Friday, December 18, 2009

first snow...


temperature drops
clouds gather
grayness fills the day

people hurry
grocery shelves empty
be ready~come what may

home at last
everything sealed up
better drip the faucets just in case

dinner blessing
includes "please send lots of snow"
bringing smiles to every face

fireplace roars
hot cider simmers
weather channel predicts where & when

kids check the windows
look for the first flake
hope for "school closings" to begin

quilts & afghans
pj's of flannel
all settled snugly in bed

anticipation
hard to fall asleep
visions filling each head

then about 2:00 AM
something awakens
look out the window & view

world of whiteness
silently covering
all things being made new

storehouse of snow
angels shoveling
transformation only You can bring

beauty
purest beauty
in my heart do the same thing


*jb*

job 37:6a
He says to the snow,'fall on the earth'

ezekiel36:26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

*photo~www.topnews.in/files/SnowFallss3.jpg

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

what to do with hurt feelings?










like icicles gleaming clear
oh my heart would be!
examine every motive
test my thoughts and see

am i walking in Your way
or is there something deep inside
that needs examination?
Oh,Father,be my guide

so hard to discern
when emotions get involved
show me,Father ~ truth
for my thinking may be flawed

i want to assume the best
yet it's judgment i perceive
i'm willing to be wrong
let me not be deceived

relationships get messy
we're all human ~ that's for sure
so take my sinful condition
and help me to endure

the times my understanding
is put,Lord,to the test
help me to be quiet
and in Your comfort rest

*jb*


proverbs 17:9
disregarding another person's faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends

but at the same time...

proverbs 27:6a
faithful are the wounds of a friend

i will wait on the Lord to give clarity & in the meanwhile, i will trust that He is working all things together for good!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

content in the present...






we have an old pine chest where every year we set out all the Christmas cards from years gone by ~ it's so fun to look at them and remember what life was like "back then". if someone asked me which one is my favorite, i think almost every year i would say, "this year" ~ and it's true once again ~ God is so good! it's a blessing to be content in the present ~ to embrace what He is doing & where He has me NOW. for all the talk of the challenges & difficulties of teenage years ~ i say "bah humbug!" i love my teenagers & their teenage friends! this time is a gift from God ~ they spend time with us, share their thoughts & feelings with us, their struggles & victories because they choose to now and that is a blessed Christmas & everyday gift that gives more joy than my simple words can express...i love my children TODAY!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

beauty...









frozen beads pitter~pat against the pane
walkways sparkle 'neath the frozen rain

every light reflects in a blur
like looking through old glass windows at the world

frozen branches begin to twinkle & shine
holly berries glisten & remind

that we the best decorations cannot buy
just look at the stars in the sky!

this season is His & His alone
may the beauty of it turn hearts to His Son

*jb*

psalm 19:1
the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.

Monday, December 7, 2009

for gwenn...


my friend is moving on
strange cause it's usually me
who's packing for a new place
what the Lord has next ~ waiting to see



they're leaving us ~
a sense of sadness tempts me to despair
another friend to love from a distance
in my life something not so rare

but they go because the Lord is leading
and their obedience i love to see
His sweet presence traveling with them
to my beloved home ~ tennessee!

the gift of friendship oh so special
even with the risk of a broken heart
i wouldn't trade a single minute
though now we'll live far apart

for the Lord's knit our hearts together
i pray for her family & she for mine
He's given again a precious sister
a friend for a lifetime ~
*jb*

thank you, gwenn
we love each one of you
and pray God's watchcare over
your sweet family as you walk in His way.
see you in tennessee ~ love

psalm 40:1-5
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.

barn memories...


time is passing quickly
the old barns ~ they disappear
fewer the people who've experienced
the scents & sounds i hold so dear

the smell of fresh~cut hay
just unloaded from the truck
stacked up high in the hayloft
a perfect place to read a book


and in the neatly kept tack room
the fragrance of leather & saddle soap
a little, wooden chair in the corner
bins filled with sweet~feed, a little corn & some oats

the stalls with waiting horses
stamping feet & whinnying low
waiting on their dinner
their nostrils, they snort & blow

grain spills from a bucket
a sweet sound to the ear
the horses greedily digging in
like they haven't eaten in a year!

and later in the evening
as the animals settle down
the hush of gentle breathing
music of crickets the only sound

step outside in the flood of moonlight
stand & gaze at a thousand stars
was this what that evening looked like
that special night in Bethlehem far?

