Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Miracles




"Before she turned out the light she studied the baby. Miracle, miracle she thought." *

Have you ever prayed for a miracle? Have you asked for the impossible while faith and doubt warred in your heart?

This morning I pushed back the covers, peeked at the clock and decided it would be all right to rest awhile longer. I pulled the blanket up to my chin, closed my eyes and whispered a prayer. Nothing out of the "ordinary" - requests for the miraculous. Some of them so often repeated, I wonder if I've become a bit of an annoyance. But I believe despite the shadow of doubt that tries to push its way into my heart.

So it always goes. But this morning a tiny shaft of light sliced through the darkness, and I saw what had been there all along - the miracles:

My prayer, my unspoken words, heard by the God who bends down low and listens. The One who is indescribable in His greatness listens to me. With more voices than I can count mounting to heaven, He hears mine. Miracle, miracle.

I opened my eyes and saw rays of sunshine peaking around the edges of the blinds on the living room windows. The sun, making it's routine appearance. Miracle, miracle.

I pressed my hand against my chest and felt the rhythmic beating of my heart. The same heart I had seen during an echocardiogram - marveling at what I have taken for granted for nearly seven decades. Miracle, miracle.

For three springs in a row I've watched a pair of cardinals skillfully weave a nest and raise a family. Miracle, miracle.



Every Sunday afternoon, a wee baby boy gazes at us through my computer screen. We have "known" him since long before he was born. Through a series of sonograms we have watched as he was "knit together" in his Mama's womb. Miracle, miracle.

The world spins, the seasons change, the seas rise and fall. Seeds are buried beneath the earth far from the sunshine and rain. At just the right time, new life pushes its way up through the darkness. Miracle, miracle.

They abound around us. So we pray: when it seems futile, when doubts threaten to overwhelm faith. The God of miracles is with you. Sometimes, for me, the miracle is in the knowing that whether or not I'm given the specific miracle I requested, I will be given what is best. Miracle, miracle.

Blessings,
Linda

*from the book Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark





When Life Doesn't Make Sense


"I am taking care of you. I know how hard this is to believe when conditions that are troubling you get worse instead of better. It's easy to feel as if I am letting you down - as if I really don't care about what you're going through. You know I could instantly change your circumstances, and you can't understand why I seem to be so unresponsive to your prayers…

To become aware of My loving Presence you need to relax and stop trying to control things. Give up your futile efforts to think your way through your problems…Cease striving and simply enjoy being in My Presence. Though there are many things you don't understand, you can rest in My unfailing love…

Although My ways may be mysterious and unfathomable, My Love is perfect and everlasting."

Jesus Today   Sarah Young

May you rest in His unfailing love today friends,
Linda

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Encouraging Words For the Weekend


A little mixture of encouraging words for you today:

"There have to be rest stops in music. There must be winter for the roots of a plant to dig down and grow strong for spring."
  Jan Karon

"The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heart-felt complement, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasure and genial feelings."
  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all that I have not seen."
  Emerson

"Stop trying to protect, to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you…remember that the lives of others are not your business. They are their business. They are God's business - even your own life is not your business. It is also God's business."
  Frederick Buechner

Blessings,
Linda

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Root Of the Problem




I stood looking at the result of my procrastination. Weeds and grass filled the stone border - the one that wound it's way around the entire perimeter of our house. The previous spring, as a gentle breeze swirled around me, I had spent hours pulling out every bit of green that poked up through the rocks. It was back-breaking work, but I felt a sense of satisfaction when I looked at the neat stone border.
Then came summer, with it's triple digit temperatures and uncharacteristically abundant rainfall. I looked out my windows and watched in amazement, and a little bit of horror, as the grass once again took over the border. I turned away and decided to wait until the weather moderated before tackling the monumental task.

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A few days ago I grabbed my gardening gloves, shovel and kneeling pad and bent into the work. It wasn't any easier this time around. Some of the weeds came up with just a gentle tug, but the others clung fast to the earth and black plastic we had put down in a vain attempt to keep them out in the first place. Three hours later I looked with satisfaction at the completed section and dismay at the work yet to be done. The worst of it was, I knew it was only a matter of time before they would all be back again. Because, you see, as hard as I pulled, much of the root system simply didn't budge. It remained hidden underground waiting for sunshine and rain…  read more at Laced With Grace.

Blessings,
Linda


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Encouraging Words For the Weekend



For those times when it seems God has turned a deaf ear to our deepest cries:

"Although we are tempted in times of agonizing silence to think of God with an icy stare on His face, refusing to make eye contact, I have found it comforting to think of God simply sitting with us in our pain, quietly listening. Maybe what feels like awkward and anxious silences to us are actually full and gentle silences. We are reminded that listening is not inaction. When God is listening to us, even if we do not experience the results we hope for, He is actively disposed toward us. We must also remember that the fact that God hears prayers does not make Him servile to our demands. Prayer words are not incantations with innate power to change divine weather patterns. When God doesn't give us our specific prayer requests, it may be an indication that He is working different things into us: things like trust, dependence, humility, patience, wisdom, even intimacy with Him."
(emphasis mine)

From the beautiful book: The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh

May you be filled with the peace of His presence this weekend friends,
Linda

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Decorating by Linda - Part 3


Hope you all had a good Labor Day weekend. The movie was great! We joined a whole theater full of families and older folks like us and watched "Greater." Everyone applauded when the credits rolled. Yes - it was that good.

Now we can finish up the house tour (I know you've been waiting with great anticipation). Let's move into the living room.

Two little chairs grace either side of the fireplace. The first is the little white chair - the one from my Mom's childhood. I remember when it was painted a pale yellow many years ago. It's part of the family.


The other is the rocking chair I had when I was a little girl. It has happily rocked several generations of little ones. These days the little Amish doll with her pretty quilt (Mom's handiwork again) rocks gently in the sunlight.


This little painting sits on a table just inside the front door. My husband's Uncle Les is the artist. We miss him and his corny, wonderful jokes.


My Aunt Josie painted this when she was well into her seventies. She decided to do a little something with her spare time. My only regret is she didn't sign it. I love it. It brightens the room with it's vivid colors.


A couple of my embroidery pieces hang just above the little table.


This antique hung in the front entrance hall of my parents' home. It moved with them several times and now resides with us. It was one of those things my Mom insisted we keep. Sweet memories.


Another little bit of Mom's handwork for the bedroom door. Let's check out the master bedroom.


My husband made the quilt-stand and Mom made the quilts. All except for one. I actually made a sampler quilt all by myself.





Little Bo Peep and her sheep have been with me my whole life. I think they're sweeter than sweet. The little chair is a pin cushion. The seat lifts so you can store little odds and ends inside. My Aunt Fannie is the creator of this one. I'm not sure which of my grandmothers crocheted the little doily. I have lots of them! In fact my linen closet shelves are filled with doilies, crocheted bedspreads, table clothes, towels and pillows the gifted women in my family fashioned. It's a joy to hold in my hands those things made by hands we can no longer touch.


This old rocking chair belonged to my Grandmother (My Mom's mother). She died when I was two, so I don't have any real memories of her - just those contained in small black and white photos. This chair is so dear to me. I crocheted the granny afghan.


I know what you're thinking. This master bedroom is definitely overcrowded. I agree. And we're not finished yet. This old school desk came with us from a little one-room school house in Upstate New York. The wooden box on top is an antique music box. My Mom always tells me, when I was a little girl I used to stand on it and watch out the window for my Dad to come home from work. I actually remember that.


This beautiful painting is above my dresser. Our family friend, Jane, painted it. She is a wonderfully talented artist. She lives in England and visited us here in Texas several years ago. We had such fun.


In the far corner we have the cradle. When my Mom delivered a little "surprise" in her forties, long after we thought our family complete, my Dad made him a cradle. Two more generations of babies have napped there. I'm looking forward to a certain little grandson giving it a whirl.


There you have it - decorating by Linda. The day may come when we move things around a bit, but there just isn't one of these treasures I can part with for now. Some day, I hope, they will live in other homes where they will be loved.

Blessings,
Linda

Monday, September 5, 2016

Home Decorating by Linda - Part 2


Time to continue the tour of our house - a peek at the treasures that make it home to us.




We'll walk down the hall toward the study and pass the picture I cross-stitched just before we moved.



The study is probably the first room the phantom interior decorator would pull apart. I know it's a bit over-crowded, but where would I begin to pare down? Certainly not this baby carriage that was my Mom's when she was a little girl. She made the pillow cover and little quilt.



Another sample of our granddaughter's artwork.


Our oldest son painted this when he was in high school.


The "C" was a Christmas gift from another granddaughter. Handmade gifts are the best.


My Mom designed this herself - copied from an antique sampler.


A dear friend carved these duck decoys. When he was killed in a car accident, his wife gave these two to my husband.


Another painting by our granddaughter.





My mom made the hanging quilt, our younger son made the shelf.


Now we'll go into the kitchen, where the table my husband made holds pride of place.


This old phone hung in my parents' home for as long as I can remember.




We saw this little plaque somewhere in our travels with my Mom and Dad, and she was so taken with it she cross-stitched it for us.


This hutch is another part of my childhood. My Dad made it when I was a little girl. When we were working on the plans for our new home, my husband redesigned the kitchen so that we could fit it in.









We'll end it here for now. It's Labor Day, and we're going to the movies!

Blessings,
Linda