Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

I so enjoy hearing from you...so leave me a comment; it'll make my day!

Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Monday, September 30, 2013

Two Heartwarming Stories

I want to tell you two stories. The first is one I read some time ago in "The Power of Intention" by Wayne Dyer. The other story is about someone I know.

There was a man, relates Dyer in his book, who's son was severely disabled and attending a school for children with disabilities. The boy's father attended a school fundraiser, and after praising the school and it's employees, he asked a troubling question...

"Where is perfection in my son Shaya?  Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children can. My child can't remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection in that?"

The audience was shocked and silenced by the man's painful question.  He went on to answer his own question. "I believe that when God brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that he seeks is in the way that people react to this child. He went on to relate this story about his son.

One afternoon Shaya and his father went past a park where neighborhood boys were playing baseball. Shaya asked his father, "Do you think they'll let me play?" Shaya's father knew that the boys probably would not appreciate having his awkward son on their team...but he also knew what it would mean to his son to be able to join in, so he asked the boys if Shaya could play.  Surprisingly, the losing team agreed to allow the boy to play. Even more surprisingly, they allowed him to bat. As he stood awkwardly at home plate, it was clear that he could not hit the ball. The pitcher moved closer and lobbed the ball gently toward him. Shaya still couldn't make contact, so a team-mate stepped up and helped him hold the bat. With help, he managed to hit a dribbler right to the pitcher. "Run, run!" his team members shouted, so off he went. The pitcher slowly scooped up the ball. It would be an easy out. And since the bases were loaded, if Shaya somehow scored, the pitcher's team who now lead the game would lose. Nevertheless, the boy purposely threw the ball far over the first baseman's head. Everyone from both teams cheered and waved him on to second. The throw to second base was somehow 'dropped.' On to third...there were more errors made in Shaya's favor. And finally home. The boys all cheered wildly and lifted him onto their shoulders. Shaya was a hero that day.

With tears in his eyes the father related, "...that day, those boys on that baseball field reached God's level of perfection for them."

Now I will tell you another story.

Last week at school I was monitoring the children having breakfast. I will tell you at this point that our school is a Title 1 school. This means that many of our kids come from families who depend upon free and reduced-price breakfast and lunches. It's nothing short of a Godsend.

I was chatting with a group of children who were happily munching on waffles when I felt a tug on my shirt. "That girl over there is crying," reported the little boy who was tugging at my shirt.

I walked over and put my arm around her. "What's wrong, honey?"

"I can't eat." She broke into huge sobs. Her wailing and tears made it hard to understand what she was saying, and I was trying to figure out why she couldn't eat. Was she sick?

"Katrina", a coworker approached me. "I've got this handled," she said as she steered the girl to a table and handed her a plate of waffles. The crying stopped. The little girl picked up her fork and began eating. She gradually regained her composure and even managed to laugh a bit with her friends.

When I later asked what had happened, Katrina told me that the child's family had been reassigned from 'free breakfasts' status to 'reduced price' breakfasts. But  for some reason they either hadn't known or couldn't afford even the nominal cost of the breakfast, so the girl was told by the cashier that she had no money on her account.  While I'd been talking to the crying child, Katrina was putting money on her account.

 This kind of thing happens every day at my school. Someone shows up with a warm coat for a child who got off the bus all shivery because he doesn't have warm clothing. Another group of folks chip in to help a family get the electricity turned back on when the power has been shut off.  Another person regularly scours book stores on her days off  to find books for students that haven't any at home. And at Christmas, lots of people bring presents for entire families who wouldn't have anything otherwise. I could go on.

There is nothing wonderful about poverty. It is terrible and ugly and debilitating for those who suffer from it.

But the other morning; when my friend Katrina placed a plate of waffles in front of a teary-eyed child and turned her tears into a smile; I think God smiled too.

Every day I'm blessed to watch God's perfection working through the actions of my friends and co-workers.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gluten Withdrawal...Anybody Been There?

Just a short post since my general rule is to keep thinks upbeat. Truth be told, things are less than upbeat in the Rorvig household since I decided to experiment with a non-gluten diet. For awhile I've wondered if wheat gluten was contributing to chronic sinus issues, so 3 days ago I bit the bullet and quit eating wheat. Cold turkey...minus the bread. LOL. 

Yesterday I felt foggy in the head and my body was aching. Today, body aches along with PMS-like mood swings (hubby will attest to the swings), and extreme lethargy. I finally snapped out of the foggy head long enough to wonder if all of this malaise had something to do with the lack of gluten in my system. Bingo! It's all over the web. Apparently wheat is addictive and has low level opiate effects upon the body.

