Joy In My Fathers World

100_4421

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy.  Psalm 96: 11-12

100_4425

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

100_4343

100_4408

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

100_4376

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forgetThat though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

100_4375

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.I ope’ my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came—a pledge of deathless love.

100_4368

We recently had the privilege of driving around the back roads of Southern Virginia with a dear friend we met in Florida years ago.  She is originally from Virginia and we spent a few days in her neck of the woods.  She took us around the surrounding area, down lanes and across creeks and up wooded roads.  We saw barns, cattle, fence posts, cemeteries, abandoned houses and mountains rising majestically in the near distance.  It was a gloriously clear, blue sky day.  We stopped for lots of pictures.

100_4420

100_4362

100_4366 100_4422

I shared a few pictures with you earlier in the week, but wanted to share some more.  In thinking of the beauty captured in the photos, I was reminded of one of my favorite songs based on words written by Maltbie Davenport BabcockThis Is My Father’s World . You can go here to listen to a video production of this song by Fountainview Academy in British Columbia, Canada. 100_4358 100_4361It is so easy to become focused on the negative and all the ills of this world, but truly, this is our Father’s world and beauty abounds if we just open our eyes.  He has promised to be faithful to us even to the end of the age.  Instead of focusing on the evil and all that is wrong in the world, I want to focus on God and how he makes all things right in his time.  I want to see the good, the beautiful.  I want to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.”  (Romans 12:12)100_4405As Christians, I believe we have to accept that there is evil, we have to abhor it and shun it.  We need to pray for good to win. We don’t need to live in denial, but, we don’t need to wallow in the gutter of despair as if we have lost all hope either. We need to see with eyes that see Jesus,  hearts that love others, arms that reach out to help, feet that walk alongside.  We must delight in the beauty in our Father’s world.100_4428 100_4432“Though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.”  That gives me great comfort and hope. Let us open our eyes and see.100_4427.2 100_4370

Seeing in grace,

Teresa

Advertisements

Pictures Worth Thousands of Words and Roads Less Traveled

100_1824

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  For several weeks now my (non)posts have been missing about a thousand words each.

I have thought of things to write; I’ve even written a few posts in my head that never made it to paper or internet.  I have wanted to write, but the gumption just wasn’t there, or I was out of town, or sick, or busy….

So, I thought I’d catch you up on what has been going on and let the pictures tell the story (there may be some words, ok).

1.  The front porch received a much needed overhaul (this spanned April and May and included my brother. It is June and we still have a few tweaks to finish):

100_1565

New Porch ceiling being installed.  This also shows the general before shape of the porch.  (you can imagine the sagging vinyl that was over the original rot and sag boards.)
New Porch ceiling being installed. This also shows the general before shape of the porch. (you can imagine the sagging vinyl that was over the original rot and sag boards on the ceiling.)
Some of the old original ceiling boards after they were taken down.
Some of the old original ceiling boards after they were taken down. And a new board on top – not sure why.
My new blue porch ceiling.  I have wanted one for a long time. (The ladder is an indication that we also put in new gutters).
My new blue porch ceiling. I have wanted one for a long time. (The ladder is an indication that we also put in new gutters).
We also cleaned and scraped the porch wall and trim so we could paint.
We also cleaned and scraped the porch wall and trim so we could paint.
More cleaning prep before painting.
More cleaning prep before painting. Lucky my Dad has a pressure washer and is good at holding a board to protect the newly painted wall.
100_1676
In the midst of all the redoing (that began in April) my Iris’s bloomed. The underpinning to the porch will need some attention soon – the verdict is still out on exactly what will be done.
This view shows the newly painted ceiling, porch wall, trim and the new lights.
This view shows the newly painted ceiling (summer sky – Valspar), porch wall (puppy paws – Olympic), trim and the new lights. (And my neighbors porch that could use a redo).  The puppy paws would not have been my first (or second or third…) choice for the house, but since we are not going to do a major house repaint for awhile, we decided to just freshen up the porch wall, embrace our inner puppy and live with the color that the previous owner  chose.
100_1812
This shot shows the newly painted floor. It is called Handcast Pewter which is a Glidden color, however I had it mixed at Lowe’s in the Valspar Latex Porch and Floor – Satin finish. I love the color, but it is going to show dust and dirt really bad. In the background you can see my Oxford Garden Shorea wood furniture (love my swing) and the cushions and rug for my porch. It still needs to be staged and tweaked. Waiting on the rain to go away.

Proverbs 24:3-4 – applies to porches too, I would think:

By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.

I'm so going to love my porch.  Once it is finally put together I'll do a post and show you the finished look and maybe give a few details etc.  Love my porch.  This little crooked house is the first time I've had a proper front porch in 29 years of marriage.
I’m so going to love my porch. Once it is finally put together I’ll do a post and show you the finished look and maybe give a few details etc. Love my porch. This little crooked house is the first time I’ve had a proper front porch in 29 years of marriage. Did I mention that I love my porch?

2.  We also took a vacation in April, but any posting I was doing that month was mostly on my other blog, Orange Comma, for the National Poetry Writing Month. Vacation was really a retreat.  We love to go to Fairhaven, which is in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, not too far from the North Carolina Border.  We love the peacefulness and we’re within an hour of several places that are touristy if we want that.  We mostly just soak in the peace and rest and read.  Here are a few pictures from this year:

They had added the sweetest little chapel since the last time we were there (October 2008).
They had added the sweetest little chapel since the last time we were there (October 2008). Psalm 122:1:

I WAS GLAD WHEN THEY SAID UNTO ME,      LET US GO INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD

The road leading to our Chalet - The Holly - you can see that the tress are just starting to spring up.  We were there the week of April 22 and it was still quite chilly.
The road leading to our Chalet – The Holly – you can see that the tress are just starting to spring up. We were there the week of April 22 and it was still quite chilly. Our chalet is on the left after the second curve just out of sight. We had a wonderful view of the mountain.
One day we drove over (up) to Blowing Rock, NC.  We had been there before, but had never actually paid to go see the Rock that made it so  famous.  You can see part of the Rock in this picture.  We were actually standing on the rock. Sort of.  It was nice, but there are other great views that are free, so I probably don't have to pay to see it again.
One day we drove over (up) to Blowing Rock, NC. We had been there before, but had never actually paid to go see the Rock that made it so famous. You can see part of the Rock in this picture. We were actually standing on the rock. Sort of. It was nice, but there are other great views that are free, so I probably don’t have to pay to see it again.
A group of very kind ladies offered to take our picture, since we had taken one of them.  So, for what it's worth here we are.
A group of very kind ladies offered to take our picture, since we had taken one of them. So, for what it’s worth here we are. I apparently don’t iron the hem of my sweater when I take it out of the dryer. The M on Mr Piano’s shirt is for Morhead State University, our Alma Mater. The mountains in the background are the view from the blowing rock.  I so love the mountains.  Give me a cabin in the mountains and some good books and I’m good to go.

3.  In the midst of traveling and redoing I took a week off to be sick.  No pictures available. Proverbs 17:22:

A joyful heart is good medicine

4.  The most exciting thing that happened while I was not writing a thousand words was that Mr Piano graduated.  He is now Doctor Mister Piano.  He received his DMA degree (Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance) from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky on May 17.  WooHoo!  Finally!  Yea! We have some pictures to prove it:

Ready for rehearsal and the composite picture.
Ready for rehearsal and the composite picture.
rocky.teresa.grad.2
Here we are in Dr. Mohler’s extensive library. A reception was hosted for the graduates and it included a meet and greet at the Presidents home. The library is several rooms with over 46,000 volumes.
Diploma in hand.  We're ready for the next chapter.
Diploma in hand. We’re ready for the next chapter.  God has a plan.

Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

5.  We celebrated 29 years of marriage on June 2.  It was Sunday and Mr. Piano had an afternoon rehearsal, so we went to a local Mexican restaurant for a meal and didn’t really do a major celebration.  We may take a day trip soon in honor of the event.  Either way every day with Mr. Piano is a celebration, so we’re all good.  Here is a picture or a few of the original event all those years ago:

da da da da....almost there, bride escorted by her father, Lowell Tackett
I was a true Southern Belle y’all – I have the dress to prove it.  Mr. Piano cried the whole time I was walking down the aisle.  True story.  They were happy tears.
Looking to the future!
We’ve only just begun to live, white lace and promises….
...a kiss for luck and we're on our way
…a kiss for luck and we’re on our way”.
Rocky was still crying...he was so happy
proof that there was crying by Mr. Piano – you can tell in this picture that there are some lingering tears. I think he is telling my mom how grateful he is for me 🙂
yellow fiat
“…so many roads to choose…”
We drove away in a little yellow Fiat. That car was responsible for our first married squabble, on our honeymoon, no less. I tried to drive it. On the interstate. It didn’t work out. I still can’t drive a stick shift. Needless to say, that car did not last long. That is not our little Fiat in the photo, nor is that couple us. I don’t seem to have any pictures of our car, so I found this one. Click on picture to take you to the source where I found it.

Ok, so I think this about sums up what I’ve been doing the past several weeks, you know, when I wasn’t writing.  If you already knew this stuff, then I apologize for boring you further.  I’ll try to come up with some fresh perspective to write about soon.

6.  Oh, I almost forgot.  I did visit several cemeteries on Memorial Day – one I had never been to before where several of my ancestors were buried, like my great great grandparents and uncles.  It was a peaceful, sweet little cemetery in the middle of a farm that is now privately owned:

100_1717

Two roads diverged in a wood and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference

Doctor Mister Piano and I have always taken the road less traveled.  I have no regrets.  I’m excited to see what’s around the next bend.

Traveling in Grace,

Sadie