Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.
Proverbs 4:26
New King James Version

As with years past, my ponderings the week between the celebration of the birth of Christ and the beginning of the new year have been centered around the idea of Living Life on Purpose.  While I wrote much about these ponderings in the early years, I haven't thought as much about it recently.  As with so many important aspects of life, the urgent trumped the important this past year.

I have always known we should put more thought into the way we live but it wasn't until I was in my 40s and living in Detroit that God baptized me with these thoughts in such an overwhelming fashion that I could think of nothing else for awhile.  I'm certain part of the timing was my age as my 40s were when I began to ponder more than before.  Living in the midst of a major metropolitan city and feeling quite alone (with millions of neighbors) contributed to the time and quiet months to ponder... ironic, isn't it?

I have written so much about the general idea of Living Life on Purpose already.  Should you be inclined to brew a cup of tea and cozy up to your computer for some reading on this subject... they start here.  I believe they go back a few years... yikes.  Time does fly by, doesn't it?  However, it doesn't take too long to read unless one wants to ponder at the same time.  :)

Today I want to chat about some specific ways I am concentrating on these ponderings in the next year.  Just a few ways I am putting my life through a mid-course correction.  I can't think of any major detours taken this past year, more often I suffered from self imposed neglect... which over time can become as much a danger to our hopes and desires as anything more drastic.

I haven't made enough effort to have a daily morning quiet time.  Some days it is easy and those other mornings... sigh, my sleepiness overwhelms what I know is important.  If my attention is not drawn to the Holy at least a short time each day, my Martha side overwhelms the Mary and I fret about many things.

I have no excuse as there are twenty-four hours in the day and I have no young children demanding attention.  So, I'm in the process of sorting through my quiet time basket to decide what I want to study in the next few months.  I'll be chatting more about the basket and my quiet times as they come together. 

I haven't been writing in my scrapbook journal lately for many reasons.  Mostly having to do with feelings of melancholy and a gentle stomping of the feet and telling the Creator I am quite unhappy about aspects of my life, thank you very much (or not).  Having repented of such an adolescent attitude... my scrapbook journal is making a comeback in January.

During my last doctor's appointment, I was told I need more protein in my diet and that I must take off ten pounds.  Upon remarking that I already don't eat a whole lot, the nurse practitioner smiled and told me it meant getting out and exercising again.  As she is also an insulin dependent diabetic, I think she set me up for that one.  Actually, I want to take off about fifteen pounds and at my age... any and all muscles are hidden as I at times feel a deep and abiding kinship to the Pillsbury Dough Boy.  I find it hard to believe I was underweight not that long ago  (I gained thirty pounds the first three weeks after starting insulin).

In the next year I will continue sharing about deepening the pantry (although there are an amazing amount of links on the sidebar to my own writing and great blog posts and websites written by others).  Along with new posts, I plan to repeat some "oldies but goodies" every week or two.

As from the beginning, I'll be sharing books being read and those I have already enjoyed.  I know in January I plan to read mostly Elizabeth Goudge... as a blog friend said she may do, too.  While I own a few Goudge books, I'll have to depend on the library for a couple I want to read.

During the year I want to read more D. E. Stevenson and re-read my favorite Edith Schaeffer books.  For years (and years) I reread The Hidden Art of Homemaking (my original hardback copy is called Hidden Art and I was a bride when I first read it) and What is a Family at the beginning of each year.   I plan to read through The Tapestry and L'Abri again this year, too.  Sometime this winter while it is freezing outside and cozy on my reading sofa, I plan to read through the Mitford series again.  I have never read them one after another.

So many old friends to reread... not to mention all those new and undiscovered authors and titles.  In the midst of fiction, there is always a nonfiction favorite... or two... or three.

Then there are recipes to try, rooms to decorate, pantries to stock, gardens to plant, grown children to enjoy, grandchildren to write, hubby to spend time with, and a quite fluffy cat to spoil (whom... as I write... is draped across my hand).  While circumstances cause my world to be smaller than it once was, I have learned this past year it does not mean my life has to be less than good.  Attitude is everything as I give my hours to the one Who created them.


Katy~The Country Blossom said...

That last sentence you wrote in this post says it ALL!

This winter gives me time in my days to read and knit! I look forward to it! I hope you enjoy rereading your "friends" *I love how you call them that!* and I wish you a very happy new year!!! :)

matty said...


Your post says so many things that we all need to remember; the most important thing I glean from it is that we should BE. BE God's child, BE grateful, BE focused, BE loving, BE humble. You have issued a challenge, my friend, that I'll be watching, supporting, and participating in this coming year.

Isn't it exciting to think that God has it all planned for us? All we have to do is show up!

Stay warm and pet the Princess! Wookie says "Hi!"



Debby said...

YES friends, attitude is everything. Be happy with what you do have, don't fret over things you don't have, and believe in the power of postive! "worry does not empty tomorrow of it's troubles. It empties today of it's strength"

And as Jane Austen says "there is nothing like staying at home for real comfort"

Beth said...

How timely! I just composed a blog post for later in the week about this very idea. In fact, I called it Intentional Living. This is such an important mindset and attitude to cultivate. I agree with you most heartily.

Kel said...

Such a great post!
And great replies!

Praying for you Brenda-
Thank you :)
Kelly Lynn in Texas

jAne said...

Oh my, there is such meat in your post! So many points to ponder, chew, digest. The following quote speaks to my heart deeply:

"" If my attention is not drawn to the Holy at least a short time each day, my Martha side overwhelms the Mary and I fret about many things.""

I'm thankful that 'He makes all things new (Rev 21.5).' Great is His faithfulness, even when I'm unfaithful. Mercy!

Bless you as you begin the year anew. May He guide and may you follow in the way everlasting.

jAne *

Vee said...

Okay, I could ponder this one all day and I probably will. More protein (a challenge in today's economy) and more exercise (a challenge in today's weather) I complaining? Perhaps. ;D

The whole idea of an individual's world becoming smaller (dare I say dwindling? atrophying?) is a topic of interest. Age and health dictate many times. My grandmother's world is now so small that I am about all that is in it...scary. Okay, I should write my own post!

Have a deliciously cozy day, Brenda.

Anonymous said...

Being grateful takes some focused efforts at surely does not go as we might plan...but just as surely it goes as HE plans for us...which means in the end, it will all be good!!
Blessings from a fellow sojourner,

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Tofu is an inexpensive way to get more protein into your diet. And brown rice and beans with cheese...I seem to be becoming more vegetarian.

I want to send you a few of my extra D.E. Stevenson books.....But not ones you already own....Do you have many more than Miss Buncle's book? You can answer in a comment if you want.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I have:

Miss Buncle's Book
Mrs. Tim Christie
Still Glides the Stream

Ms. PJ Geek said...

Wow what a post! There's a lot to do it seems. Also, just cozying up with a good book and a cup of tea under a blanket sounds perfect.

I encourage you on your quest for more protein and to burn a few calories. I second the idea of rice and legumes, nuts, string cheese, carnation instant breakfast for the protein. I tell patients of mine to think of food as medicine. You may not be hungry, but you can eat little portions every few hours to fuel the body for healing.

As far as exercise, I know you have challenges with that and not to mention the weather. There are chair exercises and very simple light wt training that you can do with soup cans for 1 lb wts. Google google to find them.

I'm on the lookout for Elizabeth Goudge books and may order one with some Barnes and Nobles credit I have. I have a whole stack of books from Goodwill to enjoy.

Happy New Year all

Kay said...

Thank you for the reminder of The Hidden Art. I shall reread it this year too. :)

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I just have to comment on the fact that you're reading Pilgrim's Inn, which I love, love, love (as I do Elizabeth's other books, which my friend tells me are "out of style." I don't think so.

In some ways the aspect of blogging that I love is that we have an on line "Pilgrim's Inn," with the door always open and the tea steaming in the pot. Now we just need a sprig of herb o' grace to round out the picture.

Blessings, Sharon Lovejoy

Linda said...

I always relate to much of what you say. I'm not doing goals this year. I'm not sure why I just don't feel like it, but I have lots of projects I want to do. I'm in the middle of reading Miss. Read, I hadn't read it for a long time and I'm really enjoying it. I'm finding I don't want to go out, I have much more interesting things to do here. Linda

Anonymous said...

I needed to read this post!! I love the idea of a quiet time basket!!! That is now on my to do list. I would love to hear more about how you do your scrapbooking journal. I think that sounds interesting. I LOVE the book Hidden Art of Homemaking!! I also want to reread it as well as the Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. I look forward to the pantry talk!! IT is going to be a great blog year!!
I also linked your blog on my daily reads!!

scrappy quilter said...

I totally agree, attitude is everything. I hope you get to do all you've planned to do this coming year. Enjoy time spent reading too. Hugs

window into our life of love, joy, and adventures! said...

Thank you so much for your words of confirmation! You are such an inspiration!
Seems like the words you put down on this post came from my heart! I look forward to growing and developing along with you this new year.
Blessings and warmth on this day! I enjoyed having tea with you : )

Rebecca said...

I am "with" you this year! May God grant us energy and inner strength to meet the challenges.

Re. the books you listed as intending to re-read (many the same I would list), I'm wondering if you've read the Miss Read series? Dora Saint writes of life in small English villages (Fairacre and Thrush Green). They are absolutely charming books! I thought I'd read them all through interlibrary load years ago. I've recently begun building my own collection of these via thrift stores, etc. I really think you'd like them.

DarcyLee said...

My husband and I are trying to get a little healthier and a little lighter on our toes, so to speak. Starting tomorrow we won't be eating much in the way of carbs, except for brown rice and oats. We will be eating lots of legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and some meat. I posted about it on my blog if you want to take a look :)

I love the Mitford series. I read them for the first time last year and just fell in love with those characters. I also just finished What is a Family? for the first time the other day. What a great read that really puts the family in it's proper perspective. Sorry, didn't mean to be so long-winded. Have a lovely week.

Anonymous said...

Everyone mentions "Pilgrim's Inn" by Elizabeth Goudge but I liked "The Bird in the Tree" best which is the first book about the Elliot family; there were three, you know!

I enjoy reading comments by fellow blog readers, we have so much in common.

Friend Debra

Mrs.Rabe said...

I am agreeing with you about quiet time - I too, need to make this a priority.

I so appreciate your posts, Brenda, and learn so much from you.

Anonymous said...

< While circumstances cause my world to be smaller than it once was >

Brenda, can you imagine what your life would be like without the internet? I can remember back in the mid 90's when I had 3 small little boys, we lived on 5 acres about 20-25 min. from town, and my husband was a long distance truck driver. We were also fairly new to the area and didn't know barely anyone. Talk about a small world! And lonely!!! How much better it would have been for me to have had the internet back then-how much more connected to people I would have felt.
Anyway, your comment brought this to mind. Bill Gates was certainly a genius when he foresaw a computer in every home, wasn't he?
joanna :)
p.s. your book choices sound good! i am determining a more consistent quiet time too. i bought a chronological one year Bible to read thru in the new living translation. i think i've only read thru the Bible once in 27 years so i figure i'm due for another go 'round. lol.