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

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Never lose the wonder...

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Being drawn outdoors, this morning, from looking out the kitchen window, I knew I wanted to capture the beauty that was quietly "landing"... and, I almost landed myself.  On my backside.  I didn't.  Thank goodness.  But, it was close.  Icy back decks and bedroom slippers don't mix, too well.    BUT.

In other ways... adventure isn't really that unless there is that step to the unknown and with it, there is a "falling" that takes place.  It's the only way to really "take it all in" what just happened. 

Think about it.  Babies just don't wake up one day and start walking.  There is a desire that is taking place, in their little hearts and minds, to learn to walk.  They're watching.  They're waiting... and as things progress...as they are growing... the desire and the will to try is growing and getting stronger.   They start by assuming position.  Their little knees are wobbly and shaking.  They teeter, they tip...they plop.  GUESS WHAT!??!!   They get back up again.  ** And, they have cheerleaders (a circle of Encouragers) along the way.  Very important!!

Adventure awaits.  Falling down is a repeated part of the process.   The question is - are we ready and able to get back up again.

***
I'm not sure why all of this, this morning.  It is just that "adventure" and "conditions" and "outcomes" are always par for the course.  The process by which we all are in - whether we like it or not.

Here are instructions for life: 
1. Pay attention
2. Be astonished
3. Tell about it
~as shared, by Mary Oliver

I do think of a verse in Scripture... Galatians 6:9... that reads.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a
 harvest if we do not give up.
***
Here is to the rest of your week and that you will never lose the wonder of the season!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Work at it!

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Have you ever heard these words by Benjamin Franklin - they're said to be famous.  I don't recall hearing them before reading them, to the kids, this morning... but.  Let me tell you - they're about to become quite famous in this household.  I smile.  But, it is true.   These words are  most likely based on Scripture - I'm sure.  Maybe someone can share in the comments where they think they are found.  One verse I thought of is quoted in the photo I shared below.

Here is what Benjamin Franklin pens...

"Work while it is called today, for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow.  One today is worth two tomorrows; never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today."

(as discovered in the pages of The Book of Virtues, by William Bennett)

To be honest, Procrastination has been known to take root in this homes heart-soil.  It goes in spurts - the "weed" yanked out... but, by golly, it reappears from time to time!!  And... it, never fear, will get someone in trouble.

Let's just say - it created some lively conversation around the breakfast table, this morning,  as we took this "lesson" in and I simply pray - it will be truly taken to heart by all of us.  There never really is a good excuse.  Ever!! 

Working a home-based business reveals all the true colors.  I have to ask myself,  How hard am I willing to put in, what it takes, to see the harvest that I'm expecting!?!

I also like this scripture from 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)...

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Here is another quote by Admiral "Bull" Helsey... from the same book; The Book of Virtues.
"The Lord gave us two ends to use, one to think with and one to sit with.  The "war" depends on which we choose - heads we win, tails we lose."
~~
Have a wonderful and productive week!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Fall Favorite Recipe {Bavarian Apple Tart!}

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This has got to be one of my most favorite apple recipes to make in the fall. Several years ago, I made this dessert for my hubby to take into work, and when I got a phone call from one of his co-worker's, later that afternoon, asking me for the recipe, I was a little bit surprised!  Then again, I shouldn't have been.  It IS rather amazing, if I can say so myself.  

And... because it is my hubby's favorite now, too, I make it pretty often this time of year.  I promise you'll fall in love with this simple but decadent (rustic) dessert.
My sister asked me to bring something for dessert for Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow, so of course I decided to make this one...for sure!  I apologize - the lighting in my kitchen isn't so great!
~ Bevy's Bavarian Apple Tart ~
1 cup all-purpose flour (sometimes, I use half whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
* Mix together with pastry cutter, or two knives,  until crumbly.  Press firmly onto bottom and up (1/2") sides of 8x12 baking dish.

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp. each of vanilla and (pure) almond flavorings
* Beat together, and spread carefully over pastry.  Leave some of the crust showing.  This can be tricky.  I use a small icing spreader.

4 cups, peeled and thinly sliced apples  (SOMETIME:  You have got to try this recipe using Fresh chunked Peaches - Absolutely divine!!!)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
* Combine and spread over cheese mixture.

