Monday, December 27, 2010

Puppy Love -

It was such a beautifully lovely clear evening tonight as the stars began to come out, and as the sun's rays swept down to a faint glow on the western horizon. I took the wee little puppy outside for a quick jaunt and exclaimed in the perfect light for photography. I rushed back in and pinned up my hair, threw on a jacket and a scarf and my boots, grabbed the wee little licking black&tan thing (puppy), my tripod and remote, snatched a wool cap and my leather gloves and ran back out in utter glee to capture the lovely night air in a few photos.

The white Christmas lights shone down from the eaves above and with the crisp and clear fading light, we sat down on the little stool and set up the camera and settings and took 35 pictures of gloriously still and Old English Winter Loveliness of Waif and Pup.

.... at least that's what I thought would happen.

What really happened was all of the above EXCEPT for everything following the number 35. Sadly, to my despair, I have to change that number to 3 photos. THREE. And one of them is blurry, and another is OUT OF FOCUS AND blurry. So really? I only have 1. ONE.

What really happened? We sat down, I put the cap down on Lucy Mae who was on my lap, she snuggled in, stuck her nose out in the 40 degree weather, we took pic #1, she was wiggling, and definitely NOT going to look at the clicking light blinking camera, we took pic #2, which is probably the most adorable thing ever in like 24 hours (since she did the last adorable thing which was tunnel through a sweatshirt of mine((incaseyoucare)), and then we took pic #3 where she decided SHE WAS NOT GOING TO SIT OUT IN THIS COLD and in the DARK AND I AM GOING TO SQUIRM AND LICK JEAN MARIE'S FACE FOR ALL I'M WORTH BECAUSE I WANT to gooooo insiiiiiiiiiiiidde nooowwwws.

Shortly after pic #3, I took her inside, where she ran around in utter glee because finally she was in warm air. For all of you feeling sorry for her, she was out in the air for all of TEN MINUTES. and that whole time she was either A. Snuggled in scarf or B. Under wool cap. ;)

However, I'm posting all 3 anyways. because really, I love them in their own rights.




and maybe it's just me ... but every time she kisses me, I melt. I love my sweet little puppy! I'm preeettttty sure I'll love these pictures forever just because it's me and Lucy Mae. ;)

With love,
~ Jean Marie~

Friday, December 24, 2010

In Expectation -

Last night I looked down our street at the winter dusk sky fading from sunset into night, and I felt with expectation not just Christmas .... but all the Christmas's to come.

Expectation ... there is so much of that in the Christmas season! Looking forward to surprise Christmas presents, getting together with loved ones and family members to celebrate, the Christmas Eve service, singing carols and hymns, Christmas morning, touring the neighborhood and seeing the lights and luminaries .... wondering in expectation what this Christmas and New Year will bring .... a time of HOPE and awaiting what is coming.


~ My Sweet Life Under the Savior Christmas Letter to you all. From my heart to yours.
Thank you for reading and leaving comments and mostly, for loving me and visiting this place of contemplations and words and out-pourings of soul as God so gives.
With love, and Merry Christmas! Jean Marie ~

"Come, Thou long expected Jesus ...." Last night as I gazed at that winter sky, I felt the expectation of JOY and HOPE restored even as I considered another year gone, the waiting upon the Lord has still come through another year. Yes, I have wavered, but the Lord hath stood firm, and every Christmas, is not our hope so much more sweetly renewed by the gospel of our Sweet Lord in the lowly manger? We think of how long Israel waited for their Savior, even as we yearn with longing for Him to come again, in glory, to take us all to be with Him. We wait, God .... "come quickly, Lord Jesus!"

"Born to set thy people free". It grabs our hearts in such a big way that we cannot pass by the manger story without feeling the tingling of thankfulness and promise renewed within us! He was born to redeem us FOREVER, instead of condemnation upon our heads, we now bear His name instead! We are His people, He lived, died and rose again for us, to free us forever!

"From our fears and sins release us" I am the worst sinner I know. That's a CJ Mahaney quote that we use often in our household, but I am entirely not joking when I believe that I am "the chief of sinners" and how can we even think of how Christ knows our hearts better than we ever can? We long to be fully perfect and holy as He is, and await in expectation the day when we are forever released from sin and its consequences and the fear of our actions and also every fear that we have in our hearts! They will one day BE GONE, and we will know, just as we also are known by God the Father. Every fear of loss, pain, failure, injustice, doubt, worth .... all will fade into nothingness before the throne of the Most High!

"Let us find our rest in Thee" I have leaned more upon the "rest" of the Lord this past year than any other time in my life. I have been physically, mentally, emotionally completely taxed over and beyond the limit, and there have been nights when I knew rest would not happen, and there have been mornings when I knew rest had not come, and yet .... God was always there. Whether I was weary and giving up, whether I was exhausted beyond emotions and beyond even what my mind could even try to understand .... God always gives comfort back to the broken prayers of the grieving child. "Rest" took on more than the physical sense when Christ came to bring peace to His people .... rest in His goodness, rest in His love, rest in His reign. He is able to keep us from falling, whether we sleep or not, He will provide for His children!

"Israel's Strength and Consolation" This line jumps out at me the most. I've needed strength I didn't have to live out my life and to serve others. I've relied upon the Giver of strength who is the most powerful and mighty One to allow me to walk by His side, and I've fallen into the endless depths of His grace and consolation when every other comfort failed, when no one else understood. He is fully able to take every wound we have, and cover it with the quiet "I am God and I am holy.". He is "a man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief", and His consolation to the people He loves so very well will never run dry, because it has been bought with the blood of the Perfect Holy Child, God's own Son. His strength is made perfect in our weakness .... in all our valleys, He is there with more mercies than we could dream of!


"Hope of all the Earth Thou art" As the news floods in day after day after day, we look around at our world, and we say "what happened?", we sit in front of our computer screens and sob for Christian brothers and sisters who have lost more than houses and everything they own, but families, friends, and freedom .... we wonder when and where it will all end. Praise GOD that our HOPE has not and never will lie in anything that man could or will EVER do! For our God has overcome this world, and He reigns now, and we will one day see Him reigning visibly!! He is our HOPE because He has already paid for it all, and rules over all!! He is our HOPE because He will not allow one of His children to slip through His fingers, and has planned out every day, every event, every king, every weather for now and forever. He is fully in control and will never leave us or forsake us!

