Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hard Words

It is difficult to be thankful for correction,
but when I respond properly - I can be thankful.
It is hard to acknowledge weakness and sin.
I do not always respond as I should,
but when I do - it is GOOD!

Recently, I heard a message on Biblical Standards of Leadership.
While the message emphasized behavior, dress, and entertainment;
the Spirit spoke to me about time, time management, and discipline.

Because my schedule is relatively fluid and I seek to be available for ministry when I can,
I have not found a Monday through Friday schedule to be particularly helpful.
I like to check things off of a list, but my lists were too rigid.
I decided to make a schedule that will allow me to finish my work any time throughout the week.
I have been using it for 2 weeks now, and it seems to be a winner.
I am getting more accomplished and have more urgency to my time.
I am so thankful for the Spirit's working in my life and for messages that He uses to evoke change.

My plan:
A new, more flexible schedule for the week.
Bible reading - daily
Exercise - 6 days a week
Hebrew study - 3 days a week
... etc., etc.,  etc.
If you are interested - see it here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An Oxymoron

An oxymoron is a combination of contradictory words.
silly examples - tasty broccoli, a pleasant dentist visit, hot ice cream

Proverbs 11:16a
A gracious woman retaineth honour:

This week's proverb for women is an oxymoron.
In this proverb, gracious means :
"to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior"
That truly is grace - 
giving of oneself for another,
giving with no hope of compensation

It is this woman, who with humble actions will receive and hold on to honor.
It is not surprising. 
God's ways are like this.
The last shall be first.
The humble shall be exalted.

You cannot demand honor.
Your actions will earn you the honor that you deserve.

All you with little people at home,
are you serving them today?
In the church,
are you ministering to shut-ins as you are able?
Are you doing the unlovely jobs?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Just a Dumb Sheep

Psalm 95:6-7a
O come, let us worship and bow down: 
let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, 
and the sheep of his hand.

I greatly enjoy my walks this time of year.
When I have time to walk by the local sheep farm, I enjoy looking at the babies - lambs and goats.
The babies are just so precious.
Their little cries are also so sweet.

But beyond appearance is the stupidity of the sheep.
They need the shepherd.
They need "George" - the sheep dog.
They need the donkeys to keep away the predators.

And God likens me to a sheep.
How can I lift myself up in pride?
My position needs to be humble submission, and bowing to His will and His commands.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Old Fashioned Popcorn

So I am a little slow learning this lesson.
In our efforts to "clean up" our eating, 
hubby asked me to try to avoid the microwave except for reheating leftovers,
so I decided to venture from my cozy realm of microwave popcorn on Saturday night.
I broke out the cast iron soup pot,
the coconut oil,
the pop corn kernels,
and some nutritional yeast flakes.

I googled what to do ...
and it was as easy as the websites said.
I burned the first batch slightly because I read that it would take 4 minutes.
On the second try, I just watched the popping and it was PERFECT.

I put 2 Tbsp of Coconut oil in the pan and heated the pan over medium high heat.
Then I added 3 kernels to the pan and covered the pot (I have a clear lid which was nice).
When the first kernel popped, I added 1/3 c of popcorn kernels.
I recovered and shook the pan slightly while it popped.
When the popping slowed to 5 sec or more.
I called it done. 

Wondering about the nutritional yeast flakes?
They add a cheesy flavor - but are non-dairy.

I was amazed that it took less time on the stove than microwave popcorn.
I had less unpopped kernels than in the microwave.
I did not have to add any butter or additional oil after cooking.
It also did not have "fly-aways" like air popped (though it does have the downfall of using oil).

Hubby really liked it.
... and I am hooked too!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Simple Pleasures

I received a simply marvelous gift for Christmas.
It was a gift from my Sunday School students. 
It is the object of my thankfulness on this "Thankful Thursday."

As you well know, I love scents.
I burn candles.
I "plug-in" soothing scents.
I spray air freshener.

But my routine is now easier.
I received a Scentsy burner for Christmas.

It is an electric burner - no flames - just a light bulb.
It is safe and perfect for forgetful me.
It can burn while I am gone creating a welcoming scent when I arrive home.

"Knock-off" burners and scent bars are sold at Walmart
but Scentsy has a greater selection.
From my brief comparison, 
their scent bars last longer and are comparable in price (minus shipping).

I love the fact that the bars can me melted
and then poured back into their container to harden and reuse another day.
I burn a different scent every day so I never grow insensitive to the scents.

Monday for the candlelight dinner - the scent of roses.
I love the clean scent of "Just Breathe"
and the cinnamon-ny scent of "Welcome Home"

You can help a friend of mine if you order through this link.
An order over $150 gets free shipping so ask your friends as well or stock up on gifts.
Maybe I should see if I can host an online party!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Note to Mothers (Part II)

Proverbs 10:1;13 
The proverbs of Solomon. 
A wise son maketh a glad father: 
but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: 
but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.

