Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year = New Beginnings

Resolutions? Nope. I think I made one once...couldn't stick with it within two days. So I decided that I'd never beat myself over that again!

However, I do want to remember I'm God's Beloved. My. New. Beginning. I have failed miserably at times to remember this. My self-worth is always something I'm working on and more times than not, I let others dictate who I am at that moment. Enough, I say! I am God's Beloved. No one--no one--can take that away!

Join me this year in engraining that truth so deeping into your heart, soul and mind that you will only want to please God--not man! Blessings and prayers!!

I found this song and it says what I'm trying to convey. (words are below the video)

You're My Beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is My delight
Come away with Me My love

Under My mercy
Come and wait
Till we are standing face to face
I see no stain on you
My child

You're Beautiful to Me
So Beautiful to Me

I sing over you My song of peace
Cast all your care down at My feet
Come and find your rest in Me

I'll breathe My life inside of you
I'll bear you up on eagle's wings
And hide you in the shadow of My strength
I'll take you to My quiet waters
I'll restore your soul
Come rest in Me and be made whole

You're My beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is my delight
Come away with me my love

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Expectations. It has various meanings to many people. It could make a person happy, excited or even dread. As we enter 2010, do we have expectations?

I’ve been told more than once that I expect too much from people. I even heard it recently on a local PBS program. No, the speaker wasn’t talking directly to me. But it sure felt like it!

Since I tuned into the program a little late, I believe his audience was business owners or supervisors. One of the points was to lower your expectations of people. At first I was taken aback because aren’t employers suppose have expectations of their employees? He then used an example of getting angry at a driver on the freeway that is driving 45 mph in the fast lane. It is not that slow drivers fault that you are angry. It is your reaction to the slow driver that has made you angry. Let me repeat….it is MY reaction. Makes ya think, huh?! He even suggested that before you start your day, you should tell yourself that someone will be driving slowly in the fast lane today. That way, your expectations are already lowered.

The "my reaction" is not a new concept to me but always hits me between the eyes. Hubs and I were at a marriage retreat a few years ago. The speaker said basically the same thing but related to marriage. I cannot expect my husband to make me happy. I was taken aback by that one too. I am the only one in the relationship that can choose to be happy. God is the only perfect one in our relationship. I need to look to Him, not hubs. Now, that doesn’t give hubs the right to antagonize me. Hubs does have some responsibility after all! :)

On the other side of it, don’t we need to have expectations of others? Isn't it human nature to want to be able to count on others? But if we count on others too much and they let us down…… See my dilemma? I expect others to be kind, considerate, not rude, do what they say they are going to do. Is that too much to expect? But when others are not such things, I am disappointed and yes, even get a little angry. So it is thrown back into my reaction.

I’m beginning to believe I’m going to have a love/hate relationship with Mr. Expectation!

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Silent Night?

Cows mooing
Sheep baaing
Goats bleating
Merchants talking
Birds chirping
People yelling
Children laughing
Hens clucking
Mothers scolding
Fathers working


God’s Angel speaking,

“The Lord has chosen you, Mary. He is with you always.”

Mary gasps.
“Don’t be afraid or surprised. God has a big job for you and you are the one to carry it through! You will be with child through the Holy Spirit and you will name him Jesus. He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High. His Kingdom will never end.”

Mary pacing, “What? How can this be? I am a virgin, it is impossible!”
Hands wringing.

“Nothing is impossible with God, Mary.”
Closing eyes and smiling, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”


Cars honking

Shoppers pushing
Dirty dishes sitting
Radios blaring
Television watching
Schedules demanding
Cell phone ringing
Computers calling
Laundry waiting
Factories roaring
Children crying
Text messaging


May we make time to hear God’s voice and, like Mary, answer, “I am the Lord’s servant.”

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a peace-fill, joy-fill, faith-filled Christmas!

Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,

Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.

Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.

Below is a new favorite of mine. It is by newcomer Audrey Assad singing “Winter Snow.”

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mom Moment #3

After having two girls, the Lord blessed us with a boy. Before having a boy, I would want to roll my eyes every time I heard a mom exclaim, “He’s a boy” whenever their boy did something to get him in trouble. While I still believe “He’s a boy” is just an excuse, I know what that expression means now. This boy of ours was so much more intense as a baby and toddler than our girls. He would get so excited, as baby sitting on the floor, his legs would lock and his feet would point. His back would be ram-rod straight and his wrists would make a ‘revving-a-motorcycle’ action.

Twelve years later, his intensity is there but comes out in other “cooler” ways. Right now, his intensity is for anything fire/rescue. We have been to most of the local fire departments for tours (some even twice) and he and I were certified in CPR this past fall. (CPR has changed since high school and when the Writer Daughter was a baby---it’s all about compressions. If you haven’t learned the new way, go get yourself updated---it’s important!) Even when we were in another state waiting on Writer Daughter to finish at a writers conference, we made an unscheduled stop at one of the fire stations. The Captain gave us a quick tour and our boy was delighted.

Our boy also likes sports. However, this summer, due to him growing too quickly, a tendon in both knees was not able to keep up with as quickly as the bone growth, our family doctor ordered him not to play until he was able to do so without pain. He was unable to finish out Little League. Extremely disappointed. Not only was this the first year he tried out for the team, but also the last year he could play on the team. Instead of pouting and feeling sorry for himself, he went to every game and cheered from the dugout. That is character.

I have no idea what the future holds for our boy, but whatever it is, he will do it with intensity that the Lord gives him.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Birthday Surprises

My (cough, cough, clear-throat) birthday was earlier this week. Since it's in December, I really don't expect much. (I've tried to counsel people against having children born in December!) I mean really, how can one compete with baby Jesus? Seriously. So anytime, anyone acknowledges my birthday--there is a major party going on in my head! Here are some highlights:

Hubs took me out to eat! You may not think that's a big deal, but it is!
Having hours cut at his work place, we seldom go out for such things.
So of course, we ate too much! ;~)

Dancer Daughter had her last drivers' ed class and passed
the final written test with flying colors! This
"I'm-not-a-good-test-taker" only missed one!
Yes, you heard me right, ONE! :)

A rectangle dish I've wanted given by our children.
I was excited since the dish is so versitile!
Just look what I could do with it:

This is an especially yummy dessert Writer Daughter made a few months ago.
It would look lovely on top of my new dish. Find the recipe here.

Or put votive candles along with some berry vine (above)
for an attractive holiday table. One could also use real
cranberries scattered amongst the votives...or coffee beans...or...

And guess what showed up at my door from a friend.
Yummm! She. Knows. Me.

A teen at church is in strong like of this book written by
Writer Daughter's writing mentor, Shannon Primicerio.
Excellent. Book. Love. Shannon.
The teen is gathering other teen girls for a book study.
I offered to order the books and they appeared in the mail on my birthday.
So exciting to have a box of autographed books and lots of colorful extras
show up on one's birthday! Learn about Shannon and her books here.
Check our her blog won't be sorry!

And what should come knocking on my door the day after my birthday?
Again, my friends know me a little too well, I'm afraid!! :)

Last week consisted of two birthday breakfast meals with friends.
One friend even gave me some yummy one-of-a-kind hot chocolate.

What have I learned from my birthday?
(Besides my friends know I adore food.)
God has blessed me with a wonderful family and friends!
Would I have needed all of this "stuff" as proof? No.
I know they love me. But it sure makes a girl feel special! :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

But, Lord....

First Sunday School, then the sermon. Ever have one of those Sundays when you received a double dose of "okay, God, are You trying to tell me something"?

Yesterday we talked about Mary. How God called her to do a mighty job. How she said, "Yes, Lord". Luke 1 was used in both Sunday Schol and the sermon. The theme? It basically boiled down to obedience and our response.

Here are a few things that got me thinking:

First, in Sunday School, one person brought up Mary's response (Luke 1:34) compared to Zechariah’s response (Luke 1: 18-20). Both asked a question. However, Mary, being young, had that child like belief. “Okay, I heard from God and it must be so! I'm with ya God!” As we get older, don’t we often question if we really heard from God? And apparently, even if God sent you an angel you still can question. We tend to question if we are really “hearing” things correctly. “Okay, God. I think this is what you said. But if you don’t mind, please send me 100 signs—clear signs—so I know it is really You.” When did I loose that child-like trust?

In the sermon, obedience was brought up again and also noted Mary’s response. "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." (vs 38) How many times have we answered “But, Lord…..”? Our pastor compared that to saying “But, I…” making it into a “me, me, me” response. Shouldn’t our response be, “Yes, Lord!”? Now, don’t get me wrong, there are proper times to say, “Let me pray about it” when someone asks you to do something in ministry. There are also times when you know God is speaking directly to you. Those are the times a quick, "Yes, Lord!" come into play. Am I quick to say "Yes, Lord" at those times or does He need to "pound me over the head" until I see God is definitely directing my path?

How will you respond next time God comes-a-callin’? I know I’ll be thinking about that one for a while.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sometimes You Just Need Your Daddy

I admit it. I’m a daddy’s girl. I'm not spoiled though. (do NOT ask my older brother since you will definitely hear a different story)

When I was younger, I remember my dad lending money to some family members who were struggling. At one point, I asked him why he lent money to people. After all, I wasn’t allowed to take piano lessons because we didn’t have a piano and “pianos are too expensive”. Why in the world was he lending people money when I couldn’t have stuff!! (not that I'm bitter or anything! heehee!!) Dad said he was just doing what the Bible said.

Being young and probably was only half listening at the time, I can’t remember if this is the exact verse he quoted. The following is the closest I found to what I remembered him saying; “if a brother asks, give it to him”. Luke 6:29-31 (NIV) says: If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Due to some unforeseen circumstances it was necessary to put all pride aside and ask for help. Oh, how I hated to ask him for help. After it was all said and done, I felt 20 pounds lighter (now, if I could really make the scales say that, I’d be one happy camper!). My dad’s voice sounded almost grateful that he could help us in our time of need.

If my earthly father is like that, imagine how our Heavenly Father feels when we come to Him. Unimaginable isn’t it?

Is my dad perfect? Oh my, no. He is human, therefore imperfect. But our Heavenly Father is perfect in His timing and His ways. We just tend to let our ways get in the way of His perfect ways.

I realize some do not have an earthly father that is the best example or perhaps not even in their lives. I will not make light of those situations. But we all have people in our lives who have nurtured us along our journey through life. So, take some time today to thank our Heavenly Father for your earthly father or a person(s) who have been instrumental in your life.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Musical Monday

Since Christmas songs are sung/heard only a short time each year, I tend to forget some of my favorite songs. Last night we went to a Christmas concert to enjoy a group the girls were both in when they were younger. I so enjoyed hearing their young voices (5th-9th grade).

Keep in mind, I'm forgetting some songs, but here are just a few of my favorites:

  • Still, Still, Still -- so peaceful
  • Silent Night -- an oldy but goody; I especially enjoy Lori Line's piano version we received free on a box of Chex!
  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel---with a strong chorus of Rejoice! Rejoice!
  • God With Us -- pure love
  • Carol of the Bells--but not sung too fast people!
  • Here with Us by Joy Williams
  • The Charlie Brown one that Schroeder "plays" on that little tiny piano and everyone dances while Charlie Brown is off looking for a tree
  • And probably many more if I could just remember them!! :)
What about you? What are some of your favorites?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Trying to Sing