This turn of events is not deterring me from continuing with the gluten-free experiment. On the contrary...I feel even more resolved to see what life without wheat looks and feels like in my body.

So I expect within the next few days to be back to myself and perhaps better. I just thought I'd post this for anyone out there who has had this experience or is considering a gluten-free diet. Prepare yourself...

And if you've been down this road; leave me a comment...please!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Rainy Sunday at Bellewood

It's been a quiet first-day-of-Autumn Sunday here in the Rorvig household. Hubby rose early and took Baron to the woods for a run...Lazy me...I snoozed until 10. Pure luxury!

The rainy, blustery weather here was a reminder that we indeed have turned the page to fall; time for galoshes and knitted sweaters--steamy cups of herbal tea and toast slathered in jam.

When Hubby and Baron returned from the woods I suggested that we drive over to Bellewood Acres for lunch. I had a hankering for one of their turkey and Swiss sandwiches...besides, it seemed such a waste to ruin my leisurely Sunday with any kind of work!

 Bellewood is...well...it's many things. It's an apple farm, a bakery, a market,  a distillery, a place to take the kids to pick out pumpkins from the patch, and the perfect place to slip away on a drizzly day for lunch. I took my camera today because I had a hunch that the colors at Bellewood would be as scrumptious as their apple-cider sugar donuts. I was right about the donuts AND the colors...



You can read more about Bellewood Acres at their website: www.bellewoodfarms.com

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My One True Thing

I was challenged by an article I recently read to find and write about one true thing about myself.
Here you have it...

I didn't grow up in church. The story of my childhood is too long to share in one little blog post, but I will tell with you that looking back on the little girl-who-was-me is painful. We were poor. I was born 'late in life' and felt like the person who arrived at the party when it was just winding down. The fun was over; the cake was all gone and the guests had gone home.  My dad, whom I loved with all of my heart was an alcoholic. He died of emphysema when I was only 14. I was a timid child with monsters under my bed--and even now, some of them still try to scare me.

But I digress. The story is about church...well actually, church ladies. But first I will tell you how I wound up in church.

You see, in the midst of all of the sadness, the fear, and the dysfunction...I had a wonderful, miraculous, mystic, life-altering experience.  It's difficult to describe, but I'll try. Picture a 19-year-old teenage mother, married to a teen-father. She was a high-school drop out who kept making bad decisions and trying to fix them by making even worse decisions. Well, one night, in a raging argument with her young husband, this girl-mother says (because she can't think of anything meaner to say)..."you are a horrible, terrible person! What do you think God thinks of you?" The boy-husband stops, thinks, and answers quietly, "I dunno. What does He think of you?"

At that precise moment, and on the wings of that question; a light came into the room. (Here's where words tend to elude me.) The light was alive. It was warm and permeated our shabby little apartment. And it was radiating--pulsating throughout my body. It felt like a warm ointment being applied from somewhere deep inside of me. It had intelligence. I sensed that it knew everything about me; the good and the bad...but there was only acceptance. I didn't know what to do or how to respond.  I went to bed that night and slept fitfully. I dreamed. There was a hallway with a coat-rack and a red carpet. That's all. The next morning, the light was gone and my world seemed as hopeless as ever.

The following Sunday my husband's friend Bill, invited us to his church. I thought maybe I'd find the answer to 'the Light' there, so agreed to go. We walked through the double doors into this little country church. The foyer was a hallway...with a coat-rack. The carpet was red.

As I entered the sanctuary and settled into a pew I felt it again...The Light. The service was strange to me. The people were singing loudly and raising their hands. Some were speaking in foreign languages. The preacher spoke about Elijah. I understood nothing of what he said and was sure that they were all quite mad and  I seriously considered running away. But I could not move. I sat frozen in place, utterly captivated by this invisible force...this Light. After the benediction, the preacher approached me. I was terrified, but he was a kindly looking older man. He asked if he could pray with me. I nodded, unable to speak. He softly placed his hand on my shoulder. The Light ran through my body like a wave of electricity. Then tears. Grief. Hurt. Fear. Shame. Hopelessness. It all came tumbling out. And after the final tear was shed...Peace. And I knew that this Light was not a thing, but a person with a name. Jesus.

So began my relationship with Jesus, and with the church.

As a new convert, I loved going to church. I just loved everything about it. Almost everything. It was just that I couldn't relate so well to the ladies. They were just.too.perfect. And I was just.too.flawed.

