Tuesday, September 30, 2014

31 Days of Life on the Journey

This year will be my third year of participating in the 31 day writing challenge held every October over at the Nester's place. (You really ought to go there.  You will love it!)

In 2012, I wrote on encouragement in my series, "31 Days of Encouragement."  You can read all my posts here.

The following year, my theme was "31 Basics for Believers." Click here to read those posts.

To make things a little different in 2014, I will also be writing in conjunction with the 31 days of free writes over at Heading Home.

I like me a challenge!

I will write each day for 5 minutes on a prompt as it relates to my life on this journey as a Christ-follower, wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker, writer - you know, all those different hats I wear as I try to become what Christ has called me to be. 

I will link each post back to this page. I'd love it if you'd bookmark this page and check in from time to time. I'd especially love it if you would be willing to comment on anything you relate to in my post. We are in this Journey together and we need each other to uplift, inspire and sometimes even correct. :)

The link up begins October 1 at 8 p.m. EST. Until tomorrow ...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Daybook: 09.29.14


Outside my window... a cool beautiful fall morning.  Temp is 54°

I am thinking... about Home today.  I heard this great song by The Martins.  It's been on my flash-drive for months now but this is the first time I really focused and listened to it. Here is the chorus to "Come On In:"

Come on in
Welcome home
You are loved
And you belong here now
No matter where you've been
Come on in
Come on in

Okay, I can't resist sharing this - here is the YouTube version of the whole song:

Be blessed!

I am thankful... for the week off I just had. I enjoyed it immensely.

In the kitchen... it will be pasta night since I have an appointment after work.  It seems that Mondays often end up being some kind of pasta ... tonight's will be traditional spaghetti and garlic bread.

I am wearing... a wild multi-colored tunic and black capris and sandals.  It's supposed to get up to 84° so I'm wearing sandals and capris while I still can!

I am creating...banners.  I made one for our bedroom and now I'm working on one to go in the dining room.  I may have a new obsession ...

I am going...back to work.  Stay-cation is over.

I am reading... I know it's crazy, with having a week off, but I didn't read!  Too many other things grabbing my attention, I guess.

I am hoping...to get back into the groove at work.

I am looking forward to...a trip up to Giant City park.  We are planning on going up there week after next.  There should be some fall leaf color then - I'm already beginning to see some change.

Around the house... things are looking good!

I am pondering... a challenging portion of scripture: Ephesians 5:15-17.  It encourages me to make the most of my time.

A favorite quote for today... 

"If God can use small things to change the course of History, He could even use YOU!"

I saw this on YouTube.  If God can use a small inanimate thing like the rock David threw to kill Goliath and gain a victory for the Israelites, what could He do with a sold-out believer?

One of my favorite things...something newly organized. Right now, I'm loving my storage cabinet in the utility room. And, ta-da!  The new file system is DONE!

A few plans for the rest of the week: I guess you could say this is pamper week, I have appointments both with the nail salon and with my stylist.  The rest of the week I plan to continue getting my 31 Days of Life on the Journey series ready.

A peek into my day...

Because who can resist dreaming about the beach?

The daybook is a concept created by Peggy Hostetler.  You can link up at her blog, The Simple Woman's blog.

Friday, September 26, 2014

F.F.F.: 09.26.14

Let's celebrate the last Friday of September!  It is a gorgeous day outside my window.  Brilliant sunshine, low humidity and a temp of 78°. What more could a girl ask for? Oh yeah, a day off! Heaven on earth.

I ran out of time last week to join the Friday's Fave Five crew because I was so focused on getting ready for a stay-cation. (There's a lot of work to be done if I want a week off ...)

1. That's right, my first highlight of the week was that I've been enjoying a stay-cation.  Much as I would have loved to run out to Colorado for the week to see the grands, the budget didn't allow for that; so I did the next best thing. I've been here at my haven every day except to go to church and make a short road-trip. I've never understood those who say they are bored at home - I can always think of a million things to do. Suffice to say, I did not come close to doing everything on my list. Oh well, I will save it for next time.

2.  My idea of a fun time is to get a project done.  I had one of my blogger friends say that she is not a fan of projects. I respect her feelings; after all, time off should be for relaxing. But to me, improving something brings great joy.  I've had something that has needed to be done for three long years. Yes, I have let something hang over my head for three. Long. Years. A shelving unit in the laundry room has been jam-packed and stuffed with junk ever since the flood.  When we moved back in after remodeling, we stuffed everything we didn't know what to do with inside those shelves.  I walked past it every day trying to look the other way because I just didn't want to deal with it.

