Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Re-Energize - The Last Day

This journey has been both eye-opening and a true energizer.  Thanks for walking along side me as I am rediscovering how to refresh and refuel for the journey that lies ahead.

I want to finish by giving a few more energizers that I have picked back up this week.

Books, books, and more books...reading will re-energize me every time.  I used to have at least four books going at all times and stationed around the house.  Now I have to find my glasses before I pick up a book.  I am not a fiction reader, but I devour books that teach on any aspect of life.  Biographies also inspire me to see how others have lived their life....my son and I are reading the life of D.L. Moody right now.

Nature...I love nature, the smells, the sounds, the beauty, and the contentment that comes when I experience nature.  I love to camp, and like so many other things that we set aside, I haven't been in years.  My daily walks give me a small chance to enjoy this energizer and trips to the National Parks this summer will also dust off my stresses.

Last and the Most Important of All...
                         My Relationship with My Husband

My greatest source of re-energizing is this man I fell in LOVE with at the age of 17!  He has always been the man of my dreams. Though I must confess I haven't always treated him that way.

This is the energizer that life steals from the most.  We all have those times when we think... "well, when this season is over, we will have time for each other again".  The long, hard pregnancy, the new-born baby, the children's activities, the teen years, the graduations, the wedding, the job losses and job changes are some of the never-ending circumstances that steal our time with each other.

This man can calm all my fears with a touch.  He has seen me through my worst and didn't abandon me when I thought I couldn't make it anymore.  He has stood by the children and me even when his own world was falling apart.

We have never had a weekly date night...please, I don't need the lecture. I know we should have, but life seemed to crowd it out.  That was one of those things we would do when life slowed down.

So, if I could list my biggest learned earthly re-energizer, I would say it is my relationship and intimacy with my husband.  When this relationship is on track, then I can conquer the world.

We have now been with each other for 32 years!  We plan to grow old together and fulfill the covenant we made on June 14, 1980.  Even though life has given us some very hard knocks, I hope we have gained a little wisdom and can re-energize in each other as we continue on the rest of our journey together.

Thanks for joining me and please feel free to list some of your energizers...we all could use more hints.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Re-Energize - Day 4

This journey has been so refreshing and I am so glad I stopped to take it.  None of the things I have mentioned are new, but like old, comfortable jeans, they are sure nice to put back on.

I wish I had not let life squeeze out my times of re-energizing, but I did.  Creating is easy again, since I am not homeschooling five children, nor driving hours each day for events. The 3/4 of an empty nest allows more time to re-coop.

So, today I had to stop and add another one of my past energizers, while trying to put it back into practice!

Number 4 - Music and Dance!

Now who isn't energized by music and dance?  I already wrote a post on the power of music and stated my love for the classics in the Arts post.  So, I am going to touch on the other types of music that refresh me and why.

Our home is full of musicians, songwriters and composers, starting with my husband.  Most of our children play a couple of instruments. Me, however... well, I stick to singing and dancing...and my dancing isn't in public.

Praise and worship songs lift the spiritual side of my life.  Years ago it was the Imperials, Russ Taff, Dennis Jernigan in the 80's and 90's. Today, I am energized by such artists as Casting Crowns, Kutless, Mercy Me and many others.  I have noticed that I can change the atmosphere in my house simply by turning on praise and worship music.

Classical music will soothe everyone's soul and calm the rowdiest child.  It is very helpful with mental alertness and training a child's ear for music.  I love the peace and calmness it can bring to my day.

The form pf music that brings laughter and dancing into our house is when I pull out old CD's from my teen years, (yes, back then, it was albums!) or a new artist like Taylor Swift.  My daughter and I can be heard all the way down the street singing, "You Belong to Me."  My older ones laugh as I pull out the Eagles, Bee Gee's, Bette Midler and Elvis and blow the dust off their covers.

To show how effective this can be, I will tell you a story from last night.  My husband was listening to the radio, when it mentioned  that the Eagles have an upcoming concert in our town.  He came toward me with a smile on his face and his eyes lit up.  We had attended one of their concerts before we married....so over 30 years ago.  I looked up and said, "Please!".  The concert will be near our 30th anniversary and we will be able to (for a night) go back in time, forget our grey hairs (and the group's grey hairs also!) and remember the days of our early love. Music just has that kind of power.

