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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

google image
As the end of the year calls, I turn to reflect on the year I just journeyed through.  Did I learn what I was supposed to learn?  Did I grow spiritually, physically and emotionally or did I get stuck?

The year had begun with great expectations as I entered my 50's the first part of January.  I had settled into our new way of life with a new level of contentment which allowed me to start reaching outside myself, along with my word for the year, "bloom where you are planted".  I was anxious to see the seeds I had begun to sow with my neighbors take root and hopefully blossom.  While planting seeds in getting to know and ministering to my neighbors, Benjamin and I planted seeds for a wonderful garden in our backyard.  The year was progressing very gently.

God decided to stir the pot.  In May, while looking forward to a harvest from both our backyard garden and neighbor relationships, we had the unexpected opportunity to move.  Opportunity is the word I use today...then, it was the horrible news of an unplanned move.

What was happening?  I had heard to "bloom where I was planted" and now I was to be transplanted?

Benjamin and I gently transplanted our garden into pots.  This was therapy for both him and me.  I was able to talk to him and help him adjust to our new transplanting.  We closed down his "Batman Cave" closet while making up stories of "what would the walls tell the new renters if they could talk?".  It was fun to imagine the walls telling the new children about a boy that lived in the house who had a Batman Cave in this closet.

Summer brought record heat and drought.  Our carefully transplanted garden died.  I tried to stay encouraged through this unwanted transition by decorating my new dwelling.  The next change - moving another one out of his pot - came as we heard God tell us to put our son in public school.  He would be our first child to enter public school and attend high school through graduation.

Adjustments began for all.

Our pastor began a study on Habakkuk.  I don't know if I have ever heard a complete study on all the verses of Habakkuk, but it was where I was and I soaked in every teaching.

Now I end the year still trying to transplant myself in unfamiliar territory.  A new neighborhood, two new school experiences while adjusting to changes in my adult children's lives among  my own physical changes.

I close out the year reading Kay Arthurs' Learning to Embrace Life's Disappointments: As Silver Refined.  I ask God  questions as I end the year and as I listen, I find myself in a chapter of her book where she is discussing... guess which book of the Bible?  Habakkuk.

Advent reading on hope and waiting tied up the end of the year with bows of encouragement.

As I read my post at the beginning of 2011, I see that what I thought it was going to mean and what the Lord had planned were very different...but His plans are always better.  I feel I learned a lot this year...there was tilling, weeding, planting and I believe some harvest in my life.

  Thanks for joining me on my journey this past year and for ALWAYS giving encouraging words and comments.

My verse for 2011 “Forget the former things; 
   do not dwell on the past. 
19 See, I am doing a new thing! 
   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way in the wilderness 
   and streams in the wasteland.
I am still in the middle of Him doing a new thing...and I am continuing to learn to not dwell on the past.

My verse for 2012

He has made my feet like hind's feet, And makes me walk on my high places. Hab. 3: 19

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Non-Photo Shop Christmas

This year, photo-shopped pictures have been on my mind.  You can take a not-so-flattering picture and, with technology, have a whole new look after the talents of photo-shop have gotten hold of you.  In the end, the final results usually aren't anything like the real person or event.  I am just real...no photo shop here...or you would see me looking years younger and pounds lighter.  My family is what it is...with all the ups and downs of life.  Sometimes we could be put on the "America's Top Family" magazine and other times "America's Most Wanted" due to the sin in our life.

Today, I celebrate our strengths in our photos... the times we put hurt feelings, offenses...well, our sins, aside and allow God's grace and mercy to shine through.  Only He sees us as we are.  He sees us through the cross.  I am so glad when He looks down He is pleased with the unfinished work that is before Him.  I am glad He promises that He will complete what He has began.

Christmas was celebrated with the extended family on Friday night.  The winner of the cooking contest was our married son and his wife...well, she did the work...her Turkducken. (Ever had it? AMAZING!!)

Benjamin allowed all of his siblings to sleep later than his siblings ever allowed us to sleep.  So instead of a four or five o'clock wake up, he waited until almost 8:00 before getting them all out of bed to unwrap gifts and celebrate again through food.  Our North Pole drink from Pinterest was a HUGE hit!

I couldn't resist...so I leave you with  my cartoon strip ("For Better or for Worse") which sums it all up.  May you all continue to enjoy your family time during this season as you prepare for a New Year.  May the Lord give you a time to reflect on His faithfulness this past year while giving you vision for the year to come.  I will be reflecting this week.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yeshua in Hanukkah

One of my greatest joys while home schooling is what I learn.  In my early days of home schooling, I became very interested in the Biblical Feasts and Jewish History.  A home school curriculum has allowed me to further my knowledge while giving practical forms of teaching to my children.

Last night at sunset began the Feast of Hanukkah.  This is one of the seven feasts Jesus celebrated during His life in the Bible.
Each feast points to Christ... either His fulfillment of scripture in His first coming or His fulfillment in His second coming. Those that don't point to Christ are Purim and Hanukkah, as far as fulfillment, which are both based on Jewish historical events - the life of Esther and the Maccabbees.

The history behind Hanukkah is the miracle that took place under the leadership of Judas Maccabee and his followers when they drove out the Syrians and regained control of the Holy Temple.  The altar of the temple had been defiled by the sacrifice of pigs.  After their victory, they cleaned out the temple idols and found one day's supply of oil for the holy lamps.  The miracle that occurred was that the oil burned for eight days. Thus Israel decreed that the re-dedication of the altar be observed each year for eight days.

Many believe that Jesus (the light of the world) could have been conceived during Hanukkah.  The Bible doesn't tell us the exact date. But since the sheep were in the pasture (Luke 2:8), he probably wasn't born in the winter months.  If he was conceived during Hanukkah, then his birth would line up with the Feast of Tabernacles....when Christ came to "tabernacle" with us.

I have tried to bring the feasts into our home.I am not legalistic about this. It is a form of learning more about our Savior.  It has increased my understanding of scripture.  If I am not able to celebrate them to their fullest, I have tried to take time to read with my children the significance of the feasts with the emphasis being that Jesus celebrated them. I want them to understand that Jesus always taught through the feasts to bring the Jews to the understanding that He was the Messiah.
Hanukkah Readings when Lighting a Candle
  • Night One - The Lord is Our Light - Is. 60:19; Ps. 27:1; 2 Sam 21:17
  • Night Two - The Word is Our Light - Ps 119;105; Ps 119:130; Prov. 6:23
  • Night Three - We Should be a Light to Others - Matt 5:16; Luke 11:33; Eph. 5:8; Phil 2:15
  • Night Four - The Light of the Body is the Eye - Luke 11:34; Acts 26:18 
  • Night Five - The Messiah is the Light of the World - John 1:4-5; John 8:12; John 12;35-36
  • Night Six - Paul Saw the Light - Acts 26;12-18
  • Night Seven - If Christ is Your Light, You are No Longer in the Darkness of This World - Eph 5:8-11; I Thess. 5:4-6; I Peter 2:9; Eph 5:11-15; I John 1:5-9
  • We Need to Shine - Phil 2:14-16;

My family and I pray you have a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah season.  May you meet the Light of the World face to face and allow Him to shine through you.  

I have collected many sources through the years on Biblical Feasts and Jewish history.  Today, I used Biblical Holidays by Robin Scarlata...you can click on her name to find more info on her blog.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Bow in Worship

google image...notice no shoes....as she bows she is on Holy Ground!  Her clothes are normal attire....her hair looks as if she has been busy at home, just pulled out of the way.  She acknowledges where her source comes from and worships Him.

On this Sunday evening, my heart just cries out, "Bow and Worship the King".

God has been working very deeply in my heart through this season of Advent.  So much of it can't be put into words at this time.  I can feel the seeds that He has planted and I anticipate the growth He will bring.  As we prepare to celebrate His birth with the miracle of God becoming a human, we must move through the birth to the cross.  Yes, God became man in all sense of the word... but it didn't stop there.  The miracle of His birth... His resurrection....His anticipated 2nd coming when we will go to live with Him forever...the completed story. 
Music is a staple in my life and this new song just seemed to sum up the Advent season for me.  I challenge you to listen to it...take it in...let your heart be stirred.  Then join me as we bow in worship before Emmanuel.

Josh Wilson    Jesus Is Alive Lyrics

Wish that I was there,
On that silent night,
When your tiny heart started beating for mine,

I wish I couldn't seen,
The star in David's town,
When you turned a stable into Holy ground.
I sing along, the angels song.

Noel, Noel, Jesus is alive.
Emanuel, hope is here tonight.
So go, and tell, the world that death has died.
'Cause Jesus is alive. Yea Jesus is alive.

The God who made us all,
With these two little hands,
Is bringing us his kingdom quiet as a lamb.
Oh such Amazing Grace!
A divine conspiracy.
This Savior in a manger changes everything.
That's why we sing.

Sin you have no sting.
Hell you have no power. (Jesus is alive)
Curse you are no more.
This is your final hour. (Jesus is alive)
Because the son of God
Has not left us alone. (Jesus is alive)
He'll live and die and rise again, and then he'll bring us home. (Jesus is alive)
The old will pass away
And we will become new. (Jesus is alive)
This baby boy is making all sad things untrue.

Jesus is Alive!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Playing with Creative Ideas

Well my "Waiting" post hit our household immediately.  God put me on hold and took my computer to the shop....for 10 days.  Now I just want to post a fun post.  I will give thanks for His faithfulness and continued "waiting" rooms at the bottom of my post.

This year I have enjoyed pinning my ideas from wonderful blogs on my boards at Pinterest.  So below are some of the ideas that I have taken from my boards and brought to life in our home.

1st - Recycle the Thanksgiving Pumpkins
I took my silver-painted-stenciled pumpkins and turned them into snowmen.
The snowmen are gracing our Christmas table and even made a debut at Benjamin's Class Christmas Party.

2nd  Printing on Fabric -  I have been intrigued by printing through your printer onto fabric.  So once again I looked at a few tutorials and pulled out scraps of  drop cloth and went to work.
Graphics are free for downloading from The Graphics Fairy

A wonderful Christmas pillow for a very special lady...I hope she enjoys it.

3rd - Cookies!....well the cookies on Pinterest are just too much fun....so here they are

They were a huge hit at Benjamin's Christmas Party!  Melting Snowman!!!
4th - Left over drop cloth began my Christmas skirt...making it large enough to accompany a live tree also.  Next year I plan to have time to write scriptures that foretell the birth of our King.  This year it stays simple.

I love the idea of script scripture all around the skirt for next year.
That is it for my creative juices this season.

{Thanks to all that prayed for our daughter.  On December 3rd she had a grand-mal seizure.  This was a once in her life unexplained seizure.  All test came back clear.  They feel it was caused from lack of sleep and dehydration. She spent a week recovering and is now venturing into changing her lifestyle ....meaning slowing down!  If God places it on your heart I would love prayers for our son and daughter-in-law who will see another infertility specialist in another city next week.  Again....we are in the waiting room, praying for God's healing touch on both of these situations.}

Have an awesome weekend!  Enjoy the Reason for the Season - Christ

Sunday, December 4, 2011


As I enter this second week of Advent, I look back on a full week of concentrating on Hope.  Everywhere I turned I saw evidence of Hope - either in words, actions or answered prayers.  Last week was truly a week of Hope as God pointed me to His word and His definition of Hope.

Our Advent guide focuses on Waiting this week.  We are a society that does NOT know how to wait.  As I drove down our busy highway, I observed signs of our lack of patience.  Signs announced your waiting time at the Emergency Room of the hospital.  The signs flashed how long it would take to drive from one point to another.  Advertisement boards were selling faster means of obtaining internet services. Fast weight loss solutions were everywhere. Self, check-out lines at the grocery store also give us a false feeling that we are getting out of the store faster.  You watch people get annoyed if the information on their cell phone or Ipad doesn't come up fast enough.  Everything in life screams - HURRY! or you will be left behind!!!

Abraham and Sarah had to wait for their promise.  The Israelites waited decade after decade, generation after generation for the Messiah.  Simeon waited to see the promised Messiah.

Our family is waiting...

  • My son and his wife for a baby - our first grand child
  • Loved ones to come to a relationship with Christ 
  • Unresolved Health Issues
  • A job that would bring income and some sense of stability
  • A future home
So, this Advent season I wait...
I am sure most of you are in a waiting season for something.

from our Advent Guide:
 We know that God uses times of waiting to increase and strengthen our belief, longing and the boldness of our asking.  This was true as the people of Israel waited for the promised Messiah, and it is true for the people of God today.

  1. Are you unsettled in your soul?  Are you longing for righteousness, justice, freedom from shame, peace and security?
  2. Does your waiting, longing and groaning debilitate you, or is it laced with hope?  Romans 8:18-25, I Thess. 4:13-17 and Titus 2:11-14
  3. How does anticipation increase joy?  Like a catchy hook in a song's melody, the building progressions of each note rising slowly until they resolve and repeat... can we find pleasure in the anticipation?
It is difficult to know how Simeon dealt with the rising anticipation, but we know he held fast to the promise.
As we wait, we should rise in agreement, hold our breath, and let out a hopeful cry.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

He is Good

He has already played seven games in two weeks.

Good-bye November you have been good.  Reflecting on the past month I have to stop and say thank-you Lord.  His faithfulness still brings me to my knees...which is where I need to remain in a state of gratefulness.  November brought our son's beginning of his high school basketball season.  It has been a joy to be back on the bleachers after a two year reprieve.  This once resistant sports mom is back in her arena with her cheering voice being heard across the court.  "Go Stepheoooooooooooooooooooooo"  Yes we affectionately call him Stepheooo!

Thanksgiving weekend gave us the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather at a wildlife preserve.  We just kept saying, "you are so pretty...how beautiful" as we admired God's handiwork.  We fed and touched some of the most beautiful animals on our trip through the wildlife preserve. Isn't it going to be great when the lion and the lamb lay down beside each other again?

Although all our children weren't with us for Thanksgiving lunch we still kept our traditions in place.  My parents joined us for a wonderful day. After a satisfying meal, afternoon of touch football,  we all  huddled near the television to watch the last football game between The University of Texas and Texas A&M....a 107 year old rivalry came to an end.  Our day ended in a last 2 second win by UT...  younger brothers of past players, McCoy and Shipley brought in our win.

What a precious month of experiencing God's faithfulness even when I wasn't faithful.  Good-bye November you hold some precious memories for 2011.  Welcome December, you are the last month of the year, what memories do you hold?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Benjamin and My Virtual Farm

Benjamin's Farm - Sue has everything at her farm except a pig

I just love it when God reaches down and gives us a kiss on the cheek along with a smile.  That is just what He did for Benjamin and me this week.
We walked to the door two times to find unexpected boxes of "goodies" from two precious women.

