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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I Stomp My Foot


Standing in the kitchen, a scene repeated through all six of my children, my youngest in age and stature stomps his foot in protest over my instructions.  As in the past, the child is not willing to submit to the loving, caring and wiser wisdom of his mother.  In his mind he knows what is right for him and, therefore, he boldly looks up at me with determination in his voice for me to yield my guidance in his life.

Each time I refrain myself from laughter.  Can he not see how much taller I am than he is?  Can he not understand that I weigh...well, let's say a couple of times more than him?  Can he not comprehend that standing in defiance is only going to make life rougher for him?  Can he not understand I only want what is best for him?

I gently correct...while watching this little man protest and refraining from the laughter this familiar scene evokes.

There I stand, stomping my feet, questioning the decisions of a mighty, loving, wise and faithful God.  I am breathing because He gave me breath.  I am standing questioning because He has chosen not to rebuke me by letting the ground open up and swallow me.  There I stand, not submitting to His authority in my life.

My mind goes back to the kitchen protest....doesn't God feel the same way about me?  Shouldn't I bow to the All-Mighty and submit? Instead, I so arrogantly stomp my feet.  He patiently waits for me to submit to His loving hand.  I pray I will learn to kneel instead to His Sovereignty without stomping my feet.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Do you remember these commercials?  As a young girl I am sure I made fun of them and snickered at the "OLD" people who might need a boost in their energy.
Now who doesn't remember this....Lucy and Vitmeatavegamin?  Again, looking for the fountain of youth in a bottle.

Well, this newly-turned 50-year-old got up on Monday morning to... a house that was more than in need of deep cleaning, a refrigerator that looked like an animal had pawed through it and left behind undesirable edibles, a 15-year-old needing to finish math and Shakespeare, a five-year-old's left-behind, vomit-soaked sheets screaming to be washed, and him wanting to be taught to read...."c-c-c-c-c-c-c-a-a-a-a-a-t-t-t-t-t", without falling asleep.  I heard commerical jingles playing in my head...........I NEED GERITOL!!!

Now I also have to say I am a woman who tries to live right. I know that you take herbs, vitamins, eat organic foods, drink water and exercise, trying to turn back the hands of time, if at all possible.   But as the title of a book I just finished tells us...50 is still 50!!!

I run to the source of my strength.  He encourages with me with the watering of His word and gives me practical suggestions for the journey.

Since I need to be this...

Without surviving on this!!!
I turn to the physical sources that will boost my energy for my continued journey of home-schooling a high school student, preparing  my kindergartner, being a wife, a home executor (self-maid) and a daughter of the King, whose body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.(can you hear the little kids song, "our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit"?)
  • Grabbing out my walking DVD...I am now at three miles in 36 minutes and gaining more mileage...my energy is boosted
  • Grabbing another glass of water to cleanse out those toxins that slow you down
  • Asking the Lord to renew my zeal for cleaning house and home-schooling...He alone can take what seems old and bring it back to life
  • Reading resources that increase my desire to finish all of the races that are set before me
  • Laughing while thinking about how much energy will be required when my 5-year-old becomes a teen!
How is your January coming to an end?  Has God given you some Geritol for the journey?
Don't forget a good laugh can cover a multitude of not-so-perfect days and boost your energy!
My Post-Christmas-holiday-refrigerator-cleaning is now done....would you like to come to dinner?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Feeding the Alligators

Parenting adult children is a lot like feeding alligators. If you stay too far away, the alligator will starve.  If you get too close, you might lose your head. Allen Teal

Another challenge brought at the "middle-of-life" is the balancing act of releasing your children into the world, while knowing when to reach out and when to back off.  All women hear from day one of motherhood that "you will need to cut those apron strings".  What that means is never really explained.  You will hear a disgruntled young bride use the words to describe her mother-in-law, while she is sitting in her own mother's kitchen.  So while mothers are trying to figure out what this all means, so are the young adults who have ventured out into the world of adulthood.  For mothers, it is a hard balancing act of their hearts.  How do you care so much and also allow them to fall on their face when they choose wrong?  The rules aren't usually as easy to write out as people would make you believe. Isn't that life?

