Jun 30, 2017

For The Love of Lamp Lights

Happy Friday to you!  I hope you have had a wonder filled week!

The picture I'm sharing today I had to take with the Salesman's phone because I dropped mine in a bowl of Golden Chana Soup.... And now it is recovering in a bowl of rice! Yes, I am being optimistic!  I hope it recovers!

Anyway, I went to my first official insurance meeting with the Salesman on the very day that my licenses were approved!!!

The meeting room we went to was lovely. And of course, I had to snap of picture of the chandelier, which you can't really see the beauty of it in this picture.  But, I do find some encouragement in the picture: the chandelier in the background can be seen with clarity. Don't know about you; but if you feel like you are in the background and not being seen because of the "big light" in the center, you life and light have a clarity to them, and you are seen! You do matter! Shine, dear one, shine!

Look up!


Jun 28, 2017

He is in the Waiting









It seems that the LORD is speaking in the theme of seasons with me. Aren't you glad that seasons change? That the heat of summer will be eventually cooled by fall and then painted by winter frosts and thawed out to spring systematically. 

Fall is my favorite season. Do you have a favorite season? Are you ever in one season and truly want it to be over and the next one to arrive? Have you ever had enough of the heat, or enough of the snow, or enough of the rain and you just want it to be the next season?  I have.

Sometimes waiting for the current season to pass and the next one to come is difficult.  Sometimes when we know the next season will come, we so anticipate the new season, that we miss out on the everyday.

For me, it's like my calendar.  Planning and scheduling on my calendar is truly enjoyable to me. Like the seasons coming systematically, there is a part of me that enjoys knowing what is coming next.  Most of the time.  Now there may be items or appointments or events on the calendar that I don't anticipate myself; but it is at least comforting to know that they are coming.

But what about the unknowns? What about the accidents, trials and surprises that come in a particular season and seem to come with the force and repetitiveness of ocean waves? What about the loneliness? What about the hurtful words spoken? Or the words that you wish would fall upon your ears?  What about the phone calls in the middle of the night?  The estranged relationships? The situations you don't understand?  The phone call from the doctors office?  The waiting while surgery is done?

HE is in the waiting.

We are never, ever alone.

HE has a heavenly calendar that holds all events - the ones we have scheduled and anticipated and the ones that seem to come from nowhere.

But, HE, who is The Who, knows where and why and how and what.

Hallelujah!

LORD,

Lately, I seem to be doing much waiting,
Hoping, dreaming, and anticipating.
Help me to see you in today.
Help me with the unforeseen along the way.
I so enjoy the beauty of this current seasons blooms;
But do not enjoy when a dormant season looms.
YOU are in the every single day.
Help me to anticipate waiting with YOU along the way.
My bent is to schedule and plan,
And YOU know, I long to understand.
But, until, or if I ever do,
I want to wait, in peace, with YOU.

Amen.


Jun 26, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama Crumb Cake

In January I started a new healthy lifestyle called the Trim Healthy Mama plan. Have you heard of it? Have you tried it?  My oldest daughter, Audra Elizabeth, introduced me to the plan during the time she and her husband lived with us. Most evenings after our dinner, and just when I got the kitchen cleaned up, she and her husband would start making their dinner. Oh, the glorious smells that would waft through the house as I got ready for bed. And when I'd try what they made, it was good, and was told that it was good for me, too.

Having lost weight years ago, and feeling like I am always mindful of where I've been, and knowing that I didn't want to go back there, I knew some choices in the area of eating needed to change.  I was feeling tired after eating carbs at lunch was one reason I decided to try this new plan.  Another reason was that I felt I had a sugar addiction.  So, I started on a journey, changing some of my habits into a healthier lifestyle.

It has been six months of eating this new way and I must say, I feel better. I am by no means a pro in this arena; but I am learning much!

I am trying new recipes almost weekly.  I have enjoyed most of them. The Salesman does not always like what I make and he is certain to tell me so.

This last week I made a crumb cake from their recipe book and I must say, it was delicious when we tried it warm from the oven. And the Salesman liked it too! I will be making this one again! It tasted like a coffee cake to me and although it was sugar free and gluten free, it was not taste free!



