Monday, September 29, 2014

Transitions * autumn nesting delights

Change happens in an instant.
That split second stroke of a pen.  A clock's steady tick-tock.  The shrill, heart-stopping ring of the phone in the middle of the night.  A calendar page flipped.  That long-dreaded farewell. 
But transitions? 
These steady visitors to our lives, so deeply yearned for or completely unbidden, can linger on.  And on.
We've all experienced those seasons that range from mildly discombobulating all the way up to the numbing, excruciating grief of a severed relationship, a death, an abandoning.  A financial upheaval, a health crisis.  A betrayal, a relocation, a denial. 
And the endless waiting spaces in the midst of it all that can leave us a little worse for wear.
And then there are the transitions that breathe fresh life, that kick off brand-new routines, that open doors to long dreamed of opportunities that wait around the next corner.  These are the graces that let you know that the earth keeps spinning, that life goes on, that all will be well.
We're experiencing it here, now.  It starts when we awake.  Instead of throwing off the covers, we reach to pull them up closer and linger in the cozy overnight cocoon we've created for ourselves ... even as we vow to dig those gently fraying flannel sheets out of the back of the closet and get them tucked over and on to the awaiting mattress.
We start our days by donning the worn, warm robe and wonderfully fleecy socks instead of a tee-shirt and shorts.  And when we stumble to the kitchen, we grab a favorite mug and brew a 'hot cuppa,' rather than reach for a glass to fill with icy cold juice.
As we prepare for the day, we hear the engines of school buses passing by instead of the fan's endless whirring or the air conditioner's incessant hum.  We leave the oven door open after pulling the golden blueberry muffins out, just to get a bit more warm air in the room.  And when we head out the door, we grab a scarf or a sweatshirt, just in case.
Classes and groups, clubs and meetings start anew.  Schedules emerge and seem to take on a life of their own. The calendar fills ... to overflowing if we just can't say 'no, thanks.'  And we know, for sure, that the lazy days of summer have become a distant memory. 
We dig out the crockpot instead of lighting up the grill.  Candlelight emerges once again, starting at suppertime and soothing us with its warm glow and gentle fragrance as the coolness of evening descends and another day comes to a close.
And as we chat back and forth, catching up with the day's details, we realize that our nightcaps have morphed from ice cream sundaes into steaming mugs of hot cocoa with whipped cream on top ... as we hunker under an old quilt or two.  For it's way too early in the season to turn the heat on. 
I don't know about you, but I've been through lots of transitions that I never want to experience again.  But autumn's gentle rhythm, its compelling rhyme, its steadying cadence, its awaiting invitations?

I'm leaning right into it all. 

And I'm comforted by this truth.  That when {not if} the transitions come that leave me gasping for my next breath, I will be held and comforted and strengthened. 
Because He never changes
And that, my friend, is good enough for me.

Jump into the conversation during our autumn nesting delights house party and you'll put yourself in the the running for one of the two giveaways of Myquillyn Smith's book, THE NESTING PLACE!  Simply leave a comment below.  Or email it to me at
You'll love The Nester's little guide.  Discover the freedom in knowing that our homes don't have to be perfect or expensively decorated to be absolutely beautiful!   And that it's okay to grab a brush and bravely paint 'good wood.'  Put nails in the walls wherever your creative heart pleases.   And gleefully repurpose your furniture and cherished possessions as you drag them from one room to the next
Find out more about this super giveaway and catch up on every day of the series over here.
And sign up over there ... and you won't miss a post!
sharing autumn's joys with Kristen & Holley

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Housewarming * autumn nesting delights

'How lovely is Your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!

My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young -
a place near Your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
they are ever praising You.

Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.'
~   Psalm 84:1 - 5   ~

Dear Lord ~

You've given us just the faintest glimpse of our someday heavenly home.  When we think deeply about all Your promises, we know that nothing on earth can hold even the dimmest candle-glow to the majestic glories above, the awesome wonders that You are busy preparing for those who love You.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Til then, Lord, we live for You right here.  We are grateful for a place to lay our heads
that's safe and warm.  We say the sincerest grace over a too-hot bowl of fragrant soup
and the warm, slightly overcooked bread that comes out of our own ovens. 

We experience a kind of sacred joy in the dailyness of the creative, simple pleasures of homekeeping ...
and thank You for the imperfect loved ones who give those four walls meaningful life
and a quirky beauty.  And we offer all these bountiful graces back up to You
with all the praise that's deep within.

Warm these temporary earthly dwellings and our awaiting hearts with your merciful love, Lord. 
And we will be forever grateful.

In Jesus Name,

There's no better way to kick off this little autumn nesting delights house party than inviting
our Creator God to be amazingly active in our conversations back and forth!  I can't help but believe that He's going to invite us to something deeper and more substantial along the way ...
Sign up to get every post over here.
Jump into the conversation each and every day and you'll put yourself in the the running for one of the two giveaways of Myquillyn Smith's book, THE NESTING PLACE!   
Check out the giveaway details and each day of the series over there
/ /

   sharing this Housewarming with
   Barbie  .  Sandra  .  Lisha  .  Janis  .  Courtney  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autumn Nesting Delights ~ The House Party & The 2 Giveaways

The blogging world's all abuzz over 31 Days, probably the biggest online party ever.  Nobody's a bigger fan than I am.  But this year, it's just not going to work for me because going full force for 31 days straight takes a crazy amount of focused energy that I need to devote elsewhere this year.  


But ...

I'm not going to sit in the pouting corner being a party pooper.  I'm delighted to be hosting a little autumn nesting delights house party right here for the next 2 or 3 weeks, an ongoing series with basketfuls of randomly delightful musings planned just for you.  We'll be feathering our nests together, chatting about all the lovely gifts that make autumn such a beloved time of the year. do I have a giveaway for you.  Actually, two! 

Simply leave a comment on any / all of the autumn nesting delights posts by Friday, October 17th {noon, eastern. US only.  One comment per post, please!}  And you'll be in the running to scoop up 1 of 2 copies of Myquillyn Smith's just-too-fun-and-out-of-the-box-creative book, THE NESTING PLACE!

{You'll love this little guide.  Discover the freedom in knowing that our homes don't have to be perfect or expensively decorated to be absolutely beautiful!  And that it's okay to grab a brush and bravely paint 'good wood.' Put nails in the walls wherever your creative heart pleases.  And gleefully repurpose your furniture and cherished possessions as you drag them from one room to the next.} 
I am just chomping at the bit to kick this series off ... and hope you won't miss a single glimpse into the winsome, cozy treasures that autumn brings our way.  Let's savor this most delightful of seasonal transitions.  Together!  Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a single minute.  Grab your friends {all those social media links are right below}, scoop up some confetti, and let the party begin!

As we make our way through this little house party, I'm going to make it super easy for you to find all the posts in one spot, right here. 
day 1  *  housewarming

day 2  *  transitions

*  partying with Kate

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lyli's Got It

Great big congrats to the winner of a copy of Eugene Cho's book
Lyli  Dunbar
Be sure to check out Lyli's upcoming series
And thanks to all who stopped by.

Didn't win? 
The paperback is here.  And the Kindle edition is there.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Glimmers & Bursts

God is so good! 

Can I get an amen out there somewhere?

Our precious Lord is always giving us something marvelous to celebrate, isn't He?  Sure, when times are tough we might just have to look just a wee bit more diligently, but there's always a glimmer, a sweet blessing or two waiting to be discovered and claimed as our own.  Each burst of joy so undeserved comes etched with our very own names, a priceless unique grace-gift straight from His loving heart. 

I can't help but think it gives Him pleasure when we spread the word of what He's doing in our lives.  Even if the gifts are quirky.  Not especially jolly.  Or seemingly not all that important in the grand scheme of things.

I found my name on these graces this month . . .

1.  More than ever, making memories with my parents has been sheer delight.  Yes, even if we sometimes make each other crazy!  Thanks for your prayers for my Mom and for our family as we walk together through her illness.  No pity parties or tales of woe around her neck of the woods.  Her positive attitude and deep-rooted faith brims up and spills over, touching the lives of all who cherish her. 

She's still knitting an array of wonderful little hats for Operation Christmas Child.  Enthusiastically trying new recipes in her trusty crockpot.  Bravely breaking in a brand new computer like a seasoned pro.  And even when weak or weary, she's continues to be intensely focused on the everyday details in the lives of each family member and friend who gathers 'round to visit.

If I ever grow up, I want to be just like her.

2.  A rarity? A grown-up movie that you can take your kids or your parents to, an offering that's not cringe-worthy, obnoxious, or crude. The Hundred-Foot Journey was beautifully crafted, charming, well acted, and more than a bit thought-provoking. You'll walk away smiling, with your borders enlarged, and a fresh appreciation for the creation of a very fine omelet.


3.  I finally got an e-reader.  I've downloaded a couple of books, a Bible, and a few games but haven't done much with them.  I still want to handle a paper-paged book that smells faintly of library.  I want to sit with my 25 year old Bible held together with layers of packing tape and crammed with margin jottings.  And the real life Bananagrams with wood tiles that you pull out of the scrunchy yellow bag and spread all over the table is so much more appealing than the slick screen version. 

Meanwhile, the man is ecstatic because he won't have to lug a huge tote overflowing with 50 pounds of books whenever we travel.  {He hopes.}

4.  If you've been around here for any length of time, you know I'm a big 31 Days fan.  {I penned these 4 reasons why last fall ... and showcased The Nester's brand new barn yesterday.} But this year, I've had to pass up that invitation to write each and every day for a month.  Instead, I'll be pulling together a little house party, an autumn nesting delights series that will run two, maybe three weeks.  Whatever.  The posts will be short and sweet, some a bit reflective and others just a tad challenging. 

And in honor of 31 Days, I'll be giving away two copies of Myquillyn's serendipitously creative book, THE NESTING PLACE to a couple of readers who celebrate the season's delights with me!  Consider this your official invite to join us.  Please?

5.  My friend Beth just welcomed home her man from his service to our country.  Grab your tissues and celebrate with her.  Because sometimes there .  are .  no  .  words.
>  sharing life with  Kristin  *  Holley  *  Leigh  *  Emily

Monday, September 22, 2014

This Ain't Your Grandpa's Barn

I can't remember the last time I opened someone's site and spoke outloud to myself.
But I did this morning.
The Nester has just unveiled her Barn.
And I am stunned.
Simply  .  Jaw-dropping  .  Speechless
You really do have to RUN, not walk over there.
Right  .  Now

Here's the key to her new gathering place.
Do tell her that Linda@Creekside sent you, ok?
And by the way, I'll be giving away TWO copies of Myquillyn's book away in the days ahead
at my Autumn Nesting Delights House Party.
Just too fabulous.

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