Friday, March 24, 2017

Birthdays And Other Scribblings

 Gwen turned seven years old and Myles six this month of March 2017. When March rolls around each year Myles gets to have his birthday a week before Gwen making them seem like they're the same age for a week. 
This birthday bundling helps me as the Marmee to remember, so I like it. And when we happen to go visit them in Nebraska during spring break-up we get in on the party, too.  We took gifts along as well. In July the other two of Jenny's children will have their birthdays.

 Jenny tried her hand at a homemade Angel Food cake for Gwen who had been begging for one.  She was disappointed in its shortness as opposed to the tall foamy rendition her mother-in-law manages to create. I know, there is supposed to be great value on the tallness of said cake, but in this family even the short ones are appreciated, so it becomes only a matter of passing pride or humility. It's just a cake, afterall.

On the other hand, Jenny's humiliation from her Angel Food flop was short-lived having created a three layered chocolate, albeit boxed, cake for Myles, who was feverish and tired last night at cake serving time. He didn't eat any then, but that didn't stop the rest of us from enjoying it. This is one of those times when I think I get the better part of food. I can't have it but I can enjoy it with my camera, and share the picture, and hone my writing craft describing it for you. Anybody hungry for moist chocolate cake? When Amy cut the cake and took out the first wedge the next few wedges kept their shape but gently unfolded, leaning into the serving spatula to be lifted onto a plate, moist and soft, still definitely cake but not a bit powdery. They ate it with vanilla ice cream.

Gwen and Myles are fortunate children. They're being "brought up" in a Christian home with a mom AND a dad and two other siblings. They have all the love and nutrition a normal child requires and then some. How thankful we should be. Gratefulness should be our main voice.

Don't you think we get a little carried away with the moaning and complaining about our bad environment and all the terrible things happening in the news, government, and society? Why not shift our focus and mental energy on what's good for a change?

Focusing on the good might mean being thankful for our children and families when it feels too busy. The seemingly endless rounds of living: messy living rooms, runny noses, running feet, broken door knobs, and the rest are cues to be thankful. Why not put the news to rest, find a fresh cup of something, make a pretty end table, a notebook and pen, and your Bible and start saying "Thank you" to God for our children and our freedoms. We are so very blessed. Noticing it makes all the difference.

Or when it feels like Husby is entirely too preoccupied with other things of life and we could sure use his help or his interest or his love... anyway, that would be a great time to be thankful for commitment and the promises we made back there on the wedding day. I'll break it to you gently right here, that if you haven't discovered that moment yet; you will, where all that seems good about your marriage is the promise itself. This would be the exact moment for which you were tenderly saying "I Do" back there at the wedding about sticking it out and loving each other for better or for worse. Who knew that "for worse" could be so rotten. Yet commitment is what will carry the tide back to "for better" one of these days. And if it doesn't; we are still not off the hook. The for life commitment we made is good for kids and their turn-out. It's good for society and the next generation.  And it isn't really, at all, until it is tested.

 Focusing on the good could be taking time to actually do some spring cleaning this year while thanking God that we have houses ... full of things. And possibly that would be a great time to clear out some of the extra things in our closets and on our shelves that we really don't need, not even for pretty and give them away or land them in file 13. Try a cleared surface for pretty, especially the countertop. And stand back and really see it.

So be thankful, don't fuss, and throw away the superfluous.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Beauty Is God's idea

 We are traveling to Nebraska this afternoon having left right after church. We went to the morning service with the car already packed so we could leave right from there.
I am blogging on the road taking advantage of a huge supply of data that is on our phones by way of tethering to my computer. I used Bluetooth to transfer the pictures I wanted from my phone to the computer like I always do.
At any rate I'm feeling rather virtuous getting my blogging accomplished while the miles sail by.
We get to spend a few days in Nebraska visiting our family there. I brought sewing and other projects and our anticipations of good times along. And a list of things I want to get done including the creation of Kristine's baby shower invitations that must go out by the weekend.

 This past week was full of store work. Monday I had the privilege of helping my bosses, (Hi Ruthie and Rosie) at a buyer's show in the city. We spent the day going from store to store in a huge mall-like place planning and choosing what we want to sell at our little furniture and gift shop in Hayward.
Especially at Will's we spent time memorizing the sights of beautiful things arranged in creative ways. It is at these times and places that I wonder if I should have gone in for home or store design. I really enjoy this job.
So it is fun to visualize these centerpieces and to find a place to enact them. I believe that our work should not only provide and bless us, it should also be shared with others. Perhaps a little thing like a table centerpiece is unimportant and even wasteful to some folks; but I'll bravely say here that beauty is God's idea and I love to make it for the people who will sit at these tables to eat, visit, play, and learn together.

Lately, we at Grace Bible have been learning through a series of videos on how to teach by Howard Hendricks. We sit around the cleared tables after Sunday lunch together learning and discussing ... and laughing. Howard, himself, is a fine teacher.  It's exciting to notice that we are making the education practical ... it is coming out through the preaching on Sunday morning.
It is also fun and exciting to see our little church group growing up and digging in. Church life is good. I'm not bragging, just praising the Lord for His goodness in giving us clear direction and work. No doubt, tests are right around the corner. We'll trust Him.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sunshine and Succulents

 Spring is in the air even though we had two degrees below zero this morning. It's the time of the year for some fresh table center pieces and for dusting bookshelves. New décor and gardening plans. If we can't have spring outside, we can have it inside and the outdoors will soon catch up and take over.
I wanted to do this project a month ago, but Wal-Mart had no succulents for sale then. Yesterday, finally. And what fun. The clay pots are nice too, but we already had the white glass planned, thus.
This afternoon when we clean at church we will arrange these as centerpieces for the dining room tables. 
And then we will wish we had a few for home décor. We'll get to that.

 Spring is important in many ways. Obviously, we could not have summer green and fall harvest without seedtime and new growth.
Easter is celebrated in the spring. The resurrection is integral to eternal life which is the most important part of our lives. We cannot fathom or measure how important this is, because we are short-sighted humans who have only begun to understand a small part of God's love to us in sending His Son for our redemption. Spring provides a glimpse if we will notice.
And we get to shut down the firewood mess, dirt, and dust. This spring when we can clear away firewood things; we'd like to apply a fresh coat of blacking to the stoves, wash the glass and add tiers of candles inside for summer evening or rainy day ambience.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

We Promised

  1.     To decide to be thankful for each other.

2.     To value our marriage as precious. To be responsible to the matrimonial essence of it. We promised.  

3.     To nurture the love and respect that we need for each other.

4.     To overlook the lapses, his and mine.

5.     To never let go of hope or trust.

6.     To create a place for love to grow in our minds and hearts.

7.     To treasure the soft moments between us and bring them to the forefront when hard things threaten.

8.     To guard commitment for life as we would a rare and valuable jewel for that is what it is. Nothing transcends commitment when it is needed. Nothing leads back to trust and forgiveness as surely as does commitment.

9.     To trade our individual, foolish expectations in for honesty, willingly. It’s like opening the blinds to let the sunshine flood in.

10.   To remember that God made our marriage. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Thankful All Day Long

 ... let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
                                            Hebrews 13:15

                          My Thankful List
~ Sunshine pouring into the living room on a March morning.
~ The prospect of two cabin days coming up.
~ The end of winter viruses at our house.
~ Grown up kids. They're so much smarter than me.
~ Fresh ground coffee, a journal, and God's Word first thing in the morning.
~ My husband, who is racing against the approaching spring break-up to finish a logging job.
~ What cell phones do for our marriage.
~ For the most obvious: Our salvation through Jesus.

This blog has moved!

Please click here to see the latest from Stone House Scribblings.