8.30.2013

Just a Little Something

It isn't Christmas in July, but Christmas is coming, a bit under four months coming to be exact. That was a joke by the way. "A bit under" isn't exact at all. OK, enough humor attempts for one day. Back to our Christmas is coming topic.

While skimming through the inbox this morning, a picture of this lace lamp pendant was there.
Doily Lamp

http://bit.ly/19OC4GB

 
It cast such a beautiful soft light into one of the pictured rooms. I regretted not having a space to make one for. Of course my mind rarely stays in one spot for long. Before I realized what I was doing, I found myself looking around the house wondering what I could make using the same technique. It wouldn't have to be a big thing, just some little smidgen of new for the coming holiday season new year.

http://craftsbyamanda.com/2011/01/burlap-doily-luminaries-rustic-meets.html


Guess what! I have some ideas! Guess what else! I can't find my ideas anywhere else online! How cool is that? It means one of two things. This means that either people have tried it, and it didn't turn out OR noone who has tried it has posted online yet. Profound, I know. While we're waiting for the results of my experiments, we can visit the included links for even more doily ideas. Wow! What a large assortment of projects! There is some serious doily love going on out there.

http://dishfunctionaldesigns.blogspot.com/2012/05/vintage-lace-doilies-upcycled-and.html Dishfunctionaldesigns post is chock full of lacey designs. Don't miss this one!

Wondering where the Christmas is coming part went? Me too. Not sure why this made me think of Christmas. Maybe it was the possibility of using some of these ideas for gifts? decorating? I honestly don't know. I knew what I was writing about when I started. Honest, I did. Somewhere between finding and adding links and pics it got lost. Guess that means we'll be talking about it later, in another post. Until then, have a Happy Doily Day!

8.28.2013

More to Remember

Remembering a year ago August still. The feast continues.

Rather than wait until reaching a level of spiritual starvation, we're going to continue our feast of the Word a little bit here and a little bit there. Savoring each and every Word allows the richness and fullness to seep deep within our hearts. Because, sometimes we need to remember:

God is a God of victory:

Psalm 149:4
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.

Proverbs 21:31
The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance and victory are of the Lord.


Isaiah 30:18
And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!


Isaiah 54:17
But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord


Romans 8:37
Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.


1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.


2 Corinthians 2:14
But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere,


1 John 5:4
For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith.


8.23.2013

In Love

Twenty-two-and-a-half years ago today My Beloved and I were married. Wow. That is a long time in words. It is a long time in memories too. We've been through it, My Beloved & I. Good, bad, horrible, no good, ugly days, some pretty amazing ones too have come and gone in those 22 1/2 years.

I just can't seem to get past the 22 1/2 year thing. That is only 2 1/2 years away from 25 years! Oh. my. goodness. In 2 1/2 years we will have been married one-quarter of a century! And we have an almost six-month old baby! Ei, yi, yi. What are we thinking? Oh yes. That's right. Uhm, we aren't necessarily thinking. We are busy knowing we are in love. Still. More than then.

In love. Sounds so easy and small but in reality those are two of the biggest words there are. They hold so much in their small letters. So many dreams, realities, fantasies, wishes, hopes, and prayers are contained in those two words. Babies, cuddles, kisses, hugs, embraces, bills, mountains, valleys, dry dusty places, family to grow, groceries, jobs, joys, sorrows, there is more than words can say about being in love.

In love sees the hard coming and keeps on going, sometimes it rushes forward to meet the difficult, just so it can get to the glory beyond. In love also recognizes the pricelessness of the small moments and willingly slows to embrace each second of sweetness before it passes beyond reach. In love hurts ever so much yet knows that too will be good, when one is in love.

22 1/2 years later, today is better than then. I hope that I am better than then, that 42 years of living is more mature than 19 years. I hope I love My Beloved bigger now than then. He does me. 22 1/2 years later there are things I would do different, not all of them in my marriage. 22 1/2 years later I would tell my Aunt Barb that I would rather have her at the wedding than a gift. Though that wouldn't be necessary because 22 1/2 years later My Beloved and I wouldn't have a wedding. We would just get married and start living life.

Twenty-two-and-a-half years later we now know what we really want, to live life together until God takes us home. We know ourselves enough to know this now. We also now know that it is ok for us to be us, to make our own banana split, if you will. A wedding, cake, dress, candles, all were nice, but so not necessary, so not us. Preparing for the rest of our lives together is the major; the rest are all minors. We know this about ourselves now.

The fireworks aren't when the preacher says "You may kiss your bride." They show up smack dab in the middle of the down and dirty of daily life. When there are small tired children hanging all over me, baby spit up streaking my top and pants and My Beloved shoots me an "I want some of that" look, that's where it's at. That's where happily ever after resides. Romantic sparks shooting across the room from one set of weary parent eyes to another's is the realest sort of "I do" there is. Those same weary parents snuggling close as desire gives way to the snores of the weary, that's real love baby. That's where awesome and amazing take root.

Knowing My Beloved would dearly love to throw out my holey yoga pants but doesn't because they're my favorite, love is screaming loud then. Me reading articles on hunting, guns, survival, trying to figure some of it all out, that's a type of lingerie all its own. A cattle rancher surprising his wife of 22 years with coffee beans, chocolate, foot lotion, and hand creme after baby number seven, off the charts romantic, that's what that is. Two married people calling themselves lovers after 22 1/2 years and seven children,  yes sir and ma'am, that is what in love looks and sounds like. Wrinkles, white hair, sags, bags, and freckles try to tell us we're ugly and old, but My Beloved and I know the truth. In love is ageless. It never dies, never ends. In love just gets better, sweeter, richer, fuller, deeper. Sometimes, it even gets sillier. Yes, sirree, today is better than then, and tomorrow? Tomorrow will be still more.

Twenty-two-and-a-half years ago My Beloved and I were eating steak that room service delivered to our hotel room. Tonight we will be feasting on love and leftovers. I'll say it still again, Today is better than then. For today we know more who we are and what love is. We've lived love enough to know it's worth the hard and the tears. They are minute compared to the laughter and the joy in love brings. And now I am out of here. My Beloved is home, and we're living life full...because we're in love.





New Season Slipping In

Summer's almost over. One can feel it in the morning mist and see it on the sunflower covered hills. Bit by tiny bit Fall, or Autumn, is slipping in. The smells are changing, and the feel is too. There never really seemed to be a summery feel this year. Oh yes, there have been a few hot days but not too many. The grass has been cut. The laundry has been hung out. There have even been some peas from the garden. Still, for some reason, it just hasn't felt like summer.

It truly seems as if just last week we were finishing up school. We begin again next Monday. Those hot days I was going to cut out quick quilts and whip them up for cold winter nights have long since passed. They weren't lazed away. I've been busy. Where did they go? How come days seemed so much longer when I was a child? I could use some of those long days now. Oh well. there are still plenty of things to accomplish before winter. Plums will be ripe for picking soon. Jelly-making will follow the picking. Christmas presents are on the planning board too. We want them completed earlier this year. They are going to be simpler. A stressless holiday is in the works.

And the rain. There has been rain. Thank you God for the rain! There was dancing and running in the rain! Mighty Man of God has added "and thank You for all of the blessings You have given me." to his mealtime prayers. He added it all on his own without any encouragement or influence from anyone else. It was a personal choice straight from his own heart. That is better than rain, and rain is a wonderful blessing. Besides a few days off of the ranch, ones we spent looking at rocks, bones, and new scenery, Giggles is cleaning her room more, even a little more is more. Victorious Man of God will be crawling soon. Babyproofing will come before the plum picking. Colonel Redeemed will be attending mass casualty training for his fireman training on Saturday. He is looking forward to that. He loves having a fireman's gear, wants me to take his picture.

Miss Mustard Seed went to Peru and is home. She also got her driver's permit and passed hunter's safety. Horsegirl passed hunter's safety too. There will be venison for eating this winter. Giggles and Mighty Man of God planted a garden of their own. They are now getting some food "to help feed my family" Giggles says. How thrilled she is to grow food for her own. She weeds, and God has watered for her. Mighty Man of God insists he doesn't want school yet begs for me to read more books to him. He doesn't know they are books I was saving for school. He has already completed Kindergarten and first grade science and social studies with Giggles the past two years. He doesn't know that either. He thought they were just having fun listening to stories and telling others what they read. The fact that he learned lessons better than mama knew came out when mama heard him playing outside and singing songs containing facts from the lessons that he "made up himself". That map he was drawing? Yes, there those social studies are again. Learning's just playing and having fun when you are five.

