Currently having a little problem with Vimeo and the July 4th weekend is not helping matters!
If you can get past the happy face stickers and other 'stuff'... you will find what follows to be sticker free!
What are your thoughts that "pain and joy are arteries of the same heart"...
that "all is grace"?
Were you able to relate in any way to Ann's description of her open journal being filled with Pollyanna moments"?
Would really enjoy hearing your thoughts on this!
In this chapter Philippians 4:11-12 is referred to...
"...I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need."
Ann has chosen to highlight the word 'learned' in these verses and to use this as a springboard to her learning how to give thanks, yet it is verse 13 that gives us the secret that Paul has learned... "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
How do you see the truth of verse 13 relating to how Ann has seen verse 12-13?
Last week, at our church's Leaders Summit meeting,
I sat at the table with one of the girls that is joining us
in reading through one thousand gifts.
She told me that she had just purchased 60 of these little books
and will be giving them out as gifts for others to read and enjoy!
I thought I had heard her wrong,
but no, that was the number of women that will receiving this lovely gift. 60!
If you have not already obtained your own copy,
(or perhaps you are one of the blessed recipients of one as a gift!)
and would like to join us...
it is never too late.
Or, maybe you would prefer just to visit here each week
and listen in on the discussion,
that is fine too!
Looking forward to chatting with you in the Comment Cafe below!
BTW, click here for the blog post The Gift of Time mentioned in today's vlog.
In the Summer of 1992, I was gifted with a July copy of Victoria Magazine. The woman who gave it to me said she was done with it and thought that I would enjoy the article on the artist Frank Benson, as well as the original paintings that he had done of his daughters while holidaying at North Haven Island off the coast of Maine.
The original paintings, of Frank Benson's daughters, were done in the Summer of 1909. Eighty-seven years later, his great-grandaughters took up the familiar poses, this time to be captured by the camera lens.
I have kept that issue of Victoria Magazine for these past 16 years. Every so often taking it out and once again enjoying flipping through its pages. The photography is always stunning. The sentiment is always restful and full of simple beauty.
I don't buy magazines for myself. For some reason it just always seemed a little indulgent.
Two days ago, my youngest son was cleaning out his car. The previous weekend he had been helping the parents of a friend move and the woman, knowing that he was going camping, gave him "fire fuel". As he had already used up a 1/4 of the fuel already, he motioned me to come over to look at what was remaining. The fuel for the campfire turned out to be... 79 pristine copies of Victoria Magazine dating all the way back to 1990 and up to 2003!
All those years that I had walked by the magazine racks thinking how beautiful the Victoria cover was... good things do come to those who wait!
It all started off quite innocently. I happened to like the cover of this book. I took it off the library shelf. And amazingly... it was a really good read!
It's one of those comfy books that tells the story of ordinary people. Very reminiscent actually of Catherine Cookson's style of writing. It's set in 1952 post-World War II Lancashire and Liverpool. It tells the story of Emma Booth, orphaned and brought up by her grandparents. After the death of both her grandparents, while clearing out a few things, Emma comes across a letter that reveals a long hidden secret that she has a half sister in Liverpool... and the story is off and running!
Interested in perhaps finding more June Francis books for my summer reading, I was not disappointed! I'm presently enjoying the beginning of an entire series which follows the same family from 1911 - 1955.
It's been absolute AGES since I've shown you what I've been reading! Margaret, you are a treasure... I thank you so much for sharing with everyone the books that you have been reading lately, I thoroughly enjoyed swapping books with your Jill before Christmas, the biography of the life of Beatrix Potter was inspiring... as a result I have begun painting water colours with Makenna and although we have our own individual styles I'd like to think that a little of Beatrix Potter's techniques are coming through!
I recently read through Barbra Streisand's first book, "My Passion for Design". I know that you are not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, however, I fully admit to the practice of being drawn to books, based on their covers, for years! I just loved the French Blue mixed with the warmer tones on the front of this particular book and as I am anticipating incorporating these hues into our home over the next year, it was an easy pick.
This woman has an eye for detail and a love for architecture as well as an appreciation for lines and continuity, although honestly, after reading the book through I really believe that she has a touch of decorating schizophrenia... she seems almost fragmented in her tastes. Which honestly, could describe me as well I suppose. The difference is, that she has 3 homes on the same property that reflect her different styles! There is the Main House that has a more formal feel. The Barn which has a more rustic, laid back feel, and her Grandma House which is very homespun with plenty of quilts and chippy furniture. There is also a mill house on the property that has a fully working and operational water wheel. The Barn House looks like a barn in the front, yet the back is styled in a Cap Cod fashion, white and black with masses of windows that look over the sloping green and expansive waters of Malibu.
