Thoughtful| Teshuva, the Return

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We, as finite creatures- tend to drift. To float away weakly after the pleasures of the world. We exchange the wonderful blessings of Christ Jesus, for the fleeting pleasures of sin. It’s a rip-off, but we don’t mind. It doesn’t matter to us. But it should.

Many of you have probably heard the C.S Lewis quote about the children being more content with mud pies than with the vacation at the beach. That’s us. We’ll take the mud pies, disguised to look like candy- and devour them.

But there’s good news.

We’re not given over to our sin as unbelievers are. The Lord will never forsake His own. He pursues us, He loves us freely. And above all- He convicts us. Have you ever felt that terrible poke right before doing what you know is wrong? Most of the time, people refer to that as your conscience. But did you know that the Holy Spirit, while being a comforter- is also a convicter? God doesn’t wink at sin, and He has indwelt us in the person of the Spirit. He is merciful and gracious.

I feel that the things that I have been doing are drowning out the love that I ought to have for God. I cry out, asking why God isn’t answering. Why isn’t He there? Well, He is. Sometimes God doesn’t answer the way we want Him to. Sometimes we alienate ourselves from Him. We neglect reading His Word and praying. And then we wonder why we don’t ‘feel’ Him there.

The Psalm most applicable that I can think of to repentance (turning away to return) is Psalm 32. It tells us what happens when we do not confess, and I gives us encouragement to return.

Blessed Are the Forgiven

A Maskil of David.

” Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

I acknowledged my sin to you,
    and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
    and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Therefore let everyone who is godly
    offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
    they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
    you preserve me from trouble;
    you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
    which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
    or it will not stay near you.

10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
    but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
    and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”

~Psalm 32

Sadly, sometimes it’s so easily said, and not easily done at all. I know when I’m in a ‘spiritual rut’ or find myself backsliding back into sin- sometimes the last thing I want is to return. Even though He loves me freely. Even though my current path will only lead to destruction. I still am content to wallow in the mud.

Sometimes we must wallow in the mud for a while to be brought to utter humility. We see our need of Him more clearly when He ‘hides His face’ from us for a while. But then, like the prodigal son—we return. He brings us back like lost sheep into His fold. We feast once again on green pastures. He restores our cast-down souls. He gives us drink from the clear, still waters.

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He makes us to lie down in peace.

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Kindle Paperwhite + 5 free books

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Hey guys!

I have been…not on this blog. If my stats bar serves me right…it’s been about four days?

Today I am going to share a product-ish review that has really impacted my reading life. It’s called…the Kindle Paperwhite!

You can get many different kindles off places (primarily Amazon). The main difference between this one and say, the kindle fire- is the intended usage. The paperwhite is intended almost exclusively for reading, whereas the fire- is mostly for internet, games, etc. Yes, you can read on it…but I think it’s much more painful on the eyes.

LoVeLy FeAtUrEs

*Changeable resolution (screen brightness adjustable). What’s really neat about this feature is that it was created to keep the eyes from having to adjust no matter where you’re reading at. 

*Many books can be carried and read on-the-go. I used to lug books around and devour them. Now, I can bring my kindle paperwhite along with me, stuffed with books and get away with it! It’s great. I also love how little it weighs compared to my stack of books 😀 . 

*Access to the kindle lending library. Library? What? You can borrow one book a month for free out of many great titles. The last book I borrowed is ‘Once’, which is a collection of fairy tale retellings by several gifted young ladies. It’s historically themed. My point? There are a lot of great titles out there that you may borrow. Only one a month though, so make it good 😉 . Some other great titles I’ve previously borrowed:

  • The Spinner and the Slipper- by Camryn Lockhart
  • A Branch of Silver, A Branch of Gold- By Anne Elisabeth Stengl

And there are a bunch of other nice books that you’d probably enjoy.

*Access to a bunch of classics. In the kindle store, there are so many amazing old classics. You can get the entire Oz series FREE. Literally anything in the public domain is free. 