Hay is being put up slowy, but it's getting done. There are tomatoes on the vines, beans on the plants, cucumbers on their vines, and peppers growing too. The caterpillars that ate the holes in the brussel sprouts and the green beans all up have been dealt with. The new apple trees are growing, and the tiny chokeberry bush gave a handful of berries. And the hills. The hills have spent their summer days covered in the most lush, vibrant spread of wildflowers I have ever seen anywhere. Each time a few varieties die off, a few more fill their places. The sunflowers are everywhere. So much yellow cheer spotted with purple bee balm, aka stinkweed, and white poppies all around.

I am seeing now. That's where the summer days have gone. They've been passing by one at a time, and I've been living them. Maybe that's how it is when one is living on purpose. Time flies right on by when every second isn't being counted down and computers aren't sat at as often. There has been more time for impromptu worship at the piano, playing with the baby, housework, cooking, riding behind My Beloved on a four-wheeler, and even a few naps here and there. Too much to write about really. Yes, that's where the summer has been. It's being lived moment by wonderful moment, and I am glad. Glad. Glad. Glad. There are only a few words I can think of to close with. What precious words they are too. Perhaps you will sing them with me? Maybe, if we listen very well, we will hear the birds, insects, trees, and grasses singing an accompaniment right along.

"Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Amen"
DOXOLOGY
 
P.S. - Just in case anyone wants to know, Friday is My Beloved's and my 22 and a half year wedding anniversary!  We are only two and a half years away from 25 years! All of those years, and we still have a baby in the house! What a crazy, wild adventure this life together is turning out to be. No special reason for telling about our anniversary. Only just now realizing this made me want to tell someone, and since all of you are here, you are the ones I am telling!



8.21.2013

Spilling Life Out

Another read we've read before. August a year ago in print.

The words from A Holy Experience yesterday, they hold me still. The ones that say "Jesus didn't die to make us safe." and the others that speak "the way to really live is not to fill your life up - but to spill your life out." All of a sudden I'm seeing that when God urged me to clean out our home of the unneccesary and pass it on to others, it wasn't so much a physical thing but a visible acting out of the spiritual, an object lesson, if you will. It was a physical representation of pouring out that others may receive.

If someone continues to collect without ever giving, eventually collecting becomes hoarding. Hoarding leads to chaos, disaster, no room for growing, or even living. Spiritually, when I continue to feast on the fullness of God without pouring Him out in abundance, stagnation occurs. Life turns to death. God's children have been created to pour Him out. "Freely you have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:8) Oh that I am spilling the life He has given me out, freely. That it is none of me and all of Him. In Jesus' name I pray it is so. Amen and Amen.

8.20.2013

Sing!

So, it's right after lunch. Clean up is complete, and I hear Miss Mustard Seed singing all of these children's church songs to Victorious Man of God. Not modern songs, old timey ones like Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See, Who Built the Ark, The B-I-B-L-E, etc. As I finish up what I'm doing, she comes bounding into the room singing. Of course I join in and like a flash she is dancing out of the room with the baby still singing. Oh! Thank you Lord! It's a good day in her 17-year-old life. Those with teenage daughters of their own know what I mean.

I enter the great room just in time to hear her telling Victorious Man of God that all they need is mama to sit down and play the piano for them so that they can sing some more. That's all the encouragement this mama needs. I plop myself down, open the book and away we sing. After a few songs I inquire as to how many we are singing. "The whole book!" was her reply. The whole book - insert gulp. And we did. We sang through the entire little songbook. It was fun. There were only three songs we didn't know. We were very brave too. We sang one with a round.

Nursing Victorious Man and resting my tired voice gives me time to ponder our spontaneous fun of the afternoon. Each of us has now gone about our individual activities, but we are all still singing. Oh yes, with the exception of Victorious Man of God, it was just Miss Mustard Seed, Horsegirl, and I singing. A 42 year old, 17 year old, and 14 year old. The 5 and 7 year olds, Giggles and Mighty Man of God, were outside playing. We were having so much fun that they came to the house to see what was going on inside. So, I am thinking as I sit here. We should sing more.

When we were singing, the floor that needs refinished, the medical bills, the sad-looking garden, and a host of other thoughts that tend to fly around my mind were nowhere to be found. They weren't even on some remote mental radar. I wasn't pondering over whether to use this approach or that textbook to teach reading this year, nor was I wondering what is going on in Colonel Redeemed's head as he tries to think of his future. We just sang. We sang children's songs. We sang to the glory of God. We were silly in a good way, and we. had. fun.

