Saturday, February 23, 2013

Window Dressings

Such a lovely way to dress the windows! Sunshine and flowers.....two wonderful gifts! I hope your weekend is fabulous! xoxo

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beautiful Joy.....

The gifts of the season....fresh tulips!

Several years ago we were living near an area where The Passion Play was performed professionally and whole-heartily in a beautiful outdoor setting.  It always amazed me each time we went how the actors were portraying with JOY their beliefs.  I often wondered where they all came from because there were at least two hundred actors.  It was really beautiful and always touched my heart deeply.  I know these actors were acting but many of them were acting out what they truly believed.  They brought the JOY of The Lord into their profession.  Another time, two years ago while in a small village in France on Palm Sunday I witnessed something similar.  The Believers in the village were walking to church, each one of them carrying branches or bouquets of lavender bundled together beautifully.  I was amazed at how many people were attending worship.  The church was in the center of the village.  People of all ages which included sweet children who were carrying their bundles of lavender.  These villagers possessed JOY!  It was beautiful to behold.  Afterwards, my daughter and I saw how they had placed their lavender bouquets under the railing going up the steps to the sanctuary.  It is a picture forever etched in my mind.  

These are memory banks tucked away, and even now encourage me as I think about the blessings of other Believers that God has allowed in my life.  I hope you have people in your life who point you to Jesus and show you the JOY that can be found in knowing HIM and worshipping HIM!  He is JOY!  Full Joy!

A quote by author Dallas Willard confirms this....... "Having one's joy "full" means there is no room for more of it.  Full joy is our first line of defense against weakness, failure and disease of mind and body.  But even when these break through in our life, "the joy of The Lord is our strength".

   In our daily lives, I think most of us desire to impart JOY!  Joy for me begins in preparing my heart and my home for those who will share Easter with me.  Even a simple breakfast table setting like the ones above can be brought before God with blessing and JOY!  Bring what gifts God has given you to Him and He will receive them and make something beautiful out of your life!   Blessings of JOY to you my friend!

 ~St. Remy de Provence, Palm Sunday 2011~
Just inside these doors.....the lavender was placed along the railing!
~Chateau nuef de Pape~Palm Sunday, 2011 
Beautiful JOY!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Early Easter Ideas......

It's hard to believe Easter is just six short weeks away!  This year Spring will be early because Easter is March 31.  There is a song from the early 70's that I love by Carole King...."Winter Spring Summer or Fall......All you've got to do is call.....And I'll be there.  Yes, I've got a friend."  Every season of the year our friends and family who share our lives are such special gifts.....doesn't really matter the season as long as they are near!  I love planning for any holiday celebration way in advance and thinking about what I will prepare in the way of flowers, table decor, and especially the menu but most importantly where each person will be seated and by whom (and hope that those I love will be able to share it with me)!  I think of the sparkling, zesty fragrances of the Springtime fruits like strawberries and blueberries!  I think of the spring flowers like the ones in the photograph above that meet me on my morning walks and provide a sort of spiritual pick me up during the day!  Yes, I love each new season but there is something about Easter and the spring that rejuvenate both body and mind and soul!  Over the next few days, I hope to share a few ideas for Springtime table settings.  The first one is for a Easter Sunday Lunch! 

 Blessings shared with others always bring us the greatest joys.  Making memories together with loved ones bond us not only in the present but create bonds for our children and grandchildren in the future.  These memories tie the lives of little ones together with family and bind for the days ahead in their young lives!  Yes, these are the days....the best of days!  Enjoy each one!
 This antique English flower and herb china is perfect to bring out for the Easter Season!
Add fresh flowers, pressed linens, and a few candles and you are set!
Candle~light always sets the mood!  It's like saying "I am so glad you are here.  It helps me to realize how beautiful my world is."  Rainer Maria Rilke

 Gracious Father, thank you O Lord for this beautiful time of year!  Thank you for giving your Son, Jesus, to show us how to live.  Thank you for Your Word which reveals to us your plan for our salvation.  Thank you, O Lord, that it is through You that we truly can recieve New Life and the gift of the Holy Spirit and that we can truly celebrate this beautiful season of LIFE everlasting with You!  Thank you for blessed JOY that is found in YOU!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Life Is Beautiful.......

