Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One Year Reflections

It's the last day of 2013, a year since my first post. Well, a lot has changed... A beloved pet died, older friends in Christ went to meet Jesus in heaven. I visited some dear relatives, a couple friends got married to each other; a cousin got married.

My family went to Oregon for a family reunion that left me with a powerful urge to go back to that lovely state.





My church is growing once again, praise Jesus! There are babies galore, and more on the way. 2 friends just announced they are expecting, a month apart. w00t!!!

God is so good to me. He showed me that He was my provider in ALL things over this past year. There were many occasions this year when I worried about money, but remembered that 'my God will supply all my needs'. Money appeared in my purse, a paycheck stretched farther than I ever thought it could, I got tips from customers (and the restaurant I work at is not one where customers normally tip!), I got extra hours at work, and many other things.

I learned afresh the grief of loss. But Jesus has sustained me.

What will next year bring? No one knows yet, but I am looking forward to seeing where God takes me next year.

Oh yeah - to CJM - happiest of birthdays to you my dear friend I am so blessed to have you in my life!!! God has so many awesome things in store for you this next year!!!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

God's Sense of Humor

 I went to church this morning. What a blessing it was. Then, when I went back to my seat to pick up my purse I found some folded money in my purse. Now, I knew exactly how much money I had in my wallet - $2.14 cash after getting a doughnut. And God, with His marvelous sense of humor, put it on someone's heart to drop that into my purse.

I love it.

Sunday Worship





Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sad

Today has been a very hard day. Our little black cat had been sick and then died today. I have bawled my eyes out over it. I loved that kitty - his personality more than filled the room.
'Snowflake' was just barely over a year old. He came to us as a waif-like stray in October 2012 & had struggled on and off at times with his health.

I am going to miss him sorely. From waking to Mom hollering because Blackie was wrapping himself around her ankles for the 15th time that morning... To his funny little half-questioning purr that he liked to use for a meow... To his not-so-endearing habit of sticking his claws in your rear end (while you were standing) just so he could stretch out...

My heart hurts, but I'm glad he's not in pain anymore.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Worship/Musings





We sang this tonight... 'Tis a good one.

The Bible Study I attend just started a series on love with 1 Corinthians 13 as the text. It made me really think. That agape love is something that I sometimes struggle to show towards those that need it most.
Can we give up our need to control a situation? And be patient (endure) to the end...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Room For One More... Review/Ramblings

Room For One More is written by Anna Maria Rose Wright (or Anna Perrott Rose). Both names are the same lady, she used one name for most of her children's books, but the other was used for her writings on fostering children.
C/o Amazon.com


RFOM was published in 1949. It is a non-fiction, autobiographical work about the author's experiences taking in foster children in the 1930's. She and her husband had 3 biological children (2 girls and a boy) and took in 3 more (2 boys and a girl). Mrs. Wright has a wryly humorous wit, and a great deal of common sense in regards to child-rearing. She says at one point, "I hope I have an ear for children." (Regarding their raising, etc.)

She and her husband were not wealthy by any means, the Depression took care of that. But they had big hearts and took in other children besides the 3 that stayed. And in doing so - they only did what they had grown up with. Both sides had experienced, as children, the adults in their lives taking in children who just needed a home.

Mrs. Wright said, "All my life, people have thought me a liar because I always become involved in unbelievable things." She goes on to tell one instance where a turtle she raised had drowned. (Apparently it is possible. The NY Zoological Society at the Bronx Zoo confirmed it!)

I found out about this book through another of her writings, "Land of Silence" which I inherited from my dad's library. Ever since the first time I got "Room For One More" from the library, it's been a frequent visitor in my hands and I laugh each time I read the funny bits and cry a little at the sad parts.

Currently, it's out of print and somewhat expensive from Amazon. (Her other books, however, command much higher prices!)

If you can find this book - get it! You won't regret it!

Winter snows

We have SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! I'm so happy!

My mom is of the philosophy that if it's cold outside, there should be snow on the ground. I agree, more for the fact that, as a gardener, snow insulates the ground from excess freezing.

And best of all? I got off from work today! My boss is awesome!

Winter in my state is insane... Wednesday it was 22 with a windchill of 9 at 6 pm. There was a cold advisory that night. Friday it was sunny and in the mid 30's. Last night around 7 pm it started snowing and - as far as I can tell, hasn't stopped since!

As my brother once put it, Indiana weather is bi-polar. (Not a nice way to put it, but certainly accurate.) We can have 30-40 degree temp. swings in an afternoon!
Our pine tree with a heavy load - 2009

the snow covered fence - 2008

Grasses in winter, inverted to negative, whirlpool
When I went out at 1 pm Saturday it was raining - and it continued until late in the afternoon. Then it froze again... The result? An icy mess on residential streets.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New Beginnings/Sunday Worship

It's Sunday December 8, 2013. In just a few short hours my church is going to have its first regular meeting at the new building.

It's not fancy, but it's roomy with room to grow.

New beginnings for us all. God is surely working, and I cannot wait to see what is next for our little body of believers in Jesus.









Monday, December 2, 2013

For Miss Elaini

I have listed 19 books and 1 DVD on Amazon to sell. The money from them, and others wating to be listed will go to Miss Elaini and her orphans in India. On Sunday night after Bible study, I was talking to my dear friend CJM and I had the strong impression that THIS was what I needed to do with the proceeds.

We has a very challenging (to me at least) discussion on what the First Fruits mean in our lives as Christians, among one of the topics of discussion was tithing. How it's a 10th of your income, etc. I was challenged by M.R. (one of the young men who leads my group) about how most people usually tithe from their take home pay. But shouldn't we be tithing from our gross income? I want to follow God on that.

Back to my subject. I am praying, and dedicating the money from the sale of these books to Miss Elaini's project.

May the Lord Jesus challenge you as He has me.
I cannot wait to see where this takes me.

In Christ,
Leah

Untitled #382

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving

I'm up entirely too early, so I will write.

It's  Thanksgiving day an I have a lot to be thankful for.

#1. I have breath in my lungs each moment of the day.
#2. a warm place to live.
#3. a fulltime job when many are jobless and hopeless.
#4. Hope in my God of salvation.
#5. a car that runs.
#6. The heater in said car.
#7. My church family. They are truly the body of Christ to me
#8. The privilege I have of worshipping Jesus openly
#9. The friends I have been blessed with C.M., N.M., S.C., and others
#10. Family, both near and far away.
#11. The animals that share my life. *Cats are awesome*


#12. Jesus. For did you know - He let himself die a criminal's death - for you? What a love that is!




And there is so much more.
But, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

'Brentwood' Review/Book Ramblings

I love books. I just re-read 'Brentwood' by Grace Livingston Hill. An old favorite, Mrs. Hill always delivers a good read. Her formula stays the same in nearly every one of her books, rich/poor girl or boy meets rich/poor opposite sex and eventually everything ends up happy.

'Brentwood' is a touch different, but deals with a lot of the same rich person/poor person relationships and the social differences - which were much more strongly divided in the time she writes of.

The book was published in 1937, and deals with a wealthy young woman, whose adopted mother has just died. An envelope is discovered that leads Marjorie to a newfound family, previously unknown. She arrives to find all is in pieces at her family's home.

Love of parents and siblings is strong in this book, even if the protagonist has grown up in luxury, and her family has almost nothing.

Mrs. Hill certainly enjoys large families, 'Brentwood' has a crew of 5 kids - not counting the young heroine of the story. And this story is only one of several that rejoice in families of 5 or more children. 'Head of the House' rejoices in 7 youngsters.

Many of Mrs. Hill's books are fairly light on the romance in the main part of the book, focusing more on renewed relationships with family, with the "romancing" coming all in a heap at the end.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stephen Bly, Western Author

I'm going to miss him. Stephen Bly wrote western fiction from a Christian point of view. He passed away 2011 (is that correct?). A pastor, former town mayor, father, husband and a great writer.

