Sunday, September 27, 2009

Monday Musings of Serendipity


ser⋅en⋅dip⋅i⋅ty

[ser-uhn-dip-i-tee]

a seeming gift or aptitude for finding good things, or for making desirable discoveries accidentally.

I have always enjoyed words. It saddens me that the beauty and expansiveness of our language is beginning to deteriorate into LOL and Yep.

Of course, that is a broad generalization, however, on the whole I find an absence of lively conversation flavoured with rich and expressive words. Perhaps that is why our conversations do not go very deep... the absence of expression.

I also like to think about words and enjoy the feel of them on my tongue. Serendipity is one. The sound of it just appealed to me even at a very young age, I likened it to 'Supercalafragilisticexpialadotious'. It just sounded like a happy word; fun and full of bright color and with an element of mystery and adventure to it, piquing my curiosity... it made me want to jump into that word and experience what it was all about!

I came across 'Serendipity' again just recently. And just the seeing of it made me happy... I mean really, how often do you hear this word in our everyday conversation? I felt as if I had suddenly heard the name of a dear friend. I wanted to spend a little time thinking about and talking about... Serendipity.

Because Serendipity is a gift or aptitude for finding Good Things, I can equate the coming of Serendipity truly into my life when I recieved Christ. It is amazing the Good Things that I have found even in the most excruciating of times, in the hardships of life. The gift of Serendipity made sure that the Good Things did not pass by me unnoticed or unappreciated.

As Christians we are fond of saying that nothing is by accident as the definition of accident is 'an unintended happening'. However, we can speak about Serendipity.

We know from Psalm 139 and from God's perspective that every day ordained for us has been written in His Book before there was ever even one of them. God has already written our days, however, the enjoyment of Serendipity is from our perspective when we are about one thing and end up making a desirable discovery quite by accident (an unintended happening) from our perspective. "Well, for heaven's sake, Lord I wasn't even looking for this! I love it! Thank You!" We know from Whence the happening came... it is just that we ourselves did not intend it when we awoke that particular morning!

Just because we use the word Serendipity takes nothing away from knowing the One Who provides it.
Taking my lesson from my readings about Beethoven.
I appreciate Serendipity... and so I can hear and see Serendipity.
God Himself has given us Serendipity... I am going to enjoy it!


Serendipity: a seeming gift or aptitude for finding good things, or for making desirable discoveries accidentally.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Appreciating Beethoven



Quite a number of weeks ago, Margaret had given me three volumes on the life of Beethoven. Although interested, I was a little apprehensive as to whether I would be able to 'slog' through three whole volumes!

Once I received the books however, I realized that they were not just academic volumes, but biographical in novel form. Within a few days I had begun volume one and I knew over the next few weeks I would be enjoying my reading of the life of Ludwig Van Beethoven!

Skillfully written by John Suchet, admittedly with some liberties taken, the biography spans the life of Beethoven from his birth in Bonn in 1170, to his excruciating death in Vienna in 1827.

What lay in between those years is thrilling, agonizing, triumphant and tragic. For someone who loves history, I was surprised that it was not the historical details of Beethoven's life that intrigued me, such as his first public appearance at the age of seven, or his much anticipated meeting of Haydn and Mozart; it was more the inner man, the turmoil and distress of his soul that caused me to go on and read through.

Beethoven had an admittedly angry passion that found it's vent and expression through his music. He was a introvert and believed that it was through his music that he was able to speak and find his voice. I have never been particularly drawn to Beethoven's music, however, during my reading of the second volume, I purposely listened to a selection of his Piano Sonatas, his Pastoral Symphony and his Fifth Symphony. As I did, an appreciation began to develop in me; I was now able to hear the trills, quavers, demi-quavers, rests. I actually began to anticipate them and because of my new found appreciation of the deaf composer, I could now hear them.

Beethoven was a man that enjoyed the beauty of nature, often taking long walks in the hills of Vienna. His music reflected his love of nature, the trill of a bird, the powerful rolling of thunder, yet he died as he had lived, almost manic in his need to have his voice heard through his music.

While on his many walks, God would have been speaking to Beethoven. Although growing increasingly more deaf, God's Voice would have been audible to him... 'the heaven's declare the glory of God.' .... 'For since the creation of the world (God's) invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

Beethoven appreciated nature, but whether or not that appreciation led him to Christ, I do not know. What I do know is that God Himself gave Beethoven life and the ability to compose profoundly amazing music and for this we can thank God.

As I bundle these three volumes together to return to Margaret, I realize that I will probably not all of a sudden become Beethoven crazy and play him non-stop. But something has indeed changed, and it is this... I now have an appreciation, and where I was once oblivious, I am now able to hear.

Thank you Margaret.
If you are interested in what I am currently reading... check out The Room To Read from time to time!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hokey Pokey!


A few weeks ago, the Summer in the Psalms girls got together for our Summer Windup. When I posted the pictures of the evening I found out that my little aDell was unable to accommodate me in uploading the video of the Hokey Pokey, (sigh)... it was then that I knew that little aDell's finest hours were somehow behind her.

Well, here I am today, trying to learn how to up load my videos onto my new Mac while being a little creative at the same time... and look what I can now show you! It is a little late but just as cute and fun as ever.


video

I remember when I was looking at the picture and the emotion that came over me as I looked at that circle of feet, I wrote...

I was just thinking as I looked at that group picture once again, that those precious feet have taken us so many places throughout our lives - each of those feet once took their very first wobbly baby steps, they took us to our first day of school, on our first dates and down the aisle on our wedding days.

They have walked the floor in heartbreak and taken us to the bedsides of ailing loved ones. They have run and tripped and skipped and strolled, they have taken us places that perhaps we should have never been. Those feet have found themselves many times weary at days end and cute in a pair of summer sandals.

Yet no matter where our feet have taken us, or our particular life's story, every one of those feet in that circle now belong to the Lord, and we have become His feet upon this earth.

I am quite overcome with love for each of you, precious sisters, precious feet.


I am still of the same mind.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Apple Turnover!

Well, my new and shiny Macintosh Apple has finally arrived! An Apple Turnover, as my little Dell has found a new home on a desk close by, ready to help out in the transitioning phase.

I am eager to begin working on it, but, oh my goodness, it is a whole new world! I am now working with a Mouse (my little Dell was a laptop), and my new Wireless Keyboard has no backspace button (took my a while to figure that one out!).

The first evening I attempted to set up my e-mail account and it just was not happening. My husband came to my aid and he and I were on the speaker phone for over 2 hours with Telus and Apple trying to sort out the trouble... to no avail.

Yesterday evening, we spent another 2 hours with Apple to get assistance. When my oldest son and his wife dropped by for dinner, he walked into the Little Room and within 5 minutes... 5 minutes! he had it working and Apple said that he should apply for a job! I am just happy that it is all sorted out and I can begin getting familiar with it all.

Between the new Telus Sattelite TV, and the Panasonic DMC-ZM3 and my new Macintosh Apple I am on a huge learning curve, yet I can tell already that my new Apple will be easier, faster and more enjoyable to work with!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Where's Cathie?

Oh for heaven's sake! Our new fall On-Line Bible Study Sweeter Than Chocolate! started yesterday and this morning I awoke to find this message...

Hi Cathie,I can't seem to find your posting for today, Sept. 14. Is everything okay with you, I am worried about you. Hope you can get back to me.

I immediately realized how 'blogligent' I have been over the last little while as I have been spending a lot of time redesigning the format of this blog page and also putting together the On-Line Study page. This poor girl had showed up exactly where she had expected to find me ... and I was somewhere else!

You have probably noticed that there have been a few changes made, over the past few weeks, to the Pure Grace Page. For all you registered On-Line Bible Study girls, you will now be able to find me and the rest of your sisters by scrolling down the sidebar and clicking on "On-Line Study Group Site".

The Pure Grace Home Page will now be used primarily for my musings and writings... which will be coming soon!

My Little French Sewing Room is where you will find everything handmade by me.

The Room to Grow is all about my home, family and garden.

I hope that you enjoy the new format, and although there are still a few things that will be added over the next few weeks you can begin to get familiar with it all now as the links are all 'clickable'.

Gotta post this quick in case someone else is playing a game of 'Where's Waldo'!

Love you big,

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Musings... My Favorite Apple

My favorite apple has always been the Macintosh. I know that a vast array of other apples exist and I have eaten and enjoyed many of them over the years - Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Gala, Jonagold, Pippin, Spartan - but it is definitely the Macintosh that I most look forward to!

When I was pregnant with my first son, I craved Macintosh apples - so much so that I began to feel a little self-conscious and took to hiding them behind pillows or books whenever my husband would unexpectedly come into the room. I ate so so many of them that my doctor actually advised that I try and cut it back a little and perhaps consider eating licorice instead - LICORICE!

