Friday, April 8, 2011

Love of Butterflies

Walking through our home you will see lots of pretty butterflies perched here and there or adorning some object of my affection.

My collection started because butterflies remind me so much of 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

If you follow my blog at all you have read about Aunt Jo and she loved butterflies too and for the same reason.  I have many of her butterflies in the form of jewelry and when I wear a piece my thoughts turn towards her often and the great influence she had on me.  She truly was a godly mentor for my life and encouraged me in so many areas.  When she died she was a week short of being 98 years old and she had lived for the Lord since the age of 10.  Such an amazing blessing for the Lord to give her to me and allow me the honor of gleaning her wisdom as a godly woman.

Recently the Lord has brought a young woman into my life 30 years my junior and God is using her to share more wisdom with me concerning being a godly woman.  I guess this is not quite a Titus 2 relationship as far as age is concerned but truly wisdom has no age requirement and my precious little Alicia proves that to me more and more as I get to know her heart.  Alicia has blessed me with butterflies recently and she touches my heart as did Aunt Jo.  

God is good to supply what and WHO we need in our lives.

Paul bought me this teapot in San Francisco several years ago.

This little lamp I purchased on a visit to my dearest friend Dolores who I lost a year ago and miss so much.  Some friends can never be replaced.

I got this cup for Aunt Jo when she was living with us under the care of Hospice.

A scarf of Aunt Jo's

This picture is from our guest room still referred to as "Aunt Jo's room".

Butterfly jewelry that belonged to Aunt Jo and worn with love now by me.

This butterfly came from Alicia and perches itself in my sanctuary (office).

These all came from Alicia just last week.

Wind chimes with butterfly for my garden from Alicia.

And finally this picture to share with you.  When I adopted Anthony I wanted to give him a special gift and found this painting by Joni Erickson Tada the woman that is a quadriplegic and paints with her mouth.  The painting reminds me again of 2 Corinthians 5:17 but I purchased it for Anthony to encourage him that God would use him in spite of any physical limitations he may have been born with. 

This hangs on the door of the "butterfly room" where my precious Aunt Jo spent the last 9 months of her life.  She taught me well that because of Jesus we are now new creations just like the butterfly.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fruitful Pruning

Just had to take some pictures of my roses and share with you.  It is beautiful in Arizona right now.  Getting a little warm too fast for me but still beautiful.  Our roses and our other plants have come out of their long winter sleep and after a hearty pruning they are just gorgeous.  So please let me share the beauty here with you today.

My Chinese Elm (I think this is what it is) just pops at the entrance of spring and it is growing so well and so green and healthy.  Under it I have peppermint planted ready for a wonderful cup of tea.

Yes, it is nice to have cut flowers again from our own garden.  What a wonderful reminder of the Master Gardener at work in our lives pruning and weeding and improving as only He can.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.                        John 15:1-2

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mémère's Shrimp Cheese Ball

Janice’s Shrimp Cheese-ball
2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
1 can small shrimp*
3 tablespoons dry minced onion
1 tablespoon Bon Appetite seasoning
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Combine all but nuts and then form into ball and roll in the walnuts.  Refrigerate several hours for best flavor.  

* I often use (imitation) crab that I buy at Costco in place of the shrimp.
The history of the recipe:
Many years ago at Sunshine Acres when Jason was little we had a cook that we became good friends with.  Nancy had a daughter named Janice and as single parents we often took the kids on picnics and outings together.  On one of our fun picnics Janice made this cheese-ball.  Yummy!  It has been the appetizer at more company or holiday dinners than I can remember.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Prayer (part 1)

Thankful today for God's Instruction Book for Living!  God does not leave us alone or in the dark when it comes to living as His child.  His Word is clear and when obeyed it makes for a much more victorious life.  I am reading Psalm 119 as a prayer.  So much good encouragement here:

Psalm 119:1-48

1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. 3 They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. 5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! 6 Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. 8 I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

17 Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your word. 18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. 19 I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me. 20 My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times. 21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are cursed and who stray from your commands. 22 Remove from me scorn and contempt, for I keep your statutes. 23 Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees. 24 Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.

25 I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. 26 I recounted my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees. 27 Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders. 28 My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. 29 Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law. 30 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. 31 I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD; do not let me be put to shame. 32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. 35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. 36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. 38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. 39 Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. 40 How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.

41 May your unfailing love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; 42 then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word. 43 Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. 44 I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. 45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. 46 I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, 47 for I delight in your commands because I love them. 48 I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.