Monday, October 20, 2014

bounce ... bounce ... bounce ...

bounce ...

well - that's the sound of me totally dropping the ball on the 

and knowing me, as much as I want to get back to it and keep on {gathering}, it's going to be hard.
I'm super busy with homeschool and my little alterations business has suddenly picked up with lots of deadlines. Basketball season is about to start in earnest ... so if I don't get back to writing on my blog, at least I made it 1/2 way! 

Life is so full right now and I need my rest more then I need to write, but I've loved it so far, and it's reminded me that in a less busy season of life, 
I will write again!

Bye for now,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day 15 {inspiration}

tap tap tap ... is this thing still on?

Oh hello there!
You're back!
The 31 Day Writing Challenge continues!

I'm so grateful for my amazingly smart {and beautiful} 
daughter tonight ...

You see, I left this post until tonight and when I went to sit down to finish it I realized I had given all and had nothing left for my blog. Nothing. 
Not one single idea to finish my post.

{late night, not nearly enough sleep,cooking ahead for the family, 'blessing baking' - Stroyteller's term for what goes out the door from our kitchen,
running errands, dinner on the run, parent night at AWANA, hugs and fellowship, farm fresh eggs to remember, the long drive home with me at the wheel,and unpacking groceries}

I was bemoaning that fact when I sat down to shut off the computer and admit defeat when our sweet Dreamer piped up, 'Just do a post on gathering {inspiration}.'

Didn't I tell you she was a smart one? 


gathering {inspiration}

{the short list}

Julie at Brave Writer wrote this post that {inspired} me to make a fresh start with my reluctant writer! It's not too late after all!

Brenda writes from the heart at Coffee Tea Books & Me and this weekend she reminded me of something so important in her post Why Bother?  She {inspired} my to look around my home and garden and soak in some of the unexpected beauty there. 

I had not heard of the term 'capsule wardrobe' until I stumbled on this post on Un-Fancy, but I think I am {inspired} to give it a try! Of course I don't have a $1000 budget for clothes for myself for one season, but I can take the principles to the thrift store! 

I was about to give away a bunch of my unused mason jars when I saw this post at fellow 31 Day Writing challenge blogger Home Is What You Make It and was {inspired}to hang on to them for just a bit longer! 

Candace at His Mercy Is New {inspired} me with this post to be more intention in praying the Scripture for our family. She has some great free resources too! 

Leave a link - I'd love to read about what is inspiring you! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Day 14 {encouragement}

Welcome back to Day 14 

This evening I am off to gather {encouragement}

God has blessed me with this wonderful group of homeschooling mama's who love the Lord and seek Him in doing this crazy thing we call home education.
These women are such a joy and blessing to my heart - their friendship is genuine.

We share, we encourage - we pray for one another!
We meet together once a month and laugh and talk - and sometimes there are a few tears too, but it helps so much to realize that we are NOT alone in our joys and struggles. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, 
even as also ye do.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Day 13 {thanks}

Happy {Canadian} Thanksgiving
and welcome to Day 13

gathering {thanks}


1. to express gratitude, appreciation, or acknowledgment to.

2. Usually, thanksa grateful feeling or acknowledgment of a benefit.

Our Sweet Gum tree - so pretty!

Many of you know that I am a Canadian gal, 
transplanted by marriage to the USA!
Many of my friends ask why Canada has Thanksgiving 
so much earlier than the USA.
I usually answer one of the following reasons 
- you can decide for yourself which one is true!

1. Canadians know better than to crowd their holidays into a one month space of time! Less stress!
2. The growing season is shorter so the harvest is earlier so the food is ready to enjoy! 
3. Canadians simply have more to be thankful for.
4. Families want to get together for Thanksgiving before they are snowed in for the winter. 
5. Canadian Thanksgiving pre-dates the U.S. celebration so why is the U.S. Thanksgiving so late?

Friends also ask me what Canadians eat for Thanksgiving and I tell them 'Anything but Green Bean Casserole!' Ha! I had never heard of the stuff until I married an American ... and I still think it's terrible! 
I know there are many who love it, but you'll never win me over!

Usually we celebrate both Canadian and American Thanksgiving, so that means we've celebrated 45 Thanksgivings! That's a lot of thankfulness. 
This year Mum and Dad were supposed to come down, but sickness, business and the little matter of delayed passports ruined their plans.

gathering {thanks}
it's the easiest way to brighten my day!

(remember that repetition is God's volume control) 
Do you think we should gather {thanks}? 

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: 
because his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 118:29
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: 
for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 119:62  
At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee 
because of thy righteous judgments.
Psalm 122:4
Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord.
Psalm 136:1
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good:
 for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 140:13
Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: 
the upright shall dwell in thy presence.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Day 12 {memories}

I'm so very glad you've stopped by to see what I'm gathering today for the 31 Day Writing Challenge!

Today I am simply gathering {memories}

You see, 23 years ago today I married the man that God hand picked for me! 
I feel so very blessed to share this life, with all of it's ups and downs, with my steady Historian. 

On days like today I like to look back at all of the times that God has shown us His love and faithfulness, all of the peace He's flooded us with, all of the joy He's given us, and all of the mercy He's so graciously lavished on us. I look forward to all He has in store for us - whether one day or 10,000 because I know God is faithful ... and my Historian is following Him.


I hope today you will take some time to gather {memories} that make you smile! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day 11 {clutter}

Welcome back to Day 11 of the 31 Day Writing Challenge! I'll keep this short and sweet! I promise.

I've spent the day gathering {clutter} and I am quite ready to climb into my the sweet freshness of my flannel sheets. I've felt all day like I've worked so hard and accomplished nothing - even if the garbage can is filled with the dust bunnies I chased down and rounded up! 



1. to fill or litter with things in a disorderly manner.


2. a disorderly heap or assemblage; litter.

I often feel so out of sorts when our home is messy and cluttered and I do try to keep a certain standard of clean, but when I deep clean a room it's always astounding how much I can get rid of without missing any of it. I've left things in a mess too long and so it will probably take the rest of the week month to finish what I've started, but it feels good to have some areas more orderly and clean. 

Years ago I read a quote from Dr. James Dobson that said a home should be clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy. 
Our home is quite obviously very happy! 

One of the reasons there are so many blogs, businesses, books and videos centered around de-cluttering is because we have way too much stuff, and we become enslaved by it. It's a burden to have more than we need - it must be stored and maintained - and it takes up space. I read some minimalist blogs and I'm intrigued by the freedom they find in having very few possessions. It's interesting that we have a societal norm for clutter and cleanliness - we put limits on what is acceptable and what is beyond. Compulsive hoarders are labelled with anxiety disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder but minimalist often receive the same types of labels. 

Our struggle with clutter might well be a spiritual issue. God is a God of order - not chaos. Since we are made in His image, we too crave some order. Rites, rituals, traditions - they all appeal because we like order, routine, predictability - to some degree or another. Also we often give in to the pressure to have more, often equating having nice things, well cared for and clean with prosperity and happiness. I know that when I am hanging on to things that I really do not need and will not use that I am not fully trusting God to provide for our needs in His good time. I strive to find a balance between looking well to the needs of our household and trusting that He who clothes the lilies will care for me.

So today I gathered {clutter} and Monday it will make it's way to the donation box. Though I am tired and achy from all the hard work - I am happy to have at least a few hot spots checked off my list. If you are wanting to tackle clutter with a friend Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam is doing a 31 Day Clutter Countdown. I'm sure she'd be happy to have you join in! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 10 {joy}

Now this is getting to be a habit with us … meeting here to chat! 
I’m so glad you’ve dropped by for Day 10 of the 31 Day Writing Challenge

Today I’ve had some challenges and two big disappointments, along with a smidgen of worry for my Dreamer who’s not feeling well at all. The sum total of this heart-heavy week, not nearly enough sleep, and THIS day … well, I was beginning to think about hosting myself a little ‘poor me’ party – until I decided to gather up some {joy} reminders and turn my attitude around. I put on my apron and got to work in the kitchen and asked the Lord to bring to mind all the {joy} verses I've learned and to help me be thankful. 

Pies made another day in honor of
my Canadian readers - Happy Thanksgiving! 

I did a little baking and some praying 
... and starting listing my joys.

Have you looked up the dictionary definition of {joy} lately? I think there's been a mix up!  


1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.
2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.
3. the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
4. a state of happiness or felicity.

For a Believer, {joy} has a very different definition … and an entirely different source. Most understand that happiness is dependant upon circumstances, while real joy comes from knowing God and living by His Word. Joy cannot be replicated by the deceiver – everything he has to offer is empty and short lived. Joy is not an emotion or a state of gaiety. Abiding {joy} is a gift from God!

True {joy} rises above circumstances so that even in the deepest of struggles or sorrows we can have that abiding joy. Knowing that God is our strength and an ever-present help in times of need brings joy.

Let’s gather {joy} straight from the source!

