Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Love of God

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.  

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

 -Fredrick Martin Lehman (1868-1953)

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Reading, Knitting, and Crocheting

Today I am joining the February Yarn Along. My current knitting project is a pair of socks for myself. I hope to finish the first sock today since I only have a few more rows to knit. I am using the same sock pattern I used to knit Adam's socks, but instead of knitting the wide rib stitch I am knitting the textured stitch used in this pattern.

My crocheting project is Spring Leaves Doily. It is a beautiful pattern; I love the delicate leafy design.
Currently I am reading The Treasure of the Secret Cove by Amy Le Feuvre. The Treasure of the Secret Cove is an exciting story from 1899, taking place in an English fishing community. From the first chapter I was drawn into the setting. It is truly an engaging tale, that has kept me up too late more than once. : )

"So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.  He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:6-8

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Prairie Girl's Faith- Review

The beloved author of the Little House books was not only one of America’s great pioneer storytellers but a woman of vibrant faith.

A Prairie Girl’s Faith provides the first extended, in depth discussion of the Christian faith of one of America’s most beloved pioneer women–Laura Ingalls Wilder. Although the faith of the Ingalls’ family pervades books in the Little House series, the more specific details of Laura’s faith have never been fully explored. It took extraordinary pluck for anyone to survive the harshness of frontier life–from the heartbreak of sudden crop losses to murderous storms to unrelenting loneliness. This book reveals how in surviving, the brave Laura drew not just on her character, but found encouragement, strength, and hope in her relationship with God.


A Prairie Girl's Faith by Stephen W. Hines is a beautiful look into the legacy of faith the Ingalls family instilled not only into their family, but their community. Ever since I was a child and my mom read aloud "Little House in the Big Woods" I have been a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder. When I saw this book I was fascinated and eager to learn more about this amazing lady's faith.

Mr. Hines did a great job of collecting what information he could on the topic of Mrs. Wilder's faith, but honestly there was not quite as much in depth information as I had expected. At the beginning of chapter seven Mr. Hines writes: "The reality is that Laura Ingalls Wilder was not a person who thought it necessary or appropriate to reveal her private thoughts on topics or people to the outside world. She certainly extended this attitude to her spirituality, which she definitely considered one of her most private of matters." With that said there truly wasn't as much information about Laura Ingalls Wilder's beliefs as I thought there would be. However this book was interesting and informative in many ways that I had not expected.

One chapter explores the songs mentioned in the "Little House" series and how those songs may have impacted the pioneers of that era. I was interested to learn favorite hymns of different members of the Ingalls family. In an earlier chapter the author recounts how the Ingalls family lived a great distance from town and that Sundays were spent in quiet worship at home. At that time Caroline Ingalls instructed her daughters in Scripture memorization. Throughout her life Laura always read her Bible and it was not far from her at the time of her death.

Another interesting topic covered in this books was the relationship and collaborative efforts of Laura and her daughter Rose. I had no idea that Rose had such an impact on her mother's writing career. The author also compared and contrasted the two women who shared so much in common, but were often extremely different in beliefs.

A chapter entitled "The Church Potluck" discussed the growth of the church the Ingalls were involved in starting and the tradition of potluck dinners. This chapter is filled with recipes from an old community cookbook. The recipes were submitted by notable "Little House" characters including Caroline Ingalls.

I appreciated the peek into Laura Ingalls Wilder's thoughts that her articles for "The Missouri Ruralist" provided. Excerpts from many of her articles are sprinkled throughout this book giving us a unique glimpse of her perspective on many relevant topics of her day.  

Overall A Prairie Girl's Faith was not exactly what I had expected, but a very enjoyable and informative book. The author is very knowledgeable and presents the information in a conversational manner which makes it an easy, fun read. For those who have enjoyed the "Little House" series and are interested in learning a little bit more about the woman behind the series I would definitely recommend A Prairie Girl's Faith.

*I was given a copy of A Prairie Girl's Faith by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Little House Shawl

Earlier this week I finished knitting a "Little House" shawl for my daughter. A couple of months ago I discovered this pattern and the name instantly caught my attention. As I have mentioned before Jemimah and I love "Little House".
Jemimah has been requesting a pink shawl for quite some time now. Pink is her favorite color, followed by purple. I asked her to choose the yarn from a few I found on-line and this yarn was her favorite. When the yarn arrived in the mail she was very pleased, as it is not only pink but has subtle lavender undertones.
This was my first attempt at knitting a rounded shawl. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. The only tedious part of the project was casting on. Instead of casting on a few stitches at the top, as I am used to, you cast on a couple hundred stitches which forms the bottom edge. I found that casting on 50 stitches at a time and then placing a stitch marker after each group of 50 stitches helped make the process easier. I was able to count in multiples of 50 until I reached my goal.
The old shale lace edging is what makes this design special! It adds just the perfect old-fashioned touch.
I finished this shawl none too soon, as we have had our fair share of snow and cold temperatures lately. Jemimah told me that her new shawl is "comfy and cozy" which truly made my day. : )

Monday, January 1, 2018

My First Socks

Last New Year's I made a list of skills I would like to learn in the year ahead. One of the projects I had hoped to tackle was learning to knit socks. I looked at a few sock patterns and was somewhat intimidated by the idea of creating a heel. To me it was a mystery how a heel could be knitted so neatly and comfortably.

In October I entered a contest hosted by Emily of Emmy Couture, she generously offered two skeins of her hand dyed sock weight yarn to the winner. I was thrilled when I found out I was the winner! When the yarn arrived I felt more inspired than ever to knit my first pair of socks. Adam was also quite pleased with the skein of Forest yarn and suggested that it was the perfect yarn for him. : )

I decided I would try to knit a pair of socks for Adam as a special Christmas surprise. Usually I knit in the evenings after dinner, but since this was meant to be a surprise I worked on the socks only during the day while Adam was at work. It was often difficult to find time during the day and progress was slow.
One day leading up to Christmas Jemimah and I had spent an especially fun day together baking cookies and then watching the 1940's "Little Women" while I knitted. That evening Jemimah decided to pray over our meal. Her sweet prayer outlined all that she was grateful for that day, "Thank you Lord that mama and I made cookies, thank you that we watched "Little Women" and thank you that mama is knitting socks for papa.". Adam and I both looked at each other, and then began to laugh! The secret was out, so I decided to show him my progress and test the fit. It was actually a blessing to have some extra time to finish the socks and know that they would fit after all of my work.
Adam is quite pleased with his new socks. The yarn is so soft and was a pleasure to knit. The color variation is subtle, but beautiful! The second skein of yarn from Emily is a lovely combination of purples and gray. I am hoping to use that yarn to knit socks for myself.
At times the knitting process was a little challenging, but not nearly as difficult as I had feared. The pattern I selected was free and very easy to follow. The pattern also featured different variations of the design to assist the beginner. I also watched this video twice. It was extremely helpful in learning how to knit the heel. The second sock went much faster than the first, however both socks have their fair share of mistakes. Overall they are cozy and Adam doesn't seem to notice the mistakes, so I am happy to have added socks to my list of knitting accomplishments. : )

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!" Isaiah 52:7

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas!

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.  In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:1-5

May all of you have a blessed Christmas filled with the peace and joy of Jesus!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Books by Grace Livingston Hill

During the Christmas season I have always enjoyed taking some time to sit by the Christmas tree to read a Christmas story. Some of my favorite Christmas novels are by Grace Livingston Hill and I thought it was about time I shared my favorite titles here.
 Stranger Within the Gates is a rather unusual and at times humorous story. The book begins with a mother reading a letter from her college student son; he has written to say that he has married a girl that no one in his family knows. As the story unfolds the young man's family does their best to endure the Christmas season with a "stranger within their gates" - his new bride. In Grace Livingston Hill fashion this new member of the family adds some definite tension and drama to the Christmas season!

 The Substitute Guest is my favorite G.L. Hill Christmas novel! It tells the story of a world weary young man who finds himself unable to reach his Christmas destination due to a severe snow storm. Instead he ends up at a beautiful little farm belonging to a lovely family. They invite him to spend Christmas with them and since they have a daughter close to his age.... well you can guess what might be the outcome. : ) I especially enjoyed the descriptions of home and hearth in this book. It was so sweet and old-fashioned.

The Christmas Bride is an unlikely story of love between a terribly ill girl and a wealthy young man. Most of the story takes place throughout the rest of the year, but the wedding does take place at Christmas. It was a lovely cozy read.
April Gold may seem an unusual title to add to this list, however I just had to! The Christmas scenes depicted in this story are just perfect! April Gold is the story of a family of means going bankrupt and having to move to a little house on the wrong side of the tracks. Each member of the family must chip in to make ends meet. When Christmas comes they are surprised by visits from special friends, mother makes doughnuts and mincemeat pies. Overall, it is delightfully sweet and cozy!

The Gold Shoe is not actually a Christmas story, but it is a wintry tale that I thoroughly enjoyed! It is a book that made the rounds with my mom and aunt. We all unanimously agreed it was wonderful! A frivolous young woman accidentally gets off her train at the wrong station. She finds herself stranded at night at a desolate station. If that weren't bad enough she is caught in a blizzard garbed in an evening gown and gold party shoes. Much to her relief, and surprise, a handsome young man comes to her rescue and takes her back to his cozy home. It is a sweet romance that made me chuckle more than once.

Do you enjoy reading a good Christmas novel each year? What has been a favorite?