Peace and Quiet


Smudgy gray clouds lay low across the sky. The temperature is not to rise above the mid-50’s, with rain on the way. By most people’s standards, a typical October day in the Mid-west. The leaves on the trees that line the street are picture-worthy. Bright orange and yellow flames against the gray sky, but with the rain and wind, I don’t know if the leaves will still be on the trees by tomorrow morning. We might just have a blanket of gold on the ground, after it is all said and done.

I find myself pulling my sweater around me, as I walk into the chilly autumn air. The drop in temperature does not yet call for a winter coat, but I must admit the sweater feels really good! I am on my way to the local library to tutor a student. As I sit down at a large wooden table to wait, I am reminded how comforting the library is to me. Quiet. Calming. Yes, I can hear the hum of computers running, and occasionally hear voices….but, overall, it feels insulated from the outside world. I like quiet. I always have. Far too often in my world, life is noisy and stressful and I guess I think of the library as a retreat from all the noise that attempts to steal my attention.

Being alone, allows me to think my own thoughts without being rushed or pushed into the next urgent thing. I hope libraries are around for a long time. Yes, I have a Kindle and a computer. I can download books from the comfort of my own home. That is true, and I enjoy that perk. Yet, there is something to be said for walking up and down aisles of books at the library, or sitting at a table and working in peace and quiet.

Hard Core Bibliophile


I received my Country Living magazine in the mail today. I glanced at it, but will have to set aside some time to really read through it. I love my country/decorating magazines. They, along with Pinterest and Houzz, fuel my flea market, antiquing, farm house decorating mania. Also, on the kitchen table lays my summertime read, If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name, by Heather Lende. I decided back in the beginning of summer that I would also start Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon series. That is if I get through with reading Izabella Wentz’s book The Root Cause, which is helping me to understand my autoimmune thyroid disease and how to fight for my health. Truth be told, if I took the time to read all the books I already have (that haven’t been read yet), I’d never have to buy or borrow another book again! Okay, well, at least for several years. I kid you not. I have full bookshelves in just about every room of the house, and lots more reading material stacked around. Yes, I am a full fledged, hard core, bibliophile.

Honestly, I don’t understand people that don’t like to read. I know these people exist, as my husband is one of those people. He is one of the most intelligent and thoughtful people that I know, but books are not really his thing. His ADD doesn’t allow him to stay focused long enough to finish….so he is more of a skim and scan reader, along with being a techno-computer geek. I, on the other hand, have literally found myself so immersed in books that I don’t want them to end. I’m sad when I get to the end of a really good book. My (not so secret) desire is to write a book some day. I don’t know if I ever will, but it is a bucket wish type of thing.

The fact that I love to read is probably why I subscribe to so many blogs. About ten years ago I jumped into the blogging world….writing my own…and reading everyone else’s! I have met people from all over the world through blogging. How cool is that? And everything is so interesting! There is a blog to read on just about any subject imaginable.

When going through life, I am the one that is constantly saying, “I read that somewhere”, or “there is a really good piece written on that subject”, and finally, “I need to finish that book before I start this other one”.

To all my fellow bibliophiles, I know you get me, and if you aren’t a die hard reader that is okay…..I love you anyway.

On Cruise Control


It is already Wednesday evening. The week is half over, and I’m not even sure if I ever got fully started. Can you relate?  I’m sure you know what I mean. Sometimes I go on “cruise control”, do what needs to be done, all part of the regular routines of life. I try to stop and really see the moments, but all too often I walk around with blinders on, completely focused on the urgent. Every day happenings can become emergencies in no time, at least it feels that way.

As one of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp, mentioned in her book, One Thousand Gifts, life is not an emergency…and we shouldn’t live it like it is. I agree with her completely, and yet, here I sit on a Wednesday night. Depleted. Worn out. Just plain tired.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 38-42

I need to be more like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet. Resting.  I am rereading what Jesus said to Martha. I’m letting it sink in. His words to her are just as relevant today as they were when He first spoke them.

What’s The Word?

Today I am participating in Beloved Brews over at my friend, Bonnie’s, blog.

The prompt for today’s writing: What is your One Word for 2015? 

Beloved Brews Linkup

We are only a couple of weeks into the new year. This year is still fresh with possibilities. In the midst of those possibilities there is this word, “renew“.  The word I have chosen. The dictionary gives the definition of renew as to “re-establish (a relationship)”, or to resume (an activity) after an interruption.  And don’t we all deal with the interruptions of life? We get off track and get back on again. We long to renew our strength, our minds, our bodies.

This past year, I started eating differently, I have exercised more, I’ve read more books, and studied more. I’ve tried a lot of things and sometimes I’ve failed. And that is okay.

I have stopped to really see all the ways that God has gifted me, as I have renewed my mind, my body, and my spirit. In 2015, I continue to be renewed, as I step out and try different things….to follow the plan that God has written, uniquely for me.

Not always easy, but always worth it.

Sometimes the path is difficult and I stumble, but God says, “Even youths grow tired and weary,and young men stumble and fall;  but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary. (Isaiah 40:30-31) 

Thank you, Lord.

    they will walk and not be faint.


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Have you ever wanted to run? And just keep running, as far and as fast as you were able? You had no idea what you were running to, but you knew what you were running from…

Me, too.

I won her book in a give away on a friend’s blog site. I was so ecstatic that I had won. The book came in the mail and I immediately ripped off the wrapping and started to read. Good stuff.

Mm hmm……I’m liking this…. and then…….

I stopped.


She was treading a little too close to home for me. I set the book down…and didn’t pick it back up for at least 3 weeks. I stared at it on my bedside table. I saw my bookmark sticking out of the top, showing me exactly where I had left off. I didn’t dare touch it.

Not yet.

Recently, I was angry. Does anybody else do anything around here besides me? Doesn’t anyone else see this?  Why am I the one that is supposed to have all the answers? I don’t know. At that point I didn’t even care. Unforgiving. It was a hard and barren place to be pitching my tent.


Lord, I can’t take care of one more living thing. I don’t want too. When do I get to do what I want to do? Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough energy. Not enough. Not enough. Not enough. I was threatening to boil over with the resentment that I was carrying around with me.

That book was still there. No way. I wasn’t reading that book. Not by that Christian author. Her story, in many ways, was similar to my own. I was afraid to read on…to see how she had allowed God to handle the hard parts of her life. We all face the hard parts, don’t we? The hard parts are different for each of us. What might seem such a small thing to one, might be devastating to another. I won’t go into detail, because quite frankly my frustrations aren’t what is important. The point is, we all are broken and living a life that on some days we just can’t handle. Can I get an “Amen?”

Does anyone else ever have this issue? Do certain books touch you so deeply that you feel God put them in your hands, ON PURPOSE?

God knows that words are important to me, and I’m amazed how He puts just exactly what I need to see, in my path.

” That night I sat, broken, at my small kitchen table. I cried out to God for a lifegiving touch. I pleaded with my Savior to heed my case. He brought me to Isaiah 58. Here was an intense dialogue between seemingly righteous people and the living, holy God. These so-called lovers of God had been fasting and praying, yet they saw no supernatural move on God’s part. In this convicting passage, God blasts their false humility and goes on to say the following:

‘Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen…to loose… to untie…to set the oppressed free…. to break….Is it not to share…to provide…’  Isaiah 58:6-7

I knew God was speaking directly to me. “But, Lord”, I said.  “What if I can’t do it? What if I will never be happy again, what if I fall apart, or worse yet, break apart? What if I fail?”    —Tammy Maltby from her book Lifegiving  p.75

She goes on to explain her perspective change, how God spoke to her through His word. She understood that He was asking her to release her life to Him. To say  “yes” to His walk.

