Sunday, April 17, 2016

Soaking

(photo credit)


I slide down into the warm water slowly, deliberately breathing in the steam that is beginning to rise.
I allow only my fingertips to move, gently dancing across the water.

This soak is not for cleaning nor for pleasure.
It is for purpose.

My heart has been heavy with burdens.
Burdens I was never intended to carry and I know the weight is too much to bear any longer.
I must let them go.

It's never an easy process though is it - this business of letting go.  

Breathing in, breathing out, a steady rhythm as I close my eyes to avoid any distraction that may interrupt.  
I tell God I am ready.  

Ready to acknowledge that it is Him on the Throne and not me.  
Ready to take off the heavy pack I have been wearing and all the contents inside.  
Ready to lay my burdens down.  
Ready for the peace this laying down will bring.


One by one, burden by burden, I place each at the foot of the Cross.
It is here I will leave them all.

I pray I don't return to retrieve any.


"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."  Psalm 68:19


Rest and peace and praise.
Yes.

(photo credit)

I soak in the rest.  I soak in the peace.  I whisper the praise.  
And as the water drains I am whole.

I am free.

           

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What I learned in March (2016)




This month I learned:


As the sunshine came streaming through the windows of what I thought was a fairly tidy house, I realized it is no accident that Spring sunshine and Spring cleaning arrive at the same time of year...


A blogger friend can turn sometimes turn into (a much appreciated) prayer partner for a similar need we share.  (Thank you Debby - you blessed my heart!)


There are wonderful little eyebrow shavers out there (I got mine on Amazon) that are a wonder at shaping your eyebrows BUT they are very dangerous when you decide to scrape off just a bit of dry skin above an eyebrow and while you are concentrating on this you get carried away and before you know it a small portion of said eyebrow goes missing...yeah, so that happened.


Eyebrow pencils work wonders in covering up "mistakes" that happen to, ahem, some of us : )


It is okay to be the person along the road that the Good Samaritan stops for.  Most of us are natural helpers but it is okay to be the one on the receiving end as well. 


Meeting someone with your same first name creates an instant bond no matter the age difference. 


When you pick up your watering can (to water some new strawberry plants you are adding to the current bed) and the spout is a bit clogged and you think it is a rock so you swish the can around and proceed to water it is quite possible you should look inside first.  After watering I decided to swish the can again and empty it out to retrieve the rock.  Turns out the "rock" was actually an adorable, medium sized (and probably oh so dizzy after all my swishing of him) frog! He sat, understandably so, a bit dazed for quite a while so I ran for the camera to "capture" him but alas - when I returned he had, obviously, retreated for safer digs.   Poor guy!  



I hope the month of March was a good one for you all.  Did you learn anything special?



I am linking up with Emily from Chatting at the Sky for her:  What I learned series here.


photo #1 creditphoto #2 credit  






Friday, March 11, 2016

Giving Thanks Friday




This week I am thankful for: 



Friday - a sign that I made it through the week.  And sometimes that is enough.  


Summer flower bulb purchases and the promise they hold of growth and beauty.


A trip to Hobby Lobby and lots of laughter.  (On a side note: I commented to our daughter Bethany, who had just returned our cart to the inside of the store, that even though there was no cart return not one cart was left outside in the parking lot.  Her reply:  Well, they play Christian music inside so everyone will feel guilty if they don't return the carts.  Hahaha, oh my I love that girl!)


Frozen pizza...from a box...after a long, emotional day...and a husband who eats it with joy.


Jill Foley's photographs.  She speaks my love language.  


Answered prayer - even when it means a loved one had to admit something hard.  They are loved, supported and on their way to newness.  


A wise niece who shared this quote on her Facebook page:  "We can tell God we have a big problem or we can tell our problem we have a big God."  Amen.


Homemade soup gifted us by my Dad - yummy AND I didn't have to cook it.  Score!


Pay Day!  Oh wait, that is NEXT Friday...well, thankful it is coming soon anyhow : )    




      
What are you thankful for?


May your weekend be filled with wonder, laced with peace and bursting with love...

(Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1) 



(photo credit here)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Simply: Growing



When I purchased this little guy from Lowe's he only had two little leaves popping up.
I think I shared before that this little teacup had a crack in it so I decided to repurpose it into a planter.
I was looking for just a bit of greenery and thought I would take a chance on this tiny, inexpensive pot.  
A few months, and several new leaves later, it was evident that it was time for a new and larger home.

I transplanted him into another pot I already had and opted to move it to a sunnier kitchen window rather than our dining table.
He did so well.
More and more leaves appeared.
and then
SHE bloomed!



  
Yep, unbeknownst to me he was actually a she.

Just look at her happy, pinkish blossoms.
I was expecting (and content)with the green leaves so the flowers were a surprise bonus!

A little more water, a little more light, a bit of fertilizer in the soil and the plant has bloomed continuously since last spring-
so much so that it was time for yet another larger home.




So here she is, an acclimated happy camper in her same location but larger digs.
And she is still blooming,
still growing.

*

Truthfully, I am often resistant to change.  I get comfortable where I am.  I don't want to move.
But growth requires movement.
It sometimes means being transplanted to a new situation or a new location.
Sometimes we just have to move into a new pattern of thought.
Sometimes we must let our hearts be moved into action.

If we stay where we are we find our roots become a tangled mess.
No growth. 
No blooms.

But when we take a chance,
let God move in us, 
we grow.
We bloom even.

And it's a good thing.



Although the plant did not come with a tag stating what variety it was, from internet research it appears to be a Crown of Thorns.  How fitting that she would remind be a constant reminder to me to keep on growing, keep on blooming. 



Friday, February 12, 2016

Giving Thanks Friday



This week I am thankful for: 



A rare Monday off  work for my husband, a seafood lunch out after grocery shopping AND it was 60 degrees out - in January!  (Really three things all in one day to be thankful for - a jackpot of days!)


Our local tire store FINALLY getting online bill pay.  They were the one last holdout and I would always have to plan to drop off the payment in person and was even late once...thankful they climbed on board with technology (grin). 


The enthusiastic and overwhelming church and community support for a wonderful local woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  So many prayers being prayed for her...


A special ring given to me by my mother in law (one of the strongest women I know).  I like to wear it when I am facing something difficult as a reminder to lean in to Jesus and trust His ways as she does.  


Kitchen grown sprouts (alfalfa etc combination).  They elevate the lowly tuna sandwich into a wonder!  


A flock of seagulls bathing in the flooded field amidst the sunshine.  A nice bit of the beach come closer our way.       


  
      
What are you thankful for?


May your weekend be filled with wonder, laced with peace and bursting with love...

(Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1) 


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Simply: Raindrops


A scattering of raindrops poured out and blown by the winds against windowpanes.

Water pooling in puddles where wildlife drink and children splash.

Sky poured fluid gathering in streams, rivers and oceans

where

lands are irrigated
marine creatures sustained
thirst quenched.

Life giving moisture 
starting 
with 
just one drop.

*


The recent blowing of rain against my windows has meant a bit more window washing as sun finds its way out and the marks where the drops landed block our view.  Striving to live life more simply, more organically, I decided to try one of the many natural window cleaning solutions found on internet.  I settled on this:

2 cups warm water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch


I added all ingredients right into a spray bottle and shook until mixed.  It seemed to work well on the windows.  Some versions included a drop of dish soap which I chose not to add.  I may try a different solution when this one runs out.  Do any of you make your own window/glass cleaner? Do you have a favorite I should know about? 


(This is the first in what will be a regular "Simply" feature here at a dandelion diary.  It will be similar to (and replace) the Simple Saturday posts.  Thanks so much for reading!) 







Friday, January 29, 2016

What I learned in January (2016)

 slide #1


This month I learned:

When you visit the drive-thru with your daughter for a quick lunch of a veggie burrito and drink and she says she doesn't want anything, don't believe her.  We made it as far as the parking lot when (because "it smells so good") we got back in the line and went through for ANOTHER veggie burrito and drink.  The nice worker pretended not to notice we were just there for the exact same thing a few cars ago.  


A lovely lady might stop you outside World Market to tell you that you have a "nice face", which I thought was nice.  Until she turns up in both the aisles you are looking in.  Then it feels weird and you decide to stay in the same aisles as your husband.  In her defense she was probably the nicest of ladies.  But she could have also been an ax murder - you just never know (grin). 


Sometimes all you need on a rainy, dreary afternoon is a sweet movie and a pair of warm, fuzzy socks on your cold feet.  


Chef Chloe Coscarelli isn't just another pretty face.  That girl can cook some serious vegan food.  You can find her web site and information on her books as well as find many recipes to try HERE.  


There is just something to be said for the soothing sounds of vintage vinyl.  My parents added their collection to my pretty dismal one and I am SO enjoying the vast array of tunes.  Thanks Mom and Dad!


No matter what you have been facing, don't give up, don't give in, just keep holding on to Jesus because He will see you through.  January was a fresh beginning after a year that saw some tough battles and mighty bruises.  With that battle came a final surrender (why do I fight on my own so long...) and with surrender, as He takes up the battle I was not meant to fight, comes peace. The Peace that passes all understanding, the Peace that sustains my heart, heals it whole again.



slide #2

The hillside near the bottom of our road (and the main, albeit only 2 lane, highway) slid twice in the past week or so but those wonderful Department of Transportation workers were willing to brave the weather and even work into the dark to get one lane back open for traffic.  Bless your hearts!  I usually avoid the highway, but many depend on it, and instead cross the bridge over the river and take the "scenic route" - but that road is also down to one lane in a section due to a massive sinkhole.  Hmmm maybe I will just be staying home for a while...


Happy almost February to you all!    


Linking once again with Emily from Chatting at the Sky for What I learned.