5.29.2014

Pizza - On the Grill

Hi! How are you on this lovely summer morning? The rain last night was so refreshing. Yesterday was a tad warm, and today is predicted to be even warmer. Yes, I think something on the grill will be best for supper. No sense in heating up the house any more than necessary.

Speaking of cooking on the grill, last night I cooked something new on ours. Pizza! It was great! Horsegirl made up our usual two batches of pizza dough. I stretched them out on an oiled counter just like we normally do. Then, instead of putting them in the oven, put them directly on the grill. Our grill held two crusts at the same time. These cooked for approx. 10-12 minutes before being flipped over with a spatula. Once the crusts had been turned sauce and toppings were added. The pizzas were then left to cook for an additional 7-12 minutes. Yummy! They were beautiful and delicious. AND the house didn't have to be heated up. Yea!!!!!! Naturally, our minds were whirling with other possibilities for cooking on the grill. Buttered garlic bread, Cheesy garlic bread, to name two. What are your favorite things to cook on the grill?

I'll be waiting to hear all about it when you stop by next time.Thank you for dropping in. Our visits together are some of the best parts of the day! You know that God loves you, and so do I, right? Here's a loving squeeze to make sure you don't forget! Love you! Watch out for that sidewalk chalk on the porch. It seems as if a few pieces always miss getting picked up. Come back anytime, sometime when you can stay longer. Have a great day in Jesus! Good-bye!

Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House blog

5.28.2014

A Time For Everything Revisited

Hi! I almost didn't hear your knock above the children talking. Please, come in! I know, I know, it's crazy busy for so many right now. Us too. Yes, a little bit of chatting is the perfect beginning to such a lovely day, early, before the hot and rushing set in.
 
Couldn't help noticing that guests have been visiting the archives more than usual. Of course that makes me curious what everyone is visiting about so I just had to pop in too. Wouldn't you know it? The conversation is perfect for right now. Isn't that just like God to bring to us exactly the word we need, just when we need it most? He is so good. How I thank Him!
 
Since the conversation is such a perfect fit for now, why don't we chat about it some more?
 
 A TIME FOR EVERYTHING
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:...a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak." ECCLESIASTES 3:1,7
"Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." 
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
 
 
"A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver."
PROVERBS 25:11
Have you ever received a "word fitly spoken and in due season"? Perhaps you had been struggling with illness. Maybe the main source of income for your family had been eliminated. It could be that one of your loved ones had chosen to go a way that might bring harm to them. Whatever the situation or circumstance, can you recall the moment God sent the perfect word for the specific season you were in? Do you remember the way stress, tension, fear, and doubt vanished in the presence of truth? What a blessing it is when the right thing said at the right time comes to us. I had this happen just today. A dear friend emailed a scripture to me. It was just the right Word at just the right time.
 
Just as important as speaking the right word at the right time is NOT speaking when it isn't time to speak. I've heard it said that silence is golden. Living in a very "non-silent" home, I would be very tempted to agree :) As refreshing as those moments of silence can be, often times I am so involved in the "noise" of life that I miss out on the healing refreshment of the quiet hour. Then I wonder why my days are so full of tension and stress. The Lord provided the healing opportunity of silence, but I was so caught up in my routine of chaos that His divine provision went untouched, worse yet it might have been completely unnoticed. How many wounds have been made because I failed to recognize the season of silence? How many of my loved ones' dreams were squelched because I was unaware of the season and ran my mouth? Probably more than I really want to know.
O Lord, I pray that You would
"Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." PSALM 141:3
"A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
PROVERBS 18:20,21
May the fruit or harvest of your lips be abundant whether it is the season to speak or be silent, and may you have the wisdom and understanding to recognize which season it is.
Originally posted by Abundantly Blessed
 
During a time when the enemy of our souls is in full attack mode on the saints of God, a time like now, it is vital to remember that sometimes...many times the most powerful, loving thing we can do is...be silent.
 