1. Living each day in the presence of God brings {joy} Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

2. Living a [joy} filled life IS my strength. Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

3. Twice in one verse! It looks like {joy} in the Lord is NOT optional. Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

4. Obedience to the Word of God ensures a FULL, lasting, and authentic {joy}. John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

5. Taking refuge in the Lord and giving Him my praise brings {joy}. Psalm 27:5-7 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

6. {Joy} carries me when I have no strength of my own. James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
 7. The Word of God is THE source of {joy}. Psalm 119:110-112 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts. Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

8. Exceeding {joy}? The {joy} of the Lord is MORE than enough to keep me from falling. Jude 1:24-25 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

I don't know what kind of a week you've had, but I do pray that you've had the joy of the Lord in all of the ups and downs you faced. 
If you do not have a personal relationship with God, the true {joy} Giver, I pray that you will seek Him with all your heart. He will bring people into your life who can take you through the Bible and help you understand how you can have eternal life with God one day, and a {joy} filled life today.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day 9 {fragments}

Okay now … you can be honest with me. Did you click on this post because of the unusual title? I hope you did!  I’m happy that you’re here reading my rambling thoughts on Day 9 of the 31 Day Writing Challenge hosted by Myquillyn Smith aka The Nester from the Nesting Place.

When I started praying about this Writing Challenge I really had no idea where to head with it – I mean there are so many topics that have already been beautifully covered and an incredible number of amazing bloggers writing far more capably than I ever could. Remember when I had to gather {courage} and where that courage was found

Looking around at what other people are doing can be terrifically inspiring … or in my case, completely intimidating. I found courage in the Word of God, knowing that I am a unique creation and thus I am able to write in my own way. I hoped that what I write during this challenge might be something to bless or encourage one of you. With that thought, I committed.

When I finally settled on the idea of {gathering} I made a list and one of the things that came to mind right away was the thought of gathering {fragments}.

[n. frag-muh nt]
          1.     a part broken off or detached.
          2.     an isolated, unfinished, or incomplete part.
          3.     an odd piece, bit, or scrap.
          4.     to break (something) into pieces or fragments; cause to disintegrate.
          5.     to divide into fragments; disunify.

When The Historian and I were first married, we were given a helpful Mennonite cookbook called ‘The More -With- Less Cookbook’. Considering we were living in an old parsonage supported by a dwindling congregation, it was pretty important that I learn to make more with less! Quickly!

At the end of many of the sections there are helpful tips called ‘Gathering Up the Fragments’ and they opened my eyes to the idea of planned leftovers – making one meal last for many. My Mum was really good at this when I was growing up … I just never bothered to learn from her. People talk about the leftovers after Thanksgiving, but I started to think in terms of purposefully creating leftovers to ease the burden in the kitchen at every meal. Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam often refers to C.O.S.T. cooking or Cook Once Serve Twice and she’s got several great posts on how it works for her.

But THIS post isn’t really just about food … it’s about ALL of the {fragments} we regularly gather together to make something whole, something amazing - something bigger than the sum of its parts.

God seems to be in the habit of gathering up what seems to be just bits and pieces and making them into something. He made the world from the Words of His mouth, Adam from the dust of the ground, and Eve from Adam’s spare rib. He puts a man and a woman together in a marriage relationship and a family is created. He used Elisha’s meager pantry provisions to feed 100 hungry men … and they ate until they were full and there were leftovers too (2 Kings 4:44). Jesus took a boy’s lunch in Matthew 14 and had his disciples pass it around to 5000 men and the women and children gathered there. You know the results – everyone had a nice full tummy … and there were leftovers once again.

{fragments} of this and that gathered together 
to meet a need.

Isn’t that something I can try to do too?

There’s an old saying that I heard often as a little girl:
‘Little is much when God is in it.’

I don’t know about you, but I can get really overwhelmed looking at the BIG PICTURE of my daily responsibilities. I’ve had to learn to break down an overwhelming task into bits and pieces and work on each {fragment} until it comes together - completed.

For example …
Each day I have {fragments} of time – I can fritter away that bit of time … or I can gather it up intentionally and pray for a friend, write a thank you note, read a chapter, listen attentively, give a backrub, tackle a load of laundry, sweep a floor, scrub a sink, cut some flowers, make a call, take a cat nap, watch the sun set, iron a shirt, sew a seam, clean off a counter, hug a teenager, drink a cup of tea with my girl, write an encouraging e-mail, read a Scripture verse, dust a bookcase or polish my hubby’s shoes. 

Sometimes I put off the simple things that I just don’t have TIME for … things that can really be done quite simply if I just gather those fragments of time and use them wisely.

The same is true for the {fragments} of energy, creativity, knowledge, and organization (ahem) 
that I’m blessed with each day.

‘Little is much when God is in it.’

I really want to be more intentional about gathering up the {fragments} of my days – not trying to shove more into each overflowing hour, but to use my days more thoughtfully. Weeding out the things that are not beneficial and using wisely the {fragments} of my days to bring glory to God and be a blessing to our family.

Have you ever kept track of the way you spend a day? What is your biggest time waster? How can you re-capture those {fragments} and make something beautiful out of them?