Sunday, February 26, 2012


I am recovering from a bout of the flu and so I am bound to my chaise lounge these past four days. Only an occasional trip to the kitchen for some tea, to bed to nap and back to the chaise to read have been my explorations this week. I am still bound to the chaise as I write this but feeling better enough to do some writing, so I am on the mend. It always amazes me the blessings I find in every circumstance. The past few days my body has needed repair but my soul even more...  with my body weak my soul is made strong by being nourished with Word. I rarely make time to sit and read, I usually am in the studio with ear phones on or the cd player going. It usually is a favorite message or inspirational word that is playing. But my mind is fixed on the task at hand with occasional  stops to fully digest what I am listening to. 
 Today however, I am absorbed in renewing the mind and spirit. It takes my body to be immobilized sometimes to nourish what really is needed... and for that I am thankful.
It snowed earlier this week and I managed to snap a few shots with my new camera, that I am still getting acquainted with.
I hope you find beauty in this...

All quotes that are not marked are from  One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

One act of thanksgiving when things go wrong with us, is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclinations.
Saint John of Avila

I have to seek God beauty. Because isn't my internal circuitry wired to seek out something worthy of worship? Every moment I live, I live bowed to something. And if I don't see God, I'll bow down before something else.

And whether I am conscious of it or not, any created thing of which I am amazed, it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down. Do I have eyes to see it's Him and not the thing?

And now this--that faith is not a once-in-the-past action, but faith is always a way of seeing, a seeking for God in everything. And if the eyes gaze long enough to see God lifted in a thing, how can the lips not offer thanks. The truly saved have eyes of faith and lips of thanks. Faith is in the gaze of a soul.

Moses who, "kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27)
That is what makes us persevere through life, to see Him who is invisible. It is my prayer, O Lord, open the eyes of my heart, the eyes of my hands, the eyes of my mouth, the eyes of my feet... I long to live all eyes.

"And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them..." (Luke 22:19)  The Greek word here for thanks is "eucharisteo"
The root word of eucharisteo is Charis, meaning "grace". Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took it as a gift.

But there is more, Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds the derivative, the Greek word Chara, meaning "joy".
Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the eucharisteo--the table of thanksgiving.

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." (Sarah ban Breathnach)

The only way to see God manifested in the world around us is with the eyes of Jesus within.

To sit in the theater of God and see His glory crack the dark, to open the eyes of my heart to see the fountain of His grace--thousands of gifts--I have to split heart open to more and more of Jesus.
"Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart..."

I ache-gaze on bits and blades of creation and all things created fade, diminish, and only the features of the creator shimmer, magnified. My eyes see through to Him.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Splints in My Life

You hear the word inspiration so much here in blogland and many times on my posts. It is a word I use quite often because it fits so many aspects of my life. Artistically I am inspired by all the talented women I have come to call friends here on the internet, there are too many to name. The internet has brought many blessings into my life, it has kept me closely connected to those I love, to those I found friendship in and to those I admire from afar. I believe the Lord has also used it to bring inspiration not only for my art and home but also for my spiritual well being. 
The word  inspire 
the act or process of inhaling; breathing in 
to influence, move or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration
to exert an animating, enlivening or exalting influence
to spur on, impel, motivate
For most of my life because of my busy lifestyle, I have not had a lot of "girlfriends".  I have usually had one or two close friends that I would share my life with and then a few friends that have been with me since my early years and through longevity we have kept in touch and are able to pick up where we left off.  I now have my daughters also to share my friendship with but I have to say that is on somewhat of a different level.
The scriptures say, 
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble Eccl. 4:9
No one persons life is perfect, if it is you must not be in the place God has chosen for you. It is through problems that a solution comes, without problems our world would not have the technology and conveniences we have today. Without a problem I cannot see God's solution in my life, which brings faith. 
There are plenty of fractures in my world, each broken heart threatens to keep me immobilized both emotionally and spiritually. In those times it is God I seek first.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken Psalm 62:5

 God then provides the friendships or splints that hold me up and strengthen my fracture. It is through prayer support, wisdom, encouragement and inspiration that my friends provide a strong support for me to lean on.
We all need each other to inspire us on in faith and in life. I want to be spurred on toward the heart of God, even if that means a hard word.  Do you find yourself needing a splint today or maybe you are the Splint in someone else's fractured world. Or perhaps you have both going on. Whatever the case, give thanks and praise to God for it all.  Praise Him for trials – which can grow you in perseverance, character and hope (Romans 5:4)
I am thankful today for the friends in life that care about me and have inspired me along the way. Sometimes you might have not even known you have inspired someone. That is why this blogging world has been such a blessing.  An inspiration full of idea's, beauty and encouragement. This month of February is all about sharing the love, so I would like to continue that love and say thank you to just a few who have inspired, encouraged and challenged me on my way through life's fractures and blessings. Some are bloggers, some are facebookers but all are wild flowers in my bouquet of friendship.
I would like to say a special thank you and I love you to just a couple of wild flowers.
Donna, thank you for  your constant source of energy, advice, prayer and laughter week after week.  I love you Girl.

