Monday, December 31, 2012

My Heart This New Year's Eve

Source

Long shadows wind themselves over and around our chimney and tree tops as I sit down to write a wee note on this mild last day of the year.

It comes time to wish you a very Happy New Year, and I want to assure you this simple but well known phrase is being offered to you with all the fullness of affection and love that I have in my heart for you at this very moment in time?  To be happy. Healthy. Well. Whole.




Here are a couple of other thoughts as we ready ourselves to bid goodnight to the old year and welcome in the new one...

First, there's the wonderful quote from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel where Sonny, new hotel proprietor, explains to one of his discontented guests about things not being as expected:
In India, we have a saying: 'Everything will be all right in the end.' So if it's not all right, it is not yet the end.

Didn't someone else say something along similar lines?
For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! (see 2 Corinthians 4:17)

If it's not all right in your corner of the world at this time, it is not yet the end. That is a hope we carry with us into 2013... our present troubles, even a nation's troubles, are temporary compared to eternity.
For I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (see Jeremiah 29:11)

Guardian Angel from a DaySpring note card I own


Second, I want to leave you with the lyrics from an old song Mario Lanza once sang. The words to Guardian Angels have blessed and comforted me on more than one occasion during a rough time in my life. No doubt the piece was written originally to comfort small children when they imagined scary bears in shadowy corners of their rooms at night.

Turns out it's not only small children who need to take comfort in the Psalmist's ancient words that He gives His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways. Adults sometimes need big scary bears shoo'd away too.

We can rest safely in His protection -- we receive it the same way we receive any other promise He gives ... with childlike trust.
Guardian angels around my bed
Joining me in my prayers
They hush the shadows when they dance about
They shoo away the bears

Guardian angels to comfort me
If I wake in the night
They gather all my dreams
Their halos are my light

They dry my tears
If I should weep
They tuck me in
They rouse me from my sleep

Guardian angels around my bed
Standing by till I rise
There's one with shining wings that holds my hand
And shows me Paradise
And so... all these words later, my cup of tea is now gone cold, a few crumbs remain on the cake plate, and my heart is at rest. I wish you all the best for 2013 -- may every day be filled with glimpses of heaven in unexpected places.


Hugs and blesses
and an affectionate kiss atop thy head,

Brenda
xox



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Orange, Apricot and Pecan Muffins



Today we're baking Orange, Apricot and Pecan Muffins. They are like a burst of California sunshine in every mouthful and the whole house smells yummy when they're in the oven. The recipe has been adapted from one I found in the cookbook The Best of the Best and More.  Enjoy!!

Orange, Apricot and Pecan Muffins

Makes 12 small or 6 large muffins.
Turn on the oven to 375F (190C)
Get out your blender (yes, your blender).

1 large orange - cut into 8 wedges and then cut wedges in halfleave rind on.
1/2 cup orange juice
1 egg
1/4 cup oil

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped  (you can substitute raisins or dried cranberries)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (any nuts works)

In the blender, add the cut-up orange, juice, egg, and oil. Blend until a wee bit chunky -- or smooth if you prefer (I like the chunks). Then add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Blend.  Add fruit and nuts. Mix together.

Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 15 - 20 minutes.






Important Nothings...



We're well.
Still in that relaxed mode.




Just pulled Orange/Apricot/Pecan Muffins from the oven.
As you can see we barely wait for them to cool before
testing them.  Oh yes... yum!  Will set out the recipe next time. 





Fresh linen on the beds with plumped pillows
(awaiting an afternoon nap, I'm sure).
How fortuitous then that the sun will be slipping in
through the west window to fill the room with light and warmth.

NB. The snowflake pillow on the bed was designed and created by my dear
blogging friend, Katherine, over at Sew Me Something Good.
We actually met, with husbands in tow, last December for the first time --
as it turns out we live in the same province -- how's that for a small world!
Isn't she the most amazing quilter/crafter?
 

 * * *

More of this and that,
which includes poking my nose in a book or two or three:

Winter Solstice -- a delightful re-read by Rosamunde Pilcher
The Hobbit -- never read before and now I want to see the new movie
The Shack Revisited -- if you were captivated by the first book, you'll likely enjoy this further look



Watching an episode or two of Pie in the Sky
with hubby later this evening

Slurping down homemade turkey noodle soup
when hubby gets home for the gym....
(no I didn't go)

There... my day of  important nothings and stuff like that.

