty of great things available for you.  Like my favorite hairband! Stop by my website or, if you're local you may contact me to meet me somewhere!  I would love to help you get some happy hair! 

Thank you for letting me share with you, today! 
Sincerely,
Heather


Your entrance to the Giveaway!! 
Share with us... a time... when you were either a recipient of someone's hospitality "on-the-go"...or you took the time to go out of your way; blessing someone else.  This is solely meant for encouragement purposes.

How did it make you feel?  You came away with...

Each comment, either of your own or a reply to another's comment earns you one entry.  Let's dialogue... shall we?
As well.  You can LIKE Heather's Facebook Page - for another two entries.  Let me know you did so in your initial comment.  Thanks!

Have fun!!

** This GIVEAWAY will end on Wednesday - the 18th of June! at 10:00 pm, EST.  The winner will be notified and announced later in the week..
It is okay to enter for this giveaway - even if you don't have a blog of your own.  Please be sure to include your name and way of contacting you..
** THIS GIVEAWAY is NOW CLOSED.  Thanks for participating.

:: Recipe::

Pumpkin Muffins
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
15-16 oz can pumpkin
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ plain yogurt
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips  (I used the mini chips..)

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, and yogurt until smooth.  In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix until moistened.  Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Put one quarter cup of batter in a each muffin cup.  Bake at 350 for 17 minutes or until done. (A toothpick comes out clean).

Share and enjoy!

Thank you, so much, to each one of you for coming by, today! I hope you enjoyed...
Special thanks to my friend Heather for sharing, so vulnerably, her heart!  I know I've been challenged to get out of my comfort zone and be a bit more hospitable.  All around.  Not just in and from my home - but while out and about.

 How about you?

Thanks for reading, here today and have fun in and with the Giveaway!  See you next time!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Messenger

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:go:
She sat there like a lady.
She didn't say much.
Except for the whispered sweet nothings in my ear.
I kinda liked what I heard.
Nothing much.
Just the pretty.
Just the sweet.
Just the empty.

Along came another.
She felt like a lady, too - all sweet and all; unintentionally she was a "bug".
I didn't mind completely... until it all sank in.
Here was truth.
Her words riveted.
They were needed.
Hard to hear.

I don't know that I enjoyed this company the same.
But when I slowed to think...
I realized.

This MESSENGER was meant to come my way.

"faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." ~ prov. 27:6

:stop:

Joining up with....Lisa-Jo Baker!
Five Minute Friday

Where you set the timer for 5.  Don't over think or analyze...just write.  Raw, unedited and from the heart!
***
Ironically, I took this photo, of this ladybug, earlier in the day. My son - thought it was a picture of him and begged; wanting to see it.  I asked him - before showing it - if he was a lady?  "NO!, he said emphatically---
But, you are a bug, I retorted, with a smirk, immediately turning the camera so he could see the photo.

We got a good little laugh out of that one.   I love that he gets my quirky humor..

I hope you'll all come back on Monday for my next Mugs & Muffins?

I have a great guest wanting to share her heart on the subject of hospitality.
It's one of my most favorite of topics.

There will be a nice little Giveaway, as well.  See you then?

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

{read this carefully} Watch The Corners

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Watch The Corners

When you wake up in the morning of a chill and cheerless day,
And feel inclined to grumble, pout or frown,
Just glance into your mirror and you will quickly see
It's just because the corners of your mouth turn down.
Then take this simple rhyme,
Remember it in time:
It's always dreary weather, in countryside or town,
When you wake and find the corners of your mouth turned down.

If you wake up in the morning full of bright and happy thoughts
And begin to count your blessings in your cup,
Then glance into your mirror and you will quickly see
It's all because the corners of your mouth turn up.
Then take this simple rhyme,
Remember all the time:
There's joy a-plenty in this world to fill life's silver cup
If you'll only keep the corners of your mouth turned up. 
~ Lula Linton, in Youth's Companion, Feb. 6. 1902

***
Are you encouraged by this lovely reminder, today?  I am.
I needed this reminder...despite my blessings!

Thank you, for any and all birthday wishes - sent my way, yesterday!

