Saturday, February 27, 2010


White flakes gracefully land making everything crystal white. Everything sparkles with 3-4 inches of fresh, clean, powdery snow.

Writer Daughter said it best in her facebook status: ...“thinks the snow is beautiful, Lord! Like a glitter shaker dumped from heaven...”

But I can only see the cold. How awful it will be to drive in this mess. Someone will need to shovel. And will my hubby be able to get out of the drive in the morning to work much needed overtime.

God gives us beauty. I, a mere human, complain and worry. I get annoyed when I hear others complain about the weather. I think, Just enjoy the weather we have, people. The cold/hot weather will be here before you know it. And yet I stand, staring out my kitchen window complaining in my head. Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?

I told a friend recently when I called her to complain about something that didn't go my way, “I should have given up complaining for Lent!” And although I was joking with my friend, maybe I should have been serious.

Life doesn’t work out the way we always want it. (I could list a lot of examples…but I’m trying to cut back on complaining!) Some situations demand one to be pro-active. While others, like the weather, warrant one to just be—just enjoy—just breathe. And most importantly, God is there in all times of the great times, good times and awful times.

Who knew snow could make me contemplate life?

Philippians 4

 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

19And my God will meet all your needs according to
his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

20To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

23The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Monday, February 22, 2010

pizza, Pizza, PIZZA!!!

Homemade pizza. Cost effective and delicious. I was using the same recipe my mom used for year. Except the kids didn't really rave about it. They would eat it, but left overs would never get eaten by them.

I found this website and decided to try one of the many recipes. I made the crust recipe below first because it was used milk. The kids really liked the crust. Be brave and try it!

Basic Pizza Crust

3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 pkg instant yeast (.25 oz.)
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
8 oz. milk, warmed to 110 degrees
4 oz. water, warmed to 110 degrees

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pizza pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add warmed liquids all at once to the dry mixture. Stir until well mixed, incorporating all the dry ingredients. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set aside for about 20-25 minutes, allowing the dough to rise. Empty dough out onto a clean, floured surface. Knead by hand 6-8 times, it may be necessary to add additional flour to the surface to keep dough from sticking. Note: I used olive oil on my hands to press out the dough (I did not "roll"). Roll into desired shape and thickness. Place rolled dough onto prepared pizza pan, add favorite sauce and toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, depending on crust thickness.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Psalm 91

Have you read Psalm 91 lately? For me, it had been way too long. Take some time to read and reflect upon this powerful message.

Psalm 91
(New Living Translation)

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the
shadow of the Almighty.

2 This I declare about the Lord; He alone is my refuge,
my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

3 For he will rescue you from every trap and
protect you from deadly disease.

4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.

6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are
dying around you, these evils will not touch you.

8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.

9 If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make
the Most High your shelter,

10 no evil will conquer you; no plague
will come near your home.

11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.

12 They will hold you up with their hands so
you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.

13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.

15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.

16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to Make Your Mom Mad

Should I be concerned my son's essay paper topic and title is "How to Make Your Mom Mad"? Then in his outline, he lists examples, which sound extremely familiar, on how exactly it is done. Red flags, anyone?! :)
I made the decision to purchase Hands-On-Essays from Bonita at Encouraging Words for Writers. Bonita made this easy-to-use curriculum FUN. It comes with a DVD starring her and her co-op students. Let's just say she has a way of making the lesson memorable! The kids and I love the DVD.

Is this a miracle cure for my two very reluctant writers? No, not yet. There is still moaning and groaning when it comes to actually writing...but there is always hope. And, hey, they will at least know how to write an essay even if they don't like to do it. Isn't that what teaching is them the knowledge?

If you are in the market for an essay writing curriculum for ages junior high and high school (I believe that is the age range), email Bonita (click on her name above) and she'll happily send you all the information you need to see if it is a good fit for your family.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lessons From A Cloudy Mirror

Ten years ago, hubby and I went to a marriage retreat. Held at a camp during full-bloom-colors of fall, it was a great experience.

What I remember the most, though, was what happened the last day. Right before we left, the group of 6 couples, the camp director and the speaker and his wife participated in communion. This was the most memorable communion I have ever had or have had since.

We gathered around a very filthy, cloudy mirror which was placed on the floor. We were each given a cloth rag. When the leader would prompt us to respond to the reading, we would each clean a small area of the mirror.

I don't remember a lot of the reading. What I remember is our response..."and the greatest of these is love" from 1 Corinthians 13:13. The cleaning of the mirror also came from the same chapter but verse 12 "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

No one has a perfect marriage. As I cleaned my little spot of the mirror, I began to realize that the things we go through in our marriage are just like that mirror. Some of our problems are cloudy. But once we begin to work at clearing things up, we will have a different perspective. Things are not always as they seem. Some issues just need a little clearing while others need some elbow grease.

And as we work through those cloudy times, isn't it great to have ", hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

**A blog post that really touched me this week is this. What beautiful words describing true unconditional love.

Then travel over here to read what a box of candy hearts from God would say.

And don't forget to read Writer Daughter's touching post about being God's Daughter here.**

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thin Places by Mary DeMuth

Thin Places-A Memoir is a new release from Mary E DeMuth. It. Is. Excellent.

Writer Daughter received this book in the mail before its release date. Since Writer Daughter is also Senior Daughter, she is a tad bit busy, she graciously allowed me to read this book. I was a little hesitant to read Mary's memoir. I knew Mary had suffered sexual abuse as a child and wasn't sure I'd like this book.


I loved this book! Yes, she talks about the sexual abuse. But she also talks about what lessons she has learned and how she makes almost each situation into a learning experience. A learning experience that brings her closer to God. A learning experience that makes her examine her own heart and how she can grow.

Mary defines thin places as "snatches of holy ground, tucked into the corners of our world, where, if we pay very close attention, we might just catch a glimpse of eternity.....Thin places are snatches of time, moments really, when we sense God intersecting our world in tangible, unmistakable ways. They are aha moments, beautiful realizations, when the Son of God bursts through the hazy fog of our monotony and shines on us afresh."

Get yourself a copy because I know you will want to do some highlightin'.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Do You (I) Love God?

Do You Love God was the title of the devotion I read this morning. A dear friend of mine gave me the book Keeping God In The Small Stuff by Bruce & Stan for my birthday. It has some very thought provoking today.

This devotion reminded me of the book of Job in the Bible. Almost the entire devotion was questions. Kind of like when God ripped into Job asking him questions in response to Job's question.

I'm going to paraphrase this since I'm not sure if I'll violate some sort of copyright law if I write out the entire devotion. Basically, it is this:

Do you love God? Or is it just something you grew up doing/knowing? (tradition or something your parents did) Is every part of you devoted and in love with God? Is God above all things in your life? Is it love in only words or is there action that proves or shows love to Him? Are you in love with just parts of Him that you really forgiveness & love? Or are you in love with just His holiness? Or are you in love with the idea of loving a being bigger than yourself?

Those questions are things I need to ponder.

And you must love the Lord your God
with all your heart, all your soul
all your mind and all your strength.
Mark 12:30

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Under the Spotlight

I am sure there was a spotlight zeroed in on me Sunday morning. I could even hear the Angels hold that  musical note for eternity as the Pastor announced the sermon topic. I wanted to run far, far away but my rear was glued in the chair.

We were visiting a church in which my hubby was helping out by filling in for their bass player. I could have chosen to go with our other two children to our home church that morning. But I chose, along with dancer daughter, to attend church with my hubby. I seriously believe God orchestrated the entire event. I desperately needed to hear this sermon.

The sermon? Based on Matthew 6:25-34, it was called In Entire Dependence On God. Hearing countless sermons on the subject of worry, none of the sermons struck me to the core as much as this one. I wish this church would have their media files up to date so I could link you there!

On two different occasions during the sermon, I thought to myself, if my hubby nudges me, he will be seriously hurt when we get home! He did not nudge me. :)

I worry and try to hold on to the issue. I am annoying when I say I am not worried BUT....

Sigh. (as she hangs her head)

Will I still fight worry? You bet, but I don't want to be like the pagans who worry about things out of their control. Does this mean I sit back and not do anything? No, but my worry is not helping the situation even though I need to be proactive in an issue.

I'm not going to change overnight since that would be so unrealistic. With time, grace and mercy, I believe I can do it.

This life is certainly a journey, isn't it?! I'm so glad God grades on a HUGE grading curve!! :)