Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A red cross

We marked and cut and stuck up this cross, it's quite eye-catching. It's quite heart-catching. It was a empty slate but now every day we mark it. With scripture, with thanks, with quotes. Etching our cross with the things in our heart. Even at the end of a difficult day - we look and write and remember that there is always something to give thanks for. Because of The cross and because He understands our anxious hearts and all our iniquities... which He bore, every one... and He is familiar with all our ways.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekends are for

... a little sweetness. My mama's amazing cheesecake, with a spill of berries.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

the most beautiful words

are true words of the heart... the most sincere treasure,
'he that speaks the truth in his heart' Psalm 15 and sometimes those words don't have sound.

'When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart'
~ John Bunyan

Friday, February 24, 2012

Daily takings

Early in the morning is the best time to wonder around a still garden.
I guess it's Pumpkin Soup for supper, maybe followed by a plate of cheese, nuts and peaches.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guiding from near, not far

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go ~ Psalm 32

'the smartest place in the universe to be - and to stay - is right next to God. The wisest thing you'll ever do in this life is to draw close to God and to seek Him with all your heart. When you pursue this intimacy, you will begin to unlock the greatest secrets of life...

The Lord doesn't want us getting our direction from looking outward but from looking upward... beholding His beauty... and splendour'~ Bob Sorge

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lenten season

Today is the beginning of our Easter Season, of walking, reflecting and meditating in the work of Christ at the Cross. That for the joy set before Him - us, He changed history.

"I am bringing my righteousness near" ~ Isaiah 46

Beginning with Ash Wednesday, a symbol of mourning to the triumph of Easter Sunday, this is a necessary time of teaching our children and reflecting on the essence of what we believe. From the Passover in the old testament to the finished work of the cross in the new testament.

~ "gives us beauty for ashes" ~ Isaiah 61

We believe on Him who lived, died and rose again in victory, destroying every curse, insecurity, lie... every work and weapon of darkness.

"this is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent" ~ John 6

May this time be one of increased hope and grace upon grace as we look to Him.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An honest Cappella

At bedtime as I am about to open another book, she asks 'Can we sing instead?'
'Sure', I say, knowing this is a safe audience.
I enjoy singing but surely it does hurt those around me... I have no melody, no modulation, simply no talent.

But this is not the point... praise is the point.
And she doesn't seem to mind.
So we turn to a familiar song and I begin. After the second line, my notably more-musical-than-I child gently takes the book from my hand and sets the right tune to our song, without us stopping. I'm amazed by the soft but decided leading into harmony... as we sing His praises - unaccompanied and happy.

"Make a joyful noise, all ye people!" - Psalm 100

So glad it talks about joyful, excited, heartfelt kind of sound not a choir performance. Sing out!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A book and a blankie

Good books are so worth re-reading...

Sunday, February 19, 2012


In the summer when there is a glut of tomatoes, I usually make a batch of Roast Tomato Puree which I freeze in batches for later use in pasta's, stew, soup etc. Simple but brilliant.

Roast Tomato Sauce

2 kg of tomatoes, halve each one
3 fat garlic cloves, chopped
A good seasoning of salt and pepper
A couple of sprigs of thyme
3/4 teaspoon of sugar
Glug of olive oil

Mix all together and roast at 180 deg Cel for about 45 - 55 minutes. Cool a bit and press through a sieve. Let mixture cool completely and then spoon into zip-lock bags. Freeze.

This year I had so many yellow tomatoes that I used them in most of these sauces. We literally had buckets of them, so I also made Tomato Sauce (Ketchup) and Tomato Chutney which turned out great!

Tomato Chutney

3 kg tomatoes, skin and chop
2 onions, chopped
420g brown sugar
25g salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
pinch cayenne
375ml white vinegar

Add all ingredients except sugar to the pot. Simmer for about a half an hour to reduce it some. Add the sugar and cook for about an hour until thickish.

Happy Summer cooking!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Path of hope

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path"

"Teach me Your way O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth"

We are all on a path... let's set our hearts on a pilgrimage of true hope, found in His word.
There is an abounding hope even in the midst of our sometimes messy lives... His truth is always greater and we can keep walking in that truth.
"May the God of hope fill you with ALL JOY and PEACE in believing that you may abound in HOPE" ~ Romans 15.13

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Child's play

A little fun in the kitchen...

No baking required... just melting, stirring and setting. We call them chocolate rocks and they are real good, filled with nuts and marshmallows.

and then... sweet bliss!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A ancient Laurus Nobilis

This branch of Bay Leaves or Laurel Leaves comes from my tree at home - endlessly useful, but just look at the colossal Bay Leaf below which is from my granny's enormous (and I mean enormous), ancient tree. Stunning!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Really good coffee

Today was in one word 'mayhem'... and so I only had my first cup of coffee in the afternoon! Rebecca was in Ballet class and I studied my scripture memory verses and savoured my coffee. It was so good.

"I never laugh until I've had my coffee" ~ Clarke Gable

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Let me right this heart

'Rueing, I think for what then was I made;
What end appointed for - what use designed?
Now let me right this heart that was bewrayed -
Unveil these eyes gone blind.'

Honours ~ Jean Ingelow 1863

Monday, February 6, 2012

To love a husband

This is love... you then I and again... you then I.

We have been reminding Becca that in English, its not 'me and Janet' but 'but Janet and I'... that it's firstly about the other person then yourself. And I know that I keep forgetting what I am meant to remember, that in marriage this is most true. That it is a constant grace of bending. Of bending my will and need to be right and remembering that its the meek that inherit. If we are both thinking 'you then I' marriage works best.

I was reading in John 15 and He said, 'Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends', to lay it down, to bend, the kind act of deferring to the other, this is love, that is how He loved us and showed us how to love others. My life and my wants and my mouth must not be exalted but must lay down. This is not popular these days and is not always easy but this works. For God resists the proud anyway but gives grace to the humble.

"Self centeredness is the main enemy of any marriage' ~ T Keller

Real love protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. Always.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekends are for

cooling down... today is hot, hot, hot.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Herriot's Yorkshire stories

We are loving these farmyard stories of a country vet... with beautiful illustrations.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Running to the end

The child began her day with a 800m race, which went something like this: An energetic 100m sprint when the whole group was still together, then a 100m jog and then a walk -alone, so I thought 'okay, this is it' until just about the half way point. Then something must have happened on the inside because she then ran from last to end up 6th.

This set the tempo for the rest of the day. All sluggish starts with excellent end results. We love stories about perseverance and now she has some of her own.

After all the sun, high energy and celebration, a hot bath and a nap on the couch.