5 fReE bOoKs

  1. Jane Eyre. This is a public domain book and is amazing. I know some people may not like it, but I love it. It is an amazing book. It’s a roller coaster of happy and sad all intermixed. It’s classic, and is by Charlotte Bronte. 
  2. Wives and Daughters. By Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. It’s also public domain, and a classic. Interesting fact, the writer died before completing the book. The BBC series is really good, although they did have to guess the ending 😉 . 
  3. The Scarlet Pimpernel Books. I don’t know if any of y’all are familiar with the Scarlet Pimpernel or not. They’re a series of books set around the french revolution- and are about a daring Englishman and his brave comrades stealing french (destined-to-be-guillotined) victim’s from the clutches of the french tyrannous ‘government’. While not all of the books can be gotten free, you’d be well on your way to discovering a lovely British series. The books are written by Baroness Emmuska Orczy (that name, tho 😀 .). 
  4. Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I was in love with Grimm’s, especially when I was younger. They were my favorite when I was twelve or thirteen. Whether you want to read the original german-ish Ascenputtel (Cinderella), or you are dying to hear about Snow White…this book is for you. And it’s public domain. AND it’s by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. 
  5. Books by many different Biblical authors. In the public domain, you can find books by Martin Luther, Isaac Watts, Charles Spurgeoun, and many others. 

 

To sum up…this product is very worth it!

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Patchwork Quilt| A Life Update

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And what does that lovely header for this post mean? Why is there a roadway? Well…friends, I went somewhere. But that will come later. I will start with a semi-comprehensive look at the past…two or three weeks? Here we go.

We had a very random snowfall that was very tiny, and melted almost immediately. I did take a photo of a plant in it though…

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And then a day or two after that, I got the opportunity to try out slow sync flash. You basically set a slow shutter speed (I mostly did 2 seconds or 2″) and spin in a circle while the flash fires. It makes for VERY weird photos but is nonetheless quite fun to do. And it’s especially cool if you’re outside at night.

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This is not edited. This type of photography just results in looking this way. Cool, huh? Ignore how dumb I look 😉 .

You can also use objects. I did this one in my studio/office.

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I love how the flash freezes the water.

And then after a few days it was time to go to a conference! This is photo from in the car.

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Then we got to the hotel…which wasn’t awful. But I still don’t really like it.

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And this is a room at the conference building that I like hanging out in. It’s sort of become a cliche for me, since we’ve gone for three years now.
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And snacks and drinks were provided at the break times.
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And outside the building there is this lovely bed of pansies.
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And then there was this trip home. And we were all exhausted.

More Recently…

On Saturday, we were at the YMCA–when mom told us we were going on vacation NOW. We hadn’t packed. We didn’t even know where we were going…and our family of eight had two hours to pack. And one of those hours we would have people over. But…those people happen to be the family I am getting to do a newborn photo session with. So this was my first opportunity to get a peek at baby Eva Marie. And she’s adorable! I think the session is on Friday. I’m going for a studio look.

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Look, she has hair! 

Our 1 and a 1/4 day ‘vacation’ was to our grandparents house. One night my grandpa showed me his father’s old film camera a bunch of other cool stuff that went with it. Sometime, I want to try film.

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The I decided to try an interesting technique using a tiny fisheye lens.

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No photoshop required!

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Then we were home. And I took some pictures of our red bud tree.IMG_6006.JPG

Then some photos of unnamed one 🙂

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And that’s pretty much all that I’ve been up to for fun.

What have y’all been doing?

Have you ever gone on unexpected vacations?

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BHBR| Treasured Grace

Yay!

I am now reviewing my third book for Bethany House! The first one was Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette, the second was Quick Tips for Busy Families by Jay Payleitner, and this (the third) is…Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson. So let’s just run into this here review.

Treasured Grace

Heart of the Frontier Book #1.

By Tracie Peterson

My rating- 5 stars

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I loved this book! It was such an exciting novel to read. I love the cover (as a side note 😀 ), and the time period is one of great interest to me. This is the first Tracie Peterson book I have ever read, and I like it. The reason I haven’t read much of Tracie’s work is simply that I’m not much into western stuff. And a lot of her stuff seems to be western.  I don’t (so far) like western romances as much. I’m not into mail order brides. It’s just not my thing. But this…yep. This got me. Prairie days are much more thrilling for me.

Let’s go back to the days of Indians…

//I love the setting. Wagon trains, sickness, prairie dangers, and beautiful country. It all appeals to me.

//The main character. Grace is a neat person. She’s strong, and kind, and is a healer. She cares for people as a life calling. But she’s not perfect…and I love how she develops. 

//The pain. The story does a good job building tension and getting you excited. I started dreading what was probably coming. If you like…you can read the synopsis- and figure out what I was dreading happening. After THE event of the story there is so much hurt and scars, and it makes the reader feel sad 😦 .  

//Good story line. I felt that the plot was engaging, and it just kept going. The dialogue was delightful as well. 

