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

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

give us this day our daily bread

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Recently, I was gifted these books, by a dear friend.
The Life-Giving Table
by, Sally Clarkson

 As well, we were recently gifted this table and bench, by another friend.  We've been enjoying it... a lot!!   Here is a thought taken from the second chapter... by Sally's husband, Clay Clarkson, who authored a portion of the book.
"Creating a lifegiving table is an intentional act of
 gathering, blessing, eating, sharing and serving."


So, the book, Life-Giving Table...what about it?  Well, I have been enjoying thumbing through; slowly reading the first couple of chapters of this book and there is so, SO much to take in.  I said, I feel like I have to "sit and marinate" in it - to let it all soak in.

Its really asking me to think about the "gathering" that takes place around our table.  Sure.  It's the place where a lot of our life happens! Things get plopped. Crafts are crafted.  Its used for play time - of forts and "race tracks"; coloring and games.  Homework is done, there.  Laundry is folded.
Piled high and cleared off again - so that meals can be spread out upon.
Its true that while we gather there to consume our daily bread... that, that is also where training and teaching happens.  Correction.  Encouragement.  Singing.  Prayers are prayed.
Community and Fellowship flow.  Sometimes its raw and loud and not always pleasant.  Most times and more often than not -its amazing!!

I have always said... that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  But, here of late, since reading this book, I've been trying to bring this "idea" to my kiddos.  For them to recognize, that our dining room table... this is a place of ministry... it is the Heart of the Home.  Even more than the kitchen itself.

"For Jesus...the home is not what defines the table; the table 
is what defines the home." ~ Leonard Sweet, from Tablet to Table

Its not a perfect place.  There are scuffs and scars.  Its worn and scratched...
But...it's ours!!
Its function is truly central to our home!
Where daily we pray and ask God... "Give us this day our daily bread."

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Spirit of Loveliness

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It's bedtime.  More often than not, the only time of day - I get to pull out a book to read.  Too many times, the pile of books that I want to read is higher than my arm is long.  I typically never can stay awake long enough to read, let alone retain - anything - that I may have read, in the first place.  Sure, I want to.  It's just that either life is way busier than I think or other conversations take over and take place... but... that really is no excuse.  Personally.  I just don't like reading - not like I'd like to.  I was talking to a dear friend of mine - on Sunday - at church and we were talking about this very thing... and she said ALMOST the exact same thing is true for her... and ya'll... she's an author.  A homeschooling mama... she HAS to read... and yet, she struggles, too!!  I have never felt so supported as to hear my friend admit to this very thing - herself.
Don't get me wrong.  I love books!  I sure do.  In fact, I try to encourage my kiddos' to read, read, read. That books are their "friends".. they need to treat them well, etc.  Honestly, I really do like feeling the pages in between my fingers.  The way they smell,  the way they open, the clever illustrations.... even the font matters a lot!!! I would much, much rather hold a book in my hand than an electronic device - such as a kindle, etc.   And, yet... the "art" of reading; it's novelty, the time it takes itself to read the words and comprehend... is a real struggle.

Why do I share all of this?  And, why the photos of this book - that I share with you today?


Great question.  So, first off, this book was recommended to me by a cousin of mine, some time ago.  My cousin, Carmen, has truly become a dear, dear friend of mine - someone whom I respect quite highly and has become almost, more like a sister to me than some of own immediate sisters.  I clearly remember the day when Carmen truly encouraged me to open this book and take to heart the "teachings" of Emilie Barnes.  A dear saint of the Lord - who has recently gone home to be with her Saviour.  I would say (in my heart and mind) - Emilie has become a pillar post in the foundation of my "home-making"... and home keeping.  I have really admired the things she wrote and shared.  In fact, I have several of her books.  BUT... this one.  The Spirit of Loveliness... has carried me.  I'm forever indebted to my sweet cousin for her persistence that I get myself a copy of this book.

So.  I got to thinking.  There is no better way to get back to who I am than to dust off the cover of this "dear friend" and because it's format is like that of a coffee table book (its easy to read, in bite-sized chucks) ... I can slowly get back into reading (what I would say) has been and always will be one of my first loves.

For me.  The topic of home- keeping, hospitality, and growing in character (to be that godly influence as a wife and mom; a woman of Christ) ... is my deepest passion and desire.

***
In earlier years of blogging - I have alluded to this book before, although I'm not so sure that I actually referenced it.  There is a post about "glowing windows" whose idea came from this book, I'm pretty sure. You've got to go read that one!!!  I even linked it for you - so you can find it easy and go read...
It is simply another but continual prayer of mine.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Coffee and White Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

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This recipe deserves - I mean, DESERVES - some serious raves!!!
 My kids couldn't stop eating it, but... I had to make them stop!!  lol.

So, over on Facebook, this week, I've been part of a 7-day black and white photo challenge.  
And, loving it!!!  It's been fun to dust off the camera skills...and shoot some frames.
This photo though - didn't turn out to be a favorite - but let me tell you, as I have already said it.....  This is one yummy coffee cake!!

Here is the recipe, again!!

:: Coffee and White Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake ::
 1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. instant espresso
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour (I used reg. whole wheat!)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

STREUSEL
1/2 cup all -purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup quick oats
4 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375*.   In a medium bowl, mix the buttermilk, oil, sugar, espresso and vanilla together.  Stir in the flours, baking powder and salt.  Fold in the white chocolate chips.  Pour batter into an 8x8"  baking pan.
For the streusel: In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugars, oats and melted butter together.  Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the batter.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

***
I think it deserves a more delicious looking photo, don't you?   
So, here you go!!!  :)


I hope you get to make this and that you and yours enjoy it much as our family did - over here!!

Friday, November 3, 2017

house becoming home

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Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  
It turns what we have into enough and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast. a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  
~ Melody Beattie

***
These are all photos from the past (our old home) - but warm me every time I see them.  I hope you don't mind me sharing them again, as a repeat.
 Our house, now, here, is slowly become home.  It's true.
 It starts with gratitude...
I'm truly grateful.
This is what November calls to mind.  Gratitude.
Not settling.
But truly satisfied.
May my heart-house become at home!!!

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/melodybeat177949.html?src=t_home
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/melodybeat177949.html?src=t_home
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/melodybeat177949.html?src=t_home

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/melodybeat177949.html?src=t_home

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/melodybeat177949.html?src=t_home


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/melodybeat177949.html?src=t_home
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