1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
* Spread over apples.

Bake at 425* for 10 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 375* and continue baking for 25 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes then cut around the edge of pan with knife to loosen.  Cut in squares.  Great, served warm or cold!

:: Enjoy!  Especially with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, a hot cup of coffee and of course, your soul mate.  It's great for a "FALLing-in-Love" sort of combination!! ;)

***
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Cup of Talk

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We were at some friends for dinner several years ago now, but I
often think about something my friend mentioned in regards to her family - of while she was a young gal and growing up.
She said that back when they had their dairy farm, AND... this obviously had to happen around
the cows schedule, but that their family would have what they would call:
COFFEE TIME.
This happened everyday at 10:30 am, and again at 4:30 pm in the afternoon.


This what they did. They would all sit down, as a family, around the table
and have a cup of coffee... and talk. Now, that they don't have the dairy farm anymore...one would think this family "ritual" might have changed and gone out with the farm...but, no!
It is a habit that has remained.

I love this!


Quality time; fellowship, talking together, over a good ole cup of hot coffee.
It just might be a good habit to start.

When have you had a good old cup of 'talk', lately??

Let's get together!!

My new mantra - or one, I've been trying to implement - is this:  Phone a friend, at ten!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Drip. Drip. Drip...FULL and Overflowing!

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I have the wonderful privilege of reading to my growing kiddos each morning before school - and this particular morning's reading was all about kindnesses and I immediately thought of a book that they all three read and learned about in school - in their early years!!  And.. I remember doing a post on it - so HERE that one is.   You have to read it - in fact, I CANNOT wait to share this same post with my kids later this afternoon or evening. 
 We NEED the reminder.

WOW!

Okay.

So, this reading this morning from The Life of Samuel Johnson in The Book of Virtues (p. 329) ... is talking about kindnesses shown and keeping our friendships in constant repair.   Here is what else I read:

We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed.  As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there at last one which makes the heart run over.

~~
It's a thought that is very much on my heart and mind.  As our lives ebb and flow and changes come and go - that ultimately bring about a change in our relationships... it is a real challenge to maintain some of those friendships.   And.. yet.  We NEED to keep adding to our friendships or soon we'll have none.  Am I right?

I'm so grateful for the many lovely friends that fill my cup!!  Not to mention, my Lord and Savior. He is the source of it all.
And so... as I keep the constant repair happening... tending to the drip by drip of filling another's heart-vessel with kindnesses - then my saucer will be filled, as well, full and overflowing.

Because, paraphrasing from Luke 6:45, out the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  

I may venture to say it is the only time I care to be known as a "constant drip"... if you know what I mean.   Think about it!   What an opportunity to be a slow and steady blessing, one drip at a time, in someone's life... that at some point... is when their heart is full and BOOM!!  that bucket is filled to the top and overflowing. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

fmf | Stories

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This thought of stories keeps coming to my mind and - you know - you know how a good story will often meet you where you're at... tear at the heart strings and make you really evaluate where you find yourself.  It allows you to step, for a moment, into the shoes of another and walk their road for a bit.  Never mind the unconsciously tightening up of your own shoelaces while you keep walking your own.

Stories do that.

But, as for the uncertainty part, or the unknown, it's real; it's heavy.  I find it truly amazing... how the titles do come later.

As for me.  There has been JOY in the journey.  Trusting the process to the LORD who is authoring the story of our lives.

**
Last evening, my team, had held an info meeting for our home-based business...and there literally were tears in every eye.  As we shared some powerful testimony's ... just to think... how the uncertainty was sooo very real and overwhelming, for these friends whose story we shared, and yet... looking back - they could be confident that the outcome was in God's hands completely, all along.  And now... look where they are?  Life- changing!!  Unbelievable.  Such and act of God to move..
While we "walked along" for a moment... and we have our own stories to share... we are grateful.  Grateful to God for authoring that story.  And.. for sustaining us all through the unknown.

Question is. 

Are you willing to be part of your own story?  Meaning: Owning your life... yet, trusting God, the author and the finisher of our/your faith to pen the details.

It's a captivating place.

***
I chose to follow along with Five Minute Friday link up, today.  Thanks for reading!!


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Live Beautifully!

