Tuesday, March 29, 2011
When we found the clearing to take pictures, I said,
"If it weren't so cold I would get out and have you take my picture in front of the mountain."
Hubby was agreeable, so we hopped out of the truck for a quick picture.
I didn't realize the camera was on a closeup shot, so if you use your imagination or look at yesterday's post, you may be able to picture the mountain behind me. :)
A bitter wind was blowing so no do-over.
Posted by GraceGal at 8:52 AM
Monday, March 28, 2011
Hubby and I had a great weekend with our family. I was thinking on the way home how nice it would be to get there early, unpack and settle in. We pulled into Medway, roughly 2 hours from home, for hubby's coffee. As we pulled out, hubby said,
"Look at the mountain."
I scrambled to grab my camera.
Then he said, " Let's go down the road and find a better view.
Half an hour later we were still going. Right about then we must have passed this sign, which I didn't see, but hubby did. 16 Miles. He figured we would have a great view. So far we had barely seen a glimpse.
16 miles of potholes and rough road.
Somewhere along that 16 miles I saw this sign.
"You're kidding, right?"
Bumps everywhere would have been more appropriate.
Hubby even said," That's not a bump. It's a crater."
Finally we found a clearing and the view was gorgeous!
Posted by GraceGal at 1:24 PM
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Unfinished quilt stares at me from my craft table. A blank page reminds me that March was going to be the month that I wrote every day. I have five minutes to type this post and get ready for an appointment.
Is there a message for me in all this?
I read InCourage blog. Guess what the topic is?
Can I see God in the interruptions?
I thought back to the phone call I received this morning from a friend I hadn't talked to in ages. She was in crisis.
"I know I can count on you, even if we haven't talked in a long time."
She went on to tell me something I had said to her 20 years ago, a little thing, but she never forgot. It was seeing her through now. We talked for a long time and I said a prayer for her before we hung up.
Do I see Him in this interruption? The vacuum cleaner still stands at attention waiting to be used. Laundry lies on the floor, kitchen table crowded needing to be cleared....
Moses had a lot to do, too. A burning bush interrupted him. He turned aside and his life was changed.
When will I ever learn that holy interruptions are the things life is made of. Sometimes they are the lenses through which we get a glimpse of movement in the heavenlies.
Give me eyes to see and ears to hear, Lord, in my ordinary days, that my own bushes may be alight with a flicker of your Presence.
Posted by GraceGal at 10:02 AM
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Visiting flea markets on a warm spring day :)
Reality check: It's snowing out this morning and I am going to Walmart for a few things.
Look on the bright side. I can come home and look at my new Flea Market Style Magazine and check out the Flea market blogs. I didn't know they even existed until I got this magazine.
Photo above from one of those blogs. It would be listed in my blogs at the side :)
Posted by GraceGal at 7:47 AM
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
My husband, however, got me a new camera for Christmas. a really nice one with a huge printout pile of instructions. I was almost annoyed because I knew how much time it would take to get used to a new camera.
Over the past few months, I have used the new camera a handful of times, especially with my new granddaughter. I keep my little pink Canon handy.
Yesterday I printed out pictures from both cameras and was astounded at the quality of the photos taken with my new camera. The black and white photo above was one of them and I'm just a point- and -shoot kind of photographer, so far.
Have I mentioned how grateful I am for that Christmas gift? :)
Why is it we have a tendency to stay within our comfort zones when there may be a whole new perspective awaiting us by taking a step into something new?
Posted by GraceGal at 1:40 PM
Monday, March 21, 2011
From there we went to the Amish bakery where we bought blueberry jam, rhubarb jam, sunflower seeds and homemade peanut butter cups. We chatted a few minutes with the pleasant young Amish woman who was in charge that day.
Next we drove to Houlton 45 minutes away. I wanted to check out a second hand furniture/antique store I'd heard about. When we got there the building was empty and we found out it had gone out of business the week before. I did, however, have a backup plan. There was another little store downtown that I could never seem to find open.
ReImagine. Isn't that a great name? I found it to be a little pricey and slightly disappointing compared to Serendipitous 2 mentioned in one of my previous blogposts. I purchased a little framed stitchwork.
Supper at Elm Tree Diner and back home.
I even managed to read a hundred pages of a book that was leant to me as we traveled, plus have a good time with hubby.
All in all, a good day.
Posted by GraceGal at 1:56 PM
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Matthew 10:28-30 MSG Bible
This is one of my favorite scripture passages
I was reading this morning in a book about how ancient rhythms are different from ours. For example, the Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown, not at sunup.
The Bible talks about our days beginning with the evening first, then the morning.
Imagine going to bed with the thought that you are beginning your day with sleep, while God works. When you awake, it would be with that thought that God has already been at work. He's gone before you into your day. He will give you the grace for whatever the day holds. Merely ask.
These are my thoughts this morning. All nature runs according to rhythms of seasons and tides and life and death.
I want to slow down in my thoughts and learn the rhythms uniquely designed for me.
Imagine my delight to learn that there is an iris named rhythm!
