Monday, September 30, 2013

To Conserve or Not




Today I'm at Jewels of Encouragement with Use a Fire Hose.

I learned a lesson from my kids when I tried to explain to them why we should conserve water. It's really not something we want to do in our spiritual lives...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Why John?

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter J.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
~*~*~*~

While working at a fair, one of the carnival workers would stop and visit with us a couple times a day. He became a friend and one day, my son commented on the medallion he wore, not knowing what it symbolized. Our new friend’s response surprised me. “Well then, you must be Christians.”

As a matter of fact, yes, we are Christians.

That little bit of conversation triggered a lot in our family. My son-in-law thought to give him a Bible and we had an extra one at our house. When we gave it to our friend the last night of the fair, he told us that we were the first Christians to talk with him, and he had tried to intentionally talk with one because he had questions, but he was blown off. It just amazed me that in his 35 years, we were the first Christians to talk with him.

Inside the Bible I had placed a card in the book of John. The card simply said “John is a good place to start.” But that bothered me. That really bothered me. Why John? I’ve been a Christian for 31 years and I’ve heard countless times that John is the best book of the Bible to point nonbelievers to. I’ve read John a gazillion times, and I love it, but I found myself reading John again, wondering how an unsaved person would understand it.

Would our friend understand what he was reading?

I knew he wouldn’t. The account of the Ethiopian man in Acts assured me of that. And yet I know that God’s Word is alive and active. I know people have read the Bible and were saved as a result, like my good friend Joanne. I began praying that he would meet Jesus through the pages of the Bible and that God would send a Philip to him—someone who could explain the Scriptures, someone to water the seed planted in our friend, and someone to harvest when it was time. I still pray.

And I’m still in the book of John, studying. I’m learning and understanding things I didn’t before. I’m digging into it and loving it, praying the whole time that our friend will meet Jesus.

So tell me, why start in John?

~*~*~*~
If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter J, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.




Monday, September 23, 2013

If I Were, Take Two

Almost two years ago my cousin did this one Facebook and I did it here on my blog (see my original If I Were here). My near-and-dear friend, Joanne Sher, resurrected this last Friday and I think it's time for me to do this again, too.

If I were...

If I were a month, I’d be May, bursting with blooms after the rain.

If I were a day of the week, I’d be Sunday, relaxing with family after a soul-filling time of worship.

If I were a time of day, I’d be a moment of peace in the midst of the hustle.

If I were a planet, I’d be Saturn, wearing a halo. LoL.

If I were a sea animal, I’d be a Blue Tang like my animated hero Dory, encouraging people to just keep swimming.

If I were a direction, I’d be south with the palm trees.

If I were a piece of furniture, I'd be a rocking chair on the front porch.

If I were a liquid, I'd be lemonade, refreshing and sweetly tart.

If I were a gemstone, I'd be an opal, fire glistening from within.

If I were a tree, I’d be a palm tree sporting a hammock.


If I were a tool, I'd be a pen, writing my Owner's words.

If I were a flower, I'd be a dahlia, blooming where I was planted.

If I were a kind of weather, I’d be a gentle spring rain watering the earth.

If I were a musical instrument, I'd be a cello, mellow and deep.

If I were a color, I'd be rosey pink.


If I were an emotion, I’d be the peaceful glow from worship.

If I were a fruit, I’d be a grape, juicy and bursting with flavor.

If I were a sound, I’d be joyful praise to my Savior and Lord.

If I were an element, I’d be silver, refined to reflect my King.

If I were a car, a yellow VW bug with flowers painted on it.

If I were a food, I’d be chocolate chip cookies. 'nuf said.

If I were a place, I’d be a harbor cove.

If I were a fabric I'd be eyelet cotton. Comfy and cool.

If I were a taste, I’d be Mom's roast beef and gravy.

If I were a scent, I’d be fruity, not floral!

If I were an animal, I’d be a Golden Retriever, faithful and fun.

If I were an object, I'd be paper, waiting for words.

If I were a body part, I’d be fingers, ready and willing to work.

If I were a facial expression, I’d be a genuine smile.

If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be dancing shoes, fun with just a touch of sass.

~*~*~*~
What would you be?
If you do this too, leave your link in the comments.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I Click my iPhone

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter I.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
~*~*~*~
Last week I got to take a (free!) iPhoneography class from CreativeLIVE and boy was it ever fun! The class itself was good (even if parts of it were way over my head), but what made it fun was taking it with Diana Brandmeyer. We had our own conversation going on the side, some class related, some not, but all of it good. Diana's talking about some great iphoneography apps so be sure to visit her for those.

