Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Moment of Thanksgiving...

What a beautiful time of year it is. Beginning with Thanksgiving. Thinking of all the

blessings  that endow my life, how can I be anything but thankful.

If I allow my focus to stray, I will soon forget the stores of treasures in my life.

My heart pours out thankfulness for His mercies that are renewed every morning and I

am more thankful than I can say for His grace that touches my life and gives me hope.

As I reflect on the measure of  Faith that God has given me and how He has nurtured and

allowed it to grow, blesses me beyond words that I can speak.

I hope that your heart is able to see some of the many blessings in your life and that your
joy increases as you reflect on His love for you.


Friday, September 16, 2011

The Chicken Coop Comes Along

Working together....

 an abundance of opportunities to

build ...


The tools ..

Finishing the roof...

Pounding the nail...

Father and daughter working together. Considering the best way to
accomplish their plans.

Liberty, resting in the shade. She is never far away when there
is family outside....


The flip flopped girl taking a little break...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Feeling Disconnected...and Vulnerable...

I am feeling very disconnected to words. Is it a dry time? I am not sure. What happens

when this occurs?

I cannot seem to focus on my topics. I sit and try to write.. I sit and and try to think.

I type and delete... type and delete...trying to make some sense of  the words.

Trying to make them connect and have meaning to me....and feel my words..

Trying to write something that will reach my readers.. touch them in some

 special way. How can I reach them when I, myself, seem so far away.. 

I am feeling numb inside..maybe that's why I can't feel the words either.. I cannot

 feel. As I was sitting here thinking, it occurred to me that I should write about that..

It is the most that I have been able to type in almost a month.

I think I understand a little. I had this idea for a post about a 2 months ago..  It was

about wanting to be real. And in that, then taking the time to feel. Feeling allows

the reality of dealing with life's circumstances. Thinking about... pondering and 

allowing oneself to walk in grace... and then, and only then, can true healing begin.

 I didn't realize that it would be the fruit of my own experience. I had it more in mind

to be that of a encouragement to others.. Maybe this will be even more encouraging..

Because it's about transparency..

I am relatively new to this. Transparency.. I am trying.

To walk there....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Margin...The Lifestyle That Allows...Peace, Healing and Restoration

Rushing....Over-scheduling.... Pressure....Stress

Life in general can be overwhelming at times. Just the everyday maintenance of
relationships, a home, and keeping a job are enough, at times, to tax us to our very
limits. What happens when we find ourselves in a place of emptiness? That place that
cries out for rest, healing and peace?

How do we get here?

I don't believe it is our intention to create this kind of lifestyle. I have found myself
in this position when I have failed to be realistic about the requirements of a
commitment. Or perhaps I was not thorough in researching and counting the cost.

I believe many people would slow down, if they could. But many find themselves
being pushed along by the commitments they have made. Most have made these
commitments in good faith and are people of integrity. But perhaps they are caught in
the grips of a commitment that has gone far beyond their expectations.

Are we trying to keep up with a schedule that burdens us beyond our comfortable level
of what isrequired? The danger of this is that we may reach a state of burnout where
we are unable to fulfill the responsibilities that we have with the passion and purpose
that we had hoped and intended.

This can create a sense of despair, hopelessness and failure. Not at all what God
intends for us to experience. In these places, God will help us but I firmly believe that
instead of helping us through these circumstances, that He would rather us avoid them
and walk in wisdom and peace.

I would like to share with you the name of a book that I read...too late. I found this
book after Jeff and I had made a commitment to something that would overload us for
15 years and take us down a path less than desirable. At some point, I will share this
story with you. My hope is, that in sharing this book, others will be able to step back
and reflect on their lives and become more aware of healthy boundaries. And through this
awareness, will flow a life of peace-filled purpose.

The name of the book is Margin and was written by Richard Swenson.
Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives

Life in modern day America is essentially devoid of time and space. Not the
Star Trek kind. The sanity kind. Chronic overloading is the culprit: margin is
the cure.