Yes, you're right. It is time to get on with the day. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. We need to commit our mouths to God in prayer before we go on our way. Agreeing together in prayer is powerful. "Dear God, we thank You for the power of agreement. In the name of Jesus we ask that you would truly set a watch on our lips. That we would walk in Your love and only speak Your Words, the Words of Love. We also ask You for the wisdom to know when and when not to speak. Thank You. In Jesus' name, Amen.  

5.27.2014

It's All About Love

Good Morning! I am so glad to see you! Come in! Come in! Just ignore the pile of boots by the back door. It's that busy time of year that finds us wrapping up the end of calving and getting ready for branding. Ugh! I am so glad you popped in this morning. It's the perfect time to sit down for a little bit of visiting. The washing machine ought to be finishing up right about the time our visit does.

This morning I happened to notice a guest had been visiting the archives. Since I couldn't remember what the posts that were visited were about, I popped in to see for myself. Oh my. I needed to read those again. I so needed to read them. Then it dawned on me that perhaps others would enjoy visiting about these things too. Since it's summer and summer is such a lovely time for visiting, why not reminesce? Maybe it will spark a fresh, new conversation in the comments!


WHAT ABOUT LOVE?
 
OK, only those from the 1980s will understand, but I was thinking about a title for this post when I heard a line from an 80s song. The line fit, so, there it is "What About Love?"

What About Love? As regular readers know, the topic of God's Love has been an active, vital part of our family's lives for several years now. We have each been actively pursuing love and learning how to walk in love with our fellow man, as well as each other, for over 15 years. While looking for the reference to a specific verse in my concordance, I couldn't help but be amazed at the sheer volume of verses on love. Whoa! There are A LOT! I mean A LOT. Not only are there a lot of verses containing the word love, many of these verses contain instruction for believers in Christ regarding God's love. If love is so important, I mean God is love, so it must be important. God is important, isn't He? or is He?

Do our lives say that God is important? I'm not talking about whether or not religious practices and church attendance are important to us. I'm talking about our lives and the way we live them. If God is love, and He is, do our words and actions say so? What about our tones of voice? Does the attitude in our words and actions towards our spouse say God(love) is important? What about towards our children? What about our actions and words towards fellow drivers on the road? or other shoppers in the stores? Would our hairdresser or mechanic know that God(love) is important to us? Let's think about our physician, our dentist, our optometrist, and our accountant, would they know? Don't forget the paper boy or girl and the pizza delivery person and the sales representative from that company that just placed an item on backorder, again. Can't leave the telemarketers who just love to call right at supper time out either, now can we? Do they know God is important to us? What about that neighbor whose dog just can't seem to stay in his own yard, and worst of all, that crazy dog takes care of its business in our yard too.

Here we go, off to our love checklist in 1 Corinthians 13. Now we get to examine ourselves and see just how important God (love) really is to us. According to God's standards, God's love in us:
  • endures long
  • is patient
  • is kind
  • never is envious
  • never boils over with jealousy
  • it not boastful
  • is not vainglorious
  • does not display itself haughtily
  • is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride)
  • it is not rude (unmannerly)
  • does not act unbecomingly
  • does not insist on its own rights or its own way
  • it is not self-seeking
  • it is not touchy or fretful or resentful
  • it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]
  • it does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness
  • rejoices when right and truth prevail
  • bears up under anything and everything that comes
  • is ever ready to believe the best of every person
  • its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances
  • it endures everything [without weakening]
  • never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]
Anyone else saying oh me? Not touchy? Never is envious, never? fadeless under all circumstances? really? This is the love that has been shed abroad in the heart of every believer in Jesus. This is what drives out and expels every trace of fear. This is what has overcome the world and its power to harm us. "For God (love) so loved the world He (love) gave His (love's) ownly begotten Son." John 3:16. This is the greatest - love.

The above checklist allows us to hold our lives up and gauge our God (love) walk. It is a marvelous tool given by God to use as we strive to conform to His image. A gift graciously given by Him to teach, assist, and guide. 1 Corinthians 13 is not, however, the only scripture on love. The entire Bible abounds with the love of God in verse after verse. Such rich promises, sweet victory, and wondrous treasure is ours through the love of God! I would seriously encourage everyone to get a concordance, borrow one if need be, and look up every verse referring to the love of God. Another exercise to try during personal Bible study time is to look up verses containing God and substitute the word love in its place. Your walk with Christ will be revolutionized, I promise, yes I do.

