Monday, June 27, 2011

quietly counting

#587-597
Opportunity to bless the children
And they are BLESSED by the opportunity
Spaces of time alone with the youngest
Swallows in & out of the cavity nests at God’s Garden
A robin on her nest
Chick a dee in the bird bath
Smoke has cleared from the mountain
On the day the children start their volunteer work so close to the mountain
And I feel like I can see the breath God blew to send the smoke away
Awe in the van as we all SEE the gift
Blue blue sky

Sunday, June 26, 2011

This Could Be Our Day ~ Ephesians 3




What we do here is just the beginning
New life is starting at every ending
We are a part of the story unfolding
This is the weight of the world we are holding

this could be our day...

Ephesians 3:14-21

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

This is my prayer for you, dear reader.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Reading, More to Think On

while my laptop lies waiting for treatment from the "puter hospital" to free it from a nasty virus, I am using others computers to check email, to watch my Simply Charlotte Mason planning dvd and reading more of actual books, and much less of blogs...

here is something I read this week while Chica worked hard on regaining strength and flexiability at gym...

"Patience following tribulation and experience following patience carry no labels as to whether they are for father or child, mother or grandchild, husband or wife.  This is how people are to get along with other people.  And it applies in the family first of all, equally for each to strive for."

from the chapter "A Changing Life Mobile" from What is a Family? by Edith Schaeffer

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Something I am Thinking On

DO I....

worship at my work?
work at my play?
play at my worship?


These questions were asked by a pastor at the baptist church in Chetwynd, BC last year.  I've carried the index card that I wrote them on with me, since, as it is something I want to continue to think on.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Writing Your Compassion Sponsor Child

Today is the second Friday of the month!  The day that we as a family write to our Compassion sponsor children and draw pictures to send to them.

the beautiful Herlinda

and handsome Bryan

Over the years of sponsoring children, writing the letters has been a challenge for me.  Not knowing the child personally, and have so much distance between us seemed to leave me not knowing what to say.  But these Moody Bible Institute Scholars, Compassion sponsored children who have graduated, have some encouragement to share on the importance of writing these letters to the precious children we sponsor.  And so we just do it, and it has become a joyful activity for us each month.


Wanna join us in writing some letters and drawing a few pictures today?009

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Free Father's Day Cards at Shutterfly


5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.


Get 5 Free Father's Day cards at Shutterfly today (promo code DADCARD), and free shipping for orders over $30 (SHIP30)  AND if you shop through Ebates you earn 8%  :).

This was a fun project, making the Father's Day cards, as I let each girl have a turn at the computer to pick and build a card, then we did 2 more for grandfathers.

I also decided to give the "photo books" a try and ordered a photobook of all the pictures we took during Petal Rose's Mary Poppins production.  As much as I formerly enjoyed scrapbooking, it just isn't something I can set aside time & finances for in this season.  Maybe these photo book deals will be a good way to preserve some special memories :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thin Places by Mary E DeMuth ~ A review

Thin Places, a memoir by Mary E. DeMuth

Often I put a "hold" on books from the library website that I hear about from friends and on the internet.  This book was "requested" so far back that when I picked it up, I couldn't remember requesting it, and assumed wrongly, and rightly what it was about.  One of the blogs I follow is imperfect prose, where Emily writes and has spoke volumes to me on being a mother to daughters, on how to LOVE them, how to protect them from those prowling eating disorders that steal the life of so many young people.  So the title "Thin Places" seemed to me about that.  After the first chapter I almost sent the book back to the library.  Even told my dear Builder that I was going to.  This woman, Mary E DeMuth, wrote this book for me.  I'm pretty certain of it.  Not that every single thing was the same as what I have experienced or struggle with, but boy was it close.
 
"What if you could retrace your life and discover its thin places -places where the division between this world and the eternal fades?  Thin places are snatches of holy ground, tucked into the corners of our world, where we might just catch a glimpse of eternity.  They are aha moments, the beautiful realizations."

Mary DeMuth is brutally honest in her memoir.  So very open, honest and courageous.  The weaving of this story she tells with broken, strong, fragile, beautiful imagry in her words.  These stories are terrible hard to tell, terrible hard to hear.  But they need to be told, and they need to be heard.  And she says in the chapter Amazing Life 

"If I throw all the journals out, my reputation will be safer, won't it?  No one will know the depth of my depravity.  No one will have the fodder to expose my soul to the world like a spiritual muckraker.  All true.  But they also won't see a wrestling pilgrim, following painstakingly after Jesus. No one will see the portrait of the girl who falls down, then gets up.  The grace that shines brighter on a darkened life will seem duller without my darkness.  And maybe I'll be tempted -if I throw away my journals-to stand a little taller, believing that somehow I corrected myself, that I became free by my own doing."

And she quotes 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 ~ "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

The author has written a difficult true story, yet beautiful in the promise woven in, God sees us.  He is present, ever working on our behalf, choosing us, redeeming us.  Even when it is very dark, when we are very dark and we can't see Him, He does see us.
linking up with Jessica at LifeasMom.com

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We love gardening here at Columbine Gardens and this year, with the new Square Foot Garden boxes that Builder built, it's even more fun, becuase it's more organized!  We have a few other delight sprinkle through the yards too...

At the very front of our veggie & herb garden Mae & Chica planted a cut flower bed and a sunflower bed.  We put in a geraniam, African daisy & some snapdragon plants from Lowes as well.  We are looking forward to fresh flowers for our table, and also welcome the bees & butterflies that might fly in for a visit.

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the foliage on the snapdragons doesn't look healthy, but it is still blooming.  We're not sure, but maybe it is too hot in this part of the garden.  Mae & Chica sowed Bachelor Buttons and Hollyhocks in this box too.

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Sunflower seedlings

Over by the bedroom windows we planted honeysuckle, two years ago.  One of the plants died during our absence last year, and we replaced it with this beauty
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The other is slowly coming back and we are pleased to see it starting to reach for the trellis.073

074One of the Aspens that Builder planted a few years ago also died, but the other two are looking great now that they are all leafed out.

There are pretty daisies nodding their friendly welcome by the mailbox. 059
Years ago our oldest daughter grew a delightful daisy ring around a maple tree.  Those daisies were so pretty, and now daisies, Shasta Daisies actually, always bring Miss Sparkles right into my thoughts.






Monday, June 6, 2011

Seeking Dirty Hands & a Clean Heart

"God is interested in the great reversal.  Not clean hands and a dirty heart, but a clean heart with dirty hands.  It reminds me of this verse:  'Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress (dirty hands) and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (clean heart).'  James 1:27"  Thin Places by Mary E DeMuth

As this past week we read posts from the blessed heartbroken, those who traveled to the Phillipines to visit the Compassion projects and met the people, so much bubbled in me.  So much want to GO myself, with Builder and children.  Travel to "that" place, meet those children, see their world. 

I know this verse above, I believe it and seek to do it.  In all this affluence, all this abundance doing it here seems so much less.   Then I looked into the eyes of the not so little ones entrusted to me, the little ones who visit for a few hours a week and it comes to me.  There are widows abandoned by their men, children orphaned by their fathers, the heartbroken, and the simply sweet young hearts of our own to look after, right here, right now. 

The real ache, the real trouble with this verse, keeping oneself from being polluted by the world.  To be sure to use this abundance and affluence to HIS glory, for the care of whoever He brings our way, or puts on our hearts, and to teach the precious "hope for the future" that dwells right here with us.  Wisely, as stewards.


counting:  a few of the gifts from  #571-583

Bubbly laughter of children

Cookie Dough birthday gift
Flowers outside my kitchen window
Baby birds in the birdhouse
God’s word, ever true
Books that make me think
Guidance in decision making
Safety
Hurts revealed
Sleeping children
Sunshine
Hearing the Spirit speak, and hearing Him say, “Yes, it is ME” through the message on Sunday morning
Growth in the garden, hope for growth in my heart
Discouragement, an opportunity to purpose to be steadfast in hope
Scriptures with the children

Sunday, June 5, 2011

In Christ Alone

if you would like to listen to this song, scroll down to the bottom of the page to still the playlist that is set to fill this little corner of cyberspace with quiet worship of Jehovah, the God who loves.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer Fun with Younger Cousins and Friends

"Great" nephews have been spending time with us the last few weeks, and recently brought a bag of hopeful campfire fun.

001

Our city is under a fire ban so we are not able to use our fire ring, and roast hot dogs & marshmallows over the fire...

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but we improvised!

and had a GREAT time...
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018

019

We've also had a delightful time with the 3 year old twin sons of one of our oldest daughter's friends from high school.

026

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It is with joy and hope that we pulled out an old favorite,

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to read again and share with the younger ones who God allows us time with.

Summer is off to a great start!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Planning for More ~ Happy Results

Last week I shared my joy over some recent lab results.

After conversing with Builder a few times about this topic (I was actually pretty excited) we've come up with a few more small changes to add to my daily life.  And I am planning on making an appointment in a year to see how those changes will affect these "numbers."

Changes~
Continually increasing my water intake, and continuing to steer away from soda, sweeten drinks
Walking at least 3 times a week, Stretch & Strength 2 times a week
Going outside every morning that it is possible, to read for 15 minutes (vitamin d & Mother Nurture)
Taking a vitamin d supplement in our smoothies
Consistently taking a calcium supplement
Increasing the amount of soluable fiber in my diet (need to do more research on this one)

So tell me, are there small changes you are making in your life, with the hope to reap some happy results?