Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sunday Favorites #2- Attitude Adjustment

Don Ian Smith writes: "I well remember the afternoon when my son and I had been riding the range checking on the cattle. We were nearing home in the lovely time of day when the setting sun casts long shadows and puts a halo on the hills. About a mile from the ranch we had stopped our horses for a rest and we were just sitting, looking at the scene before us. Our line fence across the valley stood out sharply like a giant pencil line on a great piece of green paper, greener than the grass outside where the cattle had been grazing all summer. My son said: "Look, Dad! The grass sure is a lot greener on our side of the fence."
"It is tragic that many people have subscribed to the old lie that says it is greener on the other side. Most of us have known times when we have been tired and discouraged...but when I start to give serious thought to jumping my fence, I am brought up short by the simple fact that on MY side, though there are many problems, I also know something about the answers. If I jump the fence to go to what looks like greener pastures I will be trading a set of problems I know something about for a whole set of problems I know almost nothing about. I realize THIS is my side of the fence, and for me the grass is greener HERE. Whenever we seek to solve our problems by jumping the fence, we deceive ourselves, for the problems have a way of jumping with us. What looked like better pastures will turn out to be an illusion caused by the fact that we could not see clearly from our side that this other side has just as many burrs and weeds...greener pastures can turn out to be crabgrass."

"Pessimism is a denial of faith. It is a way of saying we don't really believe the promises of God or appreciate His gifts. The mark of a christian should be optimism. 'If God is for us, who can be against us?' This optimism knows that in the world there is tribulation, but also knows the One who has overcome the world. Face your set of problems and walk to a place where you can get a better point of view, and see that INDEED the grass is greener on your side of the fence." from his book By The River Of No Return

"We can all remember instances in our lives when God caused even the hardest trials to work together for our good. I remember when a trial was brought upon me by another person. I was filled with bitter rebellion and could not see any reason to be thankful in it. But that very trial provided the richest blessing and one of the greatest triumphs of my life. In the end, I was filled with thanksgiving for the things that had caused me such bitter rebellion before. If only I had had faith enough to give thanks at first, how much sorrow I would have been spared." -Hannah Whitall Smith

This is a "re-run" of one of my favorite posts...I'm joining Chari's "Sunday Favorites" blog party again!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Linking up today with to share something I am thankful for! What I have on my heart to praise God for today is...the HOPE I have in Christ! To quote from an old song, "Hope has brought us through the dangers and temptations of the past, and we fear not those to come." God has been SO FAITHFUL to help in my life up til now, and I KNOW He will continue to be my Good Shepherd. My soul rejoices in Hope! "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." -Romans 5:1,2
I have another prayer from Thomas Merton to share- thanking God for special grace and love and communion with the Heavenly Father. I hope it blesses someone today and inspires praise in the heart.

We Give Thee Thanks

We give Thee thanks, O God,
for great moments of joy and strength that come to us
when by a strong and special movement of grace
we are able to perform some act
of pure and disinterested love.

For the clean fire of that love which floods the soul
and cleanses the whole man
and leaves us filled with an unexpected lightness
and freedom for action.

For the moment of pure prayer
which not only establishes order in the soul,
but even fortifies us against physical weariness
and brings us a new lease on life itself.

Glory be to Thee for Thy precious gift!

Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Favorite - To Seek and Save the Lost

Linking up with Sunday Favorites tonight! Here is one of my previous posts. I am still using this prayer idea, encouraging the Lord to continue His saving work.

My Prayer- "Jesus, I know you came Here with the express purpose to Look for the sheep that is lost. I know you are Ever Faithful and I look to You to do Your work well. Thank You that You are not willing that any lost sheep be forsaken, but You go out of Your way to find him and rescue him. You know all about Search and Rescue and all my hopes are in You. You Yourself said, 'The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.' Thank You for hearing My Prayer."
The saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" comes to mind...Notice the bird of prey swooping down on the little lamb? The depth of the gorge? The seeming impossibility of a rescue? Yet the Good Shepherd is doing His job at the risk of His own life...HALLELUJAH!

Thanks to Chari at Happy To Design for hosting this blog party!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Molten Lava Chocolate!

