Sunday Blessings

30 October 2011

{painting by John William Waterhouse}

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

~"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" by Martin Luther~

Since tomorrow is Reformation Day, I though this beloved hymn would be most appropriate. Blessings on your Sabbath day, dear ladies!

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." ~Psalm 46:1~

That Time of Year

Those grueling yet rewarding 30 days of novel-writing. It's nearly November, and to those of us who are aspiring authoresses, that means National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is almost here. And yes, I will be taking part this year and fully intend to put my best effort toward reaching 50,000 words before 11:59 P.M. on November 30th.

You know what happened last year — to summarize it, I basically tried to finish Violets Are Blue with NaNo and it went horribly. I had already reached 20,000 words in VAB; winning NaNo in 2010 would mean I'd have to make my book over 70,000 words long. While 70,000 words is by no means an exhaustive word count, my own plot was much smaller, and reaching that many words was not possible at the time.

I have a new idea this year. One that I quite like (almost as much as VAB). And as treachorous as I feel for turning my back on a potential book called Autumn Roses, which was to be a sequel to Violets Are Blue, I much prefer to start with a blank page, with characters I do not yet know very well and with whom I hope to grow quite companionable by December. (And yes, it is going to be historical fiction again -- how ever did you guess? :))

Here is a short summary of my NaNo 2011 novel:

A naiive young woman who wants nothing more than to marry well and sit in the lap of luxury all the rest of her days. A son who would defy his father to pursue something he believes in with all his heart and soul. A man willing to give everything -- even his life -- for a cause. Told from three different perspectives, this book shows the many effects of war and how it has the power to change dramatically even the most stubborn of hearts.

Out of curiosity, if you read that summary on the back of a book in Barnes & Noble, would you read it? 

That was the good news. Now comes the bad melancholy news. I will not be posting on this blog during November. You see, my schedule is far too busy to do NaNo and continue blogging. I would put my best effort into it, but I really don't think it would work out and I want to focus all my time and energy on my novel. However, my little alcove will not be abandoned. I have scheduled four Sunday Blessings posts to publish each Lord's Day of November. I also have arranged for several dear ladies to guest post on this blog over the course of the month. There will be at least two new posts up on Literary Lane each week. You will not be left without anything to read. 

Don't worry -- that's the end of the bad news. And I have more good news: just a month ago, Literary Lane reached 200 followers. In honor of this most exciting landmark, I'm hosting a month-long giveaway this month that each of you will have opportunity to enter. This giveaway will open up on November 1st and run until 11:59 P.M. on November 30th. So keep your eye on this little blog o' mine.

That's all I have to say for now. I hope to see you in December with 50,000 words under my belt! And to those of you who are joining me in this writing extravaganza, we can do this. :)

Adios, au revoir, and auf wiedersehen!

Poem of the Week: Exiled by Edna St. Vincent Millay

28 October 2011

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

Searching my heart for its true sorrow,
  This is the thing I find to be:
That I am weary of words and people,
  Sick of the city, wanting the sea;
Wanting the sticky, salty sweetness        
  Of the strong wind and shattered spray,
Wanting the loud sound and the soft sound
  Of the big surf that breaks all day.
Always before about my dooryard,
  Marking the reach of the winter sea,         
Rooted in sand and dragging driftwood,
  Straggled the purple wild sweet pea.
Always I climbed the wave at morning,
  Shook the sand from my shoes at night,
That now am caught beneath big buildings,         
  Stricken with noise, confused with light.
If I could hear the green piles groaning.
  Under the windy, wooden piers,
See once again the bobbing barrels,
  And the black sticks that fence the weirs;         
If I could see the weedy mussels
  Crusting the wrecked and rotting hulls,
Hear once again the hungry crying
  Overhead, of the wheeling gulls;
Feel once again the shanty straining         
  Under the turning of the tide,
Fear once again the rising freshet,
  Dread the bell in the fog outside,
I should be happy!—that was happy
  All day long on the coast of Maine.         
I have a need to hold and handle
  Shells and anchors and ships again.
I should be happy, that am happy.
  Never at all since I came here.
I am too long away from water;         
  I have a need of water near.

