Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Applause

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How does the saying go?  "You don't appreciate what you have until it is gone".  I can now say that about summers past.  How could one appreciate our usual hot summers unless you live through a summer of scorching heat.  Yes, we set new weather records.  We had 70 days of 100-plus temperature...far above  norm in our otherwise hot, summer state.  These records also caused us set our own personal records for the most days with air conditioning and staying inside.  So I appreciate the normal heat of summers past after the summer of 2011!

Today,  I want to share my Fall Applause.  The heat, still here at times, has also bowed her head  to rejuvenating cool mornings.  The anticipation of Fall can be smelled for a few hours in the early morning, while I set to take in all the possibilities of the season before me.

Cool enough to open the windows!  Letting the breeze rush over my shoulders as I have my quiet time, just renews my energy and delight in this coming season.

The breeze also ushers in the sounds of the high school band practicing...a sure sign that Fall is here, even though afternoons call for the air conditioner.  As the band plays, my memory drifts back to early morning drill team practices in the Fall during high school....and of course, high school football!

I hope you are enjoying your first taste of Fall and letting the cool breezes bring back days of past Falls. May we appreciate this time of year before she is swept away by winter's cold.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Celebrating You!

This post is dedicated to you the bloggers.  I am here cheering from the sideline saying,
  "Thank-You! You all Rock!"

I wish I could write pages and pages of celebration about each one of you....I have been truly blessed.  Today I want to stop and celebrate the artistry of two fellow bloggers and one that I had the joy to meet.

Sandy of Faith, Hope and Love is what I would call a vessel of refined silver.  The story goes that the silver smith will heat the silver, pulling the dross to the top...the dross is the impurities in the silver.  He would remove the dross and continue to heat until he can see his own reflection in the refined silver.
Sandy reflects the image of her Savior.  Her blog has inspired me to push in on my relationship with the Lord, as have so many other Christian bloggers post.
She is also a creator of beautiful jewerly.  I am honored to own  this necklace from Sandy's creative hands. With my necklace she wrote the meaning behind each stone and the word God had given her for me through this necklace.  She will be starting a blog to sell her beautiful creations.

This necklace is a Christmas gift for a love one who gives herself selfishly daily to serve others.

Cindy at Letters from Midlife is another artist.  She glorifies the Lord through her camera lens and writing.   She combines her talent in photography with her love for hand-written notes.  She sells her cards also (click on her name to see).  Her cards were the first mail I received in my new mail box.

Then last week I had the honor of meeting a fellow blogger...Lori @ His Song to Sing.
She was traveling through my city and we meet at a wonderful little bistro.  She brought with her two, life-long  friends to join us.  The three women just glowed with the Glory of the Lord and their love and support of each other is a true gift from God.  It was my pleasure to meet them all.  It was a delight to see each other in three dimension!

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Lori was as dignifed and gracious as she comes across on her blog.  This meeting was a wonderful blessing.

By putting flesh on another blogger I realized what an honor it is to enter into the blog world and meet women from all over the world.

So today I celebrate each of you. I pray for you and ask the Lord to continue to bless you and your family.  Thanks for all your comments and visits.  What an awesome tool the Lord is using to expand and encourage His Bride.  How beautiful is the Bride of Christ.

Have a wonderful week.

Friday, September 23, 2011

High Hopes

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Just what makes that silly of ant think he can move a rubber tree plant?

This past week brought some challenges.  Tears were flowing out of frustration, prayers were being prayed and directions were being sought.  In the midst of this time Benjamin and I were studying ants.  There is so much to be learned from the ant.

Through this bump in the road, God swept down and gave me a laughing hug.  So, as I looked at the suggested song for Benjamin's study on ants, I burst into singing this little child's song.  Oh my, just like we have all stated before...the Power of Music.  In just seconds I was grinning and the burden was lighter as we sang about the ant.

If you haven't already watched the precious video I will share with you the words.

My desire for you this weekend is that you have High Hopes and all your Problems Go Kerplop.  We are entering a new week like the ant and the ram....not letting go of our High Hopes!
(*dedicated to my precious high school son who had a very hard week)

Writer(s): Cahn/Van Heusen

Next time you're found, with your chin on the ground
There a lot to be learned, so look around

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he'll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can't
Move a rubber tree plant

But he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes
He's got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time you're gettin' low
'stead of lettin' go
Just remember that ant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant

When troubles call, and your back's to the wall
There a lot to be learned, that wall could fall

Once there was a silly old ram
Thought he'd punch a hole in a dam
No one could make that ram, scram
He kept buttin' that dam

but he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes
He's got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time you're feelin' bad
'stead of feelin' sad
Just remember that ram
Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam

All problems just a toy balloon
They'll be bursted soon
They're just bound to go pop

Oops there goes another problem kerplop
Oops, there goes another problem kerplop
Oops, there goes another problem kerplop

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Heritage to Leave

google image - I think this bookstore is what most readers wish we still had.  Isn't it wonderful when you go into a bookstore where the workers have read books?

Many people plan and work all their lives to leave behind a heritage to their children.  I feel this is an admirable goal. A passed-down heritage seems to give us roots, no matter where God may plant us.

Unless God brings about a miracle, we will not be leaving behind a financial heritage to our children, but my heart's cry is that the heritage we pass down has spiritual roots with heaven as the prize.

I do, however, have a material heritage I would love to hand over to our future generations.  As you all contributed to the list of books that you have enjoyed and enriched your lives, I let my dream expand.

Throughout the years of home schooling, I have fallen in love with wonderful children's books.  My kids would tell people that I bought a book a day...not true, but in their eyes the bookshelves were filling up fast.   As I learned  books could go out-of-print, I would make sure we had copies of our favorites.   I still pull many of those favorites out as decorations for my coffee table during the year.  In many of the books, I have printed the date bought and who the book was read to....this is how I plan to remember it when I cuddle up to read the book to a grandchild and say, "yes, your 'mommy or daddy' read this when they were.......... old."

As we moved to different homes, my older sons laughed while hauling all the book boxes. Mockingly, they said their children won't be reading printed books, only electronic books.  They also laughed that the only place their kids would see printed books would be at my house....well, that is just fine with me. Time will tell. I am not letting go of my books.

Also lining my bookshelves are spiritual growth books.  My children haven't come home yet to borrow them, but time brings many life experiences and I hope one day they will glean from the wealth held in the books that I continue to pack and carry to our new homes.  Most books are highlighted and tagged, with even some of their names in the margins or covers because I was thinking of them when I read a passage in a book.  Many just show the different seasons of life and my spiritual growth as a wife, mother and daughter of the King of Kings.  The covers may look dated, but the truths within the pages are timeless ones.

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Here is my dream library for all those who want to sneak away from the world and get caught up in the world of books.  I can just imagine snuggling up on the little couch to read to a grandchild...or by myself.

Thanks so much for joining me on my post, "Exercising My Brain". Many of you  have enjoyed some of the same jewels I have enjoyed and others added new ones to my list of "want to read".  You might enjoy going back and reading through the list given.

Maybe one day my dream library will become reality....when it does, I will invite you to come to curl up and enjoy a book.  Even if I don't have the room I will still have the books...a material heritage for our future generations.

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.  ~Charles W. Eliot

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Trust in Jesus - Sunday Singings

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Second to reading the Word of God (Holy Bible), along with other books that have increased my walk of faith, is music.  Music has spoken to my heart as powerful at times as the written or spoken word.

As my older ones entered their teen years I made a conscience effort to reach out to different genres of music.  One group I embraced was Third Day.  I remember my oldest attending their concerts and pumping their songs through our house.  My now fifteen-year-old son...then just a toddler, would bounce to songs of his brother's music...all giving praise to the Lord God.

I will not be "silent" nor will I allow the rocks to cry out in Praise louder than I.  I will lift my hands to a Holy God and offer up my sacrifice of praise.

Today I share one of my newest favorite praise songs.  The video is wonderful.  I have also posted the words for those who don't care to listen or watch.  My desire is that you will enter into Praise as I dedicate this post again to my grandmother...the one who took me to Sunday Singings.  I am sure she is in heaven tapping her toe in Praise and lifting up her hands to her Lord.

I also read this article Shaking America and the World (click to read)(thanks Susan) this week which seems to go with this song and my finished reading on Jonah.  I was convicted and stirred.

One of these days we all will stand in judgment for
Every single word that we have spoken
One of these days we all will stand before the Lord
Give a reason for everything we've done
And what I've done is

Trust in Jesus
My great Deliverer
My strong Defender
The Son of God
I trust in Jesus
Blessed Redeemer
My Lord forever
The Holy One, the Holy One

What are you going to do when your time has come
And your life is done and there's nothing you can stand on
What will you have to say at the judgment throne
I already know the only thing that I can say I

There's nothing I can do on my own to find forgiveness
It's by His grace alone I trust in Jesus
Trust in Jesus

I Trust in Jesus!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Need to Exercise My Brain

Now I have decided if I have to give up my morning Chia Tea....then just give me a shovel and I will dig my own grave....giving up my tea isn't gonna happen.  Since I am also a Native Texan...living just miles from the original Dr Pepper factory...well an occasional Dr Pepper (I take mine with sugar cane please) is also on my list of "guiltless pleasures".

We are all learning to continue to watch what we eat...organic, whole grain, no fat, lean meats, more fiber...etc. etc., while pushing ourselves to exercise on a regular basis.

As  a Christian I know I can't add a day to my life...God has already determined my home coming, nor can I totally decide the quality of my health.  Our pastor who ate only organic, exercised, supplemented and  kept his body is tip-top shape reminds us that even with all that human effort he still came down with brain cancer, as he declares God's sovereignty each week through his sermons.  I can be faithful to the temple God has given me and leave the rest to Him.

So I was knocked off my bike peddling legs when I read this comment.

It's amazing to me that our culture can be so smart and deliberate about physical nutrition and so mindless about the  spiritual, intellectual, and emotional content of the ideas we consume. We're so casual about what goes into our minds and then end up in therapy desperately trying to change what's in there.  I'm convinced that if we took half the care to guard our minds that we do to guard our bodies, in about five years we would be amazed at the transformation that has taken place in our heart and relationships.   Chip Ingram from Good to Great in God's Eyes

Wow!  Now I have to confess I put the book down... pedaled a little harder, to get rid of more calories and just mediated on that thought.  Now if I am going to get up early each morning to work-out and invest in my health...I need to also invest in my brain....Some Stinking Thinking Needs to Go!

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Ingram goes on to admonish the reading of  scripture...meditate and memorize.  I know that fact...but have I been faithful to realize that I need my spiritual muscles more than my physical muscles?

After the Word of God he explains how Great Books expand our minds and change us.  My loaded down bookshelves testify to the readings which have affected my life, yet I was challenged to see how I need to do more.  It is time to make a list and start exercising my brain more.  It is time to enter fall with a dream to expand and grow mental muscles.

So today I am asking you to give me some of your favorites.   What book has changed your life?  What is your favorite "just for fun" book?  I am not a fiction reader...so I am trying to expand my limited knowledge of books in that area. What is the most inspirational book you have read?

If you could only take five books with you and you could never have any more....what five would you take?

Thanks for sharing....I am excited about this re-newed zeal to work on my thinking.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Simple Joy - Comics

Yesterday was a very sobering day.  We put out our flag..the only one on our street...and turned on the television to watch the memorial services.  Like everyone else in America I can remember the morning forever sketched in my mind and heart.  As a home school mom  we were all in our school room starting our studies when my husband yell, "turn on the television!!!!!" and we watched in horror the events unfold.

Since we lived within two miles of a major airport we discussed if we needed to leave the area...but where  was it safe?  We fell to our knees and as a family began to pray.  As the days past and all planes were grounded, we lived in a constant reminder of the events because of the deafening silence of the air over our home.

The day planes were allowed to fly I heard them boom over our home, I ran outside in tears....the silence had been broken and life would go forward in a new way.

Each of us have heard the stories and will continue to hear them throughout the remaining days of our life's.

Today I share a Simple Sunday Joy with you....reading the Sunday paper, along with the comics.  Yesterdays comics just summed it up so well.  How many times the comics bring us joy....and now they remind us also of what is important...so I share with you the ones that jumped from the pages of my newspaper.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hardship - Silently Adapt

This is a picture of the bristle cone pine called the Methuselah Tree.  This tree is the oldest known living organism, surviving at elevations of 10,000 to 11,000 feet in California, believed to be about 4,723 years old.

This tree was alive when Pharaoh built the pyramids, Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness, the Roman Empire conquered the known world and Jesus Christ was born, died and resurrected.

Characteristics of Methuselah:
1)  flourishing through extreme hardships over long periods of time
2)  adapts to a changing environment
3)  surviving in barren landscape
4)  during droughts, it becomes dormant
5)  starving off portions of itself to feed small parts, based on availability of water and nutrients

Wow! All of creation points to the Creator and the Creator leaves behind messages to us, his creations.

The message my Creator shouted through this creation was to develop the ability to adapt.  Through all the different weather conditions, the Methuselah Tree has learned to adapt to the environment...not to be killed by the storms.  Although it appears to be dead, it is still alive.  The gnarled appearance has been caused by extremely harsh environmental conditions over centuries of time.

I have the same Creator as the Methuselah Tree, and He, and only He can see me through extreme hardships with peace as my guide.  Can I silently adapt?

I am not known for silence, unless I am extremely angry, so silently adapting will have to be God.

God speaks through so many things in our lives.  Today, it was this 5000-year-old miracle tree named Methuselah.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." (Psalm 19:1-4; cf. Psalm 97:6)

This is a re-post from last year - because God seems to be speaking the same words to me again...sorry if you have already read it...I am sure I am speaking to myself.

Prayers are with our neighbors here in Texas that have lost so much due to the fires that are scorching the country side.  May the Lord be with them all and for all the firefighters and recovery teams being sent into these areas.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

What Were They Thinking?

It use to be cool....well that was the slang word then for being with the crowd.  I wore it proudly.  I was a stylish-drill team member in high school when the fashion industry introduced the ring.  At least that is what I told myself as I adorned my finger with the fashion statement.  Since school rooms were usually cold what my ring indicated had nothing to do with the truth....it was always black.

Mood Rings!

Recently I noticed this fashion statement of the 70's is back in style.

Now really....What were they thinking?

Surely it is still for the young.

I don't think the world needs to know the mood of  middle-age, menopausal women.  I think we show it very clearly and I don't think any of us really want to read indicators on a ring.  I don't need a color to announce my mood....thank-you!  Besides we might need our own chart to tell the truth of the matter.  Now wouldn't that be marketing tool....Tell the Mood of a Middle-Age Woman

So this is one retro-fashion statement I will not endorse.  How about you?  Do you want to wear a Mood Ring?  Did you wear one?
I hope you have a wonderful "mood" week!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Writing is on the WALL

I haven't cross-stitched in years....I would need very powerful glasses to do this again.  

As I meander through old items, deciding again what to keep and what to trash, I am noticing that I have always had words on my walls.  I first began this talking wall journey with cross-stitching.  I don't think I ever cross-stitched anything that didn't have words.  Then I bought pictures with words.  I also dreamed of our old home, which had those wonderful 24-foot walls, speaking out quotes, scriptures and words hand-inscribed up and down.  That dream wasn't fulfilled....but let's say I am drawn to the new vinyl letters like a bee to honey. I also expressed some thoughts through vinyl in our previous rent house, and they do remove easily.

The wall was painted down to hide it's worn days of welcoming people up the stairs.
Here is my wall of words!  This wall is on the landing of our stairs.  It isn't visible to the casual visitors to our home...you have to be invited up the stairs.  The vinyl words...and yes, I will be adding some on the side walls...speak to you among the stories in each of the family pictures.

My collection of two-year-old pictures are mixed in with pictures of our ever-growing family, both past and present.

The vinyl letters were bought at half-price and all the frames were under $5.00 a piece...so an economical way to decorate a boring wall.

I even changed out the light...yes I did it myself...electrical wiring and all!
Everything looks a little better with some light on it.

 As my family descends the stairs to start their day, they are greeted by my mirror with the word "Courage".(past post on making mirror)
This is an unusual place for a mirror, but it seems to remind us all...check out what you look like, see your heritage behind you on the wall and face the world with His Courage.

So there is my wall of words and my family.  It tells the story of two people who joined in marriage 31 years ago and what the Lord has done.  The wall still has space...the story continues.
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