I wanted to share this special chocolate dessert for Chocolate Friday! My teen daughter and I LOVE the dessert from Red Lobster Restaurant, Warm Chocolate Chip Lava Cookie, pictured here.
I have been lucky enough to find a recipe that looks like it will duplicate this at home! I found a blogspot with recipe, directions and pictures! I plan to try it, and hope you will, too! Enjoy!, and thanks to Katrina  for sharing this recipe!

Here's the address -

Thanks again to "the other Lisa" for putting this Chocolate Friday "THING" together!
To link up to her blog, click on the button in my left column.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

North Wind

Does anyone really like the North Wind? Here in Oklahoma in wintertime, the north wind seems So Cold! Our property is surrounded by a 6-foot chain-link fence, and on windy winter days I DO NOT look forward to getting out of my van to open and shut our gate! The question may arise, Would you rather be very hot or very cold? I still don't know exactly which to choose (if I have to), but Galen says he'd rather be hot. I have been reading a book to him this winter about the south pole explorer Shackleton- one thing told was how they walked in the DISMAL cold so long and far that the soles of their feet came off and they had to tie them back on...I can't imagine that.

The past two days have been very windy here in Oklahoma City, and I thought of the children's song, "The north wind doth blow, we soon shall have snow, and what will poor Robin do then, poor thing?"
"He'll sit in the barn to keep himself warm, and hide his head under his wing, poor thing." Yet winter is a necessary season! There can be much beauty in a winter landscape. We know that many growing things have to have the freezing temperatures in order to grow properly in the summertime. I found a book at the library last year whose subtitle was "Working with Soil, Attending to Soul". Gunilla Brodde Norris wrote "A Mystic Garden" from her Mystic, Connecticut home in New England and takes the reader through the seasons of the year. I enjoyed the book so much that I ordered one from Amazon, and my copy happens to be autographed! The seller did not say it would be, so that was a pleasant surprise. I hope it's okay to share some of her thoughts here, from the section on Winter...
 ' The weather growls, hisses, screams against the window. Trees are coated with ice. Car doors freeze shut. Out there, the garden lies mute under this howling. Silently it shows how to be in the presence of storm- "Accept. Be still." ... The trees will be diamonds when the sun comes out.'
'Everything is dormant in the cold...I seem to be at a standstill. Or is it that, connected to God, one somehow moves forward even in cold? Benumbed, we may wonder if perhaps it is in quietude, in seeming deep freeze, that God enters our depth...Can we sense the soul being led?...What do we do when we wait? Plan? Fidget? Fret? Dream? Rest? Pace? Why is it so hard to do nothing?...So much is invisible now, yet deep down there is a burgeoning, unstoppable force. Life teems below the surface. Can we trust that what is not now visible in our lives will emerge one day?'

Sometime last year my pastor brought a sermon in which the thought was brought out about hard times causing spiritual growth. One scripture presented was Psalm 75:6 - "Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south." This seems to imply that it comes from the North! The cold, difficult season is necessary for us. Suffering is an inevitable part of life. AND WE KNOW...that all things work together for good...

Even in this we rejoice!

When I was a child, we had an old OLD set of The Book of Knowledge encyclopedias. It had some wonderful pictures in the children's sections. I always liked this picture of the North Wind...

To end on a warmer note, maybe Poor Robin found this barn to keep warm in!

2nd Time Around Tuesday

This is my first time to link up with Diane at 2nd Time Around Tuesdays! I am a thrift store shopper, not a garage-saler. There is a pretty good one really close to where I live, so I go quite regularly, and I donate my castoffs there also-somehow it is connected with Habitat For Humanity. Once I bought a bicycle there for my little girl Julia- it's nice that she is not grownup enough for this to be distasteful to her! When we went to California last May for our son's graduation from Marine Boot Camp, I found water shoes for us to go to the beach in, at great prices! You know, I remember when I was a little girl, my older brother who is 10 years older than I, would talk about going to Goodwill with his girlfriend, and I somehow thought that was beneath us...Now I enjoy going myself! Not stuck-up anymore I guess...It's great that you can stumble on some really NICE finds sometimes. I bought an upholstered plaid chair for my daughter Alison- who is fixing to move out and share a house with her best friend- that looks brand new, for around $30.00. My latest treasure from a resale furniture store is a great recliner for ME! I paid $80.00 for it, but that's so much better than brand-new prices. By the way, my husband has been in Real Estate sales for a few years, and I have bought several NICE shirts for the Thrift Store! You know, I really thank God for the "plenty" that our country has been blessed with...I know people in other countries would be thrilled to have at their disposal the things in our thrift stores! not to mention all the places to buy brand-new things...I have praise in my heart almost every time I stock up on groceries again, for the readily available goods in the United States.