My sister, Cindy who always has been my best friend.

My friend Marie who has been and is always an inspiration in my life and pushes me to that greater calling.

Also from the blogging world I found a kindred spirit in Deb and she may be the wildest flower yet. She always has a spiritual voice in the sound of laughter.

Another blogging Debra that inspires and edifies with her teachings and gracious friendship.

And I have to add my girl... KC
She has a talent that will lift you to new spiritual heights with a voice that inspires love and kindness.

These women are just a small selection of those that inspire and lift us up daily. They are my inspiration and my splints. There are others of course that I have not mentioned... my mother, my daughters and other friends. But today I just wanted to say a special thank you to these precious women of God, to let them know what a blessing they are in my life.
If you have Girlfriends that the Lord has put in your life, why not write them an email or send them a note or call them today and tell them how special they are to you.


I am linking up with Debra for her Vintage Inspiration Friday 
Most of these women are "vintage" such as a mature work of high quality from a year of a person's work.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Powder Room Re-do

I have been working on the house a little this past week.
 I decided the (very) small powder room downstairs off the hallway needed some attention. It has been at least ten years since I did anything with it, most of my rooms are like that. I plan on painting each room one by one this year. The family room is next! The bathroom as you will see was an after thought, as is the case in most old houses.  Actually what spurred the re-do is I wanted to try a black board wall, they look so fun. I do not have much wall space in this house with all the large windows so this seemed to be the only place I could try this.
These are pictures of the before...
I have a half wall of tile and the rest was painted white. 

The accent color was pink, because the old built in cupboard had been painted pink and I liked that it was aged.

The old French sconces are pink (which is harder to find) I had them mounted not realizing they still had the European light socket in them... so they were never lit. (These btw will be for sale)

So the only light in here is the lamp.

You can see how small this bathroom is, when we replaced the sink it took a custom smaller sink from Kholer and the ugly little thing was $450 twenty years ago.

First thing I did was get rid of the pink... if I was doing a black board wall in here it had to have an industrial edge and the little cupboard just happened to be lined in tin.

I totally forgot what an awful job stripping was...

I decided on a complementing white paint to match the warm gray I was putting on the walls. Martha Stewart's Whetstone gray.
I also decided no money was going to be spent on this project except for the two quarts of paint and the black board paint. I was happy to discover that black board paint can be mixed to the color you choose. I chose moonstone gray. 

I shopped my garage... I came up with the English metal mirror, the oil funnel chandelier, the old giant scoop and wire locker basket.

The skirt I made from some good burlap material I had in the studio. This is a better quality that can be bought in the needlepoint section of the fabric store. I lined it in white linen and applied it with velcro.

I decided to hang the chandelier and go down to one sconce but as you can see I haven't found one yet. I need something simple but rustic, I have some old funky light covers that I will use.

I will also change out the dark cord on the chandelier...

I had these old metal shoe stretchers in my stash that I thought looked good and balanced out the mirror that covers the sconce hole in the wall.

I love this old dress lining advertisement mirror

The chalk board wall is perfect here... you can draw as you sit :)

My little collection of old perfume bottles I kept, but I need a mirror or something in the back of the top shelf to reflect light and the bottles. I couldn't find one to fit so I may need to keep a look out for that also.

I like this look but do not have it anywhere else in the house... I thought I just would have fun with this... and it was.
Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend.

I am linking up with some Friday Fun parties, please join me!

Debra at Common Ground

LaurieAnna's Vintage Farmhouse

At the Picket Fence



The Charm of Home

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I've kept my mouth shut long enough...

Warning...if any of you out there are thin skinned when it comes to your parenting skills (as most of us tend to be), then I apologize now.

First of all... (whenever anyone starts out with that... you know there might be a rant that follows) let me just say, I was not a perfect parent. I made my share of mistakes, still do. My most repetitious prayer was, "Lord, pick up the slack!"

There is a little known fact, parenting never... never ends. In fact, you do more of it after they leave... second little know fact, they take a chunk of your heart with them when they leave and then they divide it, when they multiply... my heart is spread out over 3 states. Let me just say, I did not know this when I started having 6 children, I was a child myself. 
I might not of had so many...that was a joke. 

