Encouragement Is Nourishment

Road

Today, over at Faith Barista, we are jamming about encouragement. We are discussing the topic where we feel we could use a little (or a lot) encouragement. Truth be told, couldn’t we all use some?

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I love to travel. The thought of the open road gets me all excited.

I love to meet people. I love to hear stories. I love to write.

I love vintage. Treasure finding. Flea markets. Decorating.

The Junk Gypsies are my heroes.

East coast, Maryland girl. Down home, Tennessee woman. Mid-West mama, lovin’ Ohio.

Kickin’ it up in cowboy boots in  Texas. In awe of the Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Love ’em all.

I love living in the country and the every day of small town life.

I thrill at the bright lights and diversity and interesting shops in the cities.

I am passionate about rights for the disabled. I want to help where I can.

I am constantly in awe of my Jesus. His name is above all others.

I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Life has been a roller coaster. A heartache and a party.

Love. Laughter. And Mud. (nobody’s perfect)

So, that is kind of me….as best as I can describe myself.

I guess, at age 43, I pretty much know who I am. What I like. People I love.

But, where do I fit in? How do I meld together my talents with my interests?

Is anyone out there, “living the life”? Do you wake up in the morning, knowing you

are exactly where you are supposed to be? Doing what you love?

I know, no one’s life is perfect……and I wouldn’t want perfect anyway. That’s boring.

How do you live out your dreams?

Please share your advice. I read every comment.

Your words matter.

They really do.

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Why?

Why on car

I’ve spent a lot of my life asking questions. Not always out loud. I want to know the “why” behind things. What is the reasoning? What is the point?

How come? Why not? Are you sure? Does this make sense? Is this right? What do you think?

I still wrestle with the “why” questions of  life.

This past year, in the Grief Share group that I facilitate with my husband, one lady (that speaks on the DVD) talked about the fact that she is directionally challenged, can’t program her own VCR, and doesn’t know how to change the oil in her car… and yet she expects to understand the why of her husband’s death? She went on to say that if she, who had difficulty with day to day chores, could understand God and how He thinks, wouldn’t that make God small? Wouldn’t that be putting the God of the universe in a neat, little, understandable box?  We as humans with finite minds will never be able to completely understand an infinite God.

To hear her speak was humbling…

because, so many times that is me.

I was reminded… once again…

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55: 8-9 NIV

Yes, Lord.

And I am humbled.

Sum…Sum…Summer Time!!!

 

It’s summertime in the country. Here in the Mid-west we had a blazing week of heat earlier in the month, but since then it hasn’t been so bad. I could live with the 70’s and 80’s–with no humidity. It would be fine with me if it could stay like that, say, until the end of September– than get chilly. Okay, maybe I ask for a lot…

In the meantime I’m bringing you some more pictures for “Take Me Home Tuesday”.

 

The view directly across from the house.

Is it just me, or doesn’t that look kind of artistic?

My daughter mowing the yard this past weekend. She enjoyed herself.

Ready to plant some more lavender.

Home Sweet Home…

Down Home Blessings

Picking Strawberries Again

Image by CaptPiper via Flickr

Wow. It’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I am just getting around to blogging today. I’ve been busy…Mondays are always crazy.

I have my good days and bad days just like every other human being on the face of the Earth. And yet, I have so much good in my life…I am one of the blessed. Sometimes I forget that. In the grind of the every day, it is easy to overlook the best parts. The timeless, the priceless, the small moments. It occurred to me today that, hey, it’s summertime in the country!!! There is a lot to be thankful for……and you know what? There always is.

*My Country Living magazine came in the mail

*The breezy day blowing the curtains away from the windows

*Purple toenail polish

*Sweet Tea

*A new Daytimer/Organizer

*Favorite Dinner

*Kids that are healthy and happy (most of the time)

*Hearing my husband’s voice on the phone

*Traveling safety

*Family ties

*Community

*Friends

*Small town yard sale days

*For the friendly man in the truck that waved back at me

*Ice cream cones

*My son chatting with me online

*Hearing “I love you”

*The smell of lavender plants

*The air before a storm

*Running bare foot

*Sticky watermelon and juicy berries

*Waving flags

*Parades and fireworks

*Pick up trucks

*Riding with the windows down

*Hair blowing in the wind

*Country roads

*Walks in the evening

*Playing with the dogs

*Sunsets

*Sunrises

*Crisp Sheets

*And sleepy nights.

Yeah. It’s good. Really good.

Saturday Sales!

My daughter and I set out on an adventure this morning in Mount Victory, Ohio. The village was having their community yard sale day.

I love to yard sale, tag sale, estate sale, junk shop….if it involves finding objects that “tell a story”, I am your girl! I love to repurpose or reuse.  My daughter and I wore our tennis shoes and hit the ground running. There were a lot of people out and about on this sunny, breezy Saturday in June. We also had the pleasure of watching hundreds of cyclists moving through Mount Victory during GOBA (Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure).