And you? 


Wishing you joy for the day.....
 




Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Relaxin'



Nibbling away at leftovers and goodies... deciding which new book to start... a handful of new movies to watch... relaxing by the fireplace...
It's all good on this Day After.

We'll chat soon,





 Photo source:  Vintage Catnip





Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wishing You...



With loving wishes for a Happy Christmas to you and yours.

Wishing you lots of presents to give wonder and delight under the tree...as well as ones that nestle snugly deep inside your heart.

With loving hugs, a Christmas kiss atop your heads, and glimpses of heaven in unexpected places!





Photo source:  GlitterGraphics.com

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Dawn Painter



The skies were dark and cloudy this morning.
 And then, the Dawn Painter rose.
We scurried for our camera.

 



Have you ever noticed that skies filled with lots of clouds
seem to provide the best canvas for the most amazing sunrises (or sunsets)?

My artist friend says you need dark to show light.

Perhaps the Dawn Painter uses the clouds in our own lives
as canvas for those breathtaking mosaics
we are promised but still can't quite see or even imagine.

When I saw the dawn filling the eastern sky this morning
I felt hope arise...
and today I pray for those who mourn.
May the Comforter spread a Quilt of quiet peace
over grief-rendered hearts.

And may a ribbon of hope begin to weave around
lives broken by recent events.


With a hug and  'holy' kiss atop your heads,







 



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Song This Christmas


 
Every December for years now there seems to be one carol or piece of music that makes its home in my heart over that particular Christmas season.

I never know which one it will be... but it usually comes out of the blue and I feel it's been given as a gift to me. That is to say, I don't choose the song -- it chooses me!

From all the possible choices one will stand out from the rest. One year it was O Little Town of Bethlehem.  I'd sung and loved it since I was a little girl, but that particular year, I can still remember the moment when suddenly the words became so real and alive, it was as if I had never heard it before.  It touched me somewhere deep inside.

This year it turns out not to be one of the old familiar carols with which I grew up, but it's a piece I don't think I've ever heard before. That is, until it popped up in the middle of a bunch of Rudolph and Jingle Bell renditions a few days ago on the local Christmas radio station.  One small phrase caught my attention the first time I heard it and by the second and third time, I knew my music gift from heaven had been sent...and delivered to moi.

So... here it is from my heart to yours..... Christmas Must Be Tonight with Robbie Robertson.  I share it with the hope that you will be touched by its gentle, ever fresh and current message.  Who knows, it might become your song this Christmas too.


Hugs,
Brenda
xox





Sunday, December 09, 2012

Advent: At Home In My Heart




"Christ asks for a home in your soul, where he can be at rest with you, where he can talk easily to you, where you and he, alone together, can laugh and be silent and be delighted with one another.

~ Caryll Houselander, This War is the Passion


Saturday, December 08, 2012

Toes Up Time

 
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day
is the rest we take between two deep breaths.
~ Etty Hillesum


If you are feeling a little weathered from the stress of the week or maybe even a little numb by all the stuff expected or toted as 'must do this or have this' in order to have a merry Christmas, then Dr. Brenda is definitely prescribing some 'toes up' time.

I think I could take my prescription quite nicely in this cozy, cute sitting room. How about you?  Looks like there's room for two.
Taking time for peace and rest today... and I'm wishing you plenty of heaven moments in unexpected places.

Hugs,
 




Animated Photo source:  GlitterGraphics.com
Original Owner of Photo:  Jane at Posy
Used with Permission


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Quiet Quests

 

 
Let it Snow...let it snow...let it snow!
 That's what it's doing around here this weekend.

After a busy and happy day of celebrating someone's birthday yesterday
it feels wondrous to snuggle deep near the fireplace
with candle lights flickering...

Orange and clove flavoured pots o' tea
Not to mention nibbles of Godiva dark chocolate

And words whispering comforting thoughts page after page.

Ahhhh... bliss for this grey snowy day.


Feeling quite content ~ I feel His peace near. 


With warmest wishes for beauty and grace to you,