Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Truth Be Told!

Sometimes the truth hurts – sometimes, it's just downright funny!  Such is the case with a gift I bestowed on my sweetheart on Christmas Day.  When I saw it, I just couldn’t help myself!  No apologies, no explanations, just fun.  It brought lots of laughs to everyone present.  Especially my sweetheart.  Perhaps it was a gentle hint that he needs to clean the garage so he can proudly show it off to his friends.  Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part that we would actually clean and organize our garage soon (I’m as guilty as he!). And maybe – just maybe – we could finally some day  And laugh at this silly sign every time we come home!PC282283

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Grandma With The Dog

Our little Mr. H. is totally thrilled with my little Joey dog.  Mr. H. loves to snuggle and play with him and, at times, he helps me do a little dog training.  On a recent visit with us, Mr. H. was a bit frustrated when Joey didn’t do what he told him to do. He looked at Joey and with a bit of authority in his voice, he asked: ‘Joey, are you listening to me?’ PC172231When he returned home from his visit with us he told his daddy (our son) that he likes to visit ‘the grandma with the dog’!PC172232At our family Christmas gathering a week ago, Mr. H. again spent a lot of time snuggled close to Joey.
When he and his family got ready to head home, Mr. H. gave hugs and told us all goodbye and, with a sad, little voice, he said: ‘I sure wish Joey could be my dog’!  The promise of an overnight visit sometime soon – and a plan for Joey to sleep in the ‘big’ bed with him  – brought a smile to his face and a sparkle to his little eyes.  And much talk about plans for another visit sometime soon.  A visit to see ‘the grandma with the dog’.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It’s Christmas Night

Christmas FireplaceWhen I read this devotion by Max Lucado I knew I wanted to save it to read again each Christmas night.  I share it with you, my friends.  I hope it touches your heart as it does mine.

IT’S CHRISTMAS NIGHT. THE HOUSE IS QUIET. Even the crackle is gone from the fireplace. The last of the carolers appeared on the ten o’clock news. The last of the apple pie was eaten by my brother-in-law. And the last of the Christmas albums have been stored away having dutifully performed their annual rendition of chestnuts, white Christmases, and red-nosed reindeers.

It’s Christmas night.

The midnight hour has chimed and I should be asleep, but I’m awake. I’m kept awake by one stunning thought. The world was different this week. It was temporarily transformed.

The magical dust of Christmas glittered on the cheeks of humanity ever so briefly, reminding us of what is worth having and what we were intended to be. We forgot our compulsion with winning, wooing, and warring. We put away our ladders and ledgers, we hung up our stopwatches and weapons. We stepped off our race tracks and roller coasters and looked outward toward the star of Bethlehem.

It’s the season to be jolly because, more than at any other time, we think of him. More than in any other season, his name is on our lips.

And the result?

For a few precious hours, he is beheld. Christ the Lord. Those who pass the year without seeing him, suddenly see him. People who have been accustomed to using his name in vain, pause to use it in praise. Eyes, now free of the blinders of self, marvel at his majesty.

All of a sudden he’s everywhere.

In the grin of the policeman as he drives the paddy wagon full of presents to the orphanage.

In the twinkle in the eyes of the Taiwanese waiter as he tells of his upcoming Christmas trip to see his children.

In the emotion of the father who is too thankful to finish the dinner table prayer.

He’s in the tears of the mother as she welcomes home her son from overseas.
He’s in the heart of the man who spent Christmas morning on skid row giving away cold baloney sandwiches and warm wishes.

And he’s in the solemn silence of the crowd of shopping mall shoppers as the elementary school chorus sings “Away in a Manger.”

Emmanuel. He is with us. God came near.

It’s Christmas night. In a few hours the cleanup will begin—lights will come down, trees will be thrown out. Size 36 will be exchanged for size 40, eggnog will be on sale for half price. Soon life will be normal again. December’s generosity will become January’s payments and the magic will begin to fade.

But for the moment, the magic is still in the air. Maybe that’s why I’m still awake. I want to savor the spirit just a bit more. I want to pray that those who beheld him today will look for him next August. And I can’t help but linger on one fanciful thought: If he can do so much with such timid prayers lamely offered in December, how much more could he do if we thought of him every day?

It’s Christmas Night’ by Max Lucado
From ‘God Came Near’

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Wishes. . .

from our home to yours.
Merry Christmas, dear friends.

Monday, December 5, 2011


PC021891A couple of days ago we set up the Christmas tree.  Miss Savannah was sleeping peacefully on our bed while the action took place in the living room.  A little while later I found her under the tree.  The look on her little face made me think she was smiling!  I think she approved.  She sat there for a long time, carefully looking. Just enjoying the tree!  The tree was'nt decorated but she didn’t seem to mind – she just sat and took it all in!  Wonder what went through her mind!

