Last summer I wanted so badly to be at the lake that I created my own view of the lake... If you're a sand-in-her-toes, sunny day at the beach kind of gal, you, too can set a coastal vibe with DIY paintings you create.   Don't say you can't create art.  I've never painted like this and I painted this seascape. You'll never know unless you try. Pop over to the original post and learn how I put together this fun coastal styled vignette.   Speaking of getting creative with DIYing... Over the weekend I shared a round-up of some Pretty Extraordinary DIY Makeovers which were linked … [Read more...]

Let me tell you how blessed I am. Every morning I wake up next to a man who loves me with his whole heart. I pretty much jump out of bed each day because I can. Clothes hang straight in my closet sorted by type and I get to put on something to fit the day and occasion. When I go to the kitchen sink and turn the faucet, out pours sparkling clean water. As I grab my Bible to sit on the couch, I turn and look out the window and see the morning mist rising or dancing across the small lake. Turning the pages of my Bible, I read words of encouragement, and I'm blessed that I have the ability to read and … [Read more...]

  Everyday, as I walk, I am amazed by the tapestry along the roadside. Today I noticed leaf shapes. Each leaf was the same tone of green.  Yet, from plant to plant and bush to bush, each had its own exquisite shape. Together they created the most beautiful tapestry in green.     A few days ago we took the rowboat out on the lake just before sunset. In the stillness the lily pads and other water plants reflected the setting sun's brilliant light. We were in awe of another tapestry at the water's edge. A mirror formed across the face of the water.  It captured the … [Read more...]

I've been doing a lot of chewing lately and I'm not talking about burgers, potato salad, or s'mores. Maybe you're like me....one day it's disappointment, the next it may be weariness or lack.  Some days I chew on blessings, a faithful husband, dear friends, good food, wildflowers, and sunset reflections over a beautiful lake.  You can pretty much tell what I'm chewing on.  It shows all over my face. What have you been chewing on lately?     For quite a few years I saved my calendars.  My favorites were always the ones featuring a Bible verse and the artwork of Ellen Stouffer.  As I … [Read more...]

Raise your hand if you want God's blessing. Generally when we pray, we ask God to bless us. As I was reading this verse I had an AH HA moment... God tells us what we can do to receive his blessing. Depend on the Lord;    trust him, and he will take care of you. Psalm 37:5   We often admire people who are self sufficient. I was brought up to be self sufficient. But...there's a danger in self sufficiency. If we're self sufficient we don't need other people. And we may fall into the dangerous mindset of thinking we don't need God either. And, if we're not "needing" God...we probably … [Read more...]

This week I went exploring in a new neighborhood. The area is rural and wooded. And overflowing with poison ivy.     I had a bad case of poison ivy two summers ago, and now I know to stay clear of leaves of three. [wink] Here it mingles with wildflowers and joins the multitude of leaves to make a magical tapestry of greens. As I walk the roadside I'm continually noticing the beauty and stopping to take snapshots of the lovely wildflowers. It's a beautiful place. How lovely is your dwelling place,  Lord Almighty! Psalm 84:1       When I need to … [Read more...]

I could say it's been one of those weeks. We've all had them. My world got turned upside down. One thing I know for sure.... I could not have navigated these past few days without God's help....     and your prayers, and the open arms of a few friends.   This verse speaks expresses my heart: The Lord is my strength and shield.    I trust him with all my heart.He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. Psalm 28:7 Today is Joy Day!   Whatever kind of week you've had....wonderful or just plain awful.... when we take time to give thanks things get … [Read more...]

Do you ever feel like you're playing the waiting game? Often we find ourselves waiting in line at the grocery store, the post office, and this time of year at the ice cream shop. We wait for what seems like forever at red lights, or for the man in brown to deliver that package we're expecting. Sometimes our wait is for things much more serious such as watching the hands of the clock move so slowly while a family member or friend undergoes a tricky surgery.     Are tired of playing the waiting game? Yeah...me too. I've been waiting for quite a while for God to move. In fact … [Read more...]

