Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One Little Word: Dwell

      I'd like to welcome the One Little Word Family to my blog.  One Little Word is a class hosted by Big Picture Classes by Ali Edwards.  I hope you enjoy the Blog Hop which goes live on March 1.
    The One Little Word that called to my heart this year is "Dwell."  This past month it has been working in my life in many ways. 

  •      My son, Connor reminded me to dwell on the truths found in Phillipians 4:8-9.  
  • I was even fortunate enough to stumble on a 1910 postcard that included my word.  It says, "May Happy Thoughts where'er you Roam Dwell in your Heart of Home sweet home!"  
  • As part of our February prompt,  I sketched spring flowers to remind me to dwell on God's word as described in Colossians 3:16.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

  •      I also shared a message at church about being willing to allow God into the daily messes of our lives just as we are and to allow His mercy to heal our broken places.

    •      A fortune cookie yielded, "Keep in mind that home is where the heart is."  You can see it in the bottom left of the pictures.    

    One thing I ask from the LORD, 
       this only do I seek: 
    that I may dwell in the house of the LORD 
       all the days of my life,   Psalm 27:4

    Melissa S
    Melissa C
    Donna      ***You are here.
    Heidi D  
    Jen R    
    Dawn G   
    Orange Gearle

     Thank you for stopping by.   I would love to hear how you are doing with your One Little Word. 


    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    Alabaster Box

         I enter a lovely light filled room.  The oak floors gleam warmly around the edges of a richly colored oriental carpet.  I can smell cinnamon in the air.  A fire crackles cheerily in the stone fireplace and a long haired cat lays dozing on the granite hearth.  Pictures of my family are displayed prominently on the mantel.  A plush comfortable chair is situated near the fireplace with a cozy throw draped over it.  Next to the chair is an elegant side table with a light for reading a much used leather bible.  A small tray resting on it holds a cup of coffee and a few biscotti.  The room invites me in and calls me to linger.
         I think that I could spend quality time with God in that room.  It is filled with beauty, peace, and comfort.  I would like to pray and read His word there.  I think in that room I could lay my heart out before God and give Him all that I am and ever will be.  I could be broken before Him in that lovely place.  Unfortunately, as you have probably guessed, that room is not at my house.  
         The room in my house is considerably less lovely.  An unfinished puzzle is strewn across the coffee table.  A pillow and blanket have been left discarded on the floor.  Our dog is laying in the middle of it, enjoying a forbidden pleasure.  Legos await the unwary barefoot person who strolls by.  There are papers and books scattered on my desk.  My husbands desk is likewise littered.  There are socks on the floor.  The windows have smudges on them.  The room is not filthy, just lived in.
         This is where I usually meet with the Lord.  Not in the beautiful places, but rather in the middle of the mess.  Don’t misunderstand, I love my home and everyone that lives in it.  However, I am very aware of the fact that no matter how diligently I clean and polish the house in the morning, it will inevitably end up in a disastrous mess by early afternoon.  That is life.  That is where I spend time with God.
         In my mind there is the ideal place where I could best meet God.  I tell myself, when I get my act together, when I stop sinning, when the house is clean, when the kids are grown, when I am not so tired, busy, challenged then I can be broken before Him.  But the ideal situations can be a long time coming.  Maybe it isn’t about being in the perfect place, or even being as cleaned up as I can.  Maybe it is about being broken before Him - just as I am.

     In Matthew 26:2-16  we read about a woman with an alabaster box.
    While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard.  She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.  Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume?  It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.”  And they rebuked her harshly.
         “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her?  She has done a beautiful thing to me.  The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.  But you will not always have me.  She did what she could.  She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.  I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

          The woman with the alabaster box could not wait for the ideal time or location to break open the jar and anoint Jesus.  She had to pour it out right at the dining room table.  I am sure that she would have preferred some place less public.  A place alone with Jesus.  Maybe another room or out in a garden among the flowers.  A place where no one would judge or criticize her.  However, she had obviously reached a place where she needed Jesus more than any other thing.  She could not wait a moment more.  She took what she had and offered it to Jesus.
        Psalm 146:8  The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down.
        As you are bowed down before the Lord in the midst of the dailiness of life, He will lift you up and say, “Let me heal the broken places in your heart.”  Being bowed before our Savior, surrendering the real you, the one with toys and dirty socks lying around is what He is waiting for.  Do not fear being broken before the Lord,  because He is with us in our brokenness.

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Sunshine Award

    Friends are the sunshine of life.   John Hay

         Last week I was flattered and thrilled to be nominated for a Sunshine Award from Kelly at Minding My Nest.
    hi donna. just wanted to let you know that i have nominated you for the Sunshine Award - - thank you so much for all the kind words you have left on my blog. you have no idea how they warm my heart. love, kelly

    My very first nomination for anything!!!  Kelly just made my day. 
    Kelly and I met through our participation in Project 52 and One Little Word.  Kelly shares beautiful photos each week.  Her OLW is Try.  I enjoy her witty and wise posts.  She is an inspiration.  She encourages me with her comments each week.
    I am so honored to be included in the company of Kelly and others who have received this award.  And the deal is, as a recipient of this delightful award, I have a few rules to follow:
    • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.  See above.
    • Answer 10 questions about yourself.  See below.
    • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers.  See my list below.
    • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated. So happy to share the love!
    • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

      Ten Sunshine Award Questions (and answers):
      Favorite color: I love any natural shade of green.  To me the color green symbolizes hope and growth.  
      Favorite animal:  My favorite animal is our dog Riley.  I do love frogs.  They are quirky creatures that change throughout their lives.   
      Favorite number: Three.  I like it so much that I did it twice!
    • Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee, thank God for coffee.
      Prefer Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook.  I don’t know how to Twitter.  
      My passion:  My faith, family, and friends. 
      Prefer getting or giving presents: I love finding the perfect gift for someone. 
      Favorite pattern: I am a solid kinda girl.  
      Favorite day of the week: Saturday.
      Favorite flower:  I adore tulips.

      OK.  So now here is the fun part – here is my list of blogs that regularly bring a little sunshine into my life.  In no particular order:
      •– Foursons and I have come to “know” each other through the Project 52 over at my3boyarians.  Her header says: Alice Mitchell only thought she had it bad with ONE little menace in the home.  How perfect to have four of them!  I enjoy her photos each week.
      • – Karianne at Thistlewood Farm shares great project tutorials.  Her new “Love” sign made out of scap wood is beautiful and fun.  I really enjoyed her Dear Book Club post.  I can so relate.
      • – Christine is another gal I’ve come to know through my3boyarians.  Christine enjoys making a house a home as inexpensively as she can.  She also loves tulips.
      • – I am fortunate to have Jenny as a friend in the blog world and the real world.  Jenny and I work in the same school.   Jenny has inspiring projects on her blog.    
      • I realize that I didn’t nominate 10 people, but I’m new at this.  “It takes a long time to grow an old friend.” John Leonard.
        Once again, I would like to thank Kelly for her vote of confidence.   

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Project 52: Cabin Fever

    Others, like this one, have clearly been left idle.   Those are ferns and moss growing on the roof.  Still the cabins are quite beautiful and stir the imagination.  Wouldn't you like to sit in a rocking chair by the hearth and dream?         Still the cabins pictures were taken last summer.  I needed to settle on a photo for this week.  I didn't want to bore you with share pictures of my children playing video games.     I drove by a local pond on my way home from school and in the reeds was a huge blue heron eating a wriggling fish.  Photo opportunity!!!  I hurried to grab my camera.  Unfortunately, the heron did not take kindly to me or my camera interrupting his  dinner.  He flew swiftly away, eluding my attempt to get a great shot.  Sigh.
       LORD, I love the house where you live, 
       the place where your glory dwells. Psalm 26: 8  
    There are more great pictures of Cabin Fever over at Darcy's.  Be sure to stop over and visit.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    One Little Tooth

         The other evening Connor was enjoying a Valentine lollipop.  Connor  bit the end of the candy with a crunch and dislodged a loose molar.  The tooth hadn’t been quite ready to come out, so it hurt and bled more than a little bit.  Connor was upset and very dramatically wailed that he had broken his tooth and lost it.  I, apparently, was not quite as concerned as he felt I should be.  In my defense, he has four older brothers, and I have certainly seen more than my share of bleeding over the years.  Finally, certain that this would get me to take this as seriously as he did, Connor proclaimed, “Mom, that tooth was the one that I used to eat my vegetables!”  
         Read on as I connect two seemingly random stories.  I love how God does this.
         Most of you know that my word goal for this year is Dwell.  To dwell means to live, to abide and to rest.  Dwell can also mean to ponder, to linger over,  to emphasize in thought, speech, or writing.  An example of that meaning of dwell is found in:
      Colossians 3:16 
    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
         You could say that to dwell is to chew something over.  Now if like Connor, you only have one good tooth to chew your spiritual vegetables with, what should you be dwelling on?
      Paul wrote in Phillipians 4:4-9
          Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 
     Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 
     Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.   And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
          Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
         What are you chewing on? What are you filling your mind with?  Is it true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy?
    Remember you are what you eat!

