April 30, 2014

Great Peace

"Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble."
Psalm 119:165

Admittedly I had to work on the stumble part this morning. I had reached the edge of a steep cliff of frustration with a long saga revolving around one of our cars, and boy did I have to pray my way through to keep my steps where they need to be! Thankfully I have found that the closer you walk with God the quicker you receive the Grace needed to get through trying situations. Grace is like a guard rail...and just what I needed at the edge of that cliff, because part of me really wanted to give the car dealership a choice piece of my mind.

But....... I've also learned that keeping my peace is way more valuable than giving into frustrations, even really big ones. I'll take great peace over stumbling anytime. 

It sure turned what could have been a bad day into a good one today.   :)

April 29, 2014


"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord , make me dwell in safety."
Psalm 4:8

Today I took a nap.

That's not a big deal to a lot of people but it's something I rarely ever get to do. Usually I just push through...I'm not the type that "slacks off". There's always more to do.

But today that bit of sleep was necessary. I'll blame it on the pollen. :) It was a busy day and by late afternoon I was toast. 

I'm grateful that I could take that time out between work and family responsibilities to get refreshed. What needed to get done got done and there will be more to do tomorrow.

I trust in God's provision. And in Him I find peaceful, perfect rest.

April 28, 2014

A Good Man

"a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,"  
Ecclesiastes 3:4

And today was a day for all of that.

It would have been my dad's 89th birthday today. I don't know why I felt that loss so keenly this year...maybe the date just snuck up on me. He's been gone for nine years. For a moment this morning I wept.  But I thought about his dry sense of humor and how good he was - at anything he set his mind to, and to people - and it made me smile. I'm grateful for the memories I have and for all the things he taught me.  Those things made it a good day.

He was a good man.

April 27, 2014

Waiting for the Harvest

"When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things."   Psalm 104:28

After church and lunch today we finished the rest of the garden. I am so excited about the garden this year! There is something about digging in the earth that is wonderfully satisfying. In the weeks to come we will water and pull weeds, keeping watch as things begin to grow. The whole process teaches many lessons - patience, the value of working together as a family, trusting God for the harvest.

Isn't that what's at the heart of faith? We do our part, wait patiently, and trust God for the harvest.

I can't wait to see what He does!

April 26, 2014


(He makes) plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth.
Psalm 104:14b

Today we planted. Well, first we went to Lowe's, Meyers Greenhouse, and Tractor Supply, and then we planted! It was a family effort...by day's end about 60% of the garden was in. 

This year we expanded the garden space, and we're trying a few new things like spaghetti squash and butternut squash. I'm really looking forward to seeing how things turn out!

I'm tired and sore...and happy. :)

April 25, 2014


"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms."   1 Peter 4:10 

What a day full of wonderful surprises! I met a friend for coffee early this morning and she bought mine for me. That was an unexpected gift...and anyone who knows me knows I love coffee! What a nice way to start the day. Then a long time client (like 24 yrs!) offered me 4 tickets to a Winston-Salem Dash baseball game...and anyone who knows me knows we're a baseball family! That was an unexpected gift too! Then my youngest offered to cook dinner...he made pasta Alfredo - from scratch! Another unexpected gift! It was delicious. He's quite the chef and he's only 14. 

Good things that came in three...after the day I had yesterday they were like hugs from God. I needed that. 

It wasn't just a day of receiving unexpected gifts. On Tuesday I sent two of my Pay It Forward pet portraits in the mail, with an expected delivery of today or tomorrow. I can't wait to hear how they like them! PIF was something I started doing last year. I love the idea of sharing a gift of artwork at an unexpected time throughout the year! Last year I did fiber art, this year it's pet portrait pencil sketches.

God gives us gifts to receive and gifts to share. It was good today to experience both. 

April 24, 2014

Pure Joy

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,"
James 1:2

So, then....it was a day of pure joy. Lots and lots of joy by that definition.

But at the end of the day, at a baseball game, I got to watch a sweet little toddler playing and giggling around and with me and that made all the day's frustrations just melt away. 

Truly it is the simplest things in life that bring the fullest measure of joy. :)

April 23, 2014


"He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers."  Exodus 35:35 

Today a good bit of my time was spent working on a lighting plan and making preliminary selections for fixtures for one of the coolest interior design projects of my career. I've been selected to do the interiors for the restoration of a 1909 Neoclassic beauty. Originally a stately home, over the years it's been converted to commercial property, and in recent years it has been empty. 

