Often at Christmas time I view ‘Peace On Earth’, that little phrase in the olde Christmas carol with some cynicism. How can we sing about ‘Peace On Earth’ when there really is hate on a broader level, when there is broken feelings with people I love? This year there has been a fresh perspective, a new understanding, that ‘though the wrongs won’t be righted today or tomorrow’ I can in a small way bring ‘Peace On Earth’ in my domain, to my sphere of influence.
It comes with me praying before the Lord and asking Him what He wants me to take on, who He wants me to reach out to? It comes with a soul awareness that as I align my heart to His I can bring ‘Peace On Earth’ to my children, to the people I rub shoulders with.
Often in the chaos, the externals are not peaceful but my soul can be at a place of deep peace because the ‘Prince of Peace’ Isaiah 9:6 is with me. And I am learning on those days and in those moments when I am in turmoil that it is an invitation to me from HIM to bring the anxiousness, the questions, and the longings to him.
One day when I was in an anxious funk, I told my kids I needed 30 minutes of quiet and this is what my Kate prepared for my quiet. It was such a moment of servitude from her even though they are solid wood. 🙂 It brought a beautiful peace to my soul!
When I sat down at the computer to find pictures to put in this post, I found this picture, taken by one of my sons. I think it fits so perfectly on this topic! If your world feels a little like this picture…..it’s an invitation from HIM to you…….to quiet your uneasy heart before HIM!
My baby, Will, 2 years old set up the nativity this week with all our stuffed animals. Joseph was the goat, Mary was the sheepy, and gorilla was the baby. He had flying cows as stars. And he was happiest, eyes twinkling when he started with his treasured blankie as the platform.
The moment was so scared and all I could was weep as he narrated the story for me. At one point when he was placing the wise men, a dolphin and penguin he shouted, “NO ROOM”. And isn’t that just like us, that the more we let ‘other voices’ crowd things in our heart our peaces vanishes. God touched me in a deep place in my soul this week as he narrated the story for me.
I am so grateful for many things, the ‘Prince of Peace’ constantly with me in this day. And when I have ‘NO ROOM’ he proposes an invitation to my heart and I can always come to him the ‘God of Peace’. I Thessalonians 5:23
P.S. One final picture. We celebrated big this past weekend in DC. My husband turns 50 this week. He is such a gift to me!
Books, they serve as mentors in my life! I am always intrigued by the books that people I love and deeply respect are reading. It gives me a window into their souls. It’s like a clue to what makes them tick. Why they think the way they do and the ‘how’ to some of their guiding principles.
I have this burning desire to always be growing in my soul. These are the books that are challenging me in this journey, as
Cutting edge, practical and a powerful reminder that our prayers do matter. We are moving Heaven and Earth when we enter the Throne.
Seriously, the title didn’t grab me but this one is on! She writes with tons of real life, client experience. She is a pediatrician but her writing style is counselor. I would not have picked up this book but when your husband sets 2 of her books in your lap because he has been reading her stuff, you give it a try. I wish I could retain half of her insight. She is just that good!! Tons of practical ways on how to over come fears, the control money has on us and on and on………..
I love anything the Clarkson’s write. Most of their books have been written to homeschooling momma’s but this one is practical in how to live life very intentional with your children, regardless of what educational route you choose.
It’s a short book so if you don’t have a lot of time to read right now I would pick this one up. I could not put it down! I don’t know if it was because I was going thru the internal struggle ALL OVER AGAIN of what is required of me to walk this homeschooling journey and I just wanted to run, run far away. It really gave me some perspective.
Cheers to a Fabulous weekend! We hope to spend it in the great out doors with some family.
To me peaches in the frozen section of my grocery store NEVER yield the same taste as seasonally canned peaches. Canning peaches is relatively easy! I thought I would do a short blog post on my adventure last week. You kinda have to view it as an adventure because when you have been on your feet all day long and you are pulling the last canner off at 11:45 p.m., your body is screaming sleep the only way I can reconcile it in my mind…is an adventure!
I let these bad boys ripen on the floor of my basement. They came to me a bit hard but ripened up beautifully, it took a couple of days for them to get soft and delicious. I like to place them in warm water for peeling, it seems they peel easier with warm water. I rinse my canning jars out and start filling. This year I sweetened with 1/32 tsp of pure stevia, donked it into the jar and filled with cold water vs making a simple syrup to pour over them.
Box of canning peaches
Sweetener of your choice, I used pure stevia
Wash peaches in warm water, fill jars. You can fill your jars with peach halves, sliced peaches or diced peaches, it doesn’t matter how you cut them to can just don’t over fill your jars. I had 2 jars that didn’t seal because I had filled them too full. It’s fine because I just refrigerated them and we have used the 1 quart on baked oatmeal this week. I donked my 1/32 tsp of stevia into the jar and filled with tap water. I leave a good 1″ of head space, aka no water on the top. If you are making a simple syrup you can cook 1 cup of sugar to 6 cups of water on the stove, once the sugar is dissolved pour over your full peach jars. Never put a jar into your canner without liquid, it will explode in your canner.
Wipe the top of the jar off with a warm wash rag. I put my lids in a little kettle of water and bring them to a boil. Take them off the stove, drain water and place on top of jar. Them secure the ring over top of your lid, tightly. Place the jar in the canner. Once your canner is full, fill it with water to the top of the necks, drop your jars all the way to the bottom of the canner. Turn on high, once boiling set your timer for 8 minutes after the 8 minutes turn burner off, lift jars up with the device that is in your canner. I put an old towel out and place my hot jars on the towel and wait for that magical ‘popping’ sound. It is like music to my ears!
I don’t move them or touch them until they are fully cooled. The next morning I am always running my finger on top of the lid to make sure they are all sealed. You will know if one did not because that center bubble will give, even if it stays down after you touched it, it has not sealed. You will want to refrigerate that jar because of you put it on your basement shelf, the peaches will spoil. If run your finger over all the lids and they are all smooth on top you have just canned a perfect batch of peaches!
We laid my husband’s great niece to rest 4 days ago.
There is something about burying a 3 year old who has fought a battle with cancer that shakes you deep to the core. The questions surface? You ponder! You cry! You some how come to terms that God really is ok with the questions, because HE is present and is aware of our humanity!
There is a new element to grieving that I have never walked before, it’s helping my children grieve and grieve well. We could have left them at home from the service but choose not to. There is something about them seeing pain with Merv and I at there side. They need to see our tears, hear the sadness in our voice and then also extend their own arms and hug the people closest to the situation.
Our Kate, who is 4 months older then Imogen Sky just kept telling me on Sunday, “This is the saddest day ever?” Yes baby, it is a very sad day! She was trying to figure out why they were burying her in a treasure chest, I actually like that name for a coffin better, I think it will stick. As we lingered at the grave side, she told me she wasn’t ready to go even though the committal was over. It wasn’t until we went and laid flowers on the ‘treasure chest’ that she was ready. She was just disturbed that we would bury Imogene with the worms. All of these questions were great opportunities to share with her that ‘this world is not our home.’ I don’t know to what degree she comprehends what I shared with her because some of these concepts I don’t get. I choose to trust that the God who made Kate and formed her; will open her understanding even when it doesn’t seem right that we are burying little Imogen with the worms.
It is amazing how God is in the sadness, the questions?! You hug your children longer, you linger a bit more as they tell their story. You realize that life, this specific life that has been crafted for me by an Almighty God isn’t meant to be taken for granted. We all know that but it’s in these moments that you ‘get it.’ All of you have had your own moments, your “it” where you heard Jesus calling you deeper into relationships. That is what this past weekend has done for me!