Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We Have Beans!

I went out this evening to water the garden and noticed we had beans sprouting! How exciting is that? As far as the rest of the garden, the sunflower has just taken off. It seems to have a new bloom everyday. We read that the Guinness Book of World records for the most flowers on one plant is over 800!I believe this is an herb. Not sure which one yet. Any guesses? Sage maybe?
This is one of the plants that was in my daughter's pot that was blown over by the wind and now it's growing in the grass next to the patio. Not sure what it is but it looks like it will reveal itself soon. :-)
I have no idea what this is, but it's doing well. I thought I had killed the zucchini plants when I tried to space them out, but they are coming along nicely.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kickin' Up a Notch in My Private Worship

The other day I wrote a post about how I am kickin' it up a notch. This kickin it up will include my personal worship as well. One thing that I am learning is that you can have the best system in the world, but if it doesn't work for you, then, well, it doesn't work! So one of the things that I am working on is being me and doing what works best for me.

A far as my personal worship is concerned, I have found that it is absolutely essential for me to have it in the morning. Even if I just lay in bed and commune with God having never opened my Bible, I must take time to lay out my daily plans before Him and ask Him to guide me along the way. It is also during this time that I reconsecrate myself to Him. Paul said he died daily and so I must choose every single day to die to myself and allow God to be in charge. If I don't do that early in the morning before my day gets started, then by 9:00am self is fully alive!

One thing that I like to do in my personal worship is write down scriptures that I come across that relate to certain topics. So for example, I am studying music (which I will update how that is going in another post soon to come). If I come across any scripture that relates, I like to write it down so I have them all together. Then I can study, here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept.

Shereen over at Waiting For Him has a lovely post that fits exactly what I am doing and how my mind works. I LOVE index cards. I don't know what it is. Maybe the fact that you can change the order of them? I ordered a 4x6 box from and I have already purchased the letter and number dividers so I am eager to get started.

How is your personal worship going? Is your system working for you? Are you ready to Kick it Up a Notch? :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's In a Name?

Yesterday was my 13th year wedding anniversary. I must say that it has not been the easiest 13 years of my life, but God is good! As a result of this union, I have grown much closer to Him and my life has been enriched because of it. Growing closer to God is definitely a win-win situation.

At any rate, for dinner we went to a lovely restaurant on the lake and afterwards visited the gift shop. In the gift shop I cam across a card with my name on it. Here is what it said:

The Lord is my rock
and my fortress
and my deliverer;
My God, my strength,
in whom will I trust;
My shield and the
horn of my salvation,
my stronghold
Psalm 18:2
Wow! Talk about an on time message. I think about my personality and how I am prone to despair. I took a personality test once and it said that I am easily discouraged. It is so true. But with God as my Strength and my Deliverer I can move forward anyhow!
I have put my name next to that verse in my Bible and plan on committing it to memory.
What does your name mean? Do you have a verse that seems to describe who you are or who God is to you?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kickin It Up a Notch

I have been using this summer to "Kick it up a notch". By that I mean that I am working on revamping our scheduling (changing the things that haven't been working and replacing them with things that do) and making sure that I am actually spending time with my kids and not just being at home with them. There really is a huge difference.

I am learning to truly commit my plans to God each morning. It sounds so easy. If God is wise and all knowing, why would I hesitate to commit all of my plans to Him. Anyone who has tried it, knows that it is easier said than done, especially for those of us who belong to a generation of planners. We even have careers that are centered around planning. Plan, plan, long as I have it all planned out everything will go smoothly, right? Well, I am finding that this is not always the case and even in the event that it does go the way that I planned it, is it what God would have planned? Now that's the real question!

So I am learning day by day to surrender my plans to Him to make my home a reflection of the pattern of heaven. What does my home say about my faith? Is it a place where the angels love to dwell? Is it orderly? Is it a place where unkind words seem terribly out of place? Does love abound and grace much more abound?

Well I can honestly say that I am not yet able to answer yes to all of these questions, but by the Grace of God I am Kickin it up a notch!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Garden Update

Our garden is coming along nicely. I am needing to learn how to move plants when they appear to be crowding each other. I moved a few of the bean plants and seem to have damaged them. One of them is still growing nicely, and another one has a flower on it.tha Not sure if that is normal or not. I guess we will find out shortly. :-)

My daughter planted some seems in a couple of pots and after a windy day they ended up in the grass next to the patio. a few weeks later we noticed some sprouts that we knew were definitely grass and now we have this. It hasn't bloomed yet so we don't know what it is, but it looks like it's going to be fabulous! Behind that you can see my hanging basket, which I took down because the birds at my sprouts! I planted some more and they have sprouted up already. We will see if they make it this time.

Our sunflower is doing fabulously. I love how they seem to have such personality. It seems so confident; such a leader. I feel like I need to give it a name.
The zucchini plants are doing nicely as well and I have another plant that I have yet to figure out what it is. I guess that's what happens when you don't label them! There was a time in my life (Before Kids and life), that I just would have remembered. I'm trying not to embrace the fact that those days are gone, but I guess I need to so I can remember what I'm growing! Thank God ye shall know them by their fruits. :-)
So no harvest to report yet, but it sure has been a lot of fun watching everything grow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Family Worship

Every morning after breakfast we have family worship. During this time we read and discuss a few paragraphs from a spiritual book (we are currently reading Steps to Christ), sing a hymn and review our memory verses. We have several Memory verses in our box and are currently working on learning passages such as Psalm 100 and Psalm 23. It's amazing how quickly the children can commit them to memory when you are reviewing them regularly.

For evening worship, we sing a song and read from the Bible. We have not been nearly consistent in our evening worship as we have in the morning, but just today my daughter asked if we could start reading the Bible again before we go to bed. I guess that's my cue to get it together! :-)

What do traditions do you have for family worship or for meal time or before bed?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Financial Blessing Challenge Update

Today is Day 4 of the Financial Blessing Challenge (see previous post) and already the $100 given to me has doubled to $200. One of church members says that the Holy Spirit impressed her to give it to me. Wow. My "talent" has doubled already and I have no clue how it's going to be used!

During the second church service, when my daughter agreed to be involved with blessing someone, I had a thought of knitting or crocheting hats for the babies at the children's hospital that is close to our church. When I asked her if she had an idea of what she wanted to do with the money, she said she wanted to find a nice charity in the area to give it to. So maybe the knitting or crocheting of the hats was an idea for me.?

I'm feeling a bit of nervous excitement. I know that God is going to bless this tremendously and I'm anxious to see how!

Stay tuned! :-)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Financial Blessing Challenge

My Pastor is doing a series of sermons on Finances (Stewardship, Faithfulness, etc.) Yesterday at the 8:30 am service, he talked about how God's is the owner of all our money and we are just the managers; how God owns 100%, but only ask that we return 10% to Him to prove that we understand that it ALL belongs to him anyway.

At any rate, the purpose of this journal entry is not to discuss the sermon, but rather to provide some background.

At the end of his sermon, he asked 3 people to come forward. He did not say what they were coming forward for. Before he even asked for the people to come up, he went into what I call his "appeal mode". You how you can just tell that the Pastor is about to wrap his sermon up even though he hasn't that? Immediately I was impressed to go up for the appeal. The strange thing about that is that I had no idea was his "appeal" was going to be. So he called for the 3 people and immediately 2 people stood up.

For those who don't know me so well, I am not always so obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and so in keeping with my disobedient reluctant tendencies, I lingered for a few seconds. After seeing that know one else stood up immediately, I got up and went and stood with the other 2.

The Pastor presented us with this challenge: He gave each of us $100 and then said we have 90 days to spend it. The rules are

We may not spend it on ourselves, We may not spend it on family members or any member of the church. We must give it to or invest it in someone in the church community.

He preached the same sermon at the 11am service, except this time he explained everything first and then asked 10 people to come forward to accept the challenge. My daughter stood up in that service and so know we each have accepted the challenge of investing $100 in the community.

So my first step is to pray and ask God what he would have me to do with this money and then be obedient (immediately) to His instructions. I know that God has the power to take this $100 and turn it into $100,000 or far greater. Let's see what He does! :-)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Germinator and Garden Update


A couple of weeks ago Barb over at Handbook of Nature Study posted an outdoor challenge of germinating seeds. We accepted the challenges and planted some seeds we wanted to sprout.

This is the African Daisy seed my son planted. He planted 3 seeds but only one germinated. The interesting thing is that he played with his bag so much until the only water left in it was the water that the paper towel absorbed. So we are quite amazed that any of the seeds made it.
Here is the Geranium that I planted. All 3 seeds have sprouted, although there is not much growth. One seed fell in the water. :( But it has a sprout none the less.

My daughter sprouted African Daisies as well and was so excited when hers sprouted that she immediately took it down and planted it. Only one of her seeds sprouted and she left the others to see if they will sprout or not.

Garden Update
Our Garden is coming along. Still no signs of vegetables yet, but the plants are coming along nicely. I went to the store last night and bought some dowels for my bean plants. They were entangling themselves together and then it dawned on me that they were looking for something to grow up! LOL Can you tell that I am new at this gardening thing??

Here is a picture of my sunflower seed. It is maturing nicely.
If you suffer from depression or maybe feel just a little down, I suggest planting something. Watching life sprout before your very eyes is very therapeutic and will definitely lift your spirits!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Prayers For My Church Family

The head deacon of my church lost his daughter this past week. Apparantly she had not been feeling well, starting feeling a bit worse, went to the ER and never came come. She went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. And if that in itself were not enough, this is just one of the many deaths in this family lately. The father (my head deacon) has lost two of his siblings and a close neighbor friend (who died in his arms) in the past year and the mother (one of our deaconesses) had a period from September of last year to Thanksgiving where there was a death every week either of a close relative or close friend.

I solicit extra prayers for the eldest daughter of the woman that died. She is not taking this very well at all.

If you are a Prayer Warrior or even just a Word Warrior please join in prayer with me for this family and for those around the world who have been affected by Tsunami's and Typhoons and earthquakes and tornadoes and hurricanes, etc., etc.

Father, we call on your name because You are Worthy. Because you know our end before we begin. I lift up this family to you because You healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds. When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death You cause us to fear no evil. Lord send your angels of mercy and comfort to surround this family and the other families around the world who are suffering in this great time of need.

Lord prick our hearts and may we be ever mindful that tomorrow is not promised to anyone and that today is the day of salvation. Touch our hearts that we may touch others and alert them of Your soon coming. May this life that we live not be in vain, is my prayer.

In Jesus' Name,

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Going Natural Hair Update

Today marks 10 weeks since I've had a relaxer. It's going better than I expected it would. I went yesterday to have my hair washed, conditioned and trimmed. I told my hair stylist that I didn't want to do the "big chop" but that I wanted to just continue to cut until all my perm was gone. He said I had about an inch and a half of new growth, and he probably cut that much of my relaxed hair off. It's been a long time since my hair was this short (I'll update my profile picture soon), but I'm enjoying being on my way to being relaxer free. Oh the simple pleasures in life. :-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stacked Enchilada Bake with Simple Cheese Sauce

12 corn tortillas, torn into bite-size pieces*
4 cups seasoned black beans or chili ( I used half black beans and half Bush's chili beans)
14-ounce can Mexican style tomatoes (blend briefly or mash)
1 1/2 cups Simple Cheese Sauce (p.26)
3 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1 cup sliced black olives

1. Heat oven to 400 F. Grease 2-quart casserole

2. Place half the tortilla pieces in casserole and top with half the beans. Repeat layers. Pour 1 cup of the Cheese Sauce over the beans and tortilla pieces and then the canned tomatoes. Dot the top with the remaining Cheese Sauce and sprinkle with chopped onions and sliced olives.

3. Bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until bubbly around edge.

*Variation: May use baked corn chips instead of corn tortillas

Serves 6-8

Simple Cheese Sauce

1 cup raw cashew nuts
2 cups water
1/2 large or 1 small red bell pepper( or 1/4 cup canned pimentos or red peppers)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tsp onion powder
2 TBS yeast flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Blend smooth (about 2 minutes) and then bring to boil, stirring until thick. Use for pizza, lasagna, burritos, etc.

*This cheese sauce was delicious. I'm going to try it in macaroni!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Menu Plan Monday (on Tuesday) :-)

Enchilada Bake (This was REALLY good. I'll post the recipe later)

Pigs in a Blanket (Veggie hot dogs sliced in 4ths and wrapped in a crescent roll)

Veggie Chicken Stir Fry served with Spaghetti noodles

Homemade Pizza