(The white specks on the carpet are snow from the tree.  One of the 'joys' of a snowy tree!)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Light Has Come

The people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light.
And for those who lived in the land
where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.
Matthew 4:16

Friday, December 2, 2011

Would You Believe. . .

I can’t show you my Friday Finds today?  I had it all planned.  I was ready to take advantage of the sunshine so I could take a good photo.  The sun is streaming in my kitchen window.  Just where it needs to shine for the photo I had planned.  Everything was in place – my ‘find’ was staged and ready to pose for her photo, and then. . .oh, no!  The battery in my camera was dead!  My camera told me.  She said, ‘Battery dead’.  Plain and simple.  Just like that.  I wasn’t surprised but I could deal with it – I had another battery in my camera bag.  No problem!  At least I thought so!

Retrieving the second battery from my camera bag – and grabbing my battery charger for the dearly used battery – I was confident.  Within minutes I would have the photos I wanted to share with you today.  But, it was not meant to be.  You see, the ‘new’ battery was so dead it didn’t even have enough power for my camera tell me this one needed to be charged, too.  Then I remembered that I had quickly switched batteries a few weeks ago while taking photos of a gorgeous sunset at the Oregon Coast.  When I returned to the car I didn’t do what I normally do with batteries that need to be charged – and then. . .I forgot!

So, today, would you just take my word for it that I have a wonderful, new Christmas find that is embellishing my kitchen?  I’ll show you a little peak at something that will give you a hint but I will save the story to tell you another day.  After that silly battery has been fully charged and the other battery is securely locked in place in the charger I’ll share a photo and tell you all about it!

I have a new-to-me teakettle.  She looks something like this.  Similar – but different.  She’s the same color – and shape - and she is decorated with holly.  Christmas TeakettleWhile my battery charges, I think I’ll heat some water and have a relaxing cup of tea!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In All Things

As we pause to thank Him for the blessings of the past year,
we must not forget to thank Him for the lessons
we have learned through our difficult times.
We are not to be thankful for just the pleasant,
easy things, but all things.
Millie Stamm

Monday, November 21, 2011

Autumn Leaves

A few days ago we were blessed when our youngest grandson, four-year-old Mr. H. came to visit. The agenda for the day included raking leaves. It was a big job and my sweetheart was happy to have help.
PB111834_thumb18Mr. H. borrowed my sweatshirt. A pair of little garden gloves and a small rake (that matched the sweatshirt!) completed his outfit and he was ready to get to work.PB111828_thumb15He worked hard and was determined to help Papa deal with all the leaves.PB111851_thumb13Finally, most of the leaves were piled high.PB111871_thumb23The hard work was worth it – it was time to jump into the big pile of leaves.PB111872_thumb9
What fun! There was a lot of laughter and so many smiles! We loved having time with him and we can’t wait until he comes back again. More leaves have fallen and the yard is filled with leaves again. We will take care of them – but it just won’t be the same without his help.PB111854_thumb13[4]

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Work Can Be Worship

‘Everything you do or say should be done to obey Jesus our Lord.’  Colossians 3:37

Have you seen the painting The Angelus by Jean-Francois Millet?  It portrays two peasants praying in their field.  A church steeple sits on the horizon, and a light falls from Heaven.  The rays do not fall on the church, however.  They don’t fall on the bowed heads of the man and woman.  The rays of the sun fall on the wheelbarrow and the pitchfork at the couple’s feet.

God’s eyes fall on the work of our hands.  Our Wednesdays matter to Him as much as our Sundays.  He blurs the secular and sacred.  One stay-at-home mom keeps this sign over her kitchen sink: ‘Divine tasks performed here daily.’  An executive hung this plaque in her office: ‘My desk is my altar.’  Both are correct.  With God, our work matters as much as our worship.  Indeed, work can be worship.

from ‘Cure For The Common Life’
written by Max Lucado

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Heart Of The Matter

This morning I sat beside my dear, little mother as pictures of the inner workings of her heart were displayed on a screen nearby.  I quietly watched in amazement as I saw the chambers and valves of her little heart pump blood through her tiny body.  I saw inside the heart that has kept her going for more than eighty-eight years, far longer than her doctors ever thought possible. While I didn’t understand most of what I saw I sat there in awe!  Overwhelmed and full of praise as a favorite Scripture ran through my mind.
‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’
Psalm 139:14
Technology can’t possibly show the ‘real’ heart of my dear mother.  Her ‘real’ heart loves big and gives much. Her ‘real’ heart is bigger than this little lady herself.  Her ‘real’ heart loves God more than life itself.  Her ‘real’ heart loved me long before the first moment she first saw me.  Her ‘real’ heart keeps loving me no matter what.

