21 June 2012

Last week we had the delightful pleasure of meeting our friends’ most recent blessing, Lavinia May!

Lavinia May

Lavinia May

Lavinia May

Edmund

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.”
—Psalm 127:3


7 June 2012

As we sat eating supper at the dinner table, something down the table caught my attention.

Spring Daisies

I looked over to see this vase of daisies. As I watched, one wilted flower was mournfully dropping its head. From lack of water it was exhausted and had started to let go of life.

The stem was not deep enough in the vase to reach the water which had been quickly drank by the dozen daisies. The pathetic, now bent stem looked rather mournful with its head hanging low.

I quickly took some water and filled the vase back up to the rim, hoping to keep that sad end from meeting any of the others.

Little did I expect the next morning…

Daisies

…to find a certain little flower holding its head up high. Bent though its little neck was, the daisy’s cheerful yellow face was now turned to the sun once again. The water had refreshed the life of the sad flower, giving it all the more strength and resolve to stand strong.

This little incident reminded me of a couple verses that are very dear to me – verses that remind us to:

– Seek to be transformed in the renewing our minds in God’s Word
Discern and pursue the will of God, what is good, acceptable, and perfect
– To be refreshed in Christ – through His Word, prayer, edification of believers, etc.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of
your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

—Romans 12:2

And especially:

“Refresh my heart in Christ.”
—Philemon 1:20b

Turn your face to the Son and be refreshed.


5 June 2012

On a beautiful, warm evening last month I had the opportunity to photograph this dear family. As the sun set low in the sky, it filled the landscape with golden light.

It is precious to see these five together – they love each other very much and it’s contagious.

Family Portrait

Lil' Joe

Julia

Lil' Joe and his daddy

Lil' Joe and his mommy

Lil' Joe and his mommy

Golden

Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

Family Portrait

(Thank you for letting me photograph your sweet family – I can hardly wait to see you all together again!)


30 May 2012

"Peace" by Clementine Patterns

This month’s free pattern from Clementine Patterns features several delightful graphics for Peacedownload the PDF pattern for free and embroider your own version of “Peace”! (For personal use only. This PDF pattern download is available for free – now through June 9th.)

Don’t miss out on next month’s free embroidery pattern…
you can subscribe here to be notified when it’s released!

P.S. Missed the last month’s “love” and “joy” patterns? No worries – they’re available as a PDF download in our Etsy shop!

"Peace" by Clementine Patterns

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
–Philippians 4:4-7


25 May 2012

Chocolate Orange Torte

Have you ever had one of those chocolate oranges that you crack and eat in orange-slice-shape pieces? Image that flavor, only in a cake-brownie. Delicious! This is a wonderful gluten-free/grain-free/dairy-free dish to share with guests – they won’t even notice the difference.

And, as if it couldn’t get any better, it’s healthy…

Chocolate Orange Torte

Chocolate Orange Torte
GLUTEN-Free | GRAIN-Free | DAIRY-Free

1/2 cup blanched almond flour (we use Honeyville)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life‘s dairy-free chips)
5 drops orange essential oil (we use Young Living because it is pure and safe to ingest) or 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract

In a bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Poor batter into a well-oiled 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

Enjoy!

This is our version of Elana’s Double Chocolate Orange Torte.


24 May 2012

This is Juliet. You might remember her from this post over a year ago.

Juliet

She is a very good little friend of ours who is teaching us sign language (she’s still learning to speak in full sentences). Just last evening she was so happy that I learned the sign for “flower”, as she pointed at a flower and signed the word. She even congratulated me by giving me a hug and pat on the back when I correctly guessed what she was signing.

There’s nothing like her little girl squeals. Especially when it comes to asking her if she likes strawberries.

Juliet in the Breeze

In the photo above, the breeze through the open window blew a small tuft of hair up. She, Breezy, and I had just been looking out the window to see what we could find.

“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty heavens!
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!”
—Psalm 150:1-2


22 May 2012

I had just dropped off to sleep when I felt the ship bump as if scraping the side of a tree.

I sat up straight in bed, trying to make out what had happened. It seemed completely silent for a minute or two. The engines were cut off. The corridors were quiet until one began to hear doors open and voices speaking. The first voice I heard was a woman asking the steward what had happened. He replied calmly, “Everything will be all right.”

Sinking of the Titanic

Those were the words of Miss Helen R. Østby, survivor, recalling the night when the Titanic had struck an iceberg which would lead to the ship’s sinking and the death of 1,500+ passengers and crew.

I can only imagine what it would have been like – just over one hundred years ago – to be on the grand, arrogantly acclaimed “unsinkable” Titanic.

The anticipation leading up to her maiden voyage, the excitement of all those boarding such an extravagant vessel, the luxury and grandeur of her various decks and the first class dining hall.

With this being the 100th year anniversary of Titanic’s sinking, we have been studying her passengers, the events surrounding her maiden and fatal voyage, and those who survived. The event becomes more and more real with each new fact learned and each new story read.

I am left speechless by the heroism of the men who gave their lives so that women and children could live. Not a single act of chivalry, heroism, or sacrifice was performed by accident. With great intention the men placed the women and children on lifeboats as the Titanic took on water.

The sinking was tragic because of the many lives lost at sea. But with gratefulness we can look back and give thanks for those who were spared and lived to tell the stories of manhood, womanhood, humility, servanthood, and especially sacrifice.

“For I know that the Lord is great,
and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
Who makes lightnings for the rain
and brings forth the wind from His storehouses.”

—Psalm 135:5-7


1 May 2012

Refreshed

Evening Sun on the Raindrops

Spring Rain

Last evening’s downpour left the plants refreshed and ready for a new day. The skies were golden as the sun set, giving the face of the earth a warm glow.

“This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
—Psalm 118:24


27 April 2012

Joy is more than a smile, it is an attitude of the heart which permeates your entire being. It affects all of life, how you handle situations, and how you reach out to others. As Mum said, “[joy] is internal and eternal.” And there’s only one place to find and have true joy – it is found in the Lord.

“You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
—Psalm 16:11

Click here to read Mum’s post about cultivating and filling our days with joy.

This month’s free pattern from Clementine Patterns features several delightful graphics for Joydownload the PDF pattern for free and embroider your own version of “Joy”! (For personal use only. This PDF pattern is available for free download for two weeks – now through May 12th.) UPDATE: Now available here!

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
—James 1:2-3


Don’t miss out on next month’s free embroidery pattern…
you can subscribe here to be notified when it’s released!

P.S. Missed last month’s “love” pattern? No worries – it is now available as a PDF download in our Etsy shop!