Monday, June 28, 2010

Harvest Bounty Salad

Flexible, this salad can spur on a ton of ideas.  My friend Beth is the original author of the salad but I have changed a few things.
Start with any grain, my favorite so far has been barley.  This picture shows brown rice and quinoa.  Then, raid the fridge for any veges and legumes.

2 cups of grain
red onion
any color pepper
black beans
lime juice
olive oil
S & P
Cook up the grains.  Chop up whichever veges you like and add as much as you want.  Add a can of rinsed and drained beans.  Mix together juice of 1 whole lime, about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with cilantro.  You could change the dressing to parsley, olive oil and lemon juice for a variation.
Today I punched it up with some bacon.


I made a big decision today; I am not going to pursue becoming an astronaut.  I have no need to jack hammer any concrete or time warp myself into another era.  However, if I did time warp I decided I would like to live during Christ's time as a disciple, plot with General Washington, or chat with the literary heads of Lewis, McDonald, and Carroll.  I had some time (1 full hour) to imagine these things in me mind as I morphed into a caterpillar and rolled into the big round dome of an MRI.  LOTS of noise surrounded me.  Pac-Man on speed, a violent shot-em-up video game or movie, and the shattering sound of an impressive jack hammer.  My nerves are bad today!
Apparently, a few weeks ago in my hip-hop class I hopped a bit too much and fractured my hip!  Who knew??  I have been going to physical therapy for a few weeks instead of the gym and after some x-rays it revealed a hairline fracture.  It's come at a good time; things were starting to get a bit boring around here for a day or so. LOL!

Friday, June 25, 2010


This is my little guys bedroom.  This morning he cleaned his room all nice and tidy.  I walked in to inspect and read what he had written on the chalkboard:
Got to love the youngn'.  He is a card.  He was over my mom's the other day and logged onto Webkinz and said, "Grammy, you need to turn your head, I have to put in my password."  Tee Hee!
Signing out,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Scroll of Remembrance

Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him. "They shall be Mine," says the Lord of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels...
Being with extended family these past few months has surfaced many deep heart issues concerning our life's journey.  Our temporary time here will reflect an eternity of choices made and not made.  I have seen the look of despair, the heavy heart carrying a burden meant for two, and the hollowness in eyes containing  pain and agony.  Trite words and well-wishers of 'better places"  leave you with empty hands and heavy hearts.  No wonder it is so hard to move on from the valley when the One who casts the shadow is not part of you climbing out.  The Light of Christ stands head and shoulders far above all else. My husband has been a lighthouse and tower of strength to his kin because he is marked by God.  He has publicly written his name in the book of remembrance that Malachi talks about in the Old Testament.

The people of Malachi's day had an arrogant attitude towards God.  Their focus was all about self.  But some stood apart and declared their allegiance to God.  In fact, they got together (while the Lord was listening) and wrote their names in a book, or scroll, to state their commitment to God in the midst of pride and arrogance.  They were acknowledging what they stood for and intentional about their focus.  Not an easy declaration in the midst of a selfish culture.  NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED FROM THOSE DAYS!

I have told you before I like lists!  They keep me mindful of my tasks.  One type of lists is a prayer journal.  In that book is a list of praises as well as requests, questions, and names of others not yet written in the scroll of remembrance!

When I was at the hospital, a lady walked up to me whom I had never met before.  After she introduced herself; I easily placed her on the family tree and knew I was speaking with another Christian.  I knew instantly I was with someone who 'loved to think about the Lord.' Our 'lingo' came easily and naturally as we spoke of my sister-in-law lying in the hospital bed.  The Lord graciously allowed me some alone time with Cathy amongst 20 some people at the hospital to say their good-byes that night.  In those precious 15 minutes that I had alone with her there were No interruptions, no nurses, no machines beeping, just her and I.  She could hear me but was not able to talk.  I sang to her, I prayed on her behalf, I told her all about my sweet Jesus, and I petitioned for her soul while she listened.  I am forever grateful.

I also got to speak boldly to some very lost lambs at the funeral.  The Spirit of God carried us through once again.  My heart aches for more names to be written in the scroll.

I am comforted to know that:
1.  God listens to our conversations (yep; the good, the bad, and the ugly)
2.  God hears us when we pray
3.  God remembers those who love, honor, fear, and respect Him
4.  God calls us his special treasure
5.  I am HIS!

God's jewels are those who are faithful to him.  Do you love to think about the Lord?  Have you committed your life to God for eternal safekeeping?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Firefly Show

The other night around 11p.m. hubby called me to the back window.  "Come here, you've got to see this."  In our backyard were hundreds and hundreds of lightening bugs displaying their version of a fireworks show.  I was completely enchanted with all the flickering lights.  I don't know if it is the season of love for these little guys or what but I had to share it with you because my mom texted me last night to say she had a gazzillion as well.  So tonight, look outside and see if they are waiting to show off for you too!

Psalm 111:2
Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Discovering Gifts

There is a book called The Guilt-Free Prayer Journal for Moms that I have been using in my quiet time.  The chapters are brief and poignant and help you focus on one specific area of prayer.  Today's chapter gave me a little "aha" as I read about helping your child(ren) discover their gifts.  She talked about a day of chores around the house and needing help from the kids.  She started with the eldest child knowing he would not be doing cartwheels over the task being asked to do: dusting.   When that was not met with an agreeable face she asked about weeding the garden.  A forlorn look followed by, "okay-sure, if you want me to."  Obviously he didn't want to do that either.  One more try.  "How about hauling manure from the barn?"  He jumped up and headed out the doors with, "Sure!"  This sweaty teen loved using his muscles and being outside.  "I love this.  It feels great to work with my body instead of my brain for a change!", he said.  When used for their intended purpose, kids feel useful and productive.  Instead of exhausting him, it energized him.

In the same way, using the spiritual gifts God bestows us should energize us.

John Eldredge said, "Somehow, we human beings are never happier than when we are expressing the deepest gifts that are truly us."

Our God-given gifts have a great purpose; they are to bless those around us, which then in turn, blesses us!  

So this week I tackled the cleaning of the house in a like manner.  My eldest enjoys cutting the grass so no problem there.  Then I asked my daughter, "WET or DRY?"   The look of 'huh?' was upon her face.  I explained, would you rather vacuum and dust OR clean the bathrooms and floors.  "Oh, I will do the wet!"  Great!   So we split the tasks and she really did a great job but the bonus was that her attitude was very pleasant.  Who knew vacuuming could make her shoulders slump so?

I am getting together a summer activity list including books to read, projects to explore, finding a life-verse and things like that. I also want them to think about how they like to help, and what jazzes them about serving and being with the Lord.  They have been given wonderful, abundant gifts and abilities..  I pray all the time that the Lord would show us their gifts and hone them.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Handle It

We have been told, "God does not give you more than you can handle."  WHERE exactly does it say that in the bible?
In March, my sister-in-law was murdered.  In April, a dear friend's daughter was in a horrible car accident.  This month, my sister-in-law Cathy died from cirrhosis of the liver.  It was so sudden and heart breaking.  Our wounds are so fresh and vulnerable.  My older kids are feeling the weight of lose all around us.  My husband is paper-thin and aching.   If you asked Job if he thought he could 'handle' what God was allowing in his life I am pretty sure he could not wrap his mind around all the devastation thinking, "Sure, I got this!"

Shaking their heads, people will say, "I can't imagine what you are going through."  YEP, that's right--you can't!  Our minds don't ponder or prepare for tragedies.  Indeed, you can play out a scenario in your mind thinking about 'what-ifs' but there are no real day-to-day emotional attachments to those what-ifs.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, "We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed: we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed."

I believe that God DOES allow us to bear more than we can handle.  Let's face it; our measuring sticks our not that long.  We want a comfortable, safe, easy road, not one marked by suffering.  If we truly lived the lives we have planned for ourselves; when would we ever lean on Him or depend on Him????  When life throws hard balls at you that our beyond your capability of grasping them, it is the strength of the Almighty that comes into play.  He shows up with an extra measure of grace and endurance that are a gift during the storm.

Do you know that song...
You are my strength when I am weak, You are the treasure that I seek, You are my all in all.
When I am down you pick me up, when I am dry you fill my cup, You are my all in all.

He definitely gives us more than we can handle.  He gives more blessings, right along with more trails.  All around me, I am hearing how angry someone is with God.  Thankfully, God is big enough and patient enough to let them be angry, although He is not the one to blame.  He grieves right along side of us.  He desires for us to make better choices and include Him in all of them.

Jesus can handle it.  He is our all in all.  TOO, TOO often we bear the burden, believing we are alone in our pain and suffering.  Christ is no stranger to suffering.  He longs to hold our hands and walk through those dark valleys right along side of us.  He is there to keep us from being crushed, giving us hope  to keep pressing on.

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).  In Psalm 138 reads, "I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.  When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need."  In verse 8 it says, "The Lord will work out his plans for my life-for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever."

I pray for all those hurting loved ones, filled with anger, to know the strength and promises of our Creator.  The One who made the universe can handle whatever page of your journey you are on today.