Jun 23, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Light



 Good Friday morning to you! I hope you have had a wonder filled week. Just stopping in to share some lamp light love. On one of my birthday outings, we went to the Knoxville Art Museum and discovered a little room downstairs and the Thorne Rooms, which are among America's best known miniature diorama groups. This little room pictured was my favorite because of the lamp lights! I also thought the ironwork, architecture, stone work, and garden area were beautiful too!








Jun 21, 2017

It's a New Season



Summer has arrived! It is a new season! A season of warmer weather, days at the pool, and school is out!  Both of our daughters graduated from college on April 29th and we are beginning to embark on the empty nest season.  It seems the last few years have held more transitions than stability for me.  Can you relate to any of these events of the last four years:

Victoria went to college
My dad moved in with us and needed daily caregiving
Audra got married
I was hospitalized for the first time in 20+ years
My father was hospitalized and spent months recovering in a nursing home
Moved to a new town
Went to Africa and left part of my heart there
Turmoil at home
Pet of 13 years had to be put down
My father passed from this life into eternity

As I looked at our abelia hedge (pictured above) and enjoyed the fragrant blooms, I declare that I am ready for, and gladly welcome the new season! I noticed the fallen blooms on the sidewalk and they reminded me of fallen snowflakes (a season past), and I thought of how sometimes in a new season, a season of blooming and growing, how the eye and heart can be drawn to the old. In the picture, the blooming abelia takes up the majority of the picture; however, the focus can become the blooms that have fallen.  And it is so like the enemy to try distract us from the new and try to destroy us by convincing us that old ways are more comfortable, enjoyable, familiar, etc. than new paths.  It takes so much faith to walk out the new without fear.

How like life that is for me! The new is looming and blooming! The new is edging onto the sidewalk that I am walking and it is so evident that the new is expanding. It is as if the LORD is acting out Isaiah 43:19 for me:

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up..."

I want to see, perceive and be aware of what HE is doing!

Don't you just love when the Ancient Words come to life in your life?
When HE, who is Faithful and True,
Becomes real and tangible to you?

When the eternal promise of reality
Is revealed to me, through what I hear and see,
I can repeat and march on:

Faith, not fear, is welcome here.
Faith, not fear, is welcome here.

A new season is upon us -
Springing up; but don't worry, lose focus or fuss,
Because HE brings the new seasons to us!

Faith, not fear, is welcome here.
Faith, not fear, is welcome here.

When the unknown and the "not yet"
Seems like what we'd like to soon forget.

Guaranteed, if HE leads us to the new
Faithfully, HE will see us through.

Hallelujah!

It's a new season!



Jun 20, 2017

The French Market

Not quite what I'd planned for A Meal on Monday; but I was treated to a meal at The French Market in Knoxville last week. Have you ever been there? It was the perfect place to eat after visiting Willow Creek Gallery and seeing what had just arrived from France.

I had the spinach, mushroom, and bacon crepe:



And we shared a cinnamon and banana with caramel dessert crepe...it was delicious!  Do you like crepes? Have you ever made them? What is your favorite?


Jun 16, 2017

Baby Girl

Wishing a very happy and blessed birthday to our oldest, Audra Elizabeth!  Celebrating her twenty-fourth birthday today! My how the years have flown by!


I marveled when you were born at the wonder of you, Audra Elizabeth.  What a wonder you still are today, lovely daughter.  Beautiful. Strong. Delightful. Caring. Compassionate. Filled with purpose.  Writer.  Deep Thinker. Editor. Musician. Leader. Doer. Boss. Patient. Humble.  Good. Kind.  Smart.

Daughters are gifts!


Jun 14, 2017

Blooms and Beauty in the Broken

Anyone who knows me, knows that I enjoy flowers. This last weekend, I went to a wedding that Audra Elizabeth directed. The lovely bride was one of the first friends my darlin' oldest made when we moved to Tennessee. It was a beautiful wedding. The bride, groom, wedding party, parents all arrayed in their finery, the ceremony, the ring bearer, the program, the grandfather participating in the ceremony... And the flowers the bride and bridesmaids bouquets were made of were long stemmed, white hydrangeas. They were absolutely gorgeous. And I shared my compliments of the flowers with my friend Kim, the bride's mother. And she asked me if I wanted some... I ended up with three Lowe's 5 gallon buckets of gorgeous white hydrangeas at my house! I felt as if I were in a flower shop. I quickly arranged three large vases and placed them in the kitchen, living room and bedroom for enjoyment.


 Then I texted friends that I had a small flower shop at my home and wanted to share with them and then the fun began as friends stopped by to visit and take the flowers home. It was so enjoyable!  I have enjoyed the arrangements and the flowers going on five days now...

I'm so thankful for Kim's willingness to share the hydrangeas with me.  The bouquets are beautiful. The blooms just glorious to me; but it was when I went outside and saw this gardenia plant in my own little garden, that I heard The LORD speak to my spirit and say:

"You can still bloom when you feel broken..."


As I looked at the scraggly plant, that obviously was stepped on at some point in its early years, and wondered why I had not removed it from the garden.  I have two other gardenia plants that are flourishing and make this one look sparse.  But the contrast was there: this plant was blooming, though broken.

Not every day do I attend a wedding. Not every day is there a big, beautiful, and showy bloom in a glorious arrangement. Truth is, many days, I feel like this broken gardenia plant. But what a beautiful truth:

"You can still bloom when you feel broken..."

Do you feel broken today? Do you feel like the realities of life have stepped on you? So many days, it is easier to focus on the brokenness, to get caught up in a harsh reality; but GOD calls us to hard situations sometimes. He calls us to suffering. He calls us to exactly where HE has planted us.  He is with us. Hallelujah.  HIS son-light shines on us, on our brokenness, on our hurts, on our disappointments.  Dear friend, I encourage you that:

"You can still bloom when you feel broken..."

May in each hardship and trial,
You search for the good and smile.
May you bloom,
Not retreat to a tomb;
But bloom.
May your roots go deep
And in your sorrow, not sleep.
Bloom, dear broken plant,
Let The LORD, tend and enchant.
Bloom when you feel broken.
Amen.









Jun 12, 2017

Hello

Hello. It's me. 

I've been so sporadic in posting it feels as if the writing desk has been covered with a sheet and the drapes drawn and the dust settled.  As an owner, I've been gone and the once active room, now dormant and vacant.  However, there is a still small voice that calls me back here.... Why? 

I do wonder why? I've gone in spurts and starts, much like a New Year's resolution that is worn out its welcome after January.  Why do I feel this draw back? Well, I believe that it's not me drawing me back; but, The One who created me. Why else would I want to come back to something that I feel like has closed down?  But, you know what? HE is all about reviving, renewal and re-do's.  

Hallelujah.  

So to the two of you who may still read here, I am back because I feel drawn back to sitting and writing what HE lays on my heart.  Life is sometimes not what we envision it to be; never-the-less, it is reality.  Do I relish sharing reality? No. But, I do want to be real. And more than that, I do hear The LORD speak to me in everyday life. I see HIM in the real, the mundane, the beauty and the profane. And then there is that rhyming thing... Yes, I hear HIM speak in rhyme.  Much of the time. I hear HIM speak in rhyme.  

I want to be a part of what HE is doing.

And there you have it. I believe HE is up to something and so, I'm walking back into the room, drawing open the drapes, pulling the sheet dramatically off the desk and getting my feather duster out to take back what has been dormant.  In my organized mind, I thought it would look like this:

Monday - A meal on Monday. I am thinking of a recipe shared here - but not today, of course! I've got to clean and the recipe I made this last week, did not taste good to me. And maybe I need to consider that this is not part of the blog plan; however, I do feel strongly about the next two points!

Wednesday - A word on Wednesday.  I think HE is leading me to share a word here on Wednesday.  I will share if HE shows up and gives me something to share. Sounds simple doesn't it? So I can put it all on HIM - LORD, if you are really calling me back to blogging, show up and share what YOU want me to share.

Friday - For the Love of Lamp Lights. I delight in the beauty I see in lamp lights and would love to just share some beauty here.

So there you have it. 

Hello.  And a plan.

LORD, 
Please help me to listen and understand,
That it appears, that coming back to this keyboard is YOUR plan.
And since YOUR will and kingdom reign,
Help me to give eternity priority, all all else disdain.
For YOUR glory,
For YOUR fame,
For YOUR beautiful, lovely, joy filled name.
Amen.