Endless Gifts-end of February

Roses in a hammered silver vase

Me, on the deck, with my face turned to the blue sky- that promise of spring,  my eyes to the sun, while I brace myself to the deck and the wind whips me round. That hard February wind-  I brace against the cold in the bright, bright sun. I stand as long as I can take it.. and then I come in. My mind completely rejuvenated. My hair falling tousled around my face after the fresh tussle from the wind. My face and feet hold the chill memory- longest. The cold eases away in the warm house. I send them out to play.

That February light slanting through the Valentine heart banner and blessing candle, flower, cake banner, too. A tangle of hearts and a beam of golden light. February: a  month of beauty. I feel like a flower. I cannot help but turn my face to the sun.

Valentine Card Making station and a dish of chocolate and raspberry fig bars. A chocolate cake and chocolate chip pancakes.  A new tradition born out of love.

Strawberry Smoothie more like soft serve. Tasty goodness.

Finding my walk-  I stepped off the curb and down the road and as my foot hit the road, my heart said, “This is your walk.” And I went. Years of walking down miles of roads… and I pray the time has come, once more. I found the walk. Now- to find the time?

Treasured friends and their cards and their words

the way antibiotics relentlessly push back a massive strep throat and swallowing free again

my heart captured by Maryland sky- for a long time I resisted. But now, I am convinced, one of her glories- is her moody, shifting, golden, glorious sky and it is soul filling to step outside and breathe deep and let my hungry gaze apprehend as far as I can see. Every type of streaking, shifting, huge and puffy cloud- every golden thread and glimmer, and the blues…it’s glory.

Micah- well again. Praise be!

Todd.

End of February and a Birthday to celebrate this upcoming week

Grace in an Envelope

 

 

 

February- a month of beauty

I am grateful for grace found, felt in February.

This month, in spite of unaccountably warm weather and sun, has still been challenging for me. I feel like I need a refresher course to enliven my homeschool. February, when all the pencils go missing, the books are all topsy turvey, the freshness of the new school year is behind us- but there is still so much stretching ahead.  When decisions and courses and schedules and plans for next year need to be made and considered, while still pressing though the every day duties. When I realize I have slid away from some important priorities, and I need to relight the fire and return to their blaze. I need to take time to reconsider. I need to take time to reorder. I need to take a little time for a refresher.

We have spent more time outside in these unseasonably spring like days and that has been so good. Very good. I surrendered to the unlikely spring after feeling very confused and waylaid by the irregular weather. These days are good reminders for me to live one day at a time. I found myself checking ten day weather forecasts. Something I rarely ever do! Will it get cold again? How cold?

I had a hard day Friday. It was like a blanket of gloom was lying heavy on my mind and heart. There was no good reason for this. I think it was merely chemical, something my body was going through… and I couldn’t seem to throw the heavy off. I am grateful to say that I woke up feeling entirely different today- the next day. The heaviness gone. And, O! I am so glad.

In the midst of my gloom and struggle, I forced myself to take pictures (not pictured here the steaming tea pot I tried to capture ever so ineffectively, a little arrangement of owls, our piano) while feeling so very weighed down with so much. I downloaded pictures I have taken since my last February beauty post. I choose to light the candle of beauty against the heavy pall of my own difficulty.

I know that my heart is transformed when I take small steps- when I make even just a bit of an effort.

I sat outside with my small children while they cavorted and chortled and ran full-out through the lawn. This also helped.

And that is also what this little two post blog series has been about for me:

transforming my heart, transforming February.

Years ago, now, the Lord used Endless Gifts to transform my heart and mind; therefore, my life. And I am still counting…

And finding beauty in February is just another extension of this means of grace.

Thank You, Lord.

Choosing to think on:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [e]lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [f]dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4: 8-9 NASB

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Bird Sky

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Maryland Gold

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Just winging through her day

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Cardinal Love and February Beauty

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Abi’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Steaming Tea

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Light filtered through hearts

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Sunset streaking

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The day I looked over and found their sweet friends tucked in

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Valentine Make-Up Party

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Valentine Fig Bar Celebration

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A Walk after Illness

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A Box of Happy

 

 

Endless Gifts

The slim grin of the moon and her companion star sparkling against the cold, deep night; so bright

Chocolate on a long, hard day

Lularoe from my sister! I can’t believe how much I love it.

