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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Inspired by. . . words

The lovely Bonnie has challenged us again this week. This time with the prompt: Graffiti

Graffiti, an often misunderstood, rejected message, received and embraced by only a few.

 

Graffiti

"And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable." (1Cor 15:19)

 

Blessings,

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Inspired by. . . a good heart

 

Psalm 22 tells of Jesus on the cross.

The Suffering Servant. Scorned by the people, who, only days before, had welcomed Him as king.

Not only is Jesus emotionally battered (imagine everyone you love turning against you, and then multiply that times the world), but His body is wracked with pain. He is stripped nearly naked, and then shamed in the most public way possible.

Truly, with all Jesus endured, He can relate to our pain, our emotional abuse, our shame.

In the midst of all this pain and suffering, the psalmist inserts seven words. A command, if you will. Or a prayer.

Seven powerful, encouraging words.

 

"May you always be in good heart." (v. 26b)

 

How?! Why?! can this be possible?

Specifically, in this context, we should be in good heart because (v. 31b) the Lord has acted! The righteous deed of Jesus has removed our sin and given us an eternal life with God.

In a practical sense, choosing JOY (to be in good heart) will change our life while we are still here on earth.

I'm not talking about a false happiness that denies or ignores our reality. Or the power of positive thinking.

Choosing JOY doesn't (necessarily) change our circumstances – it changes us!

Even when we fail, just having made the attempt to be of good heart will make a difference.

 

Tulips_GoodHeart

 

So how about a challenge?

For the next five days, upon waking up each morning, let's make a conscious decision to meet every situation we encounter that day with JOY!

I'd love to hear if you're up for the challenge – and how it affects your week!

 

Blessings,

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Inspired by. . . self-portrait

Bonnie's challenge this week is: self-portrait

Like many artists I'm not partial to the "self" part of this particular challenge.

So I went back to the definition of the word for some inspiration.

The main definition of course is: a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face

I found my inspiration in the third definition: a graphic portrayal in words

 

Self_Portrait

Textured with Bonnie's heavenly texture, followed by her soft reflections texture

 

It should be noted that the only word I contributed  to this image was "impatient."

There are a lot of wonderful pictures hanging in the Gallery this week. Be sure to click over and have a look.

 

Have a wonder-filled day,

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Inspired by. . . Spring!

Happy 1st day of Spring, everyone!

Warm sunshine. Budding flowers and trees. Gurgling brooks. Singing birds. Butterflies. {happy sigh}

Okay. Admittedly, for most of us, today does not resemble the virgin season we all many of us long for almost as soon as winter begins.

Remember, today is only the beginning!

Spring will come.

I was at the {plant} nursery this past Sunday and thought today would be the perfect time to share some pictures with you.

 

Orchids_Burgundy

SOOC

 

{Orchid Love}

Orchid_CanvasBack

Textured with Kim's canvasmagic

 

Bee_BlackeyedSusan

Textured with Kim's golden (softlight blend mode)

 

Rose_LinearBurn

Kim's peony – linear burn mode

 

"More than anything I must have flowers, always, always."

~Claude Monet

 

Blessings,

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Inspired by. . . nature

Nature inspires me.

It speaks to my soul.

There is much to be learned of God by experiencing nature. God is not IN the tree, but He did create it.

And Jesus chose to die on a tree to save you and me.

Nature reveals facets of God's character. His gentleness. His beauty. His generosity. His sense of humor.

 

Squirrel_Post

 

I've been enjoying the antics of this little guy all week. He really, really, really wants that sunflower seed. The feeder is only about 3-4ft away from the porch railing. He can easily make the jump. I know because he'll jump from the porch railing to the tree, which is a good 6-8 feet. I'm not sure why he won't take the leap.

 

Squirrel_LookingatFeeder

 

Isn't he precious? Such a sweet face! Pure adoration! It just melted my heart. I almost went out and set up little piles of seed along the rail. Almost.

 

Lesserbacked_Goldfinch

black-backed Lesser Goldfinch

Can you imagine our world in black and white? God could have made it that way, you know. We never would have known the difference.

 

GoldFrontedWoodpecker

 Gold-fronted Woodpecker

 

Instead, He made all the colors of the rainbow. And more.

For us.

 

What's inspiring you today?

 

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Inspired by. . . tulips

Which color to buy? They are all so bright and. . . happy looking!

I love flowers. And my guess is that you probably do to!

For me, tulips are happy flowers. Being a first sign of spring, they bring with them the  promise of new beginnings.

As with most beginnings, these delicate beauties don't last long.

 

Tulips_happyheart

Textured [appropriately} with Kim's happy heart

 

Tulips_Vellum

Textured with Bonnie's vellum {color dodge 81%}

 

To a Bed of Tulips

Bright tulips, we do know

You had your coming hither;

And fading time does show,

That ye must quickly wither.

 

Dying_Bloom

SOOC

 

Your sister-hoods may stay,

And smile here for your hour;

But die ye must away;

Even as the meanest flower.

~Robert Herrick

 

Petals

Textured with Kim's edward {hard light 100% then difference 100%)

 

 

Have a wonder-filled day!

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Inspired by. . . easy dinners

Everyone needs an easy dinner on a Monday – don't they?  I know I do!  Mondays are the busiest day of the week for me.

A little pre-planning, and my slow cooker can help eliminate the stress from at least one item on my 'to do' list:

What's for Dinner? 

 

Brown_Sugar_Chicken

 

 

{Slow Cooker} Brown Sugar Chicken

Source: Crockpot 365

Ingredients

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or 6 boneless, skinless breast halves

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup lemon-lime soda

2/3 cup vinegar

3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic

2 T soy sauce

1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Use a 4 quart crockpot for this recipe.

Plop the chicken {frozen or thawed} into your crockpot. Cover with the brown sugar, pepper, chopped garlic, and soy sauce. Add the vinegar, and pour in the soda. It will bubble!

Cover and cook on low for 6-9 hours, or on high for 4-5. The chicken is done when it is cooked through and has reached desired consistency. The best thing about cooking chicken in the slow cooker: The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be!

Serve over a bowl of  rice with a ladle full of the broth.

 

Brown_Sugar_Chicken2

 

This was a hit a my house! The sauce had just the right amount of sweetness.  I'm not a fan of dark meat, but these thighs turned out tender and delicious! A couple of notes: I did not have lemon-lime soda, so I used what I had: Pepsi. Seriously. It didn't seem to matter. I served mine over brown & wild rice, but this would also be good over mashed potatoes. Not having to defrost the chicken is a time saver! and this recipe makes enough for leftovers later in the week!

 

Enjoy!

 

Have a wonder-filled day!

 

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Inspired by. . . getting' it done

It's been a crazy couple of weeks. I've missed having time to blog.

And I've missed YOU!

So what have I been up to. . . moving! Two moves in two weeks.

Crazy.

First a little background.

Last August we purchased a mobile home for my parents. It is structurally sound, but the interior is completely trashed. We knew we would have to gut it and start from scratch.

It was a challenge just getting it on the property.

 

Throughthetrees

 

The home has a split floor plan. So our plan is to renovate the two bedrooms and bath on one end into an apartment for my dad [phase I], then complete the renovation on the rest of the home for my mother [phase II] by the end of this year 2013.

We were hoping to have dad moved in before Christmas 2012, but phase I took a little longer than we anticipated. We moved him in last weekend. We were not planning on having to move mom at the same time, but that's how it turned out.

Earlier this year, a situation arose werein my mom had to move out of her current residence by the end of February. Since her portion of the mobile home isn't scheduled to be ready until later this year we had to move her into a {semi} temporary location while we finish the renovations. Not ideal. The cabin we moved her into is a two-room cabin vs. a three bedroom home. So we've been scrambling to find storage for most of her furniture, etc.

Needless to say, moving her was a bit more involved than moving my dad! In fact, moving my dad wasn't a big deal at all. The hard work was getting his portion of the mobile home ready!

One of the reasons that this took longer than we anticipated was the bathroom.

 

Shower_Before

 

My dad uses a walker most of the time and we had to make sure that the bathroom was accessible and safe for him. Building his shower has been the biggest part of the renovation, to date.

 

Shower_After

 

The home's floor-plan is designed with a large room on one end. Perfect for dad's living area, and temporary kitchen set-up until we can complete the remodel of his second {bed} room. So there has been a lot of moving and organizing going on around here!

I've been hoping things will return to normal soon. But then, what is normal anyway?

Daylight savings time begins on March 10th, so Spring is on the way. I've seen subtle signs around the Hill Country. Lot's of little baby lambs and goats stumbling around, learning how to walk. They are beyond adorable! I'm dying to snap some pictures of them for my Easter cards! {Easter is early this year – March 31st!!}

 

What signs of Spring have you seen this week?

Have a wonder-filled day!

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