We both have dreamed of a farm.  Benjamin wants the animals.  What I want and envision is a place to roam, be still and enjoy a garden with chickens.  Our dreams became "virtual" through two blogging friends.

Sue of Pear Tree Lane Farmhouse sent Benjamin the farm animals and a tractor.  To fulfill my love of home-made canned jam, she sent us two jars of hers.  She also provided garlic for our suburban garden.  Benjamin has adopted Sue and he climbs up on my lap to enjoy her blog on a regular basis. She has also allowed him to name some of her farm animals.  If you don't know her....well, you should; she is a jewel. Sue has encouraged me in my spiritual walk more than once...sometimes beyond the blog post through emails. Thank you, Sue.

Leslie of Farm Fresh and I met at the beginning of my adventure into blog land.  We emailed back and forth and got to know each other beyond the pages of our blog.
Gifts to Benjamin from her kids.
 She is a "wiser in years" mother also...so we both enjoy the mixture of menopause symptoms, while taking a child to kindergarten.  She has a farm!

 Her retro-kitchen is just a joy.  So when she saw my kitchen and knew my desire for her farm life....well, she added to my kitchen and sent more "virtual" farm goodies.  Her two little ones sent items to Benjamin also.

  Her humor is shown in the "chicken poop"  and "udder" lotion. She also sent seeds for my flower garden.  She allowed me to dream even more as I looked through the magazine she sent.

To Leslie and Sue...you have made our day.  We are both enjoying our "virtual" farm.  Love you, girls!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent the Season of Hope

Strolling into the sanctuary, weighed down with many hearts concerns, I met the Savior.

Though you have not seen him, you love him.  Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.  It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good new to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heavens, things into which angels long to look.  Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.   I Peter 1:8-13

Advent, formed from a Latin word meaning "coming" or "arrived" is about the coming of Christ.  It 's the celebration of the first advent of Jesus and the anxious awaiting of His second.
My Savior started to speak to His child as the Advent service progressed.  The most overwhelming joy for the Advent season, lifted my heavy heart.  I believe my age and life experiences are allowing me to enter this Advent season in a deeper depth than years before. The first teaching was over patience and expectations. Where is our Hope?

Quotes from our church Advent Guide
"Expectations are powerful.  We long to trust possessions, people and ideas with our hope - hope of something greater than what we currently have. Relationships, careers, and entertainment willingly receive our expectations.  To the degree that we think each will deliver, anticipation grows inside of us.  The voice of childhood may change tone through the years, but the same gut response comes with every disappointment: But you promised....
There is no more powerful expectation than patience in the promises of God, for He has provided the Lamb, and the Lamb is the coming King."

There is where my Savior meet me....His promises and my lack of patience in His promises.  There in the sanctuary I sang out..

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

  1. Consider what you place expectations on and how that affects you when they are not met.  Are you patience or irritable?
  2. If we place our hopes in finite things, which never fully meet our expectations, it seems that are meant for something greater.  What things have you trusted in for the joy of your heart instead of Jesus.  Who is fully able to meet your every need?
  3. God's faithfulness is proven as each of His promises comes true.  Where are you tempted to forget or distrust His faithfulness to you in Jesus?
Welcome Advent Season!  My heart jumps with joy over this time as I place my Hope in the one who fulfills His promises.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Still Amazes Me

Each year as I recount with my children the story of God's providence over the sojourners of the Mayflower, I am amazed.  The story never grows old.  The story inspires me through my struggles and once again reminds me God has a plan.  It truly is His Story.

How can you not have tears come to your eyes when you step back and look at the sovereignty of God over the Settlers of Plymouth Plantation? Amazing examples of God's sovereignty:

  • the main beam of the ship broke...which should have led to the sinking of the vessel...instead there was a screw brought with the passengers for home building that repaired the mast
  • 66 days at sea
  • not one person lost on the voyage
  • boys set off firecrackers and yet they didn't catch the gunpowder on fire that would have led to a total explosion of the ship
  • a compact made between all travelers before leaving the ship
  • corn found in baskets that provided food through the first winter
  • over half of the Pilgrims died during the first winter...none were children
  • usually only 6 adults were well enough at a time to build the settlement
  • peaceful Indians....they also spoke English - Massasoit, Samoset, Squanto
  • A clearing in the land for the settlement
  • Squanto taught them how to survive while he lived his remaining days with them
  • A peace treaty with the Indians that lasted over 50 years
  • A three-day celebration after the first hard winter - more Indians in attendance than settlers
  • No one turned back to go home
As I recall the story once again, I stand amazed.  God touches my heart, reminding me of His plans in each of our lives.  He is our strength.  To Him we owe all our Thanks.  He is Sovereign.

Happy Thanksgiving

Last years post on how we celebrate Thanksgiving - click on Thanksgiving.
Happy Birthday to my oldest...he turns 28 today...now how can I be old enough to have a child that age?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Song from Benjamin

Basketball season has arrived for my brother Stephen, so I am mother's guest writer today.
I wanted to share with you my Turkey song I learned at school.
Mom thought it was so funny that we decided this would be my post.
I wish I could sing it to you myself...but this will have to do instead.
I did put in my Turkey pictures.

