Dusting off this space and sharing life updates
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I’m giving this virtual space a good dusting off as I’ve not been here in ever so long. I’ve though of you often, scolding myself for being so irregular here and wanting to have good conversations with you.
But real life…you know how it is… and real life with a large family and grandchildren, well, if you know you know. I’d love to catch up and tell you what I’m up to if you care to read on.
As I write, I am sipping Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Spice tea at my writing desk. It’s 44 degrees outside, and I’ve opened my window so I can feel and smell the fall air, chilly and delightful. I’m wearing my cozy old blue wool cardigan to keep the cold at bay.
My family is nearly done with the cranberry harvest. The harvest this year was just so-so. The abundance of rain hurt our crop, though it favored the apple farmers who are reporting bumper crops. I’ve heard that when apples do well, cranberries and other vine fruit don’t, and vice versa.
This past month has been a blur of bog tours and teaching watercolor and nature journaling to homeschoolers at various locations.
We celebrated our family’s annual harvest party and all of my kids (except for Holly) were home for that event. My sister Amy flew in and my niece, Maddison and her family were all here for the fun.
Our house was full to the brim and we loved every minute of it. My father, who was hospitalized with an illness for over a week and has been off of his feet for over a month was able to get up for a few minutes during the party. After 41 days of debilitating issues, he has turned a corner and we are thanking God for his goodness and healing for my dad.
With all the kids home, to save time in the moment, I baked cookies and pumpkin breads and apple pie filling in advance. When all three grandchildren are under one roof, grandma doesn’t want to spend all her time cooking. Am I right? We assembled six apple pies for the party, helped my mom decorate and arrange everything, drank lots of strong coffee, watched the grandchildren play outside and walk around the bogs. We saw family and friends who stopped in to see the harvest and celebrated my grandmother’s 96th birthday.
We did a Bob Ross paint night, family dinners, had a movie night at Hannah’s house, and a wool felt crafting days with my niece who was here for the festivities as well. Peter and I babysat so parents could have date nights. We also made trips to the waterfront to make sure our seafood loving kids got their fresh scallops and lobster while they were here.
I’ve been chipping away at my Christmas crafts and gift list and making good progress.
I went through my coat closet to see what we have and what we need for the winter. I washed and tumble dried our winter coats and ordered Bray a new one, since he’s growing like a weed and New England winters being what they are.
I’ve been enjoying listening to this Vintage Autumn playlist on YouTube, and exercising by rebounding with Jennifer Scott using this video. I’ve been rebounding for a while now and it’s easy on your knees, fun, and good cardio. This is the rebounder I have: BCAN 40″ Rebounder. My kids and grandkids love using it too. Win, win.
Hope and I are reading Jane Eyre together and I’m re-reading Little Women, a fall favorite. Peter is reading “The House on Nausett Marsh” to Brayden before bed, a book about a local man’s farm and life on the Cape Cod National Seashore. We are all enjoying the stories.
I’ve also been reading (and thoroughly enjoying) “The Three Mrs. Judsons”, a book on loan with high recommendations by a dear friend. I’m always encouraged by older biographies of Christian women. I’ll share a few of my favorite quotes from Ann Judson, Adoniram’s first wife. She was the first female missionary to go overseas to India. She had no role models, no mentors, no connections. Yet, her tenacity and dependence on God benefited her and greatly encouraged me.
In her journal she penned these words:
“I rejoice that I am in his hands– that he is everywhere present and can protect me in one place as well as in another. He has my heart in his hands: and when I am called to face danger, to pass through scenes of terror and distress, he can inspire me with fortitude and enable me to trust in Him….but whether I spend my days in India or America, I desire to spend them in the service of God, and be prepared to spend an eternity in his presence.”
It’s easy to think that missionaries of old were in a class all their own and that obedience somehow came easy for them. But since we are all cut from the same cloth, I’m sure that they were just spirit – Christians who had to make the daily choice to trust and obey God’s Word, same as you and me. When hard times come or when people around you live against the ways of God, that’s when it’s especially important to submit to your Bible rather than feelings.
I loved reading of Ann’s submission to God, her ability to see past the end of her own nose to what God was doing.
The Spirit’s work gives us the mind of Christ: His evidences or “fruit” look like love for the unloving, heavenly -minded joy, incredible peace, a temperament that is long-suffering in the face of provocation, a nature that is gentle when harshness is the norm or expected and a desire to bless those who hate you, and humbleness that makes much of others and Christ. Reading Ann Judson’s journal was such an encouragement. I’m so glad she wrote it down so we could be blessed all these years later.
I’m also enjoying re-reading the Disciplines of a Godly Woman. It’s one of those books that always encourages.
“Let it be the one business of my life to glorify Thee by every word of my tongue, by every work of my hand, by professing Thy truth, and by engaging all men, so far as in me lies, to glorify and love Thee.” Barbara Hughes
“Real love is intentional, an act of the will.”
Such a simple statement, isn’t it? Imagine how live-changing choosing goodness and love towards others in such a polarized society could be for our churches, homes, and communities. Friends, life is too short to shun God and his ways. Do life His way.
This verse has been especially meaningful to me this week:
How have you been? What are you baking, reading, crafting? Have you reached out to encourage those who need someone to love them? What verse is meaningful to you right now? Tell me in the comments or in messages.