"Dear Desire of every nation" When I think of gathering with the Saints in Heaven, I think of families of Sudan, orphans from Russia and China, babies who have only known God as their Father, I see jubilant dancing of African tribes, singing their hearts out, I think of holding hands with South Americans, Indians and Europeans, and hugging all those people with names on our Missionary prayer lists. I dream of listening to the stories fly of how The Redeemer of all the Nations saved their county, their country, their nation, their land, their tribe. Christ is the desire and hope for every nation upon our planet .... let us pray for our brethren. One day we will be a part of the millions upon billions upon endless scores and legions of people in His courts, and the most beautiful sight we shall be to our Jesus, His name upon every one of our foreheads. The nations will all one day kneel and praise the Savior of His people, who came to save them!!

"Joy of every longing heart" We ache and long for what God has promised and how He shall redeem our ashes into beauty. We long to see Him Whom We have believed. We long for those who now live in the Heavenly City. We long for everything to be made right, and for understanding in the deepest losses we have. But even in that longing we have joy. We have JOY because Christ has made us forever His! John Piper says "and in the place of fear, Jesus puts joy. Joyless faith in Jesus is a contradiction in terms .... Paul says "rejoice always and again I will say rejoice!". Always? Yes. Not without tears of grief and pain. But still joyful ... it is not wrong to cry (weep with those who weep), but there is a joy rooted in God's rule of love that is never overcome in God's children." He is our JOY because He is the source of our joy!

"Born Thy people to deliver" He came to save His people from their sins! Does it amaze you that the Son of God came to our desperate, dusty, dark earth to be born of peasants into a stable in a little town, to grow up, to live and to die for you? "Thou who wast rich, beyond all telling, all for love's sake, becamest poor". And who are we that we should be saved? Who are we that the King of Kings should stoop so low to live His life for us and die upon a cross for our redemption? We were nothing, and He made us Children of God!!


"Born a Child and yet a King" "Infant holy, infant lowly, for His bed a cattle stall"... God became man, took on human form, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us .... the angels proclaimed His birth with singing and rejoicing and the shepherds stared in awe of the Christ Child - the Savior! Amazement and wonder fill me when I consider God Most High as a tiny little baby and yet Sovereign Lord over the Universe .... He who made the heavens and the earth took on human life for us. For you! For me!

"Born to reign in us forever" He did not come to just save us, He came to dwell with us, in us, forever, the Holy Spirit indwelling. Emmanuel, God with us. He came so that we might be forever with us, always .... even when we do not trust that He is with us, guiding our paths, or when we turn to our feelings about whether or not He is there, He always is. He never leaves His children, and He always will reign in the hearts of His people, now and forever!! One day we will SEE His throne and temple, and realize fully the extent of His reign in us and over us!

"Now Thy gracious kingdom bring" As our hearts break for our fallen world that has rejected the Lord Jesus, we pray for His kingdom to come ... His will to be done, for His glory and the redeeming of His people! We long for His heavenly courts and we long for the understanding that will come when WE WILL SEE HIM and we will know, just as we also are known!!! His kingdom of GRACE unmeasured, boundless, free. As God's children, we long to see His kingdom here on earth, visibly, all over the earth, spread from shore to shore, His redeemed forever, and His will fully glorified in the hearts of His people! One day we SHALL SEE THAT, and Oh! the rejoicing there will be!!


"By Thine own eternal Spirit" Through the work of Christ and through God's plan in His people, all of God's will shall be accomplished. Every single part of it. And not by any of man's doing, for man's glory, but every blot and period of it shall be FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. Nothing can thwart or stop His plan, nothing can stay the Lord's hand, nothing can catch Him by surprise and nothing can end His love for His people. We are bought with a price, once, for forever. By His Spirit, we live in the light of His glory, that became flesh that night in Bethlehem! Hope and prayers were brought to fruition the night Jesus was born!

"Rule in all our hearts alone" God's rule is born of His desire for our praise and obedience to Him and His love for us as His children! His rule is far more gracious than we deserve, and His wrath has already been poured out upon Christ on the cross. One day those who have forsaken God as King will have His wrath poured upon them ... "O pity the nations, my God!". Our hearts must be filled with Him to be like Him. Life is not worth it, if we cannot live for His purposes and His glorious kingdom of mercy!! Of His rule and of His kingdom there shall BE NO END, and every nation will one day bow and kneel before the Lord our Maker in worship!

"By Thine all sufficient merit" Christ was more than a Redeemer born as a baby, He was the only perfect Lamb Who would give His life for the sacrifice of God's beloved! He was all-sufficient because He was perfect, sinless, blameless, and pure. He was holy and righteous and a pleasing sacrifice to a just God! His merit was enough for ALL His people to be redeemed. He bought the pardon with His blood, and that fountain of redemption shall never be emptied until every single one of His children has been saved! Praise God for His mighty works!

"Raise us to Thy glorious throne!" How sweet that day when WE SHALL SEE HIM, when we shall stand before His glorious throne and see spread out before us, time and history and future of the glorious plan and works of our King Jesus! We shall be with Him, and be like Him, perfect, blameless, holy, joyous, there will never be a day when we shall ever doubt or worry, we shall walk side by side with the Father that as of now we ache and long to see.

This has never been more driven home than the past 14 months. Many nights I gazed up at the clear skies and scores of stars and I cried out for the veil to be torn, so close it seemed to the throes of Heaven we could be. We yearn to see and to understand. We ache to throw our arms around our family members and friends who are in Heaven .... the loss cuts so deep at the holidays. I have dear friends who have family members struggling with cancer, family members who do not know God, friends and family whom we long for them to have their joy in salvation restored to them fully, we pray for healing and hope and restoration, and we pray for God's will to be done.

.... and we don't always like the way He answers. Never have I more questioned God than the past 14 months. I am writing in utter sincerity, and not because it is justified, because it is not....but to be completely honest, I tell you anyway. I have demanded a "why" and heard the deafening silence of God's holiness upon me. I have screamed in anger, sobbed in grief, begged for healing and despaired of His love for us. I prayed for more brokenness in Christ and He gave me loss. I didn't pray for loss. I didn't want more loss. And over and over God took away, and I was left broken and crushed. Wounded and limping through the Valley's rocky path. In my despair and confusion and anger I cried out to my Father, and in the depths of my sorrow .... He was with me. It is so beautiful to me that our Father can take every emotion and question I throw at Him, and in a few words calm my disquieted soul.
For He is God and He is holy.

Who can know the mind of the Lord and who can give Him counsel? No one can. Least of all me! :) His plan, spread out in perfect detail from before Time began, by our God who loves us more than we can imagine. And so we wait in expectation and joy .... because Christ will come again, in glory, and take us to live with Him forever! We wait upon God for today, for tomorrow, and for every trial and sorrow and valley we walk through, and every mountain we surge to the top of .... may Christ our Savior be praised for now and for always!! The end of the story has already been written, and it will be more beautiful than we could ever ever dream!

Come, Thou long expected Jesus ... raise us to Thy glorious throne!! Wring from our poor and weary and imperfect little souls the praise that is due Thy name, bring us to JOY in You, for You, our Dayspring from on High, our Redeemer and Friend, have made us Yours, and we shall never be separated from You!! Hallelujah, glory glory glory .... be forever and ever to our Lord and King, Who came down to dwell among us in Spirit and in Truth! Christ our Savior has been born, and is now exalted on the right hand of God, praise Him all ye, His beloved children!
Merry Christmas to you all!!!
"Come, Thou long expected Jesus" was written by Charles Wesley.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Complimentary chew marks -

Dear special friends ....

I would like to extend to you the once in a lifetime offer!! of having your Christmas presents wrapped by yours truly, for YOURS TRULY and all your kin, for a small fee. Yes, folks, you do not want to miss out on this amazing deal. You have no idea the uniqueness and homemade natural look that will grace the area under your tree after I wrap your treasured gifts! People will "ooh" and "aahh" and remark upon the sweet, tidy bows, the amount of clear tape, the sweeping penmanship upon the gift tags and the beautiful wrappers upon your boxes and bags!

You will be in awe!!! Write or call now to receive this special offer! Your money will be returned if you are not happy, unless I have spent it already, and satisfaction is guaranteed, unless you are an extremely perfectionist gift wrapper who cannot have anything wrong with the paper.

Like, for instance .... tiny little bite marks of joy into said paper. On the other hand, if you ADORE puppies and dogs, then this is the paper for you!!! Bite marks can be added on, for free!

Any way you look at it, I'm sure this is the deal for you ... so write now!!! After all, you don't really want your Christmas presents to look like everyone else's ... do you?

Merry Christmas to you!!!
~ TheRedHeadCrazyGirl & Puppy Gift Wrapping Inc. ~


Hahahaha .... so this was the first time I've ever wrapped Christmas presents with a puppy in the same room ... I had to watch her and keep her close by my side, and it is just easier on the floor .... or so I thought. ;) Little Lucy Mae was excited about EVERYTHING, and wanted to have EVERYTHING and wanted to chew EVERYTHING and wanted to TAKE EVERYTHING.

Here are a few of the audio clips that you would have heard in our living room this eve:

"Do you see the paper? Isn't it nice? You are sooo cute. My adorable little puppy."
{Puppy licks Jean Marie's face all over}

"Sweetie, you can't have that .... "

{Puppy is dragging away scissors by the handle)
"Lucy Mae, those are scissors!! Those are dangerous, don't touch!"

"no no nooooo no no noooo .... hahahhahaaahahahaah ..... NO!!!"

"Raise, raise the song on high...the Virgin sings her lullaby!
Joy, joy for Christ is born, the Babe the Son of Mary!!"

"Honey, give me that ... you can't have that either ... play with your sock! play with youuur sock!! you are so cute. hahah."

"Do not touch, do not touch donottouch, do not touch!!! DO NOT ... touch!!"
{Puppy looks up adorably from chewing on paper}

"Hahaha, don't take the tape, baby ... I need it. I need the tape. Thank you."

"This is not your present Lucy Mae .... don't chew on it ... please. oh well. hahaha."
{bite marks adorn the wrapped box corner, Jean Marie tapes it shut}

"Baby, don't touch that .... it is paper and .... it ... is all wet now. Um. Thank you."

Hahaha ... needless to say, it was a whole new and crazay busy experience keeping her out of everything while I wrapped presents, but she was happy and I was laughing, so all is well. :) And I got the gifts wrapped! P.S. She is still very young, so I wasn't yelling at her ... she IS learning the word "no" though. :)

... and really. Who could try to be mad at an adorable face like this? :D I love my Lucy Mae.

... Merry Christmas and happy gift wrapping to you all!!! :D
With so much love, and a joyful spirit for this sweet Christmas season ....
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!!
~ Jean Marie ~

Christmas lights bokeh and Lucy Mae

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rose of Bethlehem -

Hi ya'll ... :)

As we approach Christmas, it's a bit different this year, because I have already received the present I was hoping so much for ... our little doggie, Lucy Mae. :) I'm still very much looking forward to celebrating Christmas, of course, but the prospect of looking forward to presents is gone. :) But I couldn't be happier.... I don't even remember the last time I have been this happy. :) Even my friends who haven't seen me with her yet are exclaiming how happy I am ... :)

It is so sweet to have her .... every day is a joy to awake to see her little self. She is a big source of laughter in our home, and we've only had her 4 days! But all this "Puppy Love" ;) doesn't mean that I've forgotten Christmas and all the sweet rejoicing of the Best Gift gjven to us -
Our Savior Jesus, the Christ Child, the Son of God, born in a stable in Bethlehem.

I wanted to share one of my very favorite Christmas songs with you, sung by Steve Green. I love the sweet lullaby that it is .... so poignant the allegory drawn between a beautiful pure rose and the fairest flower of them all .... as the Christ Child born perfect to live as a sweet smelling aroma to His Father and to die for us.


"Rose of Bethlehem" ~ by Lowell Alexander (1992)

"There's a Rose in Bethlehem, with a beauty quite divine,
perfect in this world of sin, on this silent, holy night.

There's a fragrance much like hope that it sends upon the wind.
Reaching out to every soul from a lowly manger's crib.

O Rose of Bethlehem, how lovely, pure and sweet!
Born to glorify the Father, born to wear the thorns for me.

There's a Rose in Bethlehem, colored red like mercy's blood.
'Tis the flower of our faith, 'tis the blossom of God's love.

Though its bloom is fresh with youth, surely what will be He knows!
For a tear of morning dew is rolling down the rose."


How sweet the day when Christ came to redeem His children, born into a lowly stable, born to wear the thorns for us, to bear the cross, to live to die for His beloved! How sweet and strong His unending and undying love!!

With love,
~ Jean Marie ~

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Underneath our tree -

I realize this is the 2nd post in one day about our new darling little puppy. But I just can't help it. And they are adorable pictures, and everything is sweetness, and my gosh, she is so cute. :)

I took some long-dreamed-about pictures today, of Lucy Mae all snuggled up in a blanket, sleeping under our Christmas tree, and I wanted to share some with you. :)

Christmas puppy and Christmas bokeh. :)

She is so so tiny .... she sleeps right through the clicking of my camera ....

Underneath our tree ... lies our own little Christmas gift - Lucy Mae.

... silent night ... all is bright ... Jesus will make all things right ...

precious little baby

Sleep, puppy, sleep.

I am head over heels in love with her .... she is so tiny, sweet, perfect. She sleeps on my lap, and curls up in my arms, she wags her tail and chews on her toy and I can't believe she's ours. I couldn't believe she slept through me taking 80 pictures of her. hahaha! Now I have to figure out how to take pictures of a puppy that is SO dark, under Christmas lights. :)

Suddenly Christmas is so so sweet again, as the evidence of joy is here in my home. :)
With so much love, and JOY!!
~ Jean Marie and little Lucy Mae! :) ~

Lucy Mae -

Meet our family's early Christmas present .... a Dachshund puppy!!!!!! :)
I am above, over and beyond, completely ecstatic and IN LOVE with this precious little doggie.

A few stats on our littlest girl:
Her name: Lucy Mae. Lucy, after the Chronicles of Narnia, and Mae, for a Southern add to it, and an old-fashioned one as well, the name just fits her, and I love calling her by it!
How old: she will be 8 weeks on the 20th of December. :)
Breed: Black and tan Miniature Dachshund.
Size: TINY. she was the smallest in her litter, but apparently LOVED the owners' kind 180lb. Bull Mastiff. Aka: Loving and fearless. She currently fits in both my hands easily. :)
Food: She is eating tiny puppy chow and drinking water.
Sleeping: She's sleeping now on my lap, but she HOWLED all last night. ;) haha.
Date we got her: Friday, December 17th at around 2:30pm. :)

the very first picture of our baby!!!

She is enraptured with the clicking of the camera. :D

How very tiny she is .... I am so in love with her!

Ya'll may not know that I have been praying for a dog for Christmas, it was all I wanted .... and am overwhelmed that we have this new special evidence of joy in our lives ... I am SO thankful to my Mom and Dad for allowing us to get her!!!! And I come before the throne with Thanksgiving and praise to the Lord Who loves me so well. I look forward to growing older with her....

and I can't wait for you all to MEET HER!!! :D you will love her! :D
Merry Christmas from the Fambroughs to you all!!
With love,
~ Jean Marie and Lucy Mae ~

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The sweetest joy -

Hey ya'll .... it has been blustery, freezing cold winter here, and yes, I still live in Florida. :) We've been blessed with very cold weather this December, and even though I know it's been lovely all of the 30 minutes I've probably spent in it, I've had to stay inside due to a bad cold/sinus infection, etc. (same cold I blogged about last week) Hah. :) So due to this late unpleasantness of health, I have not been blogging, or felt like blogging or doing anything.

Thus, the reason that these "Happy Felicitations" sent our dear friends' way comes 3 days late. So sorry, dear Bradford family! :) On the 12th of December was A. and I.'s 1st wedding anniversary!!! Goodness knows how much I've thought back to last year, and remembered it in SUCH fondness, it truly had to be one of the best vacations in a very very long while. I don't think I was stressed about really .... anything due to the vacation, which is quite rare, especially when it is for a wedding!! It was lovely .... as my crushed spirit was in need of some loving fellowship, kind hearts and sweet times and memories, and God blessed us with all.

How dearly we love the B. and L. families, and how dearly we wish we lived closer, so we could trundle back and forth in the cold to see each other and talk!! :)

Dearest Aaron and Ivis .... I think of you all almost constantly these days, and wish for more memories together, how sweet would that be!! I long to stand outside your door and sing the same verses to a song about 14 times late at night, or throw my arms around you, Ivis, in a hug. I long for laughing hysterically and smiling so hard my cheeks hurt, because anyone can see how much you and Aaron love, cherish and honor each other .... I long for all of that joyful sweetness of that day to just be replicated again somehow, in real life! Perhaps an anniversary party sometime? :) How fun and delightful would that be! Just to be with you all is enough.

I pray you fall in love with each other more and more every year, that God's precious grace would manifest itself into the daily grain of your lives, that you would give it as freely as you have been given it, and that the gospel would be forefront as you rise up, and as you lie down.

I pray God's deepest blessings and utterly richest mercies upon you both and all the children that will follow .... knowing you both will lead them to Jesus, Who leads us in Truth.

I pray so many things upon you both, Aaron and Ivis. I specifically pray for your wee babe, set to arrive in God's perfect timing, so thankful and OVER the moon ecstatic of a coming little one! (all those years of planning and playing dollies comes to fruition in a REAL baby! ;))

.... but mostly .... dearest dearest Ivis and Aaron .... I thank God upon every remembrance of you both, because that day stands so sweetly in my memory .... of the rare SIGHT and PERFECTION and ANSWER to so so many prayers offered to our Lord for a Godly husband for you, Ivis. That I was able to see the goodness of the Lord here on earth, in a prayer request answered above and beyond what we could have dreamed of, beyond what we knew to ask for, set in a day so filled with rejoicing and thankfulness of His will of glory upon you both.

The sweetest joy of knowing and seeing prayers answered more than perfectly. :)
We love you both so so much!! We hope to see you again soon!!!
With love and prayers and hugs and kisses and a few tears .... ;)
~ Jean Marie ~

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Celebration -

Tonight was the Ligonier Christmas program, and our family was delighted to attend, as we have for many years, but this year was even more special because: A. We had missed it last year, B. We rode together with special friends, C. Because we had missed it, we had .... missed it. I had really really missed it. (yes, I know I just said that 3 times now) It always kicked off the Christmas season for me, and I couldn't wait.

I sat snuggled in my warm wool cape looking out at the sunset over the wetlands on our way to Sanford and wondered at the beauty of the setting sun and coming night. It is my very dear thought many a day that God gives such special peace and mercies at Sunrise, with grace new every morning, and at Sunset, the ending of a day with a spectacular array of colors. I find it renews my heart to walk down our street at sunset, realizing He will never change, and His mercies shall never end, and as the sun rises and sets, even beyond that is His faithfulness!!

The sunset tonight wasn't filled with extremely huge clouds and puffs and swirls everywhere, but looked like a piano crescendo, stretching from the left to the right, in a "v", with those circles and swirls to the top right ... pink and purple and orange. My picture cannot do justice. :)

I sat quietly, watching the pink fade into cool night blue .... feeling calm come with it. Sunsets always calm me down, and I loved the night, and I loved the people in the truck with me, and I loved that it was cold and I loved that God is faithful to give us pretty reminders of His never-ending grace. :)

When we arrived, Dad told some friends in his usual enthusiastic way that holds the deep meaning behind what he says, in a response to how we were: "Ready to celebrate!".

I stood back and smiled, because all I could think was "... but I've already started". The drive over, that sunset upon the trees and wetlands, my praise had quietly welled up and spilled over into worship of the Jesus that loves us so much to have come to save His children.

We had such a beautiful-sweet time at the Ligonier Christmas ... listening to the swell of people sing with all their might along with a powerful pipe organ and instruments ... hearing the worship of us sound so mighty and thinking of the hosts and legions of angels and saints that sing on even now, along with us as we praise our King. It overwhelms me with the thought. For I have many dearly loved ones there in the Heavenly City .... and they hear and sing praise all day long as we did tonight. Only better ... because they sing and kneel before God Himself.

Unhidden! Unhindered! Unchained from this earth and sin! Unable to contain their joy!

When our family arrived home and we were saying goodbyes to our dear friends, I tilted my head back to look at the clear and crisp night sky, FULL of stars clearly seen with no sea haze (Sea Haze is normal for our night skies here. :)) and I could barely believe my eyes when I saw (no, it was NOT Santa. haha.) a HUGE meteor go streaking across the sky where I was looking, from my right it soared majestically over the midnight blue sky to my left, and I pointed and shrieked "Look LOOK!", but I was the only one who was able to view it. It was the biggest meteor I have seen in years ... it looked like a planet sized meteor, with a tail as if a painter was swishing white behind it, and sprinkling dusty glory behind it in sparkles of stars.

I was in total and complete awe. I hope it stays in my memory for a long time, it was so so beautiful! It was so very special. And after our friends had left, and the family went inside, I stood there with my neck tilted back and my cape hood pulled tight around my throat, and stared at the sky, in hopes to see another one .... I turned around and around and walked a little ways here, and a little ways back, and I stared at the sky in hopeful anticipation.

"Hark! Emmanuel, God with us! Come, thou long expected Jesus!" ... clips of songs ran through my head as I stared upward, praying for another one. The light slowly dawned on an analogy in my mind. Oh. If only I put as much trust in God thrusting meteors over my head for my joy and His glory as I did in what He will do with my life, and with everything He does that I don't like. Oh. One of those "oh." moments. :) Here I was standing, gazing up in total awe and wonder and expectation in HOPE of the One who controls the heavens and earth, and where, oh little girl, is thy faith? :)

there. a falling star streaked overhead with a small stream of white, a smaller one ... I breathed in awe "ohhh." And after I had stood there for a few more moments, in case God gave me another one to watch, I began to realize again .... that Christians don't believe in coincidences. Ahem. :) Because God puts the stars in the heavens and hangs the earth on nothing .... because He shot those two meteors over the night sky and drew my eyes upward to gaze at all, because He wanted me to see them and give Him glory, because He delights in delighting us with His creation and His might .... and all I could think about in breathless wonder .... was that He was celebrating too! God delights when His children praise Him ....

I couldn't shake the thought inside my heart that maybe God was celebrating tonight that we were celebrating Him. That He gave me even more to celebrate about tonight .... that as we celebrated the coming of His Son, they celebrate it daily in the halls of Heaven, and that we will all be celebrating it forever with the Christ Child become Savior of His people and our Lord forever.

... doesn't that absolutely just blow your mind?

It does mine. :)
To God be all the glory for now, for always, for forever,
for His indescribable gift of His Son, for the redemption of many,
to the praise of His glorious grace, Emmanuel ... God with us.

With love,
~ Jean Marie ~

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Brrr!! -

Just in case anyone ever asks me ... if Florida ever ever ever gets cold.

I can smile and tell them "why, yes, yes it does sometimes" ....

I can tell them we are on our 3rd night of freeze warnings and that we can see our breath at night, that our heaters are running and we are freezing, and for once it feels like winter. :)

... and I can revel in the gorgeous, chilled and bundled up opportunities that cold gives us.

While friends take pictures of snow on vacations, I am here struggling with a cold,
but still really really enjoying the winter we are getting. :) Hooray for cold weather! :)

Our dear friend Laurie came over on Monday night and made us a wreath out of the leftover pine scraps from our Christmas tree, and it is happily hung on our back door! ('Cause we are Southerners, no one comes in through the front door.) ;) Thank you, Laurie!

Happy December and Winter everyone!!!
With love,
~ Jean Marie ~

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I:heart:Self Portraits -


Hahahahhaa. :D This week at I:Heart:Faces is "Self-Portrait". I have lots of self-portraits of me, not because I'm my favorite subject to shoot (because I'm not), but just because when I am out on photoshoots, it's just me and .... whatever else I'm shooting. I'm usually alone, except in the rare case of someone coming along. So I've probably got 100 self portraits from the past year. :)

However, even as I LOVE so many of them for one reason or another: the light, the focus, the colors, the emotions, the reasons, the stories, the people in them with me ....

I chose this one. It makes me LAUGH at my silly expression....and I am usually making faces when I take self-portraits. :) I also chose this one because it reminds me of how much fun one can have in a car for a solid hour with just natural light and a camera and a laughing heart.

Happy oh happy natural light and joy .... I'm so thankful for both! :)
In Christ, our Most Precious Joy and Savior,
and with love to you all ...
~ Jean Marie ~

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sweet baby girl -

To John and Audra, and to Melody ....

"But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.", and He laid His hands on them and departed from there."
~ Matthew 19:14-15 ~

Today 1 yr. ago you left this dusty earth of sorrow to live forever in the joyous home
of Heaven with our loving Heavenly Father.
How much your family misses you. How much I miss you, even though we only met once.
I did not know I could fall in love with someone who was so so little and so young.
I met you on November 6th, 2009, and you went to be with Jesus less than a month later.
I cannot understand why Jesus would take you to be with Him, but I rejoice that He made you, fearfully, wonderfully, beautifully, and that you only ever knew two of the most loving and sweet parents here on earth, and then straight into our Heavenly Father's arms.
You can see and know fully, tiny baby girl, what we cannot see at all here where we stand.
God made you so perfectly, Melody ... He made no mistake in the knitting of you.
You run through your mama's dreams of a giggling blond haired, blue eyed darling,
running to meet her on that sweet Heavenly day, when all will be right, truly right forever.

We hold you in our hearts, Melody, and I can't wait to meet you again someday. :)
Did you know that you danced with your daddy? Your Mama tenderly clasped in his arms as they slowly waltzed on the dance floor, and you in between.
They wanted so much more time with you .... but just as perfect as God made you, is God's plan for us, even though missing you feels like a stab into my heart sometimes ... Jesus loves us, His tiny little children ... yes, we know, that God is love!

I wanted roses and huge overflowing pink bouquets to give you. I wanted to sing over you, and be your Auntie Jemmie, babysitting you for a night. I wanted to pray over you, one more time.
Yet God is so good, even in our sorrow. I searched around for a flower for you, but all I could find was a small heart shaped ivy leaf. I plucked it, and walked back .... and I left it there in honor of you, Melody. Sweet little baby, you see the overflowing bushes and roses and vines of perfuming flowers in Heaven, and the fairest flower of all .... our Savior Jesus.


I love knowing you are cradled in His arms of love, forever.
Beautiful little baby girl ... we miss you.
With love from your Auntie Jemmie .... hugs and kisses.
With love to J., A. and prayers ever, over you, in the sweet name of our loving Father,
~ Jean Marie ~

"She is not sent away, but only sent before, like unto a star,
which going out of your sight, doth not die and vanish, but shineth in another hemisphere:
ye see her not, yet she doth shine in another country."
~ Samuel Rutherford from The Loveliness of Christ.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

His tight embrace -

I practically ran across the foyer and into the bathroom. It was empty. I was so thankful. I doubled over and tried not to cry. Someone else came in...."Jemmie?". I answered "yes". We both started to wash our hands and fix our hair...I looked at my hands and scrubbed away at something I couldn't see. I thought back minutes before, when I had hugged a beautifully pregnant friend, and spoken to her of congratulations, our prayers for her and her husband and baby, and our deep joy for them. It was sincere, but I had been holding back tears.

I started drying my hands, two, three sheets of paper towels, looking at my bangs, fixing my skirt ... looking at anything, anywhere other than meeting her eyes. We were still alone in the bathroom....and she quietly asked "Are you okay?". I thought about lying, but knew I couldn't. I couldn't look up, and I sort of laughed and said "Not really.". She asked me to tell her why ... I looked in the mirror, at my wide eyes, I looked down, I looked to the side, I blinked ... I told her "I don't want to cry and make you cry too!". She said it was okay.

I tried not to let the tears escape ... I tried to look at her. My eyes made it no further than her waist as I whispered the truth. "I can't stand seeing __ pregnant and then seeing you!!!" It might not have made sense, but she knew. One second was all it took for her to pull me into a tight hug, and as I sobbed in her arms, I tried not to let the tears fall on her dark green satin dress. For today was her sister's wedding day.

I tried to speak through the wrenching sobs as I felt her shake with emotion and cry, even as I knew that words weren't needed to explain ... we both mourned her loss. It felt so incredibly wrong to be so joyful for one, and so heartbroken for another. I stumbled my way into broken words "It is so hard seeing you without "her"! I'm so sorry! I'm so so sorry!" .... She choked out "thank you" with one tighter than tight hug that meant more than an embrace, and we broke apart to repair our eyes for unknowing people who were coming through the bathroom door.

It broke my heart all over again that day to see my dear friend without her rounded belly encasing her and her husband's precious little baby daughter. It broke my heart.

It hurt more than I thought it could hurt after 3 months, and today, it hurts more than I thought it could at almost 1 yr. (tomorrow). Grief struck deep into my heart and stayed there for a baby that I had met. I had met her at another wedding, I had rested my hand upon the thin stretch of skin between her little self and me, I had hugged her and smoothed her mama's belly. I had laughed and blinked back tears of joy. I had met her, and fallen in love with Baby M.

Then I was hugging her mama 3 months later, and there was no Baby M. in between. We didn't understand how God could take her, when they wanted her so much, loved her so much. We trusted the Lord we loved, but we wanted her back. They missed her and longed for her. That day I watched as Baby M's daddy talked with another daddy, knowing his heart must have been breaking watching that daddy hold his young child, and how I watched Baby M.'s mama talk with a mother-to-be, and feeling the ache that they weren't both with child, that only one was, and the stark reminder of how much God had taken away. I watched as pictures were taken, and the rose held by Baby M's mama brushed against the green satin that covered her belly, and just stared in the incomprehension that she was gone.

It was so so hard. I knew only God could heal this, and I knew it would take time. I remember praying for the Lord to be near to us, because I just didn't know how we could make it otherwise. And He was.
He was near to us constantly.

Later that afternoon, after the bride and groom had been virtually dumped upon with birdseed, and driven away to cheering and loving goodbyes, I slipped away to the nursery at the church to get out my little gift for my dear friend. I had stashed my purse and camera equipment in there so it wouldn't be lost. :) I looked for A. and asked if she would mind coming with me so I could give her something.

I had had the gift for a few months, and just could never send it in the mail. I couldn't bear not to give it to her in person. I wanted to be there to hug her and let her know how much it meant. How the gift had sat upon my hope chest for those months and I'd prayed over and over upon seeing it.

such a tiny little box. (that's a normal size envelope, for size reference)

The nursery was dark, and we pulled two rocking chairs to face each other to sit in. I tried to explain as much as I could to her about who had made them, how she knew about Baby M., that I wanted them to be small because Baby M. was perfect just like she was. Because God had made her perfectly like she was. All 13 oz. of her. How I had planned on having them made before I knew gender, and how when Baby M. was born and went to be with Jesus, how I could not stand NOT to still have them made. They were for Baby M. For A. and J. I told her as much as I could without telling her what they were.

She slid off the ribbon, and opened up the little lid on that silver box. She pulled aside the thin white tissue paper, and lifted out one tiny pink baby bootie. Without even taking out the second one, and before I could see what she thought, she let me know. She leaned forward, and for the second time that day, pulled me into a tight embrace. I was caught off guard, so swiftly she had reached for me. :) There were again ... no words. The silence stretched past our sniffles and tears streaming down our cheeks.
And another teary whispered "thank you" that meant the world.

There in the dark, heads together, heaving sobs of sorrow, she cradled the two pink booties in her hands and told me she had wanted some, but no one had thought of it. And that she had a pink baby hat that matched the yarn color perfectly. I was blown away by the tender sweetness even in that moment of deep mourning.
Our Lord had known and was staying near. The One who cradles Melody in His arms was that day holding us in His as we wept, I am sure of it. How sweet the knowledge of His love.


I told her how much I had ached to be there when she had M., how I couldn't because of other travel, but how I had sobbed and thought of every possible way to get there, but couldn't. And she told me words I'll never forget hearing, in a mother's pride ... "she was so beautiful."

Only 20wks. old, and Baby M. had changed their world. She was, and is, so so loved. She is so missed. She is ached and longed for. She lives with Jesus, who loves her the very best.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dearest A. and J., I love you both so much.
Thank you for welcoming me to walk with you as close friends upon this earth.
This life is so short compared to the sweet eternity we will spend with our Lord Jesus,
I cannot wait to see you hand in hand one day, a family together again, with Baby M.
I rejoice and long and await with prayers the soon coming of Baby A. Your darling little son. I love him.
I hope you do not mind me sharing this very dear memory on my blog ...
From my heart to yours, with love and hugs and tears,
We will one day walk before the Lord in the land of the living,
Remembering the preciousness of your daughter, Melody.
~ Jean Marie ~

~ Psalm 116:1-2, 4-9, 15 ~
" (1)I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. (2)Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

... I found trouble and sorrow.
(4) Then I called upon the name of the Lord; "O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!".
(5) Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.
(6) The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
(7) Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
(8) For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
(9) I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

(15) Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. "

Friday, November 26, 2010

A fulfilling repast -



I hope your Thanksgiving was as sweet, laughter-filled and joyous as ours was yesterday!
How sweet the times when God's children gather together in thanks ....
trusting in Him for all of life and for our very souls,
remembering His faithfulness and grace and mercies over our years,
to the praise of His glorious grace, for the good of our hearts,
for the provision of the saints, and the furthering of His kingdom ...
our HOPE lies in our Precious Lord and King!
With love,
~ Jean Marie ~

P.S. Oh, and here's hoping you had LOTS of smiles, as we did! :D

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 -



"O My God, Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with thee,
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless Thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me
for preserving its strength and vigor,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love Thee above the powers of language to express,
For what Thou art to thy creatures.
Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity."
~ A prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving, from The Valley of Vision ~


God is so very kind and merciful. I am so so thankful! Happy Thanksgiving 2010!
My favorite part of that prayer...
"for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly."

Let us come before His throne with thanksgiving,
"Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity."
~ Jean Marie ~

and looking back on the blog at Thanksgiving 2009 and Thanksgiving 2008. :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sadie & Jean -

Sunset on St. Auggie Beach last night .... a beautiful time. We wanted to put a few pictures up so that the rest of the lovely people over across the big blue wet thing (sea) wouldn't start to panic, as if we were never going to blog about having Sadie Beth here. So here, lovely Magee family, and Rachel F. :) We are loving having her here, and loving taking vast amounts of pictures with our Irish sweetie.

Headed out for another day together!
In the unending and abounding grace of our Father,
we are so so thankful,
~ Jean Marie ~

Photography by: Kimberly. :)


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

25 years of love -

To Daddy and Mommy ...

Happy 25th anniversary to the parents I love so so much. Two of the dearest people in the world to me, ever and ever .... separated maybe only by time someday and together forever with our Lord. How precious to me the knowledge we abide in His love for His glory always.

Happy 25th anniversary to the people who teach Kimberly and I what love, commitment, honor, integrity, serving, unselfishness, and so many other things are displayed in marriage. It's no wonder Kimberly and I want to be Wifey's and Mama's like you, Mama, and that we want husbands like you, Daddy. We love you both so much, and don't always show it well.

We pray for you all continually. Even though I think we rarely tell you. We treasure you as parents, and we work at being good friends. ;) Life is not easy, and God does not always seem kind, but we know that He is working for our good, whether we see it or not.

