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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Inspired by . . . Lavender

Every year, around the second week of June, a wonderful thing happens in the Texas Hill Country.

The lavender blooms . . .
 


And thousands of people descend upon the small town of Blanco, Texas for the annual Lavender Festival!

Artisans set up shop around the beautiful limestone courthouse, selling everything from t-shirts to wine bottle stoppers made out of antique door knobs. And, of course . . . 

 . . .  all things lavender.
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 If you're wondering why everyone seems so relaxed and happy, it may be because lavender is known to have a calming effect on the nervous system.


Or, it may be that folks here in Texas are perty friendly {smile}. Not only does lavender have a calming scent, a variety of websites list a myriad of additional health benefits, and culinary uses.

Once you're done shopping at the Lavender Market, it's time to head out to the farms!

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 There are several lavender farms in the area, and one or two are usually open for tours and lavender picking! Be careful, though, if you're allergic to bees.



Where there is lavender, there are sure to be lots of bees!



Remember those culinary uses I mentioned? Lavender honey is just one of my favorites. We also enjoyed lavender cookies, lavender ice cream, and one local restaurant served lavender tarter sauce with the fish sandwich!

It's always a good time. So if you find yourself in south Texas in early June next year - join us!


Have a wonder-filled day!

Blessings,






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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Inspired by . . . refreshment

 

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Am I the only one that feels like 2014 is spinning into the past at warp speed?

It occurred to me that I probably say that every year, but, no, 2014 seems especially accelerated.

We're already to the end of June and I'm thinking back over the last six months wondering what I've been doing with my life.

 

"...whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God." 1 Cor 10:31

 

I've been trying to be more intentional with my time this year. There have been those rare moments when I feel like I'm succeeding and manage to "delete" a few tasks.

And then, suddenly, five or six more appear to take their place! It's like those Russian nesting dolls in the old animation shorts . Except my "dolls" just keep on multiplying!

Beth Moore  describes it this way, "We are caught in the captivity of activity--."

I don't think God intends for us to live this way. I believe He gives all of us the exact amount of time we need to do His will.

That includes time for worship, work, service, pleasure, and rest. All of these things can be, and are part of His will for us.

I can tell you with a degree of certainty that God does not wish us to live chaotic, frenzied lives. That's the devils work. He just loves to keep us busy!

 

BUSY

Textured with Kim's bentedges

I think most of us know of at least two or three time robbers that we should put out of our lives. But what about all the "good" we do? We may be sacrificing quality for quantity, but if it's all good, how do we know what to say no to?

These four steps, based on a devotional commentary by Beth Moore, give us insight on how to recalibrate our lives and find a little refreshment:

Reestablish the goal.  "Bring everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made." Isaiah 43:7 tells us that we were created for His glory. Our purpose is to glorify Him. Our best energies {first fruits} should be used for His work.

Redirect your focus. "But first, be concerned about His kingdom and what has His approval. Then all these things will be provided for you." Matthew 6:33 gives us a promise! If we seek God first, He will direct us. That means He will give us the wisdom and discernment we need to set our schedules and priorities according to His will. Give it a try – it works!

Rethink your motivation. "Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ's servant." Galatians 1:10 prompts us to ask ourselves if we're seeking approval from man or from God. If we seek to please people rather than God we will never succeed.

Rest in God's will. Hebrews 4:10 says, "Those who entered His place of rest also rested from their work as God did from His." Rest is always part of God's will for us. He is not unreasonable. He does not ask us to do anything alone, or under our own power when we seek to do His will.

 

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I don't know about you, but I'm feeling the stress start to roll off my shoulders just from reading His word today!


Summer is a good time for many of us to step back and reevaluate how we're spending our time. 

Some of these steps may be challenging or even convicting! Either way, they're sure to bring refreshment!

 

Have a wonder-filled day,

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

I've had this post in drafts for awhile now.

It focuses on someone that I don't usually focus on in this blog: ME

Don't worry, that's not going to change {smile}.

But I wanted to share this with you all, and I thought my birthday was the perfect day to do so {no pun intended!} !

And if today just happens to be your birthday too, I hope you're having the perfect day!

 

Inspired by . . . the perfect day

 

"My dream? 

My dream is to be with people I love,

that love each other and that love me.

My dream was a perfect day and I'm just finishing it.

~ Emily, The Ultimate Gift

 

Do you remember that entertainment park ride where they strapped you to the wall and then spun you around like crazy, only to suddenly do a 360 and start spinning you the other way while the floor dropped out from underneath you?

That is a pretty good description of what had been happening in my life for the past ten months. It was likely to get worse before it got better.

But this day was my birthday.

And the sweetest man in the world had somehow figured out how to make the rest of the world go away.

I awoke to the sun's rays shining through the windows of our railcar, and spent a day of leisure on a lake that lay calmly less than a mile from our door.

 

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On a day such as this, one must "dress" for dinner, and so we did. A short walk to the restaurant, where we were greeted by sunny faces, both inside and out.

 

Sunflower

 

A {very small} table for two by the window. The mixed greens salad with walnuts and goat cheese, drizzled with a balsamic dressing was so enjoyable that I don't remember the rest of the meal.

I do remember that we took our time. Enjoyed each other. And spoke mostly with our eyes.

After dinner he wanted to take pictures.

Of me.

Let's just say I don't love the camera, when aimed in my general direction, and it certainly does.not.love.me.