Not your everyday project! 

I'm loving the challenge of finding just the right things to bring it back to life. There are so many beautiful details in this place - leaded windows, a grand staircase, inlaid wood floors. Imagine the life of its original owners, the formal parties they must have had! If walls could talk... I just love the history such places hold!

And boy do I ever feel blessed to have been the designer chosen for this one!

April 22, 2014

A Full Day

"...when you lie down your sleep will be sweet."   Proverbs 3:24b

It was a good day all around. I met a work deadline, got the green light to proceed on a new project, met a friend at a place new to me that was really cool (I'll be going back there again!), had a good visit with her, helped my youngest make dinner - he loves to cook! - and after dinner got a good head start on more of my to-do list for tomorrow.

It was a full, busy day. But good all day. The kind of day that at its end leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment and contentment. Even though as I write this it's nearly midnight, I'm filled with peace. And my soon to be sleep will indeed be sweet.

April 21, 2014


"Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways."
Proverbs 4:26 

Today was a busy day, but I got a phone call from a friend asking me to go walking this morning so I took time out to do just that. We met up at one of the town parks. It's a hilly hike and I only made two loops before I got winded. Made it a bit over a mile. Did I mention the hilly part? :)

Still, it was a beautiful, sunny morning with just enough chill in the air to wake us up. The park trail winds through the woods which are full of blooming dogwood and cherry trees and the first hints of green. So pretty! We grabbed a cup of coffee afterwards before I headed back to the tasks of the day. It was fun...it felt good.

Walking was on my agenda today, so it worked out well. It's something I need to do more consistently...I need to work on being steadfast in my efforts. 

That little time out was good for thinking through the rest of the day. And in spite of a jam-packed schedule, everything got done.  

Life is indeed good.

April 20, 2014


"The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."  Matthew 28:5-6 

He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!!

Today, Easter, was all good. Beautiful church service, a special lunch with extended family, a relaxing evening at home. Blessings that fill me up and for which I am thankful. 

April 19, 2014


"I wait for the Lord , my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope." 
Psalm 130:5 

Today was a day of filling time...errand running, sewing, hanging out with family.


Easter is almost here!

April 18, 2014

Good Friday

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."  John 1:29b

Before the Third Cross

Before the third cross, there
were tears that stained the
ground...drops of sweat as
blood falling...the harsh, cutting
lashes of a Roman whip. 
Before the third cross there 
was a plea for release, yet a yielding
to what must be.

Before the third cross He knew 
my name.

Before the third cross He knew 
yours too.

He carried it anyway.

©Karen Newman Fridy 2009

April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday

"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."  Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."   Matthew 26:26-29 

There were lots of good things about today. But the remembrance of this is what's most important. 

Grace, poured out. For us all.

April 16, 2014

Change in Plans

"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."  Proverbs 19:21

Today I had a big presentation scheduled. My client called late morning and long story short they had an internal miscommunication and not everyone who needed to be present could be. So, we are rescheduling. And that meant I had the rest of the day free to catch up on some other projects!

I had been feeling a little stressed with everything I'm juggling, but the change in plans gave me just enough time to get several other things off my list and deliver drawings early to another client. Enough time to go grocery shopping and make a special dinner to celebrate two honor roll report cards that came home with the boys today. Enough time to catch my breath.

Sometimes Plan A doesn't work out. So you go to Plan B. Sometimes C and D if necessary. Sometimes you have to buy a vowel, so to speak. Plan E.

And sometimes a change in plans is a wonderful gift. :)

April 15, 2014

Who's the Boss

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters"  Colossians 3:23

Great news!! Today I got two more new design clients! It's been amazingly steady lately and I am so grateful. After the last few years of economic downturn, seeing  an upturn in activity is such a huge blessing! I've been self-employed for 24 years, freelancing for the last 14 since my youngest was born. It's not always been easy but over and over I've been awed by God's provisions. He's been faithful to give me what I need, be that work to do or a break when I need it...even forgiveness when I got weary enough to complain and forget Who's in charge. He's given me grace to be open to the lessons I needed to learn.

I might be self employed, but I'm not the boss.

He is.

Things work so much better that way.

April 14, 2014

Dinner Date

"Do everything in love."  1 Corinthians 16:14

I got to have a dinner date with my youngest tonight, just us. It's cool that my kids still like hanging out with me  :)

I know these days are fleeting...I wouldn't trade them for the world.


April 13, 2014

To Each His Own

Then He said to them, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's."   Matthew 22:21b

I had hoped to get our taxes done before Holy Week...not the thing I want to be focused on! But, I finished them up this afternoon and they are submitted. Thank you Turbo Tax! Hopefully I got it right. At least they are done and I don't have to think about it anymore.

It was Cantata day at church today. The choir and narrators did a beautiful job. Palm branches were waved and Hosannas rang out! Glory to God in the highest, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Today I gave to "Caesar" what is his, and to God what is His. To each his own. 

(Giving to God is the best part! )

April 12, 2014

Getting Ready

"For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations."  Isaiah 61:11

Today was get the garden ready day! We cleaned out, tilled up, added new soil, tilled in, and raked smooth. We pulled weeds, lay bricks to line a pathway, spread mulch. There is still work to do but we got a lot done! After a day of hard work the beds are ready to plant. I will be sore tomorrow I'm sure, but the first day of gardening always makes me happy. It means good things are coming!

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. The weeks of Lent leading up to this have also been a time of getting ready. And tomorrow praises will spring up as we remember Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.

We're getting ready for Easter!

April 11, 2014

Getting to Hope

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."  Romans 5:3-5

I had to go to the DMV License Plate Agency today.

Land of the mile long line and multi-hour wait.


But, the weather was beautiful - yes the line was way out the door - and the people in line around me were really nice. So it turned out to be good! The time passed quickly enough.

I had to turn the tags in on my husband's car because it's due for inspection which can't be done because it's still at the dealership awaiting a wiring harness to replace the one that caught the car on fire last September.

Yes, last September. 09-2013.

Evidently wiring harnesses are hard to come by.

Yes we've suffered. It's hard to be without a car. We're at the "running" stage of parenthood. But we've persevered. I've learned  to take the reality in front of me and make do, making the best of the circumstances I've got. I've been frustrated, but I'm trying to keep a right attitude that reflects good character.

And I hope it will resolve soon!!

That's where I am...getting to hope. And I have every confidence that God will work it all out.

He always does.

April 10, 2014


"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."  Job 8:21

My family had me laughing so hard at dinner tonight I almost had a pea go up my nose. I was laughing so hard I was crying. About couldn't breathe and my sides hurt.

It was awesome! :D

Laughter...it's good for the soul.

April 09, 2014


"The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with their seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good."  Genesis 1:12

Today was a run from one thing to the next kind of day and truthfully it had a few too many frustrations. Frustrations are stumbling blocks meant to distract us from seeing the good things God puts around us, and it's easy to be sidetracked by them. On days like that I have to be even more purposeful in keeping watch for what was good!

On the way home between two meetings today I noticed that both of my apple trees have started putting out leaves. I'm so excited about that! They are still twiggy babies, just planted last year. I know it will be several seasons before they bear fruit, but seeing the signs of life returning to them made me very happy.

They are growing. So am I. :)

April 08, 2014

The Joy of Children

"Children are a heritage from the Lord"  Psalm 127:3a

It was another day full of good things but the best of all was that today marked the first anniversary of adoption - or Gotcha Day - for a friend of mine. One year ago today she became Mommy to a beautiful little boy, adopted from China. She waited a long time to be a mom...I know what that feels like, even though our circumstances were different. The longing and waiting and not knowing if it will ever be is hard whether it's a biological child or an adopted one.

She posted two pictures today. One was a scared little boy from a year ago, unsure of what was happening in his world. The other was the same little guy today, bright eyes and a face full of joy!

My heart melted. It does every time I see that smile.

The joy of children...what's good about every day.   :)

April 07, 2014

Rainy Monday

"I will send you rain in its seasons, and the ground will yield it's crops and the trees their fruit."  Leviticus 26:4

It was a rainy Monday...soggy, gray, and now foggy. It was the first day back to school and routines after a really nice break. A recipe for gloom...or at least grumbling. 

But it was a really good day! I enjoyed walking in it without an umbrella. If it's not a cold rain I think that's fun. :) I got a good report at my doctor's office, got lots of work done, and best of all....

The rain washed all the heavy pollen away! What can I say...it's allergy season. I'll rejoice at any form of relief.
There has been a good amount of rain over the last several months. The lakes in the neighborhood are the fullest they've been in a while. After some drought years that's a welcome sight! And it will soon be time to plant the garden. Having rain-washed soil will be much easier to till. I'm looking forward to the good things that will be harvested this year!

Rainy Monday? Didn't get me down...

