Welcome

Welcome! I'm so glad you stopped by today! If you're inspired by what you see, I invite you to follow along via one (or more) of the options on the side bar below.

.

.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Inspired by . . . God's faithfulness

I'm a speed shopper. I like to get in and get out, quickly. I have a list, and rarely am I a victim of an impulse buy. {except maybe the odd bag of peanut m&m's from the checkout line}

The Dreamer, who usually drops me off in front of the store, is always amazed at how quickly I emerge with the needed supplies.

I'm moving a little slower these days.

Since just after Christmas my sciatic nerve has been giving me trouble. Now I measure every step, plan every move. Going to my knees in prayer is okay. Going to my knees in the grocery store because of a sciatic attack, is not.

The nerve pain, my cedar allergies {sneezing is NOT an option} and pain from a cracked tooth {I have dental surgery on Wednesday} have all combined to make for difficult start to the new year.

I hesitate to share about this here, because I know many of you deal with so much worse, every.single.day.

But this is all new to me, and I'm struggling to maintain a JOYful spirit, rather than a spirit of despair.

Today started out as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At about 3:30am I had such an attack that the Dreamer was forced to carry me back to bed. For the next several hours I lay there, quite literally afraid to move. Pain does that. At least to me. It makes me afraid.

I don't want to be afraid. I want to be faith-filled, and trusting that God is with me no matter what the circumstances. Which, of course, He is. I know this, but I want it to be real to me in the dark moments.

Eventually, the sun kissed the sky and I eased into my day. Monday is the busiest day of the week for me. As I turned on my computer, my thoughts were already filled with all the work that awaited me.

The typical symbol appeared, the little loopy thing did it's looping, and then . . . nothing. Blank screen. Black. Dead. No response. I re booted. Same deal. Little loopy thing, then nothing. Black screen. Dead. No response. Times four.

I wanted to cry. Really, Lord? I've had this computer less than two weeks. I saved for six months to be able to buy it. Really, Lord? 

I can't take one.more.thing.

I'm guessing that there are at least a few of you out there who feel the same.

You're at the end of your endurance. You just can't take one.more.thing.

Like me, you need to be reminded of the truth about God.

He cares.

He cares about the big things, like pain and serious health issues. He cares about the little things, like whether or not your computer works on the busiest day of the week.

He cares. It matters to Him. YOU matter to Him.

Really.

Mid-way into my morning I decided it was time to spend a few hours minutes on the phone with tech support. After all, maybe it was an easy fix. Before picking up the phone I decided to pray over my computer. I prayed that God would fix it; that I would get a tech person who spoke clearly and knew the product. 

When I laid my hands on the keyboard - they lit up! My computer had been OFF, and here the keys are lighting up!?! The screen came on and this is what I saw:




Really, Lord?

Really.

So Wednesday when I'm sitting in that dentist chair waiting for
the dentist to . . . well I'll just end that word picture for you right there . . .
I'll be thinking of my computer keys lighting up.
And I'll know that God has already answered my prayer.

Blessings,




Sharing inspiration here:
Playdates with God, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Still Saturday

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Inspired by . . . writing the Gospel






“You are writing a Gospel, 
A chapter each day,
By deeds that you do, 
By words that you say.

Men read what you write,
Whether faithless or true;
Say, what is the Gospel
According to you?”



Shalom,




Sharing inspiration here:
Playdates with God, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Still Saturday

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Inspired by . . . it's the birds again

I know that's what you're thinking, but they've been making such a fuss over the suet, I can't help be drawn in by their chatter.

This is my golden girl. I love the way the early morning sun bathes her amber light. 



The amber hue is fleeting, I wonder , does she notice?



If you're feeling a bit drowsy, this chatterbox will wake you up!



He's king of the suet around here. 



These sweet little black-crested Titmice just wait for him to leave before helping themselves.





I admit these guys are a favorite!




The Carolina Chickadees are by far the most cautious. My arm fell asleep waiting for him to make his move. 



Did you read what Laura wrote about trees the other week? Her words always expand my mind and touch my soul.

I was thinking of Laura's words as I slipped beneath the branches of this young oak tree. His branches were low and thick, encircling me in a hedge of peace against the outside world. I heard him speak as the evening sun dressed him in beams of gold. A spirit language yet unknown to me. Beauty . . . grace . . . simplicity.




"The trees have long been our friends—oxygen makers, shade-givers, root teachers … ah, these with the limbs always reaching for God. Beauty learns from her simple grace." ~Laura Boggess

Shalom,


Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global, Friday Photo Journal,
Photo Friday at Pierced Wanderings

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Inspired by . . . Listening

Late last year my sweet friend, Donna Hopkins, introduced me to Jeanne Oliver and her creative network. Specifically, Donna was inviting me to join Jeanne's free online course: Listening / Finding the Quiet which was to begin in January.

If you've been around here any length of time, you know that quiet is my chocolate.

Of course, I signed up.

I'm woefully behind, but that's okay. I'm watching the videos at my own pace; tucking away the words that resonate and discarding those that don't.

Today I wanted to share with you some of my take-a-ways from the first few videos. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons;

First, writing out my notes further cements them in my mind and on my heart. If writing is the painting of the voice {a quote I recently posted on FB} then this is when God speaks to me more deeply, with His voice.


Secondly, it is my prayer that those things that speak to my heart, will speak to yours as well.


And so we begin . . . .


Jeanne, herself, begins the series with a personal video about praying big, and the big faith that results. Because of a particular situation happening in my life right now, I could relate to a lot of what Jeanne shared.

This is about listening. About finding quiet in the midst of doing life. We don't always have the luxury of stepping away to a quiet place to listen for God's voice. When He calls us to step out of the boat - things can get loud! The waves are crashing and the thunder is rolling. But if we keep our eyes on Jesus and take His hand, by consistent prayer and the reading of His word, we can hear His instruction and move forward.

Sometimes, as we're navigating the waters, God will close a door. Sometimes, it's a door we were certain God wanted us to walk through. We were wrong. God has something better. One of the best take-a-ways from Jeanne's video was that when these disappointments happen we need to go back to the point where we know we heard God clearly. Begin again from there. Keep a list of what we know to be true. About ourselves, the situation, and God. When the waters get murky, focus on those truths, until the way is clear again.

Good stuff, right? It's so easy to get discouraged and start to sink, like Peter did when he took his eyes off Jesus. That's the key, my friend. It's all about Jesus.





Well, I really only ended up sharing from Jeanne's video, but I hope these thoughts have inspired you. 

What are some truths you cling to when the enemy shoots his fiery darts dipped in poisonous lies? Have you ever prayed for something that was in no way achievable without the Lord's intervention? What happened?


Blessings,




Sharing inspiration here:
Playdates with God, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Still Saturday

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 02:52

I can't believe it's been three months since I've shared #LTTL! 

October is always a blur with #write31days and then November and December were filled with gratitude and anticipation!

This edition of #LTTL is in keeping with my new theme this year. All the images were developed in Lightroom. Whereas I've worked exclusively in Photoshop before, I've finally taken the Leap into Lightroom! And I'm so glad I did! Starting off the year with my pictures organized - that in itself is awesome - but Lightroom offers so much more!

If you're interested in getting your feet wet, Kim Klasson offers a online course. Just click on Leap into Lightroom above, and it will take you there.

So these are my first attempts at editing in Lightroom, after only three lessons, so bear with me as I learn.

*******

The gold-fronted woodpeckers are always a great source of amusement. Doesn't it look like he got into a box of melted crayons?






There are still some plants blooming around here. Mistletoe for one. I know it's a parasite, and we have to be careful that it doesn't overwhelm the tree, but it sure is beautiful!




A few leaves are still hanging on. I love the way the afternoon light makes them glow!



I looked out my window the other day and saw this:



Why drink out of the bowl of fresh water that mommy puts out when you can get  your stretches in by drinking out of the birdbath. Cats!



I have to say, editing and cataloging these in LR was a lot of fun. But it was the export process that really blew my mind! LR is the master when it comes to workflow. Check it out.


What are you seeing
through your lens
this week?

Blessings,


Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Inspired by . . . forward: an invitation

I'm doing some new things this year. 

One of those things is stepping outside my comfort zone when it comes to addressing the issues of race in our country.

For now, my first step is joining Deidra Riggs and her new book club, Forward.

Now, I admit, this is a baby step. I have my thumb in my mouth and a firm grip on my Linus blanket. But it is some action on my part, to help move the conversation forward.

It all began when Deidra decided to move the conversation forward, and suggested that we read differently for the remainder of the year. For those of you who love to read, this suggestion may speak to you. 

That suggestion was followed by a request to build a list of amazing books by a fabulous author who happens to be from a different race, culture, or ethnicity than yours.

The decision to read one of these books together and discuss it was, I think, a natural outcome. The list was compiled, narrowed, and voted upon. We begin on January 15th to read, together: The Yada Yada Prayer Group, Book One, by Neta Jackson




And, friend, you're invited to join us! 

Here's the link to all you need to know about the club and the book: http://www.deidrariggs.com/2016/01/08/forward-guidelines-for-our-little-book-club-with-a-linkup-option/

If you're like me and have been hesitant to engage about controversial issues on social media {for various reasons}, Deidra's blog and this book club, is a safe place to begin. 



This blog has always been a place to encourage and inspire you to seek and to know Him. I don't typically weigh in on current events. The only agenda here is Him. That's not going to change. That hasn't changed.

The "race issues" in this country {and around the world} are not just "current events". At their root, they are a human issue that has been around since the moment sin entered the world. An issue God cares very much about. 

The very fact that they are human issues makes them complex and, at times, difficult to understand.

I'm a long way from understanding. Perhaps you are too.

Forward, the book club, is an open door. Imagine walking into a sunlit room, lightly scented with lavender. Cozy couches piled high with pillows invite you to settle in. Lift a cuppa to your lips, crack open or scroll through Yada Yada and, listen. Engage. Or not. Your participation level is up to you.

I hope you'll consider joining us.




Blessings,







Sharing inspiration here:
Playdates with God, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Still Saturday

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Inspired by . . . a wrinkle in time

The week of Christmas afforded us some of the most beautiful weather we'd had all year. Clear skies and highs near 80 drew us out-of-doors.

It was the perfect time to visit the Sauer-Beckmann living history farm in Stonewall, Texas.





The Sauer's settled the land in 1869 and worked the land until 1900 when the Beckmann's purchased the property.




One of the Sauer's children, Augusta Sauer Lindig, served as a midwife at the birth of President Lyndon B. Johnson.  The homestead is adjacent to the Johnson property and part of the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park.




Stepping through the main gate is like stepping back in time. For me, it was also like stepping into a memory. The sights, sounds and smells of this small family farm reminded me of growing up in Vermont. Opening the grain bin was like slipping through a wrinkle in time. In that moment, I was transported back to our small farm. I could almost feel the stone slab beneath my feet, see the dust particles dancing in the sunbeams as they streamed through the west window. I listened for my dad's footfall in the next chamber. And then . . . it was gone. The wrinkle closed and I was back on the Sauer-Beckmann farm, standing on a dirt floor in a room I'd never seen before.




The smell of grain was the first one to meet your nose when you entered our barn. I will forever associate the smell of grain with my dad, and my childhood home. 

The dust clung to me like pixie dust and each new discovery conjured a memory. The tack room and it's smell of leather. I breathed deeply and remembered dad harnessing the horses to our antique buggy for a ride through the village.




"We used to can vegetables from our garden," I told the Dreamer as we passed by the window of the log cabin and spotted all the produce they had "put up" for the winter.




"My dad had one of these."

"I still have our bowl and pitcher set."




And on it went. We didn't live primitively like they did in the early 1900's, of course. But my dad had a lot of antiques from that period, and earlier, and the house and barn were full of his finds.


I can't escape the memories, nor do I want to. Like history, our memories have much to teach us.

You learn that what scripture teaches is true: Our lives are just a vapor. Quickly passing, quickly gone. Each day has worries enough of it's own. Worrying about tomorrow is a fruitless exercise. Most of the things we worry and fret about, never come to pass. The plans and blessings God has for us, as we submit our lives to Him, far surpass anything we could want or imagine.
Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and all else will be added unto you. Matt 6:33
As my Nana liked to say:
“Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery; today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” 
At first glance you might think that the people on the Sauer-Beckmann farm are living in the past. I would argue that just the opposite is happening. They are living purposefully, and joyfully;  fully in the present.





It begs the question, are we, in our contemporary,
fast paced, day-to-day lives, 
living purposefully, and
embracing the present with JOY?

Blessings,




Sharing inspiration here:
Playdates with God, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Still Saturday
Nature Notes, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global

Friday, January 1, 2016

Inspired by . . . go forward


We serve no God Whose work is done,
Who rests within His firmament;
Our God, His labors but begun,
Toils evermore, with power unspent.

God was and is and e'er shall be;
Christ lived and loved - and loves us still;
And man goes forward, proud and free,
God's present purpose to fulfill.
~Thomas Curtis Clarke

***

Lord, may we walk from darkness into light,
from weakness into strength, and
from folly into wisdom.
Always forward, according to Your will,
that Thy way may be known upon the earth.

Blessings,