Monday, June 27, 2011

A Country Tea

I love having tea outside on a beautiful sunny day

And what could be better than ice cream and berries?

I occassionally make complicated delicate desserts, but most of the time I prefer something easier with my coffee or tea...
otherwise I might not have time to do it at all.
My main requirement is that it tastes good - pretty is nice too.

 I have shared this china with you before. It was my grandmothers, passed down to me.
She would be so happy to know I am sharing it with you!
Royal Albert Autumn Rose 

 I like the sound of running water, it's so soothing,
especially on a warm summer day.
It reminds me of a Bible verse I memorized years ago,
"He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." Psalm 1:3
 Talking about the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord.

 The roses in my vase are from a bush in the front yard.
They are simple carpet roses but I think they are lovely cut and brought in the house. They last a long time.

 I planted Red Flame grapes to grow along the rails of my back deck to add a bit of shade in the summer.
I'm blessed with the delicious fruit when it ripens.
They remind me of another verse...
"I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;
for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5

There is so much beauty all around us if we look for it.
"...whatever things are true...noble...just...pure...lovely...of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8

Thank you for joining me on the back deck for tea today!

It was delicious!


Also linking up with...

Friday, June 24, 2011

No Rhyme or Reason

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
(Matthew 12:36 – 37)

Someone asked me at church on Sunday if I had written any new poems lately. In the course of our short conversation, I made the comment that there was no rhyme or reason to how often I wrote a poem. Later that afternoon, I'm sure it was the Holy Spirit who reminded me of those words as I cleaned up the house.

“No rhyme or reason?” How could I say that? Of course there was a rhyme or there wouldn’t be a poem, and for the reason, shouldn’t it be to glorify God with the instrument He's placed in my hand – a pen?

Why do we so often say things we don’t really mean? Well, maybe not everyone does, but I do. When I do, I be-little the very words that are meant to bring life and light to others by sharing the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. I make them cheap and meaningless when I spew them out thoughtlessly. Words have the power to tear down or build up. They should not be spent foolishly.

There is a rhyme or reason for everything we do. Every moment, every word given to us by God is intended to be used to its fullest, to be a blessing to others, and to bring Him glory. For the poet especially – There is always a rhyme or a reason to set their pen to paper, for in doing so they acknowledge that He is their rhyme, and He is their reason.

by Charlotte Foster

My pen is filled with liquid words just waiting to flow out.
To write a poem that points to God for those who harbor doubt.

It’s just a Bic with dark blue ink, there’s nothing fancy here.
It holds no power of its own, it moves when God draws near.

If all the words were gathered and stored within this pen.
Their weight could not be measured with instruments of men.

For God created words more important than we know.
With them we utter curses or blessings we bestow.

He calls His son, “The Living Word,” His written plan fulfilled.
God’s spirit pouring out of men on Bible pages spilled.

It’s not our words that matter, nor the silly thoughts of man.
But words placed in the heart by God and His pen placed in our hand.

For all the words belong to Him, He’s the author of them all.
Let’s use them for His purpose and answer to His call.

Every pen or pencil can write a praise or prayer.
Some can write a song or poem if only they would dare.

God can use the words you write to give encouragement.
To save a life that once was lost because a note you sent.

The person who was lonely can know the Saviors love.
Because you listened and obeyed the voice that’s from above.

Words can be a tiny spark to light hopes dying flame.
Speak life and love into a life that will never be the same.

They’re a candle in the darkness, a light upon the hill.
Words spoken with compassion, empty broken hearts can fill.

We’ll never know till God reveals all that words can do.
So if your hand can hold a pen these words are meant for you!

Now we have received not the spirit of the world,
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
which things we also speak,
not in words taught by human wisdom,
but in those taught by the Spirit,
combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
(1 Corinthians 2:13)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just Too Busy!

Blog Tour Book Review:

Just Too Busy - Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical

Meet the Author~

JOANNE KRAFT loves to encourage women. A sought-after speaker, Kraft has been published in Today’s Christian Woman, In Touch, ParentLife, Kyria, and P31 Woman magazine. She serves as Marriage Study group leader, leader of Inspire Christian Writers, and is a 911 Dispatcher in Sacramento County, California. She is married and has four children.

If I could get into a time machine and travel back several years to when my five boys were young, I would take this book with me, and there would certainly be some changes made in our daily routine.
That familiar statement, "time stops for no one," is true, but time can, in a sense, slow down for those who choose to eliminate some of the busyness that takes their days hostage.

In her book, Joanne speaks to those moms and dads who feel they are being held captive to activity and are in bondage to the busyness in their lives. Basically all moms and dads! She covers some tough areas of parenting and offers real solutions to busyness problems that not only affect our children, but have pierced through the heart of society. As the daughter of a "hard-charging Marine" she doesn't beat around the bush, but brings the truth right out in the open; using her gift of humor and a good helping of God's Word.

The pages of this book are filled with the true story of how one family put their foot on the brake of busyness and stopped their out of control schedule from running away with their lives. Kraft encourages other families to slow down, take time out, and enjoy the simple things - enjoy their time together. You will find yourself easily identifying with this author as she takes you with her on a radical journey through her family's twelve month sabbatical from their over-active lifestyle. A Radical Sabbatical.

The chapters are written in an easy format for readers to digest, and end with straight forward questions that gives the reader an opportunity to apply what they have learned to their own busy life. This book will challenge you, encourage you, and equip you to do something the rest of the world may see as radical - to say "yes" to the best, and "no" to the rest.

I don't have a time machine, so there won't be any going back for me. That is one of the points of this book - you only get one chance to raise your children, no trial runs, no do overs. I would recommend this book to all parents and grandparents who want to leave a legacy of peace and joy on the branches of their family tree and not just blurred memories of activity.

This book is available now at , , and Barnes & Noble

Leave a comment and enter to win a $25 gift card! Winner to be announced on June 30th.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Having Tea with a bumble bee...

Why do women like flowers so much?
I've thought about this question and I think I have a clue to the answer.

I think it is because we were created in a garden. Our heritage began there among the flowers and plants with God. I think our hearts ache for be back where life began.

They always catch my
Whether growing along the roadside or on a teacup.

They are a visual delight. So many textures and colors, even fragrances!

I'm amazed at the things God created for us to tend...and the thought that His first choice for us was a garden. He looked at it and said, "It is good."

What could be more perfect than flowers and teacups...having tea in a garden?

With the bumble bees and butterflies.

I agree with is good.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Planting seeds?

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows that he will also reap."
Galations 6:7

What are you planting today? Every day we plant something, what is it today? When the sun goes down on the horizon and you look back over this day, what seeds will you have sown in the ground of your life?

Every action - word, attitude, kind deed, or sin finds its way into the soil of our futures. They sprout and grow into something tangible - good or bad. It's as simple as planting a garden, you plant a pumpkin seed and by golly, you get a pumpkin plant that produces pumpkins. There is nothing difficult to understand about that. Yet, we often don't see the similarity to the seeds we plant every day as we go about our lives. I don't mean "you" I mean "we." We as a people just don't seem to get this simple truth. If we did I think there would be a lot less divorces, broken homes, wayward children, mental illness, and suicides. Because I think if we really got it, we would intentionally plant the kind of seeds each day that would bring the fruit into our lives we desire, like love, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, peace, encouragement and all those things we like to receive from others. And if we could see the ugly plants our harmful actions produce, we would be more careful to not sow bad seeds.

It's a good thing God's mercy is new every morning and He gives us a brand new day in which to cultivate new seeds. It is never too late to plant goodness. The sooner we start, the faster it will grow up and overshadow the bad plants. One thing is for sure, God means what He says... we will reap what we sow.

What are you planting today?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Teacups and Monterey

My husband and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary last week in Monterey. We found a lovely boutique hotel right on the water in the heart of Cannery Row. The room was decorated with romantic colors and fabrics, and of course I took lots of pictures.

There were Cd's in the room of soft music, John Trent's "Monterey Nights" which I kept playing the entire time. Breakfast was served to our room every morning; this I thought was particularly nice (I'm a mom of five boys...that never happens at home!)

There were no teacups involved with breakfast, but the coffee was good!

We spent some time in the rooftop garden while the sun was shining.

One day we decided to rent bikes and ride along the bike trail that travels through the entire town. As we were riding along, I spotted a huge barn-like structure with the word ANTIQUES across the front. Before I knew what happened, my bike bolted off the trail and stopped abruptly in front of that antique store. My husband was very understanding about the detour and even offered to stay with the bikes while I had a look inside. I stepped through the door and all around me were shelves covered with beautiful old things...vintage beauties. Dishes, doilies, tea pots and teacups to name a few. It was almost like heaven (but not, because heaven has Jesus and He is even better than teacups and pretty things:). There was so much to see, I had to leave and come back later with the car. When we went back, I found this teacup and my husband purchased it for me.

I love having something like this to add to my memories of the trip.

A few days after coming home I visited my mom and brought a bouquet of flowers home from her garden. Her roses are in full bloom.

I enjoyed the flowers and the teacup on my deck.

Teacups and roses seem (to me) like the perfect pair!