Fool's Gold was listened to many times after we discovered Mr. Bly at our local library. Funnily enough, we actually listened to its sequel "Hidden Treasure" first, and the "Skinner's of Goldfield" trilogy is awesome!
The first Bly book I read




The characters in the Homestead series make me laugh SO stinkin' hard. And Jolie Bowers reminds me, of me.

First of 3 in the series

For me, I find Mr. Bly's style of writing more personal than say... Louis L'Amour (also a great writer). It focuses more on the ordinary, everyday events of ordinary people/families when they've been thrust into extraordinary circumstances.
Through his descriptive abilities, he has raised a desire in me to go to Montana, Colorado and Wyoming - especially Wyoming! (Read 'Memories of a Dirt Road Town' trilogy for the latter.)

 The Fortune family has a long and winding story throughout the Western U.S., but especially in the 'dreary' Black Hills. I reread this series frequently. Unfortunately, my local library's copies are quickly disappearing due to damage.

1st of 6 books in this series




Bly Books - Here is Mr. and Mrs. Bly's website.












                                                                                    This book is my  
                                                                                 favorite from the Fortune
                                                                                 series. Young Frank is a        
                                                                                 hoot, and you'll recognize
                                                                                 a character from the    
                                                                                 Homestead series. (I won't
                                                                                 tell you who, but you'll
                                                                                definitely recognize 'em. :D)



The 'Horse Dreams' trilogy has made me want to visit Wyoming - a LOT. Best of all? He makes an Indiana schoolteacher and her friends, family and cohorts come alive.






Humor and faith in God are two abiding things in Mr. Bly's writings. And he was past master in showing how 4 different conversations could be going on at the same time. (I still shake my head and bow to the master of that kind of writing.)

I will miss him, but can't wait to read the book that his wife and children completed for him----



Sharing with:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Marriage, Birthday, and Homegoing

Marriage, birthday, and home with Jesus.

Some very dear friends got married today, under a blue sky. K and N's story is a lovely one, which I hope to expand upon someday. I was privileged to help set up for their reception.

K's brother, C celebrated his birthday today also.

And tonight, a beloved elder sister in the Lord went to heaven. Mrs. S. Weeks is at home with her Jesus. She leaves 3 children, numerous grandchildren and a great grandchild here on this earth.

The impact she had on the lives of those around her will only be known when eternity comes.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Adopted sisterness

Yesterday evening was a fun one for me. I worked in the morning and met 'the girls' for supper at Cheesecake Factory. We are just a group of girls who've known each other for years (almost all of us anyway), go to church, etc.

This particular gathering was to celebrate N's coming-all-too-fast wedding. The story of N & her fiance is a very sweet one. Thanks to mutual friends and family's intertwining backgrounds they have pictures of the two of them seated together before they even knew each other!

After a satisfying meal, we gathered at S. M's home for some fun times making & using sugar scrubs and M. did several of the girls's nails. She has a very steady hand, unlike me.

I discovered that you can make a oil/sugar scrub with cocoa powder in it that smells amazing. It tastes awesome as well! ;D

I'm so thankful for this awesome group of girls who are good examples for me, lift me up in bad times, rejoice with me in good, and are just wonderful in general. I may be the only daughter of my parents, but consider that I have quite a few 'adopted' sisters

Love you all!
photomanipulated rose made to "glow in the dark"Copyright 2012 by L.G.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer Busy - *Picture Heavy*

It's been so crazy this summer. Back in the middle of July, my family and I went to the Oregon coast for a family reunion and I have to say - it was extraordinary.
Sunrise behind us

 We had smooth flights - well almost completely smooth. (There was some turbulence on our flight out to Denver.)

My older cousins who were in charge of the planning did an amazing job on EVERYTHING related to putting this together.


