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

Friday, April 29, 2016

Extending Forgiveness

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Not long ago - I had a dear friend say some pretty hard and intense words that really hurt me.  Though not truly directed right at me, nor intended for me - they came - because of me and I so badly wanted to own them and harbor her angst, making it mine.  Allowing that to drive a wedge.

Does anyone relate to this?

I don't see this friend as regularly as I'd like to!  And honestly, I was glad there for awhile that I didn't have to face her, too soon.  Because, it would have been - too soon.


Honestly.  I had to really process my response.  I had to decide to forgive this dear, dear friend. 

She's right - in her mind.  She is completely right... and there is absolutely no changing her.

This could go round and round.  
My wanting so badly to have her see and hear just how very wrong she is...
Because she is.
See why I say this could go round and round??

However.  Here is where humility, grace, love and kindness go a long, long way.  
And, it's hard!!

I love this dear friend to death. 

When I did see her recently... I was a wreck (down deep).  Oh!!  We had a pleasant enough time and visit - but it truly revealed (in my heart of hearts) just how much I have yet to forgive... 

Truth is.  I'm not perfect.  And, I have been forgiven much.  That said,  I must extend forgiveness as an ongoing and outgoing - from my soul...to others whether they ask for it or not.

 My prayer is that I will simply show my friend all these things (of love, humility, grace and kindness) that will one day soften her heart completely...
And, if it's mine that needs to be softened, just as much, then let it be.  
I pray for the both of us in this regard.

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” ― Corrie ten Boom

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Garden of your Heart and Mind

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Surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time to push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one.  Two things cannot be in one place.  Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.
~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Ever notice, two different people walking through very similar if not the exact same scenario will view this situation completely and utterly different - due to their perspective.

I like how the author this of book, Nourished, writes...
The blessing of a well-stored mind is that regular soul nourishment can give you wisdom and strength to hold you through difficult times.  When you savor your blessings and give thanks for them during happier, easier times, you've created a mental garden of gratitude and good memories that may hold you steady during times of drought, when it can be hard to think at all.

Gratitude grows our garden-hearts and garden-minds and fills them with good things.

What is our perspective?  How does our garden grow?

Something to think about as we're about to enter a new season of our lives!

Thank you for reading here, today!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Time and Encouragement

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Every time we encourage someone, we give them a transfusion of courage. 
~ Charles Swindoll

Wow!  I want that to always be true.  For me.  From me.

Encouragement matters.  And, sometimes, somedays, way more than we'll ever know.

A fun computer selfie!

As young as eighteen months to two years of age... I see this played out, month after month.
For context, my husband and I serve in Children's Ministry at our church - one time a month - in the young Nursery Class.  This is for those Littles who are able to sit up by themselves, until they reach their 2nd, almost 3rd, birthday.
And - it's been so fun to observe these kids - from month to month.  Watching them mature into being "left behind" in an unfamiliar room, yet with lots of friendly faces, toys, books, and other "little friends"...

Some are very brave and never serve an issue, right out of the chute. Others start out that way, in class (all brave and wonderful) but over time - they change and become more suspicious... meaning -
"Wait, where's Mom? And, Why isn't she here, etc" and we'll need to work with them.  Calming and "encouraging" them to hang in there; be brave...and to wait patiently.

Others can't do it but for 5 minutes and we have to call the parents back...almost immediately.

All of that to say is every time we encourage someone - we give them a transfusion of courage.  This is true.  Again, it's neat to see these little ones grow up and mature.  Month after month... it's exciting to see changes happening.

Surprisingly! Most times of the kiddo's who need encouragement to stay - is because it's Mom (or Dad!)- who is the one who needs the courage to let go!  :)

That in time... this need for bravery, for encouragement, happens and must happen.  And, it does!!

It's amazing how both of these things; time and encouragement, go hand in hand.
It matters!!

(This is just my honest, humble, observation...nothing more.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

20 years ago today - our lives forever changed!

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I'm missing you today - Dad!!  It's hardly possible that 20 years ago, today, our lives have been forever changed.

Our loss - your gain!!  Heaven's gain - actually!!

I'm praying, today, that memories - the good and wonderful (and there are many)- will fill in and around all the places and spaces that are broken still, and hurting.

And am so grateful to God that He is The Healer of broken hearts.  He has been faithful.  He has sustained.  He has comforted.  And - because we know that that is true - we can use what we know and have experienced to minister to each other (as a family) and as well to others who may be walking a similar path.

Above all - the longing for Heaven is only stronger still - in my heart.... and may that NEVER, ever change!

My Dad really enjoyed this scrapbook of poetry (Heart Throbs, copyright - 1905) and I think one of his favorite poems was this one:

If You Have A Friend Worth Loving

If you have a friend worth loving, 
Love him.  Yes, and let him know
That you love him, ere life's evening
Tinge his brow with sunset glow.
Why should good word ne'er be said
Of a friend - till he is dead?

If you hear a song that thrills you,
Sung by any child of song,
Praise it.  Do not let the singer
Wait deserved praises long.
Why should one who thrills your heart 
Lack the joy you may impart?

If you hear a prayer that moves you
By its humble, pleading tone,
Join it.  Do not let the seeker
Bow before its God alone.
Why should not your brother share
The strength of "two or three" in prayer?

If you the hot tears falling
From a brother's weeping eyes
Share them.  And by kindly sharing 
Own our kinship in the skies.
Why should anyone be glad
When a brother's heart is sad?

If a silvery laugh goes rippling
Through the sunshine on his face,
Share it.  `Tis the wise man's saying --
For both grief and joy a place.
There's health and goodness in the mirth
In which an honest laugh has birth.

