Friday, February 28, 2014

Searching for Spring

Is this really the same crazy lady who actually wanted snow?... might be asking yourself.

You remember...
...that one who got so excited when 2 inches of the white stuff fell from the sky?

She was the one who kept asking "where's mine?"...
...while most of the rest of the country was drowning in a sea of white...
...and some unfortunately still are.

Yes....the crazy person is/was me.
A couple of weeks ago, we were blessed to get about 8 inches of lovely, white, fluffy snow.

I was able to make the snow cream I wanted to make.
I got to enjoy my little dogs running through it and shivering to get back inside.
I saw some gorgeous red birds standing out like sore thumbs against the vibrant white backdrop.
I was even blessed to be able to capture a perfectly shaped snow flake...
...with my dinky little point & shoot's lens., I'm done with winter.
And this is reason why.

I saw these growing at the base of my mailbox a couple of days ago.
That's all it took for me.
One look at these tiny blue beauties and I am ready for spring!

I wasn't sure what they were called so I googled "tiny blue wildflower"...
...and it was first picture that popped up!

Persian Speedwell (Veronica persica) is their horticultural name...
...and it seems they are sometimes called "Baby Blue Eyes".

So, Old Man Winter, you can moooove on over 'cause spring is movin' in!

So, I'll be out and about...searching for spring.
Wanna join me?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Resting in the Son

This is Oscar.
He loves lying around, resting in the sunshine.
He will find the smallest little rays of the warm, bright light... it filters through the windows in the early part of the day.
He moves when the sun moves.

He finds his comfort resting in the the sun.

As for me, I find my comfort resting in the Son.

I found this old-hymn-made-new on YouTube.
It was written in way back in 1876 by Jean S. Pigott.
You may know it...I hadn't heard it before.

It speaks to my heart...and to where I find my rest... the Son, Jesus.

Click on the play button to hear this beautiful old hymn, sung by Steve Green.
I think it will bless your heart too.

Ever lift Thy face upon me, as I work and wait for Thee;
Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory, sunshine of my Father's face
Keep me ever trusting, resting, fill me with thy grace.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ~ Matthew  11:28

I hope you find your place of rest this week, my friends!

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Colors of Love...a Note Card Collection

February is more than half way over already and Valentine's Day has come and gone...
...time is passing so quickly it seems.

And it's a perfect time for a notecard party at Vee's!

My beautiful, brilliant red roses are still looking just lovely...
...although they are nearly a week old since I received them a few days before Valentine's Day.

I couldn't resist playing with one of them as the snow was falling.
The contrast was remarkable...I added a little glitter to this one!
One of my sweet blogging friends said it reminded her of this verse in Isaiah,
"Though your sins be as scarlet, they are white as snow..."
How appropriate...there is no greater love than this!

So...I went out and about to snap some Valentine photos.
Say what you will about Walmart, it's a great place for Valentine photo ops.
The aisles were alive with pops of reds, pinks and purples.
They had these cute little guys...

...some gorgeous potted tulips...

...and colorful messages of love..flying high.

The funny thing is, on the next aisle over, guess what I saw?
Swimming pools and pool supplies!
Anybody ready for a swim???
I think several of you are for sure :)

We can always leave it to Walmart to rush the seasons a bit, can't we?
In a few weeks they just might have the Halloween candy!

Anyway, I hope your Valentine's Day week was filled with lovely colors...
...and lots of love!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Stand-out in the Crowd

“Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.” 
~ Rick Warren

"Birds of a feather flock together."
I will never forget those words coming out of my sweet mom's mouth quite often as I was growing up.
This was her way of letting us know that we needed to be careful of just following the crowd...
...and to choose our friends wisely.

When I was snapping photos of the birds, I was just randomly clicking here and there,
unable to see exactly what birds were feeding there against the bright glare of the snow.
As I went through them on my computer I saw right away that there was a stand-out among them.

The first thing that entered my mind was that Sesame Street song...
..."One of these things is not like the others."

Then I asked myself this question: "Do I stand out in a crowd?

I like to think that I do, as a Christian...but I'm afraid there are those other times...
...those times when I just seem to fit right in with the world around me.
Oh, nothing blatantly ungodly, mind you...
...just nothing special...nothing specifically godly.

As a Christian, God calls me to stand out from the crowd by living a holy life.
Using my name and the word holy in the same sentence....really?
Sometimes it seems like an oxymoron.


“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth.” 
Ephesians 4:29


“Let your speech always be full of grace, seasoned with salt.” 
Colossians 4:6


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2


I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 
They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 
As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
John 17:15-18


I don't know about you...if you struggle with this like I do.
All I know is that I do want to stand out... that people will know without a doubt that I have Jesus Christ living within me...
...and maybe, just maybe...
...they will see something in me that they want also.

Dear Father in heaven, I don't want to get lost in the crowd.
Through Your abundant grace, I will be a stand-out!

Have a blessed week!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Snowy Valentine

It's finally happened.

My long anticipated snowfall has come and left a lovely blanket of white...

...the perfect contrast for my beautiful Valentine's Day roses!

I came home to these lovelies on Tuesday.
Hubby was paying attention to the weather forecast... man :)

Their beauty against the pure white snow almost takes my breath away.


I know most of you are SO done with the snow...and I understand...
...but please be patient with me as I gush about it for just a little while.

I have been wanting to make some snow cream for several years.
When I was a little girl growing up in Ohio, this was something we enjoyed every winter.
It actually tasted and had a similar consistency as my mom's homemade ice cream.
As you probably know, it has to be stored in just the right temperature...

...right back out where you got it in the first place :)
This is where it stayed...right outside of the back door on the deck.
When you want some, just open the door and get wet or cold feet!

So...when you are snowed in, what better thing to do than eat, right?
Comfort, that's what I'm talkin' about!

It was going to be one of two things, both were frozen leftovers from Thanksgiving.
Will it be turkey noodle soup or bean soup with ham?
As you see, the bean soup won out...

...with corn bread baked in a newly discovered iron skillet.

I came across it about a month ago, w-a-y down in a bottom shelf in my cabinet.
I don't even remember where it came from but was so glad I found it!
Cornbread baked in an iron skillet....mmm-mmm Andy Griffith would say!

My half had jalapenos and cheddar cheese mixed in the batter :)

Of course, there had to be dessert too, right?
As I was finishing up making his favorite Valentine's Day dessert...
...and I was putting the cherries on top...

...look what happened.

A perfectly shaped heart plopped right out of that spoon!
I thought that was the coolest thing!

Later on I went back out to take more snowy shots and looky here...

...the perfect (almost) snowflake!

Here are more, kind of clumped together but you can still see the individual shapes.
Isn't our Creator just the best?

So...we celebrated on Thursday since he will be off to work for the rest of the weekend...
...if he can get there!
It was a fun "day before Valentine's Day" :)

Well, the cherry cheesecake is calling my name...gotta go!

Happy Valentine's Day, sweet friends!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Sweet Truth

This was originally posted two years ago.
Today, I am sharing it again at...

The Enchanting Rose


I have always loved these little candy hearts and the messages they convey...
...usually a romantic message of some sort, right?

I got to looking at what some of them said and it got me thinking...
...what about applying some of them to our love relationship with God?

“This is what the Lord says—
    Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

Isaiah 44:6

O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. 
The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be to God!

Psalm 68:35

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Psalm 119: 103

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.

Job 8:21

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105

“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, 
“On the day that I make them My jewels.
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

Malachi 3:17

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Luke 10:27

Blessings from God in a box of candy!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

If only...

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: 
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

Sometimes I feel like it's the story of my life..."oh, if only I would have done this...or that...or maybe I shouldn't have done either one! Or maybe it was a missed opportunity to encourage someone...or take back an ill thought out sentence. We all have these moments in our lives when we miss the mark. Unfortunately, I have more than I would like to admit. I apologize up front for the length of this post...and the lack of pretty pictures. I understand if you decide not to stay with me :)

I admire Joyce Meyer and have watched her regularly since I discovered her in the early 90's. I don't mind telling you that I am quite skeptical of most TV preachers and with the exception of a few, I just don't watch them much. I do pray for discernment when I see someone I connect with because I do feel the Lord has put a choice few in place for His purpose. I happen to believe Joyce is one of them. Anyone who watches her knows her story...about how she was sexually abused by her alcoholic father for years and how she has used this experience to minister to others. Anyway, this post is not about putting a plug in for her show...just a long winded intro to something I wanted to share that I heard on her show this morning.