This newly revised 2004 update of the original best-seller explains what
margin is, why it is important, how it disappeared, and steps to get it back. Margin is
the space between our load and our limits and is related to our reserves and resilience.
It is a buffer, a leeway, a gap; the place we go to heal, to relate, to reflect, to recharge
our batteries, to focus on the things that matter most.

Margin offers seventy-five practical prescriptions for restoring margin in the
essential areas of emotional energy, physical energy, time, and finances.
Margin restores what culture has taken away: time to listen, strength to
care, space to love.

Dr. Swenson has also written a devotional called  A Minute of Margin....Restoring
Balance to Busy Lives

You can find both of these books and more written by Dr. Swenson at Amazon Books.

Wishing for you a place of wisdom, rest and peace.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again....

I have been unable to post due to complications with my computer...But soon I will be....

                                 Until then....Happy Trails.... 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ring - A - Round the Rosie....Simple Pleasures ~

On a beautiful summer evening, it warmed my heart to watch this.
My youngest daughters playing with their niece and nephews.

Ring -A- Round the Rosies...

Pocket full of posies...

Ashes..ashes...we all... fall... DOWN!

Shouts of joy and laughter FILL the air..

What a blessing to see my children and grandchildren
feeling so much joy!

It is such a treasure to watch them and to think that they are making
memories that will enrich their lives forever.

Thank you God for the gift of:



Lovely summer evenings....

Monday, August 15, 2011

An Encouraging Message From Mike Smith

Our family recently attended the Arizona Family for Home Education homeschool
seminar. It is always a joy to be there amongst the many families who share the same
vision for discipling and teaching their children.

Mr. Mike Smith was a keynote speaker. He is the President of  Home School Legal
Defense Association.

His message was very encouraging and confirmed some of the choices that we have
made for patterning our schooling. Though we have a lot of friends who teach their
children at home, we have felt lead in somewhat of a different direction than some.
Another reason we appreciate the conference is that God speaks through those who are
chosen to bring a message.


Many years ago, we felt that God was leading us to make a change in our focus of
schooling. When we first began, it was more about the schooling, though we appreciated
the opportunity to bring more of the Bible into their schooling.

But as we grew in our vision, we began to feel that there was too much emphasis
on education. Not that education isn't important, but we felt that God and His ways
and truth needed to be the center and Godly character needed to be the focus.

Mr. Smith told a story about a woman who had purposed to homeschool her son and
her focus was going to be primarily on character. She read the classics to him and
allowed him a great deal of freedom to learn on his own and to direct his education
according to his interests.

When it came time for him to test for college, he studied a small book on grammar
and took the test. When his results were reviewed, he received a note from the school
saying that they had never had a score like his. He had achieved a perfect score.

He also told a story about a mom who was very serious about her children's education.
She had desks for them all and the desks had little flags. We all laughed at that. She had
a plan and it sounded pretty rigid.

Before school was to start, her father-in-law developed cancer. This changed everything
and for the next year, she did not teach ANY formal schooling to her children. When
the next year came around, she was prepared to test her children. Her expectations were
to have to dig out the books from the last year completed and review. She fully expected
that her children would be behind.

When they were tested, it was discovered that they had jumped ahead two grade levels.

He was not suggesting in any way that we neglect our children's education.

We obviously desire that our children have the richest educational experience

But how we go about that and where we place our trust is paramount to our

His point was that no matter what happens, we can trust the Lord. While we are busy
doing what we have to do, God is watching over our lives and ordering our steps.

God will never lead us to a place and then abandon us.

Life often times does not go the way we plan, but when we place our trust in the One
who has created out hearts and placed these visions within us, we can know without a
doubt that He will be our wisdom and guide.

 We can KNOW this because His Word tells us in Proverbs 3:5,6. Trust in the Lord
with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge the Lord
in all of your ways and He will direct your paths.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sharing our Faith Effectively....The Way of the Master

I am very blessed by the website that I want to share with you. If you are interested
in evangelism, this link will be one of your favorites. It has so much to offer. There
are audio teachings, clips of witnessing experiences and a place to purchase witnessing

Below, you will find a video of one of their teachings. It is called  Hell's Best Kept

Living waters- Hell's best kept secret from Michael Helders on Vimeo.

