Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And the #1 Winner Is....

Congratulations to You, Matty!
The House in Bloom 
is YOURS !

Thanks to EVERYONE who joined in the 'bloomin' giveaway this week.
It was lovely to read your comments.

As a consolation prize to everyone who did not win
here's a wee peek at a few of its lovely pages...

Wishing you all glimpses of heaven in unexpected places!

Friday, August 26, 2011

You're On My Mind - Storms

Christ in the Storm on the Lake of Galilee. 1633

I've been catching some of the news of the hurricane's path up the Caribbean, the eastern side of the USA, possibly into Canada. And since it keeps coming to my mind to pray, that's what I've been doing today.

A long time ago, Jesus Himself faced storms on the Sea of Galilee and He had the authority to speak PEACE and STILLNESS to them. I believe that as He is the same yesterday, today and always, we can tune into that same power and authority if we know Him personally...and to ask for the same for this storm.

We ask God for protection and safety, freedom from fear, and a sense of His Peace in the midst of it. May you hear His voice speaking inside you to warn and protect and pray.

For those of us who know 11 Chronicles 7:14 from the Old Testament, "If My people who are called by My name shall humble themselves and pray..." click here for a short video with it playing.

There's an exhilarating thrill for those who love Storming Chasing ... and I totally understand that. But I'd love to experience that same exhilaration by being a 'Storm Changer'!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Giveaway: The House in Bloom

   We're celebrating our third anniversary of
It's A Beautiful Life

When I started blogging in August 2008
I challenged myself to do 100 posts in 100 days.
It was my way of becoming more consistent with my writing.
I'm happy to report, it worked!

N O W...

For all you lovely kindred spirits
who also appreciate Beauty and Victoria magazine's overall theme
  to 'return to loveliness'
I am DELIGHTED to give away...

decorating with floral themes
by Judy Spours and The Editors of Victoria Magazine, 2002

"House in Bloom celebrates the country garden as it appears inside the home, as the inspiration for fabrics and painted ceramics, in the colors used to decorate walls and furniture, and in numerous decorative accessories."

"Chapter by chapter, this book shows how the natural world can be reflected inside your home... Take your inspiration from the brilliant shades of summer flowers, from the subtle tones of fall foliage, from the textures of the garden and meadow... ."

Giveaway Now Closed

Wishing you a bloomin' success!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tips For Sleepless Nights

Here are some things that help me make my 'awake' time more beautiful and peaceful:

  • Don't fret that you're awake. I refuse to worry about how I'll feel in the morning, because no matter what, God said He'd give me new mercies every day - I figure that includes energy for what I need to do in the morning.
  • Enjoy the quiet of the night.  In the summer time, it's amazing how early the robins start up their morning vespers (between 3:30 and 4:00 am).
  • Read a little. Something from my current book, nothing requiring too close thinking. Maybe a Psalm that comforts or gives peace.
  • Journal about what's on your mind. Sometimes all I'll do is jot a list of things that start nattering as soon as I'm conscious. (These natterings are a little like in the cartoon where the pet jumps on the bed to pull open the owner's eyelids -- hey, are you awake in there?)
  • Pray. For yourself, for the people on your mind. Ask God to protect them as they sleep.
  • Make a piece of toast. It smells comforting when the rest of the world snores away (especially if the night isn't feeling particularly friendly, which sometimes it does not).
  • Check your blog or Facebook. This is not to while away time restlessly, but to see if someone has posted something that will soothe your 'fevered brow'. Post your own soothing message for other insomniacs.You'll be amazed at how many other nocturnal un-sleeping friends you'll see!
  • Leave a soft light on. Sometimes I 'trick' myself by leaving the lamp on as if I'm going to read. Funny how quickly my eyes get the desire to close. Just try to stay awake, and the next thing you feel the book slipping from your hand as you nod off.

With a gentle kiss atop thy head,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brass Polishing Moments and Other Nuances

Hmm... I wonder how much brass there is to polish in this particular theatre?
Where I work isn't quite so fancy!

With hands busy polishing brass -- and there's quite a lot of it -- in the theatre of our local performing arts centre this past week, my mind and body also enjoyed the process of seeing railings dull with fingerprints begin to gleam and glisten again.

As you might imagine, the house lights in any performance theatre usually aren't the brightest bulbs in the pack, so I wondered how I would know in those dim corners when the brass railings were polished enough.  It turns out there's a specific moment when the resistance of the cloth against the metal shifts and you feel as if it is gliding on ice.  And, sure enough when I peer close, the brass is so shiny I can see my face in it.

Do you remember when your mother or grandmother -- maybe you do it now to your daughters and granddaughters -- used to say, after you'd query how much flour exactly do you put into the mixing bowl when preparing bread or perogy dough....Just until it feels right.  Oh boy, yes, but when is that magic moment?  How will I know?  And the response comes back ... You'll know.  (Mmmm, it seems to be the same less than satisfying answer a young woman receives when she begins to ponder how she will know if he's the right one.)

You just know sometimes.  Other times it comes from experience. And practice. And being aware. Totally Present. To What You Are Doing. In The Moment. No matter how detailed the recipe, no matter how complete the directions or explanations, those almost inexplicable nuances and shades of recognizing the magic moment must come to each one individually.  And they do. If we're watching for them. 

I didn't realize polishing brasses could be so entertaining...and rewarding.  But it really is fun to see dullness turn shiny. This morning one of the theatre technicians came bounding up the stairs to his perch in the loft, just as I was putting the final rub on the stair rail.  I could see he was wondering (maybe he was mischievously tempted) if he should put his hand on it; I piped up that a person should let it shine at least three minutes before marring the gleam with a new fingerprint.  He asked if that's what it said on the can... I quipped, 'Yes'.  (I think he believed me, because he pulled his arms close to himself as he flew up the stairs).

So that's what's been meandering along the furrows and brass railings of my own mind early this morning.  If there's a lesson in it, I guess it would be to be present to what you're doing, give the bits of your life beauty by enjoying them, watch for the subtle shifts and changes around you.  Because you'll never know when you'll catch glimpses of heaven in unexpected places -- shiny moments filling your life with new layers of richness, joy and fun.

Enjoy your moments, nuances and bits today,