Monday, 29 August 2011

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 201 - 250

Another week or so and I am all caught up . . . for now, the counting continues:
201.  air in my lungs
202.  African violets blooming . . . and lots of buds coming

203.  extremely fragrant roses
204.  discovered a hydrangea in the yard and transplanted closer to my little corner
205.  call from Dad
206.  a birthday kitten for granddaughter #1
207.  hearing their voices before church
208.  little feathered friends

209. anticipation . . . my sister is coming
210.  new rhubarb shoots
211.  a friend drops by unexpected . . . such a sweet time
212.  rainbows on the wall
213.  a cool room to sleep in
214.  weeding in the cool evening air
215.  easy fix for the car and an unusual helper
216.  a lead to a bookkeeping job
217.  hymns that make me weep for their beauty
218.  a new post - Diffusing the Fragrance
219.  a new follower
220.  sister and brother-in-law visiting from Montreal

221.  family dinner
222.  snuggling Pippa
223.  carrot cake & candles

224.  Happy Birthday to my great-nephew, Leighton
225.  Happy Anniversay #11 to my son and his wife
226.  vulnerable professions of love, commitment & gratitude
227.  road trip to Revelstoke . . . going to see my Dad
228.  all expenses paid . . . You are sooooo good, Papa!
229.  great conversation on the journey
230.  one hundred year old house

231.  my Dad's garden . . .  a labour of love

232.  walking downtown . . . camera in hand . . . stopping to rest often

233.  grand tour of Dad's shop
234.  recording Dad as he recites poetry
235.  watching games 6 & 7 of the Stanley Cup with my sister  . . . who knew?
236.  Your mysterious ways
237.  swimming with my sister, my dad and step-mom
238.  aqua-jets finding the right spot
239.  what's for lunch fiasco . . . staying in grace
240.  my sister, I love her so
241.  heading home again
242.  grace to start again when I've neglected this counting
243.  snippets of hymns running through my mind and making their way to my lips
244.  coffee & quiet
245.  a hammock in the shade
246.  a sweet sister-date,  Fort Langley & lunch in a Parisian style cafe and bakery, "Salon Cafe"

247.  a cool room at night
248.  watermelon, cherries, berries . . .  summer food

249.  blogging friends
250.  Proverbs . . .  so practical, yet totally spiritual 

Linking up with Ann @

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Nothing Hidden

The white-hot sphere of blazing glory
edged ever closer to the horizon,
wringing every drop of warmth
from its golden rays.

I'd never seen it so demanding,
commanding me to look,
full on, face to face . . .
but I could not hold my gaze steady,
I had to look away.

The cloudless skies provided no veil
to filter it's penetrating beams.
Only at it's edges where its brightness shot out
like shards of glass,
could I allow a fleeting glance.

Words from the sacred pages
rise from my spirit and echo in my mind.
" . . . a tabernacle for the sun . . ."
". . . like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber . . ."
". . . rejoices like a strong man to run his race . . ."
". . . nothing hidden from its heat . . ."

Nothing hidden . . . woe is me!
But . . . wait, it can't or can it be
I lift my eyes,
take one last look.

The radiant orb is now blood-red
and I remember what He said . . .
"Though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow."

The Holy One,
the brightness of His glory,
bleeds atonement
and I am forgiven.

© Andrea Dawn Olsen - 28 August 2011

Friday, 26 August 2011

Getting Older - 5 Minute Friday

Hey everybody, it's 5 Minute Friday again, and I had to so much fun last week, (my first time) and I am back for more.  Lisa Jo, the The Gypsy Mama, made up the game and these are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Get a little crazy with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.

The prompt for today is OLDER


When first we emerge from that dark cocoon into the blazing light of day,
we are mostly content to drink, to sleep, to snuggle close.

How quickly the milestones are marked . . .
the first sleeping through the night,
the first tooth,
sitting, crawling, standing, walking, talking.

The first year they come fast and furious.
As we get a little older they come less frequently.

Learning to ride the bike,
kindergarten, losing that first tooth.
Our early years speed by so fast
and soon we have left the teen years behind.

Now it is all about getting the good job,
the great spouse, the lovely house, the car.
Striving to achieve . . . acquire the things that make for a good life.

How sad it is . . . if in all our getting . . . we do not get wisdom with it.

As I have passed the 50 mark, I find the desire to disencumber myself
of a lot of things that seemed so important, once upon a time.

What is important now is that I have forgiven those who have wronged me
(real or imagined) and that my relationships are healthy.


No, wait . . . I'm not finished.

Gratitude is now my favourite attitude and I value the discipline of Counting the Gifts.

I have fully embraced my current reality.
My body is needing an overhaul and I have a new best friend.
Me and my cane go everywhere together.
I love my gray hair . . . I earned every one of them and I'm not covering them up anymore.
Being a grandmother to five little misses is the cake, the icing AND the cherry on top!

