Friday, March 29, 2013

Shouldn't It Be Obvious?

All that I have seen teaches me to trust God 
for all I have not seen.  

To look at nature is to see a great, powerful, creative, loving God.
The birds and flowers don't worry,
why should I?

God gave me a great example of this in the past month.
I have mentioned that I receive many gently used clothes
from my pastor's wife's mother.
She is a great Goodwill shopper.
Top quality, named brand clothes ...
It is fun to have "Goodwill" brought right to my door.

I recently noticed that one or two of my jean skirts were getting thin. 
I knew my pastor's wife was going to see her mom soon.
I prayed that her mom might want to get rid of some jean skirts.
Selfish?  Maybe?
But God heard.
When my pastor's wife returned,
she did not bring bags upon bags of clothes,
but she did bring 2 pairs of shoes and 4 jean skirts!
Not just "ok" skirts - but 2 skirts I really liked and that fit nicely.

I am learning to ask and depend on God's provision
before trying to solve problems on my own.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


You will permit me to be thankful twice today, won't you?

Hubby and I are also enjoying a week's long visitor's pass to our local YMCA.

While I have a great series of exercises and programs that I do in my own home,
I am enjoying a few days with 
the elliptical, 
the treadmill, 
and this AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer) above.
We also get to enjoy the company of our pastor and his wife
and another family in the church.

It is great to be helped spiritually and physically at the same time!

From Orange and Blue to Green

Today, I am thankful for a new job.
Though I have recently gained some new responsibilities,
I am not thankful for my own new positions,
but one for hubby.

For about a year,
he has been a mechanic and service manager 
for a struggling local company.
He has enjoyed the work,
gained much valuable experience,
enjoyed the mechanics he worked with,
but the business seemed to be founded 
on a lot of deceit.

He recently acquired a new job.
He will once more be a service manager.
He is excited ...
it is closer to home,
there is more training provided,
they have repeatedly emphasized their desire
 to have workers with ethics,
there is the possibility of advancement ...
and being a larger company,
the possibility to move within the company if God says "Go!"

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Beautiful Legacy

Proverbs 12:7 
The wicked are overthrown, and are not: 
but the house of the righteous shall stand.

The formula for a long-lasting legacy is given right here.
Those who are actively, repeatedly doing wrong
will be overthrown or turned about or turned over.
Their work will not stand or last.

The righteous - those actively pursuing and doing right - 
will have a house (connotation - family) that is continuing, enduring, established.

 Daily right actions + Daily right actions = Beautiful Legacy

How will you do right today?
Submission to the Word?
Time in the Word?
Submission to your husband?
Careful training of the children?
Disciplined eating, activities and thoughts?

It will be worth it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What Will You Do?

What Will You Do with Jesus?
Mary L. Stocks

Jesus is standing in Pilate's hall--
Friendless, forsaken, betrayed by all:
Hearken! what meaneth the sudden call!
What will you do with Jesus?

Jesus is standing on trial still--
You can be false to Him if you will,
You can be faithful thru good or ill:
What will you do with Jesus?

Will you evade Him as Pilate tried?
Or will you choose Him, what-e'er betide?
Vainly you struggle from Him to hide:
What will you do with Jesus?

Will you, like Peter, your Lord deny?
Or will you scorn from His foes to fly,
Daring for Jesus to live or die?
What will you do with Jesus?

"Jesus, I give Thee my heart today!
Jesus, I'll follow Thee all the way,
Gladly obeying Thee!" will you say,
"This will I do with Jesus!"

What will you do with Jesus?
Neutral you cannot be;
Someday your heart will be asking,
"What will He do with me?"

The words are going through my mind this week as we think of 
Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday 
and all of the events of this week.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sugar Free?

I have learned A LOT about alternative diets.
Gluten-free, Cassein-free, aluminum free, non-gmo ... 
Hubby recently asked me to make cookies for a diabetic friend.
I began my search for sugar free recipes.
I am not a fan of sugar substitutes.
They make me leery health wise and I don't care for the aftertaste.
Then hubby told me that he had promised the famous "no bakes."

Did hubby realize that sugar is what makes a no-bake cookie?