Mom will see you again soon...thanks for stopping by - Her son - Benjamin

A Turkey Followed Me Home
Walking home from school one day, along a lovely street. When from behind me came a noise, the sound of tiny feet.
I spun around to see a bird, my jaw dropped to the ground. A turkey stood in front of me, his wattle swinging ‘round.
Turkey, turkey, go away! Please don’t follow me! I am going to my home and it’s not safe for thee!
Turkey, turkey go away! Let me make this clear. It’s Thanksgiving week, you see so please get out of here!
(Kid 1): But he followed me home anyway (Kid 2): Shoo! Go on! Git! Ohhh!

I hid him in the basement and I hid him in my room. I covered him with laundry, but there wasn’t wiggle room.
I tried to find the perfect place. I looked and looked and looked. For if I could not keep him hid, his goose was surely cooked!
Turkey, turkey, go away! Please don’t follow me! I am going to my home and it’s not safe for thee!
Turkey, turkey go away! Let me make this clear. It’s Thanksgiving week, you see so please get out of here!
(Kid 3): Thanksgiving came, Thanksgiving went….(Kid 4): Yeah, you were lucky. THIS time.

When December rolled around, we thought the coast was clear. I saw the turkey to the door. He had a cool veneer.
Keeping turkeys out of sight is not an easy thing. Take my advice, you turkey, you, and don’t come back ‘til spring!
Turkey, turkey, go away! Please don’t follow me! I am going to my home and it’s not safe for thee!
Turkey, turkey go away! Let me make this clear. It’s Thanksgiving week, you see so please get out of here!
Christmas is coming, the turkey’s getting fat! Don’t come back ‘til spring!

Mom says it is better when I sing it...but I hope you liked it anyway!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Why Don't They Get It?

goole image...Tower of Babel...they didn't get it either

Why don't they get it?

How many times have you said that or thought that?  I am sure it is dozens and dozens of times.  As a mom we can become frustrated with repeating ourselves over and over again in the training of our children.  These words or thought can also pour out through other areas of life as well....just being alive gives reason for the frustration.  Hey! let's be honest, life is just messy.
  • Health - don't they get it?  You can't eat that type of food and be healthy.  You can't refuse to exercise and hope your body just continues to stay in shape.  You can't neglect going see the doctor if there is something going on.
  • Relationships - Do they not see what is happening here?  Do they just not get it?  Do they have to see the relationship end before their eyes are open?
  • Spiritually - Do they not get it?  This is an eternal issue.  Christ died for their sins...plain and simple, salvation is a gift.  Why can't they see?
  • Financially - Don't they understand that too few deposits and too many withdraws mean you are in the negative?  Do they just not get it?
I think I could go on and on, while you could add your list of frustrations on why someone just doesn't get it.

It seems to always be clearer to the one viewing from the outside.  The person viewing from their tower can see so plainly what is happening, "they get it", while the one below is hindered by their lack of vision. 

How can a blind person see the sunset?  We would ever question their ability "to get it" and yet when someone's view is obstructed they too are blind.

I climb down from my tower of frustration viewpoint allowing the Lord to show me my blind spots.  I need Him to show me a clearer view.  I need to see the view of my own "not getting it" and grace for those I love that "aren't getting it".  I need Him to remind me that He knows "they aren't getting it" and He is in control.  His view is complete, while mine is only a partial view.

May we all allow His point of view to become the glasses in which we view our circumstances through, while giving grace to those who "just aren't getting it".

However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.  I Cor. 2:9

Friday, November 11, 2011

You Have Come a Long Way Baby!

Isn't it funny how time can resolve just about everything?

I wish I could have understood that concept years ago and even today.  There is hardly anything that time can't teach us....especially in the area of motherhood and handling a household.

I was one of those overly-energetic new brides.  I truly wore "rose-colored" glasses as I entered the venture of being a wife at the naive age of 19.  My husband (the dreamer) could just carry me away with all the possibilities that were before us.  I could just take any idea and start to run with it.  There was nothing I wouldn't try when it came to being a "good wife".

This is my copy from the early 80's and I was stunned to find out it is worth a pretty penny...again, who knew... and time.

The kitchen was one of my first mountains to climb.  I made a vow that the first year of our marriage that I wouldn't cook the same dish twice....so collecting recipes and cookbooks became necessary to achieve my goal.  I have to say I achieved it...mainly due to the fact that with my college classes, my husband's out of town travel and our weekend schedule, the challenge wasn't hard for the amount of meals we ate at home.  

As our children continued to come (four in 7 years), I used my kitchen as one of my creative outlets....and that is why this story comes to mind.  You see, even if you don't know what you are doing...time will eventually give you the experience you need.

My adventurous, get-tired-of-anything-more-than-once-a-month mentality, took over while corralling little ones in the grocery store.  There they were!  I was missing our traveling and I could bring some of our traveling cuisine to our dinner table.  The kids eyes lit up with excitement as I grabbed the iced red bag of crawdads for our Etoufee that evening.  As a home school mom. I would also treat this as part of our science studies, telling my interested students about this crustation.

As was the norm, the older boys were to help bring the groceries from the car.  I threw the red crawdad bag on the countertop, to deal with later after taking care of the youngest child.

Hubby made it home and he, too, was excited about the Cajun dish I would be serving.  Then he heard a SCREEEEEEEEEEAM coming from the kitchen....it was me.

To my horror, those crawdads had awakened and were crawling all over the kitchen cabinet!

Who knew they were still alive?   Not ME!!!  I had no clue that they were live crawdads which had been lulled to sleep while sitting on the ice.  Once removed from the ice, they would be revived.

My husband was rolling over with laughter as I pleaded with him to catch them.  He looked at me with the look of , "what were you thinking?"  I am yelling "they are alive!"  "Yes", he replies.  I start to negotiate.  "I am not going to cook those.  I don't know how to cook live crawdads.  Please do something!"

My loving husband goes to the phone to call the grocery store.  Over the phone he re-tells the story to the butcher who is now laughing his head off.  "Well, just bring them back up here and I will boil them for her!"  Now I must say...I didn't show my face in the store for them to identify me....NO, my hubby gathered up the crawdads and took them back to their timely death.
google image
So you see...time does resolve so many of the issues that can set our hair on end.  With just a little time and some experience we can all say, "You Have Come a Long Way, Baby!"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Will This Become Extincted?

Saturday, my daughter and I strolled down the card aisle looking for a lovely card for the monumental occasion we would be attending.  As I stood there with her I said, "you know it might not be long before they no longer need this card section."  Now I wasn't meaning there would be no more cards, I was referring to the change in our society. That was when it dawned on me how special this event would be.

Many marriages don't make it to this mark due to things beyond their control.  My grandmother became a widow in her 30's.  Some marriages end in divorce that was not desired by one or both parties.  Others don't marry until later in life.

However, the main reason many will not celebrate this milestone is because of changes in our society:

  • Delaying Marriage or choosing not to marry prevents many from this celebration
  • The Divorce Rate in our country is around 50%, making us #1 in Divorces
  • Only 59% of  our population is married
  • 3/4 of divorces are initiated by women; the Walkway Wife Syndrome happens later in marriage
  • 30% Rise in Silver Divorces 
These stats leave only 5% of marriages to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Upon arriving home, I pondered on the rich marriage heritage of my children:
  • Both sets of grandparents have celebrated 50 years of marriage
  • One Aunt and Uncle have now celebrated 50 years of marriage 
  • Three sets of Great-Grandparents have celebrated 50 years of marriage
  • Three Great Uncles and Aunts have celebrated 50 years....one couple has celebrated 60
My Husband's Sister and Husband - 50 years

 The church fellowship hall was filled with  50+ years of married couples  The widows attending were from  single marriages.  The next generation held the marriages that would not make it to 50 years, due to multiple marriages or the age in which they entered marriage.

I stood in awe at the marriage riches that surround me... the faithful widows that have poured out their lives to others after they continued their journeys alone... the married couples of 50-plus years now sharing other challenges that life has brought them, along with perseverance through past trials... the joy of each of their smiles as they walked through the room mingling with others.  I hope my children will one day understand that they saw something rare, that they may not see very often....but this time it was part of their heritage.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Prayer Warrior

This is an incredible video with awesome words.  It touched my heart as I lift up my sword in pray.  The battle is still raging and God has called us all to be Prayer Warriors.  This is dedicated to a precious couple who heard some devastating news this past week on their 5-month-old in the womb, first child.  This prayer warrior cries out for a healing miracle from Our Awesome Healing God.

Standing also in the gap for

  • Prodigals
  • Infertility
  • Marriages
  • Teens
  • Lost loved ones
  • Finances/Jobs
  • Revival in our Churches
  • America
  • Up Coming Elections
  • Pastors/Churches
You can add your own to the list above.  I hope this video and the song inspired you to pick up your sword and leave behind a legacy of prayer for generations to come.


1.We may see her in the grocery with her children 
   Or in the city nine to five each working day 
   She's a mother or a teacher or a woman all alone 
   But she's someone else entirely when she prays 

C.She's a prayer warrior down on her knees 
    Wrestling with power and principalities 
    Standing in the gap for others 
    For her sisters and her brothers 
    Reaching heaven with her heart – prayer warrior 

2.We don't see her lonely nights of intercession 
   Or that tear she shed with every whispered name 
   We may not see the simple things hidden in her heart 
   But the eyes of God are watching her with care 

Repeat Chorus 

Bridge: And we'll never wholly know the debt we owe her 
             For we'll never know the evil we've been spared 
             Many nights she's crushed through Satan’s strongholds 
             Reaching heaven with her prayers 

Tag:Oh you have touched the very heart of God 
        Prayer warrior - prayer warrior - prayer warrior

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Clean-up Duties?

Today's post  celebrates "National Housewife's Day"...yes November 3rd is National Housewife's Day.
Now in case you think the above picture is common in my household....well, don't hold your breath.

As the holidays approach, so do all the logistics for the occasions.  There is shopping, cleaning, preparing the meals, decorating and after all the celebration...clean-up.  In most households, (I know there are a few that don't fit this pattern), these magical events are orchestrated by the women of the family.  In my male- dominated household, you can probably guess which arena we fall into....well, I fall into.

I love preparing. I love decorating.  I love setting too many dishes on the table.  I enjoy cooking and all the adventure leading up to preparing the day's menu.  I love being creative......................but I don't enjoy the clean-up.  There, the counter tops are filled with all those beautiful glasses, silver, chargers, salad plates, dinner plates, coffee cups, dessert plates, serving dishes and cooking utensils waiting for me to attack.  I have been known to do them in sessions....one load in the dishwasher (yes, grateful for this wonderful, modern day appliance)...wait...another load...hand-wash, drip-dry..... and then round four into the dishwasher.  This will usually eat up the rest of the evening and part of the next day.

Saturday, my mother jumped up from the table and began washing the dishes....(the picture above is us years ago...and again we stood side by side, getting the cleaning done).  She had been the guest of honor so I protested.  Her reply, "I ate, didn't I?"  Then she laughed.  She said, "Don't you remember your grandmother never washed dishes?  She cooked and we cleaned.  She felt if you ate, then you cleaned!"  I had to nod because I was one of many grand kids who always made their way to the kitchen after each meal to clean.  My grandmother always prepared a great meal for us all to enjoy and we were assigned clean-up duty.

Another family friend had these guidelines for their family holiday clean-ups.  The family was evenly matched boys and girls (still is even to this day).  The females decorated and cooked.  When the meal was finished, the women went walking while men stayed to totally clean-up from the meal.  I mean totally clean-up...nothing remained undone when we came back from our walk...we were guests one year.

How do you handle clean-up duties?  Are they different in your in-law's house or the same?  How do you handle them when they are in your home?  Do you wait to be asked to help or do you automatically help your hostess?

Even cleaning up can become a wonderful tradition filled with sweet memories.  I never remember resenting the time all of us cousins spent in the kitchen....now I am not sure how good of job we did...but we did create memories. I remember watching my Grandmother, Mom and all of my aunts enjoying conversation during meal preparation.  I remember the load being shared, therefore, making it easier for the hostess not to be totally worn out.  The work of our hands does bring joy and a sense being a part of each holiday memory.

If you don't know what a "housewife" is worth these days...read last year's post... see (housewife).

Monday, October 31, 2011

Do We Understand Honor?

silver spray-painted pumpkins... their names printed on each pumpkin

I feel we are losing our grip on honor.  It is something that makes my hair stand on end when I see the lack of honor in our society.  Giving honor to someone else seems to be a lost art.

I may not agree with a politician's political position, but I am commanded in scripture to honor the position the person holds.   A community-servant position also requires honor...police, fireman, soldiers...etc. The position is what requires the honor from us citizens, not the person's actions.  God is the one who puts the person into their position and therefore, He knows what He is accomplishing through them.

God commands honor be given to our parents.  He doesn't list the "if they do this and that" then you honor...He requires honor.  His command also comes with a promise.
Clear glass plate transformed...thanks to trade secret from Debbie, the master of tablescape

The granting of honor to others is an essential experience in the believer's life. 
Christians are to bestow honor on those for whom honor is due. The believer is to 
honor God, for He is the sovereign head of the universe and His character is unsurpassed. The believer is to honor those in positions of earthly authority, such as governing authorities (Rom 13:1-7),  masters (1 Tim 6:1), and parents (Exod 20:12). 
As a participant in the church, the believer is also called to honor Jesus Christ, the head of 
the church (John 5:23), fellow believers (Rom 12:10), and widows (1 Tim 5:3). resolved youth article

Recently in a home group, a woman voiced, "I am so tired of everyone blaming their parents for what is wrong in their life!"  I felt her heart and thought of how we are losing this sense of honor.  Even in Christiandom, someone will give their testimony....."I was raised in a Christian home....but!!!!! my parents were too legalistic...etc, etc."  I have to ask you how is that honoring?  Does God receive honor when we trash someone else while pointing to Him?

This past weekend I was given the chance to honor my parents.  Both have moved into their 70's.  My father is almost completely deaf, making it hard for him to enter into social conversations.  As I prepared a birthday luncheon for them, I thought of how I could honor my parents... the honor due to their position as my parents and believers in the Body of Christ.
Silver spray-painted large pumpkin and stenciled-in-bronze, garage-sale table cloth and napkins
I gathered questions from my kids to their grandfather.  I typed these questions on a sheet of paper so he could read and answer.  He was delighted to share stories and talk.  Through some tears he expressed what was important in his life - his wife, his God and his education. This didn't require listening on his part.  My children were learning to extend honor by putting their own agenda aside...their own conversations, their cell phones and their time.

My mother enjoys beautiful things, so a fully-decorated table was in order for her. She sat at the opposite  end of the table from my Dad (listening to him talk, through the most loving and caring eyes) holding a bowl of pictures from years past.  She would randomly pick up a picture and tell the story behind it.  She picked up her family picture...out of the seven in the photograph, only three are still living.  She passed on her stories of losing her Dad at a young age then her two brothers.  She giggled at Dad's comments about meeting her...you watched them both become 16 and 18 again.

Honor was extended.  Their position in our family was placed as priority.  I pray that my children received a much-needed lesson this weekend.  I know I did.  They get to try it out again this next weekend as we visit their other grandmother, age 96, and celebrate their Aunt and Uncle's 50th Wedding Anniversary.

In order for us to turn the tide of dishonor in this land we have be begin at home.  I have to express honor to those God has placed in positions of honor in my life, no matter their actions.  I hope as I remember this lesson, my own family will be stepping toward giving honor to those it is due.

(I am not saying there shouldn't be "safe" places to share true life experiences.  Hiding abuse to show someone "honor" isn't honor.  Thanks to Vee for pointing out the need for true exposure in order to point someone to complete healing in Christ."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cultivate - Again

Cultivate - to prepare, to loosen or break up the soil, to foster growth; to promote or improve growth by labor and attention; to develop or improve by education or training; to seek an acquaintance or friendship. To cultivate the arts means to encourage the arts.

Wow! All of that under the word cultivate. This word was used in our pastor's sermon on Sunday morning as he was expanding on I Peter 3:1-7. You probably wouldn't think about the word cultivate when looking at these verses, but it was in reference to what should be done for a wife. He expressed that her gifts should be cultivated.

Somehow, in the rush of trying to survive the struggles my family has been going through, I just stopped growing. Not that I didn't grow in size... I did, and not that I didn't age... I did, but I didn't grow. I started to justify NOT spending time cultivating.

How many times do women set aside their own growth to make sure the family is making it along the journey? Many will say that is why they work in jobs outside the home, so they can continue to grow themselves.  At home, moms will justify their lack of cultivation due to their responsibilities as a mom, while believing this neglect is being spiritual.

My choice has been not to work outside my home, even though that work would have provided financial security and, at times, much-needed adult conversation. We chose for me to stay home, to home-educate and raise six children. In the early days of mothering, I seemed to know the importance of cultivating. This usually meant a trip to the park for the kids to play, while I ate up the contents of a book. Cultivating meant taking walks with one in a stroller and the others on bikes,which gave me added energy AND a trim body. I would also escape to my bedroom during lunch time to steal away and watch a home decorating show... this was before HGTV. Each of these things would re-energize me, cultivate me.

I enjoyed creating and, in my early mothering days, I had a cabinet built for my sewing machine in the same room where the kids could play, while I sewed. I had my own business, where I could remain at home and still create. This allowed me the opportunity of cultivating my love for interior decorating. My business never took away from my mothering of four young children. Yet, it enhanced my mothering skills because I was cultivating myself, while learning to raise my children.

I read books, books, and more books. I seemed to have four or five going at all times that cultivated my mothering, my cooking, my spiritual walk, my home education and my business. I took evening classes on different pursuits, while also attending conferences.

Each mother needs to cultivate the woman God made her to be. A woman has so many facets of her life and each one reveals rays of the beautiful light God intended for her to share.

Somewhere between raising and guiding the first four through teenage-hood, I stopped growing. We moved to a new city, which was good. But when my eldest started high school, the full schedule put a hold on all my cultivating. As any gardener knows, if you don't cultivate the garden, your crop yield will be less and the weeds will invade your plot of land. As I put my tools down in order to maintain our busy schedule and adjust to our ever-decreasing finances, I allowed the weeds to take over the garden.

So, when our pastor talked about a woman needing to cultivate the gifts God had given her and how that was a priority in his stay-at-home wife's life, I had a sinking feeling in my soul. I stated to someone recently that I felt "lost", not knowing what I was supposed to do. Yes, I still have three children at home and two still need me full time. No, I am not re-entering the work force outside of my house, even though I am at the age for an empty nest. What I am going to do is go before the Lord and ask how to pick up my tools. They may not be the same tools He had used to cultivate me before, because this time, I first need to break up the hard ground. I need to know WHAT He wants to cultivate in me, WHICH gifts are still on my shelf that need to be brought down and WHICH gifts He wants to reveal in me now.

It is so easy to have life nail us with curve balls and we let them sideline us. When this happens, we justify setting our gifts down, usually because we feel we need to or just don't have the energy or resources to continue them. As our pastor explained, this puts a new level of importance on a wife being cultivated and that it is just as important for his wife to be cultivated in her gifts as it is for him to pastor his large congregation. These are gifts that God has given to us, to be used for his glory, to reflect Him with the many facets that shine from our lives.

I will pick up my tools once again and look forward to this new season of cultivating the woman God made me to be, while continuing to be a wife and mother. I am believing that while I am digging up hard soil, my family will be enriched by the new crop.

This is a re-post for when I began blogging.  God is still working this truth in my life.  Blogging and re-doing my home is a fruit of the cultivating I have started.  I hope this re-post blesses you.
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