Reading this caused me to ponder, how many times, as Christians, do we go through “the motions” (sometimes grudgingly) only to realize that we are in desperate need of a new heart? Sigh. God is a masterful heart surgeon. He cuts away that which is not needed….that which is dead and not usable. After the hands of the Great Physician have touched a heart, it can be made new. And vital. And strong once again.

His touch can be life giving.

Welcome To Mitford

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Welcome to Mitford, a small imaginary town in the mountains of North Carolina. You can attempt to look for it on a map, but you won’t find it. It was first established in the mind of Jan Karon, the author and creator of Mitford.

My aunt introduced me to this series years ago. From the moment I opened the first book I was captured in the story. I could “see” the characters, through the gifted writing of Ms. Karon. The small town was alive and real  to me for many, many books. I often tease and say if I could live in any imaginary town from books or movies, it would be Mitford. It is a small town….and well, it just felt like home.

In a world of hustle and bustle, chaotic schedules, and a never ending to do list, it was always nice to settle down in a comfy chair and escape into the lives of the Mitford town’s people.

If you are a voracious reader, like I am…..or even if you are an occasional reader……if you haven’t yet read the Mitford Series books, give them a try. You might find out that you like them. Maybe you’ll find yourself looking forward to the trip you take to the small town in the North Carolina mountains.

So, grab your mug of coffee, find your favorite chair and settle in. The people of Mitford are waiting.


Do you, my readers, have a favorite series that you would recommend? I would love to hear your choices. What makes you love those books?

A good author is worth his/her weight in gold.



Welcome The Weekend

Saturdays are for walks and wandering.  Wondering and pondering.

Quiet days in the midst of a busy life.  

I have stilled and quieted my soul.  Psalm 131:2

Photos Tell The Story

Bonnie, at Faith Barista, asked her readers to tell what brings us joy. She wanted us to use photos to tell our joy story. I am all over this assignment!


Family and friends bring me the most joy. Hands down, no doubt about it. I didn’t think the people in my life would want their  pictures posted on my blog for the entire world to see, so I’m just saying it…instead of showing it.

Warm light. It makes me feel cozy.

The eucharisteo board that I have in the kitchen.

It reminds me to be thankful in all things.

When I look at the board I feel blessed.

Lonnie, the terrier extraordinaire, makes me happy. I just love him.

This is the kitchen door, that I refused to part with, when we moved. It has the heights of the children marked on it. It is a time capsule, and I enjoy looking at it (and also still marking the heights of my teenagers). It is currently an “objet d’ art” setting in the entry way at our new house.

This is my Bible. I’ve had this particular one for 15 years. It’s filled with notes and highlights. I refuse to quit using it, even though it is falling apart. I will just continue to tuck in the books of James and Hebrews that have come loose. I need to look into book binding.

Umm……Just a few of the books in my library. Books bring me a great deal of joy. I should have been a librarian. 🙂

Aaahhhh….bed. Comfort. Cozy. Vintage linens. Rest.

Yes, those are dandelions in our yard. I couldn’t help but feel joyful when I pulled into the driveway this morning. The green spring grass with the pops of yellow. It just looked pretty…even if they are weeds.

This was my view this afternoon. It is a joy to live in the country. I get to appreciate God‘s handiwork up close.

Don’ts For Girls–A Manual Of Mistakes

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This past Saturday, my daughter and I went to do some antique shopping in Mount Victory, Ohio. I love this type of thing, and can “get lost” for hours, if left to my own devices. I collect antique books. Most of my books are school books from the turn of the last century. On this particular trip I came across an interesting little book called Don’ts For Girls-A Manual Of Mistakes, written by one Miss Minna Thomas Antrim. The book was copyrighted in Philadelphia by the Henry Altemus Company in 1902. From the inscription in the front cover of the book it was given as a Christmas present in the year 1907. When I see inscriptions such as this, I often wonder what the young lady that received this book looked like, or acted like? Obviously, her parents wished for her to be a proper young lady.