My emotions exactly. Miss Edna and I would have gotten along well. :)

Have a lovely afternoon, dear ladies!

"And God said, 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear': and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called the Seas: and God saw that it was good." ~Genesis 1:9-10 (KJV)~

Just a happy day.

26 October 2011

Today's just one of those happy days. You know what I mean when I say that. Nothing particularly amazing or exciting has occurred. But the weather outside is pretty close to perfect (77 degrees, sunny, and slightly breezy), and I've passed my time reading my Bible, doing some schoolwork, and raking leaves in our front yard. The Francesca Battistelli CD Bree won from Miss Raquel's giveaway arrived in the mail today, and I'm currently listening to "Beautiful, Beautiful." For dinner we're having chicken pot pie with the most delectable flaky crust you could ever imagine. And as soon as I finish this post I'm going to finish up the little bit of school I have left and then work on outlining my NaNoWriMo 2011 novel before dinner.

"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string." ~Anne of Avonlea~

There's something so sweet about days like today. I want to bottle every little bit of it up in a jar and save it for times when its a blustery and cold mid-January day, a day when I'm overwhelmed with schoolwork, dance, and other responsibilities. Then I can bring out my jar and release that golden contentment into the air, until the diagreeableness is completely drained away. I don't need a huge miracle or staggering surprise to satisfy my soul on those days. I just need a piece of what makes my happy days so wonderful. 

As time passes, I realize more and more what I don't like about days where very splendid and wonderful things happen. Days with huge miracles and staggering surprises leave you feeling emptied of all your strength, which isn't much different than how you feel at the end of an awful day. Everything is so overwhelming that its nearly impossible to take it all in. After days like that, my heart longs for something -- anything -- to be normal. But days like today? They leave you feeling as if you've been taking sips out of a tall glass of the sweetest nectar all the day long, and the glass never empties. And when you rest your head on your pillow that night, just before dropping off to sleep, you feel contentment and peace. 

And that's why I like happy days best. 

"Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in His ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee." ~Psalm 128:1-2~

Simply seventeen {a blog party}.

25 October 2011

Today just so happens to be Miss Josephine March's 17th birthday. That means it's been almost 3 years since I've "known" her through the blogosphere. 3 years of following her blog, reading her posts, e-mailing, and so much more. Jo, I love your joyful spirit and your Southern flair. I love how fiercely patriotic you are, and how your relationship with the Lord affects everything you do. You make me laugh all the time, and I am greatly looking forward to the day when we can meet in person (because it *will* happen). 

In honor of her birthday, she is hosting (and has been hosting since the beginning of October) a movie-themed blog party and giveaway. Care to join in the fun? Just click here.

{1} When you think of "old movies", what immediately comes to mind? Several things . . . but mainly It's A Wonderful Life and Audrey Hepburn.

{2} Who's your one of you favorite film or literary heroes (or heroines) and why? One of my favorite literary heros is Sir Percy Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel (didn't see that one coming, did you? I figured you'd all sigh in exasperation if I named Lizzy Bennet . . . :P). He's dashing, heroic, and he'll give everything for the woman he loves. *heart melts* 

On the subject of movie heroines, Victoria from The Young Victoria is my current favorite. Yes, she did get a bit feminist close to the end of the movie, but Albert turned her around. She has a strong spirit, but she is also very womanly and sweet, as well as having a quick wit. Plus, her costumes are absolutely stunning -- what's not to love?

{3} If you could live in a movie, which one would it be and why? I'd love to live in any and all of the Narnia movies (and that goes for the ones that have not been made yet). I wouldn't mind living in Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility either; just think of the dancing! 

{4} Music has changed a lot since 1900 - which "modern" type of music is your favorite? Movie soundtracks. They're absolutely delicious. The Patriot, Emma, The Young Victoria, North and South . . . *sigh* 

{5} Any songs you'd like to share with us? (lyrics, video, etc.) I just found this one and fell completely in love. I haven't seen the movie (and don't necessarily plan to; Daddy and Momma saw it years ago but though it was not quite age-appropriate for us), but the soundtrack is stunning.

I also love this one, which was introduced to me by my dance teacher. It's such an incredibly true and powerful song.

{6} If your life had soundtrack (i wish mine did :d), what would yours sound like? Definitely Irish/Scottish-esque. With bagpipes. I love bagpipes. If the stirrings of one's soul could be heard, they would sound like the bagpipes. ♥

{7} When do you start counting down till your birthday? On June 11th. :P Okay, not really . . . probably in late May.

{8} What makes your birthday special? It's in the summer, so I don't have schoolwork or dance to do (not that I dislike dance . . . but it's nice to take a break sometimes). I normally get to choose what is on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. I don't really like to make a big deal out of my birthday, since my favorite days are those spent quietly at home writing, reading, taking a walk outside, watching a good period drama before bed with my sisters, etc. The simple things in life warm my heart the most.

{9} Do you ever wish you were born in a different month? I often wished when I was little that I could be born during the schoolyear so that I could bring cupcakes or cookies to my tutorial like my siblings do sometimes. Now I often wish I was born in October, simply because its my favorite month of the year. October weather is heaven -- think of having a birthday in the midst of all that colorful splendor? *sigh*

{10} Pick and post five words to describe your personality -- you can add a description under each if you like.

Motherly. You could also call it "bossy." :P In other words, I am the eldest child through and through. I often instruct my siblings in what chores need to be done, when to do them . . . you get the idea. In turn, they have nicknamed me "Mother Goose", and I'm afraid I deserve it. I only hope that my bossier side will lessen by the time I have little ones of my own to raise. 

Writer. Everything I do comes back to writing, whether it be working on my current book, blogging, or journaling. I see a stranger's expression on the street, a crack in the sidewalk, a wilted flower -- all these things are capable of inspiring a plot for a new book o' mine. Whether that plot actually makes it into a book is another story.

Bookworm. Need I say more?

Old-Fashioned. Everything from my tastes in clothing to the things I love doing when I have free time could be called old-fashioned. Sewing, canning, knitting, making homemade bread -- I'll take those over texting and going to the mall any day. My friends even call my way of speaking old-fashioned . . . hmm, maybe that's because I read the classics so much? Their way of speaking tends to rub off on me a wee bit. 

Scotch/Irish wannabe. The accents. The music. The scenery. There is just something so dramatic and powerful about everything relating to these two beautiful places. Ask my sisters; they'll clarify my obsession for you. One time they were watching a movie and I was on the computer blogging. Bree ran over to the computer, saying eagerly, "Lizzy, you have to come watch this! He has an Irish accent -- you'll love it!" I can never decide which I like more -- Ireland or Scotland -- which is why I'm glad I have a wee bit o' both in my blood. 

(There are many more, such as romantic, patriotic, stubborn . . . but I'll stop at five. :))

Thanks for hosting this, Jo! 'Twas such fun. And I hope you have an absolutely amazing birthday. ♥

"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." ~Psalm 118:24

Sunday Blessings

23 October 2011

{Girls at the Piano by Pierre Auguste-Renoir}

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

~"'Tis So Sweet to Trust In Jesus" by Louisa M. R. Stead (lyrics) and William J. Kirkpatrick (music)~

Have a lovely Sabbath day, dear friends!

“In You our fathers put their trust; they trusted and You delivered them.” ~Psalm 22:4-5

Poem of the Week: My Heart's In the Highlands by Robert Burns

21 October 2011

{via weheartit}

My Heart's In the Highlands
By Robert Burns

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer -
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North
The birth place of Valour, the country of Worth; 
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, 
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

Farewell to the mountains high cover'd with snow; 
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below; 
Farewell to the forrests and wild-hanging woods; 
Farwell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here, 
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer 
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe; 
My heart's in the Highlands, whereever I go.