Also, don't just look the verses up, begin to commit them to memory. As a person begins to walk in the love of God more fully, the enemy comes against them in an attempt to steal the seed (the Word of God).(Mark 4:14) Having the Word hidden in our heart, allows us to stand strong and defeat the enemy by using the very Word satan is attempting to steal against him as the sword that the Spirit wields. ( Ephesians 6:17) When we begin to order our words and actions as if God truly is important to us, others will be drawn to His love coming out of us. Soon we will find ourselves reaching out with His hands and caressing the wounded with the words of God (love). Grudges we have been harboring fade away, resentment leaves, and bitterness is replaced with loving kindness. Instead of grumping and grouching, we console and understand. Patience replaces the pushing and shoving fulfilling our own agenda breeds. Instead of rushing around and being rude in an attempt to go serve God, we find ourselves observing everyone around us as we, like our Heavenly Father, intently look for an opportunity to minister His love to a lost and hurting world.

Jesus Himself said that He came not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him (love). (John 3:17) Servants are not greater than their masters. We are to be imitators of God as dearly beloved children imitate their fathers. (Galatians 5:1) How can we be irritable and rude to that scattered clerk in the checkout line? The steps of a righteous man are ordered by God. (Psalm 37:23) God has divinely ordained that we are the one to be in that particular clerk's line because we have the life and love of God he or she needs, NOT because we always get the slowest, grouchiest checkout. Maybe we seem to always get the slowest, grouchiest checkout because the slowest, grouchiest checkout is in need of God's love and healing power, and we have been divinely created and positioned to minister that love to him/her. Love,

God's love in us, transforms us by the renewing of our mind. I desperately need this transformation to move my focus from myself and my own plans and schedules onto the lost and hurting people God has already planned for me to minister to, in His name. Others have ministered His love to me time and time again. How can I not do the same for those around me? So, what about Love? It's ALL about Love.

5.19.2014

Spring Reads

Zippity Doo Da, Zippity Day my oh my what a wonderful day it is to finish up the spring cleaning projects I have started! The sun is shining. The snow has melted. There are still puddles enough to remember the marvelous rain on Mother's Day, and the birds are busily flitting about from tree to tree.

The day above was a beautiful day for spring cleaning. Not all of the projects are completed, but enough has been accomplished to provide a sense of progress. For now, that is enough. Even one paragraph was all there was time for writing that day. It was a busy busy day. Maybe I should have deleted that lone paragraph and started over. However, it sounded so happy and sunshiny that I just had to leave it be.

After drinking up their small cups of cappucino I made for them during a recent afternoon tea time, Giggles and Mighty Man of God stated that they may never drink instant cappucino again. Oh my. Those two are pure delight. Neither one of them drink instant or otherwise very often, but apparently when they do, they will want it to be made fresh for them. Makes me smile just remembering how seriously sweet they were about it all.

So, here we are gathering together for another visit, and I just can't get away from a couple of thoughts. 1. A place for real people doing real life to gather together and 2. a place of refuge and sanctuary for God's people. As always, there are many more thoughts running around my head, but these are the two that keep rising to the top and hanging on. Won't it be interesting to see what God does with these thoughts? How interesting it will be to be part of Him working out His plan in and through us all!

Before we all head out for the afternoon, please do let me tell you about a few books I'm reading.
  • The Student Whisperer by Oliver DeMille/Tiffany Earl - SO inspiring. It is taking my thought processes as an educator and parent up several notches.
  • A Thomas Jefferson Education - Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-First Century  by Oliver DeMille - barely into this one. Will have to report after reading more.
  • Fields of Home by Ralph Moody - We are still working our way through this read. It is just as good as the other stories from Mr. Moody's childhood, but definitely has a different tone to it. Much more serious with a lot less funny.
  • Another book about Betsy Tacy and Tib. They just keep getting better and better. The children and I love every single one of these books.
  • A Child's Geography Vol. 1 Explore His Earth by Ann Voskamp - brilliant! Most enjoyable geography book we've ever read!
  • Science in the Beginning by Dr. Jay Wile - Oh my. Dr. Jay Wile's new elementary science books may be the only ones we use from now until Junior High level. I am learning so much more than I ever did in school, and it is written in an interesting style. I know science wasn't this fun or thorough in grade school when I was a kid. Oh, Giggles and Mighty Man of God are loving it too:)
I think maybe I am forgetting a title or two but for now, these will at least provide a glimpse of the book stack. We're going to settle in with the Geography and Science now. See you later! Have a Blessed afternoon in Jesus! We love Him so.

Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House blog

5.13.2014

Change in Comment Process

Dropping in real quick like to let you know that the commenting process should be easier now. One of our guests shared that leaving a comment was difficult to the point of almost impossible for them because of how tough it was to read the letters in the code box. Problem fixed. The code verification box along with the wait for moderation have been eliminated. Comments can now be left without hassle. Click on the add a comment link at the bottom of each page and type away. Anything that makes visiting easier is a good thing.

Looking forward to more visits from you!
Abundantly Blessed

5.12.2014

$50 Card Giveaway

Good Morning! Do you have your cuppa tea yet? Go ahead and grab it while you read about this giveaway from Sherwin Williams. While visiting French Country Cottage this morning I discovered an opportunity to enter a sweepstakes for a $50 gift card to Sherwin Williams. Happy Dance! One of the ways to earn an entry in the sweepstakes is to leave a comment sharing which room I would makeover. Another way to earn an entry is to blog about the promotion and tell all of you dear readers what is going on. So, here I am, bright and early on this day after Mother's Day. This post does earn me another entry, but I also want all of you to know about the sweepstakes. So...it is a win win situation!

If any of you want to enter, click on the above link to French Country Cottage blog and join in the fun. Can't wait to see what room each of you would makeover. Meet you over there!

Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House blog

5.10.2014

My Other Mother

I have another mother, besides my mom. She is the mother who gave me the gift of her son, My Beloved. Some women refer to their other mothers as moms-in-law, but mine is my mom-in-love. This mother is the mother that got me, ready or not, when I was only 19 years old. Everyone knows what 19 year olds are like. Yes, God Bless my other mother.

Before she was my mom-in-love, she was my employer. I worked for her. One of the things I helped with was repapering a bedroom in her home. It was the room I slept in when working at the ranch for her. While working, something fell over with a loud bang. After the object fell with such a bang, I said "crash". I have heard other people say things like "crash, boom, bang" but I just said the one word "crash". Apparently my other mother, who wasn't technically my other mother yet,  thought I said something else, something not as innocent, something that rhymes with trap. She smiles at me and begins to relate a story of something her grandmother-in-love said to her after she had spoken a similar word. It was an interesting story, and I enjoyed hearing it but did have to wonder why she told it to me as if making a point.

Of course by now everyone reading this knows why. My "crash" must have sounded like that word that rhymes with trap, and therefore, the story was a loving gentle way of sharing her disapproval of that word. However, having said the word crash instead of the other and not even thinking along those lines, I hate to admit how long it took me to figure out why I had been told that story. I wondered and wondered and wondered and well, eventually I figured out what must have happened. However, it took me so long to figure out why that I didn't ever ask for sure. Yes, it honestly took me that long to figure it all out. I never said I was speedy. The point of this is to share the loving way my mom-in-love corrected me, even though I didn't actually say what it sounded like I said. 

Through the years my mom-in-love has spoiled and loved me time and time again. Her patience has undoubtedly been tested and tried during the past 20 some years of knowing me. We not only came from  different generations but completely different cultures too. How non fun learning to understand this girl from farming country must have been to a rancher's wife from ranch country. Especially a girl with a strong-er personality like me. Thankfully, for both of our sakes, I am no longer 19 years old, and hopefully, I have grown up some.

No matter what, I know that I am blessed beyond measure with a loving mother-in-love. Her love for her family runs deep and wide. I have learned so much about being a wife and mother from watching her love her family and mine. Watching her love my children is a delightful experience that I treasure. I couldn't allow Mother's Day weekend to slip by without telling my dear mom-in-love Happy Mother's Day!!! I love you!

5.09.2014

Ideas and Mother's Day

Hi! Come on in! We're knee deep in magazines. These things accumulate like crazy! I need to go through them and cut out the pictures/ideas I want to keep. I know, I know, my idea files are filled to overflowing, but there are some in these magazines I just can't resist.

At our house we like to read and gather new ideas. Believe it or not these ideas come in handy, if not for us personally then for friends and family. Some people make a living selling ideas. But we just get a thrill out of sharing them for free. Finding the ideas is fun; sharing them is even more fun. It's like digging buried treasure out of a dirt heap and giving it away.

As a little child did you ever sit and listen to the grownups talking? Ideas and recipes were most likely flying back and forth adding their own deliciousness to the conversations. Men might have been sermonizing on their favorite color of tractor, style of car, or which golf club was best for various situations. Meanwhile the women were perhaps sharing the most delightful new recipes, best buy on the nicest plants, or the prettiest piece of fabric at the fabric store. Of course there would have been reports of which neighbor owned what, said what, bought what, where, and for what price. Those choice tidbits provided confirmation for the speaker's own opinion.

Mother's Day makes me think of times past spent listening to conversations just like the ones we're talking about. Mother's Day morning would have been spent at church. My mom and grandmas would all have had corsages, that's what the men did in the area I grew up in, they bought corsages for their wives and/or mothers. The noon meal would have been held at the home of a family member from either side of the family followed by the afternoon slipping away in a cozy mess of adults visiting and children playing. That evening would have seen us back at church. Tired but full of gladness, we would have headed home after service. Finally, bedtime brought the end to yet another Mother's Day.

Nothing fancy, just simple, homey times spent with loved ones, these are the memories that Mother's Day brings. Those are also the type of memories I want to create. Simple, homey time spent with those I love are the one thing this mama craves more than anything else. My Beloved and seven children satisfy these cravings beautifully. Since I wouldn't have the blessing of being a mother if it weren't for My Beloved and children, I can't help but send out a thank you to them right now. Thank you dear ones. Thank you for being what makes me a mother. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I Love You!!!

5.06.2014

A Really Good Day

Oh Good! You dropped in! I'm so glad you're here! How was your day today? Busy? Mine was filled to overflowing with the best kind of treasures, the daily snippets of goodness that weave themselves together to form a very blessed life. The smell of a freshly mown lawn,  a young son helping his father,  two young sons playing together on the lawn, the tug of a toddler ready for mama time, excited stories coming from a 7 year old Giggle girl, clean laundry piling up, dirty laundry disappearing, a 17 year old finishing her high school courses, washing off the front porch, and a rousing game of Uno.

Looking over my daily snippets it seems kind of funny to list Miss Mustard Seed's completing high school in the middle of normal day to day activities, but that is one of the things that made today different than yesterday. Miss Mustard Seed turned in all of her final high school work this morning. Everything has been completed. Once I finish grading her last assignments, a final report card will be issued, a diploma given, and another high school transcript finished. This is the third time I have done this, graduated one of my children. Every time is different. Every. single. time. None have been the same, not a one. Makes sense. Children are all uniquely created individuals. Why would their life experiences be the same?

Some people feel that children born in the middle of several siblings are deprived, overlooked, ignored, on and on the descriptions go. I don't see it that way. Maybe in some families, but in ours, it seems to work in a positive way rather than negative. For our third born child things are usually smoother than they were for her older two siblings. Two other children have already gone through major experiences so most of the kinks and nervousness have been worked out and/or through. By the time Miss Mustard Seed reaches a milestone, I am more confident about what needs to be done, more relaxed, less obsessive and stressed. Not that I am ever obsessive or stressed mind you. hahaha. You are laughing at that last statement right? You should be!

Yes Miss Mustard Seed in her third born position, in many ways, has it decidedly easier than her older two siblings. Easier than her younger three too as she was only second in line for hand me downs. Clothing and/or toys hadn't worn completely out by the time they got to her. Because she was born in a different season than her older sister, she often got new-er clothing anyway. Summer clothes don't work very well when they fit you in winter and vice versa. Because there were children before and after her, she also learned to share, get along, and when to stop the madness by refusing to be manipulated by either older bro. and sister or the younger.

There are still challenges for her to overcome. Everyone has them, but from her middle seat in the family Miss Mustard gets the privilege of observing two others handle similar challenges before facing her own personal set. She gets to learn both what to do and what not to do just by watching.

So, it was a full day today. A good day. A really good day. A normal work day without any unexpected stress popping up, now that's a good day. Wouldn't you say? What's that? It's getting late you say? You're right. It is. You have to go? I understand. Morning does come quickly. I need to get to bed myself. Thanks for stopping by. It has been a beautiful night for a visit. Come again soon. Drop by anytime you can. We love to have you, even for just a little bit.

Praying peace and protection over you as you go back home,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House blog

5.05.2014

Notebooking

What does a mama say in response to a post like yesterday's? There truly are. not. words. No words, just lots of liquid joy and love raining down from the eyes. And the no words part is a bit of a miracle all its own:)

After four days of cloudy, the sun is shining again today. If it weren't so windy we would gather on the front porch and enjoy the newly emerging green grass. Since the wind is too nippy for that, we'll gather in the house, around the table. We'd settle in the living room on the couch, but it's full of clean laundry to be folded. Don't worry about the laundry. It'll still be there waiting for me later on. Visits from friends are more important than laundry. Unless someone will be naked if it doesn't get done, then we'll fold laundry while we talk. Now that's the sign of a true friend, someone who will fold laundry with you while you visit.

The tea kettle is getting ready to hum for us. Are you in the mood for coffee or tea this afternoon? Cream? Sugar? Brown or white sugar? Never tried brown in your drink? Oh, try it, please do. It may be a bit of a challenge to be heard above the children. They feel as if they have been caged for oh so long. I'm feeling a bit that way myself, like they have been caged for oh so long. This might be the perfect day for a good old-fashioned game of UNO, Go Fish, Concentration, or King's in the Corner. Wonder if I could rig up a version of Go Fish using letter and number flashcards. What do you think? It would be a painless way for Mighty Man of God to fill in some of those pesky gaps. Ever known a little guy to have so much trouble remembering the number 8 is not 9? OR that if 9 is nine then 8 cannot also be nine? The absoluteness of math is so confusing for a right-brained man like MOG. Why can't there be two 9s? Why indeed? By the time we are done reviewing our numbers I am wondering why there aren't myself. When he gets it, it will be there to stay. I keep reassuring myself with this knowledge.

Two, or is it three years, after saying we were going to start, we're still working on introducing notebooking into our school days. Basically, notebooking is another term for scrapbooking or journaling what the student is learning, a record of their learning. After trying a number of learning methods unsuccessfully, I finally stepped back away from the schooling, sat down, and took a good honest look. Looking at the big picture, revealed that there aren't a lot of huge gaps merely small pesky pinholes, pinholes that can easily be mended. Following closer observation, consideration was given to what works. After all that assessing it was determined that the best solution would be to do what we were going to do several years ago with Miss Mustard Seed and Horsegirl, notebook.

Anyway, with the cold rainy/snowy weather, some spring cleaning has been happening upstairs. All of those rubber stamps and paper scraps in the craft room sparked thoughts on ways to use these supplies for school. One thought trailed to another and before the cleaning was done I was in full notebooking mode. Giggles loves scrapbooking and she loves to create. She also loves to learn. She just does not, however, get into writing what she learns down. Notebooking is the perfect answer for her. A number of traditional classrooms have been using various versions of notebooking for years with markable success. Why not go with what works? So don't be overly surprised if we're late to tea time every so often. Time has a way of slipping by when we're busy creating, and creating journals or notebooks of what is being learned is what we're going to be doing.

