Archive for September, 2010

loving autumn

Okay, so autumn is my favorite season!  I am absolutely loving the weather we’re having.  I suppose it could be just a touch cooler because I am a big fan of sweater weather.  But really, I’m taking advantage of sitting outside in the afternoon just soaking in the warmth.

Autumn is  a time of change.

It’s a time when colors are incredible – fiery even.  I this season is such a befitting image for change.  Often times, we are scared of it, dread it, resist it.  But, when we let ourselves embrace it, I think we find an opportunity to discover a vibrancy within us that we may have missed otherwise.

I also love autumn decorating!

Here are just a few of the things I’ve been up to this past week:

I enjoy putting together centerpieces.  This is one I did with items I had around the home.  I had the platter and candle already in the kitchen.  The spanish moss & sheet moss were leftover from a centerpiece I made for our kitchen table.  The leaves were from last year (yes, I keep EVERYTHING).  I found the pumpkins & gourds at Walmart.  Great deal!

Mums & pumpkins just beg to pair up!  This is part of my front porch arrangement.

Here’s our newest autumn addition!  The kids saw this ghost outside Michael’s a few weeks ago.  They pleaded with me to buy it.  I told them I’d think about it & then headed back that night to collect “B.”  I have no idea why the kids call him that, but apparently, that is indeed his name.  I put together our porch display while the kids were at school & then waited outside for them as they walked home.  Oh, you should have heard the delight in their voices when they saw him – I think Garrett’s voice shot up two octaves – ha!

This is a shot of the whole display.  I love cornstalks & hay bales, so they are always a must in my decorating.  I’m also allergic to both, so the car ride home after purchasing them is always miserable.  But, as long as those items remain outside, I’m good!  The kids painted pumpkins last weekend & I enjoy displaying their creativity.  I think their addition adds some fun to our welcome area!  I recently pulled up our rosebushes & moved them to the backyard.  In their place, I planted stonecrop.  Perfect colors for autumn & from what I hear, they can get hearty too.  Let’s see if I can manage to keep them alive…

Hope you all are enjoying this season!


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hope and waiting

We were driving home yesterday after celebrating Ava & my father-in-law’s birthday.

The sky was overcast, with gray clouds rippling the horizon.  However, off to the left was the most beautiful sight.  There was a patch of blue sky that had broken through the gloom & was casting a beam of light from heaven to earth.  It was amazing!  At one point, the road curved, so it looked like the beam was lighting the road we were traveling.  I took this picture with the camera from my phone.  It didn’t capture the splendor of the beam of light, but you get the idea.

One thing that struck me in particular was how the light shined the brightest against the darkest parts of the sky.  I sighed and thought, “Hope.”

For me this moment was a turning point.  For over the last few months I have been looking for hope.  And quite honestly, there have been times when I’ve looked up & cried, “Do You even hear me?  Do I still matter to You?”

We’ve been talking about “waiting” these past weeks in church.  Yesterday, I wrote down the following challenge…

“Have you spent your time waiting in the presence of the God for Him to empower You?”

And my answer cut right through my heart…

No.  Honestly, I have not.

Because I would like things fixed now.

I would like answers now.

I want hurt to end now.

I don’t want to wait.

This morning found me leafing through Lamentations.  I love when I “stumble” across verses that seem like they were written for me to read at that specific moment.  This is when I understand what it means to say God’s Word is alive.  This passage is from Lamentations 3:

17 I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.

18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
and all that I had hoped from the LORD.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.

20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.

21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;

26 it is good to wait quietly

for the salvation of the LORD.

(emphasis are my own…)

I once read that a silversmith never leaves the silver once he puts it in the fire and that he knows the silver is refined once he can see his image in it (thank you friend for blessing me that day by sharing that!!)

I know the Lord is refining me and He will keep me in the fire until He sees His image in me.  I have asked Him to reveal the areas where I need refining.

Ha – how quickly He answers those prayers!  😉

Area #1:

Time to start learning to wait…

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“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me;

Your love, O Lord, endures forever –

do not abandon the work of Your hands.”

~Psalm 138:8

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Happy Birthday to my Daughter…

Ava Grace is 8 years old today.

Do you know what that means?

Well, she’ll tell you that she no longer has to ride in a booster seat (which I’m not so sure about – I need to see if she meets the height requirements).

But, I will tell you “8 years old” means another year of my heart moving in ways I never thought it could.

Ava is my girl.  I am awfully protective of her – especially her heart & self esteem.  She gives so freely & I never want her to lose that quality.  However, I do want to teach her how to discern between people who love you for you & those who love you only when you give.

Ava is light.  She brightens a room with her smile & laugh.  She brings joy in simple, quiet gestures.  She has a strong spirit, yet is so eager to please.  She is insightful & quick.  If something doesn’t make sense to her, she’ll ask.  If your answer doesn’t suffice, she’ll probe further and won’t stop until her mind is satisfied.

I recently started taking each of my kids out with me for a little one-on-one time.  When Ava & I go out, we get hot chocolate & talk.  Sometimes we sit at a table, sometimes we walk through stores.  But, I love that she shares not only her hopes, but her fears as well.  I am hoping that through our little dates, she will always feel the openness to talk to me, so she won’t have to store up whatever she carries with her.

So, here’s to my daughter.  Yes, she will continue to grow each year, but she’ll always be my little girl.

Happy Birthday Ava.  I love you!!

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