"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Puzzling From the Old to the New Year

Welcome!   My nephew and niece gave us a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas and the table in my room has become Puzzle Central! I find it encouraging seeing the creative determination of our puzzlers.
  They study and sort pieces. Every piece is necessary and important.  Each piece has to find its place, no matter how puzzling the process, to fit perfectly to reveal a complete picture.
 Yesterday, my youngest daughter attended  an interment service at the Willamette National Cemetery for the father of a young friend whose dad died a few days before Thanksgiving.  My daughter took some carnations and left some at my husband's interment site which was near the site of her friend's father, and then brought some flowers home for me, knowing that the death of her friend's father reminded me of my husband's death for many reasons.  Both men had been in the Navy,  and died at the age of 64 of similar physical causes, and both men had puzzled some of those around them by imperfectly being Christ followers.
 One of the presents Halley received for Christmas is a potholder loom.  She quickly understood how to weave the loops to form a pretty pattern, but weaving the loops off the loom has been very puzzling for her.
 On Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, I met with my monthly art group.  Our facilitator brought a gelli-plate pad for us to use.  We puzzled about how best to use it, putting drops of paint on it, rolling the drops, spraying water on the result, and then rolling plain papers over the surface to transfer the paint onto the papers.
Our facilitator made some folk art angel forms we could copy, but most of us launched out from her idea to create our own angel forms.

I told our facilitator that my angels make me think of, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace goodwill toward men!" Luke 2:13-14 NKJV...the story of how the angels sang when Jesus Christ was born!

This morning, the last in 2015, I read the prophesy written before Christ's birth. " For unto us a child is born.  Unto us a child is given.  And the government will be on his shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

In our war torn world troubled by natural and man made catastrophes I thought how much I want and we need the Prince of Peace with the government on His shoulder!  I puzzle about how this can ever be...

Then I read what Christ said, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. My peace I give to you not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid." John 14:26-27 NKJV

Somehow as I sort through the pieces of life and and fit a few more in place, in my thinking at least, I see glimpses of the beautiful picture they were meant to create.  My own little piece is an imperfect challenging shape to wiggle into place, but I do try to do my best and find joy in the process.  I stitch. I type. I paint. I cook. I color. I serve. I see. I hear. I feel. I learn. I hope. I love. I pray...

In 2016, may The Lord bless You and Yours and all His creation...

Gracie xx


  1. Sending you best wishes for the New Year. I so enjoyed reading the scriptures you shared today. And it's a joy to read about the little world you have created. I always remember that contentment is a virtue. I feel content to have my faith, family and friends like you. Happy New Year, Pat xx

  2. I love you Gracie. You bring me such hope and encouragement in every post of yours that I read. I am very much comforted by the scripture you posted today. I think we've had many of the same thoughts and feelings about this world that we live in today. I am so very thankful that He lead you into my life. I'm wishing you a wonderful, peace filled year in 2016.
    Many blessings my sweet friend,

  3. It was fun to see your family working on the puzzle. I enjoyed seeing your pretty trunk tableaux. I think I told you but seeing your granddaughter working on her loom brought back some neat memories as my grandparents gave me a loom like that when we visited their little farmhouse at Christmas. Your angels are very pretty. Enjoy your NY's eve. We're doing grilled filets and K is making twice baked potato skins for an experiment.

      *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. Special new year wishes to you dear gracie xo

  5. Gracie you are a shining light for all of us. Your words and love areso profound, thank you for your inspiration.
    Happy New Year dear Gracie,

  6. It's years since I've done a jigsaw puzzle, they're great though as all the family can have a go. Wishing you all the very best for 2016.

  7. Happy New Year! Perhaps we'll meet in 2016!

  8. Hello Gracie - thank you for your thoughts and reflections - I think we have similar thoughts. I haven't worked on a jigsaw for some time - used to do easy ones with grandchildren but they don't seem to do them anymore - I might have to get one. Lovely to see your granddaughter with her loom.
    A very Happy and Healthy 2016 is wished for you and your family Gracie. Hugs Anne x

  9. Lovely thoughts and words Gracie. Happy New Year 2016. Jo x

  10. A puzzle is fun and not done one in awhile. I have a Pepsi one a neighbor gave me awhile back that I should do. I read Luke 1 where Zechariah prophesied after his son, John's birth. It was a great read for me as well. So sweet of your daughter to bring home flowers for you. Have a blessed new year, my friend!

  11. What a beautiful post, Gracie :-) A lovely family and wonderful home that you have made. Happiest of New Year's to you and yours.

  12. Every tiny act done in love and the Spirit fills the world around you with His grace and mercy.
    I'm looking forward to how you will express Mercy, your word for 2016 here in your words.
    Happy New Year!

  13. It always good to do a puzzle with others. You have reminded me that I haven't done one for ages! Wishing you and your family a Happy New year. Sarah x

  14. Blessings to you as well in 2016 dear Gracie! That puzzle looks like quite the project. Thank you for sharing the lovely verses.

  15. Hello dear Gracie. What a beautiful post!!!! I'm so happy to be back among friends!!
    xo Kris

  16. Bless you this New Year, Gracie. Puzzling here too, over several aspects of life - and also with a jigsaw puzzle on the go. It is so very soothing to do. It reminds me that it can be done just one piece at a time, and that certain pieces must be in place before others will fit. I hope 2016 brings you and yours much happiness and health, and many blessings. Thank you for your cosy and welcoming blog!

  17. Dear Gracie, what a lovely post and a perfectly worded closing. Life certainly can be puzzling at times. I sometimes think that I think too much about it all. But also realize that there are many in this world who don't seem to think at all about anything except themselves and that makes me very crazy. We all have a place in this world and should all work day by day, moment by moment to have purpose, live with passion and create peace in our surroundings. Happy 2016!

  18. Another beautiful post, dear Gracie. This is the time of year to rethink and contemplate and to look ahead. I hope you have a wonderful and very happy 2016.


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