The message was about living our lives in regret and how damaging it can be to our spiritual growth and relationships with others. She re-told the terribly sad story about her brother who had been addicted to drugs and alcohol for years and how he temporarily...for about 4 years...turned his life around while she and her husband had helped him. After being in rehab, he had given his life to the Lord. They had taken him in, given him a job at the ministry and he was even traveling and giving his testimony about what God had done in his life. After those 4 years or so, it was decided that he would be on his own and that's when things turned around again. Long story short, he went back to his old ways, was out of touch for several years and then was discovered just over a year an abandoned building. She made the point that after his 50-some years of life, all of his personal effects...what remained of his into an 8 1/2 x 11 manila envelope. What a waste. He lived his life in regret and always blamed others for his failures. She ended the program by reading this story, written by an unknown author. I found it online and am sharing it with you.


A Trip to Regret City
I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I'm talking about my annual "Guilt Trip." 

I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been. 

No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town. 

As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year's most important event, the Annual Pity Party. I wasn't going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there. 

First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know ol' Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterdays. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share. Then Shattered Dreams would surely make an appearance. And It's Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don't Blame Me and I Couldn't Help It. 

Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent "pity party" could be cancelled by ME! 

I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn't have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN'T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. 

Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I've made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them. So, if you're planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now. 

Instead, take a trip to a place called Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myselfs and the New Starts are so very helpful. 

By the way, you don't have to carry around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. God bless you in finding this great town. 

If you can find it -- it's in your own heart -- please look me up. I live on I Can Do It Street. 

~ Author Unknown ~ 


I don't know if you visit here as often as I do but I will just tell you...
...I am tired of that place! 

With God's help, I'm going to take the author's advice and book my flight to Starting Again! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Beautiful, Terrible Cross

This is a post from a little over a year ago.
I think it is quite fitting to re-post during this holy week...
...the story of the cross is ever fresh and new.
So I'm sharing this today on Stephanie's Roses of Inspiration link-up.
And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 
~Matthew 10:38

It stands high on a hill in the center of a cemetery. 

I have lived here for nearly 22 years and had never seen it until a couple of weeks ago. 

Like many of us do, I went out driving around looking for some beauty to uncover. 
I was following the sunset in hopes of capturing it before it was gone.

In the direct path of the setting sun, I followed an unfamiliar road up a hill,
 and into the entrance of a cemetery
where there was a paved, narrow road along it's circular perimeter. 
As I followed it, I kept looking to my right, trying to get a glimpse of the waning sunset. 
After a few minutes, I stopped my car and got out, still looking towards the west. 

By then, the clouds that had been predicted had moved in and it was nearly dusk.
I had missed my opportunity.
I turned to get back in my car and it was at that moment that I noticed it.
It had been on the opposite side of where I had been looking the entire time...
...and as I turned around, there it stood, right in front of me. 

From where I was standing, it didn't look that tall. 
I started walking towards it and the closer I got, the taller it became. 
It was at least 25 or 30 feet high by the time I reached the base. 

It was a glorious but also sobering sight as I stood in awe of the huge stone cross, 
looking up, with the then dark and cloudy sky swirling as a backdrop. 
I was immediately reminded of what that day must have been like when Jesus was crucified. 

It was a beautiful sight.

 It was a terrible sight.

Beautiful, because of the sacrifice that was made all because God loves us so much—
our sins forgiven forever by this one moment in time. 

Terrible, because of the pain and torture that Jesus, our Lord had to endure 
to accomplish His Father's will.

 Beautiful Terrible Cross 
~by Selah

There is a beautiful terrible cross
Where though You committed no sin
Savior, You suffered the most wicked fate
On the cruelest creation of men

Yet on that beautiful terrible cross
You did what only You could
Turning that dark inspired evil of hell
Into our soul's greatest good

We see the love that You showed us
We see the life that You lost
We bow in wonder and praise You
For the beautiful terrible cross

There on that beautiful terrible cross
Though darkness was strong on that hill
You remained sovereign, Lord, still in control
As Your perfect plan was fulfilled

We see the love that You showed us
We see the life that You lost
We bow in wonder and praise You
For the beautiful terrible cross

Oh, we gained the riches of Heaven
Jesus, You paid the horrible cost
We stand forgiven and praise You
For the beautiful terrible cross
For the beautiful terrible cross

In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river

Beautiful cross
Terrible cross
Beautiful cross
Terrible cross
I went back to the cemetery last evening. 
The sun was just beginning to set.
 "...the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, 
but to us who are saved it is the power of God." 
~1 Corinthians 1:18
May your week be blessed, sweet friends.

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