Friday, August 4, 2017

EDITED. A Worth Hearing Sermon and Thoughts - A Remembrance

Hello Dear Ones,

Thank you so much for the sweet and loving comments concerning my father.  I cannot tell you how much it blesses my heart.  

That's what it's all about isn't it?

I always think of what the Bible says about Love.  ...For without Love we are clanging symbols.  For me?  When I read blogs whose author writes of our Lord and then the author actually takes the time to comment and to care... That's what it's all about.  It's about loving not only in Word and words but in deed too.  I do believe there is a Remnant scattered throughout the world who are true blue.

Without one the other just isn't worth much is it?   Some ask me what Christian faith I am...I usually will thoughtfully say, I am a Christian, a follower of Christ.  I guess you could call me vertically straight up. Juris Naturalist.  Straight up to Christ.   Christ is my standard and plumb line.

Jem and I love to listen together in the car to a good sermon from on Sundays.  We have found doing this to be at present one of the best churches ever. 

Here is an excellent one that really hits the nail on the head by Zac Poonen. 

Here is the sermon, I think you too will enjoy it, it's an excellent sermon and that is why I'm taking the time to post it! : )

  I'll call it A Worth Hearing Sermon by Zac Poonen. 

EDIT 8.5.17    The reason that I enjoyed this sermon so very much is because Zac covered both problems in various churches and groups, both liberal and conservative.   We are veteran homeschoolers and have sat in and participated in teachings on a Godly Home.   Having said that, it is about the heart only!   We have visited churches seeking fellowship with other homeschoolers and because I have mascara and a hint of pink lipstick on, my daughters wear knee length skirts instead of ankle, we are in a way froze out.  And that is okay although I know it makes Christ weep, it becomes obvious God would not want us in that place.  We have visited other places where they are so very mod and aligned with the emerging culture that they have forgotten truth and perhaps they label me as 'rigid' because I love being a stay at home mom.  We also do not think it necessary  to be in a church several times a week as that tends to fragment the family and gives a false insurance policy instead of personal relationship with Christ.  Being in church three times a week does not guarantee a strong Christian. 

Enjoy!  I'm thinking many of you will say, wow, Amen to certain elements in that sermon!

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I loved this photo by Robert Stock.  It shows such love and contentment.  A rare thing these days as I'm sure you would agree.  This photo reminded me of my dad when he was a little boy with blonde wavy hair and his love for animals.  This dog looks like our dog named Minnie Pearl who my dad would bring to work with him.  One day Minnie Pearl ran into the street and was hit by a car.  My dad ran out into the road sitting down in the road, holding her and crying.  His friend, Harlan, a very sweet friend, a war vet guided traffic around my dad and Minnie Pearl.

Minnie had been a stray who my dad doctored up and he loved her with all his heart.  This photo really looks like the both of them!  I've never noticed this photo ever.  It must be for me today.  Perhaps that is my dad now with Minnie Pearl.

A middle aged invalid man I visit with at the nursing home tells me he was left for dead in a car accident (the accident is why he is in the home).  He shared that upon entering Heaven all of his precious dogs he had ever owned came to greet him.  Then he shared that he awoke to paramedics doing what they were supposed to do on this green earth to bring him back.  It's an account I won't forget. 

Many a day I look into the sweet creature's faces here at the Forest and they minister to me greatly.  Never underestimate or scoff at what our Father uses.  

"Ask the animals and they will teach you."   Job 12:7

For a wonderfully sweet and meaningful little book may I recommend:  Lessons from Lucy About Loving God
 by Wendy Murray Zoba, Illustrated by Carla Sonheim

The other week after Daddy died I went outside to the fig trees. (every Italian family has them!)  And it was so comforting to gather the figs and recite the complete Lord's prayer.  Many have forgotten there is such strength in our Lord's Prayer aside from our private conversations with God.  I just kept repeating the prayer over and over outloud, just me the birds and the trees under the beautiful clouds.  ...It gave me such comfort.  There is something about our Lord's Prayer. 
"My heart has heard You say, 'Come and talk with Me.'  And my heart responds, 'Lord I am coming."   Psalms 27:8
Good evening, loves,  blessings to you,   Amelia in the Forest
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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Of Rainbows, Chapstick and Memories

I opened the blinds the other morning and this is what I saw:

Rainbows are very special to me and at this time especially.  God was showing me something here...And it was much more beautiful in person as you may imagine. 

