What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Foto Friends: Nature's (God's) Art Work

Here it is...Friday Foto Friends day again!  In keeping with the "season"....yes, fall is upon us, but I was thinking more about how "nature" decorates for Halloween....I don't have to do any decorating for that spooky day..."nature" does it for me!  Well, actually, GOD is the Master Designer...He is the One Who gave all creatures the ability to build their nests or webs or wherever they live. Have you ever thought about that?  Well, think about all the diverse creatures throughout the earth (and sea!).  If you ever watch any of the magnificent nature programs that National Geographic does, you can't help but marvel at the magnificent artistry and design of all creatures big and small...and their abilities to capture food and build homes for their young...

Today I will just share some of the "artwork" of our "arachnid" family...better known as spiders.
I know some of you won't like that...but it's all a part of nature! God created them along with all the beautiful creatures out there.  (Genesis 1:20-25) So let's just sit back and be glad we didn't walk into these spider webs as we journeyed through the yard and woods...

This is a 'photo-shopped" version of the spider web in my front yard:

And here is the real picture in our front yard.  Yes, so glad I didn't walk through this!

We saw this lovely golden silk orb-weaver along the road, which appears to be hanging in open space...but his intricate web is there to support him...just not visible to us that day because the sun wasn't shining through it for us to see!
 This is what it looked like....

 And here are some other examples of a very large Golden Silk Orb Weaver web:

 Look at that intricate design!!!  Amazing!!!!

Here are a few other interesting webs from around the neighborhood.  Maybe not as neat and tidy as the ones above, but they still get the job done!

These next pictures I took a couple of years ago at our back door under the light one evening. I was just amazed at the many layers of these masterpieces:

These remind me of a galaxy far, far away...

Here is an interesting Proverb I discovered about the spider:

Proverbs 30:24-28

"24. There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: 
25.  The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer;
26.  The rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags;
27.  The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks;
28.  The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings' palaces."

I know this hymn written by St. Francis of Assisi didn't mention spiders specifically, but it still fits:

  1. "All creatures of our God and King,
    Lift up your voice and with us sing,
    Alleluia! Alleluia!
    Thou burning sun with golden beam,
    Thou silver moon with softer gleam!
    • Refrain:
      O praise Him! O praise Him!
      Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
  2. Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
    Ye clouds that sail in heav’n along,
    O praise Him! Alleluia!
    Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
    Ye lights of evening, find a voice!
  3. Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
    Make music for thy Lord to hear,
    O praise Him! Alleluia!
    Thou fire so masterful and bright,
    That givest man both warmth and light.
  4. And all ye men of tender heart,
    Forgiving others, take your part,
    O praise Him! Alleluia!
    Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
    Praise God and on Him cast your care!
  5. Let all things their Creator bless,
    And worship Him in humbleness,
    O praise Him! Alleluia!
    Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
    And praise the Spirit, Three in One!"

Okay, here's a couple more pictures that have nothing to do with spiders.  These were taken on our ride to take our son to work  (yes, the car situation is still a work in progress...the old car is "toast"...cannot be fixed, so it is being taken to the junk yard as we speak. Now back to search for the "perfect" vehicle for a very low price!)

The Sand Hill Cranes enjoying their morning walk and "Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag:

 These two Sand Hill Cranes were enjoying a different walk along the pond in the neighborhood:

And this was the sky yesterday morning along the road:  (more of God's Artistry!)

Okay, that's all folks! Hope you enjoyed this web of God's natural artistry today!!

Now, let's follow the web over to Deb's place at Breathing in Grace (here) to see what our other Friday Foto Friends are posting!  Have a blessed and beautiful day...and watch out for those spider webs along the way! Don't get tangled up in a web of mystery...but stay focused on our Master Designer/Creator and enjoy all the beauties He has displayed for us to behold!!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Are You Sowing or Reaping? (reposted) (again) and again!

SEPTEMBER 13, 2015.... OCTOBER 19, 2017  Just saw this one again and thought I'd post it again. Still appropriate today.  Happy Fall Y'all!

(First time I reposted it:) Sept. 1, 2013: Yep, here it is again...September..and the beginning of the "harvest time".  Everyone said yesterday at my house that I was jumping the gun on Autumn with my fall decorations out already. Just couldn't wait any longer...I am SO ready for fall...how about you? Here's what I wrote 3 years ago and updated last year, and here I am again. Happy September, everyone!

I originally posted this back in 2010, and as I was looking for something appropriate for the beginning of the harvest/fall season...this one popped up.  September is my favorite month...probably because it is my birth month...and anything to do with fall, autumn, and harvest seems to elicit warm feelings of golden sunny days with clear skies and crisp, cooler air...I will be writing more about that in the days to come just to get the thoughts of cooler weather in my mind...(living in Florida we dream a lot about fall days...)

Anyway, back to the present...or the past...or well, read on...

(Original Post from 2010)

We used to sing a hymn in church called "Bringing in the Sheaves".  As a kid I wasn't too sure just what "sheaves" were supposed to be.  I always thought they were saying "bringing in the sheets", you know, on washday, when our mothers brought in the sheets from off the clothesline?  (Love that fragrance...there's nothing like putting clean sheets fresh off the line on the bed and falling face first into the billowy white linen and taking a deep comforting breath...aaaahhhhhh...) Pardon that brief interlude into sweet memoryville.

Sheaves of Wheat
So, just what are "sheaves" anyway? According to the dictionary they are a bundle of stalks of grain, like wheat, corn, etc., which would be the harvest of that which was sown.  The hymn no doubt was singing about the harvest of souls. The Psalmist  (see Psalm 126:5-6 below) is also talking about a type of harvest of souls, but I would like to make this more personal than that.

Many of my friends have been going through a season of sorrow during the past year, myself included. We have sown many a garden of tears and anguish.  Our sorrow and weeping have been from many different sources:  Some have lost their jobs, mates, marriage, friends, homes, health and life's dreams.  But the thing that all of my friends have in common is that during their time of sadness and disappointment, they have been sowing seeds for a better life.  In the midst of their struggles they have discovered new hope, new talents, new friends, and even new dreams.  Here is a little list of some of the new ideas and "sheaves" that are now being harvested by those who once were at the point of giving up:
  1. Starting a new business from home...pet sitting, health food sales, catering
  2. Combining households of parent and adult children/grandchildren following the death of a mate
  3. Carrying on the outreach ministry of an evangelist husband who died from cancer
  4. Starting a diet and exercise program for health reasons
  5. Writing a blog as a way to reach out and encourage others
  6. Taking a wilderness survival course
  7. Going back to school
  8. Starting a new way of life following a near-death accident that resulted in brain injury
  9. Wife stepping up to manage husband's tree-trimming business following his near-death accident that left him with some brain injury
  10. Overcoming fears to be able to travel and visit loved ones and friends
  11. Starting a brand new job after many months of searching
  12. Moving to another state to find a new job after many months of searching
  13. Starting life over after spending many years in incarceration, and facing an extremely unwelcoming and unforgiving world, but determined not to give up.
I am certain there are many more "sheaves" that are being harvested in the hearts and souls of others of whom we are not even aware.  Someone has said that everyone is fighting some kind of battle.  We can't always know what some of our closest friends are going through.

My prayer tonight is that for everyone who is still "sowing in tears", that we will soon be able to "reap in joy".  Furthermore, I pray that we will all soon be able to "come again with rejoicing", bringing our sheaves with us.  Let us not forget to give God the glory when that day comes.

"Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful."  Psalm 147:1

This is on my Grandpa Tedlie's farm, back in the early 1940's,  "bringing in the sheaves", with my cousins on the hay wagon, and my Grandma Tedlie and Aunt Belle walking together to join them.

Psalm 126:5-6  "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

Since this was originally written in 2010, some of the people "mentioned" in the list above have had their successes at their new starts in life...others may have had to sow more seeds and are still waiting for the harvest to come in.  The important thing is, they are still persevering in their faith...they haven't quit trying.  God is still blessing, and in some cases, still carrying them through the dry seasons of life.  I could add others to this list who have gone through deep trials and challenges...and who have seen doors closed and new windows opened in their lives. Life goes on...the characters in the story may change, but the plot is still much the same.  Psalm 126:5-6 is still true, no matter what. I trust you will find that to be true in your life as well.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Let Your Light Shine...and Choose JOY!

I'm so happy our "Lovely Ladies of the Lord" were finally able to meet again today...after a long summer apart. Here we are, standing in front of the JOY sign on the stage of the church...and we were truly filled with the JOY of the Lord.

 Even the cute little doggy "Pumkin" seemed to be filled with joy!