Singing and fun. Singing isn't always fun for me. Usually it is but not always. Today it was. Today I wasn't concerned with whether or not I was breathing properly or creating pure vowels or any other vocal technique. I was just singing, and it was fun. Singing and fun, fun and singing, they belong together. I should do this more often. I used to. When the first four children were little we did this almost every day. Our days were happier and smoother, less stressful. Yes, our home needs this. It needs singing just for fun. It needs songs that glorify God simply and true sung in it. Our home, our family, our days are supposed to contain songs of God.

Not sure when I stopped singing, but Dear Father in Heaven I am so grateful You used Miss Mustard Seed to remind me I need singing and fun. You are worthy of our praise. My children learn to praise You in song when I sing where they can hear and see me, not just in the bathroom. I need to make time for this. They need it. I need it more. Thank You for reminding me!

8.19.2013

Work Horse Scriptures

The following excerpt is taken from today's word at the Elijah List website. It is an encouraging word concerning women being released into powerful ministries. It would be worth your time to visit the site and read it in its entirety. The verses are work horses for anyone who tends to get worked up or anxious to commit to memory. They can be brought out and read over and over and over until we have them cemented deep inside of us.


Here are some verses to mediate on as this word is going into many women right now reading this article:

Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be anxious, look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
 
Isaiah 41:13 For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'
 
Isaiah 54:4 Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; Neither feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
 
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.
 
Men in ministry stand by your woman. It is their time to be heard and their time to shine in the Body of our Lord Jesus! A mighty roar is being released!

Let this company of strong women with integrity and love be released Lord, in Jesus name.

8.15.2013

Got Milk?

The saying "Got Milk?" has a different meaning for nursing mothers than it may for other readers. Before signing off to feed Victorious Man of God I wanted to give a throw out to Mother's Milk Tea. It truly does help increase and stabilize milk supply for breastfeeding. I also found recipes for lactation cookies, muffins, and porridge. The recipes are all waiting on me to get some brewer's yeast from the health food store, but as soon as that happens I'll have some reviews of those as well.

If you know a mother who will be or is currently breastfeeding, the future reviews will include recipes that might be of interest. Homemade recipe cards tucked into a basket with a box of Mother's Milk Tea, some brewer's yeast and a nursing cover or pillow would make a wonderful gift for a new mother who plans to breastfeed too.

8.14.2013

Carnal Christianity

Reviews are always good. We're reviewing our talks from last year at this month. Today's review is small yet contains food for intense thought.

Carnal Christianity, the term caught my attention recently. A former professional worship leader, now a tour guide to the throne room, spoke of how carnal Christian worship has become. He shared that so many of the worship songs sung today are all about the unholy trinity of me, myself, and I; so few are sung about God, the One our hearts long to worship. It was a new thought, one that required thinking on. Not much thought was needed though; truth was plain. So much of popular Christianity today is indeed about man and himself rather than God Himself.

The prayer continues..."May it be all Thee and none of Me, Dear Lord. All and only Thee."

8.12.2013

Thank God I'm a Country Girl

I truly believe that some things are hardwired deep within a person. For me, one of those somethings is a love for country life. I began life in the country, live there now, and hope to continue here as long as life is within me.

Please don't get me wrong, there isn't anything "wrong" with town living. The conveniences of city life are handy, but for me personally, "a bad day in the country is better than a good month in town". That's just the way it is for me.

Loving country life isn't only my passion. Many others share the same fervor for living in remote locations with open sky and fresh breezes blowing through their hair. Not everyone who loves the country lives there though.Those city dwellers with country hearts are just as country as those few folks who long to boogie to the rushing staccato of urban life while waltzing to the slow strum of rural tempo are city. Also, no matter how many attempts by Colonel Redeemed to deny it is so, an individual can live in the country, work a country occupation, and still be a complete and utter "Townie". Sorry, son, it's true.

Because lovers of all things rural feel their passion strongly, I am considering including regular posts from a country/ranching view here at Abundance House.  To give readers a feel for the type of posts I am talking about, there will be one showing up here bright and early tomorrow. All I ask of you readers is for each of you to leave a comment voicing approval, or not, by sending me a yea or nay. That's it, nothing more. If the yeas have it, there will be more. If the nays carry, country posts won't show up on a regular basis.

Knowing how busy everyone is, I am sending out a HUGE thank you to all of you. Thank You SO MUCH for your yea or nay. Your help is greatly appreciated and we hope rewarded by your visits here at our house of abundant living.

