Monthly Archives: August 2007

I Am Thrilled…

Why? Because Victoria Magazine is being brought back to life. For many years I subscribed to this publication. I love the photos, the articles, the way the pages took me back to a simpler yet somehow more elegant way of life.

Although I have yet to conduct a tea for my friends, I have lots of wonderful ideas thanks to this publication. And if I ever have acreage to sow a garden…well, I have photos from a shoot they did. An all-white garden in the moonlight. Glorious!!!!

If you have an interest, here is a link to their website.

http://magazine-directory.com/Victoria.htm

Life is slowly returning to normal around here…although I start to cry at the darndest things. I just really miss my dad…and I think that will be part of my life for a very long time to come. But the good news is, I have been doing a bit of stitching in between writing thank you’s and working. Somehow the simple motion of a needle and thread moving through linen is very soothing to this heart of mine.

Am I working on one of my many WIP’s you may ask? Nope. Are you all slapping your foreheads and muttering ‘not again’? 🙂 Yep…again. (she admits unrepentently :-)) By this time you have probably guessed…I excel at starting projects. In fact, it should be the top entry on my resume.

But when you see this one you will understand.

http://www.marybeale.com/shop/newcharts.html

This is Mary Beale’s Advent Sampler. All four parts are available for purchase and the download works like a charm. I am doing it on 40 ct. cream linen with DMC…and it is beautiful! It starts with Adam and Eve and in a series of twenty four charts traces HIStory through the announcement of the birth of Christ.

As with all of Mary’s charts, these are hand done (as composed to computer generated) but are surprisingly easy to read. This is going to be a LONG work in progress, but I figure I will have 23 intermediate happy dances along the way.

I know I need to post photos, both of this work in progress and my recent finishes. So…I will attempt to find some batteries for the camera, upload the photos to my computer and get that done posthaste.

In the meanwhile, I hope this Lord’s Day finds you in a peaceful place, surrounded by those you love and blissfully frog-free.

Blessings,

Julie

Homegoing and homecoming

The homecoming? Well, I am back home after a week (last week, that is) which started with my dad’s sudden death. He had a massive coronary on the beach at the lake.

The homegoing? My dad’s. His whole life he was a believer in the Lord Christ and God. As he grew older that belief moved from a heritage and head knowledge to something he carried in his heart and spirit that transformed him.

He went home in his favorite place on earth, quickly and without pain. My grief is for me, not for him. I will miss him until that day of reunion.

One of my dearest friends, Christine, is a very gifted writer who knew my dad…knew the twinkle in his eye and knew that dad never met a stranger, only a friend waiting to be discovered. I want to share what she wrote for my family the day I told her he was called home. It made my cry, but the images are beautiful. (And, just so you understand as you read, my dad usually called me by my middle name, Joy 🙂

May you be blessed in some way as you read. And please, remember to share the important ‘I love you’s’, life can change so suddenly.

Thank you too, for your comments and e-mailed expressions of sympathy. This is an extraordinary community and my life is richer because of you.

Julie

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… The ones left standing
have to cry all the tears
And replay all the memories,
good and bad from the years.
And we shoulder the weight
of the work left to be done

And the ones left standing carry on…

Ah yes, there are lots of tears to be shed. It is a great loss to lose a daddy, a grandfather, a husband, a friend. We who are left behind do need to cry all the tears. But we are not without hope! We have the truth written out for us in I Thessalonians 4:13-18.

13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know what happens to those who die. We don’t want you to be sad, as other people are. They don’t have any hope.

14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again. When he returns, many who believe in him will have died already. We believe that God will bring them back with Jesus.

15 That agrees with what the Lord has said. When the Lord comes, many of us will still be alive. We tell you that we will certainly not go up before those who have died.

16 The Lord himself will come down from heaven. We will hear a loud command. We will hear the voice of the leader of the angels. We will hear a blast from God’s trumpet. Many who believe in Christ will have died already. They will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them. We will be taken up in the clouds. We will meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with him forever.

18 So cheer each other up with these words of comfort.

I do not presume to know what it is like in heaven, or what our welcome will be like. However, this is how I imagine it could be.


There was nothing quite like looking out over the lake, calm and beautiful. The sun was shining. There were a few puffy clouds in the sky, just enough to contrast with the otherwise beautiful, flawless, brilliant blue. A slight breeze moved the leaves on the trees and brushed across his face gently. This was his favorite kind of breeze – one that seemed to be the same temperature as his body, that felt neither cool nor hot, instead seeming to be simply a gentle caress on his skin.

This was a perfect day, and he was in a perfect place. “Oh my God, thank you for this day!” He meant this not as a trite misuse of his Lord’s name, common though it was in society today. Instead he was whispering a prayer of thanks. Life was very good. He had a wonderful wife that loved him, in spite of his many flaws. Fifty years she had put up with him! They had grown, truly, to be one. What a gift she was from God.

He had two wonderful children. Ah, Joy had struggled with her health, but seemed to be on the mend now that her ticker had been operated on. And Tim – well, Tim had his own struggles, but all in all, he had to admit that his kids made mostly good choices, and he was as pleased with them as children as any father could be.

Closing his eyes he took another deep breath. This day – perfect. The sun. The breeze. The sparkles on the lake. The scents. He opened his eyes again, first following the sound of the birds on the shore, then looking once more over the water. He wanted to breathe it in deeply, to capture every perfect facet of this day so he could remember it forever. He closed his eyes once more, allowing the perfection to burn into his memory.

He opened his eyes – and was looking into the face of Jesus. His Lord looked nothing like the pictures he’d seen, but there was no mistaking the majesty, the holiness, the glory of his Lord and Savior. Momentarily he was confused … he had been by the lake …

Jesus reached out with both arms, took him into a giant hug, and chased all his confusion away.

”Welcome Home, my good and faithful servant, my son. You’ve come Home.”

He had to drop to his knees and worship. There was no other choice in that moment. This was the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords who spoke to him personally. He was truly Home.

He worshiped there forever, singing, shouting, speaking, kneeling in silence. Forever. Forever.

He felt a hand on his shoulder. Looking up he saw a man he’d never met before, had never seen before in life, but whom he knew immediately. This time it wasn’t because of his glory or majesty or holiness, but just because … he knew. He realized that from here on, he would always know. He would find out answers to things that were no longer questions. He would just know.

No introductions were necessary, as he knew and was known, perfectly. Still the other man spoke. “I’m Evert. Our daughters are good friends. I wanted to welcome you personally, and introduce you around to others who are up here.” With sparkling eyes Evert continued. “I am trying to introduce everyone to everyone. Good thing we have eternity for it – there are lots of people here to meet!”

Again, the introductions were not necessary, but were welcomed. There were family members – some gone from earth long before he’d even been born, others more recently taken Home. Over there, running toward him — that looked like … like his young son who had died so many years ago, now perfectly healed, laughing and dancing with pleasure at having his daddy finally with him, knowing they would never again be separated. Here was Cora, his daughter’s niece through marriage. Her face was alight with the joy of forever being in the presence of the living God.

Others were people he knew as public figures. There was Ruth Graham, who had gone Home only a few weeks before his arrival – forever ago. Standing next to her was Eddie Guerrero, of Smackdown! professional wrestling fame, a man who had quietly, behind the scenes, given clear witness of the Saving Grace that had brought him out of his addictions and promised him a place here. And … that was Peter, the gruff saint who became the rock on which Jesus had built his church. Oh, the people he would meet on these golden streets!

Always there was the sound of singing and worship. They were surrounded by angels of many types. No two were exactly alike, just as no two people were exactly alike. The angels had different duties to perform – if anything here could be called a duty. All things were done with joy, with the pleasure that came from simply being in the vicinity of God. Constantly there was movement around the throne of God Himself as angels and people took turns singing and worshipping Him. There were no clocks. There were no artificial means of telling “time” – the very word no longer had any meaning. They were here, Home, able to see and feel and breathe the God who had created them, the God who had redeemed them, the God who had sustained them, the God who made it possible for them to be Home.

Forever. Forever.

At some point in Forever – how can anyone pinpoint a “time” when “time” is no more? – Jesus came to him.

“Stand here with me. There’s someone I want you to welcome.”

And there was his lovely bride. He was able to see her now as Jesus Himself had seen her all those years, the perfect Bride of Christ – and, during all those 50 years on earth, his bride. She fell to her knees in worship. He fell to his knees, at one with her in worship. They stayed there forever. Forever.

He stood. She stood next to him. He held out his hand, and she put her hand in his. That was how it had been for so many years. That was how it was supposed to be, and would be, forever. His heart overflowed with joy and peace and contentment and praise.

He started to walk. She walked beside him. “Come with me,” he said. “There are so many people I want you to meet.”

Sad :-(

My dad passed away Monday afternoon, so I will be away for a bit.

Blessings,

Julie

I could have sworn…

…that I posted last week. In fact, I remember it well. I talked about the upcoming NGM (Needlework Guild of Minnesota) retreat, my ‘stitchy’ pre-retreat weekend with ‘the sisters’ and all that sort of thing. Now both of those things are in the past and I sign on today to find no sign of said post.

I think I’m delirious or could it be that I forgot to hit ‘publish’? Nah, not me. Well…maybe…

Okay, let’s just say I’m confused.

So, hi to everyone.  I’m home, I had a great time at the aforementioned retreat and after I get some photos off the camera I will be back with a (MUCH) longer post. I will even try to remember to hit save. 🙂

I also updated my 2007 finishes and will post the accompanying photos.

Be back shortly.

Blessings,

Julie

A late evening post

Just a note to friends in different parts of the country who have been watching the national news feeds. The I-35 freeway bridge over the Mississippi River (8 lanes-2 of which were closed in either direction. The bridge is just a short distance from downtown and the neighboring main campus of the U of M) collapsed early this evening. The main span went 64 feet straight down into the river, the north end fell onto railroad tracks (and a train) and the south end onto River Road (with its bike trails, walkways and students headed home for the day). It happened at end of rush hour and between that and the Twins game (their venue is just a few blocks from the bridge), there was bumper to bumper traffic on the span.

At this point, they have pulled the divers out of the river because it is too dangerous for them to continue rescue and recovery efforts in the dark. I am sure morning will tell a more complete tale. As for me, my family and the friends I know of, we are all safe. I live west of the city and that is not a normal route for me (although I have traveled that road many times). I am grateful beyond words that I am not sitting in a hotel lobby waiting for news of a missing loved one and I ache  for those who are trying to cope with the waiting or with the sure knowledge of loss.

One wonderful miracle…a school bus loaded with children was on the bridge when it fell…the bus stayed upright, did not land in the water and all the kids are safe.

For those of you so inclined, please pray for the families impacted by this sadness, for the rescue workers, emergency response crews, inspectors and for a quick answer to some of the whys.

Thank you and many blessings,

Julie