*jb*

Saturday, December 5, 2009

let the stable still astonish...

let the stable still astonish:
straw - dirt floor,dull eyes,
dusty flanks of donkeys,oxen;
crumbling crooked walls;
no bed to carry that pain,
and then, the child,
rag-wrapped, laid to cry
in a trough
who would have chosen this?
who would have said: "yes,
let the God of all the heavens
and earth
be born here, in this place"?

who but the same God
who stands in the darker,fouler
rooms
of our hearts
and says,"yes,
let the God of Heaven and Earth
be born here-
in this place."

~lesile leyland fields

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

busy but blessed!

Dec.1~
My house had boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations scattered all around. As soon as i woke up, I realized that I had a stressful day ahead of me: taking Sam to Gileskirk, needing to get a few things for his first basketball game that night, Audrey coming over for cooking class, Elle to piano where she and Audrey would see if they were ready to play a duet they had been working on, then I would need to pick Sam up, study for Biology, finish a poem for Gileskirk, Elle had history, I had a doctor appointment very close to the time we needed to leave for Sam's game which was not in a great part of town, so we were going by Tommy's work so we could all go together - oh and by the way, Sam's new b'ball shoes hadn't arrived yet (ups) - did I mention Christmas boxes everywhere and a tree not even 1/2 decorated??!!

Well, I began to pray as soon as my feet hit the floor! Lord, give me the ability to meet the challenges of the day and to respond as it would be pleasing to You. Make my words- Your words. My reactions - Your reactions. I even shed a few tears on my friends shoulder over this "busyness" when she dropped her son off to ride with us...
So, we were off to Gileskirk - thinking we probably wouldn't have time to cook the delicious recipe (gourmet mac & cheese) that I had planned! But, after dropping Sam off, we were quickly able to find what we needed for b'ball at Sports Authority. Elle, Audrey, and I came home and quickly got started on our cooking. Fortunately, Elle and I had chopped onions and grated cheese (Fontina, Gruyere, Sharp White Cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano) the day before! Everything came together like clockwork! The girls are becoming experts at a lovely, smooth Bechemel(white sauce). We were off to piano which went well- still a little more practice needed on their piece. We swung back by home and were able to deliver a lovely, not to mention delicious, dish of mac & cheese to Audrey's mom and her hungry brothers when we took her home!
Sam and Elle went straight to work after a little lunch and we headed to my Doctor appointment. They stayed in the car to study while I went in. As I sat waiting, I received a call letting me know Sam's basketball game had been cancelled - I couldn't believe it! Not only had things all day run smoothly - not only had the Lord given me grace to walk through a busy day properly, but now (as far as I'm concerned!) He had freed up my evening too!

We came home, and as the kids studied a little more, I was able to get to the Christmas decorating! When they'd finished their work, they joined in as we hung ornaments on the tree! Tommy and Sam blessed me even further by going ahead and moving all the storage boxes our right away. Finally, about10:30, I climbed into bed tired - but so grateful for a full day of blessings!

*Oh! and by the way, when we got home, Sam's basketball shoes were delivered and he'll be able to wear them to his game tonight!

1Peter 5:7
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

HaPpY ScRapPY QuiLt GivEaWaY!!!


Visit Marie-Madeline Studio and register to win one of their adorable quilts!

http://mariemadelinestudio.typepad.com/mariemadeline_studio/2009/11/the-happy-scrappy-quilt-giveaway-again.html

tradition!









Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell

the world today wants to steal away tradition!
as an unnecessary practice to impart
it tells us that it's a worthless mission
to instill tradition in our children's hearts

but the Lord says differently when we read His Word
tradition was His original intention
the Israelites were to keep their memories stirred
through feasts and festivals and frequent mention

of things the Lord had done in years gone by
He knew it was important to remember
the blessings to each family applied
traditions fanned to flame the glowing ember

so as we sit around the Thanksgiving table
and eat Grandmother's dressing another year
it's more than just a story or a fable
the lessons deeper than they first appear

our children learn tradition is a blessing
that we do things as we do from years ago
we teach them and we pass along the lessons
so future generations continue to know

that the God we worship is The One True God
traditions remind us of His guiding hand
they show the path our forefathers trod
and lead our descendants on in His plan

*jb*

Jeremiah 32:38-40
They will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.


Deuteronomy 6:4-9
“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

face to face...









face to face is how i like it
visiting ~ i mean!
friends & family just stopping by
a treat too seldom seen

nowadays people carry planners
everywhere that they go
"let me check our schedule"
leads to the response so often "no"

"somebody's got this on Tuesday
Wednesday we're running around"
calendars filled to the maximum
families riding all over town

and then there are we who stay home
at the edge of the maddening fray
but we mostly keep to our own selves
hoping for few interruptions in our day

what happened to spontaneity?
to people just dropping in?
a surprise knock at the front door
bringing to faces a happy grin!

have we lost the art of visiting
all so focused on our "to do" lists?
i fear in all we're "getting done"
simple blessings are being missed!

blessings of sitting & sharing
a cup of tea or a glass of lemonade
slowing down & just enjoying visiting
precious time & attention paid

i hope to hear unplanned knocks at my front door
to invite friends at short notice home
so i'll encourage diligence in the time given
when we are at home alone

so that when the opportunity rises
and visitors call face to face
we'll be ready to set ourselves aside
our loved ones knowing they are welcome in this place

*jb*

acts2:46
...they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

take time to read...


I added a new blog to my "blog list". Joyfully Home is the blog of Voddie Baucham's daughter, Jasmine. What a wise and gifted young lady she is. Take a few minutes to spend some time hearing what she has to say...you'll be blessed!

Monday, November 23, 2009

awaken, awaken, awaken...be the church!



have you read the Manhattan Declaration?
visit www.manhattandeclaration.org

read and sign on if the Lord leads you...


"Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's."
-from The Manhattan Declaration

Saturday, November 21, 2009

oreo again ~ don't you just love this :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

all except the amish...



the turn of century brought new ways of life
new inventions popped up everywhere
to some the new ways caused their thinking strife
as they determined what might be a snare

they did not want to lose their simple ways
yet time was moving to a faster pace
how would the amish choose to keep their days
from being lost to the ever moving race

the horseless carriage with its speed to go
might make their families lives much easier
the bishops must determine how to know
if this would only make them busier

they gathered for a meeting of the minds
the people were committed to their ways
this new invention sure might save them time
but just what might it also take away?

the boys, they all gathered by the door
for they had seen the horseless carriage’s speed
they were thinking a “yes vote” was for sure
to help each amish family with their needs

for life on amish farms meant lots of work
and traveling by buggy took much time
the boys all remained on high alert
until the bishops’ decision they’d find

deliberations went both ways of course
the bishops seeking wisdom all the way
who knew this choice of giving up a horse
would stretch their minds to think of future days?

so on and on ‘twas best they sought to know
the boys growing worried as time passed
preserving all their simple ways ~ no show
the hope of every bishop’s vote ‘twas cast

and as emerged they from the final choice
the fate and future of their ways in hand
the amish fathers spoke as with one voice
deciding horseless carriages to ban

the boys may have disagreed at first
what harm could modern helpers ever do?
but wiser minds could look beyond the burst
of new machines attempting to intrude

the simple ways of life that most led then
were left behind for stressful,fast-paced times
oh that our Christian fathers way back when
had had the wisdom of those amish minds

for here we find ourselves pulled to and fro
the auto just the start of my remorse
and what for all these busy years to show?
but simpler times left behind with the horse

*jb*


this is for my dear friends longing for simpler times along with me!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

our special guest for cooking class...RUTH!!!




today audrey's little sister, ruth, joined us for our class! she was soooo good! we made applesauce cake - it smelled really yummy! ruth ran the hand mixer. she broke one of the eggs, she scrapped down the sides of the bowl as we mixed, and her cake turned out beautifully! and on top of all that...she said,"yes m'am" almost every time i asked her a question!

thanks ruth for being such a sweety-pie! you are welcome to join the big girls and me anytime!

