What is a friend?

What is a friend? 

    For years I spent a lot of tears and energy on looking for and wishing I had friends. I tried to make friends and it never seemed to work. I never could seem to find a true friend. So, I kind of gave up trying and even hoping and wishing for one. Then every so often someone would come along and I would start trying again. It wouldn’t pan out and I would wonder what was wrong with me, that I couldn’t seem to make friends or that being a friend seemed to mean more to me than them. So, then I would quit trying again. Then a few years ago, I realized something, I had, had a friend all along! A really good friend. A friend who had been listening to me cry about no friends, who had been praying for me to have a friend, a friend who had been there for me no matter what, who knew all about me, knew all my good qualities and all my very bad ones. A friend who is and has always been, whether I realized it or not, my very best friend----My mom. Yes, my very own Mama. The woman I tell all to. The woman who has spent many an hour sitting on my bed talking with me about any and everything. From deep spiritual things to the next crafty project we wanted to try and do. The one that has gotten in “trouble” with me for staying up so late talking J The one who has loved me completely unconditionally. Thank you Mama! Thank you for being my best friend! Thank you for more than I could ever put into words! I love you Mama!

    After I realized I had a friend I quit trying to make friends, but for a different reason. This time it was because, I had a friend, I didn’t need to try so hard anymore. If someone came along and we ended up friends that would be fine but until that happened I was fine. And then one day it happened, I gained another friend. It really did just happen. I didn’t try, I wasn’t even thinking about it at all. I mean I liked this person a lot. I was practically living with her and she was my boss. Then one day as we sat down for lunch, she prayed for the meal and she said in her prayer, “thank you God for my good friend, and said my name……” And she continued on with something good about me but I don’t remember that part. All I remember is the “good friend” part. This woman had called me her friend! I had another friend! Did it matter that we are thirty-six years apart in age? No, not at all! Because, it is as I realized, friendship isn’t bound by age. I was such a blessed girl! I had my mom for a best friend and my boss as a good friend too! Not everyone has their boss as a friend! Not everyone has a boss that they have a lot of fun with when working together. But I do!

   So life was good, and then it happened again! I gained another friend! How it happened I really don’t know, it just did! I mean I liked this woman a lot, even though I really didn’t know her that well, and she seemed to like me even though I knew she really didn’t know me either. Somehow, at some point I started emailing her ever so often. Then one night I was at this baby shower and this woman had planned the games. One of these games was an, about you type deal, where you had to tell some things about yourself. Well, this game sparked some serious thinking at our house and even led to a couple of posts on here! So, this woman and I were emailing back and forth about this game and she sent me a list of things about herself! Things she said she doesn’t like to really talk about! Wow, talk about feeling honored that she would share that with me! Then I sent her the rest of my list, the part that didn’t go on this blog, the silly stuff, the serious stuff, and the no one other than my parents and a couple siblings know kind of stuff. There was then the, “I can’t believe I just told that” moment, but it was okay for some reason. Because, without realizing it, at some point I had gained another friend! Friendship not being bound by age is true here too. Forty years doesn’t make any more difference than the twenty between my mom and I, or the thirty-six between my other friend and I. Right in middle of all this, I went to work for her! She was now my boss too. I became even more blessed than I was before! Not only do I have my absolutely wonderful mom for my best friend, I now have these two wonderful ladies who have become these friends/aunts/moms/bosses all rolled into two very special packages! God is Good! Good friends are well worth the wait!

    Back to my original question. What is a friend? Well, to me these three woman are perfect examples of what a friend is. Here are some ways that they are friends to me. They are always there for me. They listen to me, whether it be through talking, through emailing, or through texting. They answer my “random” questions. They let me bug them with strange texts. They are ever ready to pray with me about whatever I need prayer for. They love me in spite of all my flaws.

    While thinking on all of this, a feeling just kind of swept over me. This feeling of wanting to be a friend like that. I want to be a friend to them and to others the way they are to me. I want others to feel free to email, call, or text me whenever about whatever. Whether they need prayer, someone to share a laugh with, or just someone to listen, I want them to feel able to do that with me. I want to be for others the way my friends are for me, someone who cares, who listens, who prays, and who just loves. I want people to know that I am thinking about and praying for them on a daily basis, that they are never alone! I want others to think of me as a friend. I want to be a friend!

