Sunday, May 31, 2009

celebrate the praise!

In that day you will say :
"I will praise you, O LORD.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation."
With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.
In that day you will say:
"Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name;
make known among the nations what He has done,
and proclaim that His name is exalted.
Sing to the LORD, for He has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you."
~Isaiah 12

Saturday, May 30, 2009

please pray for Elijah's family...

Two weeks ago, I wrote my Saturday post about a little boy named Elijah who has cancer, and I asked for you to pray for him. I do appreciate those prayers that were sent up to the Father on his behalf. Elijah left his earthly home and went to be with the Lord today. I'm sure he's hanging out with Jesus and with the angels and is probably wearing the same great big smile on his face as in the photo above.

And, though his parents are secure in the knowledge that Elijah is in heaven and no longer in pain nor suffering, their hearts are broken with the loss of their little boy. I would appreciate it if you would pray for them and for his brother, Gabriel... that God would give them peace beyond their understanding and comfort for their broken hearts.

It's never easy when a child dies, and it doesn't make sense to us. But our Father does promise He will be with us in these dark times and will walk through them with us........

My friend (who was good friends with Elijah's mom and dad) sent the following today in memory of little Elijah...

In an instant of time, you arrived
And just as quickly you have now departed.
We can’t make sense of it, nor understand,
the immense sadness, as our newest friend.
Your smile so bright, your eyes aglow…

E- Every moment was a blessing to have with you
L- Life is precious, and there is joy in knowing yours continues
I- Into peace, you have begun…
J- Jesus holds you now in the best place you’ll ever know
A- Always in our hearts
H- How wonderful it will be to see you again…

Thank you for your prayers.

Friday, May 29, 2009

lovely lilacs in lavender...

And, though I left behind the purple jacarandas in bloom, my generous Michigan gave me its own shade of purple...
in very lovely shades of lilac...
They were beautiful look at ...
and smelled simply divine.

Though I only captured the lavender ones,
they sprang out in white and a deeper purply color as well.

I remember the delights of lilacs from my childhood--
they always smelled so wonderful and sweet.
Their very fragrance took me back to those days of
childhood summer fun--
riding my bike and rollerskating around town,
looking for birds' nests and bits of bird eggs,
flying kites...
So much 'good stuff' in a pretty purple package!

"See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance..."
~Song of Solomon 2:11-13a

Thursday, May 28, 2009

radiant reds...

Here they are... as promised yesterday-- the reds...

Actually, now that I'm looking at them again, they are really more of a dark pink or fuschia-ish color...
But, any way you look at them, they are beautiful! For those of you who thought tree colors only happen in the fall... I present-- the radiant reds!...

Or shall we call them the Fabulous Fuschias?!

Truly amazing colors adorning the lovely spring trees...

And they smelled delicious, too!

God paints the seasons in such wonderful palettes, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

spring -- pretty in pink...

When I left the CA southland a couple of weeks ago to head for the greener pastures of my native Michigan, I was sad to leave behind the beautiful purple glory of the jacaranda trees in bloom. I haven't been in my home state in late May for many years and did not anticipate the colors which were awaiting me...

Spring was decked out in all its pink glory! very pretty in pink...
There were quite of few of these beautiful pink trees, and I just could not get my fill of them. I'm not sure what exactly they are, but I believe they are some sort of fruit tree--maybe a crabapple?
All I know for sure...
is that they were most lovely, indeed...
and my mom patiently waited many times in the van...

while I stopped and leaped out for "just one more picture!"

Ahhhhh... so wonderful!
And, these are just the PINK ones!
Tomorrow... the ravishing reds...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

another blog-iversary!! #300

It's blog-iversary time again!! This is my 300th post! I can hardly believe it, but I have managed to post 300 consecutive days! And I think a few of you may have even read every post... if so, my compliments on your stick-to-it-iveness and my thanks for your interest and support! You've made this cyber adventure so very enjoyable!

I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate my blogiversay with a new heart find... not a rock or a fruit or a leaf this time. It's something quite different.

A few days ago, when I was in Michigan, my mom opened up a grocery bag she had carried into the house, and excitedly said, "Guess what I found?!" She pulled out a container of donut holes, and I responded with, "Donut holes!"

"Yes," she said. "But when I turned the container over, look at what I found on the bottom...."

