Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Our Summer Gardens

How can gardening give so much joy? Maybe it's partly because we have front row seats to the beauty of God's creativity!

We're so blessed to live on a half an acre in the middle of small town Nebraska, very near Omaha. Close to the city where we are often, but far enough away to experience the quiet of small town living.

We love having enough yard room to have a small veggie garden, an herb garden which is right near our patio, easy to slip out to snip a few herbs as I prepare a meal. We also have a number of flower garden spots throughout the yard. It is really quite glorious, and we are so thankful!

The digital scrapbook page above gives a quick glimpse into some of the beauty that God gives us to enjoy ... all right in our own yard. Our veggie garden, herb garden, and flowers are changing day by day; such a joy as we observe the growth. It's a great time of the year!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

How Do You Wait?

When we're in need
of comfort, or direction,
wisdom, or peace,
where do we go?

And where do we go amidst
this very challenging year 
in our country, in our world.
One challenge on top of
another, running together,

Keeping up with the news
is good; but keeping our eyes
constantly on the news doesn't
bring us peace, or even answers.
For our hope is not in news,
or even in man's best efforts.

But I can give my prime time,
my best time, my everyday time;
 all that I am
to waiting on God.

For our hope is in Him.
And we will find comfort,
direction, wisdom,
and peace.

"Let all that I am
wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in Him.
He alone is my rock 
and my salvation,
my fortress where
I will not be shaken.
He is my refuge,
a rock where 
no enemy can reach me.
O my people,
trust in God at all times.
Pour out your heart to Him,
for God is our refuge"
(Psalm 62:5-8 NLT)

Praying these words for my own heart, and also for yours. And for each one in this troubled world filled with pain and hurt. He is the source of hope, of refuge, of all that we long for.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Embroidery: A New Project

Things have been quieter than usual here on my blog, and also on my Instagram account. We've just recently made a huge transition in our lives, having moved off from ministering full-time with Cru, to a new position of "Staff Emeritus"! We've loved our 29 years with Cru, and now, are loving being able to enter into this new season of retirement!

Even though we're continuing to honor the COVID-19 recommendations for the "vulnerable age" category of life we are in, life has been full these past few months! Lots to care for in big transitions, in addition to cataract surgeries for my husband and some other recent medical appointments as well. 

But in the midst of it all, I've been continuing to love a new hobby that I picked up in April ...

I have loved continuing on with some embroidery projects. A great thing about embroidery is that it can be picked up for just 15 minutes at a time, in the midst of a full life. Click here to read how I got started on it the beginning of April. I completed my first project (above) the end of May. I loved this tutorial (with videos) teaching some of the many stitches while creating these beautiful little flowers.

My second project is learning with another embroidery artist - click here. For a small price you can purchase this pattern (above), and with it comes a YouTube tutorial where each stitch is demonstrated. I am loving this project, and already have my sights on more of her patterns for the future!

What a perfect, relaxing way to finish off a day ... stitching and creating a beautiful embroidery design which points to the beauty of God's creation. I love having flowers growing outdoors on our patio and in our gardens, and also, I love these indoor flowers coming to life as I stitch!

What are some hobbies that you're enjoying these days?

Friday, June 5, 2020

A Time to Pause

As we near the end of another week filled with pain in our world, our country, our cities, may we find some moments to pause our racing hearts and thoughts, to bring our grief to our faithful, loving God, who cares and knows us better than we even know ourselves...⠀

To be still is to receive.⠀
To faithfully pause,  
to soak up His Love and His Grace.⠀
The soaking up, the receiving,
is what brings growth.⠀
To still our souls is 
to open the door to receive.⠀
To be what He created us to be.⠀
To grow into something beautiful.⠀
By His power alone.⠀
Becoming beautiful and fruitful.
For Him.

Praying for comfort, for the things that only He can do in my heart, in your heart, in every heart.⠀
And can you even grasp the beauty of these fuchsia flowers?! Some new flower buds opened up this week, and I can hardly even contain the beauty. May we be in awe of the things that only God can do - even in me, and also in you.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

After Ten Weeks of "Coronavirus Stay-at-Home"

Even during these ten weeks of coronavirus and of "staying-at-home" ...

