Thursday, July 2, 2015

I'd rather be a ...

Photo by freedesignfile.com
Summer is the absolute best time to be a kid. Whenever school lets out, I start thinking back to when I was a kid.

I sure had it good then! 

Today, I'm remembering the top 10 reasons why life was good when I was a kid:

10.  As a kid, I slept as long as I wanted.  Now, as an adult, I have only one, ONE, day a week that I might sleep in - and what happens?  My internal clock wakes me up at the usual time and then there is no sleeping for me.

9.  As a kid, I never worried about what to wear. Shorts and a tank top sufficed. Who cared if they looked good together? Comfort was key. Although I am all about comfort even now, as a Mom and Mimi, shorts must be a certain length and sleeveless tops are a no-no. It's important to me that my clothes match and look good. I'm doing my part keeping America beautiful. 

8.  In my childhood days, I went barefoot as much as possible, indoors or out.  Now my barefoot days are strictly inside the house.

7.  I've always loved to read. I used to spend days reading one book right after another. Now, I'm lucky to finish a book in a week.

6.  Meals magically appeared on the table when I lived with mom and dad.  I didn't cook them, plan them or have to pay for them. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I even had to help clean up after a meal. It's a different story nowadays when it seems a good portion of my days are spent thinking about meals, cooking, serving and cleaning up afterwards.

5.  I spent a lot of time in my childhood in my imagination, acting out stories for fun. I made up new stories daily. I just didn't. Write. Them. Down. The difference now is that I do write them down instead of acting them out. (After all, it would be weird for a grown woman going around pretending to be a spy or a scientist.)

4.  I stayed up as late as possible as a kid during summer. I thought I was really something if I got to stay up and watch all of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Nowadays, it is a special treat if I can be in bed by 9 p.m.

3.  I spent a lot of time in my room, reading, dreaming or just chilling. No one ever bugged me. (Well, sometimes my brother did, but not often.) As an adult, it can be difficult to find even 15 minutes to be alone.

2.  I could eat anything as a child.  Actually, I still can, but now there are consequences.

1. The number one reason I loved being a child was no responsibilities. I never worried how much groceries cost, how the light bill would get paid or how to provide Christmas gifts for the family. If something was broken, my parents took care of it.

Ahh, it was a great life.

BUT, if I was still a kid living that life, I wouldn't have my husband, kids or my grandkids. There'd be no internet, cell phones, or Netflix. I've grown used to making my own decisions and running my household my way...

The truth is, I have a great life now, too. I'm thankful!


Mama’s Losin’ It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt # 5. Who has it better, kids or adults? List 10 reasons why you would rather be one over the other. Which would you rather be? Comment below, or link up your own post at Mama's Losin' It.

What We Learned in June


What We Learned in June

I started off June by thinking about my 2015 Word of the Year. What was it??? How sad that I could not remember off the top of my head and I had to go look it up!  It's even more sad when I realized what the word was.

Intentional... my word of the year, my goal, was to be "intentional."

How can you be intentional if you don't remember to do so? 

I pulled out my trusty bullet journal and added a column on the side of my daily pages labeling it "WWL."  My aim was to jot down everything that struck me as worthy of thought as I went through my day.  Most days it worked really well. Other days, you can tell I didn't think about much!

Here is a sampling of what struck my fancy in June:

I listened to a recording of Beth Moore speaking at the Passion conference in 2014 and a couple of her quotes stood out to me:  "The prophetic word in scripture is now more and more relevant today than it meant to your grandparents." (So true! The news each day sounds more and more like the last days spoken of in scripture.) "(We're) One day closer to seeing a glimpse of Him!"

What a day that will be!

On another June day, I listened to Priscilla Shirer's 2013 RightNow Conference speech, "Abundantly Beyond What We Could Ask For." Powerful!  Here is what struck me:  

  • "If only you had believed that exactly what He wrote is what He meant!"  
  • "The key to battle is beginning with worship. (See the story of Gideon.)"
  • "Wage war using divine strategy (not what makes sense to you)"
  • "Your victory is on the other side of obedience."


In light of recent events, this scripture spoke to me:
The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. Psalm 103:6 New Living Translation (NLT) 

In late June, I spent a lot of time wrapping my mind around the fact that a gunman would sit in a prayer meeting for an HOUR and then shoot and kill 9 people. 

But what was really mind-blowing, the families of those 9 people told the gunman they forgave him. That, my friends, demonstrates Christ better than anything!

The end of June brought the infamous SCOTUS ruling on marriage and social media exploded with everyone voicing their opinion.

What I learned was, although I might have strong feelings about the court's decision, I need to respond in love. I also need to remember that the church's message has always been, and shall forever more be, counter-cultural. We do not think the way the world does. We can not expect them to live by the teachings of Jesus when they don't even believe in Him. 