Last Wednesday, Proverbs 10 reminded moms to teach diligence.
It is a burden and heartache to have a lazy child.

This week, I see the necessity of discipline.
I am sure that mothering has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world.
There is the constant need to be aware, to train, to correct.
There is little thanks, little "down-" or "me-" time, and lots of work.
Because it is such a time-consuming, non-stop job,
I often see mom's who get lazy or give up on discipline.
Some avoid it, some save it for dad, some hope their children will just "grow out of it."

Solomon encourages moms to steer a child from foolishness with proper discipline.
Why save all of the correction for dad who may have only 2-3 hours with the kiddos after work?
Why not correct properly, change attitudes, and enjoy the rest of your day?

Have you seen her?
The harried mom.
Sometimes it is just a difficult day.
Other times, she has shaped her day and children by neglecting to train and correct.  
She may bribe, she may make idle threats - but she is reaping what she sows.
While the days may be long when the children are 1, 2, 3, and 4,
the benefits when they are older are priceless.
 I have seen it work,
and even if I had not 
- it is a command and a promise of God
that's enough for me!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Little Late

Valentine's Day was a little busy,
so we postponed the romantic, candlelight dinner.

Last Thursday saw me teaching piano lessons,
and then hubby taking a college student on visitation.

But I tried to make up for it last night.
We used the china that hubby bought for me on deployment
and broke out some heart shaped doilies and votive holders.

Ribeye (hubby grilled these for us)
Twice Baked Potatoes
Buttered Carrots (fresh from the garden)
Sparkling Black Cherry Water

Cheesecake Mousse

Who needs a fancy steakhouse and long waits?
Nothing like a quiet dinner for two.

When You Can't Hold On ...

... He will

Psalm 94:18 
When I said, My foot slippeth; 
thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.

Monday, February 18, 2013

My Favorite Celebration

Well, another year has passed and my darling and I celebrated another "Donut Day" yesterday.
For those of you who have missed it in previous years,
February 17 is the anniversary of our first date - a trip to Bella Napoli's for donuts.
We celebrated #11 this year.

This past week, I purchased a donut pan,
but it was not soon enough to find an acceptable donut recipe for the event.
I had three different attempts this week at pumpkin and apple cider donuts. 
The recipes were good, but more like a sweet bread then a donut.
The closest and one that I may continue to work on was here.

The new pan!
Filled and ready for the oven.
Hot out of the oven.
Ready for donut day!
Because I was not totally satisfied with my homemade creations,
we "endured" our favorite cinnamon sugar donut out of the freezer section.

I just love this holiday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

First Things First

“We tend to use prayer as a last resort,
but God wants it to be our first line of defense.
We pray when there's nothing else we can do,
but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.

Most of us would prefer, however,
to spend our time
doing something that will get immediate results.
We don't want to wait for God to resolve matters
in His good time because His idea of 'good time'
is seldom in sync with ours.”

Oswald Chambers

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Valentine


You know, of course, what I am thankful for today ...
The character above?
My dearest gave me a Boofles valentine this morning - so cute!
And for my hubby - a bag of extra dark chocolate Lindt truffles.

Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Note to Mothers

Pr 10:1, 5, 26
The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: 
but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: 
but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.
As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, 
so is the sluggard to them that send him.

While I am not a mother, yet, 
I should be prepared should the day arrive.
Here in Proverbs 10, Solomon reminds mothers of the heartache 
that comes with raising a foolish child.
There is much that can be done to avoid this fate.
He mentions one way to avoid this sadness in verses 5 and 26.
Do not raise a lazy child!
Teach your child to work!
Teach your child to be diligent!

Every child can be taught to accept and fulfil responsibilities.
Can they pick up their own toys?
Can they put spoons or forks on the table? in the right place?
Can they wield a whisk broom to clean crumbs from under the table?

Of course there are more options as a child ages,
but all children can and should learn to work.
Then ... as my college professors said ...
"Inspect what you expect."
Make sure that responsibilities and tasks are completed joyfully
and correct laziness and other wrong attitudes promptly.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Psalm 93:5 
Thy testimonies are very sure: 
holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.

Holiness ...
pure, without sin, clean

A reminder to keep myself pure,
it is part of God's nature and becoming to Him.

Monday, February 11, 2013

This and That

Hubby took me to a V-Day concert on Saturday night.
I got to wear my homemade handmade formal again.
It was a last minute decision, so there was no time for dinner -
so afterwards we went to Chick-fil-A in our fancy duds.

This was a picture from a few years ago -
I wore the short-sleeved top this year.
We celebrated 11 years yesterday.
We were introduced to one another 11 years ago.
That means this coming Sunday is donut day -
the anniverary of our first date!!!
Of course, we are looking forward to that.

Just finished packaging some V-day treats for my nieces and nephews.
It is a yearly tradition for my favorite holiday.
I was glad for the stamps that my Mother-in-law just sent.
They were sent because she could not send us a fruit cake -
(I guess that is a good perk of being gluten free)

The house is in a bit of disarray.
Hubby found wet carpet in the closet this morning - 
The hot water tank sprang a leak.
I will be doing my cleaning around fans, buckets, heaters and the contents of my emptied closet.

Looking forward to tomorrow.
Hubby has a taken a day off - kind of a catch up day.
Hopefully it is not spent repairing tanks and floors :(
We have dinner planned with friends.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Well Founded Dependence

"Every thing that a man leans upon but God, will be a dart
that will certainly pierce his heart through and through.
He who leans only upon Christ,
lives the highest, choicest, safest, and sweetest life."


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Real Dirt

I told you that I would be in the garden yesterday.
I was for about 2 hours.
What a difference from 4 years ago!
After 4 years of leaves, compost, and regular working - 
it is looking like real soil rather than the native red clay.
The soil is brown and soft and ...
I saw a lot of fat worms living and working there.
I am thankful to be back in the garden -
well, not today, it is raining.
I am thankful for the improvement in the garden soil.
I am thankful for the gardening season which begins here ... next week!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Favorite Place

Next to being side by side with my hubby,
my favorite place is the garden.
I am now a week away from pea planting day.
It is supposed to be 64* today.

Guess where I will be?

I will be in the garden - 
turning soil,
adding compost,
just enjoying the dirt.

Did you know that the bacteria in dirt is healthy.
Supposedly it boosts one's mood and immunity.
I just love it!

Side by Side Comparison

Proverbs 9:13
 A foolish woman is clamorous: 
she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

Clamorous and simple.
More traits to avoid.
When I originally read this verse, I saw "clamorous" and thought "LOUD".
Indeed the foolish, strange woman was described as loud in chapter 8.
As I grabbed my dictionary, I noticed that there was more to it.
Clamorous can be confusion, and causing confusion.
This woman brings or breeds confusion - 
perhaps she thrives on it.
I am sure that you can think of some people like this,
perhaps they even admit to it,
perhaps it even describes you.
Obviously, God does not value this trait.
My life should be marked by order and peace brought about 
by the proper focus (on God and His Word) and disciplined planning.
Not always easy, but necessary.

This woman has little to offer but death and destruction. (see the last verse of chapter 9)
She knows nothing.
Perhaps she is only taken with clothes and her appearance,
but it may be another area.
A Biblical woman, a Biblical wife will seek to have knowledge. 
It may not be book knowledge, or involve advanced schooling,
but she seeks to know things and to improve her mind.
to strengthen and challenge her husband in his personal growth,
to teach her children, 
to minister in many situations and to many different people,
to benefit her local church,
to teach the younger women (Titus 2), 
to remain profitably busy (not idle).

Avoiding confusion and lack of knowledge - 
worthy goals for today.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Psalm 92:13-14 
Those that be planted in the house of the LORD 
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; 
they shall be fat and flourishing;

I have been meditating on this Psalm for two weeks now.
Immediately, this verse jumped out at me.
It has some significance because verse 13 was cross-stitched for us for our wedding - 
a reminder to rely on God daily.
Combined with verse 14, it sent me to thinking about my future years.
Will I sit wilted and shriveled?
Will I waste my final days?
Will my service dwindle?
I would much rather continue to grow, to flourish.
The key is the root system.
Am I rooted in Christ now and drawing strength from Him?

The meditation continued as our neighbor lost his 3 month battle with cancer on Friday.
A wife and seven children left.
Will they grieve?  Of course.
Will they miss him?  No doubt.
Can they still flourish?
Indeed - if they continue to draw their strenght from Christ.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Reading Labels

We read labels daily, but sometimes miss the "big" picture.
We look at ingredients, the "gluten free" tag, the calories.

Yesterday, hubby volunteered to grill our lunch despite the biting wind.
I took out the hamburger meat and was just about to make them like I always do
(just meat sprinkled with onion powder and Worcestershire sauce),
when I noticed a recipe on the back of a taco seasoning packet.

It called to add one packet of seasoning to 1 1/2 pounds of meat ...
add 1/2 c crushed tortilla chips ...

Those burgers were GOOD!
I used a little of the seasoning to sprinkle on our homemade oven baked fries.

Then served with sweet pepper slices, tomato slices, and mini carrots.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Victory through Dependence

"In war, when a commander
becomes so bereft of reason and perspective
that he fails to understand the dependence of arms
on Divine guidance,
he no longer deserves victory."
General Douglas MacArthur