When we were on our drive from Portland to the final destination, I caught little glimpses of the ocean from between buildings but the picture below was taken the next  morning on a beach walk.
My first real look at the Pacific Ocean

(Look at the rocks in the middle right of the above picture - they were actually well over 6 feet tall.)
Also, the starfish below, were  at the base of the higher outcropping.
Starfish on rock outcropping - they were trying to get clams/mussels open


Sunday was spent a half hour away at Beverly Beach State Park where I dipped my toes in the Pacific.
I put my toes in the Pacific - barely


Michael and Lucy were 2 of the youngest members of the clan present. Lucy got a small replica of the Canadian flag in the evening and promptly ran outside saying she was "a Canadian Superhero"! Later on it changed to "I'm a Canadian Fairy"... Lucy and her little sister were absolute loves, and Michael... was his inimitable self.
2 of the youngest cousins talking about many things

this picture is my favorite accidental shot - ever. I was trying to take pictures of seagulls to ID later and they jumped into the frame. 5 and almost 12 year old cousins playing together. 'Teo was a willing participant in Michael's schemes.
Listening
Lemon sour cream pies -amazing!





Sunset at Beverly Beach




At the beginning of August I joined my brothers and many other fellow believers in southern Indiana for a youth camp called "FuGen". From Thursday evening until Sunday afternoon, young people from Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio (and those are just the states I know of) came together to worship Jesus and fellowship with one another.

Sunrise service Friday morning in the fog.

Since I am over 21, I am on staff. So I spent loads of time in the kitchen helping out. These wonderful moms volunteer time, money and effort to put together food for 175-200 people each meal. Vats of salsa, huge roasters of hot turkey for sandwiches, a Mexican supper, Italian, awesome stuff. Praise God for their servant's hearts. They teach me more every time I go. I'm not scared of attempting bigger meals now, but I'm not at the stage where I'd be confident cooking for 100+ yet.

One of many veggie trays

The girls - including campers - bring cookies
The Worship is such a blessing there. No cares if you lift your hands, they've probably got their eyes closed and hands raised too. 

This year, more than in the past each message was tightly knit to the one before it. God had a real purpose for it. A lot of the campers were first timers this year. Young 12-13 year olds. Praise God for the salvation message - it was good to get a refresher on how simple it really is.

Leah

Friday, July 26, 2013

Loss

I found out that an old neighbor I grew up knowing passed away on Tuesday. He was 74, a Vietnam veteran who loved fishing. His wife painted a fishing scene that hung in a favorite place. Mr. Gwaltney will be missed.  Survived by his beloved wife of 50 years, who always fought for him; 2 beloved children and 3 grandchildren.
I was blessed to know him.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our Amazing God

You can't break God's promises by leaning on them. - unknown

On this day, there will be nothing that comes your way that you and God cannot handle. - unknown

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
                                   --John 3:16

Whenever there are shadows in your life - remember that if there are shadows - there must be light.
- unknown





Prayer is not the least, but the most you can do for another human being. - unknown

When you bend your knees in prayer, it keeps you from breaking under the load of cares. - unknown

  




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Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Musings - I Have Amazing Friends

So blessed, I've got amazing friends, and I can only thank God. He did it.
Today also marks the day that I came into this world.

I also share this day with my paternal grandmother's eldest brother and his lovely wife. Today, in 1945 they joined in marriage. I'm blessed so much to have them in my life.
Myself, visiting Uncle Hubert and Aunt Millie, late Jan. 2013
More and more, I've been musing about how God has really blessed me with some awesome friends. I know that they are going to be there whether things are good or bad. This morning I woke up to a very sweet text from C. wishing me a blessed day.

God is good, and my confession is that this year is going to be my best yet!
Leah

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Worship

God loves for us to worship Him, in spirit and in truth.




One of my favorite songs lately.....

                                              Mighty words and SO true.

                                               

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Awesomeness of Books

"The book fell open in her hands. In the lamplight the fresh, untouched pages lay spread, each exciting with unread words printed upon it in clear, fine type. Straight, thin red lines enclosed each oblong of printing, like the treasure it was, and outside the red lines were the pages' pure margins."
- Laura Ingalls Wilder from 'Little Town on the Prairie'

THIS is why I get so excited about books, especially new books by old friends (or authors). A wonderfully eloquent saying

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Worship

Worship is what YOU bring to it. - T. Miller

Come to a meeting of God's people prepared & ready for God to move & He will. If you don't, then you may not be blessed like God wants to bless you.








*Later*

At church the pastor sang this today & I had listened to it on the way to church. 
I love when God does things like that!


The cry of my heart is to bring You praise


Monday, May 20, 2013

Mudpies

I'll let you in on a secret - I love playing in the dirt.  : D
This is from 3 years ago, but it shows the gist of things.


Getting off work early today was a real blessing. I was able to repot 7 roses, catnip, chives, 3 different kinds of mint (ginger, chocolate & sweet), plus some tomatoes & pineapple sage. Added top dressing to my back flowerbed & my mini roses on the west side of the house.

Right now, I've got dirt caked under my fingernails, in my hair, on my shirt... lots of places.

Sleepy now, but it's a good sort of tiredness.

Had this stuck in my head today.....

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Adventures in Fun

Yesterday was an adventure. At work we had another of what I call "Tournament Saturday's" - which basically means we were slammed all afternoon. (Rain slowed us down in the morning.) So much custard that after finishing work I was covered in stickiness.

After work I went out to some very dear friends who were hosting a bonfire and made many memories. 2 of the sweetest boys wanted to play with trains. So we made the trains "eat" my nose, called out the numbers and colors of the train engines; blew dandelion puffs in the field and laughed hysterically.
  C picked wildflowers to give the ladies gathered around the fire and J ran out in the field with his cousin for the sheer joy of it.

S and R (mom and dad to C) had a work day for their kitchen remodel yesterday and I have to say, it's looking good!

Finally, been listening to this lately...


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Build Your Kingdom Here

Rend Collective's "Build Your Kingdom Here" is amazing. A young man at church shared this 2 Sundays ago at church and we sang it again at Bible Study this past Sunday (5/5). We truly need Christ Jesus to 'show His mighty hand', 'set His church on fire' , and 'heal our streets & lands'.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jane of Lantern Hill review


Jane Stuart, the heroine of this particular tale by the beloved author of "Anne of Green Gables", is emphatically unhappy when the story opens. She doesn't know her father at all and it's several chapters into the story before the reader finds out that Jane's parents are divorced.

Young Jane lives with her mother, an elderly aunt and... her grandmother. "Grandmother" is a terrifying character who is acid tongued, bitter and very angry. At times she comes perilously close to being a caricature. But, I have had experience with a very similar type of person when I was younger.

Awkward, timid, very little self confidence are all phrases that can be used to describe Jane at the beginning of her story.

Robin, Jane's mother is a weak character - I mean she's is a bit of a wimp (to use a modern phrase). She has no fortitude to stand up to her bully of a mother. She's pretty and sweet, but not morally strong. As one of  the minor characters said, "She's been under the old lady's thumb too long.....And anyhow, she's a cat of a different breed from Miss Jane."

L.M. Montgomery was so talented at bringing these characters to life, whether they're orphans, mean old women, colorless men and more. Above all they are vitally alive characters that smack of realism.

Jane's father is not perfect either. But the relationship that develops over the course of the book between Jane and her "Dad" is a rich one.

For myself, the biggest kick I get from reading "Jane" is seeing the fun that she has doing chores that I don't ever do. A born cook, housekeeper and gardener, all things I aspire to do. I personally need to work on the housekeeping part!

"Jane of Lantern Hill" is firmly on my favorite book list and will remain there. Find it if you can and read it. It's a treat.

*update 12-19-14*
Reading through again, I just noticed that at one point in the book Jane goes on a walk, after dark, by herself with no fear whatsoever. That is completely different from the mindset nowadays.


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  Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Value Of Being "Ordinary"

   After reading about "ordinary" people I find that I am thankful that I AM ordinary.

I'm not going to set the world on fire with a new discovery, or inventions that change the course of humanity.  I'm an ordinary girl who just lives an ordinary life. My joys are simple ones... church, being with my friends, gardening, reading a good book, the peaceful hush of an early morning in the country.

Even my job is fairly ordinary... I work in a fast food chain resturant as a cashier. I've seen over 100 co-workers come and go over my 3+ years there.

I'm average, and you know what? God doesn't care one iota about any of that.
He cares about my HEART. Do I love Him? Do I serve Him? Do I? ...



 Shared with:
 Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth