Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pleasant Places flowers

First white Bluebonnet we've ever seen at PP!

Rose "bathing" in the bluebonnet fragrance

Prickly Pear cactus mixed with white Yarrow

Blue Curl Flower (see the curls?)

Entrance to Pleasant Places (those are Agave plants, not Yucca)

Now I'll show you some photos we casually took at Pleasant Places a around May 1. We had an abundance of rain this year, so the landscape is telling it's story. What an incredible story it is!

Texas Hill Country flowers

Could they be any prettier? I feel like I should leave this page blank, since whatever I write will be woefully inadequate to express the exquisite experience of being around these flowers and plants. These flowers are right by Pleasant Places.

It demands so much of all of my senses to even attempt to take it all in....and how gladly I try! The joy I feel is intense and without words! But as with all beauty, the longing I feel, the's pointing me to the One, the Maker, the Savior, Jesus, who holds ALL things together. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wagon wheel of God

About seven years ago, I bought an old wagon wheel in Mason, a tiny town near Pleasant Places. I asked the Lord to show me what I could do with it. Not being that artistic myself, Jim Ashabraner came to mind sometime later. He is an artist friend of ours who loves God with all his heart.

I invited him to come to Pleasant Places with his wife and baby, to see if he could create something with the wagon wheel as the starting point. My primary desire was for the wagon wheel to draw people to our Father and Jesus. It would hang in the staple (stable/chapel), a peaceful and centering place to be.

With that in mind, Jim came to Pleasant Places for three days. He prayed, pondered and created what you see. We love the imagery, the simplicity of it, and how the center of the wheel is like the Trinity, with the spokes expressing the attributes of the Trinity through things seen with the eye.

Here is the description of each:


Starting at the top and moving clockwise:

CLOUDS. Clouds in the heavens are the natural veil of the blue sky, and are therefore used as a symbol of the unseen God.
GRAPES WITH WHEAT. Used to symbolize Christ’s blood and body
BEEHIVE. Used as a symbol of paradise, the beehive, with honey, alludes to the land of milk and honey, the promised land.
IVY. Because it is forever green, the ivy is a symbol of eternal life.
BUTTERFLY. Due to the life cycle of the butterfly, it is used as a symbol of the resurrection.
PALM. It is a symbol of victory.
DANDELION. One of the bitter herbs, the dandelion is a symbol of the Passion of Christ.
WHITE ROSE. A symbol of purity.
STRAWBERRY. This is the symbol of a righteous man whose fruits are good works.
PINK CARNATION. A symbol of marriage.
VIOLET. The violet is a symbol of humility.
APPLE. In Latin, the word for apple and the word for evil are identical. It is for this reason that the legend has grown up that the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden was an apple tree.
GRAPEVINE. Used to express the relationship between God and His people.
DOVE. The Holy Spirit
Thus at the top of the wheel we have the trinity. Going counterclockwise is a trip through time. The journey starts with God and man in perfect fellowship as intimate as the vine and branch. This was broken by the fall. When we come in humility, we become the bride and recover righteousness and purity. This comes through Christ’s suffering and His victory in the resurrection. The end, being eternal life in heaven once again in perfect fellowship with God.

First fruits

It's early spring, and when we were at Pleasant Places, and because it was still a bit early, there were only a few bluebonnets in bloom.
So, we thought it fitting to offer the first three bluebonnets and some rosemary to the One who created them. We placed them on the altar in our staple (stable/chapel).

One of my life verses is Proverbs 3:3-13, and I will highlight the verse that we had in mind:

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you,
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the first fruits of all your crops;
then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, John!

For my husband John's 58th birthday, I made him a lemon pound cake with intense flavor by using lemon juice AND lemon zest. It was also enriched with sour cream, so it was super-moist.

I started to arrange mango and lime slices on top, but spontaneously created this instead, which is a fun resemblance of him. I loved seeing him laugh really hard. Happy birthday, love of my life!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Apple pie Williams-Sonoma style

I saw the cover of the Williams-Sonoma catalog this fall and it had an apple pie on it with the cut-outs of fall leaves embellishing the crust. I rarely, if almost never, buy something because of a photo I see on the cover of a catalog, but I was in love with the idea of making a pie crust that was actually beautiful.

So, I made Ina Garten's recipe (Barefoot Contessa) and it was delicious. And I had a ball making the fall leaves for the crust. What do you think of it?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Olive the Grand-dog

Cameron, my daughter Nicole's husband, outdid himself this Halloween. He found a Wonder Woman suit for our Grand-dog Olive. Need I say more? We laughed til our stomaches ached. Can she get any cuter?!! Olive is pictured here with her proud parents.