I have been following this site for only a short time and I am thankful for the
information and encouragement. In my life, sharing the gospel message is not an option.
Though I went through the several week course on witnessing, I still need help. I need
reminded of the seriousness of those lost and dying eternally separated from God.

Proverbs 11:30 says, The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and he who wins
souls is wise.

Knowing how to effectively share our faith and having some tools and teaching to carry it
out is very important. We don't want to offend with our words or approach. It's my desire to
share the truth of the gospel with love and with what I call a "bold humility". In order
to do that, I need to saturate myself with as much of these teachings as I can. Complacency in
area is not loving or caring. Prayer and sharing is caring.

I am always saying that I love people. How can I truly love
 them and not be concerned for their souls?
                                                 Visit The Way of the Master here

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pets In A Jar..Helping Children Learn to Care for Wild Critters

Summer is the time of year when many of us spend more time outside.
Our children run in all excited about this critter or that and how
they caught it. Somewhere in the conversation many will ask, "May
I keep it?"

Keeping the little critters is a lot of fun and can provide hours of enjoyment
as well as be a valuable learning experience.

However, sometimes small animals and critters suffer unnecessarily 
because the information necessary
to keep the pet alive.

Some pets fair very well in captivity and others don't. Some are illegal
to keep in captivity. In researching the Horned Lizard, I found that in Texas,
it is against the law to keep them. It is said that
those who have tried have not been very successful.

Here is a Horned Lizard (aka Horney Toads) that we found on our property in Arizona
this past July. They are often the color of their surroundings.

A bit smaller horned lizard.

A very small garter snake.

The snake next to my little finger. It's the smallest one I have
ever caught.
(As you can tell, I like critters, too!)

I don't like to kill wasps. As I picked this one up to put it outside, it found a
bead of water and started drinking. It was during a very dry period here.
I also enjoy putting a drop of honey on my finger and watching them
eat. Wasps do not become easily threatened and will usually sting
only if one sits on them, puts a hand on them or something similar.

Pets In a Jar: Collecting and Caring for Small Wild Animals

Imagine having a pet that will never learn to recognize you, that will in fact ignore you,
yet that is fascinating in a thousand different ways. With very little expense and a lot
of imagination, you can find, catch, and keep in a glass jar many small animals such
 as water bugs, hydras, toads, star-fish, and crickets. See for yourself how these creatures
live in the environment you create for them. Pets in a Jar will give you your own window
 to nature.

This book is available at Barnes and Noble

Order a used copy from Abe Books. If you are not familiar with this bookseller,
they sell used books at very reasonable to low prices and the condition of the books
are usually pretty decent.

We purchased the book years ago and have used it many times. It has been very 
fascinating to learn about God's little creatures. Our children have enjoyed just
reading the book. It's very informative and a great little supplement to Science.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Are Your Children Contributors or Spectators?

It has long been a concern of mine that children spend too much time being
engrossed in the activities of others and THINGS that seem to offer little to no
developmentof any kind.

When our children were small, we were of the same type of mindset. We bought our son
a Nintendo Game. It didn't last for long. We tried too hard to keep them entertained and
bought them too many things instead of allowing them to be creative.

I am wondering if this may be more typical of offspring of the baby boomers.
I am not one to stereotype, but I have seen a trend in the parents of my generation to
be present but not there. Growing up, our family was an example of one holding hands
but facing outward. We were there together, but each one did his own thing.

In a culture where there is so much emphasis on entertainment, it gets increasingly
difficult to raise our children to be people of passion and productivity. To be disciplined
and purposeful in choosing pursuits and ordering time is an accomplishment that is
none too easily attained.

The more I ponder this, I begin to understand that being a spectator centers
primarily on one person. Any given individual can partake of the offered event or
activity without really ever having to interact with anyone. It requires no team sacrifice or anything from them at all.

The pull of the television, video games and the cell phone are real distractions that even
adults face and often fail to keep in perspective.

Children are at risk and may likely not have a fair opportunity to learn and succeed free
from these invasive technological devices especially if their parents don't view these as
sources to be monitored VERY carefully. I am not against these items if they are used in
in the manner of serving us ( if this is possible) and not controlling us.

