The Week Before We Celebrate His Resurrection

The yard, here at the cottage this week:

The view from the hammock today:

Our Easter Table:

This afternoon, I dyed a few eggs using some blue and some green food coloring - then splattered them with craft paint in "burnt umber"...then I modge-podged a few more with some torn pieces of a toile paper of my daughters created the vignette with the Celtic cross, nest, and the bird.
Each night, we light a series of six candles, counting down Holy Week to Resurrection Sunday, and the three of us (Isaac, Tim, and is "just us three" at home now, amazingly) read a short passage about the final days and hours of Christ before His death.
We are keeping Easter joyfully here! You?
Linking with Beth over at A 2 Z...

Holy Week's Gratitude Journal

I pray you are slowing down enough to ponder the awe of this Holy Week - the week before Easter. Just as with the season of Advent, I am taking time each and every evening between now and Sunday to consider the Passion of Christ, and its impact on my destiny, and on my ordinary day.

I truly want to do something different in the way I keep Easter, this year. As close as we are to that special day, I am still not sure what to do differently, other than taking more time to meditate on the events of the week that led to the crucifixion of God in the flesh. I want to celebrate, to decorate, and to deeply consider. New life is bursting forth all around me - there is much to be immensely grateful for.

I am living a dream that I truly don't deserve. Isn't grace incredible?

Last year, I began keeping a "1000 Gifts" gratitude journal, with the encouragement of Ann Voskamp, a blessing-of-a-blogger. Today is her "Multitide Monday". Fellow bloggers can link up with her blog on a Monday, and count our blessings together...

~hearing the canary croon with Nora Jones, about an hour ago.

~the fire burning in my outdoor firepit right now.

~both daughters, now married to good, Godly men.

~that cute girl puppy, wearing a pink bandana.

~my chicken cordon bleu turned out amazing!

~"Hey baby, Tim's my handyman..."

~the fact that I knocked out my entire "to do" list today (and it was insanely long...)

~there is time to spare for a long, luscious bath...

~our weather forecast contains "six sunshines in a row" for the first time in months, literally! I'm beside myself with joy.

~the hundred plus daffodils about to burst into bloom in my three huge pots, under my mailbox, and in the flower bed.


~used bookstores

~hearing from the newlyweds, whose itinerary is a sweet secret.

~a honey who made me a great cuppa coffee just now...

Gratitude Journal in Pictures:

about to blossom

the lettuce seeds I planted awhile back! (we had a small salad tonight...)

Spring decor

Linking with A Holy Experience...

spring table

Tisn't New

This emphasis on New Covenant isn't new at all. The emphasis upon grace-through-faith (as opposed to moral duty or improvement) isn't strange and it isn't new. If it bothers you...if you wonder at it...or (heaven help us, I shudder at this) if you think it is in error...all I can say is...

...historically speaking, where have you been? There is a such thing as "the cult of the contemporary". Are you in that cult? Do you read? Or, if you read classically, do you read only the writings of dead "merit mongers"? That is most unwise. Have you read the New Testament without the veil on your head? Have you read church history?

“The doctrine of the atonement is very simple. It just consists in the substitution of Christ in the place of the sinner; Christ being treated as if he were the sinner and then the transgressor being treated as if he were the righteous one. It is a change of persons; Christ becomes the sinner; He stands in the sinner’s place…the sinner becomes righteous; he stands in Christ’s place…and is numbered with the righteous ones. Christ has no sin of His own, but he takes human guilt and is punished for human folly. We have no righteousness of our own, but we take the Divine righteousness; we are rewarded for it and stand accepted before God as though that righteousness had been worked out by ourselves.”

Preached long ago by Charles Spurgeon, The King’s Highway

When a woman or man, no matter their age, no matter how far from God they are, suddenly sees the atonement for what it is for the first time...and believes this scandalous gospel...they are saved. They can then, and only then, begin to grow up into the righteousness that has been purchased for them, and imputed to them.

Ah, but how can they hear, without a preacher? How will they hear if confused Christians keep on questioning the validity of this simple gospel?

The enemy's plan is old, but clever. Divide, and conquer. Divide, and thus keep as many as possible from being able to clearly hear this truth.

In Which Sheila Only Has One Thing To Say...

Come join me at the table

Righteousness is not something that grows in us. We grow into the free gift of righteousness, by grace through faith. I am all the "holy" I am supposed to be, at this very moment, because I am in Christ Jesus, who is made unto me...well, just everything I need. Good works are what I do for the sake of my neighbor, not to merit favor with God. God is pleased with Christ Alone.

Yeah. I think that is the one thing I wanted to say.

The Puppies...

Isn't this too much cuteness?? The white puppy is Sarah's puppy. We are puppysitting while she is on her honeymoon. The silver teacup is our Rambo. They adore each other!

(great shot, Hannah!)
Just don't ask Tim and I how we've been sleeping. (We haven't been.) Amber will not sleep without being in our bed...and if Amber is in our bed, why then Rambo must be there too. Then, they both snuggle us to the extreme...

Happy Birthday, My Love!

This past Sunday was my Tim's 47th birthday.

Yeah. The day after our daughter's wedding. After enjoying our guest speaker, Neil Silverberg, and receiving heartfelt birthday love from all of Harvest, we were exhausted. But thanks to Hannah and Justin, we managed a celebration. Hannah and Justin came by the house later Sunday evening and brought us dinner, a small cake, and a present for dad...

Hannah made this T-shirt!

Dad, wearing Isaac's hat...Hannah, Tim, and Isaac giving the camera their best "dumb redneck" pose. This picture is falling-down-funny!

Was there ever a busier, more satisfying March? Not in my life, not so far. March 2010 is definitely going down in the family history books.

PS. You would be most definitely blessed if you went to , go to the resource page, and look up the MP3 of Neil's message this past Sunday. It is there, available for free...

The Nest Is Emptying...

This is one of the portraits we hung in the church foyer, as part of the wedding decor...Sarah, Jonathan, and Amber Marie, our "granddog".

This is a little of what we had to get done today. ::sniff:: Such an empty room. We finished moving Sarah's things to her new house for her. Have I cried yet? Oh. Yes.

...thus, Retail Therapy was in order. Here is what I found this afternoon at Tuesday Morning. Since I was feeling tired and a bit sad, I bought them both. They are happy in my kitchen, next to the coffee maker.

People, I am in serious renesting mode. Heaven help my husband, may God have mercy on his soul.

Be forewarned, gentle reader. Lots of posts to follow on topics such as "what color to repaint the kitchen and dining room", the gospel, My Brand New Life With Only One Kid Left At Home, gospel, my very first yoga classes (yet to be taken - stay tuned), gospel, the search for the perfect new armchair for the livingroom OR sewing my first slipcover (whichever option moves me when the time comes), the gospel, expanding the garden, raising blueberries and seventeen year old boys, the gospel, recipes, decorating ideas...

...and did I say the gospel of grace? I can't seem to ever stop talking about it. Your inheritance is way better than you know.

Stay tuned. I love you for visiting me here on my blog!