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Archive for the ‘Videos – If You Were There’ Category

Indignant is the word to describe how I felt back in 2005 upon hearing that another version of Jane’s Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice, was to be released in the cinema, this time starring English actress Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet. The very existence of this new intruder version felt like an insult to those who had played in the 1995 BBC adaptation of the book. Like utter disloyalty to Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, who, in my mind, actually were Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Why make another when perfection had already been reached?

But of course when the time came for the film to appear in our one local cinema in Inverness, Scotland, where we were living at the time, I went along to see it. And slowly, as I sat with my sweet popcorn and mini tub of ice cream, I felt my arched brow of skepticism slowly fade into a soft smile. For even with the simplified script, the overacting, and that awful brown dress Kiera Knightly dons for the majority of the film, it cannot be denied that with all the talented cinematography that captures the breathtaking Darbyshire scenery and the gorgeous film score by Dario Marianelli, the film is a veritable feast for the eyes and ears. And I decided that perhaps seeing what other artists had to offer was, after all, a good thing. 

I like to put it on in the background sometimes, if I’m, say, folding laundry or working on my scrapbook. But Keira Knightley will never, ever be Elizabeth Bennet, just as the 2005 version will never be to me the haven of coziness, inspiration, and nostalgia that the 1995 version is. 

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And so it will be with this newest adaptation of the novel Anne of Green Gables by Canadian Author Lucy Maude Montgomery, which will air in February 2016. This version was created by Breakthrough Entertainment , and stars young actress Ella Ballentine as the red-headed orphan Anne Shirley, and Martin Sheen as Matthew Cuthbert, the Bachelor who, along with his spinster sister Marilla, ends up adopting the feisty, talented, kindhearted Anne.

Canada’s CBC-TV also has plans to run a series, simply titled “Anne,” which is set to air in 2017, and which CBC says will follow Montgomery’s story line, but will also “chart new territory.” Writer Moira Walley-Beckett say she had adapted Anne’s story and that Anne’s issues are really contemporary ones like feminism, prejudice, and bullying.  

I will watch both versions. And if the trailer for the made-for-TV film is any indication, that adaptation will be charming and entertaining, if nothing else.

But I’m a little concerned that the series will modernize Anne too much, throw Anne’s catch phrases about in a way that becomes obnoxious, make the story into something Montgomery never intended it to be.

 So yes, I’ll watch them, but at the possible risk of having to go back on my word, I’m quite sure that these will not be the versions I go back to–again, and again, and again. Because Megan Follows who starred as Anne in the Sullivan Entertainment   version simply is Anne Shirley, just as Colleen Dewhurst is Marilla, and Jonathan Crombie is Gilbert Blythe.

I was practically introduced to Anne’s world from birth when my mother named me Avonlea, and it was to Sullivan’s 1985 version that I was first introduced. It was these actors whose faces I had in mind as I read the books, these faces I felt uplifted and encouraged by on those days when I, too, felt “in the depths of despair,” or had “a Jonah Day,” or could say of God’s working in my life, “He knew.” They are as much like friends to me as any fictional characters could ever be.

Another chance to view what is probably my favourite story on earth? Yes, please. Perhaps Breakthrough will even go on to make other Anne films based on Montgomery’s books,and stay a little closer to the stories than Sullivan did with their second Anne film. But just as I’m quite sure that a rose called a thistle or a skunk cabbage wouldn’t smell the same, an Anne by any other name could just never be as sweet. 

 

 

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A blip came to the sameness of my life

(that’s where I’ve been, trying to ride it out). 

The news at first neither happy nor sad. 

Changing everything and nothing

all at once. 

Not like in the early days

of moving continents, moving cities, moving lives. 

When I never knew from one month to the next

where I might be, 

what British or European city I’d have the pleasure of exploring, 

just me and my camera and my thoughts. 

Here in America, everything feels so far away, 

but of course life happens all the same. 

And when you have three little men 

all around you like a daisy chain, 

(sometimes like a fence), 

you have to move a lot more slowly

than you’d sometimes like. 