Her basement was originally set aside for storing all the antiques that she has collected over the years, however, she decided to actually create a cobblestoned street of shops, like a museum to showcase her items. There is a China Shop, a Country Store, an Antique Doll Shop called Bee's, an Antique Clothing Store that houses many of the costumes from her movies and appearances... and it goes on and on and ....
It's nice to know that she has a Movie Room with a 17 foot wide screen that descends from a hidden compartment in the ceiling and that her cook makes her spelt pancakes every morning smothered in pure maple syrup... but really, apart from the fun of peeking into someone elses home(s).... I just really loved the French Blue mixed with the warmer tones on the front cover.
I was in the mood for a good read... my friend Linda lent me two books written by Francine Rivers. I had myself two good reads.
The first novel begins in Switzerland with the story of Marta, who leaves Switzerland behind in the hopes of escaping a difficult childhood and the threat of a dreary future existence. Marta's story is one of sheer determination and ambition, mostly fuelled by fear, anger, pain and heartache. Her story takes her to Canada, where she marries, and then to the Central Valley of California. Marta has three children, but it is her daughter, Hildemara on whom Marta places her ambition and hopes.
We see Hildemara's story develop from infancy to young womanhood, she too marries and has a daughter... Carolyn. The two novels then begin to merge as we see Carolyn's story come to the fore and as she herself has a daughter... May Flower Dawn. May Flower Dawn also has a story to tell.
Ultimately, these two books speak to the complexity of the human heart, of misunderstanding the motives, desires and actions of others and the need to forgive and also the need to receive forgiveness. The interwoven threads of each life also highlight the need within every one of us, to know that we are loved, unconditionally, and of the importance of allowing our children, and others, to be who God created them to be. These novels are pure fiction, yet I believe that we could all see part of ourselves written upon their pages...
I have just re-discovered Catherine Cookson! After so many disappointing, and short starts on books, finally I have come across and author that I can truly enjoy. Catherine Cookson was actually one of my Auntie Annie's favorite authors and I think she would be pleased at my deep plunge and foray into these wonderful stories.
Years ago I had read 'Our Kate' which was basically an autobiographical account of Catherine's own life. She was born to her unwed mother in 1906 in Tyne Dock, England, an acutely poverty stricken area, and where she was raised by her grandparents, believing her mother to be her older sister. At the time that I read 'Our Kate' I had no idea that Catherine Cookson had actually written 104 books - looks like I have hours of pleasurable reading ahead of me yet!
I have begun my re-acquaintence with Cookson by reading 'The Fifteen Streets', 'Hamilton' and have just today finished 'Kate Hannigan. Apparently the library called and there is another book awaiting me... wonderful!
I actually read this book 'Confections of a Closet Master Baker' back in May, but I never did post it because the title could be taken as being a little bit 'naughty'. To my great delight, this book has been re-named 'My Life from Scratch' and I am much more comfortable posting about it knowing that the chances of offending anyone has been greatly decreased!
This book is written by Gesine Bullock-Prado, the sister of Sandra Bullock, and there is nothing even remotely naughty about it, other than the title. In a nutshell, it is basically about Gesine leaving the Hollywood lifestyle behind (production assistant) and following her love and her dream of becoming a master baker. I enjoyed her voice as she shared her obvious love of baking and her creativity and I applaud her for following her dream. She actually has a blog that I have enjoyed peeking into from time to time.
In June I read 'The Help', by Kathryn Stockett. It is a story set during the turbulent 1960's in the deep South, which centres mainly around the black female servants, and the white women that they served. It is a story of those that are fearful of change and those that are striving towards it. It astounds me that at a time when blacks were segregated, and the white's were fearful of their 'black diseases', that it was the blacks that were cleaning the white peoples homes, raising their children, cooking their meals, doing their laundry and serving at their tables. The characters in this book were full and deep and as it was written in the voices of each character, it gave a well rounded vision of both sides, black and white.
'Any Known Blood' was my first pick in July. The name of the author is what drew me to it as it sat on the library shelf; Lawrence Hill is the same author that wrote The Book of Negroes and so I was sure that this was going to be a worthwhile read... it was not.
I decided to go back to Maeve Binchy, the Irish author. I enjoyed so much 'A Circle of Friends' and her other books. So I've read 'Whitethorn Woods' and 'Heart and Soul' this month and I could hardly believe how disappointed I was! Heart and Soul was by far the worst, jumping all over the place and bringing in characters from previous books. I found it disjointed and kind of predictable.
It is such a pleasure when I come upon a well written and lovely book, I even find that returning to a much loved story and reading it again to be just as enjoyable as the first time. One book that I am thinking of reading is 'Les Miserables' as the underlying theme of redemption I find utterly compelling.