Monday, April 30, 2012

Random Thoughts: Strength to Strength

Sometimes, early in the morning when all is very quiet, I sneak into my neighbors garden and take pictures.

I've been especially grateful for these few moments alone to enjoy God's creation and to ponder... the last couple weeks I've been restless and fidgety.

These restless, fidgety times come and go-- my mind gets contemplative, my body gets jumpy.  Anxious and agitated, contemplation is heavy; the burden feels permanent. I feel at odds living in the middle of blessings, and yet searching for something lovely to fix my eyes.

I was reminded to actively, intentionally, pursue Christ's love. To remember my dependance on Him is not weakness or burden, but a gift

I had grown weary and my time in the garden encouraged me to pursue beauty as defined by Him; to remember that Christ's work in me is made perfect through my weakness.I had to go back to remembering that above all good things, He is the most lovely.

At times I can't believe its true... that the God who dresses the fields with unimaginable beauty, clothes me in His love and calls me His own.

I instinctively want to hide the blight in my life; those places that don't seem pretty. But I cannot hide myself from Him who willingly fashions beauty from ashes. The one, true and Holy God who gives and takes away; who calls me to share in his sufferings, and feeds me on the fruit of joy... He will lead from strength to strength.

{Psalm 84: 6- 9}

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!
6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring;
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
7 They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears before God in Zion.  8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!
9 Behold our shield, O God,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Click on Over!

I've got another post up over at Finding Balance.

Long Road Home Click on over and say hello!

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happiness Is...

Happiness is...


...fine china and dirt.

... the Carolina sky.

... woods in the morning.

... glittery decorations.

... clean and sparkly kids.

... a path worn out in my own back yard. 

What makes you feel happy?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hello Dahila

The week has been quiet in The Little Yellow House on the Hill.

Quiet is nice.

We are just plugging away at school. Trying with everything we've got to finish strong. The problem is, we're fried. We started school in July so we could take a few extra weeks for travel this year. This is the part when it gets hard: your almost done, but the motivation to finish is tough. I wish I could say this was only true for the students. But its tough for the teacher too. I'm ready to take off the "educator" hat for at least 6 weeks, and just be mom... but I must. press. on. Only five more weeks.

I haven't had a lot of time for creativeness lately, which makes me feel... weird. Going to have to figure out how to get into my office and soon. I made the butterflies last week out of embroidery floss, and now I need to decide how to use them. Pondering.

In other news the garden is beautiful. The Iris' are three feet tall....

The Daisies' are happy...

The Azalea's are going strong....

And the Dahlia's are making their entrance...

My heart is quiet, but it is full.
The Garden Heart - a gift made and given by my favorite 14 year old.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Words Aren't Enough

Easter morning was glorious with this magnificent sunrise. He Is Risen Indeed.

I wish there was a way to wrap up this Easter weekend but my heart is full and my words are few.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Watching The Mister teach his son. 

  • Getting a (happy) lump in my throat when I see how he's grown.

  • Picnic lunch among the flowers.

  • Taking a beading class with The Girl.

  • Purple and silver - double strand.

  • Turquoise and orange, worn with a cheesy grin.

  • Spending lots of time as a family: shopping, movies, walking, talking.

  • Watching my husband share a gift he is exceedingly humble about, and being proud enough for both of us.

  • Listening to the sounds of the adult Sunday School class next-door sing a hymn a cappella, and holding back my tears.

  • Knowing that I am being prayed for, and experiencing JOY.

  • Answered prayer, twice over.

  • A surprise walk with a friend and neighbor. A divine appointment.

  • Watching peace chase away anxiety. 

  • Flowers that bloomed just in time.
It was a beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

True Spring

2 Cor. 5:17
Crocheting butterflies and feeling contemplative.


I'm thinking about the Spring that came 2000 years ago. The One that changed the course of time. The One who made all things new...

He broke bread with his friends, knowing what was to come. 

Would those ancient words bring comfort when, after dinner in the garden his companions, bellies full and and eyelids heavy, fell asleep?

My soul is very sorrowful, even to death...

But they didn't understand the depth of that statement, and sleep seduced them from the One who would give His life so they might live.

Your will be done... he spoke in prayer, content to set us free.

With courage, with love, he called him friend - the betrayer whose kiss was a lie. 

Rooster sound. One, two, three.

All this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets...


This has taken place that we might be a new creation. 

His promises are always true.

In Christ, we can experience true spring. 

The old has passed. The new has come.

(All scripture quoted from  Matthew 26 unless otherwise linked)

FindingBalance Post

Two posts in one day?

Crazy, I know!

But I am SO excited because today I have a post up at FindingBalance.  You may remember TrueCampaign from past posts here at La Vida Dulce. True Campaign is a Core Program within the FindingBalance media ministry.

She Watches Me was a piece I wrote a couple years ago, but decided recently to submit. I am thrilled that they are posting it and would love for you to click on over!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Garden Morning

This morning I worked in the garden for over an hour while a smooth breeze made the trees creek. Honestly, if you haven't had the privilege to sit in the woods and listen to pines sway gently in the morning breeze, I sincerely hope you get the chance. It's amazing to hear the birds chirping (especially the Cardinals, they're so vocal these days) and what sounds like an old wood rocking chair slowly creek back and forth. So soothing.

I went this weekend to buy some plants for the yard and got totally suckered by the Gerber Daisies. They were like small children begging to come home. I simple couldn't resist them. What's worse, The Girl was with me. If there is one thing I have passed on to that child its an insatiable love for flowers.

We were doomed. She couldn't resist, and I couldn't tell her no. We now have daisies, marigolds, violets, pansies, and two other flower pots of something... what?... I don't know, but they are pretty.

Honestly, the flowers were total impulse buys because there was no need to bring color into the yard. The Azalea's are having their day.

In the garden, things are going well. My potato tower is sprouting.  What started as a full tower is now two-thirds filled. I didn't realize gravity would pull down the soil so much. Oops!

Moving over to the green beans, I had bigger concerns... I was a little alarmed this morning when I saw leaves of three. The rule of thumb in the piney woods is leaves of three, let it be. But apparently not all plants of this nature are mean a grouchy.

This isn't a picture of our yard, but its a view from part of my walk/run routes. And it is exactly how I feel on the beginning of this spring break: down hill after a long climb; welcoming and beautiful.

Happy Monday!