Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Snapshots

As I type, thunder is rumbling across the sky and the sound of rain is on the roof as spring storms roll through . . . pleasant sounds this time of year! Meanwhile, I thought I would share a few photos from the last few days . . . .

An afghan I have been crocheting since last summer, and it is nearly done! Though it is going to be set aside for a bit as I have another project to do . . . one of the young couples in our home church is having their first baby (a boy!) so there is something special I'll be working on for him. :)

Sunday afternoon in the sunshine with my Lord and His Word 

For Arbor Day, at one of the farmers markets, there were free trees being given away (I think by the city) . . . and what should they have but Elderberries! I was thrilled to see that! 

These grow natively here, and their berries are amazing for their medicinal properties. Last year I went looking for some on our property as I would love to utilize them, but didn't find any. But thanks to the tree giveaway, now we have three planted! Plus three Chokeberry trees that we got as well which can be made into jams and jellies and things like that. Leah and I had fun planting them together, and hopefully they'll grow and produce well!

One of the Chokeberries

This Monday was my Dad's birthday (and a post about the fun birthday outing we had will be coming), and on Sunday, our home church surprised him and made it extra special for him. One of the young women used to work as a pastry chef and makes beautiful cakes and made this one for my Dad.

And notice the reversed candles? One of the men got those and did that as a joke for my Dad!

We had healthy food, too. :) Plus pork steaks and hotdogs that a couple of the men grilled, a fruit salad, and baked beans. It was a special meal! Followed by such an encouraging time of fellowship and teaching. So thankful for our church family!

Had a 2.1 mile run today . . . felt so good!

Several weeks ago, I visited the blog of Rory Feek (I had heard about him and his wife briefly, but didn't know much about them.) I began reading . . . and then ended up starting at the beginning and reading all the way through their beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring, and encouraging story.

Joey (Rory's wife) had a valiant battle with cancer through which her faith in God was so strong . . . though she lost that battle in March and went home to be with her Savior. As I read through their blog, there were times that I cried, times that I smiled, times that my heart was convicted by their strong faith. Even though she is no longer here on earth, her example and faith through a journey so very hard was, and continues to be, an inspiration and encouragement.

And then when I saw that they had produced a hymn CD (which was recorded while she was sick) and listened to a few music clips, I ordered it as well as another they had done called "Inspired."

I have listened to these CD's and sang along with them so many times, and how they have helped to uplift and encourage! Here is one of their songs which is my (and Leah's) current favorite, and one I have been singing a lot . . . . hope you enjoy and are blessed by it, too . . . .

20 comments:

  1. Joey & Rory's story is amazing! What courage and strength from the Lord! We've been praying for you! Thank you for sharing these pictures!

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    1. It is indeed, Tabitha! I watched some of their videos on youtube today and was so encouraged by their courage, strength, and faith.

      Thank you so much for your prayers for me! I really appreciate them.

      You're welcome for sharing the photos!

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  2. Lovely photos. Your trees should grow quickly and then there will be berries to pick!
    Reading your post too quickly I read that you had grilled 'pork steaks and hedgehogs'. Oh dear!

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I hope the trees do indeed grow quickly. :) As I am sure you are hoping your new ones do, too! I had been checking on ours after planting, and it looks like they survived the transplant process well and are putting on more new leaves which is good.

      I had to laugh about the grilled 'hedgehogs'! Too funny! Glad it was really hotdogs instead. :)

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  3. Love the pictures! Sounds like your Dad had a great birthday. Last weekend I went with a group of women from our church to a conference in Omaha, Beth Moore conference and I loved it. It makes you realize just how powerful our God is! Tell everyone Hi and will continue to follow your blog, I really enjoy it.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them, Unknown! And yes, he did. :) I'll have to get the post up about what we did on his actual birthday. I still have to sort through and process a bunch of photos, though . . . he and I took a lot!

      How nice to be able to go to a conference with women from your church. I am sure you enjoyed that time with them. Yes, God is indeed a powerful God! Which is so good to be reminded of. You mentioned that the conference was by Beth Moore . . . you may find it helpful and insightful to visit this website which has a number of articles about some of her teachings in the light of Scripture. http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?s=beth+moore&search=Search

      I am glad that you have been enjoying my blog, and I hope you will continue to! :)

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  4. I think all the rain went up your way. All we are getting is an English mist, as I call it, but that's better than nothing. Your afghan is just beautiful! I love the colors and pattern. Last year, there was a huge Elderberry bush on the road side by a low water bridge, and I was waiting for the berries to ripen. The township came along and mowed it down!! I couldn't believe it!! They're great for making syrup. Cute cake ~ reversing the candles ~ good idea.:-) Sounds like a fun time. Thanks for sharing the song too. I've bookmarked it from youtube. Like it!
    Today's a good day for knitting.
    Enjoy your day!♥

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    1. We did end up with a lot of rain, Mrs. Anne! Are you all needing some? If so, too bad we can't send some down to you!

