Sunday, November 27, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas!

"Bring the Children".......those are the words always in my thoughts!  I love this season of gratitude, love, and joy in the world!  We are about to enter one of the most beloved seasons around the world!  Christmas is celebrated all around the world and each nation has it own customs and culture and all are to be cherished as families and for those who love children and all the celebrations that include them.

When my son, Steven was in the sixth grade, his teacher invited me to come and speak about Christmas around the world.  At the end, the children all enjoyed making an ornament from a European country and many of them chose Germany for the delicate hand blown glass ornaments.  The children painted them beautifuly.  This turned into a party for the children!  I always love to give a party at Christmas!  I want to make it a lovely time for the children so that they will remember this time all their lives.  With our own children, we always made the holidays fun with baking, decorating the tree, hot chocolate, egg nog and Christmas music!  These are traditions that I still love and cherish and are special memories I believe for my beloved children.  I am sure that you too have may traditions and are making Christmas special in your home!  It is just beginning!  Enjoy this blessed season when Angels sing and the Glory of the Lord regins around the world!  Joy to the World!  Let it begin and let it begin within our own hearts.......

I hope you enjoy these lovely photos that I have from France that remind me of Christmas.......I love white all year and a touch of red too, but especially at Christmas!  Enjoy!
~Hot Chocolate is the drink of choice this cool season!~

~This red door says....Come in!  I've been waiting for you!~
 ~My sister Pam enjoying the ambience of a Paris evening! A red scarf at Christmas is just the right touch~
 ~The combination of white and greenery is always beautiful~
~These little trees are a sign that Christmas is celebrated and all they need are a few little white twinkle lights~

Saturday, November 19, 2011

An Invited Guest......

 Draped in an antique linen tablecloth, the circular kitchen table overlooks the kitchen garden.
The napkins with the monogrammed B are a new antique find!  I found eight perfect antique napkins for a bargin and had them mongrammed in an heirloom look! 
 My Grandmother loved pretty table linens, silver, and crystal.  So much of the entertaining that I do includes gifts that she gave to me a piece at a time.  She was a true collector!

In just a few days, families will start the journey home for the Thanksgiving Holiday!  I really did not give much thought in the past regarding the fact that Thanksgiving is truly an American holiday. Now though, because our youngest daughter lives in England with her husband, I am thinking about that a lot. I ask myself, do I miss her?  EVERYDAY!  However, on holidays when she is unable to be with us, then truly the missing becomes intense! Another daughter is coming home for Christmas and we will miss her too at Thanksgiving!  She lives in California!  I love everyone being together in their places at the table, but not everyone can always come.  Sometimes the distance is too great.  The times we are able to be together though make up for the times we are not together.  Memories are treasures in our hearts!

Who is invited to your table?  Is it just a select few or is your table open to others you might not know so well or perhaps you've been wanting to know better. You could consider making a special point of inviting them. A stranger could become a friend!  Once I was invited to a special dinner.  The elegant table setting was beautiful and tastefully designed so each guest could enjoy conversation and enjoy the evening.  I found my seat and stood at my place, waiting for others to join who were also sitting at my table.  Another guest approached the table and share with me that the tables were reserved and I needed to check which table I was assigned to then turned away.  I smiled and said, "I am at this table."  Uncomfortable, yes,  for a moment but it's fair to say I felt sort of sorry for that person, sorry that they had missed an opportunity to meet someone new.  A stranger perhaps.

Sometimes in our efforts to protect our territory, we could hurt others, even though the hurt is unintentional.  I hope we can remember how it feels to be INVITED, to be treasured as a guest, and then  to show that care and inclusion to our own guests and to our families. Our lives really are brief on this earth.  On Thanksgiving and during this beautiful season, I hope we can remember the meaning of the holiday~THANKS GIVING~ as it truly means giving, giving to others and giving thanks for our bounty of blessings and then sharing them with others along life's way!  Hopefully, this will bring you unexpected blessings in your home!  In the south of the US where I live we call this hospitality!

I hope you have a table topped with LOVE!
Happy Thanksgiving! 

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels." Hebrews 13:2

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Mother

Mothering does come natural to most young women, thankfully.   I have been blessed beyond measure with the wonderful daughters and son that God entrusted  to our family.  I truly enjoy the joys each one of them give to me.  They are giving with love. time, laughter and interesting to converse with!  As we approach Thanksgiving, there are many blessings in my life because of their lives.  This has been a good year for all of them and the roads they are traveling are changing with new sights and new chapters.  We took them everywhere we possibly could as children and it seems all of them have acquired the love of travel and new experiences.  I am thankful to be a mother, their mother.  God willing, I hope to continue to love and encourage them and especially.....their dreams.  I happened upon this lovely little poem from Rachel Ashwell.  If you are a Mother or hope to be, is the highest of callings!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Black and White......Love It!

CoCo Chanel made black a 'love it' color!  Most women have at least one black dress in their closet!  I have seasons of black and seasons of white and then seasons of black and white combinations!  Coco Chanel wore black as a symbol of strength and freedom. I love that about her life's work.  Many women of her beginning era of design wore white....... and lots of it in clothing, hats, and jewelry! She sought to break that mold and settled on a more classic and simple design.....the classic black dress.  Behind this desire to be herself, she created an empire that is still inspiring young women of mind and of age! 

She began her journey with literally no resources other than her dream for a better life.  Her parents placed her and her sister in an orphanage in central France and it was there that her dreams took hold and began to unfold, she could see a better life.  Her circumstances were less than perfect but the strength within her fueled her passion to succeed and fueled her creativity.  She had a need......survival....and she was willing to work for it. 

The doors in the photos above were all snapped while visiting France and I am told that opening one of these beautiful French doors leads one into a beautiful inner courtyard full of beauty and promise of what is to come, once inside.  The opportunity comes when one opens the door!  As long as we are living, we should continue to walk through doors or we could miss the very blessing meant to be ours.  Like Coco, you just have to open the door!

Like her, there are times in life when we have needs that are daunting.  Most of us do at least once in life!  I believe no matter how great our needs or circumstances are, we have to give something out of our need in order for life to be multiplied.  This kind of giving involves faith.  When we give out of our own need then we activate the miracle of God flowing with His supply back into our life.  Your giving causes something according to God's seedtime and harvest to come back to you.  He will provide just what you need at just the right time. 

 Perhaps you are in one of those places..... but believing as you cast your bread upon the waters, through the doors and into the future that life will be multiplied beautifully and that it will be clear, cut out in a lovely pattern of black and white! Blessings of sweet friend!

~My dream black and white dress~

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Healing Waters

Water means blessing for me.  Our earth is made up of 70% water and our bodies are greater than 90% water.  Water is my drink of choice too!  Watering my plants and flowers gives me great joy!  Water is free when we walk to a stream or river or spring to find it.  We must search.....but not far for healing times of need.  We know we can only live so long without water.  Our thirst has to be quenched.  For me, the same need cries out from my soul for spiritual watering. "As the deer pants for water, so my soul pants for You, Oh God." Do you have a need today dear one?  May I encourage you to turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.  May we turn to Him for healing.  It doesn't matter how much money you don't need any to stand under the "fount" (Jesus)    Isaiah 55:1 "Hear, everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters, and he that has no money, come you, buy wine and milk, without money and without price."  He has covered every need my friend for you and me today!

There are those days when only God can lead us "beside the still waters."   I am praying you have some still waters in your future!  Blessings of joy to you this glorious day!