The CD that makes my children all laugh and run for cover is when I put on "Mamma Mia".  Who my age doesn't just burst into song on "Dancing Queen"?  Yes, and I did out loud in the theater!  When it starts to blast through the house it warns everyone Mom is going to cut loose.  Laughs and giggles explode through our home, the four-year-old starts his break dancing....we ALL are energized.

So, for day four, I will stop for you to go put on that CD that will put your feet to dancing....dance like no one is watching and feel your energy come back.

I am posting a video from the song,  "Money, Money" from "Mamma Mia".  Our whole family gets a kick out of this one, including my husband.  There is no disrespect in our enjoyment of this song, just our way of laughing at our financial struggles....I hope you laugh also.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time to Re-Energize - Day Three

Create...Re-energize Number 3 is to create, and I don't mean in the sense of procreation, thank-you, that one I have completed.

During the early years of parenting my four, (all under age 7!) I had an interior decorating business.  I ran this business out of my home.  I designed and created rooms, from window treatments to wall coverings.  This kept my creative juices flowing, and seeing my completed projects would energize me.

Then came the teen years- carpools, sporting events, music lessons... and another baby.  The season for the business came to an end; my creative juices would be used only occasionally.

Past and present energizers...

 Painting... I don't let something sit still too long, and walls are always an open canvas.  Furniture can be updated and transformed....garage sale items are a great place to start.  Many of my projects have been done with "oops" paints from Home Depot.

Sewing...not clothes, but anything for the home. My new bedroom bedding is the latest.  The energy I received from my new bedding was wonderful.  My next  adventure will be chair covers for the dining room, to transform the outdated honey oak.
I will also be finishing a Mother's Day order for a client ordered through my new business...www.encouragepillow.com.

Hand sewing....I haven't smocked, cross-stitched or embroidered in years, but I am going to do it again, even if it means with glasses.  I just purchased some flour sack rags to put iron-stamped embroidered patterns on them and see how much I remember from my grandmother.  I fondly remember having such peace when I set to busy my hands with a needle.

Scrapbooking....this creative hobby started with my fifth child.  I am not a good scrapper.  I concentrate on high school books for each child's graduation and then, ever so often, another one gets completed.  This year, the book is for ME.  I have started to gather all the pictures from my own life...oh, my!  The walk down memory lane is just awesome....now, to start my book to tell my story.  

Decorating....any means of decorating, whether it is just setting the table differently, re-arranging the furniture, changing the pictures on the wall or tearing out old white tile for oak counter-tops.  The change in my atmosphere can be a vitamin B-12 shot to my soul.  This week, I have taken down the 80's gold picture frames to spray paint them silver with black underlay.  The 80's gold frame mirror will have an overhaul  also.  My new dwelling is more limited than my past homes, so I am updating items instead.  As I started, my four-year-old met me at the table to "help me" paint.

I believe God made us to create, in one form or another. So, to neglect that part of our being will cause us to dry up. Therefore... creating re-energizes!  I think it is also the fact I LOVE to see something completed.  Parenting is a long process and I have already been on this journey for 26 years with at least 14 more  to go. So, to be able to view the completed process of parenting....well, forget that!  So, I am going to keep on re-energizing by putting my hands to creating.. and just watch my energy level rise!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Time to Re-Energzie - Day Two

The Arts...do I need to say any more?   I believe the arts were created for us to get a small glimpse of the beauty of God.  We will never be able to comprehend His beauty, but He allows us to have a taste of what our future holds.

Number 2
I can be instantly re-energized by going to an opera, a musical, a play, a symphony or an art museum.  My delight in these areas began with a trip to New York when my first-born was only a baby.  New York flamed the fire of passion for the arts.  For a former college dance major, two nights on Broadway sent my energy through the roof.  Walking through the Metropolitan Museum of Art just left me breathless.  This world became one of my greatest sources of enjoyment.

Returning to my home to mother my newborn, I resolved to bring my children up with a love for the arts.  We attended plays, musicals, symphonies and strolled through every art exhibit that came near our home town.  As a home educator, I was able to purchase tickets for events that would have been out of our financial reach.

Years later, I returned to New York to attend a show by the Dallas Chorus at Carnegie Hall.  Through opera glasses and programs with translations, I was hooked on opera.

My husband also took me to Chicago, where we attended an exhibit featuring Degas.  Our continued exposure to the Great Masters was readily available through the Kimbell Museum of Art in Fort Worth.

Classical music became a mainstay to refresh my soul.  Our children all took classical music lessons, as well as flooding our home with classical recordings.  My sixth child was born to Josh Groban singing in the background...how calming.

Today, I took my fourteen and four-year-olds to a play.  To the delight of my four-year-old, it was Peter Pan. Just watching the eyes of a four-year-old light up as Peter Pan magically flew across the stage was...well, re-energizing.

This also gave us the opportunity to visit the Kimbell, where we gazed upon the Masters. We stood speechless as we turned the corner to Kimbell's newest acquisition...Michelangelo's first painting, The Torment of Saint Anthony. "Inspired" becomes the best descriptive word as my fourteen and four-year-olds drank in the beautiful art work.  Questions from a four-year-old's perspective are just priceless, such as "Why do skeletons have clothes on if they don't have any bodies?"

Within minutes of the play and museum were the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. With spring in the air, we couldn't miss taking a stroll through this magnificent park.

Being blessed to watch the world through my children's eyes and having time just to play...energizing.  We had to make one more stop before starting our journey home. As previously mentioned, we are Texans.  Our final oasis was my fourteen-year-old's dream world... the historical Fort Worth Stockyards.

Re-energized, we made our hour-long drive back home...for me, the day will linger for weeks.  I will continue to look for events for us to attend.  Summer is just around the corner with open concerts, plays and musicals that are calling our names.  Allowing other things to crowd these re-energizing events off the calendar needs to stop...life is just too short.

Now, I will end the day by putting on my tennis shoes and heading out the door to exercise, while chatting with my husband...a cherry on top of a wonderful day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Time to Re-Energzie - Day One

This week I will be blogging on my quest to re-energize.  The ideas I will share are what works for me and not for everyone,  returning to ideas which have worked through 27 years of parenting and 30 years of marriage.  You won't find shopping trips or spa visits on my list...sorry, my first massage was at age 40 after 18 years of parenting five children and shopping is a chore to me.  What you will find is that in re-energizing, I meet my Creator, while gaining strength and restoring joy for the journey.

Joyce Meyers has released a new book  called, "Eat the Cookies and Buy the Shoes". I haven't read the book yet, but I have heard her explain the thoughts behind it. She expressed that there are times when we need to re-energize. Life can zap our energy, either through positive stress: (weddings, birth, graduations, birthdays and visitors), or negative stress: (unemployment, marriage strife, children's rebellion, sickness and disappointments). Any of these can leave us depleted.   We need to take time to just stop, celebrate and re-energize.

 1)  Time with the Lord and Exercising

Today began with putting on my walking shoes and plugging in my Mp3 player.  I needed the endorphins that exercise gives, not to mention the health benefits...I needed to clear my brain.  As I walked through the wooded path with warm sunlight shining on my face, I heard my Saviour speak through a message on my Mp3 player.  John Piper had delivered a message on "suffering" to our church, due to our pastor's battle with a cancerous brain tumor. http://fm.thevillagechurch.net/blog/pastors/               The context of the sermon:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the
glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the
revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but
because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its
bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For
we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth
until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the
Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our
bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who
hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with

Romans 8:18-25

Although my journey at this point isn't threatening my life, it is threatening my joy.  As I heard the message and entered into the teaching, I was able to lay things down at my Saviour's feet.

My spirit was lifted as I was washed with the Word of the Lord, while enjoying the benefits of exercise and drinking in nature around me. The breeze upon my back, the smells of spring, the quiet of nature and the pumping of my heart released feelings of conquering the world.

Stepping back into the house with my younger two boys was inviting, as we all laughed at our cat's new-found resting place.  The day had started out right.

Quiet time with the Lord, Exercise and a Smile....the beginning of re-energizing.

My energized day finished with Casting Crowns playing on the radio..."The Voice of Truth".

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Roots are Texas Deep!

Spring brings out the wandering side of me.  I would love to just get in the car and drive through the state  in which I was born and raised, TEXAS.

I just can't escape the fact, nor do I want to, that I am a true Texas girl.  I am fourth generation Texan!!! I love Texas history, UT Longhorns,  horses, peaches and pecans. Therefore, I bleed Texan...yes, that is me at my grandfather's ranch near Fort Hood in the 70's.

Spring brings out blanketed fields of bluebonnets and a hunger for the hill country.  Summer beckons with fresh peaches and rafting floats down the Guadalupe River through the City of Gruene.  Each area of my grand state has unique offerings. Don't forget, we used to be our own country... the Republic of Texas!

Born in Austin, Texas and having lived there for 38 years of my life, I have grown to love the history of my state.  The Alamo and the Hispanic culture of San Antonio have always wooed us to visit on weekends.  New Braunfels shares with us the beauty of the German culture.  Dallas/Ft. Worth, where I now live, shows the rise of Texas in the world, as well as the cowboys that drove massive herds of  longhorns across our cattle trails.  Galveston, with her beaches (even if not the prettiest beaches) are ours and they beg you to come to the coast and relax.

The sights and sounds of Texas are too great to be held in any one blog post, but I am also seeing that none of us can escape our roots.  You might want to deny them...I can't because when I open my mouth and you know where I am from. We can try to gloss over our roots, but usually the truth will be found.  Where we plant ourselves will determine the fruit we will bear as our roots go deep into the ground.

As a parent, I can only show my children where their roots should be deeply planted. But they must choose for themselves, as I give them wings to fly and establish their own roots.

Although I would hope that a fifth generation will be established here in Texas, I don't know if that will happen. However, the roots that go down deep in any soil are the ones I want planted in the Lord.  May my children be grounded in His word and have their roots planted deeply.  May they not be uprooted by the world, but firmly planted in Him and produce righteous fruit.

From this Texas girl, who still dreams of riding horses and having a plot of land to wander on, I hope you are allowing the Lord to grow deep roots in Him as you continue on this earthly journey.

Y'all come!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Through Extreme Hardship, Silently Adapt

This is a picture of the bristle cone pine called the Methuselah Tree.  This tree is the oldest known living organism, surviving at elevations of 10,000 to 11,000 feet in California, believed to be about 4,723 years old. (correction, this is a bristle cone pine, which is the same tree as the Methuselah, so you get the picture of what it would look like...Methuselah is protected by the National Forest Service, so some people have seen it)

This tree was alive when Pharaoh built the pyramids, Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness, the Roman Empire conquered the known world and Jesus Christ was born, died and resurrected.

Characteristics of Methuselah:
1)  flourishing through extreme hardships over long periods of time
2)  adapts to a changing environment
3)  surviving in barren landscape
4)  during droughts, it becomes dormant
5)  starving off portions of itself to feed small parts, based on availability of water and nutrients

Wow! All of creation points to the Creator and the Creator leaves behind messages to us, his creations.

The message my Creator shouted through this creation was to develop the ability to adapt.  Through all the different weather conditions, the Methuselah Tree has learned to adapt to the environment...not to be killed by the storms.  Although it appears to be dead, it is still alive.  The gnarled appearance has been caused by extremely harsh environmental conditions over centuries of time.

I have the same Creator as the Methuselah Tree, and He, and only He can see me through extreme hardships with peace as my guide.  Can I silently adapt?

There have been some wonderful challenges sent through the blog world the last couple of weeks. Remember, I am new to this world, and yet, my personal challenge is to believe Him through the storms, while adapting silently.

I am not known for silence, unless I am extremely angry, so silently adapting will have to be God.

God speaks through so many things in our lives.  Today, it was this 5000-year-old miracle tree named Methuselah.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." (Psalm 19:1-4; cf. Psalm 97:6)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Time to Re-Design

As I had blogged early this year, I felt this was my year for...well, let's say, putting off the grave clothes and coming back to life!

I allowed some major life disappointments and tragedies to just kinda...take me out of the game.  I continued to go on with life, but it was a daily struggle.

As stated in my past post on "cultivating", I was needing to put my hands back on the plow and create again.

