Monday, December 31, 2012

Drawing to a Close

Well, tomorrow starts task of learning to write 2013.
I like the start of a new year.
I like to wonder what it holds and where I will be at this time next year.
I hardly expected to be writing this post from NC, but here I sit.
God is not done teaching me here or using me here.
I have now lived in NC longer than any other place I have live in my adult life.
(3 years FL, 4 years NY, 4 years WA, and now entering 5th year in NC)
I hardly expected to be writing using wireless Internet,
yet God supplied in the last week.
I hardly expected to revamp the entire way I shop, cook, bake, eat out,
yet I have entered the world of allergy free cooking.
I did set a few goals for last year.
I wanted to run more and even do 3 miles straight.
I wanted to memorize the book of Galatians.
I wanted to work on contentment.
I did finish the Couch to 5K program.
My time was reasonable and I improved my stamina and stride.
Unfortunately, I did not really keep it up, but I do run better now when I do run.
Hubby and I changed our schedules so we are running again together
and I will soon be back in form.
I got through 3 1/2 chapters of Galatians and plan to finish it this year.
Some was a lack of diligence on my part,
some was caused by some health struggles that seem to be improving.
I mentioned last week about how the gluten-free diet helped my depression ...
... and it also helped my contentment in the past year. (Praise the LORD!)
There is always so much to do and to adapt to be more like Christ and less like the world.

Friday, December 28, 2012

No Longer a Dinosaur

I am a bit excited today.
Today may be the day that I switch over to wireless Internet.
My wireless hot spot is supposed to arrive today!
If you have read this blog for long, you know that I have been
and saving pennies
in order to leave my dial-up service behind.
AT&T has been laughing at me for years because I am still using dial-up.
One representative actually called me a dinosaur!
My dilemma: try to bring in home phone and wireless under $50.

My dad recently made the switch from dial-up and it was a great deal,
but still under a contract.
We were not comfortable with a contract since
we want to be ready to move when God says "GO!"
and His plan may involve being without steady employment or income.
But my dad's switch made us pursue some different avenues in our search.

And ...
it is now possible.

Wally World has a wireless home telephone service for just $15 a month -
unlimited local and long distance.
That is half of what I am paying now for just local!

And then the exciting part ...
Wireless for $25 a month.
Of course there are limits on usage,
but we don't download music or video,
so we are hoping to keep it in the $40 a month price.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wisdom From Above

2012 was a year of great change for us.
Hubby was back to working full-time.
We changed our diet in a dramatic way.
We were back to being a 2 vehicle family.

On this last Thankful Thursday of the year,
I am so thankful that God led us to the diet change.
Such a relatively small change that gave big results.
Last year at this time, I was battling great depression and had been for a number of years.
The depression was not only debilitating physically,
but it was not a help to my spiritual life either.
Christians are not supposed to be down.
We have the Lord, and he is ALL that we need.
And yet, I seemed to always be struggling.
Was my faith lacking?

While many people turn to a gluten free diet for relief from tummy troubles,
the diet helped to regulate some hormones that gave me emotional relief.
It has been a much better year.
All praise to our God who made our bodies so intricately!
I am still learning so much about natural ways to help my body run the way that it should.

I am also thankful for family on both sides that have embraced our changes -
learning to read labels, spending extra for specialty foods, sending recipes my way,
and buying us an awesome grain mill.

I am also thankful that he sent us local friends this year who also understand and live by the diet.
What a thrill to have gluten-free chicken noodle soup brought to my door when I was sick!

I am thankful that God knows our needs,
that His wisdom is vast, immeasurable.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day

We enjoyed our Christmas Day immensely.
We have not been able to be with our physical family for Christmas in years
and the holiday seems strange to me without children about.
We have shared part of our Christmas Day with friends here in North Carolina before,
but did the entertaining ourselves this year.
Our friends were able to spend nearly the whole day with us.

We had a relaxing day.
Simple food.
Simple entertainment (the children).
Lovely conversation.

I greatly enjoyed having the kiddos about
and to be able to share out of the abundance that the Lord has blessed us with.

Now, back to routine -
at least until New Years :)

By Your Fruits

Proverbs 31:31
Give her of the fruit of her hands;
and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Don't tell me about your success -

On this final Woman's Work Wednesday of the Year,
we read the last comment about the Virtuous Woman.

This exemplary woman does not have to brag about her virtue,
the successes of her life speak for themselves.
Look at her life - kind, calm, prepared, successful, modest, hard-working.
Listen to those she has touched - husband, children, servants, poor, needy.