Life continues on as always,
one moment at a time. For our days, our weeks, our months, are still made up of moments. The daily, and the present. We've viewed life through fresh eyes maybe more than ever before. And I hope we have been learning, and are continuing to embrace that life is really about the simple and the quiet, about the basic things - of faithfulness, of love, of paying attention, moment-by-moment - in the present. For this is where God is, where we can hear His still, small voice. "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:23) And even though we may miss the going, and the doing ... just maybe He is transforming us for the better.

How are you doing these days?
May you be filled with His love,
His grace, His mercy. Each day.
Each moment.

And isn't it a blessing that
we've been able to welcome
the beautiful season of spring
during these ten weeks?
New life and beauty in our yard
has brought us so much joy.
The blossoms on our crab apple tree
(photo above) were so beautiful,
and now we've finished planting
our veggie garden and our herb garden.
So much beauty everywhere ...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

In the Kitchen: During These "Stay-at-Home" Weeks

Sharing some fun things happening in my kitchen in recent days/weeks when there has been a lot more time for cooking!

I love that food is both delicious, and also so beautiful! This is a recipe that I made for the first time recently ... Spinach and Bacon Quiche. You can find this recipe at Tastes Better from Scratch, a website where I often go to find tasty recipes.

A few little notes: I used a homemade pie crust that I had in the freezer (already rolled out in the pie pan), and also added an extra egg or two along with a little extra evaporated milk (which I used instead of the half and half that the recipe calls for). It turned out so delicious - love this recipe!

This is one of our favorite breakfast dishes, and usually gets made at least once a month here. And it's a treat for me that it's my dear hubby who makes this, as well as some other breakfast recipes! He likes to make a big pot of this (photo above) which lasts for multiple breakfasts for the two of us.

I've posted this before, but will include the recipe again here ...

Add to Plan to Eat

Cinnamon Date Oatmeal

Source: Family Favorites
Course: Breakfast
Main Ingredient: Rice & Grains
Serves: 2 or more
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 14 cup fructose
  • 13 cup nuts chopped
  • 1 cup dates chopped
  • 34 teaspoon salt
  • 38 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 12 cups water
  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. (Can add extra dates and/or other fruit, such as frozen sliced peaches.)
  3. Boil in saucepan, stirring constantly, until thickened.
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Plan To Eat

We often prepare it with extra dates, and also some frozen sliced peaches, or other fruit. Or, it's great with the ingredients as listed. A nutritious, satisfying, and very yummy breakfast all the year through! (You can find my original post for this recipe by clicking here.)

I've also been baking a constant supply of bread here during these weeks ... enough for the two of us to always have bread on hand each day, with extra in the freezer, and also extra loaves to bless others with. I use my brand new Bosch machine (Christmas gift!), which mixes and kneads six loaves at a time. A topic for another post in the future! We love this bread!

These stay-at-home days have also prompted me to try making a few basic ingredients at home, such as this Cream of Chicken Soup. You can find the recipe by clicking here.

This can be made in bulk and frozen. It has even made a quick lunch for us a few times. Just add about 1 1/2 cups of extra milk to a single recipe, along with some extra shredded chicken.

I have really been loving extra time in the kitchen these past weeks! And haven't even missed eating out for seven weeks in a row!

What have you been cooking up in your kitchen during these "stay-at-home" days/weeks?

Monday, April 27, 2020

Give Thanks in All Circumstances

Does anyone else
need to be reminded as I do?

If often takes me awhile to give in,
to give thanks in a difficult situation.
In hindsight, I can readily see
that God was at work, and I can
offer genuine thanks from my heart.

But in the midst of a hard time,
a challenge? A roadblock?
Well, I need His mercy and grace
to lift my eyes from circumstances
that may be confusing; lift my eyes up 
to our loving Father who is in control.

"For believers aiming to be set apart
and made more like Christ,
every circumstance becomes an
opportunity to rejoice and give thanks,
having access to the Father through
prayer while waiting to understand
their circumstances."
(Beholding and Becoming,
Ruth Chou Simons)

Thank You, Lord, for Your patient
love and grace, enabling us to see
You at work today, giving us joy
in the process, in the present -
all for Your Glory, and our good.

The Lord says,
I will guide you along
the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you
and watch over you.
(Psalm 32:8)