Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Shining Light~

Tears flow. Thankfulness runs over.
I am overwhelmed.
The goodness. The blessings.
My life is rich and full.
Our celebration of Christmas was just that.
A celebration of all good things. Gifts were given in many
different types of packages.
There were gifts of time and labors of love. Some were given the gift of song
A brief but sweet visit. Words of encouragement.
It was joy and peace and giving. Celebrating others. Celebrating
life. New life and the life that I live here within the walls of my home and
the outside world that draws me into the lives of other people. No matter where I
go, there are people and circumstances to clelebrate. And I want to remember
that every single moment of every single day.
I am determined.
 The thing that has so impacted me? Learning of the loss of
those precious lives. Ones that were full of promise and goodness and giving.
Hearts that were full of dreams. Talents were budding and blessing. Others were still to be
realized. The words that will now never be spoken. The laughter that will forever be silent.
The living that has been forced from being.
This brutal reality has ripped open my eyes. And with God's help, they will never glaze over
again. The apathy of materialism will not clutter my mind. Nothing will
distract me from the beauty of the lives of others. The hordes of blessings that I have will not
diminish the beauty of a butterfly or the song of a bird. 
And the light of self-satisfaction will not dim the light of a fire burning
in the heart and hopes of another.
I am determined~
I am determined to use what I have to shine a bright light on the beauty that
surrounds me everyday. In the midst of trial, pain and wanting.
the songs that I sing...
the words that I speak...
the things that I create...
what I do with my hands....
I want it all to be a reflection of beauty.To bring hope and brightness to those that are
hurting and searching. God created beauty. For lives to be blessed. There is joy to be found in the everday.
There is so much beauty to celebrate!
Blessings to you and yours~
My blog will be going through a few changes..
the name first of all...
and I will be adding more pages.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Images of A Mountain Winter~





 The mountain seems to rise to catch the snow. The gray-blue skies absorb the sun. Birds gather. Snow melts. Icicles shine. The piles of wood sit ready to warm the hearth. The trees rest. The ground is waiting for the snow.... when it flows to quench it's thirst.

I love this time of year. To be honest, I can never understand why people say they don't like the cold and snow. To be out in it makes me feel alive. It speaks of seasons come and gone. Memories from my childhood dance to life.  I remember winter's past when I used put bread bags on my feet and stuff my feet into worn fleece-lined boots that did not keep my feet warm or dry. 

My horse, Jenny and I would wander the snow-covered back roads of Guernsey County, Ohio with the moon lighting our way.

********* Snow, glorious snow!*********************

And now, with children of my own, they love the snow. The promise of the woodstove warming their boots.The whistling of the tea-pot as it seems to say, "Ready your cups for home-made hot cocoa!" The reading of stories and gathering for family games. Just knowing that they're safe and warm and close. 

Counting our blessings. 

 *FAITH* family* FOOD* fun..

May your winter days be blessed with all that warms your heart and home~


Monday, December 17, 2012

hope has come ...

Lift up your heart..
Lift up your eyes.. 
In the chaos, God is....
In the silence, God is...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Hurting Far and Near

It's so hard to know what to do or say when there are so many who have lost so much.
Life has always had times like these.
I have been thinking of King Herod and the drecree to send soldiers
into the land to kill countless babies who would never grow to be men.
God was present then just as He is now.
He is comforting. He is grieving.
His love doesn't change and His power
has not been diminished. To go on, it helps to know this.
To know HIM.
It's easy to feel helpless when those hurting are so far away.
But every day, the hurting are close.
We can pray for those who are far away. Our hands
and hearts can reach those who need to feel loved.
Our hearts will lead us to those who need us.
 A hug~
A helping hand~
Words of encouragement~
A visit~
A ride somewhere~
A heart that truly listens~
A meal~ 
Financial assistance~
A call~
A card~
Our heartfelt prayers go out to those who have lost and grieve.
It is difficult to be comforted when there is such loss.
But knowing that there are those who care strengthens somehow.
Life is good..... most of the time.
But let us always remember the hurting far and near.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Best Gift

as I have reflected on this season and what I do not wish it to be, it has caused me to look to my heart. WHAT ministers to the deepest place.
This is the best gift for the season.
The first gift of Christmas was love.
And it did not come with ribbons and bows.
Look deeply. Listen.
and then give~

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino Dip; An Easy Holiday Treat

When we travel back east, we like to take advantage of the bulk foods that are sold there. On our last trip, we found this charming little store called
The Pantry Door whose shelves were packed with big variety. The
decorations were all fallish with browns, yellows and ambers.
So inviting.
It was plain to see that this was a place to savor.
Hot drinks are a staple in our home. Pumpin is the favorite so the
drink mixes really caught my eye! As I gathered up several different flavors and moved on
I came aross a sample of this DELICIOUS dip.
We sampled it and knew it would make a great gift as well as
a tasty treat for our home gatherings.
What fun!

 We prefer to use Heavy Whipping Cream.


Whipping the cream to stiff peaks.

Fluffy whiteness.
A sprinkling of Nutmeg.
 Doesn't it look so festive and creamy?
This is SO easy and with all the different flavors of drink mixes,
you can pick the flavor to suit the holiday or occasion. I must warn
you, however. It is VERY sweet and a very small amount can satisfy your
sweet cravings.

Do you have a favorite dip recipe for gatherings or holidays that you would
like to share?




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thankfulness Grows...Out of Giving

What a bounty of thanks I felt on our day of giving. It truly felt like the day was supposed to. Actually, as soon as we had made our plans, I knew it was going to be a special day.
I had a purpose.

                    Perfect doesn't happen very often.

We were blessed to have some very special friends dine at our table. Gracious.

It's tradition for us to make place cards for each person.
Inside there's a scripture that's chosen escpecially for
them. Something that will encourage.


My husband's thoughtfulness took him back to town on a special trip to buy
these flowers for me. (That is something special and something
to be thankful for.)  They were.... PERFECT~

Five kernals of corn. Reminding ourselves of how blessed we are.
Five Kernels of Corn
by Hezekiah Butterworth
‘Twas the year of the famine in Plymouth of old,
The ice and the snow from the thatched roofs had rolled;
Through the warm purple skies steered the geese o’er the seas,
And the woodpeckers tapped in the clocks of the trees;
And the boughs on the slopes to the south winds lay bare,
and dreaming of summer, the buds swelled in the air.
The pale Pilgrims welcomed each reddening morn;
There were left but for rations Five Kernels of Corn.
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
But to Bradford a feast were Five Kernels of Corn!
“Five Kernels of Corn! Five Kernels of Corn!
Ye people, be glad for Five Kernels of Corn!”
So Bradford cried out on bleak Burial Hill,
And the thin women stood in their doors, white and still.”
Lo, the harbor of Plymouth rolls bright in the Spring,
The maples grow red, and the wood robins sing,
The west wind is blowing, and fading the snow,
And the pleasant pines sing, and arbutuses blow.
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
To each one be given Five Kernels of Corn!”
O Bradford of Austerfield hast on thy way,
The west winds are blowing o’er Provincetown Bay,
The white avens bloom, but the pine domes are chill,
And new graves have furrowed Precisioners’ Hill!”
Give thanks, all ye people, the warm skies have come,
The hilltops are sunny, and green grows the holm,
And the trumpets of winds, and the white March is gone,
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
Ye have for Thanksgiving Five Kernels of Corn!
“The raven’s gift eat and be humble and pray,
A new light is breaking and Truth leads your way;
One taper a thousand shall kindle; rejoice
That to you has been given the wilderness voice!”
O Bradford of Austerfield, daring the wave,
And safe through the sounding blasts leading the brave,
Of deeds such as thine was the free nation born,
And the festal world sings the “Five Kernels of Corn.”
Five Kernels of Corn!
Five Kernels of Corn!
The nation gives thanks for Five Kernels of Corn!
To the Thanksgiving Feast bring Five Kernels of Corn! 
 Our day was not perfect because of the food or the decorations.

It was the blessing that came from reaching out to ones who needed someome
to tell their stories to.
Sharing a long, warm hug with a lonely friend.
Playing games and making a trip to the chicken coop
with a friend who just celebrated her 56th birthday,
but lives in an 8 year olds world.

And to be honest.. it was for me. I needed to be needed.
I needed.
And even in my selfishness, I was blessed.

Thanksgiving is a time to not only count our blessings but a time to share 
what we have.

Now we are rich.
And my thankfulness has grown..... out of giving.

Do you have any thoughts that you'd like to share
about your Thanksgiving?
I'd love to hear them.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Blessings Realized~

They are personal to each one...



                                                                                               healing inside or out...

peace of mind....

                              a song...

                                                  an uplifting word....

                                                                                       chimes blowing in the wind...

a lovely picture...

                               a warm hug...

                                                     a smile from an enemy...

                                                                                            wet kisses from a child....

                  Giving ....
                                      sharing a friend's burden....


                                                                                                            the quiet...

              I am overwhelmed by the goodness that I call my life.

I haven't always appreciated these simple things. I have often wanted
bigger things. Selfish things. Through loss, I have learned.
And gained. How is this possible?

By losing peace, I have come to understand the blessing of peaceful times.
In losing a friend, I have to come to treasure the gift.

To see a blessing, I have had to change my perspective.
And instead of wanting more, I have learned am learning to see through
different eyes. The eyes of the my heart see. Finally.
Truly see.

Thankfully, I have not had to lose everything
to understand the
richness of this life that I live and love.

During this last week before Thanksgiving,
I pray that more and more
I will see with my heart the preciousness of all
that I have been blessed with~
And then, that I would never forget.

A true blessing indeed.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Seligman - Hidden Charm

Recently, we took a family trip to Seligman, Az. It was to be a quick trip and we weren't
sure what we might find there. It was a delight to see. The charming, historical, little, some-
what abandoned Route 66 town, totally won our hearts! Here are some photos of our wonderfully warm visit.


So much color.
What a charming little town. Don't you agree?
 The reason for our travels in the
first place was to sing at a church there. We were very excited about sharing
with people who wanted to hear us sing about the Lord. But it was a four hour
drive. A bit of a distance for overnight. (And by the way, we didn't get any pictures
of the gracious people at the church or of us setting up or singing. I always feel
somewhat awkward about taking photos on occasions such as that.)
Looks a little like Radiator Springs? The little town in the movie 'Cars'
was inspired by Seligman, Az.
We had a simply delightful time walking the street (literally) and taking
photos. It was a memory that was worth the making.
Thank you, Seligman, Arizona.
The town that time has forgotten. Or so it would seem.