Pinterest - where some of my pictures land.
Pictures stir my imagination and I've found that photography is something that I find relaxing and fun. I play with it and enjoy heading out with my camera. I lose track of time and just enjoy. By the time I come home I feel refreshed and infused with creativity--even if I only stay in my yard. It's one of my favorite things to do when there's a clog in the creativity pipeline.

Instagram - opened a whole new world to me.
But I'm not a photographer. Not by any stretch of the imagination. So why did I take an iPhoneography class? Because I like using my own pictures on Facebook, for my blog posts, some of which I can pin to Pinterest, and more than that, I love  Instagram. In fact, I've found a whole new circle of friends on Instagram, and for my writer friends, that translates into a broader platform.

Since I don't often carry a camera with me, I've begun using the camera on my phone more. As a mom of teens, I always have my phone with me, so I decided it was worth investing the time to learn how to use it better. I'm so glad I did.

Before the class this is what I had.
After the class I could do this.
I shot this next picture looking into the sun. I missed getting the picture of my son riding this thresher from 1911 and I wanted at least a shot of his smile after. If I had waited it until I got him to turn around while I ran around the thresher, it would've been a canned smile, so I simply grabbed what I could. I was disappointed when I saw the original picture I got and almost deleted it, but I brought the picture into SnapSeed (my favorite photo app), played with it. I ended up with several variations that are really cool.


The other evening I snapped a sunset picture on the way home. A few tweaks in SnapSeed and I was ready to bring it into the Phonto app to add the text. All done in the van before I got home. Fun!!


Here's my Instagram feed. I love that I can post from my phone, from almost everywhere I go.



I love the versatility and all the potential of taking pictures with my phone. There's so much I can do with the pictures. Fun things that are both relaxing and that count as work for me.

I love that.
iPhoneography. It works for me.

So tell me, are you on Instagram or Pinterest? How much do you use your phone for social media? 
Don't forget to go visit Diana. She's got some photo apps for us!

~*~*~*~
If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter I, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Moving Forward


This is a truth I've been living this week. It's not over yet but the end is in sight.

For months I've been ready and wanting to fold and walk. I didn't understand it. I saw no reason for it and it made me feel foolish and very ungrateful for all God has done for me. A friend asked me a simple question and that led to all kinds of emotions, the least of which were wanting to walk away from it all.

It made me realize what might possibly be at the root of those feelings.

I'm so tired of it all. Just this last weekend, before all this...erupted... I told my near-and-dears that I was sick of all this, of being a chicken. So when I saw what might be the root cause, after almost throwing up (seriously) I turned and went back the way I came.

Peace trickled in after I took action and applied an axe to those roots.

It's good to be moving forward again, even if going back the way I came was painful and is...unpleasant. It's comforting and encouraging to know I have an anchor that holds when the storms kick up.

I have a Friend Who holds my hand.

So tell me, are you moving forward or do you need to turn and go back the way you came?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Family and Fairs


Ever worked at a fair?

Ever wonder what it's like working with monkeys?

Come visit me at The Barn Door where I'm posting about our time with the monkeys at the DuQuoin State Fair.

We worked the fair as a family and had a blast.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Herbally Yours, Patty

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter H.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
~*~*~*~
Did I ever mention that I found my handy-dandy list of ideas for this A to Z meme? I did, I did! And I was so relieved! Especially with some of these "harder" letters, like the letter H. LoL.

Here's something I bet most of you didn't know about me and my family...

We hardly ever go to the doctor. Not because we don't get sick--we do, but we choose to deal with things differently.

We use herbs, and have ever since my oldest (who will be 21 this winter!) was a baby and came down with a cold. As a new mom, a baby with a cold is scary. As an experienced mom holding baby #5, a baby with a cold can be scary.

Yup, we've been using herbs for 20 years, have had fantastic results, and are very happy with our decision. So I decided it was time to come out of the closet and share this side of me since it's one I've done a ton of studying in--book studying and hands on experimenting and using. *grin*


Many times where others see weeds, I see good plants, herbs that find their way into my home for use. The one above is a great example. Plantain is all through many yards and I hear people complain about it all the time, but it's one of those herbs I use A LOT.

To the left is Mullein. It grows along roadways, is very tall and can ugly, especially later in the season. The top has an area of small yellow flowers whose use is completely different than the leaves.

This Mullein plant was in my yard and we left it be--makes it easier to harvest if I wanted some fresh herbs.

Here's another favorite that most people call a weed. Yarrow. My kids know where to find it and how to use it. It's let them stay outside playing longer instead of having to come in for bug bites or scrapes.

But a fun thing about Yarrow is that many people, my mom included, put Yarrow in their flower beds. Here's how you might know it better, by it's delicate, lacy flowers...


