Friday, November 29, 2013


I sure hope y'all had some leftovers to enjoy after Thanksgiving. Aren't they the best?
I know I was thrilled we had some turkey left over so I could make a sandwich. 
And nothing says Turkey Sandwich like *Duke's!

Being from the south, there is only one mayonnaise worth using, and it is *Duke's
Smooth & Creamy, just like the label says.

Oh, and that lovely Rooster in the background is the pepper part of a salt & pepper shaker set my sweet friend, Faith, brought me the other day when she came for tea. I'll have to take a photo of the set, along with an amazing serving platter she gave me too, and post them!  

What's your favorite leftover? Any special way you prepare it?

Disclaimer: I'm not a food photographer so don't let my photo 
deter you from trying *Duke's Mayo J

*Nope, I didn't receive any monetary compensation for this post. 
I just love Duke's mayo. But if they want to send me some money, I won't say no ;)

: : :

Thursday, November 28, 2013

With a grateful heart...

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 118:1

image credit

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God; I will extol you.
 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 118:28-29

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hot & Cold, just not in that order...and the Doxology

This morning we woke to freezing rain and ice accumulation.
Since I'm not a cold weather fan, I took the photo from inside
where it was toasty warm. Oh, and also through the window screen, 
hence the blurred effect :)

Tonight, my husband made me this delicious cup of
White Chocolate Raspberry Hot Cocoa with Whipped Topping & Chocolate Drizzle.

Yes, I am loved.
I'm going to be busy the next few days with my family 
so I'll wish y'all a Happy Thanksgiving and the words to the Doxology!
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
~Thomas Ken

Friday, November 22, 2013

Easy to make Autumn or Thanksgiving Wreath

I am always late getting a seasonally appropriate wreath made for the front door. This year is no exception. With less than a week to go before Thanksgiving, it may seem useless to even make one. However, I couldn't pass up an 80% off sale of all autumn florals at Hobby Lobby! I unpinned the cloth flowers off my basic wreath that is made from a foam circle and burlap to get it ready for a new look.

While I was at HL, I couldn't pass up this awesome purple hot glue gun! 
I needed a new one anyway :)

I snipped apart some of the floral spray pieces to make it easier to handle and attach to the wreath.

I'm quite fond of mums and sunflowers. 
And I loved the acorns and apple in this particular spray.

Even though these beautiful flowers are silk, they still bring a smile to my face. 
Sunflowers and Mums breath warmth and hospitality!

I tried to follow pretty closely the way they were pre-arranged on the spray when I glued them down. I think I need a few more leaves around the bottom but overall I am quite satisfied. 

Floral arranging of any kind is not my forte'. My daughter, on the other hand, is very good at making wreaths. Maybe I will showcase some of her work in December. 

Do you make your own wreaths or buy them ready-made?

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Random 5 Friday

I am approaching this coming week with a heart bursting with thankfulness! My foot is healing well and my physical therapy is coming along nicely. I was able to bear a bit of weight yesterday for the first time in 9 1/2 weeks! And my plan is to be walking with minimal assistance by Dec 31! 

So my Random 5 this week is all about those who have loved on me, provided for me and prayed for me over these last weeks. 

1. I'm thankful for a loving and committed husband who has more than fulfilled his marriage vows these past 9 weeks. I absolutely could not have made it this far without his excellent care and total support, literally at times. He has stayed up all night while I was in pain and crying buckets of tears, handing me kleenex and holding my hand, being a stalwart encourager and prayer warrior. I am delighted that the Lord 'pushed' him into me 33 years ago. You can read a short version of it at How Cupid Shot Me Blog Hop!

2. I'm thankful for two teen boys who have brought me numerous glasses of water and cups of coffee, cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner, fetched ice packs and heating pad, books and laptop, pillows and blankets and done so much more than I deserve!

3. I'm thankful for a daughter who has given up precious time with her husband and children to take me to physical therapy and doctor appts, and many days just to come and visit so I don't feel so isolated. She makes a mean cup of coffee and brings me chocolate!

4. I'm thankful for friends and family, both near, far and online, who have provided home cooked meals and sweet fellowship, sunshine-filled packages that brightened my days, emails and telephone calls that came at just the right moment. Hearing how much someone cares and is praying for me has been a great encouragement!

5. But what I'm most thankful for is the One who has not left my side for one. single. moment. 
He is healer, provider, my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, the giver of all good things in my life!  

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name. 

~Psalm 100:4  

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Soybean Harvest

Orison Swett Marden 

 Our neighbor rented his fields this year to a neighboring soybean farmer. Watching them grow through the seasons was delightful. In summer, they were so green and full but there was something equally pleasing about their change in autumn. I thought they were beautiful with the sun highlighting their fuzzy pods at harvest time.

A Gleaner Combine is used to reap the harvest.
As soon as we heard it start up, the windows were quickly closed because it makes a dust cloud that chokes the breath from your lungs. It's a good thing it has an enclosed cab for the farmer! 

Now the fields look bare but they have already planted them with winter wheat and fertilized them with chicken manure. I look forward to seeing a lush green field in the colorless and cold days of winter. You know I will take photos :)

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*Thank you for all the prayers and best wishes about my back. With lots of rest, heat and ice, and a doctor visit, it is well on its way to getting better. No more spasms and not nearly as much pain. I may not be back to a full blogging schedule for a while but I am working on it.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Gentle Reminder and a break

Though poor in this world’s goods, though grieving the loss of loved ones, though suffering pain of body, though harassed by sin and Satan, though hated and persecuted by worldlings, whatever be the case and lot of the Christian, it is both his privilege and duty to rejoice in the Lord.  ~ A.W. Pink

I'm taking a short (I hope) blogging break due to a back injury. I cannot sit up for long and to be honest, the pain is too great to be able to concentrate. I'm having a hard time thinking up content and editing photos. I would appreciate prayer for healing and no more spasms. 

Thank you!

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Homeschool Co-ops 101 by Karen Lange, Book Tour & $25 Amazon GC Giveaway!

Essential co-op tools, tips, and options for today’s homeschool families.

homeschool co-ops 101
Thinking about joining or starting a homeschool co-op? Not sure if a co-op is a good fit? Homeschool Co-ops 101 weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for today’s homeschool family.

Section 1 includes essential, digestible info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.

Section 2 shares a sampling of co-op games and activities, and

Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. These ready to use studies include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or home use. This section also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic.

Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.
Karen Lange has gathered insight from years of co-oping and now shares her own and others’ experiences in this valuable and encouraging handbook.

Homeschool Co-ops 101 is available at:

karen langeAbout the Author

Karen Lange, her husband, and three children were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her experience includes serving as a local homeschool support group coordinator and consultant for a state homeschool network in New Jersey. Karen’s children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for homeschooled teens.

You can connect with Karen at her Blog, on Twitter, and Facebook.

homeschool co-ops 101

Blog Tour Schedule
November 4
~Ruth Schiffman,
~Robyn Campbell,
November 5
~Carol Alexander,
~Diane Estrella,
November 6
~Gena Mayo,
~Marja Meijers,
November 7
~Sandie Crozek,
~Melissa Brander,
~Cecelia Lester,
November 8
~Susan Reinhardt,
~Cecelia Lester,
November 10
~Laura V. Hilton,
~Melissa & Tiffany,
~Janette Dolores,
November 11
~Susan Sundwall,
~Michelle Isenhoff,
November 12
~Carol Alexander,
~Jeanette Levellie,
November 13
~Susanne Dietze,
~Sherryl Wilson,
~Anne Payne,
November 14
~Rhonda Schrock,
~Abi Buening,
~Amber Schamel,
November 15
~Crystal King,
~Barb Winters,
~Tyrean Martinson,
November 16
November 17
~Amada Chavez,
~Cindi Clubbs,
~Rebecca Boerner,
November 18
~Carlene Havel,
~Cindy Loven,
November 19
~Karen Loethen,
~Amy Smith,
November 20
~Darlene Arroyo-Lozada,
November 22
~Sarah Bailey,
~Thumb Updown,
December 2
~Jennifer Shirk,
~Ticia M.,

The Giveaway

Open to US addresses only. One person will receive a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced December 5, 2013. Good luck!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Karen Lange. The author provided me with a free copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101 to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Be sure and follow the directions above  for the giveaway. It is not sponsored by Stuff & Nonsense. Any questions regarding said Rafflecopter giveaway should be directed to Diane Estrella @ That's What I'm Here For, or author Karen Lange.

