Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Art of Being Joy-filled

Joy is a thing to be cultivated. Children have a natural joy that sometimes is lost as we journey to adulthood. Cultivating childhood joy - that immediate appreciation of the explosion of joy packed experiences that surround us - is a worthy endeavor.

Joy is different than happiness. Joy runs deeper, wider, and stronger. Happiness is an surface emotion - joy is a state of being. Joy will sustain you in the times of trial when happiness fades away.

Joy can also be cultivated. How do you cultivate joy? The same way you cultivate a plant.
  • Prepare the soil
  • Plant a seed.
  • Add water and sunshine.
  • Nurture the tender plant.
  • Remove the weeds.
  • Fertilize the plant.
  • Prune the plant.
  • Enjoy the plant!
This week I prepared the soil and planted seeds of joy. Enjoy a surprise!

A young hawk stopped to rest near the goat pen. Surprise!
I didn't know that goats would "mother" sheep! The goat in the back is nursing both the lambs on the left. Surprise, surprise!

I added water and sunshine. Refresh yourself with things that hold good memories!

I have wonderful memories of going to the County Fair for many years.

I nurtured my joy. Feed your joy with more beautiful times that become beautiful memories.

Merry-go-rounds have always been a favorite ride of mine since I was very young.
Look! A blue horse!
I "removed the weeds and fertilized" my joy. Focus on eternal blessings and lasting joy!

Set your mind on the things above,
not on the things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:2 

The beautiful sunsets always remind me of the near presence of the Lord.
A little hug from God...
I "pruned" my joy. Joy that is focused on the Lord is steady and strong.

Hmmm... I prefer my joy to be like a good horse with a bridle rather than a ram with a saddle!
I spent time this week just enjoying "joy". Cultivate joy filled friendships - starting with  Jesus! And just in case you don't think that ***church*** is fun...

Mission Green Socks and Jelly Bellies

Common denominator: Green Socks.
Location: Front row of church service.
Purpose: To increase joy - mirth and hysteria were welcome extras.
Summary: Oblivious Pastor was voted to receive his Jelly Bellies after all, and participants did manage keep their minds (mostly) on the sermon!

Brought to you by the makers of Ya Just Had to be There Moments!
Cultivating child like joy is a definite art - one that comes naturally to us when we are young but must be remembered and practiced as we get older.

Rather like coloring outside the lines...

Enjoying the child within,

Perhaps a bit of a stretch from what Athena intended, but here is my answer to "Back to Childhood" with "The Art of Being Joy-filled"!

September- Athena/LalalitaBodyCo - Back to Childhood September is traditionally back to school time. Remember the craft projects from your childhood, like macaroni noodle art, or tracing your hand to make paper turkeys, or getting your hands all ooey-gooey with finger paint?
This month, challenge yourself to "elevate" a kind of art or craft from your childhood into "high art". It doesn't have to be something for your Etsy shop; this is all just for fun.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Morning Glories

Sometimes the simple pleasures in life are quiet and sometimes they are glorious.

I didn't plant these and I haven't watered them, but there they are - beautiful every day.

Hollyhocks appear around here every spring, too. And sunflowers - and a number of other wild flowers both large and small.

Flowers make me smile - and I bet I am not alone. Otherwise why would there be so many florists selling so many flowers for so many occasions? 

But these are free - a gift from God - growing wild all around me. The morning glories have attached themselves tenaciously to the fence. Sometimes they are even stretching up into the sky seeking something to wrap their vines around.  And blooming all the while...

They remind me that God's love for me is just that tenacious. Just that persistent. And every bit that beautiful.

He makes me smile!

Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
and let those who love Your salvation say continually,
"Let God be magnified,"
Psalm 70:4
Thanking the Lord for His beautiful creation - that reminds me of how much He loves us...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Funtry FridayTruck Party!

Grab a hearty breakfast, because we are "truckin' it" this Funtry Friday!

Here - just to make sure you don't go hungry, I'll share some strawberries. The one on top is big enough to make a pie, top the ice cream, and still have some left over nibbles.

Off we go! Truckin' through the weeds with Forrest...

Hmmm... I recognize that squinty eyeball look. It says "Missy, you need to weed whack. Seriously!"

Keep on truckin', Forrest - help is on the way!

Hey Hay - look who's here. Not only do we have some help with the tumbleweed harvest, but way back in the distance I can see the hay truck pulling in the gate... This is going to be a busy day.

Let the week whacking and the hay unloading commence! Meanwhile, I am truckin' off to check out this cool bug.

I have heard them called June Bugs and July Flies - but what do you call these in September? Lost? or very late?

Aha! We have had a successful tumbleweed shearing. Look, guineas, you can catch the grasshoppers way easier now!

Pretty, nice, short, green grass weeds... until the next rainfall!

And, speaking of pretty - this little bird landed right outside my window and sang a beautiful song.

Such a pretty song! and then off she flew...

Well, hope you enjoyed "truckin' around" this Funtry Friday! Have a great weekend out there in your neck of the woods.


Sunday, September 15, 2013


So... I was going to write a Funtry Friday blog post on Saturday, but then Saturday got away from me just like Friday did... Sunday hasn't quite managed to escape into evening yet, so here I am!

Happy Sunday Saturday Funtry Friday!

Guess who likes sunflowers?

Guess who else likes sunflowers (besides Bethie and I) -

Yep, Benny! His favorite parts are the leaves and he gets *really* excited when he sees me coming with his munchies.
I love having my animals - they make me smile.

Hershey and Billie Jane are grooming each other - just like cats, but with teeth and no claws. They will stand and do this for quite a while - which makes me go past smile into laughter.

Speaking of laughter - I did not know that this bug...
(common variety of stink bug about an inch long - in case you wondered...)

...could swim like an Olympic Gold competitor! That's one of those bugs right in the middle of the ripples. This critter made standing in the mud fun. They move fast on dry land, just as fast on the mud, and equally fast in the water. They even dive. Who would have thought?!

I am beginning to think that some bugs just have a sense of humor. You have no doubt heard that saying "sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield". Well, sometimes out here the bug is almost big enough to carry off the windshield and the vehicle as well. This guy hitched a ride and stayed on my windshield, until I finished the photo shoot for his moment of grasshopper blog fame. Then, the hopper flew away.

Of course not everything always goes smoothly out here. This morning I rescued this little guy from the dogs. Unwise move to fly into the porch as those old dogs can move faster than you would think.

He may or may not survive his encounter, but at least he is in a safe place with food and water and a chance to recover. It was a little more excitement than I wanted this morning, but at least I was able to rescue him.

This has been a very busy few days.

Friday was a town day - which means that the weather has dried up a bit and there wasn't any water in the wash. Yay!

Saturday was more errands and talking to someone about him using his *big* mower to whack down the tumbleweeds. (Take that, Henry T. Weeds! *with apologies to My Fair Lady*)

Sunday was another sunny day, so I was able to go to church and enjoy some great fellowship and worship. The sermon was thoughtful and inspiring, with a reminder to look around and see how much God loves us and blesses us.

I just showed you some ways the Lord shows His love and blessings to me. Now it's your turn - leave a comment and share some ways He shows His love and blessings to you.

Happy Sonday to you - God loves you!

In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8


Sunday, September 8, 2013

A busy week...

Life has been crazy this week - running errands when the rain stopped and the sun dried everything up. Then staying home when the water rose in the wash and planning the next crazy mad dash to town.

Sometimes when life is like that, my brain refuses to slow down. No matter where I am or what I am doing, my brain is already thinking ahead two stops down the road. This, I am here to tell you, can lead to some massive confusion and retracing of steps.

Hello, Brain. Slow down. The Lord has a plan so stay in the moment before you miss something important.

Like the sunset.

"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans for welfare and not for calamity
to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, September 1, 2013


After much pondering and many thoughts, I leave you with this moment of quiet...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6
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