So I searched further.

There are actually a lot of recipes out there for "healthy" no-bakes.
I left the recipe that included TVP (textured vegetable protein).
I ignored the ones with no peanut butter.
In the end, I settled on the recipe below.
It uses Stevia (sweetleaf) for sweetener.
Sweetleaf is a natural herb that is much sweeter than sugar.
It has no calories and is not supposed to affect glucose levels in diabetics.

1 med banana mashed
4 oz unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c milk
1/2 c stevia 
(not the blend with sugar, but the one the one that measures like sugar)
4 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
3 TBSP cocoa
2 1/2 c oats
3 TBSP Peanut butter
1 Tbsp vanilla 

They are much softer than the normal cookies and not as flat.  
They seem more like a protein bite.
Hopefully they will please the coworker.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Not of Myself

He who kneels before God can stand before anyone. 

I am nothing and can do nothing without the blessing and help of God.
He has told me to ask, seek, and knock.
Why do I try to do it on my own?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Look Around

Usually the act of thanksgiving is nothing more than disciplining myself to look around.

So on this Thankful Thursday,
that is what I did.

I am thankful for ...

an empty laundry hamper

Clean laundry - drying in the sun and cool breeze

the dwindling Ebay table
products on top, packaging on the bottom
I was going to put many of my Christmas decorations out in yard sale fashion  for 5 cents a piece
but on Ebay, they are selling for 99 cents or more

Dinner in the crockpot - yummy!
Spaghetti tonight.
The crockpot is a lifesaver on Thursdays when I teach piano all afternoon.

Spring - and the beautiful Bradford Pears around the park

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Vivid Word Pictures

Proverbs 12:4 
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: 
but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

I love word pictures.
I am a visual learner.
Today's proverb creates an instructive picture.
Can you see it?
Picture the fit athlete with his laurel wreath crown.
Picture the young royal in his princely or kingly regalia.
Contrast that with the picture of the feeble old man,
or the man being consumed with disease.
Which would you like for a husband?
You actually help create the image.

A virtuous woman is known for her strength.
She has the power to produce a desired effect.
She is morally excellent.
She sets her heart to do right and then has the fortitude to do it.
She is a testimony to her husband.
She brings him honor through her diligence and strength.
This woman is:
an ornament, 
a mark of honor, 
a reward 
to her husband.

The other woman "maketh ashamed."
She disappoints her husband,
does not meet his expectations,
shames him,
disgraces him,
causes him to feel inferior or unworthy.
In doing this, she may morally corrupt her husband.
She encourages his inferior actions.
She tears him down.

It seems easy to see which is the proper choice.
But how to achieve it?
Get busy.
Do right.
Keep an orderly home.
Support hubby when he wants to do right.
Ask him of his goals for the home and family and strive to meet those goals.
Be strong - deal with the "little" things and do not weigh him down with trivium.
Earn his trust that you will do what he asks in a timely, competent manner.
Trust his judgment in all matters.
Praise his strength and right choices.
Build him up with praise - both privately and publicly.
Work as a team.
Know your husband.

I have been meditating on it all week.
It is a tall order - 
but I want the first picture, not the second.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Leave It With God

Psalm 98:9 
"for he cometh to judge the earth: 
with righteousness shall he judge the world, 
and the people with equity."

How often does my flesh want to judge someone else!
They are not doing things "my way."
I have been reminded this week, that I need to leave it in God's hands. 
He knows all the facts,
he knows all sides of the story,
and he will judge righteously!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekend in Review

It has been a tiring month.
Church burdens and job stress have been wearing on us.

It was time for a break.

With spring break last week,
many of the church members were out of town,
so our Friday night ministry was cancelled ...
Saturday morning visitation was cancelled ...
I had no piano lessons on Friday morning ... 
and hubby took Friday OFF!

We enjoyed a productive day Friday.
Preparations for Sunday.
A tough new workout.
I planted in the garden.
Hubby cleaned the car.
Hubby joined me on my weekly shopping trip.

we again prepared for Sunday responsibilities,
worked out though not as vigorously ...
then hubby took me to Spartanbug, SC.

Frozen yogurt at Costco,
a walk around Hobby Lobby,
Chick-fil-A for supper, 
and a trip to the teacher store for more bulletin board borders and ideas for church.

Here is my purchase from Hobby Lobby.

Hubby helped me with it on Saturday night.
Basically, it is a large rub-on transfer.
I was a little annoyed at the trim strip on the wall, but overall - I just LOVE it!
It replaces a pretty grapevine swag - which was also a huge DUST CATCHER.
I like this a lot better. 
It is a great reminder to rest in God and not to base my decisions on what I see,
or what could possibly happen,
or on the reactions and responses of others.

On Thursday, I thought I would share a picture of the buds on the Bradford pear trees today.
But, alas, we had such beautiful weather this weekend 
that the buds turned  to blossoms by Saturday.

It is a drizzly today so the picture is what it is.
They are simply beautiful against a brilliant blue sky.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Best Place

I would rather walk with God in the dark 
than go alone in the light. 
~Mary Gardiner Brainard

The best and safest place to be is with God - in His will.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring is Here

So we set our clocks ahead last weekend - 
a sign that spring is just around the corner.

I am thankful for more daylight in the evening when hubby is home.
I am thankful for the sunny, warm days we have been enjoying.
I am thankful for Spring Cleaning and that "AAAHH" feeling I get 
when I know that the window treatments are clean and
that the dust bunnies displaced from behind the furniture.
I am thankful for these little seedlings - the peas - 
just making their appearance this week.

I hope to get the lettuce, beets, onions, carrots, and spinach in this week!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Do You Want What is Behind Door 3?

Proverbs 11:29 a
He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: ...

Once again, a proverb says it so clearly, so succinctly.
Most parents and grandparents seek to leave an inheritance to their family.
It could be a good name ...
it could be a home ...
it could be land ... 
it could be an attic of memories ...
but I have never heard of a parent desiring to leave lint, or dust, or air!

We do not have a choice in the inheritance we may or may not receive from our earthly parents.
God tells us that we can know our inheritance earned from our actions in the home. 
He mentions that if we want the wind, lint, dust, air ...
... we just need to trouble our house.

There is no way that I could list all of the ways that a woman could trouble her house,
but ...
how about ...
lack of discipline resulting in a dirty home and/or tardiness
stubbornness and rebellion to the husband's leadership in the home
lack of time with the Lord resulting in an anemic Christian walk
poor choice of friends
lack of follow-through with the children's training
doing what I like before what I should be doing
lack of contentment resulting in poor financial decisions
... --- ... --- ...
I do not want to inherit the wind.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hate It

Psalm 97:10 a
Ye that love the LORD, hate evil ...

not tolerate,
not merely dislike,
not endure,
not play with ...

... If I love the Lord, I am to hate evil.
Not always popular or easy.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cashew Cheese

I am constantly amazed at how creative people with food allergies become.
I was not sure one year ago how life would be with gluten allergies.
I imagined life with no bread, no donuts, no bagels, no pasta ...
I just had no knowledge of anything rice based, quinoa based, or even corn based.
I had no knowledge of corn flour, almond flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, potato flour ...
The diet started poorly, but with knowledge, the experience has improved.
In fact, the food often "tastes" better because I know that it will not make hubby sick.

Last week, I made dinner for my little friend who needs to avoid gluten and dairy.
For a big-time milk drinker and cheese eater, this is a difficulty.
His mom told me about mac and cheese made with "cashew cheese."
Cheese made from cashews?
Who would have thought it?
Someone was determined beyond belief to come up with a substitute for the dairy in mac and cheese!

corn pasta, cashews, nutritional yeast --- easy prep in blender

The recipe is found here.
I was a little skeptical, but made it last week for him and his family.
It was really good.

Ready for the oven.

And so, tonight I am making it for hubby and me.

It's A Party

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was enjoying my "Scentsy" burner.  
No flames, no toxic sprays ... just a sweet smelling house with a single light bulb.
I even love the glow of the burner.