What would happen if we gave our children every opportunity to know themselves
and to discover the gifts that God has given them? What kind of beauty would grow
from the rich experience of quiet observation and uninterrupted creativity. The
possibilities are limitless. This lifestyle is very conducive to learning.

Life comes at us in such a rush and the time that we have every day disappears very
quickly without gain if we are not proactive in applying that time to something that is
lasting and noble.

We can ask ourselves a few questions: 1) What will benefit our children? 2)  How can we
invest in our children's time in a way that God will be honored and others will be
blessed? 3) How can we as parents, be supportive in helping our children grow toward
developing to their full potential in these areas.

In desiring to establish this kind of lifestyle here are some ways to get started.

First of all, if your family is entertainment oriented, making a sudden change could
be very difficult. When God brings us to a place of change, He is patient and sensitive.
He isn't demanding but gentle and compassionate. (When God speaks to my heart about
changes that need to be made, I tend to charge ahead leaving hearts behind. I have had to
learn to apply love first, and then the changes.) get started:

* I like to start with prayer for direction

* Try to get in touch with the hearts and dreams of your children as well as being
    aware of their gifts and talents.

* Having resources available is VERY important (This can get expensive but
   I have found thrift stores and yard sales to be wonderful sources of needed
   materials. Praying helps also. I have been so blessed by God's provision.)

* Be attentive and focused on their projects

* Children also learn by example..if my children see me working on a project
   instead of watching a movie, that helps to encourage and inspire them

My girls enjoy a lot of activities and working on many skills.
I thought you might enjoy seeing some of their projects and past times.

Baking scones for the tea party.
Helping Dad mix concrete for the corner posts of the goat pen.
Learning about our new Australorp chickens.
Practicing guitar.
They did a lot of the decorating work for this tea party.
Playing music for the tea party.
Working on sewing skills.
 Sharing music at a nursing home.
Finishing her pillow

In a recent sermon we heard, the Pastor spoke of occupying and using our talents
for God. He said if there are books to be written, we as Christians should be writing
them. If there are buildings to be built, we should be building them..songs to be written
and sung..etc.

We allow our children to grow in their gifts and encourage and support them in
their talents. Their gifts, talents and skills are not just for their enjoyment.
Nor are they to be hidden but shared to enrich he lives of others.

If we model this kind of love others, they will be much more likely to
give of themselves in this way. 


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Be Touched By the River~

8 He said to me, "This water flows out to the eastern region and goes down to
the Arabah. When it enters the sea, the sea of foul water, the water
 [of the sea] becomes fresh.

9 Every [kind of] living creature that swarms will live
wherever the river flows, and there will be a huge number of fish because this
water goes there. Since the water will become fresh, there will be life everywhere the
 river goes.

 10 Fishermen will stand beside it from En-gedi to En-eglaim.
 These will become places where nets are spread out to dry. Their fish will
 consist of many different kinds, like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.

11 Yet its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be left for salt.

 12 All [kinds of] trees providing food will grow along both banks of the river.
 Their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. Each month they
will bear fresh fruit because the water [comes] from the sanctuary.
Their fruit will be used for food and their leaves
 for medicine."

Ezekiel 47:8-12

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty

We have had Thinking Putty in our home for about 5 years. It has been
used by all the children to help them with their fidgeting and now I have
found a new use for it.

As I use my hands a lot in playing music, I have been experiencing some
stiffness in my hands. When trying to build up speed in my mandolin picking
and remain accurate, I have come to realize that my hands are very weak.

While learning the chords and strength for finger placements, sometimes I have to
really stretch to make the chords or hit the notes.

A little history...

Crazy Aaron first created his putty back in the late 1990’s when he was building
websites in an office setting. He was inspired to develop the perfect desk toy, which
took off after he placed an order for 100 pounds of bouncing putty. He experimented
and did research for his product until he concocted a whole line of great colors and
textures. It was soon after that his co-workers began stopping by his cubicle to buy
their own tin of Thinking Putty.

When the demand for Thinking Putty outgrew what Aaron was able to make in his
mother’s basement, he moved the manufacturing to a vocational facility in suburban
Philadelphia. His company now provides jobs and teaches practical skills to
exceptional people with special needs.

When you order the putty you receive a card displaying and explaining a variety of
exercises that you can do to strengthen your hands.

I have personally made up my own exercises. You can personalize them to your
own needs. My hands have become stronger and most of the stiffness is gone
from them. Being consistent is a real key as with any exercise. I try to use it three times
a week.

It doesn't break apart much and it doesn't dry out. Though I have never experienced
a leftover mess, I did find a very small piece stuck to our living room carpet it
isn't fully "mess proof." But mostly.

If you would like to order your own, visit Amazon  or go to Crazy Aaron's Putty World
to learn more and or to order.

Have fun!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Life is Rich... God is Good

God promises blessings in our lives. I must say that I am a blessed woman. These past two
weeks have been a whirlwind of blessings and challenges. Family... friends..truth revealed..
affirmation..special memories.. And God proving His faithfulness again and again.

I feel so behind on blogging, but I know that God has put this blog in the place where it
belongs as far as priorities and I am grateful that I don't have to fret about
the days when I just cannot get to it. He truly does order our time when we commit it
to Him.

I hope you all have been having as blessed a summer as I have. In the midst of the loss,
God has shown himself to be faithful and loving and ever-near.

One of the greatest blessings that Jeff and I have experienced together this summer,
is the reunion of our adult children. To see them walking in the ways of the Lord and
leading their families in God's truth and love is just so affirming, rewarding and healing.

To worship with them, discuss the bible and to be able to pray with them in unity has
brought a joy to us that cannot be expressed.

We also had a lot of fun singing together and target shooting. When it
wasn't raining, there were folks gathered around the horseshoe pit.

The little ones enjoyed the goats, chickens and watering whatever they
find! So precious.

God is so good to bring forth fruit from the things that we sow
in His name. Sometimes we are unsure of the progress and we toil over
and pine over our mistakes. It is in spite of us that He brings life.
As we walk in obedience to His perfection.. we can
rest in the fact that He is ever watching over His word to perform it.

Be blessed and encouraged. Walk in joy as He works His will and weaves His plan
and purposes in your life.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Keeper of the Home... A Relevant and Interesting Link~

A couple of weeks ago, I had shared about the treasure trove of blogs and websites
that I have found to be insightful, fun, inspiring as well as offering answers to questions.
Not that I am an expert on blogging or on what my friends are seeking answers to.

I would just like to recognize some of these wonderful places to visit and share some
of these with you.

Trove: A collection of valuable items discovered or found

Keeper of the Home is a wonderful site that offers information about homemaking,
health and nutrition. Organic gardening and recipes are a few other features that you
will find here. There are interesting articles about family, frugality and stewardship

"She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness
 (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat" -Proverbs 31:27 (AMP)

I hope you enjoy this site and find it as helpful and interesting as I have.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Beginner's Herb Garden~

Summer is such a glorious time to be out. I look for every reason
possible to be in the fresh air.

One of my favorite past times is to work with herbs. I find it to be very
therapeutic. Using herbs as culinary flavorings is a very rewarding
way to utilize what I've grown. Nothing brings food to life or can
 substitute the flavor of fresh herbs.

Growing and maintaining herbs is not difficult. They are a wonderfully fun
and exciting way to introduce children to gardening or to encourage some
one who may need a little boost of confidence in growing things.
They really are very easy.

A few reasons why herbs make a perfect beginner's project are:

*they are easy to establish
* they are low maintenance
*they provide a quick yield
*they are pleasing to the eye
*they spark creativity

Our newly transplanted Basil plant. This pot is right outside our back door.
The children have always loved to go out and pull off the fresh leaves
for tomato sandwiches or a pasta salad in the making.

