etc. What about you? What stresses are you dealing with right now?
But even as I am typing this, I notice now that outside the storm is subsiding. It’s becoming quieter and still.
I remember that when the disciples were terrified of a violent storm on the lake, fearing that they would die, Jesus–who had been peacefully sleeping in the boat–stood up and rebuked the winds and the waves.
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:38-41, KJV)
Yes, tonight, I choose to think about this: Jesus commanding the winds and the waves to stop. And He’s speaking this to my soul, too: “Peace, be still.”
“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”–Abraham Lincoln
I had a great Mother’s Day weekend and hope you did, too. The best part for me was seeing our precious, beautiful daughters Heather and Leah. I went by to see our middle daughter Eden, but she was working late until that night. Hopefully I can see her this week when she is off work.
Heather bought me a sweet card and beautiful fresh red roses, my favorite flowers–so thoughtful of her!
Heather works full-time, stays constantly busy and on the go, and lives almost an hour away from me here in Butler. So it was a real treat for her to drive here with her girls Annabelle and Violet and take me out to lunch at the Mexican restaurant, El Charro.
Heather and the girls then stopped by our house to see our black cat with green eyes, Natalya, for the first time. Violet loved her! Natalya is shy, so I was really glad she allowed them to pet and even hold her!
Their visit was very short and sweet, because Heather had an errand to run, but I’m so thankful that I was able to see them and spend time with them for this special holiday!
On actual Mother’s Day Sunday, our youngest daughter Leah treated me to lunch at El Charro, too (we both love Mexican and I can never have too much chips and salsa!). Seeing our daughters made my whole weekend!
The restaurant staff also blessed me with a free dessert for Mothers’ Day: it was a creamy, yummy cake with strawberries!
I’m so thankful that I was able to do this with Leah. It made my whole day.
My husband Ray bought me a beautiful butterfly card (I love butterflies!) and a Chicken Soup for the Soul book, The Empowered Woman. What the card read inside about me being beautiful and what he wrote about me as a mom meant the most to me and deeply touched me.
To treat myself afterward, I planted some flowers in my flower bed that I’d bought at the Mennonite store in town, the Stoplight Market, where I purchased them last year. All this is a lot of hard work, and I was very sore the next day! I posted a meme on Facebook which read, “My glutes are on FIYAH!”
My friend Stephanie urged me to buy mulch for the flower bed, so the rains wouldn’t wash away the petunias. I went the next day to buy the mulch and put it down to protect the flowers.
I love having creamy coffee and drinking it in our sunroom in the morning. It’s a great place to just pray to God and watch the birds, squirrels, butterflies, and bunny rabbits.
My mother-in-law Judy bought me this beautiful, little glass table for the sunroom. Ilove it! It is perfect for my coffee, flowered cactus, and aloe vera plant.
Our cat Natalya loves our sunroom as much as I do, but for different reasons. She intently watches the birds and the squirrels, anticipating a kill if she could only get outside (she’s an indoor-only house cat!).
I bought a few herbs for my sunroom: wonderful-smelling lavender, oregano to use in cooking dishes like spaghetti, and beautiful purple Salvia. I never leave our cat alone in the sunroom with the plants, as some can be toxic. The door stays locked when I’m not in there.
Last year I planted a big butterfly bush to entice butterflies, which I love. It blossomed well, and drew butterflies in my garden. But Missouri can have harsh, cold winters and it’s likely the ice and the snow killed the poor, little plant. I wasn’t able to find a big plant I really liked for that corner, so I bought a Celtic Cross.
I am proclaiming it is a prophetic declaration for me visiting Ireland, one of the things on my bucket list! Irish legend says that Saint Patrick was trying to convert the pagans to Christianity. Some of these pagans worshiped the sun, so it is said that he combined the cross with the circular pattern of the sun as a way to associate light and life with the Christian cross in the mind of his converts. I think it adds a unique touch to the garden.
I also put new bark mulch around my roses. Last year I planted my first rose garden. Two of the rose bushes look somewhat sad this spring, so they may have to be uprooted and replaced. I’m not sure they survived the winter. The other two rose bushes are doing well, and one is already blooming beautifully.
I bought bags of black sunflower and other little seeds to draw the red cardinals, sparrows, purple finches, blue jays, and other beautiful birds in our yard. I’ve already seen the male and female red cardinals in our yard. The red male cardinal is my special sign of love from God, and it makes me so happy to see one!
I’ve also seen purple finches and mourning doves. Doves make beautiful sounds in the morning and are among my other favorite birds. An interesting fact about doves is that they mate for life.
Last year my mother-in-law Judy bought me the squirrel-proof feeder on the left in the pic below. The squirrels are greedy, and practically do acrobatics on the feeders, even going upside down, to try to get to the seeds and eat them.
I also put back out the hummingbird feeder with sugar water, and have already seen hummingbirds at them. I love the hummingbirds; they are so little and cute!
To make safe hummingbird food (there is controversy whether the red dye is safe or toxic to hummingbirds), mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water and bring to a boil to kill any bacteria or mold that is present. Cool and fill your feeder. They love it! This morning I saw a big black and yellow bumblebee at the feeder; they like it, too, so be careful. I was stung by a bee on my foot as a child, and my foot was swollen to twice its size, so I’m allergic to bees.
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”–Ashley Smith
The previous owners of this house had planted two pink peony bushes on the side yard. They are now blooming beautifully. My friend Stephanie said these are her favorite flowers, and that if I take care of them, they can grow as big as saucers.
I have a few more goals for our yard. One is to get a white trellis for the Wisteria tree, that Ray suggested I buy and plant last year. We put it in the front of our house by the little porch. It is now taking over our house, and friends of mine advised to get a trellis to train its growing “arms,” so it won’t destroy the siding on our home.
“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book; give it, give it all, give it now.”
This is a quote by Annie Dilliard, who won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction for her book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. She also wrote The Writing Life, other books, poetry, and essays.
I’ve met many people who say, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” Then years later, they are still saying this and they haven’t done it yet…or even started!
I’ve heard it said that the cemetery is the richest place on earth because people are buried there, sometimes with their dreams and their gifts still inside of them. I don’t want to see you go to the grave with your gifts–your book–buried with you!
It’s time to write your book!
This September 2018, I’m hosting a writers’ retreat in the small, rural town of Butler, Missouri, so aspiring authors can do just that–write or finish their books in peaceful solitude!
Let’s get started and get it done! I’m your Book Midwife, helping you to birth your “book baby” to delivery!
On May 18, 2018, I’m raising the Early Bird Price of this retreat from $25 to $55.
The price when you sign up and pay includes:
2 nights’ stay at the lovely, immaculate Bethany House in Butler, MO (you are getting 2 for the price of one!);
breakfast and snacks, coffee, and purified water--you can bring your own special foods to cook or fix for lunch and supper, or we can go out together to local restaurants;
a “Chic Flic” Friday fun night with popcorn and chocolate (if a man attends with his wife, he will join my husband for a “man cave” night);
a Saturday morning devotional time as we seek God together to use this gift for His glory;