The other side of this coin is that even if the transition has been smooth in your home, it usually hasn't been a easy transition in a friend's home.

As I continue to walk through totally releasing my adult children, I also continue to see my friends' struggles with what is happening in their homes.  In the last month, the emails, text messages and calls I received included:
  • an adult child (because society labels them adults at age 18 even if maturity isn't in place yet) ran from home with the possibility of drug involvement, leaving parents not knowing their whereabouts
  • another young adult child went through a divorce (in their 20's)
  • another young adult child threatened to leave home while not willing to live under house rules
  • another had legal problems with the law
  • another fell into serious money abuse
  • another refused to have any spiritual involvement
  • another announced that they were not destined to go to heaven, but created for hell
  • others pushed the levels of Christian morality
  • others blamed parents for all the sins in their lives
  • others were totally clueless on what to do with their lives, while continuing to allow parents to support them, but not wanting parental involvement in their lives
As I recall, the prodigal son in the Bible wasn't from a severe or sub-standard home environment, just like all the situations mentioned above, and yet he became a prodigal. His father's heart must have broken when he handed his son his inheritance.  Behavior doesn't necessarily reflect the home environment and all people are responsible for their own actions. The prodigal  father stepped back and allowed the son to leave.

While this time of life can be full of tremendous joy...marriages, grandchildren, college graduations, career advancement, as well as watching your child spiritual lives increase, there are those times that hurt deeply.  As we rejoice over our children's good choices, may we also allow them to choose wrong.  May we understand that they need to be released to Him totally, while giving compassion to others who find themselves hurting from their children's bad choices.  God isn't finished with any of us and this moment is only a blink in time.  Let's hold each other up through all seasons of parenting... rejoicing and crying as the time demands, and not condemning each other.

Ex. 17:12-13 "When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it.  Aaron and Hur held his hands up - one on one side, one on the other side, so that his hands remained steady till sunset.  As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.

May we be each others' Aaron and Hur and see the battles won!
Excellent resource - When Good Kids Make Bad Choices - Elysee Fitzpatrick and Jim Newheiser

Monday, January 24, 2011

Potty Mouth - My Letters to Emily

I am sure Lea must have had one of those laps of judgment when she ask me to write a guest post for her blog.  She is by far one of my blogging heroines with her style of writing, humor, and Godly wisdom.  I was honored to ask the Lord what I could add to her abundance of mothering wisdom.  So I invite you to join me at another wonderful blog  My Letters to Emily for my guest post, Potty Mouth, and stay awhile to read from the gifted hands of Lea.

Thank you Lea!
Oh a little bird just told me it is Lea's birthday...so wish her Happy Birthday when you drop in!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Watering with Prayer

As I continue  seeding  my new garden, I look to the most important nutritional source for growth...water.  Without water we all perish, so I am gathering my watering bucket to nourish my newly planted seeds. Watering with the power of  Holy Spirit guided prayer.  Only prayer will bring forth the harvest in my life that I am seeking.

The blogging world  ignited a fire in many areas of my life.  Pray flames  burst forth from my blogging. God fanned my passion for intercession again through visits to many blogs and emails I have received. Lifting others before the throne of God, as He places them on my heart, has become second nature.

A passionate blaze for my family arose through prayer.  I began praying through Stormie Ormartian The Power of Praying for your Adult Children.  In November I joined Dianne at Everything Else Thrown In for A Legacy of Prayer...praying for your decedents.   Dianne's 30 days of prayer were life giving and inspiring.

Today I leave you with a prayer from Taste and See by John Piper.  As I water my garden with the Holy Spirit guided prayer I will be posting prayers that I have read and lifted before the Lord.  Thanks to so many of you who have allowed me to enter your world and pray for you. I have also been blessed by your prayers for my family and I as well.

Oh, Lord, by the truth of your Word, and your Word, and the power of your Spirit and 
the ministry of your body build men and women in the Body of Christ.
Who don't love the world more than God,
who don't care if they make much money,
who don't care if they own a home,
who don't care if they have a new car or two cars,
who don't need recent styles,
who don't miss steak or fancy fare,
who don't expect that life should be comfortable and easy,
who don't feed their minds on TV each night,
who don't measure truth with their fingers in the wind,
who don't get paralyzed by others' disapproval,
who don't hold grudges,
who don't gossip,
who don't twist the truth,
who don't brag or boast,
who don't whine or use body language to get pity,
who don't criticize more than praise,
who don't hang out in cliques,
who don't eat too much or exercise too little;
who are ablaze for God,
who are utterly God-besotted,
who are filled with the Holy Spirit,
who strive to know the height and depth of Christ's love,
who are crucified to the world and dead to sin,
who are purified by the Word and addicted to righteousness,
who are mighty in memorizing and using the Scriptures,
who keep the Lord's Day holy and refreshing,
who are broken by the consciousness of sin,
who are thrilled by the wonder of free grace,
who are stunned into humble silence by the riches of God's glory,
who are persevering constantly in prayer,
who are ruthless in self-denial,
who are fearless in public witness to Christ's lordship,
who are able to unmask error and blow away doctrinal haze,
who are tough in standing for the truth,
who are tender in touching hurting people,
who are passionate about reaching the peoples who have no church,
who are pro-life for the sake of babies and moms and dads and the glory of God,
who are content with what they have and trusting the promises of God,
who are patient and kind and meek when life is hard.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dream Again!!

 In June 2010, my husband and I went back to the city where all our dreams as a married couple had begun. This city is also our birthplace, along with five of our six children.  This trip had many purposes... one was to celebrate 30 years of marriage and the other was to hear God's voice.  As we drove through the streets filled with past memories, we recalled where God had taken us.  As we finished up the weekend of memories, while shedding tears over disappointments where life hadn't taken all the turns we had hoped, and rejoicing over unexpected turns that brought complete joy, we started to drive back home.   We began to release the past dreams that had not occurred and we stopped, dried our tears, and cried out to God to manifest His dreams in our lives.  We rounded the curve on a six-lane road when this sign screamed at us from the field... it appeared as we finished our plea to God. Where old dreams were buried, new dreams must take their place.

I started screaming, "turn around, turn around...I have to get a picture!"  As we turned around and stopped to take this picture, I was laughing at the "coolness" of our God.

Months have passed since the billboard sign.  We have released old dreams but haven't heard a new direction.  As I entered 2011 and my 50th year....well, you guessed it, God is starting to rebuild His dream in my life.  Every book I pick up from interior decorating to my devotionals has been about dreaming.  The confirmation that something new is coming is just screaming at me.  New wine can not be put in an old wine skin.

Do I know what it is yet? No.  I just know that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy.  I think he begins with bringing hopelessness into our life through circumstances.  If he convinces us that we are out of the game, then the Lord can't use us.

So my first seed to go into my new garden of life is a dream.  I am reading all I can on this restoration of a dream for my life.
 Allowing new vision into our lives can only come by first allowing ourselves to dream again.

    Quote from Fresh-Brewed Life (a book I read over 10 years ago and I am re-reading)
It is tempting to sleepwalk through life.  To tell half-truths, listen half-way, be half-asleep,
drive with half attention...Wake up! We need you as an active and awake woman,
listening and contributing.  Wake up your creative genius and let it out into the world.
Wake up your power and use it wisely. Wake up to your pain and investigate it.
Wake up the dull old parts that are hiding from the light.  Wake up to love
and let it flood through you.

There are many reasons you need a new dream, maybe there has been a death of a dream, completion of a dream, or a stolen dream...then join me in the City of Dreams. God has some work for us to do and He isn't finished yet.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works with us. Eph. 3:20

Monday, January 17, 2011

His Harvest Not Mine

Last spring, I was so anxious to plant a garden.  Yes, I know I live on a postage-size lot with towering houses blocking the sun, but I was determined.  We set aside a small rectangle of land and off I went to plant seedlings indoors and some small plants to start in the soil I had prepared.  I dreamed about the bountiful harvest that would grace our table and jars of canned goodness for the winter months.  There are designated seasons for planting and harvest, and I was obeying the rules.

The warmth of spring brought a bounty of foliage.  My plants were thriving and I was enjoying the daily watering, weeding, and admiring of the work of my hands.  I could just taste the tomatoes.  Each plant continued to grow... peppers, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and herbs.  Surely the harvest would be plentiful for my small family of four.

As the budding season came, so did the sun and grasshoppers.  My beautiful foliage became the meals for the grasshoppers.  What the grasshoppers didn't eat up the sun scorched.  The pictures of the early anticipated harvest led to a dead-looking garden.  The little harvest I was able to save wouldn't provide one meal.

So out I went to pull up the dead plants, throwing them and my dreams of a bountiful harvest into the trash.  As I turned to my non-producing tomatoes, I pruned them down and left...  No Harvest This Year!
November 12, 2010
God's timing isn't ours and He had a valuable lesson to teach my husband and me.  As fall came, the tomatoes began to grow.  You could see the flowers of fruit, filling the limbs.  The tomatoes began to grow...but OH, NO, the frost would hit before they could ripen..the timing was off!!  The cold nights started to creep upon the unripened tomatoes.  I just kept laughing, "Why now!  This isn't the right season!  They were supposed to produce like this in the spring and summer!"

Each day I would water and each night my husband or I would cover them with blankets.  God kept speaking to my heart...my small patch of land became my meeting place with Him.  He kept saying, "I determine the season of growth!  I determine the season of Harvest!  I am the one who makes the wise man seem stupid and the stupid man seem brilliant. It is Me who works through whom I want... and when!"

The temperatures were dropping below freezing and the tomatoes weren't  going to make it even with blankets.  I turned to my husband and said, "it is time to bring them in!".  I had been watching the growth.  I knew the limbs were full of fruit...he did not.

I heard an amazed scream from the kitchen during the late hours of night, while I was warmly tucked away in bed.  "Janette, do you know how many tomatoes are on those two plants?" (There were more than 50!) I started to smile in my bed...I knew what God was doing. God was going to teach my husband the same lesson in just a few minutes that He had spoken to me for weeks.  My husband came to grab the camera.  Excitedly, he entered the bedroom, proclaiming the Word of the Lord.

Through total humility, he started to weep through his words,  "Do you know what this means? God is saying He is going to bring a harvest in the winter season of our lives!"
(Neglectful in our zeal over our harvest, my husband and I both took tons of pictures, without the memory stick being in the camera!  God is still in the humbling business.  The tomatoes do, however, taste like summer tomatoes even though they turned brilliant red inside our home)!

So, I encourage you to enjoy whatever season God has in you in at this time.  Know that God will determine the season and harvest in your life and it may not be the season or timing you expected.  I don't know what our harvest is going to look like, but I am getting excited to see what God does in my husband's life and mine. Tonight we are going to enjoy fresh salsa from our red tomatoes.

Friday, January 14, 2011


January is still cold here in North Texas.  Snowy white roof tops line our streets and Lattes are in order.  I am not a coffee drinker, but don't get in my way when I am ready for a Chia Tea Latte.  For Christmas my husband stuffed my stocking with a gift card to Starbucks for Chia Tea.... He is my Latte Boy!

