Monday, January 27, 2014

Need a few minutes to dilly dally?

For your Monday… some videos I've spotted on the www mostly via other people's blogs. May they make you smile!


Beautiful and amazing!


"What my beagle does when we're not home" - Pretty resourceful if you ask me!


Have you seen any of these Subaru commercials?


A bad lip-reading of the NFL


And in case these didn't eat up enough of your spare time, this website is guaranteed to:
ThisIsSand.com
Click on the three little bars in the top left corner for directions on how to throw away a few minutes.  Mezmerizing!  And check out this page, which show what some people with a LOT of free time have created.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

The first hour of the day

Having a quiet time in the morning... it took me years. I was very hit and miss for many of those years because I am naturally lazy and distracted and undisciplined. But making time first thing in the morning to be in the Word changes me.

And boy do I ever need changing.

first hour
It doesn’t take too long heading into most days to hit a storm… wind and rain and floods in the form of hurtful words, challenging relationships, daunting circumstances and if I haven’t filled up first thing with the Truth, I find myself getting tossed around a lot.  The storm dictates my life instead of the Word.

These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.  But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards. 
Matthew 7:24-27 The Message

Stupid is a pretty strong word but even I know it would be stupid to build a house on sand.  It's just as foolish to think I have what it takes to navigate all that my day holds with my own 'wisdom' and strength.  (I know I'm mixing my metaphors here but stick with me.)  Heading into a day without time with Him is like jumping onto a rickety old raft on a stormy ocean instead of onto a ship with a deep rudder. Stupid isn't too strong of a word.

One of the most obvious ways this shows up in my life is in what comes out of my mouth.  A snap reply.  A critical comment.  A thoughtless remark.  My mouth always gives away what’s in my heart.

It’s probably not an accident that James also mentions a rudder...

A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!  It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that.
James 3:4-5 The Message

I really want to speak GRACE, LOVE, KINDNESS. God’s Word freshly poured into my heart and thoughts slows me down, reminds me, gives me new perspective and new motivation. Otherwise I am bossed around by however I am feeling at the moment and you'll hear that in everything I say.

I know lots of people lament, “I’m just not a morning person” or “I wake up too late to have a quiet time in the morning.”  I used to say that too.  Until I realized that I absolutely had to get the Word and its power into me first thing.  It’s hard enough to stay on course WITH the Word in my thoughts.  It’s impossible without it. 

And it shouldn't surprise us that time with Jesus in the morning is its own reward.  I think He waits for us.  That He looks forward to the time we set aside to be with Him. 

What a wonderful thought to know He loves to be with us
  • encouraging us when we’re low
  • strengthening us in every place we’re weak
  • teaching us how to do what He asks
  • showing us what we can’t see from our own perspective
  • revealing the lies we’ve believed and the Truth that replaces them
  • equipping us with His power  

I don't know if any of this is what Mr. Beecher meant when he said that the first hour is the rudder of the day.  But it really can become the best part of waking up.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Can Spring be far behind?


I was reminded again this morning that our God is at work –

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Unseen

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Underground

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Powerfully creative and masterfully beautiful in all He does. 

He knows the time that’s needed to accomplish what He has in mind.

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Maybe you are like me, waiting for God to answer a prayer and it seems like it might never happen because it's been SO VERY LONG of a wait.

In the proper season I will send the showers you need.
There will be showers of blessing! 
Ezekial 34:26

I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness…
Wait patiently for the Lord. 
Be brave and courageous. 
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. 
Psalm 27:13-14

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nothing else like it

Last weekend was a trip to Seattle to take our oldest out to lunch for her birthday (coming up at the end of the month).

Twenty-seven years ago I was sure that I was going into labor any minute because my due date was the 16th and after all, I had been counting the weeks for what seemed like forever!   By the 29th when it appeared I really wasn’t going to give birth after all, I went into the hospital and my labor was induced.  Amy was having none of it and only agreed to come out on the 30th if she was lifted out gently via c-section.  And that was the beginning of a whole new identity for me: mother.  This girl changed everything!  My beautiful Amy Lynn…  I love her so much, think of and pray for her all the time. 

Amy Lynn006  4

It was so much fun to spend the day with all four of our girls!

fourgirls

Miss Hadley is almost 5 months old and I’ve been so excited to get up to Seattle to see her!  Ray and Lisa got to have a first date since baby arrived and Papa and Grammy got to take care of this little sweetheart…

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Jeff might have taken a few photos. 

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I remember loving this stage when each of my girls were about five months old.  There’s just something about it that’s adorable. 

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Legs that were once so tiny now have those kissable rolls that look like they were created by wearing rubber bands at every joint!

chubs

Sigh.  I stare at these photos over and over.

I'm so grateful that Lisa is finding out just what it feels like to love someone so completely. There is nothing like it.

And apparently there's also nothing like the love you have for a beautiful, precious, funny, sweet-smelling, cuddly, intelligent and incredibly advanced grandbaby either!  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Links I Liked


Maybe you could make yourself a cup of cocoa with some instant espresso (adds a wonderful burst of mocha goodness) and settle in to read a whole crazy variety of interesting stuff via "Have A Cup"…

On Being Ruth
@Antique Mommy
Caring for aging parents is an emotional mine field

Because Who Is Perfect?
@realfarmacy.com
Guaranteed to open your mind to beauty and gratitude

The Trouble With Snapshot Living
@Lots of Scotts
We are all works in progress

The iPersonic Personality Test
@ipersonic.com
Do you like these kinds of tests?  When I did this one, I found myself creating a new set of statements that apply to me:
   *When taking personality tests, I can’t choose from a list of statements which ones apply to me
   *When taking personality tests, I over-analyze my answers
   *When taking personality tests, I worry the results won't be correct (like it matters!)

Waitress Receives the Tip of a Lifetime
@Columbus Telegram
I’m just thankful. Everything we went through, my attitude is: God blessed me with a lot of things. I’m doing good. That’s all that matters to me.

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World
@A Sheep No More
These won’t help you make sense of the world (sorry) but I thought some of them were fascinating.

When Your Calling Frightens You
@Jennifer Dukes Lee
I don’t want to be ruled by my comfort. I don’t want to be bossed around by my perceived weaknesses, and the enemy’s lie that the tasks before me are too hard.  Will God not strengthen me? Is His arm too short? I should say not.

Chivalry is out of style
@themattwalshblog
This one resonated with me because for the last 30 years my chivalrous husband has always opened the car door for me.  Of course my girls have noticed this and one recently told me that she wanted a husband who also did that. 

And to wrap this up, a genius video on how to wear your scarves!  I loved how this girl watches herself from the other frames (Brady Bunch?). I paid more attention to the little squares than the main one so now I need to watch it again.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stuff I Made Last Year


Lots of bloggers end the year or begin the new one with a post about their most popular recipes/DIY ideas/home improvement projects, etc… for the past year.  Because I still haven’t figured out what this blog is all about, I could never sum up a year by doing any of those things.  This fact only makes my blogging angst worse than it already is.  Especially when for the last several months I haven’t posted too much of anything, it’s pretty obvious that blogging will not be on my list of successes in 2013.    If I had a list.

So, here are a few recipes I tried for the first time in 2013!

Best new main dish: 
Apricot-Glazed Pork Roast
via Recipe Girl (recipe here)
This was a really easy and delicious roast that could be made in the slow cooker as well as in the oven.  Be sure to sear the meat before roasting it – I salt and pepper the roast really generously then brown it in a saute pan on the stove in a mixture of oil and butter.  

Apricot-Glazed-Pork-Roast


Best new cookie recipe:
Double Chocolate M&M Cookies
via Tracey’s Culinary Adventures (recipe here)
These are moist, chewy and wonderful.

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Best new salad:
Tangy Asian Slaw
via A Dash of Soul (recipe here)
Loved this!

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Best new bundt cake: 
Snickerdoodle Cake
via loveyourmotherearth (recipe here)
Tastes just like the cookie it’s named after – moist with a cinnamony, crunchy crust.

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Best new (to me) Christmas recipe:
Peanut Butter Kisses
via Taste of Home (recipe here)
I know most everyone made Peanut Butter Kisses with their mom when they were growing up but I never had.  So I tried them with my nieces this year and I think they’ll become part of my yearly Christmas baking.  They are easy and make a fun addition to a cookie plate for the neighbors.  This is the only thing on the list that I actually took a picture of.  Well, Jeff did.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookie  Have A Cup With Me



Best new muffins:
My Mom’s Muffins
via The Pioneer Woman (recipe here)
No butter or oil in these moist little treats packed full of goodies - banana, flax seed, applesauce, raisins & nuts!

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Best salsa ever: 
Restaurant-Style Salsa
also via The Pioneer Woman (recipe here)
How could something this easy to make taste so much better than all the rest?

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I'm looking forward to trying a whole bunch more this year.  I have several Pinterest boards that are FULL of delicious looking recipes, don't you?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It’s what I need

Now is the time when I should write a post summing up 2013.  This is easy to do because ever since 1995 I have kept a little record of the major life events in our family by year and month.  I have my anal ‘record-everything-on-a-calendar’ habit to thank for this.  It’s nothing detailed – here are a few examples:  whale watching in San Diego,  Lisa baptized,  Amy braces on, Lindsey trip to Africa.  That way I can easily look back to find out when we had an eye surgery, a root canal or a major water pipe burst – you know, the important stuff! 

I love remembering the places we went in 2013… we had a wonderful, snowy trip to Leavenworth with our dear friends, I went to Tennessee for the first time, and we made a crazy four day trip to Montana

There were some difficult milestones… My dad’s health and mental capacity has declined significantly which means much more of my time and God’s compassion.  I’ve struggled with my own pain issues.  Adoption in Ethiopia has always been a spiritual battlefield but this last year we’ve faced a big slow-down and many challenges as we work to give orphaned and abandoned children families – something the Enemy is very determined to prevent.

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Of course the BIGGEST event of 2013 for me was the birth of our sweet little Hadley in August.  Talk about a life-changer!  How I love this little one.

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I spent much of last year in Jeremiah and Ephesians, trying to reform my check-things-off-my-list tendency and meditate more slowly and meaningfully on the Word.  If I didn’t know it before , I KNOW that God’s Word has the power to absolutely transform the way we think. And I desperately need God's thoughts on several things I am praying for.

If you struggle with keeping God’s perspective on your circumstances, if you wish you had more faith to believe God’s promises to you, if you’d like to be a little (or a lot) more consistent in your walk with Christ – get into His Word every single chance you can.  Time in the Word makes us hungry for more, which is a good thing to remember if you’re struggling with even wanting to read your bible.

Over ten years ago, I determined to memorize the eighth chapter of Romans.  I’m not telling you that to brag – I never got it done.   I even asked you to join me way back in 2010 (insert red face).  I’ve started and stopped so many times it’s embarrassing.  But I am starting again.  Even if I fail to get it all memorized (and I sure hope I don’t), I will have spent more time in the Word than if I didn’t try.  God has made a promise that His Word always does in us what He intends – His Word accomplishes what I never could (Is 55:11)!

I’m trying an app called Scripture Typer to see if that will help.  I’m carrying the verses with me on cards I’ve made.  I’m excited to be back to doing something I know will help me stay in the Word throughout the day. 

I don’t like New Year resolutions so that’s not what this is about.  I am humbly sharing an area of failure and hoping that perhaps someone reading this will also get back to doing something they know God wants them to do.  He is going to help us – and I’ll need His help!

May He equip us with all we need
for doing His will.
May He produce in us,
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to Him.
All glory to Him forever and ever!
Hebrews 13:21

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