Monday, March 31, 2014

Get To Know You Monday

As I completed my Monday routine of grocery shopping for the week, I knew I was coming home to a blank blog page for the day and thought I would probably just pull up some dusty ol' draft and wrap it up quickly so I could have something to publish for the day.  That's what I thought... until I opened my email to see I had been tagged by Robin over at robincharmagne.com to participate in Get To Know Me Monday.  Oh yeh... I am so up for that!

That's me.  From just under a year ago.  Geez, I should probably consider updating a photo sometime soon.  But I keep telling myself I'll do it as soon as I hit my first goal weight.  Yeh... still waiting on that one. That's a struggle for a whole 'nother post.

1. Are you named after anyone? Yes, my first name came from my great grandmother on my father's side.
2. When was the last time you cried? Um... I  can't remember fpr sure.  But I have a strong feeling it was when I was PMSing last month.
3. Do you have kiddos? Yep - two offspring.  One female, one male. And an adorable little 2 yr old grandson!
4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? Probably.  Then again, I argue with myself all the time - so maybe not.  LOL
5. Do you a guilty pleasure? Watching Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.  I came late to the GoT bandwagon.  We watched all the first 3 seasons this winter and just finished last week in time for season 4 premiere this Sunday! And how perfect did it work out that WD season finale was yesterday (NO spoilers please - I'm watching to night!!) I can transition right from one guilty pleasure to another without a break.
6. Do you like your handwriting? Mostly yes.  Except for when I have to write numbers. I don't like how I write those.
7. What’s your favorite cereal? This might fall back in that "guilty pleasure" category.  I love sickly sweet kids cereals, especially Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms, and FrootLoops. Yeh... I'm 12 years old at heart.
8. What’s the first thing you notice about people? Whether or not they are smiling.
9. What is your eye color? Blue.  Like blue, blue.  They are my favorite feature.  People comment all the time on how blue they are.  Some even ask if I wear contacts.
10. Scary movie or happy endings? Hmmm.. maybe A scary movie with a happy ending!
11. Favorite tv show? See #5. Oh, and my daughter has completely gotten my hooked on Dr Who. I probably sound like an uber-geek now, don't I?
12. Summer or Winter? While the real answer is Autumn or Spring - I'm the crazy gal who is gonna pick Winter for this.  I much prefer Winter over the summer heat.
13. Hugs or Kisses? BOTH!
14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? The Grand Canyon.  We took a road trip out west to visit my grand daddy in New Mexico.
15. Do you have any special talents?
16. Where were you born? Right down (up?)the road in Asheville NC
17. What are your hobbies? Reading, crocheting, and crafting
18. Do you have any pets? One dog.  One cat.  The fewest we've had in a while!
19. Favorite movie? All time fav - Gone With the Wind. I so wanted to be Scarlett O'Hara when I was growing up.  Also all the old Molly Ringwald movies - 16 Candles, The Breakfast Club, etc.
20. What color is your car? Dark gray
21. What do you want to be when you grow up? I am still trying to figure that one out.  Yikes!


HEY - This was kind of fun!  Anyone else got any questions for me?  You might just get an entire blog post written as an answer!



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Friday, March 28, 2014

Jonah Beyond The Whale (repost)

This week I am linking up with SheReadsTruthcom for #SheSharesTruth. 
Every Monday during Lent, SheReadsTruth assigns a portion of Scripture to study and write about. Friday is the day we share what we’ve learned by writing in our own spaces and linking to that here. This weeks assignment was: 
 Jonah Beyond The Whale was originally posted to My Really Real Reality on November 14, 2012. But I felt it was worth sharing again as it reflected my thoughts and feelings about these chapters.


Most of us know the story of Jonah.  The fellow God calls to "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me"(Jonah 1:2).  But Jonah doesn't feel up to the task God has placed before him, and runs away.  What does this act of disobedience earn him?  Three days in the stomach of a whale!  That's what!

But the story doesn't end there.

After three days of prayer, and after having been vomited up by a big ol' fish, Jonah follows God's command and heads to Nineveh to let them know they have stirred the wrath of God and will be destroyed in 40 days.  The king dresses himself in sackcloth, sits in the dust, and orders the entire city to do the same and to fast. God sees how they have turned from their evil ways and has compassion upon them.

And what does Jonah do at that point?  Does he give thanks to God for his mercy on Nineveh?  Nope!  He got his old Testament panties all up in a twist, went out into the desert and had a good ol' pout about all of it.

publicdomainpictures.net

Isn't that what so many of us do when God doesn't do exactly what we wanted or expected of him?  We pout.  We complain.  We get angry at God.  We separate ourselves from Him and place ourselves into a spiritual desert.  All the while blaming Him for what is our reaction.

God doesn't deny us things to disappoint us.  If he doesn't give us what we wanted or do what we expected it is because while we only see what is in front of us at the time - He sees the bigger picture.  He has a plan for all eternity which we can't begin to understand.

Scripture tells us in Romans 8:28 that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." 

Did you catch that?  "In all things"  Not just in some things.  Not just in the things we want.  All things.  Even in our disappointments.  Even when it's not what we expected.  It's still for our good. 

I don't want to be Jonah.  Not in the whale after trying to run and hide.  Not in the desert under the worm eaten vine exposed to the scorching sun and wind. I want to be the one to "Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)  The one who has learned "be content in any and every situation" (Philippians 4:12)


**many MANY thanks to Falen at Upward Not Inward whose Jonah post got me thinking about all of this in the first place and originally inspired this post**
 


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: March 27

I Am Thankful For:

The grand baby starting to recognize letters
Winnie the Pooh movie
The offspring sharing the Man of the House's sense of humor
Silly family puns
Bright sunny morning
Dinner with Dad
Water leak fixed by Man of the House
Crocheted Tiger (Tigger) hat
https://www.etsy.com/listing/183914580/tiger-tigger-hat-baby-child-beanie
 Crocheted Winnie the Pooh hat

https://www.etsy.com/listing/183920323/winnie-the-pooh-inspired-hat-baby-child
Lazy Sundays
The Man of the House making dinner all weekend
Crochet weary fingers
Cold morning wind on my face
The daffodils in yard have bloomed
March snow
Cresent moon bright and low in sky
Snow crunching under my feet in the darkness
The Man of the House painting living room trim
Psalm 19
Sun making the ice sparkle



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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pride

"Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind" ~ C S Lewis (Mere Christianity)

Pride. 

Thinking I can handle things independent of God.
That I've got this.

That I knows what is best for me. 

Thinking of MY wants.. MY feelings. Above others. 

Holding grudges because I am too proud to let go of the hurt and just forgive.  

It all comes down to the sin of Pride. 


 Humility is the answer.  

Humbling myself before God so that I am able to love Him with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength, and all my mind.

Thinking less of myself and more of others so I can love them as myself.  

Letting go of the pride.

Letting in the love.



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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Passed Over

"Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning.  When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down." ~ Exodus 12:21 - 23

http://plantsinthebible.com/hyssop.php

Just as the Israelites covered their doorway so God would know them as His own and would not allow death to enter, but rather granted them life... I have been covered by the blood of the ultimate sacrificial lamb, Jesus. 

http://www.pastor-frank.com/


Because of this He will recognize me as His own.  He will not give me over to death.  I will be passed over.  And He will give me eternal life in His kingdom! 

Just knowing this makes me want to sing His praises!!




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Monday, March 24, 2014

Water into Wine

Jesus at the wedding - turning water into wine.  His first miracle. (John 2:1-11)

I have read this story so many times.  Today I saw it with new eyes.

Jesus took the water - the everyday, mundane, colorless, odorless, tasteless - and through His power turned into wine. 



Not just any wine.  What the master of ceremonies called "the best" wine.  Rich, sweet, flavorful, deeply colored.

He still performs this sort of miracle everyday. Taking our everyday.  Our boring. Or mundane. And turning it into something special with His glories.  The ordinary can be miraculous!

Pay attention!  It's happening all around us!



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Friday, March 21, 2014

Springing Ahead

Spring is in the air my friends! We have made it through the dark, cold winter.  The big warm up is in front of us.

Despite the fact that they are forecasting a chance of a wintry mix early next week; I am choosing to look forward to the warmer days ahead and planning my Spring To-Do list!


http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=35255&picture=spring

  • Visit NC Arboretum to see all the Spring flowers in bloom
  • Go to tailgate market to purchase some fresh Spring veggies
  • Read outside
  • Spend more time on back porch
  • Start an herb garden
  • Clean windows - inside and out
  • Hike!
  • Give my self a bright Spring-like pedicure
  • Dine outside
  • Eat my weight in jelly beans 
  • Walk outside more and on treadmill less
  • Buy sidewalk chalk. Make a mural (or write love notes to the Man of the House) on the driveway
  • Color Easter eggs with the family
  • Fill a vase with fresh flowers
  • Go berry picking
  • Make a new wreath or other decoration for front door

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Winter Reflections

It's official friends!  Winter is over!  Well, at least according to the calendar, but we all know that old man Winter will likely try to hang on a bit longer.  But the schedule says it's time for Spring, and while I don't mind Winter it is time for it to move on and give Spring her time in the spot light.

Now that winter is wrapped up, I wanted to take a look at my Winter To-Do list and see how many items I am able to mark off for this season.

  • Go for a walk in the snow
  • Begin working to building up inventory for Queen B's Busy Work
  • Make homemade cocoa mix
  • Finish at least the first book in the Game of Thrones series I have not finished it, but I am working on it!
  • Work out more frequently
  •  Bake some bread (I've got a bread maker around here somewhere)
  • Come up with a brilliant Valentine idea to surprise the Man of the House
  • Clean out and organize the storage closet (seems like a good project for a cold winter's day) 
Not too shabby. Now... on to Spring!!

A Spirit of Gratitude: March 20

This Week I Am Thankful For:

The female offspring referring to herself as "Bat-Mom"
The grand baby saying "Yep"
The grand baby howling along with the dogs
Clean sheets
The grand baby bouncing like Tigger
The Man of the House catching me off guard
The almost full moon
Finished crochet necklace
http://my-day-job.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-wearing-of-green.html
The grand baby playing in bubble bath
5:30AM
Signs of Spring everywhere
The fearlessness of a little boy
Playing at the park
Green fingernails for St. Patrick's Day
First bird song of morning
Walking home in the dark with the Man of the House
Making it up the big hill without passing out
The whole family planking together
Laughing in the kitchen
Pretty green outfits
The prayer of St Patrick
An awesome deal on ground beef (and stocking up on it)
The rain ending
A short To-Do list
The male offspring signed up for Driver's Ed
A clean kitchen (for about 5 minutes)
Crocheted bunny hat

Trying a new recipe the family likes


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Shameless

The grand baby has absolutely zero sense of modesty. 

In fact, some of his most carefree, joyous moments seem to be when he is running around without a stitch of clothing.  And the other day as I was considering that, I thought back at how when he was little the male offspring was the same way. 


http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

And that's when I realized - that must be pretty close to how Adam and Eve felt before the fall!
Naked, joyous, carefree, shameless.

"Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame." ~ Genesis 2:25


God sees us in our nakedness.  He knows everything about us.  Every good thing.  Every flaw.

And He loves us anyway. 

aHe wants to wash away our sin and walk with us, just as he walked with Adam and Eve in the garden. 
Joyous, carefree, shameless.

Find me connecting at these Blog Hops and Link Ups

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Laundry (and sanity) Saving Tip

One of life's (not so) little frustrations is when you are doing laundry, and you find your favorite "do not put in dryer!!" top in that load you just pulled out of the dryer.  Ruined! Yikes!

Today I am posting over at "A Wise Woman Once Said..." about how to avoid this mishap.

Be sure to check it out.  Saving your laundry - and your sanity!
 http://awisewomansaid.blogspot.com/2014/03/saving-your-laundry.html

Here's a hint: it involves a dry erase marker




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Controlling Fear (repost)


 The words stared up at me from the page.  "In those early years, I was afraid of so many things that I tried to control everything" (Lisa Burke)  The sentence rang suspiciously true in my own life, and set my mind spinning.

Is the need to control things, to be in control - a symptom of fear? 

The answer that came back to me was a resounding: Yes, it probably is.

So many women are managing their family - with kids in umpteen different directions, their homes, a marriage or other relationship, work, etc, etc, etc.As women we so often feel the need to control things.  To manage things.  To multi-task.  Admit it - how many of you can say you have "control issues"?
What would happen if we let something so?  What is the worst that will Really happen if we just take a step back and let a few chips fall where they may? 

Are we afraid of appearing not good enough?  Of being perceived as a bad mother?  That our relationship will fail?  That we will be found lacking or a failure? 

Can we find the courage to relinquish control of a few of our fears to the Lord?  To jump into the deep end.  Let go of the handlebars.  Take our hands off the wheel.   To "let go and let God".

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

I doubt the consequences would be as devastating as many of us imagine.  In fact, we might find a sense of freedom, especially from those fears that have control of us.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St Patrick's Day!

 
As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.

 
 
publicdomainpictures.net
 
 
 
 
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
publicdomainpictures.net
 
 
 
 
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Amen
 
 
 
~St Patrick's Prayer~
 
 

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Not Forsaken

This week I am linking up with SheReadsTruthcom for #SheSharesTruth. Every Monday during Lent, SheReadsTruth assigns a portion of Scripture to study and write about. And today is the day we share what we’ve learned by writing in our own spaces and linking to that here. This weeks assignment was: Psalm 38.


Feeling separated from God can be painful - spiritually, emotionally, even physically.

It can feel oppressive. Overwhelming. Heavy. Consuming. Leaving you full of guilt or shame.

You may feel lost. Abandoned. Rejected. Alone. Hopeless.  Despised.

But there is hope! No matter how far away God seems at the time, you can turn back to him.  You can confess the sins that trouble you. (v.18).

The Lord is waiting patiently.  Waiting for you to turn back to Him. To seek Him out.

Just as David cries out to God in verses 21 - 22; you can try out to the Lord also.

"Lord, do not forsake me, do not be far from me, my God.  Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior"

He is waiting with open arms to welcome you.

shereadstruth.com

 





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Spring Is On The Mantel

Although, I don't mind the winter months so much - like many others, I have reached my limits and am ready for the warm weather and flowers of spring.  

 I have welcomed Spring a little early by decorating the mantel for the season..




 I kept it simple, a few spring flower sprigs - forsynthia, pussy willow, and hydrangea. 



Some green candles, and a couple of cute little chicks I picked up last year at Target. 











I might add a little bunny next month for Easter if I can find one I like that is inexpensive enough.



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Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: March 13

THIS WEEK I AM THANKFUL FOR:

Grand baby kisses
The relaxing rhythm of the crochet hook
1 Chronicles 16:8-36
Listening to the mourning doves outside
Snow falling in the early morning
The male offspring scraping the car windows - without being asked
Texts from my father
Breakfast for dinner
Cheesey old-school Batman
Vivid dreams
Psalm 116:7
Walk at the park
The sound of the creek
Pattern of the tree shadows on the pathway
Mom's birthday dinner
Playing Jenga with the family
Springlike breeze through the window
The smell of chicken cooking on the grill
Sitting out on the back porch
Warm sunshine on my face
Starting the 30 Day Plank Challenge with the Man of the House
Starting a crochet project - for myself
Apologizing
Feeling God at work in me
Fighting off post-time-change sleepys to get in the morning exercise
The bird calling to me from top of the Target sign
The grand baby stomping around the house, arms crossed, saying: "I MAD!"



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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fear and Timidity? (repost)



God gives us a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.

Not fear and timidity. These are tools the enemy uses to make us lose our focus and motivation. To trip us up To keep us from doing God’s work. Leading us away from His will and his plans for us.

Will we let fear and timidity deter us? Or will we stand in God’s power and love to follow through on the plans He has for us?

“…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” ~Jeremiah 29:11

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

He Knows

"After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry." ~ Matthew 4:2

 Jesus knows.  He has been there.

When the gnawing feeling of hunger eats at the inside of your belly, or makes your soul ache and you want to give up because fasting is just "too hard".  

 Jesus knows. 

"He was hungry."

40 days and 40 nights of fasting.  In the desert. Yeh, He knows. He KNOWS.


The same thing that sustained our Savior through temptation after 40 days and nights of fasting can get you through also - the Word of God.  (Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3)


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Monday, March 10, 2014

Empty

It was Ash Wednesday.  The beginning of the Lenten season.

And so I fast for the day. 


Not so I can consider myself righteous.  Or appear pious.  Or to be deserving.

It's not about me at all.

It's a denying of self.  An emptying of self.

To make room for Him and His holy Spirit to come in.  To fill every part of me.  
My body, heart, and mind.  My life.

Letting go of fear.  Trusting God to sustain me and provide for me.

And always faithful - He shows up and makes His presence known.


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Friday, March 7, 2014

Willing in Weakness

The spirit is willing...

Willing to seek and serve God.  With all my heart.

I want to search for Him, and serve Him as a response.  Because He forgave me and saved me, not so that He will save me and forgive me.

I want to trust Him.  To stop believing the lies the enemy plants in my head.  To walk this journey not just believing in God, but believing God.  That His every Word is powerful and His promises are truth. 

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak... Scared.  Worry-filled.  Tentative.

That is my journey.  My story.  The very reason I must seek Him.

Weak - but willing.




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Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: March 6

This Week I Am Thankful For:

Spotting a bunny early in the morning
Daffodils coming up
A field full of robins
Pretty Spring Mantel
The Man of the House bringing me chocolate covered pretzels
The female offspring treating me to lunch
The grand baby wanting to go to the store with his grandpa
Generous bloggy friend
Receiving advice, support, and encouragement
Signs from God that I am headed in the right direction
At home date night
Smoked brisket for dinner
Praying it out
A much needed cat nap
Lazy leftover dinners
Finding time to color the grays and paint the nails
Beautiful Oscar gowns
Brownies and ice cream
Getting $10 off coupon for grocery purchase
The "tap tap tap" of sleet
Home-smoked pulled pork (Yum!)
A surprise dusting of snow
The peace after the stress
Gumbo and rice in the crockpot
God showing up and making His presence known first thing in the morning
My mom
Wishing her happy birthday


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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Trust Replaces Fear

"The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you." ~ Psalm 9:9-10

It hit me like a lightening bolt as  I read this verse.  Trust.  The key to living my word for 2014 - "Fearless" - is in trusting God.

As if God himself had leaned over my shoulder, pointed at the words and whispered: "Here's where you need to start". With trust.  

I have trouble trusting God.

That's a hard thing to admit. But there it is... I don't fully trust God.  Not completely.  Not the way He would have me trust Him.
 
I realized that although I say I trust Him.  Although I want to trust Him completely.  There are areas I hold back.  Times I try to go my own way.  Fix things my way.  Areas of uncertainty.  And fear.

I know I don't have to be afraid. I know God keeps His promises.  He has plans to prosper me.  He loves me.  He will never leave me or forsake me. Scripture tells me these things over and over again.  I can trust Him.  Completely.

But there has still been a small corner in the back of my mind waiting to be hurt, letdown, disappointed, found lacking somehow.  Even by God. 

Seeing this clearly for the first time shook me to my very core.

Maybe the realization of and admitting the lack of trust... the fear to trust... is that first step towards complete and total surrender. The first step to living FEARLESS.

It won't be easy - this letting go. But a life lived without trusting God - really trusting Him - is a life lived in fear.

Trust replaces the fear.

The knowledge that God has this, that it's all part of His plan.  It pushes the fear away and frees us to walk the path He places before us.  Where ever that path leads us.

Trust. Without reservation.  Without holding back.  Without fear


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