Friday, March 30, 2012

Letting Go.....

It is Friday!!! What is about Friday's that we all love? I wish you could come over and have a spot of tea on my porch and we could share what is in our hearts and on our minds! Friendships are good for encouraging us any day of the just doesn't have to be a Friday! Encouragement is good and such a special gift! I hope you've had a lot of positive encouragement in your life but if you didn't that does not have to hold you back or keep you from receiving the blessings that God has for you! You are a child of the Most High God and there is nothing that is impossible or too difficult for Him to perform in your life or mine! If you were with me and sitting on my back porch we could talk about this! It is difficult in our day and time to let go, but when we realize, as Scripture teaches that God is in control of the universe and all its facets we can understand this principle and let go of trying to control our own lives......with grace. The truth is HE really, really is in control of our lives and He loves us so very much! On a back porch or at the kitchen table He is available to encourage us all! In the Bible, a man named Job finally let go of trying to make his own decisions and allowed God full control, Job was wise when He finally let go. My prayer is we will desire that kind of wisdom and repentance, the kind that daily lets go. Always, God's purpose is to purify us. He uses many means to do this in a person. He designs, in a detailed way, events which are right for each individual. We just have to let go! When we surrender, we are placing complete trust in Him! J. I. Packer says....."What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it--the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands; I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him because He first knew me and continues to know me." Knowing God is like a fresh bouquet of tulips delivered everyday....for the rest of your life! Let us open our hands and our heart and let go.....yeah, it's Friday! We can do this!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Every Good Gift

Everything good in life is present because God is the Giver! The beautifully scripted words in James 1:17 clearly shares this beautiful promise, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.". Yes, God's goodness falls on us all...... everyday! Sometimes we are to busy to see His goodness or we choose to think we perhaps deserve goodness, but truly, if we take a few moments to listen to His still quiet voice and bask in His presence we will feel Him and see Him and more clearly understand that yes, He is the Giver, a most gracious one! Where do you meet with God, in a garden, on a patio in lovely surroundings, in a tiny apartment with little light, or surroundings that are not really what you had hoped for at this point in life. It does not matter where you are OR where you meet Him because HE is with you, He is able to be in your surroundings. He has that incredible ability to meet us where we are. We can stop striving, stop desiring, stop trying harder......we can look up and bask in His goodness because He is with us. [ My Presence will go with you and I will GIVE you rest. Exodus 33:14] His desire is to give us the keys to His Kingdom to know Him, His love, His mercy, His peace, and His forgiveness. It does not matter if we have missed the mark on a twisted path and lost the way......He will bring us back! He is gifted at giving the errant one clear direction. He welcomes you, His arms are open! "Blessed are ALL those who put their trust in Him" Psalm 2:12b

This beautiful painting of Jesus is in The Louvre is Paris, France! I was enthralled with the gifts of viewing these glorious works of Art!

Yes, dear friends, Jesus came for All.....bearing gifts of love and joy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fabulous RED

Fabulous Red.......

An old amaryllis bulb blooms a vibrant red.......

Who wouldn't love one red shutter in this entire French Village? I did not even notice it was red when I snapped this lovely phototgraph!

Today has been a fabulous day filled with RED! This morning in my garden the beautiful red blossom above started my day! This gorgeous flower came from a bulb that belonged to my dear grandmother. She nurtured it for many years and now, thanks to my sister, it is in my garden! I feel so blessed that I can carry on something that my grandmother loved so dearly....her flowers! I admired it all day...and finally cut it because our winds are so strong today and placed it in a vase. Then, this afternoon I was blessed again when I opened a sweet and beautiful card from my sweet girl Kara! It was filled with sweet words and love and it was a vibrant French red! The hat, the dress, the shoes all matched the red in the flower which started the day! Only God could cover our days with such matching details! Yes, RED is a powerful color just like the power of love that my grandmother gave to me. LOVE knows no boundaries! The special love between my daughter and me (even though she lives in England) knows no boundaries....isn't that fabulous? God blessed my life with with a fabulous day and for that gift I am so thankful! May your day be filled with sweet moments! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Purity of WHITE......