So for a few of my latest finds! I happened on this wonderful teapot for my little ones...

I bought this pitcher to keep my utensils in by my stove...

...and I bought 2 matching lampshades for my piano lamps!
These were brand new- the only thing "wrong" with them was one strand of the beaded trim was missing. If you look really close at the picture, you may be able to tell- it's right in the front.
Don't you think I made a great find?!

Thanks to Diane for hosting this "blog party"!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Valentines

It has been a nice Valentine's Day for me! This morning my family presented me with cards before church, and for lunch we ate at our favorite lunch restaurant, Pelican's. I presented my family with chocolate dipped strawberries that I had "crafted" Saturday night while Galen was outside working on the pickups in the freezing weather. My oldest daughter Alison is out of town with cousins and a "new friend", and my Marine son Ben called to wish me a happy day. He was at the beach! in California- said it was not too cold...

All my family are great people! I'm so proud of them and thankful to God for what holds us all together- His Special Love and Grace.
This is Julia's handmade Valentine...
This is David's Funny Valentine he picked out for me!

and on the inside we have...

and here is his first-grade handwriting on the envelope...

My husband gave me a sweet card, and here is how he addressed the envelope...

This has been his special pet name for me since before we got married.

I was so pleased that my effort at dipping the strawberries was successful! I got the nerve to try this by seeing the directions at another lovely blogger's site. She made it look so easy, I took "heart" and did it also!

Here's the valentine I gave my Hubby

and the inside reads...

Here's 2 of my Valentines! David and Galen inside Pelican's...

and me and Julia!

David wrote in the snow outside the restaurant...

Here's one JUST FOR YOU!
Thanks for looking at my Valentines!

(By the way, here's the link to the blogger who inspired me to try dipping strawberries all by myself:

(and this is her blog button)

The Tapestry of Life

Happy Valentine's Day! But I can't post about it because I don't know what will happen yet! Soooo...Here
is a post that I previously did back in the fall- This is my first time to participate in "Sunday Favorites"! Thanks to Chari at "Happy To Design" for this opportunity! 

"Life is a song we must sing with our days, A poem with meaning more than words can say;A painting with colors no rainbow can tell, A lyric that rhymes either heaven or hell.The pain and the longing, the joy and the moments of life,Are the rhythm and rhyme, The free verse of the poem of life." -Michael Card

 The patter of rain on the roof,
The glint of the sun on a rose;

Of life, these are the warp and the woof,
The weaving that everyone knows.
Now grief with its consequent tear,
Now joy with its luminous smile;
The days are the threads of the year-
Is what I am weaving worthwhile?
What pattern have I on my loom?
Shall my bit of tapestry please?
Am I working with gray threads of gloom?
Is there faith in the figures I seize?
When my fingers are lifeless and cold,
And the threads I no longer can weave,
Shall there be there for men to behold
One sign of the things I believe?
God sends me the gray days and the rare,
The threads from His bountiful skein,
And many, as sunshine, are fair.
And some are as dark as the rain.
And I think as I toil to express
My life through the days slipping by,
Shall my tapestry prove a success?
What sort of a weaver am I?
Am I making the most of the red
And the bright strands of luminous gold?
Or blotting them out with the thread
By which all men's failure is told?
Am I picturing life as despair,
As a thing men shudder to see,
Or weaving a bit that is fair
That shall stand as the record of me?
"The Weaver" by Edgar Guest

Again, Happy Valentine's Day!

Have a Sweet Day!