Sunday, April 28, 2013

I've always loved this quote:

Tatted bookmark on left, crocheted bookmark on right; both made by my great aunt.

I don't know what the future may hold,
but I know who holds the future. 
Ralph Abernathy

(Just in case we needed to be reminded of that today.)

And for anyone who was frustrated I didn't share the titles of my most recent "donate" books, which have now "left the building":

The bottom book if you can't see it is a cute children's book: Just Being Audrey.

The top book is The Color of Tea (a novel). (I often turn books upside down to protect them from kitties, etc.) I never did read the Claudine series by Colette. After perusing the introduction or whatever, I decided it wasn't something I wanted to read. The book underneath Holy Habits is Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray. Didn't finish that one because it wasn't speaking to my heart, and life is too short! But I was disappointed I didn't care for it. Maybe some other time... Oh, the bluish book turned away is simply an extra journal. The rest of the books were enjoyed, but just not "keepers" worthy of taking up my limited space for books. 

The Color of Tea had just a very few ... I'll call them steamy parts ... which I skipped over because at my age I'm just not interested in that anymore, plus I want what I read to be as wholesome as possible. These days I think that's a bit more difficult to do with TV and movies, but the content of what I read or view is something I try to keep in mind.

Well Dear Ones, you can tell I couldn't think of a thing to post about today so this is what you get! :O)

For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

I consider that our present sufferings
are not worth comparing with the glory
that will be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18

Blessings for a safe, healthy, and happy week!
Bess

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R & R


Since I'm a tad fatigued this weekend, but wanted to post, I'll just share some more snaps from the photo shoot I did a couple years ago for my Spring is for the Birds post. I remember it was my first post using Picasa, teaching myself how to make collages. It took hours! And sadly, I hadn't yet learned how to use borders, colors, spacing, cropping, etc. (And anymore I just use individual shots to save time.) Hope these photos are somewhat soothing after this unforgettable week!















That's a blue jay feather on the saucer.


What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31-39


Take a deep breath, and have a great weekend like the conqueror you are!
Bess

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weeding Out Books, Plus a Keeper


A "donate" pile that will go to the library
after  I add a couple more books.

It's painful, isn't it! If only I had unlimited space to keep tons of books. But I don't, so I've had to let some of them go. 

It was having to "do something" with my mother's books several years ago that taught me to let go of books. I gave a few as remembrances, donated some, sent tons to auction (where I don't recall that they sold very well), and kept as many as I wanted and more for myself. But eventually, something had to give. (Because it's also sad to discover a book has yellowed and deteriorated and knowing someone else could have enjoyed it while it was yet in better condition.)

When the mood strikes, I go through my books, pondering, holding, flipping through their pages, putting back, but ultimately pulling out what I think I can part with. I stack them on my dresser for a week (or month) or two, and then take them to my local library for their book sale or shelves. (I am tickled when I discover a book I donated has been placed on the shelves for others to enjoy.)



Once in a rare while I take a book back off the donate stack, but more often, books I may have once thought were "keepers" make their way to the stack.

Over the years I've used various criteria for keeping or donating a book: Do I still love it? Will I really ever want to read it again? Would it be just as easy to check it out from the library if I do decide I want to read it again? Is it so wonderful and meaningful to me that I want to own it even if I never crack it open another time?

Lately, however, my criteria has boiled down to this one question: Do I want to carry this book into my retirement with me? (Which the answer to that question can also rely on the questions in the previous paragraph, but it also allows for a quick response of the heart.)

So far I am keeping most of the devotionals I've acquired and have recently added another:



I've been reading A Jane Austen Devotional slowly, poring over the excerpts from Austen's works (asking myself Do I remember them?) and enjoying their application by Steffany Woolsey to everyday life.  The book has a cloth cover and a ribbon bookmark:



But I'm preserving the ribbon and using a bookmark made by simply cutting apart a Christmas card I received:



It's rather Austenish, too, don't you think? And if it matters to you (and for me, it's a plus), the quality of the paper in the book is lovely.

Most of my other "keepers" are decorating books, Miss Read books, inspirational books that deserve more than one reading, "gift" books with beautiful artwork, and still others that were my mother's. And of course, I also have a complete collection of Victoria magazines, which I haven't reread in ages and which have been beckoning me to do so.

It can be difficult to part with books, but alas it is a necessary evil when one lives in a cozy little cottage! :O) 

How about you? Do you donate your books? Sell on ebay? BookMooch? Or are they too precious to part with?

Jesus did many other things as well.
If every one of them were written down,
I suppose that even the whole world
would not have room for the books
that would be written.
John 21:25

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Have a beautiful week!
Bess


Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Taste of Heaven


Will be seeing sweet pansies before too long!

Another entry from my desk calendar (with photo of a sweet tabby kitty licking its chops):  "Add a touch of heaven to your day...  Be thankful!"

Isn't that the truth?!

Recent days in my neck of the woods have had considerably cloudy skies. But today has turned sunny with warmer temps. Thank you, Lord, for gorgeous blue skies ... in fact, thank you for the color blue!


It seems to me there are days of our lives that are often a little "taste" of  what God's Heaven must be like. But just think: When we get to Heaven we'll be enjoying an All You Can Eat Buffet of Holiness, Relationship, Gratitude, Beauty, Love, Peace, Fulfillment ... and sheer, unadulterated Bliss.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7

So thankful for pretty books and pretty cups!

Thankfulness. It can add a whole lot of flavor to our days.
Bess