I love the morning....especially the first light of the morning.     A few days ago I awoke very early and looked out the window.  I was greeted with a most beautiful sight.  Imagine the sky as I saw it, still colored in twilight while being gently blushed with a transparent orange cast rising ever so gently from the horizon.   And to my right...a huge brilliant star sparkled.  At that moment, I was in awe and humble adoration of Creator God. In the morning, O Eternal One, listen for my voice; in the day’s first light, I will offer my prayer to You and watch expectantly for Your answer. … [Read more...]

Today I picked up stones and roots while my friend ran the rototiller to prepare for her garden.  Later, I noticed that I had an aroma about me.  It's not what you think!  But, I bet you know exactly the aroma I'm referring to if you've ever pushed a power lawn mower around your yard.     Have you ever thought about your aroma? Did you just tilt your nose down and take a whiff of your shirt?  I'm not talking about your perfume, toilet water, or cologne.  I'm not talking about whether you used deodorant after your shower, though that is probably a good idea. [wink] There's another kind … [Read more...]

Today I hurried out on an errand, not wanting to be late.  At my final destination I had to stop at a desk.  The woman there greeted me warmly and I responded in my usual fashion.   But, I was surprised when she said.  "You're one of those positive people, I can see it in your face, too."     I had been 'zooming' all morning and here it was 11:45 already. The task at hand was one for which I was grateful, but on the other hand, I so wished that it wasn't necessary.  Really, I can't say that I was 'feeling' all that positive. And then I pretty much put it out of my mind. Until this … [Read more...]

    Whether your relationship with your mom was good or not-so-good... on Mother's Day or any day, giving thanks for mom is the best way to honor her.   I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you. Philippians 1:3   Happy Mother's Day!     Having said that, I know too well that Mother's Day is NOT a joyful day of celebration for a lot of people.  Some of us were not blessed with knowing our mother, or having a good relationship with her.   Some have miscarried or had children die prematurely.  And some of us did not have children for a host of … [Read more...]

  This week my heart was encouraged as I read these verses.... Hurry with your answer, God!    I’m nearly at the end of my rope.Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!    That would be certain death.If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice,    I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in you.Point out the road I must travel;    I’m all ears, all eyes before you.Save me from my enemies, God—    you’re my only hope!Teach me how to live to please you,    because you’re my God.Lead me by your blessed Spirit    into cleared and level pastureland. Psalm 143:7-10 The Message   Have you … [Read more...]

A few days ago I felt like I received a revelation in my Bible reading. Would you follow along with me as I unpack my meanderings?   As Jesus walked the countryside teaching people about the Kingdom of God, he often used parables.  One day on the way to Jerusalem, he told those gathered around him a story, or parable, about an unjust judge and a persistent widow seeking justice.  You may be familiar with this parable.  I really like how the text comes to life in this translation of the Bible called, The Voice.    He told them a parable, urging them to keep praying and never grow … [Read more...]

This week I was prodded to change my outlook on life. Somewhere in this great big invisible world we call the internet I read a phrase that stuck with me. Forget talking about your troubles. If we don't talk about our troubles...what do we do? Celebrate our joys!     I have a good friend that I chat with irregularly via email.  At this time in our lives it's the best form of communication.  It's efficient.  When we get the chance to talk on the phone....it's a looooong talk.  And we usually don't have time to do that very often. Today I did something I don't usually do.  I … [Read more...]

Okay...I'm going to admit it. I had a very shaky week. [sigh] More times than I can count, I had to dig down, pray, and proceed in faith. Even going for my walk (I try to get in four miles weather permitting) was difficult.  Who put lead in my legs??     For lent I've been getting up earlier than normal. During this time I read a few Lenten devotionals and spend extra time in the word. In that darkness before dawn, I'm reading through the book of Romans.  Slowly. I don't know how you do your reading, but when certain passages jump out at me from my old red leather-bound … [Read more...]

Earlier this week I was sharing my life story. I concluded my monologue with the words, I have hope and HOPE does not disappoint us.  Do you have hope?     This week we hit a few new challenges in our journey in the "in between." Frankly, aside from trusting God, I could throw up my hands in despair. In sharing my story I realized that I am living in hope.   My hope is not the kind you can conjure up. It's not hope based on positive thinking....though I do believe we need to choose a positive outlook. It's simply based on knowing God and believing that he is my … [Read more...]