I wonder if there are names for specific rhythms? If so, what would mine be at this season on my life? What is yours?
Posted by GraceGal at 11:27 AM
Friday, March 18, 2011
This picture was from one of my favorites. I must start labeling them.
Too busy to blog today, but I took the time tonight to check in on all my favorites.
I can take a trip to Paris, visit a flea market, get writing tips or spiritual encouragement, all without leaving the house.
I understand this wacky world of blog relationships a little better with each passing day
Posted by GraceGal at 8:04 PM
Thursday, March 17, 2011
My body was changing and allergies hit me like a freight train, moving slowly then picking up steam.
Finally I thought I had it figured out- gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb and fats because of a genetic pancreatic malfunction.
But I never seem to reach the train station. For the past 3 days I have gone off chocolate so I could see if it was causing shortness of breath. Or was it my almond butter or....?
Couldn't stand it any longer. I ate half of a gluten-free brownie after lunch.
Yep, definitely addicted to chocolate.
Posted by GraceGal at 12:37 PM
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
My morning was hectic, been fighting a sinus headache for days, didn't sleep well last night, and need some downtime to read.
I laid my book aside after two chapters and reached for my laptop.
After checking a few emails and replying to a couple, I turned to my blog and began to check in on my favorites. (so glad to have you back, Sherry over at Indigo Girl)
An hour later, I am challenged, encouraged, inspired and I grabbed my gratitude journal and listed 20 gifts I am grateful for today.
Off to fix supper, a little better for having given myself this gift.
Thank you sister bloggers
Posted by GraceGal at 5:24 PM
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The first three photos show the bookshelf and the Singer stand that I bought at the little store I told you about yesterday.
The last photo is my closet that I am working on transforming (mentioned in a previous blog). I moved the stand into the closet, set a lamp on it along with my dress form jewelry holders. On the other side is a small chair with a quilt.
A work in progress. More to come later.
Posted by GraceGal at 9:44 AM
Monday, March 14, 2011
I spent the afternoon with my daughter and granddaughter. They took me to a few little shops in Bangor that they had discovered. The one pictured above was my favorite!
With dirty snow piled around, it didn't look like much until I opened the door.
A cheery hello greeted us along with an offer of coffee or hot chocolate.
Every nook and cranny was filled with delightful second hand pieces of furniture, knick knacks, dishes and on and on.
I ended up buying a unique bookshelf, a table made from and old sewing machine, and a mason jar full of wooden spools. More on this later.
Of course, the best part was being with my girls for the day! But this shop was a delight :)
Posted by GraceGal at 4:17 PM
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
“Communion with God, what was broken in the garden, is totally restored when I want the God- communion more than I want the world-consumption.”
I read of prayer. I’m thinking, pondering when the glass jar catches my eye.
A jar of marbles sits on my window sill.
I loved playing marbles as a child. My brother and I would dig a hole in the dirt. Then we would back away a few feet, maybe less. We would draw a line and attempt to get our marbles in the hole. There was a way we could win each other's marbles but I don’t recall what it was. Winning a marble was worth a celebration. Each marble was a precious treasure because we had so few.
I look at my jar of marbles each day in passing, but I’ve never taken a single marble out of the glass enclosure and felt it’s smoothness in my hand or examined the colors and textures.
“Your prayers of late are like that jar of marbles, child.”
They were lumped together, rote, familiar, encased in the hardness of presumption and demand. I hadn’t seen until brokenness, jar lying shattered, no answers splintering encasement.
“Choose one marble, and really look at it.”
Choose one prayer, the one closest to my heart.
I choose, quietly, humbly asking.
Then asking for grace if it were not to be.
My word for the year becomes a bit clearer.
I am weighted down by the world’s distractions. They are clothed differently than I thought. I’d not seen. I see only in part now.
God-hunger lies buried beneath a myriad of disappointment, struggles, demands, desires, theology gone awry.
The need for simplicity and solitude is raw and fresh.
Pure joy, pure hope, pure love.
I get up from my chair and retrieve the jar of marbles. I dump them into my robed lap, choosing one at a time. There is a milky one, a butterscotch and white, and a chipped clearie with a slash of yellow. I lift the black one toward the window, and as I do, I realize that it is deep amber, yet transparent in places enough to allow the light to shine through.
Small round orbs, clear and opaque, cold to my touch. One at a time I drop them back into the jar. I save my favorites for last, a mid-size milky glass one and an ocean blue small one, release from my fingers. I replace the Mason jar lid.
A jar full of prayers.
I dump them out in my lap. I disencumber.
Tenderly I place my two favorites in first, the ones closest to my heart. They sit alone in the jar. There is no lid.
Angels’ wings stir.
My prayer has been heard.
I empty my jar of marbles once again, this time into a bowl. Choosing my two favorites, I gently drop them into the jar and place it back on the window’s ledge.
A reminder to finger each blessing, each prayer with gratitude, to see with eyes open, to ask with heart.
To move into communion with God.
To be restored.