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Project 52: True Love

    Some enchanted evening
    you may see a stranger
    you may see a stranger
    across a crowded room
    and somehow you know
    you know even then 
    that somewhere you'll see her
    again and again
    From South Pacific

         One night across a crowded room I saw the stranger who was to become my husband.   
         When a young couple first gets married they declare their commitment and trust to a person they hardly know.    It is really pretty amazing.  You think you know all about this person, but in reality you just see the tip of the iceberg. Getting married is an incredible step of faith.  To see our anniversary post click here.
         As the years go by, you see each other in a variety of situations.  You see achievements and failures.  You learn how your spouse behaves in traffic and when he’s sick.  You learn what brings a smile and a tear.  You learn when to let them muddle through something and when to lend a supportive word or action.  You see how they react to a flooded basement and to a toddler who fed oatmeal with raisins to the VCR.  You know how they feel about doing the bills and going to the dentist.  You learn if they like the curtains closed, if they take their socks off inside out or if they wear sneakers with a suit.  You learn if they are capable of speech before coffee in the morning and if they nod off in front of the TV at night.  
         You raise a family, experience career changes and struggle through problems with your relatives.  You lose loved ones through illness or accident.  You encounter health problems, gain weight and gray hair.
         And through all that, your spouse gets to know you better than any other person on earth.  Some might wonder, I know you say you’re committed to me, but are you glad you are committed to me?  Would you do this again?
         And in the end, your commitment to each other needs to be based on one thing- your faith in the God who brought you together.  That bedrock should be like a granite foundation – rock solid and immovable.
    Colossians 3:12-16: 
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish on another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 
And, whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him

      The teddy bears were given to me on a long ago Valentine’s Day.  They usually sit on our bed.
    To see more great pictures of True Love visit Darcy at Project 52.

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    Valentine's Day - Hearts, Romance, and Ribs

         Valentine’s Day is about hearts, marriage, romance, and ribs.  Yes - ribs.

         Years ago at the local church camp my husband, Pat, was going through the obstacle course with some friends.  At one point there was a 10 foot wall.  The objective was to get every man in the group over the wall.  Pat was one of the guys who stood up on the shoulders of someone else and made it to the top.  He leaned over the railing to see if he could reach a friend on the bottom.  The friend jumped up to catch Pat’s hand and Pat, who had not braced himself, took the man's weight on his ribs.  Two of his ribs cracked.  The more seriously Pat is injured the less he complains.  So except for some minor grumbling about being bruised, he continued on.   
         One of the next tasks on the course was an exercise in trust. Pat-of-the-Broken-Ribs had to stand on a six foot platform and fall backwards into the arms of his friends.   The men were supposed to catch him and mostly they did.  Pat’s feet were up but his head just missed hitting the ground.  
         Pat waited to moan and groan about his injuries until he got home.  I immediately suggested a quick trip for x-rays, but no, three days later he finally gave in.  The doctor confirmed that the ribs were indeed broken.  Pat was taped around the middle and sent home to rest.  The doctor told him not to have so much fun next time.
          In Genesis 2 God promised to create a suitable helper for Adam.  
    21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
         The first blood shed in the Bible is here in the second chapter of Genesis.  God opened up Adam’s flesh and removed his rib.  In the Bible, when a covenant is made blood is often shed to bind the agreement.
         The first Adam shed blood for the creation of his bride, Eve.  The second Adam, Jesus, shed His blood for the creation of His bride, the church.  The first Adam’s side was pierced for Eve.  Jesus’ side was pierced on the cross for the salvation of His bride.
       Genesis says “the Lord God made a woman from the rib.”  It doesn’t say God took a rib and built a woman around it.  It says that the woman is the rib.
         What is a rib?  What does a rib do?  A rib protects important body parts from injury.  A rib protects the heart.  It is part of the major defense system of the body to protect the vulnerable soft heart and lungs from outside attack.
         How is a wife like a rib?  A wife is to protect her husband’s heart. She knows all his tender vulnerable parts.  She knows where he can be crushed and broken.   She is to defend her husband against the onslaught of the world.  She is to be a place of peace and rest.  She is the defender of her husband’s heart. 
         How does it feel to have a broken rib?  Pat will tell you it feels terrible!  Every breath taken is a painful one - even if you don’t complain.  Ladies don't be a broken rib.
    Who can find a virtuous wife? 
    For her worth is far above rubies. 
    The heart of her husband safely trusts her; 
    So he will have no lack of gain. 
    She does him good and not evil 
    All the days of her life. 
    Proverbs 31: 10-12

         On Valentine’s Day, ladies remember that you are the protector of your husband’s heart. 
        And gentlemen - even a Snickers bar looks good if you tie a red ribbon around it.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Project 52: Drink Up!