Believers need to remember to:
"... in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,"1 Peter 3:15 English Standard Version (ESV) 

I also read a thought-provoking post by Kristin Welch that encouraged me to "....spend less ... give more," and, "It’s easy to be right. It’s easy to ignore the needs of others." - See more at: http://wearethatfamily.com/#sthash.WQlsEwS6.dpuf" 

Ouch!

And lest you think June was nothing but solemn and serious, on the bright side, there were fun times and special celebrations. Our family celebrated Father's Day and Malia's 22nd birthday together. And there was a day spent celebrating that two very important people joined our family one year ago:



So... what about you?  Did you learn anything in June that you'd like to share with us? Leave a comment or link up at Emily Freeman's blog.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Daybook: 06.29.15

For Today... the last Monday of June, 2015


Outside my window... sunshine and gorgeous weather. It was 72° when I got up this morning. How I would have loved to go on a road trip instead of work today ....

I am thinking...of everything that happened this week, and wondering how I, as a Christian, should respond. One thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that I am committed to living the first and greatest commandment, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind," and also, the second commandment:  "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Does loving everyone mean ignoring their sin - or worse, support them in their sin? Of course, not. But rude, hateful and unloving comments will change no one's mind and even drive them further away.

The word says the world will know we are Christ-followers by our love. My prayer is that He will help me live this out by being loving and yet standing for truth.

I am thankful... God is with me every step of the way. He promised to be with me always - even to the end of the world (which looks closer every day.)

I am wearing... a fun teal, black, white and tan zebra top and black cropped pants. So comfy!


I am going... to Florida to visit my mom.


I am reading... "Double Cross" by DiAnn Mills


In my garden... my flowers are growing, and I pray they survive while I am gone.


In my kitchen... meatloaf has been requested so tonight's the night. I'm also making Easy Cheese Potatoes and Strawberry Mousse.


A favorite quote for today...

“Worship is not an experience. Worship is an act, and this takes discipline. We are to worship ''in spirit and in truth.'' Never mind about the feelings. We are to worship in spite of them.” ― Elisabeth Elliot (as seen on Facebook)

A peek into one of my days... on Saturday, Mr. Brody got his first haircut!


Before


After

One of my favorite things... coming home to a clean kitchen. I especially like it when the sun is streaming in the windows on my clean shiny counter-tops. I always try to have the kitchen in order before I walk out the door in the morning.


From the board room... what I am trying out tonight ...


Strawberry Mousse
Recipe and Photo found at Simply Stacie



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

Friday, June 26, 2015

Lesson Learned

I participate in a weekly writer's challenge that gives you 5 or 6 prompts for you to choose as a theme for your blog post. This week, there were two that resonated with me. One was a Throwback Thursday theme which I wrote about here. The other prompt spoke to me as a good theme to write about at Arabah Joy's weekly link-up, Grace & Truth, "Share a lesson you learned from your Father that still sticks with you to this day."

Grace&Truth-300x300

I'm learning so many lessons from my Father in His parable, "The Prodigal Son," which I think is a perfect subject to write about because it is the truth and it is all about grace.

The truth is, you can always turn around and go Home.

No matter how deep in the pigpen mire you may be, when you come to yourself, and say I'm going back to my Father, you can. If there was something you've done, some perversion you participated in, that was so terrible God couldn't forgive ... that would make that sin greater than God, and we know that is not true. 

Our God is all powerful and can defeat any chain of sin trying to hold us back.

There is only one thing that would keep Him from forgiving and that would be if we didn't ask. He has given us free choice and He will never force us to come to Him. (I do think sometimes He arranges events that would turn our thoughts toward home ...)

Don't forget the turn around part, though. So many think they can whisper a prayer and keep on in their sin and it will be okay.

God is a holy righteous God and cannot abide sin. Don't think He will wink and look the other way.

The Road to My Childhood Home
But if you make up your mind and turn towards the way Home - away from all the bad stuff - He will help, lead and guide.

Which is what grace is all about, my friend. No, the prodigal didn't deserve royal treatment from the Father, but he got it anyway because the Father loves so much.


‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’  (Luke 15:22-24 ESV)

Yes, my Father teaches much in this parable, but the thing that sticks with me is this:  you can always turn around and go Home.

Friday's Fave Five - 06.26.15

Can you believe it is the last Friday in June already? Tuesday will be the end of the second quarter - a reminder I'm sure all bookkeepers will love.

I'm so glad I link up each Friday with a group of wonderful bloggers who pause to reflect on the highlights of their week. Sometimes great blessings are shared, sometimes just small everyday gifts, but all worthy of thanks.

1. Last Saturday, the girls - and the twins - went yard saling with me. The babies were good, the weather relatively cool, and the cloudy skies did not actually dump water on us. (Good thing, because Friday evening the flood waters fell. Thankfully my house did not get flooded, but several businesses in the town where I work had to close due to water over the roads.)

2. Sunday, of course, was Father's Day. The family all met at Jim's favorite restaurant, Delmonico's, and enjoyed a nice meal. We missed having Daniel with us; hopefully, next year, we will be able to celebrate with two fathers at our family get-together.

3. Bananas in Red Stuff - Have you ever been to a buffet and noticed bananas in red stuff on the salad bar?  My kids always loved it but I wasn't sure exactly how to make it. Was it frozen strawberries pureed and poured over bananas or what? The answer to my question was found in the book "Come Home to Supper" by Christy Jordan. She reveals the secret:  strawberry glaze that is used for strawberry pies is the "red stuff."  I happened to see some in the produce section this week and made it for dinner.  Let me just say that the twins are wild for it! Baylee, especially, was heartbroken when the bowl was "gone-gone." I'm pretty happy to find an easy-peasy dessert to add to the rotation! 

4. I'm excited the string of mid-ninety degree days has been broken. Lower 80s today and the next week has been forecast. I'm not a fan of high heat so I count this as a gift from the good Lord.

5. Quote of the week: 

What do you think amazed Jesus? While there are many instances in the four Gospels of people being amazed at Jesus’ words and works, there are only two times when we read of Jesus being amazed at something (or “marveling” at something). Both times, He was amazed at faith—once when He found it where He least expected it (Luke 7:9) and once where He didn’t find it when He most expected it (Mark 6:6). Faith, or its absence, is apparently a subject of amazement to Jesus. He works in its presence (Luke 7) and doesn’t work in its absence (Mark 6).… David Jeremiah, Turning Point Devotional, June 24, 2015 “Amazing!”


I don't know about you but I'd rather amaze Jesus with my faith than disappoint Him with a lack of faith.

And so ends another week on the Journey. How did your week go? Leave a comment and share, or link up at Susanne's space, Living to Tell the Story, and tell your story.



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday: On Our Way

One year ago this month, we were on our way to meet the newest members of our family.


Airplane Selfie On Our Way to Denver

We were beyond excited to meet our grandtwins who were born June 6, 2014.  What a journey it has been.

It really shouldn't have been surprising because after giving birth three times, I already knew how once you've made eye contact with your sweet baby, you are a goner for life.

Grandchildren are no different.




The moment I laid eyes on my sweet Baylee and Brody, life was never the same. There were two more to think about, pray for and love on. What a blessing!

I think God uses parenthood - and grand-parenthood - to teach us many many lessons. Learning life is not all about you, patience and sacrifice are just some of the bigger things we master on this parenting journey. But I think the biggest thing we learn is about love. The love that swells up inside us when we meet our flesh and blood is only a fraction of the love God has for His creation.

For your steadfast love is great above the heavens;    your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.... Psalm 108:4 ESV

Even more than Baylee and Brody can count on my always loving them, every believer can count on the love God has for them - unwavering, immeasurable and infinite. 

Mama’s Losin’ It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt # 1. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from a previous June and write a poem or a blog post. I chose our photo from last June taken on our trip to Denver, CO.

Do you have a throwback Thursday pic to share?  Link up at Kat Bouska's blog, Mama's Losin' It, and tell us all about it!



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Daybook: 06.22.15

(Again, finishing up on a Tuesday ....)

For Today... Monday, June 22nd


Outside my window... a hot June day with sunshine - such a relief after the rains on Friday!

I am thankful... the flash flooding did not come near my property this time. However, on Friday, part of the town was blocked off due to rising flood waters.

I am wearing... purple print maxi with a with peasant blouse I found yard saling. It's so rare when I buy clothing at yard sales that actually works for me ...

I am reading... "Between Us Girls," by Sally John. Actually, I just finished it.  I only wish I could live at Casa del Vida ...

I also finished "The Furious Longing of God" by Brennan Manning.  It was very good and gave me a lot to consider. Most likely, I will be sharing quotes from his work in future posts.

In my garden... almost all my flowers are growing ...

In my kitchen... a quick hamburger skillet recipe as it had been a veryyy long day. Banana snacking cake rounded out the menu. (I find if I can squeeze in a dessert, then the troops are happier with whatever main dish I serve ...)

A favorite quote for today...

If you fail one day, just CONTINUE the next day
... Style N Season

So many times, we give up totally if we fail one time. Tomorrow is always a fresh start. Begin again!

A peek into one of my days...


One of my favorite things...

our ice crusher on our new fridge. It's the little things ...


From the board room... here's a couple pins I'm considering making this week:

Impossibly Easy Chicken Club Pie
Impossibly Easy Chicken Club Pie Recipe and Photo via Betty Crocker

Or perhaps ....

BBQ Chicken Pinwheel Bake
BBQ Chicken Pinwheel Bake Recipe and Photo via I Wash ... You Dry


The daybook is a concept created by Peggy Hostetler.  If you would like to link your own daybook page, visit her site, The Simple Woman's Blog.