“There is nothing mundane about your life.
I have come to pour my abundant love upon you lavishly.
Invite me into the corridors of your life, and let me show you how I can transform the everyday to the supernatural,
how I can give you more blessing than you can hope for,
how life in Me can be sweeter than you can ever imagine,
and how I’ve saved the best for last.
1 Cor 2:9 (GOD’S WORD translation)

[from a friend’s page this morning]

I had probably a thousand words written here, and erased them all.
They were reflective of the past four weeks,
and I think more suited for my journal than for the public eye.
Ruth will be missed, always missed. I will always treasure the sweet friendship we shared.
Sometimes I feel so much at a loss at how to go about life now.

But I’ve been given today.
With my husband, my children, my family, my friendship.
With those that are living.
Maybe not next year, or next week, and maybe not even tomorrow.
But I’ve been given this moment, today.
And I feel God breathing life into my soul and passion to live with all my heart.
Death puts into clear perspective what really matters.

And relationships are what matter.

With God.
With people.
Taking time for people.
Time with God, alone, just Him and me.
Not holding onto a grudge.
Writing a note.
Planning time for friendships.
Living a life that is poured out, not for self, but for others.

You know the line, “It’s the thought that counts” ?
Well, I would venture to say it’s not the thought that counts.
It’s the prayer that counts, it’s the word spoken that counts, it’s the time that counts.
A thought is just that – a thought with no action.
It’s the action that counts in relationship, not the mere thought.

Ann Voskamp, in her book “One Thousand Gifts” wrote,
All beauty is only reflection.
And whether I am conscious of it or not, any created thing of which I am amazed,
it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down.”

Beauty, and special little things, have always meant so much to me.
The last few weeks, they have been special still.
It may seem strange to notice them, and yet it causes me to worship the God behind them.
It brings me comfort to see God in even very small things.
They are just little things here at the Cottage, but I see God, and His beauty, in them.

On one hand it seems so shallow to go about daily life after going through such grief as the past month:
making baby gifts, working on My Faire Lady orders, blogging, making meals for our family and others.

And yet this is the life that I’ve been given.

And I feel a greater passion that ever before to live fully, to live alive.
This day is a gift I’ve been given – to live, to love, to enjoy, to bless God.

I do want to find God in my days,
even in simple beauty such a autumn fireplace mantels,
painted pumpkins on my front porch,
the autumn day…
I want to find little things like this and notice the preciousness of life,
the beauty that is there, and worship God.

To be still, and know that He is God…
and I love Him more than ever before.

I want to take time to smile into little eyes, to hug tightly, to live fully.

Death puts a new perspective on life, on what really matters.

Here are a few little things that make my heart swell with gratitude and thankfulness….

 Fireplace mantel.

My mom sent me the link to make these flowers.
16 paper bags and about an hour later, I had made four of them.
They were super easy to make, and a fun project to work on!
I added the jute string in the middle.

The ‘give thanks’ I had written weeks ago…
and it’s a daily reminder of all the things I DO have to be grateful for.
There truly are so many things.

[white urn: thrifted
crystal candlesticks: thrifted
white pumpkins: spray painted :)
chalkboard: painted canvas]

 Pillows from Burlap Coffee Sacks

I think this was a pinterest idea. My living room colors are neutral, so this fit in perfectly with the white/brown/neutral theme for autumn.
I already had these on hand, the first one was a sack I bought when I spent a few months in Guatemala, so it’s really and truly original.
I love these things that remind me of day by gone.

[number pillows: handmade
ruffle pillow: Target ]

Simple Dining Room tablescape.

Some pumpkins are real, some are plastic, some are painted white (since our little town hasn’t heard the memo about white pumpkins).
The spray paint worked quite well, and I was pleased…
…until little fingers tried to scratch it off… and off it comes. :)

Painted Pumpkins.

Several weeks ago my kids were saying,
“We never go aaaaaaanywhere!” and were begging for a funn activity.
Truth be told, we were staying home. A lot.
My sisters gave me the idea of painting pumpkins for fun.
Later I heard it’s all over blogland too? I’ve never seen them.

But one afternoon, when they were especially saying, “I want to go SOMEWHERE!”
we all loaded up in the car and made a trip to the local produce stand.
We bought pumpkins, little pumpkins and medium pumpkins, and I explained the project.
They were delighted.

I had entertained the thought of doing an online search for painted pumpkins to give them ideas of what to paint,
but then I realized it would only be for my sake. So they’d look okay.
The girls would have far more fun left to their own creativity than trying to follow a pattern, which would only lead to frustration.
It was a good choice to let them have fun.
They spent the better part of two hours working on their pumpkins, and it made for happy little girls.

Hunting with Daddy.

Ben took Zoe on her first hunting expedition.
It was bow & arrow season, and he scoped out a quiet, secluded spot.
“We saw their tails,” said Zoe when I asked if they saw deer. :)
It was a bonding father/daughter time, nonetheless.


Sewing 101.

Zoe had her first lesson on the sewing machine this week.
She’s shown interest in making things, so we chose a very basic thing: baby doll burp cloths.
[because, as we all know, baby dolls are ever so real, and have a great need of a burp cloth.]
I was very involved in the demonstration, but she was the one who pushed the foot pedal and guided the fabric.
She did a fabulous job, and I am very proud of her.

A Boy in the House.

I saw this hat and cap hanging on the dining room chair today,
and I smiled to myself.
There really IS a boy in the house.
And we cannot imagine life without him!
He is full of smiles and chubbers and brings so much delight to us.

First Riding Lessons.

Zoe has had an interest in horses since she could first talk.
We decided to let her take riding lessons for a time and see if it’s an infatuation or really something she loves.
Katy is from our church and is an excellent teacher.

Zoe was so adorable, so excited, and she chose her riding outfit.
I fell in love with her all over again!
The excitement of children just blesses my soul ~ they are so fully alive and uninhibited!

Olivia was dee-lighted to go along and watch.
And watch she did, perched 4 feet high on a hay bale,
FAR from the reach of all things frightful such as chickens and roosters.

Such are the precious moments in our lives.
They are there to cherish.

This little video clip made my heart burst with excitement and passion.
Our life on this earth is not the end of the story!
What a wondrous reality!

It is one of the best 5 minutes you’ll spend.
Thanks, Janelle, for the link!

aaaaaaand, this is my last week is my twenties!
*slight panic attack*

  ~ clarita

26 thoughts on “Autumn at the Cottage.

  1. jennieanne84

    I am with Lisa…I am always SO inspired by you.

    That is neat that you let your girls paint the pumpkins like that…what fun memories for them.

    And your decorating is absolutely amazing!

  2. aSeriesofFortunateEvents

    Love your post! Your hair looks longer, of course, I don’t think I actually knew how long it was before . . .ha! And is that a “hold the baby’s arm down” technique I see up there for that picture?? lol

    I bet your home is just gorgeous, it looks it from the photos!

  3. redladybug18

    love it all :) Your decorating is so cute, someday I want my house to look like yours and if you want to throw in some cute kids I’d take that as well :P
    Great message from chan.

  4. singingrachel

    living life fully. boils down to choices… but i know it’s key to living ALIVE. loved your thoughts and couldn’t agree more.

    love the way your heart sees the beauty in the everyday. just precious and i’m inspired by you once again.

  5. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    i like it all.
    very much. the pictures and prose.
    and, mostly, the life i see you living. the life that is not afraid to struggle in the hard, the life that is embracing the now and those God has given you.
    and, almost 30? i have to say that my 30’s have been better, far better than my 20’s. you will love it!!
    it’s Thanksgiving week and i wonder if you will be coming home? maybe i’ll see you…and, as always, you’re welcome to stop in if time allows!
    happy Tuesday friend!

  6. Elizabethmarie_1

    Oh Clarita..you are the CUTEST mommy! you are SO beautiful! and oh my goodness is your little boy just the CUTEST!!! I want to kiss his little cheeks! We need a baby in our house!!!

    I love the pillows. I love your decorating..it is so cozy and clean looking. I want to come visit!

    Thanks for sharing the video. My oldest and I just watched it. My sister is doing missionary work with A Passion for Jesus, and she is getting a lot of “Why would you do that? Shouldn’t you be going to school and finding a real job?…etc.” Sadly people don’t keep eternity in mind..and sadly I get so caught up in this world too!

    Now about turning 30. No panic attacks. You are going to love your 30’s!
    and since you only look like you’re about 22 years old, you have nothing to worry about!

    Happy Thanksgiving, and a Great Big Happy Birthday!!!

  7. lifeisadance

    @grace_to_be – The throw is a sheepskin rug from (where else?) Target!  It’s too heavy to use as a blanket, but I got it for my babies to lie on on the floor, and when they’re not using it simply for a cozy feel on the back of my couch. :) I just love it! It runs a little pricey, so you can ask for gift cards to Target for Christmas! ha!

  8. oneblessedwoman

    Challenging post. Would love to have your strength. You are a beautiful person inside and out. And I feel so blessed to call you MY friend. And like the rest of them said 30 is really not so bad. But for some reason I missed it that this is a yr for a big celebration. Happy birthday and Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful time in PA.

  9. miamimyamy

    I still can’t make it through your last post without clouds getting in my eyes and then rain. There’s much to be grateful for and i love your list. I’m working on my own and focusing especially much on gratitude this week. How wonderful that we have a holiday set for that very thing! The photo of your manly hunter husband and sweet Zoe makes me melt, her trust in him makes her sparkle. mm life is full and rich, and we have so much to look forward to, keeping our eyes fixed on the things that will last. So grateful for you, for the encouragement and the beauty you bring to my day!

  10. Anonymous

    Beautiful!! Simply everything about this post was beautiful! Seriously, I turned 30 and the 30’s have been the best years of my life. Cheers to grand days ahead!!


    I love you, friend, and l.o.v.e. to hear about your children, house, life, and thoughts. It’s all so beautiful! You inspire me . . . so much. More thoughts shared later this week?? Looking forward to it!

  12. fruitloops115

    I don’t know why I always wait, with your posts until later, to comment. I do it every time, Read. Come back. read again. come back, read again, and by then there are like, 50 comments, or ok, 17, but then I’m not sure what to say that hasn’t been said
    But this post is packed full of so much. I must say tho, i took a second to watch the video clip and it WAS worth it. I felt like my perspective got a little tweak. I’m still thinking over it.
    onto more trivial things, i loved your daughters riding outfit. And your little dude is as cute as ever.
    and yes, the 30’s? they’re fabulous so far.

  13. aretheyallyours

    I am so sorry about the loss of your dear friend.  Death of a loved one really does make you realize how important relationships are. 

    Your baby boy is getting so big!  He is a doll!

  14. richlyblest

    so inspiring! i look at your projects, your pillows, and i think “i could do that. i SHOULD do that.” but somehow i just never do. i have been meaning to make neat throw pillows for a long time, but it never happens.

    you are so brave to introduce your daughter to a sewing machine. i just don’t feel ready for that yet!

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