What is not a joke today is the lack of parenting skills of so many. I have sat in my shop and witnessed parents interacting with their children and had to bite my tongue. We are raising a generation of children that think they are entitled.
I have thought long and hard about the kids today and maybe I am getting old, but I really don't think that is it. Oh, you might say my grandparents thought the same way but guess what...they didn't have the problems with their young as we do today. Yes, I know there are so many negative influences today but that is only more reason to step up our skills. If you are a parent, you are not your child's friend at least not before they become adults. And when did it become written that we need to explain for 20 minutes the reasons we say NO. I have witnessed mother's explaining to their 3 year old's the reason they could not run through my shop for 10 minutes... sorry but I do believe a 3 year old's attention span is 3 seconds. I have had mother's snap at me, for me having to tell their children not to run back and forth because I was afraid for them. Once a mother in turn informed me this was a public place... I am not going to go into details about the many confrontations I have had throughout the years in this area but I do want to say that if someone would have said something to me when I was a young mother, I would have been apologetic and mortified! 

And then there is the way the kids talk to their parents... all I have to say is, if you do not teach a child respect by the time they reach your height you are going to have a long haul. Now, I am short but my son says that even today when I use a certain tone he is still afraid.  He is just kidding but when they get to be teenagers all you have is bluff... because they will challenge you. 

Now on a personal note, with 5 girls I can't say the hormone years were my favorite but I did enjoy them... some were a little more challenging then others. You really have to pick and choose your battles and keep a good sense of humor mixed with a lot of love. My point is teenage years are hard and they don't even know why they are acting the way they are so before all that you had better set a good foundation for them. In knowing who they are and respecting others for who they are. That comes from a heart raised in gratitude not entitlement, not in getting all that I want because everyone else has it. Expecting you to put them in every sport or taking them where ever they want to go. That should be a privilege. Children have so much pressure on them today to be competitive... come in first... be a winner... get that scholarship. If that child is grounded in love and encouraged to be the best he can be as in Col. "let everything you do, do heartily as unto the Lord", then that child will be a winner no matter what and be content in whatever life hands him. Because guess what, you will not always be first in everything. Handling life's disillusionment and using that as a stepping stone to the next challenge is what it is all about not winning. 

I am sorry if I am stepping on toes but being busy every second of the day is not good... there has to be time for just family. You should bump into one another once in awhile... and the bedroom doors were not allowed to be shut for long periods of time. Yes, the kids need privacy and I allowed that but No isolation was allowed.  Now you have computers, i phones, televisions, ipods ... why would any of them come out of their bedrooms???  Families need to interact.

Parents take back the power... your kids need you to be strong, loving and accountable. They are growing up much too fast, let them be kids and shove them outside to play~they don't have to have that DS everywhere they go!

I know I am on a soap box here, but someone has to say something... the parent magazines and books are so confusing today. I think parents are afraid to be firm and go by their instincts. A river without banks becomes a stinky swamp. Your children need guidance even though they rebel against it. Oh sure I would have loved to be the good guy and friend when my kids were growing up but that wasn't my job. My job was to shape and mold 6 beautiful, loving, God filled persons. My purpose was to train them for a life that wasn't always fair (in fact that word was never allowed) and to know who they were in Christ and then the world. I am proud of my children, they are loving, well rounded happy people and that is because I trusted them to my Heavenly father. I still do... pray without ceasing. My mother still spends many hours on her knees for me... I am so thankful for that. I trust God with my children, they are not my responsibility any longer, I have turned them over to Him... they are His... always were! I trust Him that is all there is.

I want to say, that my children always came first in my life and by that I mean I loved them unconditionally and would give my life for them but they were not allowed to talk back or tell me what to do. And the most important factor was the attitude... no bad attitude. If their actions were fine and their attitude wasn't they got in trouble. As a parent there were a couple of laws that were essential...
1. Always follow through with a threat and don't threat anything you weren't willing to follow through with. This one takes a lot of work, it means getting up off the couch from your favorite show and dealing with whatever is going on. Not yelling.
2. Be consistent, if you said no at one time then that means no the next time. Do not let them wear you down.
These are just some tips I found to be useful, all children are different and will challenge you a different levels, I had some that all I had to do is look at them wrong and they would crumble and then I had the defiant ones... you do not want to get into power struggles with any of them. Be smart, if you know your child you can discipline them and make it fun.

Enjoy your children they grow so fast, jump on the bed with them, laugh and love them - sometimes that also means no, because I said so.

Blessings this Sunday
PS I found this on pinterest and had to add it:

Babies Don't Keep- 
Mother, O' Mother, come shake out your cloth, Empty the dustpan, poison the moth. Hang out the washing, make up the bed, Sew on a button and butter the bread. Where is the mother whose house is so shocking? She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking. Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue, Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo. Dishes are waiting and bills are past due, Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek - peekaboo. The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew, And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo. But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo. Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue? Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo. The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep! I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep. ~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton