Monday, January 26, 2015

Barn Collective #16

As my readers know, Jim and I love to go on road trips. We travel extensively around the tri-state area usually in search of lakes, rivers and state parks. We notice a lot of barns while driving through the countryside. Not only barns, but barns decorated with barn quilts have been capturing our attention recently; and, I thought it would be fun to share some of our finds.

A barn quilt is a painted square usually mounted on a barn or a building. In many communities, a group of residents might work together to create a Barn Quilt Trail to promote tourism. You can learn more here, here and here.

Rural Alexander County, IL

This was the first barn quilt to catch my eye.





It's my understanding that barn quilts can reflect the owner's heritage, interests, crops grown or other things important to them. Sometimes, they are made to honor a relative. 

Now, we are on the lookout wherever we go to see if we can spy another barn-quilt. I'm always glad for another excuse to go on a road-trip!

Do you like barns?  You can see more great photos of barns at The Barn Collective link-up featured at Rose Street Reflections.

Daybook: 01.26.15

FOR TODAY, MONDAY, JANUARY 26th

Outside my window...32° and sunny

I am thinking... about how easy it is for me to get excited about things. It's a blessing most times, but it can get me going in too many directions at once as well ...

I am thankful... and grateful for a dependable vehicle.

In the kitchen... hot dog roll ups and soup for dinner tonight. I need to make something simple and quick because we have a meeting tonight.

I am wearing... dress jeans, peach top, and mint sweater and necklace that my daughter bought for me. It may be cold, but springy colors cheer me up.

I am creating... ideas for the next A-Z blogging challenge. I want to do something a little different. More on this later ...

I am reading... "The Patmos Deception" by Davis Bunn. I'm enjoying it so far.

I am looking forward to... the annual business meeting being over tonight. Once that is done, for some odd reason, I always feel like my life is my own again ... Crazy, because it is not near as much work as it used to be ...

Around the house... that dratted refrigerator needs cleaning out ... AGAIN. 

I am pondering... salads in a jar. Yes? or No? I made one the night before and it was awesome in my lunch, but I'm not sure about making up 4 or 5 ahead.

A favorite quote for today...

“You don’t marry someone because you can live with them. You marry someone because you can’t live without them.” ~Christy Jordan's Mama from Southern Plate.com)

One of my favorite things... organizational projects. I'm about to tackle my spice cabinet.

A few plans for the rest of the week: organizing file cabinets at work and organizing spice cabinet at home. I also want to get started on 2 Peter S.O.A.P. bible study and writing ahead for my new feature, Testimonial Tuesdays.

want to invite you to a new weekly link-up on Tuesdays starting February 3. I'm calling it Testimonial Tuesdays and I want to feature little praise reports of God at work. I'd love for you to share stories of answered prayer with us. It can be an answer you received, or someone you know who has experienced God working in their lives. I think testimony time in our church services are getting rare.  I want everyone to know that God is interested in every single thing that goes on in our lives, and we need to give Him credit for all He has done - the little things as well as the big miracles. Let me know in the comments if you are interested. I'm planning to open it up at 7 a.m. and letting people link up through midnight that day.

A peek into my day... 


A Sunny Wintry January Sky



The daybook is a concept created by Peggy Hostetler. You can link up your own daybook post at The Simple Woman's Blog.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Share My Time

www.public-domain-image.com 
I don't consider myself a selfish person. I'm willing to share - I don't want it all for me. But what I do struggle with is being self-centered. 

A self-centered person has trouble sharing life with others because their agenda, their time and efforts are all wrapped up in furthering their own kingdom. 

Even if your kingdom is working for God.

It took me quite awhile to see this, but my own efforts to do ministry sometimes keeps me from doing things I know God has called believers to do.  No matter how many bible studies I prepare, it doesn't fulfill my own need to study. No matter how many services and meetings I attend, I still need to find time to be available to share life, first with Him (spending time in prayer), with my family, then church family, friends and loved ones.

I'm still figuring all this out.  What it looks like to me is that I need to find a way to share my most precious commodity ... time.

STOP





5 Minute Friday is now hosted by Kate at the blog "heading home." This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. 

Just write.