Even though I have yet to really and truly visit Scotland . . . I still love this poem mucho. 

Have a lovely evening, ladies!

"You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created." 
~Revelation 4:11 

Pour ma chère sœur.

20 October 2011

For those of you who don't know (which would include myself, prior to looking it up), the title of this post means "To my dearest sister" in French. Bree is currently taking French and is head over heels in love with it, so I thought a French title would fit this birthday post dedicated to her very well. Since I don't speak a word of French (yet :)), Google Translate was very helpful. :)


Bree, you are my darling little sister and my dearest friend. I don't know what I would do without your clever wit and your incredible sense of humor. We always have so much fun together, and we have too many private jokes to count. We chat about anything and everything together, work on our books together, and (occasionally) quarrel together. You are an absolutely amazing dancer, an absolutely amazing writer, and an absolutely amazing friend. 

And today you officially step into your teen years. I honestly can't believe it. How did time go so fast? 

"Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply . . ."  ~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Bree, it is such a pleasure to watch as you grow and mature in the Lord. We have been "buddies" for years, and despite the fact that we sometimes disagree, we always have remained close. I knew you as a little toddler, a small child, and now you are becoming a lovely young lady. I am so blessed to have you in my life. ♥

My Scripture for you this year is as follows:

"The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
~Numbers 6:24-26

I love you so much, Josy-phine! I hope your birthday is overflowing with His blessings.

P.S. I just couldn't resist . . . (it's almost scary how much this song sounds like us :P)

Book Review: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis {rewrite}

18 October 2011

Confession time, ladies: I can be a bit prejudiced sometimes. I'm being completely honest. I started reading The Horse and His Boy immediately after finishing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and I very much disliked how it was not directly focused on the Pevensies. I had just met them, after all, and wasn't quite ready to accept the fact that all seven books did not revolve around these four very likeable children. So, I put the book down and formed the opinion that it was dry, boring, etc... without even finishing the first few chapters (not for nothing am I called Lizzy Bennet :P). Just two or three years ago I went back and read it, just to say I had finished it before making a cemented opinion. Well . . . *blushes profusely* I loved it. I now make sure to read a book before forming an opinion relating to its content (or at least hear a semi-detailed run-through from a friend if the book contains questionable content that I want to ascertain before beginning the volume myself).

Now that that little snippet of background is behind us, let us begin this review.

The Horse and His Boy
By C.S. Lewis
*Summary taken from the back of the book

NARNIA . . . where horses talk and hermits like company, where evil men turn into donkeys, where boys go into battle . . . and where the adventure begins.

During the Golden Age of Narnia, when Peter is High King, a boy named Shasta discovers he is not the son of Arsheesh, the Calormene fisherman, and decides to run far away to the North--to Narnia. When he is mistaken for another runaway, Shasta is led to discover who he really is and even finds his real fahter.

My Thoughts: You already know what my initial thoughts were relating to this incredible book, so we can focus on my emotion from the second reading. I was completely and utterly riveted by it. I couldn't put this book down. I especially liked how Lewis gave the reader a view of what it would have been like to live during the Golden Age of Narnia when the Pevensies were on the thrones at Cair Paravel. Of course, we get a teeny preview when they are chasing the White Stag in the second Narnia book, but this was really and truly placed during their rule, which I enjoyed quite a lot. There are several other things I  liked about The Horse and His Boy, but it would give away major plotlines to include them in this review. All the more reason for you to go and read it right now, though!

Pros: Another marvelous allegory. The characters are very endearing and draw you in right away. Upon reading it for a second time, I found no part of the story to be exceedingly slow -- the pace was very even, going up at moments of great tension or excitement.

Cons: If we're speaking of violence, there is one scene where a girl has her back mauled by a lion. As bad as that may sound, it is really not as bloody as you would think, and I hate to even include it as a con since it plays such an essential role in the development of certain characters. Other than that, none. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I recommend this book for ages 9+

A Bit O' Reading For the Day:
" 'Child," said the Voice, 'I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.' " — The Horse and His Boy, chapter 11

Sunday Blessings

16 October 2011

{painting by John William Waterhouse}

 For the beauty of the earth, 
for the glory of the skies, 
for the love which from our birth 
over and around us lies; 
Lord of all, to thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise.

