Monday, September 28, 2015

Who Would Have Guessed?

September.


Coloring.  Who knew that sparkly pens and colored pencils 
and quiet hours with a dear friend could be such good therapy?



Or that summertime would come and go in a flash?



Who could have guessed that a 60th birthday picture 
would finally yield a blog avatar that 
didn't leave me looking like a deer in the headlights?



Or that a neighborhood stroll would yield a treasure trove of 
trashed miniature picket fencing just waiting to haul home?



Who would have guessed that a trio of swans would enjoy 
just hanging out on the sandbars of the bay ... and
 let you almost close enough to let you touch their downy feathers?



Or that God would take your littlest grandchild up to Heaven
 and leave us all gasping with grief and grappling with grace?


'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord.  'They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days when you pray, I will listen.  You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest.'
   ~   Jeremiah 29:11-13 {TLB}   ~

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morning invitations  . . . a 31 Days gathering
your soul, your body, your home, your screens

beginning October 1!

worksheets

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and more ...

subscribe now & don't miss the party!

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visiting with
  Leigh  .  Emily  .  Kara  .  Kelly  .  Crystal  .  Holley  .  Suzie  .  Lyli

60 comments:

  1. We have to make friends with the unexpected, don’t we. It’s sometimes easy when they are pleasant surprises, but extremely difficult when they are grievous for a very long time to come, like the death of a loved one. :( “Gasping with grief and grappling with grace” - yes, indeed.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You heard my heart.

      Thank you, friend ...

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  2. Would love to participate.

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    1. I'm glad you're on board, Maria! This is going to be quite a ride!

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  3. Quite eventful Linda. Happy Birthday in arrears. I think I missed that or can't remember. I was thinking of your writing 31days... All the very best of God's Grace through out this season.
    Sweet Blessings Linda

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    1. God's grace. Yes, yes, Ifeoma. What a life-giving gift He's given through His Son ...

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  4. I'm so sorry about your sweet baby. There are no words that even qualify. Praying for God's peace to surround you all.

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    1. You're so kind, Debbie. I'm glad you're here ...

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  5. I love this! Beautiful photos and a beautiful heart that draws me back in every week. Looking forward to your 31 days. Can't believe it is almost here!

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    1. We keep each other company, don't we, friend?

      I'm so grateful you're in my world.

      ;-}

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  6. That's the Lord would be your friend through these highs, and sad, sad lows. We don't know. But the Lord does. praying and blessings, Linda!

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    1. What a friend we have in Jesus!

      Your words encourage, Bethany. Thanks for being here this morning!

      ;-}

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  7. my heart goes out to you, praying for your family.

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    1. Your purple icon says it all. Thank you, Denise. I so appreciate the support I've gotten from this online community ...

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  8. Oh Linda, that sweet little face on precious Tyler! You provide such a real picture of faith in the happy and in the hard. May God continue to open your eyes to the blessings around every corner, my friend!

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    1. I'd like to think he loved his grandma even in the very short time I had with him ...

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  9. I admit I was a bit wary when I first searched for "adult" coloring books on amazon. But yes, therapy indeed. So looking forward to doing #write31days with you, my friend. September has brought many unexpected, and unwelcome events. Praying for healing in October.

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    1. I know ... it sounds so seedy, doesn't it? Adult coloring books? But I've found some pretty ones for my 85 year old mom this week ... good therapy at any age, right?

      ;-}

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  10. Yeah...who would've guessed that God was so amazing and is constantly surprising us. But I like it!

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    1. Amazing love, how can it be ...

      Amen, Bill.

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  11. Tears for you, Friend as I gazed upon the picture of your sweet grand! Praying! BUT I love your 60th picture---you need to check you birth certificate and check your math----NO WAY are you 60!
    Blessings on you and your family, Friend!

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    1. Check out your birth certificate!!

      har har har!

      You sweet talker, you ...

      ;-}

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  12. I love the way you view life and write about it, Linda. From finding thanks in the simple joys to being transparent and honest with loss, you allow us to walk alongside you, keeping eyes on the Savior. Oh, and the birthday picture? You look man-ve-lous, dah-link! Hugs and prayers.

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    1. You're such an encouragement, Kristi ...

      And the birthday picture? Well, you're just too sweet for words!

      ;-}

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  13. Linda,

    Nice to meet you. I'm stopping over from Dolly's. I'm so sorry about the loss of your grandchild! Wow, words fail.

    Thinking of you this evening from Minnesota,
    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougan.com

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    1. Dolly is so gentle, wise, and godly. Any friend of hers is a friend of mine ...

      Thanks for being here, Jennifer ... it means alot that you'd take the time to leave such encouraging words.

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  14. Oh, I am so sorry. What you said, "gasping with grief and grappling with grace"--I am just so sorry. I know you are seeking Him in earnest right now. You've blessed me by sharing this piece of your story today. Thank you.

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    1. Amen! When we seek Him we find Him if we're seeking with all our hearts! He loves us so ...

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  15. Linda, I am so sorry for your losses this year.

    And I think there is a misprint. Thirty, not sixty.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/09/joyride-blogbattle.html

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  16. My heart goes out to you, but so much hope in this post. Blessings amidst the grief, hope within the hurt. Prayers for you and your family.

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    1. Kathryn ... you said it well. There is so much hope because of our faith in Jesus Christ. My hope is built on nothing less.

      Thanks for hearing my heart ... I'm glad you're here this morning!

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  17. We never know where God is going to lead us, my friend. Those verses from Jeremiah are some of my absolute favorites. And how cute are those little feet in the pink flip flops! I always just adored my kids' feet :). Your 60th birthday pic is beautiful. That will always be a wonderful keepsake for you and your family.
    I've been really wanting to jump on this coloring bandwagon. What a stress reliever! I love the idea of using sparkly pens. Thanks for that tip. Much love to you and yours, Linda!

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    1. I don't care that it's fall. I'm still wearing my flips!

      You, too?

      And yes, great big thumbs up on those sparkly pens, Candace! Every coloring page needs a bit of bling!

      ;-}

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  18. I'm so glad your getting to do some lovely, healing things like coloring, enjoying your grandkids, walking on the beach and decorating your new little nest. I love the little picket fence too! So cute! And I'm so sorry once again for the losses you've had to endure this year as well, dear Linda. I do hope that all of God's gifts and outlets in your life are buoying you above the waves. You and your family are in my prayers.

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    1. Lovely healing things. Yes, yes, Beth. You've got my number.

      Writing's a major player in this right now. God's gifts and outlets certainly do lift us up ... and I think maybe encourage others in the process.

      And THAT I love ...

      ;-}

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  19. Life can be so full of surprises, both good and bad. Much of life is learning how to ride the waves of both while maintaining our faith and not forgetting God is there and still good.

    31 Days starts tomorrow! Excited to what you have in store for us.

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    1. Can you believe it's time for 31 Days! I'm putting my first post up tonight. I don't want to find out early tomorrow morning that my computer's gone wonky, ya know?

      It's going to be fun!

      ;-}

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  20. Oh dear Linda, I'm so sorry about the loss of your grandbaby. Your pictures and thoughts are beautiful. Glad you're taking time to color and walk on the beach. Look forward to seeing your 31 days series. Bless you, my friend.

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    1. Well, thanks, Betsy ... so many losses, yet so much grace. Such sadness, and yet an incredible sense of peace.

      It's a God thing. Definitely.

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  21. Hi Linda! I read your post with silent joy, seeing that you can find good in where you are, even though you've been through so much. Your 60th birthday photo is so pretty! I'm glad you can use it for your internet presence, and feel like you are represented truthfully.
    Your 31 Days sounds interesting, what's it about? I guess I'll have to come back and find out for myself huh? I would agree with your thoughts about getting a start on it tonight. Our internet conked out, so I'm at the local library now trying to catch up on my blog and reading. Not the best, I'd rather be home, so I hope your computer stays sane and doesn't go all wonky either!
    Hugs my friend,
    Ceil

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    1. Silent joy. Yes, that's there. It's that peace that passes understanding, that doesn't make sense. I am grateful!

      I'm excited about 31 Days after saying there was no way I was going to do it again. Never say never, huh? And yes, let's hold our breaths and say a prayer that our computers don't get wonkier than they already are.

      Welcome back, friend! Missed ya' ...

      ;-}

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  22. My heart breaks for your loss of the grand baby. Your faith through grief is an inspiration.

    Thanks for sharing your September list and pictures. You look great in your birthday picture - a young 60 for sure. Hope you have many happy returns of the day.

    God bless you, my friend.

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    1. I'm glad you're here today, Teresa. Your kind words have made a difference.

      ;-}

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  23. That's the wonder of life, isn't it? We wouldn't ask for or plan much of what happens, but it is all woven into a tapestry that is who we are. We affect so many more people than we ever imagine by our joy, as well as how we handle grief. You are continually in my prayers.

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    1. The wonder of life, a tapestry. Thank you, Sarah. You've painted a beautiful picture tonight ... and it's touched my soul.

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  24. So very many prayers for your loss. What a lovely picture/connection. I'm glad you like your new Avatar - I appreciate how you can share something so much gratitude in such painful circumstances. Bless you and your family.

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    1. Now ... all I have to do is figure out how to get Disqus to accept my face instead of my initial! Then, I'll be set!

      It was so good to meet you today, Regina ... I hope to get to know you better in the days ahead. Loved your blog!

      ;-}

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  25. Linda--- whio would have thought such a child-like activity could bring such pleasure and peace and to think you suggested it and I became obsessed with coloring to bring it right back to you again. God knows what we need when we need!!!!!!

    Hope your mom is enjoying sparkle pens

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    1. I'm planning on having a little coloring party with mom next time we stop by for a visit. Should be fun ... I remember coloring with her when I was a little girl.

      Who would have guessed, huh?

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  26. I love your blog. Rich, true, insightful, provocative, punchy.

    {via email}

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    1. Wow. What a basketful of grace you've offered me. Thank you so very much. To God be the glory ...

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  27. Oh, Linda, so much beauty and so much pain in this world. Thanks be to God that He helps us to absorb and to sort out and to trust Him with the glorious mixture. This is a beautiful post, but my heart aches for you.

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    1. Michele, thanks. You heard my heart ... I am grateful you're here today.

      Blessings to you.

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  28. Replies
    1. You're sweet. The kidlits sometimes call me Ma. You can, too!

      ;-}

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  29. Some of my friends are so addicted to coloring now. I can't blame them. And I think it's a good breather from gadgets.

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    1. I'm with you, Lux ... we need a break from all things electronic. Even during, especially during a 31 Days marathon!

      ;-}

      So glad you're back, girl!

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda