This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, March 14, 2014

Not My Map

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1: 27
Who are our "widows and orphans"? Sometimes I wonder if they don't perhaps come to us clothed in just an average person in our daily life needing our help.
I had my plans for Lent...my "desert" that I envisioned. Somehow I am not where I thought I would be. Somehow my map got changed.
Life, it is called. Life does not follow my map, my plans, my Lent. Others needs, the needs of my family, the needs of others raise their voices and ask me to veer off my planned path. And selfishly, I sit and dig in my heels and consider not helping, not serving, not doing what I am capable of. I make others worry they have asked too much of me.
Then I realize if I don't...it's not that I'm spectacular or anything. I am just in the place at the time of need...I consider my prideful and selfish motivations. Humility is not a virtue I am good at. Oh, I make it seem like I am, but false humility is a pride. So now there's more sin to contend with. Now that I'm weighing that, both options are in question.
Not exactly the same but, through my mind while I ponder...
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
--Robert Frost

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hosea 14:1

Come Back To Me - John Michael Talbot 
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lenten Cleaning

I am an awful organizer--well that's not really true. I can organize. To me it's kind of like a Chinese puzzle that you shuffle the pieces around without taking them out. What I am awful at is getting rid of stuff. No one would ever accuse me of being a minimalist. But I am trying to pare down over Lent.

I've read some other blogger's Lenten cleaning schedule where they spend a week on a certain room. Sounds awesome deep cleaning like that, but I also have a hard time staying focused on one thing very long. So my 40 day goal is to move from room to room daily, each time getting another layer deeper in the hopes that by Easter the house will be in good shape (truthfully my goal is to be done by Passover).

I'm trying to be the tortoise and not the hare--my usual role model. I want to maintain and not get burnt out fifteen days into this.

To date, I have gone through both boys closets--shaking my head in amazement at what they have outgrown. Given away two large black trash bags full of clothes. I've mended some items so they can be used again. The living room has had a couple of minor rearrangements and boxes removed. The dining room has acquired some books from the living room. And the garage looks better. Well, to me anyway.

The garage is a metaphor for my life. Full of things that need to be offered in the Great Garage Sale, yard tools and the things we only use occasionally (like Christmas decorations). Things I should get rid of , things I should use to work and things to decorate. If you guessed that there are more decorations than anything else, you'd be correct.

I took a good portion of what was in the garage out to the driveway and rearranged so that the sale items and the left-over packing we can't seem to bear to part with are at the front, the yard tools are more towards the middle and the decorations are back. Hopefully the first two will be gone when we need the mower.

Since we moved to this house we've had the luxury of parking one car (mine) inside. What a treat when it is below freezing to get into a warm car. But my husband's poor car sat outside and we haven't been able to squeeze it in. What I accomplished was that now, if there was bad weather we could move a few things and  his car could come to shelter. We wouldn't be able to walk, but the car would be safe. My goal by Easter is that his car will find a permanent home in the garage. I'll revisit it next week. On to the kitchen and my room...

Step by baby step,
Counting it all joy,

Julie

Monday, March 10, 2014

Daybook, March 10, 2014



FOR TODAY ...Monday, March 10, 2014

Outside my window...It is still dark, thanks to the time change.

I am thinking...I have much cleaning to do today.

I am thankful for...Boys that are able to help lift, carry and lighten the load.

From the learning rooms...The oldest is ploughing through his work in order to be able to leave in June. The youngest is ploughing through his work to see if I will really allow him to be done when the work is done. And I will. No one should be punished for finishing a job. Math and reading are year-round here, but the other subjects...done is done.

From the kitchen...I'm visiting Pintrest when I'm done here.

I am wearing...something warm.

I am creating...I just got done making a tunic for the oldest's performance a week ago. I will be picking my first quilting attempt back up. I really want to finish some (okay, several) knitting WIPs.

I am going...to drive the oldest this afternoon, just like I always do. Driving to dance, driving to dance.

I am reading...Just raced through Marie Lu's Legend and gave it to the youngest. Debating between Daughter of the Forest and A Song for Summer .

I am hoping...

I am hearing...the clock tick, the furnace run and a few neighbors leaving for work.

Around the house...Lenten cleaning.

One of my favorite things...My new sewing machine.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Same song, next verse.

 Have a joyful week!!


Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook to find more Daybookers.

All or Nothing? Or Maybe a Little...?

 Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? Ezekiel 18:31
Before Lent I read a suggestion that instead of giving some things up to try moderation. The writer suggested that moderation is harder than total fasting from a thing. I would be inclined to agree. And apparently Ezekiel was of the same mind. The Scripture says "Cast away from you all your transgressions..." The Scripture says to be "new". 
Some families choose to honor Sundays as a "mini-feast" or a "mini-Easter." Some families choose not to practice this with vehemence. Until ten years ago, I didn't know it was an option! I don't know where I was, maybe I missed that day at Parochial school. If you count "these forty days of Lent," indeed, there are more than forty if you count Sundays, so the practice makes total sense. Late to the party, I thought this was brilliant and decided to give it a go. Truly it was harder to indulge on Sundays and resume abstinence on Mondays.
I'm not diminishing moderation. I can't give up eating, totally. I must learn to eat in a manner that is healthy. I must choose to put the best things I can into my body. There may be things that are fine for other people that will not do for me. I may be more sensitive to some things than most people. I may be fine with things that others cannot have. But it is easier to get rid of something completely than to try to maintain control. In the last year my family moved. I found it was easier to change some bad habits living in a new home. Sadly I found some other bad habits...or perhaps they found me. 
This Lent I am trying both methods--total fasting in some areas and moderation in others. I think I am seeing many areas of weakness brought to light both ways. 
What practices do you observe and do you choose fasting and abstinence or moderation?

Counting it all joy,

Julie

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Happy Time Change!!


Which one speaks to you more?




 Most of us tolerate the "Fall Back" time change a little better than the "Spring Forward," but I think most would agree that messing with "time" messes with us.

We went to Mass last night. The chaotic rush to church on the Sunday of Daylight Savings time does little to exhort us to holiness. In fact it may cause us to dance a little too near sin. So we agreed to Saturday Mass and I changed the clocks when we got home.

I have two teens, so sleep is premium around here. My oldest is on a kick that time is relative (he's right). And my youngest lives virtually in England (in his heart and via the internet). My husband has periods of 24 hours on call and occasional technology crises. So this household is not unaccustomed to dealing with messed up sleep, But I always dislike the socially imposed time change.

I wonder what would happen if I refused. Hmmmmmm....

Joyfully adjusting,

Julie

Looking in a Mirror

From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul. In your distress, when all these things have happened to you in time to come, you will return to the Lord your God and heed him. Because the Lord your God is a merciful God, he will neither abandon you nor destroy you; he will not forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them. Deuteronomy 4: 29-31
When I read the Old Testament I am always amazed at how easily the Children of Israel forget...
Wow. That's pretty ironic isn't it. Of course it doesn't take long for me to see how easily I forget. Much more so than Israel.
"Surrender don't come natural to me 
I'd rather fight you for something
I don't really want
Than to take what you give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down, I'm falling on my knees"--Rich Mullins--Hold Me Jesus
The good news is that God does not forget. God is forever merciful. All I have to do is return. All I have to do is heed His voice.
Isn't it lovely that Jesus will walk with us as we return?

Count it all joy, 
Julie