Monday, January 14, 2019

Clean Slate

 The most snowfall in two years 
fell softly here in Northern Virginia.
Grinding expectations 
and stuffed calendars slid off the immediate pile.
You can hear the hush.
Less traffic out on the Parkway.
Less of everything in the 
moreness of the snow.
 Branches burdened by the weight-
settle closer to the earth.
Didn't go out to measure 
but the tabletop gives perspective.
Delighted that we still had the Christmas lights
 up to turn on and they dazzled in the glistening dark.

And on these white, white days I am reminded:

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
 says the Lord
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
 they shall be as white as snow;
 though they are red as crimson,
 they shall be like wool.
Isaiah 1:8

May Snow Days always be
 such a reminder.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Worship into the Week-Behold!

Matthew 2:10
The Gospel reading for Epiphany.
Reflecting on the Journey,
the Finding and the Knowing.
The trip home- 
 how could their lives not have changed?
What would you tell your family?
How could you explain what you saw?
 What about that young babe you brought gifts to?
May that wonder move
 right into this new year-
that I may cling to the King
 who gave up all for me.

 Visual Church Year Printable
Colored pencils
Junk Mail
Epiphany Blessing Printable

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New Year- Clean Spaces

 It started simple enough last weekend.
 Hubby was home, house was quiet.
"Can we tackle the pile of paper
 on your desk in the office?"
 That morphed to the next pile and the next stack.
And the next dusty shelf.
So edited the bookshelves.
Donating 78 books to the public library.
 Though we have still way too many books,
it helps to delete that many each time.
It ended up being 28 hours of people time efforts.
But, the space breathes 
and welcomes once again.
The closet got it too.
It now smiles back when I open it.
(well, I think I saw a smile)
Then I saw there was a Marie Kondo
 series on Netflix.
I watched all 8 as I was sorting things
 and ironing
 in the family room.
Kondoizing began in the rest of the house......
 So the kitchen was next. I only have 4 drawers
 in the whole room and they have to work hard.
I cringed every time I opened them over Christmas-
 as I threw something else in. 
I would never have posted a
  photo of my junk drawer before clean out.
 Some things are a bit challenging
 for me about her method-
(I don't believe that inanimate things Spark Joy).
I do believe that our living spaces
 create welcome or not, cause frustration or not,
 and can suck time as we hunt for things.
Her method for folding things is brilliant
 and I have been a proponent of standing things
 in drawers- like forever.
But, never thought about it for socks.
This isn't her method for storing socks, 
but hubby NEEDS his like this to find them.
But, she does fold them and stand them up- 
in Containers.
So- even though it bothers my symmetrical system
 when all the containers are not the same- 
this is so helpful.
 It keeps like things together for the long run.
Been doing that for awhile also.
I even had empty spaces in drawers.
So I will continue this as can- 
one drawer and closet at a time.
 This season of "cleaning out" goes rather well
 with the Epiphany New Year's blessing.

Bless this home.
Bless this space.
Lord, make the systems here
 in our homes meet our needs,
 so that we have more time to serve you.
Let us get rid of excess,
 so that we have more time for YOU.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Epiphany Blessings!

 Today- the Wise Men have arrived. 
Epiphany Blessings to all. 
Sometimes Pinterest is a way to 
find things you didn't know about.
I found the practice of chalking the door for Epiphany.
There is a whole liturgy for that available.
Above our front door is brick-
 so that doesn't work really well. 
I decided to use the chalkboard
 in our "carport" as the place to mark the spot.
 This notecard explains
 a bit more about the practice.
(link to printable is below)

Here is a liturgy to use 
for this special day of "chalking the door".
I believe that these resources 
allow a bit more of a reflective time for
ending the Christmas celebration.
A fitting way to end the year
 and begin the new one. 
One that marks a very VISUAL way to say-
May Christ Bless this home.
Here are links to some resources:

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Soul-Tending Reading 2019

The 2019 Soul-Tending Book Stack.
I thought for awhile today about not sharing
 what the stack looks like for this year-2019.
Then the accountability factor
 goes WAYYYY down.
That can be a very good thing.
It is true that every year I have to move
 books from the stack 
that was to be- right to the next year's.
But, then, this ambitious 
grouping of titles makes it easy
 to always find the next book to read.
They aren't stacked in order 
and I really do depend 
on the nudges of the Holy Spirit
 for the next read.
I average about 30 books a year- 
so this doesn't count in my penchant
 for good ole' mysteries.
 I request them from the public library
 and I must be reading 
what everyone else loves in Fairfax County.
 Sometimes I have to wait 4-6 months
 to get a book that I have placed on HOLD.
That paces them out just about right for the year.
I have read Hinds' Feet On High Places
in a number of other versions 
and this is a lovely new 
Visual Story telling of this classic.
See some that you have read? 
Want to join me for a read to two?
 The lists for previous years can be found Here:
(as well as a couple years of 
really bad photos before I got a new iPhone.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A New Year's Blessing

New Year's Blessing
Numbers 6:24-26
The Priestly Blessing


 The Lord bless you and keep you;
 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
 the Lord lift up his countenance[a] upon you and give you peace.
Thinking about a new year, new start,
 and what we all need.
We need a place to call home-
 a place that calls to our heart and mission.
The blessing of the Lord over all and in all.
Resolutions ready-
a wellness focus for 2019.
And Jesus over all.

Resource from theVisual Church Year Project
Junk mail and magazine cut outs

Monday, December 31, 2018

Worship into the Week-Give Thanks and Be Ready

Worship into the Week
December 30, 2018
Luke 2:30-31
"My eyes have seen your Salvation
 that you have prepared
 in the presence of ALL people."
The story of Simeon and Anna-
and the fulfillment of waiting.
New Year Eve's
December 31, 2018
Keep your lamps burning, 
keep watch and be ready
 for the Son of Man is Coming soon!
And blessed are those servants
 who have kept watch!
Finishing out the year of 2018-
 full of blessings among the challenges.
He is faithful.
Welcome to 2019!