Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blessings and Cursing Out of the Same Mouth

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Palm Sunday has always touched my heart.  The visual of praising Jesus as the King of Kings from our mouths and then to yell "crucify Him" from the same mouths less than one week later just puts me on my face before an awesome God.  Whenever I might lift my "spiritual pride" up before those around me, I am humbled by the  memory of the events that occurred on the week that led to the cross.  I am the same sinner that can cry out, "Praise be to the King of Kings" and quickly also stand with the taunt of "Crucify Him."

He paid the price on the cross for my sins.  My past, present and future sins....they were nailed to the cross on the same week that He was brought into the city with chants of  "Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord."

"And those who went before, and those who followed after, were crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!"
Mark 11;9-10

 And answering again, Pilate was saying to them, "Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?"  And they shouted back, "Crucify Him!"  Mark 15:12-13

This week I focus on the unmerited gift that was given to me at the price of His blood on the cross and I lift up my voice with Hosanna!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Two Gardeners

Two women sat down to have a chat as one glanced over to admire the orchids so beautifully blooming on the specially built shelves in the host home.  Above the orchids were specific lights bought to encourage the growth of these delicate beauties.  The avid gardener began to explain to the amateur gardener the effort it took to encourage an orchid to bloom.  Without once saying, "you can't grow them, don't even try!"... the amateur gardener received the warning into her heart.

Each time the amateur gardener would see orchids, she would become intimidated by their growth and curious how anyone could take all that time and effort for one plant.  Her schedule was way too busy to even suggest such folly with her time, she must wait until a calmer season of life, if ever to try to grow an orchid.

However, the amateur gardener's husband never heard the implied, unspoken words that his wife received many decades earlier, so he joyfully recovered the discarded plant from the trash to bring home to his wife.  In his eyes, his wife would enjoy the plant.  As he cheerfully brought the plant in, waiting for expressions of excitement, he was surprised to receive the opposite.  "Oh, an orchid!  I can't grow those! That is why they tossed it after it bloomed. Those are for experienced gardeners, and I am not one."

He looked up puzzled and said, "well, it was for free and you could try..." as he set it on the table.  The amateur gardener read the instructions and with fear and trepidation decided to give it a try, even if she believed it was a waste of time.

Two ice cubes for watering...that was easy, but she wasn't going to do more.  She was sure it would cost money, so she would surely watch it wilt and die.  She didn't have the fancy light or the fancy soil...or any of the special equipment her master gardener friend had possessed to bring forth the delicate flowers.

The plant got knocked off the table leaving scars on it's leaves and special dirt fell all over the floor. In spite of the harsh conditions, it continued to survive.

To the amateur's astonishment it even began to have buds!  Then the buds began to open to reveal the beauty of a stem of orchids.
No special light...just the sun from the door.
No special treatment ...just ice cubes every few days!

The true Master Gardener brings forth His beauty in His own way...through scarred leaves and amateur hands.  He works His wonders.  The blooms are a reminder that I too, am in the Master's hands....His will not mine, as He takes His scarred hands and completes the work He has begun.

What words (intended or not) have you believed which have caused you NOT to try something?  For me, the orchid is a reminder of how I allowed a seed to be planted...though unintended by the sower...I was almost robbed of seeing the beauty of my own orchid plant.  It also reminds me that God is the Master Gardener and He brings forth the beautiful blessings of the blossoms.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It Came with a Storm!

Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum....I just heard the words ring repeatedly as the lighting and thunder shook our house with the footprints still echoing as the storm passed over our city.  Behind the giant's foot-printed storm, our drought-parched lakes filled and we entered a wet spring break.

We didn't complain while we stepped outside at any sign of sun...making lemonaid out of lemons....

  • Benjamin had his first ever sleep-over... We went to see "Lorax" and we had indoor S'mores!
  • Daughter and I went the next rainy night to see a chick-flick - The Vow

  • Indoor projects were finished - yes, the dreaded "clean out the garage" - I installed 2x4's and peg boards to get things in order
  • I installed a much needed ceiling fan in Benjamin's room - electrical help via phone from older son and later. teen-age son helped when my arms collapsed....and yes, there was a shocking event, but I will save that for another day, live and learn!
  • Painted the upstairs hall, part of Benjamin's room and a wall in game room - boring, but oh how much cleaner those dirty walls look with new paint...well worth the work

  •  Glimpses of sunlight gave me a  chance to put a bird bath together - the painted pots were from my husband's 40th Birthday party, now 18 years ago...time to re-purpose, and I did! I also put in my daisy seeds from Leslie at Farm Fresh Fun, around the bird bath/feeder.  I made an herb tree with the remaining pots... re-purposed!

Just as the sun began to really shows it's wonderful light, we all got hit with a vicious virus that put us all to bed for several days.

  • Teen son recovered enough to go out on a boat to an island on the lake...now an island because of the rain...with the Men of Elysium...and saw the world premier of Hunger Games at midnight
  • Benjamin competed in his first Awana Grand Prix Race...Sissy took him since Mother hadn't recovered from the "bug".  He won 3rd place out of all the Sparkies. Serious winner here!

I enjoyed the spring breeze through my sunlit windows, while recovering in the comfort of my lounge chair, knowing this too shall pass and we will be off running the regular schedules tomorrow.  Older son has state tests and baseball games, while Benjamin has a cook-out at school in celebration of Texas History month.  There truly is a season for everything.

In celebration of Texas History month...here are the Bluebonnets we found and information on our State Flower.

The five state flowers of Texas are:
  1. Lupinus subcarnosus, the original champion and still co-holder of the title, grows naturally in deep sandy loams from Leon County southwest to LaSalle County and down to the northern part of Hidalgo County in the Valley. It is often referred to as the sandy land bluebonnet. The plant's leaflets are blunt, sometimes notched with silky undersides. This species, which reaches peak bloom in late March, is not easy to maintain in clay soils.
  2. Lupinus texensis, the favorite of tourists and artists, provides the blue spring carpet of Central Texas. It is widely known as THE Texas bluebonnet. It has pointed leaflets, the flowering stalk is tipped with white (like a bunny's tail) and hits its peak bloom in late March and early April. It is the easiest of all the species to grow.
  3. Lupinus Havardii, also known as the Big Bend or Chisos Bluebonnet, is the most majestic of the Texas bluebonnet tribe with flowering spikes up to three feet. It is found on the flats of the Big Bend country in early spring, usually has seven leaflets and is difficult to cultivate outside its natural habitat.
  4. Lupinus concinnus is an inconspicuous little lupine, from 2 to 7 inches, with flowers which combine elements of white, rosy purple and lavender. Commonly known as the annual lupine, it is found sparingly in the Trans-Pecos region, blooming in early spring.
  5. Lupinus plattensis sneaks down from the north into the Texas Panhandle's sandy dunes. It is the only perennial species in the state and grows to about two feet tall. It normally blooms in mid to late spring and is also known as the dune bluebonnet, the plains bluebonnet and the Nebraska Lupine.
information via google search

Happy Spring!  May you stay well!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break at Our House

It is spring break at our house.....what does that mean?

No School!!  Slower Schedule!

Watching the spring storms arrive, oh my!, no sunshine this week!

Learning to walk in these again...'mom, they are between the wrong toes!"

Making our way to the movie theater to get out of the rain!

Unplugging for the week to enjoy each other and accomplish some spring cleaning!

Going to find these, they are popping up on everywhere (our state flower)....umbrella in hand. We won't complain after last year's drought....and besides we planted our garden last week...so let it rain.

Enjoying the thoughts of the Haze Days of Summer to arrive just months from now.

Have a great week....as we escape into our Spring Break!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Story of the Pearl

The Story of the Pearl

This story has been running through my head lately, so I decided I would share this inspiration.  I know there are many of us going through a season of small irritations, may we allow the Lord to bring forth something as beautiful as pearl, as we yield to Him.

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The pearl develops when a foreign substance invades the oyster. This uninvited guest works its way into the muscle and irritates the oyster. In response, the irritation is covered with secretion. The longer the irritation is there, the more the oyster coats it. Once the oyster accepts the irritation as part of itself, the pearl begins to develop.   Harsh conditions surrounding the oyster such as storms and hurricanes will not dislodge the pearl. As time goes by and the oyster is finally pulled up from the bed, where it has been for many years, it is opened  to reveal a beautiful pearl.  The once uninvited guest has now produced a hidden jewel of beauty.  Each oyster's irritation produces a different variations of pearls, which shows how each of our own irritations produce different results in our own lives.  

As we each go through our journey, there will be different times that an "irritation" comes into our life. May we allow the Lord to turn  irritations into a pearl that can be used by Him.

James 1: 2- 4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Am Going Nuts!

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Oh my!!  Just like at one time many believed the world was flat, modern science can still get it wrong.  Ethel and I both laughed at all the new updated information that is now 180 degrees from our teen days.  Learning to ignore and change the voices in our heads on what is good and bad for us is really a mind game. I know when my family got detoured on our road to good eating habits....the years of multiple kids in sports and music lessons, while they were entering their teen junk food phase.  As much as I tried, with drivers licence and personal money, came unhealthy eating habits.  Returning to the healthy highways hasn't been as big of chore as I imagined, and new recipes have encouraged my "stick-to-it" resolve.

Bottom line - stay as close to how God made it and you can't go wrong. 

My email delivered the announcement of World Pistachio Day heralding the health benefits of these wonderful nuts.  I like almost all nuts and Pistachios are one of my favorites.

Since they are green, do you think they fit into my more GREEN this year?  Now I would enjoy getting more GREEN backs also this year.

GREEN Health Tip of the week....eat more nuts!

Add Heart-Healthy Pistachios to Your Diet

Posted by Whole Living Daily
It's World Pistachio Day: Have you incorporated this sweet, buttery nut into your daily diet? If not, now's a good time to start. Pistachios are a good source of phytosterols, which help lower cholesterol and may help protect against breast and prostate cancer. They're great on their own as a snack -- a handful of about 50 kernels is only 160 calories -- or added to veggie dishes and frittatas.

 A recipe that combines two forms of nuts...so good and  found on Pinterest.from the blog Blue Eyed Bakers  
This is wonderful!! It is delicious without the lemon cream also. I am making it again today for my recovering daughter-in-law and helpful, care-taker son.

Pistachio Almond Loaf with Lemon Cream
Serves 8-10
Adapted from Epicurious
For the Cake:
1 1/3 cups shelled pistachio nuts (we used salted)
1 1/3 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 lemons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
For the Lemon Cream:
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 4-by-8-inch loaf pan. Line with parchment paper (the parchment will stick to the butter keeping it in place).
In a food processor, combine the pistachios and almonds and pulse until finely ground. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Grate the zest from the lemons directly into the bowl. And beat until combined. Mix in the vanilla extract just until incorporated. On low speed, gradually add the ground nuts and mix just until incorporated. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stir in the flour and salt and mix just until incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with a light crumb, about 60-75 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, tapping the pan, invert the loaf onto the wire rack peeling the parchment off.
To make the lemon cream, using an electric mixer, whisk the cream until thickened and about the consistency of Greek yogurt. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar. 
Serve each slice of loaf with a dollop of cream and scatter with pistachios.

Have a very nutty week!!
I have no clue why the first paragraph is red...or why the different fonts sizes...oh my, something has taken over my post!  Sorry!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Most Horrible Mom Award!

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I am sure I am not the only one who has received the "most horrible mommy award" from the Liar of Lies.

This week I received it with pounds of condemnation, which pushed down any sight of having done anything right in my 28 years of parenting.  The attack came so strongly I wanted to turn my "mommy" title in for a refund.

As a young mother, I had all those wonderful dreams for my children that we all dream.  They could become President of the United States or the next Billy Graham.  I would invest in anything that I felt would propel them forward...curriculum, music lessons, sports, summer camps, missions trips....you name it.

This week, all those sacrifices seemed to have no value as I put on the "Worst Mommy" cape and walked in tears.  The glasses of doubt and disappointment were shading my view.

It started because, once again, I couldn't be at my daughter-in-law's surgery, two hundred miles away.  Our son would, once again, wait as the skillful doctors took his wife away for another procedure to help their infertility issues.  Her mother had made the trip to the city and others of her family would also arrive, so my son wouldn't be alone.  I could only pray from my home, four hours away, while attending to my two younger sons.

The attack began and the fight was on. The enemy ran me through dusty trails of regret and condemnation.   I would take a blow from the enemy, and then I would give one back. Like the children's toy punching bag, we went back and forth.

I started to run up this hill that was challenging me, both physically and spiritually

I decided to run...well, in my case that means fast walk, jog and fast walk again.  I headed out the door while the humid air announced the approaching storm.

God sent His reassurance through His creation, through His written words and the songs blasting into my heart and spirit from my ear buds.

Here is the walk/jog...the words...the fight........the results!!!  "There is therefore no condemnation for those who are  in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
Here is how God wrapped this "worst mommy" up in His arms, with these sights, sounds and words.  Now the words came from funny sources, but God once used a donkey in His Word, so he can use songs.
The gravel beneath my feet
As I cried out for the surgery and baby-to-be while along the trails, these words were sung:
You waved your hand and it was done
Said "Let it be", and there it was
A mountain, so high, it broke through the sky
A canyon, so deep, it'll bring a man to his knees

I've seen what you can do
I've seen you make miracles and hopeless dreams come true
You've made the heavens and the stars
Everything, come on, how hard
Could it be?

Song by Rascal Flatts 

As I cried out about not being there and feeling like a failure - struggling up this hill, God revealed this view, making the effort worth it

You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless
Like you've lost your fight
But you'll be alright, you'll be alright

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you Stand, Then you stand

Song by Rascal Flatts - Stand

He invited me to sit down and soak in His Words 

 I  swiftly walked back down the trails, coming to the divided path...yes, that is how life is...always roads of choices.  I picked the wrong one, making my journey home longer...now that is life also. Yet, His wonderful creation was there on the longer path.

I had to cross a bridge...as the fight started to be won, because He has already won the war on my behalf...my feet started to jog with a lighter heart.

I started to feel the dust of condemning lies fall off my shoulders, revealing the new life bursting forth.

The trails finished with this warning sign.......returning to the traffic of life. God met me... the victory was won... and lies shattered.  Now it is my responsibility to embrace the truth.  I finished with Casting Crowns.

The Word is Alive

The Word is alive
And it cuts like a sword through the darkness
With a message of life to the hopeless and afraid
Breathing life into all who believe
The Word is alive
And the world and its glories will fade
But His truth, it will not pass away
It remains yesterday and forever the same
The Word is alive

My daughter-in-law's surgery went well, we are all very hopeful. I let go of my "worst mommy cape" and nailed it to the cross!  He shed His blood for all my sins.  John 3:14-16

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It is Time for Playing Hooky

Now I am sure I am not up to-date with the new word for skipping school, but back in my day it was called "playing hooky".  Even though this "rule keeper" never ventured out to try it, I understand the joy of "playing hooky" out-weighed the consequences for the few friends of mine who gave it a try.

As I sat at my desk filling in all the dates of obligated events on our March and April calendar... well, this Mommy is ready to play "hooky".  I think coming back to a dirty house will be worth the joy of taking some time out.

Now my "playing hooky" has some rules....the rules are that anything is possible.  I don't have to worry about money, time or distance...the purpose is to fill my day as full as I desire... in my imaginary world.

Come along with me as I "play hooky" and then please tell me how you would spend your day without boundaries.

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I would start out with a ride in a red convertible headed toward the beach!  Sipping a chai tea while blasting oldies, 70's music, I would enjoy the freedom of my imaginary day.  If you pass me on the road, you will hear me unabashedly singing at the top of my lungs.  After reminiscing, I would launch into Praise and Worship songs, where you might catch my hand extended toward the heavens in pure, abandoned worship.  This time would prepare me to enjoy the incredible creation of a beautiful beach.

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As the wind of the beach greeted me, I would enjoy a leisurely morning and early afternoon with my "trim and fit" body snugged into a one-piece bathing suit, allowing me to enjoy the morning ocean waves. Then I'd  rest beneath an umbrella to read, journal and think (remember anything is possible so I had to throw in the bathing suit, which if you have been around a while, you know I don't own one).

Now, beside me would be...
Okay, okay...I went too far...I will leave him out and instead bring in the hubby to join me!

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Allowing the issues of life to blow away in the wind, I would take my relaxed self and change into clothes for a memorable trip to the Art Museum.  Strolling through hall after hall of inspiration and listening to classical music, I know I would thank God for all the gifts He has bestowed on us. I am sure I would stop many times to admire the works of some of the greatest human artists the world has ever known.  I would notice my steps becoming lighter as I almost danced my way throughout the exhibits.

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The evening would beckon me to once again partake of a creative scene.  I would give up food to enjoy an evening showing of a good Broadway play.  By this time in the twilight, hubby and I would be drinking in the wonder of a day filled with all the joy of "playing hooky". Now wasn't that fun?  It almost feels like I ACTUALLY had a day playing hooky.

Okay, your turn...play "hooky" and bring us along!
If you miss me around blogworld...who knows, I might be playing hooky!!!
Post was hubby approved...he even laughed over Clooney

(okay I am laughing at comments on Clooney...it would have been Tom Cruise also, I don't care for either's politics or worldview...they both catch me with their smiles! Which is why in the end I have hubby)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Learning to be the Light!

Learning to be the light is my song for this Easter/Passover preparation season.  The words of this song seem to just touch the core of my heart.  I have highlighted the words that seem to tug at my heart.  My heart's cry this season is "learning to be the light...the light that takes the weary into my arms!"  May my light be lite by the Power of Christ and His Spirit.

Ps. 69: 15 - How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
                    O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.

Learning to Be the Light

When the stars came crashing down 
In tiny pieces to the ground 
I was all alone down here 
Trapped beneath the atmosphere 
Then I, thought somebody called my name 
I spun around and caught a flame 
I gave into a God I didn't know 
And now everything is falling into place 
A brand new life is calling and I owe it all to grace 

It's so much brighter living in your world 
Savior what you did for me 
You gave me something I want everyone to see 
When we sttumble and it all goes wrong 
Only you can make it right 
So I say 
Oh oh oh oh oh 
I'm learning to be the light 
whoa, whoa 
I'm learning to be the light 
whoa, whoa 

When a heart is cold as ice 
You can't melt it with advice 
No one wants to listen to 
A list of things they shouldn't do 
So I build a city on a hill 
And I light a candle on the sill 
Knowing you'll be always knocking at the door 
Oh God I just want to love on everyone 
All I have is yours to give so let the people come 

It's so much brighter living in your world 
Savior what you did for me 
You gave me something I want everyone to see 
When we stumble and it all goes wrong 
Only you can make it right 

So I say 
Oh oh oh oh oh 
I'm learning to be the light 
whoa, whoa 
I'm learning to be the light 
whoa, whoa 
im learning to be the light 

that makes the shadows hide 
the light that breaks the curse of pride 
the light that takes the weary in it's arms 

When it all came crashing down 
There was only darkness all around 
But in the distance I could see 
A Flame 

It's So much brighter living in your world 
Savior what you did for me 
You gave me something I want everyone, and I mean everyone to see 
When we stumble and it all goes wrong 
Only you can make it right 
So I say 
Oh oh oh oh oh 
I'm learning to be the light 
whoa, whoa 
I'm learning to be the light 
whoa, whoa 
I'm learning to be the light 
whoa, whoa 
I'm learning to be the light 
whoa, whoa 

From new album "Rebel Transmission"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Dr, Seuss Tree

Just how do you want to be known in your new neighborhood?  Well, before you answer, I  am sure what I suggest is not the impression you are thinking... it likely wouldn't be on your list.

Usually, traffic-teenager-and-mail-lady stopping usually isn't on the list of how to impress your new neighbors. Well, that is what has happened this week... each time with a smile and excitement over my new addition to our front yard...which made it all okay!

The warm, breezy weather this week brought with it a whimsical feeling.  Just as the wind change in Mary Poppins could be felt by those outside... so was the feeling I felt as I started to create.  I guess this time the changing of the wind brought a magical sense of Dr. Seuss.

Could it be that we have watched the premier of The Lorax  or that age has won me the privilege of saying,
"whatever"?... I am not sure of the answer.

Today, I want to introduce you to my Dr. Seuss Tree.  Now my retired, first-grade-teacher-neighbor got it right away.  The mail lady stopped to discuss how to make one in her yard because she loved it so much and a teen on his skate board actually looked up for a brief second to tell me, "how cool".

My second inspiration this week came from another child's book.  Since having a child's heart not only makes us feel younger, it makes us remember that Christ said, "come as a child".  I guess this Easter season I am working on my child's heart.  I think this is also included in my "spunky category" word for the year.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven."  Matt. 18:1-3

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