Thursday, February 14, 2019

Spreading Love


Happy Valentine's Day!

It is such fun to create for Valentine's Day.  


Last week I found those cute little Valentine cards you get,at Walmart, for kids to exchange at school.  I found some with inspirations like "God loves you" and "God thinks you are special".  After adding a few fun stickers to each, I mailed them to our grandkids. 

I had such fun to create them, though I thought it was a bit corny, but they are young.  And truth be told, I would love to get a corny Valentines in the mail.  Just because it brings a smile. So I do what I would like.

I then prepared to send a few other hand written notes and decorated the envelopes with stickers, I love stickers! 

Later, decorating!  It's not elaborate. But it brightens our home and shows a bit of change for this season.  Since it is just my husband and I, and he loves what ever I do to decorate, I find it fun to pull together random things and create.  Each year is different, for the most part.

Lovely pillows add a bit of color for the season.

The seasonal table I use is actually my great-grandparents desk. I have a picture of them in front of it. I think it was their anniversary present.

A seasonal table is something you can decorate with each season, or birthdays, or just have a basket for prayer requests and prayer books.  I originally got the idea from Mrs. Sharp's Traditions book.  The book I have is older than this version, but I imagine this one has the same lovely traditions.  

This is also the day I usually make a valentine for Mr. P.  He sometimes participates in making a card.  He is so patient when I get these ideas to do something fun and different.  Sometimes, I get an eye-roll, but he usually enjoys what ever the plan was. 

Anything that I think would bring a smile to me, that's what I love to do for others.  A way to share the love in my heart. The love that is given to me from my Father in heaven.

"The Greatest Love story ever told."

We will be having roasted chicken with sweet potatoes and broccoli tonight for dinner.  I am planning on using a small table in my foyer for our dinner table and setting up in front of the fire.  Cozy and lovely. 

I am not great at picture taking, but you can get the idea of what I've done this year.  The shelf below Jesus and the string with tiny close pins is there all year long.  At Christmas our manger scene is on my seasonal table and our cards we get in the mail are filled all along the string with clips.  I like to use real leaves in the fall to help decorate as well, and in the summer...it's what ever has come up. Lent everything is bare.  Then Easter I have little things the kids have made through the years that I clip up.  

My placemats on the table are made from last year.  I have 4 Christmas placemats, but only use 2, so the extra 2 got a fun heart stuck to them and they became Valentine placemats.  They need new hearts though.

The centerpiece is a serving tray from the thrift shop, and a little red  glass votive holder. We light a candle each night for dinner to remind us the Christ is the Light of our life.

Lydia over at HomeLiving has wonderful ways to arrange flowers, Though my flowers never turn out like hers,  I still enjoy going to the store and finding something that can be created to a centerpiece.


Happy Valentine's day!  


Friday, January 18, 2019

A New Year a new calendar

A warm welcome this morning to you.  I have been finishing setting up my new calendar for the year.  Each year I try to find a calendar with larger squares because I like to write in my supper meal plan on it.  This helps me to plan for the week, and to prepare things earlier if Mr P will be gone that evening.

The past few years my favorite calendar is Heart to Home from Current Catalog.  While shipping is a bit much for a calendar, it is worth it for the spaces I need each day. Makes planning for family and household activities much easier. Though this year there was a bit of mix up with them, but they expressed mailed the correct calendar, hence the reason I am just finishing setting it up.  God's timing not mine.

So here is my new calendar that stays on the front of my refrigerator.


I do the same for my planner.  While I call it a planner, it's more of a glorified calendar and to do list for each day.  I have a Home Management Binder that has seasonal to-do's and Church related traditions we celebrate.

Here is a close up of the squares. I write in the meals for 2 weeks and rotate them so I only pick 14 meals for each season.  These periodically change to a new recipe or depending on what we tried and I hear "hmmmm"  after a new recipe, I mark a note on the calendar and don't make that again :-) 

So my calendar set up has been this way since my early years of marriage, back when the girls were very little and had activities.  Anything more than my appts after I got married, and I needed a new system. So this is mine.

I always get out colored markers, because we all have a little kid in us that LOVES markers, and I start with January. I draw a line down the left and right side, separating Sunday and Saturday from the week. The colors usually have something to do with the monthly season or theme:

January = blue for cold and snow
February= red for Valentine's
March = green for St Patrick's day
April = a different blue then Jan, for April showers bring....
May= pink! for May flowers  :-)  I know goofy, but fun.
please tell me you have heard of "April showers, bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring....Pilgrims!" I learned it when I was very young.
June= green for grass and harvest growth
July= one side usually is red and the other blue, or I do dots down both sides of red & blue
August= a dark yellow (so you can see it) for a sunny hot month
September= red for an apple for the teacher ( I was a substitute teacher for elementary school for many years while we were stationed in Okinawa)
October = orange for PUMPKINS!!!
November= brown for the amazing fall leaves that we see
December = red and green for Christmas!