    So in conclusion, to these three wonderful women I want to say, Thank You! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! You have blessed me more than I can ever put into words! Thank you Mama, for always being there, even when I didn’t realize it! Thank you for being my very best friend! Thank you, you other special ladies for becoming my friends! Hopefully, you know who you are! And just so you know, I am bawling like a little baby while I type this, and you are probably some of the only ones who will know the significance of that and how big of a deal that is! Thank you Friends!


Not of This World


Gathering for Tea Time

Tea time is that eagerly anticipated, often longed for, time of the day when everyone around stops what they are doing and gathers for a snack. It isn't the snack. Though that is usually needed by late afternoon. Nor is it the drink, though that too is refreshing. Lace, china, and linens while fun are not necessary either. Stopping and gathering is what makes tea time so dear.
If tea time isn't part of your family's daily rhythm, there is truly no time like the present to begin. Like our family, you may find the short break to relaxedly chat while nibbling a little bit of something delish becoming one of the favorite moments each day. We don't have a local tea room to meet at, but thanks to internet, we can visit and share our favorite tea time snacks and moments with each other.
Welcome to Tea Time! The kettle is singing a song of joy, the snack plates are waiting to hold tidbits of yummy while colorful cups anticipate the beverage they will coddle, be it tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or something else entirely. Our ears are listening for the knock signalling your arrival. Our arms and hearts are spread wide thankful you are coming to share you with us. Thank you for sharing you. You are a great treasure dearly loved and prized by God. He delights in you, and so do we. No matter whether you come to the back door or the front, the door is always open. Please stop in. Even if only for a quick little hug hello.
Recipes are shared freely during tea time. They are like friends, both new and old. If you have any to add, feel free to leave a comment below. Perhaps you have an entire conversation to begin. Articles and visits sent to amothersrewards@gmail.com will be welcomed and published free of charge. Now let's fill our hearts with cheer and our cups with tea. It is, after all, tea time.
Will you meet us here for Tea Time? 


Comments Please?

It all started...hmm, when did it all start? Honestly, I don't know the exact moment it all started. I only know that it was a while ago, closer to a long while ago. Deep inside there has been this hunger, this wanting, this I so wish I had this. A recent visit from a lifelong friend threw open the doors of truth and insistently whispered loud "This is not a want. This is a need. I need a friend. No, I need friends in the plural. More than that, I need to be a friend."

Twelve years. It had been twelve years since my friend and I had seen each other. Twelve very long years with very little contact. Emails and phone calls here and there but not much. We are, after all, busy wives and mothers. Both of us have been smack dab in the middle of busy. We have known this and that we still love each other and are both hoping for that vague "someday" we will be able to get together. Because we do love each other and because we both know the other is busy living life several states away, we do what every other woman does. We suck it up and keep on living, but for me, somewhere along the way, unbeknownst to me, something was drying up inside. There was a place in me getting hard.

When my friend called and asked if we would be home and would it be ok if she and her family stopped in for a visit? I was speechless, for a while. Yes, yes, please do, please do come. Two days later my family was greeting her family. All were smiling and some were crying. That first hug. I didn't cry outside. I was too excited, but inside? Inside something cracked. Something hard cracked wide open, and I knew. I knew what I hadn't been able to figure out for so very very long. Twelve years is too long. I need my friend, and maybe it's arrogance on my part, but I think that she needs me. We don't need to be next door always together never apart, but we do need each other. We need hugs, emails, laughs, talks, visits, tears, snorts, huge dill pickles, we need each other.

God knew. He knew I needed her, and He divinely orchestrated a gift of love. He knew I needed my "Bestus Bud" friend. Not just any friend, my friend who has been my friend since we were 5 years old. The friend who knows all there is to know, my uglies, my bad traits, my good ones, and loves me still. The friend whose basement stairs I fell down everytime I went down them. This is the friend I have had a Merle Norman makeover with and snuck upstairs for a late night pickle run alongside. Of course I woke the entire house when I fell down the stairs, but that's beside the point. Sometimes in the middle of right now we need to be with someone who loves us from back then. She knows all about permed hair of bygone days. Her mom gave me one of those perms.

When goodbye time came, my friend and I hugged a real deal hug like only real friends know how to give, gathered our children back , waved and waved and waved and waved and then? Then we cried. Both of us cried. Twelve years is too long dear ones. Way too long. Don't wait twelve years. We need friends. We need people around us who have known us since when and love us still. We need them desperately and they? They need us too. Some call this the need of community. I don't know what the best term is. I just know I need it, and so do you. In the middle of crazy busy, appointments, education, work, family, we need friends. Not only do we need friends, we need a place to gather together with them. Even 14 month old Victorious Man of God knows this.

VMOG diligently circles the dining room table looking for the weak link, the chair that didn't quite get pushed in completely. If he can find a chair sticking out just a bit, he can climb on it and from there get onto the table. Victory! His victory is short-lived, however. For after a few moments of singing out a series of victory crows, he realizes that he is stuck on an island of his own making. There aren't any brothers or sisters to play with up there. There isn't anyone up there except for him, and that table looks a lot higher from on top than it did from below. His beloved blankie isn't up there either. What he worked so hard to achieve isn't anything he really wanted after all. It's lonely and scary. The best place, the most fun, the safest, is together with the ones who love him.

Where we gather isn't important. What matters is that we gather. That we open our arms wide, gather in those we know, welcome those we don't, and love each other true. There is much to be said for real people living real life together. Call it community, call it a village, a neighborhood, whatever. Just remember to call. Real life includes real people. Real people need each other. All of us need real.

Because we truly do need real, I am taking a deep breath and asking a favor. When this blog was begun, my desire was that it be a gathering place where friends pop in to share and visit. With the exception of a few faithful commenters, Abundance House has not become the place of friendly conversation I envisioned but a one-sided monologue. No one wants to constantly read singular conversations; it isn't that enjoyable talking with myself either. So, could those of you who do pop in for visits please leave a comment? Even if it is just a quick little "hey there!"? Thank you! It would mean so much to me.

Of course, if you wanted to leave a much longer comment, that would be great too. Just please, do feel free to join in and comment. Also, please feel free to forward any and every post you enjoy to friends, family, post on facebook, however you share online. It's time for us to gather together. It's time for all to live together real.

Welcoming friends to a gathering place,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House


A New Book and A Study

Tomorrow is the final day of Passover 2014. Though new to our family, the celebration of Passover isn't new to  God. It is a feast He established years ago. It is a remember and tell to your children forever God feast.

Jesus celebrated Passover. Passover 2014 is one of note. It is not only the Passover that coincides with a blood moon, it is a jubilee year. A number of ministers and scholars have written works explaining the blood moons and the significance of them falling on Jewish feast days. Having listened to several programs sharing information on this, Abundance House is highly recommending a study of this to all who will hear and see. The NASA website has detailed scientific information on lunar eclipses to further enhance such a study.

Gathering the scientific facts is a highly interesting study in and of itself. Combining with it the correlation between major events in history and the correlation of the feasts and WOW!!! it's enough to start a researching frenzy. Well, if a certain mother didn't refrain herself and make herself stay on task for the day. Ha.

Thankfully there are children to keep me from getting researcher's computer head. There are also children to share my findings with. Yes, Abundance House is a house that loves to learn; it is also a house that shares and discusses around the meal table, in the middle of a television show, in the pickup while checking cattle, while walking, on the porch, when and where ever more than one of us are at the moment. Which is precisely why the arrival and reading of a book by Wendy Alec sharing visions from Heaven has started a marathon of mealtime discussions.

Wendy Alec's book will definitely set the religious on their ear, ruffle their feathers, get their dander up, you add the appropriate phrase. It definitely makes one think, not once or twice but repeatedly deep and sincere. Abundance House rates this book as : highly recommended.

For those wanting to dig further into the study of the blood moons, Jewish Feasts, etc., here are some of the authors who have studied and written on the topic. These are just a few of the ones we have seen or heard of: Mark Blitz, John Haggee, Larry and Tiz Huch,  and Perry Stone. Each of these individuals have either books or DVD teaching series referring to this subject. An internet search of the author's name will provide links to their materials. Mark Blitz and Larry and Tiz Huch, being Jewish, are able to provide rich perspective and insight. As mentioned before, the use of NASA's facts further enhances this study.