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Let me live in my house by the side of the road
 and be a friend to man...
 ~ Sam Walter Foss

How are those things you are grateful for - coming along?  Mine are slowly being penciled in, in this journal of mine.  I cannot say that I have listed each and every single day - since mentioning it here.. but, let me tell you.  My attitude has been of gratitude... because, I'm truly grateful.

Today it is for:
* first snowflakes - flitting through the air
* the smell of apples - so pungent
* the sip of a hot beverage or two on this cozy day
(Yes! I've had more than one.)

***
Had a chance to read a poem to my kiddos this morning, before school.  It comes from The Book of Virtues.  A book we've been reading from  - pretty near - each morning, that we can.

This poem, by New England poet, Sam Walter Foss, brings to light a picture of a humble house where a weary traveler may find a warm and hospitable welcome.  It's entitled:  The House By The Side of the Road.  I'll let you look up to read for yourself.  (it's worth it!)

And, it brought on the discussion, around the breakfast table - how as siblings; friends, neighbors...etc.  We all are a representation of a "house" - by the side of the road.  Cheering on, sharing the load, bringing on the encouragement that is needed... to one another.   Friends are to be the "help-meets" to one another.  In talking... I borrowed from an old blog post of mine (because, I think of this often, still!) - a few thoughts, as I shared with my kiddos, - about the fact that because we have Jesus in our hearts - our "house" should have obvious glowing windows.   In other words... live beautifully.

You can read that post HERE!!!

***
I don't know.  I feel kind of like a bit of a rambler here, but....I hope you were blessed. I hope you go and read that "old blog post" of mine.  I hope you were also (perhaps) challenged...

Live Beautifully.


Friday, November 1, 2019

Gratitude Community

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Welcome to the month of November!

I always think of November as a month set aside for expressing gratitude and time for giving...however, every day should be set aside for just that.  Right?

I found this quote by Daphne Rose Kingma, that says...
Today, see if you can stretch your heart and expand your love so that it touches not only to those to whom you can give it easily, but also those who need it so much.

Who would like to join me, that, for each day, this month, we, at best, list three things we are so grateful for?  And, can we share our love??   Can we consider this a type of community?  A gathering, per say.

I dare you to grab a notebook and a favorite pen.. and, on your own, jot down, every day - three things - you're grateful for and if there is some life you've touched!!  I have my "journal", ready to go. :)  If you'd like - you're welcome to share them in the comments. 

And, at the end of the month let's see how amazing life truly is!!   Who knows?!  Maybe, we'll form a new habit.  :)  Blessings on your day!


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Courage has a face!

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This thing called Courage continues to roll around in my heart and mind.  I keep hearing the voices of - "Will you just do it already?"... okay, okay, I croak back - my voice is so barely audible.  

Today, someone encouraged me!!  If the LORD is saying... you should try it again, then, take courage!!

Take it by the hand and let it lead you!!  

These words, from my dear friend, Annie Wiebe, bless me, every time I read her thoughts on Courage.  I asked her permission to share, what she wrote.
***
It takes courage.
It takes courage to be different.
It takes courage to act and not just dream.
It takes courage to work.
It takes courage to say no to distractions.
It takes courage to live the life you want.
It takes courage to keep going when pain sets in.
It takes courage to be strong.
It takes courage to change.
It takes courage to do the things you said you'd do.
It takes courage to accept the critics and keep doing the work.
It takes courage to do something you’ve never done.
You see, we can all do what we’ve always done. That’s easy. Doing something totally different takes courage because there is a high chance it won’t work out in the beginning. 
Courage is part of everything — even the simple stuff you think doesn’t matter.

You deserve to be courageous!!!
Courage is a free ticket that costs nothing financially and costs everything personally.
Courage is putting it all on the line because you believe that you deserve to have the life you want.
All anything you want starts with, is a wee bit of courage. Wake up with courage, act with courage, eat courage for lunch, use courage when you’re unsure, hide courage in your pocket, pull courage out when people stab you in the back, and most of all: keep going, by using courage.
Courage is the answer. Courage can help you no matter where you’re starting from or how far you’ve fallen from the top.

Everything starts with courage. 
So, I'm asking you... Do you have courage?

Courage has a face!  It's a brave one!!
***
A brave-faced photo from my youngest's
8th birthday party, back- end of summer!!

Friday, August 16, 2019

In and Out of Practice

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I originally posted this a little over five years ago - almost to the date.  Everything about it is STILL the same!!  I felt it appropriate to re share... today!!
**
I felt a little out of practice, with hospitality!  
There is hospitality and then there is extending hospitality.  Both are something I LOVE to do.  Something we LOVE to do, as a couple, in our home.  Both are what we are called to practice!  And, as you keep reading... this is something that my husband does way better at than I.

Because...
For the past two weekends.  On Sunday's   My husband... he did the inviting!
He initiated... and for one of those times...it was a family of six!  Completely spontaneous!!!    The other time - a family of four, whom I did not know - but he and our son both knew, from Scouts!!  What an opportunity!!

I felt a little out of practice.  A little out of sorts.  Spastic!  My nerves were rattled... :)

When life and it's busyness and schedules overrule our calendar and already, we feel like we can hardly stay on top... then, to have this thrown my way??
My hubby loves to tease.  "You wanted a man, just like your dad!".  Yes,it's true! - my father would do this on occasion to my Mom (even when they had nine children of their own!) ... and my husband's right!  I did want this.  I love it that my husband also has a heart for people and "wanting to have them in our home".


Well, needless to say.
I rose to the challenge.
I needed to.
Because folks were coming to our house in less than "two hours!" 
Here's my mantra:  My response makes or breaks a situation.

The thing is...
I felt my husband's care to come alongside, in both instances, and pitch in...
prepping the coffee...
setting the table
arranging the room so as to fit everyone in "better"..
offering to peel potatoes..
running the bissell over the carpets
Whatever else I needed - he was there!  By my side.

Was my house clean?  Tidy, perhaps... but not clean, clean!

Tidy enough?  Perhaps not that either.
But...
If I would have made a scene and had him cancel the plans, his plans... because I wasn't mentally prepared or whathaveyou.  We would have missed out such a blessing!

Perhaps this is a stretch...here.  And, believe me - I am not boasting when I say this.
But, part of me wonders if this isn't my husband's unspoken way of taking this verse to heart.

Her husband has full confidence in her...Proverbs 31:11

I give the Lord praise - that we can work together, as a team, and make others (hopefully!) feel at home... and be at peace.  

What are a few practical ways - I can handle these surprises?  Ways to keep, or stay in practice..?
I have learned that it's okay to keep it simple.
To keep a few "go-to" recipes in the back pocket, is smart, even if it means my family eats the same thing twice in as many weekends!
And, if it helps, don the apron as well as a smile...
If if my knees are shaking underneath, who'll know?

***
Linking up with FMF - writing community!!  On the topic of hospitality!!

hospitality

Friday, June 14, 2019

Ordinary

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Your ordinary, real, everyday....
is the best gift you have.
Don’t miss it.


I sit here thinking what it must be like for an acquaintance friend of mine, a mother to 5 or 6, to rather recently "lose" her spouse... she's grieving today - but he is safely HOME!!

For another - the news reels dictate a change in weather patterns, "later tonight!",  that could ultimately change everything for their week away.  But as of today, this moment, the sun is currently shining hot and bright!! 

Our circumstances can change as fickle as the weather - but as sure and as certain as death. 

Dear reader, did you know that your friends and family are waiting on the hope your story can bring?  Oh, it's beautiful.  Why does it have to be perfect?  Why is the "fear of man" rising up?  It shouldn't.  Be brave.  Be courageous.  Don't withhold!

Tell your story! 

The nitty-gritty of your each and every day could be a game-changer; a life-changing moment, for that certain someone who is following in your shadow.


Proverbs 3:27-28   ---  Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.  Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later, I'll give it tomorrow" -- when you now have it with you.

Determine to make this ordinary come alive with a little extra!!  Make it extraordinary... but, keep it real.  Because - it is!!

 May your day be blessed and filled with hope!!


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Kindness really matters!


Oh my word.  I don't blame a single soul for falling off "my bandwagon" - here at Treasured Up and Pondered.  In fact, if you are reading this... I'm impressed.  Because, I've fallen off... as well.  Obviously.

So, for that... dear friend and reader...I say, if you're here and still "desiring to hear" anything from me - I say THANK YOU!   Yes, thank you for your kindness.... and your patience ... and your prayers.   Please feel my {hugs} and see my smiles...

Truth is.  Our plates are full.   I don't like to say we've been busy - because everyone is and can be "busy". Instead of busy I'll refer to it as - we've been "investing" ourselves into lots of different areas...

We're wrapping up the school year, with the kiddos, in just a few more short weeks.   My husband has also recently finished up a 15-month stent on taking up some Theological studies... he graduates, here, in early June.  His desire in this course has been for himself to grow - as a husband, a father, a leader, a friend; a way to better connect all the dots.  I think he's really grateful and blessed to have gone through this course.  I'm glad he did it and stuck to it.

Our home-based business continues to keep us on our toes... with its highs and lows.  All is fine!!  We continue to learn; grow ourselves as better individuals and leaders...we still LOVE what we do and what it is all about and why.  It's been life-changing, for us!!
We're always willing to share with others - a better way!!  Health and happiness is everyone's hope!!!

Church life is full of changes and challenges.  There are lots of things to be a part of...and areas to serve and mature in.   We don't live super close to our church, anymore - so there is that distance factor that plays a part in how much we can logistically be involved.  We're so grateful to have a wonderful church family...who understands and still encourages us! 
Something to keep in mind.  It really does matter how much you offer in as to what you you'll receive out of church.  There is no perfect situation.... BUT GOD!!! 

One of our most recent endeavors has been the invite to join a family/friends, of ours, in Revolutionary War reenactments.   This is mostly on account of our 11 yr old son.  His passion is beautiful combo of history and music.  So his role, in this "new hobby of ours" is an acting hornist for this particular regime; while the rest of us consider ourselves as camp followers or sutlers.    Doing this as a family allows us all to be involved; all going the same direction - with activities and such.   So far it has been a process; keeping to authenticity is very vital.  I really appreciate learning and understanding all of this.  It really has been fascinating.    How do I mean?    I've been helping to do the sewing for a lot of our 18th century garb.  Any visible seam needs to be hand-sown.  But, not only that... the cloth needs to be 100% wool or linen or cotton.  Only certain colors are of the time period...
So, there are lots of things to learn and lots of events to participate in - and new and interesting people to get to know.   ** I realize, I really should do some posts, with photos, on these, in effort to better preserve our memories - that we've been making as a family.

What else?

Of course - we're gearing up for summer and all its activities. Hoping for a couple of trips... one business related the other a family vacation.
We're also honing in on a few lingering house projects.... such as settling our side flower bed, putting up a washline (I cannot believe I've gone this long with out one! - kinda driving me cray-cray!!) and hopefully getting an outbuilding shed type thingy.   I'm sure there is a longer list...

My hubby and I just celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary!!  Yay!!!   Looking forward to forever...

Our son - is getting soooooo tall.  AND, his voice is deepening every. single. day.   It's so crazy how fast they change.  Caught in that place of wanting to still play with matchbox cars and nerf guns while busting out of shoes and his clothes - like a young man, should!!
Oh - and our two girls (ages 10 and 7) both donated 12" of hair.  Their first time of EVER getting their hair cut... even trimmed.  So, of course, the gal probably took a total of 14", till it was all said and done....
I was proud of them.  Of course, this mama shed a tear ever so slightly.  I thought I'd tear up more.  I am sure it was because we talked about long and hard enough to finally just "do it".   Right?   They still have pretty long hair and could almost go for a "round-two" already... but, they don't want it any shorter, at this point. 

***
 Why all this ramble?   I have no idea -- other than, I just needed to get it all out there - as a way to play catch up. Get my fingers back to the keyboard.  I've really missed it.   This quiet, reflective space...   

I will say.  I was having a chat with my 10 year old, this morning.  She "unloaded" it all... the tears were flowing and I was holding her and listening.  The things she shared were real, and raw; things I could easily relate to - as I've been there myself, many times.     One of things I shared, with her,  in return, is that as you grow into a young woman - you will find that this may happen again - over and over and over again!   Relationships and friendships will come and go.  Being kind through them all speaks volumes.  But, yes!  There is what feels like a footprint left on your heart.  Sometimes it hurts.  Sometimes it really leaves an impression.  Sometimes that is all that it is... but sometimes... its meant to be blessing!!!