Voxer. It is fun!!- for all its crazy loudness. And how much we sound alike. Love. Super fun to be driving children around and leave a little Vox for my sister who is also driving children around. Ha!

A flaming Maryland sunset with my love

Two resin bluebirds on my windowsill

February: a month of beauty

My darlings playing trains

The birthday cake that landed itself in almost first place family favorite. Pefection!

A birthday so sweet and full of love… and

their beautiful, happy pictures made just for me

an unexpected bouquet of fragrant, pink-rimmed roses

a clean kitchen and his glad surprise

the day I found myself at the table with my five sons…just them and me.

Her- playing Pachelbel’s Canon… and those strings…just sing. And we play a bit, together.

Birthday dinner tradition with my brother and conversation. Good food and dessert!

How I gather my basket and my books round myself and the wave of homesickness…and the feeling of “missing”  -that is the only way I can define it- just fills my heart…Like something so essential to myself has returned to me. Can you be homesick for yourself? Perhaps this is an introverted thing? It just felt like coming home. Several journals, and  my prayer books, my prayer prompt cards, my Bible study, The Power of A Praying Parent, The Power of A Praying Wife, the old edition of Heartfelt Discipline, Life Giving Home and Mission of Motherhood, and the little stack of novels that children have recommended me to read. A room in my heart- alive again.  I hope.

The whole world of Mitford at our feet

 

 

 

 

 

A Poem for February; A Poem for Love-George Herbert Love (III)

I can’t remember if I shared this before on this blog. We are celebrating God’s Love and this is the poem selection that was supposed to grace our Table.  Valentine’s Day celebrated better late than never! Note: I never cared to celebrate Valentine’s Day for years and years…finding it a holiday that can wreak emotional havoc. However, I have discovered that it is a perfect ministry opportunity to pour out love and grace upon my family. So, now I celebrate wholeheartedly for the Lord and for the grace He has poured out in my life.

Love (III)

George Herbert, 1593 – 1633

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,

Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack

From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning

If I lacked anything.

“A guest,” I answered, “worthy to be here”:

Love said, “You shall be he.”

“I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,

I cannot look on thee.”

Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,

“Who made the eyes but I?”

“Truth, Lord; but I have marred them; let my shame

Go where it doth deserve.”

“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?

My dear, then I will serve.”

“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”

So I did sit and eat.

The Things They Say

After several days too many, finally- its evening and I am down. I am curled against my favorite chair. A small son draped comfortably next to me. I am listening to eager chatter. So much eager chatter. And it is doing me

SO much good. So good.

An hour or so earlier, I was gallantly rallying reluctant troops. Trying to reclaim my domain. I was rising up… albeit sickly and faltering, but rising none-the-less.

He is talking, sharing thoughts, ideas, I comment about his schoolwork, I ask if his clipboard (school checklist) needs to be refreshed and suddenly, in the midst, he is speaking my very own mind…

how comfortable this chair is… how cozy sitting together… we are so cozy…

Then! in his very own trademark way…

“Tomorrow’s going to be ‘crack-the-whip day!’ Tomorrow’s is going to be ‘crack-the-whip-with-the-clipboard-day!”- he says emphatically.

Oh! How I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed some more. And we raced together to this screen so I could capture it.

Because he is right. Tomorrow is going to be crack -the-whip day and he knows it all too well. May I reclaim my domain with grace and love and patience and sweetness and kindness and goodness….and not with whip cracking fierceness. 🙂

The Things They Say. Joshua.

February: A Month of Beauty

images captured but not in chronological order

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A little arrangment: resin bluebird! remnants of an absolutely delish birthday cake in the background

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A brief February Snow

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Those clouds…they were actually heavy brooding blue and floating with purpose across the sky

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February afternoon sky the day of snow

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new letters for the mantle

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Pippin Love

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and Cuteness

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Revisiting this old favorite

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with my own little ducklings

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His darling brown patch

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A clean section of the table is a thing of beauty to me

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Birthday Roses

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Beauty in so many senses: sight, smell, touch. Velvet beauty. I press my face to them almost every time I walk by.

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2.6.17- that February sky- stretched cross cloud; sky blue and almost balmy