Saturday, October 29, 2022

All These Things...

 

  "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."  -Matthew 6:33

A friend of mine was reminding me of this promise recently as I have been going through some difficult times...and it was such an encouragement to me to be reminded of. I hope it might be a blessing to someone else today as well. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

God Meant it Unto Good Poem


 GEN. 1. 20

“God meant it unto good,”—O blest assurance
Falling like sunshine all across life’s way,
Touching with heaven’s gold earth’s darkest storm clouds,
Bringing fresh peace and comfort day by day.
‘Twas not by chance the hands of faithless brethren
Sold Joseph captive to a foreign land;
Nor was it chance which, after years of suffering,
Brought him before the monarch’s throne to stand.
One Eye all-seeing saw the need of thousands,
And planned to meet it through that one lone soul;
And, through the weary days of prison bondage,
Was working towards the great and glorious goal.
As yet the end was hidden from the captive,
The iron entered even to his soul:
His eye could scan the present path of sorrow,
Not yet his gaze might rest upon the whole.
Faith failed not through those long dark hours of waiting
His trust in God was recompensed at last;
The moment came when God led forth His servant
To succor many, all his sufferings past.
“It was not you, but God that sent me hither,”
Witnessed triumphant faith in after days;
“God meant it unto good” no second causes
Mingled their discord with his song of praise.
“God means it unto good” for thee, beloved;
The God of Joseph is the same today,
His love permits afflictions strange and bitter:
His hand is guiding through the unknown way.
The Lord, who sees the end from the beginning,
Hath purposes for thee of love untold;
Then place thy hand in His and follow fearless,
Till thou the riches of His grace behold.
Then when thou standest in the Home of glory,
And all life’s path lies open to thy gaze,
Thine eyes shall see the hand which now thou trustest,
And magnify His love through endless days.
F. H. A.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Nothing Between


 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.

I've posted this short poem before...but it is on my mind so I will share it again (I am unsure who the author is):

Lord, search my soul, try ev'ry thought,
Though my own heart accuse me not
Of walking in disguise--
I beg the trial of Thine eyes. 
Doth secret mischief lurk within?
Do I indulge some unknown sin?
O turn my feet whene'er I stray, 
And lead me in that Heavenly way. 





Tuesday, September 20, 2022

It's been awhile...

 It's been awhile since I've posted on here, so I figured it was about time I try to put together a post again! It's been a fairly busy summer for me - one of the most recent things that was keeping me busy is watching our neighbor's dog while they were away. She is a lively dog that gave me a good workout each day whenever I took her out for a walk. : ) 


Here she is...sitting still for once only because I was luring her to sit and stay with some treats. lol 


Last week I was excited to see that some monarch butterflies were passing through again on their migration south. Some of you may remember my post about this last year, where hundreds of monarch butterflies were flying through our yard, and clustering in our trees. I wasn't sure if I would see any again this year, but am happy to see that some are coming through again! 


I planted quite a variety of flowers this year, and have really enjoyed seeing their bright colors around the yard. I grew most of the common ones like Marigolds, Zinnias, Pansies, Cosmos, Sunflowers, Black-eyed Susans, Celosia and Petunias, and a few less common ones including Lisianthus, Freesia, and Ranunculus. 






One of my Lisianthus flowers. (The picture does not do it justice). 
 I have to say that even though Lisianthus are a bit of a challenge to get growing at the start...they are such a gorgeous flower that lasts such a long time as a cut flower that I definitely want to try growing them again! I almost didn't try them because so many people online were saying how hard they are to grow...but after my first time growing them this year, I would say it's mostly just a trial of patience to grow them than anything, lol. They are extremely slow growing when they first start out. When they first sprout and come up, their first two leaves are so tiny it is almost difficult to see them. Mine stayed really tiny for probably a couple months or more! 

Oh yes, and I grew one of my favorites - Snapdragons. I loved the "Berry Blend" colors I purchased from Johnny's Seeds. There were so many pretty shades of pinks and reds. 


