Thursday, February 28, 2013

More things that put a smile on my face

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 I am in love with pink carnations. I love the color as well as the smell--they last quite some time and simply make me very happy!  It is strange how flowers can really uplift our hearts. Why is that do you think?

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There is something about pink, green and white that simply makes me happy. I love this old cup--and it surely is fun to have it full of little carnations.

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I know it may be strange, but I received this little pink chair from the previous owner of the place  where we now reside. It is so comfy--I do not think I would have ever purchased a PINK chair....but guess what??? I love it. Right now i have it in one of the corners of my dining room/ kitchen area and it is a nice sunny spot to sit and read the paper or a book while things are cooking and needing a watchful eye.

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I love this picture--it was a card from an ebay purchase and I loved it so much I hung it up next to my coffee maker. It makes me smile every time I get a cup (which is quite often).

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This is a picture that was left by the previous owner. I moved it to my kitchen--I am in a PINK mood! It replaces the one below for now:

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Those are gluten free banana muffins which I and my son are very partial to--but I have to be careful because I can easily eat 3 a day which my waistline tells me is a fine mistake.

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I am enjoying my second blackboard. I have one in the bedroom too--I just love them---I always like to think about different things and quotes help me do this through out the day.

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This is my little drink area. Some of my favorite cups for tea are these because they are nice and big!  So it is the little things in a home that often add up to lots of smiles! Do you find this to be true too?

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And last of all when we were on a marriage retreat over at the inland waterway near the beach it snowed (a rare thing for us). This was the view out of our window and it really made me chuckle because of the snow and the SIGN!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Learning to love/ learning to serve

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I like to have things to think about or perhaps REMINDERS. I had moved my blackboard to my bedroom. I have a different quote on that one that hangs above my bed. But then I missed the blackboard's place out in my living area. So I did get another one and this is the one that is pictured above.  

My focus this Lenten season is to think more on what it means to love and to serve. ...and then , of course, to act on it.

I read something today that was helpful and I am quoting it here:

".'....let God be God in you....look away from yourself, and look to God.' As long as you focus on yourself, you will find reason after reason why you aren't loveable or attractive or worth much to anybody. If you turn your gaze to the Father, you will see this marvel. God is offering you 'daily bread,' forgiveness and love.  You will see yourself being loved.
      This is how we exit the domain of self-preoccupation and enter the Kingdom of God.  This is how we learn to stop babbling. This is how we learn that our Father knows what we need even before we ask."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

advice about installing wood floor over cement

I am glad I read some of his book again. I do enjoy this book , but his advice about installing wood floors over cement ones makes me think twice about considering this in the future. Here is what he says, sure to apply wood decking, insulation, and plywood before the finished wood, so the final effort isn't too hard on the feet. I made this error in a room with low ceilings, not wanting to decrease their height further.  Without the other layers, the floor was so hard I had to lay down carpet.

Guess I won't do it........if anyone out there has done it let me know about your results.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Do certain things bring a smile to your face??

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;Some things just make me smile. I enjoy this apron so much I just leave it hanging for now on my pantry door. As I walked into the kitchen tonight I saw a coffee cup near the coffee maker and on the other counter some raisins, oatmeal, walnuts etc. which my hubby has placed out for his morning breakfast.

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;;He also placed this bowl out---I just love these bowls and the red and white made me smile. My hubby works hard and gets up so early. To make his morning less rushed he sets things up the night before----I am so thankful that I get to sleep in!!

What makes you smile???

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

grandson's birthday

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we celebrated my youngest grandson's birthday this past week--so much fun and joy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

hope--a strange thing

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To imagine ourselves outside the temporality that imprisons us and in some way to sense that eternity is not an unending succession of days in the calendar, but something more like the supreme moment of satisfaction, in which totality embraces us and we embrace totality-- this we can only attempt. It would be like plunging into the ocean of infinite love, a moment in which time-the before and after---no longer exists. We can only attempt to grasp the idea that such a moment is life in the full sense, a plunging ever anew into the vastness of being, in which we are simply overwhelmed with joy. This is how Jesus expresses it in Saint John's Gospel: 'I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you' (Jn 16:22). We must think along these lines if we want to understand the object of Christian hope, to understand what it is that our faith, our being with Christ, leads us to expect.

These are good thoughts to think on from Spe salvi 12, by Benedict.  The love and joy of God--what an amazing God and how amazing eternity will be. To catch glimpses of this now is really only a taste--it blows my mind ;-)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Life can be odd

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This is a beautiful walking area that is located just down from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington Dc. I loved the rows of trees, the interplay of shadows and the icy frozen pond (to the right). We walked here early in the morning last week and there were mostly joggers and a few tourists----

Life is sometimes strange. When I travel to different places and to historical sites it gives me a feeling for the temporariness of life on this earth. Our lives are so quickly moving and soon over! Like a vapor. 

I wish life could be lived fully with the sense of the  power of God's love and presence, but too many times there is a battle inside of the soul.  Merton wrote,

"There is only one thing that can satisfy love and reward it, and that is You alone."
I love the thought of walking more fully in His peaceful presence. I have been learning more and more about the fullness of  His love---but life is constantly a battle to more fully realize this in the living out of my life.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Examining the Heart for Pride?

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During one of my online readings I found this article which helps examine your heart for signs of pride. It was such a good examination that I printed it out and wanted to think a whole lot more about it-- especially since it can be a good focus in preparation for Lent.  I thought I would share it.

What I like about the Lenten time period is that it helps to put much of life in perspective. Here are some of the things in this examination that comes from a Full of Grace Study Guide:

Do I...

.Evaluate all things by the affect it will have on my family OR me?
.Boast about accomplishments-overtly or subtly?
.Put my own preferences above that of others?
.Feel the need to command (or control) every situation?
.Talk about myself and my own concerns in every conversation?
.Want people to have a good opinion of me at any price?
.Use every opportunity to point out another's mistakes?
.'Bad mouth' others?
.Get impatient when contradicted or corrected?
.Want to be 'in the know'
.Enjoy the limelight?
.Refuse to readily admit faults, if at all?
.Try to cover up or excuse sins--even in confession?
.Believe deep down inside that I am better than others in any way,
  be it socially, spiritually, or morally?
.Attribute any and all success to my own efforts?
.Cling to self-complacency:
.Get irritated (even slightly) if someone else gets attention and     

These are some things to really think about and I need to work on some!!!

The Byzantine -rite churches, both Orthodox and Catholic apparently pray a prayer during lent (everyday), and it is called 
The Prayer of St. Ephrem.  It is good:

"Lord and Master of my life, do not give me a spirit of laziness or
         idle curiosity, of ambition or empty talk.
Instead , grant to me, your servant, a spirit of self-control and
         humility, of patience and love.
Yes, Lord and King, enable me to see my own failings, and not
         to judge my brother or sister, for you are blessed
         unto the ages of ages. Amen