Showing posts from August, 2013

My Favorite Things

Remember the song, "My Favorite Things", from The Sound of Music ?  I used to love that song and actually, that is one of my favorite movies.  I especially love the last lines: When the dog bites When the bee stings When I'm feeling sad I simply remember my favorite things And then I don't feel so bad I'm certainly not feeling bad but I thought I'd share some of my favorite things. Water. Autumn sights, sounds and smells. My family. Fires. Steaming mugs of tea and God's word. The popping of canning jar lids. and Beautiful flowers. That's my short list! ;-)

It's All a Matter of Perspective

So often in my life as I go through difficulties and hard times, I can become so focused on the problem that I lose sight of the fact that God is in control.  It's easy to lose perspective.  What seems so monumental and scary in my eyes is actually quite small in God's eyes. We want the problem to go away.  We often rant and rave and wail and whine at God for allowing these things in our lives. Yet, God tells us that He is working all things out for our good.  Romans 8:28 tells us "And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose."  So why do we lose that perspective?  Why do we only see the mountain?  Why do we feel the need to grip so tightly to the desire to control everything?  And why do we want things to be so tame and calm? If we truly trust God, then we should be able to throw up our hands and allow Him to take over the controls. As things seem to tilt crazily out o

My New Normal

As I lay awake in the middle of the night, I mulled things over in my mind.  I've been feeling so unsettled lately and it's hard to pinpoint exactly why that is.  As I thought about it, I realized that is probably because of all the changes in family dynamics this past year.   We are leaving this morning for a family vacation to visit Dan's parents.  However, this is the first family vacation where we are leaving without all our family.  The boys will be staying behind.  This is the first year they will not see their grandparents on a visit.  Nathan has work and Stephen starts college on Monday.  I have to be honest and say, I'm leaving them with trepidation.  They have never been by themselves like this before.  It's a big step for ME! Family dinners which used to happen every night are now different.  Some nights Nathan is working.  Dan is home later than normal and often I'll have to feed one person or the other earlier because of a meeting or work or som

God's Got it Under Control

Psalm 94:18-19 ~  I cried out, "I am slipping!" but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. There are so many times in my life when I can focus so much on the problem or situation, that I forget the Lord is there with me. But when I focus on Him and place the situation in His hands, I feel my spirits lifting. I struggle from time to time with some worries and anxieties.  When that happens, my jaw clenches, my shoulders get knots and usually, the diverticulitis starts to flare-up.  When that happens I also realize that once again I am not leaving things in God's hands.  As I pray and read my Bible I begin to feel much of that stress and anxiety melt away and begin to feel hopeful again.   If you are like me, it's difficult to trust that God's got it under control, isn't it?  This is an area of my life that I'm working on and have a feeling it may always be something

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Ephesians 4:10-13~ "I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.    I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength." If I get this new job, then I’ll be happy.   When my husband starts trying harder our marriage will be good.   If we move to a bigger home, then things will be great.   If we only had a ladies Bible study, mens breakfast, youth group, etc., then church will be wonderful. We find all kinds of ways to be discontent, don’t we?   We gripe and complain our way through most of our days, and to be honest, most of our lives.   We look

Finding Your God-Given Purpose

Our church has a mission statement - Find your place, your passion and your purpose in Christ at Crossroads Church! And we really believe that.  When people begin to see who they are in Christ, and figure out what their spiritual gifts are, God can use them in a powerful way.  Every one has a God-given passion and spiritual gift and He wants us to use those for His purpose.   The thing that I really do love about our church is how we try to help people figure out what it is they are good at, and try and encourage them to use their spiritual gifts in ministry both inside and outside the church building.  The church is more than just Sunday morning.  How can they use their spiritual gifts during the week?  Are they living out their Christian walk throughout their day on their job, in their homes, to their neighbors?  Are they seeing how they can minister to others wherever they are? Ephesians 2:10 ~ "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus

What's for Dinner - Week of 8/12 - 8/18/13

It's that time of the week again to plan out the menu.  It's been so helpful doing this and other than one day this week, I stuck with the plan.  I felt like I was in such a slump for a few months and it's been nice to have the desire to cook again. Here's the lunch & dinner plan this week: Monday -  L -  Fish chowder, homemade biscuits D - Crockpot enchiladas, corn on the cob, tossed salad, chocolate cake Tuesday -  L - Paninis, chips D - Pepper steak, rice, sauted yellow squash Wednesday -  L - leek & fennel soup D - Southwestern lime grilled chicken, baked potatoes,steamed broccoli, peach pie Thursday -  L -  Western omelets, home fries D - Puerto Rican rice and beans, homemade tortillas, fried plantains, tossed salad, homemade ice cream Friday -  L - Leftovers D - Spaghetti with meat sauce, homemade Italian bread, tossed salad, Saturday - I'm away at a retreat so Dan & the kids are fending for themselves Sunday -

Look at the Problem or Look for a Solution?

Edited to add:  I think God often has to use the middle of the night to get me to shut up long enough to listen to Him.  I've been getting responses back to my emails and have two people who have stepped up and taken a week each to clean the church so I don't have to do it at all or maybe just once a month. Two other people have offered to do children's church and they actually are looking forward to it so that gives me two Sundays off each month.  I have a couple of more helpers for our Summerfest event which we are holding tomorrow.  They are taking a booth that I was going to man.  That frees me up to do a different job.  Someone else offered to bring an item that I was going to have to get myself. This is a good lesson to me to actually ask for help.  I'm often worried that I'll burden someone or maybe I'm worried they won't do it the same way as me.  Yes, I'm working on those control issues.  ;-) Anyway, I thought I'd come back and updat

Stay Focused

Wastefulness.  Do you ever think how much time we waste on useless pursuits?  Add up all the minutes and hours wasted on facebook, television shows, magazines, talking on the phone, and a host of other things.  It is enough time to span months and years. I've been feeling a bit annoyed at myself lately about the amount of time I fritter away on the computer, specifically facebook.  I usually am up and down all day, and when I'm on, it may be 10 minutes here and there, but it adds up very quickly.  I am a very social person and love the interaction.  I also do use a lot of my facebook activity for ministry, but I definitely need to regulate it better.  I am the church secretary and much of the work involves the computer and internet.  I also use it a lot for business both book and crafts so it's unrealistic to think that I'm not going to be online.  But I think that scheduling the online time will help me to use my time more wisely. There is so much more I can be

What Will Your Legacy Be?

  A friend's mother recently passed away and she has been working on some memories of her mother for the memorial service.  She recently asked the question, "What do you hope your children will say you taught them?"  I thought I would answer that here. What do you hope your children will say you taught them? I want my children to say I taught them to trust the Lord no matter what.  I want them to see the desire to seek God's will for my life in all of our circumstances. I want my children to say I taught them to persevere.  To get back up no matter how many times you have been knocked down.  I don't want them to give up when life gets tough. I want my children to say I loved them well.  I want them to know how important they are to me.  I want them to realize that I enjoy having them around. I want them to value learning and education.  I don't want them to be satisfied with just learning the basics.  I want them to constantly fuel their mi

Sabbath Rest

Genesis 2:2-3 ~  By the seventh day God had finished his work, and so he rested.  God blessed the seventh day and made it special because on that day he rested from his work. Sabbath rest. Breathe in and out.  Out and in.  Let out the old, stale air and let in the new, fresh air.   Breathe.  A deep strong inhale and a long shuddering exhale. Sabbath is rest.  A long sigh of relief as the cares of the week leave.  A sigh blowing the cobwebs of concern away.  A time to stop.  Listen.  Be still.  To reflect.  To notice. Breathe in and out.  Out in and in.  Breathe in calmness, peace and rest.  Breathe out cares, worries and tensions.  Breathe in rejuvenation.  Breathe out anxiety. Sabbath is relationship.  A time to stop and talk with the Lord.  A time to commune with Him.  To hear from Him.  To breathe in His essence. Breathe.  A deep strong inhale and a long shuddering exhale. Breathe in and out.  Out and in.  Let out the old, stale attitudes and thoughts and le

What's for Dinner - Week of 8/5-8/14/13

Writing out the menu last week was really a very big help.  Other than one night, I stuck with it and as I planned my day it helped to know ahead of time what were going to eat. Here is the plan this week : Monday - Linguine con le Vongole (linguine with clams), homemade crusty French bread, tossed salad, chocolate mousse Tuesday - Grilled basil chicken and tomatoes, biscuits, corn on the cob, Parmesan crusted zucchini, ice cream Wednesday - Pepper-crusted, maple-glazed salmon, rosemary potatoes, deluxe cole slaw, blueberry pie Thursday - Pork chops with red chile pepper sauce, rice, steamed broccoli, ice cream Friday - Homemade pizza (choice of pepperoni or veggie), tossed salad Saturday - Leftovers Sunday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, homemade biscuits, steamed mixed veggies I'm looking forward to dinner this week! :-)


I called the doctor the other day to try and find a time when I could get in there to have him sign a form for Emily.  The receptionist said, "Why don't you have your husband bring it in when he comes in for his appointment this afternoon."  I said, "What appointment?" Long story short, Dan's blood pressure has been shooting up dangerously high.  After having a bout of it at work the other day, he called to make the appointment.  Turns out, it's not health related but stress related.  The toll of working a full-time job, pastoring a church and not having a vacation or a regular day off in a few years is catching up to him.  His blood pressure shoots up, his heart starts racing, and he feels like he is going to pass out.  The doctor told him that your body can only take so much before it is overloaded.   So he needs to find ways to de-stress. That's what we are doing tomorrow.  I don't know what we are doing yet, but I am taking my husband

Yearly Goal Review

I woke up this morning and realized that it's August 1st already!  7 months of 2013 finished and the time seems to be flying by.  I realized that I haven't taken a look at my yearly goals in a while so I thought I should revisit them to make sure I'm on track. Here were the goals that I wrote out at the beginning of the year.  Underneath each category I've written my evaluation. 2013 Goals Spiritual Goals ► Set aside regular time reading my Bible and spending time in prayer. ► Keep a journal of how God is providing for us so I don't forget.  I've been doing pretty well with a regular time.  I love it now that the weather is nice because I just take my Bible, journal and coffee out on the back deck and have it there.  The only distraction is all the wild life that's constantly around. I find that my journal of blessings is done here as part of Multitude Monday.  I had planned on writing them down but find this is easier. Marriage Relationship ► Wo