And so the blip, and nothing’s the same and everything is at once, 

and it all might mean a long trip to Scotland later this year, 

but that is all later and not now. 

And I can see just one corner of one piece of the puzzle of my life,

and seeing pieces can get me excited, 

full of dreams,

make me fear that when it’s all together, it might not look the way I’d hoped.  

Waiting is like that–hope, and fear, and anger, and sometimes peace. 

Or the way I am today, realizing there’s a hand working those puzzle pieces, 

setting them in place. 

A hand, and I know it’s not mine. 

And it can take my breath away,

seeing life return to the earth in the form of tender green, 

acknowledging that my own life is not in my hands

(and thank goodness), 

but that LOVE Himself knows all the days, all the plans, all the tomorrows of my life.

And that He not only knows them, but He’s planned them long in advance.  

With one hand behind me, and one hand before, He guides me, keeps me, 

though I cannot feel it, 

and I do not see. 

Some words stick with you, 

drift in and out of your mind and heart, 

and these I learned at our first church in Scotland, 

surrounded by those dear ones who would become lifelong friends. 

I remember the piano, the frayed red hymn books, the voices raised in unison

 

In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear.
And safe in such confiding, for nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back.
My Shepherd is beside me, and nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waking, His sight is never dim.
He knows the way He’s taking, and I will walk with Him

Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen.
Bright skies will soon be over me, where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free.
My Savior has my treasure, and He will walk with me.

– Anna L. Waring

Though sameness,

or blips of both the smallest and most painful types,

so often leave me paralyzed, 

from weariness or fear,

at times I remember 

to embrace the stillness,

and in the sound of the wind in the trees out my door, 

or in the stirring notes of my favourite song,

I am turned to Him who thinks of me more times than I can count,

who never makes even one mistake, 

who knows all the good plans He has for me,

who holds all my moments, 

all my days. 

And I am left to meditate, 

worship, 

awe. 

At all He’s doing, 

all He’s done, 

and in the fact that He’s not finished with me, 

not just just yet. 

Which piece of music or spot in nature stirs your heart, 

is able to draw you away from the happenings (or non-happenings) in your life, 

and helps you to meditate, wonder, and awe?

Miserere Mei Deus – Psalm 51 – by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri in the 17th century for use in the Sistine Chapel.

Shivers, shivers . . .

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I know their fantasies. Whispered in the semi-dark of their living rooms, or over coffee on our girls’ night out, they’ve confided in me what they really want. And I’m not shocked. Not one little bit. After all, it’s what I want too.

A hotel room.

A cup of tea.

And a book.

No one else. Nothing else. For one entire day.

And that is the true, wild fantasy of mothers everywhere.

Not only strange, unusual mothers, but average mothers, like you or me.

A mother who endures drafty showers because someone has burst in to ask her to tie on their ninja mask. A mother who rarely sleeps through till morning, and must nightly peal herself from bed and lurch through the house to lift and calm a teething baby. A mother who must clean a food-encrusted high chair three times every day.

And that is to say nothing of the raisins that get squashed on the bottoms of her slippers, the puddles of water and crumbs that appear as if my magic on her kitchen worktops, the mountains of laundry that move in cycles around her house, and all the toys that she must daily return to their homes on the shelf. The little fingernails she must cut, the beds she must make, the toilets she must scrub. The meals she must prepare, the dishes she must wash, the floors she must sweep.

This, all this, a mother must do. And how she longs to do it well! With joy, and patience, and grace, so that her children and husband and any guests who enter may be strengthened and comforted by their time there, in this mother’s home.

And yet motherhood is not a part-time job. It’s not even a full-time or a live-in one. There are no vacation or holiday packages. No weekends or nights off. And so it’s not hard to see why a mother—a mother like you or me—could get a little tired. Find herself longing for escape. A time of refreshment. A break.

Like hiding in the closet, maybe, with a bar of chocolate. A trip to the grocery store all by herself! Or that hotel, maybe? A trip, a real trip away? How about England? A country estate? Yes? Then come with me!