8.08.2013

Will You Join Us in Loving Him?

Girl Playing PianoIsn't she sweet, this little girl in the picture? I wonder if she has ever experienced the presence of God permeate the atmosphere around her, flood her heart and open the floodgates of her eyes. I wonder if, as she sits and plays note after note, she is drawn to play notes not written down but those that flow from deep inside the well of her spirit. It looks perhaps as if she is playing from her heart. Don't you think?

As I sat at my own piano earlier playing and singing in worship to God, His sweet presence entered the room. Looking up as I sang, the words of the scriptures framed above the piano stood out and wove themselves more deeply into my being. 

Maybe you will try this too? Play or sing songs of true worship to God and see if the Words of God you know don't bury themselves more clearly and deeper into you. What a blessed time of intimacy with the Lord we will experience. 

8.07.2013

Pouring Out & Being Unsafe

I think it is fun to look back and remember what was going on the year before. The following was published one year ago in August. This is what we were talking about last year at this time.


“Jesus died to save us not to make us safe. And no one ever got saved unless someone else was unsafe.”
Unless someone took a risk, unless someone thought the value of the soul trumped the cost of reaching out — unless someone lived what they say they believe.” Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience

The words they reach out, grab hold, and won't let go. Isn't this what God has been speaking to my heart put perfectly into words? "No one ever got saved unless someone else was unsafe. Unless someone took a risk, unless someone thought the value of the soul trumped the cost of reaching out -- unless someone lived what they say they believe." The words they continue to speak of being a bucket poured right out, expended to a world who needs love, God's love, that thatched roof protecting from harm. My heart is drawn to Him closer. The ear of my spirit hums with the vibration of expectation, an expectation of knowing that I am not alone in this wild desire to be poured right out, to give of the grace He has freely, lavishly given me.

Others are hearing the hum. They are feeling the pulse of heaven pounding loud in their ears. Inside there is a growing desire to pour all out and live unsafe so that others can be saved. Only in pouring out will out lives truly be filled. After all, how can we, who have personally experienced the extravagant love of God not gush it out in a rushing stream of grace? Feel free to read the rest of the impassioned words of grace. Perhaps they will grab hold and cause you to pour yourself right out that others may be filled. Read Ann's post here: http://www.aholyexperience.com/.

8.06.2013

New Blog Address

Dearest Readers,

A friend recently asked about the blog. She hadn't seen any new posts for a long time and wondered if we had closed down. I realized right then that my friend hadn't received notice of our newer address. At that point I realized that there has been another address change, one I forgot to share. With deepest apologies for any inconvenience my error has caused, I am excited to announce that Abundance House has a new address. The address now matches the blog's name: http://abundancehouse.blogspot.com/ .

You are more than welcome to share it with friends, family, neighbors far and near. Anyone who might enjoy a little bit of blessed randomness is welcome to join us. I am working at getting Not of This World back into the action with pictures - and posts -  as well as contemplating new ideas from brand new contributors.

If you know anyone who enjoys life along with all of the bits and pieces that make it up, please feel free to invite them over for a visit. There may even be some posts about ranching and country living. One can never tell. I am praying about the direction God desires Abundance House to take, whether He wants us to take it up a notch, get a facelift, remain the same, or what exactly His plan is. For certain, there will continue to be sharings from the heart and wholesome tidbits from our house of true Abundance.

Thank You for being a part of Abundance House!

In Christ's Love,
Blessed Mama

Break Off All Things

"Break off all things
Break off all things
Break off all things
That hinder Your love"
 
 
I don't know who the writer/artist of the above chorus is, but the words were sung over and over at our Saturday evening church service this past Saturday. They are being sung inside of me still. It was a good service. Nothing extraordinary took place for me or so I thought. Then along comes Monday morning. It was an early morning thanks to a hungry babe, and it came after a long weekend of birthday celebrations for Giggles and Mighty Man of God.
 
There were cranky kids, teens, and an email saying a dear friend is moving. Yet in spite of it all, there wasn't the usual tension. What's up, God? "Break off all things..." came the reminder. Oh! Yes! So, something extraordinary did take place that night; it was unseen. Later in the day there were moments when comments from My Beloved would have made my tired emotions hurt yet no anger or hurt exploded forth. Thank You God! I Love You! "Break off all things...that hinder Your love." The words I'm singing still.