Monday, January 25, 2010


In today's world,
it has become increasingly more difficult to find quiet and rest.

Our culture has become saturated with so much information,
that even when we do find quiet time,
we find our minds in a state of constant activity.

The activity of our minds on any given day is precariously teetering on 'overload'.
Our eyes and our ears are bombarded daily with a deluge of images and voices,
sights and sounds.

TV and the Internet, with the click of a button, can take us from the visual and audible horrors of the bloodiest of deaths and the most horrific carnage of hundreds of people,
to a sit-com with canned laughter, or a gardening show.

Before our minds and emotions have even been able to assimilate or sort through the depth of any one thought...
we 'click' and are taken to another.

Healthy emotions need time to assimilate and sort through what each day, each moment brings us.
All that information that we are taking in goes somewhere in us...
and it needs sorting through.

And oddly enough,
amid all that our senses take in throughout any given day,
we have an inherent need to learn how to listen...
to learn how to really be quiet,
amid all the clamour,
even the clamour of our own minds,
and truly listen.

We are created beings,
and we need to let the Creator of the Universe speak His Wisdom into us.

Ask Him...
and then be quiet.
Take the time,
and listen.

This is where Healing begins.

Be still, and know that I Am God. Psalm 46:10

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Showers of Blessing!

Look at the lovely gifting of tulips, among other things, that my 'Home Girls' blessed me with today. I now have a new book to read, a bird house for my garden, seeds to plant, lovely notepaper and note cards, plenty of fruit to fill my kitchen table basket with and.... a large package of Quinoa! It looks like the Girls are convinced!

So,  as I promised, and as my way of saying Thank You for your showers of blessing upon me this morning, I offer you a variety of recipes for your newly found food... Quinoa! Just click on the collage of recipes below, or click here to go to one of my favourite recipe sites 'Epicurious'... and prepare to enjoy!

With love,
                        recipes and corresponding pictures from Martha

Monday, January 18, 2010

What A Difference A Day Makes...

Saturday morning I awoke to find a heavy mist had draped itself over every bush and shrub and tree. I could hardly make out the familiar landscape outside my windows... but within an hour, the mist had completely lifted and brilliant blue sky and a welcoming bright, warming Sun was beckoning me outside... it was my birthday!

Part of my day was spent in a little village, across the river. My husband knows that this is one of my favorite places to wander through, and so away we went. Truthfully, the sight of all those cheerful Spring flowers sitting out in the fresh morning air, under the warmth of the sun, was all the birthday gift I needed!

We wandered through some of my favourite places....

And saw some of my favourite things...

But one thing that I noticed, was that some of the shops had not yet joined me in my excitement of the knowledge that Spring is (literally) right around the corner.

For instance, the little Hat Shop that I frequently visit, still had it's old Christmas decorations on the door...

While just around the corner, Spring was blooming up and down the sidewalks of Main Street!

The following morning the rains hit once again, and even as I tap away on my keyboard this morning, the winds are gusting up a mini-storm outside my window, leaving raindrops clinging to the pane.

But Spring has already begun to bloom in my heart. My house has been Spring Cleaned and is just waiting for that Sun to beam through it's windows.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

It's amazing all the lovely things that burst into bloom in Spring. The colours and the textures, the varieties and the scents are just absolutely glorious. It's time to step through the Door of Spring and embrace all that comes as the result...

Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new... now it will Spring forth; will you not be aware of it? Isaiah 43:18-19

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Beauty inspires me.
Whether it is the Beauty in a kindness shown or the Beauty found in a raindrop.
Beauty seems to have always been my Inspiration.

Inspiration calls me to see beyond.
I find that Inspiration goes as deep as the Beauty that sent it.

And because Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
Inspiration is a living treasure within my heart,
that finds expression in my daily living,
an outworking of an inward Work.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Musings... Inspired

I've been thinking quite a bit about Inspiration as of late.
And I've found that even the thoughts themselves have proven to be inspirational!

I find myself,
more often than not,
being inspired every day;
And in such wonderful
and unexpected ways!

I also have days when I am completely uninspired.
Days when life just seems too hard;
The pace too fast, without a place to ponder;
The world too loud, without a place for silence;
When words seem too empty,
as they swirl around me from all directions.

But somehow,
Inspiration always breaks through.

I thought it might be fun,
and just plain inspiring...
if you were to share what or perhaps who inspires you.

It has been said that 'inspiration can be compared to a fingerprint,
different for every person'.
That inspiration,
is that which moves the soul, mind and spirit.

I'll be sharing more later,
but I am looking forward to hearing your own musings about,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday Musings... on a Tuesday

While doing a little Christmas shopping this year my husband and I decided to go to a store that we were unfamiliar with. We were no sooner in the door than we realized that if we were going to get in and out quickly (we are not shoppers!) we were going to have to ask for a little direction.

I saw a lovely looking young woman putting together a display and so made a beeline over to her. As I was asking her if she could direct us to the particular items that we were looking for I noticed that she had this odd look on her face. You know the look, all of a sudden you feel like you have spinach in your teeth or that you are coming across as a brainless wonder. After she pointed in the direction that we were to go, I politely thanked her as I quickly ran my tongue over my left eye tooth. As we turned to leave she quickly stepped closer to me, kind of the uncomfortable kind of closer, leaned into my face and as she stared at me she asked.... "Excuse me, but are those your real eyes?"