As each year passes, 
I find myself less concerned with how much I have accomplished,
more content to simply BE.
To eat . . . to pray . . . to dream . . . and snuggle close to my Papa.

I read this scripture just  last week:

"Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails . . . now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me." (Psalm 71:9,18)

A prayer He has already answered . . . a prayer that inspired this poem.

I know I kind of bent the rules of 5 Minute Friday's but I wasn't finished saying what I had to say and so I rambled on.  You can get away with that when you're older.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 151 - 200

Getting closer to the current listings, carrying on with thanksgiving . . .

151. Three flower buds on a Christmas cactus started 12 years ago . . . first time to bloom.

152.  New shoots on a "dead" plant
153.  Carrie Underwood singing "How Great Thou Art"   - watch and listen here
154.  Pink tulips, white tulips, yellow tulips, orange tulips
155.  Diminished pain
156.  Chickadees at the feeder
157.  My camera and the joy I have in using it
158.  Quiet moments

159.  Kitty-sitting
160.  Clean litter box
161.  Checking up on an elderly friend . . . all is well
162.  Blog post - Bread of Life
163.  Being broken is okay . . . God loves me still and His grace abounds to me
164.  Thursday thrift store find  . . . little shelf, just perfect
165.  I am loved
166.  I can read & write
167.  I can hear . . . bird song, laughter, Your voice
168.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me ALL the days of my life . . .
169.  and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
170.  Teddy bear for granddaughter AJ finished

171.  Visit from my son  . . . yay!!
172.  Mother's Day
173.  Breakfast with my son . . . , rose bush from him & her, carnations from Starbucks and
. . .  tulips from the grandgirlies

174.  Chicken wings & cupcakes

175.  Tubs of tulips lining a fence

176.  Picking out e-cards for the birthday girl
177.  Happy Birthday to 3 year old granddaughter far away
178.  Encouraging word from a visiting ministry team member
179.  You know how to get to my heart
180.  Crochet derby hat for a little man . . .  the smoothness of the cotton fibre moving over my fingers
181.  Thrift store finds . . . things on my look-for list
182.  Garden centre . . . strawberries, tomato plant, alyssum, petunia, marigold, lobelia

183.  Waking up . . . cinnamon toast
184.  Catching up
185.  Being here, in my quiet room before noon . . . a good thing
186.  Kitten draped over the back of my chair

187.  Yard and plant sale  . . . hostas, rhubarb, chives, strawberries all at a great price
188.  Walk to grocery store with the girls . . . it was hard but I did it
189.  New great-niece, Pippa Victoria Jane

190.  A granddaughter for my sister
191.  Meeting Pippa, so tiny
192.  Cows . . . watching, snapping photos

193.  Staying on track
194.  Developing good habits
195.  His sweet presence
196.  Words to an old hymn that speak perfectly to today's hurried pace.
197.  Ancient Words, ever true . . . I love this song!
198.  Loan paid off 9 months early . . . funds gifted to do that
199.  Little birdie friends coming to the feeder
200.  Less clutter

Monday, 22 August 2011

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 101 - 150

Still catching up . . . and linking with 

101.  Welcome Grandma Olsen pictures
102.  Green and pink playdough from Mrs. Smith (for the grandgirlies, but I played too)

103.  Grapefruit
104.  Deer in the field
105.  Squirrels racing along the fence
106.  Early morning frosting on the field, trees, shrubs

107.  AJ's good morning greetings . . . running, jumping hugs
108.  A piano to play
109.  Spinrite factory . . . pure delight!
110.  Meeting baby E at last
111.  Holding her, cuddling her, rocking to sleep
112.  Her song, "Breathe on Me, Breath of God" - listen here
113.  Fallen firefighters . . . a town in mourning, outpouring of love and support
114.  A community united in honouring their heroes.
115. Fat robins . . . getting great pictures

116.  Cardinals at the feeder . . . what beauty

117.  Reading stories . . . LOTS of stories
118.  Pizza and movie night
119.  Braiding hair
120.  Making dollies with the grandgirlies   - - - - - - - - ->
121.  Miss M learning to crochet
122.  Rummikub
123.  Taking the girls to piano lessons
124.  Ballet class
125.  Chip-nuts . . . very unique treat!
126.  The BEST sausage EVER . . . made my top 5 most memorable meals list.
127.  Lunch and devotions with the grandgirlies and their mama.
128.  Homemade pizza by my son
129.  My son and his 4 sick daughters sleeping in the living room.
130.  Her patience and wisdom with the girlies
131.  Monitor tracking oxygen saturation levels and heart rate
132.  Bunnies and their tracks

133.  Scraping the windshield . . .  so thankful that it's a rare occurance where I live
134.  Les Miserable . . . from track 7 to the end . . . over and over again
135.  Lost hat found
136.  Big 3 wheel bike . . . reminds me of the one we had as a kid

137.  Liberty's kids
138.  Kids making up plays
139.  Dress-up fun
140.  Blue sky, tulips blooming, peonies coming

141.  Laundry facilites . . . at home, yay!
142.  Found hairbrush, looking for 2 weeks
143.  On the waiting list
144.  Connecting with Dimka
145.  New mercies every morning
146.  John G. Elliot's music
147.  Birdies come to feed

148.  A new purse, a gift
149.  Good Friday . . . the great sacrifice that made eternal life possible
150.  Remembering "Ancient Words" (granddaughters singing while doing dishes) - listen here

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our LORD, Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Such Like Matters

"He used to talk to farmers
about corn and mustard,
wheat and tares, sheep and goats,
 and such like matters,
all purely agricultural,
and which they thoroughly understood.

