Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Ox in the Desert, pen and ink

"An old Roman coin was found on which was a picture of an ox, one of the servants of man. The ox was facing two things, an altar and a plough. The inscription read, 'Ready for either.' "

When I read this quote for the first time nearly fifteen years ago, the words had a profound effect on me, and I've never forgotten them. They can be found in one of my favorite books, Evidence Not Seen, about missionary Darlene Deibler Rose. I think I can honestly say they define how I want to live my life. They're brave words. I'm not brave. But every day, I ask for the grace to aspire to them.

Once I started reading this I couldn't put it down. I'm not very good at writing book reviews, but I can tell you this: Darlene had remarkable strength, surviving four years in an infamous prison camp in the jungles of New Guinea during World War II. Despite great personal loss, she rejected bitterness, served the broken, and conquered her enemies with love. She walked her talk. She was a very real person. She is one of my heroes.

How about you...who are your heroes?

Joining Emily today

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Found again

Sharing again one of my early-on posts, especially since I'm still waiting for someone to identify the spikey bit shown below. So, hope you don't mind the repeat.

Ever since I was young, I've collected bits and pieces of nature. I enjoy taking walks, tramping through woods, and keeping my eyes peeled for bird feathers, interesting twigs, bark, and of course, acorns. I've loved acorns all my life.

One of my favorite spots in our house is the living room bookshelf. On it sits an antique cabinet that holds my treasures.

Here's a peek inside. Of course, not all of these are outdoor findings. Some of these things have belonged to me since childhood.

Look at this spikey husk. I think it may belong to the chestnut family, but I'm not certain. If anyone knows, please tell me. Okay, now let's flip it over for the most amazing bit...

Can you see the little landscape--a grove of trees? God's art.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bird's eye view

Sketch - Magic Marker on paper

Sometimes, sometimes You raise me up on eagle's wings, not so much to deliver from circumstance, but to stretch and teach when temporary irritations make the world too small and I become blind to the bigger story, the eternal story, and the scent of water in the desert.

Joining Emily today

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ta, or For no good reason

There's nothing like a for-no-good-reason present, especially when it comes in the mail from across the pond. This delightful gift came from my friend Simmy. I owe her a lot of gratitude, not only for this box of happiness, but also because it was she who opened the world of blogging to me. I didn't even know such a thing existed. I just happened to be doing an internet search for wool roving and was serendiptously led to her blog, Echoes of a Dream. Simmy is an amazing fibre artist, and I was lucky enough to purchase some gorgeous plant-dyed wool from her.

I don't remember how we started emailing each other. I do recall telling her that I always wanted to leave a comment on her site, but didn't know that I was allowed, as I didn't have a blog of my own. "Not allowed? Don't be a goose. Of course you can." Being called a goose made me want to know her all the more - I'm quirky like that. One thing led to another, and eventually our families got to meet face to face. What fun that was! Simmy no longer keeps a blog (boo!) but she was the one who encouraged me to start one. I never thought I would. Yet a couple of years later, here we are. Simmy, thank you for everything. I love these mugs. Come visit so we can have some tea together.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


holy experience

Joining Ann today

Counting blessings

"These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamplight; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood."

Rupert Brooke

230 - the marriage bed *

231 - paisley

232 - white plates

233 - the last of the summer dahlias

234 - beauty

235 - a gift from far away

236 - dusk

237 - cake

238 - light on the water

239 - light on the quilt

* Andrew Wyeth, Marriage

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme...

Working as a re-enactor, it's wonderful to keep alive the old ways and create things that neither beep, fax, or microwave. I relish history and craftsmanship from the past, and stand in admiration of the God-given ingenuity of our ancestors. Not to mention that I like playing dress-ups. Sometimes though, it's very nice to be on the other side of the counter, so to speak, and to simply observe my fellow living historians/artisans at their craft. So dear readers, let's go to the fair.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

keep singing

holy experience

Joining Ann today

Counting blessings - 229 - hymns to live by

Robert Lowry

My life flows on in endless song:
Above earth's lamentation,
I catch the sweet, tho' far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul--
How can I keep from singing?

What tho' my joys and comfort die?
The Lord my Saviour liveth;
What tho' the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smooths,
Since first I learned to love it.
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing;
All things are mine since I am his--
How can I keep from singing?

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Out of the Woods
colored pencil on watercolor paper

There are seasons in life when it seems all we can do is breathe. Word prayers that usually pour out come molasses-slow in dribs and drabs, or spin around in a tangled mess. There are times when you go to bed bone-weary and right before you fall off, anxious thoughts come to steal the covers, and all your shortcomings line up at the foot of the bed to mock. There are nights when all you can do is whisper, "Father, are you there?"

And then, in the dark, I hear You smile. "Let's change the subject," You say. "I have secrets I want to tell, things I only tell a friend. I have plans," You say. "So let's tuck in." Together we spirit-talk. And like the psalmist, I know that if I made my bed in the depths of hell, You are there. Then You tuck me in. Blessed sleep, and ready for another day.

"I will praise the Lord who counsels me,
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons."
Psalm 16:7

Joining Emily today

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mermaid's tears

Come along, me hearties! We be robbin' the sea of her treasures...

Fer the price of a silver thimble and an acorn, this windswept lassie agreed to lead us to a hidden pirate's cove, where the treasure lies

Shiver me timbers - ye might think us addled as we went searchin' as the gale storms were brewin' and the winds blowin'. Arrrrgh! But these conditions be just right for the booty we be seekin'.

Sink me! Here we are, me buckos. Low tide - the best time to search! So get yer deadlights workin'...

Here I be, Red-hand Jill (me pirate name), lookin' to see if what I found be true

this old salt, me life-long matey, with treasure in his grasp til we reach safe haven

And here be our plate of swag...sea glass, also known as "mermaid's tears".

Do you know it takes at least thirty years for a piece of glass to churn through the waves to smooth the edges and soften the colour? The discarded made beautiful. Aye, treasure indeed.


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