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