Not only was Mount Victory covered in yard sales, there are also many antique and odds and ends shops in Mount Victory. Everyone was in on the fun!

We saw some friends from church, met some store owners, and chatted with residents.

I had $45 to spend, money I had saved from a small job I had done…so, I was off to see what I could find within my budget.

Check out what I found…and by the way, I’m saving up for round two!

 

Please ignore the stack of magazines on the floor (I’m in the process of sorting those). I bought the chippy, shabby chic, green shelf for $12. It is the perfect size.

 

Yes, I love chippy furniture. Not dilapidated, but worn. If this shelf could talk, what would it tell me?

Vintage table runner…lots of embroidery. For 10 cents!

 

Wooden box with handle. No nails used in this box, only wooden dowels. It is very sturdy.

A friend was selling old geography books, circa 1902. I snatched those up for 10 cents a piece. They are nice pieces for my antique book collection.

Inside of book. I found an old test in the book…the student had been studying countries and their capitals.

Yes, these are old bowling pins. They are solid wood and obviously well used. Hunks of wood out of them!  I have good memories of bowling, and I  thought they’d make interesting conversation pieces. Plus if there is ever an intruder I could knock him in the head with one of these and he’d be out cold. They are heavy!!!

Vintage game board. I liked the color. Also just a few cents:)

These dominoes are old. Wooden. The paint is coming off in spots. The Statue of Liberty is on the back of each one. I wonder who played with these?

My daughter found this is one of the shops.  We came home and researched it. It is a medallion given to an Odd Fellow. The Odd Fellows are an international fraternity that has been in North America since the early 1800’s. I’m not sure, but I think they might be similar to the Free Masons. We are using this medallion as a curtain tie back. Also another great conversation piece.

Now, this is not a typical candle holder. The base of the candle holder is made out of concrete. It is very heavy. I liked it because it was pretty, yet industrial…sort of.

Being a former public school teacher, I have a thing for old class pictures. This one is from the turn of the last century.

No, this is not a broken, warped fork. The owner of one of the stores told us the story…. some people had been doing some excavating work in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and came across several of these types of forks. Come to find out,  ladies had these type of forks made so that they could spear pickles and olives without getting messy. A crafter had copied those found forks, and made these. Now I have a very interesting fork to spear my pickles with. I can pretend I’m a Victorian woman when I use this. My husband thinks this looks dangerous…..it does sort of resemble a mini bayonet.

Vintage table cloths and table runners. 10 cents/ea.

Last, but not least…a beautiful floral print apron with a sheer overlay. I could so be a 1950’s house wife if I could wear cute little aprons like this. Oh, okay….maybe not, but it was a thought. A fleeting thought, but a thought nonetheless.  It’s still really cute.

 

 

When Walking In Pain

crying in the party

Image by 竜次 ryuuji via Flickr

This week we are continuing to talk about being Christ-centric.

Making Christ our center.

Keeping Him in the center of each day.

In the center of a life.

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I’ve been thinking about pain, lately…

I cut my knee the other day. It bled a lot and it hurt.

I had a headache earlier this week and it made my neck stiff.

I don’t like pain. I don’t like to hurt. I try to shun it at all costs, if I can’t do that,  I learn to tolerate it.  Sometimes pain doesn’t show itself in a bloody knee, or a sore neck. Sometimes it shows itself, in ways that hurt to much to talk about.

Some days it is easier to deny the pain.

For awhile.

But then I’m forced to deal with it. Not always well. I struggle.

I am alone in my thoughts.

Isn’t that the way of the human heart?

The thoughts rush through me, much like a tsunami. I wonder if this is what it feels like to drown?

…A friend who is watching the son she once knew, slip away to a confusing medical diagnosis–and doctors who don’t hear her.

…Another friend who has to put his dear wife in a nursing home because her care has become to much for him

…A friend whose husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, at 46

…A marriage dissolves

…A family that sits in an emergency room

…An unplanned pregancy

…Broken family bonds

…Poor decisions

…Hours cut at the job, when one is barely making ends meet

…A family member whose body is worn down from cancer treatments

…A widow, whose husband was taken from her by a man with a gun

And the list goes on.

Pain. Stinging pain.

How do I live a Christ centered life…how do I show Christ to others, when there is so much pain?

When the heart is burdened and the tears build

When an answer isn’t given

When nothing seems to make sense

When facing the dashing of dreams

or the certainty of death…

I want Christ in the center.

I want Him not just near me. I want to be full of Him.

I want to be reminded that I do not walk alone.

I need to remember that nothing can separate me from Him. Nothing.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8: 38-39

AMEN