Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Monday, 25 January 2021

So True

 Hi everyone, just popping on here quickly to share a quote that was in my inbox today...when I read it..I said out loud "so true !!" You might appreciate it's wisdom too. 

  A Longer Lens, by Collin Huber

One of the advantages that comes with age is the ability to view life through a longer lens. I’ve witnessed this in grandparents and other seniors who have played influential roles in my life. Without their model, I don’t know where I would have learned to believe that a prodigal child can be restored; that marriage is a gift of grace, even in hard seasons; that hope for calmer waters in difficult times is no trivial posture, but a mighty act of faith.







The image of this elderly couple out for a walk brought this to my imagination: They live in a small retirement home now, but are walking past their old large home they once owned, that they raised a family in. At once the wife is transported back in time and can see it all over again as if it was yesterday. She can hardly pull herself away.

Be blessed everyone, love those in your life,
with all the time you have.
xo ~ Linda

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Once Upon a Time ....words

 

Letter Writer - by Joanne Mathilde - Dietrichson

Hello dear readers,
As I spent time with the Lord this morning the thought of 'words' was heavy on my heart. I wrote this:

We are living in extreme times....'words' are rampant, opinions are held up as 'our freedom', slandering is common, hatred and defamation are everywhere. Words are no longer measured.

Once upon a time the only way to communicate was via a visit or a letter. If a letter was written, one could read it over when it was finished. Once the words were on the paper, sometimes the venom, the hurt had been squeezed out of us and we might sit back and think or say "Oh I can't say that, I could never send that". 

However once that letter went in the post, the mail box, there was no way to stop it, to remove it, to take it back. 

The next day one may 'feel differently'. Anger might have abated, prayer will have helped. Time...even just time would bring with it clarity and perspective. Maybe we would see the situation in a different way, new light might be shed on it.

However if the letter was sent the damage would be unstoppable. There was no telegram, no texting, no phoning, no internet. If we had that moment back again and we 'paused', giving thought to the repurcussions and the hurt that the 'letter' - our thoughts, our words might cause another soul 'mentally', 'spiritually' and no doubt 'emotionally', would we send it?

Like I said at the start we are living in callous times. Words are being used for evil intent, to tear down and destroy. Maybe without realising it fully 'words' can become arrows in the enemies hands. May we instead be a fragrant aroma, writing words that encourage and bring life.

~ ~ ~

Be blessed, I pray this encouraged or helped someone this day. And please take a moment to pause before writing or hitting send. Let all we say and do be for His glory alone and strive to help in any way to bring joy, peace and love to another this day.

~ Linda x

~ Yes or No, by Charles West - Cope 1872 ~

Further reading:
J A M E S Chapter 3 
Taming the Tongue
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Two Kinds of Wisdom
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness


Friday, 8 January 2021

Just do the next thing

 

Hi everyone, I just wanted to write and encourage anyone who may be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. I know events that have happened in our world over the last year with the virus, unemployment, political woes, personal burdens, financial worries, health concerns or even just being unsure of the future. There are so many things that can strip away our inner peace and take our eyes of God.

I remember a time a few years ago when life was quite hard for various reasons, I was praying to the Lord and reading His word and I felt impressed upon me quite clearly to keep on doing what I always do, which was reading His word, seeking Him in prayer, walking in faith, believing he's in control and just doing the next thing that needed to be done.


And do you know what? it worked. It took my mind of things and put my thoughts back onto caring for my husband, looking after our home, and thinking about others. 
This week I felt some of those burdens reappear, I felt a bit weighed down and couldn't really put my my finger on why? So do you know what I did? I just got busy :)  I cleaned my house, I washed windows (hey if your windows are dirty, your outlook is skewed anyway!), I took down curtains and put them through the washer, scrubbed down the verandah, pulled weeds in the garden and now that the week is over I feel accomplished and the house feels clean and loved. 
My husband said how nice and tidy and clean everything looks. I consider it my job/role anyway to be a Keeper of the Home and to do that with love and attention. It really is a full time job to do it well.