It's been a difficult time and sometimes I feel confused in my own thoughts.  I've had to deal with quite a bit lately on the death of my dad.  I don't want this blog to be a sad sack of sorts but I'm a firm believer in opening my heart, 'Open a Vein'. so to speak, with discretion of course.

I have flashbacks of Daddy in the hospital the last time I saw him.  He was restrained, his lips were chapped, Lea and I tried to cover his feet so he wouldn't be cold.   I (silently frantic) ask the nurse with tears and furrowed brow...

Can we put some chapstick on his lips?  He hates having chapped lips.  I'm his daughter, I'm the same way....

He always had chapstick in his pocket. He always did.

You could have cut the emotion with a knife in that far away hospital room.

Daddy always kept chapstick near just like I do.

I am so glad I was at least that day able to care for him.  Our daughter, Michelle was able to give him the little sponges with water on them.

The nurses said his vital signs were the best ever that day we were there.  Now you tell me how one is to feel on that. I do believe it tells the tale in more ways than one. It touches my heart that in his last days his heart and soul knew we were there and taking true care of him.   It makes me extremely sad because of the horrible and painful situation.   If you are a new reader you would have to read the past few entries to see the sad, sad story on this.


I was watching a documentary on Harper Lee, author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird', the Documentary is on dvd and called 'Hey Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird'

In the film, Harper Lee's  older sister said that when their darling most handsome brother died, Harper's way of dealing with the grief was to stop writing and to paint.  I so get that.  It seems for the past two years at least I've felt very stilted with all that was happening.  Very mixed emotions and my mind has been full of disappointments yet blessings.  Confusion yet clarity.  Bravery coupled with great fear.  Sometimes joyful clarity sometimes sad clarity.

The midwife that delivered Rebecca, 23 years ago tells me after the delivery...You have a lot of inner strength.  Boy do I believe her but I think I've been stretched to an overflowing point these days, it's done a number on me.   One day I turned the water on in the kitchen and walked out.  Perhaps I was turning the water on waiting for a warm temp. to treat our blind dog's eyes?  I don't even know.  Our daughter, Lea smiles and says...Mom.  Mom.  The water...

Yeah, I tell the girls and Jem, I'm doing the craziest things lately...  I told Jem before bursting out in tears soon after the death, we were expecting company of all things.  ...I'm not doing so well...

But.  There are Gifts to be thankful for. ...And this makes all the difference in the world.

There are many, many things to be thankful for.
One thing that I thought was so sweet was our married daughter, Michelle (dark gold hat) and my son in love, Josh (light gold hat) had everyone over for James' birthday.  James is my future son in love.  He is the gentleman below in the dark gold party hat, he will marry Marianna in the green party hat.  Lea is in the red hat and Rebecca is at work.  She has no party hat.  I smile as I am typing that Rebecca was working because Rebecca always seems to be at work when a pic is taken thus no party hat.   ; )

These are our super sweet kids and bring things back to earth many a day.  You tell me, how can these smiling faces not bring cheer? 

James Birthday

On a day to day basis there will sometimes be a poignant but sad reminder...Marianna soon to be married, and I are at Walmart as she is having her satin fabric cut, I help a sweet grandpa find a roll of measuring tape in the plastic container roll like his little granddaughter's mom and dad have at home.  He also grabs a pink bandana to match..He shares...She is "helping" her mom and dad install a new floor. 

I tell him...You are a good grandpa.

It struck my heart and brought deep thoughts, memories.    People around have no idea the innerworkings...the emotions, the private pain...

...Which made me think of the segment below in this sweet, sweet movie, Penny Serenade; the segment is  between 1:34 and 1:49.

'Penny Serenade'.  I love this  movie so much.  It reminds me of my mom and dad years ago when things were nice.  Maybe this is a sweet Christmas in July piece as well. 

Jem and I were driving home Sunday from Midtown and a plane flew overhead buzzing our car and I immediately think of Daddy.  He flew planes like that.

I can remember just like it was yesterday as a very small little girl, small enough to be in a  very small free standing baby-toddler swing outside with my mom pushing me.  Back when I was  very little, I remember seeing legs and skirts, maybe shoes from my view.  My mother was wearing a very lovely cotton dress with a white background with kelly green vines with small primary colored bright flower print, the skirt was a gathered puffy one.  She had white wedge backless sandals on.  Up above a plane flies close over our house, a man's voice echos......Heeellllloooo!  A jacketed arm is waving from the window way up there.  It was Daddy.   We still have the dress my mother was wearing, Rebecca uses it for photo shoots.  Many memories flood the theatre of my mind.

This is Daddy just days before I was born.  He is sitting here with his and mother's old longtime friends.  This is his fun-loving side and I'm sure if you could see his pants pocket you would see that chapstick in it. He was probably discussing his adventures with Mr. and Mrs. Jeske.  My mother must have been taking the photo.

Mrs. Jeske, my dad the Jeske's little girl

Just plodding along here enjoying the Forest, a most special bright red cardinal, good natured sparring with Jem, our great kids and fur angels and that small town all the while taking in preparations for a very sweet wedding, realizing the more I travel here on God's green earth the more I am a pilgrim and alien here.

"...I always was aware of an ethnic difference because we were Italians in a small southern town so we always felt like we were from Pluto." 

 -Adriana Trigiani from the documentary Hey Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird

    Good evening, loves, God bless you all.    ~Amelia

Friday, June 23, 2017

He Teaches Us to Sing

Our sweet daughter, Lea took this day before yesterday evening.

My dad passed away last week and things have become stranger and at times even more heartbreaking but I do know this... God is faithful and He is Just.  I have seen some of the loveliest signs from God, and I do hope to share with you soon as the Lord allows.  So many of these little signs are so hard to explain adequately in writing...

The Lord showed Lea this verse the night after he passed away. 

The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light;  Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.    -Isaiah 9:2  

The Lord has been very, very faithful to show me, teach me and encourage me daily.  I know He is Just.  Oh wow, I so know this to be true!

As it was written in my original version of Streams in the Desert;  He teaches us to sing in the dark times.  

No, my friend, it is not raining afflictions on you.  It is raining tenderness, love, compassion, patience, and a thousand other flowers and fruits of the blesssed Holy Spirit.  And they are bringing to your life spiritual enrichment that all the prosperity and ease of this world could never produce in your innermost being. 

-J.M.M.  Streams in the Desert June 15.

...If God has chosen special trials for you to endure, be assured He has kept a very special place in His heart just for you...

- Streams in the Desert June 19.

Prayers are always, always appreciated dear readers and friends. 

Well dear ones, I felt I should touch bases.   I'll be out of pocket for a short time, but I hope to at least visit blogs in between times.  I so appreciate those who read here.  You are a Gift to me.

Love,  Amelia in the Forest

Friday, May 26, 2017

Thanks for Reading and Praying Friends.

Hello blogging friends, just touching bases.  Thank you for the thoughts and prayers, I need, needed them more then ever.

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I was able to visit my father last week (see last entry) and able to run my fingers through his hair...He wasn't recognizing me.  I kept telling him, It's okay Daddy, it's okay.  I just felt he needed to hear that in his soul.  I told him I love you Daddy,  and I think he was starting to recognize me and he said...I love you too babe.

It was tough.  Real tough.  There are times I feel as I could faint and this was one of them.  I'm reading this blog writing and it sounds a little cold and I am so sorry about that, I'm just a bit confounded on how to word my feelings and it's showing up here.

This all is one of those things you think of in life and know it may happen one day, but this thing is bad, a bad gig as my youngest artist-photographer daughter would call it. ...A bad gig.  My father has been stolen from me and he made bad choices.  But God is bigger. God knows all about it. The nurses on staff knew the full picture and were sympathetic as well. I'm sure they felt very helpless as the perpetrator has medical power of attorney.  It's unbelievable and horrible.

A Gift:  I was so thankful my son in law, Josh was there in the hospital room with me along with Jem of course, Lea, our oldest too along with our Michelle.  At one point I just buried my face in Josh's huge Welsh chest and cried as he had held his arms out for me after watching me with my dad.  He gets me and I get him.  I laugh, I tell him he's my real son, he arrived late. : )  We both are infp personalities.   Jem. My Jem was almost humorous he is so very angry at this situation that did not have to be.  He hates what it has done to us all. 

Please pray over this situation.  I feel God is saying to me to be quiet on it even at home, not to talk about it too much at all. Trust me, there could be a lot to talk about!   I am to let Him do His work, He has ways of doing it up good especially in justice situations.  ...And trust me it truly is a justice situation, as the system does not work.  It's unbelievable what people think they can get away with and do many times.  I will try to write more when God releases me to do so.  And we know, those of us who know God, know that those who look like they are getting away with evil are not.  No, not at all.  God watches from afar (and up-close!)   God is there watching!

I've struggled with anxiety for many years, it's a good thing that I do have a living relationship with God let me tell you.  I would like to share this wonderful book that has some very good biblical reminders and  rules along with true stories:

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. (1948)   This is one of those books many people read over and over again. Very, very, very  helpful!  Mr. Carnegie writes in such a gentlemanly way and such a matter of fact way so typical of the 40s. He covers our enemies, ingratitude etc. This book hits home. Timeless.

More Gifts:  I saw a prayer buddy of mine at the grocery store, she works there, a manager who is normally very busy.  The day after my visit to see my dad, she was standing their with nothing to do.  Normally she is so busy I hate to even ask her how she is.  We were able to really talk as I told her the situation and to please pray.  Hugs were given right in that grocery store.

And more Gifts:  We saw the mommy cows and their baby calves in the fields and they are so happy.  The calves frolic through the green grass under the oak trees, they look up and kiss their mommies.  If God takes care of these sweet free creatures will He not take care of me?

Another Gift: I was able to sew a little bit.  I made a navy lawn cotton (super lightweight) maxi skirt with a yoke.  It will go with some woven one yard tops I want to make.  It's therapy I tell you. : )

Something that made me smile: I saw a little spider scurrying across my bathroom floor so frightened, and I felt God smiling and saying, That is how you are too at times Dear One.

There was also someone Jem and I talked to that gave Peace and made us feel protected.  It was God watching over us in in a very major way. 

I'll close with some songs that I enjoy that you may enjoy too!  Sara Groves has some very unique and meaningful songs if you would like to look her up on youtube.  I've seen her and talked to her in person more than once and she is one of those true-blue ones.  She was very kind, the second time I saw her after a concert she says to me and our four girls, I remember you!

Have a sweet afternoon and evening, loves,    Amelia in the Forest.  God is watching over us.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Prayers Requested!

Prayers are being requested.

I'm suffering from the flu, my father is dying according to nurses.  He is around four hours away in a hospital so you can imagine what I am going through at present.  Our two oldest daughters made the trek to see him yesterday and he wasn't doing well.

When they arrived they told him they didn't know...they didn't know he was there...

No one from our immediate family did.  A concerned wife of a distant cousin (an old running buddy of my dad's) happened to see Lea's number on Daddy's wall at his house after some investigating, she took courage and did the right thing and called Lea.  That is how we found out.

My father crossed paths more then several years ago with a woman who has wrecked things.  She has manipulated things to an unbelievable point turning my father's heart against us at a point, and now not even calling our family to let us know.

Be careful who your elderly parents make friends with.  My dad's giving and romantic but needy heart has gotten him in huge trouble not to mention ripping our emotions apart.

My only child heart has been so broken, I had such plans for Daddy and I in his old age.  Such plans.

Daddy, I wanted to take you to the old Methodist in downtown where you and Mother were married back then... I wanted you to be able to relax here in the Forest with Mother.  You could have held our dogs, you too love dogs and cats and all things.  Why on God's green earth did this all  have to happen I do not know or understand the choices.  I cried out the other day with my daughter in the kitchen just crying out saying.  Why.  

Yesterday our girls helped him get water from sponges there in that far away hospital room, he would cry out for a cup of water repeatedly.  They said the Our Father together as well as Psalm 23.  Lea and Marianna asked him if he knew the Lord and he said he had prayed with a radio preacher.  My dad still has a radio hooked up to his bathroom light so that when you turn the light on, the old time radio preacher comes on. 

I am a highly sensitive person, what the books call, an HSP.  If you know anything about highly sensitive people you may know this is a gift but in this case perhaps a curse.

I will end with good things, Roman 8:28.  My husband is a huge help, my girls have helped hugely with supper and things putting their gifts to work.  My two son in laws (one of those is soon to be), he has been checking in with Mar, sending roses thru Mar to me. The other is of my personality and would like to call the offending woman and enlighten her a bit on what she has done to our family.  My sweet mother, the wife of my father's youth is so proud of our girls on handling things so beautifully, she was so glad they told Daddy that (she) Lena loved him.  The two of them are in the top photo taken shortly after they were married.

There are other good things too that I don't have liberty to share.

Please pray I get well for one so I can begin to do what I need to do in this situation.  I feel like my nerves are shot, frayed and all the rest along with the flu. 

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Pray for my dad I don't like the suffering I am hearing about.  Not one bit.  It's breaking my heart and it didn't have to happen like this. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Beautiful Ordinary. Glimpses.

The discovery of God lies in the daily and the ordinary, not in the spectacular and the heroic.  If we cannot find God in the routines of home and shop, then we will not find Him at all.  -Richard J. Foster

Hi De Ho Everyone!  Just thought I would share some day to day glimpses...

The first glimpse is of our little Guisseppe.  He is our little blind dog...He is very sweet as you can see and loves Pops.  I take him in my arms and say...Hello Guisseppe...Little Man.... 

The next glimpse is of the little skirt I made for the little grand-daughter of the checker at the store I told about in my last entry.  I made the skirt, tie belt and put a nice little new tshirt I had on hand for with it.  The little daisy appliques make things very cute I think. 

This skirt too went to that same little girl I had written about.  This was formerly my skirt, a bit billowy on me, so my handy scissors went to work! 
...And I just happened to have some fabric left from my billowy skirt.  Voila.  A bag for her schoolbooks and lunch! 
This is the pattern I used for the basic skirt.   I actually made the skirts a tad shorter then the ankle length pattern and they still may not be the correct length, I gave plenty of growing room and her grandma can hem I'm quite sure if needed.   Simplicity 9001.  I made the elastic waist adjustable so they can tie the elastic to fit her little waist.

It was nice being able to use my old skills again of fashion illustration...I was a little unsettled on how it would turn out since it's been years ago since I had done one.  But I quickly sketched the aqua outfit out with a little girl her age wearing it.  I had an un-used frame in my closet.   So, there she goes!  Goodbye little drawing, I hope your little face will bring cheer to that little girl and she will feel loved and of great worth in God's eyes.
 You are Beautiful!  I also wrote a note in the package explaining everything and shared...Always look to God.   From Mrs. Amelia. 

 The next glimpse is a sunset here at the Forest. 

Gracie enjoys the sunset too.  She is a love.  She was hairless, scarred and on the verge of death when she was found.  She is a beauty now.  I hug her and say.... Miss America Gracie Girl!!!  The most beautiful girl in the world!!!  Yes, I tell her she is beautiful too.  She is a very sensitive creature and fearlessly loyal as well.

Another glimpse is the USO Service Center I wrote about in the last entry.  You know...  ; )  The one with Joan Leslie and Robert Hutton walking out of?  Hand in hand?  This is the real place, very un-changed.  

The entire town,  USO town is very much like that too.  I say this is where Judge Hardy and Andy Hardy live with the family as follows...

There are many large two story homes here, the kind with white pillars and picket fences just like what you see in the above Andy Hardy trailer. 

...Jem and I wonder who lived here in this town years ago...My long lost third cousin owns a pharmacy nearby.  He knows everyone by name.    One day maybe I will ask him what history he knows.  So far he is one long lost cousin who I have actually met and he seemed equally as excited to meet me too.  Now-a-days, that is a breath of fresh air!  : )

The WWII USO Service Center for Those Serving Then.  Oh if those walls could speak!
The old lanterns aglow at the front...So neat.
Photos taken in a moving car! Please oblige!

The WWII era center is the iconic buff colored brick from the 40s and as I wrote on the last entry, it has all kinds of extras and wings for our precious servicemen back then.  In my last entry I also included a clip of a USO Canteen with Roy Rogers, one of many old stars who would entertain our brave troops. 

Well I guess that's about it for today.  I'm plodding along with life...I try to keep my eyes and ears wide open whether it be smalltown or bigtown or wherever, if there is a little something I can do to bring cheer and shine God's love I want to be able to do that as I see fit using my natural gifts God gives. It might be just smiling at Adolph the doorman and saying his name.  ...It might be right in my own home.  There is an awful lot of fulfillment in that. 

...One thing for sure.

I haven't time to be a millionaire!  : )

I want first of be at peace with myself.  I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life...I want, in fact--to borrow from the language of the saints--to live "in grace" as much of the time as possible.  -Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Jem was saying at the supper table the other night... I want to live inside-out, not outside-in.  In other words, what is in, we share, it's what is inside that counts!   ...Not seeking material things to pack in selfishly and thus never fulfilled.  We can be fulfilled by what is inside!

Me too!  : )

Have a great day, loves,    -Amelia

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Yay for Goat-Goat and Clifford! Don't Fence Me In! 'Hollywood Canteen' (1944)

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions--the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.  -Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Well, well, well, look who I got to visit with last week...Is Goat-Goat not the sweetest ever?

My sweet friends, Goat-Goat and Clifford.
These characters make me laugh, they are buds until there is competition!  Uh oh.  Clifford was getting a bit upset here.  Do you see the body language?  He actually galloped at Goat-Goat to make him go away!  I cannot believe you Clifford!  lol

Please pet me won't you?  I really like you a lot Mrs. Amelia.
(Look at little Goat-Goat's hooves...So cute I think...)
I like you too Mrs. Amelia.
I had a good little visit with my buddies!  They are fenced but  have plenty of acreage and a neat barn on the other side.  Where else can I go and have a drive-thru experience like this but in Smalltown?

Please enjoy!  Don't Fence Me In from the movie:  Hollywood Canteen (1944)

I've always loved this act at the Hollywood Canteen by precious Roy Rogers and Trigger!  I believe the old movie is entitled simply,  Hollywood Canteen  (1944) and is very entertaining!  Wow, has Hollywood changed.  Back in the 40s there was much patriotism in our Hollywood stars.  It was such a different time in our country when there was a healthy fear of God.  Many of our stars served in WWII.  A much better time morally.  Many will say those days are gone...  Not here at the Cathedral. : )  I pray people will wake up.  I don't understand the worship of this present culture at all.  Let's be strong.

You have probably heard me talk of USOtown?  The town actually still has a USO center there from WWII for the soldiers.  On the front glass door, a sign says... "Please remove your chewing gum before entering."  More then several times Jem and I have stopped and peered through the front door.  There is a large room with the original clock on the wall, a counter and kitchen where the refreshments would be served.  Locker room, old gymnasium and auditorium attached.  It's an amazing place among the beautiful trees and street lights.  You expect Joan Leslie and Jimmy Stewart's fill-in during the war, Robert Hutton, to come out arm-in-arm at anytime. Flags are still flown there.  Greatness. 


I hope you all are having a nice day!  Signing off from the Forest Cathedral...Amelia

Joy is the echo of God's life within us.
-Joseph Marmion