May someone's kindness towards you - leave an impression - today!!   How about you - for someone else...okay?  It really matters.  I pray my daughter shines like the sun, today!!!

Friday, March 15, 2019

fmf | place (what if...)

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I realize this favorite phrase of mine - is also a place where many of us dwell but not to many take the leap from.   Would you ponder this with me, today?  What if...

What if...You didn't always have to feel that sickness come on for that oh-so long and oh-so often amount of time?
What if... YOU were the one to feel stronger, feel better and able to smile again?
What if...you prayed and this was your answer?
What if...you could dream again?   This time, BIGGER!!
What if...you thought you were to go here or there and do this or that...but instead, THIS!  This is your place and you fit!!
What if...you decide instead that you are totally worth it - not your things or your stuff... but YOU!


Listen, friend.  I want to tell you something.
All of these  things used to be my "what if's" and now they are my reality.  What if the change you see in me -- could be the change you see in you?

I offer #hope!  A #solution.  There is so much potential.

There is a time and a place to pay attention.

***
PlaceJoining with the Five Minute Friday community and taking on the prompt word: Place  
Thank you for reading!

Friday, March 1, 2019

fmf | search

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Someone near and dear to me (and, I won't mention names) is on a quest...to actually hear GOD's voice.  They're discouraged and sad that it so far isn't or hasn't been an audible voice for them.  Whenever, we get to connect about it - we try to encourage but with futile words, because even ours won't readily be heard.  We say - "Sometimes, you have to be still (quiet!) and then you will know - God." (Psalm 46:10)

We remind.  "Look at answers, to prayers, you do have - though they've come circumstantially... - they're still answers."
Apparently, that isn't an audible voice; its not enough!

God's voice isn't always clear, is it?  We have his WORD, right, and, we need to pray and ask to have the eyes of our heart, opened, to see clearly.  I talk with my kiddo's quite often (in fact, AGAIN just this morning!) - about the fact that they need to look at me when I am talking to them.  That they will be able to hear me better when they keep their eyes fixed on my face.   Surprise!!!!!

Imagine - the connection that would happen!!!

Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all of your heart. 

***

Joining with the Five Minute Friday Community today - today's word prompt is: search

search

Friday, February 8, 2019

fmf | Build

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This prompt word is very interesting.  The other day - my son was working through an assignment for school and it involved a mathematical situation.  The only way to really have him "get it" was to imagine building a house.  We used this analogy and it didn't take him long to get this math problem figured out - correctly. When he saw the way it was originally "figured"... he could truly see the error and KNEW this figurative building wasn't going to work...as it was.

Do we really know what we're working with when we go to build - anything?  Relationships.  A home! Getting a business up off the ground and running.

There is something to be said - in going back and taking a second look as to what you have before you.  Is it a right fit?  Is it coming together - as expected?  Are the others in your "one-anothering" feeling the same connectiveness and commonalities that you feel about them? 
If not.  What needs to change?
When we say we want to "build" something. 
The groundwork being laid - needs to be solid and sure.

You may have heard the phrase... Don't throw your pearls before swine.  Well, what in the world does that even mean?  Right?  Pearls are something of great value.  Swine or a herd of pigs - don't typically care about such things of value. They would, by nature, trample them underfoot and move on.

I've been pondering... about how it looks to or what it means to add value to others.  I want to build a happy and health home (Proverbs 14:1, Proverbs 24:3-4).  My Marriage matters...
Apart from Christ... homes and marriages can falter.   Building up an emergency fund or even our simple bank accounts takes diligence and sometimes sacrifice.   A business will only built if its foundation is secure.  Dreams are great!  But...aren't they only "fluff" without the sweat, grit and tears.

Sometimes.  Building relationships means a simple investment...of time and thoughtfulness.  Maybe MORE than what has already been given.  It may mean more hugs.  A correction.  A listening ear.  A deeper/fuller smile.  A serious question...
Time... putting aside the "me and my wants" for the other.

Something to think about today.

Here is a playdough house that one of my kiddos' made along time ago.  Got love the heart inside the house.


***
Joining with the Five Minute Friday - Writing Community.  This word prompt is: Build

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Beware of your Influence

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This apple looks pretty impressive, doesn't it? Granted... the photo of this (currently) nice looking apple is apple number two... and thankfully it WAS okay on the inside.   Imagine my surprise when cutting open, my original apple, one morning, while preparing my kiddo's school lunches.  It was rotten!!  Rotten to the core. 

I was so glad I grabbed a photo...of it, just for this topic today.

 Beware of your influence!! 

An interesting title I'm sure... and one that can be taken both ways.  Who are we influenced by and who are we influencing?  Its tempting to look good on the outside and perhaps it can be done for awhile... but, we all know what is on the inside is what eventually comes out.   It wasn't going to take long for this said "good" apple to present its true ugliness of heart.  I honestly thought it was going to be an AMAZING, crunchy, good and sweet treat for my kiddos.  Again, I'm glad the second one was!!  I will also admit here...I wasn't so trusting of the second apple.  I was "SURE" that it, too, would show up to be a bad apple... isn't that what happens?  It only takes one to ruin the whole basket?     I don't know about you... but this gave me pause.

How am I as a Woman of Influence?

(that is a big deal!)

And, WHO are my Influencers?     
(which is an even greater BIG deal!!)

There are so many analogies and things that could be read between the lines in this post, today, but I'll leave that up to you.  I only trust I am making you think.  Be aware...
Influence is a real thing.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  ~ Matthew 5:16, ESV

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Joining up with Five Minute Friday - writing community (from last Friday!) - when the prompt word was: influence.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Strong (and Courageous) - word for 2019

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Here we are, a few days in 2019 and I have yet to share my word of the year with you!!

Funny.  I haven't always taken hold of a word so surely as I have been the past year and now for this one.  If you have been reading here - you may remember my word last year was GROW or Growth!

This year... along the same lines is that I want to keep growing... but the word that comes to mind is 
STRONG!

However.  In order to grow STRONG - one needs courage.
COURAGE is another word that keeps coming to my heart and mind.

I'll take them both!!  
Be Strong and Courageous.

I cling to the verses from Joshua chapter 1 starting loosely in verse 3 and continuing through verse 9.
Not wanting to take Scripture out of context, in the least.  I do, however, see these verses as a message of encouragement to myself as a leader of team.  A business builder.  A woman of influence.  As a wife.  A mother. A friend.
(I encourage you to open your Bible and read these verses for yourself. Perhaps you will reap the encouragement for you - as well.)

I feel such hope.  Such encouragement.  Such confidence - from our Lord... that HE will be with just as he has promised.    They say that things that cause fear to rise up in you are really what is your calling.
I believe that.
There are things that I get white-knuckled about, have fear for and the knees begin a-knocking.  While I want to be and do - all these things... there is something that still holds me back.

I want to have faith for this.
A faith that is unwavering.   My heart cries...

Lord!  Let me faith be marked by these three things.
1. A quiet spirit (no questions asked!)
2. A gentle spirit (no details needed)
3. A sweet submissiveness (no struggling against the unknowns)
** found these "marks" in a book somewhere a long time ago and have had them written in the sideline margins of my Bible ever since.  So, I can't give credit, here.  My apologies.

I believe, Lord.  Forgive my unbelief.  Help me... Slow down and take the time to grow - STRONG!!
Wrangling the courage to go through it and emerge.  Trusting the process.

***
Look out 2019!!

a Winter poem - by my ten year old...

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:: Winter White ::

Gently falling 
Winter White -
all are dancing 
in the night.

Waking up to
piles high, 
the snow has drifted 
to the sky .

From the window 
I did say, "Oh, the 
snow -- stay home,and play."

Rolling, Tumbling 
Winter White 
snowmen family 
in our sight.

Gently whisper 
"nighty- night"
Dreams of snowflakes
through the night.


~ Aubrey S. (10 yrs)

**
I'm proud of my little one.  She was home "sick" the first day back to school in the new year and we got talking about things she is looking forward to in the upcoming school days.  She mentioned that she will be venturing into poetry.  So we sat down and started writing.  I helped to tweak or challenged her to use a "deeper word" here and there... but this is HERS!!!  I love poetry.  Always have...

 The snowflake mug mats were a gift from a dear friend... whom, I don't want to forget.  Ever!!
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