However...I know a clean house isn't going to fix the worlds problems, but I also know me getting down because of it all or anything else in life isn't going to help much either. The only thing I really have any control over is right here and right now and how I live in this moment. So this day I purpose to have a good attitude, to make my home a welcoming space, to bake something delicious and have it in the tins for my husband, to put clean sheets on our bed and just do the best I can to make life comfortable for Him (which gives me joy anyway). 

I truly hope this little word will help someone today. As woman theirs so many things which can ruffle our feathers such as hormones, misbehaving children, ageing parents, feeling overwhelmed with what needs doing, commitments, the list goes on. 
So I think it's good to just get busy, spend some time with the Lord first and then focus on what needs doing, do one thing at a time and try to do that well. Don't try to do everything at once, or if your like me nothing will get done very well. 


Each day I make a list and then at the end of the day I tick off things I got done. If I don't achieve it all that's okay as there's always tomorrow. The sun will rise on a new day. Keeping busy stops my mid from lingering on negative things and I also send little prayers up to the Lord while I'm at it !!

Blessings to you all - Linda x




Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Waste not, Want not


 Hi everyone,

I'm sticking to my promise to write more and wanted to share my thoughts about waste not, want not. I heard this saying a lot while growing up here in New Zealand. I don't know if it's said in other countries as well? 

HO M E   I M P R O V E M E N T:

Anyway my husband and I have decided/purposed to not spend any unnecessary money this year eg. other than food costs, petrol, electricity bills etc and not to put anything extra on hire purchase. The upside of this is it causes me to have to be very creative and look through what I already have before becoming smitten with something new (shiny), that I might think I need (smile). So to stick with that plan and because I wanted to give my very small kitchen a wee makeover I knew I would need to do it on a shoestring. I found a small sideboard for sale on face book local marketplace and offered the lady $80 and she accepted it. My idea was to make a hutch dresser sort of set up. I already had a small bookcase which was once on a wall and we added a plate rail to that. So my husband and I got to work sanding and painting the sideboard and put it in our wee kitchen on the weekend. I used to use a large bookcase to store my plates, but it gathered dust so easily and looked quite dark, and that's why I wanted a change. We had excess paint in the shed, and chose a soft Dutch White cream colour. We also painted the book case that had been in the kitchen to put in the spare room. I had some pale mauve paint, and just mixed in some more white to the can. We sanded the bookcase, primed and painted many coats-of the pale mauve/pink. We are both very happy with it all. Here's the pics:



We oiled the top and it came up so lovely !!


The painted bookcase installed in the spare bedroom :) 


*I hope this might encourage someone else to realise they can improve a situation without needing to spend much money at all :) I still haven't finished in the kitchen. I want to paint the walls, and the window sills, maybe even the cupboard doors and the French door that comes into the kitchen area. It would be wonderful if we got it all done this summer :) as it's been a long time in coming and will really freshen it up. Apart from the wall colour we have enough leftover paint in the shed !!! yeh

I N  T H E  G A R D E N:
This year we've put in a smaller vegetable garden than other years...and I'm not stressing about it. I know many people are planting huge victory gardens around the world (which is wonderful), but I decided to have a little rest from placing too much stress on myself for a change and I don't intend to do much canning either :). Next year it may be different. 

This summer we have: Tomatoes (x6 plants only), Courgettes, Spring Onions, Masses of self seeded Italian Parsley - my favourite), Green Beans, Lettuces, Herbs of course, and still to plant - Silver beet and some Cos lettuce.





..and of course our ever faithful fruit trees continue to bless us abundantly. Pretty Feijoa flowers below, Figs, Little green oranges starting to form, Figs, not many Apricots - the birds got them..grrr, but masses of plums as per usual. We did a lot of pruning last seasons end, so the trees have put their energy into new growth, which is good, because some of them had got too leggy and the fruit was getting too hard to reach, which meant our feathered friends were getting most of it.





Garden flowers to bless our table :)

                                                           I N  T H E  K I T C H E N :

'Sugar Free Stewed Rhubarb'

2 Cups chopped Rhubarb
1/3 - 1/2 Cup sugar free sweetener (I mixed 1/2 Cup Erythritol with 1/2 teaspoon Stevia)
1 extra 'doonk' of stevia
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1/2 - 3/4 Cup water.

Method:
Place everything in a small saucepan with the lid on. Bring to the boil and then turn
the heat down to a simmer and cook until the fruit is almost soft. Then remove the lid
and reduce the liquid a little until it thickens a little bit.
Leave it all to cool and then put in a covered container and store in the fridge.

*I enjoyed a few spoonful's of this with some unsweetened Greek Yoghurt, I also added a teaspoon of LSA (ground equal amounts of Linseeds, Sunflower seeds and Almonds), and a wee drizzle of sugar
free blueberry syrup. Oh my was it good :)

~ ~ ~ ~

W H A T  I'M  R E A D I NG:

 I've been reading only Christmas books through December and into early January. I'll re-read these books probably every Christmas :) I got this book for only $5 second hand!!

 'An Amish Christmas - by Cynthia Keller ( I really enjoyed this simple story).

 As it was such a busy month, I just wanted to read something light. Here's the synopsis:

 Meg Hobart has everything: a happy marriage to a handsome, successful husband, a beautiful home in Charlotte, North Carolina, and three wonderful children. But it all comes crashing down around her the day she learns that her husband, James, has been living a lie—and has brought the family to financial ruin. Penniless and homeless, the Hobarts pack up what little they still possess and leave behind their golden life for good. But it’s not the material things Meg finds herself mourning. Instead, she misses the certainty that she should remain married to James, who has betrayed her trust so thoughtlessly. Worse, she is suddenly very aware of just how spoiled her children have become. Meg wonders what her family has really sacrificed in their pursuit of the American dream.

 A frightening twist of fate forces the Hobarts to take refuge with a kind Amish family in Pennsylvania, where they find themselves in a home with no computers, no cell phones, nothing the children consider fashionable or fun. Her uncooperative brood confined to the Amish world of hard work and tradition, their futures entirely uncertain, Meg fears she can never make her family whole again. Celebrating life’s simplest but most essential values, packed with laughter and tears, this is a story of forgiveness and the power of love.

 ~ ~ ~

...and prior to this book I read: Christmas at Harmony Hill  by Ann H. Gabhart  (I love Shaker novels) ! I have the whole collection of her Shaker books. Ann is a very good descriptive writer. If you like reading historical novels and books about unusual religious people, like the Shakers then you'll enjoy the Shaker novels.


O N L I N E:

 *I also follow various people on YouTube and find a real kinship/fellowship with people of a like mind there. One of my favourite ones is 'The Oldsteaders Homestead: Living Life Simply'. They are a family of Mum/Dad and 2 grown sons and two young sons. They built their home in the woods themselves. They work very hard and Leah considers herself a modern day peasant by choice :) They post a lot of devotional videos which I enhoy listening too as well. I was watching one of her videos last night and she shared that before they were homesteading, when they had a VCR player she loved to watch 'The Waltons' and 'Little House on the Prairie" and she felt like when she watched those shows she was having fellowship, because she didn't find people in her world who thought the way she did about living a simple old fashioned life. By old fashioned I mean, they have no electricity, she gets her water from a well and creek, they garden, have chickens, cook on a wood stove, wash laundry by hand etc. Pretty hard work !!!

Disclaimer: When I share a link to anything online, or show books I read, don't assume I agree 100% with what that person/book/channel etc may support or believe. It's always just aspects that I appreciate from these things/people/books. As I grow older I realise I don't easily fit into any particular slot when it comes to my faith (eg. denominationalism). I am simply a follower of the Way as it's written in the bible. I try to stay faithful to God and Him alone by adhering to the scriptures and using my own common sense.

* Regarding kinship with earlier times in history I know just how she feels. I often feel like I was born in the wrong time. When I was younger I tried to do things the modern way, but the older I get I am veering towards things I love which don't necessarily fit into the modern world. To me it's wonderful and fulfilling.

(Just wanted to share this :)

~ and finally...

A  LITTLE SPIRITUAL NOTE:  In closing I just wanted to add that living a simple life at home brings me tremendous peace and joy. I'm not interested at all in the direction this modern 'world' is going in because I don't agree with most of it. I find wisdom and truth in the bible and it's a solid foundation to build ones whole life upon. I knew it the day I gave my heart to the Lord (over 30 years ago now) and it still remains true and sure to this day. Whenever I've had upheavals in life it's because I veered off the path, the straight path and way of the Lord and not because of anything lacking in my Christian faith. If your not a believer I would encourage you to 'try Jesus' - I can promise you, you will never look back and He will never leave you or let you down.