That's it for new reads and studies here at Abundance House! Calving and wrapping up the school year are keeping us all hopping.

Reminding us all that God loves us,
I am Abundantly Blessed in Him


Sometimes...It Isn't Easy

Have you ever been chock full of God and what He is working, teaching, and doing inside of you but not been able to get it out? If someone were to ask just the right question it might all come pouring out in a torrent, but without that just right question it just fills without emptying. Sometimes...it isn't easy. It isn't easy to say what may not have words. It isn't easy to share that which burrows so deep it is almost unseen. It isn't easy to throw those deepest parts of us out there for just anyone to catch. Sometimes...it isn't easy.

Sometimes...all that comes out is God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Sometimes...God must be seen and experienced to be known. Sometimes...there simply aren't words. Sometimes...this is one of those times.

Passover and Easter two celebrations of Jesus, the Passover Lamb. Two celebrations that together take a person to the cross, the tomb, and then risen to God and living in me. When any part of Jesus is left out there is a gap. Gaps create incomplete stories. Incomplete stories create missing pieces. Missing pieces leave openings for deception and inaccuracy and untruth to do their work. Not wanting any gaps or missing pieces, I am full to bursting with the whole of Jesus. The cross, oh my. The tomb, dearest Lord. Risen, Glorious! With God, Hallelujah! In me, Oh Happy Day, Happy Day, He washed my sins away! Working through me, How Marvelous is Love Like This?

The whole picture. No missing pieces. No gaps. Every day more of the whole is revealed; another gap is filled with truth. Every day I see more and am blind less, in Jesus. In Jesus. Those sometimes when it isn't easy there is always Jesus. And oh how glad I am for Jesus.

Soaking in God's Love Given Through Jesus,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House


Sugar Scrub Recipes!

Here they are --the promised sugar scrub recipes!

The wonderful thing about sugar scrubs, besides actually using them, is that you can totally experiment and adjust until you get exactly what you want!  I certainly did and I am blessed to have several testers in my house and a personal friend who were willing to be experimented on!

You can also use any oil you want. Personally, I used coconut oil in all of these recipes. But almond and olive oil can be used too. The oil mentioned in the recipes are just suggestions, and the amounts can be increased or decreased at your disscretion. In almost all of these recipes I added more oil than it says. How much more I am not sure, because I kind of just dump until it looks good and if it was too much I added a little more sugar.  Also, unless it the recipe says melted, I did not melt my coconut oil before adding. The coconut oil was in a soft but still solid state when added. I whipped these scrubs in a mixer until almost fluffy like, just to fully combine the coconut oil and make the scrub less likely to become too firm if the coconut oil became cold.

A person can also add a few drops of vitamin E oil to any and all of these recipes if they want.

Remember, these are all just suggestions and what I did personally! You do what you want and just have fun experimenting!

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/3 c.  or more of almond or coconut oil

Blend well. Now I personally am not that huge of a nutmeg fan so I only put in 1/4 t. and increased the cinnamon slightly. 

Chocolate Sugar Scrub

1/2 c. raw cane sugar*
1/2 c. white sugar*
1 T. cocoa baking powder -Do Not Double
1/4 c. oil of choice
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Optional - chocolate shavings from bakers chocolate square
Optional- few drops of vitamin E oil

Blend well.
*Any sugar can be used. I personally used only brown sugar in one batch I made and thought it enhanced the chocolate smell.

Honey Brown Sugar Scrub-Blessed Mama's Favorite

2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. oil of choice
1/4 c. honey
1 t. vanilla extract

Blend well.
This is the one recipe that I have not changed at all. The honey in this scrub has inspired me to eventually try honey in almost all the scrubs. However as a side note adding honey to the scrubs would increase the cost factor.

Vanilla Latte Scrub

1/2 c. finely ground coffee
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 T. oil--if using coconut oil melt first
2 T. castor oil

Mix coffee and sugar well.
Add vanilla to sugar mixture.
Add oils last and mix well.
This is a drier scrub.  A little warning--the coffee if not ground finely can be most difficult to rinse off.
Note: Use of coffee as an ingredient in scrubs has been reported to reduce the appearance of cellulite, tighten skin, and reduce hair growth.

Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub

1/4 c. coconut oil-melted
1 c. white sugar
1 T. shredded coconut
6-8 drops lime essential oil*
Optional- 2 T. of coconut milk

Blend well.
* Because I do not have essential oils I improvised :) I took a real lime and zested about half of it then added a couple teaspoons of juice.
  • I also used raw flake coconut-because that is what we had on hand-and pulsed it in the food processor until in small bits.
  • Refridgeration is recommended if you do use a real lime and the coconut milk.
  • And as a side note-this looks really pretty in a clear jar with the bits of green lime mixed in the white sugar.

Now this recipe is one that I really experimented with. The first two batches I made of this I pretty much followed the recipe (because I was giving them as gifts) with the exception of using a real lime instead of essential oils. Oh, and the coconut milk, because that is my own special addition. However, on the third batch I really experimented! I didn't measure at all! I also took what was left of the can of coconut milk and attempted to whip it. It basically just got really frothy. Blessed Mama put a little of the froth (which I had put a small amount of sugar in) in her coffee and really liked it. The coconut milk has also inspired me to try making homemade ice cream with it instead of regular milk. But that is for another post!   I then added sugar, some honey, coconut oil, coconut, lime juice, and lime zest. This ended up being a really large batch!

Lemon Sugar Scrub-One of Not of This World's Favorites

2 c. sugar
1/4 to 1/3 c. oil
few drops lemon essential oil*

Blend well.

* I used the zest of a whole lemon instead of the essential oils. I also used about a teaspoon of lemon zest that we had dried.
The juice of a the whole lemon can be added too. You might want to add a bit more sugar if you did though. I saw a recipe the other day where they did this and a personal friend said she did this as well. The reason I didn't add the juice of the lemon was because it was not my lemon. It was Blessed Mama's lemon that she had for her water so I didn't want to use her juice. So, I just zested it really, really well!

Refridgeration is also recommended on this scrub if you use a real lemon.

Another adaptation I did to this was to take about half the scrub and add a couple bags of mint tea to it. It then became another of my favorites! I still have not decided whether I like the plain lemon or the lemon mint best, but they are my two favorites!

Here is a bonus bit of information--lemon and lime juice are also really good for your skin and help to eliminate dark spots such as age spots and acne scars.

Tea Sugar Scrubs

Tea of choice-- I used a candy cane green tea in one batch and a berry blend tea in another batch.

You can make this any way and however big you want! A little warning--the tea leaves can be difficult to rinse off, so you might want to try grinding them before adding.

 I kind of went a little sugar scrub crazy and made multiple kinds at one time! While it was fun to decide each night which one to use my shower did become a little over run with jars! So after I ended up with about 6 or more jars I slowed down and just started writing down my ideas for future scrubs :)  I'll share the list of ones I want to try in the not too distant future with you here!

  • Citrus Scrub-orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime
  • Chocolate mint scrub
  • Mocha scrub-coffee and chocolate
  • Lemon and Lime scrub
  • Herb scrub - both for medicinal and beauty purposes

Have fun experimenting! If you have an idea for a sugar scrub feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

Not of This World

Holy Week

 It's Holy Week. Even the words are typed in red, red like the blood of the Passover Lamb Jesus. How I long for every week to be truly Holy. When reading this email I know it must be shared. The link follows and a taste, just a smidgen of a taste to whet the appetite follows that.  Please click the link, or copy and paste it into your browser. Please read it all. Please don't just get a taste and miss a delicious meal. Holy Week, for He is Holy.


"And I pour out more of the dark maple syrup and I taste the sweet on my tongue.

And our God is not a God to merely believe, but to experience,
not to only believe in, but be held by. 

A God who not only breaks for you but breaks with you,
a God to not only have creeds about, but to have communion with,
a God who not only who dies for you, but who cries with you,
the God who touches you and binds you and blesses you and heals you
and re-members you because He let Himself be dismembered

and He is the God we not only believe in— but we know.
We know – know beyond a shadow of doubt, death or despair.