Today I saw my mother’s heart at work.  And I saw her heart working over and over again as we sat together over lunch.  I saw her heart each time she smiled and when she spoke.  Today I had a privilege few people ever have – I saw the heart of a little lady – a lady who has a very big heart.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Winds Of Change

PB111808I’ve been absent from blogging for a bit.  Life has taken me many directions – sometimes several at the same time.PB111807Autumn winds have blown and most of the leaves on our big tree are gone now.  There is a chill in the air and snow has begun to cover the mountains.  PB111810Change has come to our family, too.  A few weeks ago my sweetheart’s company cut the hours of their employees. While we are adjusting to the changes that decision brings, we are happy that he still has a job.  This means my sweetheart has an extra day off work now – a three-day weekend. And it means we have a chance to do a bit of catch-up on things left undone far too long.PB111812My dear, little mother’s health has changed during the last few weeks.  Her heart is slowing down and changes need to be made in her daily life.  We are exploring options for her living arrangements and continued well-being.  Tomorrow morning I will take her for further tests to see how her heart is functioning. Your prayers are appreciated.PB111819During times of change we are confident that God is with us.  He said He will never leave us or forsake us.  Whatever happens, we are confident we won’t face the future alone.  We know Who holds the future – and we know Who holds our hand.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

He Giveth More Grace

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength ere the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving has only begun.

His love has no limit,
His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundaries known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.

Poem: ‘He Giveth More Grace’
Written by Annie Johnson Flint

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Faithfulness And Truth

O Lord, You are my God;
I will exalt You, I will praise Your name,
For You have done wonderful things,
even purposes planned of old
and fulfilled in faithfulness and truth.
Isaiah 25:1

Scripture:  Amplified Bible

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Something Beautiful

If there ever were dreams
That were lofty and noble
They were my dreams at the start
And the hopes for life's best were the hopes
That I harbored down deep in my heart
But my dreams turned to ashes
My castles all crumbled
My fortune turned to loss
So I wrapped it all in the rags of my life
And I laid it at the cross

Something beautiful, something good
All my confusion He understood
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife
But he made something beautiful of my life

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

Song: ‘Something Beautiful’
Words and music by Bill and Gloria Gaither

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Best Kite Of All

Two weeks ago we drove to the Oregon Coast for an overnight stay.  As we entered the town of our destination I spied a sign that read: ‘Kite Festival – nine to four’.  That day and the next.  A glance at the clock in the car told us that the festival has just ended so we thought we had missed it.  Checking in at our motel and getting ourselves settled a bit didn’t take long.  We were anxious to head to the festival area and take a look.  Was it possible that some of the kites would still be there?  Since it was along the way to our favorite chowder restaurant no harm would be done if we didn’t see a thing as we passed by the staging area.  As we approached the parking lot it was obvious that there were still kites in the air.PA081188We stepped out of our car and moved toward the walkway above the beach. . . and then I saw it!  It was big.  Gigantic.  Round and filled with color.  I had never seen anything like it before! PA081190Moving toward the end of the walkway and finding a spot where I could get closer I suddenly felt as if I had been transported to a new realm of fascination.  It danced and it twirled – gracefully lifting and falling with the wind.PA081193It was anchored in the sand.  No one seemed to be in charge of its movements.  There it was - just a beautiful big rainbow of color.  The weather was just right – a perfect day to fly a kite.PA081201We got a little closer and then we walked along the beach in the opposite direction.  Often I found myself turning around to see where this beauty might be.  And then we went back to see it again.  It was still there, drawing the attention of everyone who stopped by.PA081203 At times the wind lifted it up high. . .PA081223
And when the wind died down it drifted down to touch the sand again.PA081219It was impressive.  No doubt about that.  Up and down.  All around.  But it wasn’t the kite that captured my heart most of all that day.  Just a ways away – totally oblivious to the attraction of the giant kite – stood a very small boy.  His little hand tightly held the string of a simple, little kite flying high overhead.  His sweet face was filled with pride and he smiled because in his heart he knew what I knew - his kite was, by far, the ‘best’ kite of all!PA081259

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Source Of Light

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.

Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.

For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Psalm 36:5-9

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kites In The Wind

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

It's flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn't keep up with it,
Not if I ran.
But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.
And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.
So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes...
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.

