As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Friday, October 31, 2014

gather. {Gathering the Moments of October}

"Oh, Marilla, she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill--several thrills? I'm going to decorate my room with them."

Like Anne, I revel in October. There are so many things to love. The crisp mornings, the warmish afternoons, the chilly evenings. Pumpkins. Apples. Falling leaves. Mums. Autumn squash. Soup. Blazing color. (Even now, as I write, my eye is drawn to the dining room window as it frames my view of the golden yellow leaves of the walnut tree.)   

And gatherings. 

All month long, I have gathered. I have gathered cozy things around the Farmhouse and the beautiful offerings of nature outside its doors. I have gathered special memories with family and friends. We have gathered around tables of fellowship and we have gathered to celebrate. 

I have also gathered thoughts. 

It has been a month of reflection and consideration. As the world continues to grow darker and darker, I have turned my thoughts toward my Creator and Savior. I have tried to "set your [my] mind on things above, not on things on the earth." 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Several of our friends have lost parents this October. I love the Biblical phrase "gathered to his people" which is used at the death of a the righteous man, for it indicates that there is life that continues after death. Those who die in the Lord are with Him. 

In the midst of this joy and sorrow, I am reminded of just how temporary life is. As October is fleeting, as the leaves blaze gloriously and then are gone, as I consider how very few Octobers are in one life...I should take His words to heart and live by them. "Do not look at the things which are seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 

May our gatherings continue to be investments in the Heavenly realm. 

This is day 31 in the series gather.  Click ~here~ to see more.

Again this month, I am inviting you to join me in "gathering the moments." You may wish to share two or three photos, or several collages, or bunches of photos...with words, or without words. The link-up below will be a gathering place for us to reflect and share and connect. (The link-up will stay open for a week, so you have plenty of time to gather.)

Thinking About Home

Thursday, October 30, 2014

gather. {with friends and family}

I'm a bit tied up today, so this post will be short and sweet. We're preparing to host two gatherings this weekend - one with friends, one with family - and we're expecting the best of times. 

~ word art by Kati ~

I'll be back tomorrow to wrap up this series by Gathering the Moments of October. 
Feel free to join me! (Details ~here~.)

This is day 30 in the series gather.  Click ~here~ to see more.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

gather. {brown}

Do you ever gather a particular color? 

Oh, how I love the vibrant colors of autumn! Red, burgundy, orange, yellow, bittersweet, gold. So beautiful and rich. 

But I also love...brown. 

Brown is warm. Smooth. Comforting. Settling. 

So when I am settling into autumn, I often look around my house and gather brown. 

Have you ever gathered a color? What color says fall to you?

On Friday, I'll be Gathering the Moments of October.

As I have done since January, I will be providing a place for you to link your own "moments" and we can share with one another. (More details ~here~.)

I will be hosting this gathering each month through December. Feel free to join in!

This is day 29 in the series gather.  Click ~here~ to see more.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

gather. {leaves}

Yesterday, our homeschool took us on a stroll through our back yard. Bekah had learned about monocotyledons and dicotyledons in her science lesson, and it was a perfectly beautiful day to take the lesson outside and look for examples of each. 

A monocotyledon has one cotyledon (seed leaf), and is characterized by flowers with petals in multiples of three, and non-branching leaf veins. A dicotyledon has two cotyledons, flowers with petals in multiples of either four or five, and leaf veins that branch from a midrib. That's my mini lesson for you.  

So off we went to discover monocots (rosemary, chives, day lilies, grass) and dicots (maple trees, Italian parsley, hydrangeas, four o'clocks). 

We still have many green leaves, but they are slowly revealing their autumn colors. Each day there's more color, and I am afraid that if I blink that I will miss the glorious autumn show. I am reminded of the quote by Elizabeth Lawrence, "Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn." Yesterday we took the time. 

Addendum: When I showed Kati the picture of this little guy, she wondered if he was an "octocot." :)

This is day 28 in the series gather.  Click ~here~ to see more.

Monday, October 27, 2014

gather {weekend snapshots}

On Saturday, we rose early and took a little road trip. It was a Special Day for our two grandboys, Owen (8) and Ben (6)! 

photo by Kati

On Sunday afternoon, we welcomed friends for dinner: Bekah's piano teacher and her husband. Bekah has taken piano lessons from Jackie for 3 1/2 years, but we discovered many things that we did not know about one another, and were surprised to learn of several mutual friends, past and present. It's a small world. There is just something about gathering around a table that enables you to connect on a different level. 

Bonus: We were treated to a lovely piano duet!

Weekend gatherings. Investment in relationships. Good times. 

This is day 27 in the series gather.  Click ~here~ to see more.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

gather. {the music of Thanksgiving}

I learned to love "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come" as a child, and ever since, I have loved Thanksgiving music.

Four or five years ago, I found a book that falls under the category of you-never-know-what-gem-you-will-discover-at-your-local-library: Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember, by Barbara Rainey. It had an eye-catching Thanksgiving-y cover that attracted my attention and so I pulled it from the shelf. There are beautiful illustrations inside too, as well as the history of Thanksgiving, ideas for establishing Thanksgiving traditions, and beautifully decorated pages for recording your own family’s blessings.

But the real treasure is the accompanying CD! Over and over I listen to these lovely instrumental arrangements of worshipful hymns. Included are “Come Ye Thankful People, Come,” “We Gather Together,” and “For the Beauty of the Earth”—all traditional Thanksgiving songs which I want my children to know (and which we have sung around our table on Thanksgiving day!)—as well as other hymns which inspire worship and gratitude such as “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” and “O For a Thousand Tongues.”

Today, I am sharing a little gathering of music, a medley of Thanksgiving hymns. (This medley is not from the Time to Remember CD.) Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself as it is not yet the end of October. But I don't think it's ever to early to count our blessings and offer praise to our Creator! 

This is day 26 in the series gather.  Click ~here~ to see more.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

gather. {teas}

Winner of the happy package is announced at the end of this post.

Lately I've been gathering our teas after a warm weather hiatus. From the tray atop the refrigerator, from the pantry shelves, from the cabinet above the coffee pot. Time again for a warm cuppa.

The Friendly Village cups and saucers also had a spring/summer break, but they are ready for service once again. 

We love the flavors (and the tins!) from The Republic of Tea. We also like the descriptions under the names. Who wouldn't want to sip a cup of "tea of conviviality"? :)

Uh oh. My Pumpkin Spice tin is empty! Time to order...

I have filled the pumpkin bowl with an assortment of tea bags.

It doesn't hurt to have a little something sweet alongside. A scone would be good, or a shortbread cookie, or a piece of warm, streusel-topped coffee cake. But a nibble of chocolate will do!

I am rather a latecomer to the world of tea drinking. My son once told me, "Mom, you like the idea of tea," which hit the nail soundly on the head. It just seemed so pleasant and cozy to sip on a cup of tea, but I didn't really like the taste. I was (am!) such a coffee girl. 

Over time, I learned to love it. I found flavors that I liked, and I discovered turbinado sugar and the "right" amount to sweeten my tea. My daughter Kati is a tea lover, and she brought me along into her tea world. (And I am still enamored with the idea of tea.)

I like a cup of tea with an afternoon read aloud, or after a walk, or on a chilly morning. When do you like yours?

Do you gather your tea supplies in the fall? Or do you drink hot tea year round? Or not at all?

Since Ben was sleeping over last night, I asked him to help me choose a happy package winner from the bowl. He asked if Crow could help him. :)

Congratulations to Happy@Home!! 

Send me an email ( with your postal address and I'll get your happy package on its way asap!

This is day 25 in the series gather.  Click ~here~ to see more.

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