Sunday, October 26

Sunday Soul Care

On this beautiful Autumn weekend, here's what I'm pondering.

**photo credit to my friend Reneé (no filter!)**

Sunday, October 12

Sunday Soul Care

I love Autumn!  In this season I can read the Book of Nature most clearly.  The beautiful colors of Fall nourish my soul as they remind me of the love and care of the Creator.

In what season does your soul find the most nourishment?

Tuesday, October 7

All shall be well

Exactly four weeks ago, I wrote a post called "Time for a Reset."  I reflected on the fact that my blogging had drifted away from my original intention of imparting grace to friends and family far and near.  I'd allowed myself to focus on things of secondary importance and had ignored some things of primary importance.

I published that post at 3:47 P.M. on Tuesday, September 9.  My computer recorded the time for me.

Exactly 35 minutes later, at 4:22 P.M., my cell phone rang.  I thought it was my 21-year-old son, Preston.

Instead, the call was from an employee of the UNC Wellness Center, using Preston's phone to call me. Preston had collapsed while he was exercising there.  We learned a little later that Preston had suffered a stroke.

Irony, much?

I knew I needed a reset, but wow.  I thought I'd be re-setting things in a particular way.  So much for my particular way.

Sometimes the events of my life go just as I'd hoped and planned.  Other times, my hopes and plans are upset in manners big and small.  I'm learning that the only way to proceed with sanity and good humor and goodwill toward others is to remember that God reigns.

Life is full of gladness and sorrow,  peaks and valleys, triumphs and tragedies.  Over all, God reigns.

I had the opportunity this past weekend to spend an extended time with two of the most godly women I've ever known: Mimi Dixon and Margaret Campbell.  Here's a photo of them that I snapped on a long walk:

Don't their faces just radiate grace?

In this difficult season of my life, what a gift it was to be with Mimi and Margaret.  One of the many things these two women share in common is a deep appreciation for the life and writings of Julian of Norwich.  Being with them reminded me of this bit of wisdom from Julian:

"Our good Lord replied to all the questions and doubts that I could raise, saying most reassuringly:
  "I have the ability to make everything well, 
and I have the knowledge to make everything well, 
and I have the wish to make everything well, 
and I shall make everything well; 
and thou shalt see for thyself that all manner of thing shall be well."
Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love

So shall it be.

I pray that the Lord will make my life a reflection of the knowledge of this truth.

What's your prayer today?

Wednesday, October 1

Autumn on the porch

Happy October!

The weeks have flown by, haven't they?  Autumn is officially here, and I'm finally getting my house ready to welcome this blessed season.  Caring for my son after he had a stroke took most of my time in September, so this Fall I'm decorating simply using things I have on hand. 

My favorite place to be in the Autumn is on one of our porches, so that's where I'm concentrating my Fall decor.  Here's the front door:

Super-simple.  I've placed three pumpkins and a mum alongside my regular planters.  I'm re-using my gourd-filled lanterns from last year and my fall wreath from two years ago.  As you can see, I need to find my neutral wreath hanger!

To "fallify" the porch sitting area, I wanted to make new pillow covers in an autumnal fabric.  I found this fabric some time ago and liked the fact that it includes some blue along with the browns, rusts, and greens; I knew it would work with my styrofoam-cooler-cum-ottoman.  Sewing has been the last thing on my list lately, though, so I improvised.  I simply cut fabric in rectangles twice as long as my throw pillows.  Then I folded the fabric over inside-out and hot-glued along the edges to make side seams.

I turned the new cases right side out and stuffed my pillows inside, then used the glue gun to close up the bottom seam.  Presto!  New pillows for Fall!  And you'd never know from looking at them or touching them that the seams are glued instead of sewn.

I added a cozy throw and a couple of pumpkins to the sitting area and called it good.

For the screened porch, I was lucky to find some ready-made pillows at T.J.Maxx in just the colors I wanted. (I'm lucky to have a T.J.Maxx, a HomeGoods, and a Marshall's store all less than 10 minutes from my house!) The new floral pillows work perfectly with my existing orange pillows and green ottoman.

Pretty ranunculi in a pitcher, a white pumpkin, and some antique Mason jars make a nice Autumn vignette.

For the porch dining table, I did another quick fabric trick.  I had a bit of fabric in a lovely rust color (leftover from my guest room headboards), so I simply folded and pressed it to make an Autumn table runner.  (I didn't even glue the fabric in place for this!)  I added wine corks and candles to a tray for an instant centerpiece.

Now my porches are ready for Autumn visitors.  I wish I could have you over to sit a spell!

To see my entire home as it looked last Fall, click here.

I'm joining these wonderful parties:

Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style