I am very blessed.  I really, really am.  My husband took the day off of work - in order to watch our three children and in giving me the opportunity to take a friend, with me, to Lancaster, Co. - all day SHOPPING! - he also watched her four children... as part of the deal.  What a wonderful day - all around.

We came home to a take-out Pizza supper and the surprise of a home-baked Cherry Pie, awaiting...
brought over by another dear friend.  Yumm!

How much sweeter could a day be?

Jesus!
He truly is the joy-giver, and the blessing filler-upper.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Please be Praying...

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UPDATE:  Dear Prayer Team...  Thank you for your prayers. We arrived safely in Budapest and are back home. We praise God for your prayers. The kids were exhausted but already got some rest and are enjoying being back home. ~ J & A Alleman and family


What dear friends.  What an opportunity!
We're going to miss these guys.

 Thanks for coming back here today.

 I mentioned in yesterday's post that I had a prayer request of sorts... and this is what it is.  Please be praying for Jared and Abby Alleman and their three beautiful kids.


This dear family, (as I type) are in an airplane, right now, heading back to Hungary.  They should arrive sometime on the 10th!  Today!!  Although - I am not sure the time differences, etc.
They live there - as missionaries; learning/have learned the language *which is very hard* - working with Cru.
They had been back here, in the States, for about 6 weeks.  Visiting here with friends and family and supporters...and during that time, it was our family's awesome privilege to watch their little ones for several hours each week - just to give Jared and Abby time to do what they needed to do, PR -wise (public relations) and or errands, etc.

One afternoon - Abby stayed too! Hence the collage of photos up top.  It was so great to just sit, share lunch and coffee!!  OH, COFFEE! and just chat away; fully catching back up...she is such a sweet sister in the Lord. 

You may recall from my very first official Mugs & Muffins, two years ago or so, that I had asked my friend, Abby,  to write a guest post, on Motherhood...which she so wonderfully did.  This was just as they were getting ready to officially move to Budapest, Hungary.

This quotes resembles my friend in so many ways...

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same. ~ Unknown

I'm so glad I have this footprint, freshly impressed, in and on my heart!
And now that of each of her family as well...

Be sure to keep abreast of their mission outreach and be praying for them and their ministry as you are led.
You can follow along on Abby's Facebook page, as well.

They truly are doing the work of God... evangelizing and making every effort to share the good news of Jesus Christ!  They are humbly serving HIM and I continue to be encouraged as I read their praise upon praise upon praise - reports of the work that is going on in the hearts of so many people.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Daybook in June

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FOR TODAY - The second Monday in June

Outside my window... it's a little grey out there, this morning!  Calm and reflective.  I like these sorts of days, best!

I am thinking... it's a little quiet indoors, this morning, as well.  The girls are quietly playing...(no more school, for Aubrey!) and Caleb is in his last few days of school.  This is his last week...

I am thankful... really - for how well this school year went.  God has been faithful to bring good, Christian teachers into our kids lives - so far!  It's really encouraging...
I'm thankful for their influence and resolve to teach and teach well.

In the kitchen...we had some friends here for Sunday dinner yesterday.  My friend - left some pie/dessert for our family to enjoy.  So - oh yeah!  Coffee and shoo-fly pie for breakfast.  How can it get better than that?

I am wearing... a silky, rayon polka-dot skirt in navy blue, with a coordinating blue tee...

I am creating...working on a few Clothespin Bags; filling an order and hopefully have one to put in the etsy shop!

I am going...out to Lancaster Co.  (one of my favorite places to shop) with a girlfriend of mine tomorrow. Celebrating my 41st, requires a day of fun!  Don't you think?  Too bad, its going to have to include some grocery shopping - but I am required to feed my family.. :)
Oh, and I also have to head to the post office today - to mail out a few other gifts and the order of three baby shoes...

I am wondering...I guess it will pretty much rain all day.  I'll be using my dryer this morning... for sure!  No hanging laundry on the line today.

I am reading...still reading, A Praying Life - by Paul E. Miller  (This link specifically shares quotes from the book...)

I am hoping... the ants, in my kitchen; in my house, will soon disappear.  They are... slowly!  I know I do talk about this a lot.  Don't I?