The proofs of your successes and/or failures are all around you.
You do not have to tell me about your greatness - I will be able to see it.
Do folks turn to you for stability?
Do they know that you are unflappable (because you are relying on THE ROCK)?
Are your home and family in order?
Are you known for your kindness and generosity?
Do you stand behind your husband and have a stake in his success?
Do you live what you preach?

James 3:11-18
 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place
sweet water and bitter?
Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries?
either a vine, figs?
so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?
let him shew out of a good conversation
his works with meekness of wisdom.
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts,
glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above,
but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is,
there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated,
full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality,
and without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
of them that make peace.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

We do wish you a very special day.
May you not lose sight of the reason for the holiday.

We are entertaining friends today -
or maybe they are becoming family.
A young couple and their 3 kiddos.

A little untraditional meal -
hubby is grilling chicken, shrimp and veggies
and the dessert request was gluten free lemon bars.
We are going to have mint oreos too!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012


And ...
... I have a new floor!

Rotted subflooring removed exposing insulation and pipes.

New plywood in place
New laminate covering the plywood

All trimmed up and back in business

 We had been hoping that the landlord would let us redo the entire kitchen floor.
We are sure that there are 2 other spots with rotted subflouring ...
... and the linoleum is cut in many places and brittle ...

... but it was not to be, and I am thankful for the space that did get fixed.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Putting in part of a new kitchen floor today.
The portion nearest to the sink finally fell through.
The tenant's before us must not have realized that leaking pipes
and press board are a bad combination.

Mess - Mess - Mess

All the wet wood cut away exposing insulation.
Ready to put in new wood.
The landlord gave us some PERGO-like floor covering to use on top.

I will share more pictures with you on Monday -
it may be complete then, or it may still be a work in progress.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Greatest Gift

Society is full of gifts right now.
Some are practical.
Some are frivolous.
Some are extravagant.
Some are predictable.

On this last "Thankful Thursday" before Christmas
I am so thankful for the greatest gift -
the gift of a Savior more than 2000 years ago.
Jesus Christ took on flesh and was made a man -
not just to make a sweet nativity scene,
not just to give another holiday to celebrate -
He came with the purpose of dying for our sins.
This gift is not just for me - it is for all mankind.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are all sinners deserving of the ultimate punishment -
death and hell -
but He, as the perfect sacrifice
took our punishment.
If you and I acknowledge Christ as God,
his death on the cross,
and his resurrection from the grave,
and repent (turn from) of our sins,
God promises us a home in heaven one day.

It is that simple,
but we are prideful people,
and many will not bow the knee to God
and will refuse the gift.

God offers the greatest gift.
Have you received it?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

True Beauty

Proverbs 31:30
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain:
but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

Here is the trait that led to the virtuous woman's success in every other area.
The virtuous woman feared the Lord.
I have often heard this preached that she was a Christian.
Indeed, in order to fear the Lord, one must accept Him as Savior,
but I believe that there are many Christian women who do not properly fear the Lord.

The fear of the Lord should and will change every aspect of our lives ...
how we work,
how we care for our bodies,
how we dress,
what we listen to,
how we raise our children,
how we spend our free time,
how we speak,
how we see others,
how we pray,
how we study the Bible ...

I believe that it is easy to deceive ourselves as women.
Fearing the Lord is not just 5 minutes in the morning,
or participating in family devotions,
or serving at church ... get the idea.

My life should be changed if I fear the Lord.
It will make me different from the world and from many Christians.
Solomon knew how rare this woman was -
out of his 1000 wives/concubines I believe he could not find one.
Perhaps that is because we often run on emotions, or on the desire to please others.

Ecclesiastes 7:25,27-28
I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things,
and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness: ...

 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:
Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found;
but a woman among all those have I not found.     I truly believe that if I could master the fear of the Lord, the other traits of the virtuous woman would just fall into place. I would be disciplined, healthy, economical, kind, resourceful ...
  The Fear of the Lord    

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Crowded Out

Two questions have jumped out at me this year.
"Are you Ready for Christmas?"
"Will we have a good Christmas?"

I understand the first to ask -
is your shopping done?
are the Christmas cards in the mail?
how is the baking coming?
and yet it strikes me that Jesus is missing in the question.
I should always be ready to remember and celebrate Christ's birth.

The second question is more disheartening.
The context usually explains this question as ...
Will I get what I want?
Will there be a lot of Christmas presents?
Christ is again missing.

Reminds me of this hymn:

Crowded Out
by C.H. Morris

Is Christ crowded out of your busy life
With the toiling that each day brings?
With the strain and stress of the cares that press
You've no time for the King of kings.

"No room in the inn" for the Christ-Child blest,
"In a manger so low He lay;"
In the hearts of men o'er and o'er again,
There's no room for Him still today.

"The foxes have holes and the birds have nests,
But nowhere for His head divine.
had the Son of man", should He come again
Find a place in your heart and mine?

The hearts of the ones whom He died to save
Is the home which He seeks today;
By His life bought yet He is crowded out,
And "away with Him", still they say.

Crowded out!
Crowded out!
You've no time for His service, you say;
While for pleasure and business you always have time,
Is Christ crowded out today?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Glad for Pioneers

Well, I think I found it ...
while I am still searching for a bread recipe ...
I think I found a roll recipe that I like. 

We were having beef stew at our church fellowship on Sunday. 
What goes better with soup or stew than warm bread?
 ... so I had to try it. 
The first recipe I tried was phenomenal fresh ...
but the next day ...
kind of like a hardened sponge - not even the microwave would help it. 
The second recipe was good, but needed a little tweaking. 
So, I combined the recipe of #2 with the baking style of recipe #1
and had an acceptable roll on Sunday morning. 
I suppose that in time this will all become routine -
I keep learning more and more about this strange activity called gluten free baking
as I read more and more recipes. 

I have found that my most trusted resources have been
Gluten Free on a Shoestring
and the Gluten Free Bible
Both have proven reliable for a good recipe.
I am glad for those who have figured out the ins and outs of gf baking.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Little Date

Since I have spent the fall trying to rid my house of "stuff,"
I do not desire to add to the clutter again.

And so, I am encouraged that hubby and I are going to
share the gift of time this Christmas rather than accumulating more stuff.
Tomorrow he is taking me to an exhibit on the preservation of the Bible.
It is sponsored by Hobby Lobby - a great craft store that is still closed on Sunday.
It is over in Charlotte, so while we are there ...
I think a trip to our favorite GF restaurant is in order!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Great Physician

There is nothing like an illness to remind you to be thankful ...
...thankful for the Great Physician.

I am thankful for a God with power of sickness and disease.
I am thankful to be feeling better.

I was tickled when heard that a doctor in our area admitted that the flu shot
that was being given this year did not match the strain of the flu that
the county has been fighting this month.

God has given mankind intelligence,
but the power of life and death,
sickness and health,
are still in His hands.

For that I am thankful.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Not Just Status Quo

Proverbs 31:29
Many daughters have done virtuously,
but thou excellest them all.

The virtuous woman did not settle for average.
She did the best that she could in all situations.

She may not have been the best at everything.
Her time, energies, and health may have held her back some days.
Yet, this woman put what she had into everything that she attempted.

Virtue is not really what is seen on the outside (though it will be seen).
Virtue is like character - it is who you are when no one is watching.

Do you work differently when hubby is home?
Is your house cleaner when mom is coming for a visit?
Does your computer and reading time change if others are around?

Working hard, no matter what.

Very convicting.

Monday, December 10, 2012

On the mend?

No recipes to share today, because I just have not been doing any extra cooking. 
I was even blessed to have some friends bring us some chicken noodle soup on Saturday -
I couldn't taste it, but it was warm and satisfying.
Been down with the flu - fever, aches, pains, and serious head cold ... oh, and laryngitis a few days. 
It is a strange bug ... been going on for over a week like a roller coaster ...
good day, bad day, good day, bad day. 
Hope the worst is behind me. 
So thankful that hubby has stayed well. 

Hoping to try making GF rolls this week. 
We're having a church dinner on Sunday and our sweet church family is planning
 GF beef stew and ham as the main dishes. 
I would like to take some rolls to go with the delicious stew! 
Need to search for a good dessert to take ... it might be pumpkin pie! 
It might be mini-cheesecakes! 
Or maybe it will involve a google search for something new!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Why Celebrate?

Christmas is in the air!
Hubby put up his Christmas village on Tuesday,
and I followed with 3 nativities and some greenery yesterday.
I also created the Christmas cards which await personal messages.

I love this season.
I love remembering the humility of the Savior who came to die for me.
I love the scents of pine and peppermint.
I love the winter decorations - pine boughs and ribbon.
I love remembering the ultimate gift (Christ)
by giving gifts to those I love.
I love sending Christmas cards to thank others for their part in my life
and to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas.

We are planning a quiet Christmas celebration this year.
Enjoying a slower day.
Enjoying some special treats.
Enjoying the reminder of Christ's birth -
for without His sacrifice, I could not have eternal life.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I am an avoider
Yes, I avoid the doctor like the plague. 
Perhaps some of it is the cost,
some of it is the invasion of privacy,
and most of it is that many doctors want to medicate for EVERYTHING. 
Since we moved to NC (4 years ago), the only doctor I have seen is the dentist. 
We go to a dental college in Charlotte that offers free cleanings, advice and referrals.
  Yesterday, I returned to the eye doctor after 5 years. 
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that my eyes were improving. 
For that, I am thankful. 
Of course, then I wonder if my nearsightedness will improve and I will soon need reading glasses :)

And now starts the search for a regular doctor. 
It is about time for a well-person checkup. 
I loved the doctor I found in WA and perhaps I can find one just as relaxed and down-to-earth here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Ultimate Reward

Proverbs 31:28
Her children arise up, and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praiseth her.

In the last four verses of this inspiring chapter,
we are allowed to see the reward given to this virtuous woman.
It is not money, prizes, or trophies.
This woman receives the praise she deserves.
It is not the praise of the community that is mentioned first
(though I am sure the merchants, the poor, and her servants would praise her),
but it is her family.
Her husband praises her because she indeed is his help meet.
She has aided him in his successes and supported him in his failures.
He recognizes the role his wife plays in encouraging him and helping him meet his responsiblities.
Her children also praise her because she has done her best
to prepare them for whatever their futures hold.
They appreciate the tought love, the present ear, the years of prayers.

It is sad that many women search for fulfilment outside of the home.
They seek the praise of a boss or coworkers rather than
the praise of the husband and children that they should be ministering to.
I recognize that there are many husbands who do not give the praise their wives deserve,
there are many ungrateful children who do not respect their mothers as they should,
but there are also many wives and mothers not seeking to be a "virtuous woman."
These traits will take time, practice, and effort to develop.

There is no greater reward, in my opinion,
after a difficult day of homekeeping,
than recognition from my hubby -
he appreciates the clean home, the ready meal, the sweet treat.
And even if hubby forgets to say something,
I feel a reward in his successes -
because I am his HELP MEET
and that is the best job I have ever had.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Constant Modification

There are days when I realize that we have lived in NC longer than we have lived anywhere else.  I realize this because everything has a place and we both know where that "place" is.  Sometimes it seems that the house can run itself.  And yet there is always something that needs a little "tweaking."  And so ... we tweak!

The most recent was our exercise schedule.  While it is easy for me to find a time to run, walk, jog, lift weights, jump rope ... hubby was a little disappointed in his ability to find a good option.  4:00 runs were not suiting him, his walks on his lunch break do not get his heart rate up, and since we eat at 5:30 when he walks in the door, evening exercise was hard until 7:30 or 8:00 when it was time to wind down.

After a brainstorm on Sunday afternoon, we decided to postpone dinner and run together at least 3 times a week (Mon, Tues, and Saturday) as soon as hubby got home.  We are still in the trial days, but we have to find something that works for both of us.  Though I can fit exercise in throughout the day, I really enjoy hubby's motivation - he definitely pushes me farther than I push myself!

Monday, December 3, 2012


My first few attempts at Gluten-Free pizza were less than spectacular.  I was so desperate that I was searching high and low for restaurants that would serve me a gluten free pizza.  Well, our plans to visit a gluten free pizza restaurant continued to fall through and I continued to try my hand at an acceptable crust.  I have now made a good one and hubby agrees that we need search no farther.  I am thrilled because my friend Lynette, from WA, had shared her AWESOME recipe for pizza sauce and I mourned the fact that I might not be able to use it again.  I enjoy using the recipe because it is just REALLY good and because it reminds me of many nights shared with our friends (included as if we were family) when we were so far away from our physical families. 

Lynette's Pizza Sauce

1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 clove pressed garlic
2 Tbsp dried onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp each dried basil, oregano, marjoram
1/4 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt

Mix together well, cover, and set on counter for 1 hour.
Enough Sauce for 3 15" pizzas.
Extra sauce freezes well.
(1/2 of recipe covers a cookie sheet size pizza)