Posted by GraceGal at 10:29 AM
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I wish I could pack her and her sissy up, and move them right next door! Their mommy, too :)
Seriously, Check out the suitcase. It is one of Amber's altered creations for sale on Etsy. I love it and wanted to share. Here's the link:
Posted by GraceGal at 9:29 AM
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
This post was so much fun and I thought it was time I added a little fun to the serious tone of my blog these days.
I have two closets in my old farmhouse.
One is a large walkin closet where I keep everything from Christmas decorations to old baby clothes, plus my clothes.
The other is a small one in my bedroom, which is the only completely remodeled room in the house. I wanted to leave out the closet because I wanted room for a chair and a bookcase. I was outvoted by my husband and the contractor, so sadly I compromised and have regretted it ever since. Until yesterday, that is.
Now every time I open the door to the unfinished ( no they never completed it) closet I think, "Hmmm, what can I do with this space?"
Half the fun is the anticipation, don't you agree?
Check it out
Monday, March 7, 2011
Heavy snow is quietly falling. No wind, no traffic.
I sit here Monday morning in prayer, beginning with the thanksgiving I have been learning about.
I am thankful that I don't have to travel on these roads today, thankful for promises of protection over my hubby who does.
I pray over my family, my health, my week, the mountain of work waiting on my desk.
A new week begins.
Posted by GraceGal at 9:01 AM
Sunday, March 6, 2011
“God holds us in untamed moments.” Ann Voskamp
You held me this week even when I thought you were a million miles away.
You held me through fits of anger until I broke into sobs.
You refused to let go when tears stopped, leaving an aching hole of hurt.
You wrapped your arms tight around me and held on for dear life
but I did not know it.
When I read Ann's words in chapter 9 of One Thousand Gifts, somehow I knew.
This was a rough week, but it's over.
Perhaps the Sabbath rest is about letting go of all of week's toil, celebrating good, and worshiping no matter what.
Birth of fresh hope.
Posted by GraceGal at 7:51 AM
Saturday, March 5, 2011
“Pride slays thanksgiving.” Henry Ward Beecher
“The demanding of my own will is the singular force that smothers my joy.” Ann Voskamp
I ask for forgiveness and I mean it, yet the prayer presses hard to speak, through empty caverns of the heart.
I am numb with defeat.
Was it only a year back that I lay on my face in repentance for pride and self- will?
Today I sit still.
I thought it was faith that believed Love would not let her down
this ugly “sense of entitlement” as Ann would say.
Knees stiff and straight,
I’d forgotten the basis of all that is faith…
Yielding to Love,
Surrender of all in my hand
that I may receive from His.
“I can empty because I am full of His Love. I can trust. “ Ann VosKamp
I don’t empty, because I don’t trust.
This has always been my weakness.
What will it take?
Begin again. Simple thanks in simple places.
Perform the action of hope.
Plow the hard ground.
Posted by GraceGal at 11:01 AM
Friday, March 4, 2011
6:30 a.m. My husband is starting the pellet stove and leaving for work. I roll over and reach for my ipod.
Tucking the buds in my ears I fall back to sleep.
Songs of glory play in my ear. One earbud falls out.
Movement in my room stirs me awake but my eyes won't open. I try to sit up. Did hubby forget something? He must be in the dresser as I feel something brush against the bed.
Softness of movement and sound fuse together.
What do angel's wings sound like? Is there movement in the heavenlies this morning?
Are my unanswered prayers still before Him?
Do I doze?
I must have been dreaming.
But I know I wasn't.
Posted by GraceGal at 9:21 AM
Thursday, March 3, 2011
A few short months ago I was celebrating a glimpse of God's love. A new revelation.
Yet I knew it was fragile.
The storms have blown in . The picture in my mind: a fragile flower outside today. It doesn't last a minute.
Another picture pops up.
A flower made of steel..
A year ago I was sitting in a Bible class when a man started talking about a specific type of tree that grows here in northern Maine. He said one company buys them because the wood is strong. The tree has had to work hard to put it roots down deep against the adversity of weather conditions etc. Thus it took much longer to grow but the end result was a wood stronger than any other.
Before I got out of bed this morning, I whispered a prayer. I need something, Lord.
All things work together for good to those who are called, according to his purpose.
Does Love know what He's doing?
I hope so.
Only there's nothing simple about it.
Posted by GraceGal at 10:33 AM
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I give thanks.
And this time, it's real.
Thank you, Lord for the morning you directed me to the blog that would lead me to this book.
I hold it in hand. One Thousand Gifts.
I want to move away from posting about it, but I cannot.
I've been sitting here, reading aloud the poetry of a life and I hear the call.
Deep calls unto deep.
I have walked through those same places of fear and moved softly back to trust.
"Thanks is what builds trust." (chapter 8)
"Trusting God is my most urgent need."
"If fear keeps our lives small, does a life that receives all of God in this moment grow large, too?"
He is here, in my maze. He knows the way through. I place my small hand in His, the very Hand which created all that surrounds me.
In this moment, one tiny second, I trust.
Breathing thanks, one breath at a time.