This delicate looking plant is one of my favorites.
It's delicate appearance can fool a person though. Last winter, I brushed
the snow away to cut fresh pieces from it to add to a batch
of herbal vinegar that the girls and I were making. 
I also mix it in chicken salads and rub it all over my
turkeys before I roast them.
 OH! The aroma that comes from the oven~ 


Catmint or Catnip

Our cats crawl in the middle of this plant or lay on it.
Sometimes they break off entire branches! They can't resist it.
This can used for tea or dried and used to make cat toys.
It grows very quickly into a beautiful, bushy plant; it's been cut
back three times already this season.

Verigated Sage

I use this for stuffing and a homemade turkey sausage recipe that
our family enjoys. It smells so good drying in the kitchen.


This plant makes a lovely addition to a dried arrangement
or just used by itself.


We cut this fresh and chop it for our baked potatoes.


Apple Mint

This is our second planting of Apple Mint.
Last year we lost it because it was in too hot of a spot.
Mint does prefer a bit of a cooler location. This year, I re-located the mint
so that is gets about half sun and half shade. It has
established well. I included a photo of the new shoots coming
only 5 days after transplanting. I was very surprised.

(Many herbs are draught tolerant. However, I have found in this
brutal AZ. climate where I live, even the hardiest of plants need
extra water and sometimes prefer part-shade.)

The Apple Mint with it's new shoots!

 Common Sage

Many herbs are perennials which means they come back
each year without re-planting. This is helpful to
the budget and also makes anticipating springtime even more fun.
The plants grow in size and can often be propagated each year.

Plants make wonderful gifts or if you are of the entrepreneurial
mindset, you can pot and sell them at a local farmer's
market or craft fair.

Herbs can be grown in ground or they make wonderful plants
for container gardens. I like to mix them up with flowers when I
plant in containers.

If you put them on pots, and have a nice south-facing window,
they can wintered inside very well.

Here is my pot of Rosemary that I moved inside last winter.
It wintered very nicely.

This south facing window is in my bedroom.
I was very glad to add some green to my sanctuary
for the winter. (I am VERY big on green things inside.)
Not only do I enjoy just looking at my herbs, touching them releases
the wonderful aroma into the room.

As you can see, herbs provide so much enjoyment and
are useful as well.  They can be used in foods, preserving, crafts and
medicinally. The possibilities are limited only by one's
creativity and desire.

If you enjoy herbs but aren't really
sure how to use them, here is a book that will help you get 
started. It is called The Pleasure of Herbs
and is available through Amazon Books.

It is not a new resource but it is my old favorite.
I have used it as a reference for twenty years.
 Just the fact that it is still available
today speaks of its relevant information.

Here is a description of the book.

This lively book is brimming with information about herbs and herb growing.
 There are 298,000 copies in print.

Whether it's creating an herbal wreath for Christmas, a circular herb garden in April,
a bridal bouquet in June, or a savory harvest feast, this lively book is brimming
with dozens of exciting things to do with herbs every month. You'll learn to plant
an indoor herb garden, make herb breads and jellies, grow and use everlastings,
create pomanders and herbal pet aids, and much more.

Each chaper presents a potpourri of projects appropriate to a different month.
 In February, for example, you plan your spring gardens -- a perennial fragrance
bed, an all-purple garden, and all-thyme garden, a knot garden. Meanwhile you
luxuriate in a lavender bath and sip a hot tisane (herbal tea) -- or perhaps concoct
an herbal valentine. November, on the other hand, features recipes for poultry stuffings,

directions for making gift baskets, potpourris, and Thanksgiving condiments,
and instructions on bedding down the garden for the winter.

An extensive "Gourmet Gardening" section begins each chapter, with advice
on seed-starting, soil preparation, companion planting, organic pest control,
harvesting, and garden wrap-up.
The book also includes:

* A culinary "herb-of-the-month"
* A chart of botanical names and families
* Harvesting and preserving tips
* A brief encyclopedia of herbs
* A list of herb suppliers
* A bibliography

I hope this information was helpful
and that you will be able to begin gardening soon!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

No Internet..

I'm sorry I have not posted..Our internet was down for three days.. I'll be back soon..

Sunday, July 10, 2011

101 Ways to Encourage Your Children

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

Speaking encouraging words is so important. They lift people up and often times bring
a smile to someone's face.