Then I do the same for the little calendar I take with me.  There is one other quirky tradition I have, I learned it from my Grandma. She had one of those little 5 year diaries and she would write in a few events of the day in it, but she ALWAYS wrote in the morning temperature. (I have recently learned she did this because her and grandpa were farmers and needed to know the daily temp.)

So way back in high school I started writing in the daily temperature in the left corner of my calendar. I do it to track the weather and see how we are slowly going into winter, then see how we are slowly warming up to Spring.  This is also a neat way for me to see 'what was it like last year', yep I keep a few years worth of calendars tucked away just for that and a sort of diary of when appts were last year.

No one in my family has ever noticed the temperature thing, they just know I always look to see what it is when I get up.  If I get up late, I still write what it was but I ask Mr P since he is always up long before the sun.

That's it!  That is my  fun way to start my year.  Then there are the colors for the dates: like blue for church related feasts and celebrations, pink for me for any appts etc, Mr P is green and any family events are pencil. They change too much.  Anniversaries & Bdays are in red - so I don't forget :-)

May God bless you this year.  Do you have any traditions for January you do that you would like to share?

~Dee

Monday, November 12, 2018

An ancient proverb says, “If you desire to know what your thoughts were yesterday, look at your body today. If you want to know what your body will be tomorrow, look at your thoughts today."

I love this.  Our thoughts are so powerful.  Scripture says to think on things that are lovely, true & pure.  Thinking on that and having those thoughts show my body how to be calm, true and pure, would bring me peace.

I struggle with worry, but I know worry is not in today. 


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Speaking



from Graphics Fairy

Recently I read about guarding our speech and found I have been thinking about it a lot lately.  The article used an acronym to help remember it: TKN.

True, Kind and Necessary.

Before speaking am I using this mini-inventory, if you will, of what I am about to say.

Is it true: or gossip, hearsay, exaggeration, opinion or supposing?
In conversation with my oldest daughter about family situations, do I participate in the "assumptions" and hearsay of what is being told, or do I just listen and say "it could be but since I don't know the what's true and real, I can't really comment on that."

Usually I jump in and feed into the conversation, until I find my emotions are running high and my words are also.  This always leads to a short temper and I bring that to my home environment. Even my prayers turn to what I want, so my feelings will be calmed.  When the truth is - I haven't spoken to or know for sure, so I have to say a prayer right there and give it over to God.  He knows what is happening and I don't need to expound on all my opinions.

My loving husband listens to my "dumping" on him when I get caught up, and by grace, just listening he allows me to see my actions being led by my assumptions.


Is it kind: it may be true, and still do not need to say it. Is it hurtful, critical or a putdown?

My husband and I had an amazing conversation about this recently.  Just because I know what someone at church said about a friend, doesn't mean I need to repeat it, to anyone.  If I feel I will burst unless I tell someone, I need to look at my motives and ask Jesus to help me. Usually I am looking for acceptance to say something that doesn't NEED to be said. Or being critical I am putting me "higher" than the person I am speaking of/to.


And finally is it necessary: am I repeating my explanation? is it more important than silence?

Oh my greatest weakness.  Repeating, repeating, and saying it again...even if the other person has heard me, I just need to tell it AGAIN.  Why!?  When I look at my motives I am usually looking for acceptance, a discount, a deal, or plain ol' I want something! So hear me!

For instance. I was just on the phone with the woman that owns this amazing little frilly woman's shop north of me in a tiny town up in the mountain.  I had seen a pink scarf with little sparkles 2 weeks ago when I was there and I really want to get it.  I have a green one, but the pink adds color to my black coat in the winter.  (And matches my flower on my coat!)  I explained I was there, and what I saw and where it was.  She asked me to send a picture of the one I have...but I had to tell her again when I was there and where it is.  Why!?  Because I have my hopes set on this cute scarf. I want.

A scarf!  My priorities just entertain me sometimes.  I am human, and oh so grateful for Grace.

I have since detached and am working on adopting the attitude of "if it's there it was meant to be, if not, may God bless the woman who wears my scarf...I mean that scarf."

I do this so frequently, I know I do it and still do it.  So I have prayed and asked for God to help me with this.  It's working. His Grace is allowing me to see my words before I speak to allow me to pause and re-asses.


This is one area I am working on. I find as I see a weakness, God is trying to bless me with ways to work on it. So He showed me Ephesians 4:29-32.

"Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion that may impart grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor (shouting vehemently) and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."

This came in a book I was reading about 2 days after learning TKN.  I sat with this and broke it down, I encourage you to as well.

While it's easy for me to get caught in the negative, I work to follow the Peace of God and say what is  the blessing, what can I work on that is good? Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving.