We sang happy songs like "Turn Your Radio On"..."It Is No Secret What God Can Do", "My Savior First of All", "I Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My heart", and "This Little Light of Mine"...

We talked about letting our light shine before the world...(Matthew 5:14-16)...and never to let the cares of this world keep us from shining for Jesus.  We also talked about becoming victorious over having an unforgiving spirit...over blaming others for our circumstances in life...and choosing JOY over sorrow...giving THANKS in all things...I must give credit to our friend Deb over at Breathing in Grace, for her post this morning entitled "Victim or Victor".  If you haven't read it yet, I suggest you do HERE, because it actually became the outline for a good portion of our Bible lesson today with our fellowship group.  Deb, I can't thank you enough for posting that this morning.  As I shared it with our ladies it helped them to open up and share some of their own struggles with unforgiveness and placing blame on others rather than looking to the Lord for His victory over sin and darkness.
God truly used this lesson (which was based on the Bible Study guide "Fight Back With Joy" by Margaret Feinberg) and brought joy and blessing to us as we surrendered our struggles to the Lord in prayer.

Ladies and friends here in blogland...we are here to serve God and encourage one another in our individual walks with the Lord.  This is a place where we can shine for Jesus in a dark world...by sharing our faith and the ways God is teaching and blessing us each day. I am so grateful to Him for each of you...because you have encouraged me in so many ways.  So I want to say thank you for letting your lights shine out there!!  You have brought JOY to my heart!! And when we share with others here in our own local communities what God is teaching us...we spread that Light and Joy throughout the world. 

God bless you all...and thank you for being such special friends!!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

"He Hideth My Soul" - Revisited 10/15/2017

I originally posted this about seven years ago in October of 2010..and it still rings true today!  I needed to re-read it again today...maybe you do too!  God bless you, my friends.

Exodus 33:22 "So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by."

Moses had asked God for a new vision of His Glory just before he was given the Ten Commandments on the tablets of stone on Mount Sinai.  Moses said to the Lord in Exodus 33:18,
"Please, show me Your glory." 
And God responded in verses 19-23, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.  I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  But He said, "You cannot see MY face; for no man shall see Me, and live."  And the Lord said (to Moses), "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock, and so it shall be, while MY glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.  Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen."

How often have we asked God to please show us His glory? I wonder how many of us have asked God for "a sign", or a glimpse of His power...or just a peek at what His plans are for us.   I am certain that we have all asked for that at some point, and perhaps many times, in our lives.  Whether it be so that we could increase our faith by some tangible demonstration of God's power and work in our midst, or maybe so that we would know how to proceed with our life's plans...whether or not to seek a new position, home, mate, church, or whatever the decisions we may be facing.  In many cases, it could be that we are facing decisions about our health, surgeries, treatment plans, diets, or some other life changing situation...we could all say that we have honestly sought God's face and have earnestly desired to feel and see His power and glory expressed on our behalf.

In response to our quest for a witness of God's power and glory, what have we discovered about God and His relationship to us?  Does He always answer quickly with a showy demonstration of majesty and power? Do lightning bolts flash through the sky and enlighten us with the answers we are longing to hear?  Do we automatically receive wisdom and relief regarding our burden or pain?  Most likely not.  The reality is that we often have to seek long and hard and often to hear God's voice and "see His face"...or maybe the voice we hear and the face we see is not what we were hoping to hear and see.  Oftentimes the response is not what we were wanting to hear, such as, "No", "Not Now", or "Trust Me". 

There is an old hymn that helps to illuminate our minds on what the Lord was telling Moses that day...and it speaks to me today as well...
"A wonderful Saviour is Jesus, my Lord, a wonderful Saviour to me; He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock where rivers of pleasure I see."
Chorus:  "He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock that shadows a dry, thirsty land; He hideth my life in the depth of His love, and covers me there with His hand, and covers me there with His hand." 
"A wonderful Saviour is Jesus, my Lord, He taketh my burden away; He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved; He giveth me strength as my day."     Chorus
"With numberless blessings each moment He crowns, and, filled with His fullness divine, I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God! For such a Redeemer is mine!"   Chorus
"When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise to meet Him in clouds of the sky, His perfect salvation, His wonderful love, I'll shout with the millions on high!"   Chorus:
"He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock that shadows a dry, thirsty land; He hideth my life in the depth of His love, and covers me there with His hand, and covers me there with His hand."  (Fanny J. Crosby)

