Monday, June 30, 2014

Remembering and Refreshing

It's always good to pause, and to remember. I'm one who loves to capture memories, and hold them close. To be thankful for God's gifts to us. And a new month, a new season, and even opening up a new journal to use, fills me with joy. It's a new beginning, a time to be refreshed in what is most important.

I will remember June ...

A month filled with family events, some captured through digital scrapbooking and shared in a few posts ...

Our oldest granddaughter's Senior Recital and Graduation from High School! (click here) We were so blessed to be able to travel to TX to celebrate together with Abigail!

In between the two weekends of graduation celebrations in TX, we were blessed to spend five days, just the two of us, relaxing and being refreshed at a beautiful state park.
(click here)

And later in the month of June - a very significant day ... my sweet hubby's 70th birthday! No one can believe he turned 70, as he looks and acts much younger - so thankful for him, and love him so much!
(click here)

My posting here was a bit less than usual in June, as the month was filled with so many special events. And also, there was a bit less posting as I needed to pause in the midst of the very busy spring season that we had. There was no time to post any recipes, something which is fun for me to do here. But ... there was time to write a few devotional posts, my very favorite thing to do.

I am sensing a need these weeks to focus more intently again on listening - pausing from the busyness of life, and taking time to really listen. To His Words, to those I love ... to listen, and to learn from Him, and to hear the hearts of those I love.
(Click here, and also read of an amazing book that a blogger-friend has just recently written.)

We can listen to God even amidst the busy days, filled with activity and noise, but also - we need times where we go slower, and pause, opening up our hearts to really listen completely.
(click here)

It's always good to be reminded of the source of all that we long for, and the importance of listening well to His Words. God has called my heart, again, to the great truths from the first chapter of Psalms. (click here)

And I look forward to July ...

So, another month comes to a close ... and the door will open soon to a brand new month. It will be another one that is filled with family events ... a special weekend celebrating my hubby's 70th birthday as a family, a weekend of caring for two grandkids while their parents are away, and also much preparation for five days when my three brothers will be visiting with their families the very beginning of August. In the midst of family, Cru ministry, and the daily responsibilities of life, I will be here, sharing as God's opens up time for me to do so ... thanks for your visits!

What are some of your highlights from the month of June?

Capturing the Memories - My Hubby Turning 70!

May and June have been a bit slower for me with posting here on my blog. Maybe it is because I have been needing to pause in the busyness of life, catch my breath, and also, to focus even more intently on those I love the most. 

The 23rd of June was one of those very special days when life slowed, and my sweet hubby I took the day to celebrate, and to thank God for 70 years! We could hardly believe that the day had come, as "70" sounds so, well, old. And we don't yet believe that we can be in that season of life. But the years keep going by, faster and faster, and here we are ... my hubby is 70! (And I will be soon, as well, in five short years from now.)

We were blessed beyond measure to spend the day together, just the two of us ... with a family celebration to come later. These photos (in digital scrapbook form) are an attempt to capture our beautiful and relaxing day together ... it was truly a gift from God to pull aside from our daily life and celebrate his bday in this way.

(Credit for digital scrapbook supplies: Page Template: DS-tem08-12x12-2a; Paper: Digital Scrapper June 2014 Premier,  Scrap Girls ABR_CreasedNCrinkled.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Our Cabin Getaway

Vacation times are always important for my hubby and me, especially as our home also serves as our office for the full-time ministry we serve with. It's important to get away from all responsibilities, and take time to be refreshed. And even though we don't have a lengthy vacation planned for this summer (mostly because of uncertainties of the timing of our granddaughter, Crystal's, kidney transplant), we were so blessed to discover that we had five days in between the two weekends of graduation events for Abigail, our oldest granddaughter. 

We drove about three hours from our daughter's home in TX to a beautiful state park where we spent five wonderful days at a little cabin for two. Thank You, Lord, for this little getaway!

(Digital Scrapbook credits for both pages: Page Template: Sweet Shoppe - mcato-simplebeauty1-2; Paper: Scrap Girls - A Narrative, Shappy Princess - Vintage Floral, Kitty Designs - You Alone.)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Abigail's Senior Recital and Reception

Years go by so quickly, and this spring found us traveling to Texas for our oldest granddaughter's graduation from high school! A great privilege to be able to be with her and her family for both weekends of her graduation festivities! The first weekend held a very special event - Abigail's Senior Piano Recital! She played 40 minutes of beautiful, beautiful music ... all from memory. Her countless hours of practicing over many years led to this event - we are thankful for her dedication and commitment, and were so blessed to be there to help celebrate!

Click here to visit our family/ministry blog to view two more digital scrapbook pages of photos from the first weekend of Abigail's graduation events ... 

And, click here to see photos of the second weekend of events - the actual graduation ceremony, including the great honor Abigail had of leading in the opening prayer at the public school ceremony.