Here is the sad evidence of my neglect:

Not a good picture - I couldn't bear to zoom in!
And here is the beautiful after:

3 of the 5 shelves - I couldn't fit the whole thing in

Friends, it only took 3 hours, some 94¢ clear shoe boxes, decorative masking tape and cute labels to make me feel good about walking past those shelves. Totally worth it.

3.  One of the main things I've been doing this week is indulging my love of writing.  I'm joining the 31 day challenge of posting every day in October at the Nester's blog. This is my third year of participating but with a few changes.  First, I'm actually writing ahead! I usually fly by the seat of my pants, telling myself that inspiration is only in that moment. (I don't really believe that, but it sounds good.) Secondly, I'm adapting a list of prompts provided by Kate at Heading Home to my theme. It is such a challenge to look at a word differently from other bloggers and share it from my perspective.  My theme is 31 days of Life on the Journey. I will be sharing vignettes of my life as a believer, wife, mother and grandmother. I hope you will join me, and come by on September 30, at 7 p.m. CST for the link to my posts.

4.  Yesterday, we took a road-trip to Kentucky for catfish, lake sitting and a drive-in movie. Since we knew we wanted to go to the drive-in, we started out rather late in the day.  As we passed through LaCenter, KY, we reminisced about how we used to take Jim's mom out for catfish for her special day there at the Bluegrass Restaurant.  (She has since relocated to her heavenly Home).  On the spur of the moment, we stopped there for catfish.  Later, we drug our stuffed selves out to the van to continue our journey. We arrived at the lake just before dusk.  No one was there. It was like having paradise all to ourselves. 

We did share it with an egret, though. (Is that the correct name? Not sure of bird names ...)

Later we went to the drive-in and watched "When The Gang Stands Tall."  It's a wonderful movie about football with deeper meanings of brotherhood and unity.  The weather was perfect for a drive-in movie; cool enough to have the windows rolled up and the radio tuned to the station that broadcast the sound.  No bugs bothered us during the watching of the movie. (Anybody remember those spiral coils we used to burn on the dashboards of our cars during drive-in movies to keep bugs away? Talk about an accident waiting to happen!)

5.  Quote of the week:

For glory means good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgement, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.
From The Weight of Glory Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

As my thoughts have so much been focused on home this week, this quote by C.S. Lewis resonates with me.  The door to home will open at last - what excitement I'm going to feel on that Day!  Are you planning on being there, too?

Cuteness Alert:  I've been monkeying around with making collages of the twins at PicMonkey. (Pun intended.) Here is just a sample of what I've been doing.

Ok, this actually is two different days the twins were in their car seats because they are dressed differently. I couldn't resist pairing them together. Oh, those cheeks!  How I want to kiss them!

I'm also working on a fall banner for the dining room and a beach banner for a vignette I'm working on for my bedroom. Because I love to dream of the beach when I'm resting.  Those are not done yet, so I will have to share later.

And so ends another week on the Journey.  How did your week go?  Leave a comment, or link up at Susanne's blog, Living to Tell the Story.  We want to hear from you!

Because I said so

When I was a little kid, I was very curious and asked a ton of questions.  My grandpa called me "Worry-wart" because I worried him with my dozens of questions.

Often, my parents would tell me to do something.  Of course, I responded with, "Why?" "Because I said so," became their mantra. They felt I didn't need to know the reason, I should just be obedient and do it.  

The heart of the matter was this: did I trust my parent to do the right thing for me?  They were older, wiser and wanted the best thing for me.  I should just obey unquestioningly.

Don't you think God feels the same way as parents do? He wants us to first trust Him and then immediately obey. Putting off obeying is the same thing as disobedience, by the way.

Those of us who have given our lives to Christ can obey without reservation because He has shown us His unending love by dying for us on the cross.  We can trust in His power by His rising from the dead.  Instead of Him saying, "Because I said so," He proved His authority.

One of the greatest "because" statements He ever said was this:

"Because I live, you will live also." John 14:19

Once you know that deep in your spirit, you don't really have to question.

5 Minute Friday is now hosted by Kate at the blog "heading home." This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. 

Just write.

Also, the most important rule is that you visit the blog of the person who linked up before you and leave some encouragement.  That’s the most fun of all, and the heart of this community.

Did your parents ever tell you, "Because I said so?" Your words are important, so please leave a comment and share.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Use it up!

I'm a quote-collector.  I've been doing it for years.  Currently, I have on my external hard drive five years' worth of quotes.

I love quotes because often different minds will put something in such a way that it resonates with me. "Yes," I will muse, "that is exactly what I think!" 

It feels good to be in the same company as brilliant minds.  No one likes thinking they are the only one who feels a certain way. There's a certain validation in finding another soul in agreement with you.
Erma Bombeck via Google images

One of my heroes is Erma Bombeck.  She combines two of my favorite things in one person - my love of humor and my respect for homemakers and mothers.  I can read one of her books and chuckle the whole time while nodding my head and thinking, "I can so relate."

Among many of her gems is my favorite:

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'.

So often, I hear older people say, "Let the young people do it.  I've done my share."  No, no, no!  I don't read about retirement anywhere in the bible.  Moses was 80 when he and the people of  Israel started their journey out of the promised land. Goodness, Sarah was 90 when she had Isaac!  (I do realize that was by divine intervention, but still!)

Did you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her famous Little House books beginning at age 64 and finishing at 76? (She wrote them out in longhand, too!) Roget retired as a scientist at 70 and began a second career compiling the thesaurus that we all use today. He worked on all the subsequent editions until age 90. Ghandi was 61 when he walked his famous 200 mile Salt March. Ray Kroc began the McDonald's franchises at age 52 and worked until his death at 82. Grandma Moses was a famous painter who didn't pick up a paint brush until 76.  She started painting because her hands became arthritic and she couldn't embroider anymore.  She couldn't stand to sit around and do nothing!

Sometimes our bodies give us limitations but there is always something we can do. We may have to do it at a slower pace but we can still accomplish goals.

What a shame, at the end of our lives, to find out we had untapped talent and never even tried to use it.

No, I want to be like Erma!

Mama's Losin' It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt 2.) Share a quote you love.  If you'd like to read other responses, or link up, visit Kat's blog, Mama's Losin' It.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Daybook: 09.22.14


Outside my window... a lovely cool fall morning. The windows are open to the fresh air.

I am thinking... I'm so excited for this week - a lovely staycation at home.  We are planning a day-trip for later in the week and the rest of the time I will be right here - fluffing and enjoying my nest.

I am thankful... for paid vacations!

In the kitchen... ribs tonight. I hope to be doing some experimenting of new recipes this week as well as putting up some batches of dumplings for the freezer.

I am wearing... blue jean bermudas and a lime green and gold tee. And I'm barefoot ... because I can!

I am creating... some blog posts and some collage pictures of the grands

I am going... no where!

I am reading... well, I'm starting a new book, "Fear has a Name" by Creston Mapes.  I've been advised that once I start, I won't be able to put it down.  I've saved it specifically for vacation for that reason.

I am looking forward to... all the fun things I am going to do this week.  Come visit my blog on Friday and see what I've been doing.

Around the house... projects waiting to be done.

I am pondering... what should be at the top of my to-do list.

A favorite quote for today...

"Home interprets heaven - Home is heaven for beginners." Charles Henry Parkhurst 
Maybe that is why I'm so passionate about home.  It is just a teeny tiny foretaste of my heavenly Home.

One of my favorite things... early mornings.  I love the start of a new day filled with plenty of possibility. I function best in the mornings.  It seems to be the time of day when I get the most ideas.  It's also when I have the most energy.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Each day I will get up and peruse my master to-do list and pick the ones I want to do that day.  If the list doesn't get done, no worries. I will save it for my next staycation in October.

A peek into my day ...

Pretty in pink!

Melts his grandpa's heart!

The daybook is a concept created by Peggy Hostetler.  If you would like to link up, visit her blog, The Simple Woman.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ultimate Comfort Food

When I think of comfort foods, at the top of the list is my Aunt Willa Fern's Chicken and Dumplings.  I don't know how many dumplings she has made in her life time but if there was a hall of fame for dumplings, she would be the #1 contender.

I've been asked to share her recipe that was published in the church cook book.  Enjoy!

Willa Fern's Dumplings


1/2 stick softened oleo or butter (Let me just say here, use real butter.  This is too serious to waste on fake butter!)

3 eggs

Dash of salt and pepper

About 1 1/4 cup of flour

Additional flour for rolling out.


Beat eggs, butter, salt and pepper together; add flour to make a thick dough. Take about 1/4 of dough at a time. Work extra flour into this portion of dough until easy to handle and then roll out very thin.  Cut and drop into boiling broth; cook until tender.  Add chopped cooked chicken.  Serves 4.  Can be doubled or tripled to feed more!

NOTES:  I add about 8 drops of yellow food coloring to the eggs and butter mixture.  Also, it works good for me to melt the butter first.  I also cannot stress enough the importance of splitting the dough into fourths and rolling each portion out as thin as you can make it.  I also let mine dry for at least a half hour (two hours is better) to be good and dry when you drop it into the boiling broth.  I make a big mess in the kitchen when doing it but it is so worth it!

Also, triple the dough if possible and freeze the dumplings uncooked for later meals.  You can drop the frozen dumplings in boiling broth and it cooks great, you just might need to cook a little longer.