I remember sitting up in the front row and carefully studying the pianist/youth pastor's wife. Her face was like plastic. Smile painted firmly onto her face. Eyes expressionless. Playing every note perfectly. When it came time for testimonies she would carefully stand, straightening her perfectly-pressed A-line skirt, ever-smiling; and express her profound thanks to God for her perfect husband and 2 perfect children (one boy, one girl...of course), and for all of the perfect blessings in her perfect life.  Well, maybe she didn't say it exactly like that...but the message was clear to me.

As a child I used to visit Grandma Cline's house. It was boring because Grandma kept everything spotless and I was expected to sit quietly...don't mess anything up. So while Dad visited with Grandma, I would curl up on the sofa with a National Geographic. When I tired of reading I would sit and stare at the doll. Sometimes for hours. She was an exquisite geisha doll; given to grandma by her soldier-grandson after he returned from duty in Korea. I couldn't actually play with the doll because she was locked safely inside of a glass case which sat next to the sofa in the sitting room.  She wore an ornate black kimono embroidered in red and gold. Her almond eyes looked demurely down at me over a prettily painted fan. Her lips turned up just slightly at the corner...just the suggestion of a smile. But one could never tell. I longed to hold that doll. To run my hands over that silk kimono. To remove the fan from her hands so that I could look deeply into her eyes. But it was never to be. As Grandma always said, "That doll is just 'for looks."

I hope you won't think me mean when I say that sometimes I feel that we church ladies and geisha dolls are alike. Just for looks. Perfect but untouchable.

But the truth about me is this. I'm so not perfect. After that marvelous encounter with 'the Light' I've had many wonderful days, but believe me, I've had my low points. I got divorced. Nearly sacrificed my family for a career. Had children that went through really difficult times and I could should have done a better job of helping them. I'm often overly-sensitive and hold grudges more often than I'd like to admit. I could go on.

One might ask, "If you're not perfect, what is so different about your life since that mystic experience?"

 Many things. But the main thing is this...I am not in this world alone. That Light, Jesus, is with me every moment. And that makes all the difference.

So, the one true thing about me is that I am very imperfect, I don't live in a glass box...but I do have this amazing Light...




Saturday, September 14, 2013

Considering lilies...

I've been much in thought about Luke 12. Where Jesus told us to 'consider the lilies.' Oh it is so like Jesus to use something as simple and lovely as flowers to convey his thoughts to us...

"Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?"

 29-32 “What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself."
I'm listening, Lord. And I'm considering the lilies...
Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Good Dog

Baron; keeping watch.
Posted by Picasa
When the Man waked up he said,
"What is Wild Dog doing here?"
And the Woman said,
"His name is not Wild Dog any more,
but the First Friend,
because he will be our friend
for always and always and always."
Rudyard Kipling

Have we met?
 I'm Baron, walking companion, ball chaser extraordinaire, licker of faces, chaser of squirrels, and world class dog paddler!
 My nose is soft as velvet, my heart even softer.

Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them,
Filling an emptiness we don't even know we have.
Thom Jones

Hmmm, I wonder if she's ever gonna take me for a walk...

Because really, you would think that she would remember how much I love to go for walks. Oh mamma, you haven't forgotten the walk have you?

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring—it was peace.
Milan Kundera

Walk? Did you say WALK? Because I think I clearly heard you say WALK!

Nothing but love has made the dog lose his wild freedom, to become the servant of man.
D.H. Lawrence

Hooray! I KNEW you said walk! Of course I'll go for a walk with you!
Now let me see... don't forget my tennis ball, the squished one with the squeaker in it
...and the treats--we'll need at least 3 treats
...and maybe a poop bag or two; cause ya just never know...

 Hey Posie-cat, guess what? We're going for a WALK! Can you believe it?
I am the luckiest dog on earth!
My Baron.
Love this guy!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

From My Journal...To be blessed...we MUST bless others

I've been a little under the weather this week, but pulling through just fine...still I decided to give you another little peek into my personal journal.

Dated 5/19/10

This morning I asked the Lord, "Where am I falling short? Why don't I see a greater manifestation of your blessing in my life?"

His answer, "It's your speech. Your constant criticism of others is actually tainting your own spirit and health."

So I checked the Bible to see if there was evidence that this could be true.

James 3:8-12 says:
"...the tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessings and cursings. My brethren, these things ought not to be. Doth a fountain bring forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries; either a vine, figs? So can no fountain yield both salt water and fresh."

It is clear to me from this passage that when I try to intermingle negative speech with kind...the whole is tainted. Jesus said to make the tree good, and it's fruit good, and to let our yea be yea.

If one believes as I do, in the law of sowing and reaping, it stands to reason that sowing bitter words about another will reap a bitter harvest.

Once I saw this, I COULDN'T WAIT TO START BLESSING THOSE WHO IRRITATE AND ANNOY ME! I began immediately to begin speaking blessing upon those individuals and in doing so, I felt an immediate sense of spiritual cleansing. Fresh clear water was now flowing instead of bitter, brackish, poisoned scum. And they weren't nearly as annoying as I once thought.

I Peter 3: 8-10 says, "Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. Not rendering evil for evil or railing for railing, but Contrariwise Blessing...knowing that you are thereunto called that you should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile..."

So my inheritance and blessing is directly connected to my speech toward others! As I pondered this, the reason became evident...God has great plans for others; not just me. He wants to give them a hope and a future; and He wants me to speak these blessings over them; instead of selfishly just praying for myself all of the time. And when you think about it; how else could true love and ministry ever be?

Note from today...I'd almost forgotten that term, Contrariwise Blessing--don't you love it? I know a lot of people who are so obstinate that they insist on speaking contrary to what others say. You know the type...you say up, they say down? But contrariwise blessing is lovely. It's insisting on speaking good, kind things in the face of, well, let's just say, in the face of people who insist on negativity.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Weekend with My "American Girl"...Happy Birthday Ana!

This weekend we had a lovely time celebrating my grand-daughter Ana's 10th birthday. Just an intimate little party with her mom, dad, brother, hubby and me...and the dogs of course. Ana is such a special little girl, quiet, precocious, and mature beyond her 10 years. We spent the evening eating chocolate cake, playing 'go fish', and looking at American Girls dolls on line.
I'm just so grateful for every precious hour I get to spend with my grandchildren.
 birthday cake and celebration at grandma's.
“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”
Gordon B. Hinckley


Monday, September 2, 2013

Dressing My Truth

According to the Dressing Your Truth philosophy, there are four main types...

Type 1 is bright and bubbly, effervescent and energetic; often labeled as shallow or silly
Type 2 is quiet and introspective, muted and calm; often labeled as shy
Type 3 is powerful, edgy, take charge; often labeled as bossy
Type 4 is dramatic, quiet reflective strength; often labeled as individualistic and opinionated

I'm predominantly type 2, with shades of type 4.

The main premise behind the philosophy is that the fashion industry has dictated to women what we should wear based on marketing rather than women dictating to the industry what we want to wear based upon who we really are inside and outside. So for instance, the bright, bubbly person feels compelled to wear black, even though she is naturally drawn to happy, energetic colors...and she feels like a fraud. The quiet type 2 person buys bold geometric patterns because they're in style, then feels like a clown. The type 3 might buy a soft moss colored sweater, and then feel tired and worn out when she wears it.

Based on this information, I'm doing a little experimenting with my wardrobe. Shopping with a purpose. My colors will be quiet, muted, soft. My fabrics will be soft and flow. And the shapes should be 's'-like, rather than geometrics or stripes. Which would explain why even as a little girl, the first time I ever saw a paisley print; I was enthralled by the fanciful swirls and twists. I used to run my fingers along the swirls, and try to draw pretty paisleys with my crayons. I still love paisley.

It's just disappointing that my hair color mishap has rendered my hair a definite type 4. So until the dark color washes out, I'll be sure to keep it soft and curly.

Here are some of my recent DYT choices...

Soft dusty pink sweater with an attached silk camisole that hangs beneath the sweater.
Pinky mauve pearl earrings with rosey crystal glass. I'll wear it with faded blue jeans or leggings.

Love these shoes. The colors are type 2, but the pattern is probably more type 3. But I love that ethnic design. I was looking for a faded pink or brown t-shirt to go with them. However,  the mall stores seem to think I should want bright orange or green t-shirts. So I bought the scarf and will wear it with a solid white or  blue chambray blouse.  DYT advises type 2's not to wear white blouses, but I love, love, love them. I'll just soften them with a pretty scarf, jacket, or jewelry.

I chose this blouse for the mossy greens and the flowing pattern. Plus the sweet little tie around the hips. I look better when a garment cinches below the waist, or in empire styles rather than belted or tied at the waist. Later, I'll find some light gray jeans to pair up with this...but for now I'll stick with my faded blues. I don't care who you are...faded blue jeans are a must.
If you are interested in Dressing Your Truth, here's the link.
 When you sign up you will receive several very fun and informative free tutorials via e-mail before the inevitable pitch to sign up for the in-depth program for a fee. I haven't signed up for the program, but I do think it might be fun. And no, I'm not receiving any financial remuneration for this post. I just find it entertaining and the profiles seem pretty accurate.
Check it out, and let me know what type you think you are!


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