Sunday, January 29, 2017

Smitten Over These Sweet Mid-Winter Lifesavers

If ever we needed to speak gratitude it would be right about now, smack dab in the midst of winter.  In this season of gray and drab, dark and solitary, God whispers beauty and peace, hope and grace.

He opens our eyes to spy simple treasures and lovely treats and long yearned for answers to prayer, those more-than-we-ask-or-imagine requests.

I'm smitten with gratitude for graces small and big indeed ...


big chunks of sea glass
seed pods & all manner of dried objects
seashells gathered near & far
& Erin Loechner's refreshing memoir, Chasing Slow



 those sunlit days after a howling shake-the-shutters windswept rainstorm
unearth huge waves that roar & shimmer



 as you spread the fragrant lotions & don the slippers 
& enjoy your Christmas gifts, these are the perfect opportunities 
to intercede for those who gifted you



 stress relief at its finest ... 
long evenings spent with an old tin full of sparkling gel pens
& a great big coloring book



it's all about fleece from the top of my head to beneath my toes
swaddled in flannel all night
old quilts stitched for toasty warmth reside on beds & sofas & chairs



I finally dug out the journal from under a pile of books ...
 I've missed penning my conversations with God 



I saved the best for last.
  
 God's opened the door wide for me to 
counsel women in this new place we call home.  
I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am.  




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celebrating winter's joys with
Leigh  .  Holley  .  Anne  .  Brenda  .  Emily

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61 comments:

  1. Morning Linda! These all touched my heart! Wishing you a beautiful week! Stay wam!

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    1. I bet it's absolutely lovely in your part of the world, Jandi. And happy, happy birthday to your 6 year old lovelies!

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  2. Thanks for the wonderful updates. Allison loves the adult coloring books as well. Great news about the counseling. The people of the Cape will be blessed by you.

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    1. The next time the noisy throng gets together, maybe she and I will sneak away and pull out our favorite books and our crayons.

      I'd like that ...

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  3. Thanks for the beautiful pictures, especially of the ocean. And way to go on the counseling! I wondered how long it would be until you returned to your passion. :)

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    1. The passion, the call, the mission never leaves us, does it, Bill ...

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  4. So thankful you are hanging out your shingle again. Others will be blessed by your Godly wisdom!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. Oh thank you, Lulu. When God brings me to mind, please pray, ok?

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  5. I love all the creature comforts you mentioned. So needful this time of year!

    I'm happy for you that you will be able to pursue your calling. May God be involved every step of the way.

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    1. Creature comforts are a sweet grace, so undeserved yet appreciated, aren't they ...

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  6. I'm so glad you'll be counseling women again, right where you are! I know you'll be a blessing in many lives, Linda. Thanks for using your gifts in this way.

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

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  7. Congratulations, friend! I just knew God had the perfect place, waiting for you :) I love your bowl of sea glass!

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    1. I knew He knew. What peace that's given me in the waiting! Thanks for your encouraging words, June ...

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  8. Such beautiful mid-winter lifesavers, Linda, ... and such wonderful news! I'm so glad you have the green light to do what you love in your new location. There's no doubt in my mind that the women you counsel will be blessed by your wisdom, experience and kindness. :-)

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    1. The green light. Yes, I've been waiting for His clear go-ahead signal. I've learned there's no better way to move forward.

      Thanks for the blessing you've given me with your kind words, Lois.

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  9. Hehehe, I think it is funny that you find those adult coloring books to be stree relief! I find them to be stress inducing! Hahaha.. I have no patience for those things. I end up making broad sweeps and crossing lines in my impatience... *blush* - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. My husband thinks I'm a bit crazy because they seem so intense. He's with you ... no patience for 'those things.'

      Looks like you're in good company, Gingi!

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  10. So, so excited for your new opportunity, Linda!
    And thank you for reminding us that beauty and gratitude surrounds us in every season of the year, and in every season of our lives.
    Blessings!

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    1. You're right, Martha. The beauty is there, always. Oh to choose to have eyes to see what God is unfurling for our joy and His glory ...

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  11. Congratulations, Linda. I rejoice with you that God has opened a door for you to minister to even more women. I'm certain many will be blessed as I have. God be with you and give you light and wisdom!

    I always love photos of the ocean. :) And I love your collection of seashells and other objects. There must be a lot of stories there. :)

    My sister recently gave me a Joyful Inspirations adult coloring book, and I am finding it stress-relieving as I quiet myself to think and pray. Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Yep, I've enjoyed coloring while listening to praise music, sometimes incorporating it into my quiet time. Who'd of guessed we'd be digging out our coloring books just like our teachers had us do when we were little girls in Sunday School?

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  12. I love the pictures and so pleased to hear your news that God has opened the doors for you to begin counselling again. I'm sure you'll be a great blessing to the women you work with as you are to us here.

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    1. Lesley, thank you so much. You are a blessing to me ...

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  13. Congratulations Linda. God's got the spot picked out for you for a reason! And love the gratitude here! I feel more warm in my heart just by seeing all that you are warming up with this season.

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    1. Hand picked. Yes, that's what He does for us. He's shown us countless times before that He can be trusted.

      Absolutely!

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  14. So many good things are simmering out your way, Linda! And I'm so excited to be "warmed" by about them all. I always envy your closeness to the sounds and sights of the surf, but grateful for a pic or two that you share with us here. Also, super excited to hear about your counseling opportunity! What a huge blessing! And are those coloring books really stress relievers? I have had difficulty getting to sleep lately, so that might be something that I should take up. Thanks for sharing from your very full and inspiring world, girlfriend!

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    1. Give those coloring books a try,, Beth! And be sure to get some *sparkly* gel pens, too. The big box craft stores have them cheap.

      Let me know if it works for you, ok?

      ;-}

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  15. I love the beauty of where you live and would love to visit that area and of course you. I am thrilled you get to begin counseling others again. You have such a gift for listening and understanding heart matters. God is so good to bring you this opportunity. Blessings and hugs!

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    1. Please know that if you're ever in my neck of the woods, let me know, Mary! I would love to have that chance to meet in person ... a blogger's biggest dream!

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  16. And who called the winter months drab. I love flannel pj, flannel sheets, flannel shirt, like you, anything flannel. Since I am laid up due to health I have thinking about sorting through old pictures...just might do that today. Praise on that open door to counsel women. You really did not think God was not going to use your gifts did you? What a gain to those you meet with. I so enjoy the ones God brought my way while in the hospital. My daughter say it is written on my forehead, "let me help you". If that so, God wrote it. Blessings sister.

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    1. Flannel, flannel, flannel!

      Yay!

      I hope that this week brings you some bright moments, Betty, that there'll be pockets of sunshine and grace to let you know that you're not alone.

      And yes, He does the calling, the equipping, the writing 'on our foreheads,' so to speak. It's nothing we can drum up on our own is it ...

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  17. Linda,
    Oh, I love sea glass and writing in a journal. I loved reading your list :-)

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  18. Beautiful photos and sentiments. I'm always infused with a sense of peace when I visit your site! Hopping over from #coffeeforyourheart

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    1. That you sense peace here has made my day, Sarah. I'm so grateful to share community with you ...

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  19. Wonderful news! I always enjoy the photos that offer a peek behind the words but am thankful, with you, for the open door to counsel women. Your calling.

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    1. You know me well. Thank you for naming the calling, Debby.

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  20. Hi Linda,
    I actually saw this note about you come across my Linked In updates since we are connected there and I was so excited for you! I know you have been looking for that open door these past weeks and months and I knew it was just a matter of time until God moved the pieces in place before he moved you into the spot he'd saved for you. What a fabulous answer to prayer and I am confident that your counsel and guidance will impact those who cross your path, my wise friend! xoxoxo

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    1. Good to hear that LinkedIn works!

      And yes, you're so right, Valerie. God has moved the pieces and He has moved me. I absolutely trust His hand and His timing.

      You always encourage me, ya' know that?

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  21. I'm all about fleece and hot tea these days! It is almost 70 degrees here today, so we are enjoying a break from cold. :)

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  22. I just read your news page and I am so happy for you and the women God is going to bring to you. You are so insightful and encouraging and will help so many. Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks for taking the time not once, but twice ...

      You're so kind.

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  23. What a glorious collection of details. I've heard that Chasing Slow is good -- now with your recommendation I'm even more curious.
    And so happy to hear that you will be sharing truth with other women face to face! Blessings!

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    1. Chasing Slow is a lovely book, and just like her blog posts, delightfully out of the ordinary. Erin breaks molds in the most serendipitous ways.

      I'm a fan!

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  24. Hi Linda! Oh my gosh, what a great thing!! I'm so happy that you have a place to do what your heart is telling you to do. Help others, counsel them, give away some of your wonderful knowledge. What a wonderful gift you have in this opportunity!
    So snuggle up with fleece, sip that tea, and look forward to a new adventure!
    Ceil

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    1. It is a great thing, gifted by our great God. I'm in awe at His timing and grateful to venture forward.

      But the waiting room time did me well. More about that sometime?

      Thanks for your very encouraging words, Ceil ...

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  25. Erin's book looks amazing! My soul seems constantly drawn to books about rest and recharge and sabbath and slow... there may be a pattern here. :) Your pictures were a bit of soul recharging today, and it's funny how we don't know we need that till we see it. I am also very intrigued to learn more about sea glass.
    Congrats on the answered prayer and the new opportunity. May He bless you in your willingness to serve Him.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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    1. Dawn, I couldn't agree with you more about 'rest and recharge and sabbath and slow'! Right now I'm paging through Shelly Miller's Rhythms of Rest ...
      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764218433ie=UTF8&tag=atthecrossroa-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=0764218433

      It just might end up being the best book I read this year!

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    2. Try this link instead
      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764218433?ie=UTF8&tag=atthecrossroa-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=0764218433

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  26. Awe, what a fun list. Yay you -- getting to live so near the ocean. We spent a decade in the midwest and, being a FL girl, I was not at home without the water. Graciously the Lord brought us to NC 6.5 years ago and we have a coastline again. Still need to drive a few hours to it, but I'm not complaining! :) -- Congrats on the new counseling business, Linda. I know you'll be a blessing to all the Lord brings your way. ((hug))

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    1. A coastline! Yay, any coastline ... even a few hours away. I know no better therapy.

      ;-}

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  27. Loved Chasing Slow! Congratulations on your new beginning ... your efforts serve us all!

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    1. And sharing our hearts as we do community together lets us bless each other ...

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  28. That is a beautiful photograph you took! I love the sea glass, and the composition of the photo, it speaks peace and contentment. And what an incredibly exciting adventure for you! Will be praying that all the Lord will mightily bless your new endeavor :)

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    1. Not much sea glass in Idaho, is there ...

      ;-{

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  29. Linda, we were away and unplugged all last week, and I was so delighted to come home and read your news about how God has opened up the door for you to use your gifts in a new place. May the Holy Spirit fill you and empower you as you encourage and counsel during this new season. Hugs

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    1. I so appreciate your blessing, Lyli. It means so very much.

      Welcome back!

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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