Friday, December 21, 2018

Season of Joy

Here we are in the month of December, in the season of celebrating the birth of our Lord, the greatest season of peace, joy, love.

December is also the month where gray and white color schemes reign... except in the opening or closing moments of daylight when the skies often open up to glorious colors.

The memory of gray days fades when they end like this!

Or days when the snow blankets the world, and the sun warms the world with its last glance of the day. 

When the sun comes out, even just for a few moments, joy reigns in the world.

Had lunch with a dear friend of mine recently at a delightful little spot overlooking the lake. 
While my friend and I were together, I received a phone call from another friend who accidentally dialed my phone number.  While we talked, she asked me if I would look for a 1-year devotional bible for her, she needed 3 of them.  I knew of a thrift shop that doesn't charge for bibles, so I told her that we would look for these devotional bibles. 

We enjoyed salmon chowder, hot rolls, and salad, as we fellowshipped and
shared what the Lord was doing in our lives. 
This restaurant had such lovely ambience, and we were able to sit and talk for what seemed like several hours.  Mostly our conversation was concerning the world events around us, the return of the Lord, and the longing in our hearts for His return.  We finished our meal and headed to the thrift store. I did not find any bibles my other friend was looking for, but I found a book that looked interesting and bought it.  It is called "Morning and Evening Devotions by Charles Spurgeon". 

When I got home that evening, I opened the book to see what it had to say for that day, which was December 4th.  To say I felt goosebumps as I read the devotional for the day was an understatement!  Below is the devotion that was written for December 4th. 

It is interesting to note that this devotion was written back in the 1860s, over 150 years ago... and yet still relevant with its message today... The Lord has heard our groanings in the spirit!  To quote directly from the last part of the passage it says
"We are to groan for glorification, but we are to wait patiently for it, 
knowing that what the Lord appoints is best. 
Waiting implies being ready.  
We are to stand at the door expecting the Beloved to open it and take us away to Himself.  
This "groaning" is a test. 
You may judge of a man by what he groans after. 
Some men groan after wealth - they worship Mammon;
some groan continually under the troubles of life - they are merely impatient;
but the man who sighs after God who is uneasy till he is made like Christ, that is the blessed man. 
May God help us to groan for the coming of the Lord 
and the resurrection which he will bring to us."
It was incredible how God took a message written 150 years ago, an accidentally dialed phone call, and a book picked from a shelf of hundreds of books to relay a message to us that He heard our groanings, and to reassure us that our redemption draweth nigh! 

It also was a reassurance to my friends and I that God speaks to us even in the little things of life! 

I went to a local craft show recently, and found this delightful shelf, along with the little red clock, and the wooden sewing machine.  I painted the frame white and added a scripture picture to it.  I also covered some 1" blocks with paper to say the word "Pray". I hung the shelf in my craft room.  I spend a lot of time in this room, and this shelf is a constant reminder of the things that are important in my life. 

Walking in the little bit of snow that we got recently.  Annie-girl was more than thrilled to see the snow, as was I!

Riley agrees! They are my two snow-angels, they dearly love the snow! 

My decorations for Chrismas are simple this year, quiet reminders of the reason for the season.  

A nativity given to me by a friend. I painted the wooden sign "Joy". 
This pillow was gifted to me last year in a blog drawing and I am enjoying it again this year!

Another reason I love succulents so.... the cold and snow doesn't bother them a bit! 

This is a wreath made from materials at the Dollar Tree,
and adds the perfect festive touch to the front door. 

I may have written about these rolls before,
but really, they deserve another mention. 
The recipe (below) says they are 30 Minute rolls,
but I like to give them an extra 5 minutes to rise, and an extra 5 minutes in the oven,
making them 40 Minute Rolls. 

Another recent sunset... how each one of them has been treasured this December,
as we've had an unusual amount of gray days with rain, and not much snow. 

My sweet friends that come to meet us each morning as we walk by, rain or shine! 

As this season of celebrating our Lord's birth is upon us, I wish all of you a blessed Christmas full of the sweet presence of the Lord and pray that the gifts He brought to us of peace, joy, and love fill your heart and home!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Falling into November

While each season on the calendar at least, is given equal time, it seems Fall's time in the spotlight wanes the quickest, although it is enjoyed to its last precious moment. 

Foggy mornings have been the hallmark of Fall this year, and the brilliance
of the fallen leaves is accentuated by the foggy backdrop. 

The road beckons onward mysteriously. 

Layers of fog in the mornings as I walk hover over the fields. 

Golden colors warm the banks of the river, contrasting with the reflective blues of the water. 

The brilliant colors of the river are a bright contrast against the colorful foliage. 

The rushing water under the bridge sings the happiest song, filling my heart with joy in the moment.

Walking in the early mornings just as the sun is grumbling up over the horizon,
these sweet girls greet us good morning as we walk by. 

I imagine this wistful look on her face means she would like to tag along on a walk with us!

There is something captivating about a fenceline... especially one stretching into the fog. 

The glorious colors of Fall extending their beauty just a few more days. 

How I wish I could hold the brilliance of this scene in place of the gray color scheme scheduled to arrive quite soon!

The last day before the "gray skies" arrived, my heart rejoiced at the vibrancy of the colors still. 

Time and earth seem to stand still in this moment of tenacious beauty. 

I want to savor every color and remember them that way when the "gray" arrives. 

The skies seem to rejoice over the beautiful scene with me. 

Once again, Fall's stay with us was far too short, and November came bumbling on the scene with gray skies, foggy mornings, and drippy clouds. I don't know of anyone who really anticipates and looks forward to November, lol!  But my perspective is this... after a good dose of gray skies, I am ready to welcome Winter with open arms! How about you?

I put my little flower bed to rest with hopes for spring... I received a shipment of tulip and daffodil bulbs that I had ordered from Breck's, and got them planted.  The chickens were curious about all the digging I was doing and tried to help out, lol! 

A pie marathon!  I was asked to bake two pies for a local craft bazaar, and then my daughter mentioned she really wanted some pumpkin pie, and my dear husband said how much he was hankering after a pecan pie, and before you know it, an afternoon of baking pies ensued with 5 pies cooling on the counter! 

I captured this picture of a frosted leaf resting on a log... 

These two!  So happy to see the snow falling from the skies!  I shared in their excitement too :) 

Yes, Winter, I can accept that you are here... you sure have brightened up the landscape! 

My favorite scene of all this November was when snow blanketed the landscape while fragments of Fall color remained. 

It was a glorious sight to see, this Blazing Red Maple tree with its brilliant red leaves still on the tree with snow gently covering up the bare, windswept spots on the branches. 

There is something truly lovely about this... the mingling of Fall and Winter in such a beautiful fashion.

I am sad to see the last bits of Fall color, but how thankful I am that
Winter is right there to brighten the landscape as Fall's color fades. 

The moody stillness of this leaf captivated my focus... 

My baby hens (not so little now) got to experience snow for the first time, always quite an event for them!

Gracie is not too thrilled with the snow, as you can tell by her expression.

And so here we are, in the middle of November, and Thanksgiving 'round the corner!  
I will be taking a little blogging break over the Thanksgiving holidays.  
I want to wish all of you a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving... truly we do have so very much to be thankful for, and it seems as we count our blessings, somehow they begin to multiply and increase... 
My heart and prayers go out to those who have suffered such great losses of life and property in California, and those in areas affected by the hurricanes.  
Each day is so very precious that we are given.  
May we be grateful and thankful to the Lord for His provision through the upcoming holiday seasons.  
With much love to all, have a 
Happy Thanksgiving :) 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Fall's Offerings

Dropping slowly into the plate of my heart... 
these colorful offerings from Fall have
been delightful blessings day after day. 

