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Can you hear it? God’s whispers of  love to you?  Whispers of  beauty, grace, comfort and goodness.  God has planted sweetness in every season just to warm your heart  and to speak to you of His lavish love and constant care, because you are His beloved child. Savor the gifts of each season.   There is a message of God’s love and provision inside each berry you eat… each seashell you hold up to your ear…in each sunrise…and in the scent of a rose (and in a gazillion other wondrous things!)

In the flurry of life, don’t miss the gifts He so exquisitely wrapped just for you.

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting–a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

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He blesses you with scrumptious,  dripping-with-sweetness watermelon in the summertime…..to refresh you and tell you to “taste and see that the Lord is good”. (Psalm 38:4). Once summer is over we have to wait a whole year before we can taste it’s goodness again!

True Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary ~ Anonymous

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In Autumn, He delights you with plump and whimsical pumpkins…bountiful blessings of harvest time…to lift your spirit and bring joy to your heart! (Don’t you think pumpkins were such great idea that God had?! They are so cheery, and without them, we would’nt have pumpkin pie!)

“A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart, and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.” Proverbs 15 :30 (The Message Bible)

(The “good news” is that God loves you more than you can imagine!  Look  at the beauty around you, He is speaking to your heart!)

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In Winter He spreads a breathtaking blanket of sugared-snow…to romance your heart with stunning beauty….” I have loved you with an everlasting love: I have drawn you with loving-kindness” Jeremiah 31:3

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In Spring He dresses the brown barren trees with shiny new apple-green leaves….to remind us that with Jesus Christ we can have a fresh new start in life and His mercies are new every morning! Springtime renews our hope in His faithfulness.” Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. ” Isaiah 43:19

Hasten unto Him who calls you in the silences of your heart.~ Thomas R. Kelly

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Our great and awesome God…the creator of the Universe knows your name, He knows how many hairs are on your head…He knit you together in your mother’s womb…..He knows your struggles, and has given you promises in His Word for you to find comfort and hope in….He knows the things that  delight  your heart and He places them along your path, with a wink and a smile….He has wonderful plans for your life and wants to be a part of them…He adores you…He sings love songs over you every day, every season.

“I look at your heavens, which you made with your fingers. I see the moon and stars, which you created. But why are people even important to you? Why do you take care of human beings? You made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:3-5

 “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

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We need to fill our hearts with child-like wonder!  We have to be intentional about it.  It starts with  thankfulness and the knowledge that we are dearly loved by our Heavenly Father.

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. ~Victor Hugo

Let us be gracious to our Lord and take the time to honor Him for His gifts that He blesses us with in each beautiful season! Savor that ice-cold slice of watermelon! Adorn your home with those adorable pumpkins in the Fall! Breathe in the crisp beauty of a winter wonderland!  Be refreshed as He renews the earth in spring! Thank Him for His goodness! Having a grateful heart will change the way you feel. Joy will begin to bubble up as you think on God’s goodness and praise Him for it.

“I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”  Philippians 4:8 (The Message Bible)

I really believe if we change our thoughts we will change our life.

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I know for a fact that when I whine and complain about things, I miss out on God’s blessings. I don’t see His gifts because I’m too busy looking at my little troubles instead of God’s goodness.  When I focus on the things that are upsetting and disappointing, I feel awful inside (and so does everyone around me! Y’all know “if mama ain’t happy,no body’s happy”). And what are we teaching our children when we complain about every irritation that comes along? Yikes!

I heard someone say once that “whatever we feed, that is what will grow. ” If we re-play over and over in our mind how angry  or upset we are,  we are feeding  that anger and we are causing bitterness to grow like a big ugly weed.  And a bitter, angry,  woman is NOT what I want to become (Ew! That’s scary!). Instead, I want to grow  joy in my heart. So I’ve got to fill it with thoughts of thankfulness, loveliness, kindness, and simple beauty, all of which are found in the Word of God (Bible) and in the goodness He blesses me with. It’s really about guarding our hearts! Proverbs 4:23 says “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” (New Century Version).

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So a few years ago I made the decision to intentionally look for the gifts that God has placed in my pathway and to be thankful and gracious to Him. I don’t want to take  His blessings for granted. I decided to stop thinking about myself  so much and what I want, because life is not about me. It’s about doing what He has called me to do and to glorify Him, that is where true joy is found. So when I am tempted to feel sorry for myself, I remind myself that I need to cancel that Pity-Party….’cuz that kind of party only pops my bubble of joy. It’s not easy, it’s takes discipline. Many times I fail and when I do, I pray for strength and begin looking around at what I should be thankful for. Thank goodness for God’s grace!

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 The best beauty secret….a thankful heart.

“Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious.” 1 Peter

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As a side note…we all know that as women our hormones sometimes get the best of us, causing our emotions to go on a roller coaster ride, that is why it is so important to take good care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. We all know that we need to eat better, drink more water, (limit sugar and caffeine…boo-hoo! ) we need to exercise…you know, all the things that are hard to do, but if we want to feel better, we just have to do it. Oh yes, and if you read the article on page 36 in the August / September 2009 issue of Mary Janes Farm Magazine about the health hazards of Aspartame–artificial sweeteners in diet drinks, then sista, I hope you cut down on those too! Hey, I just want y’all to feel better!

 We need to take time for prayer and reading God’s Word, hold onto His promises….write them out on 3×5 cards if need be or highlight them in your Bible…meditate on them…believe them, thank God for them. However we feel, God is worthy of our thanksgiving and praise. There are three things I always tell myself when things seem out of sorts:

1.)  God is in control.

2.)  This too shall pass. 

3.)  The best is yet to come.

Sometimes we need to get out of the house and enjoy some new scenery!  We also need things to look forward to.

We need to surround ourselves with God’s goodness….sweet homey things of beauty. Things that smell good, look fresh, and makes your heart go pitter-patter. We need to clear out the clutter to make room for the lovely. My Sugar Pie Sistas, we are so affected by our environment (and so is our family!). If our home is in a chaotic mess then we feel that way inside. On the other hand, when our home is in order and filled with little corners of beauty and light, then it calms us and brings serenity and contentment.

Beauty Inspires!

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 In my home, I have learned to be thankful for the gifts of simple beauty. I think that is why I love the “Farmhouse”  look so much. It’s down-to-earth and homey. It’s comfortable and nurturing. It’s cozy and simply sweet. It’s practical and durable. I am thankful for the comfort of routine…the soothing warmth of warm sudsy water when I wash dishes (the ones that are too delicate to put in the dishwasher)…I’m thankful for the quiet in the early morning….the  soft glow and yummy scent of a  candle burning…..the strength to do household tasks….blueberry muffins baking….warm towels fresh from the dryer…fresh sheets on my bed, ready to nestle into after a long day. I love the way my wood floor creaks in certain spots, and the rhythmic ticking of the clock. I adore these simple things.

As a homemaker I so enjoy making my home feel cozy and welcoming by creating an atmosphere of simple beauty. Things like my old fashioned flour sack towels folded next to my kitchen sink,   ready to keep warm my fresh baked biscuits….or to cover a pie while it’s cooling and to keep away flies. I use them to dry rinsed lettuce by wrapping the wet leaves up and shaking the water off. I tuck a towel in the waste band of my apron as a handy way to dry my hands quickly while cooking. I also place a folded towel under a bowl and also my cutting board to keep it from sliding around and slipping while I’m mixing and chopping. Back in my mother-in-law’s day, growing up on a farm in Oklahoma, she said they did not have refrigeration, so any left-overs from breakfast or lunch was covered with flour sack towels to keep the pests away and from drying out. I love that the more you wash them the softer they become. Such a simple thing, but endearing to me, to see them folded neatly in a cute container by my kitchen sink.

( I found the painted tin basket at my grocery store, sometimes I put my towels in a wooden bucket in the Fall to change things up a bit)

 Here are a few ideas to decorate your home with God’s goodness….

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In the mornings I like to put on music to set the tone in my home. sometimes it’s 1940’s tunes, or Gospel, Bluegrass or Classical and even Christmas Carols when it’s not even Christmastime! (I’m weird that way!) I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the musical soundtrack to Little Women! I especially love it in the fall!  This is a must-have when you are pulling out the pumpkins and autumn leaves for Fall decorating! It  really stirs the domestic joys in my heart!

An old fashioned milk-glass vase of  home-grown roses is one of the blessings of Summer that delights my heart. These are called Double Delight…they smell heavenly!  They inspire me.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~ Berthold Auerbach

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Vintage tablecloths nestled in an old dishpan, ready to grace my table… a homey backdrop to any meal. If these squares of pretty fabric could talk, it would be fun to know about each homemaker that set her kitchen table with these fruity and gingham delights. Did she serve meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Peach cobbler and apple pie?  Did she chat with a neighbor over coffee and cake about the sale down at the Piggly Wiggly…”Land sakes! A 5 pound sack of flour for 33 cents! Why, with the Holidays just around the corner, we ought to stock up!”

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An old enamel bowl, graces my bathroom sink, filled with cakes of old fashioned Ivory Soap, tied in dear little bows with scraps of fabric. So easy, affordable, practical and simply sweet!

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 A vintage farm-wife’s apron greets me each time I open my pantry door.  I wonder how many stalks of rhubarb were cradled in the skirt of this apron, carried in  from the garden and placed on the kitchen table to make Granny’s Famous Rhubarb-Custard pie?

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Aprons in a row ready to hug my waist.

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A simple votive candle glowing, snuggled in a scoop of fragrant coffee beans, inside a squeaky clean canning jar….how simple…how homey…how lovely.

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 A cozy lamp tucked in the corner, giving light to the bread in my bread box.

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 Fresh daisies dipped in lemon slices…

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A bowl of sunshine.

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Wooden spoons, spatulas, and wire wisks gathered in white pitchers…neat and orderly…ready to help out with the next meal. (White pitchers found at Michael’s craft store!)

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How fun to grow some of God’s goodness! Cherry tomatoes are a favorite at the farmhouse!

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Watching them ripen into natures candy!  I plant basil and parsley with my tomatoes!

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Talk about savoring the sweetness of summer!

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God is so big He can cover the whole world with His love, and so small He can curl up inside your heart. ~ June Masters Bacher

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A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.~George Moore

Well, Sugar Pies, I hope you take a moment today to enjoy God’s gifts to you….His love, wrapped up in a watermelon, and in the golden glow of a firefly. Enjoy them before the season is past. Cherish this moment.  “Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.” Psalm 90:17.

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to HIm and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.  Psalm 100:4-5

Sugar Pie Blessings and Hugs!

Aunt Ruthie

P.S. I am so excited that Amazon has re-stocked the darling green polka dot apron with the flirty little ruffles!!  This is one of my most favorite aprons! It is ADORABLE! And so fun to wear! I really do love it so much I want to marry it! LOL!

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Click here to get this cute-as-a-cupcake apron!!

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