Also, the most important rule is that you visit the blog of the person who linked up before you and leave some encouragement.  That’s the most fun of all, and the heart of this community.

F.F.F. - 01.23.14

January is always a busy month for me and so I've not been able to post on my normal schedule. Last week, I missed joining in with the Friday's Fave Five bloggers and I really missed it.

Today, I want to carve out time for FFF first!

1. Last Saturday, was a free Saturday. (A free Saturday means no choir practice or meetings. I still have my work to do for my part-time church, but my schedule is a little more flexible.) Anyway, it was a cool windy but sunny day and we felt a little road trip was in order. We traveled to Kentucky, stopping along the way in LaCenter and having catfish at the Bluegrass Restaurant.  This restaurant is a favorite of ours. We have spent Father's Day there many times, and when Jim's mom was alive, we took her a few times there for Mother's Day. She enjoyed it so much! She also liked the strawberry pie there. ;)

After our meal, we headed for Columbus-Belmont park to see the river in winter time, stopping first at Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross at the confluence.


The Confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers


Gorgeous sky!
Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross - 90 feet tall!


Barges on the Mississippi

Fave Picture of the Day - the Mississippi River at Columbus-Belmont Park

2.  Another thing that made me happy this week was to get these two pictures of my loves via Facebook:


Our adorable little man
Cracks. Me. Up! (I think she is bored.)
3.  I've been deep in the throes of de-cluttering, purging and making new files at work.  I've run the shredder so much I had to let it cool off over night.  I'm in my organizational zone and loving it.

4. I bought the sweetest batch of Clementines this week! They. Are. So. Good.

5. Quote of the week:

"You can’t love Jesus but hate on the Church." - Whitney Capps

Whitney has written one of the best articles on the Bride of Christ I've ever read.  I told her I wanted to stand and cheer when I finished it.  I'm urging everyone to go here and read it!

And so ends another week on the Journey. 

Hey! Before I go, I want to invite you to a new weekly link-up starting in February. I'm calling it Testimonial Tuesdays and I want to feature little praise reports of God at work. I'd love for you to share stories of answered prayer with us. It can be an answer you received, or someone you know who has experienced God working in their lives. I think testimony time in our church services are getting rare.  I want everyone to know that God is interested in every single thing that goes on in our lives, and we need to give Him credit for all He has done - the little things as well as the big miracles.

So, how did your week go? Leave a comment and share! If you'd like to share your very own FFF post, visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.



Monday, January 19, 2015

Daybook: 01.19.15

FOR TODAY, MONDAY, DECEMBER 19TH

Outside my window... a sunny chilly morning
I am thinking... it's been 17 days without sweet tea.  I think it was a good idea to start this in the winter! It hasn't been too hard so far ...
I am thankful... for fresh mercy and grace every morning.  (See Lamentations 3:22-23.) I'm probably one of the most needy children the Lord has!
In the kitchen... my go-to chicken and dumplings - cooked chicken from the freezer and dumplings previously made, rolled out and frozen. Assemble in a boiling pot of broth and cook for 40 minutes. Done and delicious.
I am wearing... red shirt, scarf and flats paired with a gray sweater and dark blue skinnies.
I am creating... 2015 files - I'm color-coding them with washi tape. It takes longer but worth the effort.
I am reading... "Deadly Devotion" by Sandra Orchard
I am praying ... for my church. Our members need uplifting and encouragement.
I am looking forward to... Janae and the twins coming home in February.
Around the house...  I'm thinking, "Is it too early to decorate for Valentine's Day?" It seems a little sparkle is needed.
A favorite quote for today...
 
If you stand on the Word, you do not stand with the world.
Vance Havner 
I wonder ... can the world tell the difference?

One of my favorite things... free Saturdays and road trips.  We went on a little road trip this past Saturday to Kentucky. We ate catfish at the Blue Grass Restaurant in LaCenter and visited a couple of our favorite landmarks.  Although very windy, the sun was shining and we enjoyed ourselves.
A few plans for the rest of the week: I'm working on the Annual Report for my part time church, 2015 files for my full time church, and planning my editorial calendar for the blog. I'm thinking of a couple new ideas, one which would include a weekly link up!
A peek into my day... from Saturday's road trip. The sky was so beautiful that day.

Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross at the Confluence - Kentucky
The Daybook is a concept created by Peggy Hostetler. You can link your daybook at The Simple Woman's Blog.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Send Some Joy

SEND

Today, I'm working on getting out Individual Giving Reports to send to all our church contributors.  As I stuffed and folded each report into envelopes, I couldn't help but think how much more excited people would be if they received a personal note or card.
Image by en.wikipedia.org

I love getting snail mail and being encouraged, don't you? It is an instant mood-lifter to find out someone has been thinking of me!

Sending out cards is something I really like to do to encourage others, but it is one of those things that fall by the wayside when my schedule is crammed full. I really want to make it a priority to do more in this area. When I do send a card, I like to include a scripture or quote to give the receiver something positive on which to focus.

In order to be a good encourager by snail mail, I've found these things are needed on hand:
  • an assortment of greeting cards
  • a collection of "go-to" scriptures and quotes
  • an updated address label file
  • stamps

Won't you consider joining me in spreading joy by sending cards?

STOP





5 Minute Friday is now hosted by Kate at the blog "heading home." This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. 

Just write.

Also, the most important rule is that you visit the blog of the person who linked up before you and leave some encouragement.  That’s the most fun of all, and the heart of this community.

NOTE:  I've not been able to participate in FMF for the past few weeks, and I've noticed my last FMF post mentioned a co-worker who had headed to ER that day and I was worried about heart issues. I just wanted to give a praise report and let you know it was NOT heart-related but he actually had the flu.  He is better and back at work now.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Scars vs. Wounds





I have been thinking about the difference between scars and wounds.

A scar is a visible reminder that you were once wounded but now you've healed.  You have scar tissue - skin that is tougher than parts of your body where you've never been hurt. However, scar tissue has drawbacks - things will never be the same as if the hurt had never happened. Yes, you are tougher, and yes, you've learned things to avoid the hurt. But now you are not tender anymore, your innocence on what causes pain is gone.

Image by wiki.commons.org

A wound is something that is not healed yet.  You have to nurse your wound, treat it with tender loving care, cover it and protect it. Because if something were to touch that wound ... well, you might go all kinds of crazy to defend that wound.

Obviously, I'm not just talking about physical scars and wounds but also emotional ones. 

Sometimes our scars and wounds are caused by something we ourselves have done.  I'll never forget the day I was chauffeuring our oldest daughter to a girls' softball game.  She had always been curious about the cigarette lighter in the car and that day, on a whim, decided to stick her finger in the lighter before I could stop her. When she howled in pain, I looked at her incredulously and asked her why she did such a thing.  "I just always wondered what would happen if I did," she cried.  So she had to somehow wear her ball-glove over her throbbing finger and still play because her little team needed every player or would have to default.

In the same way, some of our decisions cause us pain. We should have known better but we did it anyway. No one to blame but ourselves.

What hurts worse, though, is when others have wounded us.  Hurts from way back, even childhood, can still be inside us though we might look perfectly fine on the outside.

I carry a couple scars from things said to me in childhood such as the neighbor who told me my neck was too short or the coach who told me I ran like an elephant. (I wrote about those things here.) I call them scars because the sting of hurt has subsided but they are still there. I haven't forgotten them, but I've toughened up and will sometimes make fun of myself about my neck or my running abilities. I mostly try my best to avoid showing these scars by trying to draw focus away from my short neck and never running where people could see. 

I'd rather be scarred, though,  than nurse an open wound.  Open wounds stink.  When you are holding a grudge against someone who has hurt you, you become bitter.  It shows in your attitude. You become a crabby Patty, or even worse, rush to hurt someone before they might hurt you.

The best way to turn an emotional wound into a scar? Forgive. Forgiveness is more for you than the other person. It turns the bitter churning thoughts off and softens your heart. Because the truth is, we all need forgiveness. We've all messed up. You sow what you reap, so if you sow forgiveness, you can be forgiven.

And then, proudly display that scar. You earned it.





Mama's Losin' It


 This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt # 4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: Scarred.  I've been scarred, you've been scarred. Why not show each other our scars? Leave a comment and share.

If you'd like to link up one of your posts, visit Kat Bouska's blog at Mama's Losin' It.