These Morning Glories came up on their own and climbed a pole that was in our flower garden. Even though they kind of took over the area, I thought they looked pretty so I decided to let them stay. Blue flowers are another favorite of mine! I am not often an early morning person, but I found myself wanting to go outside earlier than usual just so I could see them before they closed every once in awhile. :) 


We have this path mowed around one section of our yard that I've been enjoying taking walks on often. Sometimes when I'm just feeling overwhelmed with various things it's been relaxing to just take time to walk out here to have some time alone to think and pray. I discovered a dove's nest along the edge of the woods here one day while on one of my walks - I'm always so thankful to see the birds and other wildlife God has made for us to enjoy! 

A fellow-blogger posted the hymn, "I Need Thee Every Hour", recently, and it was a blessing to me so I thought I'd share part of it in my post. This verse in particular stood out to me: 

I need Thee every hour, teach me Thy will; 
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill. 
I need thee, oh, I need thee; Every hour I need thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior! I come to thee.

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. 
-Psalms 143:10
 


This is a instrumental hymn that I've enjoyed listening to lately. I hope it's a blessing to you all too.
I hope all of you have been doing well. :) 



Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Some Thoughts For Today

 


The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

-Psalm 34:22

Friday, July 1, 2022

How I Use Grass Clippings on My Garden

 I was asked in a comment by someone recently to share more about how I use grass clippings in my garden. I thought I'd share a quick post about it. What I do is really very simple, but it has made a huge difference for me in cutting back weeds! I can't imagine gardening without it again like I used to...and spending hours and hours weeding as consequence! These are all quick snapshots, so I'm sorry for the low quality on some of them. 



You can see here how well the grass clippings have kept down the weeds between the rows here...but are still popping up around the base of the stalks where I missed putting grass down. 


I use grass as a mulch on my flower garden as well. 




You can see somewhat in this picture how tightly the grass mats together as it begins decaying, 
making it almost come up in one piece when I pulled it up for the picture. 

My favorite way of doing this is to put a layer of newspaper down first as an extra barrier against some of those tougher weeds (You can see the newspaper in the picture above where I've pulled up the grass). We don't subscribe to a newspaper, so I asked my Grandpa to save me some of his, which he is glad to do. You can also ask a local newspaper office for their leftover outdated papers, which sometimes they are willing to give for free. 

So here are the three simple steps I do for this:

Step One: (This step is optional.)

Put down a layer of newspaper. (If it's windy out, it helps to wet the papers first to keep them from blowing away before you can get the grass down.) 

Step Two:

 Spread a thick layer of grass clippings, preferably at least two inches thick, or more if you have enough grass to spare. The fresher cut the grass is, the better, as it mats together more tightly as it dries. This is best to do first thing in the spring, immediately after the soil has been tilled up, but it can be done any time as long as you have cleared the area of weeds first. I often put a thick layer of grass down even before I get everything planted, just to keep the weeds from getting a chance to start. It's easy enough to pull the grass aside when it's time to plant. 

Tip: If you don't have access to very much grass clippings, just a thick layer of newspaper with straw over it would work also. I don't recommend straw all by itself, as it just doesn't pack together like grass does, leaving too many gaps and holes for sunlight to reach the weeds...and they come growing right through it. You could run a lawn mower over the straw to break it up into small pieces, which would help, however. I used to do that with leaves and it worked great. 

Step Three: 

Use your garden hose to wet the grass you just spread out thoroughly. This step is very important! It helps mat the clippings together to prevent sunlight from reaching any weeds sprouting below. If you don't wet the grass, it often will remain too fluffy and weeds will pop right up through it. 

One thing I love about using grass like this, is that it can simply be tilled under in the spring of the following year. 

*******

That's it! It's very simple, and I hope this helps someone else like it has me. : ) If any of you have any gardening tips that have helped you a lot, I'd love to hear them! 


Monday, June 27, 2022

Flowers, Cherries, and Herbs

 Here in the States where I live, we have just officially entered summer. It was a busy and productive spring for me this year, which I'm thankful for.  This past week was one of those times when I walked out into the garden one day, and could hardly believe how much it had seemed to have grown just overnight! Thankfully I did get a good mulch of grass put down earlier this spring that has kept down the majority of the weeds...but there's always those random spots where they seem to pop up in in places I missed.  


I've been harvesting flowers almost weekly that I grew for the Farmer's Market. (I might post more about my small backyard flower farm venture this year another time, Lord willing...we'll see how that goes). It has been a unique learning experience. Some parts of that in the early spring have been somewhat of a disappointment, but I am starting to have more flowers blooming now that I hope will begin to do better. We started out with a pretty dry spring, but I'm really thankful for the rain God blessed us with just recently. 


"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." -Matthew 5:44-45

My sister-in-law recently shared a poem with me about "Free Water" - the rain the God sends. It's had me thinking more about rain lately and being thankful for it when it comes. : ) 


It's the time of year for cherries again. It is slow going to get them all pitted and ready to go in the freezer, but I have finally managed to get most of them done, and they are nearing the end of production.  I've also been gathering Lavender bouquets to dry for the Farmer's Market. 

I have many bouquets of lavender and other flowers hanging inside to dry in random places!


Here and there I've been finding time to do some knitting, which isn't very common for me (I normally prefer crocheting).  I recently finished this small baby blanket...not sure yet who it will be for, but it's on hand now if I need a gift for someone. : ) 

Our roses were blooming recently, and looked so pretty that I couldn't pass up getting my camera and taking some photos. These ones smelled wonderful! 


Our sweet cat Teddy came to join me as I was taking pictures. He is a stray that showed up at our home a couple years ago, and wouldn't let us get near or touch him for a long time. Now he loves attention...almost too much so! : ) 


It has just literally felt as if days are just flying by lately...I guess that's what happens when you're staying busy. It often gets me thinking, though, how brief our lives really are, and what really matters most! 
I was just thinking about this verse in the hymn:

Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last, 
Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
Through endless ages ever to be, 
Nearer my Saviour, still nearer to Thee;
Nearer my Saviour, still nearer to Thee. 

That one is actually the last verse in the song, but here are the first three as well: 

Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart, 
Draw me, my Savior, so precious Thou art. 
Fold me, O fold me close to Thy breast;
Shelter me safe in that haven of rest, 
Shelter me safe in that haven of rest. 

Nearer, still nearer, nothing I bring, 
Naught as an off'ring to Jesus my King--
Only my sinful, now contrite hear; 
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart, 
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart. 

Nearer still nearer, Lord to be Thine, 
Sine with its follies I gladly resign, 
All of its pleasures, pomp, and its pride; 
Give me but Jesus my Lord crucified, 
Give me but Jesus my Lord crucified. 


I hope all of you have been doing well, and having a good summer so far (or whatever season you are currently in where you live)! : )

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Some Thoughts for Today


"A Christian lady was always so bright and cheerful that everyone wondered at her joyous spirit. "But, sister,"  said a friend, "You must have some clouds in your life." "Clouds?" she replied. "Why, of course. If there were no clouds, where would the showers of blessing come from?"

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
-Romans 8:28

 "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes."
Psalms 119:71



 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you so much to all of you who entered in my giveaway! I know there are digital counters for giveaways online to use, but I decided to do things the "old-school" way with handwritten papers with each name put in a basket. :)  


The names drawn were...

Sister in the Mid-west and Cheryl! Congratulations to you both! 

To each one of the rest of you who entered, please know your comments always mean 
a lot to me, and I really wish I had a way to do something for all of you. :) Thank you all so much for taking part in this with me! 



Friday, May 6, 2022

A Little Woodpecker - And last few days to join the giveaway!

 I had a unique encounter with this cute little Woodpecker the other day. 
I was sitting outside in our porch swing, with a tree directly behind me. I suddenly heard the flutter of a bird's wings behind me, and turned to look. As I did so, I startled this little Woodpecker and it immediately flew away... I watched as the poor thing flew straight into our garage window! It made quite the thump when it hit, but it was able to fly to a nearby tree where it sat very still. I walked over, and could tell the little bird was still stunned from it's hard hit on the window. 

It turned to look at me, but let me come very close. I hurried back inside to grab my camera, hoping it would still be there when I returned. I was glad that it was! It was such a pretty Woodpecker, and smaller than most I've seen! 



It let me take several pictures before it seemed to have recovered some and finally flew away further up in the tree. I was thankful the Lord allowed me to see this pretty bird up close, I always love seeing the amazing variety in His creation. 





 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. 
 -Psalms 111:4

For any of my readers who might not have yet entered my giveaway, there are only three days left to join!  Thank you so much to all of you that have entered already, your comments have each meant a lot to me!  I look forward to seeing who the winners are. :)  

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Seven Years of Blogging - Giveaway

Seven Years

 Edited: My apologies to anyone who may have tried viewing the link to the Vintage Verses Etsy shop down below in this post! I just learned that I had linked to the wrong shop. It is corrected now! 

 I could hardly believe when looking back at my old posts at the beginning of this blog, that it has been seven years today since I started this blog. I don't keep up with it very well at all times, but I do hope and pray some things on here have been a blessing even in a small way to others through these years.  Many of your comments have often been a great encouragement to me, and I want to thank each one of you who has commented (or even just been an occasional reader) through the years! You've been a blessing to me! 

I thought it would be nice if I could ask each person who ever reads this blog (even if you've never commented before!) :) to leave me a comment participating in a giveaway as a small "thank you" for taking the time to read my blog and for being an encouragement to me.  If you are newer to my blog, please still feel welcome to join the giveaway. The gift won't be anything very elaborate, just something that I hope someone will enjoy and will be an encouragement to them! 

There will be two winners to this giveaway; please just let me know in your comment if there is a particular item you would prefer if you were the winner - I might be able to switch around what you receive.  

NOTE: If you live overseas or outside of the U.S., please feel free to join this giveaway by choosing Option #3 which is a digital download. I really wish I could offer all of these other items to you as well, but with shipping prices as high as they are, I hope you can understand my difficulty there!  


Winner #1: 

The owner of Vintage Verses on Etsy has so kindly agreed to donate one of her beautiful calligraphy prints for my giveaway, while I only pay the shipping!  If you win this, you will receive a quality print on parchment paper in the mail. Please be sure to visit her shop. 


Winner #2: 

The second winner of this giveaway will receive one of these small refrigerator magnets with a KJV Scripture verse. I've ordered a couple of these myself once, and they are nice magnets. They are the thin flexible type that measure about 2 1/2 inches or so wide. 




Winner outside of the U.S.:

**Digital, not a physical item.** I wanted to include something digital as an option, so those of you who live overseas can feel welcome to participate in this giveaway without costing me a lot with shipping. :) This is a PDF version of these printable Scripture verse cards. If you win this giveaway, you would not receive actual cards, only a digital download that you can print out for yourself. 





This giveaway will be open until 12:00 CT on May 9th, 
and the winners announced soon after. 


  I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1


Monday, April 11, 2022

Re-making Clothing

This is a draft post I made way back in 2016! I was looking at it recently, and thought it was about time I should pull it out and share it rather than let it sit here for more years at a time. : )  Maybe it will inspire someone else to re-purpose some clothing you don't have any other use for.

So...here it is: 

"When I was younger, I used to sew and make things just about all of the time. 
And being a young girl, one of my favorite things to make was doll 
dresses for my dolls. :)  I never knew how handy that experience 
would come to be later!  Now that I have nieces to make things for, 
it's so easy to put together dresses for them (actually a lot easier than 
making those tiny little doll dresses), and it is much more rewarding. :)



Here is one of my most recent projects.  I took this large shirt (above), and 
with some cutting and adjustment... 


                                       ....turned it into this dress to fit one of my nieces. 
                              This was one of my first times to re-make a piece of clothing     
                             into something entirely different, and it has been so much fun." 


So that's it. I didn't take pictures of the steps in the process...but I remember using a bodice pattern from a little girl's dress pattern, and then just gathering the skirt to fit (I'm pretty sure my sister gave me waist and length measurements). I added the red fabric at the bottom to give more length, since there wasn't quite enough fabric from the shirt to make the dress long enough. I enjoyed the contrast as well. Now I feel like trying to go make something similar to this again! :) It might make for another post in the future if that happens. Hopefully not six years after the fact, though...lol. 

A verse of encouragement for today: