Friday, June 29, 2012

Far Above Rubies: How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog

My sister just started a blog. She expressed a desire to increase her traffic. She asked what
I knew about it. I don't know a lot and what I do know I have worked only minimally at
applying. I have only 12 followers and most of them are family! I rarely get more than 10
pageviews/day unless I link up with another blog. I haven't been doing that either. Building my
content has been my focus and my design was too cluttered.

There is some information that I have gleaned and applied as I can. This is one of the articles that
I read. It was helpful, encouraging and friendly. I think you'll find it to be a blessing.

I would like to thank Jasmine from Far Above Rubies for all of her hard work and so graciously sharing her information and allowing me to share it others. It truly is a blessing to glean from
those who go ahead of us and are so willing to share what they've learned! Thank you so much.


Far Above Rubies: How to Increase Traffic to your Blog: Since many of my readers are bloggers, I hope
 to bring monthly blogging tips that will prove beneificial in learning the essentials of blog...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Black Fades to Gray

These past months have been so enlightening and liberating. During this time, I have come to
realize that many areas of my life have been out of balance for a very long time. Many of them
relate to my beliefs.

One of the things that I attribute these imbalances to is this. Though I had a father
and a mother, and they were both present physically most of the time, they were unable
to be a presence in my life. Their own circumstances were overwhelming. My mother was
in and out of mental institutions before I was 8 years old. My father worked construction
and he drove long distances to the sites where he was a Master Mechanic. Usually an
hour to two hours one way.

I am not blaming my parents. These are just the facts. They did what they knew. They were
just trying to move ahead and do the best they could with the very difficult circumstances that surrounded them.  Life is not always fair and blaming circumstances or people only makes
one weak. However, it does help to reflect and understand.

I remember feeling very alone and that my life was icky. Just messy. And I always felt like
I was odd and stupid. My family wasn't like other families whose
parents did things with the kids. They talked about things. I remember taking a walk with
my older sister once and talking about life and how good that felt to me. It hit the spot way
down deep in my hungry heart. As I look back I understand that these feelings were all related
to a life that felt very much out of control.

I made a decision to live for God when I was 10. But I never felt good enough. And this
began a very long journey for me. A journey of trying to do right to feel loved and accepted
by the One who created me.

Through the many years on the road to living close to God and trying to please Him, I took
many different paths. All of them supposedly the "right" one. There were truths that were
definitely come to and clarified. But my search for the "perfect" path was not to be found.

Being of the "black and white" personality made that very difficult for me. I was very
determined. And so I tried so hard to make things make sense. I needed a box for all
my activities, beliefs and philosophies to fit neatly into. This was a place of comfort a
and ease.

All the while, He was waiting for me to come to the end of this road that I thought was
leading me into the right.

The accepting of the gray has been extremely liberating. At times, however, freedom can
bring a lot of questions and a feeling of insecurity. Not having the answers can be
intimidating and leave a person feel vulnerable.  My understanding of  "the way things work"
has gone from nothing to a little bit to a little bit more.

For the first time in my life, I am at peace with not knowing. I believe in the past, my
insecurities, and my need to belong always kept me stirred up and anxious. I am so glad to
be ok with what I don't know and who I don't fit in with. I am free to be me. To live. To love.
My husband says that I have come out of my cocoon. I am like a transformed butterfly.

I am so thankful that God didn't forsake me during my searching and questioning. I never felt abandoned or rejected. He has once again, proven Himself so loving and real.( It sounds as if
my journey is over. It's not. There is still healing to be done. Questions will still arise and
more is to be revealed. But the peace I have is lasting. )

Sunday, June 24, 2012

His Goodness~

The Lord is faithful to all His promises
and loving toward
all He has made.

We can rest in Him.

The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who
are bowed down.

The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the
proper time.

Such a bountiful provision.

You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of
every living thing.

God's word is so full of promises
that will encourage us, light our way
and strengthen our hearts~

Have a blessed day.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Our Dog ~ Liberty

This is one of the sweetest things.
She works so hard at pleasing us.
There is definitely the element of protection in her
little dog heart.

I don't believe there is anything this little
bit of a dog wouldn't do for us if she had the chance.

She is a whole lot of love wrapped up in a fur body.

The neighbors cat moved here just to be with
'Miss Liberty.'  
Mr. Kitty snuggles with her every chance he gets!

 Here is a little story that I love to tell about her:

One day Liberty and I were taking a walk. It was a little cool so I had
worn my down vest. It warmed up rather quickly and so I hung my vest
in a bush along the road.

Somehow, Liberty and I got separated and I couldn't find her. She usually comes
with a whistle. But not this time. The walk takes about an hour.
After walking to the turn-a-round and back, I was approaching
the hill back to the house. And still, no sign of the dog.

As I drew nearer to the top of the hill, I saw something laying near the
bush where I had hung my vest. It was Liberty!
After we had gotten separated, she had gone back to the place
where my vest was.  I was very surprised. I thought
that was SO smart and it showed her loyalty.

She surely has won our hearts in various ways. Doing her tricks,
trying to get the other cats to like her. ( She licks them and lays on
her back close by to show her submision. It's so cute.)

She gives hugs by pushing between our knees when we're standing
or by crawling behind our legs if we're sitting. And she gives
LOTS of kisses.

Pets add such a special dimension to family life as they offer their
 devotion and teach us about unconditional love.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Transitions: What Now?

I am wondering if there are other moms out there that are wondering if there are other
moms out there.( I am most certain there are. If only I could connect with some and glean
from their wisdom. And the wondering is about where to go from here.) Transitioning from
having 9 children very close in age and home schooling, to having three older girls.

Though I love being home with children and homemaking and in no way would want
to neglect this, I am in a season of my life that allows me some time to pursue and hone
some of my gifts and talents. And not that I have the need to justify, but I am also drawing
my girls in and teaching them many new skills that they can use to bless others or to
build a cottage industry. The time together also works to build wonderful relationships
and we have a lot of fun as well!

                                                I love to work with my hands.

Keeping this simple would suit me, but honestly, I feel somewhat buried in possibilities. My gratefuleness for a wonderful supportive husband (who loves to see me at peace and
developing my talents) runs very deep.

One of the problems I am having is narrowing the field. But then again, I wonder if I really
need to.

Here are some of the things I enjoy doing:

 * Growing herbs and flowers

 * Crafting
            1) Paper
            2) making weathered wood wallhangings
            3) sewing (hand and machine)
            4) creating with felt
            5) embellishing fabric

 * Playing music and singing ( it is interesting that I should think of this last
             because it is first in my heart)

So. Here are some guideleines I am attempting to apply to help me find the track that
I really want to be on.

1) Asking God for direction : I am convinced that He knows me and my circumstances best. In knowing this I wait on Him for clarity.

2) One foot in front of the other: Keep at something.  And what I mean by this is being faithful
to work at one of these things will keep me inspired and I will eventually come to know what I
am and am not supposed to be doing. I don't want to sit overwhelmed and idle!

3) Be realistic about  what I can accomplish. One of the truths that seems to be coming to me over
and over again is that LESS is MORE!  I used to be so wishy washy about decisions and never
wanted to miss anything. I was distracted and captivated by what everyone else was doing. I
do NOT want to be governed by the crazies. So learning to get focused and stay focused has been essential for me.

Some of my flowers

Herbs and flowers

Homemade herbal vinegars

A pillow cover that I'm working on

Paper flowers

Set up for a craft fair

Some of our wood crafts

I don't know if anyone is reading this. But if you are and you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

A million thanks~

Friday, June 8, 2012

Loving the Simple Things

I love simplicity. The thought of it.. the look of it... can you smell simplicity?

I suppose so. It brings to mind visions of those pretty little English Roses.

Ours bush is covered with these lovely little flowers
and the fragrance just floats through the air.
When we open our bedroom door that accesses the herb garden,
the sweet smell slowly invites itself in on soft breezes.

It makes me stop and close my eyes and take in the freshness.
That beauty is something that I can remember when the days are cold and windy
or when life seems to be dragging me along and I want to slow down.

I am not at home, but I can picture the bush and smell
the flowers even now.

What a special gift.

Thank you, God.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


   causes contentment and peace
to grow in the
garden of our hearts.

Monday, June 4, 2012