Friday, June 28, 2013

10 Things I Learned in June


I know I write about reminders I need of God’s goodness and grace but it’s always a good thing to frequently learn new things so it can possibly be used and helpful in life lessons in the future.

Last month I was reading a post in Chatting at the Sky by Emily Freeman “10 Things I Learned in May”.  It was quite good and I thought… “Hey, I might try to do that…it’ll be interesting to see if I’m still not too old to learn something new.”  I posted a thanks in her comments and so did several others.  So, she gave the challenge the next day for anyone else to keep a list in June of things he/she learned in between June 1st and June 28th and she’ll have a link up today.  Be random and write down anything you learned.

So, here it goes!  10 things I Learned in June


1.  Our family went strawberry picking and we were entertained by a Killdeer bird.  It was a male and female and while the female was protecting the eggs in the next she had built in a hole where a bush should’ve been, nearby the male was acting crazy!  It was screaming and what looked like a funny dance or acting like it had a broken wing.  It was trying to distract us from going to the nest.  We’d never seen or heard of a killdeer bird before.  It was rather entertaining.



2.  I learned about living during the Depression.   I’m creating a life and faith book for an older gentleman from West Virginia.  He was a country-boy with amazing stories of what it was like to live during the 1930s and 40s on a farm really in the middle of now where.  He was describing to me the house he lived in as a youngster.  He told me, “The house had five rooms with a wrap- around porch facing east or south on two sides of the house where we could sit and eat while listening to the birds. It was a nice place. It wasn’t a ‘five room and bath’ -  it was ‘five rooms to a path’, if you know what I mean!" (The path led to the outhouse!)  He has such a good sense of humor and that was the only way he knew life during that time.  I really couldn’t imagine having an outhouse for a bathroom.  I’d miss my toilet, shower, feet on a rug when I step out of it, and a big mirror.  I take so much for granted.

3.  Sharks are scared of dolphins.  One of my kids told me that.  I had no idea.

4.  When you put too many clothes in the washing machine, the water overflows.  Just in case you didn’t know.  I learned by experiencing it.  At least the entire floor in the laundry room is nice and clean now.  I’ve been having more washing machine episodes lately.

5.  I don’t like being put on the spot in front of a video camera. Just saying. 

6.  Wearing Sea-bands and actually driving, instead of riding in a car (even in the front seat), on a curvy mountain road really helps keep me from being motion sick…for an hour. That’s good for me because I’ve always been a passenger and usually get sick right when the curves begin. But after an hour not so much.  Not at all. 


7.  Dramamine really works for motion sickness but should be taken the night before the trip so you can sleep a little bit of it off so you’re not too loopy the next day.  It really works though…at least for me!

8.  There’s a town in southern Virginia called “The Mouth of Wilson”.  What kind of name is that for a town?   So, I ended up asking a resident who lives in nearby town when we were camping if he knew why it was called that and he said it used to the be mouth of the Wilson creek.  But I had to look that up some more and there’s more to the story…”The name Mouth of Wilson originates from a young surveyor named Wilson, who died and was buried in a creek while surveying the line between Virginia and NC in 1749. The creek was henceforth known as the Wilson Creek.  That creek runs into a larger one…and you know the rest.   

9.  My sister-in-law has a new website Embellish Decorating and I’m so glad she does.  She and here sister are such decorators!  They can find what some people think is junk on the side of the road or at a yard sale and make it look amazing in your living room!



10.  I learned this was rather fun and maybe I’ll do this again next month! 

Why don’t you try making a list?  I guess they can all the Thanks–to-God for the things we can learn, too.

Is there something you’ve learned recently?  Why don’t you click on comments below and share!


(It just so happened this is Five Minute Friday and today’s word is IN BETWEEN and just fits right into this post because I was sharing what I’ve learned between June 1-June 28.  So, I know it was more than 5 minutes of spontaneous thinking but still fun to include.


Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Joys of Camping

praise Him

There’s just something about the mountains. 

The beauty, the smell, the sounds…the feeling it gives and makes it feel like you’re in the Kingdom of God.

I’m continuing my list of the things I’m thanking God for and there were many from a mountaintop experience…

What are some things you are thankful for this summer?


#1481  sunny, perfect days to camp and hike

#1482  being unplugged in nature for a weekend

#1483  I never threw up from riding on those curvy mountain roads…but hard eucharisteo is that I felt like it.  (Still trying to find reasons to be thankful for motion sickness!)


#1484  finally trying Dramamine the last day…and it worked!!!



#1485  trusting son with an ax and fire

#1486  playing Peanut Butter card game at the picnic table


#1487  walking through what seemed like a rain forest


#1488  Libby catching a butterfly

#1489  the laughter of stepping in cow poop – twice

#1490  Hubby cooking meals while camping

photo (1)

#1492  seeing a new view of God’s creation

#1493  the bible verse 1 John 1:1-8 that come to mind

photo (5)


#1494  daughter riding bike for 17 miles…having been she had hardly ridden a bike prior

#1495  never forgetting how to ride a bike especially since it had been several years since I had

photo (11)

#1496  the scenery on our bike ride


photo (7)



#1497  the sound of the stream’s running water

photo (14)

#1498  waterfalls


#1499  the hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the trail

#1500  blow up mattresses…that I would not came without!

#1501  hearing birds sing


#1502  the beauty of sun rays shining through trees


#1503  a bent tree in the forest


#1504  sitting by a campfire

#1505  making s’mores

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Radiant Moment at a Campsite

I was woken up when it was still pitch black outside by the birds who were singing so loudly it sounded as if they were inside our tent.  I dozed off and on until the sun finally arose for the day as the shadows of the trees danced on our tent. 


Once I stepped out of the tent, to the beauty of my eye was the sun’s rays reaching down to the earth through the trees in the woods.  I saw all of nature in awe of God.  God’s glory was radiant.

There was one tree that stood out from the rest.

It was as if that tree was bent over to worship the Lord. 


Honestly camping isn’t my first choice of vacation but I’m outnumbered by my husband, son and daughter who love to.  But once I’m there at the campground with the tent set up and the fire going, it’s worth it.  There’s a joy of being together as a family and to be in the nature that God created.




It was time for breakfast that hubby so deliciously made, and time to thank the Lord for it.  After eating, we just needed to give God the glory for the beautiful morning so I quickly asked Him, “Lord, what promise from Your Truth can we read that is just. right. for this beautiful morning?”.

All of a sudden 1 John 1:1-8 came to my mind and I honestly didn’t remember what that Scripture was... it just came to my mind.   Even though we unplugged from electronics for the weekend, my husband got his phone and pulled up those verses for us to read.

It was perfect.

As the sun continued to rise though the trees, we read “God is light.  In Him there is no darkness at all”. (vs. 5)

God is pure light, undimmed by darkness of any kind.

For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. (vs. 2 KJV which is actually the version we read from)

Manifest – to make clear and evident to the eye.

That morning was clear and evident to our eyes to see the radiance of God that was shining light down through those trees…and the bent tree. 


Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.” (Psalm 96:12)

That tree was leaning towards the sun…the Son…singing for joy.


I had just read the day before from Henri J.M. Nouwen how we should praise God more than anything else.  Praise Him because He is the Creator. Praise Him for His creations for us to enjoy.  Praise Him because He is holy.  Praise Him because He gives us joy.  Praise Him because He was and is and is to come. 


Even the trees and all of nature and creation sings praise to the Creator.

I started to learn that when we praise Him first, we’re able to release our other burdens, concerns, fears and even hopes to Him which allows us to live life more the way He created us to be. 

Praising Him strengthens our trust in His sovereignty. 

Praising Him gives us the desire to lean on Him.

Praising Him makes us yearn to lean toward Him.


And then all other things will become manifest…clear and evident.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Catch lightning bugs and eat Icee pops


Joining in with Five Minute Friday to write for five minutes about today’s word which is     RHYTHM

Days have quickly changed in just a week.  I’m having to wake the kiddos up to get to swim practice on time at 9am.  My daily walking the dog with Jesus is at 6:30am now instead of 8:00am during the school year.  My conversations with Him drift off into jabber about useless things or the list of to–dos for the day instead of praise and true heart to heart talks because I’m still half asleep.

A new summer rhythm is starting and it’s a good one but I already see some scratches in the record of a summer break that needs to be smoothed out.  For those of us who used to have record players, don’t you remember how a record playing would get stuck where there was a scratch and just repeat the same word over and over?  It got stuck in a rut.  I’ve found myself easily getting stuck in the rut of working on projects on the computer and letting them play on ipods or stuck in the rut of the lack of creativity (but there should be no excuse for that) so maybe it’s honestly just called laziness.

That’s not a rhythm I want us to have.  The only groove I want to get stuck in is giggles and grace and making joy-memories to get us through the year until it’s summer again.   Take time to enjoy smelling the roses, picking tomatoes and blueberries, cheer for flips and toe-touches off the diving board and play Monopoly for hours.  Go for bike rides and trips to the yogurt shop, catch lightning bugs and eat icee pops as sticky juice runs down your chin.





Don’t take those things for granted.



Monday, June 17, 2013

What’s in your pile of clutter?

There’s a pile of junk mail, photocopies of information still from school and scattered reminder notes of things needing to be checked off on my to-do list.

There’s a pile of order forms, scribbled ideas of maybe-posts, bulletins from church….just paper!


There’s a pile of clothes in the corner of our room that we’re planning to give to friends or the Good Will. 

Clutter just seems to gather in piles.

There’s clutter in my mind where there are piles of unnecessary grumbles.

Those grumbles have been gathered in the soul and heart cluttering frustration, laziness, or just complaint after complaint: it’s too hot and humid; there’s nothing to do - I’m bored;  I have too many chores to do; he/she is getting on my nerves.

Those grumbles can easily pile high quickly.

Grumbling goes back a long way -  over 3000 years ago when the Israelites were trying to find their way to the Promised Land.  They were grumbling because it was hot, because they were tired, because they were hungry, because their feet hurt (doesn’t that still sound familiar?).

But God still loved them and still blessed them.  God fed them – provided them with All-You-Can-Eat buffet of manna every morning.  They could eat however much they wanted. Did they eat it plain?  Fry it up?  Dip it in oil? Scramble it with eggs? 

God told Moses, “The people are to go each day and gather enough for that day.” (Exodus 16:17-18)

Each person could eat however much he or she wanted …and needed.  Some ate a little and were satisfied.  Some ate a lot and were satisfied.  It was always enough.

Jesus is that manna.  Each morning gather as much at you can of His promises to satisfy your soul to start the day.  Ask Him to give you just what you need that day…just the right Scripture that gives hope, reassurance, direction, peace…joy. 

“…gather us and deliver us…that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise."   (1 Chronicles 16:35)


Joys last week:


#1459  butterfly on our first Black-Eyed Susan of the summer

#1460  still beautiful smell of a rose even when it’s petals are starting to fall off.


#1461  smell of sunscreen

#1462  smell of summer afternoon shower

#1463  seeing son have confidence he’d do a 1 1/2 flip for the first attempt and did it

#1464  his good friend cheering for him and running to give him a fist bump and encouraging words

#1465  seeing Lazarus’ story a new way (John

#1466  encouraging comment at the pool about my blog

#1467  joy isn’t happiness: only joy can get us through unhappy times.

#1468  daughter telling me I didn’t get sunburned when I was young because I didn’t have any wrinkles…after I rubbed sunscreen on her face and told her she had to so she wouldn’t get them when she got older.

#1469  painting nails with daughter and her friend outside on a beautiful summer afternoon


#1470  bright, colorful and glittery polish


#1471  Unexpected: a very fast, windy, severe storm...and all were safe.

#1472  friends helping plan a party for a friend

#1473  Unwanted: having to pick up all the sticks after the storm...but as my husband said, it's natural pruning for the trees...just like God prunes us sometimes when it's needed.

#1474  Gift found in my dad – how his eyes smile when he smiles

#1475  Gift found in my dad – his love for my mom for 40+ years.

#1476  Gift found in my dad – his love for me and my sister and for his grandchildren


#1477  Day lilies in bloom

#1478  Hydrangea in bloom


#1479  My husband – the father of our children and his love for the Lord.


#1480  My husband’s parents visit for the weekend


multitudesonmondaysbutton2-1Joining in this Monday with Ann Voskamp counting…

Friday, June 14, 2013

When there’s silence…

Joining in today with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday and today’s word is LISTEN.



It’s silent.  Cherish it.

Just for a few more minutes.  Then the noise of the toaster popping up toast, grumbling to get to swim practice, splashing water, whistles, the vacuum cleaner humming, the beep of the check out register, scrapbook tools snipping and cutting, (usually with 80’s music playing as they work) and laughter.  They can all be good things…every day, *normal* noise.

There is a difference between listening and hearing.  We take for granted being able to listen.  Sometimes I say I’m listening but I’m really just hearing.  Just hearing jumbled up sounds that have all blurred together by the end of the day wondering if I even really listened to anything or anybody.

We hear noise.  We listen to someone’s story.

We hear noise.  We listen for wisdom.

We hear noise.  We listen to love

When there’s silence, the heart listens. 


Make it a discipline to listen more and *just hear* less. 


And Happy Father’s Day to my Dad, husband, father and grandfather and brother in-laws.  You’re all such amazing men of God and are loved by me and your children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews!