Friday, October 30, 2009

Weekend Challenge

Godliness with contentment is great gain.

Am I really content just to have food and clothing?

Most of us here in America really don't even now true hunger.

Seriously, I was thankful for really frustrated with my microwave yesterday. Why? Because the "0" button doesn't work. Yep, I have to heat things for 11 seconds. Or 31 seconds. Very annoying. Do you feel sorry for me yet?

So this weekend, let's try to remember to be content with all that God has provided us.

I would suggest turning of the TV - those commercials won't help!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Colossians 2:6,7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness

I am so thankful for warm flannel sheets...

on cool fall nights.

I'm thankful for a wonderful husband who will be home from a business trip tonight.

And I'm very thankful for...

 Oxy Clean!!

What are you thankful for this week? Check out Welcome to the Nuthouse for other thankful thoughts.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This is a favorite in our house and is very easy to make, either as loaves or muffins. This recipe makes two loaves.


1 cup shortening
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 very ripe bananas - mashed
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.

2.In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition.
Stir in the bananas, mayonnaise, and vanilla
Stir together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Blend the flour mixture into the banana mixture; stir just enough to evenly combine. Do not over-mix.

3. Fold in chocolate chips.

4.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 to 75 minutes. Cool loaf in the pan for 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

For muffins:

Grease muffin tin or use baking cups.

Fill muffin tin or cup 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

*** I believe the original recipe called for 1/2 cup walnuts, but we are a nut free household.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Come Lay ' Em Down

Have you ever just been weary, I mean REALLY weary just from all the day-to-day burdens of this life? Been really down over all the little things?

I've been feeling that way for the last few days.

There are no significant problems in my life, just those ever-present stresses of life in this fallen world. Teenage angst. Conflict at work. Friends that are suffering the loss of a loved one. Family members that are ill. All the usual.

I've just been feeling burdened.

As I was stuck in traffic this afternoon "Lay 'Em Down" by Need to Breathe was playing on the radio and I had a real A-HA moment. We can lay them down at the King's feet. All of our burdens, even the little ones. None are too small.

I spent that "traffic" time in prayer, and laid my burdens down.

Thank you, Lord that You always hear us and lift our burdens.

Thank You for Your promises and the good things You have for us.

Thank You for giving us the grace to get through the tough times and the promise of eternity with You.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not Me! Monday October 26 2009

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not swish around the dirty clothes soaking in a bucket in the laundry room and then wipe my hands on a blue towel, only to realize they smell strangely like bleach!

I have never used the kitchen towels to wipe up dog pee. I am always on top of our household inventory and would never run out of paper towels.

I did not utter a minor cuss word in church when the organ went out during worship. For that matter, I would never go several months without checking the tubes to make sure the minor worship emergencies don't happen.

**Yes, I failed to mention here that I am the organist, so I was sitting in front of 350 people playing the organ when suddenly it stopped making sound. Yep. It was bad.

I have not, even once swore when being woke up at 5:30 in the morning again by this crying cat.

Nor have I thrown rocks at it.

Or shot a BB at it.

I would never speed up when seeing this cat cross the street in front of my car because I love when cats that aren't mine poop in my garden, leave dead things in my driveway, get my dogs all riled up, and wake me up at 5:30 every morning by crying in my window - apparently wanting to get into my house!

I have not thought about leaving a strongly worded letter in my neighbors mail box about their neglected cat.

Nor have I thought about dropping this "stray" off at the humane society.

Nope not me!

Saturday, October 24, 2009



Can I start a post with a sigh? Is it a terrible breach of blog etiquette?

For all of you who have a teenager, I'm sure you understand.

Nothing sums up today quite like a big, long, heartfelt sigh.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekend Challenge October 23, 2009

-Philippians 4:8

It's so easy to get consumed with the troubles of this world. Finances. Health. KIDS. Health care reform. Strained relationships.

Is what you are seeing on TV pure? lovely? admirable?
How is it affecting your thoughts? your heart?

This weekend I will choose to look for the pure, to dwell on the many blessings that God has given me, and to truly be thankful.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Colossians 2:6,7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

I have many things to be thankful for this week.

First, I am so thankful that we have a Sovereign God who is in control even when the world seems to be spinning out-of-control.

I am so thankful for a warm house on this chilly fall day.

I am thankful for neighbors with beautiful leaves...

Seeing as mine completely skipped turning colors and went straight to falling down.

I'm sure tonight I will be thankful for hats, mittens, and wool blankets as I sit outside in 30 degree weather to watch T's football game!

What are you thankful for this week? Check out Welcome to the Nuthouse for other thankful thoughts.

A Dragons Loyalty

First I would like to give a very BIG thanks to Michelle at My Little Spot on the Web for this award - thank you, thank you, thank you. If you have not checked out her blog, please do so! This award is to honor those blog readers who visit your blog day-in and day-out - through the good and the bad.

Now, with this award comes responsibility to follow the following rules:

1) If you have a blog, post it on your blog with a link back to the site who gave it to you;
2) Leave them a comment on their site, email, etc. to let them know;
3) If you don't have a blog but have a website, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or other type account, post there with a link back;
4) Pass this on to 3-10 loyal fans

Ok, drum roll please....

I gladly pass the award along to my friends:

1. Ok, this probably isn't in the rules, but really I must send it right back to Michelle because really, she's the best. I love her blog and her book reviews. Seriously, check it out.

2.Sara at There She Grows who always has amusing stories of her two precious girls.

3. Jan. Yes you. Thank you for being such a wonderful sister in the Lord, prayer warrior, and friend. I am so blessed to have you in my life.

4. Melanie, whose blog inspires, encourages, and exhorts women to grow in their faith.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Meet Lexi

This is Lexi, otherwise know as Beagle #1. Yes, we have three.

Lexi is the alpha female of our "pack". She is very smart and well-behaved.

Today was a big day for her - she had the privilege of being in a public service announcement.

That's right, Beagle #1 will be on TV.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Me Monday October 19

Welcome to another Not Me Monday!

I most certainly did NOT respond to my husband's comment on our pork chops by screeching "Then cook them yourself!" Nope, not me. I'm would always respond respectfully!

I never even for a moment thought about using this:

In the battle of the ficus tree.

Nope, not me!

I was not standing over the stove this morning trying to figure out why the eggs were cooking so slowly, only to discover that I had turned the wrong burner off when the sausage was done. This did not happen because I stayed up too late last night reading a great book by Karen Kingsbury. I always start out the week well rested!!

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekend Challenge Update - the Ficus Tree

14Do everything without complaining or arguing,
15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

Do everything without complaining or arguing. That was the challenge.

And boy was it a challenge today!

Yes, that is a tree. A very large tree. In my living room.

Yes, I did manage to help carry it in and make room for it without complaining or arguing. Yes, I definitely bit my tongue at least once.

My wonderful husband is the decorator in our house, and has always done a great job of it. But I have to admit that I really did NOT like the giant ficus. Not at all.

However keeping that to myself (as much as I could - it's hard to control the facial expressions!) really made for a much more peaceful afternoon. Obeying God is always a blessing.

Now that he has trimmed it, I think I might get used to it. I'll either learn to like it.....

Or have a very interesting "Not Me" for next week!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekend Challenge

Are you ready to be challenged this weekend? ready to grow?

These verses come from Philippians Chapter 2:

14Do everything without complaining or arguing,
15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

Do everything without complaining or arguing. This is my goal for the weekend.

Yes, it sounds a little crazy. It won't be easy. Honestly, if my thoughts count I will fail!

I you choose to join me, please leave a comment - I'd love to hear how it goes!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh My...

What usually follows those two words?

Does that bother you?

Think about it for a minute....

God, the Author of the universe, Creator of all things, who formed you in the womb and called you by name. God, who loved us enough to send His Son to live a sinless life, suffer many things, and die on the cross as the atonement for your sins - and His holy name is used as a term of surprise or disgust. The name of God, used as a four-letter filth word.

And yet I hear Christians utter those three words far more often than I can tolerate. Honestly, once is more than I can tolerate.

What has happened? Have we lost all sense of reverence for the Lord's name? The Israelites in OT times were so afraid of accidentally using the Lord's name in vain that they would never say or write it, yet Christians here in America think nothing of it.

If it bothers me this much, what must God think of it?

So please, let's keep His name holy. Let's use it for singing His praises or sharing His gospel, not voicing our disgust.

Lord, give us the grace to keep Your name holy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Take Every Thought Captive

2 Corinthians 10:5 (New International Version)

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Though I've read it many times, this verse really struck me last week.

Take every thought captive. Every thought. That's tough!

I have been striving to put this into practice over the past week, and have found that it is transforming my marriage.

It's so easy to slip into "oh poor me" thoughts when my husband is harsh with me right when he comes in the door, forgets something that was important to me, or just doesn't seem to pay any attention to me.

Normally any of those things would result in me treating him poorly as well. That has not been very effective. It usually ends in a bigger argument.

And really it is a sin. God has provided me with a wonderful husband, and when I choose to look for faults, I find them. When I choose to be a victim, I am one.

But when I choose to love and serve my husband even when he is gruff, I honor God. When I take the "poor me" thought captive, I see it as a sin. It is a failure to be thankful for the husband that God has provided for me, and it is a failure to respect my husband (Eph 5:33). When I respond lovingly to him, I am sharing the love of God with him. He is blessed by it, and things have been so much more peaceful at home. What a blessing!

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Training myself to take each thought captive is hard but possible... by grace alone.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not Me Monday October 12 2009

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I was not so pleased to have a morning with the house all to myself that I drove T to school in my PJ's so I could go right back to bed when I got home. I would never go out in my PJ's, and if I had a morning off I would do something much more useful than sleep. Like cleaning, or baking, or something productive!

And I certainly did not let the beagles sleep with me on that very same morning. They are never allowed on the furniture.

And I was not the least bit disappointed when my quiet morning at home came to a screeching halt when the school nurse called because T was sick.

I never once used the 5 second rule for anything I fed my family this week.

Nope. Not me!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Greetings From the Frozen Tundra

And yes, though it is only early October, the tundra is indeed frozen.

As is the baby tree that I did not cover.

And the plants that I forgot to bring in last night.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Amazing Grace

"The Lord has promised good to me.
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures."

This is a not-so-familiar verse from the famous hymn "Amazing Grace". We never sing this verse in our church, presumably because the first line seems, at first glance at least, so...weak. Or maybe a little too much like "trust Jesus and you will be happy, healthy, and wealthy for the rest of your life" - which, by the way, is NOT the gospel. Please, if you are unsure of what the gospel is take a few minutes to watch this short video.

But it does seem to me that there is truth to this verse. The Lord HAS promised good to me. In Romans 8 we read this:

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

"For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God has not promised us an easy life on this earth. We are NOT promised our best life now. We are not promised earthly wealth, perfect kids, and an always-happy marriage. We will get sick. We will struggle with sin. Our children might rebel. We may be poor. We might be persecuted, even unto death, but God has promised us that none of these things will separate us from the love of God.

Yes, the Lord HAS promised good to me. His Word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures. By His grace alone.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What Has Happened to my Child??

Has something strange seem to have come over your once-so-cute-and-sweet child?

Do they now ask you to drop them off a block away from the mall and slide down in the seat so no one can see them when you pass a group of their friends?

Have they ever consumed 3 boxes of Velveeta Shells and Cheese, 3 Red Bulls, 2 bags of marshmallows and one one bag of Doritos all in one evening?

Have they ever climbed a tree and refused to come down until you promise to never make them get a haircut?

Are you now the dumbest person your child has ever met....unless of course they need help with Algebra?

If you answered yes to any of these....welcome to adolescence. If not, it's never to early to start praying!

And yes, my lovely son has actually done all of these things. Even the tree climbing incident. Today I was so happy he came home from school in a good mood that I texted my husband to share the good news!

But honestly, while I see him growing into a young adult I'm also seeing God turn me into a more mature Christian. And maybe....just maybe I am seeing a little better how He must view us, the children (or teenagers??) of God.

Is failing to confess Christ a little like being dropped off around the corner from the mall?

Do I fill myself with "junk food" - movies, books, etc - instead of the solid food of the Word of God?

Is purposely ignoring the hard Scriptures ( Submit to your husbands anyone?) a little like climbing the tree and saying "No, God, that doesn't fit with how I think? That's not what I want to hear?"

Yes, I am definitely a sinner saved by grace. A lot of grace. I'm glad God has more patience with me than I do with my teen!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Me!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I most certainly did NOT bake a loaf of Mckmama's Beer Bread only to eat the entire loaf in a day, and then bake another one to cover my tracks!

I would NEVER allow my son to top his waffles with chocolate frosting, powdered sugar, and ice cream. We only have healthy breakfasts in our house.

I definitely did not let my son sleep over at a friend's house on a Saturday night just so I could have a nice evening ALONE with my husband, I always do what's in his best interest!

I have never had a case of baby envy, not even after spending an evening with these guys:

Sunday, October 4, 2009


What a refreshing weekend!
Yesterday we had a great time of fellowship and food at Andy and Jessica Olson's. There were many families with small children so we borrowed one for the evening!

It was so nice to have an evening to spend with other believers talking about our common salvation.

T's football team finally scored their first touchdown of the season. They're small but they are improving.

Pastor preached a great sermon on the golden calf this morning. I love Sundays!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Diving In

I've spent a few days trying to decide on the perfect thing to say for my first post. I was thinking of a profound essay on who I am, or some deep theological insight. I've since realised that I won't ever write anything if I don't just dive in. So here goes...

Last night I was sitting in our library sipping a nice cup of tea, ready to spend some time soaking in God's word. I opened my MacArthur Daily Bible, said a short prayer, and began to read in Isaiah 53....when someone started watching a video across the hall. Loudly. I sighed, closed the door and turned back to the Scriptures...when T started shouting about the enemy around the corner - in a video game I presume. It occured to me that though I am really not a morning person I am going to have to get up early if I really want a quiet time with the Lord.

This morning my alarm went off at 5:30. Way to early for anyone to be alive...but very quiet. And COLD. As I was thinking about actually crawling out of bed, my hubby pulled me close, and it was so nice. And then I prayed. I prayed for him and his challenges at work. I prayed for T and all that we are facing with him these days. I prayed for our church and for Pastor Ryan's church plant. I prayed until 6:15. And I got out of bed feeling more refreshed and ready for the day than I ever have. All without having to venture out of my warm bed.

While I'll still have to contend with the distractions while I try to read the Bible tonight, I think early morning prayer time will be a regular thing from now on. By God's grace.