Aha! A heart-shaped donut hole!!!!
I praised her heart-seeing skills and her great discovery! She said something about it not being the same as when I find them because for me it's a "God thing." My response to her was that I think it's ALWAYS a "God thing" matter who finds them! God delights in speaking to us in unusual and unique ways, and I believe it thrills Him when we can see His love in the details of life. These heart sightings are just one of those ways.

I think it's wonderful when we can help open others' eyes to see things differently... when we can encourage others to take delight in the details... when we can find joy in our daily lives. And, isn't that what this whole blogging thing is about anyway?! (I know it is for me!)

So, here's a little bit of sweet love for your day!
And thanks for hanging out with me!
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how we may
spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together...
but let us encourage one another..."
~Hebrews 10:23-25

Monday, May 25, 2009

today, we remember...

Today, I remember my Grandpa. I used to love to hang out with him when I was a kid. I loved the outdoors and nature and all kinds of creatures. My Grandpa would take me out in the field to see the deer at the salt lick. He would search out unused bird nests and then take me out to find them and bring them home. (My favorite was a beautiful silvery grey hanging Baltimore Oriole nest!) He found little bird and mouse skeletons and put them in jars for me to keep. How I loved to visit my Grandpa.

I also remember that he had a great big ink-blue tattoo running the length of his right forearm. It was an eagle and an anchor, and it was from his days in the Navy. I remember it being there and remember tracing it with my finger. But, I never really thought about what it represented.

Today, I also remember my Uncle Bob. I used to love to visit my aunt and uncle's house and my two cousins. Uncle Bob used to tease me, and I loved teasing him right back. We laughed and joked and enjoyed each other's company. He was always fun for me to be around.

This weekend while I was in Michigan, my mom and uncles and cousin and her family got together at the cemetary to remember our loved ones who were laid to rest there several years ago: my Aunt Helen, my Grandpa and Grandma, and my Aunt Linda and Uncle Bob. We honored them by weeding and planting flowers and tending to their gravesites.
It was while there that I was reminded that Grandpa had served in the Navy during World War II. There was a plaque on the back of his and Grandma's headstone as a reminder.It was while there that I discovered that Uncle Bob had also served in the US military. He had been in the Army and had served in Vietnam. Funny, though I'm sure it left a very lasting impression on him, I don't remember him ever mentioning it.
My Dad and also another uncle of mine both served in the Army in their younger days. So many in my family alone. Men who served in the military-- willing to give their lives for their country and for their loved ones. I am proud of these men in my life who all gave of themselves for the rest of us... for me.

As I looked around the cemetary, I saw flags and plaques on many of the other headstones. So many men and women who have served our country. I am proud of each one of them, and I am grateful for the freedom they earned and protected for me by their service and sacrifice.

Today we remember those who gave their lives in defense of our country's freedoms.

Today we remember and honor those who served in any of the US armed forces.

Today we remember and honor those who, this day, are serving in the protect us and to preserve our freedoms.
Today we honor you...and say THANK YOU! for your service, for your sacrifice, for your gift to us... we are grateful! You are all heros in my book!

God bless the USA. And, God, please bless and protect the men and women in its service.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

celebrate the Sabbath...with praise!

short and simple but so very powerful...
How Majestic Is Your Name
~Sandi Patty
O, Lord, our Lord
How majestic is Your Name
in all the earth
O, Lord, our Lord
How majestic is Your Name
in all the earth
O, Lord, we praise Your Name
O Lord, we magnify Your Name
Prince of peace, mighty God
O, Lord God Almighty
Shout it out! Praise His name!
He is amazing!
And He is worthy of our praise!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


This is what it is like on a regular basis living in the city as I do:

But, for this week, I've been enjoying the benefits of living in the country!

Ahhhh.... being awakened in the morning by the sound of Canada geese flying over to the lake... looking up at the multitudes of stars in the dark night sky... doing yard work with my mom... and going to sleep to the sound of frogs in the nearby ponds...

It's been glorious... and I am truly grateful!!
...the chicken appears here today with permission from Doug, chicken artist extraordinaire!

Friday, May 22, 2009

reflecting on spring...

I just love this lake...
it's down the road from my mom's house...
it's so beautiful in every season!

...this is its reflection of spring...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

lovin' my lunch at Burger King!

Today we were on a road-trip to Lake Michigan and stopped at Burger King for a bite to eat. I definitely found love in my lunch....

Mmmm hmmmm!
Lovin' my lunch!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

eggs-actly how I like it!

This evening my mom and I had dinner with a friend at a pancake house. I didn't end up with pancakes; I decided to have eggs with biscuits and gravy. (please, let's not think about the cholesterol or fat content...this was just pure eating fun!)

My order included two eggs, and this is what my plate looked like when it arrived:

Ummmm.... I don't know about anyone else, but I believe I'm seeing FOUR eggs here!

When I started to ask about the eggs situation, the waitress, already anticipating the question, quickly said, "We only serve eggs with double yolks here!"

WOW! My favorite part and double the deliciosity!! (yes, I'm sure that is a word! if not, it should be!)

Just thought I would share the oddity of the day and my doubly-delightful dinner...eggsactly how I like my eggs!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a steal of a deal...

This week I am with my family in the lovely state of Michigan... which is right now in the glorious state of spring!! So many beautiful flowering trees and an unbelievable amount of different shades of green! I, of course, am taking far too many photos as usual! (I am, however, only making short posts this week, as my mom's computer is dial-up and does not like to upload photos. I will have to share the loveliness with you all when I get home next weekend.)

But for now... one of my favorites so far this week:

Hmmmm.... 60% off or "free"??
Have a good week and many smiles!

Monday, May 18, 2009

choosing joy...

Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy.
~Joseph Campbell

Sunday, May 17, 2009

celebrate the Sabbath... in Prayer..

O God,
Early in the morning do I cry unto Thee.
Help me to pray,
And to think only of Thee.
I cannot pray alone.
In me there is darkness,
but with Thee there is light.
I am lonely, but Thou leavest me not.
I am restless, but with Thee there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with Thee there is patience;
Thy ways are past understanding, but
Thou knowest the way for me.
O heavenly Father,
I praise and thank Thee
For the peace of the night.
I praise and thank Thee for this new day.
I praise and thank Thee for all thy goodness
and faithfulness throughout my life.
Thou hast granted me many blessings:
Now let me accept tribulation
from Thy hand...
Thou makest all things work together for good
for Thy children.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Saturday, May 16, 2009

please pray for Elijah...

Don't let that happy little smiling face fool you... this is a very serious Saturday post.

This little boy is Elijah. He is six years old and has been diagnosed with cancer--an inoperable brain tumor. Elijah has been through chemotherapy and radiation, and he is not doing well. During the period of radiation treatment, his tumor grew to almost three times its original size. The doctors have stopped radiation and have basically said that he will not survive. His parents, Rick and Melanie, have not given up hope and are praying over him.

There is an institute in Houston, TX, where they are trying to get him into a clinical trial. The treatment is going to cost about $150,000, and it is not covered by insurance. His parents have about $60,000 to get him there and get the treatment started but are desperately trying to raise the additional $90,000.

This family are direct friends of dear friends of mine and are asking for as many people as possible to pray for Elijah-- and also for his mom and dad and brother, Gabriel (8). They need a miracle and would love for others to pray as well.

Though I don't normally do this kind of post, this is all God's work, and I wanted to share this urgent need with you. I've been posting much lately about miracles, and this is one of those big ones... and, we know that NOTHING is impossible for God! Please pray for Elijah and his family. If you would like more information about Elijah, to see more photos of him, or if you have a desire to donate in any way toward his treatment, please visit the site set up by his family. (every $1 adds up... and think "loaves and fishes"! God is in the business of multiplication!)

Our dear heavenly Father, we thank You for this precious life! We pray You would give him and his family a miracle-- that You would heal his little body! We ask for finances for whatever treatment may be available, for wisdom of doctors, for peace and comfort for his family, and for all the glory to go to You for this miraculous provision! Thank You, Jesus, that You love Elijah! Thank You for miracles!

Friday, May 15, 2009

glorious spring day in Chicago!

This day in Chicago was a delightful Midwest spring day, and I was loving it!! It was cold, wet, soggy, and rainy!
When I was working in my hotel room, I had the curtains WIDE open--terribly gloomy grey sky, rain, and beautifully brilliant spring-green trees!
Look at all that wonderful green!!

...and at that wet, rainy-day parking lot...

This was the tree straight down from my 5th floor balcony...
...and look! it's even in bloom!
(a far different bloom from the purple jacarandas at home, but such a lovely spring green)
This was my favorite shot, though... the wet black asphalt, the pretty green leaves of the tree, the dark brown tree trunk, the puddles along the curb, and the delightful reflection of the tree on the pavement...
Spring in the Midwest...
(eat your heart out, southern CA!) :)