We Wish You Were Here!

...grabbed a shot of this sailboat...from the boat we were on...as we were passing by.

It is almost 11pm, and we've only been back at our condo for a couple of hours. We've had such a great day - long, happy, lots of walking, shopping at a yarn shop that has been featured in magazines, lots of beautiful architecture, and lots of eating. The mixture of clouds and sun was perfect, making the temperatures hover in the low 80's, with the ever-present ocean breeze.

And I just got out of our hot tub, located in our own private sunroom, with its floors and walls lined in knotty pine, and its ceiling of glass.

Tomorrow looks like golf for my Preacher - 9 holes, since we are doing this on a budget. Then, it is rear-ends in chairs, chairs in sand, looking out over the ocean waves - sunglasses, magazines, and diet Coke for me, a fishing pole and a cooler of stinky shrimp bait for the Preacher...

for the whooooooooole afternoon.

Till the sun goes down, baby!

Where I Am, Day 3

....beach in front of me...hundreds of these beauties beside me...my idea of heaven on earth.

How To Find Me On The Internet

(Image by Emily Ley)

After a bit of research, I'm delighted to discover that, lately in the past few months, others are locating my blog by Googling this:

Sheila Atchley Grace

More than a few times, in an effort to locate my blog, others are Googling my name and one precious and powerful word - Grace.

Can I tell you? When you make grace the standard, you will ultimately live at a higher plane than the law could ever take you. You will out-do the legalistas. You end up out-performing the performers.

Every. Single. Time.

So yes, I'm blessed to say you can find me by Googling or Binging my name....and then the word "grace".

Where I Am

Today, I fell asleep exactly here...

...and God is good.

Dining Room Mini Makeover

Hints were hinted at, on yesterday's blog post. Here is what Hannah and I were up to:

...cutting and sewing...so that our old chairs could do justice to....

...a pair of oak corner cabinets! I was so excited to get them...

I enjoyed arranging the shelves - Hannah loved styling them, too. (Notice: I "arrange", she "styles".)

Love the ticking fabric, made into ruffles on the bottoms of the slipcovers!I think I managed to eke out two of them, Hannah sewed the rest. Also,notice the tablerunner. I designed it - choosing the fabrics, and telling Hannah what I wanted - she sewed it. Ticking with a graphic orange-and-cream colored print trim. Mitered corners, no less. Homegirl's got mad skillz.

Just playing with the soft focus in post-edit. Please excuse. I can't decide if it looks artistic or crap.

The final thing this room needs is a Jonathan Howe original, and a rug to give more texture, and warm up the floor. This floor is a battered old oak, and I love to have it so. We could refinish it whenever we want - we have access to all the tools, and The Preacher has the know-how. But I don't want shiny, perfect floors. So I'm not wanting a rug to cover them up...I just want to soften and add texture and brighten the overall feel of this room.

I took a ton of shots of the tablesetting - in RAW instead of JPEG. I think either my card totally rejected shooting in RAW (not me...the files)
or I did something when I uploaded to my laptop. Either way, the pictures have vanished.

Maybe I'll try again? I haven't put the dishes back away yet.

October Blessings

(Image from the blog "A Holy Experience")

...Hannah and I have been up sewing all evening long. Both sewing machines, going strong. Hannah is faster and better than I am.

Hint: the dining room is changing!

Can't wait to show you!

PS. Enjoy the October nature calendar...click on it to enlarge it. These nature calendars have always brought me such joy!

The Exquisite Writing of Hal Borland

"We who live in a land of seasonal change...have Autumn on our doorstep. Even now the sun rises east and sets west, so far as the eye can see, and one hears regret that another Summer is gone.

In a sense, this is so; and yet no season, nor even any year, either stands alone or vanishes completely. Summer is rooted in Spring, and Autumn is essentially Summer's maturity. The apple now reddened on the tree was a fragile blossom, a delight to the eye and a host to the bee, only a few months ago. The honey in the comb was pollen when June was at its height, and rains of April and hot July nights now come to ripeness in the cornfields. Even before the leaves come swirling down, buds are on the bough for another Summer's shade.

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night: and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life. There is a time of sprouting, a time of growth, and a time of harvest, and all are a part of the greater whole. There comes the time now to savor the harvest, to pause and know another year not yet brought to full finality.

The rhythm of life and thought and change will be close around us now, and the restless energy of Summer...distilled into the stout brandy of another season. Change is ours to know and accept and build upon, even as the skies of Autumn clear and the leaves begin to fall. Fallen leaves open wider horizons to the seeing eye."

(Hal Borland, excerpt from the beautiful book Sundial of the Seasons)

May I add?

No season stands alone, nor does any choice we make. To have a harvest season, you first have to sow. Then you have to nurture the seed sown. Then you have to stay with it....stay with it...stay with it..."dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness".

Then. Then. Only then. Comes harvest.

If at any point you choose not to nurture the seeds of relationship, if you are harsh towards that living, growing thing called relationship, if you pluck up that which was planted, if you leave it...

...sorry, but no harvest.

Choose carefully. It matters. Tomorrow matters today. Today, I savor the fruit of weathering past winters, blizzards and frosts, rainy seasons, blasts of heat, and perfect seasons...all of it distilled into the fruit of sweet relationship.

You can't make wine without a harvest first. (And the Holy Spirit is a "latter rain" New Covenant reality...He is a Harvest Wine, as typified in Scripture!) You can't have a harvest without cultivating faithfulness. Plant first. Then cultivate continuity. Then comes the Harvest...then comes the wine....then comes the celebration. Real celebration, satisfying in a deep down durable sense.

You have to stick and stay through all parts of the process.