Herbs are something that have been a part of my life for 20 years, and I'm so thankful. Our family has been much healthier as a result and it's kept us out of the doctor's office many, many times. (That said, let me also say there are times when going to the doctor is absolutely necessary! I am NOT against doctors at all. I'm very thankful for them and their knowledge!)

So tell me, have you ever used herbs?

~*~*~*~
If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter H, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Backed Against a Wall?


Tambourines Originally uploaded by BCDallas
There are times in our lives when it's time to pick up the tambourines. Won't you join me for one of those times.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bible Memory Verse: John 1:12-13

This week's memory verses have me thinking and rejoicing.


While traveling, we visited a church and attended a really cool Sunday School class. They had just started studying the Book of John and one of the class members said something about privileges vs. rights--something that really stuck with me. While memorizing this passage this week, I dug into that thought. Here's what I found...
A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. It can be revoked in certain circumstances. In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth. By contrast, a right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or all human beings from the moment of birth. (Wikipedia)
The fact that God has given us the RIGHT to become children of God blows my mind. Being a child of God is an irrevocable entitlement.

How do we get that right? By believing in His Name--the Name of Jesus and what He did for  us by dying on the cross, paying the penalty for our (MY!!) sin, and then conquering death by His resurrection from the dead. Jesus certainly didn't have to pay the price for my sin, but He did. Voluntarily. Because He loves me. He loves us.

So tell me, do you have the right to become a child of God? And if you are a child of God, are you using that right correctly?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Along the Way

The other day I pulled a water jug cap out of my pocket at the end of the day. Today it was a clothes pin that had been on a chip bag. See, I’m a firm believer in “…along the way…”

As in, “You’re going down the hall? Along the way, take this to the back fridge.” And “On your way home could you stop by Rural King and pick up some dog food for me, please?”

As I buzz around the house, I pick up all those little miscellaneous things that are just left lying around. I grab them as I run past and if I’m not going to where the item is supposed to be, it gets dropped in my pocket. When the kids were little, at the end of the day I would empty my pockets and find a lego, a marble, a tissue (used, of course), a dolly spoon, and anything else that I’d scoop up along the way then forget to drop in its right place. It didn’t take long to accumulate quite a pile if I didn’t deal with it right away. Sure, picking up all that stuff left scattered around the house is good, but it needs to be dealt with or it creates a mess of its own.

It reminds me of sin. I take my “along the way” lifestyle and try to apply it to spiritual things and it doesn’t work well at all. Why? For the same reason I end up with a pocketful of stuff. I forget about it.

I’ll see things I need to confess to God, scoop it up and drop it in a pocket without paying much attention to it but knowing I need to deal with it. At the end of the day, if I don’t intentionally take time talking with God about those things, they just get piled up, creating a mess all their own. The longer I put off taking care of those things, the bigger the pile seems to multiply.
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
~Proverbs 28:13

I keep a devotional book in a spot I know I’ll land in for a few minutes here and there. I like to read the day’s devotion at random times throughout the day, as I have time. And prayer? That’s a huge along the way item. Living in the country gives me lots of drive time some days—my preferred prayer time. But if I have a chatty child in the car with me, guess what happens? I don’t say “Would you puh-leeze quit yacking cuz I’m trying to pray here.” Although sometimes I feel like it.
But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. ~Luke 5:16

My Bible reading and study? That’s when I sit with brunch (because breakfast is a busy time here and I can’t make it until lunch time without food). But even that time gets shoved off to the side if things are going fast and furious here, as they sometimes do.

Our relationship with God is one of those things that must be more than just along-the-way. It must be intentional, too.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Sea Glassing

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

This week is the letter G.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.
~*~*~*~

A year ago I was in Puerto Rico visiting my sister Cheryl. It was fantastic.

And now I'm missing it.
So, the letter G is glass. Not just any glass, though. 
Sea glass.

I've collected sea glass since I was a little girl on the coast of Maine. It's one of those special things. In Maine we found it on the rocky beaches, but in Puerto Rico the sand was wonderful...

The beach where we found the sea glass...

...and the other side of that beach.
We picked glass from the beach and the surf. Some good, some not so good, all bits of treasure. Each piece had a story I wanted to hear.


At the end of the day we settled on the patio and sorted our treasure.


More whites than ambers, and more ambers than greens and blues. Much like life.


The variation in the greens remind me of the surf. So many shades, so much beauty.


But my favorite of all remains the blues.


Want to see more sea glass? Visit my sister--she has awesome pictures.

So tell me, if you were sea glass, what color would you want to be? Why?

~*~*~*~
If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter G, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.



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