A virtual trip to England . . .

to the quiet and the green . . .

Hear the bird song. Smell the lavender. Let the grass tickle your feet.

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Stop at the tent for tea and scones. It’s all here for you, so enjoy!

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There’s a concert, too. Did I mention?

Right here in the gardens, underneath the sky.

David Crowder Band. Ever heard of them? Listen, will you? to what they have to say . . .

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How He Loves

He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

And oh, how He loves us,

how He loves us all

And we are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking

And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way

Oh, how He loves us,

how He loves us all

 Singer: David Crowder Band

Songwriters: John Mark Mc Millan

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Hope you were refreshed by your visit. Come back any time.

For more than sunshine. More than chocolate. More than a new outfit, or a girl’s night out. His love is what strengthens. Renews.

Bask here for a while in the immensity of it.

For you will never find the depths of Jesus’ love.

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Dark mornings don’t call good mothers from bed. Don’t call good daddies, either. Not like beds, which call real loud. Hold us in their warmth and stillness, blankets wrapped around like strong arms that could shield us from every last thing we dread about the day. Entice us with our dream adventures, numb our bodies like a drug.

Yeah, it’s hard to leave that on late winter mornings, hard to meet cold floors with warm balls of feet, trade stillness for the swirl of to-do’s and the demands of little voices that never stop the long day.

And it’s easy to want to stop it coming, stop the start of another day. And too often this winter I’ve done that. I’ve listened to that call, counting times I’d been up in the night to comfort little cries, let myself stay a little  longer, yanked the covers another inch higher, told myself that for today, whispered prayers, half-mixed with dreams and plans, would be enough. Enough to go on. To give me perspective. To put my thoughts just where they ought to be.

But creaking crib and cracking door always break the silence, and it all ends.

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And so I start the day running, running late before I’ve hit the floor. Little things to be done–today like everyday–and so it should be no surprise, and yet I find myself overwhelmed, feeling fragile, incapable, and just a little bit insane. And then it’s not just my feet running, not just my hands trying to get it all done. My mind’s running, too, over what I’ve done wrong to make things turn out this way, and what I must be missing to leave our life feeling so fractured, so unharmonious, so flat.

Grey skies and that blue snow, these thin walls and the bitter cold, they hem us in like prison on those days. It’s a prison, and I’m running so fast, feeling so stressed that I miss three dozen precious little moments of my little men’s lives. Can’t see the beauty all woven through my day. Can’t see those sparkles of light, though I know my little men see and feel all the greyness of my frustrated tears.

And on those days even the words won’t come, though I sit down to write. Words, which have always been with me, forming patterns, rolling round my mouth as I make sense of world. Because on those days there is no sense, and so the words, they just don’t come.

It’s a hard thing, too, in the evenings, dragging myself away from the dreams of Pinterest, the drama of television, the softness of the couch. It’s a hard thing when the wee ones are down and my tea’s not cold, and I can put two sane thoughts together without any little voice to interrupt. It’s hard to leave that stillness, brush my teeth, climb into bed. But it’s worth it. Worth the rest. Worth the energy I’ll have next morning to be the first one up, with time to find some stillness there in the almost light of a new day.

His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.

~ Lamentations 3:22-23

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Because though I’ve heard it, I still need it. I need it every day. Need to hear the voice of Him that made me, hear just whose I am, and what I am, and why. I need truth. Love. Strength. Light.

And so early to bed (and then to rise) is a worthy goal. Because good mothers need rest. Good daddies need it, too. And more than that we need to pause a minute (or a few), and reach out to take the hand of the One who walks right with us (though we sometimes forget it) through every hour of our day.

“I like breakfast-time better than any other moment in the day,” said Mr. Irwine.  “No dust has settled on one’s mind then, and it presents a clear mirror to the rays of things.”

~ George Eliot

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For friend hearts, and sweethearts, and parent hearts, too,

for hungry tummies, and open arms, this one’s for you.

Some truth, some fluff, some real love stuff . . .

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Ah, Janey, make us swoon.

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.

~Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

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Love? Yeah . . . You’ll be crying . . .

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Well, well . . .

Handsome is as handsome does.

~J.R.R. Tolkien

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Ah, at last . . .

I don’t want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want you.

~Lucy Maud Montgomery,

Anne of the Island

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Sweetest video ever made–send this one to your honey.

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And this is what you can tell them over Valentine’s dinner 😉

Opening her eyes again, and seeing her husband’s face across the table, she leaned forward to give it a pat on the cheek, and sat down to supper, declaring it to be the best face in the world.

~Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend

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Love? Oh, WOW.

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Love comforteth like sunshine after rain.

~William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis

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A little something for the Valentine table.

For your children, for your honey, or for you!

Beetroot and Parsnip Soup with Horseradish*

(nope, not tomato!)

pink soup? think of that! and jolly easy to make!

30 grams butter

1 potato, peeled and chopped

2 parsnips, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 large or 4 small beetroot,

peeled and chopped

800 ml vegetable stock

1oo ml cream and sour cream,

combined

1 T horseradish mixed with

1 T olive oil and 1 t vinegar

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. And the onion and cook till soft but not brown, then add the potato, parsnip, and vegetable stock/broth. Bring to the boil and then add the beetroot, cooking for a further 15 minutes. Don’t overcook, as the beetroot will go from a lovely deep pink to a red color. When the vegetables are tender, remove from heat and puree with a stick blender (or blender) until the soup is smooth, but with a few lumps. Stir in the cream, sour cream, and horseradish mix and season with salt and black pepper. Exquisite!

*Recipe adapted from Delicious Soups by Belinda Williams

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Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.

~C.S. Lewis

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Wishing the happiest of Valentine weekends to you!

Avonlea x

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We arrived late morning, just in time to see the tail end of the die-hard Black Friday shoppers toss another piece of plastic in their over-laden carts before struggling to maneuver them to the check-out.

I couldn’t help but wonder,

did they even like that stuff?

Did they need it?

Or had they been tricked?

But I was there, too, of course.

I was there, or I wouldn’t have seen it.

I was there, and armed with the page from the paper that showed the great deal on the bathroom set I was after. Bathrobe hook, hand towel loop, toilet paper holder, plus a few more.

And wasn’t I excited to keep the hand towel off the floor, where the children always leave it, and keep the toilet paper roll out of the toilet (or so I hoped).

But of course those items were just one of many on the long, long mental list of things I’d like for the house.

And of course once we’d stopped at the mall to let the children burn off some energy at the play area, and I took a stroll past H&M, I began think about my other list. The list of things I’d like for my wardrobe.

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It’s intoxicating, you know, the mall is.

Every sense assaulted from every side.

Starbucks coffee, cinnamon rolls, perfume drifting from the department stores. The feel of silk, and faux fur, and leather. Nat King Cole crooning, and the Salvation Army bell jingling. The displays of clothes and furniture all looking so perfect, so much better than anything we have at home.

Couldn’t a person just get lost in it?

Caught up in the frenzy of buying

and trying

to fill the hole inside.

And while I went home looking forward to the giving

of the few gifts I picked up,

I also went home aching,

asking,

feeling anything but PEACE.

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Because I know, though I never quite believe it,

that I am blessed beyond measure,

and that the more I have, the more I will want.

And though I tell it to my children,

what Christmas is all about,

and though we’re finding more ways of giving,

more ways of loving this year,

I find it’s still easy

to miss the point.

To miss the heart.

To miss PEACE.

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I love the Christmas season.

Love it more each year.

Love the baking,

and the making

of sugar cookies,

paper snowflakes,

a wreath for the door.

Love candles glowing bright,

and singing Silent Night.

Love spotting a red cardinal

perched on a branch of lacy snow.

Or holly berries, and their leaves of thorns.

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But what I needed on that day,

and what I need on this,

and what I desperately want my children to see,

is that the point of Christmas,

the heart of it all,

is found in His heart.

In the heart of Jesus,

and His love for us.

In His love we can let go of all the trappings,

all our unwritten lists,

all that haunts us in the wee hours of the night,

and we can simply rest.

Cling to Him, and be at peace.

“For He Himself is our peace.”

~Ephesians 2:14

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As you light your second Advent candle this Sunday, remember the PEACE we have through Jesus. Hear Him whisper, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid.”

Avonlea xo

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Finding beauty in the everyday ❤

“The Holly and the Ivy,” King’s College Choir, Cambridge University, England

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Another week begins.

Outside, a change has come.

A bitter wind that those bare, black trees just can’t hold back.

My hands are raw like a nurse’s, from all that hot scrubbing.

Because though it’s Thanksgiving week here in America,  

for me it will be another seven days of much the same,

if I want to look at it that way.

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Loading and unloading

dishwashers,

washing machines,

wee ones in and out of beds.

Washing and scrubbing

walls,

floors,

toilets,

faces,

feet.

It’s sacred ground, you know, my home.

Sacred, with Jesus here.

Beside me as I labor, as I stoop.

Just as He did, right before He died.

Servant-like, He washed all the black off His disciples’ feet, just like He’d wash their hearts.

Just like He washed mine.

And so it’s sacred work, too, that I do.

Washing little hands, little feet.

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Not easy. Not easy not to pipe up about what’s fair, and who’s pulling their share of it, and what I need to be happy.

No, the work’s not easy, and it goes on and on.

But what’s easy, really easy, is to go looking for something to give a bit more meaning to it all

when the sacred is disguised as tedium.

I know it’s not there, yet how often I go looking

for something to fill that deep, deep hole.

And yet I know, when it comes down to it, where to be filled.

Filled up and overflowing.

Where I can find the strength to serve and keep on serving.

And I can’t afford not to take the time each day to be filled up,

filled up and floating on all that love, all that grace.

He’s here. Beside me.

But I need to turn and look Him in the eye.

And as I scrub, I need to look them in the eye—my little souls.

They won’t sleep under this roof forever.

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And while I’m kneeling, sometimes I’ve got to remember to keep them there, pull them to my lap.

Lean with our elbows on the windowsill to see what’s what.

With our eyes, trace the shape of those big, black trees,

the colours in the sky,

catch some geese in flight,

work together on our smile lines.

Acknowledge the sacred.

Because it’s right here.

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She rises up as morning breaks
She moves among these rooms alone
Before we wake
And her heart is so full; it overflows
She waters us with love and the children grow

~ Andrew Peterson, “Planting Trees”

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“It was November–the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.”

~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables    

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You might also be inspired by “Sinking in Deep”https://happylittlesigh.com/2013/11/02/sinking-in-deep/

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A Dozen Cosies to Warm Your Heart  & Your Hands and  Bless Your Week . . .

  1. Spread a blanket and have a picnic lunch inside. Or a candlelit picnic at night when the children are abed?

  2. Buy a bouquet of fresh flowers and divide them up in jars around your house. Don’t forget your bathroom and your bedside table. And don’t forget to give them a smell.  

  3. Rake some leaves and jump in the pile. Go in and warm your hands and your soul with some tea.

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4. Bake something with cinnamon. Apple pie?

5. Go for a walk and pray until your nose and cheeks are red. Then go in and warm up with some tea.

6. Watch Anne of Green Gables and laugh and sigh when Anne is “in the depths of despair.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HZfQ7EqMUs

7. Make a cup of tea and cradle it in your hands while you read the Bible. Psalm 42?

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%2042&version=NASB

8. Make a big pot of soup. Calcannon, an Irish favourite?

2 Tbsp butter

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

4 large potatoes, thinly sliced

Chicken or vegetable stock/broth

Herbs and salt to taste

200 grams kale or cabbage, shredded

300 ml cream

1. Heat butter on low. Add onion, garlic, potatoes, cook for 5 minutes without browning.

2. Pour over enough stock/broth to cover, season to taste.

3. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add the kale/cabbage, bring back to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Pour in the cream, ladle and serve.

9. Sprawl out on the carpet and listen to some favourite songs. Maybe this, by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins?

10. Invite some friends over without worrying about the house. Light some candles. Serve tea.

11. Stand under a tree, look up, and watch the leaves fall. Try to catch one.

12. As many times as you can remember, tell your spouse and your children how very much they’re loved. By God. By you.

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I always felt the shadows.

The chill of autumn always felt colder to my soul than to my bones.

But it wasn’t just the cold. It was the light.

At the first leaf I saw wave goodbye to summer, I felt an ache inside. A nauseated, physical ache that felt like a broken heart.

For I knew the darkness was coming. Those days when the sun wouldn’t shine, and the night would come sooner, and the bitter cold would bite.

Those unnatural months of rising in the dark, when the earth seems to say “Keep sleeping,” but the world is waiting for you to be somewhere by eight.

Ever since my teenage years, it was those days that most rumpled the pages of my Bible. Sent me searching for the face of real Light. Reminded me of the world’s empty promises—for in the end, no matter what we do, death will come. It will come to us all.

But I turned to my Bible. I knew its secret.

That Christian’s aren’t buried, they are planted, to one day spring forth with new life.  

Like bulbs. Like the red and white tulip bulbs I planted on Saturday.

In-between the hours of autumn rain there was a window. An hour or two of blue sky and warmth. And so I hunted out my gardening gloves and spent half an hour chatting with the earthworms. Digging holes and tucking those glossy white bulbs into the earth. Imagining the colour they will one day bring.

CAM022151And I don’t feel it as much this year.

The shadows, they don’t seem as dark.

Even though it’s getting on now—nearly November.

But there are days left ahead. Days of colour. Days of mild coolness and sun.

And I’m taking pictures.

Recording blessings.

Eating donuts and apple cider every chance I get.

And when I feel that little ache, that unsettled ripple in my soul that says, “You’re missing something. You’re not getting it quite right,” then I know. I know I have to rumple some pages again. I have to stop and listen to the voice that whispers through the trees, and through the breeze, and through the harvest, “Listen. Listen. I am the Light!”

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Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

~ James 1:17

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They’re a little bit special, these Piano Guys, and if you haven’t heard them, then you really must. Just wait for 0:48

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gosY-UrpHcA

And we thank Thee that darkness reminds us of light.

O Light Invisible, we give Thee thanks for Thy great glory!

~ T.S. Eliot

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Happy Little Sigh is now on Pinterest! Join me there?

http://www.pinterest.com/happylittlesigh/

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Another day ahead.

Not that it’s always easy. The getting started of a day.

Not when my bed’s so warm and the house so dark, and the children woke me in the night three times, at least.

And while my mind swirls with the to-dos of today,

beneath the surface of these plans, beneath all that I know will keep me busy, rushing from here to there,

lie my deeper dreams and goals.

All my heart longs to do and be for my family.

All the words I long to write.

And they look like a mountain from here. Like I’ve been given a wheel barrow and a shovel and told I have to move it.

Like I have to move a mountain.

But of course, I can’t.

And so no wonder it’s easier to stay in bed. Slip back into those dreams.

But this new day awaits. It’s time.

And though the stars are still out,

I can smell the bread.

The first gift of today, and there will be many.

And just waking, well isn’t that a gift?

And hasn’t the one thing that really needs to be done

already been done by Jesus?

In that, I can rest.

With that, I can pull back the curtains,

with hot cup in hand venture a step or two outside

to hear the first bird sing.

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Lamentations 3:22-24

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

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Morning-Land

Old English songs, you bring to me
A simple sweetness somewhat kin
To birds that through the mystery
Of earliest morn make tuneful din,

While hamlet steeples sleepily
At cock-crow chime out three and four,
Till maids get up betime and go
With faces like the red sun low
Clattering about the dairy floor.

~Siegfried Sassoon

DSC08118

And finally, a word from Jane . . .

“What fine weather this is! Not very becoming perhaps early in the morning, but very pleasant out of doors at noon, and very wholesome—at least everybody fancies so, and imagination is everything.”

~ Jane Austen, November 17, 1798, in a letter to her sister, Cassandra.

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