GOD's my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
(Psa 32:7 MSG)


music therapy

There have been times in my life when music is what keeps me going.  It has helped me deal with depression, anxiety, sadness, and anger.  During the years after birthing my son (Bubba), we tried desperately to get pregnant again.  Despite our efforts and helpful (or not-so-helpful?) doctors, and for reasons still unknown and as of yet unexplained, the Lord has seemed to shut that door.  But during those years of hoping and waiting and praying, one song seemed to comfort my soul:  I Will Rest in You by Jaci Velasquez.  I first heard it on the radio and then found & purchased the CD Streams so I could listen to it over and over again.  I have grieved the loss of my fertility.  I know and trust that His plan is greater than mine and if I had been able to conceive again, we would not have adopted CJ who is such a joy and perfect fit in our family!  God is good ALL the time! 

Another song that has touched me in a special way is Your Hands by JJ Heller.  I know I've blogged about this song a while back, but I still love it.  The reminder that God holds us and carries us through has been and still is such a blessing to me.  And yes, it once again brings me to tears.
"When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands"  [lyric excerpt from Your Hands by JJ Heller]

More recently, with Dad's cancer diagnosis, I've found music once again helping me.  Comforting.  Allowing me to release the tears that have built up...the ones I try to stuff down and keep from surfacing.  So many songs have already been uplifting and/or comforting during this time of uncertainty. (And really all of life is uncertain, isn't it? We just don't realize it until it slaps us in the face.)

Certain lyrics in songs I'm currently listening to have taken on a completely new meaning for me from what they did just a couple weeks ago.

The song Move by Mercy Me--one of our favorites here--is so much more than just a fun song.  Take time to really listen to the lyrics. 
"This hurt is getting heavy
But I'm not about to cave
Everything is about to change
There's gonna be brighter days
I just might bend but I won't break
As long as I can see Your face

When life won't play along
And right keeps going wrong
And I can't seem to find my way
I know where I am found
So I won't let it drag me down
Oh, I'll keep dancing anyway"  [lyric excerpt from Move by Mercy Me]

Another song, From This One Place by Sara Groves, has taken on new meaning for me.  I recommended this song to a friend just a few weeks ago after she shared with me that a few different people in her life had recently lost a relative to cancer. {She herself lost her mother to cancer a few years ago, so she knows and understands the pain of that loss.} It's the tough stuff of life. I never dreamed I'd be needing this song's message to help me through the same sort of dark valley so soon myself.

"I don't know what's making me so afraid
tiny cloud over my head
heavy and grey with a hint of dread
I don't like to feel this way

take me back to a window seat
with clouds beneath my feet

from this one place I can't see very far
in this one moment I'm square in the dark
these are the things I will trust in my heart
you can see something else
something else"  [lyric excerpt from From This One Place by Sara Groves]

I don't know about you, but I'm sure thankful that God can see "something else."  That He "knows the plans [He] has for [me/us]" and that they are "plans to give you a hope and a future." {Jeremiah 29:11}

As Thanksgiving approaches, know that I am thankful for those of you who will walk through this valley with me and my family. Your prayers and support are a huge blessing and I thank God for you.

Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.


one thousand gifts #238-244

Well, if you happened to read my post last Friday, then you already know that my Dad has been diagnosed with cancer.  Today he is getting a MRI scan and a PET/CT scan so the doctors can know exactly what they're dealing with and what the best treatment plan will be.  By tomorrow they should have at least figured out if the cancer can be removed surgically or not.  The mass they found is in Dad's right lung, so we are praying that it's only in the one place and not affecting any other organs.  Strange in a way to be praying that he can have surgery, but the chances of the cancer returning after treatment are greater if they cannot physically remove the mass. 

{Please, Lord--Let them be able to surgically remove that mass!} 

Your prayers are a blessing and are much appreciated as we walk through this valley.  Thank you.

Now to continue with my Multitudes on Mondays.  It's especially good to remember our blessings in these "times that try the soul." 

#238  laughter
#239  music.  specifically songs that touch my soul in a special way just when i need a reminder that God loves me and he "can see something else" even when all is darkness to me.  (thanks, Sara Groves, for writing "From This One Place." i love it!)
#240  friends
#241  prayers...and pray-ers!
#242  good doctors and specialists
#243  special housing for Mom & Dad (and/or us too if Dad has surgery) that is close to the hospital and not super-expensive.
#244  Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through [Christ] who gives me strength."  And yes, even dealing with cancer falls under the term all

I think that's  all for today.  I will probably update as I can (or as I feel the need to vent).
Thanks for taking the time to read today's post.

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my regularly scheduled Free Book Fridays will resume next week...maybe.

There's a lot going on in my life right now.  My dad has been diagnosed with cancer which means a bit of waiting and praying in between the tests/scans they need to do.  My husband has been hired to a new position at work (starting beginning of next year) which will be a bit of added stress for him as he's learning what exactly that will entail--not to mention the fact that he has to finish up some of his own current projects too!  Top that off with trying to homeschool my two boys, housework, and making items for my Etsy shop and/or for those who have contacted me with orders...well, life's just a bit crazy right now! 

I will try to continue updating my Multitudes on Mondays and Free Book Fridays when I can, but I hope you understand if I don't get around to blogging every week, especially in the near future.

Anyways, today I decided to forgo putting together a new Free Book Fridays list and instead I'd like to share with you my Etsy Treasury I put together for November.  I'm sure you've still got plenty of reading options still, but just in case you've missed my previous posts and would like to see my recommendations for free eBooks (specifically ones for Kindle) check out this link right HERE.

A November collection.

It's cold here in Northern Minnesota. So I've found some items that would warm a person up...or at least give you a warm fuzzy feeling! Enjoy!


one thousand gifts #227-237

more "multitudes on mondays"

#227 answered prayers (Husband will be starting a new job at the beginning of next year--same place, new  position)
#228 peace that passes understanding
#229 new yarn to work with
#230 Sunday afternoons visiting Grandpa and Grandma (my mom and dad)
#231 a 5-year-old who is learning his ABCs:  last night he wanted the "Blue U's" and we didn't know what he was talking about until he showed me the box of Fruity Pebbles...did you know the U in Fruity is BLUE? funny kid.  but at least i know he knows the letter U!
#232 crafting fun:  i've seen a variety of "family rules" signs on Pinterest and Etsy so i decided to make my own.  i had an old canvas, bought adhesive vinyl letters from wal-mart that didn't really stick to the canvas, and used mod-podge to seal them in place.  (now i just need one of those metal picture hangers for it so it doesn't fall off the wall in the middle of the night again.  i tried to hang it with Command Picture Hanging Strips--i love 'em since most of our walls are lath and plaster--but they canvas didn't stay stuck to the strips. it could be that it was too heavy and i should have used 4 instead of just 2, but i think i'll get the hardware hangers next just to be sure.)
#233 finding a way to make housework a little more fun
#234 waking up before my alarm (this rarely happens)
#235 plastic mattress cover for nighttime potty training.  (and wondering why we didn't get one sooner!!!)
#236 more free books on my Kindle...check out my Free Book Fridays to learn more!
#237 faith.  hebrews 11:1
#238 hope. jeremiah 29:11
#239 love.  1 corinthians 13

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Happy 11-11-11!

It's Friday again (already!) and time for me to share a few more books you can get for your Kindle absolutely FREE!   So are you enjoying my Free Books Fridays?  I hope so!

Anyways, on with today's list.  I'll try and keep it short this time. 

Are you like me--a cookbook collector?  I have so many!  Well, if you or someone you love does a lot of baking or cooking, you probably have heard of Gooseberry Patch. My sister-in-law, Annie, introduced me to Gooseberry Patch cookbooks years ago. 

Funny thing:  I've given Gooseberry Patch cookbooks as gifts, but I don't own any myself!  Well, anyways, Gooseberry Patch has published a few e-recipe-books for Kindle and in the past 8 months I've collected a half dozen or so of these free e-cookbooks already.  There's a new one available now:  Circle of Friends Cookbook--25 Savory Pie Recipes. I know my family likes chicken pot pies, so I'm definitely going to check out the recipes in this little eBook too! 

(Edit:  I just learned via the Gooseberry Patch website that these downloads are actually CHAPTERS in the Circle of Friends Cookbook!  If you don't have a Kindle yet but still want the recipes, go HERE and you'll be able to download all SEVEN chapters to your computer instead.)

I really love how many classic books are free for Kindle.  There's some really good literature out there!  One of Bubba's favorite books is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll;  he has read it several times.  And he's also enjoyed its sequel, Through the Looking Glass.  Both are now on my Kindle.  Bubba will be so happy! {smile}

Another of Bubba's faves is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.  This book was one of our "read-alouds" when Bubba was in Kindergarten as part of Sonlight's Core K (now Core A).  He's gone back and reread it several times since then. CJ will be in Core K/A next year, so it'll be nice to have it on my Kindle too. Several other Oz-related books by L. Frank Baum are also available. Just click on the link and you'll see just how many there are!

Have a wonderful weekend!
And as always, happy reading!


Free Book Friday!

Last week I started something new--Free Book Fridays!  So if you missed it, go ahead and check out this post first, then come on back and you can continue reading today's post too!

{Clicking the links in today's post will open a new window for you. I prefer tabs, but at least you won't have to use the back button to find my blog again!}

This week I planned to focus on Popular Classics, but I think I might throw in a few current ones too since there are a few new ones available now.

First up on today's list I'll start with one of my all-time favorite authors, Jane Austen.  Several of her books are available for Kindle.  Here's a few to get you started:   Emma,  Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility.  I haven't read these on my Kindle yet, so I don't know if there are any issues with the way they have been formatted, but I know they're all great books!

Next is another favorite author of mine, L. M. Montgomery (or Lucy Maud Montgomery).  Although I haven't found Anne of Green Gables for free yet, there are several other books you can get now including Chronicles of Avonlea & Further Chronicles of Avonlea, The Story Girl & The Golden Road, and Kilmeny of the Orchard. I've started Chronicles, but really haven't read these on my Kindle either.

This year I started reading the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  I will put links to the free copies here, but with this disclaimer:  the images (pictures, graphics) are missing.  I, thankfully, am married to a Sherlock fan who has the complete Sherlock 2-volume hardcover set, so when necessary, I would just grab the {rather large} books and see what the missing image was.  Since the images are rather crucial to the story, I would not recommend these unless you have the paper books as well.  Instead, I would recommend purchasing the Kindle versions with images that are included if you want to only read these on your Kindle.  But here are the free ones if you still want them:  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear, and The Sign of the Four.

My husband is currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas when he has a chance to use my Kindle.

And my almost-12-year-old son is reading Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift when Mommy lets him use the Kindle.

The next few I haven't even downloaded to my Kindle yet!  I just "ordered" them today (which is actually Thursday as I'm writing this up a day early) but I'll get them when I'm done writing this and turn on my Kindle's WiFi.

Holy Bible, GOD'S WORD Translation.

A Measure of Mercy (Home to Blessing Series #1) by Lauraine Snelling. (Lauraine Snelling is a well-known Christian historical fiction author.  I'm sure this will be a good book even though I haven't read it yet!)

Kisses for Lula by Samatha Mackintosh.

Fuse of Armageddon by Sigmund Brouwer and Hank Hanegraff.  (I've read Sigmund Brouwer's Robot Wars Series and enjoyed his writing so hopefully this will be a good read as well!)

Well, that should keep you busy for a while. 
Enjoy your free books!  I know I will!
Happy reading!