Friday, April 23, 2010

Tasting Goodness

Catching Drops 2

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Oh, the joys of those who trust in Him!” Psalm 34:8

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What’s Different: We Don’t Knock, We Clap

When you arrive to someone’s house here in Paraguay, you don’t walk right up to the front door and knock.  Instead you stand at the edge of their porch and clap.  If they don’t come to the door, you can try to clap again louder and say hello to see if they just didn’t hear you the first time. 

Several times there has been someone at my house and I didn’t realize it until I just happened to walk out into my kitchen and see them.  I am not quite used to listening for the clapping, so I think that is the main reason I miss it, though we do almost always have a fan too on which drowns out a lot of noise!

How do you announce your arrival to someone’s home in the country where you live?  I’d love to hear! 

photo credit

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

True Beauty Does

Double beep marks the arrival of his message and heart warms fast with love as I read.   

“When I saw you in the rear view mirror…


I was reminded again of how beautiful you are.” 

Reminded Cont.

Smile broadens and head tips back with a laugh.  I’m so blessed by his thoughtful love. 

Fingers quick, tap out reply. 

“Thanks, honey!  Now if only beauty would calm a grouchy baby!”

It’s been a rough day, this.  Nothing seems to soothe the little one. 

I’ve barely pressed send when another message arrives.  This time, it’s not words on screen but voice in heart.   

“Oh, Shilo…but it does!  True beauty does.”

I know this voice and I know it can only speak truth.  My brain strains to understand what He means; to remember how He defines true beauty.  Desperate to comprehend, I go to the Words of Life.

“That is the way the holy women made themselves beautiful.  They trusted God.”  I Peter 3:5 NLT

True beauty is trusting God.  This is His message to me.  It’s powerful in it’s simplicity.   

Piercing conviction and wild hope converge in my heart and words spill out,

“Father, forgive me for not looking to You for wisdom about how to comfort and console my little one today!  I depended on my own intuition and it failed me miserably. 

I believe you spoke to me for a reason!  You want to show me how being truly beautiful…how trusting You makes a difference in all the little situations in my day!  I do trust you.  I wait for your wisdom.”

Heart quiet, I hear His voice again.

“Sit down and play with the child, Shilo.  Just play with him.” 

Tears spill.  I gather toys.  We sit.  Play.  He calms.  Smiles.  Laughs for the first time all day. 

I’m humbled, amazed, and thankful.  And I’m believing with all my heart the message He spoke to me today.  True beauty does, because true beauty is born out of the fierce belief that the all wise, loving God of the universe has the power to change every situation in my life! 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ribbon Weave Tutorial: Use Ribbon to Dress Up Your Table

I am always on the lookout for decorating ideas for special occasions.  My two requirements are: Does it use items which are commonly available to me living abroad?  And is it affordable?  I find many of the fabulous ideas out there don’t make the cut because they are either hard to implement without access to fully stocked craft store or are cost prohibitive. 

That’s why I absolutely love this idea.  You can find ribbon almost anywhere in the world and usually it is reasonably affordable. 



I adorned our table for Easter Brunch  in turquoise, navy blue and yellow (inspiration from here) this year.   Unfortunately, there are no pictures because it was a dark, rainy day and because I was too busy keeping my 18 month old from undoing my ribbon weave.  After the fourth time of reweaving ribbons, my husband said, “Well, dear, just remember, Martha Stewart never had a busy little boy helping her decorate.”   Indeed! 

The hardest part of this project is figuring out how much ribbon you will need in each color.  After that, it’s a breeze!

1. Put your tablecloth on the table, then decide how far you want the ribbon to fall from the edge of the table. 

2.  Measure the length of your desired look.  Multiply this number by the amount of times you plan to use the ribbon length wise.  

For instance, in the picture above, the green ribbon is used twice down the middle of the table.  Say the table is six feet long and you want a six inch drop on each side.  That’s seven feet. 

7 ft. x 2 times = 14 ft.

3.  Measure the width of your desired look.  Multiply this number by the amount of times you plan to use the ribbon width wise. 

Going back to Martha’s picture, the green ribbon is draped four times across the width of the table.  Let’s imagine the table is three feet across and you want a six inch drop on each side.   That’s four feet. 

4 ft. x 4 times = 16 ft.      

4.  Add the total length and the total width of the ribbon. 

14 ft length + 16 ft width = 30 feet of green ribbon 

5.  Determine how many times you will use each of the additional colors.  Complete steps two through four to determine the total yardage you will need for each color.  This will go quickly since you already know your width and length! 

6.  Buy, weave, make your guests feel valued and loved. 

If you are able, buying ribbon in differing widths adds more interest to the look.  If you can’t, who cares!  It still looks great!      

For the actual weaving process, I laid all the lengths first, then weaved in all the widths. 

Too complicated or expensive?  Then how about this idea from my pre-blogging days? 

Laurie's Brunch Photo 

All you need is one thick ribbon laid flat, one contrasting length of tulle twisted and one coordinating skinny ribbon twirled over it all. 

Ribbon is a great, affordable way to adorn your table!  An added benefit is that, unless you have a food fight, the majority of the ribbon will be reusable for other things after your meal! 

No matter where you live, no matter your budget, there is ALWAYS a way to make your family and friends feel loved by creating a beautiful table setting!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Close Enough to Breathe

I’ve admired it for a few days, small little patch of climbing pink flowers on the old tree trunk turned pillar near my driveway. 

Fence Post and Pink Vine

A word of praise to God for this beautiful gift births a longing I can’t quench.  I have to get closer.  Seeing from afar isn’t enough, I need to breathe it’s scent, to trace it’s winding path with my fingers.   

Orange and Tuquoise Butterfly

I breathe and trace and notice my gift has welcomed another praise giver.  Majestic Butterfly.  He rests light and breathes sweet scent.   

Praise invites us to take a closer look.  A closer look confirms that which our hearts instinctively know.  There is more.  More than a flower, there is a butterfly.  More than a far off view of splendor, there is a God and a glory that is close enough to breathe.       

Savoring the sweet scent of His never ending goodness:

286.  Conversations over the dishes

295.  God’s Word in my language

304.  Practical parenting wisdom spoken by God’s Spirit straight to my heart

327.  Dog and boy playing tug-o-war

334.  A dream come true

355. Grandma’s blue glass and precious memories

380. Our welcome to this community

409. Cool days

429.  Little boy jokes

431.  Christ’s death in my place

452. That His Word always has more for me

466.  Porch sitting with my love

474.  Kids who love to read 



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