Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday Thanks Tank #217





I decided to name this blog what I did, because I wanted it to be as much a philosophy or way of life as the weekly feature of Thursday Thanks Tank became when I started doing it on a long ago Thursday back in 2006.

Beauty runs through my very being and is etched in everything I see -- the created reflecting the image of the Creator.

I took an impromptu side trip Tuesday, and it has given me the images with which to illustrate this week's offering of how God is filling my tank. God chose to allow me a few hours this week to remember, to reflect, and to appreciate a place I called home for almost six years.

Though I know I am not called to live there, I cannot deny the impact that little town made on my heart and the hearts of my children. We checked in at some of our favorite haunts (see what I did there in homage to tomorrow's holiday?!) We took the shots below. We reminisced. We cried. We laughed uproariously and stood amazed at how some things had changed so much and others changed so little in our absence. We ate great Mexican food and had a progressive dessert at a couple places we'd always loved. Then we headed back to Knoxville. We were tired, but we were grateful. Grateful for the memories. Grateful for the places. Grateful for each other.







So, what is God doing to fill your thanks tank this week? What beauty have you just been unable to avoid noticing? Comment here and let me know! I would love to share in those stories with you.

On His Adventure~
Pam

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Humble Beauty




I am such a sucker for flowers. I am that mom. You know the one. I would go to great lengths to pull over the car when my kids were small so we could pick wildflower bouquets. I used my best MIKASA crystal vase to ensconce dandelions or other assorted items others would probably dub weeds. But what are weeds anyway? 

Ralph Waldo Emerson describes them this way:

"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered." 

I do try to appreciate beauty in what others may overlook. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I do love a bunch of matching flowers in a special vase (sounds like paws) as much as the next gal, but something in this little heart of mine goes pitter patter when a messy handful of wild blooms gets thrust my way. Fewer of these make it into my house now that my kids are all teenagers, but my response is still the same for the spontaneous gesture of flowers. I love them! Not once does it cross my mind that the value of these wildflowers is any less than those of the store bought sort. 

God created each of us with different talents, different gifting, and obviously with very different exteriors. I don't want to get caught in the trap of what people look like or putting value on the book's cover alone.

I spent many years worrying about what people thought of me and focusing on my exterior alone as the measuring stick for my significance and worth. God has had a huge project in me.  Yet He chose to transform me. He was ruthless in some ways and gentle in others. This has been far from a pain free process, I can assure you. 

However, the One Who knows me best and loves me most has not taken one break since I chose to follow His plan for my life back in 1980. Now that doesn't mean I haven't tried to climb off the potter's wheel when He sculpts, shapes and molds me to look more like what He created me for all those years ago. 

I still have days ( as recently as today) when I just want the refining process to be easier. I want the struggle to be simpler. I want to feel beautiful in spite of the chipping away that sometimes leaves me with visible scars and an altered image that can appear somewhat shocking to those who have gotten used to it. 

At any rate, I think I have an affinity for those "weeds" because I so identify with their dubious worth to the untrained eye. I am so grateful I am instead seen by the Creator whose eye continuously zeros in on my value, my worth, and my potential because He sees and knows the purpose for which He made me. 

I think I will go take one more whiff of that lovely red flower floating in a bowl on my counter before I head off to bed. My 14-year-old son still sees how happy those humble gifts make this mama. I hope he never forgets. (Makes me melt). Head on over here for more great writing.

On His Adventure~

Pam 











Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday Thanks Tank #216


Every week (ideally) I take a little bit of time to intentionally be grateful for the way God is choosing to fill my "thanks tank". I find this simple exercise makes a profund difference in my perspective, regardless of my circumstances. So, here's this week's list:

1. Clever ideas. I am a sucker for people thinking outside the box, and I never cease to be amazed by the cleverness of folks who do so. Here's one I need to employ for my 14-year-old son. (Not really)

2. Wassail. Yes, I know it isn't the Yuletide season yet, but I had a hankering for that delectable beverage a little early. Everyone decided we must buy different spices next time and put them in a muslin bag, but for a spontaneous wassail party -- the final result was delicious. 

3. Goblets. I know they seem kind of mundane to be mentioned, but these
Dollar Tree beauties make every day at my house just a little more special. Plus, I have discovered over my almost 19 years of mothering that the likelihood of breakage in your glassware is in direct proportion to your monetary investment. Hence the fact that all eight of my $1.00 glasses are still intact while the heirlooms I have received over the years have met shattering results on tile floors over and over.

4. Brownies. Oh my word! My Sophie is quite the cook, and she has mastered the art of tweaking recipes and doctoring mixes until what she offers up as finished product is so decadent and so delicious that I find myself nearly swooning in satisfaction. She took this mix from Aldi, added a cream cheese layer and topped the whole thing with semisweet chocolate chips. One word. DIVINE. I may never be the same. She definitely has chef capabilities. Makes me think of this movie.

5.  Art. It's therapeutic. It is cathartic. It brings me joy. I make time for it because it revives me and makes all the boring stuff I have to do each day go a little faster. Inside my little self beats the heart of an artist, and I find staying true to myself refreshing. 

6. Unexpected gifts. My son brought me a flower yesterday. He picked it from our front yard without prompting. That is huge when you are 14. So now the lovely red rose is floating in a bowl. A constant reminder of unprompted thoughtfulness. 

7. Smiling and Waving. Still taking time to spontaneously smile and wave. My favorite from this week came as I waved to the TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) worker on a Bobcat and though he was clueless, the guy on the other side of the street began vigorously waving in response. We both received a happy. Made it totally worth it. Next time, guy on the Bobcat . . . Just wave. You don't know me, but waving is never a bad thing. Hee, hee!

This is far from a complete list, but I have already found my gaze turned upward rather than inward as a result. Try it! If you do, please comment here or link to your own blog post so I can be encouraged as well. Check out more great writing over here.

On His Adventure~

Pam 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beauty Through Tears

I can distinctly remember the first words I said to my firstborn child. I have watched them a number of times on a less than stellar home video now almost 19 years old. I didn't greet her by name. I didn't say some welcome message I'd practiced beforehand. I didn't sing a song.

I looked down into that face I didn't recognize but knew would forever change my life and said, "It's ok. You can cry. Go ahead and cry. It's ok, darlin'."

Now before I wax eloquent on any inner meanings of these words, I think I was just telling Olivia I wanted her to be sure to cry loud and proud for the sheer health of it in being a newborn and exercising her lungs and all. I did read lots of books while awaiting her arrival after all! Didn't want that mountain of information to go to waste.

Yet what I can't help but see in those first words to my oldest was an assurance her tears were ok. Crying was not something to be held back -- though the idea of a newborn holding back tears is essentially preposterous.

Unlike the classic newborn, I have spent many years holding back tears. I have found the idea of having a good cry to be a great one in theory. Unfortunately the practice of unleashing tears is far less simple.

Seems to me that tears are often treated as more of a joke than a cleansing emotion. We often tease about the "ugly cry"and faux mock those who have one in order to maintain our own sense of "holding it together" or "saving face" to some extent.

I'm definitely in that camp more often than not. Frequently, I have shrugged off the need for a cry by flippantly declaring "If I start crying, I don't know how I would ever stop." Some days I do wonder what I would do if I completely let go and cried over all I have experienced in my journey.

I guess that's why the verse above reached out and grabbed me today when I was contemplating an aspect of beauty I wanted to overlook. I didn't want to talk about my tears. I didn't want to think about how my ability to leave a trail of beauty isn't marred but rather shaped and texturized by the tears I have shed.

Tears hold no shame. Crying offers release and relief. Most importantly, from my tiny little view of the world, God is alert to my tears and each of the reasons for them. He doesn't miss a one of them and collects them in a "bottle". My tears have meaning and purpose. God finds me beautiful in the midst of them and tenderly cares for me while I cry. My God cares so much for me that His word can completely diffuse those thoughts I shared about never being able to stop crying once I start:

"For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning."
 
Psalm 30:5 (NIV)

If that one doesn't make a difference or ease my anxiety, certainly this one packs a punch of its own:
 

"God will take away all their tears. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All the old things have passed away.” 
Revelation 21:4

The tears will stop. He promises it. I can cry knowing it will not last forever.

So when I came here today, I didn't necessarily intend share about what I consider a vulnerable place full of tears, but instead God confirmed that beauty can indeed be found there. Not only can beauty be found, He meets me there. He meets you in your place of tears too. Find fantastic writing here.

On His Adventure~

Pam



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Creating Beauty


I love what Alice Walker said in the quote above. I have made a commitment to leaving a trail of beauty wherever I find myself. Some days that evidence is clearer than others. Yet what I am finding in the every day is "whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul." 

My soul is indeed restored in the midst of the efforts I make to create beauty. Those attempts, whether they are successful every single time or not, are getting my eyes of myself and enabling me to direct my gaze onto others. I can create beauty in a myriad of ways, from drawing, to writing, to embellishing a photo I have taken so it becomes a message in addition to an image.  

Beauty is so subjective, and yet at the same time it is impossible to put beauty in any kind of box. I love how I can literally find beauty in everything -- especially when I have attuned my heart, my eyes and my mind to look for it. We were discussing this concept briefly during my Bible study last night, and what we all concluded is that when we are anticipating seeing the hand of God at work, we can't help recognizing it. When I eagerly seek him and His beauty in my day, He never hesitates to offer me ample opportunities to appreciate what He has created. 

So, you may be asking, how does this look in concrete terms, something I can get my brain around? 

Let's see . . . Here are just a few ways God has revealed beauty in my life recently and enabled me to create some of my own:

1. Dancing leaves. Don't you just love when you are driving and the leaves do a little dance on the road ahead of your car? I do. 

2. Dancing. Yes, I know I just mentioned it, but this one has to do with me dancing with my kids around the island in our kitchen. Oh, you haven't done this in awhile . . . Or ever? You may want to change that right quick! It may not look exactly like what they do on Dancing With The Stars, but the stream of giggles is a beauty all its own. 

3. A Thank You note. A timely handwritten (yes, on real paper) note of appreciation is a beautiful, if somewhat archaic concept. I am a huge proponent of good manners, and this one is a practice I have diligently schooled my children in over the years. I want them to have character in so many areas of their lives, and this simple gesture is one that extends beauty lasting well beyond the gift they received. 

4. Painting. I love to draw, paint, and doodle. I hope just a little bit of my work manages to leave beauty behind along the way. 

5. Light. I am keenly aware that each day is shorter right now, right up until my almost 15-year-old's next birthday on December 21. I guess that's why I find myself even more alert to the changes in light. Yesterday, on the way to Bible study, the light was streaming from behind my car onto the hills covered in trees ahead of me. It was a glorious light show of color, of texture, of depth and vibrancy. I was caught off guard by this scene that only lasted for the briefest of moments. All the elements necessary for that exact picture blended together into the harmonious beauty I witnessed. I wasn't expecting it, but I was oh so glad I saw it!

What instances of beauty do you notice in your every day events? How does the beauty you see prompt you to create your own expressions of beauty? 

Let me know in the comments, please!

On His  Adventure~

Pam 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Get to the Meat of It Already

Unless I am mistaken and the visits recorded on my tracker for my little blog are completely inaccurate, I am thankfully not the only one reading here -- which would make it one very lonely and even crazier place than inside my head where all these widely random thoughts are conceived.

So, if you are reading, and I am convinced you are. I wonder if this question ever crosses your mind? "When is the drivel going to stop so we can get to some real substantive writing here?" You may not word it quite like that in your head. You may never use "drivel" in your every day thoughts. But since I have brought it up, let's give it a quick definition. Here is what I found at dictionary.com:

Drivelnoun

1.
saliva flowing from the mouth, or mucus from the nose; slaver.
2.
childish, silly, or meaningless talk or thinking; nonsense; twaddle.



Obviously I am not referring to definition one in this instance, though I could totally see why someone might want that to stop if it was going on here at my blog. 

Maybe I am being a bit harsh in my self-assessment when defining my writing as "childish" or "twaddle", for goodness' sakes. Maybe just fluffy would suffice, but now I do know what I can label "drivel" when I see it. 

Anyway, I have been thinking a great deal since I re-launched an active blog here a few weeks back. What makes me stand out? What do I have to offer of value? What am I passionate about? 

More than anything else, I know I am meant to weave words together. It comes effortlessly. It is a passion, and yet it is more a lifeline than anything else. It frees me and unclutters my mind when I let the words spill out on the page. I have ideas to share that are uniquely my own, as well as those that have been shaped and influenced by my background, my relationship with The Lord, my reading of His Word, or by the people who have crossed my path over the past almost five decades I have spent on this earth. 

Beauty is the thread that connects it all. I am unable to walk through one single day I have been given without seeing the inherent beauty in it, simply by the very nature of my Heavenly Father designing it and allowing it and its events to occur for my consumption. 

He did not make the sun rise and set only for my benefit. I am not that self-centered most days. And yet He is pleased when I take time to notice the rhythm of these and how they influence my perspective on my existence here on this planet. 

The coming days will see me pondering more of how beauty is found in the mundane, how I can leave a trail of beauty apart from fleeting feelings, physical limitations, financial constraints and creative blocks. Beauty will always rise to the top, as it is the foundation upon which I have chosen to build this bloggy home of mine. 

I hope I haven't scared you off in my feeble attempt to write with a bit more substance than cotton candy and leave a bit of that fluff behind momentarily. Fluff will definitely make recurring appearances here, as it certainly has a place amongst the meatier topics. I just know from experience a steady diet of fluff can leave one lacking and longing for something more. 

Heading off to do more research on what makes each day a beauty on its own. Check over here for more great writing as well.

On His Adventure~
Pam




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday Thanks Tank #215


It's Thursday, y'all! This is the day I specifically set aside every week to intentionally give thanks for the way God is filling my "thanks tank". I would encourage you to think back over your week and choose a few things the Spirit brings to mind. Write them down somewhere or better yet, share them here so we can all benefit from what God is doing. 

Here is my list:

1. Children of the Day: I am now five weeks into this, and while I always know I will reap immense rewards from attending a Beth Moore Bible study -- I never realize until I've got my sleeves rolled up how much work God is going to do on my heart. The lessons are rich, and I have been amazed at how timely their principles have been for where I find myself currently. If you can join some ladies in your area for this study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, I highly recommend it!

2. Hot Cocoa from scratch cooking on the stove. Love the smell and the knowledge it chases away the chill of this perfect autumn day. Using this makes it drinkable by everyone here.

3. Coffee: This probably could legitimately make my list every single week. I am so thankful for everything about my morning cup of coffee -- from the cup I use, to the aroma, to that first sip, to the feel of the mug in my hand, to . . . you get the idea. I have a thing for my coffee.

4. Pillows: When you live with a chronic condition like fibromyalgia, restorative sleep can be a rare commodity. Always much needed, but more often than not elusive. I almost never sleep an entire night uninterrupted. Pain doesn't just take a break because I decide to go to bed. So to awaken this morning after no middle of the night surges of pain, I was amazed. I meticulously arranged my king sized bed pillow, body pillow and square throw pillow, and I slept. I really slept! The events of the day are much easier to handle after a good night's rest.

5.
Ava: This little gal actually belongs to my daughter, but she sure has wormed her way into my heart as well. She has actually bestowed another hat on the ever-growing list of my juggling capabilities -- dog groomer. So glad she doesn't talk back after I attempt to beautify her!
6. Open windows: Love free weather!

7. Sunshine: After days and days of rain, the bursts of sunshine -- however fleeting -- have been welcome and savored. I do not like rain. I understand the need for it, but grey days have a way of making this gal's perspective a bit grey as well. So the sunshine . . . Welcome! Hang around for a while!

8. Soup. 'Tis the season! My crock pot will be getting a workout because of you.

9. Finding a lone piece of gum in my purse. Timely. Fresh breath. A good thing.

10. Hot showers: All the more important when it is chilly. Very thankful.

So, that concludes this week's filling of the thanks tank. How is God filling your tank? Share in the comments or link your post here so I can come visit and be encouraged as well!

On His Adventure~
Pam



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

I have mentioned a few times how much I love this season. While I do love the ever-present offerings of all things pumpkin, I also have a number of other interests. I am a huge fan of turning leaves, college football, and smelling a fire -- whether it be the bonfire kind or a domesticated variety in a fireplace.  I love Reese's pumpkins, indian corn-- you know, the candy corn with chocolate bottoms (can you still call it that?)

I have made a short list on the photo I posted today, but I thought I would take another quick moment to tell you a few more of my favorites before asking you to chime in and share your own autumn favorites:


  • Apple cider -- cold or hot
  • Apple pies -- crumb topped or fried
  • Apple dumplings (yes, I am a bit obsessed with apples -- but not apple-scented anything)
  • Fall mums -- any color
  • Piles of crunchy leaves
  • Hayrides
  • S'mores
  • Roasted marshmallows on their own
  • Treks through the mountains
  • Soups in the slow cooker
So, what are some of the ways you find every day beauty in this autumn season? Find some other great writing over here. Just in case you aren't already, maybe you could leave my bloggy spot singing this song today. Head on over. You know you want to . . .

On His Adventure~
Pam 

Monday, October 13, 2014

What Am I Really Worth?

Remember back in the day when a family asked you to babysit and before the end of the night when you were set to head on home they popped the question. No, not "the" question, but the most difficult one I'd had to answer in all my 13 or 14 years . . . "How much do we owe you?" I would rock back and forth on my heels, look anywhere but right in their eyes, and hope they decided to suggest an amount reasonable so it wouldn't force me to counter. I never wanted to set a price on the value of my childcare abilities then. I wasn't sure what I was worth -- at least not what my babysitting was worth. 

Oh, I know I have value. I realize I was created with inherent value and significance. I just have a tough time assigning value to anything I create. I see what I do as doodling. My art all has imperfections and idiosyncrasies unique to each piece that emerges from my pen, colored pencil, crayon, marker or paintbrush, depending on my mood. I rarely create the same exact item twice, which makes it difficult to mass produce any sort of item without spending money I don't have to make that happen. 

So, where this whole musing finds me is needing to make money and underselling myself when it comes to the talent God has given me to leave that trail of beauty I keep mentioning and used to title this very blog here. I long to make art, sell art, and find people who love what I do. I just need to figure out how to best make that happen and do it! All prayers appreciated along the way. I will keep seeking out beauty and capturing it in ways that leave another trail of it in my wake. 


On His Adventure~
Pam 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Beauty Through My Eyes

God's Word plus my artwork. Beauty in this truth. Resting in its comfort today. 

Check out what others are saying over at write31days.com. 

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! Rain may still lull me into an afternoon nap . . .

On His Adventure~

Pam

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Beauty in the Boring

Some days are just boring. I am home without the car today by choice. I cannot leave my home, and I don't really want to leave anyway. I am tired. I am in pain. I am . . . boring.

No one will nominate me for an excitement award today, because the most excitement I've rustled up so far is the scooping of my unruly curls on top of my head into an unstructured mop.

That excitement occurred out of necessity, because my neck feels like a toothpick, and the bundle of curls felt like it weighed 100 + lbs. cascading about that toothpick.

So, how do I manage to find beauty in a day enveloped in grey again? Beginning to feel my last move was to Seattle or somewhere else rainy rather than to East Tennessee. I guess the "Smoky" Mountains should have clued me in, but I seriously don't remember so much cloudiness the last time I lived here. Maybe it's just my perspective, but cloudy days seem to be the norm rather than the exception.

Anyhow . . . I am going to claim beauty in the midst of this dreary, cloud-filled day. Here we go:

  • I am with my children. They make me laugh, even if we have to resort to my "Laughter is GOOD Medicine" Pinterest board for chuckles.
  • I get to stay home. I love days when I don't have to go anywhere.
  • I got dressed anyway. That's a major accomplishment right there, even if the clothes I chose are not beautiful.
  • Painting. Painting always makes me smile. I shall go paint something posthaste. Grin.
  • Watching mindless television. Cupcake Wars is now on Netflix. Woo Hoo!
  • Boiled eggs. The perfect and beautiful snack.
  • Autumn glory. Somehow the stunning colors burst on a cloudy background. Yay! See, it's good to have a grey day. Right? Sure.
  • Getting laundry done in spite of my desire to head on back to bed. Beautiful. It might be because my laundry room looks like this though:

    So, I am off to enjoy the rest of a boring but beautiful Saturday. Every day has beauty when you're looking for it. Set yours to music, and you can soar above just about any circumstance! Check out the fabulous buffet of good writing here. I know I am.

    On His Adventure~
    Pam

Friday, October 10, 2014

Beautiful Words


I love words. They draw pictures. In this case, they embellish photos. I have been having a blast making my own "posters" using a free app. and enhancing photos in fun and different ways. It is amazing to me to see how the addition of a phrase or verse of Scripture can extend the life and message of a photo. 

I know I am so late to the game where this is concerned, but it has added a new level of beauty to my days and enables me to utilize my little photography hobby in a fresh way. 

Thanks for humoring me. I am also thrilled to direct you over to here for more great writers. 

On His Adventure~
Pam. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thursday Thanks Tank #214

Every week I try to take a few moments to reflect on how God is filling up my tank. I post a few of those here and intentionally give thanks for what He has done. Here we go:  

1. Time with my children. I am keenly aware each day of the brevity of time with my teenagers as they near that point of launching into adulthood. I am grateful for each moment we spend together and also grateful they still think I am cool. 

2. God's comfort. He meets me right where I am and carries me through whatever I am feeling at any given crossroad. 

3. Caring about the little things that really are big things.  Our dog, Shelby, got stung by a yellow jacket Monday while I was at Bible Study. I got a frantic call summoning me home before I got to watch the Beth Moore video. (I know, utterly appalling for those of you familiar with her studies. The video is a huge part of the experience, y'all!). Yet my mama's heart was certain I needed to be at home with those nursing our wounded 7-year-old Jack Russell Terrier back to good health. 

So, I left and got home to see our precious pup in lots of pain, and my darling children surrounding her with love and every conceivable measure they'd discovered online in the way of potentially easing Shelby's discomfort. The dog had received a dose of Children's Benadryl, had poultices applied to the wound site, gotten an ice pack, and been set up in her comfy bed with a pillow, blanket, and favorite stuffed animal. 

Though I had nothing left to do, my presence had a calming effect on everyone. I was instantly reminded of how I can be calmed by the presence of my Heavenly Father as well. Sometimes He need do nothing at all. Simply knowing He is there makes all the difference. He brings a peace and an ease to the chaos in my heart by being available. 

I could have remained at Bible study and missed out on an opportunity to be present for my children. I could have allowed my sometimes unhealthy affinity for all things Beth Moore to have overshadowed my need to be a mama first. I didn't. And God didn't either. 

He allowed me to get the video I missed, and now I can still watch this week's lesson in the comfort of my own home. He really does care about all the details, both big and small.

How is God filling your tank this week? Let me know in the comments or share a link so I can come visit you at your place! You can find other great writers here

On His Adventure~

Pam 





Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Clinging to Autumn

I'll readily admit to anyone who takes the time to ask that my favorite season is autumn. I love falling leaves. I enjoy all the fall-related flavors and tastes. Pile on the pumpkin in all its variety of uses. Sweet? I love it. Savory? Give me more of it. 

I love the colors of fall, the smells of fall, the crisp feel of fall on my skin before I run for a jacket or cozy sweater I've not worn since early spring, the tastes and the unforgettable sounds of fall. Yes, the sounds. You know them. The sounds of marching bands and football games, the crunching of those fallen leaves under your feet, the almost musical calls of geese overhead as they cross through our area on their yearly migratory trek further south, the noise of neighbors preparing their flower beds for what is rumored to be a rough coming winter, and the whimsical sounds of festivals and carnivals nearby just drinking in those final comfortable outdoor moments before everyone bundles up and heads indoors for the coldest season of the year. 
Maybe because I am getting older, or maybe because the melancholy part of myself is hovering near the surface pretty often lately, I find myself wanting to press the pause button. I want to put a halt on all things autumn and all the constant change it brings. We have had a couple of nasty rain storms over the past days, and the leaves are falling more rapidly than I find agreeable. So I just want to put the brakes on and hang onto the stunning glory that is fall. Let it last a little longer. I know I have no say in when those trees let loose and drop all their leaves, but if I could stall it for a bit longer -- well, I would. 
In the meantime, I guess I just need to be more intentional in my observation and appreciation of the majestic color show God is putting on for me, knowing His timing is perfect and His desire is to delight me. He is enough in all things. In that truth, I am content to find His beauty in the everyday. For more great writing, head on over here.

On His Adventure~
Pam 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Crunchy Standoff

Because living gluten free has not taken away my hankering for the taste of a yummy, crunchy snack every now and again (read: pretty much every day), I am always on the lookout for items to add to my list of acceptable snackage. 

While this post is not inherently about beauty, I am sure there is something beautiful to be found in a great snack!

  I tried two different new-to-me items over the past couple of days and had very different reactions to them--both a surprise of some sort.

First up on the blog today is the LiveGFree Brand Cracklebread in Sun-Dried Tomato and Oregano from Aldi.

Let me preface this review by saying this: just about everything we've tried from Aldi's liveGfree line has been delicious. We have enjoyed products ranging from rice pasta to crackers to pizza crust mix to pancake/baking mix (you can read my daughter's take on that particular item here), not to mention the delicious bread offered by this line.

So, imagine my surprise when I got home today with a box of the cracklebread to sample and found it to be like a rectangular-shaped styrofoam plate. I gave it a hearty try and then smeared it with cream cheese in an attempt to redeem its foamy texture and very mild sun-dried tomato/oregano flavor.

It didn't work. The taste is bland and not well-seasoned The texture is not crispy crunchy. It is crisp upon first contact, but immediately upon connecting with saliva it disintegrates and becomes sticky on and in the teeth. Not fun or enjoyable. At $2.99/box for 21 pieces, it would seem like a really good deal. Considering the taste is less than delicious, I will not be buying this item again.


Next up is the sweet side of things. We picked up these cute, little crackers in the snack aisle at our local Ingle's. Grammy Crisps are a crispy crunchy offering in every sense of the word. Crunchmaster is a brand I have tried before, so I was anticipating a positive experience. These crackers are actually listed on the kid product line at Crunchmaster, but don't you dare let these tasty treats be just for kids. At Ingle's these were available for $3.15, but I did find them online for less than that. However, pricing aside, Grammy Crisps are well worth a purchase. Find out more about these here.

You get 25 crisps per serving according to the box inforomation. But I don't know how I would eat so many at one sitting, making the total servings go much further and the value increasing. 

I was expecting a strong Graham taste, but I was pleasantly surprised to find these favored more of a Cinnamon Toast Crunch flavor. And while the crisps are delicious on their own, I found them incredible topped with a light shmear of cream cheese. 

So, overall, the Crunchmaster Grammy Crisps were a hit. Taste and texture is excellent. Good value for the price, though I may be tempted to wait until I can find a coupon next time around. I will definitely be purchasing these little gems again. 

What are some of your favorite gluten free go-to snacks? Let me know, and I will feature them here so we can all benefit from your experience. Have a great day, and check back for more reviews soon.  Also, don't forget to head on over to Write 31 Days for more fantastic posts!

On His Adventure ~
Pam

Monday, October 6, 2014

I Don't Feel Like It

What do I do when I just don't feel like making sure I am leaving a trail of beauty wherever I go? 

What do I do when I would rather crawl back under the covers and hide my head from the events of the day, the week, the month, the upcoming year? 

What do I do when the events of the past several years threaten to undo me and the words of Jeremiah seem like my own? (Lamentations 1:16)

I am your classic melancholy personality. It is a conscious effort for me to see the glass half full or overflowing every. Single. Day. I have been told this kind of personality feeds the creative side of my self. The art I produce and the whimsy I dabble in on a regular basis come from the melancholy segment of my soul.


I talk a big game about living life ridiculously and skipping through public places -- and I do those things with great glee some days. Others -- not so much.

At times a dark, heavy cloud overtakes me and smooshes me under it while I claw, gnash my teeth, and gasp for air in order to resurface and reassess my surroundings with a new found admiration for those who endure the depths of despair on a daily basis.

I am comforted by the life of the author and perfecter of faith. He is called a Man of Sorrows. He withdrew  frequently to refresh Himself and to be alone with His Father. My own struggle is eased in knowing He chose to showcase the struggles of His followers all throughout Scripture. 

Lamentations is a whole book about the woes of Jerusalem from Jeremiah's perspective. He wept throughout the telling. Psalms is full of its own lengthy coverage of tears and sadness as David poured his heart out on the page again and again. These prominent figures in our life's manual from our precious Heavenly Father were not unacquainted with grief, with sorrow, and dare I say it? With depression. While each of them also wrote about great joy at knowing God, they also spent plenty of time discussing their deep despair and days where laying on a mat or shaking their fists felt far more freeing than singing another chorus of "Kum Ba Yah".

Beauty and sorrow mingle together. Grey clouds blot out the sun. I am no less a child of God or Princess of the King on days when I cannot see Him through the fog, summon up the strength to praise loudly or sing a happy tune. 

Some days are just like that. 

What I am grateful for on those days is His assurance that envelops me and gives me courage to keep close to Him in the midst of my darkest thoughts. I know His words, and most times I can cling to them in spite of the feelings that threaten to pitch me to a place of abandonment or thinking I am forsaken.

If you ever struggle to see the beauty in the midst of dark days, I encourage you to try to do what the verse on the photo says. Be still. I can't guarantee anything as a result, but I can with all confidence tell you the rest of that verse is as true as anything God has told us . . . He will assuredly fight for us. That brings me comfort. 

If this post has left you wanting . . . Go here.

On His Adventure through it all~

Pam



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Beauty Through My Eyes

So loving everything autumn! Though the past couple of days have just left me shivering with the drastic dip in temperatures, I still love the ever-changing palette of color and beauty that accompanies this, my favorite season.

What's your favorite fall activity for a Sunday afternoon? I am heading for a hot beverage, an extra cozy blanket and an obligatory nap ( not really though . . . no one need force me to lay down!) see y'all later! I'm off to snooze and maybe watch some stuff on the Roku with the fam.

On His Adventure~
Pam

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Can't Help But Smile

Do y'all have certain things in your life that make you smile regardless of how down in the depths of despair you may find yourself?

What is your "go to" when nothing else can coax a grin?

I have a couple. Pictured at left is one of my top five. I bought these red boots for myself as a late birthday present when I turned 40. From the moment I first saw them on the website, I knew they had to be mine.

From the moment they arrived at my house in Rome, GA, they have brought a smile. No, they cause a full-out toothy grin that emits 1000 watts of illumination just about every time I see them. I. love. these. boots!

They're a little scuffed now, and they have survived a number of moves since they first joined me all those years ago,  but they still bring me great joy. I can't help but smile when I see them. My sassiness factor escalates at least 10 points when I wear them. I almost skip. Well, I do skip! You would too if you could find them. Because I can't, I also have my eyes on these. I think they may need to be my second pair someday.

Another certain smile starter joined my list several years back. I don't even have to see it to have the grin start to steal away at the corners of my mouth. I can picture the photo in my memory and have a chuckle almost immediately escape my mouth. Let me be in the presence of said photo taken at the Georgia Aquarium, and my chuckle erupts into a literally rolling on the floor laughing episode. I'd share the photo here, but the faces of the innocent must be protected.

After several rough days emotionally and physically, I have needed these tangible reminders of better times. I have needed some confirmed giggles -- those things you can always count on to dispel the gloom. Just when I find myself convinced I can't get out of bed, I find one of these day brighteners just the boost of hope I needed at the perfect time.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you have those days too. I'd encourage you to find some rock solid joy bringers that put you in a place where you "can't help but smile."

Have a great rest of your weekend!

On His Adventure~
Pam