Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blessing and Praise

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Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time forth and forever.

From the rising of the sun
to the going down of it
and from east to west,
the name of the Lord is to be praised!

The Lord is high above all nations,
and His glory above the heavens!

Psalm 113:2-4   

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beachcombers

We’re at the beach again.  The Oregon Coast has called us back.  Last weekend I shared that we were there for the memorial service of our dear friend – and I shared that I was leading worship at the church where her hubby is the minister.  He’s taking time away and we are there to help a bit.  We will continue to be there often – because God has touched our hearts with the need to be there!  In the process, God is giving us a precious gift.  The gift of time away.  Together.  At the beach! Just being beachcombers. For awhile.    P8200538Enjoying the tide pools. . .     P8200569Walking in the sand. . .     P8200550And finding a few surprises along the way.     P8200558Our little cabin-on-wheels is parked in a quiet spot beside the church where we can smell the salt-sea air and, if we’re very quiet, we might even hear the sound of the waves at night.  I won’t have internet access there – I’ll just be relaxing and waiting to tell you all about our weekend away.Look who’s going with us!  P8200583He’s very excited.  He loves the beach and he can’t wait to go back again!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Finds and Treasures

It’s time to go back to something I started quite awhile ago when I first began to blog.  My plan is to share something I  have found while out and about or a treasure, new or old, each Friday.  If there is a story that goes with the item, I’ll share that with you, too.

This week I want to share the d├ęcor on one wall of my dining room.  My dining room is a ‘strange’ little room – not very big with openings on each side – but I really love it. There is only one wall!  On that wall I have a piece of framed artwork that is very dear to my heart.  There’s a story behind it.  Quite a few years ago my little town had a wonderful antique/collective/craft mall that was a place I loved to visit.  One day when I walked by the front window my heart was captured by a large, framed picture that I wanted to buy.  I knew exactly where I would put it – it belonged on my dining room wall.  And it was by one of my favorite artists, Sandy Lynam Clough.  I often stood at the window to study every detail of the painting and I wished – oh, how I wished – I could buy it and take it home for that one spot that seemed to need it.  The price was more than I could pay so I looked and wished and walked on.  Often.  Then one day the picture was gone.  Not in the window.  I hoped it went to someone who would treasure it as much as I.  A few weeks later, on Christmas morning, there was no package under the tree for me from my sweetheart.  That seemed strange and I thought maybe he had forgotten to shop.  All of the gifts had been opened and I have to tell you my heart felt so sad.  Had he really forgotten me?  My children and grandchildren didn’t know how terribly disappointed I was but I decided to make the best of it and not ask questions.  All of a sudden my sweetheart jumped up from his chair and said, ‘There is one more!’  ‘Where is it?’, I asked.  Out the door he went – when he came in again he had the biggest present I think I’ve ever had.  His eyes danced with joy as he placed it on the floor in front of me.  One rip of the paper and I knew!  And the tears began to pour down my face.  HE was the one who bought the picture.  I was the one who would hang it on my wall and treasure it every time I looked at it!  Of course I had to tell him he shouldn’t have spent so much.  Then, I loved the story he told.  He went into the shop and asked the owner what her best price was on that picture in the window.  When she told him, he pointed out that part of the picture had slipped out of the mat and it wasn’t quite straight.  She looked at it and agreed – and gave him a nice discount.  Then she told him exactly how to fix it so it would be good as new.  And there it was!  Now it was mine!
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This beautiful painting has hung on my dining room wall ever since but I’ve always thought it needed something more.  Should I hang something above it?  Plates, perhaps?  A little shelf?  Nothing seemed to be right – until a couple of weeks ago.  At the first yard sale of the day I found it.  And I knew this was what I needed!  Three framed pieces of artwork – by the same artist.  It didn’t take long to put them on my wall.
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Every time I walk by or look from the kitchen or the living room I smile.  It’s just right! And I love it even more than before.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Way Of Life

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You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 16:11

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I’m A Dreamer!

The service for my friend was a beautiful tribute to a life well lived – a life that honored God, loved her family and friends and made a difference wherever she went.  None of us will be the same because she was part of our lives.

Today we are going to relax and take time to slow the pace of life and enjoy time together.    P8190507Yesterday morning the wind was just right for sail-boarding and kites.  The sun is shining again today – who knows what we’ll see.P8190510We’ve lived at the Oregon Coast twice since we were married. It always seems to call me back and I have dreams of living here again. My sweetheart smiles and listens to my dreams. And lets me keep dreaming.  Yesterday we drove to a favorite viewpoint overlooking the ocean and when I stepped out of the car to take photos - right there, next to me - I saw this sign.     P8190493The house beside our favorite viewpoint is for sale!  P8190497Oh, the things I could do with a house at the beach.  I have ideas – lots of ideas!  My sweetheart listens – and smiles.  And says, ‘That house is in the tsunami zone!’  He’s the practical one.  A little while later he drives slowly up the hill as I ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over more homes for sale.  Then, at the end of the road he sees one that would delight my heart – a little, old cottage with personality.  And windows that look out to the coastline below.  He quietly says, ‘One good thing about that house – it’s above the tsunami zone!’  Always thinking of things to consider, he smiles and knows I’m just dreaming.  For right now. 

Dream on, my heart, dream on.  A little dreaming never hurt anyone, did it?  Dreams really do come true.  Sometimes.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Reflections

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Four weeks ago I stood here, watching the fog surround the headlands.  That day I knew that soon I would visit a dear friend of mine – probably for the last time here on earth.  This morning I stood in the same place again, watching the sunshine chase the fog away.  This time I am here to play for her memorial service.  I think I understand more about the moment she left the ‘fog’ of this life – when the sunshine of her Savior chased away the haze of this world and she stepped into the light of the Son.  Forever!

No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the great "I AM."
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb.


Song: ‘No More Night’
Words and music by Walt Harrah

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Life Prayer

P8080447Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
Psalm 90:14

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gifts From The Heart

Last week I had a birthday.  It was a wonderful day and I treasure the time I had with my family.  My sweetheart and my dear, little mother and my cousin planned a special dinner for me – at my house.  My sweetheart cooked steak to perfection on the grill and my dear mother and cousin prepared a wonderful meal.  It seemed strange to sit in my living room – with my feet up – while they worked on the details of a wonderful meal.  Shortly before my mother and cousin and her hubby arrived I had surprise visitors.  My daughter and her daughters arrived for just a few minutes to deliver the most beautiful birthday flowers.    P8030330A very special gift was hand-delivered by one of my granddaughters.  It’s a grandma and her grandchild! So sweet. A special treasure.
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High atop the flowers was a birthday greeting that is still ‘flying high’.     P8030332The flowers and the balloon still make me smile every time I see them and the little grandma bear is a constant reminder how blessed I am to be a grandma!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Storm Clouds

The other day I told someone about a dear friend of mine who is very ill.  For her birthday she was given a few nights at a suite on the bluff above the beach at the Oregon Coast.  I mentioned that I was praying that the weather would be good – sunshine, blue skies, no clouds and gorgeous sunsets.  He is a mariner, a sea captain.  His words touched my heart in more ways than he knew.  He said, ‘You can’t have the beautiful sunsets with the clouds.’  Wow!  Did that ever strike home.  There have been a lot of clouds in my life over the past weeks – but there have also been some sunsets - sent from the hand of my Heavenly Father in the middle of the storm.

A few weeks ago we spent a few days at a beautiful lake high in the Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon.  The days were sunny and clear, the evenings warm.  One evening clouds began to roll in and we knew there was a storm coming.  Before the storm, God gave us clouds.  And a sunset.  He painted the sky - a show of His incredible artistry - for us to remember during the night when the storm’s fury woke us from sleep.  Our campsite was right across the lake from a beautiful mountain.  You can see its beauty here.  As the clouds rolled in, it wasn’t long before they covered the mountain.P6289982The lake began to reflect the colors that filled the sky.
P6289986 P6289992It wasn’t long before the mountain disappeared, the colors began to fade and darkness filled the night.     P6289994
Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.
Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Little Visitor

A few weeks ago I was surprised by a knock on my door in the middle of the day.  When I opened the door a little voice, from a tiny person, said ‘Hi’!  My heart jumped with joy – it was Miss H., my youngest granddaughter.  She and her brother and mommy stopped by for a few minutes.  A few, precious minutes that made my day!P6099572While Miss H. explored the garden, her brother, Mr. C., decided to try out his Papa’s boat.  I’m sure he was dreaming of a hoped-for fishing trip.     P6099574It wasn’t long before Miss H. decided to give it a try!  With a little help from her big brother, she was ready to go.P6099575Some serious conversation followed and soon the decision was made. . .P6099581To change the seating arrangement.  But the sun was too bright!     P6099589Then, a discovery seemed to help.  Checking it out from every angle. . .     P6099592She decided she liked it!  Whatever it was!P6099595All too soon it was time to go. Miss H. gave kisses, said goodbye, put on her shades and made sure she had her Sippy Cup – and then they were gone.  Gone from my home, but not from my heart!P6099598

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Look Back

Yesterday I told you about the wonderful, historic Victorian house and gardens where I love to go.  I told you that I was going back again to help take down a display of vintage wedding gowns.  And I told you that I wouldn’t have a chance to take any photos.  Was I ever wrong!  There were a few minutes here and there for me to snap a few photos before the display was taken down.  P8080461I really enjoyed helping with the wedding gowns. It gave me a chance to look at the gowns up close – a chance to see details the public doesn’t always see.  P8080450The underpinnings, the incredible fabrics and trims. . .     P8080452The hand-stitched details that give the gown shape and form. . .     P8080454All exquisite and made with care.  P8080460Perfectly placed stitches and every detail intrigued me.  The front of each garment was wonderful, but when I saw the back I knew that the train was my favorite. P8080468Imagine the beautiful bride as she strolls down the garden path.  P8080469Or, as she gracefully comes down the elegant staircase.     P8080470A display of wedding shoes filled the built-in cupboard in a nearby closet.     P8080473Of course, every bride needs flowers.  I couldn’t help but stop to ‘collect’ a few as I made my way along the path to my car!  P8080436P8080437
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Monday, August 8, 2011

Respite In A Special Place

A few days ago I needed to take a break from the rush of life.  I knew where to go –a favorite place of mine called out to me!  Like sweet water to my soul, it nourished my tired, weary body and filled my heart with joy. I ‘sneaked’ away for just a bit of time to this special place that always seems to take me away from the noise and the rush of the world for a bit.  This place I love is in the middle of a big city.  Traffic comes and goes all around but if you listen with your heart you don’t hear it – all you hear are sounds of peace.  And quiet.  Let me take you there.
P8040371It’s a place of beauty. . .
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A place for quiet reflection. . . 
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A place where nature peeks through and makes you smile. . .    
P8040363A place where a secret garden calls you to go beyond the gate. . .  P8040374 A place where the unseen can be seen if you look for it. . .
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A place that changes every day. . .P8040379
A place where little things are all around you. . .P8040417    P8040418And a place where sunshine can highlight simple beauty.     P8040423I’m going there again today.
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This time I won’t be strolling through the gardens. Instead, I’ll be upstairs to help take down a vintage wedding gown display. The gowns will be packed away to be seen again some other day!  It’s a chance for me to help give time so this special place can continue to be a place where time seems to stand still.  A place that touches the heart.  A place that is a respite from the busyness of everyday life.
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Salem, Oregon