1 peter 3:4
You should clothe yourselves with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

for the beauty of the earth...


aww!!! my sweet friend sent me this picture of these pretty cows. they call the one right up front OREO! this is near the house where we lived in pennsylvania...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

take november...


it's happening again
the early christmas push
shop now!on sale!get your tree!


and i love christmas
maybe more than lots of folks
but i like november just to be

a time to slow down
a time to reflect
a time to cultivate a grateful heart

i love to imagine
a simpler way of life
where each in the family knew his part

one gathered wood
to make a roaring fire
another quietly slipped through the trees

hunting the bird
that on the special platter
perfectly roasted was sure to please

another gathered acorns
a small pumpkin or two
and magnolia leaves for a centerpiece

while mother in the kitchen
filled the home with scents
as anticipation of the meal increased

then finally the time
began to draw near
close family & friends had arrived

young eyes filled with wonder
as the table they beheld
filled with bounties from the earth derived

all gathered 'round
clasping hands,grateful hearts
as daddy's voice spoke familiar words

"we thank Thee for these
and all Thy blessings received
from Your hands alone given,Lord"

simple ways,simple days
my heart longs for those times
but here & now is His place for me

so may i take november
and with a thankful heart remember
simply grateful is what He wants me to be

*jb*


Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Monday, October 19, 2009

waiting on the Gardener...






make me, Lord, a garden
till my very soul
so the deepest parts of me
surrender to Your hold

underneath the surface
Your tiller overturns
stones that need removing
that by me must be spurned

i, Your laborer, go out
in the field that is my life
gathering stones unpleasing
causing sin, condemnation, strife

and then Your plow digs deeper
to the very heart of me
revealing impure motives
thoughts no one else can see

the pain of this deep plowing
the guilt and oh the shame ~
You wash it all away
by sending gentle, healing rain

the Gardener walks through daily
inspecting what's been done
to see the field is ready
for His work has just begun

now the ground is fertile
the plan He's known all along
the Gardener starts his planting
and this is His sweet song

"I love you my sweet child
I've prepared you for My use
I will tend this garden
to bear the fruit I choose"

so who am i to question
seeds the Gardener will sow?
i am but a field
humble, meek and low

i pray the plantings come up
with roots that go down deep
that the Gardener as He passes
will see growth with which He's pleased

that in the times of weeding
or of pruning, sunshine or rain
may i be found abiding
trusting without strain

and as the seasons pass
may i begin to see
that i've become the garden
He planned me to be

may He find pure pleasure
may i find joy divine
as He walks the peaceful pathways
He laid out before time


*jb*

song of songs 4:16
Awake,north wind,and come,south wind!
Blow on my garden,that its fragrance may spread abroad.

john 15:1
My Father is the Gardener.

matthew 13:1-9
The Parable of the Sower
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear."


photo from one of my favorite gardens ~ surreybrooke in frederick,md http://www.surreybrooke.com/MainInformation.htm

Friday, October 16, 2009

Corners of a Heart...


