Nov 29, 2015

Beautiful Crocheted Gift

My daughter used her amazing craftiness to crochet this amazing bag for my birthday.  I love all the colors and the pattern. I am in love with the moss green now and mixed with all the other colors, well it is just delicious. 

 I am always amazed when they surpass the one who taught them in their skills, yup well beyond my skill level.  However, I am glad to be the recipient of such a beautiful hand crocheted bag.  

And if you're interested, she has a crochet business!
 Bella would gladly chat about what it is that you'd like to have her make you or someone you love.

You can check her out at:

Hope you had a great weekend and are now enjoying your Christmas preparations.  Today I got the opportunity to meet up with my brother and sister-in-love (who happens to be my best friend) and did a woodland Christmas photo shoot with my new camera.  Fun, fun and a bit nippy to the toes!

Enjoy your week!

Nov 21, 2015

A Walk Through a Cemetery

  There is a place I love to escape to on occasion, the place happens to be a cemetery in Spencer, Massachusetts. My Knight brought me there on a date, yes, really.  And I fell in love with the stones of remembrance that were so lovingly carved and left as a token of a life gone by.  Our first venture here was over 2 years ago, but because we both had grown to love Spencer, it was a destination of choice for the big surprise day.

This year I came once again on a special day, it happened to be my birthday.  My Knight whisked me away for the day and headed us for an adventure in Spencer. This year with a new camera in tow, a gift that took my breath away and put a new bounce into my step, I once again revisited this beautiful site.  The gift was a huge splurge, and will take a bit to figure out, but it would be embraced and enjoyed immensely by this photo-taking-Mama.

Now enjoy my brief walk through the was brief because the wind chill made it feel like 20 degrees out and my ears couldn't take more than a few minutes of this serene place of my heart. 

Oh how I love this place!

And just so you know, I asked if we could stop here on our way to lunch.  My Knight glanced at me sideways as he turned the car into the old cemetery, he might have been smirking.  He understood my itching trigger finger and waited as I walked amongst the stones, that were calling to me to be captured.

Nov 13, 2015

Perspective... Where Are You At?

What is your perspective of this picture?   

So often where we are standing gives us the perspective that we arrive at. 

This wasn't challenging enough for you...

well how about you take a moment to read this...

Nov 10, 2015

A Girl's Love

~My Sweet Caravan~
Call me crazy, I miss her already.  It has only been a short time since we were together, but I miss spending time with her.  She has been winterized and pushed to a corner that is not needed for the winter. She looks cold and lonely in her new spot. My heart longs for her and her sweet vintage vibe.

As soon as spring shows any sign of arriving, I will begin to give my husband the eyes. This means, can we please pop-her-up and can we go for a sleep over?  I love sleeping outside.  I love cozying up inside her welcoming arms and reading whatever is the book of the moment.  

She is plumped up with quilts and overstuffed pillows.  Everyone loves sleeping in her or sneaking in a few precious moments to read away a warm day in her company. Some days you can find a cat or two enjoying her beauty.  And most nights you can also find a dog, who thinks we bought it for her, whining at her welcoming mat to be let in for 40 winks. But really she belongs to the Mama, who looked long and hard to find the one she saw in her dreams.  You need an invitation to come through her small threshold, as Mama is particular about sharing her.

Most of my friends don't understand.  They don't love the outdoors or the wind whispering through netted windows.  They don't love the idea of birds waking them up as the sun rises either.  But that is okay, because I am in love with her.  She brings me joy that I can't even begin to capture in black and white words on a page. She is my gypsy caravan and we were made for each other.

Yup, she is a charmer.  I wish it was spring once again. 
I wonder if she misses me too?  

What has your heart?  What brings you simple joy? How will you make it through the coming long winter? 

Nov 5, 2015

Growing in Your Spiritual Gifting

Growing in Your Spiritual Gifting

If you are a follower of Christ, you probably already know that God has given you gifts that are to be used for encouraging others, for building up his Church and for growing you in your faith.

 1 Corinthians 12:7
 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

  There are many ways to discover your gifting (s) but I think the most common is probably just putting your hand to a variety of things to find out what you are good at and what perhaps stirs your passion.  It is bit of a hunt and peck method, but as you cross off those that don't fit, you move closer to what does!  Of course asking those who know you well also might gain you a help into better grasping where your gifts may lie.

I have been seeking God on the prophetic.  God desires that we all desire the gift of Prophecy.

1 Corinthians 14:1
Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy.

Prophecy is the ability to speak forth the mind and counsel of God.  Since I was a very young girl I have been what the Bible terms as a Seer.  A Seer has a God given ability to see supernaturally.  My earliest remembrance of the gift was at about the age of three, I began to see angels and things that others around me couldn't see.  The gift continued through the years, but because of fear I buried it.  Recently however, I have been asking God to help me to grow in this area with His help.  Thankfully no matter how old we are, there is hope, because the Word of God tells us that the gifts of God are permanent (irrevocable), I like how The Message Bible says it:

God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.

Spiritual Gifts are not the Fruit of the Spirit.  Spiritual Gifts are given by God to show His Presence and Power and to meet current needs in the Body of Christ (His Church). God assigns each of His children their giftings.  He does it to reveal to us His Love and to demonstrate His Glory. Gifts are a grace, they are given and we are to receive them and move in them.  The gifts we receive help us to fulfill the role we have in the Church.  If we aren't moving in our gift(s) then the Church is being shorted.  

  I was asking God for help to overcome the fear and begin to move in understanding how to apply the visions and dreams He gives me. In the past I have used it as I have felt led by Him, but honestly because of fear (sometimes in the form of intimidation),  I don't think I truly used it as I should have. Recently I prayed and I saw a vision of Jesus.  He was bent down like when a child begins to learn to walk and the parent steps a few feet back to encourage the child to begin to try out their newly discovered skill.  Jesus was the parent bent down and I was the child who was being beckoned to come.  His face had a big smile and He was showing me that it was safe to begin to step out in this gift He has given me.  I felt loved and had a great peace about what He was saying to me.

I share the vision so that you will be encouraged to know that God does hear our prayers, that the spiritual world around us is very real and to let you know that you too can stir up your gifts and set about to grow in them too!

God is patient and kind and He is waiting for us. 

 Do you know what your gifts are?

  Have you been using them, would you like to use them more?  I'd love to hear from you!

Oct 31, 2015

A Fall Large Family Photoshoot

With the help of our oldest, we spent an afternoon doing a family photoshoot! 
(Thanks Bella!)

Loads of new pictures to share.  Fun, fun.
And in case you aren't part of a large family, a photoshoot of this size is troublesome in many ways.  So much blinking, different skin colors that we need to be sure don't become mere shadows and of course the what should we wear so we don't appear to be sheer chaos.  

The reason we are all gathering for pictures is soon it will be time for Christmas cards!  Our oldest Ethiopian isn't fond of November shoots, as her tiny body has a hard time smiling when it is shaking to keep alive in the brisk New England weather.  This is the earliest we have managed to capture photos for Christmas, and though we fought the wind- it was smooth sailing for the most part.

All in all we got some nice photographs to remember another year of our very blessed lives.
Cameras are a gift and so is a daughter (and a son-in-love) who give to the cause of family.

 Our biggest baby and our awesome son-in-love, JoJo.

Aug 10, 2015

Teaching Children to Bless Others

Teaching Children to Bless Others


 As a mother, my heart is that my children will love others and be a blessing.  I don't think this comes naturally, as we often as humans think of self before others.  However, God wants us to love Him with our whole hearts and to love others, self coming way down the list of priorities.  

From Jesus use of the word blessed in the Sermon on the Mount it was the Greek word makarios, mean happy or blissful.  It is also is understood as a self-contained kind of happiness.

Whatever our age, our life situation, we can choose to not be directed by the external around us, but to live out of the internal happiness we have as a beloved child of God.  When we live our lives applying His truths, we find joy, bliss and happiness!

How do we teach this to our children?

Let's decide to purposefully talk to our children about how Jesus came to show us the way to live.  Jesus told us that He is the way, the truth and the life.  If we ask Jesus into our hearts, then the Holy Spirit resides inside us.  

We don't have to be moved by circumstances in our day to make us blessed (happy), but by reminding ourselves that God has given us the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit goes with each of His children all day- we can live out of that truth! It is so much easier to be a blessing if we get that we are blessed ourselves.

Jesus lived to show us how we should live a life that reaches out and blesses others.  It is something He actively did while He lived here on earth.  We need to actively live to do the same.  How can we do that today?  How do we then take this and begin applying it to our children's hearts?

We can show them first off by doing it ourselves.  You know what they say, more is caught than taught.  We need to be in the Word of God each day, and teaching our children to do the same.  We need to be asking Him for opportunities to live as Jesus did in blessing others.  We need to train our ears to hear His voice and allow our children to tune the ears of their hearts as well.  Practice in this makes perfect! 

Challenge our children to count the ways that we can do this in the hours we have been given today.  As you sit together around the dinner table, or head out somewhere in the car, talk about ways God has opened your eyes to see opportunities to be a blessing to people.

The Holy Spirit will be so excited to join us in this blessing adventure.  And how great it is when we activate our children's hearts to live a life that aligns themselves in following after their Father's heart!

Jesus began and ended His ministry in blessing people.

Aug 9, 2015

Worry and Prayer

Think this says it all. Plug it in to your life and see God do amazing things!

Aug 7, 2015

Choosing the Here of Life

Here is my five minutes of thoughts, unedited to share.  

Our word is HERE:


In the midst of the weeds, here we find ourselves in the final stretch of summer. 

 Stores are beginning to send out their notices, reminding us it is time to gather our back to school items once again. Then they will begin to batter us with the next holiday or event and continue to try to entice us to live for that, instead of being fully here in our today. Here it is summer in all of it's glory and we are beginning to once again look at the
 'What's coming next.'  

How often do we live in what is not the HERE?  I know so often in my life I have got caught up in the very dangerous trap of looking ahead (or behind) instead of staying present in today.  

I am not saying planning or setting goals isn't good.  What I am trying to remind myself of (and you if you need a pep talk too) is that being HERE is important.  Living in today is what God is asking of us.  Doing His will NOW and His work today is what is required.

Here I am.  Pondering simplicity.   Happy to enjoy today.  Glad that homeschooling doesn't require much shopping. Not wanting to push it aside and hurry into something that isn't here right now.

Often one finds it hard to stay in the here and now.  So often we look back, or look forward and forget that today counts.  Today, is a full 24 hours of God given time that we can be.  It's a choice.  It takes effort to remain here, but I am finding that as I simplify life, it becomes easier.  Less clutter of life grabs at you when you can choose to live fully in today. 

breathe:: HERE I am Lord! 
 I am present and waiting for You!

Glad to be here and glad to breathe deep in the now of summer. Hope you find time to breathe deep too!


Jul 31, 2015

If At First You Don't Succeed


What rose in my heart when I saw Kate's word prompt for this week's Five Minute Friday was;

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

It made me think of parenting.

It made me think of how it came to be that I am the mother of 8 children who call me Mama.

It made me think of how the road to motherhood was paved by a call of God on my life to adopt.  I heard God calling me when I was only 13 and just newly saved by His marvelous grace.  How I had to step out in faith to follow Him into it.

Now I love adoption, let's be clear on that upfront.  It is a call of trust, not just for the money involved, but for all that will come, once that child becomes yours.

Parenting is hard.  It isn't anything that one has practice on before one becomes one.  Sure you can read books, sure you can look to your childhood (good and bad) and of course you can look around and see others who have gone before you in it.


you will make mistakes. 

 You will need to try and try again at this thing called parenting.  It is not a one time and done kind of thing.  Each child is their own little person, made in the image of God.  They all have their own bends, gifts, talents and need I say troubles.  We are all sinners who fall short and need to humble ourselves and come again to you to be forgiven and set about right.

In the road of parenting, it doesn't matter if they are homemade or adopted, you will need to keep putting your hand to the plow and trying to till the soil of their hearts while you can.  Trying to reach the broken places, trying to show them the narrow road to walk as they follow the One who made them and has a unique plan for their lives.

  You will try to show them by your own life, by the words of your lips and the actions you take up daily; so as to point them like an arrow at the heart of Jesus.  

Some days it seems so easy, others not so much~ to the point of wondering how you might have entered into this madness you call life.  

But ultimately, we are not the source or the solution for our children, it is Jesus.  So when I empty myself and follow Him, letting Him shine through me, I find success at this thing called parenting.  But when I fail, when I doubt, when I get to the edge and want to jump...well, guess what?  I need to again fall on my knees or on my face and tell God that I need Him.  Tell Him that though I have tried, that still it seems in the natural to not be working.  Tell Him that I need a spirit boost and a soul tune-up.  I call out to Him knowing that my success comes from Him and Him alone.

Lord, you've called me.  Help me to continue to try to do all You have asked of me.  Help me to do it with the right heart.  Forgive me for wanting to quit and forgive me for when I fail so miserably at this motherhood-parenting thing.  I need Your help and I need Your Spirit to love them and to point them to Your heart. In Jesus' name I ask it.  amen.

 Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work, no planning, no learning, and no wisdom in the next world where you’re going.

Galatians 6:9 
Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.

 Proverbs 16:3 
Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed


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