Friday, August 29, 2014

Giving Thanks Friday

This week I am thankful for: 

An impromptu dinner of Subway sandwiches in the park.  What a lovely way to start out the long weekend.  

A deer who happened to visit some neighboring property.  (Apparently he is camera shy because just as soon as I got back to the window with the camera he turned to leave.)

A loved one whose health has made a dramatic turnaround.  So very, thankful!

Sun filled mornings come to life with the music of cooing doves.  Such a peaceful sound.

Tomato plants heavy with the last of the season's fruits.  

A life filled with so much love..

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) 

Monday, August 25, 2014

It is well

It's been a while hasn't it?  I have missed being here and am ready to find my way back. This summer has been one of many outdoor projects for ourselves and our parents as well. It has been good to keep my hands busy.  It provides time for my mind to unwind, my spirit to quiet.

I don't know about you all but my heart has been weary these past few months.  News from afar of kidnapped girls, rockets fired, a murdered journalist and the beloved fleeing to mountaintops.  News a little closer of civil unrest and two grieving families.  Even closer news of depression, suicidal ideation, addiction and families torn.  So much hurt; so much pain.

In the processing of it all I felt a bit overwhelmed, asking hard questions of myself, of God. Wondering what possible difference I could make from where I sat.  

But the thing is, it wasn't about me at all.   My eyes had become out of focus.  You see, it wasn't my job to figure it all out.  It's God's and I was trying to do it for Him.  So in my mind, and in my heart, I prayerfully began to place the seemingly impossible before the God of the possible. For it is only at the foot of the cross that real healing can begin for them, for me.  

Sometimes we are asked to help, to raise awareness, to donate money, even to go.  But this time my job was to be still and know.  Know that I serve a BIG God.  Know that He is moving in ways I may never understand.  Know that He is our unfailing Hope.  Know that He is our (beyond understanding) source of Peace.           

On a warm and breezy evening a couple weeks ago I sat in that stillness outside.  I felt God's love in the warmth of the sun, His touch in the rustle of the bamboo leaves and as the night sky filled with diamond like stars I could hear His whisper:  Those stars?  I made them for you.  I see you.  And those same stars that shine down on you, shine down on the hurting, the hungry, and the lonely everywhere. I see them too.  I hear your prayers and I am grieving for this world in greater ways than you can imagine.  Keep your eyes on me.  Trade your pain for peace.  Give me your weary heart and I will make well your soul.

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    • It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.

(Horatio G. Stafford)

The beauty is when we inhale the peace of God, we are free to exhale His great love - a love that can move mountains...


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I have learned this summer

This summer I have learned: 

There is beauty all around, we just have to be still long enough to see it. 

The first tomato from the vine tastes heaven sent.

I am much less picky about the way the interior of the house is kept during the summer months.

Losing a loved one is never easy but carrying their memory is.

I can appreciate the different ways individuals express themselves through fashion but I also learned (thanks to the lady in the tire store parking lot) that adding fringe to the bottom of your midriff baring t-shirt does not in fact cover your bulging, bare midriff.  

Sunflowers are happy flowers and looking at them makes me happy too.

God never, ever gives up on anyone - and we shouldn't either.

Burned veggie chili will mask the funny odor caused by your oven having been in the self cleaning mode.  It will also cause an entirely different odor to deal with...

Eating outdoors makes everything taste better.

I will never tire of gazing at a star filled sky.  

And finally, when


turns into


all is right with the world : )

I am linking up with Emily, from Chatting at the Sky, and other summer learners here:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good intentions

Life is definitely unpredictable isn't it?  I had every intention of participating in a 30 day photo challenge at least on most days of July but it hasn't quite happened.  Really, it was a silly month to take on such a challenge in the first place since I have little time to snap photos let alone try to make them look nice for you all.  Secondly, most bloggers are busy during the summer and who needs 30 days of posts from me cluttering up your in-box...

It was fun in the beginning but I lost steam when we lost my Grandpa.  His memorial service is this week.  At the end of last week I thought well, I haven't missed that many days so maybe I will pick up the challenge again.  Enter a camera issue that has yet to be dealt with. 

So, yes, good intentions but this photo challenge is officially over.  Maybe I will get to do one in the future.  Maybe not.  (Life...unpredictable...) 

One of the days I missed was animals so I decided to grab a few photos from my archives to share on this last day.  Whether is is neighboring farms or our own back porch there are animals, birds and bugs a plenty around here. 

Love this mama cow and her calf.

The buffalo farm across the river from us.

These birds come back to nest each year.  This farm has built them a platform to ease their nest building.

Ducks and more ducks.

A turkey ready for flight.

An insect rather than an animal but I love when these sweet creatures visit. 
And finally, some very hungry pigeons.  Thank you to everyone who has followed along on this challenge and for your kind and encouraging comments.  I pray the remainder of your summer is filled with all things beautiful! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Honoring those to whom honor is due

Grandpa, on the left, during his last parade ride in 2011

I am interruping the photo challenge temporarily because I wanted to share some special photos honoring my Grandpa Ray who just recently passed away.  The town I grew up in, and where he lived most all of his life, has a summer festival complete with parade each July.  My Grandpa was in that parade as long as I can remember marching with a flag as part of the local VFW.  Grandpa was a proud WWII veteran and 5 time commander of his local VFW post.  He marched every year and then rode in a car when he could no longer make the walk.  They wanted to honor his memory and these are some of the photos I took to remember.


Led by the proud

His local VFW post, where he served many years, honoring him.
Grandpa's hat
and his American flag that was flown over the White House and presented as a gift by my parents. 
One last trip through town...


Friday, July 11, 2014

30 Day Photo Challenge-ish

Day 11:  Something Old

Hmmm my first thought of something old was THIS could be the day to post a selfie, ha!  But thinking better of it and keeping more to the true theme, I decided on this cello.  It was gifted to us by my husband's step-grandpa and has been hanging on one wall or another of our living room ever since. 
My husband will occasionally take it down, or a guest, and run the bow across the strings producing a lovely sound.  My husband probably could learn to really play it if he took the time as he already plays guitar, mandolin and has the cutest little ukulele that he also plays.
I just love the color of the aged wood, the beautiful curves and curls and the sound I can almost hear each time I look at it. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

30 Day Photo Challenge-ish

DAY 10:  Nature

I am combining Nature with throwback Thursday to show this bit of nature visiting our house a couple years ago.  We get rabbits (oh and the cute baby ones are my favorites!) off and on but this guy, or gal as the case may be, was a regular.  See it sitting there all sweet and innocent.

Now see it eating the flowers!  Yeah, you could go to bed and there would be flowers, wake up and not so much.  His/her favorite were the English daisies.  Those disappeared completely.  Even so, I love when a bit of nature comes to visit in animal form : )