April 06, 2014


"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."  Philippians 4:11b

There were lots of things good about today. I got to see a special friend who I've not seen in a while. She has been recovering from a stroke and I've been in a non-stop recovery from a cold/crud that's been hard to shake, and I haven't wanted to risk passing that on. But I'm better and she's making great strides in her recovery, and seeing her made my day!

It was a quiet day around the house...got a few little things done to get ready for the week ahead. Spring Break is over so it will be back to the hustle and bustle of the school routine, back to work and deadlines. Back to life.

We had a great meal tonight - home cooked chicken parmesan! And as I write this the rich smell of brownies is wafting through the house as we await the ding of the oven timer. Everyone is just hanging out together, with both dogs blissfully snoozing at our feet.

Today at church the closing hymn was It is Well with My Soul. It's an old hymn, written in 1873. If you don't know the story behind it you can read about it here. It's a beautiful hymn, made even more so when you know the story.

With a peaceful feeling of contentment, tonight I can say as it does, Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

April 05, 2014


"Forget not to show love unto strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."  Hebrews 13:2

A friend shared this on her Facebook page today:


It gave me chills.

It's so easy to judge. It's so easy to think you have someone else's life figured out. It's so easy to pass by. To look the other way. To ignore.

But wow, what unexpected blessings you might miss out on by doing so...

April 04, 2014

Now and Then

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I have to say, I'm liking this Spring Break thing! We went adventuring a bit today and finished up with a pizza and wings dinner. The day was full of more laughter and some eye rolling on my part (I'm hanging out with three guys...you can imagine... :) and over dinner we talked about future plans...things we'd like to get done around the house, long weekend trips we'd like to take, colleges we might visit over the next year, what special things we'll do for 8th grade graduation, summer cookout ideas...it was fun!

It's good to savor the moment, to be fully present in every today we're given. That is where memories to be cherished are made. It's good too to think about fun things that can be done in the days ahead.

And it's really great, every now and then, to set aside special time for both.

April 03, 2014

Empty Yet Full

"He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul"  Psalm 23:2b,3

Today's family activity was fishing. We spent part of the day just the four of us. Didn't catch a thing but it's early in the season so I wasn't surprised. The best part about it was the time spent just...doing nothing! Sitting by the water in the warmth of the sun, no phones, no deadlines, no agenda. Just being together.

Evening came and we met up with some longtime friends to fish again. Their boys and ours are the same ages and we've all been friends since preschool days. Did we catch anything this time? No. But it didn't matter. We had a reason to get together and catch up. There's just something wonderful about spending time with people you have a shared history with, especially having watched your children grow up together. Lots of good memories!

So we spent the day fishing and not catching. But you know what? Sometimes it doesn't matter if your line comes up empty.  When you're surrounded by family and good friends your net will always be full.

April 02, 2014


"A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul..."  Proverbs 13:19a

It's Spring Break week for the boys and we are setting aside some much needed family time! My husband has been traveling extensively for work over the last three months. I mean exteeennnsssiiivvveeelllyyy. Across two time zones, which makes timing of a nightly phone call tricky. We're grateful for his job, and he loves what he does, but those long weeks away have been a little hard on us all. So it's nice to take some time off and enjoy some simple times together.

Tonight we went for ice cream. Waffle cones for them, a cup for me. All with a side of new inside jokes about door handles and banana splits and a big topping of just plain silliness (don't ask me to "move" unless you're prepared to see me dance. In public. On the sidewalk. It's a mother's job to embarrass her teenage boys... :)

As we settle in for the night I am filled with the joy of new memories, of time spent together just being. That, and some of the richest chocolate I've ever had.

Life is sweet.

April 01, 2014


"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:13

It may be cliche, but it's true. You find what you're looking for. Look for trouble, you'll find it. Bad news? All you have to do is turn on the TV. It's there...in great abundance. As if that's all there is. Even my kids have commented about how bad the news programs are, and I didn't even think they were paying much attention. Truthfully, I try not to watch it too much. Enough to know what's happening in the world but not enough anymore to be steeped in the repetitious gloom and doom. Don't get me wrong, knowledge of tragedy is necessary to be moved to action, and I do believe that we all have a responsibility to reach out and help everywhere we can. 

But where's the good news?

I don't know about you but I need more than the snippet of feel-good story occasionally tacked on the end of the nightly news. We need to see what's good in the world, that there's an abundance of good things! I need to see that. I want my kids to see that too. So this journey begins. To seek God's gifts in the ordinary. To have open eyes...eyes to see...