I know You must be working
Although I cannot see
The secret places - corners of a heart

A spirit so resistant
Impenetrable it seems
Faraway, it holds itself apart

I turn it over daily
And wait upon Your time
Discouragement tries to find a home

And though I may grow weary
Be tempted to give up
I'm holding onto Hope in You alone

Draw this heart to You, my Lord
As only You can do
Enter secret places hidden there

Lay it all bare and open
Tread upon my soul
Crushing yet releasing fragrance rare

You know my every corner
Nothing hides from You
A heart of stone, You can mold like clay

So, here it is my Father
I give it up to You
Trusting You are working day by day

Hebrews 4:13
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Ezekiel 36:26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

waiting...

always waiting, i seem to be
at present Your plans i cannot see
let me not sit in the grip of tears
but always to Your sweet side draw near



i wait and wonder, what You do?
are You making anything new?
discouragement threatens as a rising tide
may i, in You, simply rest and hide

keep my thoughts, Lord, set on You
constantly asking what You'd have me do
and when the answer continues to be
"rest and wait, one day you'll see"

help me not to push ahead
but peacefully stay just where You have led
i want so much, my Lord, to know
but i trust Your timing is never too slow

so i wait ~ and i hope in a plan You'll reveal
keep me, Lord, quiet, peaceful and still
and when the time comes to carry out Your plan
may i be found ready in the palm of Your hand...


*jb*


col.3:1-3
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

fresh salad greens and creamy, homemade dressing...










please pause my playlist before listening...



Last night at our small group, some of our friends told us about the GOOOH Party - it means Get Out Of Our House - speaking of the House of Representatives. This is a plan to take the House in the 2010 election cycle and begin to head our country back in the direction our Founding Fathers intended! I have this posted on my Facebook too. Take a look. If you like it, pass it on! There is something we can do!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

garlic & lemons :)






today in our cooking class, we worked with garlic and lemons! 2 favorites around our house...we peeled, chopped, and minced garlic. we made it into paste and then we used it to make homemade croutons - so good! as for the lemons, we tried zesting, supreming and juicing and then we made a yummy lemon vinaigrette which the girls shook in jars to combine. final result: fun, learning to one day be keepers at home and a delicious salad to share with our families!


Titus 2:3-5
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be keepers at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Friday, September 4, 2009

give me the boring life...


"The reality is that boring is what most people are actually yearning for—they just don’t know it. Boring is having no people to see, no tasks to accomplish, no expectations to meet, no pressures to deal with—it is the ideal adventure. People go halfway around the world to find a secluded beach or a remote cabin or a mountain chalet, just so they can do nothing. It is dull people who have to be stimulated constantly. Something has always got to be going on." - Dr. George Grant, follow Dr. Grant's blog on my blog list ~ Grantian Florilegium

1 Timothy 2:1-3
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone...that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.This is good, and pleases God our Savior.

Hebrews 12:14a
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

science/cooking class








we're doing "science" in a different way this last year of jr high. elle and i have decided to work through martha stewart's cooking school. one friend, audrey, will be joining us regularly as her mom teaches sam in the gileskirk class. yesterday isabelle was able to join us too. we learned about herbs - tender & robust - we visited aj's for some fresh basil, oregano, rosemary & thyme and each girl brought home a baguette to take her family so they could sample the italian herb infused olive oil we made. so yummy and so pretty!! we also practiced stripping and chopping herbs. next, we moved on to onions. everyone cried as we practiced peeling, slicing and chopping them! we learned to sautee and caramelize onions. the caramelized onions were finally used to make an onion tart. Yum!

blessings?curses?

words, words, words
how many i speak each day
but are they pleasing, Lord?
the things i choose to say?



one time are they encouraging?
the next do i complain?
keep me, Father, hopeful
even when i feel a strain

there is no excuse to murmur
because things don't go my way
guard my mouth sweet Holy Spirit
give me right words to say

for out of the mouth come blessings
but from it come curses too
"this should not be!" You tell me
if i care what You want me to do

help me spend more time quiet
to think before i speak
just because it's in my head
stop my mouth 'til Your will i seek

but all this happens in moments
i react before i think
but that's not ok You tell me
to my knees i better sink

one day i will give an account
for each idle word i say
may those words be fewer and fewer
as i journey along this way

yes, guard my mouth from speaking
only words that You would give
may i spread a gift of encouragement
as more like You i'm learning to live


*jb*

Matthew 12:36
And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.