I am having so much fun!!!  As I step back into creating, I am returning to many of my past pleasures.  My sewing machine is being used again.  I am once again designing in my head and this time it was  new bedding.
The one I had needed to retire. She had served me well, even if I never brought out her complete beauty.  She had stood in my "dream wall" bedroom in our past house.  I had painted my walls after a trip to Fredricksburg, Texas.  Inspired by one of the city's great shops, I set out to recreate the wall treatment at home. Hours and weeks later, my dream became a reality and I still adored the walls years later, but my bedding never fulfilled my vision.

She now sets in a room without color or curtains, due to the fact the landlord has forbid touching anything.  So, this creative girl had to have an outlet for her cultivation.  A new coverlet started it all.  Extra pieces of fabric I already possessed and some time to create allowed me to dust off my sewing skills.

After repeated text messages back and forth to my friend "Ethel", (not her real name but my term of endearment), I started sewing.  One night I saw what I wanted for my side pillows, inspiration which came from different visits to talented blogs..."W" drawn on paint cloth material, flanged shams would customize the new bedding.

Three large, European Shams across the back, one large king sham in front of them with side shams and accent pillows finish up the head and the bed was DONE! Next comes the adventure of adding accents and accessories as finishing touches to my "bedroom vision"!

It is BRIGHT.  It is so CHEERFUL...I just smile as I enter the room.  It is NEW!  It is a LIFT to my SOUL.

How precious to feel the hand of God as He uncovers you from your mourning....the verse states, "He gives beauty for ashes", is what I feel today.  Not only do I have a new look in my room, I was able to create and bring life to my vision.  I was cultivating and the Lord allowed my soul to rejoice!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Bridge Builder

The Bridge Builder - Will Allen Dromgoole

An old man, going a lone highway,

Came at the evening, cold and gray,

To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,

Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;

The sullen stream had no fears for him;

But he turned when safe on the other side

And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,

"You are wasting strength with building here;

Your journey will end with the ending day;

You never again must pass this way;

You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide— 

Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head:

"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,

"There followeth after me today

A youth whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm that has been naught to me

To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;

Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."1

I posted this in honor of poetry month and also because it is one of my favorite poems, which continues to teach me lessons.

During the younger years of my first four children, I would post poems, verses and quotes on their bathroom mirrors.  I would encase them in mylar and rotate them through the different bathrooms.  My hope was they would read them while dressing...teen years brought a lot of time in front of the mirror.

Did it work?  Well, only time will tell if my efforts will bring forth good fruit or not. Maybe the words will come back in due season for each of my adult children.

I hope my gray head has built and is still building bridges for others to one day pass through.  We have the choice to build or tear down. I pray that I have built more than I have torn down.  My hope is founded in the Ultimate Bridge Builder, Jesus Christ.

What is your favorite poem?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Girl Can Dream!!!

Years ago, with fewer children but many in their teens, I cut this out of a magazine to file in a folder.  I just loved the slogan.

Today, with the temperatures climbing and spring fever hitting me in the face, I had to close my eyes and imagine myself riding off into the sunset.  Of course, I think I qualify for this dream since I do have six children...it IS practical, but PLEASE order mine in RED.

Enjoy your dreams!  Don't let life get you down...who knows, maybe it will happen one day... if only for a day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Party and Pie

As a new blogger, I had no idea what a Blogging Party was all about.  I signed up, still not sure if I had followed all the instructions right, and started down the huge list to hop from one blog to another.

I was amazed.  I had no idea.  I was inspired and encouraged.

I couldn't believe the number of blogs and the wonderful women I read about.  My hope for our nation went through the roof.  My creative side was inspired...I found a blog to teach me how to make cheese and one for hand-made soap, both things I have wanted to do for a long time.  I was encouraged by the hearts of so many women and their love for their families and their God.

I didn't know what number of visitors to expect, so any that stopped by my blog humbled me in many ways.  Why would anyone care to read my rambling?   I also saw how much more I needed to learn...isn't learning good for a middle-aged mind?  Thank you for stopping by and your nice comments.

So, in celebration of this party, I am sharing our pie with you today..Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (YUMMY, YUMMY!).  My four-year-old followed me to the kitchen to make a pie I remembered from my teen days.  My mother had adventurously stepped out of her comfort zone to make a strawberry rhubarb pie that I still recall 35 years later.  I don't remember us having it again, but maybe, like my boys, the rhubarb was so interesting and the product so good that it etched long-surviving memories.

My children have always learned at my side in the kitchen.  Usually starting as my four-year-old did, by first learning at their grandmother's side.  She would be at the house after the birth of our newest addition, or just a visit with our youngest two children, and would call them into the kitchen to put biscuits in the oven.  They would pull up a stool (around the age of three) and, after popping open the can of biscuits, she would allow them to arrange the biscuits on the cooking sheet to go into the oven. They entered the cooking world and have never looked back.

The rhubarb was sliced and measured.  This is a perfect way to start introducing math to your younger children.  My son watched as I added the rhubarb and then the strawberries on top, while reading out the measurements (numbers) to me.
The rhubarb took on the sweetness of the strawberries....it mimics flavors.
In celebration of poem month, this was a good time to quote the poem "Sing a song of Sixpence", where blackbirds are baked in a pie. I remembered the poem and later shared with my son, who thought it was so silly and again we counted...there were 24 birds baked in a pie.
Our final results...  my son had experienced math and literature by my side, while introducing a new vegetable....can you tell I have homeschooled for 21 years?  My older son was fascinated by how the rhubarb changed texture and taste.  We all enjoyed the fruit of our labor. We planned on making a different pie each week...sounds like fun for the spring season!  I wore my new "I Love Lucy" apron while we cooked, but I still wiped my wet hands off on my bottom...will I ever learn to use this new addition to my wardrobe?

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
3 cups of rhubarb stalks cut into 1/2 pieces...trim the stringy layers of the large stalks
1 cup of strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1 cup of sugar
3 Tablespoons of corn starch
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of grated orange peel
Unbaked pastry for two-crust 9 inch pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the rhubarb and the strawberries with the sugar, corn starch, salt and orange rind.  Let sit for 10 minutes
Turn into a pastry lined pan.  Top with the pastry, trim the edge, and crimp the top and bottom edges together.  Cut slits in the top for the steam to escape.
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes longer.  Cool on a rack.
Serve warm or cold......we put whipped cream on top!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blog Party 2010

Welcome to Janette's Sage, where I am learning to blog through the eyes of a middle-aged mom enjoying and stumbling through life's journey, through my 30 years of marriage to my high school sweet heart and our six children.

Our house is always busy with our married, career, college, Jr High and four-year old blessings.  Our daughter-in-law has added another female to our male-dominated world.

I love to be creative! I am energized when I have made something with my hands. I am loving the ideas I am getting through the blogs.

I have home-schooled for 21 years and graduated four of my six from high school through home education.  This has kept me very busy and satisfied, but I am now a 75% empty-nester, which is changing my world.

I am a want-to-be owner of land with a cottage-style house and Tusha Tudor garden, but instead I live on a postage size lot in the middle of a fast pace metro-plex.  Learning to take that dream, and have it manifest where God has me at this time, is the journey I am walking.

I love the Lord Jesus and my relationship with Him guides me through the many storms and joys of life that we all experience.

Thanks for dropping by and hope you can come again and visit.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dress-up Challenge

Get Dress Challenge
This week there was a dress-up challenge sent through the blog world.  I had been mulling this thought through my brain for weeks. I had allowed this once-learned lesson to be derailed through some of my life's challenges, and used excuses to justify it.

I also knew I had pushed the limit in my frumpy/sloppy daily attire when I heard one of my children say, "Where are you going, Momma?" and there wasn't any intent to leave the house.

As always, one thing turns up another and to take on this challenge, I first had to purge the frumpy, too tight, in-your-dreams, handed-down-too-many times clothing from my closet and put it in order.

Okay....here it goes, and, yes, it is bad.  The saying goes that you can tell a woman's life by what her purse looks like....well, if the same is said about her closet...mine screams "disorder".

I would go in, couldn't get inspired, grab the first item and head out of the closet...wouldn't you?  Who wants to look through this junk.