If your work in made more easy
By a friendly, helping hand,
Say so.  Speak out brave and truly
Ere the darkness veil the land.
Should a brother workman dear
Falter for a word of cheer?

Scatter thus your seeds of kindness
All enriching as you go --
Leave them.  Trust the Harvest-Giver;
He will make each seed to grow.
So, until the happy end,
Your life shall never lack a friend. 
~ Anonymous

Isn't this a beautiful poem?  
I'm just glad to have had a chance to share this moment with you today!

Monday, April 11, 2016

When a break was meant to be...

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Crash.  Bang.

I wonder what I just heard fall and then I hear my hubby calling from the other room... "sorry babe, I just knocked your favorite magnet off the fridge and it broke." 

It was a gift from my Grammy.  I've had it forever.  And it wasn't until this moment that the truth of this magnet's message broke in and settled me.

I thought about the irony of the moment.  The words on the magnet couldn't be more true, for me.  And, in particular, for this morning, the day was unraveling pretty quickly.  I wasn't upset that my hubby broke my magnet - rather it just seemed to paint a picture in my mind of the imperfection that each day holds.  

There are bound to be lots of broken pieces in one single day.  When I read through that verse quickly, my eyes so often skim over the word seldom. I guess it is my tendency to believe that prayer, or even our relationship with God is meant to be "untouchable"...perfect!... and when it isn't, then I can simply be "a mess". 

Unraveling is inevitable.  When we pray, though, God listens and hems us into the gracious hand of care, comfort and He sustains us.  No matter the day.

God doesn't promise...perfect.  In fact, He promises He will hold the day in all its imperfections.  He holds us in our brokenness.  In fact, the more broken we are, the more beautiful we are and all the more perfect.  And, that is perfect enough.  He would rather us be broken and in His Hands... rather than sittin' all pretty, stuck up (on our fridge) and acting all high and mighty -in one perfect piece.

Sometimes - breaks are meant to be... amen?

I have yet to glue this magnet back together.  I need to buy me some glue.  But, when I do glue it... I'm going to glue it just "off" a bit.  As a reminder that I need Jesus every hour of every day.  I need to pray more often throughout my day.  And yes,while there may still be some unravelling going on, one thing is sure.  I'll be in HIS HAND all day long.  Right where I'm meant to be.

Because every day, I am.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Skillet Cabbage

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I know.  I haven't shared a recipe with ya'll in a really long time.  So - here's one for you, that you've got to try.

::Skillet Cabbage::
1 Tbsp. olive oil - pour into skillet

3 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 small green pepper, chopped (opt.)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
dash black pepper
1/2 cup chipped ham, bacon or crumbled sausage (opt.)

Variation:  For flavor change, add 2 tsp. soy sauce.

Add these ingredients to the oil preheating in the skillet.  Cover and cook 7-10 minutes until desired tenderness, stirring occasionally.  May add 2 T. water, if needed.  Serve immediately.

I was to a friend's house - for lunch, one day - and she shared this dish, but made as the title of this post suggests, with cabbage.  Purple Cabbage, I might add.  :)
Yumm.  This dish was so tasty and so pretty.

Delightful, to say the least.  Of course, I begged her for the recipe.
As it turns out - when she pulled the book out, to copy over the recipe, I realized we share the same cookbook.  Here, I've had it all along...tucked on my shelf of many cookbooks!

We had to laugh!

Enter - time to make the dish for my family.

I knew I had zero cabbage in the house, this particular dinner hour.  However, I had a head of cauliflower pining to be used.

Could I dare - do a switch around?
You bet I could. (smile)

I sliced it really, really fine... lightly chopping... through the flowerets of the cauliflower.
I also used thicker chunks of bacon and smoked ham pieces to begin the sauteing process.
I pretty much followed the recipe from here on out, including the soy sauce.
However, I did not add the green pepper.

To serve.  I made a side of couscous. But rice would work just as well.

 We layered these two on our plates to enjoy.
Couscous + "Cabbage" (Cauliflower) = Contented Kids!

We ALL enjoyed!!

Every single plate emptied and yeah... they "licked their platters" clean.  ;)

Monday, April 4, 2016

See! The winter is past...

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Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.  
See, I am doing a new thing!  Do you not perceive it?  ~ Isaiah 43:18

I love this verse, from Isaiah.  It's been applicable to so many seasons of my life.  So many life challenges and changes.  It's filled with hope!!  That there is something NEW to experience. Something God is doing and that He is all about.  I appreciate the reminder that the past shall be left alone.  Forget about it!

I learned something the other day.  Something I had no idea of and now I will continue to think about every time I see a bush of forsythia...

As a side note:  It bothers me to see a fully manicured bush of forsythia. So controlled.  So stifled. Why? For sure, pruning and trimming are necessary in moments. Besides, they look beautiful - arranged into a bouquet.  However, the untrimmed branches, on the bush, take on a much more natural state. Fully reaching.  Anticipating... excited!

You do know that certain flowers have meanings behind them, right?  See this site for reference.


So - here is what I learned.  I learned that forsythia means: anticipation of an exciting thing!  Perfect, for decorating at a Baby Shower, this past weekend, wouldn't you say?  At the time... I had no idea what forsythia meant until during the event... who knew?


It couldn't have been more perfect!  And, we couldn't be more anticipative of this little bundle of blessing for my brother and sis-in-law.  Baby due in June...

How fitting to be able to enjoy these beautiful flowers - this time of year!

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.  Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.  The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. ~  Song of Solomon 2:11-13a

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