Book Recommendation {Christmas}

I know, I know. It's not even Thanksgiving yet. But I love reading Christmas stories and it's never too early to start, in my opinion. Guideposts now has this two volume set available for purchase. Come along on 16 faith journeys that will set your heart ablaze during the Christmas season!!! 

image credit: Guideposts

From GUIDEPOSTS online:

Book Description 

A Cup of Christmas Cheer

Twinkling lights, the scents of cinnamon and pine, family gatherings, favorite carols from the heart. In the spirit of these cozy Christmas traditions, Guideposts is pleased to present A Cup of Christmas Cheer, a two-book set brimming with heartwarming fiction stories of faith and family set in Christmases past and present.
You are invited to enjoy two uplifting Christmas fiction collections that will flood you with the Christmas spirit and bring a smile to your face. As you delve into each well-crafted story, you’ll be swept away on a wave of glad tidings and good cheer as you are reminded of God’s unconditional love and ever-present care at Christmas and all throughout the year.
Affordably priced so you can easily give the set as heartfelt gifts, the messages of hope and faith in these extraordinary works of fiction deliver the truest gifts of the season. They will inspire all who read them as they bring home the joy of God’s presence at Christmastime.

Faith and Family Volume One:
image credit: The Graphics Fairy
Susan Page Davis

Jenness Walker

Pam Hanson and Barbara Andrews

Jessica Keller

Anita Draper

Carla Gade Olson

Carrie Fancett Pagels

Jennifer Johnson

image credit: The Graphics Fairy
Joy and Wonder Volume Two:

Liz Johnson

Linda S. Clare

Johnnie Alexander Donley

Pam Hanson and Barbara Andrews

Ashley Clark

Julie Carobini

Marilyn Turk

Ginger Kolbaba

To order from Guidepost Books, click here.

I don't make anything from the sale of this set. I'm just excited to share it with you. Plus, my good friend Carrie Pagels has a wonderfully sweet story in Volume One titled Snowed In!

Visit Carrie on the web @ Overcoming With God. You'll find encouragement and friendship among the ladies there :)

Do you enjoy Christmas stories? Do you a favorite that you'd like to recommend?

 image credit: The Graphics Fairy

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Romans 11:36 (ESV)
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. 
To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Galatians 1:3-5 (ESV)
 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 
who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, 
according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

Have a blessed Sabbath!

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Sunday Stillness

Friday, November 8, 2013

Random 5 Friday {Late in the day}

1. Finally, some brilliant autumn color!  

2. I read Starry Night by Debbie Macomber this week. It is worth a thousand sighs :) 

3. My laptop keyboard is doing weird things. I think I need to buy some air and clean it.

4. My blogging mojo is waning like daylight during the autumnal equinox.  

5. We might get snow showers next week. I am not ready for that despite the fact I have listened to Christmas music this week.

Is anyone else having formatting problems with Blogger? I can't get it to center any text today.

Thank you to all who have served our country so faithfully!!! 

I hope y'all have a happy and safe Veteran's Day!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

His Saving Grace by Heather Gray ~ FIRST Wild Card Tour Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Astraea Press (July 29, 2013)

***Special thanks to Heather Gray for sending me a review copy.***


 Aside from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys in life are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing.  Years ago, she decided it would be better to laugh than yell.  Heather carries that theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.

Visit the author's website.


Will she be able to save him from himself?

Grace finds herself wed to a man who loathes her.  She is shunned and exiled to the farthest corner of the land. It wouldn't hurt so much if he hadn't once been her best friend.

Thomas became a duke long before he was ready. Now he can't go anywhere without women trying to entrap him into marriage.  He expected better from his childhood friend.

How can friendship, let alone marriage, thrive in the face of bitterness, suspicion, and misunderstanding?

What's to be done when the hurtful choices made in anger have lasting consequences?

It takes a special kind of person to see past the pain to the beauty that lies beyond…

Product Details:

List Price: $.99

File Size: 349 KB

Print Length: 113 pages

Publisher: Astraea Press (July 29, 2013)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Language: English

ASIN: B00E891FV2

My Review

This inspirational historical novella is a sweet and quick read. It starts out with a misunderstanding that causes some serious and unwanted consequences for Thomas, Duke of Stafford. Once he gets over his anger at the situation he finds himself in, he realizes that his childhood friend, Grace, would never behave in the way he accused her of behaving. The name ‘Grace’ fits our heroine perfectly.  It means ‘elegance or beauty, charm and mercy ’, to name a few. Let’s just say that Grace needs plenty of ‘grace’, in all its form, to deal with Thomas in matters of the heart.

I thought the story line was well-written and believable for the Regency period. It swept me along on a tumultuous and romantic journey. As a matter of fact, I believe the core aspect of the story can be just as relevant today. Often times, people jump to wrong conclusions, thereby creating a wedge in relationships. Not that it is the right way to respond in tricky situations but it happens. Grace showed her strength of character beautifully in the way she loved Thomas and lived the life she was given.

This is the second book by Heather Gray that I’ve read. They are polar opposites in setting and time but totally delightful from beginning to end. I will be adding more of her books to my TBR pile and I highly recommend her books to historical and contemporary fans.

I want to express my sincere thanks to the author for sending me an electronic copy for review purposes. I wasn’t required to write a positive one, just my honest opinion. No compensation has been received.


March 1815

Stafford Shire, England

Try as she might, Grace couldn't stop the tears flowing down her cheeks. She was hiding in her father's library, hoping no one would be bold enough to seek her out. Her parents were hosting a house party, and the guests were everywhere. Each person, it seemed, wanted to know everybody else's business.

When she heard the door behind her issue a soft squeak, she knew she'd been found. She kept her back to the door, not wanting the person to see how distressed she was. "Gracie, may I come in?"

It was Thomas! Though they hadn't seen each other much in recent years, he was a childhood friend and, the way she saw it, her one true friend here at this gathering. "As long as you close the door and let no one else enter," she said hoarsely.

She heard the door click again, followed by Thomas's movement through the room. He was soon leaning against her father's desk right beside her, his familiar tall frame, shortly clipped brown hair, and intelligent blue eyes a familiar comfort to her.

"What's wrong? Surely Lady Appleton's ghastly morning gown isn’t enough to bring on tears. Temporary blindness, yes, but not tears."

Grace couldn't help the small chuckle that bubbled up and out of her. Thomas had always known just what to say, no matter her mood. Her father, the Earl of Miltmouth, and Thomas's father had been the best of friends. Thomas and Grace had naturally grown up together. She had seen less of Thomas after his father had passed away and he'd had to take over the running of the estates, but they had managed to remain friends.

"I asked Father if I could have a season in London," she said woefully. Grace, wrapping her arms around her midsection, felt nauseated.

"Ah, I take it he said no. Surely he'll bring you to London for a season soon. I assume he'll want you to marry well." When Grace said nothing in return, Thomas asked, "Am I mistaken?"

"You should have heard the awful things he said to me!" Thomas handed a kerchief to Grace, who wiped at the tears she still couldn't quite get under control. "He told me I'll never find a suitable husband. My mouth is too big, and my smile is too wide. I'm too skinny, and my bosom is too flat. No man will ever want to marry me, and going through the pretense of a season in London will be nothing but a costly embarrassment to the family."

Repeating all the terrible things her father had said to her made Grace cry even harder. Feelings of rejection and disbelief swirled through her. Her father, while at times eccentric, had never before said anything so cruel to her. The kerchief, now sodden, did little good.

That was when she felt Thomas's arms wrap around her in a hug. "It'll work out, Gracie. I don't know why your father would have said such things to you, but you can't let his words get you down. They're not even true. You have a perfectly sized mouth, a delightful smile, and… well, I'm sure everything else is fine, too."

Grace soaked in Thomas's warmth. She sighed into his waistcoat and said, "I appreciate the kind words, Thomas, but you shouldn't be in here alone with me. We both know that."

Thomas, his voice light, said, "It was in here with you or out there with the barracudas. I think I'm safer right where I am."

Grace didn't pull out of his comforting hug as she knew she ought to. Instead she said, "I've spent my whole life in Stafford Shire and have never even been to London before. All I'm asking for is one season. If I wait much longer, I'll be completely on the shelf, and no decent man will even consider marrying me. My father has doomed me to the life of being some man's courtesan!"

"You've been reading the newspaper again, haven't you?" She felt the warm rumble of his chuckle against her cheek. "You shouldn't even know words like that. If your parents knew you were reading those rags, they'd have your hide."

Grace's tears had quieted and were slowly being replaced by hiccups. Just as Thomas began to release her from his friendly hold, the library door opened with a loud bang.

"What the devil is going on in here?" demanded Lady Appleton.

Grace jumped out of Thomas's arms and said, "It's not what you th—ink." The hiccups were gaining momentum. "I was up—set. Thomas found me, and I was—crying. He was simply be—ing kind."

The skin on Lady Appleton's florid face jiggled as she shouted, "Not only are you in a room with a man unchaperoned, but you were in an embrace!" Her gown truly was the most awful color. It was somewhere between green and brown, like a plant that had withered and died. To make the ensemble worse, she looked as if she were wearing an entire peacock atop her piled hair.

Seeming to thrive on spectacle, Lady Appleton continued to bombast them with accusation, her voice growing toward a crescendo. "You've been ruined, young lady! There will have to be a wedding at once!" If volume were the stick by which such things were measured, Lady Appleton's screeching voice ensured that Grace would feel maximum shame.

"Th—at wasn't an embrace!"

By this time, several people had gathered in the hallway outside the library door. When Grace's father came on the scene, Thomas spoke directly to him, ignoring Lady Appleton. "I apologize for any misunderstanding. Gracie was crying. She was upset, might I add, by the cruel things you said to her. I'm nothing more than a childhood friend offering a bit of encouragement and reassuring her that her father is not the ogre he appears to be at present."

Grace had never heard Thomas's voice quite like this. The sharp edge of strong metal in it was unmistakable. This voice belonged to the Duke of Stafford, not her childhood friend Thomas.

Grace stared at Thomas and saw for the first time, not the boy she'd considered her chum, but rather the man he had become. His stature was impressive, his closely cropped brown hair stylish. It was his eyes that stunned her into silence, though. They had always been such a lively and cheerful blue, but now… now they glinted cold and steely, showing not a glimmer of warmth.

Lord Miltmouth turned from Thomas to Lady Appleton and demanded, "By all that is good and holy, what on earth is going on here? What are you carrying on about, woman?"

The Earl was a tall and imposing man whose black hair had begun to silver at the temples and to whom people normally gave deference. Lady Appleton, however, was no mere mortal. As it turned out, she was a scandalmonger who was nourished with the milk of blather and who thrived on the meat of gossip. She was in her element and would not back down. If anything, her voice grew louder.

Peacock feathers bouncing with each word, she said, "I found your daughter and that… that man there…  in an embrace here in this room. Without a chaperone, I might add. Obviously they must be wed at once!" Then she turned on her heel and marched away, leaving a trail of whispered conversation behind her.

Grace looked to her father and said, "We did no-thing wrong."

More than a dozen faces stared at them from the doors of the library. Some reflected pity or shock, while others showed salacious delight. Lord Miltmouth looked back and forth between the two of them and finally said, "It's too late to change anything. With Lady Appleton leading the charge, word will soon reach the outermost territories of the kingdom. I'm afraid there's nothing for it. The two of you will have to be wed."

"F-ather, don't be r-idiculous. I'm n-ot ruined." Blast these hiccups! Surely her father didn't actually think she and Thomas had been doing anything untoward in the library? Didn't he trust she had been raised better than that?

Thomas whirled to face her, and Grace stumbled back when she saw the look in his eyes. Humor, irritation, resignation –  she could have handled any of those. The withering arctic look he gave instead chilled her to the core. "You planned this whole thing, didn't you, Grace? All to land yourself a duke. I don't know what happened to you, but you're not the girl I used to know, and you are no one I want for a wife."

"Now listen here, Thomas—" the Earl began but was cut off by the young duke's words.

"You will address me as Your Grace or not at all, is that clear?" Grace's father stared at the younger man, his face flushing. "Do whatever you need to do. I will return in three Sundays, and we will get this farce over with."

Grace watched as Thomas stormed from the room. Her tears of earlier were forgotten and her hiccups finally cured. Gawking at her father, whose face had taken on an ashen pallor, she asked, "What have you done?"

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Autumn skies and a barn

“The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. 
And why shouldn't it be?--it is the same the angels breathe.” 
― Mark TwainRoughing It

Living in the country and seeing views like this is one of my favorite places to be!

Where is your favorite place?

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Bee-utiful Mum

*My Tuesday Muse 
I had tossed this Chrysanthemum into the compost pile last winter because it looked hopeless. All shriveled and dry and brown, surely it was a goner. But early spring, it showed a touch of green in a wee tiny sprig that was still clinging to the dirt ball. So, I put that puppy back in the ground. I mean, what did I have to lose, right? 

With some water and sunshine and I'm sure a little heavenly touch, she blooms in glorious display! And the sight of that plant, that I thought was surely beyond restoring, brings so much hope and joy to my heart every time I gaze upon its beauty. It tells me my spring is coming. I will bloom again. This brittle period will pass because I am still clinging to the One who is my hope and restoration.

How are you doing today? 

*Normally I link to Tuesday Muse at A Rural Journal but it is on hiatus for the rest of the year. 

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