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A few highlights from Christmas 2018

5 Jan

Merry Christmas!  Today is the 12th Day of Christmas.  The Christmas season has been full of family gatherings, Christmas celebrations, and relaxation.  Enjoy the pictures!

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I took some time the day after Christmas to make these Christmas cards.

 

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This stable was a thrilling find.  I found it for $3.29!  This is the stable I referenced in my previous post about cleaning out my stable 🙂

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This is the Nativity set that we got from some of B’s cousins for our wedding in 2017!

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Our Christmas tree ❤️  We love sitting by the tree, enjoying the peace of this season.

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My sister J. And I.  Everyone was at my parents that night for our family Christmas.  We had to pose with the amazing spread of food.  Notice my elf costume?!  I had a fun time finding that at my fave place (thrifting!)

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The Cathedral where we went for evening Mass on Christmas Eve.  This is also where we got married in 2017!

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Tonight B. and I went to the Cathedral for First Saturday Mass.  We hadn’t gotten a Christmas photo of us “dressed-up” so this photo will work!

From our hearts to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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This week I cleaned out my stable

20 Dec

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This week, I found myself cleaning out my stable.  This is no ordinary stable.

A couple weeks ago, this stable was perched on a shelf at a local thrift store.  It was a great price and a beautiful piece of art, so I placed in into my shopping cart.  I brought the stable home, where it sat for several days untouched.  Then, a couple days ago, I found some time to clean the stable before placing our Nativity figurines in it.

I donned rubber gloves, grabbed a disinfectant wipe, and began rubbing down the roof and the walls.  Much to my dismay, I felt like I was trying to clean a chalkboard with a piece of cotton.  And this piece of “cotton” was picking up pieces of dust and dirt rather quickly.  I soon realized this was a bigger job that I had originally expected. So, I filled a bucket with warm water and a splash of murphy’s oil soap, placed the stable into the tub, and began to scrub away.

Prior to cleaning the stable, I thought “I don’t have a lot of time to clean this, so maybe a quick “brush” will do.  From the color of the water coming off of the stable interior and exterior, it quickly became apparent that the quick “brush” was going to have to become a deep clean.

I began scrubbing more vigorously.  Soon the stable had a new feel and a new look.  I rinsed the whole stable off before turning it onto its side to allow any excess water to drip off before I placed it in front of a fan for further drying.

As I cleaned out this stable, I couldn’t help but reflect on the stable of my heart.

How often does my “stable keeper”, The Lord, want to clean out my heart so that He can dwell therein?  How much He must want to “deep clean” my soul!  How often does he want to touch my life in more ways than just a “brush”?  How transformed He wants to make my life, if I will only invite Him to enter in!  He doesn’t expect perfection, because HE is perfection.  HE will make all things anew if I open the door of my heart and invite Him to enter

As we near the end of Advent, I’m opening the doors of my stable.  I’m asking Our Lord to enter in and made His dwelling within my soul.  I know that He has so many graces in store for me this Christmas.  He has so many graces available to you too.

Will you allow him to enter in, even if your stable isn’t perfect?  He wants to touch your life.  He wants to move within your soul.  Will you invite him in?

 

Up and writing

10 Dec
black ball point pen with brown spiral notebook

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

My imagination has been bouncing around with ideas to write about.  Writing is so relaxing.  When I read and have time to reflect, I think of this look nook.  I think of it as my old-fashioned corner where I can sit in the window, basking in the bright rays of sunshine, and let my fingers tap out stories that unfold through the pages of my daydreams.

I crave this corner of the world because it’s quiet, cozy, and it’s personal.  It’s kind of like story-time.  I would like to start incorporating more of my creative writing into my blog posts.  In order to do that, I need to have a schedule.  I can’t wait to see what enfolds, but I get excited just thinking about writing stories.

If you know me, you know that I love books.  Especially the old, hardback books that have that rustic, nostalgic smell, that takes me back to spending time in our local library.  I have always enjoyed reading, and over the years, I’ve built up my personal collection of books.

This corner of the world feels, in a way, like my own personal library where I can’t sit down and let my creative juices flow, and where I can share with you some of my deepest ponderings about life, spirituality, home-making and cooking.

