Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kindness and Goodness

Number five and six in the list of Fruits of the Spirit are kindness and goodness. It seems proper to discuss these together because, in my opinion, one is the result of the other. Naked Fruit identifies kindness as an action, and goodness as the cause of that action. Because goodness comes from within, our actions speak of our heart. Kindness is the hands-on version of loving on others. With goodness in our heart, we are motivated to call a lonely widow, to offer words of encouragement to those struggling, to provide meals to a family who is grieving...the list of possibilities to show kindness is unlimited.

Too often, we find ourselves drained by the "stuff" imposed by our culture and we don't have the time/energy to show the kindness. I think this is one way we come up short on the Fruit of goodness. We need to keep our hearts tender to the concerns of others, ie. goodness. We need to allow others to come alongside us, ie. receive kindness, so that we can pass it on.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Beautiful Blog Award

Doesn't this make for a lovely day!

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award and link to their blog.

I am so honored to have been granted this Beautiful Blog Award by ArtsyFartsy Shopaholic. A huge THANK YOU to this lovely, classy woman. AFS has such good taste and a real talent for hospitality.

2. Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers who have a beautiful blog.

Here are my picks:

A. Artsy Fartsy Shopaholic...she has such style. Be sure to check out her posts on Create My Event on Fridays. Very clever!

B. Under the Table and Dreaming...lots of creative ideas for all ages and styles.

C. The Little Red Shop...I just love her artistic, cottage-y style and the music is a nice touch. Hope her Peep gets better.

D. Transforming a busy mom of three boys, she still has the heart and creativity for some really great decorating ideas for real life.

E. My Yellow House...she has chosen a simpler life style that emphasizes the beauty in everyday life.

F. Three Dogs at Home...She says, "Dogs don't go to college." I can't help but have a soft spot for someone who loves dogs. I find myself in a similar stage in life.
G. Rare and Beautiful Treasures...just a beautiful site in word, spirit, attitude and eye candy.

3. Contact the other bloggers and let them know they won.


4. Post 7 things about yourself.

a. Well, I am an empty nester who has lots of creative time on her hands. Hence, the blog.

b. I have been a Registered Nurse for 26 years, mostly High Risk OB.

c. Hopefully, my next career will be as a decorator. I recently became certified in redesign and staging.

d. I have over 35 hours of flight training, including a solo flight across three states.

e. I love power tools and am not afraid of trying to do any DIY, including installing hardwood floors and repairing the dishwasher.

f. I am a child of God; I have to frequently plop this lump of clay back on the Potters Wheel.
g. I am really technology challenged and this is a stretch for me.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I enjoyed a lovely Saturday morning exploring a local farm, especially their wildflowers. I took this photo of a stump that had been turned upside down because it looks very "artistic". Sometimes just looking at something, or a situation, or another person, from a different angle will help us see their beauty. Often we don't have the luxury of time to learn about the roots of the situation or how we got to this point. We need to exercise patience to really love that person. I know that I rarely have any idea what made that clerk rude or that speeding car cut me off or the string of events that led to such a snarky comment. When we remember that our Creator has such patience with us and all our missteps, it is only fair to pass this grace on to others. Patience is loving the unlovely, again and again.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Recipe: Crunchy Asian Salad

Occasionally I will pick up one of those little recipe books at the checkout line in the grocery store. I am really enjoying this one: "Simple Healthy Meals by Betty Crocker." My family and I have really enjoyed everything I have tried out of this magazine. Here's one we had recently:

Healthified Crunchy Asian Salad
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 package (3oz) ramen noodles, any flavor
1 bag (16oz) coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
8 medium green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1x1/8 strips
2 seedless oranges, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped

1. In large bowl, beat dressing ingredients with whisk until sugar is dissolved.
2. Break up noodles in bag, discard seasoning pkt. Add noodles and all remaining ingredients except oranges and spinach, to dressing, toss to coat. Stir in oranges and spinach (gently).
Note: The noodles do not stay crunchy very long, but leftovers are still delicious.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Third on the list of the Fruits of the Spirit is peace. A peaceful Saturday morning might look like an extra hour or two of sleep followed by an excellent cup of coffee with a good book, all still in pjs. It would seem that "the moons lined up" for a peaceful morning. True peace is really less about ideal activities and more about contentment with your reality. Peace is possible when you are resting in relationship with God. In this relationship, there is calm confidence, i.e. peace, in each turn of the path.

I am reading a wonderful book called Naked Fruit by Elisa Morgan. I don't know anyone who doesn't want more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Luckily these fruits are produced by the Gardener, God.


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Next on the list of the Fruits of the Spirit is joy. Of all the characteristics listed, I want more of this one especially. Joy is so much more than that warm feeling when you get a present or when the dinner was (not burnt) good. It is so often confused with happiness, the root of which is hap which means chance. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that "happens" based on chance. Do you know someone who seems to be emotionally up and down like a roller-coaster, usually due to unpredictable circumstances. Joy is based on your confidence in God. In fact, it is a statement of how big you think God is in your life. Just as these wildflowers are blooming in the middle of decay, a life anchored in God can be joyful.
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I am sure you have heard things like "Love makes the world go round," or "All we need is love," or "Love one another." Interestingly, it is the first in a list of characteristics that everyone would aspire to claim. I am talking about the Fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. Most weddings I have attended include the description of love found in 1Cor 13: patient, kind, not envious or boastful, not proud or rude or self-seeking, not easily angered. It does not mention that you have to be nice all the time. Who can be nice all the time? It really isn't loving to allow an unruly child to go without correction. It really isn't loving to not tell your friend she has a giant poppy seed in her teeth (you know who you are!). Thankfully, this kind of love is about the choice to behave in these ways to even those who are un-lovely at that moment. And, thankfully, God grows this in us. What might be holding you back from giving-or receiving-love?
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pillows: when you HAVE to craft!

You know that I LOVE red! I had burgundy pillows on my couch for the longest time because it went with the rug, but I prefer the good ole fire engine red with a folk art-ish feel. This was a little piecing, a little applique and a few vintage trims. I can easily change the covers when I change my mind again! Sometimes, you just gotta craft!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Decorations

I wanted to share my latest crafty project. I blew out eggs....quiche for dinner!...and decoupaged with cut out napkins. On a few, I just painted my favorite robin's egg blue and speckled (I know, really huge for robin standards.) Notice how cute they are snuggled in and around the lovely turned wood pieces my husband made. Maybe I can keep my Martha card.
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Real World Easter Brunch

Perhaps after seeing this photo, I will have to hand in my Martha card. I have seen such lovely photos of tablescapes all over blog world. The centerpieces are color and style coordinated to go with the home's decor and the wonderful feeling of spring. The dishes are lovely with china and crystal. Fresh flowers and several eggs and bunnies are certain to make an appearance.
We have been basking in the beauty and hope of spring all weekend. There has been lots of time for laughing and sharing and living...not so much for angst in the dining room. We are rejoicing in the hope that Sunday brings- He is alive indeed! Our Savior defeated death that we may have this hope.
After sleeping in a little (Saturday morning), we enjoyed good coffee, breakfast casserole, biscuits and gravy. Our daughter and her husband were with us...a little mature for Easter bunnies but there were treasures to be had. We have much to be thankful for.
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