Saturday, January 30, 2010

The new kingdom -

I have always loved the Chronicles of Narnia,
I have them quite nearly memorized. When I open one,
it's like greeting an old friend whom you haven't seen in a while,
but after you've hugged and kissed their cheek,
you fall into conversation, and pick up right where you left off,
and it's as if you never left at all.

They are treasured and worn volumes of joy and words. :)
Can you tell I love books? I so do. I am a voracious reader.

I've been thinking of Heaven a lot this afternoon,
and remembered one of my favorite descriptions is in
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. You may be ahead of me already,
and quoting me left and right...yes, I know you. :) But I want to write
a little bit out, and remind you of the preciousness of childlike hope
where the Lamb is the light, and the streets shine as gold. :)

Come with me....into Narnia for a time. Further up, and further in!
(pictures taken at St. A's during last week's conference, &
excerpts are from The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis)


~ pg. 213 - "It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried: "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, and further in!". "
A Narnian lantern. :)

pg. 222 - Entering Aslan's kingdom:
"But by now the Mouse was again urging them to come in. So all of them passed in through the golden gates, into the delicious smell that blew toward them out of that garden and into the cool mixture of sunlight and shadow under the trees, walking on springy turf that was all dotted with white flowers. The very first thing which struck everyone was that the place was far larger than it had seemed from outside. But no one had time to think about that for people were coming up to meet the newcomers from every direction."
pg. 227 - "Then Aslan turned to them and said: "You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be." Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often.". "No fear of that,", said Aslan. "Have you not guessed?" Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them.

pg. 228 - "There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are - as you used to call it in the Shadowlands - dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning."

"And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before. " ~

I can never read through the last part there, when Aslan
tells them that they are there forever ... without crying.
It is such a beautiful, hope-filled, joyous description of the
longing that we have to be HOME, and with the Lord fully.
What JOY those have that are with Him now!! :)

"When we shall come home and enter to the possession of our Brother's fair kingdom, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and when we shall look back to pains and sufferings; then shall we see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory; and that our little inch of time - suffering is not worthy of our first night's welcome home to heaven." ~ Samuel Rutherford

"And he showed me a pure river of water of life,
clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river,
was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits,
each tree yielding its fruit every month.
The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
And there shall be no more curse,
but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it,
and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face,
and His name shall be on their foreheads.
There shall be no night there:
They need no lamp nor light of the sun,
for the Lord God gives them light.
And they shall reign forever and ever."
~ Revelations 22: 1-5 ~

We shall see Him, and His name shall be upon our foreheads,
and those who are laid up in Christ's treasury are not lost to us,
but are merely gone before, and He walks with them all the day long.

I'm going to bed tonight ...
dreaming of the One Who makes
HEAVEN ... so beautiful.
~ Jean Marie ~
Isaiah 61

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'll be seeing YOU -

Just wanted to share what I am feeling and
thinking of tonight, as I looked at the gorgeous moon,
and the clouds that drifted over it ...
I had Heaven on my mind.

I love you, friends.

In Jesus, Who knows all of me,
Who still loves me and always will,
~ Jean Marie ~
Isaiah 61

"I'll find you in the morning sun,
and when the night is new, I'll be looking at the moon,
but I'll be seeing YOU -
... YOU, YOU...all,
who I so dearly miss that looks every day at
Heaven's glories and the face of Jesus ....
you don't know how much I miss you.
Love, Jean Marie
... you "just have heaven before we do".

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I:Heart:Faces texture!! -

This week over at I:heart:faces, they are having a textures challenge!
I was very, very challenged. HAha. :) I do not take pictures of
texture AND faces combined, so finding one was hard.

And yet, there it was. And I fell in love.
... and almost started crying.
Because even though it's a capture of
a best friend playing with some lace,
I can't help but think of a wedding day, that I'm praying for
in God's perfect timing, and what a gorgeous piece of lace
that will appear, as it is draped over her beautiful face.
(don't tell me you aren't crying yet too!) :)

I did not add any texture to it, but edited it to my happiness.
Hope ya'll love it like I do.

... Anna ~ I LOVE YOU!!!

In our Lord Jesus,
~ Jean Marie ~

Check out the other entries by clicking on the button! :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

A tender plant -

Yesterday I had fun editing a few pictures however struck me at that moment, and I love how this one turned out. I sat there, after uploading it onto FB, and was thinking up a witty caption, and I noticed it was (almost) all alone. Small. VERY thin. I could have easily snapped it, or crushed it underfoot ... and Isaiah 53 came to mind. At the seminar, Isaiah 53 was mentioned and used quite a lot in one of the sermons, because it was on Christ and His suffering for us.

"For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground. He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. And we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not."~ Isaiah 53: 2-3 ~ (NKJV)

Just some Sunday afternoon reflections. :) May God be with you all this coming week! I'm praying for you ... my blog readers.

Thankful for the Man of sorrows,
and knowing He is not surprised by grief,
or by what I pray, even ....
~ Jean Marie

Saturday, January 23, 2010

2010 Winter Conference -

Hey, ya'll!

Well, yesterday and today, my family and I were privileged to a special treat in the Ligonier Academy 2010 Winter Conference. This was their first, and it was a stunner. When we got the flier in the mail about it, I waved it in the air, and told my Mom - "I really, really want to go to this. If I have to pay my way and go alone, I will. I just want to go.", because the topic was: "Suffering and the Sovereignty of God", the speakers were Derek Thomas and RC Sproul, and cue the introduction for the last 4 months of my life.

It was well worth all the anticipation and expectations.

It was a small conference, compared to the national conference that Ligonier holds every year, and it was at St. Andrew's Chapel in Sanford. Last night was a Question and Answer Session, where we were invited to write down questions, and they would answer some - we always look forward to these sessions, as great insight and much laughter is always shared. :) Then today were four sermons, two by Derek Thomas and two by RC Sproul, with breaks in between, as well as one more Q & A session. (by the way, both Q & A sessions included much laughter and jokes on football, due to RC's love for that, and Derek's complete lack of it. :D )

LONG breaks. :) We were not accustomed to such breaks, but we thoroughly enjoyed the long walks around the pond and the church and campus grounds, as it was a lovely day! The Lord blessed us with a cool breeze, a warm sun, and happy waterfowl. :) Ducks, swimming in circles, to be exact. :)

Everyone relaxed outside on the grounds during the breaks, because it was such a beautiful day, and do you see the happy ducks? :D

Ligonier has mentioned that the audio and video will hopefully be up on their site in a few weeks, and when it is up, I will blog it - I highly encourage you to read and watch it!! Until then, I hope to blog some of my 10 pages of notes . And that was just in 1 day and 1 night! :)

Included for this post are a few pictures that I enjoyed taking today, with some quotes from the seminar. Oh! ... if you have not seen the new building of St. Andrews, may I say that it is so very very beautiful, amazing, cathedral-like, reverent and um. HUGE. It's like a castle. I love it. :)

Q: "What is the biggest opportunity for the 21st century church in the future?"
A: Preaching the PURE GOSPEL and being prepared to suffer.

"The REAL moral dilemma is not the belief that the devil is in charge, but the belief that GOD is NOT in control. God was at the very heart of Job's suffering, and all our suffering, because He, alone, ordains what comes to pass."

"Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief."
"Jesus, Himself, will see all the riches and fruits of His travail for redemption."
"The promise - the joy of the suffering. Being satisfied and finding joy amidst pain and suffering is knowing that any labor in work is not in vain, that our joy is in our Savior, and in the hope for our HOME.

I hope to blog more on this seminar, but that's all for tonight! It's been a wonderful day, but a long one, and my body is aching for a rest! :) May you have a blessed Lord's day, and as RC said today - "I RELISH and REJOICE every time I come to worship here (church), knowing we are THIS close to Heaven and the real thing...that church is a small taste of what Heaven is, and that one day we will see it and live it, and we will see Christ in ALL the fullness of His glory." AMEN! :D

Much, much love to all my blog readers,
thankfulness to the Most High God,
Who WILL wipe away every tear, one day,
~ Jean Marie
Isaiah 53

I'm sorry. I can't help it.
Please don't ask me why my Mother is avoiding looking directly at the camera, but is instead focused on some point over my right shoulder, because I don't know, but please instead notice how downright mischievous and adorable my Father looks. (don't worry, he actually takes "adorable" as a compliment, having only girls in the house. :) Mom looks awesome too, but avoiding the camera is a little .... odd. :D Hee hee! I love my family!
Thanks for readin', ya'll be family, now! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How now, brown cow? Take 2 -

"How now, brown cow?
Hear you, me, now I plea ...
Do you have some sweet milk to share with me?

It's not hard to see, that my ordering from thee
is not of grain and barley, for thy 4 stomachs,
but of a give and take for the famished family of me.

It's not greedy or presumptuous, because I
have a need - for some warm, frothy goodness that
thee doth provide, since God so ordained it ... and
HEY! Get your hairy hide away from MINE FOOTSTOOL!

The cow doth render services unlovingly,
so I leave her to her mooning and lowing,
and set off to glean the sweet smelling harvest,
from the nearby grove of orange trees ....

How now, brown cow?
Never you mind, someday you'll figure out -
You ain't ALL the bee's knees." :D


Yes, I know, it was short and silly.
However, you have no idea how hard it is
to find fun poems on brown cows, so I decided
to write my own, with a somewhat old twist to it. :)
I hope you enjoyed a moment of frivolity.

I love you all,
in my Savior do I rest,
~ Jean Marie ~

(pictures totally unstaged, except for the last one)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Old-fashioned Sisters -

So, Saturday... Kimberly and I did a photoshoot together.
It was Epic. Except for the fact that it was cloudy and getting dark.
Except for that ... and that we had to readjust settings every 15 shots
on my camera, ah, yes, and the skeeters....except for ALL that ...
we had a marvelous time. :D Truly did.

This was Kimberly's Christmas present to me -
a photoshoot together, and although the day proved not the best
picture-wise, we got some GOOD ones, and editing helps. :)
We dressed up in our matching skirts, and some ivory blouses,
I pinned on a piece of my Grandmother's jewelry, and
we wrapped two of her scarves around for belts.
Sort of ... 1920 belts, that is. :D 1920's Western?

She is gorgeous, and I laugh a lot, so I think these turned out GREAT!
HAHahhahaha!!! Thank you for the gift, dear! And the fun. :D

Well, now, brown cow!!! :D .... I'm not really mad. haha.

Darling girl. Wispy curls.

Picnic time! :D LOVE this one. We really are SO thoughtful.

... and full of smiles. :D

Sisters, sisters - two girls, different dreams, same love for Christ.

SEE? Why is it fair she is soo tiny and lovely! haha. :D

My favorite. Sweet simplicity.

Wintertime. Tromping the grounds near Mims,
I say, do we not look similar to some March sisters,
or some Austen ladies? :) ... I love that tree.


Kimberly and Jean Marie -

"A sister shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams."
~ Unknown ~

Love you, dear sister of mine. Thanks for the photoshoot.
Hugs and kisses .... and lots of grown-up dreams,
~ Jean Marie ~
Psalm 103

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Perfect peace -

Hey, ya'll ....
I want to share this song with you that I've been
listening to quite a lot lately.
So many of my friends are going through pain right now -
things I can't share, and maybe don't want to.
When my heart becomes heavy,
and the tears threaten to fall,
sometimes I just let them fall, listen to this song,
and remind myself of the Lord Who cradles me,
even as I weep.

For those of you who have shared with me,
parts of your life, things of hurt, grief, fear, pain, loss -
thank you. I am praying for you every day.

If you'd like to take a listen to the song,
the link is HERE.

It is called "Perfect Peace" by Laura Story. :)

"Stay close by My side, keep your eyes on Me,
though this life is hard, I will give you perfect peace.

In this time of trial, pain that no one sees,
trust Me when I say, I will give you perfect peace,

and you'll never walk alone, and you'll never be in need,
though I may not calm the storms around you,
you can hide in Me.

Burdens that you bear, offer no relief,
let Me bear your load, 'cause I will give you perfect peace.

Stay close by My side, and you'll never walk alone.
Keep your eyes on Me, and you'll never be in need,
though this life is hard, know that I will
always give you - perfect peace.

.... I will give you - perfect peace."
~ Laura Story ~

Life IS hard, but HE will give us perfect rest,
because HE is a good and holy and perfect God.

So lay down your burdens ...
and know that HE, the Perfect Prince of Peace,
will give peace - to US.
~ Jean Marie ~
Isaiah 61

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reason cannot comprehend -

Hey, ya'll,
As I've been thinking about Haiti, and reading through
all the reports and blogs and articles, and
listening to the sobs of the people in the audio clips,
and looking at all the new pictures streaming in,
I thought again of the importance of praying for
the deepest and most desperate need the Haitians have -
it's JESUS, and the HOPE that lies in salvation in Him.
Let us continue to pray with our hearts and minds set
on the highest goal we have - the gift Christ and eternal life ...
for those who lie dying, even now.

I want to share this hymn that I have come to love -
I was flipping through our hymnal tonight,
trying to find this hymn line that has been stuck in my head
for no apparent and indeterminable reason,
(I've been waiting for a good time, and I have now used
"indeterminable" in a post - YAY!!)
about "treading this dusty earth" ....
am I going crazy or is there a hymn with those words?
I crossed over this hymn, and thought it perfect
as a reminder on how to pray for Haiti, as well as
a perfect reminder for my anxiety-prone and
50% grief-filled little heart.
(As if there is such a thing as a percentage of grief - HAH!)

"By Grace I am an Heir of Heaven"
by Christian L. Scheidt (1742).

1. "By grace I am an heir of heaven:
why doubt this, O my trembling heart?
If what the Scriptures promise clearly is true
and firm in every part, this also must be truth divine:
by grace a crown of life is mine.

2. By grace alone shall I inherit that blissful home
beyond the skies. Works count for naught,
the Lord incarnate has won for me the heaven'ly prize.
Salvation by his death He wrought,
his grace alone my pardon bought.
3. By grace! These precious words remember
when sorely by your sins oppressed, when Satan comes
to vex your spirit, when troubled conscience sighs for rest;
what reason cannot comprehend,
God does to you by grace extend.

4. By grace! Be this in death my comfort;
despite my fears, 'tis well with me.
I know my sin in all its greatness,
but also HIM who sets me free.
My heart to naught but joy gives place since I am
saved by grace, by grace."

"That, having been justified by His grace,
we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."
~ Titus 3:7 NKJV ~

These precious words remember,
with love to you all,
~ Jean Marie ~

"Reason cannot comprehend ... save the thought of LOVE ...
the depth of all we owe to the Giver of Grace."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti -

Haiti - the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, was struck by a 7.0 earthquake late Tuesday afternoon, displacing thousands and killing thousands, the largest earthquake to hit in 200 years.

There are doctors and nurses making sidewalk clinics to help those who cannot make it to the hospitals, because of the mass amounts of injured...the people report of hearing people crying for help under the rubble, and the amount of devastation is overwhelming. Overwhelming, I say.

Daddy reminded me last night to pray for Haiti, for their people are in heavy suffering right now, and as I looked at the horrific and hurting pictures today, I was driven to urge you to PRAY for our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ there, and for all those who are lost, and need a Savior. Let us pray changed hearts and brokenness that results in trusting in Jesus Christ ... from their ashes of dusty houses and shattered world, may the beauty rise out of the HOPE in our Lord.

John Piper wrote a poem on Haiti just today, you can find it here.

Amazing. That Priest, our Lord, desires in His people whom He has blessed - mercy and generosity. Open hearts and open eyes ... don't close your eyes to the suffering that He sees, to the hurt in their eyes, it is painful, I know!, to see it, but they are the ones in need.

Here are some links to dependable charities, on the Desiring God website -

and HERE are some pictures at the Boston Globe Big Picture website, of the earthquake's trauma. ** Viewer discretion advised by me, please, I'd say, if you are 16 and younger, please do not scroll through these without a parent either: viewing them first, or looking through them with you, as there is some disturbing content ** (I would also not advise reading through the comments at the end, as usually they are arguments over peace and war. :) )

"Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; (9)not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing....

(12) For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil....

(17) For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil." ~ 1 Peter 3: 8-9, 12, & 17 (NKJV) ~

I urge you to pray .... for those the Lord loves, in Haiti.
Thank you for reading,
In our Lord Who is our HOPE, always,
~ Jean Marie

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I:Heart:Faces Birthday! -

My entry this week for the I :heart: faces birthday -
Happy Birthday, ya'll!!

Pretty much one of my favorite pictures in a while,
taken Dec. 26th, 2009! How much better does it get
than sitting out in the cold, in boots and your grandfather's
old cap from the 50's, fingerless crocheted gloves,
a snuggly scarf, and cars driving by singing Christmas carols,
while you snap pictures. :D Can't beat it for me.

Have fun looking at some other amazing photography
by clicking on the logo below!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Miss. Renee' Joy -

Dear Renee' Joy -
Happy 13th birthday, darling!!
I can't believe you are 13...WOW! :D
I hope you had such a fun day yesterday,
I would've put this up then, but I don't post on Sundays,
and ... it wasn't ready. haha. :D

I can't believe how many birthdays
we've had in a row here on the blog!
Kind of like the amount of weddings in a row. :D
All these pictures are from wedding trips!

Renee Joy, it's been a delight to see you
grow up into a young lady, sweet and graceful,
tender, loving, generous, and obedient to God.
I thank God for the time that He has allowed
for us to spend together, on trips and at our houses.
You are a special girl, and I love you so much!!

I hope you enjoy scrolling down through some
sweet and hilarious memories! :D
(these are all from weddings in '09 in MO!)

Audra's wedding. March '09. MO - LOVE!

Sweet girl friends, Abby C., and Renee' Joy.

Mama and daughter. Mrs. L., Renee' Joy,
and Stephen in the yonder background. :)

Sister, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters! :D
Jessica and Renee' Joy.

HAHahaha Haaha! Did I mention she is hilarious!
I love how my friends make me laugh!! :D

Beth Ten Dolle wedding April '09, MO.
Sweet friends - Gloria B., and Renee' Joy.
(I think it's kind of wrong that they are this adorable
and lovely at this age...I mean, I wasnt!haha!)

Dear girl.

We were exploring a very deep mine shaft.
We weren't. We were on a playground,
and were descending into a tunnel, but that's what
I SAID we were doing. Which is why she's laughing at me.

Renee' Joy with "one of my dearest friends EVER",
Lydia S. :) Yes, that
is a direct quote. :)
Ice skating after Rebecca Loomis' wedding, Nov. '09, MO.

Happy 13th birthday, Renee Joy, and
may God continue to grow you into a woman
who finds her ultimate joy and worth in Jesus Christ!

With love and hugs,
~ Jean Marie ~
Psalm 103