My Blog Has Moved

After many technical issues…I’ve moved my blog to .

All of my original posts and comments are there as well as any new posts.

I’ll see you over there…and will continue by 31-day Joy Dare.

Please forgive me for any inconvenience…it has been quite  timeo-consuming…but all is Grace.



Posted in Life | 1 Comment

Three Gifts Returned ~ Day 5

Well, I thought I would have so much more time on vacation…wrong!

There’s so much to see and do!

So, continuing my Joy Dare … three gifts returned …  I think the challenge of all this is just taking the time to see, pausing to think…

  • A smile returned from my youngest grandson, Elijah…

  • The squeeze back of my hand from my mother who no longer knows who I am…


  • Bruno’s wag of his stub tail when he hears me call his name…

It’s all grace…


Posted in Christian Life, Family, Life | 7 Comments

Day 4 ~ Three Gifts Reaped (and they keep on giving)!

As I sit here in our vacation rental somewhat under the weather…I started working on my challenge from Days 73 and 74 from Kim Klassen’s Beyond Layers course. 

Working on my image…it occurred to me that it was one year ago, while vacationing here, I branched out took a leap into an e-course by Kim Klassen:  the Skinny Mini e-Course.  What an adventure it has been the past 12 months, investing time, brain cells, and yes, money, that has reaped multiple gifts this past year.

 Nothing Changes

  • This image a year ago would not have been possible for me to create.  The gifts of being able to read, learn, synthesize, create and produce into some tangible expression are truly from the Lord, as I’ve been willing to invest my time, talent, and treasures, as a possible way to share my faith and encourage others.
  • Through my coursework I have connected with some amazing women…many like me…many who “get me”…who continue to enrich my life daily as we interact regularaly…supporting and encouraging one another.
  • This simple, unassuming blog is the third gift reaped from my Kim Klassen creative journey.  I took her Behind the Scenes course, which she co-taught with Xanthe Berkeley…and look…I’m doing it!  God has allowed me this venue to share in simple ways the multiple ways He bestows His mercies on me every day.

And thank you, Lord, for my “under the weather” that shows me that sometimes stopping and slowing down and dealing with changes in plans often reap wonderful gifts…like extra time to spend with Him.

Tomorrow…3 Gifts Returned.


Posted in Beyond Layers, Christian Life, Kim Klassen, Life, Nature, Photography | 6 Comments

Caught…Let Go…Mid-Way

Another day trip with Edster, me, and Bruno in wild, wonderful West Virginia…


 Large Iced Teas

Ed was behind the wheel and we had our iced teas…and off we went to the high country of Pocahontas County.

And faithfully, God showed me abundant gifts, including 3 – 1 caught, 1 let go, 1 mid-way.

 A Child Remembered

  • I read out loud to Edster as he drove…returning back to Ann Voskamp’s book we read last year, One Thousand Gifts.  As I opened the book, I was caught by surprise by a memorial leaflet from the calling hours I had attended for a 2-year-old that had been accidentally hit by a vehicle backing out of her driveway.  Ann’s story begins the same way about her 2-year-old sister.  I remembered the gift I caught one night while on call to be a healing presence to this family and gift to know this loving family.  It was not a gift I expected to think about today…and therefore, it was also a gift that caught me by surprise!

Autumn at Cranberry Glades

  • Throughout the day, I was lavishly surrounded by all of this incredible beauty of God’s creative artistry making the mountains appear blanketed with patchwork quilts of red, gold, orange, yellow, and green.  The trees were on fire!  And while I embraced every moment indulging in God’s gift of autumn glory, I also knew I would have to let go.  There was no way I could take it home.  Photograph it, as I may, I could not clone what my eyes were seeing…the brilliance, the dimensions, the richness.

Maple Rain

  • Though many gifts I opened today will have to remain behind, what a gift it is to realize that it is only Wednesday…not even mid-way through my vacation.  And what a time of renewal and wonder it has been, thus far.

What were yours today?  Tomorrow…3 Gifts Reaped!  Keep your eyes open…God’s gifts are waiting!


Posted in Christian Life, Life, Nature, Photography, West Virginia, Work | 4 Comments

Three New Mercies ~ Day 2

Starting this challenge yesterday, I will confess to you that finding the abundant gifts of God are almost second nature when you are away from the dailyness of life on vacation in a beautiful sanctuary that is “almost heaven.”

Not so easy with chores, to do’s, clocking-in and clocking-out, have-to’s, and the tedium breathing down your neck.

But the gifts are there…

Three gifts falling today…

 Wonderful Words of Life

1. The pages of God’s Word falling open on my lap in the morning.

 Color and Crashing Water

2.  The crashing sound of falling water in one of my favorite places on earth…just being here is a gift.

 Falling Fog

3.  The fog that came rolling in as the clouds fell upon us in the upper elevations at Dolly Sods.  The mood in the photos I captured were unattainable any other way…without God’s gift of fog.

What gifts of falling do you see today?  Repy…I’d love to know!


Posted in Christian Life, Life, Nature, West Virginia | 5 Comments

Taking the Joy Dare ~ Day 1

I’m taking on Ann Voskamp’s challenge this month…

If we are to live differently, then we must see differently…

As October so beautifully escorts in a calmer, reflective, more deliberate season…I’m going to purposefully look for the three gifts (mercies) listed for each day on this beautiful printable.  Care to join me?  You can find it in the October 1, 2012 post at (Go down to the bottom and click the picture to get to the .pdf…) I do apologize but my links are not working tonight for some odd reason…

So…three gifts orange!

 A Gift Orange

1. The orange leaf on the gray deck of the vacation home where we are staying.

 Dawn at Canaan

2. The orange glow of the  morning waking up in Canaan Valley…and God waking me up to capture it!

3.  The fluffy orange face and tail of the frisky red fox in our driveway as we pulled in from a day’s outing.

It was a year ago, while on our Fall vacation, that I picked up and read One Thousand Gifts for the first time, after a dark couple of years.  It has been transforming!  And I re-read it on this trip for renewal and to celebrate a year filled with seeking and finding the new merciful gifts of God that continue to blow my mind!

See you tomorrow for 3 Gifts Falling!


Posted in Christian Life, Life, Nature, West Virginia | 9 Comments

To Tell the Truth

Well, I’m going to go back to Hebrews, the passage Pastor Craig spoke of this morning at church.

This old, deep, heavy book from the first century holds some amazing insight.  Again, in my march-to-the-beat-of-a-different-drummer style, I love this book.

Do you remember the TV game show, To Tell the Truth?  Three individuals claim to be the person described in an affidavit stating accomplishments, traits, occupations, or other significant detail about the one they are impersonating.  Here’s a clip with Orville Redenbacher (it’s terrible but I actually remember seeing this one…1972…check out the sideburns on Joe Garagiolo).  It is amazing no one knew who he was in 1972!

As we went through Hebrews 2:14-18 today, I was thinking:  What if some of history’s figures worshipped in the world’s religions were guests on To Tell the Truth…say, Siddharta Gautama (the Buddha), Muhammed, and Joseph Smith…and add the one and only Jesus Christ…each claiming to be “the way to heaven”…what would that look like?

How would the affidavit read?  What would be the claims?  Some would be from this passage, I’m sure:

  • I am God the Son who chose to become human, while God…the only way I could do a search and rescue of the sons of Abraham.
  • I am God the Son who chose to become human, while God…the only way I could do a search and destroy the power of sin.
  • I am God the Son who became in every way like all of you, so I could be a merciful and faithful high priest, yet maintaining all of my Divinity.
  • I am God the Son who left the glory of heaven to go through the suffering and testing that the human race bears, so you would know that “he’s been there; done that”…yet remaining as God and without sin.

If these four were convincing that they were the “real thing”…the way to heaven…, and you were a panelist……who would you vote for?

In the end, only One can attest to the claims we went through in Hebrews today…among many others.  First and foremost, the other two were already human…none BUT ONE chose to become human to be authentic in His relationship with us, to destroy the power sin has over our lives, and to die in a most hideous way…and live!

That’s who I’m following~~~Jesus Christ.

So, as I ponder His mercies new every day…I’m so thankful He called me to Himself, came after me, and I am forever His.


Posted in Christian Life, Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fall Five Fact Friday ~ on Saturday (AGAIN)

Yesterday was Edster’s 55th birthday…(he can now order from the Seniors menu at Bob Evans)…so besides work, I was pretty tied up.

My facts today (okay, I put in one extra)…are about what my tasks are this weekend (I could have made the list a LOT longer!)…

 Fall 5 Five Fact Friday

This was my first attempt at doing a torn edge digitally…not bad for my first attempt…if I say so myself.

Enjoy the weekend…good snuggling weather here in Ohio. 


PS:  Latest score…14-0, WEST VIRGINIA!!!!!

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Beyond Layers, Just for Fun, West Virginia | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Fall Frolic Full of Remembering ~ Part 2

The weather is changing fast…summer has almost closed the door on 2012, except for its Indian sister…

Earlier I began this story about my Fall walk with my Edster this week…

 Brandywine Falls

Our walk took us over to Brandywine Falls, part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park…a place with much meaning for both of us.


When Edster first came to Akron, he had just had his 14th surgery on his knee…and his 2nd knee replacement…grateful that his leg had been spared despite ongoing neuropathic pain.  With Brandywine Falls close by, we made his therapy goal to be able to go down and up the boardwalk stairs to and from Brandywine Falls.  As Bruno shows you here…that’s a LOT of stairs.

 The Falls from Afar

High stairs…

 Waterfall in Fall

But he did it…and so we had our engagement setting taken at Brandywine Falls.

 Tripping Down the Steps

We had not visited there for such a long time since those days…despite it being nearby.

The night before my wedding, I slept at The Inn at Brandywine Falls…a 19th century farmhouse at the top of falls.   We had reserved several rooms over two nights for out-of-town guests in the wedding party.

 Inn at Brandywine Falls

That morning, a phone call at 5:30 a.m. from my brother told me that my father had died.  That night, alone in the room at the Inn, I received a very meaningful phone call at 11:30 p.m., from my boss.

I had not walked the grounds of the Inn since then, and our walk brought many memories…joy mingled with sorrow.

 The Granary

Our first night together as man and wife, we spent at the Inn, but in The Granary…formerly a chicken coop…it was now a suite apart from the main house.  It was beautiful and enchanting.  And historic…right up my alley.  But I had calling hours and a funeral to go through, before we could move on to Maine for our honeymoon.

 Back at the Inn

It was wonderful this week to take the time out to slow down and walk…

 The Inn in Early Autumn

to remember…

 Home Light

my miracle marriage to my husband…

 Waning Color

and how much I miss my dad…

 Outside the Granary

and how such mixed emotions come from the same place…

 Delicately Random

the heart…

for you cannot open yourself to love without also opening yourself up to grief.

I am truly blessed.


Posted in Family, Kim Klassen, Life, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Texture Tuesday and a Splash of Hope

For Texture Tuesday this week, Kim challenged us to focus on the color orange and use one of her textures in our image.  Here is my composition…using her texture:  urban.

Splash of Hope

Sometimes that which we fear

strengthens our spirit

and gives us a splash of hope.

~~ Harley King

 I cannot help but think of the term “fear” in the same way that we think of the word “reverence” or “awe.”  Psalm 111:10 tells us,

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.  His praise endures forever! (ESV)

So, taking Harley’s quote, and applying to this meaning of fear, I would write,

The reverence and awe of the Lord gives us strength and hope in Him is incessant in my life.

Hope on!  Happy Texture Tuesday!


Posted in Christian Life, Kim Klassen, Nature, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments