How do you like to eat fresh picked blueberries? When it's blueberry season our family's favorite blueberry food, aside from blueberry buckle coffee cake, is blueberry pancakes.  Or at least it was until I decided to make blueberry waffles.     The thing is, the stove in our apartment has the most uneven burners ever.  Everything slides to one side of the pan. Making pancakes on the stove is sheer craziness.  So when Tim suggested we make pancakes for our Sunday brunch I got all twitchy... until I remembered I have a waffle iron. My waffle iron was purchased a while back for … [Read more...]

  I have a special reminder for you today. YOU ARE LOVED! Yes!  YOU!     If you're feeling unworthy, comparing yourself to someone else, or are feeling rejected today, know... you are loved. If today, you're on top of your game, you're shining brightly, and you're a wonderful blessing to everyone you see... you are loved. You are loved by your Creator... the God of the Universe and he says... "you are mine." Now, this is what the Lord says... “Don’t be afraid, for I will protect you. I call you by name, you are mine. Isaiah 43:1     Sometimes we … [Read more...]

  I wish my mom or dad would have told me this growing up... I wish people who live by this wouldn't keep it so close to the vest... I wish I hadn't lived nearly half a century before I learned this very big life secret...     It's never about me.    We think that everyone notices us. We think people care how we look. We think that people want our ideas or opinions. We worry and fret and spend endless time being concerned about something that we think the world sees in us. Brett Butler's last words to Scarlett O'Hara in the great classic, Gone with the … [Read more...]

  Have you ever had an old friend come to town and want to meet up with you and friends she hasn't seen in a year or two or ten? You're happy to make all the arrangements. Lunch at a great restaurant is a good option.  It seems so much easier, but, there's the noise of the other diners, the interruptions of the servers, and who knows what else. Why not go all old-style and host a small gathering or luncheon at your home?     So much more is in your control and the peace and comfort of your home tops everything the restaurant has to offer.  You don't have to worry about staying … [Read more...]

  Morning is my favorite.  I love the light and the quiet and peace of the morning.  And though I am an early riser... I love to savor the morning and begin slowly.  It doesn't always happen. But, this morning Tim got up before me and put eggs on the stove to boil and proceeded to get ready for work. As I walked into our living room, the sunshine was streaming in the windows.  The sky... brilliant blue... everything looked extraordinarily crisp and clear.  And then I noticed it... the sunflower in the vase... it was facing the sun.  Its petals glowing. It was a moment.  Could I call it a holy … [Read more...]

  If you'd like to celebrate someone with a special gift but have no idea what to do... I've got a creative and thoughtful gift option for you.     Every Tuesday we get together with some other couples for spiritual discussion and prayer.  We enjoy the time so much, it's the highlight of our week. The daughter of one of the couples graduated from high school this spring.  She didn't want an open house, but we wanted to do something to celebrate her milestone.  Tim thought we should get some flowers. Flowers are nice... but they don't have any staying power much beyond a week. … [Read more...]

  Have you ever read a Bible verse like this and thought "that" sounds so good... but can I do "that?" Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Maybe that's what comes to your mind when you read... Never stop praying? Never stop praying sounds like work, doesn't it?     Over time I've been learning that my relationship with God is more dependent on me than on him. What?  God is constant, never changing, always present. Me... I'm up and down, coming and … [Read more...]

  I think we take often take ourselves and our decorating too seriously.     We have a budget and a vision in mind and we put our blinders on and focus on getting "that look." Does that sound familiar to you? I can be guilty of that for sure. Because everything I'm doing is "new" these days, I am striving to look at my home decor more purposefully.  Maybe in an upcoming post, I will delve further into that mindset, but today... Let's talk about the floor cloth I created for my balcony garden.     As you know, I am crazy about my beautiful outdoor space … [Read more...]

  Some days I can hardly contain my joy.      Every morning after I wake up, I walk over to my sliding glass door, throw open the door and take in all the glorious beauty on my tiny balcony.  Happiness floods my soul. It's such a great way to start the day!     This small space... nearly 4 feet deep by 19 feet long has become my balcony garden oasis. Filled with beautiful hanging baskets, container gardens, and grocery store mark-down plants... everything is flourishing on this bright but mostly shady perch high among the … [Read more...]

  Do you wonder if you have enough faith?     You think... "If only I had enough faith... I would have handled the situation differently." OR "Things would have turned out differently." I have a friend whose son innocently got in trouble with the law.  It was one of those things where he just didn't think and he offered to help his friends out. The consequences were unimaginable.  And all I can think is what is happening to our justice system? For months we have been praying in faith, believing that God would rescue him from what feels like an unjust prosecutor. We believe … [Read more...]

  Have you ever had an idea to create something and it came out even better than you hoped? This simple water fountain I created for my balcony garden is the best thing ever!  I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to have it bubbling and gurgling all day and evening. In the process of creating a garden for my balcony, I decided that it would be fun to have a water feature.  I had no idea we would enjoy it as much as we do.     Here's How I Constructed a Simple Container Fountain   With a few ideas in mind, I decided to go online and do a little research on DIY … [Read more...]

  When life hands you lemons... what do you do? I've said it before... you make pink lemonade with fresh raspberries and serve it up in pretty cups with pretty pink straws.     Well... as you can see by this photo, that's not exactly what happened. In the wee hours, just as Friday was beginning, we had a storm.  Despite seeing the trees flinging their branches around like they were demented our neighborhood wasn't hard hit.  Across the river from us, winds were clocked at 90-100 mph.  Needless to say, there were lots of trees down and tree debris everywhere and 149,000 homes … [Read more...]

  Happy Fourth of July!     I LOVE everything about celebrating the 4th, but especially I love all things red, white, and blue. It's been a while since I've been able to set a patriotic table, but this year is finally my year... thanks to an unexpected clearance at Walmart way back in January.  Right smack in the middle of the main aisle was a display of deeply discounted housewares items.  Since I always prefer shopping anything house related over clothing, I was immediately drawn to the display.  Down on the bottom shelf, I noticed a stack of red plates.  Cute red plates with a … [Read more...]

    Ever notice that sometimes when you look at the face of someone you're close to, their face is telling? The other day we were at the laundromat when my husband asked me if I was okay. I mumbled something.  But I wasn't okay. In addition to internally fussing over the inconvenience of having to schlep my towels, bedding, and clothes to a laundromat (albeit with my dear husband's help), I had a laundry list of items running through my mind which I had allowed to pull my spirit down. I guess it was written across my face.     At that moment I knew I needed to … [Read more...]

  You might be surprised to learn this about me... but I rarely go to movies.  In fact, I rarely watch movies on TV. My husband will suggest we go to different movies, but somehow I manage to wiggle my way out of going.  I think it might be because I have to just sit and watch a screen. Asking me to go and sit in a movie theater is like asking me to go sit in a closet for 2 hours.  Yeah, I know, I'm different. All that being said, I do enjoy a good movie. (Up until now, the last movie I watched was Les Mis, which I thoroughly enjoyed, by the way.)  You've just got to get me to sit down for … [Read more...]

  There's an old saying, "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush." Though we could discuss that proverb and the pros and cons of risk-taking, when it comes to thrifting and DIYing, that's really true.  When you find something you think you can work with, even if you have no idea how you'll DIY it... get it.  Who knows if you'll find another one later.     One day I hit the local Goodwill shop and found a few items for a change.  I have a blogging friend who comes home with all kinds of fabulous finds for next to nothing from her Goodwill store in the Windy City.  Here in my … [Read more...]

  At one time of another, we ALL face mountains. I belong to a mastermind group.  It sounds like a big important group, but in actuality, it's me and two more blogging friends.  We share blog goals, we bounce ideas off one another, we give lots of encouragement when it's needed, and best of all, we pray for each other.     All of us are either going through or have had some pretty big life challenges and one thing we know for sure... prayer works.  It's not uncommon for one of us to be facing a small challenge or a mountain of a challenge and for another one of us to say, "God will … [Read more...]