The small clothes would yell out how much weight I had gained, the overly used items had been photographed too many times..."Mom are you in that same shirt again?"  The nicely intended hand-me-downs just yelled..."That isn't you, but you need to be grateful and use them."

Step One - acknowledge the issues in my heart and purge!!!

No turning back...it must all be done in order to sleep tonight!!!

Step  Two - I tried on all my tops....that back fat isn't leaving tomorrow, and the buttons just aren't going to button...in the pile they went.

Pants...shirts were depressing enough, so I looked at them, threw the too-small,wishful ones into the pile and will deal with the large sizes as I go to put them on...at least they are all about the same size, which isn't saying much, but hopefully I can wear them.

Step Three - To the closet!...spring/summer tops in the front and color-coordinated.  Light weight pants on the bottom in the front with winter pants and tops toward the back of the closet.  The overhead shelves, de-junked and organized...mostly keepsakes up there with a few sweaters.

Now I can see what I need...a lot... too sad. I removed more than I put back, but at least I am realistic now!

I did add one new item to my wardrobe...something I have never possessed or used...An Apron!!!  Who knows... maybe this is going to be a whole new season of fashion for me!
" Now, Ricki, what do you want for dinner?"

May you enjoy your task each day. May your husband and children delight in your countenance.  May you enjoy dressing up to serve your family, whether it's a dress, jeans, sweats or an apron... your inner beauty and tidiness should shine through!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Morning Surprise!

This was my morning surprise, as I turned the corner to make my ascent up the stairs to wake up my youngest boys!

Precious...batman didn't make it down the second flight of stairs, he stopped and fell back to sleep.

I sing to him, "You are my sunshine" and he is, each day he surprises me with smiles.

Where have you found your little ones asleep?  Ours have been found in toy boxes, closets covered with stuff animals, and other surprising places.

Oh, the joy to be able to sleep anywhere!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Do You See It?

Do you see it?  Can you find the treasure in this little patch of earth, off the side walk, we discovered on our hike today?

The white flowers will be blackberries in the summer, but among them was this beautiful little flower.....

Would you have missed it?  Do you slow down enough to see the hidden treasures in your day or do you walk or run past them with the pace of an Olympic runner?  Do you need a zoom lens to keep you from seeing too broad a picture?

My blog's title is Janette's Sage...not because I have achieved the status of a sage, but because as my hair continues to add gray I have learned something along this journey of life that can only have been learned through the passing of time.
Daily reminding myself to stop and smell the roses along the way, to learn to ignore the thorns, and inhale the fragrance of life has become a battle cry of my heart.

Stopping to listen when my four-year-old announced on our hike, "I have lost my energy!", instead of pulling him along to get back to the house for another task to be checked off my never-ending "to do" list.  I took it in laughingly, thinking maybe that was an added, though unexpected, benefit to our nature walk.  (It wasn't gone for long... he raced me home.)

Many times we focus on goals and achievements that can be measured by the evidences around us...a clean house, gourmet meals, our looks, our decor, our kid's test scores, and yet the times we will look back and smile on will not be those achievements, although worthy.  We will look back, as our family does every spring, and recall our annual trip to the creek to find tadpoles.

We will not recount how good  we were at filling out our nature books, but we will recall how, every year, no matter how much I worked to prevent it, my only girl would fall into the creek.  We will all laugh about how I could take three boys on a hike and only Nicole would come back wet....every year she would somehow fall in the creek.  Yes, my objective was to fill our nature book for science. What was accomplished was my stopping long enough to enjoy the less obvious adventure of my daughter being pulled out of the creek.

As age 50 beckons me even closer, I continue to reflect on the past half-century, weighing how I want to spend the days God will grant me.  Yes, I would love to be back to my post-pregnancy weight I had after four children in my early thirties, that somehow disappeared with my pregnancies at age 35 and 45, but dreaming for a size 8 body might only cause me to focus on the weeds that gathered along the trail on our hike today, while missing the beautiful little treasures hidden under their leaves.

Today's hike was just a reminder to me to remember the important things as I lay down tonight and my brain rehearses the day with it's never-ending list of things not accomplished...but we did see the flower that most people just walk past and I did celebrate my son's 24th birthday.
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