Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Favorites #3: Grace, Beauty, Order, Joy

Dear friends,

More links to equip and inspire you in marriage, motherhood, homemaking, home schooling, and your spiritual life!  These ladies are kindred spirits in the pursuit of grace, beauty and order and joy.

Karen Campbell shares much wisdom in this new series...
Sally Clarkson's grace-filled parenting series starts with these three posts...

Sheri Graham provides links for six FREE inspiring and practical e-books on Charlotte Mason style home schooling by Sonya Shafer/  These are worth your time!

Smooth and Easy Days

Education is an Atmosphere, A Discipline, A Life
Getting Started in Home Schooling
Masterly Inactivity
A Thinking Love
The Swedish Drill Teacher

Sarah Clarkson celebrates life to the full and I always love her exuberance!
Tonia at Study in Brown writes: "A day filled with beauty in every moment, yielded to the One who is heart was aching to provide that for my family.  I wanted it so badly and yet no matter how hard I tried I couldn't make it happen.  All my life was reacting to this terrible hurricane in the center of our lives, trying to control, control, control and being so exhausted and frustrated...   I needed to stop trying to order the child, and bring order and beauty to the environment."  Read it all here...
Brenda Nuland writes about our need for beauty:
  • Sunday Afternoon Tea  A quote on cultivating beauty right where we are: "So much of our journey in this life is out of our hands but that which we can control... our decisions, our attitude when things go wrong, making the decision to trust God rather than letting the seeds of bitterness take root, serving hearty soup in a pretty bowl with homemade bread on the side... instead of complaining there is no money for steak, searching for Beauty while Thrifting, choosing to be thankful for what we have... all coming together to provide the safe and cozy harbor in the crazy world in which we live."
And finally, from my own Virginia's Life blog:
  • Weekend Gratitude: Just Beauty  One quote: "As I walked amongst the natural loveliness which had been integrated and even designed into this community, I pondered: "What is it about beauty which feeds and restores the soul?"  A Bible thought floated into my mind -- "May your kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven!" -- and I instantly realized that all in Heaven is absolute beauty, so part of the calling of a Christian is to bring the beauty of the Lord to their earthly spheres."  (This post also includes photos from the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival - enjoy!) 

Let me know what you think of these links, and be sure to add your own favorites in my comment section!

Virginia Knowles

Friday, March 18, 2011

Soul Food and Friday Favorites

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you." Psalm 63:1-5

Dear friends,

Psalm 63 really resonated with me this morning, not because I am always passionate about seeking God, but because I am often not.  What is it that keeps us from the banquet table that awaits those who will just come hungry to the only one who can fill our souls with the right kind of food?  Is it that we can't quite believe the words?  I'd love to hear from you! What do you think?

Now to the Friday Favorites:  Last week I inaugurated a new "meme" -- which I'm guessing is a blogging term for a weekly themed series, especially a theme that you share with other bloggers. The official definition of a meme is "an idea or element of social behavior passed on through generations in a culture, especially by imitation." Whatever.  I did get the idea from other people, and you can take it from me if you want!  My "meme" is Friday Favorites, a short weekly-ish compilation of my favorite links to other blogs.

Here goes:

A Wrestling Prayer by Sarah Clarkson goes right along with my thoughts above. A quote:"Something I have recognized keenly this year, is that struggle can be offered as prayer. The fight to keep faith in God actually being good, when loneliness or dreams deferred, illness or pain accuse him of everything bad, is an act of faith every bit as vital as the usual rounds of study and prayer. A cleansing is what a wrestling prayer offers,  for it chases demons into the light."

Are You a Dreamer or a Keeper? by Sally and Sarah Clarkson pegged me as a dreamer for sure.  I need to work on the keeper side of life, though!  "Different writers tell different stories. Some find glory in the adventure of life, the great journey required of every soul born. Some find glory in the quiet, daily growth of home life, the small, rich details that come from life carefully tended and lived. Both speak truth, both offer us beauty. Both offer a glimpse into the richness of God’s mind."

Simple Pleasures is the result of Julie Druck imitating another blogger in noticing and appreciating what is around her.  "I see . . . A golden orb of moon behind the black-silhouetted woods; pussywillows on my desk from a friend..."

Calvin on Teachers Who, in Their Attempt to be Novel, Do More Harm than Good, by my friend and favorite author Gary Thomas, is very pertinent at the moment, because related to that, from my own Virginia's Life, Such As It Is blog...

Why is Rob Bell So Alarming? Can we handle the Bible message straight up, or does someone somehow need to make it more palatable for our modern ears?  

As you visit these other blogs, I encourage you to poke around and see what else the authors have to say.  Leave a comment if something stirs you.  I love to see comments on this blog, too, so drop me a line!

Virginia Knowles

P.S. One of my favorite memes of another blogger is Ann Kroeker's weekly feature, Food on Fridays.  Take a peek and add your own food link!

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Friday Feature: Favorite Blog Posts

Dear friends,

Every week, I read dozens of encouraging blog posts via Google Reader.  I'd like to share my favorites with you once in a while.  So, most Fridays -- I won't promise all -- I plan to post links to some of the noteworthy ones that I think will bless other moms like me.

Please note that I am recommending the blog posts, not endorsing the entire theology or practice of any of the writers.  I trust you can use your own discernment as you read...

Let's start with these:

Also, not just one post but the whole blog at Abbondanza di Vita, which my daughters Joanna and Rachel are doing during their three month trip to Italy.  Lots of gorgeous photos!  This one of Vernazza is one of my favorites.

Virginia Knowles