Monday, 27 February 2012

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 724-736

"All our discontents about what we want appeared to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have."
~  Daniel Defoe 

Giving thanks for what I have . . .
724.  A lesson on judging and kindness played out in living colour
725.  Knowing how it feels to be wrongly judged . . . being careful not to judge others
726.  Being treated with kindness and respect at my next stop . . . such a contrast . . . I prefer kindness
727.  A lovely day for a walk in my favourite park
728.  Sitting face to the sun, warm kisses on my cheek
729.  So many ducks, flying in . . . taking off
730.  Pussy-willows . . . the quintessential harbinger of spring
731.  Capturing late winter beauty in such intricate detail
732.  A symphony of birdsong
733.  A parade of plumage . . . blue jays squawking . . .  
 dark-eyed juncos,
  song sparrows,
 and the first robin of spring.
734.  While watching and waiting to see if more birds would come, this song arises in my heart . . .

      Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling; calling for you and for me
See on the portals He's watching and waiting; waiting for you and for me.

735.  Learning about Lent
736.  A new project  . . Fifty-Five and Counting

Linking with Ann & friends at . . .

Saturday, 25 February 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 20

Woohoo, spring is beckoning to the great outdoors and I am loving it.  Feel like I have been cooped up for soooo long.  Looking forward to scavenger hunting with you all in the spring.

This is the first time I have managed to get all my shots on the same day at the same place.  I had been longing for a walk in my favourite park for months.  Having recovered enough from my surgery I now just needed the right weather.  So on Wednesday, with the sun shining bright and warm, I ventured out to Surrey Lake Nature Park.  Hope you enjoy my interpretations.

1.  Crossed
At the entrance to the park, a glance to the left reveals two guys waiting their turn at the adjacent golf course. Notice the man on the left has his legs crossed and his club and arm cross over the flag pole held by the other man.  

2.  Catch a Glimpse
It took a few minutes of quiet watching to catch a glimpse of these two ducks snuggled together.

3.  Handwriting
A handwriting font to identify the place this shot was taken.  I love the almost transparent blades of dried grass and the muted colours in the background.

4.  Bliss
This is my bliss . . . nature photography . . . getting the perfect shot, nothing quite like it.

5.  Gray
Love these soft gray pussy-willows . . . always make me smile.

Next weeks clues:
1.  Routine
2.  Music
3. Technology
4.  Show Me Your Style
5.  Mismatch 

Linking up with some amazing shutterbugs at Ashley Sisk's Ramblings & Photos.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 712-723

Thou hast given so much to me, give one thing more . . . a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me, as if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
~ George Herbert

Counting the gifts of another week . . .
712.  Valentine's Day . . . a day to celebrate love . . . for God, from God, for family and friends
713.  My grandchildren . . . far away, but near and dear to my heart
714.  Artwork for Grandma . . . smiles every time I view them

715.  Exhortations from the mouths of babes

716.  The generosity of so many with much that give so willingly to those with little
717.  The way my daughter plans and executes a movie night out for five young ladies in wheelchairs (and me)
718.  The joy of doing "normal" teenage stuff that it brought them . . . their happy chatter debriefing afterwards
719.  Joining the gathering of believers on Sunday for the 1st time since surgery . . . 3 months
720.  A warm welcome . . . David, a 50 yr. old with Down Syndrome, smiling big and waving hello
721.  A kiss on the cheek
722.  Financial woes at church that require us to think differently and pull together
723.  Buttons getting pushed at ladies group . . . tears, apologies, forgiveness, release

Linking with this grateful community.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 19

Sure do love searching for just the right shots for each prompt. This week we were looking for  . . . Love (isn't everybody), Duplicate, Trend or Trending, Paper and Plastic.

1.  Love
 My favourite decoration for the Day of Love . . . a thrifted Mason jar painted and embellished . . . so pretty.

2.  Duplicate
I have duplicates of my favourite pens . . . Sarasa Gel Pens and Xeno ballpoint.

3.  Trend or Trending
I don't use Twitter but when I checked what was trending today, Whitney Houston's funeral had just finished and the phrase that was tweeted over and over was these words from a song sung at the end . . . 
"the LORD has spoken, let the church say Amen". 
 That is what inspired this choice from my archives . . . taken in Quebec City, 2010.

4.  Paper
 A pretty paper gift bag . . . got something sweet in it for my birthday last week.

5.  Plastic
My friend Alison has CP and only limited use of her right hand.  This Christmas she received these knitting looms and a whole world of creativity has opened up for her.  You should see her smile.

Thanks to our lovely hostess, Ashley Sisk at Ramblings & Photos.  
Linking up and perusing all the great submissions . . .

Next weeks clues are:
1. Crossed
2. A Glimpse
3. Handwritten
4. Bliss
5. Gray

Monday, 13 February 2012

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 698-711

"Now thank we all, our God, with hearts and hands and voices
Who wondrous things hath done, in whom His world rejoices;
Who from our mother's arms, hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today."
~ Rev. Martin Rinkart  (1858)

Counting the countless gifts of love . . .
698.  Wonderful news from my surgeon . . . cancelling the second procedure . . .
699.  . . .and I am okayed to drive again
700.  My car started like a dream after sitting all winter

701.  Issues with government agencies brought to a satisfactory conclusion . . . big sigh of relief
702.  Tiny feathered friends flitting through the branches, finding the newly placed feeder
703.  My new license plates - 091 PSK . . . and the way I remember it . . . 91, a PSalm of the King 
704.  My special cocktail chasing away a scratchy throat . . . ginger, lemon, cayenne, honey

705.  Afternoon nap
707.  My birthday . . . many expressions of love and good wishes
708.  A sacrifice that contributed to a defining moment 31 years in the making.
709.  God is soooo good!
710.  Flowers . . . inside

711.  . . . and out . . .  spring is in the air in these parts
Joining the grateful ones at  . . . 

Saturday, 11 February 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 18

With the passing of this week I marked my 55th trip around the sun . . . the years sure do seem to be slipping by so much faster lately.  And all ready it's time to post another week's finds for Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  

1.  Facial Feature
These perfect little lips belong to a certain little miss that has completely stolen my heart.  Her daddy had those same lips once upon a time. (Archived but fresh edit)

 2.  Shadow
 I love the way the shadows layer over each other as cast from different sources of light.

3.  Spicy 
This is an artful edit of an oregano plant growing in a little corner of my garden patio.

4. Gold
 I love pretty boxes and find the gold embellishment on these two particularly delightful.

5. Fabric
This is just one of 35 squares in a memory quilt I made my daughter.  All the fabrics are recycled and many are from outfits I made for her when she was little.  As well I included fabrics that contained things she loves like dolphins and sunflowers and pumpkins and butterflies.  The small floral print on dark blue background was from one of my mother's favourite dresses and the red gingham was from a dress that I made in high school.  I also made her a little book with pictures of her wearing the clothes that now were part of the quilt.

Well folks, that's what I found this week . . . now I am going to check out what you found at our hostess Ashley's site,  Ramblings & Photos.

Next weeks clues are:
1.  Love
2.  Duplicated
3.  Trend or Trending
4.  Paper
5.  Plastic

Monday, 6 February 2012

Grace Notes - Counting the Gifts 685-697

"You say grace before meals.  All right.  But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink."  ~ G. K. Chesterton

Continuing to count the gifts of His grace . . .
685.  Clematis showing buds ready to burst open
686.  Bulbs breaking the surface of the soil after winter's sleep
687.  A walk down the lane with my camera
688.  A deep settled peace that has remained throughout a long hard season
689.  Beating a deadline
690.  Grandchildren praying for Grandma's knee to bend
691.  Climbing four stairs the normal way (not step together, step together)
692.  I lay down and slept . . . I awoke for the LORD sustained me Psalm 3:5
693.  This cheery little fella singing his heart out
694.  Temperatures rising, days getting longer
695.  Climbing a whole flight of stairs . . . taking it to a new level
696.  Another gorgeous going-down of the sun
697.  An early birthday card from my dad that has me completely undone
"If" for Daughters . . .
 a special Birthday Message by Emily Matthews
"If you find happiness in simple pleasures
And see the rainbow, not the falling rain,
If you have faith to keep right on believing
In miracles that no one can explain . . . 
If you look until you see the good in others
And keep your spirit honest, true and free
Then you'll be not just happy and successful
But the woman only you were meant to be."

Over the years you've grown into an amazing woman
and your birthday is the perfect time to tell you
how much you're loved 
for being the wonderful daughter 
you are.
Happy Birthday

If you knew the full story of my relationship with my father, the wonder of these words to my heart would be clear.  When I was barely a teenager my dad walked away from the LORD and his family.  Daddy's little girl was devastated as were my siblings and my mama.  Though he walked me down the aisle when I married, there then came a long stretch of time when we were estranged  . . . years, many years, more than a decade.

Then as the LORD began to bring healing to my heart, as I did a lot of forgiveness work and breaking of judgments, as revelation came about things he had suffered as a child, compassion welled up in me and I began to see the good in him.  At some point we reconnected and over the last few years He has called nearly every Sunday. As the call ended, I would always say, "I love you, Dad".  He would respond with "yup, g'bye' . . . and after many months, he began to mumble "yup, love you, too".  The subject of faith has remained closed all this time . . . but, hallelujah . . . those words on the card that HE sent me . . . If you have faith to keep right on believing, in miracles that no one can explain . . . and so I keep right on believing . . . 

Linking with the thanks-givers for Multitudes on Mondays . . .

Saturday, 4 February 2012

SHS Photo Challenge 17

OK, here we go again with Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  Always so much fun linking up with Ashley @ Ramblings & Photos . . . such a treat to see all the entries.  I confess, I am the one who dreamed up these prompts this week and I still had to go to archives.  Hope you all had fun!

1.  Strike a Pose
 My dear big sister struck this pensive pose while touring through Old Quebec City in August 2010.  A day trip to Quebec City and the Plains of Abraham, the Notre Dame Basilica, St. Joseph's Oratory and Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Canada . . . a genealogist's dream. We had so much fun . . . I sure saw a lot of Montreal in a few short days.

2.  Footwear

 These two shots were the inspiration for this prompt.  My niece wears the red shoes at the christening of her two youngest and the godmother wears the flashy black silver studded platform stillettos.  

3. Hobby
 I have long been the family historian of my generation and can get lost for hours upon end chasing clues. 
 I have made a lot of connections with cousins near and far.

4.  Shiny
These fixtures polish up so shiny . . . just like new . . . okay they sort of are new,  just over a year.

5. Colour Me Green
This lovely little number hangs in my kitchen window . . . which obviously needs to be washed . . . but that will have to wait.  I am not recovered enough to tackle inside windows never mind the outside.

Next week's clues:
1.  Facial feature
2.  Shadow
3.  Spicy
4.  Gold
5.  Fabric