He used to talk to fishermen
about matters widely different,
and such as belonged to their craft . . .
nets and fishes;

to gardeners about vines and fig trees;

to women about domestic matters,
such as come within their province . . .
kneading dough and sweeping houses.

By means of these familiar figures
He teaches lessons unheard of before . . .
lessons of Divine wisdom,
of supreme value, of sweet interest,
of infinite love, and of eternal importance. "

~ Griffith Thomas

Friday, 19 August 2011

Toes in the Water - 5 Minute Friday

A lovely lady, Lisa-Jo, at The Gypsy Mama came up with the idea of  5 Minute Fridays, a writing challenge where you are given a prompt word and then write for 5 minutes on whatever the prompt suggests.  The basic rules are:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Get a little crazy with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.

This weeks prompt is NEW . . . ready, set, GO!

I am new to 5 Minute Fridays and feeling a little awkward
What can I possibly say in 5 minutes?

I feel apprehensive and shy to put stuff out there
unedited, imperfect, raw.

But I want to be brave, so I dip my toes in the water today.

New mercies every morning,
new moon, new potatoes, newspaper,
funny the things that pop into your mind when you hear a particular word.

I don't eat potatoes
I don't read the newspaper
I do enjoy the new moon
I depend on new mercies every morning.

Being a newcomer is always a little daunting to me
but here it is, I did it.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Paper Cuts

I pick it up, this Book of pages
as I read, my soul engages
with the One who wrote the words.

I cried to You, for help, O LORD
and this is what you bring, a sword . . .
cutting, discerning thoughts and intents

I read a prayer, a David psalm
and what he writes is healing balm,
ointment poured on open wounds.

The Ancient Words have done their work
and found the pain and fear that lurk
within my cold and lonely heart.

Spirit words, so old yet new
found me, showed me what to do
and now . . .  I kneel . . . and worship.

© Andrea Dawn Olsen - 15 August 2011     

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 51 - 100

Carrying on in catch-up mode, thankful for these gifts
51.  Photo-blog, WORD Pictures, up and running . . . a desire fulfilled.
52.  Morning sun through eastern window.
53.  Blue and green together 

54.  I lay down and slept; I awoke for the LORD sustained me. (Psalm 3:5)
55.  Grilled cheese sandwich . . . squirrelly bread, swiss and asiago cheese . . . so good.
56.  Sunny days
57.  Daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinth reaching for the air above ground.

58.  Kitten love
59.  Hearing You made a difference
60.  Daugther-in-law's message
61.  Conversation with Papa
62.  Reduced prices - daughter's desk
63.  Psalm 119 . . . such treasures

64.  Friends baby girl uninjured in car accident that sent both mom and dad to hospital with serious injuries.
65.  Late snow . . . not too much
66.  Melting snow
67.  Checking the mail

68.  Making plans
69.  Watching "Touched By an Angel" . . .  being touched.
70.  Looking for the rainbow . . . refers to this verse of the old hymn "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go"

O Joy, that seekest me through pain
I cannot close me heart to Thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.

71.  Gracie's funny little chirping noises
72.  Words of affirmation
73.  Updates on infant granddaughter
74.  Holding her in my dreams
75.  Sweet communion
76.  Our Father, which art in heaven . . .
77.  Kitty videos  . . . made me laugh sooo hard.
78.  Minutes with my girl
79.  Baby sounds over the phone
80.  Talking to her, she listening intently
81.  Being safe
82.  Breathe of life
83.  Weeping in His presence
84.  She sleeps, she smiles
85.  Doing laundry for my busy girl

86.  Long distance call
87.  The difference between men and women
88.  Tears and laughter for Damien . . . a "little person"  . . . in God's hands
89.  Toilet paper
90.  Kitten helping me sew
91Strong Tower post . . .  encouragement to a loved one

92.  Packing for a long-desired journey
93.  Provision for that journey
94.  Gifts for the grandgirlies, made with love
95.  Trying to crochet with a kitten helper

96.  Boo, Munchy, Honey-Bear, Lu-Lu . . .  kitty nicknames
97.  Ride to the airport
98.  "Cookies or Bits'n'Bites?"
99.  Safe journey, my son there to pick me up, Tim Horton's

Me and my boy . . .  photo by MMS
100.  Waking up to the girlies . . . yeah!

Linking up with . . .