He has touched our tears. He has cupped our broken hearts with His scars. He has whispered to the howl, “I know, I know. And I’ve come to begin the making of all things new.” We believe. Because we know. He knows our grief. We know His goodness. And the truth is – we don’t need an explanation from God like we need an experience of God.

And that is exactly what we get.

We get that experience of God when He stretches open His arms on that Cross and cries,
“For you. For all your regrets and for all your impossibles,
for all that will never be and for all that once was,
for all that you can’t make right and for all that you got wrong,
for your Judas failures and your Peter denials and your Lazarus griefs

I offer to take the nails, the sharp edge of everything, and offer you myself because I want you, to take you,
you in your wild grief,
you in your anger and your disappointment and your wounds and your not-yet-there,
you, just as you are, not some improved version of you, but you – I came for you, to hold you, to carry you, to save you.”

The thanks, the yes — it could come like sweet relief.
The broken hearts — they could re-member.
The lament — it could be absorbed in love.

And I taste of holy week, taste of what of runs from that Tree, taste and experience grace and He is good.

All this Easter snow, this sugar snow, coming down like the purest redemption." Ann Voskamp from A Holy Experience


Passover, Remembering

Abundance House has been learning more about certain feasts that God has established to be celebrated forever, feasts and seasons that are very important to Him. Also about how there are certain times aka seasons that one doesn't show up before God empty-handed, there is to be an offering. This has been such an interesting, enlightening, exciting time of learning for our family. It has also been a longer season of learning than others. Since learning has occurred bit by bit each year, every year finds an increase in understanding taking place as well. That being said, it still feels as if there is much to learn concerning God's feasts and times.

Passover is next week. Passover is a time to bring an offering before God. It is also a time to remember...to remember...how the world and all in it need to remember. To remember the deliverance God provided for the Jews from slavery in Egypt. To remember the deliverance God provided, through Jesus, from slavery to sin and death. To remember the many deliverances God has provided His people throughout the ages. To remember and never forget.

Rain is falling here on the ranch this morning. Rain, a beautiful, moisturizing  spring rain. As the sun shines through the dark clouds, I am remembering. Remembering the drought and thanking God for the rain. Remembering winter's frigid cold and thanking Him for the warmth of sunshine. Remembering years of empty and thanking Him for days of full.

Deliverance wears different faces but true deliverance, the saving kind, only comes through Jesus, the Passover Lamb, the once and for all sacrifice, the One whose death bought my freedom. Remembering and thanking God for Jesus. For Jesus is the greatest offering ever given and poured out.  

What are you remembering this day?


Sugar Scrubs Coming Soon

Forty Three! I am going to be 43 years old. Weird, huh? Where have 43 years gone? How is it that I don't feel a day older than 43? hahahaha. Seriously, though. How is it that I don't feel any older than I did when young yet I look it? And why am I writing about myself when I could be sharing about something much more inspiring? Something like....sugar scrubs!!!

Not of This World has been experimenting with various sugar scrub recipes. The verdict? We love sugar scrubs!!! So far, everyone seems to have their individual favorite, but only time and repeated use will tell. Everyone who has used the scrubs agrees that, no matter which scent used, they feel luxurious. She has also whipped up a moisturizer of coconut oil and almond oil that takes luxurious to a completely new level.

Now that you are surely anticipating the recipes for Not of This World's scrubs, you will be thrilled to know that they are coming soon...in a future post. Just wanted to send out a little note to let you know they will be coming soon. These posts are not ones you will want to miss.


Learning Truth

Have to tell you about this! Sandie Freed's blog. If I had the time, I would camp out with my Bible, notebook, and pen devouring the truth from God's Word shared by this mighty woman of God. Dr. Freed teaches the truth with such clarity and loving boldness. I have had to resist the urge to stay online too long reading post after post. There are children who need a mother in the house after all:)

I'll just leave the address and slip out real quick: www.sandiefreed.com. That's the spot to visit.

Learning the Truth,
Abundantly Blessed


Favorite New Reads

Oh. my. Giggles received a book for Christmas that has captivated the little girl in me. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace is a favorite new read at Abundance House. In only a few days, we have finished Betsy-Tacy and have moved on to the next book in the series Betsy-Tacy and Tib.