If you know any student(s) who struggle with traditional busywork or retaining knowledge, spend some time looking into notebooking. Notebooking or journaling lends itself to a wide variety of learning methods and styles. It can be used in every subject, even Math. It doesn't have to be contained in schoolwork either. Recipes, decorating ideas, writing, any number of things could be notebooked/scrapbooked/journaled by any person of any age. Even tea time ideas could be notebooked!!! Can't you just see a smashbook style notebook filled to overflowing with pictures of roses, tea cups, scones recipes, poems, stories, and every other thing that says tea?

There are as many different types and styles of notebooking as there are schools and people. No matter what the subject or learning situation, notebooking can greatly enhance the learning experience for both student(s) and teacher. Oh! And if you find an inexpensive source for three ring binders, paper, printer's ink, and adhesive, I would be ever so thankful for the information. We're going to need some notebooks to put our pages into.

Do you notebook or know anyone who does? We would be thrilled to hear and see all about it. There's a place to leave comments below or an email can be sent to amothersrewards@gmail.com. Feel free to include a picture too! Thank you for dropping by. It was so good to see you! We don't always visit about homeschooling when we gather, but every once in a while there's something, like notebooking, that kind of finds its way into our chats. Notebooking isn't only for homeschoolers though so I guess it's ok that we talked about it this once. Yes, the kids are definitely reading for some mama's attention. They've been such sweethearts during our visit today.

Oh, wait! Before you go, let's gather before the Lord in prayer. He's the Friend above all friends. We don't want to leave Him out of our visit.

Dear Lord, Thank you for the guests at Abundance House today. They have graced our home with their presence and time. I pray that they will be blessed beyond measure as they depart from here, and that their homes will be filled with the fullness of You. I also ask that they would be brought back for another visit and another and another and...yes, God, lots more visits. Thank You for drawing us all together. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Here, let me give you a squeeze before you walk out the door. Ohhhhh, it's so GOOD to see and visit with you. I'll walk out with you. Did you see the buds on the tiny fruit trees across the drive? Spring is coming soon. Here's where I stop. Can you see Victorious Man of God looking out the window at us? He's standing there with his blanket. He's ready for his snack. Better get back inside before Giggles and Mighty Man of God find the candy stash. Thanks again for coming! I'll see you later! Watch out for that wind. Don't let it blow you away! Come back anytime! Love you!

Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House blog









































5.02.2014

MOTHER

Mothers. There’s no force on earth quite as powerful as a mother. If you don’t think a mother is a force to be reckoned with, then perhaps you’ve never met a mother like mine. She is a comforter, champion, and friend all rolled into one petite package. When I was growing up, no one could scold and protect, all at the same time, like she could. Few others could fix what’s broken while telling how to make sure it doesn’t break next time like my mom could either. A teacher, trainer, and tender love giver, a mother is the ultimate multi-tasking multi-purposer, and my mom is no exception.

For several days I have been in the process of writing a Mother’s Day post in honor of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Mother‘s Day. Did you know Mother’s Day is going to be 100 years old? Did you know it is a week from this coming Sunday? Hint, hint. After my girl said such sweet words to me, it’s now my turn to talk a bit about my own mom.

While pondering what to write, I couldn’t help but get a little lost. After all, where does one begin when writing about one’s mother? There’s too much! She’s my friend, yes, but she’s also mom. She’s the grandmother of my children, yes, but she’s also my father’s wife. With all of this, the surface still hasn‘t been scratched. Do I share about how she cries liquid emotion so easily, just like her own mother? About how she trains a dog to do tricks better than anyone I’ve ever known? What about how the ability to snort when laughing originated with her before coming down to some of my daughters and me?

Some writers share what their mothers have taught them. Hello! This is my mother. She has taught me almost everything. She was the very first teacher I ever had. Even though I totally lacked imagination when she first attempted to play school with me and wanted nothing to do with the “desks“ set up in the living room, I still learned from her. Granted, learning how to use my imagination was probably one of the largest challenges I provided herJ But I did learn how, by watching her. The fact that I now encourage my children to smell the flowers on the pages of books testifies to this fact.