On this glorious March day I hope your day is as beautiful as the pretty white tulips I found for a Spring bouquet! White is so ......WHITE! I love to plant white seasonal flowers in my gardens! When you are describing a color to a painter or a decorator you may have seen in a magazine or a home, rarely do you have to describe WHITE! People understand clearly the description of a white room or white fabrics used for bed linens or window dressings or better yet white towels! Who doesn't love white towels? I wasn't really thinking WHITE this morning as I read the book of I Thessalonians but as I was reading, about the gospel being shared and reaching Europe around A.D. 49 I saw clearly as black and WHITE, the message of the clarity of the gospel of Jesus Christ! It is a book marked by thankfulness over the growth of the church and the return and coming again of Jesus Christ one day in the future. As a believer in Christ and one of many others who share my faith, we confidently await the return of Christ one day soon! The book also speaks of hope, not as a sense of an optimistic outlook or wishful thinking but in the confident expectation based on certainty of the Scriptures that our lives can be full of hope! Biblical hope rests upon God's promises throughout the Bible. Hope is an extension of faith in Christ. When one truly loves Jesus the GOSPEL truth just over flows and spills out! Most often as I Thessalonians 2:7 states it is best received by an unbeliever when we are gentle among among them, "just as a nursing mother cherishes her children". After I had read this book this morning I spoke with one of my beautiful darling daughters and she begin to share with me about the gospel and how it was so black and white and purposeful. We spoke of how many, many, many churches today water down the purity of the Word and just want listeners to feel like everyone is okay to believe their way. I hope you know that Christ died for your sins, He came to give you purpose and value, and He can give a repentant and broken spirit a beautiful clean beginning, it doesn't matter what you have ever done in your life.....just like the white flowers in the picture above.....He has the desire to give you a life of purity and hope as you develop trust in HIM. {DAILY} He didn't leave us alone to wander about on our own either!!! Heaven, the Scriptures declare, was opened and the Spirit of God descended like a Dove and alighted upon Jesus at His baptism! {Matthew 3:17} The dove symbolizes gentleness, innocence, and meekness and we must be similar in the world as we share Christ love with others as our spirits are filled with His. I know these are deep and heavy thoughts but ones that I hope will encourage you to make every day count! Yes, everyday! He is always near and ready to do great things in your life and mine! Blessings of LOVE to you my friend!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Springtime Garden....And Easter Celebrations.......

Whether you live in a rambling nineteenth century manor house set high on a French countryside or in a house rather ordinary you can still make it feel exceptional this time of year! Plantings sometimes take many years to mature....especially ones like this one in Provence!

I have always loved an arbor of greenery and regretfully once had to leave a beautiful arbor similar to this at a home we once owned.....springtime blossoms at the entry would be perfect like this one I saw in Avignon!

I love tulips and last year we planted lots of bulbs but when they are planted in mass like this beautiful display in Hyde Park in London they are magnificent! Oh to have my own Gardner who has lovely ideas and a large budget!!! Dreams......

Alas this is my plantings, small but a beginning.....just getting started in this area of my garden. I planted Iris that were from my Grandmother's yard!

I have a few of these around our yard also and they give just a pop of color!

The Easter Bunny will have plenty of places to hide the eggs, but the Bunny bringing the eggs and baskets is a truly an American tradition! Did you know in France treats come to children via church bells?! Parents tell their children that ALL the bells in the country will be silent the week before Easter because they have left their towers to visit Rome and gather sweets. Once they return, the bells hide goodies in the gardens of children who've been good! Can you imagine bells flying all over hiding chocolate eggs, covered with pretty ribbons?! When I was visiting in France, I did notice patisserie windows were all showing off their lovely packages waiting to be delivered! This is an idea to be copied if you are crafty!

These lovely eggs have been decorated with watercolors...but you can use natural dyes from vegetables to give you just the right shade for your baskets! The pretty shades of springtime grass is perfect for hiding eggs! So...we must hurry and start shaping up the yard! Easter comes early this year. New shoes, new dresses, new shirts....a celebration perfect for sharing the true meaning and celebration of Easter......JESUS! HE is always right on time and truly delivers HIS LOVE in our hearts......JUST BEAUTIFUL! Let the Bells Ring.....Hallelujah! Glory, Glory, Glory! Christ has RISEN!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Beautiful Season......

Adored by the FRENCH, the wonderful and colorful fruit.....the pear! The green we love to see in Spring!!!

My table setting, prepared for an early brunch with some friends is topped off with a cute little pear candle that I found as a favor!

I used my Mother's silver which she actually gave, so generously, to my daughter, Shelly, but we just haven't gotten to California yet! Soon, though!

Years ago, while living in Jackson, Mississippi, I found these lovely dessert plates which always find a place at my table in the Spring!

Green represents new beginnings...freshness!

My sweet girl, Shelly gave me the gift of these beautiful silver pieces she found at Rachel Ashwell's shop in Santa Monica! I love them but oh I LOVE Shelly so much more!

This delicious jam is a new favorite! Raspberry has become delicious! My table is all finished now for a special time of fellowship and fun!

To me, the most beautiful season is SPRING! I love the clean fresh scents of the earth after a spring rain and the fragrance of the bounty of spring flowers and trees beginning to blossom! The Easter season is one of God's most versatile times of the year beginning for what it represents spiritually, regarding new life and also the timing of the glorious new life of the budding trees and beautiful flowers.....everywhere, all around the world! Only God could design such beauty! One of His attributes is that He is The Creator! The One who brought the universe and all matter and life into existence! In Psalm 104:14 the Word says...."He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth". Yes, God made this beautiful earth to bring blessing and goodness to all our lives! I hope you can find the time in this season to try and capture a moment or a few minutes to reflect on the beauty of Creation! Maybe there is someone you have been wanting to invite over for a special brunch or dinner. Perhaps there is someone who you could indulge with a basket of little luxuries (a candle, bubble bath, and a encouraging note). Perhaps, it is your family......what a gift a family is! I hope that this season of the days leading up to Easter are filled with beauty and blessing for you! Set a pretty table, enjoy a beautiful sunrise, turn on some soft music, and welcome others INTO your life! Most importantly welcome Jesus into your life! Look to His Word for how to live. Wait for Him to bring the wisdom that you need daily. He is able to bring beauty, strength, order, and peace to your life! Be willing to hear from Him and prepare for your life to be beautiful! It's a promise from His Word that He will do it! "He has made everything beautiful in it's time". Ecclesiastes 3:11

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I love BLUE and WHITE! My latest project has been so very joyful because I have had the wonderful honor of making a new covering for a bassinet that will soon hold our new little grandson who is due to arrive in April! The fabric I selected ( I was given this honor) hangs beautifully and I found the perfect blue satin fabric for the sash on the markdown table at 40% off! As I made this covering I was thinking about this sweet little life and WHO our new little grandson will look like...... will he look like his older brother or his sisters, his mother or his dad? The gift of a child is one of life's greatest blessings for a couple. Gathering pretty things with love for a new baby is part of the "nesting" for a new Mom as she prepares for her baby. My daughter has certainly been nesting while getting the two girls together in the same bedroom as they are now sharing a new room so the new baby will have his own. All the preparations are exciting and fun and the waiting doesn't seem too long because the days of late pregnancy are filled with so much to do! I marvel every time I see a precious new baby because I enjoyed my own babies so very much. It is the only time in a woman's life that she actually is entrusted by God with a miracle He is performing. For nine long months, a woman is entrusted with the development of her baby! As a mother we learn about life and love with a more advanced course in giving. Mothers are least all the ones I know. Mothers are uniquely equipped to spot needs and to sense the right way to meet them. One of the best preparations for understanding human nature is bearing and rearing children. The Bible teaches and history confirms that nations are built on families. We learn to be patient, to listen more and talk less, to be resourceful, to encourage, and most importantly to accept unconditionally our child.....this precious gift from God! Like Mary, the Blessed Mother of our Lord Jesus, it is a joy to have so much happiness treasured up in my heart so, now that ours are grown and out of the nest.....we can still be a part of the miracles God is performing in all their lives through prayer and our relationship with each one. I am so very thankful to be a Mother!

Today....after I finished sewing the bassinet covering....I walked out my front door to water my plants....looking down, I couldn't believe my eyes....A NEST had appeared almost overnight......such a confirmation ( just for me at my front door) that what we do as mothers to prepare for a new birth is truly inspired and designed by Our Creator! Yes....fluffing the nest is part of the miracle.....mine just happened to be blue and white(for Kristen)! God is so amazing!!!!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gifts from Above.....

It is no secret that God touches each person with special gifts and talents. As a mother, it has been a joy to continue to see the gifts and talents of my own children continue to be discovered and revealed in God's goodness and His timing in their lives. Artistic talents were varied and given by God for glory and beauty in many descriptions He shares in the Bible. God speaks to Moses in Exodus 28:3 and instructs him to "speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom that they may make Aaron's garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest". Aaron, a Priest, was Moses brother and God instructed Moses in detail about the robes Aaron would wear as a priest. In this passage in the Bible God continues to instruct about artistically woven fabrics and their workmanship and the skill needed for constructing these garments used in worship. I find this amazing! For someone like me who enjoys the gift of working with my hands, these words encourage me to continue to use and be trained with my skills of sewing and workmanship. I love working with beautiful fabrics to create garments or home furnishings such as window treatments, pillows, and other articles for the home or for those I love. Why? I do this to make their homes lovely and places of beauty. I love the details of small stitches and intricate touches that might be hidden to the eye, but help in making something really beautiful. More and more I realize that this is a gift from God. Perhaps also this is why I adore antique linens and French hand sewn items. I think about the person who sat for hours using a needle and thread to create a garment of beauty that has lasted through generations. Your gift may not be sewing but rest assured you do have gifts and they are worthy gifts given by God who affectionately longs to bring them to light and nurture them! "Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation". Psalm 68:19

My daughter, Kristen has an artistic talent continually being developed! She painted this lovely painting of her daughter, Ava!

The hand work and workmanship on the bonnet purchased in France for a mere 10 euros is beautiful! A treasure for my next granddaughter!

Throughout time God's Word has inspired God's people to Worship Him with gifts and talents for His glory! These garments were beautiful and colorful! I snapped this photo in Avignon, France last year on Palm Sunday! The Priest were just getting ready for Worship!!!