Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gifts of Grace

What a week!  I have seen the glory of God in amazing ways over the last few days.  I have known surprises and unexpected visitors and peaceful gatherings.  His grace, His gifts to me...

201.  an earthquake, so unusual for our area, showing that He moves mountains

202.  unexpected guests, evacuated from their vacation, a son with his wife and furry ones

203.  special moments of quiet during a Japanese tea ceremony with a friend

204.  friendships, dear ones lifting me in prayer as I lift them

205.  another unexpected guest, Hurricane Irene... God is there in the wind and the rain

206.  the Lord's protection and provision during the storm, that we never lost power, that we suffered no damage to speak of

207.  peace in the storm, deep peace though the winds and rains raged

208.  only minor limbs down from all the tall, old trees around us

209.  more and more opportunities... seeking His face, desiring His call

210.  a new day to glorify God and enjoy Him

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene's Comin'...

Pray for us, will you?  Irene's comin'... uninvited.  She's arriving in the wee hours of Sunday, we think.  The weather folk are telling us that this is a 'hundred year storm' and that the name 'Irene' will most likely be retired when this is over.  During the last big storm, Hurricane Isabel in 2003, our home was powerless for 9 days.  While some areas south of us are evacuating, and the ships are headed to sea to ride out the storm, we have decided to stay put for the time being.  But we must be attentive to the needs of my mother so our plans may change. 

Pray for us, will you?  For peace and safety and full trust in our Lord.  For short power outages and no damages or injuries.  For protection on every side.  And not only for us, but for all those in the path of this powerful storm.

Pray for us, will you?  We will be able to feel your prayers and be comforted, I know. 

PS - Did I mention that we had an earthquake here in Virginia this week? 

Some went off to sea in ships,
      plying the trade routes of the world.
 They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action,
      his impressive works on the deepest seas.
 He spoke, and the winds rose,
      stirring up the waves.
 Their ships were tossed to the heavens
      and plunged again to the depths;
      the sailors cringed in terror.
 They reeled and staggered like drunkards
      and were at their wits’ end.
 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
      and he saved them from their distress.
 He calmed the storm to a whisper
      and stilled the waves.
 What a blessing was that stillness
      as he brought them safely into harbor!

 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
      and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
 Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation
      and before the leaders of the nation.

Psalm 107:23 - 32

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gifts everywhere...

Some days I have a difficult time seeing the gifts.  Some days my vision is clouded with day-to-day cares, hurts carried when they should be released, a weakened body in a world that prizes strength and productivity.  Some days I want to pull the covers over my head and turn in my earthly ID card. 

But I am reminded, softly and quietly, of the gifts all around.  Gifts peep out of corners and they appear unexpectedly.  Gifts come to me in the night and they wake me in the morning.  Here are but a few...

191.  Living water

192.  Scarlett, bringing me a toy when I feel least like joyful play

193.  a beautiful painting from a sweet friend

 194.  work that I so enjoy

195.  tending God's garden

196.  mountains

197.  the Vinedresser, nurturing me to growth, pruning me when I need

198.  whispers of Autumn, yet so long away

199.  the Word, true, thirst quenching, soul soothing, Spirit-opened

200.   waking to a new day, to hope

Monday, August 8, 2011

More August Gifts...

Quietly, almost imperceptibly, energy and creativity are returning.  Tears of joy welling up yesterday in worship, I realized it.  New journeys, new ministries are not mine.  They are gifts from a creative God.  In gratitude...

181.  Sunday worship

182.  pears from a coworker, put into jars to shine through the winter
183.  a strong voice singing out, "It is well with my soul".

184.  guitar played quietly in worship

185.  again, good air conditioning in this continued heat
186.  a surprise cantaloupe ripening in the garden

187.  so many new ministries

188.  the love that I am given, day after day

189.  "and He began to teach them."  Matthew 5:2

190.  the awe of communion, the sacrifice, the gift, the remembrance

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Percy Pear's Canning Scare

"I have a bad feeling about today." 

"I'll hide in the cabinet.  No one will ever look for me in here."


"Here we are.  Waiting for a trim and a hot bath.
  This is a really bad day."

"Oh, joy!  I have been saved!"

A sweet lady at my husband's job gave him a bag of pears harvested from her pear tree.  He brought them home and today I canned Ginger Pear Preserves.  Sweet and delicious with pears, lime, and fresh ginger.  And, bless his heart, Percy doesn't realize that he's going into the second batch tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

When Work Is Joy

A phrase from my work day...

Words of Grace

A small change in a publication I was working on: change "Assurance of Pardon" to "Words of Grace," he said.  A thoughtful pastor.  Placing pure and healing words into the ears and hearts of the flock.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gifts to begin the days of August...

The gifts are, of course, innumerable.  Each moment holds a gift if I have eyes to see.  Sometimes the gifts are effervescent with joy and hope, sometimes the gifts are hard and call me to God's rest.  But each moment holds a gift.  Count them with me.  Count them with Ann.  Count them with the community of the grateful.
171.  The invitation to come, be healed, recline, and share a simple meal - Matthew 14:13-21

172.  That Jesus invited even me to this banquet of grace

173.  That He invites me to do the same: to invite others to come, to sit, to know, to taste and see that He is good - Psalm 34:8

174.  That I have been hugged tight into a community of faith that hears these messages of hope each week from a strong and faithful pastor
175.  Mom waking to a birthday marking 70 years

176.  A creative daughter providing the sweet wishes for her grandmother's birthday
177.  Sunshine and rain and harvests

178.  Too many cucumbers
179.  New work for the hands of the dearest daughter-in-law

180.  A husband who listen and loves through the hard gifts