Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Sunny Disposition.

Every girl owes it to herself and to her associates to be sunny. A happy girlhood is so beautiful that it can not afford to be spoiled by needless frowns and pouts. There are clouds enough in life without making them out of temper. A girl who is full of smiles and sunshine is a fountain of joy to all who know her. The world has enough of tears and sorrow at best, and her sweet, smiling face can scatter untold clouds. Could a girl ask for a better calling than that of a joy-maker for all about her? 

Every girl must meet her share of bumps in life. If they do not come soon they must come late. It is impossible that she should pass through life in the sunshine all the time. She must have her share of shadow. She can not escape it. But it is not the deep shadows that generally cloud a girl's life, and make her unhappy and sullen. It is the little things, insignificant in themselves, and which could have been passed by with hardly a thought if resisted one by one, that irritate the temper and mar the happiness. Every day our girl will meet with circumstances in which she has her choice between frowning and sending back a stinging retort, or smiling and passing them by with a kind word. If she can pass these little bumps and keep sweet, then she has mastered the art of being sunny. 

From Beautiful Girlhood by Margaret Hale. 

I do love the idea of having a sunny disposition! Mostly I manage it but I totally agree with the quote above that it is those little things that niggle at your mood far more than big issues. Somehow all those little things just pile up and end up getting magnified and given more power than they deserve. What am I willing to allow to have power over me? A long queue at the post office? A rude person in a shop? These things shouldn't be given the power to impact my mood all day. They just aren't that important! If something irritates me or seems unfair in some way I tend to turn it inwards rather than outwards. This is good in a way as it doesn't upset the mood of those around me but I also have to be aware that, if I don't deal with my feelings then pray and let them go, I could end up thinking about them over and over and becoming bitter. A bitter heart would certainly be a dark shadow! 

A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition - William Arthur Ward. 



Monday, 27 August 2012

The Little Cares.

The little cares that fretted me, 
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play;
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees, 
Among the singing of the birds, 
The humming of the bees.

The foolish fears of what may happen, 
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay;
Among the rustling of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod, 
Where ill thoughts die and good are born -
Out in the fields with God. 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Friday, 17 August 2012

Common Things Glorified.

Quotes from a book called Still Waters.

Our Lord calls His people always to be helpers in blessing this world. We cannot do much. The best we can bring is a little of the common water of earth; but if we bring that to Him, He can change it into the rich wine of heaven, which will bless weary and fainting ones. If we take simply what we have and use it as He commands, it will do good. Moses had only a rod in his hand, but with this he wrought great wonders. The disciples had only five barley-loaves, but these, touched by Christ's hand, made a feast for thousands. The common water, carried by the servants, under the Master's benediction became wine for the wedding. 
J.R. Miller

I like this quote. So often I feel like I can't make a difference in the world. Thinking of people making a huge difference or doing one thing that changes the world. What I failed to realise was that life isn't about making one big display. It is about being inspired to try to live up to the example that Jesus sets every day and in every interaction that we have. Not just the public ones. Not just the ones that get recognition. The common acts of kindness that go unnoticed by the masses. God notices! Anyone can make a difference if they are willing to allow God to guide them. The bit that I find hard is to yield my opinions to those of God. To do what He knows is right for me rather than what I think is best. He can use me if I can just get over my pride over the idea of being a small part in a big plan rather than a big part in a small plan! 

Making a regular weekly visit to the local residential home rather than attending a one off attention attracting charity event. Choosing to sit and listen to an old lady recounting her story rather than taking centre stage and talking about me, me, me. Something that I am learning is that a good deed doesn't need wide acclaim. I don't need worldly praise for doing what I should be doing anyway. 

Little things really do make a difference. It may take the form of a friend struggling or a charity requiring a volunteer. It could be anything! I need to keep my eyes and my heart open for these opportunities to do God's will. What a blessing to have the chance to brighten the lives of the people around us even for a short time. How incredible is it to be an example to others. It is quite scary to think that I might be the only Christian that someone interacts with today. Do I show God's love through my actions? Am I setting a good example or would that person think "Oh, Christians are as bad as I thought, always moaning or gossiping." How sad that would be. What a wasted opportunity! My actions can have either a positive or negative influence. God doesn't force us to be a bright light for Him. It is my choice to use what He gives me for good. 

This quiet, commonplace, unnoticed man, going his faithful way in his dull dress which makes no mark and draws no eye, doing his duty insignificantly and thoroughly, winning so unobtrusively at last his mater's praise, ought to be interesting to us all. 

He ought to be interesting, because he represents so much the largest element in universal human life.  The average man is by far the most numerous man. The man who goes beyond the average, the man who falls short of the average, both of them, by their very definition, are exceptions. They are the outskirts and fringes, the capes and promontories, of humanity. The great continent of human life is made up of the average existences, the mass of two-talented capacity and actions. 

Phillips Brooks



Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The King's Blooming Rose Magazine - Summer 2012.

I am so excited that my order from King's Blooming Rose has arrived! I had forgotten to renew my subscription so was missing a few issues and decided to order them recently. I saw the book called The Family Daughter on the website and thought it looked really interesting. There don't seem to be many books aimed at adult daughters at home. It can be a difficult thing to adjust to so seeing this book was such a blessing. I couldn't resist the pretty book marks either! 

I was thrilled to get home and see a parcel with the KBR label on it! I try not to get impatient waiting for things I order from America. So many of the books, DVDs and magazines that inspire me just aren't available in England. There isn't an equivalent of KBR published over here. I am not really sure why but I am so grateful that I can order these things on the internet knowing that they wing their way to me quickly! 

The Summer 2012 issue is all about preparing to be a homemaker. Wonderful! This is perfect timing as I have been working on my practical skills but wanted to learn more about the spiritual side. KBR is one of the few magazines where I read every page! This issue is no exception with articles about the heart of homemaking, a holy calling and fleeing complacency. 

I am planning to review The Family Daughter when I have finished reading it. I am on to chapter three already!

The King's Blooming Rose website also has a monthly forum as well as on-line articles. There are two additional articles on the subject of homemaking on the site at the moment and both are well worth a read.



Sunday, 12 August 2012

An Early Taste of Autumn.

It is so hot today and the air feels heavy. I am longing for Autumn with the chill breeze and turning leaves. I am already getting excited for Christmas! I blame the craft magazines! Next month, all the Christmas gift and craft projects start and I can hardly wait to get on with it. I want to make a few handmade gifts this year but, as I am so slow, I need to give myself plenty of time. Especially as I want to make some gifts for my pen pals so I need to allow for posting time. 

I am hoping for an old fashioned Autumn! The weather since last Autumn has been odd and unsettled. I am daydreaming of walks through trees covered in blazing leaves and seeing the frost sparkle on the ground. I am trying to restrain myself from singing Christmas songs! 

In line with this Autumn craving I decided to make a pie that always seemed like the perfect pie of the season. Pumpkin! I haven't made a pie before but I used pastry made from scratch even though I used canned pumpkin. A slight cheat I know! 

It seemed to take forever to cook! I think my dish was a little too deep even though I had some leftover filling. 

I was worried that something would go wrong with it and was constantly peering into the oven to check progress. Apart from my pastry leaves sinking, it turned out well and tasted delicious! 

I really enjoyed making the pie. Loved it in fact! I have 3 more tins of pumpkin as I ordered quite a few at once as I can't find them locally. So I will have more chances to develop my skills. I have always been a bit scared of making pies as it always seemed like quite an advanced skill. It was fun though from making the pastry right through to eating a slice of pie with vanilla ice cream! 

What is your favourite pie? 



Saturday, 11 August 2012

Flowers by the Bed.

I love having fresh flowers in my bedroom! These are sweet peas fresh from the garden. I think they are such a pretty and feminine flower! They smell so wonderful too and I love the variety of colours that are available.

I just look at them and smile! They are so delicate with their frilled petals and dainty stems. I only wish that they lasted longer. Sweet peas always seem like such a ladylike flower! Gracefully bowing their heads in the breeze as if they are saying "How do you do?"



Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Stained Glass Windows.

I love stained glass windows. Those from the most humble church to the most magnificent cathedral are beautiful to me! 

These windows are in St Mary's Church in Beverley. I am just amazed by the details in some of the windows! I especially love the one featuring Mary and Jesus. 

Some pictures have turned out a little dark and there were others where the sun was too bright behind them and wiped out the features. 

I wish I knew the stories that each window represents! 



Wednesday, 1 August 2012

2012 Giveaway!

Time for another giveaway! A little later than I had originally planned but better late than never. I am so excited about it and I hope that you will be too! 

The prizes are in the photograph shown above. 

They are:

A card with the Footprints poem on it from Beverly Minster. 

Two sticker sheets. One with hearts and stars and the other with flowers. 

A ball of fancy scarf wool in cheery colours. 

A copy of Land Love magazine that I reviewed here

A book called Homespun Memories for the Heart. Such a sweet book with more than 200 ideas to make unforgettable moments. The book covers the different seasons as well as occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and celebrating your faith. 

Ways to enter this giveaway. 

1, Become a follower or be an existing follower. 

2, Like the Facebook page here

3, Join the Hearts for Home group or be an existing member here

This means that each person can enter three times! Please leave a separate comment for each way that you choose to enter. 

This giveaway is open to people worldwide and I will pick a random comment as the winner and announce the winner in a blog post. 

This giveaway is open from 1st August 2012 to 31st August 2012. 

If you have any queries or questions email me!