Yes, I would love to see God's glory today...I would love to feel His power in my life and hear His voice telling me which way to go in all situations.  And perhaps I can see His glory...it surely is all around me everyday...just look outside...look up into the heavens...the sun, the moon, the stars...the sunrise, the sunset...the storm clouds, the rainbow after the storm...these are all demonstrations of His glory and power and majesty...and so is the still, small voice that says,
"Be still, and know that I AM God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"  Psalm 46:10
and again, the tender voice of God saying:
"This is the way, walk in it..."  Isaiah 30:21

Yes, Lord, I need to see your glory, I want to feel your power, I want to know beyond a shadow of doubt what Your divine plan is for my life and for those I love.  Help me to trust You when You hide me in the cleft of the rock...help me to know that You are always doing what is best for me...to protect me from things I do not understand or clearly see.  Help me to be patient and wait on Your still, small voice, directing my steps and telling me, "This is the way, walk in it."  In Your Name I pray, Amen.

After posting this I thought of another song that goes along with this passage:

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, from Thy riven side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save me from its guilt and power.

Not the labors of my hands can fulfill Thy laws demands. Could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could NOT atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling; naked, come to Thee for dress, helpless, look to Thee for grace.  Foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Saviour, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to realms unknown, see Thee on Thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee."     AMEN.
Augustus M. Toplady

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Foto Friends-The Week That Was

Our week started off with a clang, clang, clump....clankety clank clank ugh.....dead... This car below was being driven by our younger son when it just decided to die along the road. Thankfully not far from home...but it gave out a big sad sigh and just died...So we began the week making decisions...to repair or not to repair...to replace or not to replace. It is an old car that has been driven a LOT of miles by each member of the family at one time or another...and has stood well the test of time and speed and hard places...but perhaps now is the time to retire it and send it to the happy junk yard down the road...  

Then we began to look for a reasonable, affordable replacement...something cheap and yet still roadworthy...our son has been between jobs and just started a new one and money isn't readily available...so our options aren't that great for replacement vehicles.  After checking out a few duds and possible scams online, this old car started looking pretty good again...if the repairs can be done for less  than the cost of a "new" old car with who knows what could go wrong down the road...so finally we made the decision to have the car towed to a local garage for examination and possible repair if the price is right.  We should find out the prognosis soon...so stay tuned.  

Therefore, what started the week out as a frustration and lesson in patience actually has turned out to be a blessing in disguise in some ways.  In order for our son to get to work each day, we have had to get up and take him!  Fortunately, the place where he is currently working, assisting on a full house renovation, is not too far from our home, and gives us the opportunity to see some new scenery each morning.  Thus, I was able to capture a few good pictures to share with you for Friday Foto Friends Day! So here goes:

The house they are renovating happens to be sitting on the shore of one of our lovely forest lakes...rather secluded out in the woods...except for the happy people who happen to have lakefront lots overlooking this pristine little lake...so here are a few morning reflections...

I wanted to stand and salute and sing the Star Spangled Banner and Pledge my allegiance to the flag...

These Sand Hill Cranes seem to think they own the road out there...or maybe they are standing for the National Anthem too... (see the flag?) (oops, one seems to be taking a knee...bad bird!!)

Okay, the Anthem is over...now let's get a move on... (play ball!)  

Next day, Same crowd...They just don't learn... 

I think this old guy just wants to go fishing...or maybe he's had a few too many drinks...not too sure...but he's part of the local neighborhood there...

Now, on another morning I got up extra early, noticing the sun rising through the morning mist and fog...so I headed over to our local neighborhood pond to catch a few pictures... 

(internet photo)

One of my Facebook friends had put this picture and saying on my Facebook page on this same morning, and I must say it inspired me to get up and go take that early morning walk! Thank you, Joyce! (You know who you are!)

I'd say it was well worth the walk, wouldn't you?
And it was a "blessing for the whole day."

So those are the pictures from "the week that was"...

 Here is one of the scripture readings from our morning devotions this past week:

Psalm 1
1.  "Blessed is the man who walks not
in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor stands in the path of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and in His law he meditates day and night.
3.  He shall be like a tree 
planted by the rivers of water,
that brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4.  The ungodly are not so,
but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5.  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6.  For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish."

 I pray that your weekend will be filled with the joy of the Lord...and that whatever you do shall prosper!

Now, let's head on over to visit Deb at Breathing in Grace and see what our other Friday Foto Friends have been doing this week!! 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cracks in My Soul - Revisited

A few years ago there was a group of us bloggers who participated in what we called "Random Journal Day" each Friday.  We'd randomly pull out one of our old journals from the past and post whatever popped up.  After a few years of doing this we all kind of ran out of journals (or at least I did) and new things to share, so that little group kind of faded into the background of blogging groups...but many of us are still friends...we've just pursued different directions in blogging for now.

I was just thinking that I haven't been posting much lately...primarily because I've been busy with a lot of stuff and just can't seem to sit down and concentrate on a new blog post as often as I'd like.  So now and then I like to revisit some of my old posts from the past, and today I discovered this one from my "Random Journal Days"...and it was from my old teal notebook journal from the 1990's, and landed on October 12, 1991.  Columbus Day! So here it is...today, October 12, 2017...26 years later!

"Columbus Day -- Aunt Nellie's birthday" (my husband's "favorite" aunt,  now RIP) , "practically the middle of October already.  Where has the year gone?  This year was so full of trauma, 'busy-ness', fear, sorrow, joy, tears, laughter, rushing to and fro, wonder, amazement, disbelief, faith--a lot of opposite emotions and activities--many days are just a blur--they all ran together--it seems on one hand like a very long time, and on the other hand, like only yesterday...and now we come to October..."  

(I won't go into all the details of what was going on at the time...but it was a very difficult year and I was feeling the stress and strain of "too much"...and as I went on in my journal to talk about some hopes and dreams for our future, I finally expressed the innermost feelings of my tired, worn out heart and soul)

"I don't ever want to stand in the way of God's will for us and block the path by selfishness and stubbornness.  Nor do I wish to attempt to dictate to God what He should do with regard to our future.

'The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righeousness
for His name's sake.'
Psalm 23:1-3

Perhaps this is what I'm longing for right now, Lord--to lie down in green pastures--beside the still waters--and have my soul restored!  This past year did a lot to cause some cracks in my soul.  Not cracks that endanger my soul's preservation, but cracks in the 'veneer'--the outer surface--

cracks of weariness, stress, burnout, fear..
cracks that could get bigger if left untreated...

'You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.'  (Psalm 23:5B)

Like a table that needs refinishing (or restoring), the cracks in my soul need Your heavenly oil poured on them and in them...
to soften, smooth, and renew my soul...

Cracks come in furniture from being too dry, too exposed to the elements, or too much pressure placed on the surface...

Cracks come into our souls from becoming too dry~ not having our thirst quenched,
From being over-exposed to the elements around us...
Trials, storms of life, fears, worries, sorrows, disappointments, hurts, embarrassments...
And cracks appear from too much weight or pressure on one's heart, shoulders, or mind.
Stressful situations, carrying burdens we weren't intended to bear...and not having a strong enough foundation to support the load...these all cause cracks in our souls...

The oil of God's Holy Spirit flows into those cracks and heals, soothes, comforts, softens, and restores that soul.

Thank you, Lord, for that heavenly 'oil' that only You can pour on our souls.
Help us, Lord, to desire that oil and to apply it before too much damage is done.
Make us a completely restored vessel--suitable and beautiful for service once again."

'Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord--forever.'  (Psalm 23:6)

I think I needed to read this again today...what a blessed reminder from God's Word...and from my past for my present and my future....

How about you?  Does your soul have cracks in it from the pressures of this life?  Maybe you could use some of the "oil of God's Holy Spirit" to "flow into those cracks and heal, soothe, comfort, soften and restore" your soul today...Just ask Him...He's waiting to start the restoration right now.

Postscript: That old table above belonged to my husband's grandmother, and has been used for close to ninety years...to serve family, friends, visiting ministers and missionaries, strangers and possible angels in disguise.  Most recently used to host a bridal shower luncheon for my new daughter in law to be! Oh if tables could talk! What a story they could tell of the conversations heard around that table for almost a century!   And the prayers and blessings that have been given for the meals that were so lovingly prepared....for holidays, special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries...wow! I guess I could write another whole post just on this table!! But, think about this...that old table could have been thrown out years ago because it does have cracks and humps and nicks and scratches. It is heavy and cumbersome and awkward to move...but I just keep pouring on the furniture oil to restore it and revive it and keep it going...and God has blessed that table with His grace all these years...

'Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord--forever.'  (Psalm 23:6)

Just think about these thoughts today...
and don't give up!
Just pour on the oil of God's Holy Spirit and keep going in Jesus' Name!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Family Traditions and Happy Days

Hello Dear Friends...
I feel like I need to write and let you know that all is well...I've just been "recuperating" from a very delightful, but busy weekend (and days of preparation prior to the weekend).  Yes, we had the bridal shower for my sweet daughter in law (to be) on this past Saturday...and I'd say it was a huge success!  I want to give a shout out to my dear friends and family members who came alongside and helped me with food, serving, and party games/favors...and also stayed to help clean up afterward...I am so blessed and thankful for these dear ones, without whom I could not have accomplished this party so pleasantly.  If you are one of my Facebook friends, you have probably already seen these pictures, so just bear with me. I will just give some of the highlights here:

To begin our party we gathered around the tables for a luncheon of chicken salad, broccoli salad, croissants, and other delights such as fresh pineapple, grapes, various crackers and cheeses, etc., capped off with a compote dish of strawberries in jello with a delicious marshmallow/sour cream topping.  My close friends and family members each contributed something for the luncheon, which was a very big help to me.

At this table were "the younger generation"...Rose at the head of the table, and some of her sisters, her niece, and my sister in law,  and nieces...They had a good time getting acquainted and chatting about young women stuff...

At this table was the "more mature generation"...and we enjoyed visiting and chatting about things that we like to do...All was wonderful...

After lunch we moved to the living room, where my sister in law Peggy had set up an array of different games to challenge our brains and make us think.  We all had a good time playing 'the price is right", and guess the number of candy kisses in the jar and other memory challenges.  I was proud that some of us "more mature ladies" did better than some of the younger generation on that game! (I think it was skewed to our generation purposely...maybe)

Then began the gift opening...and I won't post all of the pictures of all of the gifts, but suffice it to say that Rose was blessed with a wonderful array of many useful and beautiful things to set up their household.

 Next we moved back to the dining room for dessert and our tea party.  Each lady had a different tea cup, and there was a variety of teas to choose from.  We had a choice of pumpkin pie, apple crisp or pineapple cream cheese flan cake for dessert. (Again thanks to the help of my dear friends/relatives!)

Pinkies up, ladies!!

Here is our lovely Rose, holding up a rosebud tea cup, and enjoying the beauty of two lovely red roses that bloomed especially for her in my garden!!!

 Here we were enjoying a moment of sharing some family history with Rose. Below is Rose, my sister Doris, yours truly, and my sister's daughter Debbie.

We were sharing with Rose the story of this necklace that she is holding up below...This is an antique diamond and seed-pearl lavalier, which belonged to my maternal grandmother. When my grandmother passed away, my mother inherited this special necklace, and from then on it became a special tradition for each girl getting married in our family, whether being married into the family, or already a family member, to wear this lavalier on her wedding day.  After my mother passed away, my sister inherited the necklace, and so she is the guardian of the tradition to be sure each girl wears it on her special day.  So Rose was excited to know that she will be carrying on this family tradition as she wears this "something old" on her wedding day.

Here is a picture of my mother wearing the lavalier after she received it from her mother's estate:

And this is a picture of my Grandma Tedlie.  I don't think we have one of her wearing the lavalier, but I wanted you to see this dear beautiful lady.

So I've been resting up a bit since Saturday...and enjoying the special moments of reflection on the events of the day...giving thanks to the Lord for each and every one...and especially for the precious woman that is to become my son's wife...and a daughter "in love" to me.  I feel so blessed as I will not be losing a son, but gaining a daughter. When you've raised three sons and buried one of them...and yes, I do have another precious daughter in law who was a faithful and wonderful wife to our son who has passed on...and is also a blessing to us as the mother of our only grandchild...but one can never have too many daughters (in law or by birth), can you?

Now we are getting things ready for the big event, the WEDDING, which will take place in just about one month! So please continue to pray for me as we work through all of the details of family traveling in from out of state, wedding clothing, rehearsal dinner, and myriad of other activities.  All exciting...but sometimes tiring...so prayers are appreciated!!

That's all for now, folks. I am ready for bed!!  Blessings to all of you!!!