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September 30, 2011

faith walk friday #3

Welcome back for faith walk friday #3.  If you don't already, I encourage you to come back after a day or two and read the comments.  I am always blessed and encouraged by what you share.

I hate to admit it but I've had to work myself up to this particular faith walk subject.  God knew I would need a fresh testimony to share, so he gave me a couple of challenges to walk through this week just in case I was thinking of soft peddling this one.  No such luck, so here goes...

on being married - I reread what I wrote on this particular subject in my first faith walk friday post and the comments that went with it.  I have been married for twenty eight years and can honestly say that I still love my husband dearly (in fact, in many ways more that ever) and I believe with all my heart that he still loves me.  My biggest fear at this point in our marriage is that we (I) don't give our marriage the proper attention that it needs and deserves.  In the same way that my quiet time strengthens my relationship with Jesus, quiet time with my husband strengthens our bond.  With all the busyness of life, alone time can easily (and often,) get pushed to the back burner. 

Case in point...

On any given weekday I come home from work to the dog barking loudly enthusiastically at my return, my three year old grandson ready for a hug and some grandma time, my husband transitioning from time at home to work time (he works nights) and the daily need to put a somewhat healthy dinner on the table.  The first two happen by demand (theirs not mine) and the last is pretty much automatic pilot but the middle, my husband. can easily be overlooked and then before I know it he is gathering his things and heading out the door. 

This week, after a heated discussion, (yes, we have those) he asked me where he ranked? 

Ouch...my first response was to put on my Martyr's Mask (laced with a little indignant anger just for good measure) and rattle off a list of excuses.  After he left for work and the house was quiet, God reminded me that my husband's place is just below Him...not after my grandson, or the dog or dinner.  What does it say to him about our marriage that I give my most precious commodity, my time, to others before him?

What would it say to me?

I would be hurt and discouraged and would probably conclude that my spouse didn't need or appreciate me.  The thought of him feeling this way both saddens and terrifies me.  Saddens me because this is the farthest thing from the truth and terrifies me because I know my husband is a good man, one that any number of women would certainly make time for.

I can make lots of good excuses as to why my priorities are as they are and they might be justified as an exception but there is absolutely no reason for them to be the rule.  I am a creative person who makes time for lots of extra curricular activities, I should be able to creatively juggle my schedule to make time to give the most important person in my life my full attention for a few moments when I get home from work.  I could crate the dog, have my daughter keep my grandson upstairs for a little while and sit with my husband before heading to the kitchen.  Sounds simple enough...

Am I alone here?  Did I touch a nerve?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Faithfully His, Patty

September 28, 2011

looking forward

With October just a few days away, I've started to look ahead to the holidays.  Last year I tried to accomplish more than time would allow and ended a bit frazzled, so this year I've made up my mind that what I plan to get done needs to be finished by the first week of December.

Whatever sewing projects, gift making, decorating and major cleaning that's not done by that time will just have to wait until after the holidays.

Time with precious little ones in the month of December will be my priority.

Baking, crafting, caroling and Santa visits will be the order of the day...

Silly faces, wish lists, It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, The Christmas Story, The Grinch and Frosty the Snow Man with a new generation, are on my agenda...

Quieting my spirit, time for reflection, remembering the true meaning of Christmas are at the top of my list...

Hot cocoa, old movies, time under a quilt with my hubby are what's important. 

What memories do you plan on making?  Did I miss any must see family Christmas movies?  Won't you share? 


btw...this adorable little fall munchkin is my granddaughter Emily.  Trying to get her to pose in the new dress grandma made her was quiet the challenge but so much fun!

September 25, 2011

fall trimmings

I love to pull out the trimmings for Lemon Lane Cottage each season...

Whether it be spring or summer,

fall or winter.

It's like that fresh feeling you get after a new cut and color from the stylist (if I were to color my hair, that is...wink, wink).

There is just something about the anticipation of a new season that brings this old cottage new life.  Moving things from here to there kind of gives everything a fresh start...and couldn't we all use that once in a while?

I know I'm a couple of days late, but Happy, Happy Fall!

September 22, 2011

faith walk friday #2

When I wrote last Friday's faith walk post I didn't expect to have so much to say on the subject.  After a few sentences I knew this was something that was going to take some time to develop and from the comments I received, you agree.  So welcome back for faith walk friday #2.

I think I'll just break it down to a bullet or two at time..

on being fifty - I realized after last weeks comments that chronological age has very little to do with our faith walk.  The circumstances of our life may be seasonal but our dependency, (or lack there of) on God alone, cannot be measured by the number of years we walk on this earth.  We can choose to live out each day acknowledging God's goodness, presence and desire to lead us or we can choose to go it alone. 

Looking back over the last few decades, I can tell by my choices and the resulting consequences, when I let God lead and when I thought I could handle it,

in my way,
on my terms,
in my own time.

Thankfully, God was there every time I crashed and burned, to pick up the pieces and set me on the right path.

I know women who can honestly say that they wouldn't change anything about the past because it has made them into the woman of god that they've become and to a certain extent, I agree.  I know I am more forgiving and compassionate and far less judgemental because of my life experiences and I suppose that makes me more real and approachable but I can't say that I wouldn't love the opportunity to make different choices, to not have done so many things the hard way.  To desire to please God first and not be willing to sacrifice my relationship with Him to please man, would certainly be my hearts desire. 

While I can't go back, I do have a God who loves me because it is who he is, just as you physically are a woman by your very nature, God is love by His and he promises to remember my sins no more, to blot them out and make me white as snow.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever more.  Why wouldn't my desire be to please Him at any age?

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Faithfully His, Patty

September 21, 2011

old wood floor

Now I know what this old wood floor was created for…

Chubby bare foot toes in flannel pajamas…

Big rigs and choo-choo trains…

Too many toys for one little boy…

Endless hours of made up stories and big adventures…

 Precious. Childhood. Memories.

September 20, 2011

bringing fall indoors

Okay, so the finicky weather isn't cooperating outside (we climbed toward 90 degrees again today) but I refuse to let that stop me from embracing the change of season inside.

Now that my fall candles are burning and I've taken my first pumpkin spice cake out the oven, there's no stopping me!

I've been playing around in the entryway.  I moved the little wicker basket over to the buffet and replaced it with this white metal pitcher.  I remembered that I tucked these silk flowers away for a wreath on the front door but decided they were just too pretty for outside.  With the addition of this gorgeous ribbon that I found at half price, I must admit I am totally smitten with the arrangement.

I love the height they add to the table, too.

I realize fake flowers have fallen out of favor for the most part but these are just as pretty as can be and I won't have to do anything but dust them until I'm ready to change this display at Christmas time. 

Do you still sneak in an arrangement or two of artificial greens and flowers?

I finished the buffet, the hutch and the mantle, so I still have plenty to share later.  For now I'll leave you with a quick peak at the living room...

I think my cake is cool enough to frost now, so I better get going.  Thanks for stopping by, I so appreciate it.

I'm joining Kim for Wow Us Wednesday...
Grits and Glamour for Keep it Simple...
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday...


September 19, 2011

finding fall

I admit I've been a bit slow finding fall this year...

While searching for something else entirely, I found these absolutely delightful bits of fall yumminess.

I popped one in my cast iron tart burner and lit her up...

and now?


The weather has cooled, the autumn boxes are down from the attic and I have a day all to myself.

I think I'll put on some cinnamon spice tea and dust off my favorite pumpkin bar recipe and get busy. 

It's fall, y'all!

September 18, 2011

morning coffee

Good morning!  I spent much of yesterday puttering around Lemon Lane Cottage getting ready for dinner guests tonight. 

It felt so good to wake up to a sparkling kitchen and freshly baked brownies.  Tonight these will be turned into a special dessert but this morning...

they are the perfect ying to my coffee's yang.
So tell me, are you a fan of sweets with your coffee?

September 16, 2011

faith walk friday

Some of my favorite faith filled blogs are written by thirty something year old women and while I am encouraged and inspired by their words, they are in a different season of their lives than me.  So I started wondering what does the faith walk of a fifty year old, married woman, with grown children and small grandchildren, living in a wannabe cottage, trying to be creative and fulfill my dreams while needing grace and counting my blessings look like? 

And, after walking this thing out all these years where do you even begin?

I was always taught that if you don't know where to start, start with now...so here goes. 

The break down...

on being fifty -  I wish I could say my faith at fifty was that of a mature woman of God, never doubting and always ready with a perfectly memorized scripture.  But Lord knows that would be a lie.  It seems at 50 I still struggle with the same issues I did at ten...being accepted, measuring up, not being a disappointment, basically being the good girl. It takes a lot of effort to keep that image afloat.  My head knows that I am saved by grace and not by works, it's just getting my heart on board that's the problem.  I just bought grace for the good girl by Emily Freeman, hopefully I'll gain some insight from her writings.  I'll let you know next week. 

on being married - When I got married being equally yoked was not even a phrase on my radar.  I loved Jesus and I knew my husband was raised "going to church' but to be honest, he was a really cute drummer in a band and my 21 year old heart was all a flutter... nuff said.  We've made it 28 years the hard way, without Jesus at the center of our relationship.  We've developed an understanding of where we both are in our walk and most of the time have agreed to disagree.  Bridging this gap is still my hearts desire and deepest prayer.

on having grown children - I have two daughters in their twenties.  Most days me and my girls are okay, even pretty tight.  In retrospect, I spent so many years trying to make them into the "good girls" of my dreams that I failed to encourage them in theirs.  This area of my life has so many different dynamics that I think I'll leave it right here, for today.

on having grandchildren - Ahhhh, this is an easy one.  The absolute best thing in the world.  In so many ways one of God's greatest gifts to parents is grandchildren but also one of the biggest responsibilities, too.  I often think of Timothy's godly grandmother and how she shaped and prepared him to be used by God and I remember that God desires no less of me.

on living where I do - We have lived in five different homes in our 28 years of marriage and this little cottage is by far my favorite.  I could be happy here forever.  That being said, I am one who has to work at contentment on a daily basis, the proverbial "grass is always greener" girl.  God and I are working on things like covetousness and idolatry over this little house. 

on being creative - I am forever thankful that God gave me a desire to create beautiful things.  I would love to be able to use those gifts to serve Him when I retire from work in a couple of years. 

on having dreams - I had hoped that by fifty I would have achieved so much more than I have but I realize that God uses each season of my life to develop me for what is to come.  I realize now that my finite dreams do not even come close to His dreams for me.  So while I still have things I hope to accomplish, I am fully expectant that he will continue to guide me and direct my path, placing me exactly where I need to be to best be used by Him.

on receiving grace - Oh how I wish I could re-do and un-do areas of my past life.  Things I squandered time and money on...things I wish I'd stood up for...things I wish I'd let go of...but I can't.  I can only receive God's grace in these areas and move forward, really accepting God's forgiveness and not wasting today on what I can't change about yesterday.

on being blessed - Where do I start for fear of leaving something out?  I'll start this week simply with being chosen by God to be his...it all stems from there.

I'll share in a little more detail next week.  I'd love to hear your faith walk today...Leave me a comment or a link if you post about it.

Faithfully His, Patty

September 14, 2011

rediscovery hidden gems

Last weekend my husband finished pulling the carpet up on the stairs and made it into my grandson's bedroom exposing this gorgeous floor.

After giving the newly revealed floor a good cleaning, I couldn't help but notice how the shadows of the window panes made the sun dance across it.

To think it was there all along hidden under wall to wall carpet just waiting to be revealed.  I suppose when the previous owner had it covered in carpet the thrill of the old wooden floor had faded and carpet provided the warmth and comfort they desired. 

I can imagine the children who slept in that room before, playing with their cars and trucks and dolls and buggies just the way I know my grandson will play with his toys now.

Isn't it funny how what was old and worn to them, is fresh and new to me?  It didn't take long for Bear to feel at home on it either.

My simple pleasure this week is rediscovering hidden gems for a new generation.

I'm joining Dayle for Simple Pleasures...

September 13, 2011

winding down

My walk in the garden this morning was a little bittersweet.  The flowers are loosing their luster and the bushes and shrubs are starting to fade to gold. 

The perennial garden is definitely winding down...

While I know fall is knocking on the door, I've resisted the urge to bring on the mums.  It just seems that what's left blooming in the garden is working so hard to shine.  I kind of wanted to give them their last well deserved, "Hoorah".

How can I rush to the next season when the roses are struggling to keep their heads held high?

While in my mind I've already begun to plan my spring garden, I am still quite content to enjoy the last of what's blooming now. 

One of the blessings of a Southern California garden is that even though it slows down during the fall and winter, it never truly sleeps.

The impatiens and geraniums will keep me going straight through till spring.  Their constant presence like a dear, old friend, always ready with a smile and a bit of nourishment for the soul.

One of the things that continues to invite me into the garden when there are so many other things vying for my attention, is the proof positive that we were created to be drawn to beauty.  Whether it be the beauty of a glorious flower or the beauty of a generous soul. 

I consider myself blessed to be able to plant a seed, give it a little water and watch it grow, knowing full well that I had very little to do with the outcome but have only been given the chance to a part of the process.