But the sweetest man in the world also happens to be the most charming.

And so, for once in my life, I let it be all about me.

 

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And it was okay.

 

What does your perfect day look like?

 

Blessings,

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Both the railcar and the sunflower are textured with Kim's textures, but I can't remember which ones!

 

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Inspired by . . . a reason to celebrate

For those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter you may have caught the fact that this is my birthday week!

Why just celebrate one day, when you can celebrate all week long!!?

I like to celebrate by giving gifts, rather than receiving them. The blessing that comes from giving is the best gift of all, don't you think?

I started the week by announcing that my eBook, Heart's Desire is on sale all week for just 99 cents! If you're looking for some summer reading, or know someone who is, please check it out & spread the word! {reviews are always appreciated!}

For those of you who prefer to hold a book in your hands, or want something a little more tangible to put the wrapping paper around, I'm giving away three paperback copies of my books this week. I'll draw three winners on Sunday, June 22nd. Each winner will be able to choose one book from the following published titles, Heart's Desire, Gladness for Mourning, and Starflower.  First page excerpts for all my books can be found at junecaedmon.com, if you need help deciding which to choose!

Enter to win at the bottom of this post!

And just to keep the excitement going, beginning on Friday, June 20th, Starflower {eBook version} will be FREE on Amazon for 3 days! {sale ends June 22nd} Spread the word!

My sweet Kitty is here to get this party started!

 

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For those of you who haven't met Kitty before, she was dumped on our property last summer. After doing some research, we figured out that she has a mild case of Cerebellar Hypoplasia, which has similar symptoms, but is not the same disorder, as cerebral palsy.

 

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If you'd like to read about why Kitty is the perfect cat for me, you can find that post HERE.

Unfortunately, my husband is highly allergic to cats. So Kitty has to live outside. If you'd like to read about how I made it safe for Kitty to be outside alone at night, you can find that post HERE.

 

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Don't forget to enter here for the giveaway....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The suggested question prompt for the comment entry is: What does your perfect birthday celebration look like?

If you're interested in knowing my answer, come back on Saturday and read about my Perfect Day.

 

Happy birthday to all you June babies out there!

Have a wonder-filled day!

 

Blessings,

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Inspired by . . . community

 

Elizabeth {Beauty Observed} was so sweet as to ask me to take part in this virtual blog tour. The brain-child of some fun, creative person somewhere out there in blog-land, whom I'm sure you could find if you click back through all the posts!

It's similar to those annoying chain letters you used to get in the mail, except it's not annoying,  it's fun! The tour is about meeting new people, learning more about the people you know, and building community.

Which brings me to my answer for question number one - -  except I need to first introduce you to Elizabeth!

 

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Elizabeth has a passion for photographing and sharing the beauty God has created. She is the wife of a musician, a veteran home educator and the mother of three. You can find Elizabeth at Beautyobserved.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  Elizabeth and I have at least two notable things in common: our love for God, and our Canon SX50's!

Now on to the questions!

 

1. What am I working on?

My one word for 2014 is  intentional and, while this applies to many areas of my life,  blogging was one of the main things I wanted to be more intentional about this year. As many of you know, there are many facets to blogging. At first, my main focus was being more consistent in the number of posts each week, and more being intentional in my writing. While that is still very important a clear, secondary focus has emerged; that of building community. What that means to me is investing in the lives of my readers – YOU! and others, even if they only visit here one time.

 

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2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This was the hardest question of all to answer! I think my motive and purpose for writing is different than some {not all} of the blogs out there, and that comes out in my writing. As I said recently in another post: The underlying inspiration for everything I do is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My intent is to glorify Him by inspiring YOU. I don't always succeed, but that is always why I write.

 

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  Textured with Kim's waterstainedframe

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

In Luke 19:37 we read:

Then the whole crowd of disciples began to praise God for all the miracles they had seen.
They shouted joyfully, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven."
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell your disciples to be quiet."
Jesus replied, "I can guarantee that if they are quiet, the stones will cry out."
Luke 19:37b-40

My writing is how I "shout JOYfully" – "Blessed is the King!" I write in obedience to His call on my life. It's that simple, and that complex. Obedience to Him always = FREEDOM & JOY.

 

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4. How does your writing/creating process work?

Since much of what I write is inspired there really isn't a set process. I try to be intentional about spending time in the Word. Sometimes that means daily reading from the scriptures, devotionals, prayer books, or bible studies. God speaks to me most clearly through His word, but He also speaks to me through nature, the world He has created. I try to listen, to take time to be still, and quiet. Honestly, that doesn't happen as often as I'd like. So most days, I try to hear Him over the symphony of LIFE. He still speaks, it's just harder for me to hear Him.

There is one other thing that inspires me, and that is YOU! Which brings me to introduce the next two stops on the tour.

 

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 Textured with Kim's paperstainedmusic

 

Daniela inspires me every time I visit her "little old world" where she is sweetly dreaming of the past. She is all romance and poetry, home and gardening, painting and leisure. All gently mixed with a dash of history. A visit to her corner of the world never disappoints!

My friend Patsy lives in the Philippines and shares her beautiful paintings and scriptural insights at a place called heARTworks. Her collages, scrapbook layouts, and ATCs are unique, creative and inspiring!

Please visit them on June 23rd to see how they answer the same set of questions.

 

I hope you enjoyed this stop on the tour!

 

Have a wonder-filled day!

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