Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So Long 2014







This year began with many questions looming large.  A few: 

Would our daughter beat Ovarian Cancer?
Would our dream to live in rural America materialize?
Would retirement finally come for hubby?
Would our youngest son finally find suitable employment?
Would our energy stores be sufficient for unfolding demands?
Could I actually train a puppy?
Would we find & enjoy a new Church?


Those and many other questions have been answered ~ at least in part, and largely in the positive (if not the powerful).  I am grateful. 2014 has been a mixed-bag year; a year of tears & frustration; of excitement & joy, of fits & starts & dead-ends; of holding on & letting go; of new adventures & exciting projects.  Yes ... a mixed bag.  



So, as I begin to pack away 2014 along with the glitter of Christmas, I find myself wondering about 2015.  It is the first year in many that I find myself with few, if any, real plans or goals.   That actually gives me pause as I've long subscribed to Benjamin Franklin's perspective:  If you fail to plan you are planning to fail.  

Come to think of it, it's a bit scary to step onto a clean, white canvass with nary a vision or thought in sight about what's to be painted there.    

Thus it is my hope & prayer that I will continue to hear God's voice in the days to come; that I will walk decidedly & courageously in the direction He leads; that it will continue to be my heart's desire to be at the center of His will; to overcome anything that sabotages that initiative (I could write a tome on that subject alone).   

When all else fails, it is always good to begin at the beginning because He is forever & always in residence there (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1).  In the beginning God ...  


However, just because we've done our planning
doesn't guarantee our goals will be met.  The process
of setting goals must be infused with humility 
~ See James 4:13-14

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gates.
~ Proverbs 30:29-31








Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas







From here in my little corner of cozy
I wish you and yours a very 
MERRY CHRISTMAS ~

As we moved forward into 2015
I pray it will be a year of 
growth & grace for all of us.


****** Kathleen ******



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What Does it Matter?

"I am the Alpha and the Omega",
says the Lord God, "Who is, and Who was,
and Who is to come, the Almighty."
~ Revelation 1:8




I wonder how often I've heard the question:  "What does it matter?".  Hundreds of times, no doubt.  It's quite likely the largest portion of such challenges came from the lips of my very own teenagers when, long ago, they lived at home.  I can hear it still:  "Mom (in indignant huffs), what does it matter if I do it today or tomorrow?" Or, "What does it matter if my bed's made or not?" And then there's the now famous, equally indignant response from Hillary Clinton when questioned about the tragedy in Benghazi, "What difference does it make?

One would think many matters do not matter from those of us who have a different take on what really matters.  (Did you get all that?) 

By definition matter is both a noun and verb.  As a noun, it can have physical properties or be a specific topic.  But as a verb, it becomes something quite different, something synonymous with a consequence, or of significance or import.  Matters matter.  

In our increasingly secular and socialized world, many things that once mattered greatly are now relegated to the What does it matter? Pile; and some rightly so.  After-all, what does it matter if I eat fish on Friday or not?  Then again, all too many precious & priceless matters have been relegated to the same Pile. 


  • What does it matter if I read/study my Bible or not?
  • What does it matter if the 10 Commandments are posted in the public sector?
  • What does it matter if I regularly attend church?
  • What does it matter if I do this or that (something known to be immoral or unethical) since it doesn't affect anyone but me?
  • What does it matter if I have an understanding of Bible prophecy?
  • What does it matter if I don't forgive _______?
  • What does it matter which God you believe in?

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera

In recent days, during the Advent season that would have me preparing Him room, I've been considering (and convicted) by the question:  "What does it matter if I seek first His Kingdom?"   It's a perfect segue to the coming of The King.


For the Son of Man is going to come in 
His Father's glory with His angels, 
and then He will reward each person 
according to what he has done.  
~ Matthew 16:27 

So, as this Advent season draws to a close I am giving much thought to that greater Advent that is today and every day until we see the literal whites of His eyes.  Preparing Him room doesn't end with this or any Christmas season.  And that matters.



You also must be ready, because the Son of Man 
will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.  
~ Luke 12:40





... He was taken up before their very eyes, 
and a cloud hid Him from their sight.  
They were looking intently up into the sky as 
He was going, when suddenly two men dressed 
in white stood beside them.  
"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you 
stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus, who 
has been taken from you into heaven, 
will come back 
in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven."
~ Acts 1:9-11






Joy to the World!

MERRY CHRISTMAS



Monday, December 15, 2014

Back Roads Living

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger,
or more complex, and more violent.  
It takes a touch of genius ~ and a lot of 
courage ~ to move in the opposite direction."
 E.F. Schumacher


Most you know I'm a word junkie.  It's not necessarily big words I gravitate towards, but the little-used ones that are packed with meaning; that make me think.  Well, now I want you to know that I'm a photo junkie too.  

In my computer is a file I've titled:  "Pretties & Sentiments". That's where I house hundreds of lovely things I've grabbed or scanned from various sources.  I can go there anytime and fill up on the sensory reminders of the indefatigable glory & goodness of God. You know what I mean.  It's the sort of glory displayed in great & small ways before our very eyes if & when we look.

Today I want to share just one photo among the many.  Not only is the snow scene lovely & inspiring, but the sentiment noted resonates with me on so many levels.  After all, I have chosen to live on life's back roads literally.

So grab your mittens & a warm blanket, and climb aboard to join me on a quiet meander in the snow.  The only sounds we'll hear are the muffled plopping of the horse's hooves on the crunching snow beneath them, and the strain of our carriage as wood & metal & leather obey their gait.  Sweet.   


Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!  


Life is simpler on the back roads.





"Eliminate physical clutter.  More importantly, 
eliminate spiritual clutter."
~ Terri Guillemets

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
~ Leonardo da Vinci

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord ... for I have learned
to be content whatever the circumstances.
... I have learned the secret of being content in
any and every situation ...
Philippians 4:10-12 (portions)




P.S.  Many of your photography skills are prolific, which is why I thoroughly enjoy visiting your Blogs.  One in particular stands out as I write about the sort of scenes that bless us by their beauty and simplicity, and that's Just a Little Something hosted by my friend Judy.  Go see for yourself ...    

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Naked & Unafraid

I confess:  I watch far too much television.  My viewing proclivities range anywhere from large doses of Hallmark movies to a periodic Say Yes to the Dress.  I'm a huge fan of British programming ~ Downton Abbey and Monarch of the Glen among my favorites.  I find it difficult to pass up anything about nature, so National Geographic and PBS often have me popping in.  But nothing ... absolutely nothing prepared me for exposure to Naked and Afraid (pun intended).

It was quite by accident that I stumbled onto said program.  In case you've never done so yourself, here's the premise:

"Two complete strangers (a man and a woman) 
meet in a very unique way:  They're stranded 
in a dangerous, desolate location without food 
and water, and they're completely naked.  
Each episode follows the two as they attempt 
to survive on their own for 21 days, 
with nothing but one personal item each ... ".

Seriously?  That's someone's idea of great television viewing?

Well, I further confess that I watched the entire episode, grateful that producers provided a modicum of viewing decency by blanking out private body parts.    

So why am I telling you all this?  Because I see in the story line an eerily familiar condition for all of us.  The world is, indeed, a desolate and dangerous location.  There's a life lesson associated with anything labeled "dangerous" for the believer ... 

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, 
but against the authorities, against the cosmic powers 
over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces 
of evil in the heavenly places."  
~ Ephesians 6:12 

"Do not love the world or the things in the world.  
If anyone loves the world, the love of 
the Father is not in him."  
~ John 2:15

Roaring lions stalk our every step with dogged & determined ferocity.  We are ~ know it or not; like it or not ~ naked and vulnerable.  But, unlike the aforementioned reality TV program, we need not be afraid.   Unlike those uncovered characters, we are covered.

I look back upon the years of my sojourn here.  Far too many of my steps were calculated; anything BUT transparent or vulnerable.  It mattered too much to me what others thought of me.  In a sense, I attempted to cloth myself in ... well ... you name it:  Appearances (how I looked), good doings (works before men), camouflage (hiding the real me or my flaws), and the like.  I have vestiges of those things lingering in my flesh still, but this I know: I am no longer afraid to be who I am, confident that God's got that covered too.  

Begin naked before Him is the freedom He grants me, and that allows me to be real among my fellow sojourners.  

Life lessons show up in the strangest of places, even whacky television programs.




"I am the vine; you are the branches.  
Whoever abides in Me and I in him, 
he it is that bears much fruit, 
for apart from Me you can do nothing."  
~ John 15:5

"... he who was born of God protects him, 
and the evil one does not touch him."
1 John 5:18