Saturday, September 7, 2013

This is my Father's World

This is my Father's World,

and to my listening ears,

All nature sings, and 'round me rings

 the music of the spheres.

This is my Father's World,

I rest me in the thought,

of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;

His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's World,

the birds their carols raise,

 The morning light, the lilly white,

declare their Maker's praise.

This is my Father's world:

He shines in all that's fair;

In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;

He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world,

O let me ne'er forget

That though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father's world,

The battle is not done.

Jesus Who died, shall be satisfied,

And earth and heav'n be one.

"This is My Father's World"
Text: Maltbie D. Babcock
Music: Trad. English melody; adapt. by Franklin L. Sheppard 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Riding out the storms

Sunday I awoke to this:

Remember the old adage "Red in the morning, sailors take warning.  Red at night, sailor's delight."?  It held true Sunday.  A short time after I took the above picture we were happy to be warm and dry in our home as a late-summer thunderstorm raged outside. 

I don't think that I have shown you my little bedroom "haven" here in our new home, have I?  Not only was I able to squeeze my beloved work area into one side of the room (photos coming soon), I also have this fabulous cozy chair which overlooks our backyard.  It is the most relaxing place to sit and read.  When the children are home there is almost always someone sitting there, visiting with me.  I am so grateful.

Can you see the trees whipping in the rain-lashed wind?  Oh!  It did blow!  

One thing I am learning: God is still God, even in the storm.  And He does provide peace even in the midst of it all.

Also this: The storm does pass.

So loving Aaron Keys song "Sovereign Over Us" right now.

"Sovereign Over Us" by Aaron Keys

There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears
You meet us in our mourning, With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting, Sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding, You're teaching us to trust

Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us
You're with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever, Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

You are wisdom unimagined, Who could understand your ways
Reigning high above the heavens, Reaching down in endless grace
Youʼre the Lifter of the lowly, Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me, Your promises are my delight

Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good, You turn it for our good and for your glory
Even in the valley You are faithful
Youʼre working for our good, Youʼre working for our good and for your glory

Words & Music by Aaron Keyes, Bryan Brown, and Jack Mooring.
Copyright (c) 2011 

He has not forgotten us....
Faithful forever, perfect in love,

So grateful that He is sovereign over us, aren't you?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Things I learned in August

Inspired by Emily I am going to take inventory at the end of each month and talk about "Things I have Learned" during the past month.  Only very rarely will this list include anything very educational or earth-shattering, mostly it will just be random bits of quirky things.

Ready?  Here we go!

  1. I miss the children during the day now that they are in school, but I'll admit that the (occasional, with college students in and out) quiet is pretty nice.  And I'm trying not to feel guilty about that.
  2. Painting my toenails is fun in an artsy-rebellious sort of way.  Rockin' me some blue nails right now.  Teal green, sparkly pink, all pretty awesome!
  3. I am always officially ready for autumn a good 6 weeks before it actually arrives here.  Today's forecast? 98 degrees with 537% humidity (and no, that was not a typo).  Totally lovin' this little yellow renegade leaf that I found on my run the other day.   You go, dude!                                                                                                                     
  4. My office chair recently began to seriously drive me nuts, squeaking, sitting somewhat lopsided and just being generally worn out.  In a spur-of-the moment decision, I started using my stability ball.  My abs were actually sore for the first few days and yes, all of the boys want to work at my computer now.  And being able to bounce along to whatever tunes I'm currently playing?  Well, that's just priceless!  You do need to be careful when re-sitting down after getting up briefly.  This "chair" does move.  Just sayin'.
  5. Yes, I know, I'm probably one of the last 7 people on the face of the earth to have just seen this video of a cover for Pitch Perfect's Cup song.  The children and I had so much fun doing this in the week before school started.  We laughed *so* hard!  And just for the record, I think I am going to pursue a new career as a cup-tapper-and-flipper person.  It's a calling.
  6. Sharing the load is good.
  7. God always comes through.  always.
  8. FaceTime makes being a long-distance Nana sorta' ok.

  9. Corgis are the most adorable.  (Other than grandsons, that is!)  The end.

  10. Running with cows is the *best*!!.  And yes, I refrain from "moooing" when I pass these guys.  Usually.

  11. Culver's concretes are my favorite.  Tall chocolate with cookie dough and MandM's please.  And yes, that would require approximately 13.8 hours of working out to "pay" for that.  It's ok.  Totally worth it.
  12. Now that autumn is on the horizon, at least theoretically, I've begun to think about some autumn-ish projects and cooking. I'm thinking some crock-pot meals and soups, a certain adorable bunny that I'd love to make, maybe a doll or two, some burlap pumpkins that need sewing and perhaps a quilt to start.  Then there's the friendship bracelets that I want to experiment with and I'd really like to crochet or knit some new kitchen washcloths.  
  13. I'm a total Spotify addict.  So fun to be able to create endless playlists and change them up when the mood strikes, plus I can listen to music that is recommended to me... all without having to purchase the music!  What's not to love?  I have two playlists that I use when I'm running. The "Workout" playlist is just fun, upbeat music, but even for running or cycling I almost always gravitate toward my "Heart Encouragement" playlist.  Praying and listening to praise and worship music while I run is a highlight of my day so, so necessary for my soul.  I've recently added some new music to my running playlist.  A few Imagine Dragons tracks.   "Wake me up" by Avicli.  Phillip Phillips' "Gone, Gone, Gone"  (and of course his song "Home" is awesome). I'm almost always up for some Mat Kearney. "Runaway" and "Learning to Love Again" are on my running playlist now as well.    And for my "Heart Encouragement" Spotify list?  Just added several tracks from Keith and Kristyn Getty's album: "Hymns for the Christian Life."  So many good songs there.  I am especially loving "The Perfect Wisdom of our God" right now.  Just this: 
    "Each strand of sorrow has a place
    within this tapestry of grace
    so through the trials I choose to say
    Your perfect will in Your perfect way."
    Also, the Getty's version of "In Christ Alone" is really, really good.  
Linking up with Emily here.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Well, hello there!

Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.  Apparently a Mark Twain misquote, but still a great way to start off a post when I have been absent here for so long, don't you think?

And yes, I am fine.  Well, let me rephrase that: God is good and He sustains and cares for us so well~ so for that reason, I am fine.  The children are all doing so very well, so happy now.

How about some photos from the past few months?  So much has happened here!

First off... and let me just get this out there to begin with, I have the. most. awesome. family. ever.  The children planned this phenomenal Mother's Day surprise party for me.  And I really had no idea. They are the best.

Little boys grow up *way* too quickly!  Can you believe that Daniel is 9 now?

 Flowers grow lots of places, if you know what I mean.  Love finding and cultivating beauty here at our new house.

We have this super-awesome pair of owls right in our backyard!  Tim (now 6!) came one morning to me and told me to bring my camera so I could get a pic of them.  I had to get this shot from some distance away, but is that not cool?!  I sometimes get to hear them at night too.

The girls and I went to see Despicable Me 2 and had a blast!  

Aren't the minions adorable?  And yes, I do have a few at my house.

What, oh what, would I do without so many good and faithful friends?  The Lord has been so good to us and blessed us abundantly with friends, including new friends in our neighborhood here.

We love our huge deck and spend so much time there.  It is shady, quiet and relaxing.

Still very much rockin' the running trail behind our house.  I'm always finding things to photograph while I'm out.

Such fun to have children who like to take pics as well.  Tim took this one of Jasper and I with my iPhone, just before I left to go run.

I wish I knew how much money we have saved by me cutting hair at home.  One of the boys was sneaky and caught this pic of me trimming Timmy's curls.

And the biggest news here... might as well get this out there.  Yes, the children are all attending public school this year.  After 20 years of being very committed to, and basically *loving* homeshcooling and having my children with me all day long, this was a *very* difficult decision for me.  As I prayed about it, it did become clear to me that public school was what the Lord wanted us to do and is the best option for our family now.

And guess what?  The children are all *loving* school!  There has been adjusting to do, for sure, and we will continue to have to rely on the Lord as we tackle new "adventures," but, surprise, surprise, God is there too and He is faithfully leading and caring for us.

Timothy and Daniel checking out their new classrooms/desks:

Waiting for the bus, the first day of school.  Super-excited to ride on the bus!

So now my afternoons and evenings are very full of driving children here and there and helping them with homework, but we are adjusting to this new normal.  It's all good.

I've been working a bit more in my art journal....

And a few days ago I did something that I don't think I have done in 27 years... I sat and read *by myself* at Culvers.  And yes, that is a concrete that you see sitting there.  I've *got* to grow up and start drinking coffee one of these days.  It would save me a bunch of calories, wouldn't it?

Looking forward to spending more time with you, my faithful friends, here in this space.  I so appreciate all of your prayers and concerned emails.