I. Need. An. Attitude. Adjustment. Wow, the last few days have been terrible. Things have happened. Thrown. Under. Bus. type of things. I'll be okay--just give me a few days to a week with bouts of crying and pouting. But right now, I have a serious case of PPMS!! Poor Pitiful Me Sydrome

I "happened" (like God ever lets things just happen!!) upon another blog I visit and guess what it was about today...The Gift of the Funk. Yup, that is me! Click on the title of the blog and read it if you are feeling like I am today. We have this unrealistic expectation just because we are Christian, we need to pour forth joy all the time. Not. So. Sometimes it is okay to not be okay and still be a Christian. Just my two cents...I have to be real y'all.

A person commented on The Gift of Funk post and talked of the book Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. I have the book. Note to self: re-read it!

Found this video which goes along perfectly with Thursday and today's post. I'm singing even when I'm in the funk. I have to. I choose to.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reflective Thursday...Praise Style

This morning I visited a blog I frequent. Debra Weiss is a freelance writer who I "met" through my freelance daughter. I love reading insights from those much younger than me a fresh perspective of life.

Yesterday, she blogged her church recently began a "twenty-five days of praise challenge". I'm strongly liking this idea. How many times during this Christmas season are we so busy that we forget to praise the King of Kings?

Travel on over to her blog and start the challenge!! And like Debra said, when you start "doesn't really matter though, as the point is to praise God instead of following a silly timeline"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Movie Time

Last weekend, the girls and I went to see The Blind Side. Can I just tell you what an excellent movie it is? Wow.

We don't often grace the presence of movie theaters because of the price and usually lack of substance. And when we do go, I'm usually looking at my watch wondering when the movie will end. Apparently The Blind Side length is 2 hours and 4 or 6 minutes. Not once, did I look at my watch. Well, there was that time I did look wondering why two people showed up in the middle of the movie but that doesn't count.

Sure, there are things in it that makes it PG-13 but it wasn't as bad as I thought. Would I take my 12 year old? No, not yet but definitely when he is older he will watch the dvd. I've heard some reviewers didn't like it because of the sterotypes. But this was the main character's life.

Would I recommend The Blind Side? Run, don't walk, to see it! And don't forget some tissues!

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Time

Okay, now it's time for Christmas. It is past Thanksgiving and can start listening to Christmas music. We can be all cheery and in the giving mood. Others can cut in front of us in line and not have a cow...okay, maybe that is pushing it...just a little!!

So far, I haven't gotten into the "spirit"...yet. I'm not sure why at this moment it is more ba-humbug than "ho, ho, ho". The economy and job uncertainty can't take the blame for everything but it is a part of it. Or I could always go for the backup excuse...hormones!

So, what is this girl to do? I have to choose to be in the Christmas mindset. (which is something to be all year round but that is a totally different post) I need to make time, not find time but make time, for quiet time with the Lord...something I've been lazy in doing. Thinking about Christ and what His birth really means and not all this craziness of the gift giving and trivial things. See Christmas through the eyes of a young child. And a good Charlie Brown special or Christmas movie is sure to improve my ba-hum-bug spirit. :)

If you find yourself in a ba-humbug mood, join me in choosing to find the joy of the real meaning of the season, Christ our Lord's birth. Meditate on it day and night. I bet the joy you find will become contagious!

And because you can't go wrong with a good Charlie Brown clip, he and the gang were caught up in the busyness of the season and needed a reminder...and a lovely reminder it is!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mom Moment #2

I want to cry. Just cry. Watching my second child worship God and dance is an amazing thing.

As a dancer she is graceful. She is elegant. She is worshiping. This child of ours has a heart for God and it flows through her as she dances. She communes with her Heavenly Father with each movement.

Sitting ahead of us in church, I can see her during worship. At times I need to stop singing because of the beauty of her hand raised in worship. I can’t see her face but I feel the love she has for God. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying one isn’t worshiping unless his or her hands are raised. We all worship our Creator King differently. It’s just this mom’s heart can feel the Spirit surrounding her child.

I do not know what the future holds for our second child. But God knows. Still in high school, as of now, her interest is in interior design. And she would make a good designer. As a mom, I have a feeling God will be calling her into missions at some point in her life. Just a feeling I have….

When our children were younger, I received Elizabeth Elliot devotions through email. One devotion sticks in my brain to this day. The devotion started out with a question. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It proceeded to state that a child will hear this question numerous times. This question is putting the child in charge of his or her career choice. Shouldn’t children be taught to listen to the Shepherd’s voice concerning His will for the child’s life? I have tried to impart the importance of seeking the will of God in all matters, including what one wants to be when he or she grows up. I'm thankful for the devotion because it certainly changed my way of thinking about that seemingly innocent question.

No matter what the future hold for daughter number two, I have confidence that God will direct each step as she dances through life.

(In the near future, Mom Moment #3...don't worry, only one more child to go!!)

UPDATE: photography is now Dancer Daughters interest (instead of interior design/decorating). See her work here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

When a Science Experiment Goes Wrong!

I have a confession to make.






I’m sure this comes as a shock to all of mankind. But really, I’m not the Martha Stewart of cleaning. Admittedly, I’m almost okay with that.

Today, I cleaned out the refrigerator. Hence the title of this post. Yup. Science experiment gone WAY wrong! This happened before (insert another gasp!) and I vowed I’d never go that long between cleanings. Okay, before we go any further, to me “cleaning out the refrigerator” = throwing out the old food and the unrecognizable food….the food that makes you think, “Huh, I don’t remember eating that recently!”

Since my children ran away from the kitchen in fear of “catching” something, I had plenty of quiet time to think as I was scraping the colorful stuff from the containers. On the outside of the container the food still appeared good. Do I appear good on the “outside” yet yucky on the inside? Am I hiding out hoping no one will peak inside and see my yuckiness? Why do I wait until I get all yucky inside before realizing something is definitely wrong with this picture?

I thought of Song of Solomon 2:15. “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards…” I heard a sermon about marriage which used this verse. However, I think it could apply to our personal lives as well. The foxes are little things in our lives that could lead to a really big mess if we don’t guard our hearts. What foxes are creeping in and tearing things up in me?

Only I can answer those questions. But I know God sees all my yuckiness—and maybe, just maybe, He is using my lack of household skillz to bring it to my attention. Maybe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stuffing and Sweet Potatoes

"Are you going to make stuffing?" two of our children asked.
"I wasn't planning on it" was my reply.
"But we like your stuffing."
To which I almost said, "Are you calling me fat?"

So, in honor of two of our children, I am making stuffing. This is my mom's recipe. The sight, smell and taste brings back a flood of memories each time I make it.

Savory Turkey Stuffing
1 c minced onion
1 c finely chopped celery
1 c shredded carrots
1 c butter (or shortening)
12 c dry bread cubes (I used a mixture of white and wheat)
1 T poultry seasoning
1 t sage (optional)
½ t pepper
½ T salt (don’t go more than this…you could use less also)
1 c beef bouillon or broth

Sauté veggies 5 minutes in butter or shortening (do not brown).
To bread cubes, add poultry seasoning, pepper and salt
Add veggie mixture and broth to moisten.
Toss lightly to mix and place in baking dish.
Bake covered at 325º for 1 hour removing the foil for the last 15 minutes.

The next recipe is one my dad made each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My hubby calls it dessert since it is so sweet but one can adjust the sugar...but not too much!
Sweet Potatoes (Yams)

4 to 6 sweet potatoes or yams
1/3 to ½ c water
½ to 1 stick butter
2 ½ to 5 c. sugar
 Peel and slice ¼” thick. Rinse and drain. Place yams in pan and add water, butter and sugar. Do not stir. Cover on low heat – 30 to 45 min. Don’t stir!

Since the above recipe was what I grew up eating, I had no idea it was made a different know, the one with marshmallows on it or in it. I much prefer this one.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Is it just me or is Christmas overtaking Thanksgiving? I’m not opposed to celebrating Christmas. In fact, I love it but I don’t want to forget about Thanksgiving. So….drum roll please… honor of giving thanks, here is my list short list of things I am thankful for….
  • An understand and loving God
  • Grace and Mercy
  • Forgiveness
  • My husband
  • Soft hum of a child
  • Our children who have all accepted Christ
  • Seeing glimpses of God working in lives of family and friends
  • Soft snores and loud snores from said husband
  • Memories that will live on
  • My 82 year old dad
  • Years I had with my mom who is now with the Lord 
  • Grandpas (both Grandmas are with the Lord)
  • Extended family
  • Supportive friends who love me despite myself…they have to put up with a lot. I really, really appreciate them!!
  • Jobs in this time of such turmoil
  • My dishwasher! Yes, materialistic but so true!!
My list could go on and on but you get the point. Trust me, there are days I am not feeling very thankful. I get down right whinny...just ask my supportive friends. But I just discovered (I'm a slow learner) making a list whether on paper or in your mind really helps.

"Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I've got..." Psalm 111:1 (a)

 What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 20, 2009

In Strong Like

Growing up, my mom didn't allow us to love "things". I can still hear her saying, "You like things. You love people." So, in honor of my mom who is living with our Heavenly Father, I am in strong LIKE with this song!! Yup, strong like.

The song title is 'Your Hands' by JJ Heller.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reflective Thursday

"...His way is in the whirlwind and the storm,
and clouds are the dust of his feet."
Nahum 1:3 (b)

It was a stormy Father's day. Severe weather was in the area. One system was to the north and the other to the south leaving us in the middle. As a weather watcher, I peeked out to find the above picture. It is hard to believe but this picture doesn't even do the sunset justice!

I think of God's Majesty when I look at this picture. What do you think of when you look at the picture?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mom Moment #1

Our oldest child is a writer. Yes. A. Writer. God has kissed her with this talent/gift. I really believe she will touch lives through her writing. Be sure to check her out at her blog here and a blog she started with two friends she met at She Speaks Conference here.

She is also a staff writer for Real Teen Faith. Just look her up under archives.

When she told me the end of her sophomore year of high school cosmetology was in her future, I was shocked. My first reaction in my head was not pretty. What about all that money we forked out for Christian Writers' Guild program? But the good Lord has another plan for her which is going to be so much better (imagine that!). Hairstylist by day, novelist by night! I could only hear the sound of money being flushed down the toilet. A great, wise friend told me how Sarah could minister to people while they are in her chair. And you know what? My friend is right!

Sarah will have a great future because God has it all planned out for her. Why should I worry over these things? He has worked in her life with her writing. And He will continue to work through her as she ministers to those in her chair and as she writes her book(s).....for HE knows the plans He has for her.......

Hello...or as I say, "Hey!"

I guess this is the part where I introduce myself to anyone who happens upon this blog. Without going into too much detail, I started this blog as a form of creative outlet. What will be posted will be a great surprise to everyone…including me. Perhaps pictures I or my kids (IF permitted) have taken, a Bible verse, an observation or a truly embarrassing moment (let’s face it, we ALL like those stories!) and maybe a song or two from the cyber world. And since it's my blog, don't be shocked to find some “proud mom moments” posts…you’ll just need to deal with that one.

Who am I? I’m a wife, mom to three tremendous kids (shhhh, don’t tell them I said that…it is our little secret!!), we teach at home and I work part-time. I am mostly normal. I make mistakes and am not perfect by any means. I try to be positive about situations but a few stump me as I contemplate a positive spin.

You are always welcome here. Keep coming back to see what surprising adventure awaits you in the next post. I’m excited to see it unfold myself.