Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Haven * autumn nesting delights

Our homes are meant to be welcoming havens,
not secured fortresses.
 
These scuffed doors are just begging to be opened wide,
not bolted shut.
 
Those tables are designed be generously shared,
not surfaces to display a lonesome centerpiece.

 
 
 
We were created to do life in the company of others.  There is that deep cry of the heart to live in community, to be fully present to those God brings onto our pathways, to open our doors to fellow sojourners in need of safe harbor.  This simple offering of ourselves, our bread, and a resting place is a most sacred calling.

And the beauty of it all is that there's not one right way to live this out. 

We've each got our own quirky personality, special giftedness, unique life story, and housing situation.  The practical hands-on application of living out this call to hospitality will sparkle and shine with our own individual imprint. 
 
We've been hoodwinked along the way by the glossy magazine spreads and the way-too-perfect Pinterest pins.  We have gullibly bought the lie that our homes must be immaculate and decorated 'just so' before we put the welcome mat out.  But that's simply not biblical.  We are called, dare I say, commanded, to open our hearts to the worn and weary. 
 
1 Peter 4:9 tells us to 'cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.'  Other translations include the clear warning to do so without grumbling.
 
And that joy, my friend, is the secret. 
 
Simply put, God absolutely loves when we grab hold of these cheerful giving opportunities.  The offering of a safe haven to another soul is a gift back to Him, the overflowing of a grateful heart that has experienced grace and blessing.  Even, and especially, when it's been a long week or we don't have much more than a can of soup in the cupboard.  Or when there's dust on every surface and piles are strewn from here to there.




That's when His grace kicks in and His power is displayed.  Because it's all about Him and not about us.

The truth is this ... 
 
Somebody, somewhere, needs something that only you can offer.
 
And He, the Multiplier of the most ordinary of loaves and fish, is able to take our feeble offerings and turn them into priceless, life-altering, abundant gifts for a weary heart that needed the listening ear and the prayerful companionship that only you could give.
 
Because when all is said and done, the roof over our heads and the bread on our tables are not ours.
 
They're His.


 
 
    
* * * GIVEAWAY UPDATE! * * *

Every comment you're leaving during this autumn nesting delights house party puts you in the running for one of the two giveaways of Myquillyn Smith's book, THE NESTING PLACE.

And like any decent party, there's going to be a goodie bag waiting for EVERYONE
who's joined in the discussion along the way!

There's still plenty of room at the table for YOU to join in the discussion!  The giveaway ends Friday, October 24th at noon {eastern. US only, please.}  Here's the details of the giveaway and links to all the posts.

*

sharing life with Holley

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pets * autumn nesting delights

There's no four-footed furry creatures padding around our place. 
 
The man was traumatized when he was a little guy as dogs chased him down the street, nipping at his fast-moving heels on his daily trek home from school.
 
Sigh.
 
And there's nothing with blue and white wings obsessively gnawing on the window sills like they used to, no black silken coats sidling up to be stroked.  There's not a creature that barks {unless one of us has had a particularly gruesome day} and if one of us is wide awake at night, we can't put the blame on some wee rodent endlessly racing on a squeaky wheel.

There's no Oreo or Ariel.  No Piper or Josie or Chirpie or Spice who call these four walls their home.
 
But ... there are ducks.




Four of them to be exact.

The good news is that they don't bear our last name, but our neighbors'.  And I just love it when they come to call.

Whether they're slowly waddling around like they own the place or gleefully chasing each other across the lawn, one goes nowhere without the other three in tow.  And I can't help but believe that they really seem to enjoy visiting with us before merrily heading back down the driveway toward home where they belong.

Their not-too-early morning quackings are music to my ears.  Really.  Their zany group dynamics are amusing for this counselor to behold.  And best yet?

We don't have to feed them.  Clean up their messes.  Pay their vet bills.  Or do a blessed thing except sit back and enjoy their antics.

Quack.  Quack.

As we were all hanging around talking about our wardrobes the other day, Andrew happened to mention that he was enjoying the company of his 17 pit bulls ... 'kinda like big happy throw pillows,' he mused. 

So ... this online welcome mat is out for you and your pets!  Do tell us about your animals!

 
*    *    *    GIVEAWAY UPDATE!    *    *    *
 
Every comment you're leaving during this autumn nesting delights house party puts you in the running for one of the two giveaways of Myquillyn Smith's book, THE NESTING PLACE.
 
And like any decent party, there's going to be a goodie bag waiting for EVERYONE
who's joined in the discussion along the way!
 
I just can't wait! 
 
There's still plenty of room at the table for YOU to join in the discussion!  The giveaway ends Friday, October 24th at noon {eastern.  US only, please.}  Here's the details of the giveaway and links to all the posts. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Builders * autumn nesting delights

A wise woman builds her home,
but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
 
Those who follow the right path fear the Lord;
those who take the wrong path despise Him.
Proverbs 14:1-2 {NLT}


 
 
God ~
 
Honestly, we're fools if we think that we're not being destructive when we carelessly react rather than thoughtfully respond to what's going on in our families.
 
When we're hurt or frustrated or scared or disappointed, give us an extra shot or two of that desperately needed patient graciousness.  Help us to take a deep breath ... and calm our racing hearts with the gentle whisper of Your Spirit's presence.  Remind us, once again, that You have called us to be builders of godly character and builders of loving relationships. 
 
Ernest eternal Kingdom builders.
 
And we can be these kind of women and men only by Your always necessary grace.
 
Please don't give up on us!  Mold and make us to be saner, wiser, holier.  And fill us to overflowing so what we pour into those awaiting souls around us are merciful, lifegiving springs of living water.
 
For Your Glory ~
Amen.
 
 
Two Years Later, Remembering
1923 - 2012
 
=
 
Leave a prayerful thought on this post and you'll put yourself in the the running
for one of the two giveaways of Myquillyn Smith's book, THE NESTING PLACE
 
Click here for the details of the giveaway
and
 the links to all the autumn nesting delights posts.
 
=
 
building with Courtney

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wardrobe * autumn nesting delights

This ain't no fashion blog.  And I'm not about to become some kind of expert on the latest styles or trends. 
 
That's just not gonna happen in this lifetime.
 
It's just that we're packing up the summertime gear, the tank tops, the tees, the shorts, the sandals.  And we're opening the cedar chests, unzipping the garment bags, pulling out the big 'ol plastic totes crammed with an assortment of winterwear accumulated over many seasons past. 
 
 
 
 
And many of us are letting out a sigh.  We're feeling a bit uninspired ... and maybe a tad overwhelmed.  And not all that excited about the random collection that awaits to keep our bodies covered and snug in the months ahead.
 
I'm a big believer in the 80 / 20 rule.  And I think it applies to what's jammed into our closets and stuffed into dresser drawers.  The truth is this ...
 
We only wear 20% of our stuff 80% of the time.
 
So ... what if we were to let go of all the clothing that didn't make us smile.  Each and every garment that was too binding or too tiny.  Scratchy, quite unflattering, or long past its day.
 
My closet is barer than it's ever been and I'm still working on releasing what just isn't cutting it for me anymore.  It's a continual process.  And I'm good with that.  If some article of clothing doesn't fit my body well in this season of life, it's outta there.  And as we head into winter if it's not soft and fleece-y, warm and stretchy, I'm simply done with it. 
 
Because I've discovered that I don't need a huge array of clothes. 
Just the ones that call my name. 
 
If this whole idea sounds like it might work for where you are right about now and you need a jumpstart in heading in that direction, check out Project 333.  It's a minimalist wardrobe challenge where you dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. 
 
And it's not for women only, guys. 
 
This invitation could be the key to bringing a smile of relieved gratitude when you stand in front of your closet in the morning.  Because instead of moaning that you've got nothing to wear, you'll only see the good stuff that you really truly want to reach for.
 
What a freeing way to start the day.  'Cause you've got bigger fish to fry, and so do I.
 
By the way, I'm still keeping the flip flops on.  Even if it is mid-October in the northeast.
 
So ... what's happening in your closet?
 
 *
 
Like this?  Check out
 
Each and every comment you're leaving during this autumn nesting delights series puts you in the running for one of the two giveaways of Myquillyn Smith's book, THE NESTING PLACE.  
 
 The details of the giveaway and links to all the posts are here.
 
*
 
doing life with Kristen

Monday, October 13, 2014

Slumber * autumn nesting delights

You KNOW that autumn's arrived in all its wondrous, life-giving glory when ...


you spread a treasured patchwork quilt on the bed and tuck in the heaviest flannel sheets


and gently drape yet another quilt on top ... that old frayed and raggedy one


you fling open the window wide and breathe the freshest, crispest air deep into your lungs


eyes close peacefully as you burrow into the soft nest of pillow and warm bed coverings, breathing deep as you pray yourself into the slumber that slowly takes hold of soul, mind, and body 


His angels smile as they silently orchestrate and protect the rejuvenating sleep of His beloved


and the sacred benediction of the moonlit night's stillness overshadows all else



 
//
 
Each and every comment you're leaving during this autumn nesting delights series puts you in the running for one of the two giveaways of Myquillyn Smith's book, THE NESTING PLACE
 
I'd so love to know that you've been spending time with us during this beloved transitional season.
 
The details of the giveaway and links to all the posts are here.
 
//
 
visiting with Holley

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dwell * autumn nesting delights

Oh Beloved Shelterer of our Hearts ~
 
How we praise You! 
 
You have been so very faithful!
 
You've drawn us close to Your loving self and shielded our weary souls in the middle
of the ups and downs that have caught us off guard and left us reeling.
 
Keep on nesting us in the protective shadow of Your strengthening wings.  Give us
the powerful protection we crave even as we emerge to do battle with the enemy, to share
Your Kingdom-spreading love, to live lives worthy of the holy calling You've placed on us.
 
We glory in that sacred dwelling place, the sweet strong refuge that is Your heart.
 
Give us strength to live out that treasured truth as we make our way through
the twists and turns in the road that are sure to lie ahead.
 
And our souls will overflow with gratitude.
 
By Your Grace ~
Amen
 
  
 
 
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 
I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'
 
Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
 
He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart ...
 
If you make the Most High your dwelling - even the Lord, who is my refuge -
then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
 
For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you in in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone ...
 
'Because He loves Me,' says the Lord, ' I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.
 
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
 
I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.'
Psalm 91: 1-4, 9-12, 14-16
 
 
//
 
I invite you to share your prayerful thoughts ... and in doing so, you'll put yourself in the the running
for one of the two giveaways of Myquillyn Smith's book, THE NESTING PLACE
 
Click here for the details of the giveaway and the links to all the series' posts.
 
Sabbath's purest, kindest blessings to you, dear reader.
 
//
 

dwelling with Barbie  .  Lisha  .  Courtney
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