I am mostly focused on using TKN with in my conversations with my husband.  Am I lifting him up, or tearing him down.  Am I pointing out what he has done, again! or am I choosing to let it go and ask How Important Is It?  Is it worth his self-esteem? Not usually.  The many blessings I have gotten and seeing a happy husband more frequently is a blessing itself for my hard work.

Christ's peace be with you,
Dee

Update: I just got a phone call from the shop owner.  She has the scarf and is giving it to me for $5, including shipping!  What a blessing of trying to change my weakness. God is awesome!




Monday, July 30, 2018

Inspired to be myself



Bluebird of Happiness

"Make everyday special by your just being you"

                       ~Mister Rogers

Monday, July 02, 2018

To not make planning my idol



When I list out all the things I want to do in a day, or heck, even in the week or season, I just can't make it work.

I am the Queen of a new schedule, or searching the 'net' for new routines.  I enjoy seeing others ideas. But the bottom line is - I always come back to what works for me.  What's at hand right now.  And that doesn't include counting every 30 min in my day.

God happens to put things in my path and my whole "perfect" schedule - every 30 min increment I had planned - gets thrown off.  "Toss that schedule." "Need to write a new one." "Where's that one schedule that I was on top of my morning. That one will work. I just know it."

Only to try that one for a few days and then that one goes out too.

By God's Grace, I have come to see it's not the schedule. It's not having a way to squeeze in my day all the Household To-Do's, Rest, Crafts, Prayers, Cooking, Reading...not to mention personal - shower, exercise or a lovely bath.  I've tried.  On Paper (and computer). Hundreds of times.  Even tried to fit blogging in from 9:30 - 10.

Guess what? It doesn't work.

I've tried not living with a "schedule" too. I have many friends that don't even have a list.  I've done the "pray for the next right thing", that lands me on the internet for 2 hours! Only to feel like a failure because I got lost in the 'net'.

By grace I see guidelines - not absolutes. Forgiving myself and being grateful for the interruptions.  Not focusing so much on a schedule which is all I think about.  Leave flexibility. Believe me, I have been an absolute girl most of my life.  But being a seasoned homemaker - I have learned what's absolute and what's nice to get done.

I read recently about not making planning my idol.  I don't remember the blog I read it on, but I was again searching for a new way.  "Maybe someone has come up with something that will work for me."   Don't get me wrong, I love to search for ideas.

But the whole point is that my planning, and all the details that go into it, becomes my focus.  My idol.  Scarey.

There is my trap.  Someone's plan to work for me.  What about listening to my needs and my families needs. What about stepping back, finding the peace and looking at my pattern. Don't get me wrong, reading & seeing others plans inspires me to see what works for me.

When I sat down and wrote out  my basic absolutes: prayer time & journaling, exercising, rest, reading, cooking & prepping 3 meals, and having a short prayer time with my husband in the evening - there really isn't 12 hours that I can squish in all my wants for the day or the month. No matter how good it looks on paper.

Hence, I looked at this idea of making my planning my idol.  I had become so focused on planning to "get it all done" that I forget to Breath.  Have you ever heard that Christian song - Breathe?

I am now looking at planning as a whole and as a general blueprint, or guidelines.

It feels like I get so caught up in all the blogs and all the ideas, all the possibilities --- I get overloaded and forget to live. To listen. To Breath.  And to stop letting fear drive me.  Fear of failure if I don't get all my Household in's and out's on paper so I can manage it all.

To love God is to Trust. (My word this year). There is rhythm to the day: an active morning, a calming as the afternoon slides into evening.

There are seasons that God made. He created. We can get back to following those natural rhythms and "Listening".  That is my hope.  I still have a To Do List, always will.  But I don't sit for hours planning, decorating and making every thought about the next plan, or next month.  There is a season to do crafts and a season to garden. A season to sew or learn my autoharp.  There is a season to be active and one to rest.  Scripture speaks of this.

This change in perspective has helped me to weed out all the wants, all the absolutes and "my Plan".  Trying to plan out everything only leaves me feeling chaotic and in desperation trying to find God.

Breathe. Look for your rhythms, and plan, but be watchful it doesn't become your idol.


Monday, June 04, 2018

A Not To Do List

Near Silverton, Co

How many days do I wake up and think of all that needs done, all that I want to do and also try to ask what do You want me to do?

I find many days I have a "15 item to do list" and I know I can only do 3.

I recently heard some great wisdom on K-Love radio- instead of making a to do list today, make a NOT to do list.

Each day make a list of what not to do, and give some space to be able to listen to the Lord.

He speaks in the quietness, not in my "15 things to do" in a "3 thing day" craziness.

I love to walk in peace and be able to Listen.  Today my Not To Do is not fill my afternoon tea time and reading time with "chores". I will take time to refresh before I start dinner, even if that's a 15 minute quiet break listening to the wind blow.

Peace be with you,
D