My first Scentsy was a gift.
I am placing my first order for another burner for my Sunday School classroom - 
and some additional scents. 
I love the herb scented bars - 
"coconut lemongrass" is a winner as is "serene green"
Of course, I ordered "apple press" as well.
I haven't personally smelled it, but "Hello Yellow" sounds awesome too - lemon and basil.

My friend opened a party for our order.
If you would like to party with me,
Join me here.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Strong Hands

When we put our cares in His hands, 
He puts His peace in our hearts. 

I am so thankful for His peace.
If only I would give up my worries more faithfully
and give all to Him.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

An Easy Way to Make Him Smile

It is easy to get into a recipe rut ... 
and even easier when you are trying to limit sugar ...
I was making dinner for some friends this week,
when I decided to bake - or not bake as the case may be.
The dessert of choice - No Bake Cookies.
I know that I haven't made them since switching to gluten-free eating last year around this time.
But I had some gluten free oats in the house and friends to share them with so ...

Half a batch for my friends,  
and half for my hubby.

I am thankful that it pleased hubby immensely.
Not so great for the healthy eating,
but it sure did make for lots of smiles.

I am also thankful for such an easy recipe.

Maybe this week it will be "O'Henry Bars" 
(a peanut butter rice krispie treat with chocolate coating) - 
those I can make without chocolate and enjoy as well.
I know that I could have left the cocoa out of the no bakes,
but not as many folks appreciate them that way.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Bejeweled Pig

Proverbs 11:22  
As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, 
so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

It is ridiculous to "dress up" a pig.
Solomon gives us a clear picture in this Proverb. 
Just as it is silly to bejewel a pig,
so it is foolishness for a beautiful woman to be without discretion.
perception, intelligence, sound judgment, reason, understanding,
circumspection, the ability to make responsible decisions

How about you and me?
Where is the emphasis?
Outward beauty?
or inward strength and wisdom?

The beauty is not condemned;
it just needs to be part of the package,
not the whole package.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

An Offering

Psalm 96:8 
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: 
bring an offering, and come into his courts.

He is worthy of all praise and glory!
What am I bringing as an offering when I come to him?
What are you bringing?

Psalm 51:17 tells us what an acceptable sacrifice is.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: 
a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Truly Vegetable Pizza

So I mentioned on Friday that I was attempting a new pizza crust.
I was on the Detoxinista website and found this recipe.
It is cauliflower pizza crust.
I went shopping as usual on Friday and picked up the ingredients.
I do not particularly care for cauliflower so I don't usually have it on hand.
I was shocked by the price of the goat cheese, 
but splurged and vowed to research other options.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
makes 1 large crust
4 cups raw cauliflower rice
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup soft goat cheese (chevre)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of salt

With fear and trepidation, 
I followed the recipe.
The house didn't smell that great while I cooked the riced cauliflower.
I set the finished product before my chief taste tester.
He ate and ate and ate.
I asked if he liked his pizza. 
With one of his What are you feeding me now looks
he said "Yes - it is GREAT, Why?"
I divulged my secret.
The surprise - 
He told me that I could stop looking for gluten free pizza crust recipes - 
I had found "THE ONE!"

I have since searched for different options and it appears that any grated cheese 
 or perhaps even ricotta or cottage cheese can be substituted for the goat cheese.  
The herb flavored goat cheese was really good though and may be hard to beat.
It seems traditional to "rice" the cauliflower, but it can be precooked or left raw.
Do a little google search of your own and surprise your family.
So many choices - so little time :)

Tomorrow I am making dairy free mac and cheese for my little friend.
It is made with "cashew cheese."
Always a cooking adventure these days.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Smell it?

Breathe deeply ...
Perhaps you can smell the green onions,
perhaps the fresh vegetation ...
I just mowed the lawn (read as onions and purple flowered weeds)
for the first time of the year.
The grass is actually still brown, but the weeds were thick.

I will have to add another activity to my week until Thanksgiving :)

If you can't smell the grass,
perhaps you can smell my cauliflower pizza crust ...
... should be interesting,
I will let you know on Monday.

Show It

Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude 
- an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. 

Arthur W. Pink

******     ******     ******

Are you depending on God?
You will know if you are spending time in prayer!