This room just inspires me!  I see the color first.....of which I am still trying to determine.  I believe it is a room that perhaps changes color according to the time of day and the position of the sun.  The art reminds me of pieces I have seen in France or in galleries and art museums.....lovely and again depending upon the time of day the reflection of the sun determines what the eye sees.  I see the back of the sofa, its curve, its stability, its beauty.  Last but not least I see the brilliance of the chandelier and can just imagine when it is lit how it must illuminate the room.  It is a work of beauty and art also for someone took the time to skillfully design and create it from crystals, and other precious metals. In our lives,  we must seek to look for beauty in everyone and everything.  It shouldn't be an afterthought but a good thought first as we encounter someone or something.  I am inspired by nature, by being outdoors and looking for beauty in God's creative and majestic hands!  His world and all the spaces and places He hath created just inspire me.  Each walk or journey is like a room from the mountains or to the seas.......these are God's dwelling places....His rooms so to speak. He is the grand designer and in wisdom and creativity created this beautiful world we live in!  The Scriptures teach us that His Spirit also dwells within us making a dwelling place within our soul that He is able to daily fill and  to transform us into His own image! The goodness of The Lord, in His timing, does this in my life and in yours [and your child's too]!  I hope you enjoy each day you are given......don't worry about tomorrow, just seek to fulfill the duties of this one day.  Like the beautiful room above that inspires......God places people and circumstances in our pathway each day to refine, restore, and renew until ultimately LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!

 I pray we can all be the kind of person that helps others become more beautiful.....that we say and do things that inspire and build up, not tear down.  You know, it's really true, people will remember how we make them feel long after we're gone.  I hope we prayerfully can become beautiful in thought, word, and deed!  What a beautiful rooms our souls will be! 

 "He hath made everything beautiful in its time". Ecclesiastes 3:11

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Romance, Real Love and Spontaneity........

What defines your life?  I am inspired by people and places where beauty dwells!  For me, personally, life began when I met and married my husband.  He is full of spontaneity!  He loves to make others happy and he is the most self-less person I have ever known.  I do feel extremely blessed as I know all of my children would say also for having him in our lives.  We together gave our lives fully to Christ in 1983.  My husband had a boss who loved The Lord and incorporated into his work ethic his beliefs.  He was a very successful man from North Carolina.  He witnessed to my husband about how to be a better husband, father and business man and after dinner one night, my husband knelt in a hotel room in North Carolina and gave his life fully to Jesus Christ.  This gentle man also gave my husband $50.00 [which was significant at the time] to enable him to purchase a good leather reference Bible.  Within two months, our lives began to change, rapidly. My husband received a promotion and a move to California.  We joined a church where the Pastor taught the Bible and our children were involved in study also, it was a growing and wonderful time. 

 A time, looking back that clearly and firmly led us down the path for our family. God had intersected with the people and places He knew would best help us to grow and develop as Believers.  Yes, inspiration is found where beauty dwells! The Bible teaches us about the beauty of love, real love.  We just never know,  but we can trust and have faith that LIVING  brings bountiful blessings when we allow God to have His way in our lives.  I love Valentines Day because it is a day inspired and devoted to sharing the love found in our hearts!  There are no secrets about how we feel when we share LOVE! 

 A person in love glows, they are happy and spontaneous ........for what is within them spills out to others.....just bubbles over to husband or wife, family, and friends!  We know in this life, we certainly have days that are numbered and known only by God......why not begin today, light a candle, seek The Scriptures and learn  what God has for you about this life and of all eternity!  It is one of beauty and of love and destiny.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only SON ,that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16. For generations to come, Your love story can be a lasting one!  Have a blessed and beautiful day!