Some of the lessons I learned from my mother were ones she did not teach intentionally. By watching her, I learned to be active in church, to visit friends whenever the mood struck, to make fresh brewed ice tea, that coffee is necessary when eating dessert, to use the newest book I want to read as motivation for completing the day’s tasks, to study the Bible, to give students my all, to pray over little for God will make it much, and more, so very much more. When a fellow church goer is less than pleasant, I learned to pray for God’s love through me. I also learned that friends make most everything better, even if they do make us laugh so hard we snort.

Seriously, where is a daughter to start? It can’t be put into words this mother-daughter relationship. Mentor, defender, protector, teacher, encourager, supporter, soother, trainer, corrector, therapist, counselor, and yes, friend. Men have written eloquently of their mothers, but as expressive as they are, the words of sons won’t work for daughters. Daughters possess a wordless knowledge of this beautiful mystery, the mystery known as mom.

If a daughter becomes a mother herself, this unspoken understanding opens up in unimaginable ways. For only after becoming a mother herself does a daughter begin to grasp the true enormity of her own mother’s love. It is impossible to grasp the pain in a mother’s heart or the passionate intensity of her prayers for her teenage children until one has teenage children of her own. Only after cleaning up vomit at 2 o’clock in the morning does someone truly appreciate the sacrifices of personal comfort made by their own mom. In moments like these, and many others, being a mother reveals your own mother to you as nothing else ever could.

Even as I try to write and fail to find the right words, it is my mother’s unfailing love I am counting on. I am resting in the knowledge that she knows she is loved, even when my words and actions are weak. I know she has been a mother with a crying little one so understands that our days don’t always allow us to do what we want nor when, and that sometimes, they keep us so busy our heads turn to mush and it’s a miracle we are able to get out even three intelligible words in a row. With that in mind, please know that these seven words contain more love than it seems they could.


HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM!

I LOVE YOU!

 

 

 

 




Home

Brrrr! Come in! Come in! Let me take your coat and your scarf and mittens. We'll set them here by the fire where they can dry out. Whew! it's wet out there! Can you believe it was snowing earlier? It's almost May! Ooooh, it's so good to see you. Here, I've just got to give you a squeeze. Mmmmm, it's so good to see you. Now, what would you like to drink? tea? coffee? hot chocolate? 

Who wouldn't want to visit this person's house, get a love squeeze and cozy up by their fire for a visist? Who wouldn't jump at the chance to spend part of an afternoon or evening in the warmth of loving acceptance? If a person knew that they would be not only received but welcomed, who wouldn't brave wintry like spring weather for such warmth? Not only would a person brave weather, but he or she would make time in his or her day to do so. All of us would. All of us are inwardly hungering for a place of loving warmth. We all have a hunger for home.

Home. The one place in the world a person can go and find acceptance, welcome, and love without
conditions. The embrace of home feels like a warm fire in winter and a cooling breeze in summer, soothing and refreshing. For some, home is a country refuge. For others, it is an urban retreat. It isn't the building that makes home. It is the people, the love. Home might not be a house. Family might not be biological. Not everyone has experienced home. Those who have know. They know what the song says is so "Mid palaces and pleasures wherever I may roam be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."

My prayer is you find that here at Abundance House. That time spent here is like a warm welcoming visit home. No matter where you've been or where you've come from know that a welcoming smile, friends to visit with, and something good to drink are always waiting for you here. We'll pull up a chair, gather all around, and visit away like good friends do. When the children get hungry, we'll all fix a snack and nibble a treat or maybe two. Laughter, tears, giggles, and snorts will be heard as we enjoy a few moments away from the busyness of the day to day. When it's time for all of us to go, we'll gather once more in prayer with the Best Friend of All, the One who has laid His life down for us, Jesus. There might be a flurry of good-byes and hugs as everyone parts, but that's ok. Home gets a little crazy sometimes. That's just another part of home.

As we say good-bye today, dear guest, please depart with these words in your ears. You are loved. You are important. God loves you. He adores you. He introduced us to you, and we are glad. So, so, so very glad to have met you. Thank you for visiting us at our home today. Please come back again. We'll be looking for your knock. It's like music on our ears. The tea kettle will be singing for your arrival too.

Listening for your knock,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House blog