Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Honesty is Alive in Upstate New York!

I love a good barn sale. And just driving about 10 minutes from my village home I can find plenty of barns and countryside. The last barn sale I went to was great. The setting was quaint and out front was a sign for fresh eggs. There was a small building attached to the barn with an open sign on the door. One of the helpers told me that there were fresh eggs in there for sale. I asked if someone was in there to take money and she said it was all on your honor. I was too involved in all the fabulous things I was finding to buy at the sale so I never bothered to check it out.

The next time I was driving by I noticed they had added a sign for Rhubarb for sale, so I stopped. I can never pass up fresh rhubarb! I was not prepared for what I found inside.

There was a bucket of fresh rhubarb and a refrigerator full of fresh brown eggs. I was looking for a metal box with the slit in it or a coffee can for the money. What I found was an open cash box full of money and a large yellow note pad to write what you've bought on!


I was so surprised because although I understand the concept of the honor system, I couldn't believe there was a box full of cash, presumably to be able to make change. I thought it was great to have each person take the responsibility of writing down the purchase. It helps to keep you honest!

I just was so impressed at the faith in human nature the owners displayed by putting their items and a cash box out behind closed doors........and they live right next door!

I drove off with my bunch of rhubarb having MY faith in human nature renewed!

AnnMarie :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Clear Conscience

I am not sure why I seem to be coming across poems and writings lately (my last post has this one and before that the 10 steps of being a virtuous woman) having to do with Christian living, but I know we are all to check ourselves on how we are living out our individual walk, in order to be a good witness for the cause of Christ. I take that seriously and so will share another poem that was in my devotional reading last night....

"I have to live with myself and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself in the eye.
I don't want to stand with the setting sun,
and hate myself for the things I've done.
I want to go out with my head erect;
I want to deserve all men's respect.
Here in the struggle for fame and wealth,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know,
that I'm bluster and bluff and empty show.
I can never hide myself from me,
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know;
I can never fool myself and so,
whatever happens I want to be,
self-respecting and conscience free."


We need to have a conscience for our actions and a clear conscience before God should be our goal.

Paul writes "So I strive always  to keep my conscience clear before God and man" Acts 24:16 (NIV)
And to Timothy he said ".....so that by following them you might fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith." 1Timothy 1:18-19 (NIV)

AnnMarie :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When I say "I am a Christian"......

This poem was sent to me in one of those "pass it along to get multiple blessings" chain emails. I usually delete them without opening. But thank you Lord, that I did open it because I love how this poem reads. See for yourself.....

When I say 'I am a Christian', I am not shouting that 'I am clean living'.
I'm whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven'.

When I say 'I am a Christian', I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say 'I am a Christian', I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say 'I am a Christian', I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say 'I am a Christian', I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say 'I am a Christian', I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner who received God's grace.

I hope you were blessed by this today as I was when I first read it.

AnnMarie :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Her Price is Far Above Rubies

As with most holidays, when they are approaching, our thoughts may turn to what it means or what it is all about. At Christmas we think of Christ's birth, at Easter His resurrection.

For Mother's Day, of course our thoughts turn to Mom. At my thrifting adventures last week, I seemed to continually come across items having to do with mothers and particularily the Blessed Mary, mother of Jesus. At a rummage sale the next day I found another reminder of Mary...a picture of her with Jesus as a toddler.

For me though, reflecting on my own motherhood seems to be dominating my mind. My mistakes, my bad choices, my selfishness and my regrets. But I was redeemed from all that when I gave my life to my savior Jesus Christ. It is forgetting the past as far as the east is from the west, as our Lord does, and looking to the future that is hardest.

As I strive to be a better mother and woman of God, Proverbs 31:10 comes to mind and this is what I and all woman can strive for....

"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."

Below are the 10 virtues of a woman taken from the website A Virtuous Woman whose ministry is to encourage women to serve God in every aspect of their lives.

1. Faith - A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15
2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)
3. Mothering - A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)
4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)
5. Service - A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)
6. Finances - A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)
7. Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)
8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)
9. Time - A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )
10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10Proverbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1 – 6)

To strive to be all that can only come when we keep our eyes on the Lord and ask for His help daily. Then the sweetest reward comes when "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." Proverbs 31:28

Happy Mother's Day!

AnnMarie :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Found Treasures

What a great day I had last Friday garage sale-ing! It really is a great way to find vintage treasures and hear some stories to go along with the found treasure. There seemed to be a Mom theme for the day.

I started out towards a little town near me, Marion, New York, to a barn sale. I LOVE barn sales. There are just all kinds of vintage, antique-y treasures to be found. I had to have this vintage folding yardstick. There is just something about these old yardsticks that brings me back to thinking of the basics of life. Like working with your hands, being precise and accurate to get the job done right. When I told the woman who sold it to me that it just gets me right here (pointing to my heart) and maybe I am just weird, she said no, I know exactly what you mean. I guess that is what a true vintage junkie is!

I met up with my daughter Jena, baby granddaughter Chloe and we set out west to hit some advertised sales. Chloe promptly fell asleep in her car seat and we were able to pull up the driveway to most of the sales and just run in and out while she napped. A quick look is sometimes all you need to find your treasures, pay and run! At the first sale I found a wonderful old chocolate tin with a poem for Mother on the top. The woman said it was her mother's and that she had had it probably 60 years! I also got a sweet little Gibsons China teapot in ivory, pink and gold gilt.

At another garage sale the gentleman told us how all the things he was selling were his Mother's, that she had died at 88 the year before. I found a reversed glass painted silhouette picture, an old wooden shoe stretcher and a 1950's button style picture of the Blessed Mary, mother of Jesus. He spoke fondly of it, being that it was his mothers. Her eyes just draw you in.....

I was so excited with my finds that I went out Saturday morning and found an old tool/tackle box with a push button latch painted and rusted in a pretty cornflower blue. A local thrift store in my town is open on Tuesdays and I couldn't resist stopping today to see what she had that was new.  My finds are in the picture below and I will be working all this week on getting them listed in NaNa's Things.

I saved the best treasure for last. This ceramic figurine of the Blessed Mary, the mother of Jesus, is so beautiful in person and it is musical. It winds up to play Ava Maria. In it's simplicity, it portrays such a reverent, humble servant of the Lord's. The woman at the sale said it was her aunt's. I researched the ceramic company inscribed on the bottom from  Paramus, NJ and found out that the couple who ran it taught ceramics to the elderly.

The anticipation of the hunt for vintage treasures is fun but the rewards come when you realize that an item truly is a treasure because it meant something to someone else at one time. I get to have it for a little while and then pass it on to you. Maybe you'll buy it because it just gets you right there and you have to have it.....

AnnMarie :)