For a moment I was stunned. For a moment I thought that something weird had happened to my eyes since exiting the car and entering the store. For a moment I felt like a bug pinned to the wall as this young woman peered into my face... I quickly gathered myself and politely answered, "Well, yes, they are." She took a few steps back and said, "Well, they are just lovely!" "Thank you," I replied, as my husband patiently smiled, all the while increasing his pull on my arm.

A hundred years ago we would never have thought of asking someone whether "those were their real eyes"... real breasts, real hair, real teeth, real nails, real lips, real... well, you get the idea.

'Faking it' has become big business and a way of life in today's world. We all do it to some degree or another. Yet this avenue of thought gave me cause to think about the 'innermost parts' of myself. Those parts that are unseen by others but definitely seen by God - and because the word 'real' can be equated with 'true' and the opposite of true is 'false', it started me thinking about my own thoughts and actions that flow from truth... or from falsehood... and the eventual out-workings of both, whether in word or deed.

God tells us that His Word is Faithful and True, just as He Himself is Faithful and True. I don't ever have to wonder when I open my Bible if what I am reading is true, or if what I am reading is real. I may be able to rationalize to a flattering degree the why's and wherefore's of why I do what I do, but God knows the true intentions of my heart, the attitudes that lie within. How 'real', how 'true' are we, with ourselves, with others, before God?

As I mused I thought about God telling us in the Psalms that in us He 'desires Truth in the innermost places'. I thought about Philippians 4 which tells us that we are to let our mind dwell on those things that are True.

Then I thought about this simple conversation...

"Excuse me, Lord, but is all this for real?"
"Well, yes, it is."
"Well, it is just lovely."

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Gift of Time...

My Great Aunt Nell was born in Scotland, the eldest of ten surviving children, in late October, 1877.
Queen Victoria was on the British throne and bearing the title as the newly crowned 'Empress of India'. Alexander Graham Bell had just installed the world's first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario and Johannes Brahms had just premiered his '2nd Symphony in D' in Vienna.

Great Aunt Nell (my father's Aunt) emigrated to Canada as a young woman and settled in a lovely little home in the woods that stood very near to where the old Woodword's Building was eventually built in 1903. My father would tell me stories of how she would take the boat from Vancouver down the river to visit friends for a week and never even lock her door. My Aunt Nell loved to garden and bake and I've been told that every one of her teacups and saucers that she had collected over the years had a lovely story behind it. I believe we would have like each other enormously.

Great Aunt Nell had a much younger sister, Meg, who also chose to come, as a young woman, out to Canada. As a very little girl I remember Aunt Meg, then well into her eighties, smelling like lavender and giving me mushy, wet kisses.

Although Nell never married, Meg did, albeit later in life, and it was in Nell's house that the wedding took place. Nell decorated her home for Meg and her groom and their attendants with fresh garden flowers and streamers and a lovely meal...

...the wedding cake of course, baked and decorated by Nell herself!

Just a few days ago (two days before Christmas) the phone rang and because I was up to my elbows in flour and dough I was unable to answer the call. Once I had tidied up my hands a bit, I listened to the message which was from my Uncle's wife saying that she was going to be in the area and would like to come by for a visit. I hesitated only a minute (due to the state of myself and my kitchen) before calling her right back and inviting her to 'come on over!'.

Within 15 minutes she was at the door. She quickly ran back to her car stating that she had a 'gift' for me, and as she lifted it from the front passenger seat of her car I knew exactly what it was. As I stood in the doorway, I was overcome with emotion and could hardly utter a single word. She understood.

My Great Aunt Nell had a clock. This clock had been with Nell since she was a young girl, had seen her emigration from Scotland to Canada and had stood watching over the joyful wedding day of Meg and Jimmy.

After Nell's death, this clock had been passed on to her sister, my Great Aunt Meg, and upon the death of Meg was passed on to my Uncle, her nephew, my dad's brother.

My uncle was the last of my father's siblings, my own father having passed away 5 years ago. Due to circumstances within the family, I had not seen my uncle for over 30 years, and it was through the passing of my dad that we were re-united and were able to enjoy a sweet, although too short, time together. My gift this Christmas was Aunt Nell's clock.

Time is a truly wonderful Gift that no one but God Himself can give. We mark the passing of time and the anticipation of time with clocks and calendars and birthdays, we say things like 'I don't have time' or ' when I have time'. We say that our memories 'take us back in time' or that our imaginations propel us to 'look ahead in time'. Love stories claim that when two lovers' meet 'time stands still'. In the Spring we say 'we move time ahead', and in the Fall we say that ''we move time back'. Yet Time cannot be manipulated by our desires or by our circumstances, Time simply... Is. Time is, and always has, remained faithful. Time moves always forward, for you can never really go back; and whether we chart it by years, months or hours, Time remains constant... a beautiful, constant, flow.

Time Himself brought Nell and Meg into existence for an ordained period of time upon this earth. And although Time did not have us to be young at the same moment, the flow of Time goes on and the blessing of Time has brought us somehow together.

This New Year's Eve, my husband and I sat in the glow of candlelight as Aunt Nell's clock chimed in the New Year. Each rich, melodious strike of the 150 year old clock, caused me to think of the Gift of Time watching over us... and to give thanks.


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