I’m thoroughly excited to be on here.  The times I blog anymore are few and far between, but I keep getting that nudge to sit down and share.  Whether a personal story, or a story birthed from my imagination.

I hope to be back here to my quiet space again very soon.  Until then, keep warm and may the hope of Our Savior fill your heart with peace and healing this Advent season.

Love,

Rachel

7 Quick Takes: Hello from my backyard

13 Jul

Hello!  Blogging always brings me joy.  It is one of my goals this summer to blog more.  So far I’ve blogged . . . . once.  HA!  It’s still summer, so my goal remains the same.

1. Our flower gardens have been one of the highlights for me this season.  I get a thrill from watching the flowers grow from their tiny little leaves and buds into full grown blooms.

 

2. Yesterday evening B. found two giant tomato-eating caterpillars on the tomatoes.  We he plucked them off the tomatoes and tossed them into the pond for the fish to eat.

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Great big gross green tomato caterpillars

3. My sister K. has been in town visiting while her husband is on a business trip.  They have a 3-month-old, who is B. and my goddaughter.  I’ve been thoroughly enjoying spending time with my sister, and of course getting in lots of baby snuggles.  I hope and pray that someday B. and I will have babies of our own.  In God’s perfect timing, #amiright?

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Me and my sister’s adorable baby

4. There’s nothing quite like fresh laundry from the clothesline.  It smells so good.

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It was pretty windy that day!

 

5. I call this plant “lamb’s ear”, but I don’t know if that’s the correct name for it.  The leaves are really soft, and it feels like a lambs ear (I guess!) It’s growing in the middle of the grass in our backyard.

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6. I am so thankful it is Friday.  My week was good, but I was exhausted by Wednesday!  We have been working a lot around the yard and the house, and most days this week after we finished dinner, we would jump back into a project and then collapse at the end of the night.

7.   B. and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this spring!  I thank God every day for my wonderful husband.  Here we are working on a project together.  (New closet doors – *squeal!* )

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Stay tuned!  *Coming soon* —  *Home Improvement Projects*

Thanks for stopping by!  It was nice to have you.  Come back again soon!

I’m joining the “7 Quick Takes” at This Ain’t the Lyceum, so head on over to read other blogs!

 

Love,

Rachel

What do you do during Thunderstorms?

19 Jun

Summer thunderstorms are thrilling!  The ominous clouds billow and build, creating giant dark gray thunderheads.  This afternoon we had a wonderful thunderstorm while I was at work.  I could hear the rain pelting the roof of the building as my fingers clicked away at my keyboard.  After work, I ducked for cover as I dashed into a local Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  I spent some peaceful time in prayer and did some spiritual reading.  Here is a picture from the Chapel:

 

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St. Vincent Blessed Sacrament Chapel

 

After my visit to the Chapel, I went home and began a delicious Chinese supper with some leftover grilled turkey and frozen veggies.  While supper was simmering, I couldn’t help but pull some things out of the pantry and re-organize (I am my mother’s daughter, and she LOVES to be organized.  I totally love it too!)  

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Home-made Chinese dinner

 

As I worked around the kitchen, I watched the rain and listened to the thunder overhead.

 

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Our newly organized pantry

Thunderstorms can be scary or they can be enjoyable.  It depends on our approach.  Do we run in fear, or do we sit and watch in awe and wonder?

Sometimes there are thunderstorms in my heart.  Sometimes the storms are beautiful and sometimes they’re turbulent.  Sometimes it’s the voice of God speaking to me.  Other times it’s my own human heart that is upset or discouraged.  I try to listen when it’s the voice of God.  Other times, I rely on myself during the storm, and that’s when I begin to doubt.  But Jesus is on the other side of that storm, stretching forth His hand, asking for us to trust.

Our Lord delights in the heart that remains peaceful during the storms of life.  He is our anchor when the rain comes pelting down and the water rises.  He is our stronghold and our Mighty God who need only speak the word and our hearts are healed.  Will you join me in listening to the voice of God during the thunderstorms of life?  The storms are truly beautiful and oftentimes the storms of life help make us stronger if we allow ourselves to be led by the mighty power of God, the one who has control over all the storms.

What do you do during Thunderstorms?

 

 

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Our backyard during the Thunderstorm this evening

 

(Note: please pardon the different font types.  I don’t know how to change that…)

 

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