I am looking forward to...spending some time with my friend, tomorrow.  I am also looking forward to what summer will bring.  Babysitting.  Sewing.  Kids off to Camp!!

I am learning...understanding more and more, the 'love languages of my children.  One is Words of Affirmation for sure - the other two?  Well, we're still working on it... the learning of it.  See?

Around the house... are piles!  A pile of school papers that needed sorting and organizing.  A pile of clean laundry to be put away.  A pile of toys that need sorting and stored properly.  A pile or two of bags/boxes heading off to the thrift store... I keep adding to this one.  It feels GREAT!!

I am pondering... the deep and the wide of friends; of relationships...

A favorite quote for today... Cherish the Plain and Ordinary of Today!  it's written in chalk on my kitchen's little blackboard and I pass by it everyday... it continues to remind me of it's importance.

One of my favorite things... my near three year old whispering in my ear.  Talk about "sweet nothings!" - because that is what is.  Too cute!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  in no specific order
Caleb's last day of School for the year.  A Chiropractor appointment.  A Caregroup "event" at the park for the kids, one evening...
Birthday/Lancaster Shopping trip!
My husband and son go camping, with Scouts...

A peek into my day...
a teacher gift - headed out the door, with my son, this morning!!

:: Little Ray of Sunshine ::
pocket pouch
donated gift
And here are the other two pair of Homespun Baby! shoes heading out to the P.O. later today.  (I think I showed you the third pair here.)
Homespun Baby! Shoes - boys
Reserved Order
Homespun Baby! Shoes - girls
Reserved Order

***
Welcome to...
Joining along with Peggy from The Simple Woman's Daybook...

Come back tomorrow as I share a Prayer Request, of sorts, with you!!
Thanks for reading  - here today.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Hands // Friday's Finds :: Busy Hands

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:Go:

Little hands. 
That fit in mine.

So small.
so soft.
So tender.

Willing.
Ready.
Eager.

Mine?

Big hands.
weathered
calloused.
Weary.
Tired.

Experienced.

Ready?
Willing? 
Eager?

Oh - I have so much to learn from these small hands.
I have much to teach, show, and aide with these here big hands, in return.

Where does the time go?  As we interlock hands.  It seems their hands fill mine more and more each day... they're not as little as they once were.  Will mine influence with good or "bad"?  It really does depend on matters of the heart what gets played out - handed out - handed over.  Hand -to -hand.

I grasp.
I cling.
I settle and rest... into the the very hands that hold mine

HIS HANDS...

Are all that matter.  They hold me, and my hands fit perfectly, learning from the Creator of these hands.

:Stop:

Joining up with Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday.
Setting the timer for 5...and just typing it all out.  Unedited.  Unplanned. No stress.  I'm liking these one-word prompts...
Feel free to join along...see all the details there!  It's quite the encouraging community!  I'm really likin' it.
Five Minute Friday

****
Welcome to Friday's Finds!  Where, today, we find a moment with busy hands..

Recently, I had been asking around if anyone would have an old, solid, tricycle, that they would be willing to let us buy or borrow, for a season, for Jayne to use this summer.  My Mom came to the rescue.  She had this one down in her basement for such times as this... when the grandkids would come over.  Well, currently - Jayne is the only "little one" and we often forget about it at Grandma's because there is always so much other fun stuff to do.

Grandma said we could have it for awhile.  Smile!!

Of course, this busy hand moment was a set up. Afterall, Old Tess is a vintage treasure. I've been wanting pictures...
But, it was a hot day, and the girls needed something to do and so they gave the bike a "carwash", per my suggestion. ;)  I had a couple of hands, on my hands, that needed some "busy work".  It didn't stop there. Soon EVERY BIKE - and scooter, we own and next the screen door and the porch all became part of the project... (Yes ~ I helped!!)

You should have seen our front yard...

Perfect way to spend a few moments outside cooling off... because you all know what eventually happened. Right?

***
Have yourself a wonderful weekend!

Give yourself and others a hand... :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Sermon in Shoes

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I've told you before, some of the best conversations I have with my children occur at or around bedtime.