A myriad of color has filled the skies on my evening walks. 

The eye of the Lord... while taking my evening walk, although the evening air was crispy and my breath floated in front of me, my heart was warmed by the sight of this magnificent sunset flooding the world with its brilliance.  It seemed as if the very eye of God with all His knowledge, awareness and being was filling the sky with wonder, and my heart was warmed with just being there, in that moment, with HIM. 

The brilliant colors of fall on display. 

Down by the river, this quiet place of reflection beckoned to me, the muted rays of the sun bouncing off of the chilled waters, with the brilliant foliage arched over my head, creating a simple moment of beauty, nestled forever in my heart.

Row upon row upon row of color,
each leaf outstanding in its own right,
together each one creating a chorus
deserving of a standing ovation.

Resplendent intoxicating colors...

Crimson-hued maple leaves hover over the dazzling willow's green, creating a mesmerizing sauna of colorful warmth.

 As each leaf falls and finds its way to the ground, slowly the bronzed colors of the earth take over. 

One leaf that stood out among the crowd, bright red with browned polka dots. 

I was amazed at how the color of the tree matched the color of this building. 

The most majestic tree of them all... the Blazing Red Maple. 

Have you ever seen an iridescent leaf... this one in particular stood out to me with its unusual glittering foliage. 

With colors like these abounding, it is hard to keep from "oohing and aahing" as I drive!

Earth, water and sky celebrating in glorious abandon.

This pastoral scene captivated my heart. 

The curving passages of the river display Fall's grandeur. 

Fall... why must you hurry along so? 

Alight with late afternoon sun, the calm waters of our little lake reflect the colors of the hovering mountains. 

Each lily pad takes on its own sweet beauty in the dappled sunshine. 

Little boats of color shining with iridescent loveliness, touched by the sprinkled afternoon sunshine. 

Every gate mysteriously beckons my camera and I... 

Hazy reflections in the shimmering waters of the river's jutted island. 

The slow cadence of leaves gently falling one by one
are in rhythm with the gentle splashing of
the river's waters on the beach. 

Remember my sweet Gracie, whose feet were crippled at birth? She posed for me in front of my pumpkins, a happy little thing with nary a care in the world, so thankful she is no longer a cripple!
Mr. Sal enjoying some loving pecks from sweet Miss Sarah. 

Lunch with precious friends at a new restaurant in town, a loaded baked potato adorned with a mountain of freshly smoked brisket... oh my!  Delicious!

On our morning walk, the golden aspens shimmered in their mud puddle reflections. 

It's that time of year again for homemade pumpkin pie! It is our family's favorite pie. 

Fallen leaves have created a wavy pattern on the shoreline of the lake.

Up close and personal... each one unique and deserving of my attention.

A wooden fence graced by fall's abundant colors.

These two trees are favorites of mine... Blazing Red Maples taking their time this year to change their colors... their brilliance will be on display for weeks yet!

Walking in the fog one morning, and the skies were embraced with this Fog Bow... have you ever seen one?
Quite magnificent to behold!

My daughter came home under the throes of a terrible cold. 
I made her some hot tea and we enjoyed a little spur of the moment tea party. Tea always makes you feel better!
We enjoyed drinking the Tea Bloom green tea along with a little bite of biscotti :)

My folder of October pictures overfloweth and runneth over... I must stop now... but thank you for staying with me through this pictorial view of Fall here in north Idaho!  I know the days are coming where gray is the dominant color, and white not far behind.  So while the days are beautiful, and the sun is shining, I'll be out soaking up the last bits of sunshine and warmth the season has to offer before the rains and snow descend.  

Sharing before I go this scripture today that blessed me... 

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, 
and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, 
and maketh the day dark with night: 
that calleth for the waters of the sea, 
and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: 
the LORD is His name.  
Amos 5:8

Blessings to all who have paused here to visit, and may your Fall be full of abundant color and delight!