Have you thought about having a summer girlfriend gathering... be it a luncheon, tea or brunch? Maybe this Morning Glory Garden Printables Kit will inspire you to send out the invites and celebrate the glory of the Lord in your life! You can find out what's in the kit over at Karla's Korner Shoppe.
I couldn't let this masterpiece slip by without sharing it with you. Alexis was asked to paint a pond asthe backdrop for a frog toss game for the children's carnival on the last day of VBS. I was so glad she called me to come paint with her for two reasons... first because it was just so much fun hanging out and painting with her and second because it would have taken her so much longer by herself! The cattails were her idea and so were the wonderful textured clouds... I just through in the rocks for the fun of it... so together we made a fine team... and not too much of a mess.... LOL... I'm sure she would agree! You can see it set up on Lex's blog.
As I was picking raspberries this morning, I was admiring this cluster and began to think about the fruit that God produces in our lives.... the fruit of godly character and good deeds... and I just want to share this quick thought with you...
As I looked at this cluster and saw that there are berries at every stage of development from very not ripe to ready for the picking... I couldn't help but visualize the same thing is true of the fruit in our lives. We are constantly growing and maturing and not all that God wants to do in us and through us ripens at the same time... but if we are faithful to water, weed & feed, and wait on Him, the fruit of God's will and works in our lives will ripen in His time for His purposes.
And I thought... when I reach up there to pick a berry, the ripe ones just easily fall off the vine whereas if I tug on one and it resists, then it's telling me it's not ready to be picked... it's not as sweet as God designed it to be. We can so easily grow impatient, beating ourselves up if we're weak in a certain area or maybe we're wanting to do a particular ministry or use a particular talent or ability and it's not just happening. Sometimes we want to produce the fruit before it's time... sometimes even trying to force it. but if we do... it may never be as sweet or effectual as if we waited on the Lord to mature us on the vine and then use us at the perfect moment to bring a taste of His goodness to the world around us.
Oh Lord... we want to be fruitful!! If only we could see the fruit on the vine of our lives...not just the juicy ripe red ones but the tiny ones... the green ones... the ones that are just turning pink... maybe we wouldn't be so impatient
with ourselves... or others... or You God. Give us eyes to see and hearts to wait on You Lord Jesus... and bear much juicy fruit for Your glory! Amen.
Okay... first off... no laughing at my poor short corn! I told you we had a very wet spring and I finally decided better late than never. Besides, I'm counting on a late fall so I should be showing you my corn on the cob mid September or so!! Anyway... there's a story behind me sharing this photo and it's not about the corn at all.
If you've ever read my "Down a Garden Path" book, you might remember that because we had no water on our property, I had to haul water in by the barrel and hand water each and every plant in the garden. I built little reservoirs around each plant individually and was very careful, as I watered, not to waste a drop. I am so thankful today to have running water and so often have to remind myself not to take it for granted! Well today, as I weeding and watching the irrigation system drip... drip... dripping, I was again reminded of my Alaskan experience and was thinking about how with the irrigation system we don't water the paths, the places where fruit-bearing plants don't grow... not even the leaves of the plants. The water is focused fully and wholly on the roots.
I was reminded that God is not concerned if we are a late bloomer, if we've had struggles in our lives that have stunted our growth or caused us to appear to be at a disadvantage... He's not concerned if we're the biggest plant in the row or the shortest... He's not looking to see if we're perfect... but His focus is on us putting down roots deep into the soil of His love and truth... not wasting one drip of His precious Holy Spirit. If our roots are well-watered... saturated in His grace, than our branches will be fruitful. The more we know in our hearts how much God loves us and how much He sacrificed for us, the more His love will flow in us and through us... we truly will be like trees planted by rivers of water... bearing fruit in all seasons. (Ps.1)
Are you dripping wet today? Oops... I think I need to go get under the faucet!
Father God, thank You that You are our irrigation system and Your water never ceases. Draw us near to Yourself... to spend time with You... meditating on Your promises... saturating ourselves in Your Word... and Your promise is that You will draw near to us. Work in the soil of our hearts that our roots will grow deep and our lives will be fruitful for You. We pray in Jesus precious Name... amen.
You truly are the apple of God's eye and when He looks at you He smiles!
The apple is such a visual reminder of this truth and this truth gives us reason to celebrate... don't you agree? You can check out my new "Apple of God's Eye" Clip Art Kit in my Shoppe and hopefully it will inspire you to start looking forward to ways to gather together with other women and celebrate God's goodness in the coming days!
The inspiration for this kit came from Deuteronomy 32:10 where it says,
"He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye."
Have you ever felt like you were living in a wasteland where the struggles of life pressed in around you like a howling wind taunting your soul? I know some of you are there right now. Some of us may not be all the way in the desert but there are some dry places where we know we need the Lord's presence to be made real to us. God wants to remind us that we are the apple of His eye and even though we may be in a desert land, God is right here with us... encircling us with a hedge of protection and provision... faithful to direct our steps as we listen to His leading and follow Him in all our ways.
O Lord, give us eyes to see in the Spirit and know in our hearts that You are with us... not only surrounding us with your protection but also in us... filling us with your peace as we trust in You. For those of us who, by Your grace, are not in a desert place... help us not to take such a blessing for granted but draw us close to You and remind us that by grace we are the apple of Your eye and You're smiling down on us even now. Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless His holy Name!
I am so thankful God is allowing us another year here at Grace Acres! (I'll tell you more about that later!) A couple of years ago I planted a border around my veggie garden of buttery yellow daisies and this lovely english lavender and this year they are so beautiful and full it just makes my heart sing to still be here enjoying them!! Oh for the grace of God! I was able to harvest this container full and you can't even tell it by looking at the plants... so I may just have to go back tomorrow and snip a little more. I know you're supposed to hang lavender to dry but for now it is just too pretty overflowing this containter... which just happens to be a silverware and napkin holder put to good use!
The bold fragrance of lavender always reminds me of how we are a sweet smelling fragrance to the Lord as we allow Him to work in us and through us. As pleasing as the smell of lavender is to me, I can only imagine how pleasing our lives must be to God as we pour out the love of Christ to those around us. I don't know about you but I can so easily get caught up in my own world, that I can forget all about the needs of others.
"For we are to God the fragrance of Christ..." 2 Corinthians 2:15
O Lord, fill me up with the fragrance of your grace and goodness today... so much so... that it is diffused through my life and brings a sweet smell of You to others. Amen and amen.
Hmmmm... I was just thinking... I haven't painted lavender before... and it does have a great message to tie to it... I think I may just pick up a brush and capture it's beauty and design as well as it's fragrance!
I told you a few days ago that I was working on the "Blessed Baby" collection and I was. But in the process of putting it together, I changed my mind... and the name... to "Beautiful Baby" Clip Art Collection... and I love it!
Too cute... I can hardly wait to start creating some sweet baby things myself. For more details of what's included in this kit just visit my Shoppe and let me know what you think!
This is a beautiful example of a "Morning Glory Gathering"! This is a table setting from "Every Woman's
Grace" Spring Luncheon, held at Grace Community Church, Sun Valley,CA on May 21, 2008. It's so inviting, isn't it? A couple of things I really love about this is the use of paper plates and plastic cups... a fun and beautiful setting doesn't have to be fine china and glass. And I LOVE the white picket fence down the center of the table... short enough not to block the view of the women across from you, simple to do, and just downright CHARMING! Carolyn wanted to use more of the art from the "Morning Glory Garden" Clip Art Kit but I just couldn't get it finished in time but you'll see she was able to use a little here and there.
This is Carolyn's assistant leader and she told me, "I have given my assistant leader almost all of your books now, and she has given me most of your cards. We always try to find new "Karla" items to surprise each other with. It's one of the joys we have serving the Lord together and serving our women." You two did a great job... thank you for sharing your inspiration and heart for ministry with us through your photos!
These are the women who were seated at Carolyn's table... I love how the fence created a frame that says it all... in the garden with the God of glory! I feel like I already know these ladies... isn't that one of the great thing about being sisters in Christ! Thanks again Carolyn for sharing your love for the Lord and your love for other women with them... and us!! Bless your heart!
I hope you've been inspired... I know I have. I can see setting up a little fence like that on the island in my kitchen as a backdrop for my buffet serving dishes. And I love how the seed packet is sticking up out of the little pail... of course I would want to use my own! teehee. It's just so wonderful to see how using a color theme can be so dramatic and beautiful... even in plastic and paper! If you are in Women's Ministry and considering a "Morning Glory Gathering" you might want to bookmark this as a reference for next spring and also know that the "Morning Glory Garden" Clip Art Kit is a great resource with lots of useful art to help you promote your event as well as create table settings and favors. I will soon be adding a Tea Party Printables Kit to coordinate as well as other helpful ideas.
But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
Father God thank You for being a shield around me... my protector against the enemy and the keeper of my heart, thoughts, and life both now and eternally. You are my glory Lord... there is nothing I desire more than You. Thank You for reaching down from heaven when I am downcast and focused on the things of this earth... and with the tender touch of Your Spirit you lift my chin to look up and see You... high and lifted up above all the world... and the things of this earth do grow strangely dim when my eyes are on You! Be glorified Lord... in me and through me... amen.
I thought I would show you the "Morning Glory" plaque that Val will be receiving as part of her prize for winning the June contest! This verse has been such a foundational measure for how I want to live my life... and I know this is your hearts desire as well... to glorify the Lord in all you do, say and are. So... I decided to offer you the print I used to create this plaque as a freebie for one week from today. Next week it will be included in the Morning Glory Garden Printables Kit... so you'll still be able to get it, just not free!
I love having these kind of wall hangings as subtle reminders of God's truths... so if you do too... just download this print and either mount it to a square plaque or mat and frame it.
The print measures 8"x8" and if you don't have a source for blank plaques let me know... my hubby is my source and he said he would cut a few extra for you if you'd like. If you do... they will be $4.00 each for this size and you can just send me an email and will make arrangements.
Have fun and God bless you as you do whatever you do... all to the glory of God!