It must have been a Sunday evening or sometime soon there after that this conversation/dialogue took place. I asked my kids if they remembered their Sunday school lesson... what they learned?  Who the story was about, etc.

Caleb remembered. He relayed,  "It was about the Apostle Paul, and that he had been put into prison.  And, while he was there - he wrote notes or letters."  I asked Caleb if he knew why - what the reason was - that Paul was in prison?

"Because, he was telling others about Jesus."  

You know?  Sometimes I wonder how much to really tell my kids.  How wise to share - heartbreaking stories, especially at my kids young ages.  So I proceeded with caution...
I kept this to myself, but I've been thinking - a lot about Meriam.  Praying for her. And so, I alluded to her while continuing to share with my kids... 

I went on to say...that in this world... NOT EVERYONE is happy about knowing who Jesus is.
They don't like HIM, and they don't want others to know about him either and so in order to try and stop the WORD from going out... they will try to stop it by putting people in prison.  Like the Apostle Paul. Sometimes, it's even worse.  Sometimes people will even be put to death... because there are people out there, again, who try their hardest to stop God's Word - the TRUTH - from being spread. 

(Meriam, in my opinion, by standing firm in her faith - with her little babies, at her side - sitting there in prison - awaiting "who knows what?" for sure....now, SHE is A SERMON IN SHOES.  To me, anyway!  Her life is speaking out, testifying...convicting...and encouraging!)

But, that didn't stop it, did it?  Paul, wrote letters to fellow Christians to encourage them and to continue to share the good news about Jesus... the Gospel! and it spread and continued to spread as others,and even more of others began to talk about Jesus and to share and to testify to the Good News of salvation... and here we are today!  We have God's WORD - because nothing or noone can stop the good news from going on.  Isn't that - good news! - in and of itself??

I asked my kids if they could think of a way that they, as kids, could spread the good news of Jesus?   IF Jesus is in your heart - then your a Christian.  I told them that they could be, what is known as, a sermon in shoes, whether at home, at school, at play...

It reminded me of an old Sunday School song called, A Sermon in Shoes and so we talked about that for awhile and what it might look like - at home, at school and out and around... and of course I sang the song to them.  They caught on quickly as it is a catchy little tune and now I hear them singing it - quite often.

 Maybe you know it by the lyrics...penned by Ruth Harms Calkin.

Do you know, oh Christian,
You're a sermon in shoes?
Do you know, oh Christian,
You're a sermon in shoes?
Jesus counts upon you
To spread the gospel news
So walk it and talk it,
(2. live it and give it, 3. teach it and preach it, 4. know it and show it)
A sermon in shoes.


I haven't been able to shake this conversation - with my kids - off of my mind.  The conviction that "this discussion" has brought to me about how shallow I (now) really see myself - having become - as a Christian.

Do I really see myself as A Sermon in Shoes?  NO.  Not always.  I forget..

I forget, so quickly, just how much I'm being watched and observed, etc.  I forget, how much I might be the only sermon anyone will ever hear...more likely see?  People pay attention... more than we know.  I also hope they see humility.  Humanity.  Frailty.  As in - I need Jesus, every. single. day. as much as anyone else.

How should I be A Sermon in Shoes?  Not preachy. For sure, that is not my goal.  I certainly am one NOT concerned with shovin' the gospel down someones throat either,  but truly, how might I intentionally live out my life that shows and shares Jesus?  I (currently) have the freedom to do that.  Without the risk and trial of persecution. Without the threat or happenstance of prison, etc.

How beautiful are the feet (shoes) of those who bring good news... (Romans 10:15, referencing Isaiah 52:7)

Something to ponder, today!


***

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rhubarb Cream Delight

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Back, Memorial Day - I decided to make this particular dessert... thinking, I had "never" made it before. I just knew I needed to give it a try.  I thought, to myself, that it sounded like a lovely, seasonally-appropriate and a tad on the patriotic side; enough to take to a picnic.  It was a huge hit!!  Even my son loved it!  To which, he requested another recipe be made of it for alongside his Chocolate Lego birthday cake. :)

I happily obliged.

And...then! I realized...
I had made it before and even posted the recipe here, on the blog, a couple of years ago!  
Oh!  Silly me!  However, it is so good.