      Thank you for your kind words about the afghan. :)

      How disappointing to have your elderberry harvesting expectations dashed by them mowing down the bush! Hopefully you'll be able to find some more bushes this year. I had heard that they were really good for making syrup. I'm looking forward to trying to make different things with them!

      I'm glad you liked the song. :) They have such nice music!

      Hope that you enjoyed your misty day indoors knitting!

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  5. Sarah,
    I'm always tickled pink when you talk about the weather! Usually because it's the same weather here or it's on the way. Most bloggers, I have no idea where they're at. I feel you're my "next door neighbor" in the blog world! :)
    Chokeberries and elderberries! That's exciting. Have you ever tried a chokeberry or elderberry before? We have black/blue and red elderberries on our property. I did a little research into them, but found they can't be eaten raw! I have yet the courage to make jam from them. I bet it would be good though.
    That afghan is beautiful!!!! That's a project I'd like to try next. Haha, the biggest crochet projects I've done are washcloths and scarves! I bet crochet afghans are nice and heavy and warm for the winter. Do they take very long?
    By the way, I wanted to let you know that you've been on my heart and prayers a lot after what happened. I can vouch that the Lord can heal the heart of anything. Even the things which hurt so deep it's hard to imagine ever feeling whole again. I wanted to share one of my favorite verses with you.
    "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah." (Psalm 62:8)
    The Lord knows your heart and all that you feel. He always understands. And He'll always be there to help you when you come to talk to Him.

    Thanks for posting! I always look forward to your entries.
    -Christina

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    1. It was so good to hear from you again, Christina! Thank you for your long comment. :)

      It is funny how similar our weather ends up being! I had to laugh about what you said about being your "next door neighbor" in the blog world. :) Too bad we aren't even closer as it would be lovely to run on over and have a chat with you while working in your garden together!

      No, I have never tried chockberries or elderberries before, and I have heard the same as you that the elderberries are not to be eaten raw (and that most people wouldn't want to eat chokeberries raw either! From the sounds of things they are aptly named.)

      Thank you for your kind comment on the afghan! That's great that you have crocheted washcloths and scarves. I am sure you would enjoy making an afghan, too. And yes, they are so warm in the winter! The length of time to make one is partly dependent on the pattern and then also how much time you have to devote to it. It usually takes me about a year to get one done, though once I was under an unexpected time crunch when making an afghan for a dear elderly friend of ours and made one in a week!

      Thank you so very much for your caring and encouraging words and your prayers . . . they meant a lot to me and were a help to my heart. As was the verse that you shared. Reminders like that are so helpful! I love the wordage of "pour out your heart before him" . . . and how very true that He is indeed our refuge. I am so thankful for that!

      You're welcome for posting :) . . . and again, thank you for your comment and all you shared!

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  6. Hello Sarah from Alabama...beautiful sunshine and 80's but rain coming tomorrow.
    Your afghan looks almost the same color and pattern of one my mom made for me many years ago..Love it.
    Never had Chokeberries (that I know of) but have had elderberries and had the jam...very good. We planted some of both along with other fruit bushes/trees when we lived in Mo but with all the black walnut trees we had on our place (over 20) it was very hard to get them to produce. Wonder how they would do in Ala...might have to try them again.
    Your dad's Birthday cake looked like it was a set up for a fun evening and the menu sounded wonderful. Love church families..God knows just how to make them all work together to honor Him by loving on each other.
    I have followed Joey & Rorys blog since it began and saw the special that was done on TV last week on the making of that Hymn CD....She was and still is truly an inspiration. Indy will have part of her mom in her life even though she is already waiting in heaven for her.
    Loved all your pictures and catching up. Stay strong....I am still praying for you. In my devotion this morning I read this and thought of you: "If you are in an emotionally difficult spot right now, refuse to become discouraged. Ask the Lord to reveal His will and plan for your life. Commit yourself fully to Him and pray to obey no matter what it costs. If you take this approach then God will provide for you in ways that far exceed human understanding." God has great plans for your life...can't wait to see it from the blog sidelines :) Jeremiah 29:11-13
    Linda

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    1. Hello back from Missouri, Linda! :) Your weather sounds lovely. What a treasure to have an afghan that your Mom made for you! I am sure it is beautiful.