Not wanting to write this post without doing a little research on my favorite apple, I found out that a man by the name of John McIntosh, a farmer in Dundela, Dundas County, Ontario, Canada, gave his name to the apple that he had grown (apparently by crossing a Fameuse and a Detroit Red) and introduced this humble little apple in 1870.

The original tree was badly scorched when a fire burned down the McIntosh farmhouse in 1894. But the old Mac limped on, yielding its last crop in 1908. It fell over two years later, and a stone memorial now marks the site. I just love this kind of stuff! Who knew?

So-o-o, as September is the month of harvest for the Macintosh Apple, I will very soon be partaking of my very favorite apple of all time, mmm-mm!

Why am I musing about Macintosh Apples on this particular Monday you may well ask? Well, it is because that in just a few days there will be a very special delivery Macintosh Apple arriving upon my doorstep...

My present little laptop is not allowing me to download videos from my camera, and with our Sweeter Than Chocolate study just around the corner, that could be a problem. So, trusting God every step of the way, my husband has blessed me with a new Macintosh Apple, that I may continue on in what the Lord has instructed me to do.

As I am presently using Windows XP, there will be a huge learning curve here, so if you are so inclined... pray for me please! It also seems to be a perfect time to begin working on designing a new blog 'makeover'... you will know it has happened when you see it!

It just amazes me that from such a little seed an apple tree grows, producing a harvest of apples to nourish, and to provide more seeds to plant. May this new Macintosh Apple that the Lord has provided me produce a kingdom harvest for our God!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fun - Food - Fellowship and the August Giveaway Drawing!

Early yesterday evening, I loaded up the car with a lemon meringue pie, a dessert loaf, two handmade journals, a picnic basket and a few other odds and ends. I was heading over to Linda's house where our Summer in the Psalms Windup would shortly be taking place. Linda, who had also followed along with the Summer in the Psalms had kindly opened up her home so that we could continue our summer theme in her lovely garden.

As the girls began to arrive it was fun to see them gather in the backyard gazebo, place down their sumptuous offerings of food, squeal and hug like crazy, and get caught up on each other after a long and eventful summer.

Linda's husband Bob was available to take everyone on a pre-dinner garden tour, but it was our gardener Edna who got a head start on us all! I had to literally run to catch up to them to snap this picture before they headed off again. (Do you think Edna looks happy?) Bob had recently come in 4th out of 3,000 entries in the BC Best of Gardens competition sponsored by the Sun newspaper; his garden has been featured in Garden’s West and has been included on the Maple Ridge Garden Tour, so this was a highlight of the evening indeed!

Another highlight of the evening and centre piece of the garden is a full sized play-house... big girl size!

Some of us were more ready to play than others - I just love it when the 'little girl' in all of us comes out to play! Although truthfully, it didn't take but a few minutes and everyone was ready to move into this lovely wee house!


Here are Linda and Jan on the little porch of the playhouse, getting to know one another better. I wish I could have had my camera ready, to capture the expression on her face, when Linda found out that Jan was born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho... Bob and Linda lived in Bonners Ferry, Idaho for years, so this was a sweet connection indeed. I mean really, how many people do you meet that come from Idaho?


One of my personal pleasures of this evening came from watching all my sister-girlfriends all coming together at one time, in one place. It was lovely to see those that God has so lovingly placed in my life getting to know one another, I have always thought of the precious women in my life as the flowers of my life garden and so this particular setting was very poignant for me.



Then it was time to eat... and there was p-l-e-n-t-y of good and sumptuous food for all!



Everyone found and settled into their own gathering place in the garden and into the 'breaking of bread' together.





As the evening sun began to sink deeper and twilight began to bathe the garden, the little scattering of garden lights began to make their luminous showing and deeper conversation and sharing began to flow.



Peek a boo!



Oh, I almost forgot! We had our August Summer in the Psalms Giveaway drawing that same evening - I thought that because Linda was our lovely hostess that she should be the one to draw the name out of the cup... she put her whole self into this endeavour...




...and pulled out her own name! Congratulations Linda! May God bless you as you journal your way through our next study 'Sweeter Than Chocolate'!

It was a truly lovely evening. Every one of us have busy, full lives, yet in the midst of it all God purposed us to be together for this one, very special evening... I am still basking in the afterglow of it all!


With love,
P.S. If you would like to hear more reflections about this evening, read some of the comments from yesterdays posting - I'm a little late in posting the pictures and the girls just couldn't wait, ...Sisters, You Gotta Love 'Em!

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