//Age line. Because of several things that occur in the story which are suggestive, I would recommend this book for 13+ or the discretion of the parent. (It would be discretion of the parent or guardian regardless! 🙂 ) 

//Faith. This book is Christian Historical Fiction. I thought the faith was much better emphasized in this book than in most other books of its genre. And believe me…you would need a strong faith to survive such trials!

So…I will probably borrow some more Tracie Peterson from our local library soon. I think maybe not all of her stuff is Western? I know that a lot of it IS, but then- maybe someone else out there has read some of her westerny ones and liked them? I’m sure they’re good. 😉

*This book actually arrived earlier than I was expecting it to (thumbs up to Bethany House for promptness!). So I actually was able to finish reading it at the conference I attended the 14-16. And I finished it so fast…because it was amazing. It kept me under it’s power the entire time. I don’t think I experienced any boredom at all.

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New Website Design…

Perhaps some of you have noticed my drastic change on The Misty Mountain. I have completely changed my website look! I chose to use two complementary colors (orange and blue) because I am semi in love with that look. I am also attempting to adopt better structure. This is going to be a bit bumpy (especially since I’m not done designing my website yet) but I am glad for all y’all’s patience. Thank you, guys- for following my blog, and hopefully I can start being more accommodating to what y’all want to see.

Have y’all taken my survey yet?

If you haven’t, hop over to it and vote! At the end of two weeks I’ll use the biggest voted choice and do a post on the winning thing. Basically the survey is really just a poll asking what kind of posts you most want to see. If you’d like to more of something else (not listed) then please comment on the poll with what it is. And as a side note when I mentioned photography, it more refers to very basic things. I have a photography website (as you know) where the most of photography is mentioned.

My blog header

Now that y’all have seen my header- what do you think? Do you like it? I am working on some other blog-related design stuff, so if you have suggestions- please share them!

Thank you!

~Emmaline

The Misty Mountain Survey

Thoughtful| “Once Upon a Birthday”

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“Growing up is never straight forward. There are moments when everything is fine, and other moments where you realize that there are certain memories that you’ll never get back, and certain people that are going to change, and the hardest part is knowing that there’s nothing you can do except watch them.”     

~Alden Nowlan (no idea who this is 😉 )

From the above quote…you may guess what this post is about. Growing up. Getting older, and leaving behind the days of littlehood. This has been put on my mind a lot lately. I have to admit, I’ve been thinking about it for years. I think the first time was when I was six years old. The world was big, the grownups were so very…grown up. I look back and can’t help but blush at some of the things I thought as a really little girl. One thing that I think is funny is that I thought I would have a ‘special someone’ when I turned sixteen. Then it was all the story of Sindersoot (aka-Ascenputtel, Cinderella) and all those other beautiful fairytales. Well…I turned sixteen and um- yeah. I had figured out long before then that my childish thoughts were just not the way things actually normally happen. I blame the Little House on the Prairie tv series with Melissa Gilbert playing Laura. Do any of y’all remember how Mary had a ‘special friend’ when she was maybe fourteen? 🙂 Anyways…yes. The more people I meet the more funny little kid stories I come across.

The reason it’s come to my mind RIGHT NOW is my big sis, Hannah- just turned eighteen. And I will be eighteen next year. We’ve been pretty close for a pretty long time now, and I’ve always felt left behind whenever she crosses into another season in her life. We really do grow at a different rate. Everyone is just so different.

There’s one thing I’ve decided about this tricky business called ‘growing up’. I don’t want to forget all my memories. And I don’t want to be sad, depressed, or bitter about being left behind. Because I’m a unique person, who God is shaping day-by-day into the image of His Son. And I can enjoy where He’s placed me. All to soon, I’ll probably be wondering where the years went. I’ll be one of the older and (hopefully) wiser people who’re always telling us teenagers to be content. To just enjoy where we are right now. Here’s another quote about growing up:

“One of the oddest things about being grown-up was looking back at something you thought you knew and finding out the truth of it was completely different from what you had always believed.”

~Patricia Briggs

That’s something I can identify with. As I get older…things I thought are torn down and replaced with reality. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It is often a very painful thing (depending what it is), but not always something that will devastate you. Read this Bible verse for a very telling thing about growing up.

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

~1 Corinthians 13:11 

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Have you had any similar thoughts?

Do you have any favorite childhood memories?

What is ONE memory that you never want to forget?

~Emmaline

p.s The cake for the post is the one I made for Hannah’s birthday. It was a two layer cake, one layer raspberry- the other vanilla. With chocolate cream cheese frosting, and strawberries on top.