Friday, March 3, 2023


 We are already at the end of the first full week of Lent for those of us who practice the western church calendar.  It's interesting that the season of Lent can be such a stumbling block for some. Is it something we as Christians should be practicing?  That's a question many Christians ask, and it depends on what denomination you worship with. Those who do practice it can sometimes feel superior to those who don't, or feel that those who don't are "missing out".  I have also noticed that many evangelicals know very little about it, or if they have heard of it. they feel it is too "Catholic", unnecessary and legalistic, an outward show of works rather than inward grace.

I grew up celebrating Lent.  Truthfully, as a child I didn't really understand the reasons why.  It was just something we did.  My knowledge of it only went as far as knowing I was supposed to give up something during the season. Usually as a child that meant candy.  Since, we didn't eat all that much candy anyway, it wasn't much of a sacrifice.  I liked Ash Wednesday though.  We would go early in the morning before school and I would wear my ashes all day, checking every mirror throughout the day to see if I could still spot them on my forehead.  I remember eating fish sticks on Fridays and doing the Stations of the Cross with the youth group. I remember liking all these traditions,and the memory of practicing them still warms my heart.  However again, I have to admit that I didn't really understand why I was doing them. So perhaps it's true that at that time in my life, I was participating in an outward spiritual show of works.  All I know is that I loved the season and as a child I embraced it.

As adults my husband and I moved away from our Anglican Episcopal church and ended up attending a number of different denominational and non denominational churches over a period of years.  Most of them had no traditions at all.  While they were all wonderful faith filled places of worship, as the years went by I began  feeling that something was missing.  Finally, one Easter Sunday as I was worshiping I found myself questioning, "How did I get to this day?  Last week was just an ordinary Sunday and now it's Easter." There had been no Lent, no Palm Sunday, no Holy Week, no Good Friday and yet suddenly it was Resurrection Day!  That's when I realized that for me being Evangelical was not enough.   I wanted the church calendar and the walk through the Gospels and many of the liturgical rituals that breathed life into my worship time.

Our Free Lutheran Church is a good combination of evangelical and traditional and for me,embracing once again many of the traditional rituals of the church has enhanced my walk with Christ.

  For us Lent begins when I make a traditional pancake dinner on Shrove Tuesday. My husband doesn't really like breakfast for dinner but he is a good sport about it.  Traditionally, Christians would give up meat, eggs, dairy, butter and oil for the 40 days of Lent.  They didn't want these foods to spoil so they would use them up in a celebrations of yummy foods that use those ingredients the day before Ash Wednesday, hence the name "Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras". Pancakes were an easy simple way to do that. 

 I help prepare the alter for the Lenten Season. Purple is the liturgical color for Lent. There will be no flowers on the alter as this is a simple time of repentance and reflection.

I choose a book of daily essays from my Lenten collection to read each morning and a devotional to read at worship time in the evening.  

 Some years I choose to fast from something, and some years I don't, but I do set up my own special place for worship during my journey and as the rocks pile up, so do the prayers The Lord places on my heart each day for the needs of others.

 Taking the Lenten journey is a personal choice. For me it is important to remember that while these traditions and rituals are meaningful, they  are meant to enhance my worship, and they do not replace grace or a relationship with Christ.   Whether it is something you practice or not my prayer is that as Easter draws near you too will find yourselves drawing near to The Savior.  All blessings to you and may your lives be filled with grace as you come near to the cross.


Sunday, January 15, 2023

Looking Back on December

 The past few weeks have been a whirlwind! From Thanksgiving to New Years Eve we just jumped from one event to the next.  This time of year is always busy, but this year some extra activities added to the chaos.  On top of that,I got really sick again so my energy level was pretty low. Still, I wouldn't trade my time with my loved ones for anything.  

One of the highlights of the month was the celebration of my mother's 90th birthday. I am one of those people who believe that the Christmas season doesn't begin until after Thanksgiving is over.  That meant that the day after hosting Thanksgiving Dinner for the  family I had one week in which to remove all my fall deco and transform my house from Autumn into a Victorian Christmas scene for sixteen luncheon guests.  Fortunately, I had my plan all organized and ready to go.

I used my mother's Haviland china for one table and my wedding china for the other.

It was a wonderful celebration and was followed by two church receptions, one on that Saturday night at her Anglican Church and another on Sunday morning at our Lutheran Church.

 As soon as all festivities  were over, I fell sick again and spent about 10 days fighting that awful respiratory virus that was floating around. I was just back on my feet when my family arrived from Atlanta.

My daughter arrived with her family in mid December and we were able to enjoy their company for over two weeks.  What a wonderful blessing.  With her came an unexpected icy cold front which kept us from some of the activities we had planned, but being together was all that mattered.

The Cousins had a wonderful time together. Connor at two is almost as tall as his three year old cousin!


Santa brought somebody princess outfits!

All too soon the holiday season was over and was it time for this guy to head home to Atlanta.  We miss him already!

Now we have settled into the new year. and already it has brought new challenges which is why it has been so long since I have done any blogging.  

My beautiful mother is in the hospital with Covid Pneumonia. It  came on quickly.  She is doing well for 90 years old but will need much care in the weeks to come. Lord willing she will be able to come home soon.  Whatever, happens God is on the Throne and though it's hard, we are resting in that.

All blessings to each of you who visit.  May the Lord be with you through the joys and challenges each year brings. 




Sunday, December 4, 2022

Second Sunday of Advent

 Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel!

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee Oh Israel!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


 I am taking a break from my busy kitchen where food preparation is happening for the big Thanksgiving Feast that will be taking place tomorrow.  My crust is cooling on the counter for my lemon layer dessert.  My future DIL is in the midst of putting together pies and baking corn bread for the dressing. When she is done I will get the dinner rolls baked.  We are looking forward to tasting all our family  favorites made with recipes that have been enjoyed over and over again through the years, as well as some new ones that are being introduced through new family members. Isn't that one of the many joys and blessings of the holiday season?


We were reminded as a family just how much we take for granted when a huge and tempestuous wind storm barreled through here almost three weeks ago.  The winds toppled hundreds of trees as well as power poles all over the Puget Sound, leaving over 230,000 homes and businesses without power. We get wind storms every Fall but this was one of the fiercest storms I can remember. We were without power for four days for a total of 91 hours! Two of the three roads to our property were closed due to fallen trees and live wires across the pavement. Fortunately for us, we had worked to "debranch" most of our tall trees last year and they all made it through.

Even though the trees were still standing there was plenty of cleanup to be done.  


We were more fortunate than many others to have a generator to keep our food cold. Also, our wood burning stove has a small cook top where we were able to prepare some simple food for the family and water to boil for cleaning up. Our outdoor camp stove was very helpful as well.

Between our fireplace and our emergency lanterns we were actually quite cozy. 

We were one of the last areas to get connected back to civilization.  This was our third night.  We could see lights across the lake but the only light in the darkness on our side was coming from the the full moon overhead.  

What a sigh of relief and genuine gratitude we shared once our power was finally restored. I was reminded of this wonderful video by Brother David Steindl-Rast on gratefulness.  I may have shared it before. It's such a beautiful testimony of how blessed we truly are in our everyday lives when we take the time to stop and look around. I really hope  it will go through, as I sometimes have trouble with videos.

It was 2 weeks yesterday when we returned to the modern world and with all the cleaning up, preparing for Thanksgiving, planning a 90th birthday luncheon for my mom for next week, and preparing for Christmas before my daughter's family arrives in mid December for two weeks, I have been peddling as fast as I can to get myself caught up again. All are joyful things to look forward to but stressful none the less. Still trying to take the time to stop and take in all God's daily gifts.

I am wishing each of you here in the States a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. May it be filled with many blessings shared with loved ones.

Oh! And I bought a new hat!  You know how I love hats! It's the little things, right?

“The root of joy is gratefulness...It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
Brother David Steindl-Rast





Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Early Morning in the Garden

I took a short walk around the yard this morning before breakfast. It was chilly, but a sweater took care of that.  We are so grateful that the rains have returned.  All the fires are finally completely out and everything looks so fresh and clean.  On this first day of November, (All Saint's Day) we are definitely deep into Autumn.


There was just one last leaf clinging to the branch of the Flame Maple.


Now we can see the moss that grows on the branches in this damp climate of ours.

The Virginia Creeper has lost it's leaves as well, leaving an abundant supply of berries for the birds to feast upon.

 I have filled my bird feeders as well.

I walked past the shed and noticed this little stock of corn with a tiny ear of corn growing.  A bird or squirrel must have dropped a seed at the beginning of summer.  It was determined to grow!  Imagine if it had been given water and sunshine.

There was still some color to be seen as I walked around, a splash of yellow from the tree by the corner fence, a touch of red a I look over the blackberry brambles in the empty field behind my house. 

The Smoke Tree is just starting to turn.  The leaves on the flowering plum will begin falling soon.


This last little red orb marks the end of the tomato season for us. It's time to put everything to bed for another year.



"Winter is an etching, Spring a watercolor, Summer an oil painting and Autumn a mosaic of them all."

— Stanley Horowitz