Here's to the next 25 years, Lord willing, we will walk by your sides, holding your hands, guiding each other by loving our Jesus, and each other! Thank you for your commitment and love and teaching and Godly parenting to Kimberly and I. We know it's hard. :)

You are both so beautiful in our eyes, and we are so thankful for you, Mommy and Daddy!
With love, and prayers for the mercies of God to flow over our next 25 years together,
~ Jean Marie ~


"Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
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: 3 - 5 (NKJV)

Looking back at - the 23 years post and at - the 24 years post. :)

Anew -

So Picnik hasn't been working for the past 3 days. Editing pictures and writing are 2 huge major de-stressers for me, so guess what I've been? .... yes. Stressed. :) Like it will kill me to post some SOOC shots of the gorgeous morning I woke up to this AM.

I need editing. Not God's world. ;)

and yes ... at 7:15am, I did think that was rather profound.

When everything else shatters and all we hold onto seems to be slipping out of our grasp....and memories seem to choke us because we won't be making more of them with those we love ...
God is enough. Christ is always enough. More and all and ever enough.
His love is enough. His grace is enough. His faithfulness is enough. He is enough for us.

... "and when the storms swell and rage, there are mercies anew,
in affliction and pain, You will carry me through, and at the end of my days,
when Your throne fills my view, I will sing of Your mercies anew.
I will sing of Your mercies anew. I will sing of Your mercies anew.

and Your mercies they will never end, for ten thousand years they remain,
and when this world's beauty has passed away, Your mercies will be unchanged."
~ Sovereign Grace Music 2001 ~

Third Day ~ "I trust in Jesus, my Great Deliverer, my Strong Defender, the Son of God!
I trust in Jesus! Blessed Redeemer, my Lord forever, the Holy One! The Holy One!"
With love,
~ Jean Marie ~

Friday, November 19, 2010

Forgotten -

This evening as the sun was setting and the breeze was picking up, I walked outside onto the porch, and walked right back in to put on a jean jacket. My feet stayed bare, because, really. I ran around Colorado in 40 degree weather in jackets and bare feet. My maple tree has finally decided it is fall, and is going to turn colors .... and as I laid down in the thinning grass and dirt and felt the leaves crunch under my jacket and jeans ....

I felt this odd sensation. A sense of sweet reminders and lost memories.

I don't know if I can explain it, if I haven't already tried before, or if you don't know this year that I have walked ... or if you know me at all. To a few of you, it will make perfect sense. Because you are here with me. We are walking the same dusty path, this season. for now.

I ruffled a few leaves around in my hand, the familiar crackling sound appearing, turning the leaves over and looking at them closely. The breeze lifted my hair, and I looked up at the maple above me. That sensation washed over me again. How odd. How welcome ... but odd.


And it didn't make sense, this .... reminder I was feeling. It didn't make sense at all. There is fall every year. There is Autumn every year. I know what it's like. Last year I saw Missouri Autumn and Boston Autumn in all their brilliance. Surely I know what fall is! I'm 22 years old!

.... and yet. Last Autumn was such a blur. The changing leaves were stared at with incomprehension and shuffled into bags when they had turned brown. The falling colors of brilliance were clouded behind a mourning and heavy heart. They were viewed through a veil of tears. Autumn had pointed to Thanksgiving and to Christmas, and none of it made sense.

You can see how it startled me then, when I laid down and pure contentment washed over me, mixed with this sensation. I snapped a few pictures. I looked around at the dusky light and the newly planted trees in our yard, and I blinked. I shifted on the grass and the leaves crunched again. I knew that sound. It rang an alarm on every memory I have of Autumn. It burst upon my mind as I traced the lines in a golden leaf ....

I had forgotten what Autumn was. I had forgotten fall.

Autumn was always my favorite season when I was growing up. It meant vacation and Thanksgiving with my grandparents in Georgia, on their quiet Atlanta street. It meant piles of leaves to dive into, long long walks hand in hand with my parents, feeling the brisk wind around us, walking in the curb gulley to crunch and swish through the fall leaves, it meant turkey and bing cherry salad and relatives. It meant cool weather and forts in the backyard and shopping at the mall with Grandma to get a Pre-Christmas treat, and most of all .... it meant time with the people I loved best.

Since those sweet years, both grandparents have gone to be with the Lord, and Autumn always brings back those precious memories. Now added to that list, are the Thanksgivings spent just 2 years ago, with our precious (2nd grandparents), as Mr. G. is no longer with us. And our dear dog ... Mopsie loved autumn. Thanksgiving will be different. Again. It's not easy to accept.

In all the old pain and the fresh pain comes the longing ... and I had forgotten.

I had forgotten this beauty ... THIS:

ahh, this.

and this.

this.

and this.

the simplicity of this.

the color of this.

the fragile state of this.

looking at this.

capturing this and making memories of this.

And even as it daily breaks my heart that Autumn will never be remembered the same way ever again, that the hardest times of the year will be during the days when the air turns crisp and leaves fall, even as I look around me with amazement that we are still living through all this pain, even as I walk this road towards Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter over and over again until Heaven, even as I daily miss the ones who have been so very dear to me ....

... it is the time for Thanksgiving. It is Autumn. For God has been gracious, and I am thankful.

... and because I don't want to forget THIS again ...

I want to love Autumn as I always have. To remember all the beauty amidst the suffering. What a beautiful beautiful time of year, when God gives us rest and beauty for the long winter ahead, full assurance that even as things change ... and fall ... He is unchanging Father and Savior! He is more beautiful than all this that we see. He holds the past and the present and the future in His hands, and He hath designed it in love, whatever it may be.

He loves us more than we can imagine. He has saved us beyond what we understand. He has blessed us farther than we deserve. He has prepared for us: the House. the Feast. He holds us in His arms and gently bears us, even as we ache to understand .... He knows.

How wondrously beautiful this is!! He is our Autumn and our Christmas and our Easter and the coming Wedding Feast, He is our summer and winter and rain. He is Emmanuel, God with us.

"Ye know not what the Lord is working out of this, but ye shall know it hereafter." ~ Samuel Rutherford

With fond memories of Autumn, and joy ever-after and always in Jesus,
~ Jean Marie ~

I think it is fitting that this post from my heart, written in fondness and sweet memories and joy .... this is the one that happens to be my 300th post on this blog. :)

P.S. EmilyCase and Lauren can be a little proud of me, I shot these all in Manual. :)