        For the beauty of each hour 
of the day and of the night, 
hill and vale, and tree and flower, 
sun and moon, and stars of light; 
Lord of all, to thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise.

        For the joy of ear and eye, 
for the heart and mind's delight, 
for the mystic harmony, 
linking sense to sound and sight; 
Lord of all, to thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise.

        For the joy of human love, 
brother, sister, parent, child, 
friends on earth and friends above, 
for all gentle thoughts and mild; 
Lord of all, to thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise.

        For thy church, that evermore 
lifteth holy hands above, 
offering up on every shore 
her pure sacrifice of love; 
Lord of all, to thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise.

        For thyself, best Gift Divine, 
to the world so freely given, 
for that great, great love of thine, 
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:  
Lord of all, to thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise.

— "For the Beauty of the Earth" by by Folliot S. Pierpoint

I hope you are having a restful and beautiful Lord's Day! 

"All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." — John 1:3

Poem of the Week: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World by William R. Wallace

14 October 2011

I found this poem just two days ago and thought it was too precious not to share.

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World
By William R. Wallace

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow--
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky--
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Have a blessed afternoon, dear ladies! 

Book Review: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis {rewrite}

13 October 2011

A good movie is wonderful. A good book is amazing. But it is rare that I find a movie adaption that actually lives up to the book on which it is supposed to be based (trust me, with some films you can't even tell there is a connection between the two). This happens to be an amazing book AND it has an amazing adaption to go with it. Quite the deal, I'd say, eh? 

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
By C.S. Lewis
*Summary taken from the back of the book

NARNIA . . . the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy . . . the place where the adventure begins.

Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first, no one believes her when she tells of her adventures in the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund and then Peter and Susan discover the Magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. In the blink of an eye, their lives are changed forever.

My Thoughts: There has been much inward debate over this, but I am finally convinced that  the second Narnian book is my favorite book out of the entire series. I really love The Horse and His Boy and The Magician's Nephew (not to mention The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), but you can't beat the original. The wardrobe, Mr. Tumnus, the Professor, the Beavers, and of course, ASLAN -- they're all in it. Along with tea, sardines, and some magic Turkish Delight*. And nothing can replace such classic moments like Lucy's tea with Mr. Tumnus, supper with the Beavers, Narnia going from winter to spring in the course of a few hours, and Aslan breathing the stone statues back to life. The only thing that baffles me is how the Pevensies could be Kings and Queens of Narnia all those years and yet never once think, "Hmm, I wonder if the Professor is worried about where we are...?" Of course, when they arrived home they realized that no time had passed, but still... 

Pros: It's one of the most wonderful tales I've ever read. I opened it for the first time when I was only seven or eight years old and was immediately enchanted. Like the other books in this series, it is a wonderful allegory of Christianity. Every time I read one of the Narnia books I notice more similarities between it and truths/parables I know from Bible. There is absolutely no inappropriate content of any size, shape, or form. All in all, an excellent read. 

Cons: Some violence and cruelty, all from the White Witch, but really nothing that bad. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I recommend this book for ages 9+

A Bit O' Reading For the Day
"And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken [his name] everyone felt quite different.... At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer." ~The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, chapter 8

*Side note: Right after the movie came out, my sisters and I were obsessed with Narnia and always playing it together. Bree was Peter, I was Susan, Emilia was Edmund, and Lydia was Lucy. Well, as Christmas drew closer, Bree and I had the excellent idea to give Emilia a very Edmund-ish gift. Yep, you guessed it -- we gave her a box of Turkish Delight. And ever since then, I've had a lot more compassion for Edmund. Real Turkish Delight (not just that kind you can buy at the grocery store that looks like dried fruit) is UH-mazing. :))

Sunday Blessings

09 October 2011

All praise to Him who reigns above
In majesty supreme,
Who gave His Son for man to die,
That He might man redeem!

Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name!
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!

His name above all names shall stand,
Exalted more and more,
At God the Father's own right hand,
Where angel hosts adore.

Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name!
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Redeemer, Savior, Friend of man
Once ruined by the fall,
Thou hast devised salvation's plan,
For Thou hast died for all.

Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name!
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!

His name shall be the Counselor,
The mighty Prince of Peace,
Of all earth's kingdoms Conqueror,
Whose reign shall never cease.

Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name!
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!

~"Blessed Be the Name" by William H. Clark and Ralph E. Hudson~

Have a lovely day of rest, dear ladies!

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." ~Psalm 100:4~

Poem of the Week: Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

07 October 2011

One of my favorite sonnets of all time; I couldn't resist sharing it this evening.

Sonnet 116 (A Love Sonnet)
By William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Have a wonderful evening, ladies! As for myself, I am going to go and eat dinner with my family and then cozy up for the evening with the BBC's Emma. 

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 
— 1 Corinthians 13:13

One more day.

03 October 2011

...That's all we have. Just one more day until the voting ends on Circle of Moms! But it's not too late! Please, please click here and vote for Art's Chili Pepper. It's going to take a lot of votes to get the Wachter family into first place. It may not even happen. But you can get the Wachters one vote closer by taking 30 seconds to vote for them. That's all it takes. And it would mean so much.

Thank you!

Sunday Blessings

02 October 2011

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

~"In Christ Alone" by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty~

Have a blessed and lovely Lord's day, ladies!

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." ~2 Corinthians 5:17

Poem of the Week: It Takes a Heap O' Livin' by Edgar A. Guest

01 October 2011

I am very sorry that the Poem of the Week had to be pushed to today. Things got extremely busy around here, and I was barely on the computer at all yesterday. :/ 

I found the following verses by Mr. Guest on Miss Rachel's blog and thought it was just right for this week's poem:

It Takes a Heap O' Livin
By Edgar A. Guest

It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t'make it home,
A heap o' sun an' shadder, an' ye somtimes have t'roam
Afore ye really 'preciate the things ye lef' behind,
An' hunger for 'em somehow, with 'em allus on yer mind.
It don't make any difference how rich ye get t'be,
How much yer chairs an' tables coast, how great yer luxury;
It ain' a hom t'ye, thought it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o' wrapped round everything.

Home ain't a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute
Afore it's home there's got t'be a heap o' livin' in it;
Within the walls there's got t'be some babies born, and then
Right there ye've got t'bring 'em up t'women good, and' men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn't part
With anything they ever used--they've grown into yer heart:
The old high-chairs, the play things, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an' if ye could ye'd keep the thumb-marks on the door.

Ye'eve got t'weep t'make it home, ye'eve got t'sit an' sigh
An' watch beside a loved one's bed, an' know that Death is nigh;
An' in the stillness o' the night t'see Death's angel come
An' close the eyes o' her that smiled, an' leave her sweet voice dumb.
For these are scenes that grip the heart, an' when yer tears are dried,
An' tuggin' at ye always are the pleasant memories
O' her that was an' is no more--ye can't escape from these.

Ye've got to sing an' dance fer years, ye've got t'romp an' play,
An' learn t'love the things ye have by usin' 'em each day;
Even the roses round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they 'come a part o' ye, suggestin' someone dear
Who used t'love 'em long ago, an' trained 'em just t'run
The way they do, so's they would get the early mornin' sun;
Ye've got to love each brick an' stone from cellar up t'dome;
It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t'make it home.

Have a lovely day, dear ladies! And be looking for a very literary surprise on this little blog o' mine in the next few days... :)

**Psst! Don't forget to vote for Mrs. Wachter! Her blog was nominated as one of the top 25 family blogs on Circle of Moms. Just click that button on my sidebar --> and vote for Art's Chili Pepper. We only have 3 more days until the voting ends!! For more information, click here.**
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