Saturday, March 31, 2012

Healing Words

Imagine. You're at the end of your rope. It seems as though what could go wrong, did. Retreating into your comfort zone, you want to stay indoors, lock the house, and be safe.

The world, unfortunately isn't a 'safe' place. Things happen. Accidents & near misses, kids shooting other kids, health issues-both small and huge, divorce and separation, feeling judged and insecure, death. The list could go on and on and on....

Depressing? Yes. Hopeless? No. When I'm feeling at the end of my rope and wonder what else could go wrong, I try to imagine the verse below. Zephaniah 3:17. God delights in me. Sort of puts a spring in my step. God gently quieting me with His love. What does this look like? To me, He puts a song in my heart and mind. Usually it is the old song Be Still and Know [that I am God] and its many verses. That also reminds me of the latter part of the verse, "He will rejoice over you with singing".

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over
you with singing. ~Zephaniah 3:17

This next verse I memorized as a kid. I had fear. Insecurities and fear. Still do, unfortunately. But, fortunately, God is patient. Very patient. I've learned to chant, "The Lord is with me, the Lord is with me....."

For I am the LORD your God, who takes hold of your right hand, and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. -Isaiah 41:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13

I'm striving toward. Joy, peace and trust. If we are honest with ourselves, do we trust 100% of the time? I can say I trust, but then worry and doubt creep in and I know I have trust issues. Hope. Oh, hope. There is just a certain power in that word. Makes me smile.

His Words are my guide. His Words are my comfort and strength in times of distress. Help me, Lord, to remember to look to Your Words more than running to the phone to call a friend. Fill me with Your joy and peace.

What are some of the verses in which you cling?

Monday, March 26, 2012


Trust me.
Follow this link by clicking here.
Go on. Go read and watch; I'll wait for you.
But, hurry back because we need to talk about this.

[Insert your favorite waiting music. Oh, you want to know my favorite waiting music?
Well, aren't you sweet for asking. It is the music at the end of Jeopardy when they are
playing final Jeopardy. You have that song stuck in your head now don't you..... ☺]

Are you back? Hello?! Was that video great or what?! And that kid. Wowzers!
Did you cry? Yeah, me too. Oh, back-stories do it to me every time. But, I can relate to this kid.
Oh, how I can relate. Chubby, picked on, made fun of, no confidence...wowzers [again]!!!

But I just loved, loved, loved author and author of the blog, Jenny B Jones, final paragraph.
Let me just quote it here so we can share this moment together:

"Though it’s easy to think otherwise, I believe this is how God sees us. He’s that proud. That in love with who we are and what we’re capable of. He’s laughing and clapping and giving us a standing O. Because you are good. And you are worthy." Jenny B Jones

Go ahead, read that again.
Anointed words. Wow.

How often do we, in our busyness of life, forget the One who gave us life is right beside us. Cheer us on. Laughing with joy. Clapping like no ones ever clapped before. We are His. He is this proud papa rooting for His children. And, imagine the look in His eyes. Can you see His eyes full of love? Hard to imagine, isn't it. But, I think it is something we need to remember and imagine more often. When we feel like a failure. When we've had a rotten day.

The Divine Dance by Shannon Primicerio comes to mind when I read the above quote. If you are as touched by the quote above as I am, go read Shannon's book. It is geared to the teen girl crowd but you'll definitely get something out of it if you are an adult.

And, don't forget to go give Jenny B Jones some love. She has books that I've read 2x. Yup, that good, people. You can find her books on her blog.

Remember, God is cheering us on. Clapping, whistling, encouraging...He knows you can do anything when you trust and rely on Him.

Friday, March 23, 2012

When Everything Falls Apart

I awoke this morning to this song floating around in my head. (pardon the blurry quality but I found this was the best choice of videos..there is just something about a 'live' video)

It seems as thought everything is falling apart for family friends. I feel powerless. I feel like I should be able to say the right things to make my friend (the mom) feel good. I feel like there should be more I can 'do' for the sister who is my youth in a youth/mentor program at church. Then, I have to remember, this isn't about me. (ouch) In my 'need' to want to help this family, the best thing I can 'do' is pray. Sure, letting my friend and my youth-friend know I'm there for them is a great thing. And, they know that.

God seems silent in this medical the moment. Faith tells me He is working in His timing and His will. Patience. (sigh) Helpless but not hopeless that a miracle will happen.

The one experiencing the medical problems is such a bright light in all of this. Her smile lights up a room even when she is feeling terrible. At this moment, she is experiencing problems that have the doctors scratching their heads. She has currently been in the hospital a week and it looks as though she won't be coming home soon. Please pray for this beautiful, mighty young woman of God. Her faith and strength through all of her trials has been amazing!

Libbey, may you feel God's loving arms holding on to you.

Follow her blog (being kept up by her mom at the moment) here or you can find it on my side bar labeled Straighten the Path for Scoliosis .

Please, please, please, join me and a multitude of others praying for Libbey and her family. Thanks!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms

Two people falling in love. A forbidden love. A love that may destroy not only their families but one family's livelihood. Do they have the strength to never see one another again?

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall is a very easy, two to three day read. It is [yet another] book featuring the Amish and Mennonites*. I am not a huge fan of Amish/Mennonite books which have been flooding the market for a time and it doesn't look like that will end anytime soon. I actually get frustrated when I look for a book to purchase and it seems most are Amish books. However, Author Cindy Woodsmall did a good job with the story line and moving it along at just the right pace.

Annie has been friends with Aden for years. Annie realizes she has had a crush on Aden off and on throughout their friendship. Annie is an Old-Order, "horse and buggy" Mennonite. Aden, Amish. Annie and Aden discover love while working together. The two religions do not tolerate inter-religious courtship, dating, or marriage. It is forbidden. Factor in Annie's grandfather is a silent business partner with Aden's Amish family. Aden's family needs her grandfather to keep their business running. Annie and Aden's secret love could be their ruin.

Love is complicated. It is hard to do the right thing. Does God really care about religious differences? God's law or man's law?

Pick up a copy of The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall to find out!

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing through their Blogging for Books program. I am not required to write a favorable review, only an honest review.

*Pet-Peeve Alert!!!
I'm Mennonite. I'm not Old Order or 'horse and buggy Mennonite' as the author refers to in this book. The author did distinguish the sect of Mennonite a few times in this book. But, for the majority of times when talking about Annie's religion, the author just used the word Mennonite. Now, I don't mean to make a mountain out of a mole hill and I do realize the author did extensive research. I just cringed while reading this book every time the word Mennonite was used as stand along...without the sect. The book seems to portray both religious groups as judgemental, man-made-rules and caring more about man's law than God's law of Grace and Mercy. While reading this, I kept thinking if people reading books like these thought we (Mennonites and Amish) were all this way, it would be a horrific mess.

Our relationship with God is not one of religious practices but one with God. Our religion is our history and a factor in how we see this world. But our true relationship must be with God himself. Not man-made laws to try to keep everyone in 'order'. If you want to learn more about Mennonites (I can't speak for Amish), click here. Educate yourself and just don't rely on a fictional book. [stepping down from soap box]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Boat

I've had a love affair with this song for quite some time. So much so, I thought you needed to fall in love as well. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Crock♦Pot + Chicken = Yum

Last year, on my birthday, I came home from work and found a surprise awaiting me. No card was on this large, wrapped box. It was a total shock when I began to unwrap this mystery. I was in denial if the actual content could really be what the box indicated. Lo and behold, when I opened up the box, it was as pictured. A Crock♦Pot. I knew the identity of the gift-giver as soon as I opened the box. What a dear friend and a grand surprise.
Isn't she beautiful?

"Why are you excited over a Crock♦Pot?" You ask. The slow cooker I had was coming to the end of its life...23 years old to be exact. Plus it was an odd contraption. One in which I shall say not speak ill of the dead. Just trust me, I buried it in peace.

Ever since that joyful surprise, I've been purposefully trying to make more meals which include my lovely Crock♦Pot. After all, one needs to make a new appliance feel wanted.

Here are just two recipes I thought I'd share. Enjoy.

Chicken & Rice
(not just bland old chicken & rice...stick with me...)

4 chicken breasts
3/4 c brown rice
2 1/2 c water
1 can cream of chicken condensed soup
1 envelope dry Onion Recipe Soup & Dip Mix
1/2 can water (use the empty soup can)

Place chicken breasts in the Crock♦Pot, turn on low (6-8 hrs). Meanwhile, pour the brown rice in a fine mesh strainer; run water over the rice until all the rice has been 'hit' with water. Place a sauce pan on the stove over med-high heat. Pour the wet rice into the sauce pan (it will sizzle). Stir until you don't hear sizzling. (process makes the brown rice not mush up after cooking) Add 2 1/2 c water, cover with lid and let come to a boil. After about 10 min. Turn off heat. (just want to cook it a little so the rice and the chicken get done at the same time. Brown rice takes longer than white to cook. Trust me. I learned the hard way.) Open up your can of soup and 1/2 the dry soup mix envelope. Add those two ingredients plus 1/2 can of water to the rice and stir. Now, place this mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining dry soup mix over the top of the rice and chicken. (don't ask why I sprinkled the remaining mix over the rice and chicken...let's call it an artistic moment, shall we?!) Cover and go on with your life. If life allows, check the chicken (should read 165') about 5 hours into 'crock♦potting. If you done and your Crock♦Pot has a featured called 'warm', set it to that while you wait for the magic super hour.

Dig in.

Another recipe we've enjoyed is this fabulous chicken recipe with only three ingredients, also made in....wait for Crock♦Pot. My niece sent me this recipe after she found it on Pinterest. How did we ever manage supper before Pinterest?

So, let me in on some of your best Crock♦Pot recipes. I'd love to try them.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Not This Time - Review

Terrorist attack. Blood soaked mattress. Seagrove Village residents find trouble arrives when they least expect it. Do Sara & Beth find love in the midst of death, destruction and turmoil? Will the community find the strength to love and forgive? Who can people trust?

Not This Time by Vicki Hinze is the third book in the Crossroads Crisis Center series. Would I consider this a stand alone book? No. I spent a number of chapters trying to figure out who all these characters were and how they all fit together. When I requested this book from Blogging for Books, I was not aware this was a part of the series. Being the last book in a series, I cannot blame the author for the confusion I felt at the beginning of the book. A few chapters in I soon got over the confusion.

I felt transported into the story and all the twists and turns associated with suspense novels. Author Vicki Hinze did an excellent job of moving the story along and just the right pace. Just when I thought I had figured out 'who done it', there would be another twist in the plot that had me on the trail of another suspect.

Over all, well done. My recommendation is the start with book one of this series. I personally think you'll enjoy all three books if Not This Time is an indicator.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes. I am not required to give a positive review, only an honest review.