Second to Chia Tea would be a musical....I love them, and see so few.  So years ago when my daughter came in with this song, which combines both of my delights, well,  her and I  started singing it at the top of our lungs and I have asked for it to be my ringer on my phone.

So today is another light blog post....I have my share of deep meaning, introspective post, I wanted something warm and funny. I hope you have time to enjoy and laugh with "Taylor, the Latte Boy."  Go grab a cup of Java or Chia Tea.

Stay warm, safe and have fun this weekend.  I will be back with a post on my new adventures and words for this 50th year of my life...right now I am singing out loud while drinking my Chia Tea Latte and preparing mentally for a household of teenage boys for the weekend.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Time - Time for Soup!

In celebration of our surprise Texas snow I am posting on one of my favorite soups from my early marriage days.  I learned to cook through my yearly Southern Living Cookbooks.  By 1988 I had two little helpers at my kitchen counter.  This soup has followed us through the years and become one of my staples for giving to families during the birth of a new baby, illnesses, or just needing a helping hand.  So travel with me back to the 80's in my worn Southern Living Cookbook. I hope it warms you up.

Now add some warm French Bread and you are ready for a hearty meal.

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

1 pound hot or mild Italian sausage
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
4 (14.5 oz) cans of tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 cups water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh fennel or 1 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
1 (9 oz) package tortellini

Remove the sausage casing; crumble sausage in a large Dutch oven.  Add garlic and onion; cook until meat is browned.  Drain meat; pour off pan drippings.  Add tomatoes and next 4 ingredients; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and add to soup.Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Yield - 11 cups

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I love planning, preparing and buying gifts for our times of celebration.  I prepare months in advance for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, Graduations, Mother's Day, Father's Day and our one married child's anniversary.  I sacrifice in other areas in order to be able to buy a special, well-thought-out and searched-for gift to make the guest of honor feel celebrated. This last week gave me two occasions to celebrate my sons' lives.

This week wasn't any different, even though it hit just after Christmas, I want my guys to feel celebrated.  I threw a party at our 5-year-old's Kids Day Out program.  I provided lunch, birthday cupcakes and goody bags for the children.  I explained to my son that he probably wouldn't receive any gifts.  This was my gift to his friends and him.

To my surprise, some parents had sent gifts. His teacher brought the gifts to the table for him to unwrap. (Don't we all enjoy unwrapping a gift and being celebrated?  I don't think you ever grow too old for that).

One little girl looked round and round the room with a sad, disappointed look on her face.  She then cried out, "Where is my gift for him?"  She was so disappointed she had nothing to give. My heart went out to her as I reached out my hands of comfort.

I too, would never think to come to a celebration empty-handed or forget a special loved one by the lack of evidence of a gift.

Each day, I pull my chair up to the banquet table of my Lord and Savior.  I eat from His goodness.  He allows me to enter into the celebration and bring a sacrificial gift of myself.  How many times do I just take from Him?  How many times do I not offer my time, my talents, my money, my love, my thankfulness to the one who gives me life? No gift of appreciation from me... I come to the party and enjoy the well-prepared meal and the goody bags without giving to the guest of honor.  May my heart be like the little girl saying, "where is my gift for the King?"

Thanks to you all for the most precious birthday wishes and greetings...you made my entrance into the new decade more than enjoyable.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It is ALL about 5!!!!!!

Charles Demuth - (1883-1935)
In 5 days we celebrated three birthdays!!

The youngest is now 5
Making him the age of Kindergarten in the fall...do you hear me crying already?

The teen is now 15 - yes'm... ten years and 3 days apart... my last two boys
He is now wanting his driver's permit... oh, my... the 5th child to go through this stage
He is my 5th child

I have 5 boys

I turned 50!

The number 5 means GRACE, I will take that.

Thomas Jefferson's face is on the nickel - 5 cent coin

J. F. Kennedy's face is on the half dollar- 50 cent coin

Abraham Lincoln's face graces  the-  $5.00 bill

Ulysses S. Grant's face on the - $50.00 bill

We have 5 fingers on our hand

We have 5 toes on our feet

So many references in the Bible
5-Fold Ministry of Prophet, Preacher, Teacher, Evangelist, and Apostle

5 Fish 

5 Books in the Torah

50 is the Year of Jubilee!!!
Now that is one that I would love to experience in the natural, but I do experience it in my relationship with Christ!  The year of Jubilee for the Jews meant...
  • Land was allowed to rest
  • Debts were forgiven
  • Slaves were freed
  • Estates were returned to families who had lost their inheritance and forced into poverty

What  a fun week of 5's!!! Now I need 5 minutes of rest!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Shoes Should I Wear?

Isn't it amazing how often someone can tell you what shoes you should be walking in
and yet, they don't know what terrain you are walking on? 
So, let's see... can you tell me what shoes I need for my journey?
How about these?
or these?
these are really cute...
Am I getting to the point?

These would be fun!
"Before I can walk in another person's shoes, I must first
remove my own." - Brian Tracy

Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he'll be a mile away, and barefoot.

Before we give advice, shouldn't we first understand the 
terrain in which the shoes are being used...and 
maybe keep our inexperienced advice to ourselves...
until we have also developed the understanding the other person's
journey has produced in them?

So... do you know what shoes I need?
I have many friends journeying on terrains I have never walked. May I only point them to the one
who establishes our paths.
Proverbs 2:20 - So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My 2011 Face-lift!

Out with the old and in with the new...it is time for a face-lift... for my blog!
The surgeon... me, a non-tech person, started the process.  Beating the keys, hours of research,
deleted items, pictures not fitting and totally guessing along the way, the final, unknown results of the
surgery were completed.  Do you like it?  Please overlook the flaws... it is my first design surgery.

Last year, my starting blog reflected what God would do in my life through, what Paul Tripp calls
"the archeological dig" period of our life.  My shovel would uncover my past, my regrets, my sin, my 
failures, my "what ifs"and leave me looking daily for direction and the faithfulness of my Savior.
The blog template showed a journal with aging pages coming from an open book, along with aging roses 
around the heading.  The book reflected the "dig" I had begun, as I opened years of my own 
memorabilia throughout the year.  The rose reflected the stage of life I found myself in...an 
 aging rose at the end of  a stem of thorns. Even though my "surgeon's hands" were still unskilled, the face-lift needed to render a more whimsical, nostalgic and humorous view of life.  

The year 2011 finds me putting the "archeological shovel" back into the closet...it will surface in time.
I am replacing it with a garden shovel for planting new seeds for a new harvest.
My verse for the year is Isaiah 43:18-19: "Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history.
Be alert; be present.  I'm about to do something brand new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is!" 
(The Message) - verses have been confirmed through multiple confirmations. 

Excerpt from "Lost in the Middle" by Paul David Tripp:

Standing in a Pile of Your Own Leaves
    You're now in the autumn of your life, and you're quite aware the leaves are off the trees.  You're standing in a pile of the leaves of your marriage, your parenting, your extended family, your friendships,  your work, and your ministry.  These leaves of the past have grown wrinkled and dry, and you know you can not put them back on the tree.  It's tempting to sit down in the pile and examine leaf after leaf and wish you were holding a new bud from a new sapling, but you aren't.  The harvest has come in and it is what it is.  Yet in all of this, there is hope because your Lord is the Lord of new seasons.  With the new season comes the freedom to plant new and better seeds.  With the new season comes the expectation of a new harvest of new fruit.
     Stand up and walk away from your pile of yesterday's leaves.  Take the seeds of a new way into your hands, press them into the soil of your life and thank God that you will live to see a better harvest.

Welcome to my new face-lift...I have a vision for where I am going, if you come along for the ride,
I have already shown you the destination....new seeds, new planting, and new harvest!
Welcome age 50...I look forward to meeting you!!

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