(Credit for Digital Scrapbooking supplies: First Page - Page Template: Scrap Girls - ABR_SSLOAlb_Series 5; Paper: Shabby Princess-Spring Breeze. Second Page - Page Template: Scrap Girls - ABR_SSLOAlb-Series 5; Paper: Sweet Shoppe - for auld lang syne. And credit for a few of the photos - our daughter, Cristy in TX)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Source

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on His law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither,
In all that he does, he prospers.
(Psalm 1:2-3 ESV)

Wherever we are in life, we have our desires. For love, for peace, for fulfillment. For making a difference. For living a life that makes a mark for eternity.

The path to fulfill our desires can become quite complicated. And I know that I often need to be reminded. That, really, it is quite simple. So simple that we can miss it. How we tangle ourselves up in so many schemes and plans for success, all the while missing the pure simplicity of God's plan for fulfillment of our deepest desires.

The words (above) from Psalm 1:1-2 ... reminders of where true fulfillment and success come from. Delighting and meditating on His Words - holding them close in our hearts and minds as we go through our days. The key to being fruitful and effective throughout our days and years. The key to living a life with purpose and fulfillment. Words that bring peace and calm in a busy world. 

For He satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul
He fills with good things.
(Psalm 107:9 ESV)

Oh Lord, I long for Your Word, for Your living, active, unquenchable words that bring life - they quench my thirst, and fill me up. Words from Your heart - life-giving, and producing lasting fruit, in every season.

Linking up with:
Spiritual Whitespace

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Slowing, to Listen

Busyness, noise, and activity seem to be the norm in our world. Everywhere we go, and even in our homes - it is so often the default. And sometimes it takes a gentle reminder, a conscious effort, or even a jolt of a hard trial - to really slow us down. To slow our hearts, and our souls. To listen. And to hear. And to be embraced by Love.

Our lives have been exceptionally full for weeks, maybe months. And I am thankful for His reminders, and His provision - to pause, to take a deep breath. And I am filled up as I listen, and hear His whispers - calling me to rest.

Back from a trip (a very wonderful one), and starting up these weeks/months of summer days, I am reminded. To follow His promptings to purposely slow my heart. To cultivate a heart attitude of listening. To hear with open heart and soul, to listen deeply to Him. To pause each day, throughout each day - asking Him to guide each step, to fill each thought. Listening for His quiet whisper.

Show me Your ways, O Lord,
teach me Your paths;
Guide me in Your truth and teach me
for You are God my Savior,
and my hope is in You all day long.
(Psalm 25:4-5 NIV)

Do you find yourself in need of rest, of a conscious slowing so you can hear His whispers? I recommend a newly-released book by a blogger-friend, Bonnie Gray. Through her story and her rescue, she shares from her heart how to give your heart and soul room to breathe, space to hear and sense His love in the midst of the noise of life.

Click here to read more about her book.

Linking up with:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Time for Spiritual Whitespace

Whitespace gives margin, gives space to breathe, replenishes our hurried, busy minds, hearts, and souls with ... rest.

I have been in need of rest. The month of May (my favorite time of year), was exceptionally full this year. Filled up with a wide variety of events, and happenings. Each day. Our weekly "Devo Outings" (started during our Sabbatical two summers ago) were put aside, Date Nights and restful Sunday afternoons were given up for graduation parties and other events. And all these events and happenings were good things ... 

Perhaps you experienced the same, for life is full and time rushes by. We can fill up all the hours and minutes of each day. And there are seasons when we must do so continually, especially as moms, as we care for the ones God has entrusted to us. And God gives us the strength we need each day.

But we must remember, also, that we are made in God's image ... made for times of rest. And I am thankful for His reminders. Reminders to pause and create space, giving my soul the freedom to breathe. Reminders to focus on the listening, instead of the doing. How easy it is to move into auto-pilot, and put our first and best efforts into the doing. Instead of in the being. And I am finding myself in need. Of Him. Following His gentle promptings, answering His call to slow. To make room for whitespace. 

Oh, how I love God's constant provision for our needs. Even a month ago I did not know that we would be blessed with five days of vacation in early June ... nestled in between two amazing and wonderful weekends of celebrating the high school graduation of our oldest granddaughter. (How can time go by so quickly?) And also, I did not know even a month ago that a book I have been looking forward to reading would be released just in time to purchase before our little cabin getaway. Finding Spiritual Whitespace - written by blogger-friend, Bonnie Gray - the perfect companion to helping us find rest for our souls as we create space to listen and be refreshed by Him.

Whether on a special getaway, or in the midst of our daily life ... God hears our heart's cry for Him. A cry for Him to fill up our empty places - the places where we are broken and hurting. Coming to Him with open hands and heart, surrendering to His brush marks as He creates a beautiful masterpiece.

Lord, may our busyness never take us from our deepest need ... may we make space for You. To be filled up with You. Whether in the midst of days filled with endless tasks, or during lazy days amidst summer ... may we hold up listening ears, and open hands and hearts. To You. Always.

Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Linking up with:
Whitespace Thursdays