February 4, 2016

Hope and Where to Find It

It was a shock to us all.  Perhaps most of all, to Austin.
Just imagine asking for a little more rest, and waking up in heaven!
We have found ourselves contemplating what his reaction was.

It makes us smile to think of it.

It truly is a wonderful thing to consider.  Amazing, really.
But, for those of us left behind, it can be difficult to navigate.
The waters of grief can threaten to overflow and pull us under.
We must fight to keep our heads above water.

Not easy to do.  But, definitely worth the fight.

So, how do we carry on?  Where do we go for comfort?
What keeps us grounded and sane in the midst of grief?
Who is our greatest support throughout it all?
What do we fill our hearts and minds with when we feel overwhelmed?


The way to navigate these waters is with the Lord.  With His Word and with His people.
We seek to soak our hearts in passages of Scripture that fortify our souls.
We love I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and I Corinthians 15, in particular.
Psalm 139 reveals that even before we were born, all our days were fashioned for us.

Isn't that the most incredible thing to ponder?

It is a discipline to constantly redirect our gaze on eternal things.
To fill our hearts with Truth is necessary and good.
It doesn't come easy.  But, it is a battle which must be fought.
By God's great grace, it is a battle we keep on fighting.

Whatever it is you may be facing, may you be found filling up your
hearts and minds with Truth.  It truly is the only way forward.
The only way to keep from sinking in despair.  The only way to survive.
One step at a time.  With eyes firmly fixed on the eternal.

After all is said and done, the eternal things
will be seen for what they really are.  The real things.

With Love, Camille

*Image in this post courtesy of Emma ~
Thank you my love XO

February 3, 2016

Grace Laced

The walls in our recently re-decorated bedroom have remained
mostly bare for the better part of the past year.
Howie and I both had ideas about what we wanted to do,
but, it was tricky to pull it all together.

 I couldn't have told you exactly what I was looking for.
But, I was quite sure I would know it when I saw it.


A little over a week ago, I landed on a blog I'd never been to before.
Beautiful artwork was featured across the header of her blog.
I noticed a *Shoppe* button, and clicked through to find
the perfect solution for our walls. 

I love how Scripture is incorporated into each piece.
And, the colour scheme perfectly complements our room's decor. 


We are both incredibly pleased with the results.
It all came together too easily for words.
In these, and a myriad of other ways, we see the goodness
 of the Lord.  His loving hand is evident in every detail of life.


May you know His loving care over you as well.
And, may you see His hand in every little thing.
 
With Love, Camille

 
**I am not compensated in any way for my opinions.
I'm just thrilled that I stumbled across this lovely artist's blog. 
Perhaps you will be, too?

February 1, 2016

The Quotidian (1. 2. 16)

Quotidian: daily, usual, or customary;
everyday; ordinary; commonplace.


Just before bed.


Novel Study.


Work Station (just one of many).


My Composer.


Scary good!


 My Fire Builder.


Success!


There's nothing quite like the real thing.


Setting up the game.


Playing the game.


Letting them wait.


Mama's Driving School.

Happy Monday!
With Love, Camille

January 28, 2016

Float Safely

It's so important to fill up our hearts and minds with Truth.
And, to look back on all the ways and times the Lord has been faithful.
It's comforting to know that since He never changes,
He will be faithful in the future just as He has been in the past.

Long ago, someone shared the idea of a keeping a journal documenting
all the ways in which the Lord has delivered us or provided for our needs.
It is such a blessing to read through it and refresh our memories
of His faithfulness to us in this journey He has us on.


It's no secret that C.H. Spurgeon's writings bless my heart.
It seems that his encouragement is always timely and well suited to whatever
we may be facing at any particular time in our walk with the Lord.
I suppose that's because what he says is firmly rooted in Scripture.

The following quote is typical for Spurgeon.
I actually found myself chuckling at the brilliance of his analogy.

"Arise, go to the river of thine experience, and pull up a few bulrushes,
and plait them into an ark, wherein thine infant-faith may float safely on the stream.
Forget not what thy God has done for thee; turn over the book of 
thy remembrance, and consider the days of old." *

See what I mean?  Encouragement for the soul.
May you know the Lord's goodness to you now and always.
And, may you indeed pluck up some of those bulrushes today.
Our Great God is faithful and will never fail in all He deems best.

Rest your heart in Him!
With Love, Camille

*Quoted from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening  ~
January 25th Morning Reading

Image in this post courtesy of Emma ~
Thank you my love XO

January 26, 2016

Meal Plan Update

Winter cooking is in full swing around here.
My winter meal plan has been put to good use in the last few months.
I'm loving this new system.  Two seasons in, it's a win.

As is evident from the photo below, I've made notes to myself along the way.
One of the things I wanted to figure out was the per person
cost for meals on my list.  It was an eye-opening exercise.

Some meals I had considered to be frugal weren't.
Others surprised me with their frugal-ness 
once the numbers were crunched and the final tally made


Figuring this out has helped when I've wanted
to stretch our food budget just a little further.
I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of doing this before.

So, there you have it.  Tweaking things as well as the
addition or subtraction of meals has been going on around here.
But, the concept of a list to work from is still in vogue.
I'm sold on the concept of it all.

And, meal planning week by week has become a whole
lot simpler since implementing this system.     

Do you have any frugal (and nourishing) meal ideas to share?
I'm always up for trying something new and adding to the list.
Thank you to all of you who shared ideas on my soup post.
It was fun to try some of them out.  You bless my heart!  :)
  
Before too long, it will be spring once again,
and the summer plan will be re-employed.  Yippee!

Happy Cooking!
With Love, Camille

January 25, 2016

The Quotidian (25. 1. 16)

Quotidian: daily, usual, or customary;
everyday; ordinary; commonplace.


Date night with Emma.
(We mostly window-shopped...Coach?!)


I'm not a shopper...but, Emma is.  :)


Making breakfast.


The boys were happy.


Trying to escape....see his hind leg?


Reading.  Always reading.


Just returning from drop-in hockey.


Airing out the gear.


The skates.


Study group session ~ students from around the globe
logged in via Skype.  It truly is amazing.


Displaced.


Once in awhile.


Making music.

Happy Monday Y'all.
With Love, Camille 

January 22, 2016

Ten Things...

It's been awhile since I have written love notes to my children
in their special journals.  I've been meaning to get to it 
for quite some time.  Too long, in fact.



The last entry was from October 2014!
Obviously, I let things slide here just a little.


This morning, I remedied that situation by writing a list of ten things
I love about them.  I sought to focus on specific character traits that they have
due to the Lord's goodness and grace in their lives.


Don't we all benefit from a little encouragement now and then?
These little journals are a great way to bless our loved ones.
Do you have a special way to express love to your family?
I'd love it if you would share your ideas...please?  I'm all ears.

Happy Friday!
With Love, Camille

January 18, 2016

The Winners!

We put the names of those who entered the giveaway post
into a hat and Emma drew out two little slips of paper.
We always pray and commit these things to the Lord prior
to pulling any names from our hat.  We know nothing is by chance.

Isn't that a comforting thought?


The two winners this time around are....


...and...


Congratulations to you both!  I am sure the Lord will use these wonderful
books to bless your hearts.  How good He is to us as His people.
Jackie and Leah, please email me at flowersinhisgarden@gmail.com
with your last names and mailing addresses so I can get your books off to you.

With Love,
Camille

January 13, 2016

Three Favourites ~ A Giveaway!

**Update ~ CLOSED**

This giveaway features three all time favourites of mine.
I know I've mentioned these books multiple times on this blog.  But, it bears repeating.
All three are classics that deserve a place on your reading list and in your home.
For this giveaway, you must choose one of the following books.


Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional is an encouarging collection
of readings for every morning and evening of the year.
Spurgeon was a master with words and gets to the heart of the matter
time and time again.  Not to be missed, this is one devotional book
I would not want to part with.


Helen Taylor's Little Pilgrim's Progress is a faithful adaptation
of the classic by John Bunyan.  It is just as intense and touching and gripping
as the original, just simplified in its language.  The concepts and message
are unchanged and powerfully present.  We have read this out loud to our
children many times.  Each time we have, it has greatly blessed our hearts.


Jerry Bridges Trusting God Even When Life Hurts was a book
I was reading during Austin's last months here on this earth.
I often would read while riding the stationary bike which
was situated right next to his desk in the school room.
I mentioned how much I wanted him to read it when I was done.

He would smile and continue with his work.
I'm sure he would have read it if he'd had the chance.


The Lord took him to heaven prior to my finishing up.  He never did read it.
In the days following his home going, we purchased enough copies for
each of our other children to have one of their own, and, we read it through
together as a family.  It is a gem.  The wisdom shared in its pages is timeless.
It's one I expect to revisit throughout this journey of life.

So, these are the rules.

All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me which one of these
three books you would choose and why.  That's it!  There are no restrictions
as to your location or whether you have won a giveaway here before.
Everyone is welcome to join in.  Two names will be pulled from the hat.
This giveaway will end on Monday, January 18th at Noon PST.

Happy Wednesday!
With Love, Camille

January 8, 2016

Soup! Soup! Soup!

It's soup season.  At least, it is in our neck of the woods.
I've come across some new recipes that have quickly become
our favourites.  There are, of course, old standbys
that continue to play an important role in my kitchen.

However, this post is not about any of those.
Three recent finds we all love are linked below (click on soup names).
They each are worthy of guests and get rave reviews all around.

Winter Squash Soup with Corn Relish
(Rich and yummy and more-ish.
Be sure to make enough to have leftovers.)


I use butternut squash and tins of peaches and cream corn for the relish.
No other changes are made except for the fact that
I have to double it to have enough.  :)



Italian Wedding Soup
(This one deserves a post all its own...it's that good!)


Sadly, I was unable to make it look pretty in pictures.
So, photos of the meatballs and fresh spinach will have to do.
Trust me on this and make up a batch.  You won't be sorry.  Promise.


I only change a few things when I make this soup.  I double the amount
of carrots and celery and substitute fresh baby spinach (chopped)
for the frozen package (3/4 of one large container of the fresh stuff).
My family doesn't think it makes much difference.  Perhaps I shouldn't bother?

The meatballs have to be altered to make provision for gluten and dairy free restrictions.
But, I am sure the original recipe is amazing.  I wouldn't change a thing in that regard.
Once finished cooking, be sure to check for seasoning.  More balsamic vinegar?  Yes, please.
One recipe serves five or six generously.  I've been known to triple it.

Creamy Red Lentil and Kale Soup
(My kids recently asked me to make this one again.
It's my plan to serve it sometime this weekend.)


Fresh Roma tomatoes don't seem to be available at the moment,
so, a 14 oz tin of diced tomatoes (drained) will do the trick.
I like things a little bit spicy.  In light of that, I increase the cayenne pepper to 1/4 tsp
and add in about 1/2 tsp garam masala.  Super easy and yummy!
I double it.  (Notice a trend?)

Now, what about you?  Do you have a favourite
soup recipe you're excited to share?  Please link to it in the comment section below.
I'd love to know all about the soups that have been featured at your table.

Happy Souping!
With Love, Camille

January 7, 2016

Perfectly Appointed

It's all up to him.  Or so he seems to think.
Our hamster is alive and well and does what hamsters are supposed to do.
We clean his cage and give him food and water and bedding.
If given a chance, he would escape.  And then, where would he be?

Things would not go well for him.
But, I am sure he thinks he would be just fine.


When the cage is cleaned, all his stored up food is discarded
along with the old bedding.  Fresh food is supplied.

When he re-enters his cage he scurries from corner to corner and
from floor to floor.  He rearranges his bedding and fills his pouches with food.
Before long, the food dish has been emptied and all its contents hidden away.

He's found treasure and he stores it up.
It's uncanny how similar he is to me.


Whatever we have has been supplied by our Loving Heavenly Father.
If it is not for our good, it will not be given.
As much as we think we are in control, we aren't.
We cannot do anything apart from His enabling.  His strength.

Having a little hamster in our home has been good for my heart.
It's given me a glimpse into some of my own nature.
And, it is sobering.  And humbling.  And, fills me with wonder.

We are to do what we are to do.  We are to be faithful.
But, we must remember it is not all up to us.
And, we would not be fine without His loving, watchful care.
We would be lost.  We would not survive.

So, I am seeking to trust in my Saviour's provisions.
They are bountiful and they are good.
And, His ways are always best.  Perfectly appointed.
Exactly what is needed.  Day after day.

With Love,
Camille

January 4, 2016

The Quotidian (4. 1. 16)

Quotidian: daily, usual, or customary;
everyday; ordinary; commonplace.



Our Christmas family photo.


And one with precious friends.



The cake.


Happy Birthday Grandpa!
(Can you figure out the candles?)


Monopoly.


Practicing my skills.


Keeping the bowl filled.


Basement full of young men (and two ladies).


Outtake.


A spill.


Cleaning up.


For Emma.


Enjoying Peanuts.


Fulfilled request.

Happy Monday Y'all!
With Love, Camille

**First four photos courtesy of Calvin and his camera ~
Thank you my love XO