Falling Leaves

The leaves are falling in a chilly, drizzly rain just outside the window where I sit. 
I always try to be ready for the finally bare trees, but I think I failed this year.
When I make time to stroll golden-carpeted grass, then I'm ready to let the leaves 
fall with no regrets. The maples trees in our front yard and the sweet gum in the back 
are among the last trees in the area to turn, so the show goes on here for a 
little bit longer than expected. 
There might be a few more days to appreciate the fall color after this rain clears away.
My own reflection in a honeysuckle berry.

Side Note - 
I want to leave you with a quote that is just too good to leave unmentioned. If you've been led through valleys of trial or spent any time in a vale of suffering, then these words from ol' Clive may be especially savory to you, as they were to me. 

"Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."


Stenciled Pumpkin Tutorial

There's a craft show coming up just before Thanksgiving. I got these mid-sized 
pumpkins at the local market for super cheap. I've given them 
an upgrade and plan sell them as table decorations for the big Feast Day.
I wonder what you think a good price would be...?
Here's a simple tutorial - you can make your own!

 1. Start with a clean, dry pumpkin and the supplies pictured above.
Print your word on lightweight copy paper. 
I used a font called 'Lightfoot Wide Expanded Regular' size 120.

 2. Cut out the word and snip the top and bottom as shown. 
This will make the paper lay flat against the pumpkin when you tape it in place.

 3.  Use painter's tape or masking tape to secure the paper tightly against the pumpkin. 
It's OK to have small folds as long as they don't extend into the lettering. 
Start with the short sides, then tape the snipped top and bottom. 

 4. Trace slowly around the outside of the each letter with a fine point sharpie marker. 
The ink will soak through the lightweight paper and leave an outline on the pumpkin. 
To make sure the ink is bleeding through properly, lift the template from one edge and take a peek
Don't take it off completely because you won't be able 
to reposition it in exactly the same place.

 5. Use the fine point marker again and trace along the outline left behind.
Then color in the sharp corners because the thicker marker will not neatly do the job.

6. Fill in the rest of the letter with a regular tip sharpie. 
Repeat for each letter.

I hope yours turns out well! 



I hope you're cramming autumn beauty into your eye-gate with both hands.
figuratively speaking, of course

These leaves will be gone much too soon, and we'll be left with cold and bare branches, desperate for color.

Until it snows ... 


Take It All

 The old hymns, 
I know I've said this before
 they float around in my head and appear at the oddest moments. Verses of song 
from my very early youth may pop forward while washing dishes, watering the gardens, in the shower... 
Is it something in the water???
And  I'm hoping the Holy Spirit will do the same for my sons - 
bring sacred things to the front. 
At this point in their lives, all the scripture verses and chapters they memorized and 
the few hymns I taught them as children seem to be buried.
But buried treasure is still treasure, folks.
And the best news of all is that the Faithful One knows exactly where it's buried 
and the perfect moment to retrieve it.
Here's the buried treasure He dug up and offered to me today, sung in a new way - 
certainly not the as in the Methodist days of (my) yore. 

Will you dare to ponder these verses with me and consider what might happen 
if we prayed this and really meant it? 
Not the Sunday Morning Version of consideration, please.
I'll speak for myself and admit that too often, instead joining in wholly dedicated worship, I'm actually pondering:
what happened before we arrived in the building 
 my own uncomfortable state of being
what my pew-mates may be thinking/saying/doing
how the worship team stays in perfect unity
the amazing enthusiasm of the deaf interpreter
after church plans and schemes ...
NO, let's not indulge this quarter-hearted rumination!
Take five minutes with me and really let these words sink down deep, where  you hoard 
your pile of Authentic Self. Turn the verses over a few times, read them in reverse order, 
say them aloud and ask yourself -

WHAT might He do with me if I sincerely and unabashedly 
fling the entire pile of myself at His feet? 

Romans 12:1
1 Corinthians 2:9-12

* photos from Colonial Williamsburg, VA trip, 2014