These books are the most delightful books I have read in years! Maybe ever. Two little girls, they are five years old at the start, growing up together experience the sweetness of the day to day becoming extraordinary in the way that only best friends can. I find myself longing for a time when furniture came in wooden boxes and children pretending to be grown could safely walk to town and "call" on their friends while dressed in their best finery aka dress up clothes.

Perhaps in hidden corners throughout the country communities, villages, and neighborhoods thrive where children freely play going wherever their imagination takes them. Anyone who is blessed enough to live in such a treasured place, those who remember such a childhood of their own, along with all who can only dream of such a blissful experience, will enjoy the writing of Maud Hart Lovelace in the Betsy-Tacy books.

Equally enjoyable are the Ralph Moody books. The first book, Little Britches, whets the reader's appetite for more and more of Ralph Moody's childhood adventures which can be found in other of Mr. Moody's books. While the Betsy-Tacy books are based on the childhood of Maud Hart Lovelace, Ralph Moody's books are the detailed telling of his. Mighty Man of God seems to remain more intently tuned in during the Ralph Moody books, this is probably because the main character is a real life boy instead of two little girls. Giggles snuggles in with rapt attention for both series and laughter can also be heard from other rooms giving away the older children who are listening in.

My own person pile of books continues to grow with almost alarming rapidity. Having received several books as Christmas gifts I must confess that very few of them have been read yet. One would think that the extreme cold of winter would have provided perfect reading weather. It did, for read alouds of Ralph Moody books. Since January, I have read two books on the Jezebel spirit. While informative reads, they were not exactly what I was hoping they would be so...I am not adding them to the post. The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp is an advent devotional so it is being saved for this year's advent season. I confess that after reading through the introduction, I was tempted to pretend it is already Nov./Dec. and read it anyway.

The reading of books seems to come and go in seasons much like the waves of the sea on the shore. Some seasons a lot of reading gets done and others much less. This is in a season of a lot of reading, just of a different type. For now, I am thoroughly captivated by Betsy Ray, Tacy Kelly, and little Miss Tib as well as the Moody family. I'll get to the other books another day.

Always ready to read,
Abundantly Blessed


Diggin' Into New Habits

Cold weather and snowstorms have found us digging in and staying closer to the fire, again. Even though the calendar says it is spring, the temperatures haven't yet caught up. Seeds are in front of the windows after having been planted in their flats. Everyone is growing strong for their late spring/early summer planting. There really isn't anything else to do for garden and lawn care until the temperatures warm up and the snow is gone. What should I do until then? Hmmm.

I think that maybe I should take a few minutes and write down exactly what plants I started, which variety I used, and the date they were begun. Maybe I could even add a few notes as to why I chose the variety I did etc. When fall arrives I can then jot down information on performance and results of each item. That way, when seed catalogs arrive next year I will know exactly what I do or do not want to plant using this year's written memos.

Written notes. A few minutes taken to quickly jot down information this year has the potential to relieve some unnecessary stress next year. A little bit of stress eliminated here coupled with another bit there adds up to a whole lotta stress G.O.N.E. That is a huge step forward towards intentional living. Of course this jotting down of information would be bunches more enjoyable if it were done into a special little gardening notebook or a uniquely designed homebinder page. Another project to enjoy while we dig in closer to the fire. Those beautiful snowflakes are looking more friendly all of the time.


Just in Time - No Foolin'

Perfectly timed http://www.garymorland.com/no-one-asked-me-this-question-but-ill-answer-it-anyway/ arrives in the inbox, just as if it knew how desperately it is needed in today's world. Even though it won't paste as a link for clicking, I am leaving it here. Feel free to highlight the link, right click, and choose the go to... option OR copy and paste it into your browser. However you choose to read the article by Gary Morland, please do read it. It is chock full of loving, Godly wisdom, wisdom that every last Jack and Jill of us need to have soaked deep in our hearts and lives.

Just to make certain all have the address, here it is again: http://www.garymorland.com/no-one-asked-me-this-question-but-ill-answer-it-anyway/. Here is the link to the website itself rather than a specific article: http://www.garymorland.com/. Only God could have sent such a perfect article at the exactly perfect time. Only He. Join me in praising Him loud, right now?

"Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. 
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, & Holy Ghost.