Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Guest Post by the Sea Kettle Settler

I shot these photos on an autumn jaunt at dusk a few weeks ago.  I immediately thought that they might be perfect fodder for poetry. Luckily for me, my poet-husband just so happened to agree with me. 

Enjoy this lovely bit of writing, significantly more sophisticated than what usually graces this blog! 

that we would scratch the sky with wire, that you would still alight
and dignify our lines with light-boned watchers
in the early evening light

that you would settle there, just seven feet above
our stubborn heads, to tilt them from the paths of aging
and toward the weightless wanderings of birds
before the knell of night

-Brian James

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Thanks

With grateful heart my thanks I bring,
Before the great Thy praise I sing;
I worship in Thy holy place
And praise Thee for Thy truth and grace;
For truth and grace together shine
In Thy most holy Word divine,
In Thy most holy Word divine.

Counting my thanks...
942. never ending blessings
943. aunt Debbie, doting
944. long weekends
945. preparing Thanksgiving dinner with Mom James
946. painting a Christmas backdrop with Brian
947. preparing the church for advent
948. Playing "hink pink"
949. catching up with my 3 year old cousin
950. text pictures of Charlie
951. old movies
952. a looong Thanksgiving phone call to Minnesota
953. Blessingdale treasures
954. Dad's kind question
955. Henry's approval
956. talking to a long lost cousin
957. hanging with my Hephzibah girls
958. 2nd Thanksgiving up north!
959. a sleepover at my in laws
960. my pray-ers and hope.
holy experience

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1st Sunday of Advent: Our Hope!

Isaiah 60:1-5 
The Glory of Zion
  “Arise, shine, for your light has come,
   and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
 See, darkness covers the earth
   and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
   and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
   and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
 “Lift up your eyes and look about you:
   All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
   and your daughters are carried on the hip.
 Then you will look and be radiant,
   your heart will throb and swell with joy...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Decking the Church....

Remember this post?  Well, this is my first year of being in charge of decorating our church for advent.  It's a bit of a daunting task, but a fun challenge.  Yesterday we gathered with some friends, ate doughnuts, blasted Christmas tunes and donned the sanctuary in Christmas finery! It was a lovely way to usher the season.
The Bjorks are so ingenious.
The Bethlehem backdrop hasn't been hung quite yet, but I'll be sure to post a picture when it is up. We also decided to put up a little manger scene this year. It's not quite finished. We need a baby Jesus and some hay...

Friday, November 26, 2010

preparing the house of God for advent...

..we begin with Bethlehem. 

This Moment:  A moment that I'm pausing to remember and savor...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving - In Feast or Fallow

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. 
There is much to be thankful for, amen?

If you can take a couple minutes away from the family lovin', turkey cookin' and potato smashin', hear this and remember...

In the harvest feast of the fallow ground,
My certain hope is in Jesus found
My lot, my cup, my portion sure
Whatever come, we shall endure.
-Sandra McCracken

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


A few weeks ago, Brian led our small group in a lesson on remembrance. Together we studied scriptures and asked ourselves and each other, "What good is remembering? What role does remembrance play in our walk of faith? What does God want us to remember? Why does He want us to remember? How do people of faith remember?"
Deuteronomy 4 9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. 

Deuteronomy 5 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.

Psalm 42 5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and 6 my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you...

I am so oft like those rascal Israelites, forgetting that I was slave. Forgetting His mighty deeds, forgetting I was miraculously saved, forgetting what my eyes have seen.

Right there, in the midst of discussion, I was inspired to create a tangible way for our family to remember. The Israelites used rocks, altars, tents and tassels; and we'll use a wooden box.

We are already filling that box with the mighty works our God has done, the ways he comforted, the way he provided, the way he teaches and saves.

I wonder how different our lives will look as a people who remember.. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wonderfully Irreverant

(Photo from last year's small group retreat)

One of my many favorite things about the Old Homestead, is the chalkboard in the kitchen.  Legend has is that my friend Liz's grandmother installed this in the house in the early 1900s after it fell off a wagon and broke en route to the town school. Her grandmother was a teacher and decided to save the broken chalkboard that no one wanted. It went from trash to a treasured tradition.

I love the idea of having a place in the center of the home to write love notes, shopping lists, dinner menus..whatever! And let's just face it, writing on the wall is, as my husband so aptly put it, "so wonderfully irreverent!"

A quick run to the hardware store and about three coats of chalkboard paint later, we have our own kitchen chalkboard.  We LOVE it. 
Some recent messages...
(when Brian came home, he told me that I wrote "I love myself" rather than "Love, Me". Ooops.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Thanks

Blessings to you all on this Thanksgiving week. May we continue to fill our hearts and minds with gratitude to our great God for His bountiful, bountiful blessings...  

Some bounty from the week...

927. The heart and mind and voice to give thanks.
928. Playing my flute again at church
929. spontaneous decisions that work
930. A short school week
931. finishing our first novel of the year at school and the boys' excitement.
932. my prayer warriors
933. The smell of homemade corn chowder simmering in the crock-pot
934. Sunday afternoon nap and Toy Story 3 with my honey.
935. hearing my husband preach, and his wisdom and sensitivity.
936. Celebrating another year of life for Mom James and Rachel 
937. birthday surprises
938. the evening service
939. God's promises
940. The upcoming Thanksgiving feast!
941. This beautiful November full moon...and this photo does it NO justice...
holy experience

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Evening Praise


Evening Praise

Giver of all, another day is ended 
and I take my place beneath my great redeemer's cross, 
where healing streams continually descend, 
where balm is poured into every wound, 
where I wash anew in the all-cleansing blood,
 assured that Thou seest in me no spots of sin. 

Yet a little while and I shall go to Thy home
 and be no more seen; 
help me to gird up the loins of my mind, 
to quicken my step, 
to speed as if each moment were my last, 
that my life be joy,
 my death glory.

I thank Thee for the temporal blessings of this world
the refreshing air, the light of the sun,
 the food that renews strength, 
the raiment that clothes, 
the dwelling that shelters,
 the sleep that gives rest, 
the starry canopy of night,
 the summer breeze, 
the flowers' sweetness, 
the music of flowing streams, 
the happy endearments of family, kindred, friends. 

Things animate, things inanimate, 
minister to my comfort. 

My cup runs over. 

Suffer me not to be insensible to these daily mercies. 
Thy hand bestows blessings: 
Thy power averts evil.
I bring my tribute of thanks for spiritual graces,
 the full warmth of faith, 
the cheering presence of Thy Spirit, 
the strength of Thy restraining will, 
Thy spiking of hell's artillery. 

Blessed be my sovereign Lord!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tea Wallet

Just look what my friend, Liz, just sewed me! It's a tea wallet. How cute is that? Can you tell how well she knows me by that warm, red-y, orange-y, yellow-y fabric? There's a pattern here, in case you'd like to try one yourself. I certainly am. And I'm just happy that from now on I shall always have some of my Mighty Leaf, Citrus Chamomile Tea, at my disposal. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Caught ya!

Aha! I knew he'd finally give in to the wonder of the snuggie...
This Moment:  A moment that I'm pausing to remember and savor..
{this moment} - A Friday ritual
 Joining with SouleMama

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One Year

Today is our first anniversary of owning and living in Sea Kettle. 
And we just love our little home here in the heart of Salem town. 

Some memories from our year...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baby Shower Bouquet

This is my favorite thing to give friends for their baby showers.  All you need for this project is a basket, some floral foam, floral sticks, floral wire, some silk flowers and some onesies and/or washcloths.
 Onesies and washcloths are generally best for making "flowers" with, but perhaps socks or booties could work too?
Silk flowers, basket, floral sticks, ribbon..
1. Fold in half and roll up the washcloths and onesies and wrap to a floral stick with wire. 
 2. Stick the "flowers" into the styrofoam.
3. Arrange them evenly in the basket.
4. Add some silk flowers and ribbon and you're done!

This basket went to new baby cousin Drost...
We can't wait to meet you!

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