Most often times the encourager is lifted up as well. It makes me happy to know that
I have brightened another's day.

It has been said that for every negative word spoken it takes ten encouraging words to
to counter that. Wow!

We know that the Bible says that "there is death and life in the power of the tongue."
That can be applied to the words that we use to encourage as well.

Positive words can bring healing to relationships and hearts. Dreams can be restored
and hope can spring up from the pit of discouragment.

When my children were small, I found a poster that listed these 101 ways to encourage
a child. I sticky-tacked it to the side of my refridgerator. The entire family
used those words to encourage one another.

Great Job * Way to go * You are so creative * Your talents never cease * Terrific
* Fantastic * You are very thoughtful * Thank you * At-a-boy/girl * I trust you
* You are a joy * Stupendous * Marvelous * You are a beautiful person *
That was gutsy * I'm so proud of you * You're a miracle * That was ambitious *
Let's try again * Let's try it together * You are generous * You're the best * Great
* You make me smile * You're a great artist * You are super * You're on your way
* I appreciate your … * You are really growing * I am so happy for you * I like the
way you handled that * Thank you for your honesty * You are not alone * Outstanding
* Congratulations * You can do it * You have a terrific sense of humor * That took
a lot of patience * You deserve it * I forgive you * You are courageous * You are
independent * Give it a try * Awesome * God loves you * You are so bright * I'm sorry
* Please join us * You're welcome * Let's go for it! * I see real improvement * You
tried your best, I can tell * Wonderful! * I see you like to explore * You're Clever *
You are my sunshine * You are perfect, just the way you are * I respect your privacy
* Great idea * That was original * I love your imagination * You're a great athlete *
I love how you sing * You are a good friend * It's ok to make mistakes * You are very
observant * Great listening skills * You are strong and healthy * You're growing up *
I have confidence in your judgement * Thanks for helping * Superstar * You're special
* You're making progress * You've discovered the secret * That's incredible * You're
unique * You've got a friend * You belong * Nothing can stop you now * You really
tried * Now you're flying * Hurray for you * How did you do that * Looking good *
You're doing it * Bingo * Well done * Bravo * I like your work * You're important *
You're a winner * Exceptional performance * You learned it right * A big hug *
A big kiss * I love you *

Your words have power!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Song that He Sings Over You

Life is rich... Life is painful...  vast... uncontainable..

We try to remember the joyful times by taking photos and recording movies.

                                            Times of reflection.

At times we even try to re-create the moments that we so cherished instead of

letting them go. Accepting that the moment for that particular joy has passed.

When we are visited by tragedy, we tend to move

as quickly as we can through and away from

those experiences. We shy away from loss and

pain and grief. 

Nothing can hold back these events that come our way..

Sometimes they rush in like a wave.  At other times the overwhelming is slow

like the creeping in of a flood.


The month of June held many losses for our family. We lost two beautful

friends to cancer. Sometimes the grief just pours out. I try to play and replay

the memories of our times together. I don't want to forget. Remembering hurts.

I'm afraid of forgetting.


One half million acres of the wilderness and forest that we treasured so much

is gone.. burned.. lifeless..

                                         Our family used to make the hike up to this tower.

The view was incredible. This photo does not compare
to the real thing..miles of God's creation~

                                                              After the Wallow Fire
                                    Escudilla Mountain burned almot 60 years ago to the day.
                                                It will never be the same in my lifetime.


It's a slow thing for me. Waiting on God. Allowing myself to feel.

Looking to His grace..Depending on it. There's a knowing that He is near.

With His Father's loving touch, He will bring healing.. a peace and a rest.

I can trust in His mercy and truth. His love endures...and He is

faithful to bring life from things that die..that's His way.

 Without the pain.. there is no healing..
Without tears... why would we need laughter?

Victory would not be attained without defeat...
Were there no valleys..mountain tops would not exist..

The loss would not feel great if we did not deeply love.

God knows what He desires for each of us. What He allows in our life will be

part of the song that He sings over us and the way that He orders our steps.

And it will be good... His plan is good..

He knows what we have need of before we ever ask and has made every

provision for our good according to His plans and purposes..