Blessings to anyone who stops by. I hope something I have shared is a blessing to you ~ Linda :)

Art by Robert Reid - 'Tending the Flowers' (I think)

 ~

 Psalm 146

(NIV Bible)

 Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord O my soul,

I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

 Do not put your trust in princes,

in mortal men who cannot save.

When the spirit departs they

return to the ground;

on that very day their plans come to nothing.

 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,

whose hope is in the Lord his God,

the Maker of heaven and earth,

the sea, and everything in them,

the Lord who remains faithful forever.

 He upholds the cause of the oppressed

and gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets prisoners free,

The Lord gives sight to the blind,

the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,

the Lord loves the righteous.

The Lord watches over the alien

and sustains the fatherless and the widow,

but he frustrates the way of the wicked.

The Lord reigns forever,

Your God, O Zion for all generations.

Praise the Lord. 

~

 


Friday, 1 January 2021

The Joyful Season

 Hello dear friends and quiet followers :) HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! I know I've been absent quite some time, so I thought it's about time I got on here and wrote a little bit. I'll just share in words and pictures some of my goings on of late.

D E C E M B E R - always one of my favourite months of the year. I'm always like a big kid when it comes to Christmas. I love to decorate our home, make special food, have twinkly lights strewn here and there, put Christmas lilies in a vase to fragrance our home and special scents in the essential oil burner. This all creates that special atmosphere in our home....and of course the nativity scene will take centre stage, because after all that's what Christmas is all about. 

Nowadays each Christmas is different. Some years all the family will gather here...well we did for a long time :), but now all our children are either married or almost there and have 'new' families as well to consider. So I've learnt not to expect that everyone will come home for Christmas these days...and I'm okay with it now :) even though it has taken some getting used to. Other people's families are just as special and we just need to share everyone around.

The other day some of my grandchildren came over and we baked cookies. I saw an idea pop up from a ladies blog for chocolate chip cookies, dipped half in white chocolate and then sprinkled with crushed candy canes and they looked so good, that I gathered all the ingredients together and we had a fun time making them. My daughter was at the hairdressers, so I managed to keep them all amused between a sink full of soapy water for the littlest, to an ipad to watch slime videos on for older girls :)

My two year old grandaughter Laura Joy, having fun mucking in Nanny's bubbly dish water :)



My middle son Louis proposed to Ren :) - how exciting !!!
Our youngest little grand daughter came to visit - little  'Freya' - so cute

I forgot to take many more pics as the season just rolled on and there were presents to wrap, a Christmas cake to be baked, a house to decorate and food to be prepared. What fun it all was. 

However....

Sadly in the midst of all this my oldest sister passed away from an ongoing illness. That was very sad. I hadn't actually seen her in over 30 years as she lived in Australia. We weren't really close anymore and didn't keep in touch. There were many years when we didn't really even know where she was living...but even so, we watched her funeral via a skype sort of set up and the tears still rolled. My other sister had childhood photos she shared on the day of the funeral and all the old memories cam flooding back. It was especially hard for my mum to have to sit through her own child's funeral. Life is hard at times, and that makes me ever more grateful for my faith. The Lord is such a comfort. It's a blessing to be a believer.

I sit and write this on New Years day, which has been lovely. I just ate my way through the last slice of Pavlova...ahhh...thats enough pudding for quite some time. In my next post I'll do a wee update on what we're up to around home...always some sort of sanding/painting, furniture moving, weeding activity going on...ahhh LIFE, isn't it grand. The older I get the more I realise what a privilege that is, to have another day, another year. Each day is to be treasured. 
I'm thankful for my blog, for all of you I've met, for your quiet friendship and the sharing that goes on. It's a blessing. I'll try to post more this year. 

Love to you all ~ Linda (New Zealand)




End of an Era

  Hi friends and quiet followers, My Dad 'Rae' passed away 4th July 2021 aged 81 years. He'd been ill for about two and a half y...