    No goldfish were harmed in the making of this post!
        This week I knew exactly what I wanted to submit as my picture  for the prompt Drink Up!  Unfortunately, my subjects were not as keen on the idea as I was.
         I wanted to take a picture of my boys "drinking" a glass of water with a goldfish in it.  My sons agreed to the idea if they could keep the goldfish as a pet.  On my way home from work I picked up a willing goldfish.  We named our friend the goldfish "Cheers."  The boys were thrilled, until I put him in a glass.
         I bribed convinced Anthony to pretend to drink the goldfish.   Connor saw that Anthony and Cheers survived, so he agreed to try it, too.

         Patty joined in the fun.  
         My eldest son Patrick also took a pretend sip.   
           Cheers was very glad that there was plastic wrap over the top of the glass.  
         Cheers was even happier when he was placed in a pretty little goldfish bowl on our kitchen counter.  He was rewarded for his modeling efforts with goldfish flakes.  
    Taste and see that the Lord is good.  He satisfies our thirsty souls.
    To see more great pictures go to my3boybarions.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Stop for One Tuesday: Chips and Dip

       One night last week Connor was singing one of our church songs as I was tucking him into bed.  This blessed me and not looking to let a teachable moment go by, I told  him that I like singing worship songs in my head before I fall asleep, because when I wake up they’re the first thing I think.  It’s like “One More Time,” all night long.
         Let me set the scene for you the next morning as I was getting ready to go to school.  I stood at our kitchen counter pouring boiling water into my thermos for tea.  My back was to the rest of the room.  
         Connor came bounding in with way more energy then should be allowed at 6:30.  He began gathering things for his cereal.  I heard the clatter of bowls and silverware, the slamming of the refrigerator, and the patter of his feet as he skipped about the kitchen.  I heard what I thought was way to much cereal ring as it was poured into his bowl.  As he thumped about the kitchen Connor was loudly singing.  In my head I thought, “Oh isn’t that sweet he woke up singing church songs, just like we talked about last night.”
         As you may have guessed, it was NOT a church song.  Connor sang,   “Chips and dip.  I’m having chips and dip.  Chips and dip. I’m having chips and...”

       About that time the lyrics permeated my obviously not wide awake brain.  I turned swiftly. Yup, he had chips in his bowl and a spoon in the dip. 
       “Connor, you may not have chips and dip for breakfast!”  After some discussion, Connor dramatically put his first choice away and settled on toast.  You all know that had Connor feasted on chips and dip for breakfast that would have been the day he would have been asked to report what he ate as part of a nutrition unit at school.

    I will bless the Lord at all times;
    His praises shall continually be in my mouth.
    My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; 
    The humble shall hear of it and be glad. 
    Oh, magnify the Lord with me, 
    And let us exalt His name together. 
    Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; 
    Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 
    those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
    Psalm 34 selected verses

         Today stop for Him.  Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Drink deeply of His living water.  Satisfy your spiritual hunger and thirst.  Look for your happiness in Him.
         What is the least nutritious breakfast you have allowed your child to eat before going to school?
         Mine is on one occasion, Yoohoo and chocolate cake - but that is a story for another day.


    Friday, February 3, 2012

    Project 52: Shadows

    "Don't be afraid of shadows. 
     It means that there is a light shining nearby." 
     Don't know the source for this quote, if anyone knows it, I'll be happy to add it.
         The prompt for the fifth week of Project 52 was "Shadows."  I really wanted to come up with something creative.   But...well... Here are my attempts.  
         First I took pictures of the tulips and their shadows.  I really liked the pictures, but didn't feel that I had really captured "Shadows."
         Then I thought it would be fun to have a shadow interact with an object.  So I snapped Patty holding a Rubix Cube. 
         Apparently, my children have a hidden talent for hand shadows.   Patty demonstrated her ability to make a shadow dog with her fingers.   The amazing Rubix Cube continues to hang in space!

    Biggest brother Patrick was not to be outdone.  He shared his gorilla.  The gorilla looks pretty good when he waggles his fingers.
         When I hurried inside to download my pictures, Patty created yet another shadow for me to share.
         Hoping your day brings you sunshine and shadows!
        If you want to see more great pictures of Shadows follow the link below.
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