Poem: ‘Wind on the Hill’ by A. A. Milne
Photos taken on a recent trip to the Oregon Coast

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gathering of Friends Remembered

Last week I shared that I was off to spend the day with a few blog friends.  It was a day to remember!  A day filled with the sweet friendship of gals who have much in common.  Jane (Tickleberry Farm) was visiting our area so it seemed like a great time to gather some of her blog friends here and have fun together.  You can see a photo of all of us here

We met at Historic Deepwood Estate in Salem.  PA121439Deepwood is one of my favorite get-away places.  No matter how often I visit I always find something that captures my heart.  We strolled through the gardens and then we enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the mansion.  I loved the details – it seemed as if I was seeing them for the first time.  The shape of a papered archway. . .
The carved detail of a corbel on the side of the archway. . . PA121443Reflected light. . .
And the intricate pattern on the back of a beautiful settee.
PA121445After the tour of the mansion we had lunch together at a nearby café.  There was lots of talk and a lot of laughter.  It was such fun just being there together.  Our final stop was at a big antique mall near the café.  We had such fun browsing and shopping together.  And then, all too soon, it was time to head home again.  The hours we spent together cemented our hearts in friendships that will always be special.  And there is talk of getting together again soon.  Maybe next time you can join us!

Be sure and stop by to visit Marilyn (Delights of the Heart) to get a glimpse of the gardens here and read a bit about tea at Deepwood here. Elizabeth (Just Following Jesus) shares more here and here and you can see Jane and Marilyn and me in the garden here.  Be sure to stop by and visit Sharon (Rose of Sharon Garden) – you won’t be sorry!

Edited to add:  Marilyn shared more photos of Deepwood here today.  She captured the essence of the mansion in the most marvelous way.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gathering Of Friends

I’m off today to meet up with some blog friends – one is from far away.  We have places to go, things to see.  And lots of chatting and talking to do.  Our day starts with a stroll through the gardens and a tour of one of my favorite places.P8040365We have plans for lunch together and a bit of shopping.  I’ll share more soon.P8040360

Monday, October 3, 2011

Catching Up With Myself

PA260039The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.  So much has happened in my life and I really had planned to share it all with you.  My intentions were good – I planned to tell you I was going away and then I planned to tell you I was out of town and I planned to show you where I was – but time flew by too fast.  I was busy.  Oh, so busy!  And enjoying what I was doing.  So, my friends, I’d love to reminisce a bit and tell you all about it.

A little over a week ago I flew to Southern California to lead worship at a district ladies’ retreat.  And the bonus?  I got to spend the retreat time with my best friend from college days, plus a couple of extra days at her house!  We are kindred spirits – have been from the moment we met, all through life and to this day.  She’s a friend in the truest sense of the word.  Too bad we live so far apart but, thanks to phones, email and Facebook, we keep in touch often.

The retreat was wonderful.  Memories of the hours I spent with precious ladies there make my heart sing every time I think about it.  The speakers were good – right to my heart – and friendships were renewed and begun.  There was a sweet spirit as we hugged and laughed and sang – and let a few tears fall - and listened to the words God gave each of the speakers to share with us.  All too soon it was over.  A sweet memory.  Dear to my heart.

I flew home the next evening. About the time I boarded the plane the horizon began to change from the blue of the evening sky to the glow of a soft sunset. The colors started to change as we lifted up above the ground.  Once we were airborne and away from the lights of the Los Angeles area I watched in wonder as we flew along miles and miles of coastline heading north.  The colors took on an intensity I've never seen in a sunset from the earth's floor! The blending of the layers was subtle and I wondered if that was just a peek at what it must look like from Heaven.  Soon the night sky enveloped the earth.  There were stars above and twinkling lights of towns below.  Then, somewhere just above the Oregon border – the moon!  Just a sliver.  But bright.  And soon I was home.

Home – back to ‘real’ life and the blessings that God gives from His heart to mine every day. Home - filled with gratitude that He let me be part of a special time, in a special place.  Home - touched by God in a special way – and changed!  Home – different than I was when I went away.  Home – wanting to make every minute count.  Home – to let my light shine brighter than ever before.  Home – where I belong!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Your Name

As morning dawns and evening fades
You inspire songs of praise
That rise from earth to touch Your heart
And glorify Your Name

Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder
'Cause nothing has the power to save
But Your Name

Jesus in Your Name we pray
Come and fill our hearts today
Lord, give us strength to live for You
And glorify Your Name

Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder
'Cause nothing has the power to save but Your Name

Song: ‘Your Name’ by Paul Baloche

Monday, September 19, 2011

Something Strange Is Going On

It was an average day.  A normal day.  A stay-at-home day and I was moving right along getting some housework done.  Laundry was calling me and I had one load out of the dryer and the second one was started when something very strange happened.  I sat on the sofa to fold the clean towels but soon I was called away to the phone.  When I returned I noticed something that hadn’t been there before.  What was this?  What was going on?    P8310681Taking a closer look, I knew.  Mr. Joey had taken advantage of the situation.  A load of fresh, soft, warm towels just out of the dryer was the perfect place to snuggle down for a nap!  He had burrowed his way in and just his head was out.     P8310679 When he realized he had been found he stood up and looked the other way!     P8310680 Silly dog!  What was life like before he arrived at our house?  I know what it was like – it was more predictable.  Not so many funny, furry surprises!

Now, if I could only teach him to fold the towels!