So, I know you won't mind if I just go ahead and share it all over again, right here.  I won't even make you follow through on a link-to-it (unless you want to)....its right here for you.  Right now!!


Rhubarb Cream Delight
Crust:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter

Rhubarb Layer:
3 cups fresh rhubarb, cut in 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. flour

Cream Layer:
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs

Topping:
8 oz. dairy sour cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

For crust, mix flour sugar and butter; pat into 10" pie plate.  Set aside.  For rhubarb layer, combine rhubarb, sugar, and flour; toss lightly and pour into crust.  Bake at 375* for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare cream layer by beating together cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time, then pour over hot rhubarb layer.  Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes or until almost set.  Combine topping ingredients; spread over hot layers.  Chill.
Yield: 12-16 servings.

** Delicious combination of cheesecake and tart rhubarb.  If you're fond of both of these, then it's a wonderful, wonderful dessert-choice for you!

Of course, it goes down best with a cup of coffee and a friend by your side!

***

Too little to keep, too much to dump....
That's what makes the housewives plump.

You can smile, but I attest.  I might resemble this statement. :)
Enjoy your day!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

A collection of sorts...

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If I could have bottled this day up ... I would have.

And yesterday, too.
And, the day before that one!!

Absolutely spectacular!

 

****
Our landlord, Mr. A, was out and around on the farm, on Friday - and again today= doing a few chores and asked if Jayne would like a ride on the  "gator".  Absolutely!!  But, by the looks of this photos, she wasn't so sure.  It simply cracks me up.. because it's all she's talked about since.  :)


***
I've updated This Post with a pic of the Birthday Boy! and his cake...
You can check it out, if you'd like!  If you find a few minutes.  No worries.

 A lot of sewing has been going on behind the scenes, with Bags by Bevy.  Two, no three!, pocket pouches are headed out the door, this week, for Teacher Gifts!!  Here are pics of two of them...

:: Down-the-Shore ::
Pocket Pouch
donated teacher gift

:: Ripple Effect ::
Pocket Pouch
donated  teacher gift

It's hard to believe - school is almost over and summer fun fully begins.
Just a couple more days...

Homespun Baby! shoes, times three! are also set to head out the door, this week, to fulfill an order.
This is the first pair.  I have another boy as well as a girl pair to finish up...
:: Homespun Baby! Shoes ::
boy pair, 0-6 months
reserved order

Oh!  and there is talk, from my mom, of a Clothespin Bag or two or three to be made for a few bridal shower gifts...in the near future!! :)
***
We have been enjoying the sightings of some new bird families around the property.  I keep seeing glimpses of a this certain black bird with bright orange stripes on it's wings (no pics yet!)... I'm thinking that Red-wing Blackbird is its name.
The orange is what keeps catching my eye.  I'll often see it among the meadow grass, flitting in and out.

As well, these Barn Swallows...though they are very pretty birds they sure do have mean streak to them.  I've noticed.   Hard to get a good close-up of them...so you're going to have to deal with my photo-editing tweaks. ;)


And, our frog is back.  My old-neighbor, Amanda (miss her much, here!) and her kids may remember this fun fella.  We often hear him in the evening... down in the meadow-bog.  Although, my husband says he encountered him - the other night - in our basement.  (eeks!)  Scott had to go down there for whatever reason and there he sat.  I pulled out this photo from last summer - as he was originally first found in under the playground.  The kids found him there and wow! did he ever provide some late afternoon entertainment. :)  I think he was as scared nervous and as enthralled as the kids were of him.

***
What else?
Oh, in other news. It's coming up on a year of me contracting this Lyme Disease.  Though, it was caught very early on and I was on antibiotics right away... I'm still feeling the effects of that.  The warning has been given to me, of a relapse, and I can't deny it.  It's weird how I feel like I have it all over again (some days/moments are worse than others)... so you can be praying for me, as you think of it.  But... I must go on!


Well, this was a long post!!  I know.
But.  I hope you enjoyed my collection of random thoughts today...
Happy Monday!
We welcome the month of June.

Come back tomorrow for a recap of a new and favorite recipe of mine!
 Tis the season...
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