      It's good to hear from someone who has tried elderberry jam before . . . and liked it, too. :) If you do try growing them again, hopefully they'll do better for you in Alabama!

      The cake was indeed! She had it in the kitchen, lit the candles, and then we all came out with it singing 'happy birthday' to him. He was so surprised! Yes, we love church families, too. And it's amazing to see how God works in and through His church!

      I have seen clips from the hymn music video by Joey and Rory and was really blessed by it. And to think that she did that when she was so sick! She is indeed truly an inspiration. What you shared about Indy was heartwarming - so true!

      Glad you enjoyed the photos! And thank you so much for what you shared and for your continued prayers. I so appreciate them! And thank you so much for the encouragement you gave, the verses from Jeremiah, and for thinking of me and sharing the devotional. It was all very much a blessing and encouragement to me!

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  7. Looks like a lovely week, based on the snapshots! Keep moving forward, one step at a time, Sarah. Your work--the things you do to keep your hands and mind busy--is a gift from God. It is a wonderful healer, as is time. Speaking of steps...when did you begin running? I would love to hear more about that journey!

    --Betsy

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    1. It was, Betsy!

      Thank you so much for sharing all that you did . . . it was a good, helpful, and timely reminder to me. I really appreciated it. Thank you!

      As far as running . . . I started running more consistently back in the fall and winter of 2014/2015, but then slacked off over the summer. I picked it up again this past fall (starting with the C25k program) which helped get me back into it. Now, I'm just working to increase my distance and times which is fun! I really enjoy running, plus with getting 'older' (30 already!), I want to make sure I am taking good care of my body and want to get it and keep it in good physical shape. Slowly and surely I'm moving towards my goals! And enjoying it along the way. :)

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  8. Such a lovely post! Your afghan is so pretty. Blue and white is my favorite color combination.

    I was so pleased to see that you planted elderberries! My family has recently become interested in the health benefits of elderberries, and I believe they truly help! This past winter my husband and baby both had the flu. I began taking elderberry syrup when I found they were sick, and I never did catch the flu! I am hoping to find some elderberry plants for sale soon. : )

    I really enjoyed your previous post about the farmers' market you and Leah attend. It looks like a terrific market. Farmers' markets are a lot of work, but truly enjoyable.

    -Sarah

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    1. I am glad that you enjoyed both posts, Sarah! And thank you for your kind words about the afghan. :) Blue and white is my favorite color combination, too.

      Thank you for sharing about your elderberry ventures and interest in it! I enjoyed reading, and it sounds like it was indeed a help to you! I hope you are able to find some elderberry plants for sale soon. I am excited to try making and using things from the berries.

      The farmers market is indeed a great one! We love being a part of it . . . and yes, it's a lot of work, but as you shared, truly enjoyable. :)

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  9. I love your blog so much, it has been such an encouragement to me! I am curious, what is your favorite verse or scripture passage? Thanks :)

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    1. Your comment made me smile, Sara! I am so glad that you enjoy my blog so much and that it has been an encouragement to you. :)

      A favorite verse or Scripture passage is hard to choose! There are so many that I love and that help and encourage me in different ways. One that has consistently remained a favorite through the years, though, is Colossians 3:1-4. These verses are such good reminders! Another long time favorite is Proverbs 3:5-6. Right now a few (of many!) passages that I am so appreciating are: Psalm 27:13-14, 1 Peter 5:10-11, and Psalm 118:5-8.

      There are so many Scriptures I love that I could go on and on, but this should give you an idea of a few of my favorites. :)

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  10. Hello Sarah,

    I've been away from blog land, but had a few moments to stop in and catch up on your blog. Your encouraging spring time posts have been a blessing to read. Especially since a fresh blanket of white is currently covering all the beautiful green grass that recently sprouted out here on my Montana prairie.

    Hugs and Blessings to you,
    Mrs.B

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    1. Sorry I missed replying to your sweet comment until now, Mrs. B! Welcome back to blog land. I am glad you enjoyed the springtime posts! It's a bit hard to imagine that where you live is covered in snow right now . . . rest assured, spring IS on its way! :)

      Blessings to you as well!

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)