Sunday, December 28, 2014

That woman is blessed!

Do you see that woman, the one with the long brown hair? She seems worried too often, and yet seems to be trying hard to put her trust in Someone bigger than herself. Did you know, that she is blessed? 

Do you see that woman being pushed down the hospital hall way to the operating room? She is scared! She has never been in the hospital before and facing the removal of her appendix is frightening, but will be the means of restoring her health! Do you know what? She is blessed! 

Do you see her now laying on the couch, home from the hospital and gazing at the tree with her 3 young ones and dog milling about and tears in her eyes because she is home and knowing she is blessed! 

Do you see her now, standing in front of the fridge, wondering what to eat because now for one month she is on a strict diet to let her body recover? She feels a bit blue about missing out on the holiday foods, yet she feels blessed knowing this is the start of a healthier lifestyle that God chose to make necessary for her. 

Do you see her now feeling kind of badly because she can't bake up her storm of cookies like she usually does and wondering what to give to friends and slowly accepting that sometimes no gift is required and realizing that the greatest gift is YOU- JESUS! 

Do you see that woman with a husband who can fix anything and who uncomplainingly serves, works, fathers and loves his family and has been her best friend these 8 years? She is blessed and she knows it as they celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary in the ho-hom of everyday life. 

Do you see that woman, painting from her messy little work area, trying to create beauty and share it? Do you see her there, wondering if her art will sell and if it will bless anyone the way the creating of it has blessed her? Do you see her agonizing over which pictures to list and how to best describe her items. Does she know HOW blessed she is to get to use her hobbies and work a bit from home? 

Do you know how blessed you are dear one? I do! 

I am that woman that God has chosen to bless with His smile. 

- - - 

Thank you for your prayers everyone who knew about my surgery! 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas in Macro

Thursday morning I came into the hospital after a sleepless night of stomach pains. I thought I'd be home again in no time, even drove myself in. But one doctor led to another, and in the end I was in the operating room for my appendix.

It is Sunday and I am still in the hospital, hoping to be released tomorrow. Today is Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of advent.

It is hard to be stuck in the hospital when the day is so lovely and you know everyone is making Christmas preparations.

And yet for several weeks I had this feeling that this year had to be different, that there needed to be a quiet in my life and a refocus on Christmas.

Now as I focus my thoughts on what has been and the unknown of recovery and Christmas I know that God has a reason for keeping my planning smaller this year. I usually bake tons of cookies to share, this year that won't happen. With all of the comforts and even diet of my normal life stripped away I have time to see my world differently.

I feel as if I have been given a new lens through which to see this season. And as I examine where I have been and look at Christmas through my macro lens this is what I see (because in macro  you focus on detail).

Look, there is the baby.
Not just any baby, but a baby intended to save this world. 

Look back a week and you can see his mother preparing, waiting, expecting, longing to meet her child. She would have been huge with child, and heavy. And as she and Joseph headed to Bethlehem should would have been uncomfortable, jostled, perhaps even in pain. 

Turning my lens forward I see that we too are a people longing for peace, joy, calm. We are expecting , we are waiting. Groaning and awaiting the coming of our Savior once again. Yet everyone is distracted, and runs about madly. Turning their thoughts to so many other things- their focus is too broad- their true purpose lost. 

Look again, focus in on the baby. There He is. In all his quiet glory. He came to innocent, weak, small, a child. Why? For you, for me, for eternity. 

If you look ahead and focus your lens on His future you will see the reason He came. It did not end at Christmas, or in the small baby born. But His story lives on in the crucifixion and Resurrection of a King who came to save and redeem His beloved world. 

So where is your focus? Which lens are you using?

Before I was using a wide-view lens and all the rush and bustle and gift buying of Christmas was taking all my attention and focus. But now, as I lie in my bed and think and ponder I see that this season, this Christmas, this year, this day and each opportunity I am given I will seek to direct our thoughts and my thoughts and my children's thoughts to Jesus.

Yes, we will have gifts. We will have a tree. But lets not get overwhelmed with the bustle, lets take the time close the doors and turn off the technology and marvel over this baby, and meet this King who came to save our broken world.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Very Real Thanksgiving

Our celebrations started with a bang this year by my being asking to help some local church youth celebrate Thanksgiving American style. Which really means I had to plan and oversee the preparations for the meal. I made them 5 pies to crown the occasion and even got interviewed so they'd know why we celebrate.

My cousins even got to show up for the occasion which made the whole thing more special for both the youth and myself. The youth devoured the small turkey and seemed enjoy the evening and food.

We celebrated our family Thanksgiving Saturday. But it had to be done properly this year and with a real live turkey. Yes, LIVE.

Usually we do without a turkey at Thanksgiving because they don't sell them in the grocery store and are hard to come by. This year my husband did some searching and came up with a live one. He took my cousin's boyfriend along to help hold it while they brought it home. (Much to our amazement when covered with a bag they are very calm to transport in ones lap).

Cody and my husband did the job quickly and efficiently and we were proud to have a turkey on the table this year.

Notes for those needing to butcher your own turkey:
-get a helper who can take the ordeal.
- prepare a large pot of boiling water for immersing to the turkey to remove the feathers.
- be sure to remove all internal organs.
- be sure to butcher and chill at list 24 hours in advance so that the meat has time to cool.
- do your homework before beginning this job.
(for further info be in contact with my husband or Cody who were the ones who did the job).

We had a good old Thanksgiving meal, complete with a made from scratch- green bean casserole, stuffing, candied carrots, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, pecan pie, apple pie and honey cake!

It was so good to have my cousins here and to get to celebrate with family this Thanksgiving!

I am so thankful for the blessed time we got to share together, it was a wonderful time for getting to know one another better.

Monday, December 8, 2014


Weak, unimporant, hidden, unseen was I . 
Suddenly, I held power in my hand. 
It was strange, and heavy, like a cold, iron sword. 
I handled it carefully, wondering how to use it, or drop it as it seemed to chill through me. 
I examined its blade. 
I considered its strength. 
I thought of the results of power, even a minute one . . . 

Keeping it Real

Christmas is fast approaching. The kids are waiting in anticipation for the 24th when they know we will open gifts.

Every day is a rush to live life- get homework done, fulfill my commitments, decorate, and somehow try to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

But there are these moments when we all melt down. My kids refuse to listen and stubbornness and sinful attitudes reign. I grow sad and weary as I try to teach my young ones that disobedience is neither effective nor pleasing and try to speak truth to their young hearts. Yet sometimes even this fails and they glare back with belligerence in their eyes and I wonder, "How do I keep their hearts tender?"

I love this season of expectation. I long to make our home festive with decorations and prepare for the season by passing love and joy to those around me. Yet, I feel that something different is required this year. I feel like I must readjust my life and not get swept away by the tide of culture.

And so I stop and ponder and wonder how to "redeem" these dear old traditions and make them into something that turns our hearts towards heaven and the real reason we celebrate.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thank God for Family

Today my cousins headed on in their journey and I felt sad and emotional as I walked away waving to them on the train. Having family visit me here in Latvia is so rare. I felt honored they came- honored they took the time and the money to spend 10 days of their lives here.

We had marvelous times, hope to post photos later on that. We had fun talks and a great photo shoot as you have seen of late.

But I just want to take this moment and give thanks for family, and friends. I want you and me to be more thankful and appreciative when we have those we love near. I want those I love to know how I miss them living so far away and how I treasure every way you show you remember me even though I live an ocean a way.

And I want to tell you guys- Joy, Matthew, Daniel and Cody- it was so fun having you here and I am going to miss playing Scrabble with you all and our nice chats. Safe travels!

And thanks for sharing your talents with us :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

New in My Shop

New items just in time for Christmas, stay tuned for more to come in the next few days!

Turquoise Peacock Silk Scarf . Art Nouveau Peacock . Peacock Feathers Scarf