This small, hardback book is packed with little nuggets of wisdom, along with some statements that make me giggle. Some of these verses are so foreign to me, being that I was born in 1968–and by that era, times were most definitely different! In my mind and imagination, I picture a twelve year old girl, on the verge of young womanhood…one from a proper Victorian family. On Christmas morning she opened this gift from her parents, and vowed to read the book from cover to cover.

As she gently opened the book and turned to the first page, this is what she read…

*Don’t be ashamed of your parents. They may be unlearned and dull, but they gave you the chance to become what you are. Honor them before all men.  ( I read this to my daughter, and she laughed. I do not wish for her to believe that her daddy and I are unlearned and dull, though I do like the honor part.)

* Don’t neglect little deeds, while dreaming of great ones.

* Don’t be a prig. Girls who are never a little foolish, are always deadly dull. (I like the word prig. I think I might start using that. Can I bring the word, prig, back?)

*Don’t chatter. Babbling is baneful. Gigglers should be punished by solitary confinement. (If one is going to giggle, do it in private!)

* Don’t regulate your behavior by geography. Be as modest at the sea shore as at home. ( I love this one. Anyone that has been to the beach lately knows, that some young ladies need to be more modest–allowing everything to hang out is not pleasant for us that are forced to watch.)

* Don’t be good because you must, but because you should. ( Amen. Enough said.)

* Don’t be anxious to get “in the swim.” Many drown there. (Many of our young people today, still have this problem. Following one’s peers can prove deadly.)

*Don’t fail to lock the family skeleton securely in the closet when guests are expected. ( Doesn’t this crack you up? I bet a lot of Victorian closets were bursting with bones…but, the key to the closet was kept cleverly hidden:)

* Don’t go anywhere with a young man alone. Convention admits no exception of this rule. ( That would save a lot of heartache, wouldn’t it? 🙂

* Don’t listen to anything revolting. There are things in life that should never be made known to a sensitive girl. ( A young Victorian girl would never make it watching the news these days. Or any TV. Or any movies. Or most books. Or…or….or…..)

The book ends with this last page.

* Don’t begin the day with a sigh, or you may end with a downpour.

* Don’t lament because your neighbor’s garden surpasses yours. Keep hoeing. ( I love this one in particular. Plenty of people in our entitlement society, need to read this.)

And last but certainly not least…

* Don’t fuss. If things never went wrong who’d long for heaven? (Amen, to that.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look into the beginning of the last century. It’s always fun to look back…

For The Love Of Words

open book

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I admit it.

There is no doubt about it.

I can’t help it.

There’s no changing it.

I am a lover of words

and a confirmed bibliophile.

I so enjoy the written word. It is a part of me. I intently listen to the spoken word. It challenges me. Choosing just the right word to is important to me. Words have power.

Today I woke up to gray skies and rain. The perfect day for reading, after I finish the days chores, of course. There is nothing better, than to settle into my favorite chair, with a blanket a warm drink and a good book.

I look around my house now and I see shelved books, stacked books, books on the night stand, books on the floor, cookbooks near my stove in the kitchen, antique books on display in the dining room. Sigh.

Jan Karon‘s Mitford Beside Companion (If I could live in any imaginary town…it would be Mitford, N.C)

The Inspirational Writings of C.S. Lewis (Great writer of apologetics)

That’s My Teenage Son–How Moms Can Influence Their Boys To Become Good Men by Rick Johnson (My greatest desire is to raise godly children)

The Vintage Remedies Guide to Real Food by Jessie Hawkins (Learning to live healthier)

Rereading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts (A book that has changed my perspective and taught me what eucharisteo truly means)

My Bible. The book most important. The book that feeds me. The words from THE WORD. Life giving. Life altering. The pages are worn, filled with pen marks and colors of various highlighters. I’ve underlined, circled, taken notes, and added exclamation points. The words themselves that never change, but do change me.

***In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (NIVJohn 1:1 ***